Monday, 24 February 2014

School Holidays. No Laughing Matter.

So here we are. It’s the first day back at school for our little Angels and it is apparent that many of us parents are extremely upset that it is over and if we could turn back the clock we would, because we’ve had a Carlsberg of a half term holiday. It’s been jam packed with an array of activities, everyone has laughed hysterically about just how amazing life is when we’re all together as a family and now we’re totally beside ourselves, genuinely at a loss about what exactly one is to do with all this, what is it called, time? This feeling of dread at what ‘normality’ has in store for us is just too much to bear and to make matters worse, our emotions were compounded as we gazed into our children’s eyes and saw them reflected right back at our red, blotchy from crying, faces! As we lift our fists to the skies and scream ‘Damn you cruel world! Why? WHHHHHY?!!!’, we then fall dramatically to the sodden ground of our north facing gardens in a helpless heap and sob uncontrollably, darkness ensues. We see no life and no happiness.

Oh sorry, did I say we? My bad. I was meant to say ‘THEY’ because I’m over the flipping moon! What to do, what to do, what to do...Quick, time is of the essence, get the kettle on. Run a bath. No, go and get your nails done! Call your bestie and finish that conversation about de-scaling the kettle that has spanned eight long, drawn out days. Make that call and book an appointment to see Psychic Selma who Louise at the school recommended after she correctly guessed Louise had a boyfriend, yes that’s the ticket! You need to hear from the horses mouth that your hormonal, grunting teenage daughter is actually going to be a doctor and that your three year old son’s obsession with hair does not necessarily mean that he, like Louise, will also have a boyfriend. Go on girl, you've got all the time in the world now, do whatever takes your fancy! LIVE!!!

This morning I had energy levels my body hasn't seen for what feels like a lifetime ago. I awoke before the alarm went off, in plenty of time to see a beautiful sunrise. I admired the budding leaves on the tree in the garden and even gave them words of encouragement like a psychopath but I don’t care. I flung open the front door and inhaled the fresh, Spring-time air deep into my lungs and it felt amazing to be ‘Me’ and to know I would be ‘Me’ not Mummy-Can-I-Have for a few golden hours Monday-Friday for the next couple of months! I knew that today was the day law and order would resume in the George Household and it filled me to the brim with joy. Bliss. Heaven.

I know this might sound cruel to some people but it’s the truth and I know that somewhere out there, there is another just like me and that makes me feel better. As much as I love my children, I HATE school holidays. The pressure of making sure your teenager gets dressed not even all, just MOST days without starting World War Three is sweat inducing. The keeping up with Jones’ of entertaining a pre-schooler without breaking the bank gives me palps just thinking about it. The constant refilling of the fridge, meaning endless trips to the supermarket with a child who screams like he’s being hurt if he doesn’t get to have the car trolley is too much I tell you, too much! I CAN’T TAKE ANY MORE OF THE MADNESS MAKE IT STOP. PLEASE, STOP THE RIDE, I WANT OFF!!!
No. It’s far better during term time.

Saturday, 14 December 2013

Mission Possible

Well it's now mid December and knowing my months of the year, this tells me two things; 1. It's almost time for the fat bearded white guy to squeeze his way down the chimney and leave the children their most desired Christmas presents and 2. The year is coming to a swift close so I'd better have a quick reflect upon my actions and assess the current status of the task I set myself. This year, I would find happiness and dare I say it, I think I've found it. This is going to be a deep one guys...

Imagine redecorating a room or clearing out that ever bulging wardrobe, full of clothes you forgot you even had. You start the job with enthusiasm and rigor but before you know it, a bomb has gone off, you don't know your arse from your elbow and you mutter the defeatist words - 'I wish I'd never started.' But as the saying goes - Things have to get worse, to get better.

My butterfly brain has flitted from one thing to the next, searching for ways to clear out the excess baggage of negative emotions which I've been carrying around and adding to since a small child. I was what can only be described as an Emotional Hoarder. Memories of being scared, failing at school, having stage fright, suffering from nervous and mental breakdowns, embarrassing myself while in a drunken stupor - all of these things and many more self-destructive steel walls, I've kept hold of them, nurtured them and even sought solace in their familiarity. It has taken a year so far and there's much work to be done still, but I am without doubt, a happier, more positive and stronger person for starting the painstaking job of helping myself a.k.a Self Help. 'Why on earth would you want to share this? Aren't you embarrassed to be bearing your soul and basically telling the world you're a total nut job!?' I hear some say. In response to this I say, no I'm not embarrassed and I'm sharing it because not only has writing about my life's challenges made me feel better but it might help someone else.

Anyway, I'll draw this search to a close as it seems the mission is now complete but this is not goodbye. I mean come on. An attention seeking big mouth saying they'll not have anything else to say?? Never!


Happy Chops

P.S I quit my job and we moved to the country! You won't believe what goes on here...TBC...

Thursday, 12 September 2013


So let me start with a rhetorical question. Is anyone surprised that it's been six months since I've written a post for my blog? Nope. I didn't think so. Let me tell you, least surprised is me.

This this is my problem, this is why I wanted to sort my life out. I, 100% have really good intentions, but my attention span is shot to pieces. Why, why, WHY can I not stick to things? The ONLY thing I've ever stuck to is being a mum - but that's just because it wouldn't be right not to - but answer me this: Can I knit? No Did the 'Guide to Knitting' Magazine I one day decided would enrich my life, cause me to become the greatest and fastest knitter in town? No. Why? Because I never got past casting on. I wanted to play the guitar, remember? Where's that newly strung guitar now? I'll tell you where, it's under the stairs gathering dust! No Sexy Songstress here! And am I sitting here, NOT glugging on a glass of red? No. FAILED!
Gughk, I make myself sick. The worst part of it is I'm starting to see these traits more and more in my daughter. Yesterday she asked me if she could start gymnastics! SHE'S NEARLY 13! Did she not say after the 2012 Olympics that she was going to be in the 2020 Olympics swim team? Did she ever go swimming? No. Recently she proclaimed she wants to be a singer, but when I asked her to sing to me her response was 'But I don't like singing in front of people.'


Happy Chops x

Sunday, 31 March 2013

'The Voice'. I hope they get laryngitis.

So we watched The Voice last night and I have to say, it's possibly the most infuriating TV show I have EVER seen.  Danny's incessant jumping on chairs like he's had too many blue M&M's, Jessie J and her I'm-so-ghetto-I'm-keeping-it-real-and-love-jutting-my-chin-back-and-forth-in-a-sharp-frantic-fashion-to-show-I-just-love-music-and-I'm-so-bad-and-ting attitude, Tom Jones and his bland, boring boring BORINGGGG stories, were all enough to make me fast forward through 80% of the programme, leaving the 20% which actually showed the contestants!  The only good thing that show has going for it, is Will.I.Am. Will, I hate to tell you this but you should have gone for the X-Factor instead mate.  No amount of  swivelling around on that chair - regardless of the pose you may have adopted, will bring the ratings up on this god awful show.  Ditch it.  Seriously.

And just a quick note to those who say I look, or even worse SOUND like Ms Jessie J.  Up yours!  I do not find this complimentary and you should know that every time someone says this to me, a tiny piece inside of me dies...

Anyway, back to me sorting my life out. I'm off to buy myself some new garms blad cos I'm gettin large, ya get me fam.

Happy Chops x

Saturday, 30 March 2013

What's brown and gooey....?

As I slowly unwrapped the foil on the delicious, perfectly egg shaped, not dented at alln Cadbury's Cream Egg, I could hear the soft, smooth sound of the voice over man from the advert ask me the number one question - 'How do you eat yours?'... For a couple of seconds I thought about what my next move should be and came to a decision - Shove it all in. Yep, get it all in there and enjoy. Who cares if the pleasure is over too quickly, it's quality, not quantity. Happy Easter everyone!

I intend for that Cream Egg to be the last piece of chocolate my ever growing stomach will need to digest for a good while now. It's at this time of year people really start to think about their physical state and Easter, for me, is when the gluttony that one has become accustomed too must end, before one looks like a beached whale on the imminent family holiday. Three months ago now, I took an oath to treat my body like a temple and as I've mentioned, I may have taken a few wrong turns on my road to Skinnydom, which mainly led me to the pub but I WILL NOT beat myself up about this, because it's not too late. It's NEVER too late. I shall find the right road once more and refrain from trespassing, just over the way there, on what looks to be slightly greener grass and stay on the dry, bland grass.

There is another way I could achieve my desired goal of physical fitness and general reemness but the thought of it brings back some unpleasant memories. I'm talking about going to the place that was the setting of two of my 'Most Embarrassing Moments Ever in My Life'. I'm talking about....joining the gym...

*Insert day dreamy/flashback wavy lines here*....

In January 2001, I joined my local gym to lose the baby weight I'd gained while pregnant with my daughter. I was fat, had stretch marks, had no clothes that fit me properly and my self esteem was at ground level. I had to do something. I went to the obligatory Induction - with a rather fit Instructor called Dean or Dave or something - and after 45 minutes of learning how it all worked, I was ready to take my fledgling flight into the world of the buff. With determination I walked over to the stretching area, past a sweaty man and over to an empty mat. I placed my brand new water bottle decisively by the edge of it and sat down. Less than two years before, I was doing dance lessons practically every day at college - how hard could this be? It was time to 'warm up'.

I was shown what to do with the aid of a poster on the wall just above me. It showed a kind looking lady in various poses, each intended to stretch out different muscles in the body. She did them well, I'll give her her due, but she looked bloody bored. I however, added a bit of colour to my performance starting with a slight reddening of the face, followed by some louder than intended exhalations. In no time, I was looking the part and already feeling the endorphins flood my blood stream. It felt good! Then a really slim lady came in and ruined it all. It irked me to see her slender form, her toned arms and her legs which didn't meet at the top like mine. Judgementally, I assumed she must have some kind of body dis-morphia because she SO didn't need to be in the gym! What a cow! It soon became apparent that this lady was a real pro. She knew exactly what she was doing and moved seamlessly from one stretch to another. Who was she??? Acting like she owned the place! How could she be so cruel, making a fool of the fat girl like that! I did not like her and I especially didn't like it that she could stretch her leg back past her head while in a standing position.

This was war.

I needed something powerful, something hard hitting.... I went for the stomach crunches. I was scared to do the first one because I wasn't sure if I could even lift my pea head up without groaning but with the might of a woman scorned, I did my first crunch. It wasn't too bad! I'd give her a right run for her money. Who'd she think she was swanning in here, assuming that because I'm podgy I should be in a wheelchair or something? She was going to eat her words! God KNOWS she needed some kind of nourishment. I carried on, 15..16...17...18...19...ooh what was that?...20...Ouch!..20 WOOOUCHHH!! I was having a heart attack! Mid crunch, the pain was excruciating. F@CK! I couldn't breathe. I managed to roll over on to all fours. 'Help'...I whispered. No one was listening! Barbie was busy doing box splits now, leaning forward onto her forearms. BITCH! 'Help'. The pain was immense. I slowly crawled over to The Sweaty Man who was twisting at the waist, looking the other way. I grabbed his ankle like a psycho, my hand slipped on the wetness of his skin. I grabbed again and god knows what he must have thought but before I knew it, he was down on the floor shouting questions at me which I couldn't answer. 'Whats wrong? What's happened? Are you ok???'
'I'm' I said, thumping my chest.
'What's you're name? Quick! Get some help!' he shouted to Her.
'I can't..bre..' the words wouldn't come out!
'What were you doing? Oh my god, are you ok? Just calm down. Breeeeeeeathe.'
'I was...sits..' I roughly pointed in the direction of my mat. This was ridiculous. The pain in my chest was too much to take, I was actually dying.
Sweaty Man sat with me, his only way of helping was to keep telling me to calm down. The tears wear coming thick and fast and I sensed I had a builders bum. I grabbed his shoulder to stress to him the magnitude of the situation, when in ran Barbie with Ken in tow. Ken wore a t-shirt stating that he was an Instructor, thank God. He rushed over to my hunched form, like a doctor.
'What's happened?' he asked Sweaty Man.
'I think she was doing some sit ups or something but I think it's her chest, she's very breathless.'
'She was really going for it!' chirped in Barbie. Ha! So she noticed.
'Ok, I need you to try and sit up straight ok? I know it hurts but it'll help.'
I did as I was told. I followed his instructions (he was a good Instructor) and sat up, leaned back a bit to stretch my tummy and after a minute or so, it eased. I was alive. Turns out I would never have actually died. I wasn't having a heart attack after all. No. I'd got cramp. Which then turned into a panic attack.

5 minutes later, I was back in the cold air and while I sat at the bus stop I called my mum to tell her of my near death experience. 20 minutes later I was still sitting there and out came Barbie, who luckily didn't see me. 25 minutes later out came Sweaty Man, who did see me but had the god grace to just ignore me. He knew I'd suffered more humiliation than any girl could stomach for one day. He was a good man.

It was another 7 years before I dared frequent the gym again. And it was another 11 until my next 'I want to die right now' moment. It was 2011, I'd not long had my son and I decided that I would once again try to tackle the flab. Again, it didn't work. Put it this way, if you wee a little when you sneeze, you are NOT, in any way, shape or form, ready to go on a treadmill.

Upon reflection, I think it's Air sandwiches all round!

Signing out with renewed vigour,

Happy Chops x

Wednesday, 20 March 2013

International Happiness Day

Hello. So I haven't written for a couple of weeks now because I've been busy being miserable, but as today is International Happiness Day, I thought I'd be doing myself a massive disservice if I let the day pass without writing a single word, considering what I'm trying to do!

So I think I need to have a stark look at the situation. Basically, I have failed Step 1, Step 2, Step 3, Step 4 and all of the other steps that I didn't actually tag as steps. I have been drunk, I have smoked, I have eaten food like it's going out of fashion (never understood that phrase, please explain?) and I have not been to a single rehearsal let alone performed my monologue and 'wowed' my unsuspecting peers. I feel very sad about this. I have been so full of shite! Acknowledging these failings cut me deep and I can only hang my head in shame at the weakness of mind I have shown. Right now there's only one thing I can do. I'm left with no other option than to eat the rest of this 200g Fruit and Nut bar and reflect on where this has all gone so terribly wrong.

In the mean time though, I'd just like to say - Up yours International Happiness Day. You SUCK.

Kind regards,

Happy Chops

Sunday, 3 March 2013

Big mouth horrible cow.

It's Sunday and I am confused. I need a rant.

All day, I have had one question swirling around my head and I really don't know the answer to it. Perhaps you will and wouldn't mind enlightening me? What I want to know is - Am I a big mouthed, horrible, cow? 

Now, the first answer that springs to my mind, is no. Well, yes to the big mouth part because I'm well aware of that fact but I don't think I'm a bad person/meany/bully. In fact, I honestly think it's completely the opposite. Yes I'm vocal about the things that I don't like but why is this a bad thing? My mind is seriously boggled with the question. Why do my opinions ruffle so many feathers? Is it really that bad to say when you don't agree with something or like someone's behaviour? Let's assess the facts.

I once sent chips back at McDonald's because quite clearly, I'd only been given half the amount I'd paid for. I once complained to the manager when the woman at the check out in the supermarket practically threw my change at me and didn't give me a chance to pick it up before she started scanning through the next customer's shopping. The Head teacher of my daughter's primary school got an earful from me because she was a condescending idiot and I told that her people skills left much to be desired. And when I was eight, I threatened to hit the kid who hurled racist abuse at my friend, just because she was mixed race. As these facts demonstrate, I do not like injustice and when I see or experience it, I cannot let it go and there are certain things that I strongly believe shouldn't be let go either. But here is where I think the problem lies. There are some things I should let go but unfortunately, I just can't. I've tried believe me! But it's like I get a feeling in the pit f my stomach and I just go for it! Then all hell breaks loose. BAM! Fired. SHAZAM! Red card. WALLOP! Temping agency won't use me again unless they are really desperate. Story of my life I'm afraid. But again I pose the question, does this mean I'm a bad person? I don't think so. Stupid maybe, but not a bad person. 

One of my biggest issues and it's the one which is like waving a red rag to bull, is people who think they are better than me. It makes me crazy! I want to knock them down off their self built pedestal and smack them around the head with a reality bat.

These people really get my goat. The fact that they are more often than not, from a privileged background is not a coincidence, this is normally the very reason they are such painful people to be around, but before I go on, I am not saying that all rich/well educated people are hideous beasts. I have many friends who have been lucky enough to be brought up in loving, nurturing homes, who had enough money to enjoy the finer things in life. They are loving, friendly, interesting people who I am proud to call my friends, so this is absolutely not about people having more than I had or have for that matter. This is about the attitude. This is about the ones that feel if they can't get anything from you, it would a waste of time and energy being nice or respectful towards you. This is about the ones that have an unhealthy sense of self worth and don't think twice about shooting someone down, thus reminding others of how great and important they are. Absolute losers in my book. They would probably see this behaviour as a real quality and their peers might admire their authoritarian approach. I would call this throwing your weight around because you're a prat, as are the prats who suck your bum. (Can you 'suck' a bum, or have I just made that up?)

It's not actually their fault, when I think about it. They've probably never had to deal with any real hardship or real challenges their whole lives, so they're simply unaware of the emotions that go with them. This lack of emotional richness leaves them detached from the consequences of their actions unfortunately for others. Poor loves, they're a bit stupid! Awwww.

I'm actually finding it very difficult to chastise myself for being the way I am. The more I think about it, the prouder I am that I'm not afraid to stand up for what I think is right. Fair enough, I might go about it the wrong way sometimes and have a bit of a close shave, perhaps saying it at the wrong time, but I'm happy that I have that fiery side to me. I am a survivor, I don't care what anyone thinks, it's a fact and without this gob of mine...well God knows.

Yep, I've decided. I am a good person. I wouldn't be married to one of the nicest men on earth if I wasn't!

From now on, it's head high and water off a ducks back. Quack! Quack!

Happy Chops

Tuesday, 26 February 2013

Don't they know who I am???

At last! I have a minute to myself when I'm not propping my eyes open with matchsticks and can now put fingers to keypad once more. This work malarkey is very tiring and I can safely say that last week I officially hit the brick wall of extreme exhaustion. y Wednesday, my little size 4 feet felt like lead and I almost fell asleep standing up on the packed train. That said, I am absolutely loving work and it feels so right to no longer be a stay at home mum. Phew! I made the right decision.

Anyway, lets get down to business.

Last year was a terrible year. I had some serious heartache to deal with, which is what kick started my quest for happiness. There have been enough negative things in my life, that I haven't even caused, so before I'd even started this blog, I'd already decided to stop adding to the mess and to start clearing up. Yep, there are some serious things I need to overcome. So it was either go to the doctor for some happy pills - like I'd done many years before (they did help by the way), or dig deep, and make some changes. Obviously, I've chosen the latter.

I thought I'd start off with a bang and do something big. Since leaving university I've been preventing myself from doing the one thing that makes me happiest and I know why. But before I go on, let me explain. Since I was a very small child, my excessive talking, random singing, face pulling, joke telling and general loudness have driven people (mainly teachers, close friends and family) to despair.  In basic terms, I am a loud mouth, I liked to be entertaining and I like to be noticed. Yes,  I. Am. An attention seeker. I'll give you a minute to soak this up. I mean, I've just basically served myself with the biggest cuss there is, so you might think its weird. You might think, I have just committed social suicide? After all, no one likes an attention seeker! But is this admission really a shock to anyone who knows me?? No. And who said this has to be a bad thing? My undiagnosed tourettes is taking things a bit too far I know, but I haven't asked for that! I don't enjoy looking like a prat! I don't enjoy negative attention. The kind of attention I like is the attention received is because I've made someone feel good or entertained them or given them a pleasant surprise! Anyway, it's just the way I am, I can't help it. The worst bit about this admission, is the next part that goes with it. I am the most annoying type of attention seeker. I don't mean like the type who constantly tells bad jokes and just generally irritates people (at least I hope not!) I mean I'm the worst type because I've done nothing WITH IT! And I'm about to tell you why. In simple terms, I have stage fright. That's it, STAGE. FRIGHT. Pathetic Ashley. You mean to tell me, that for all of these years, you've sat back and let that stop you? (I'm talking to myself now because I realise how f@cking stupid this is!) Oh dear. Oh dear oh dear Ashley. You know what you need? You need a punch square in your stupid little pea head, that's what you need!

Jesus, I've worked myself up here and feel dumber than I've ever felt in my whole life. Even dumber than the time I caught a throw-on in football and declared 'I thought it was netball...'! The rest of my story that I was going to tell you, was that I joined an local Amateur Dramatics group. No, don't clap me, I don't deserve it! I joined too late, so had to be the 'Prop Girl' and to add insult to injury, last week I  found out that they missed me off the email list telling everyone about the auditions for the next production and have been asked to do props AGAIN! Do you know what the funniest part of it is? That evil, Ashley-you-are-no-good-don't-succeed-don't-you-dare part of me, was GLAD! Because it gave time! Oh I really am foolish, I'm absolute JOKE!

Right, that's it. I'm going to rehearsals tonight - god it kills me to say that, when I'm not actually rehearsing anything, I'm a big fat fake -  I it is my new mission to show all of the 'real' actors that I too, have skills. I just need to think of a hard hitting way to do this....I was thinking of opening the door, walking straight past all of the familiar faces and on to the stage, they'd all be silent, because 1. I've now got a fringe I think I look better and 2. because they'd they'd know they were about to experience something special. Then I'd go full blown into a monologue. Not just any monologue, my own, self written, 1st earning, spectacular monologue that shows all of my many sides. Yeah, that would show them. That would shut them all up. Mission, accomplished. This thought genuinely had me in my 'happy place' for a good few moments. But then I remembered, I'VE GOT F@CKING STAGE FRIGHT!

Look, either way, I'm going to make them wish I was in their play. I don't know how, I don't know when. But what I do know, is I've got until June. Wish me luck...

Happy Chops x

Wednesday, 13 February 2013

'The One'?

I never really know how to start these posts, so I'll just get stuck in. I GOT A JOB! Again? I hear you mock. Yes, again, but this time it's reeeeeeally good and I think it could be 'The One' so that's marvellous news isn't it? Also, the other reason I haven't been able to write is I've just not had the time. But hey, stop whinging i'm here now, so sit back, relax and feel the love.

So the last you heard, I quit my mind numbingly boring, bore off it's crap and I'm making shit tea on purpose now you lazy buggers, temp but been asked to go permanent, job. I was worried about the consequences of that action and I couldn't sleep. I was so worried in fact, that I started to imagine all sorts of horrible, sweat inducing things. I had visions of waking up to find the door mat covered in manilla envelopes with 'Private and Confidential' stamped all over them, sent from various utility providers and credit card companies. Like us having to move house and me having to drive a van again and because I haven't driven in what feels like yonks and therefore running over and innocent bystander and because we wouldn't be able to stay in the area my daughter would have to travel miles and miles and light years to school. Like my emaciated children, sleeping rough on the streets begging for food and Sky TV! Honestly, it was disturbing! But then it hit me. I had done what needed to be done, if I am to really make 2013 my year. I was fighting for the little guy. Doing it for the dreamers. SOCKING IT TO THE MAN! So for the next 5 hours I did what any normal woman with not a care in the world would do and I went shopping. (Lip smackingly gorgeous French Connection coat reduced from £220 to £79?? Errrr BAG IT SISTER!)

'Helen' from the agency has not called me since I dared say I was too good to be treated like crap. It cuts to think they think badly of me but she needs to realise that I've already had my fair share of that so I really had no choice. Plus, there was a new dog in town... She had better jobs for me and actually cared about what I wanted. She called last week and said the words I desperately needed to hear - 'I have a couple of days work for you, plus an interview for a FABULOUS permanent position.' Thank God! I'd been speaking to Him/Her/It for the past few nights and this was the response! YESSSS my faith paid off.

The next day I gave myself a stern talking to in the mirror. 'You better sort this out Ashley, do you hear me? Do you want to spend another year of your life feeling like you coulda shoulda woulda??' I shook my head slightly, aware of how mad I looked. But this was serious! 'I can't hear you...?' I whispered.  'NO! NO MORE!' I was startled by the conviction in my voice but I felt strong and clear headed. 'Good girl. Now go get 'em tiger.'

That was dramatic wasn't it? Yes. It's also not at all what happened I just got a bit carried away. Really, I just got my 'interview outfit' on, popped a betablocker, and crossed my fingers and toes that I would get some kind of good feeling about the job and the people, and they might possibly want to give me a chance. Turns out I did and so did they.

The next two days were spent on a reception desk at a plush building in town. It was fine and lady I was working with kept me entertained, telling me stories about her parrot who uses the toilet. I had visions of a teeny weeny parrot sized lavatory, with a parrot precariously balancing on top of it. Claws clinging either side and it's little wings holding a little copy of the daily rag. I cried with laughter! I couldn't help feel slightly disappointed when she explained that he what she meant was, he perches on her finger and when she lifts the lid to the normal human sized loo, she says 'PLOP!' and he plops. I was there for the blink of an eye but I felt sad to leave my new Sri Lankan friend. Her energy and love for life made her nice to be around so I intend to stay in touch with her and share more laughter.

And now here I am, almost day four at my job and I think I'm going to like it. I'm loving getting up and rushing around, feeling all important and I'm starting to see that I really do have some of the qualities that my friends and family tell me I have. I'm relaxed, making friends and showing the world my new layer. God it feels good!

Signing out a less sarcastic,

Happy Chops x

p.s It's Valentine's Day tomorrow..... x

Sunday, 3 February 2013

Languages spoken...

So I'm just filling out a job application and I've got a slight problem. It's asking me what languages I speak and obviously I've put down English as my first language but I've scrolled through and can't for the life of me see 'Jafaican' anywhere...

Perhaps I'll just let them know in the 'Other important information' box? Let me know your thoughts.

Cheers blads.


One lump or two?

Hi there. It has been a while. I have been a busy bee since my last post and have much to report so sit back, and feel my pain.

So last week I was very excited because I had two days temporary work and I haven't worked for over two years now so that was just brilliant. On my first day I awoke with a spring in my step, showered and dressed in my most suitable office attire and set off in to the unknown. One hour later, I found myself outside a depot in 'Some place near me' called 'A name that is a first name' Sykes, a place that provides things I cannot name because someone might get me into trouble. It was slightly less glamorous than I'd anticipated but I put this to the back of my mind and went in...

Things were going fine. The office team was made up of no more six people and they seemed to be like a little family, all having been there for many years. I had answered a few calls and successfully transferred them and as I was only going to be there for a couple of days, the fact it was boring didn't really bother me. But as the minutes ticked and I sat there in silence, my undiagnosed tourettes started to rear it's ugly head. Oh my god, my brain was off. 'Something' Sykes? Two first names! Oh shit, I'm going to answer the phone and say 'Good morning, Bill Sykes...'! Damn it, stop thinking Ashley! Panic took over and I needed to do something before it got too much and the phone rang again! I frantically grabbed a post-it and wrote 'SOMETHING I CANNOT SAY FOR LEGAL REASONS' SYKES' on it and stuck it to the phone. Phew! I made it. Disaster and embarrassing moment averted. I smiled to myself and swivelled on my chair feeling great appreciation for my quick thinking. SCREW YOU TOURETTES! LOSER! And with that, the day passed quite quickly and I managed to complete my first day back in the working world, unscathed.

The next day was pretty much the same really, although I was starting to notice a few things that, had I been there as a permanent member of staff, would definitely cause some issues. For example, it became apparent that these people only drank tea when I made it, and the swearing from almost everyone in the building would've given a Squaddie a run for his money! Still, no bother, with the blink of an eye, my two days were up, so I spent the weekend with my family safe in the knowledge that I was employable and definitely ready for work.

Monday afternoon brought a call from the job agency. Apparently my services were required once more for the next couple of days so was I happy to go back? Of course I was! Cha-ching!! So I arrived the following day slightly more confident as I now knew these people. For the next couple of days I got on with the job at hand and continued to make tea and go to lunch at 12 as no one else wanted this slot. Then the Big Man called me into his office and threw a curve ball! He only went and asked me if I'd like to continue working there as a temp and perhaps go permanent! Surely this was too easy?? I was unsure but agreed to 'give it go'. I would have to test these people.

Thursday morning, I entered the office with what one might describe as 'swag'. If there was a possibility of me being part of this company, I needed to know that I'd fit in. I was ready to peal off the next layer of my onion and show then what was underneath...

First things first. I needed to let them know that I was to be regarded as equal and there was only one way to do this. I refused to say the words they had  all become accustomed too, so by half past ten, not one person had had a cup of tea. That's two whole hours in to the day! It amazed me! It was fine yesterday when  I was just a faceless temp but not now I'd basically been offered a job! It was only a matter of time that my tea making skills would be required but this mental tug of war would continue another half hour or so. It was the administrator who was stupid enough to say, 'Oooh, you know what Ashley? I think everyone could do with a cup of tea...?' she smiled sweetly.
'Is that so?' I said smiling equally as sweet. 'Funny because I was actually wondering when I might be offered a cup of tea?' I raised an eyebrow so she knew I meant business. This was taking the absolute piss!
'TEA?' said one person. 'Oooh yes please!' With that, drawers were pulled open and frantic hands were searching for apparently dust covered mugs. I stood there in disbelief. Before I knew it, I'd taken a deep breath, broadened my shoulders, placed my hands on my hips and stated 'I cannot believe this. You LAZY lot. I have been waiting all morning to see if one of you would make me a cup of tea!' One by one, they hung their head in shame. I went over to collect the awaiting mugs and tutted with each retrieval. Bloody cheek of it! I reluctantly went off to make the most watery, crap, tea ever and handed them out to the sloths. First test: FAILED.

11:45. I heard mutterings of lunch talk. 'So, what's going on with lunch?' I said, with not a trace of harbouring annoyance from the tea incident.
'Well' said the oldest member of the team, 'If we cover the phones. So you go at 12 and I go at 1.'
'Errr yeah, I don't really fancy 12 today. It makes the afternoon really long you see and I've been at 12 every day, including last week so I'd rather go at one.'
She gave me the death stare. It hurt. 'Well I'm going at 1.' she replied. And with that she swivelled around on her chair and said nothing more about it. FAILED!

Now let me explain. I didn't actually care about making the tea, or about going to lunch at 12. My issue was being treated like I didn't count. If someone had offered me tea, I probably would said not to worry I'll make it. And if they had asked me what lunch I'd like, I would have said 12 to show that I'm considerate. The problem was, these people weren't like that and I'd found that out with two very easy steps. Well done Ash, pat on the back. I'd saved myself some time there.

At 1 o'clock, I asked the Big Man if I could have a few minutes of his time and being quite a nice man he agreed. I broke the news that this position was not one I would be accepting and my reasons why. 'I'm not a tea lady.' I stated. But I was however willing to cover until he found someone else and if it wasn't for the fact that they were expecting me to stay on as permanent, I wouldn't have cared! Truly. So at 4 pm I left that office and doubt very much I shall return.

Oh well, no point in pretending to something I'm not and I am definitely not a push over.

Lets see what next week brings...

Happy Chops x

Wednesday, 23 January 2013

Day 24... 9-5

Guess what? I have managed to bag two days of temporary work, starting tomorrow! I'm too excited to really think about how I feel at the moment but let me just say that obviously I'm VERY happy. That's right, Ashley George is experiencing actual happiness. I want to punch the air. High five the sky. CHEST BUMP HELEN THE RECRUITMENT CONSULTANT! It truly is a magical feeling and I'm looking to the heavens thanking God for pulling me back from the depths of despair and I have a few words to share with Him/Her/They/It.

Thank you God. You're great. I mean it. Thank you for sending me this job, I really needed that lift of the spirit and I'll do you proud, I promise. Could I just ask though, that you give me the strength to keep my Tourettes on lock down again? You know, like you did the time when I was working at the other place which was really stupidly quiet and I kept wanting to shout out 'SHIT BEFORE THE SHOVEL!!!'? Or when I got it in to my head that I was suddenly just going to stand on a table in an open plan office, full of people I didn't know? If you could I'd really appreciate it. Oh and also, could you make sure that I don't say anything stupid, like the time when I was temping at CCD Pumps and I answered the phone and said 'Gooood morning, OCD Pumps.'.... Thanks God. Thanks for listening.

Right, I'd better get to bed. See you on the other side!

Happy Chops x

Monday, 21 January 2013

Day 21... Turn that frown, upside down.

On Saturday I had 3 glasses of wine and half a beer. I failed step 1.

For the past week and a bit I have been a bit REALLY moody. Everything and everyone is getting on my nerves, so I am feeling very negative which is not helping my 'Happiness' cause. I thought that perhaps I had been too hard on myself and that the decision to be teetotal was both boring and unnecessary self torture so i got stuck in and attempted to drown my sorrows. I am glad to say, all this impromptu moment of freedom did was reinforce that I had made the correct decision and that drinking and smoking is no longer on my 'to do' list. It also didn't erase the things that are making me crazy with frustration these days. I'll give you a few examples of what these are and perhaps you'll understand the severity of my problem.

  1. My children are still not listening to me - see Day 15 - Bloody Kids entry for more details.
  2. I do not have a car which means I cannot do the things I'd like to do. i.e. Run away to the circus. Running around with midgets and furry people makes much more sense to me than banging my head against a brick wall.
  3. My husband is way to positive and enthusiastic about EVERYTHING!
  4. I cannot find a job.
  5. Some recruitment consultants are suffering from delusions of superiority. 
  6. I am negative and moody.
  7. I want to hurt my husband when he breathes in an annoying manner i.e. in through the nose and out through the mouth. Try it. You'll see that when you breathe out, the tongue creates an anger inducing clicking noise as it is forced away from the roof of your mouth...? It is this which made me seriously consider coving his face with a pillow the other night. 
  8. I despise the snow. 
  9. Bus drivers have a death wish and want to take all passengers with them.
  10. I hate karma. I punched Charlie in the arm and I suffered and sprained wrist! He said it was the weakest punch he's ever received.
  11. I have realised that some people like to take what you have told them in confidence and then use it against you as a tool to make themselves feel better. Who needs enemies...
So as you can see, there are a substantial amount of annoyances I am being subjected to at the moment and those are just the tip of the iceberg. I'm well aware that this frame of mind is not exactly the most productive one to be in and I'm hoping that once I have got it all out of my system, it will go away and be replaced with love, tranquillity and progression.

Needless to say, I have not really had the time to sit and think about my good qualities this week. Being miserable is hard work you know! I did however, ask Emily what she liked about me and this is how it went.

'Emz, what do you like about me?' I tried to make it as casual sounding as possible so as not to rile her by making her think was some kind of test.
'Errrrr...' Yes? YES???? She was obviously trying to organise the many qualities that had flooded her mind. 'You're funny....You're SOMEtimes kind.'
'SOMETIMES??? What do you mean SOMETIMES??? I'm always kind! God, you're so ungrateful! Go on.'
She continued 'You can kiiind of sing, and you can kiiind of dance but you're still entertaining.... soooooo... I know! You're exactly like Rylan!!' I stood there in shock. I could not believe what I'd just heard. I looked at her and a single tear rolled down my cheek. 
'Emily. That is... the NICEST thing you have EVER said to me! I love Rylan!!' We hugged and laughed and for the next  five minutes we shared a brief interval of mutual respect and love for one and other. She is a true intellect. 

This conversation was the highlight of my week. Everything else was just annoying...
What am I saying??! Of course it wasn't the best part of my week, jeez! I found Max a nursery which he will be going to a couple of days a week. He was so excited when he saw all the children he will get to play with! I've booked a holiday and I haven't been away for two years! My husband has stood by me and listened to me rant and rave about how unfair life is and he still wants to climb into bed with me every night and tells me that everything is going to be fine! He let me have the day to myself on Saturday, made me a gorgeous dinner every night this weekend and brought me a cup of tea while I had a long soak in the tub! What am I on about, 'everything else was annoying', it's ridiculous! What an ungrateful person I am. I deserve a punch in the face! Right, that's it. No more feeling sorry for myself, I'm fighting back! Grab the bull by the horns Ashley and take him down! I'm going to get dressed, get some slap on, fight through the snow that has been sent to test me and go and meet that cow face recruitment consultant and show her what I'm made of. Lets do this.

Happy Chops x

Saturday, 19 January 2013

Day 15... Bloody kids.


I am doing well. I am cartwheeling everywhere that space permits and life couldn't be better. I am bouncing out of bed every day, arms wide, ready to embrace what this wonderful world has to offer me. Yes, its truly marvellous. That is apart from one thing. My kids are reeeeeeeeally getting on my nerves. That's right, you heard me. At this moment in time I cannot stand the sight of them. Quick! Call Social Services! I've just said something negative about my children and that must mean that they are living in squalor, suffering from daily beatings and are being fed through bars. Oh WAAAHHH. Get over it! I'm only saying what 99.9% of parents are thinking or have thought at some point in their parenting career. (I say career because us mum's work really bloody hard so hellooooo? Can we have a pension please or cheaper childcare so we don't have to subject ourselves to such evils on a daily basis???).

I currently have a 2 year old who insists on throwing, hitting, shouting 'NO!' to absolutely everything, wants to go on flipping trains every waking minute of every single day and thinks he owns the TV. I also have a daughter in her 'tweens'. For those of you who don't know that means, it is basically those lovely years when your gorgeous little one is no longer a gorgeous little one, nor is she/he a moaning, stomping, spotty, stinky teenager either. They are at that awkward, annoying phase where they the have the worst of both  - they think they know it all and call you on a Friday after school to ask if they can go to Costa (Yes really.) but on the other hand they wouldn't think it embarrassing one iota if they wet the bed. Seriously, my tweenager is lucky to be alive today, truth be told.. Instead of wrappingmy hands around her baby-soft neck last night, I thought it best to ring the Nut House and book myself in for this time next year when she is officially a teenager. Seriously it's the safest thing for us both. You see, we clash. I know lots of mothers are at logger heads with their daughters especially in these tween/teenage years so that makes me feel better but what really gets to me is that I know there are deeper reasons for our shouting matches and this evening while loading the washing machine with the net curtains I had scavenged frommy neighbours bin, it hit me. It's simple. She is just like me.

Here are just a few examples of our many similarities:

1. She back-chats. 

I back-chatted! I STILL back-chat. I have absolutely no filter between my brain and mouth. That's why writing is good because I can delete things that are offensive or in this case, might cause people to call Social Services on me.

2. She laughs at her own jokes.

I do this. I know it's wrong but I can't help it! I think I'm funny. And she'll say she's funny, so there you go.

3. She has absolutely NO self discipline.

Like two pea(head)'s in a pod, homework was/is our nemesis. I was only good at handing inmy homework for the first half of year 7 and after that it was all down hill. I got myboyfriend to do my Art homework for me once and my teacher said it was the best work I'd ever done! (I should also tell you that this was the same teacher who couldn't see I was buzzing off my nut after eating a massive lump of hash and believed my story that I had a bug, despite me holding his hand, telling him my heart was going to explode and that picture I had just puked on was 'raising up above the sick.' So his opinions don't really count.)

4. She is a soap dodger.

I once didn't wash for 5 days. I had however just had my heart broken and as far as I'm aware no one has put my lovely, gorgeous baby girl through that yet, so she has no bloody excuse!

5. She whistles, ALL the time!

At least once a month we have an argument over who is the better Whistler. Quite clearly it's me because I can whistle both on the out breath and the in breath, which enables me to whistle a tune with power and fluidity. We have just had a row about this and I've had to count to ten.

6. She never does what she's told.

Neither do I. There's one time in particular that sticks in my mind because it's so ridiculous and had no benefits for me whatsoever. Emily was 2 and we were on the bus. An old lady said, 'Oh isn't HE lovely?' (she was head to toe in pink!) 'Thank you I said', not wanting to offend. The next thing, Emily started to lick the window and just before the word ,'No' came out, the old lady in a horrible voice, said 'Don't let him do that! Don't let him lick that filthy window!' I looked at the old bag, who obviously thought I was a stupid teenage mum (trust me, that was the worst thing you could do to me back then) and sat back in the chair and continued to let Emily lick that discusting, dirty, condensationed up window like she was licking a 99. How was I winning???

And finally number 7. I worry that she has low self esteem.

It's this one that worries me the most and it's this which reminds me I need to succeed. I need to put behind me my failures, like having a baby way too young but mainly not having the confidence to show the world what I'm made of. Instead I gave into the sad existence of a young, single mum and would often drink myself into oblivion because that to me was easier than fighting to get what I deserved, mum or not. She needs to see that if I can do it, so can she. This is not a woe me. Far from it! And anyone else who feels that they need to get their feelings or worries out there, do it! This is really helping me! I'm going to sort this out and I'll do that by adding my next step. Over the next few days, I am going to write a list of things that I like about myself. Perhaps I can just look at Emily? She drives me mad but I love so much about her and like I said, she's just like me.

Happy Chops x

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Day 9. Lies.

It's day 9 and I've been cruising along the road to happiness. It's been like driving along the open road with the roof down and the breeze rushing through my hair taking my worries with it. I've had all my favourite songs playing on the stereo and no one can tell me to turn it off because this trip is just for me. I've been leaving my troubles behind. Chucking any unnecessary baggage overboard because, lets face it, who needs the extra weight and I've been feeling alive! Oh yes, this road has been smooth and clear. Up until now. Now I've run out of gas and to make things even worse, I don't know where the nearest petrol station is. B*llocks.

I have been doing so well this past week, there has been a lot of positivity. My daughter came back from her ski trip, which meant I could stop worrying that she had been caught in an avalanche and that no one would be able to find her, due to dad purchasing her a WHITE ski suit (and he got a 1st for his degree?) and I have finally picked up the guitar and learnt one song. Who cares if it only has two chords (C and D). I can sing along to it and look really cool and sexy. I have also still not had a drink or cigarette, so I'm very VERY pleased with myself. There is, however, one major problem and it's brown. It's chocolate. Yes, I have suddenly turned into a chocoholic! What the hell is going on?? If I put all of the chocolate I have consumed since entering teetotaldom, in a Sainsbury's bag - I couldn't tell you the weight - it would easily fill it. In fact it might have to be spread to two. It's disgusting and so are the tops of my legs. I MUST sort this out, this was NOT supposed to happen. See?! I've just eaten another Minstrel! I'm going to eat these and then that's it, no more. Jesus.

There's also one other road block that I need to overcome. It's much more self destructive than this sudden love I have for Minstrels, Cadbury's Fruit and Nut, Maltesers, Double Deckers, Crunchies, Ferrero Roche...You get my drift. ( Yes it's much worse and much more complex. It's my jealousy. There I've said it. I am a bad person because when people tell me their good news, my response is normally a lie. I lie and I say 'I am SOOOOO happy for you!' I'm not talking about things like people getting married, because I'm married now so that doesn't matter and nor am I talking about people having children because I've got children too, but that's the problem! When I want something, like a car or a house and someone else gets one, that monster rears its ugly head and I want to scream! Don't get me wrong, if someone was homeless and had been for a long time, was estranged from their family and had no one but their pet dog called Scruffy for companionship and then they won the lottery, OF COURSE I would be sooooo happy for them. That would be amazing because that person had obviously been through a lot of hardship. But if my friend won a two week all inclusive holiday to Barbados or somewhere equally exotic and had already had two holidays that year and I hadn't even had a weekend in Brighton, hell no! I'd lie in their face and say 'I'm sooo happy for you, you lucky cow!' but you know that as soon as their back was turned I'd be praying to the powers that be, that it rains the whole time and that their luggage is lost! I'm EVIL! I must change this. I must learn to believe that other people's paths in life and their good fortune does not determine mine. If my friend is lucky enough to buy a 6 bedroom detached house in beautiful countryside and have a 4x4 to drive to the nearest city for shopping sprees, how does that affect me? It doesn't! 

So with that, here is my Step 3. No more wasting energy worrying about what other people have or the one-upmanship they might think they have. I cannot control what others do or achieve, I can only control myself and how I feel.

I'm off to finish these Minstrels and get that issue out of the way.

Bye for now,

Happy Chops x

Saturday, 5 January 2013

Day 3...

So I haven’t been able to sleep the past couple of nights, I feel rather stressed and ‘naggy’. My eyeballs hurt because my mind was on overdrive about my ‘New Life’ and they were doing that REM thing so oh how fabulous, I have another meegraine. (I know it’s ‘migraine’ but I write how I speak because I’m dyslexic and I speak it thus because it’s more fun.)
Step 1 is going well. I’ve not had a drink or a cigarette for ONE WHOLE ENTIRE WEEK *insert Mexican Wave here*, so that’s all gravy. However, this teetotal me is not without it’s drawbacks. You see, this hurts to say and i feel ashamed but here goes… I don’t really know who I am without my ‘friends’. F@ck! This is seriously deep! Before I can be truly happy, I kinda need to know that. That’s like, important information that I MUST get round to obtaining. And quickly!
To take my mind off of things, I took my son to one of those soft play areas today. He walked so nicely next to me, all the way to the bus stop. Once there, he flirted with a few old people, threatened to run in the road and play with the traffic but before long we were admiring the beautiful views on our chosen mode of transport. I swear to you, the sick on the back of that seat had splattered into the shape of Jesus’ face! – It was a very spiritual moment. Anyway, so that was all lovely and we got there and man alive it was carnage! I started to get palps instantly. I looked around at what can only be described as a scene from Lord of the Flies and realised there was no way in HELL my little, beautiful child would be subjected to such hideous animalistic voilence. I turned to get out of there fast! But then it dawned on me. I had just paid £5.10 for this! I whipped off his dinosaur print all-in-one (may their strength rub off on you Max) and threw him in to the sea of small mad people in the Ball Pit! “GOOD LUCK MY CHILD!’ I shouted after him. A woman with greying hair looked at me with a worried look on her face. It was obvious she was yet to see her offspring since practically sentencing it to death. I reached out and touched her hand and we silently prayed…
Two hours later, we emerged with a mere friction burn from the bumpy slide and nothing more. Despite the best efforts of two hideously Ralphed up 8 year olds, Max survived. When he bared his teeth and rugby tackled the taller one because he wouldn’t let him have a foam ball, i’ll admit it, I got a warm, fuzzy feeling . Almost what I would describe as happiness…
So then, Step 2…Who am I???…. If you know, then I’d be really grateful to hear from you.
Warm regards,
Happy Chops x

Wednesday, 2 January 2013

Day 1 of my quest for happiness

Hello whoever may be reading this, welcome to my blog. Let's dive straight in shall we?

2012. What a sh*te year. Not enough money, MASSIVE family feuds, 2 year old son in and out of hospital due to apparent asthma and to add insult to injury, plenty of hangovers from the booze that was meant to make all of this better. Guess what? It didn't. All it did was cause me to make a complete prat of myself and fall over in several different places in a very unladylike fashion. I currently have two bruises on my legs, each displaying various colours of the rainbow and I have no recollection of how I got them. Classy. So here I am. I'm ready to sort this out. Ready to come out fighting and grab my life by the horns and what better day to start the battle than the first day of a new year? So if you please, let me introduce you to..... - drum roll all it's NEW, HAPPY, POSITIVE, PROSPEROUS, NON-SH*TE, LIIIIIIIIIFE!!! YEEEEEESS! *cheers, whoops, whistles ensue*.

Now what? Any ideas? No? Me neither.

This is going to be harder than it looks. Ok, I think we need to take a bit of Fraulein Maria's advice and start at the very beginning - it's a very good place to start.

Let's look at my 'Vital Statistics':

Lives: South East London
Sex: Female and not as much as my husband would like
Marital status: Married for 3 years
Children: Daughter 12, son 2
Profession: None
Hobbies: None
Home owner: No

I can see I have three great things going for me, and of course they are my two children and my husband. I'm very pleased with them. I am. But, I am inherently unhappy and have been since I can remember. It's like a cape of unhappiness that I have chosen to wear everyday for years and have been for so long now it's almost a comfort! It's like I've been carrying around a handbag full of receipts and snotty tissues just because to go out without that bag would be too much freedom to handle. WHO KNOWS WHAT MY ARMS AND HANDS MIGHT DO IF I DID NOT HAVE THAT BAG?? 

I might start doing the YMCA or Macarena or star jumps or something as equally embarrassing! God forbid, what would people think? You can't go around doing those kinds of things just because you feel like it! Yes I know other people do all sorts of things but I am not allowed. Why not?? I don't know, just because! The same reason I didn't become the actress I always wanted to be or enjoy learning and speaking another language. It's like, who do I think I am, daring to be successful! That's something others do, not a child of 6 who grew up on the breadline and failed all of her GCSE's. Why else do I not have a career or own a home? It''s simple really. I have NO self confidence. None. Zip. Diddly-squat. 

Well, not any more! No way will I waste another minute holding myself back from doing or being what I want to be! I want a slice of the happy cake and 2013 will be the year I spread my bingo wings and fly! I shall fly without the weight of the handbag that offers me nothing but the crumbs of escapee Baby Rice Cakes and the odd one penny. LET'S DO THIS! BRING IT ON!!
Right, step 1. This body is an Alcohol Free and No Smoking Zone. DO NOT try to tempt me.
Step 2. Think of the other steps.

For however long it takes, I will document my journey and share it with however wishes to read it and comment on it. Wish me luck!

Over and Out,