The Joy of Stretch

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I don’t know about you, but as soon as the kids are off school for the holidays, my gym routine goes by the wayside… and stays that way for weeks after they’ve gone back. And even though I hadn’t been a couch potato over half term (my nagging Fitbit made sure of that), I still felt old and stiff, with aching joints and a permanent crick in my neck.

“I’m broken,” I complained to The Husband, as I collapsed into bed in a heap one night, grateful for the coolness of the plump pillow, and trying to forget the fact that there wasn’t any bread for The Kid’s packed lunch the next day.

“You must stop with this obsession of seeing yourself as a Lego mini-figure,” he replied distractedly, one eye on his Twitter feed. Then, relenting, he put down his iPad and started half-heartedly to pluck methodically at my back, moving up towards the muscles around the base of my neck. (There’s a reason it pays not to skimp on a professional masseur). I made mildly embarrassing purring sounds while my face formed a grimacing expression. I was grateful for his efforts but, really, this wasn’t hitting the mark. I needed more. Much more…

So I resolved to get myself back down to the gym the very next morning and sneaked into the back of the Body Balance class. And what a wise choice that was. Positioning myself in an area where I could not easily see the mirrors meant I could kid myself I was 20 years younger and have the body of Sofia Vergara. But I digress…where was I? Oh yes, so there I was, tucked at the back of the studio, and I gave it my all and took on those yoga-type stretches with gusto. An hour flew by and by the end of the class I felt rejuvenated – OK maybe not 20, but at least 10 years younger. (Still didn’t look like flippin’ Sofia Vergara, mind, but the five minutes’ relaxation at the end helped – gave me a chance to have a nice little nap and dream that I was indeed Modern Family‘s Columbian sex-bomb).

Sofia Vergara Hd Wallpapers Free Download 1

SO, going forwards (as they like to say in corporate circles), I will be making this my regular habit and booking on every week… except not next week, as I’ve arranged to meet my friend Sal in town, um… *flicks through calendar* …and then the following week I’ve got that dental appointment – mmm, won’t feel like doing much after that. And the week after that *more flicking through dates* it’s the optician and then…. oh! Well then it’s the school holidays again!

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A Heartful Of Hurt

A Heartful Of Hurt


It’s around this time of the week that we like to bring you a post that hopefully lifts you up, makes you laugh or just brings a wry smile of recognition to your face. But sadly, today it is not to be. We’re just not feeling it after the week that’s been. 

First, all the troubles in Orlando and now the killing of MP Jo Cox, there’s just no lighthearted spin on life this week and nothing we can say will make any of the bad stuff go away.

Every time the news comes on, we’re in tears. We just can’t stop thinking about all the hate in the world, and the lives of those left behind, now lying in tatters. How bloody useless and pointless it all seems when things like this happen. What a waste of people’s lives! We can’t imagine the pain of the families and friends of those involved in the Orlando massacre, the annihilation of the US Voice singer, and of the little boy whose life ended at a Disney resort, of all places.

We can’t stop thinking about Jo Cox’s two little girls, aged only three and five, just starting out on life’s journey and now so cruelly robbed of their mother. Her poor bereft husband, one minute perhaps making plans for Father’s Day, the next making plans for a funeral.

It doesn’t matter whose life has been taken, of course, but the fact this was a particularly good woman who could relate to her constituents and had their best interests at heart somehow makes it even more poignant. There’s no mature way of saying it really – life sucks sometimes and it’s just not fair.

There’s a haze of gloom over us at the moment, as we think about the world our kids are growing up in, and worry what sort of future they will find themselves in.

All we can do is hope for some kind of brighter tomorrow, though that’s cold comfort for those who have to live with the horrors in the here and now. We have to try to hang on to the fact that there are some amazing, fabulously kind and awesome people out there that do all sorts of good and help spread peace and love for everyone – and just hope that some sick individual doesn’t take them from our world too. Meantime, however irksome they may be at times, we’re going to cherish our loved ones and hold them extra tight this weekend.

Jo CoxTributes to Jo Cox in Parliament Square                                                              BBC News


It doesn’t add up!

Maths equation = no dinner

The end of GCSEs is thankfully on the horizon for many, so in support of our teens going through it at the moment, here are three questions that always pop up in our grown-up world:

The Numbers Quiz

Okay, so maths has never been my strong point, but here’s an equation that just doesn’t add up, so can someone please explain: On Wednesday, Mary goes to the supermarket and spends up to £100 on groceries. The fridge is full and nodding matily to its friend, the snack cupboard, who winks back and give a thumbs up. But come Friday and the kids get home from school there is nothing left in the cupboard and Mary is scrabbling around at the back of the freezer trying to find something (anything! 😳) she has ‘prepared earlier’ (as if! She’s just not one of those mums, remember). 😭 Answers to this connundrum please on our comments page. (There will be a prize of a squishy brown banana for the best response.)

The ‘Odds-on This Always Happens’ Equation:

Take your bets, please, ladies and gents: in percentage terms, how likely is it that at exactly the moment your own kids are acting feral in public, you – harassed, red, sweating – will look up and see the perfect Von Trapp family with its cherub-like offspring giving you the snooty one-raised eyebrow treatment, a book titled Brain Games for Clever Kids smugly sticking out of Mother Dearest’s tote bag? (Aren’t all kids clever? They’re certainly manipulative!) We’ll give you the answer to this, as if you didn’t know: it happens 100% of the time. ‘Course it does.

The Aural Comprehension Test:

This is a listening exercise: try it next time you have to phone Apple Support, Amazon, or any technical department of a worldwide corporation. You’ve dialled up, tapped through the various buttons until you finally….FINALLY… get through to an actual human being to talk to. But hang on… is it an actual human being, or is it in fact a robot? Because first there’s the staccato speech. ‘HELLO-MAD-AM. YOU-ARE-SPEAKING-TO- *Indecipherable – possibly a code number* TODAY. HOW-MAY-I-HELP-YOU?’ And then after the sort of autoscript-you’re-not-sure-you’re-listening-to-a-recording-or-not voice, it throws you by asking a question. Oh, it IS a human voice, you decide, but then you make some silly mistake, faff about saying, ‘Oooh, the serial number? Umm, silly me, I don’t seem to be able to find that…er… let me just get my reading glasses…’ and there isn’t the affirmation of a sympathetic, or even fed-up human reaction. So you try to make a little joke. ‘A-ha-ha’ you might say in a jaunty tone, ‘I know those glasses must be in my bag somewhere… I know I had them only yesterday… trouble is, I need them to find them, a-ha-ha-ha… Oh! They’re on my head!’ Big fat nothing on the other end. Come on, even SIRI has the temerity to give you a bit of backchat. But no, these beings are polite, they deal with your problem, they are uncannily effective in sorting out your problem, they don’t tend to transfer you or put you on hold. And at the end of your call, no matter how much trouble you’ve been, in the same staccato tone, they tell you they really enjoyed speaking with you today and wish you a good day. And that’s surely the big giveaway isn’t it – for no mere mortal customer service operator is ever that happy to have dealt with you, surely?

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O.M.D (Oh.My.Dog!)

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By the time I’d had my eldest two settled into secondary school and my youngest started in Year Four, mums at school would ask me whether I ‘was finished, or ready for number four’. It was a question I’d been pondering myself. I was 42 then and still couldn’t say for definite that I didn’t want another baby, but I felt time might be running out. Continue reading “O.M.D (Oh.My.Dog!)”