Birthday party!

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Saturday night I had my 40th birthday party and it was amazing! I had SUCH a fun time! I’ve always felt, for some stupid reason, that I didn’t have many friends, but when 30 people turn out on a cold Saturday night in January to help me celebrate turning 40 it makes me feel very loved.

The evening kicked off at home with various people co,ming round for tea, that quickly because a couple of rounds of gin and tonic …. hehe! Then we walked down to the Portwell Angel in Faringdon for the evening, and as well as lots more gin and wine I arranged for one of the local curry houses to bring in some food. The venue worked perfectly, the curry was delicious and everyone got on realy well – quite a diverse bunch of people too: some local friends, some 4Networking friends, some family, some friends from Hampshire and some school friends – including one I haven’t seen since 1987!!!

All in all it was a really fun night and I feel well and truly spoiled! And I’ve decided that being 40 isn’t that bad after all :)

Here’s a couple of photos – more here .

Stress

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Are you stressed out right now? (If so, why? If not, why not?)

At the moment I’m remarkably not stressed out, but I’m pretty sure I will be in the next few weeks. I’m self employed – I do proofreading, web building, editing, writing, magazine production, that type of thing – and some jobs I take on leave me incredibly stressed. In fact, I always sign them off and say “never again” … but of course next time I say yes and end up stressed all over again. It’s not that I don’t enjoy the work itself, because I do, but it involves working with other people, and one of the reasons I went self-employed in the first place was because I don’t cope well with working with other people! Not specific people, just people generally – I like to be able to do my own thing and I get stressed when I have to go along with what other people want, or fit in with other people’s schedules and deadlines. I guess I’m just an anti-social bugger really!

I was due to be starting a project  in the next few days that I’m sure I’ll get in a tizz about – I’d actually stopped taking on any other work to give me time to do it – but it’s been delayed a little, so at the moment I have no work on, to speak of, and I’m incredibly unstressed – but aware that I could be catapulted into stress pretty quickly! I know this is going to be a busy year and I have lots of exciting ideas and projects, many of which will probably be quite stressful at times, so I’m going to wallow in this quiet, stress-less period before the world goes mad!

Happy birthday to me!!

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Well it’s my birthday today, and I’ve reached the big 4-0 ……. I’ve been dreading this day, partly because I don’t feel nearly old enough to be forty, mianly ebcause my darling son keeps telling me that 40 is “nearly dead”! Anyway, the day has come and really, it’s no different to 39 is it ..!

Had a lovely day so far. Breakfast in bed courtesy of the kids (well, courtesy of Katie actually, but Dan took some credit despite only being awake 10 seconds before they knocked on my door!), then out for coffee that turned into champagne with a couple of friends. Now awaiting the arrival of my mum and boyfriend and we’re off to the Folly, my local, for a pint then down to a great Thai restaurant in town. I’m also having a big birthday bash at the weekend, complete with curry!

And isn’t social media fab? I’ve had umpteen birthday wishes today on Facebook and Twitter, from family, old school friends, networking acquaintances, clients, suppliers and friends. Lovely to feel so loved!

So there you have it … I am officially a grown up. Doubt it’ll change much though …. though this could be a decade of rebellion, watch this space!

Communication

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Do you prefer to talk, text message, or a different communication method?

This is an interesting topic, because of course communication has changed so much in my lifetime.

I still remember sending letters – proper letters, in handwriting, on writing paper, in envelopes with silly sticker seals on them  – to penfriends when I was a teenager in the 80s. I had a penfriend in Australia,the  granddaughter of a friend of my gran’s I think; I also wrote regularly to a couple of kids that I saw on holiday once a year, and two or three times a year to my great uncle. And when I was 17 I replied to an advert for penfriends in SKY magazine and exchanged letters with a guy who ended up being a long time boyfriend. Continue reading

Deserving credit

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Name someone who deserves more credit than they get. And for bonus points, how to change things so they get more

Hmm this is a tricky one. I actually think that lots and lots of single mothers (and fathers) deserve lots more credit. We so often get a bad press – we’re reproducing like rabbits, we demand council houses, we are scroungers living off benefits, we should be sterilised for the good of the country yada yada yada. And ok, there are some single mums around who don’t do a good job of bringing up their kids. But on the whole, we are a bloody hard working bunch who work hard to give our kids a good life, full of love and fun and happiness, and we are often struggling hugely financially but do our best to make sure our kids don’t go without. We rarely have anyone to share the burden of everyday worries with, when our kids are small we struggle to get any time ot ourselves, we often feel very under supported by society. Yet we do what we do for our kids, because they are our lives. I’m rambling a bit now but I think the vast majority of single parents deserve a hell of a lot more credit than they get!

Another year, a new challenge

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Happy New Year! Can’t believe we’re in 2011 already. Mind you, saying “twenty eleven” is a bit of a mouthful so I’ve decided I’m just going to call this year “this year”. So, to start this year I’m not going to make any resolutions; instead I’m going to work hard to clear off some of the things on my 101 in 1001 list. Having been really enthusiastic about making the list in the first place I’ve been a bit slow off the mark with actually DOING it! There are a few updates I’ll make over the next few days, but this year I’m going to make a concerted effort to cross things off.

I’m also going to have a go at the WordPress “post a day” challenge …. though it’s more likely to become a “post a week or less” one to be honest. But we’ll see how it goes! I like the idea of the themed entries anyway.

Today’s theme is:

List three countries you’d like to visit, and why you want to go.

1. Egypt. And I am going, in about four weeks time, woohoo!! We’re staying at a Red Sea resort, Dahab and I want to go because (a) we can do nothing all day and I could do with a break and (b) I love swimming and where better to swim (and indeed snorkel or scuba, neither of which I’ve done before) than somewhere with such a fascinating undersea landscape. I also want to go to the Coloured Canyon which looks like a fab photo trek.

2. Somewhere far north, like Norway or Finland (or even perhaps the far north of Scotland) where I can see the Northern Lights and cross off #1 on my list.

3. Mexico – because I have always wanted to see the Mayan ruins.