Merry Blooming Christmas #bringbackaretroxmas

Ahhhhh the enchantment of Christmas! I can’t pretend I don’t bloody love it.  I have loved it since I was a kid reaching out for my knee length school sock and sleepily gulping down a mix of tangerine and quality street, whilst trying to refrain from shaking my mum out of her snoring state. I remember my brother enthusiastically pointing out Santa’s sleigh in the sky on Xmas Eve before he lovingly tucked me up in bed whilst my mum and dad were getting smashed in fancy dress down the local working men’s club. I remember my crisp new PJs and book before bedtime and I still think fondly of the memory of my mum’s voice luring me to sleep whilst reading it to me.  I remember excitedly colouring reindeers in my ‘Super Bumper Christmas Colouring Book’ whilst watching my mum frantically prepare for ‘the big day’. They are my most favourite memories of my childhood, I must say!
But in terms of Christmas – the list above is about all that is I remember ….. what I don’t remember is my mum being responsible for the whole enchantment and shebang of Christmas. The feeling didn’t need to be created in the way we ‘create’ it these days. It was just there ….. it just happened, don’t you think?
Ok sure, she had to buy some gifts . Some being an important term here: they didn’t have to compete with Sarah and Glen’s ‘insta’ mountain of presents. They also needed to buy some Ritz crackers and some pickled onions and cabbage etc. But they didn’t have to have Sabayon with Procesecco and figs or Pork and Caramelised Onion rings but to name a few.  We didn’t have Xmas Eve boxes, I never stepped foot in a theatre unless it was derelict and I was getting pissed. I didn’t get special hot chocolate to drink before bed (could make a cuppa tea if I wanted like).
I definitely didn’t get taken to several Santas – I saw my dad’s mate dressed as Santa whilst smashed on whiskey at the Club and I was grateful for the selection box that he handed me. Usually it was free and a reward to our parents for spending most of their benefits in the club all year. It did not cost £30 whilst being handed a plush rhino and an awkward encounter with some overgrown elves after a 3 hour wait. My parent’s weren’t then bent over and robbed for an additional £20 for the exact same photos as last year with an extra inch of height on us all . And what the hell are ‘Christmas Outings’. The Christmas outings of my childhood were for grown ups … for us kids .. this term simply meant .. we went out to play and let the adults get on with the wrapping and the cooking and after the main event .. we would simply ‘play the fuck out’!
Elves on Shelves???? My bloody stocking was my school sock (as detailed above). PNP videos?? – my sister would recite ‘Twas the night to me’ whilst eagerly dragging me to bed. It was certainly not something my mum spent 3 hours doing after a 12 hour shift at work. And I know that she did not feel sick with guilt when she forgot to set the react cam up on the app. Tracking Santa on Norad? Listen … you went to sleep .. if you woke up and your parents told you to get back into bed … he hadn’t bloody been. I didn’t need to know that he had dropped off 2450,000000 presents off and was gliding above Gambia to add excitement. I didn’t care what Pedro got in spain as long as my Scootex was sat under that tree, life would be good.
Oh and don’t get me started on decorations. We had one tree!!! And there was no such thing as a Norwegian Snow Covered Sprucie Wuccie!! It was a bloody artificial tree (usually about 4ft tall) and it was covered in decorations from generations ago. We didn’t have to match every sodding bauble. My mother didn’t have to fork out every year for a brand new set of decorations as Tracy from Greenway Close had copied her purple theme! Outdoor decorations were fairy lights around the inside of the window … and only then if you were posh enough to have two sets of lights.  You didn’t have to compete with Martha May Who and her lifesize re-enactment of Santa’s reinauguration at the North Pole.
Table settings??? Not a sprig of Holly in sight .. or lights … or candles … or place cards!!! Napkins? Kitchen roll at best I am afraid. We ate our dinner on our knees whilst watching Superman for the 99th time. The best thing about xmas dinner, you got to have a drink with it rather than having to wait until after you have eaten your dinner. Bonus! Our coffee table would be adorned with the xmas condiments of beetroot, pickle and such – not a xmas hurricane lamp!!!
I feel for the parents (mainly myself) in this generation. We don’t get a chance to enjoy the festivities that we work so hard to prepare. It has simply become a tick list of events and to do’s that we simply have to complete. And if we don’t complete it … boy the guilt! There is just so much to do .. it is becoming impossible. I need to start in the summer if I am ever going to keep up with the growing list of xmas events and traditions that I need to adhere to.  I don’t know about the rest of you overworked, underappreciated mothers and fathers reading this, but I would like to have a 1980’s xmas … just for one year .. so I don’t have to spend thousands in both time and money in order to satisfy my children who don’t even notice that I have even remotely tried.
Maybe we should all rebel next year and hashtag our own #retroxmas
However you have chosen to spend this Christmas, I hope that you have had a chance to enjoy your hard work because just incase nobody has told you …. you totally deserve it!
All my love and best wishes for the festive period Angelina xx
P.s All the pictures on my blog are of my siblings … so clearly by the time my parents got to baby number 4 the novelty of a camera (and possibly children) had worn off. Again they did not have to prove to the world of social media that they loved us all equally so clearly didn’t bother.
The Simplicity of 80's costumes

Mother’s Day or yet another Children’s day in disguise?

Diary of a Mental Mother

Anybody else feel under immense pressure to post pictures of the sentimental beautiful messages that their children have written to them on this very special day? Or maybe Instagram the piles of thoughtful presents? Share details of days out or special moments shared with the fruits of your loins? Yeah of course you do! And should anybody say anything to the contrary, then they are simply being contrary for attention – right?

Well I must say that I did receive such lovely things …… from my 7 year old!!!! The teenager and pre teen barely notice I exist and certainly a day on the calendar labelled ‘Mother’s Day’ didn’t hold enough clout to change that! I will give it to them … they dutifully landed on my bed (after the husband had dragged them out of bed) with a card that they had been forced to sign. They reluctantly watched…

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An 80’s Christmas Advent

Awwww an old fashioned advent!

Diary of a Mental Mother

There are not many perks to having teenagers, let’s just be honest for a minute. Although there will always be some twat reading this who frowns at their screen reminiscing of all their ‘Walton’ moments. Actually, now you have made me ponder it … there may be a couple! For example, having somebody to make you a cup of tea (or more likely witches piss), wash the pots occasionally (leaving clumps of sprouts still attached to the pan)  and of course walk the dog (leave the garden and stand around the corner for 10 mins having a fag before they return, dog un-walked).

Anyway I suppose they have a mild level of usefulness but the perk I was particularly mulling over today, was the idea that at times they have the ability to propel us back to our own childhood and fill our heads with memories of days gone by. …

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Oh no she didn’t …. oh yes she did!

Keeping with the festive feel of the season …. I wanted to bring you news of good tidings. Ok so I haven’t quite given birth to the Christ himself (but if I had, let me tell you: I would place him in a more suitable place than a god damn manger). But to me, these good tidings are akin to giving birth (metaphorically speaking).  So here goes …. I have given birth to a …………………. new book!!!! Yes!! Now if you are a writer, you will understand that similarly to pregnancy, the weight of carrying around unfinished/unpublished work can be a nightmare. The symptoms are often the same: people always asking when it is out, the constant nausea of worry and (let’s be honest) always a little unsure of whether you will like it once it is finally out (or was that just me?).

Anyway so here it is. Unlike my usual works, this is a children’s book!! Yes, I know – check me out all prim and that! Believe it or not, I do have a softer side. And you will be pleased to know ….. yes I like this one. 🙂

This story is a celebration of the uniqueness of being ginger. How the 2% of the world’s population that are ginger have natural super powers that they aren’t often even themselves aware of!

So, if like me, you have a ginger or two: I am myself the maker of three gingers (maybe I am more godly than I first let on – bring me the manger after all), then this book is a lovely story for them to remind them of exactly why they need to proud of their heritage. Celebrate the red head in your life – regardless of age.

I hope you enjoy reading it as much as I did writing it.

Happy Red Celebrations xx

Book Release – Freebie

So, you may or may not have noticed that I have been missing from the planet for a few months or more. Well the reason behind this is that I have been preparing my new book for release and I have the promo here for you in a bookfunnel promotion for you to grab!

Diary of an ageing twenty something is the first book in a trilogy exploring the hurdles of life for ‘Shannon Black’ . If you like ‘Bridget Jones’ then you need to get your hands on this trilogy. Think Bridget Jones covered in filth and you have got it. Immerse yourself in the free giveaway of ‘Diary of an Ageing Twenty something’ today and relive your own rollercoaster of adolescence!

I would also love it if you would leave me feedback (good or bad) and let me know your thoughts.  Thank you for your support of my blog for all these years and I hope you enjoy my new offering : ).

All my love xx

2016 – Off you F ……

My facebook newsfeed (I guess like yours) is full of a pure split of mood today. You have the kind of people who are stereotypical for New Years Eve – you know the ‘New Year, New Me’ people. And then the rebels, who find this tradition far too uncool and therefore have to take one of two approaches. The first being – ‘I will carry on being the same sassy twat that I have been in this year so travel on if you don’t like it’.  And the ‘Well I know I won’t make it past two weeks of being ‘good’ so I will not even bother – be the real you’!   So I guess the question is where do you and I lie? Well I have spent the last hour laid in bed (in my semi hungover, mouth like Gandhi’s flip-flops, exhausted but can’t sleep due to inebriation and I have an annoying huge human making difficult to breathe sounds scarily (and annoyingly) at the side of me) trying to decipher where I lie.I think it is fair to say that we all had dreams when we set out as teenagers, how many of us have actually acheived that life? Or how many of us even want to anymore? That said .. there are certainly some things I would have different if I had the chance:

  1. I would give my children away before they reached their teenage years thus saving me hours of anguish, frustration and my medication cupboard would be less full.
  2. I would run like a mother hubbard when my husband proposed so that potentially I will not have to turn Tom Hardy down when he convinces me that a night of his loving is all I need.
  3. I would have moisturised more. Or maybe that is going too far and I would have at least taken my make up off occasionally. Thinking about this .. maybe it is less distressing to the man who has to wake up next to me everyday to not have a stand in for Golem twisted by the side of him.
  4. I would have ditched my extreme determination of being a working mother and would have laid on the sofa more with my babies watching mind numbing TV before they turned into teenagers and laying on the sofa with them is only a fleeting figment of the past. Although admittedly, there is no part of me that pines to lay next either of my older kids now. Listening to my teenager daughters drivvle about who has just lost their virginity in the corner of a very packed party and now has found fame on snapchat or my son detail the latest streaming sensation that has just ‘invaded’ his channel and sent him subs (please don’t worry if you have no idea what that means – me neither – i just nod and say cool) is not my idea of bonding and I am not sure how else to do it if I am honest. Maybe I should just change point 4 to I would have no job so that I could actually have a shot at enjoying the years that I am blessed to walk this planet.
  5. I would remove my addiction to social media from my brain so that I could have been rolling in my millions by now lazing away the days on my yacht … instead of knowing what type of vegetable I would be in my next life, who my virtual soul mate is and how somebody’s kid in Cambodia was turned into a fish finger by aliens in their back garden.
  6. I would be younger and hotter. Ok so maybe this is taking things a step too far. I mean growing old is a gift isn’t it? but let’s not pretend that you enjoy watching your breasts get lower to the ground, your arms shake as you frantically point your kids to their bedrooms or the stark realisation that thanks to the branding team at 18-30 you are now officially labelled as too old to have fun! Why do I need to be hotter ? Because, I am still hoping that one day I will have to make the decision between my darling husband and Mr Hardy (see point 2).
  7. And it seems a compulsory requirement to mention my weight since it is New Years Eve. And I am not too cool to admit that I would do anything to address my ever-expanding waistline, chinline, leg breadth and gluteus maximus region. Is it even necessary to care about these things after 17 years of only ever waking up next to the same man, who knows the creases of every curve and loves you regardless (he is more concerned about my attitude than my cellulite if we are to delve into it). Well yes I believe it is, I am fast approaching the ‘needing two seats on a plane’, the ‘your not allowed on this rollercoaster’ and more importantly you have no clothes to wear so feel more comfortable in your pyjamas crew.

So there you have it. I wouldn’t change that much really. I would just be single, with no kids, living in the middle of the Pacific Ocean in solitary confinement whilst looking after myself sexually (as I would be unable to resist my very luscious body and smouldering good looks) And for days when I bored of myself …. there would always be Tom to call upon.  I would be irresistibly intelligent due to all the time I indulged on myself … the draw back being, I would have no idea what quote best describes me or what planet Kanye West was taking over this week! Look we can’t have it all readers can we?

Whatever it is you want from life and whoever it is you want to be…. it is without judgement (unless you are one of those men that are living as a puppy in a silicone dalmatian suit or the kind of woman who loves such a man/hound) that in abundance, I cast in your direction heartfelt wishes and strength for your journey through this bumpy ride of life.  May your year be carefree, fun, healthy and most of all happy.

All my love, the maker of the Gingers – Angelina xxx



The only serious post you will ever read on my blog. Grown up time. I need your help.

Today has been one of the hardest days of my life. I spent the day with my lovely friend of 14 years and we laughed and we cried and we laughed and cried some more. 2 years ago she was diagnosed with Motor Neurone Disease. Already she has no functionality in her body (needing 24hr care) and her speech is now already severely affected. It is so hard to see her in that position when she was the one trekking the lakes whilst I was laid on the sofa. She was the one playing badminton whilst I was getting smashed in the pub. Unfortunately for her she is now terminally ill and faces leaving behind two beautiful children of 15 and 11. I got in my car after leaving and was overwhelmed with a panic attack at the thought that she will have to leave us. It made me think how she must feel every minute and it has made my heart bleed with sadness. It made me want to run out there and grab every shred of life I can and live exactly the life I want …right now … regardless of the consequences .. because life can be cruelly snatched away and we only have this shot. Although she is running out of time I just have to do something to help her because I feel so so so useless and I want to do something practical because there is nothing else I can do and that is suffocating! So I am in the process of setting up a go fund me page for her (she isnt even on facebook and doesn’t even know about these things), she has applied for stem cell treatment in Isarel and since it is a potential £45,000 at least, she has little chance of making it but I thought it was more than worth a try. Time is of the essence so the next few months you will see me frantically arranging lots of charity events and begging! I’m not too proud to beg to save my friends life and so you will see plenty of it. The things we are organising so far are a Race Night in Sprotbrough, my lovely Jo Twiby is going to help me, if you would be interesting in attending please let me know and importantly if you are a business (or a lovely individual) and you can donate anything please please please let me know. Taylor is going to do another gaming stream like he did for the homeless charity in the summer and kennedy and I are organising a Dance Battle. Again if you are a lovely human being or own a business and you would like to sponsor the event or put up any of the cash prizes or offer your venue or services I would be grateful until the end of time. If you have any other ideas that we can put into practice then I would love to hear of it too. I’m sorry if this is a bit rambly but my heart is breaking and my head is whirring with the potential difference we could make to a family of one of our own. As many of you know I was closing ‘Wonder Toys’ after xmas to allow me to focus on other ventures but I will continue to run it to donate all profits to this cause for as long as it is needed. Thank you for taking the time to listen to the outpouring of my broken heart and I hope to hear from you all any ideas or offerings as time is not on our side. Please help. All my Love Angelina xxxxxxx