Fifty – and fabulous friends

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Well hello, strangers. Yes, I know, look at the date. It’s been a crazy year. First of all I was ill throughout most of January and February. Nothing serious nor worrying, but staring at screens when I wasn’t at work just wasn’t happening. Then life went nuts with work trips and interviews with some amazing people and we started a podcast with Olly Mann… All very interesting but again, left me not wanting to stare at a screen more than I wanted to.

But now I’m back – and I’m FIFTY!!!! Yup, it happened. And it was fabulous. A weekend filled with family and friends, far too much food but loads more good cheer.

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2016 was a wonderful year

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Ha! Now that surprised you, didn’t it? Someone singing the praises of a year in which we saw the UK divided over Brexit, Donald Trump – DONALD TRUMP! – elected president of the United States, hate crimes rise, an MP killed for speaking up for the helpless, war in Syria, the return of the Cold War and the death of Princess Leia (not to mention all the other heroes we grew up with).

Added to that, this year, I heard about the first death of someone I’d known at school. Other people I know have been diagnosed with terminal illnesses.

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Raising a glass to Esther Mahlangu and all women of spirit

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It’s been a crazy few weeks, filled with travels and work and moments when I’m filled with imposter syndrome and think: “I’m just a little lass from the slums of Byker. How the hell am I so lucky to be experiencing this?”

Mind you, I think anyone meeting South African artist Esther Mahlangu will think the same.

Esther is one of those people who fill you with awe. I was invited to an art class led by her by (Belvedere)Red Vodka – she’s designed a special edition bottle for them to help raise funds for the fight against Aids.

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Who is your mother?

Grandmaother And Childs Hands About To Touch

mother (ˈmʌðə )

Definitions

noun

  1. a female who has given birth to offspring

 

Well, first of all – Happy Mothering Sunday! Yeah, I’m going with the British English version rather than Mother’s Day. And don’t get me started on the HAPPY MOTHERS DAY! card I saw the other day – where’s the bloody apostrophe, copywriter?

But looking at Collins’ definition of “mother” above, I think I’m happier with Mothering Sunday. After all, a mother is so much more than someone who just gives birth to you, isn’t she? Several of my friends have never given birth but are also doing an amazing job Continue reading

Happy birthday… for the 49th time

picjumbo.com_HNCK9743So this is it. Today, I officially start my fiftieth year of being on this planet. At least I’ve got an extra day of being 49 – thanks Leap Year.

It’s a strange feeling, counting down to 50. I always thought that by this age I’d be grown up and sensible and have my life sorted out. Perhaps I’ll have achieved that by my hundredth. Until this year, I’d never even considered myself middle-aged – but then I started a new job and looked around at all the shiny-faced youths I was now working with. We had a training session the other day and they all carried laptops and I had a notebook and a cup of tea. I’ve turned into that old hack in the corner with a mouldy cardigan and a fag hanging out of his mouth – without the fag. And the mouldy cardy. And I’m not a man, but you know what I mean.

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