Am I hot? You bet I am

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I have a confession – I’m a terrible Geordie. If it’s winter, nine out of ten times I go out I wear a coat.

I know, I know, that’s a shocking admission but it’s true. I can’t stand being cold. I’ve had the facility guys at work at my desk more times than I can count (not that that’s much, having failed my maths O’level five times) to change the direction of the air-con. Meanwhile, from November, I don thermals more days than not and can’t go to bed until Brian the hot-water-bottle-toy-dog-thing-that-you-microwave has been in for at least 15 minutes to take the chill off.

However, these last few weeks, I’ve been the one sitting on the tube with my coat sat on my lap; the one in bed throwing the quilt off me and searching for the cold spot; the one…

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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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The Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83¼ Years Old – and other tales

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As you probably could tell from this post, I love being a journalist. I love striving to bring readers truth, justice and the best place to have a cappuccino when you’re stuck up a mountain in Nepal (hey, hipsters read too, you know).

But I’d be lying if there weren’t a few selfish reasons behind loving my job – and they’re the reason I’ve been a bit quiet recently.

You see, instead of indulging my love of writing, I’ve been two-timing the keyboard with the luscious fruits of others’ typing skills after raiding the book cupboard at work.

Yes, we have a book cupboard. Continue reading

The 10 joys of getting older

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After the doom and gloom of the past few days, I needed a cheer-me-up so counted the blessings of growing older…

  1. No more periods.

A friend of mine adores Auntie Flo coming each month. “I feel like a woman,” she says. I say she’s a bloody fool – as I may have told her once or twice or 59 million times. No more pain, no more hassle, no more mood swings (that one’s added at the insistence of Mr 50 Sense). I mean, obviously, I’ll be saying goodbye to white jeans, pouring blue water on me knickers and skydiving, but some sacrifices are worth it. Continue reading

15 signs you’re getting old

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My mam once told me that she wakes up and she’s 18. Then she tries to get out of bed and she’s 80. I know what she means – some days I wake up and I still feel I should be heading off to sixth form. Which is why I spent a half hour squealing on the swings in the local playground last week. (It was Mr 50 Cents fault as he was pushing me too high.)

So how do you know when you’re getting old? Well, I’ve discovered that there are some subtle signs to watch out for… Continue reading

When I’m sixty-four

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“Guess what I watched today?” said my mam.

It’s a question that strikes fear into my heart. She’d just been to the day centre – God bless the NHS – and it could have been anything. She had a small stroke a few years ago and at times can’t quite remember her words, so a conversation can turn into a Two Ronnies‘ sketch. Continue reading