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.
Continue reading “50 and fabulous friends”
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.
Continue reading “2016 was a wonderful year”
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…
Continue reading “Am I hot? You bet I am”
It’s been one of the central tenets of my life – that I am a feminist. But now, I’m not so sure. Why do I say that? In the words of Max Bygraves, let me tell you a story…
It started, like all human interactions these days, on social media. A friend tagged me into a video of Laura Perrins, the co-editor of The Conservative Woman website, and asked for thoughts.
Continue reading “I’m a feminist… aren’t I?”
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.
Continue reading “Raising a glass to Esther Mahlangu and all women of spirit”
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 Secret Diary of Hendrik Groen, 83¼ Years Old – and other tales”
This is a weird age. At one point, when I look at it written down – or when I have to scroll back through the years to register online and the mouse is moving like Mo Farah – I feel old. Or rather, I feel I should be old, because most of the time I feel the same as I did in sixth form.
There is a feeling, once you get past 40, that you should start disappearing, blend into the background and let the beautiful young things shine. Don’t wear short skirts; don’t have long hair; wear comfortable shoes…
It’s the feeling when you look in the mirror and think: “A woman nearly 50 should not be wearing that outfit”, as I did a few weeks ago with the get-up below. But then, I think “short skirt, black tights, flat shoes – still got it”. Continue reading “The eyes have it… eventually”