The Dream

And one day, in 2018, the princess woke up and realised she had everything she ever wished for… a house, a dog, a boy and even an Audi TT. But she still wasn’t happy and reminisced over the days when she had nothing but a sense of sorrow. How do you leave that sorrow behind?

The princess still wasn’t fulfilled. When would she win the love of the one she missed so much? x 

How significant can a piece of paper be?

As a 30 year old female in the Western world, one topic has become particularly prevalent in conversations with friends over the last 18 months; marriage. Loads of people I know have either got or are getting married, so it’s one of those subjects that keeps cropping up. I’m pretty sure I’ll find the same thing happens with the topic of babies in another couple of years’ time as the former so often leads to the latter.

I still have a massive question mark in my head as to the point of it all in today’s society though.

Let’s take an example – one friend I have confessed to me that she’s more excited about the party than the actual marriage. I totally get it; they’ve lived together for years so what is the marriage except a continuation of the life they already have? The actual wedding day though, well that’s a great big (expensive) celebration of their love and lives together. That sort of makes sense because who doesn’t love a party?

Does it warrant the cost of a house deposit / car though?

If we wander back in time just a handful of decades, marriage was a critical part of growing up. Society said that before we could co-habit or be so brazen as to tell the world we’d had sex by having a baby, we had to be married. Women also had far fewer job prospects and were expected to make lovely homes for their industrious husbands, so we can see why marriage was essential; men wanted sex and dinner on the table, while women needed a living (and sex – but nobody admits that).

Yes, I know I’m generalising and making a bit of a joke of it but my point is that previously, adult life really began at marriage. Wedding presents were homewares to help the happy couple set up their first home and begin the adventure of living together. Today, we’ve already done that and most of us frown upon those who dare to marry without testing out the living together bit first. We can have babies without marriage and our wedding “presents” are usually no more than a donation to an epic holiday fund, or “honeymoon” as we continue to call it.

So why do we do it?

Some people do it to represent their commitment to each other and that’s a great reason to enter the contract of marriage. Does it really signify commitment though? Divorce is hugely prevalent these days, so much so that marriage is almost an “I do until…”. It’s far harder to get out of a complex series of financial contracts than it is the marriage itself.

Some do it because they have a family and they would like everyone to have the same name. Strictly speaking, marriage isn’t needed to do this as you can just change your name but my issue is actually that still these days, it’s usually the woman who changes her name. I’ve seen an increase in double-barrelled surnames cropping up on my Facebook as women marry and want to hold onto some semblance of their former selves but goodness only knows what this means for the names of married women in the next generation, just imagine a Simone Smith-Jones-Brown-Thompson! Surely the changing of names is an outdated tradition by now?

And talking of outdated traditions, what is with the whole ring thing? I mean really, a bloody expensive rock gets put on the woman’s finger prior to the marriage like some sort of indicator of ownership. How is this still a thing? “Look how much of a man I am, I bought a huge rock and now I own her.” “Look how much he wants me, he bought me a huge rock and now I’m complete.”

Some might say I’m cynical and maybe I am but I’m struggling to justify marriage in my head. I don’t have any problem with others marrying and I love weddings but all of the above is what goes round in my mind when someone asks me when I think my boyfriend will propose. My answer, by the way is “hopefully never”. Sure I’d marry him if he was desperate to do that but that would be my only reason. Maybe that’s it. Maybe every couple has someone who needs that security and that’s why they get married. Me, I know I love my boy and I never want to let him go. I hope that’s enough for him too!

Saying goodbye to my 20s

Yes, I know, I haven’t quite said goodbye to my 20s yet but I’m a mere week away from turning 30 now! Even as I write that, I feel a little anxious flutter at my core and what I can only describe as nervous anticipation. I think I’m going to do well at being in my 30s but I’m also terrified in case I spend the next decade making the same mistakes again.



Me, in my 30s. That’s a grown up age. Lots of people in their 30s are married with kids and the idea of doing those sorts of things is still TERRIFYING! If I think too much about the fact that I’ve just bought a house and have a dog I freak out, never mind actual lifetime commitments.

Anyway, the real purpose of this stream of consciousness spiel is to reflect on my 20s because I think it’s a difficult decade to get through. Some people sail through it and love it and the rest of us look on, wondering why our lives are a pile of poo by comparison. So if that’s you doing the wondering, don’t worry about it because I’m about to explain why that’s a good thing.

If I look at my 20s as a whole, there are just 3 main themes to the journey I took and the lessons I learned and the ratio isn’t great, 2 bad : 1 good. Here we go…

Theme 1 – Depression

I still can’t really admit that I have ever been depressed because my background tells me that depression leads to suicide, which leads to other depressed people and I refuse to accept that. What I can admit is that I spent months following this routine:

Wake up – cry – stare at the wall – go to work – hold back the tears – come home – cry – stare at the wall – cry – go to bed

I can also admit that when I managed to stop the staring at the wall behaviour, I still spent an inordinate amount of time crying. The reasons for the tears were varied, but in reality I had a huge sadness inside me that I couldn’t confront and it was ruling my life. This sadness sapped my confidence and stopped me doing and achieving as much as I wanted to but I realise now that it was a process I had to go through. It sounds so cliché to say this but I know now that it really doesn’t last forever, as long as you’re prepared to let the good stuff in.

So, if that’s you right now, let it happen. Sometimes the only way you can move on is to fully embrace the problem, let it flood your mind and then mop up the puddles slowly but surely.

Theme 2 – Debt

During those depressed years I racked up a heck of a lot of debt. Tens of thousands of pounds spent on utter shit that I didn’t need but which I thought might change my life and make me happy. A small portion of the debt was spent on fun, but it really was mainly on junk, oh and some bad car choices. (Never buy a used Corsa VXR!)

That level of debt when you’re on a relatively low salary is crippling, so what I did was bury my head in the sand and keep going. I’m hugely fortunate that I was dug out of the hole by a very generous inheritance, else I would still be in that hole now. It was a good lesson though and I’m glad I learned it at a young age. If you’re struggling with a similar situation, please seek help; just Google it and you’ll find places you can turn to for support.

I sound like an old person now, namely my father, when I say that money really isn’t everything and the stuff you think you need, it won’t make you happy. You’ll have the moment of joy looking at those new shoes but you’ll spend far longer worrying about how you’re going to pay off the cumulative sum of 10 new pairs!

Theme 3 – Good Times

Here’s where the biggest lesson lies for me…the good times are there, they are happening no matter what your situation is, it’s just up to you to decide whether or not you want to be part of them. I feel such gratitude toward all of the people who kept dragging me into the good times and showing me what I was missing. The people I feel this most strongly about are my parents who have been through some really tough times themselves in this last decade, but who remained strong enough to pick me up every time I fell, cuddle me and then invite me to start enjoying life again. Without them, I’d probably be rocking back and forward in the foetal position on my bed right now!

I’ve achieved some stuff too and I’ve managed to build up something of a career, even with a couple of redundancies along the way. I’ve just climbed onto the property ladder, I own my car outright (even if it is 12 years old),I have a beautiful dog, a wonderful boy and many friends. I’ve been on girly holidays, I’ve read loads of books, been out for unbelievably delicious dinners at lovely restaurants and generally smiled and laughed loads, all despite themes 1 and 2.

A huge number of the good times have been in the last 3 years, exactly coinciding with the time that I realised that I can’t find my own happiness in other people, it has to come from within. I can’t tell you how many times people said that to me and I poo-pooed their advice, thinking that I was sorted and other people were making me miserable. I was wrong. I was miserable and as soon as I fixed my own misery, my life transformed and I flipped the ratios:

Happy Days : Blue Days – Sam until age 27
1 : 10

Happy Days : Blue Days – Sam post age 27
10 : 1

Well, I think I have rambled on long enough now so I’ll leave this post where it is. Watch out for some interesting changes to the blog; I can’t be a 20something freak forever 🙂

30s – I’m comin’ to getcha!!! x

What being a dog mummy has taught me…

My beautiful Lexi

My beautiful Lexi

In January of this year, the bf and I took the HUGE step of adopting a pooch of our very own. We found our little Lexi online as her family were splitting up so she needed a new home. The instant he saw a photo, the bf knew she was the one; he kept coming back to her profile over and over again until he finally took the step of making contact with her family.

As soon as we met her, I was also convinced; she was shy, her tail didn’t wag but she still climbed straight onto our laps for cuddles and had the most beautiful face I’ve ever seen. Her eyes were and still are full of hope, trust and optimism; she really couldn’t have sold herself to us any better than she did. So we said we’d give her a new home and we haven’t looked back since.

When our baby girl first arrived home, she was understandably nervous, very clingy and couldn’t relax enough to fall asleep for any decent period of time. When we took her for walks, she’d stick to us like glue, unsure of what to do as if we might punish her. When we let her into the garden for toilet time she’d tremble like mad and refuse to go out there unless we both went out with her and proved that we weren’t going to lock her outside. It was difficult to watch and all we could do was give her love and time and hope that she’d settle in, luckily she did that just fine 🙂

Then she attacked a dog.

We thought it was a one-off and she’d been provoked. Then she did it again and then attempted it many more times; no real damage to the dogs but enough aggression to know she couldn’t be trusted with other dogs. It petrified me and I freaked out, I thought we’d made a mistake and that we couldn’t possibly handle looking after a dog like that. But we had to, we’d promised her we’d look after her and that meant we bloody well would. The bf, being much stronger and more mature than me just told me to stop being so dramatic and that we’d deal with it one way or another and we have.

These days, we walk Lexi on the lead – always. We don’t let her get near other dogs unless she has her muzzle on and we’re good at spotting which dogs are riling her up before she has a chance to get fully into that frame of mind. It’s not a perfect solution and we want to get beyond this, to the point where she ignores other dogs but it’s a good start and it means we can take her out in public with safety. It’s the opposite of what I wanted though, I wanted to have that dog that I could trust to trot along by my side with no problems at all. I wanted that perfection that the media shows you dog ownership should be but I was being stupid.

As I sit here writing this, Lexi is curled up with her head on my lap, snoozing soundly because she knows she’s safe and that I’ve got her back so she doesn’t need to stay alert. Every time I look at her face I smile and I feel a warm swell of pride at my core, because this loving beauty is ours and we’ve given her a home that’s allowed her to relax with us and do crazy things like go in the garden on her own. In return, she makes us laugh and smile every single day; even when we were on holiday without her, we spoke about her and her crazy facial expressions constantly and that made us giggle like children. When I was ill, she was my nurse laying by my side almost constantly for 3 solid days so I didn’t feel alone. Every time one of us comes into the house or down the stairs, she greets us with utter joy and excitement that makes us feel incredibly loved and wanted. She gives us everything and in return all she asks for is cuddles, (lots of cuddles) some food and some walks. What an absolute babe!

So, what have I learned from having Lexi? I’ve learned loads; I’ve learned that happiness really doesn’t cost the earth, I’ve learned that real achievements are about the relationships you build, not the things you buy. My ideas of what perfection would be are not always right, sometimes you find that what you were looking for is not what you really wanted. Compromise isn’t always a bad thing; my dog doesn’t trot by my side with no problems but she is more cuddly than any other dog I’ve met and she’s never once woken me in the night. That’s not bad as trade offs go! Biggest of all though, I’ve learned that I do have that “maternal” instinct that enables me to consider the needs of others above my own and love unconditionally. There’s not a thing that Lexi could do that would stop me loving her, she’s incredible and genuinely has a heart of gold.

Having Lexi has been a real awakening; she’s shaken up my life and I can’t thank her enough for it. Here’s to all the gorgeous souls in this world helping people like me every day! x

When Should 2 Become 1?

CartoonHello and sorry for reminding you that you are old enough to remember singing along to the Spice Girls’ 2 Become 1 song! However, I think it brings me nicely to today’s topic…at what point should you sleep with someone for the first time?

Obviously I’m not talking about 1 night stands or people you are only interested in physically because I’m pretty sure the answer in those instances is that you should sleep with them as soon as possible. Why wait??? What I’m talking about is the people you meet who you think might turn into long term or forever types. I’ve not really ever given it much thought before but two people have mentioned it to me in the last week. One was somebody at the beginning of a relationship who was waiting in the hope things turned out better than previous relationships did. The other was a fellow single gal who said: “Apparently it totally changes the dynamic if you wait”. It was this that really got me wondering about “the right time”.

Those of you who know me personally will know that I have a very “male” attitude to sex in that I really believe if you both want it, you should just get the heck on with doing it! I don’t believe in waiting until the third date, nor do I think it’s slutty to sleep with a stranger / have a f*** buddy and I’m all for sleeping with somebody just because they are hot, you want to and it would be an achievement to get that notch on your bedpost. Before the world writes me off as terrible GF material, I should also point out that I also believe the best sex happens with people you know well and care about and if you say you’ll only sleep with one person, you should keep your word.

So, back to my original point, I haven’t ever tried the waiting game at the beginning of a relationship. In fact I’ve always believed it to be a good sign if you pretty much spend all of your time naked at the beginning and I place a lot of importance on sparks in the bedroom. Bad sex = bad relationship in my book. What puzzles me is quite how you build up any form of intimacy with someone if you aren’t getting naked with them. It’s not just sex that happens when you spend all that naked time together, you start to break down barriers and be a bit more open with the other person. In the chats between sessions you find out things about them, in the food breaks you find out what they like to eat…you get the drift. Personally I’ve never felt that comfortable sitting in a restaurant or a park or the cinema having an intimate conversation of any kind. Equally, don’t expect me to snuggle up on the sofa if I haven’t seen you naked, that just feels plain weird. (For 99% of the population, don’t expect me to snuggle up full stop. I’m nearly 28 and have only found 1 person I like to snuggle so far.)

Back to the waiting thig then, what are the bonuses of waiting? I’m racking my brain but I just can’t think of anything, however this may well be because I haven’t tried it. With my lack of will power it’s likely to be a man I’m not interested in that I try this on so I still don’t think I’ll have the answer! People who do the waiting thing, please enlighten me. I genuinely want to understand more about the mentality behind this and I’d also like to know what happens when you do wait, you start falling for someone and then you discover you’re totally incompatible in the bedroom. Don’t pretend like everything can be worked out, we all know some people just don’t do it for us! Talk to me, people! x

Happy Birthday, Mum!

I’m not normally one for doing this and I’ll be completely honest and say that some years my mum’s birthday comes and goes without me really noticing, but this year is different. Although it’s been very nearly, (give it 10 days) 13 years since my mum died, I’ve missed her more than I usually do this last year. Lots of things have been changing and I think when that happens it can be easy to panic and revert back to the childhood longing for your mummy. That’s certainly what I’ve done anyway. I have a great substitute mummy in my step-mum but sometimes it would be just awesome if I could have both. Yes, I’m that greedy that I’d like two mothers!

So I thought this year I’d make it public and remind the world (and myself) that today is my mum’s birthday. It may be other things to other people but from where I stand, that’s the most important thing about today. My sister recently visited my mum’s grave and took this lovely picture so I’m stealing it and sharing it:


So here it is…


I hope they have cake wherever you are now, but just in case they don’t I’ll eat double to cover your portion! xxx

A Hop, Skip and a Year’s Gone By!

CalendarHello friends! Can you believe we are nearly at the end of September already? This year is flying by and we are officially back into my favourite time of year, September to December. Or as I call it, Party Season!

Whilst I’ve just been bumbling around in my own little world for the last few weeks, I did actually pop out of my bubble long enough to realise that we’ve just had LFW and therefore, we’ve just had my 1 year anniversary of being single. I know I dated someone for a few months earlier this year but really I’ve spent most of the last year as a single girl. This is the first time I’ve been single for any significant time since I was 14! On that basis, I thought I should probably reflect on what I’ve learned this last year because I’m a very different person now to who I was then and I’m a million, zillion percent happier than I’ve ever been in my entire life.

I literally cannot comprehend that this time last year I wasn’t eating, couldn’t sleep and generally felt like I’d messed up everything I’d ever done and would continue to do so with all future ventures. Obviously I was heartbroken but I wasn’t really mourning the loss of the man who I’d split up with, I was heartbroken that I’d failed again. I blamed myself for the whole relationship going wrong and that just wasn’t the case. Yes, I played a part in it and I definitely was not a perfect girlfriend but he was not a perfect boyfriend either. It took me quite a while to really make that stick in my head but once it did, it made me realise that not everything that goes wrong is my fault.

Since then, I’ve been on a number of dates with a variety of guys, some great, some ok and some plain terrible. I’ve also dated the aforementioned guy who was exactly the reality check I needed. Dating him raised the bar so far beyond where other relationships and boyfriends had been because for the first time ever, I’d been fussy and found someone who I liked as a whole package. Now I know there are guys out there like that, I’m not settling for less again!

That mentality has carried further into my life than just relationships…I’ve spent a year fending for myself, proving that I can survive the tough times. I can keep myself alive and I do have a great family and friends around me to keep me entertained and for the odd hug when things are difficult. More than that though, I’ve realised that I can’t “fake it”. I’ve spent most of my life trying to fit one mould or another and I’ve never felt happy. I hadn’t necessarily realised that was the case before now but looking back, it’s blindingly obvious why I’ve spent so much time feeling miserable; I’ve rarely spent any time pursuing the things that my gut told me were right.  I think this could be one of those things that you learn as you get older and I’m possibly a bit behind the curve in learning it but I’ve got there now!

This year has been absolutely invaluable because it’s forced me out of my comfort zone of following the lead of other people and I finally know, at nearly 28 years old, that I can look after myself. I will be ok and it’s not a problem that things go wrong because life is all about learning from those experiences. I live a life of extreme highs and lows but that’s what I’ve always wanted so who is anyone else to tell me that I need to keep things on a more even keel?

So here I am a year later, still single, without a proper job, totally broke and happier than I can ever remember. Sometimes things really do happen for a reason, even though it’s hard to see that reason at the time. This year has been a rollercoaster and a half but the ride has been thrilling and has smashed away the blocks I had been building my life on. It’s given me the opportunity to re-build from the ground up and this time the blocks have been replaced with balloons. They may burst, they could float away but whilst they’re there they are colourful, fun and anything but a heavy burden to carry around. x

How Do You Say “I Love You”?

New Picture (3)If you’ve ever been in a relationship that’s lasted more than a few months you’ve probably at some point contemplated how the “L” word is going to worm its way in. I hadn’t thought about it for a while but the other day my housemate and I were sat in the living room chatting and she brought up this very topic. She’s been seeing her other half for about 8 months now, they’re about to tackle the long distance thing and she’s wondering how they move beyond the comfort of the snuggles and general happiness to love.

In her case, she was friends with the guy before they were ever dating and they had a conversation in the friend zone in which they both made it clear that they’d each be far too scared to ever be the first person to say “I love you”. Now they’re at the point where she feels like someone should be saying it but this conversation is in the back of her mind. She’s wondering if he will man up and say it or if she’s going to have to jump in. It’s not so much that she’s scared of saying what she feels, it’s more that she’s worried he won’t say it back. That moment when it’s not said back has to be one of the most awkward moments there can be in any relationship. Neither of you knows what to do, the person who said it feels embarrassed, the person who didn’t feels pressured and you both wonder if you should just walk away from it and each other right there and then.

So how do you do it? Obviously there’s the widely acclaimed drunken “I love you” which you can later blame on the alcohol if it all goes disastrously wrong. Or there’s the subtle “I love…(huge pause)…that shirt on you”, whilst you gauge their reaction to the “L” word during the pause, you can decide what should come next. Or, I guess you just come right out and say it. If you’ve been together for a substantial enough period of time that you think it’s time to say the word but your other half doesn’t, perhaps it means that your views of the relationship are different and it’s time to re-evaluate anyway. 

That said, what if it’s all about the delivery? Should it be spontaneous or planned? Can it be spontaneous? Does anyone really say it without having thought about saying it first? If you plan it, how far do you go with the planning and how do you ensure you don’t add so much pressure to the situation that they either run away or feel obliged to say it back without actually meaning it? It’s an absolute minefield!

Thinking back through my past relationships, I can tell you exactly how the “L” word has dropped into the fold. The guys have all said it. During sex. It was ok though because regardless of whether they meant it or not, I didn’t mean it when I said it back, I just thought I should feel that so I’d best say it so as not to offend. That’s not to say I never meant it, at some points I have but at the time of the initial “I love you”, no, not a jot of love, just a bit of lust mixed with guilt for not feeling it. That’s my way of confessing that I don’t have the answer. If any of you have any advice, please share it so I can tell my housemate and write it down for safekeeping so that it’s there the day I decide I want to say it myself.

Equally, if it’s ever gone disastrously wrong, let us know so we can all have a good giggle. It’ll make you feel much better about it if you can see the funny side! x

Do You Need One to Find One?

Life is Like a London Bus...

Life is Like a London Bus…

I’m sure you’ve all heard the old sayings that “It’s easier to find a job when you have a job” or “They’re like buses, they all come at once”. In my experience, this second one is often referenced when talking about dates or potential love interests. So, if you have something, is it genuinely easier to find a replacement than it is to find something starting from zero?

Let’s look at this with jobs. People are forever saying that it’s easier to find a new job if you’re already employed but logically that makes no sense. Logically, you have more time to search, more time to attend interviews and more availability to start if you are unemployed. All of those things should make it easier to find a job, (assuming you are not a work-shy bum) than if you were tied to a desk all day. So perhaps it’s the subtleties of our behaviour or our subconscious that’s really at work here (pardon the pun). Maybe when we are desperately hunting for something, we are exactly that: desperate. Desperation just isn’t appealing. As humans, we want to associate with the successful and those we regard as being in an equal or better situation than ourselves. Despite the fact that we most need the help of others in times of desperation, we each of us look upon that state as something to run from.

“He seems a bit desperate for the job.”

“I wonder why nobody else wants him?”

“Probably a bit weird. Did you see that he had 1 hair out of place?”

“I know, who comes to an interview like that. I think definite no.”

“Definite no.”

Recognise that sentiment? Perhaps he seems desperate because he was made redundant from his old job and has a wife and kids to support at home. Maybe he even has an ex-wife and more kids he’s still paying for. He needs the job. He’ll work hard. But no, he seemed desperate so he must be weird.

How about relationships? Ever noticed that the nights you go out “on the pull”, you rarely pull but the nights you just end up having a few too many after work you seem to be irresistible? It’s the same thing, the desperation factor. The trick seems to be in acting like you don’t care…not so much that you are obvious about it, just enough that you look like you chose to be in that bar at that time with those people, but you had 6 other offers, 5 of which were dates. You just decided you couldn’t be bothered with them – too desperate.

In this crazy world we live in, we expect people to be passionate and prove that they really want something before they have a chance of getting it. Yet at the same time, people who bring their emotional state to the table in that passion are considered desperate and we therefore discount them. Desperation breeds some of the most creative ideas ever sometimes but still we regard desperation as something to avoid. Why give the prize to the person who obviously craves it when we can give it to someone who may or may not want it, thus creating ourselves a little challenge?

So, you don’t need one to get one, whatever your “one” may be but you need to act like you’ll be rather nonplussed if you do get one. That way, people will leap upon the challenge of making you like it / them and you’ll be inundated with offers. It may seem like a mad way of working but you’re just going to have to hop on and enjoy the ride!!! x