Sarah's Blog

18th June

This week I have been rushing around frantically trying to get ready for my holiday.

Matt insists a trip to Glastonbury isn’t a holiday but he’s wrong! Who needs sun, sea and sand when you can have fields, mud and porta loos?

We went to Glastonbury last year so I know there are certain must have items. Obviously I’ve bought all new toiletries to take away with me (it’s a girl thing). I’ve already got a lorry load of baby wipes, gallons of sun cream and toilet rolls galore. Everything else I have bought in those miniatures they do now. How cute are they? It looks like I’ve been round and robbed The Borrowers bathroom.

As my boyfriend and I are a pair of wimps we have opted for a camper van again this year instead of a tent. Not only is this a massive bonus because it has a shower and a loo in it, it also means you can take more stuff!

I don’t really believe in travelling light, you never know what you might need. Of course you’ll need the festival essentials – The Trilby hat, a pair of shorts, wellie boots and something floaty; but then there’s all the stuff you have to take ‘just incase’. Of course we could take just one pair of sunglasses but what if they get sat on!? We’ll take another pair just incase. My boyfriend says I don’t need a parka jacket, a denim jacket and a hoody. I Say we have been getting some pretty freaky weather recently, who says it couldn’t snow in June?

The amount of shoes we take is always our bloke’s bug bear too isn’t it? They tell us we’ll only need a couple of pairs, max, but they don’t understand. We need a pair of flip flops for if it’s sunny. Trainers for when you want to be comfy but it’s too cold for flip flops. We need boots for if it’s too cold for trainers, and going out in shoes to go with your going out dress (although I don’t think I will be taking going out shoes to Glastonbury….this year!)

So that’s it, I’m just about ready to go. I’ve spent the past week wearing my dodgiest clothes because everything else has been washed and pressed (well…washed at least) ready to pack.

All I’ve got left to do now is tidy the entire house so the lady watering the plants doesn’t think I’m a tramp, and obviously I’ll have to check every electrical item is unplugged and finally check at least 17 times that the front door is shut properly.

Have a good week. Matt and I will be back on Tuesday June 29th xx

11th June

It’s hayfever season and although I’m not really a sufferer, I have been feeling the effects this week.

I never realised how bad Hayfever could be until I met my boyfriend Tom. He doesn’t just get sneezy, he gets wheezy too, so much so has an inhaler.

It really affects his breathing which means at this time of year his snoring reaches new levels. It’s a little like sharing a bed with a distressed donkey (I’m guessing here obviously)

Don’t get me wrong I really am sympathetic but how patient is anyone at 2 o clock in the morning?

If your other half is a ‘Snorer’ I know you will understand how a typical night can pan out.

You can put up with it for a short while but the longer you lie there, awake, the more agitated you get. You start tutting loudly in the hope that will somehow be enough to wake your other half…obviously it isn’t….he’s fast asleep. When that doesn’t work you add some tossing and turning and although it makes you all hot and bothered it’s  not usually enough to wake Sleeping Beauty.

In desperation you try to wrestle your partner into the recovery position and for a split second moving him from his back to his side seems to work. Normally just as you are beginning to drift off, feeling kind of pleased with yourself, he starts up again!

At this point the more restrained amongst us might admit defeat and head off to the spare room. I’d love to do the same but living in a one bedroom flat I’m afraid that’s not an option. I suppose I could move to the lounge but then again I have two, two seater sofa’s and they’re only just about long enough for a couple of Umpa Lumpa’s to stretch out on. Plus moving the seven alarm clocks I use to wake myself in the morning is almost as mammoth a task as stopping Tom snoring.

Sleep deprivation can make you pretty irrational can’t it? I can’t think of any other time when I would find it appropriate to boot Tom in the leg. I don’t tend to get home from work and greet him with a spin kick. For some reason in the middle of the night, when everything else has failed it seems quite acceptable to lash out and give him a short sharp kick in the shin.

It works!.....For about thirty seconds. Proof that violence doesn’t solve anything.

If you have successfully stopped your partner snoring I would love to know how. You can email me via the website.

03rd June

If I could pick one word to describe my Bank Holiday weekend style, it would be ‘Windswept’.

BBQ season is well underway and despite the odd rain shower and (what seemed like) gale force winds, who else attended their first BBQ this weekend?

As we headed off on Friday to enjoy a bank holiday weekend I had visions of basking in the heat on a sun lounger, sausage in one hand, glass of something lovely in the other. I even had a blooming spray tan so I’d be able to get my pins out for the occasion. It didn’t quite go to plan though.

What I love about BBQ’s is the fact that for at least hour everybody is in a state of denial. Nobody likes to spoil the atmos or be a party pooper and mention the bad weather. Instead everybody stands around grinning through gritted teeth as the wind forces you to dodge paper plates and cups that are being blown all around the back garden.

 It becomes a battle of wills over who will give in first and put on the hoody you bought for ‘later’. Its summer time and we’re all going to wear t-shirts, shorts and flip flops if it kills us!

Still making no reference to the weather everyone starts slowly gravitating towards the BBQ itself to try and subtly grab a bit of warmth. You try your best to scoff a couple of burgers whilst at that same time consuming mouthfuls of hair that is being blown back into your face. If you’re lucky it’s your own hair, if you’re unlucky it’s the girl with long hair you’re standing a bit too close to so that you can steal some of her body heat!

It’s easy to tell the weaker ones, they’re the ones that are spending a little longer than they normally would hovering around the pasta and salad dishes as an excuse to stay inside a bit longer.

We’ll finally admit “it’s a bit blowy’ when about six people are forced to wrestle the picnic umbrella the right way out.

 Still the hard core battle on and it’s not until the hairs on your arms are standing up dead straight and our toes are literally purple that we’ll admit defeat and move the party indoors.

We spend so much time moaning about the weather but there is no way we will let it spoil our fun! You have to admire the true grit and determination involved when it comes to the Great British BBQ. Nobody does it like we do.

27th May

So I did my first ever car boot sale this weekend.

If you read last week’s blog you will know that I was absolutely terrified but the good news is, I survived!

It wasn’t easy dragging my boyfriend out of bed at 5am on a Saturday morning; I don’t think he could get his head around the fact that this was something we were doing voluntarily.

With the car packed up, we headed off for Needham Car Boot.

Different scenarios played out in my head on the way there. Maybe the punters would be so impressed with the things I was selling that they’d pay way over the odds and I would walk away a millionaire! Maybe people would walk past my stall, pointing and laughing at the stuff I was trying to sell, and I would come away humiliated and penniless.

I knew we were in the right place when we pulled up and there was a sea of paste tables as far as the eye could see. I’m sure they only make those paste tables for car booters nowadays, does anyone actually ever use them for Wall papering?

All those stories I heard of pro Car Booters storming your car as soon as you arrive –all absolutely true. Before I had even stopped the car some bloke stuck his head in my car window and muttered something about computer games. It is amazing the lengths people will go to for a bargain….I could have run over his foot!

There was also a lady desperate to rummage through the boxes for jewellery, and studying the various bits with a magnifying glass. She obviously thought I had something that was going to land her on Dickenson’s Real Deal. I didn’t have the heart to tell her the bracelet she was eyeing up was about six quid from Argos.

Once it was set up our stall looked a bit puny compared to everyone else’s but we seemed to be doing ok with a steady stream of customers. By the end of it we were haggling, cutting deals and giving each other secret high fives to celebrate our sales.

I know you’re dying to find out how much we made!

By the end of the day we made the grand sum of £41.65! Obviously you have to pay your pitch money, so after that we made a profit of £34.65. Admittedly it’s probably not going to change our lives but hey, it’s another £35 towards the Glastonbury fund.

21st May

I can’t put it off any longer, with a month to go the Glastonbury Fund isn’t going to top itself up. It’s time to forgo the Saturday morning lie in and hit the Car Boot.

The nearer it gets to the weekend, the more I am starting to panic.

At first I thought the whole notion of a car boot sale was pretty simple – you get up at the crack of dawn, get a load of stuff together and head down to a boot sale to flog it to some other lovely person, crazy enough to be up that early on a weekend.

After speaking to friends that have attempted car boots, and watching back to back episodes of daytime TV sensation “Car Booty” I’ve realised there is much more to it.

For starters there is certain equipment I am told that you really should have. Coat hangers, sticky labels for pricing up, a hanging clothes rail, and I swear it’s the first time I’ve ever sent a text around to my mates to see if anyone can lend me a Paste table!

My mum’s insisting that I have a Bum Bag as well but being neither a market stall trader nor a 90’s dad on holiday it’s not something I actually have in my wardrobe. I thought a Tupperware box would suffice but I think Mum would be happier if I took someone from Securicor with me.

I’m not sure if the people I’ve spoken to are exaggerating or not but I’ve heard some terrifying stories of hard core car booters circling your car as you pull up and then diving head first into boot before you’ve even unpacked your boxes! I’m starting to think I should go wearing full body armour!

I’ve also heard that haggling plays a big part in Car Boot Sales and this is a massive concern. I have no experience of haggling. I’ve never even been on one of those exotic holidays where you are forced to haggle over the price you’ll pay for a hand carved donkey you don’t really want. I’m worried that those Car Boot pro’s will be able to spot the vulnerability radiating out from behind my paste table and before you know it they’ll have me paying them to take my stuff away.

I have been suffering actual nightmares about this you know. The other night I had a dream that one of the legs fell off my paste table and last night I dreamt that Lorna Spicer (the presenter off of Car Booty) made me sell my car for £2.50!

I’m telling you, this is nerve wracking stuff. Wait till my boyfriend finds out that I am going to force him to come with me!

13th May

You might have heard on the show or seen in the news this week about a chap called Simon who last weekend attempted to break the world record for ''The Longest Elvis Presley Singing Marathon'.

43 hours 11 minutes and 11 seconds was the time to beat and it was all in aid of The St Elizabeth Hospice in Ipswich.

The most popular questions people asked me when I told them about my weekend’s plans were firstly "is he an Elvis Impersonator then?" I would have thought the answer to this quite obvious. The other one which was equally as strange was "Will he only be singing Elvis songs?" What did these people think, that he would be dressed as Elvis but performing the greatest hits of Aswad? Thinking about it, there's a record attempt that probably hasn't been tried yet.

Before I went to see Simon's world record breaking attempt I got to thinking how cool it would actually be to have your name in the record books. All the kids would know you wouldn't they? It's a classic Grandma gift isn't it? "I didn't know what to get you dear, but I thought his looked interesting"

Well, it is interesting and infact I quite fancy a World record of my own, but for what?

World records are a test of physical and mental strength and I'm not sure I have too much of either. Having said that, I have had my suspicions for some time that I may already hold some sort of record for sprout eating. 17 sprouts in one sitting- Christmas 08 is my personal best. Actually I might check that now......Ok; actual record is 44 sprouts in one minute.shame.

I must admit watching a friend dressed up as Elvis, singing away in a marquee in Ufford was a pretty surreal experience, but it wasn't until I was actually there that I could appreciate what a massive undertaking this was.

I can only imagine how draining singing non stop must become after even just a few hours. Surely you must be constantly battling the desperate urge to stop whilst also fighting to continue to reach your goal. Apart from all the other physical demands, what about the sleep deprivation? (I'm sure new parents and breakfast show co hosts can all sympathise with this)

Simon managed a massive 35 hours before he was advised by the medic that was should abandon the attempt. Although I'm sure Simon was pretty disappointed not to beat the record (I can sympathise I'm still dealing with the whole sprout thing) it was still an incredible achievement. In all seriousness I think huge congratulations are in order not only for a massive personal achievement but also raising an incredible amount of money for such a worthy cause.

10th May

This week I take my hat off to Mums and Dads everywhere.

There's nothing like a bit of babysitting to make you appreciate just how hard it is having kids.

It’s not the first time my boyfriend Tom and I have looked after Radio’s only four year old, Jack and his two year old brother Ollie. This time was different though, this time we got brave.

We decided to leave the security of the house and venture to the shop!

I thought the first hurdle might be getting Ollie into his buggy but he was such a good boy. There was no whining (from either party), no need for bribery, and none of that nonsense little kids love where they go stiff as a board making it impossible for you to bend them into their buggy.

Tom put himself in charge of pushing which I thought was pretty Metrosexual. I was bringing up the rear with Jack who was already refusing to have his hand held or answer to his actual name. He demanded to be called “Iron man” for the rest of our trip.

We were only yards away from the house when I looked at the buggy and realised there was something missing. Where was “The Bag?” Tom asked if this was important! Obviously it is….I have no idea why, but no parent leaves the house without a giant holdall full of stuff.

After stocking up on sweets we took the boys to the park.

With Ollie released from his buggy I proceeded to spend the next 40 minutes in hot pursuit as headed for every available exit.

Why is it even when there are swings, slides and rocking chickens available, kids still seem to have the most fun running at top speed to get OUT of the park

Meanwhile Tom was getting a bit too into “Ben 10” style wrestling with Jack.

The trip to the shop and park was pretty exhausting but it appears it’s once you get home that's when the real hard work starts.

First get their shoes off and hang up the coats which have been flung on the floor because they're too short to reach the pegs. Then it’s immediately on to refreshments. Get juice, open sweets, get a bowl for the sweets because Ollie has emptied the entire contents of a packet of Buttons into his lap and they're starting to melt. Change nappy, (crossing my fingers that it’s just wet, then getting confirmation from a four year old on which way round it goes) more juice, find Ben 10 on TV (emergency episodes are on the planner), get more juice (kids drink a lot don't they?), read to Ollie, remove empty bowls and put in the sink, get more juice and finally breath a sigh of relief as their mummy’s car pulls up on the drive and a true pro returns to make it all look so easy!

We had a lovely but exhausting afternoon and it was disaster free … almost. The boy's Mum did tell me that Ollie’s nappy leaked after we left; I had a feeling I hadn't put that on quite right. I expect the instructions would have been in “The Bag!”

30th April

After a week of beautiful weather I think the time has come (yet again) to get in training for tanning!

It’s a thought I’m dreading to be honest. Last year I became the queen of the self tan but this year I am so out of practice. I think I’d better start training now before the really good weather starts and the shorts come out.

According to lots of magazines I’ve read lately “Pasty is the new tan” (I know it’s a ridiculous statement). I have toyed with going for the pale and interesting look, but with the surname Lilley I’m just asking for trouble. I can hear all the ‘Lilly White’ jibes already.

So it begins. If you have ever ventured into the world of self tanning you’ll appreciate all the hassle involved. Most of us spend all winter with our pins safely tucked away, under jeans or whatever. They don’t see daylight for six months so it not surprising when they do re – emerge they look a little pale and neglected.  

You have to prepare properly before you get spraying, that means exfoliating, mosturising and shaving….properly! it also means digging around in the airing cupboard and finding the old towel you ruined ‘tanning up’ last year. Personally I’m not sure a tarpaulin wouldn’t be more appropriate. My parents still haven’t forgiven me for leaving the outline of my legs on my bedroom carpet. I haven’t quite mastered the art of spray tanning without covering everything in a 2 meter radius!

Then because the self tan I use develops gradually I have to leave it overnight, so in the morning it’s like the grand unveiling. It’s always 50/50 as to whether I will look beautifully sun kissed or like David Dickenson’s love child!

Oh well, practice makes perfect I suppose. Any tips on how to achieve the perfect self tan? Don’t keep them to yourself. Let the rest of us know here.

23rd April

This week has been a bit of a struggle as the battle continues to try to break a 29 year habit.

After that pampering session I blogged about the other week, I have been desperately trying to stop biting my nails. The beauty therapist managed the unthinkable and made my chewed, stubby nails look pretty good. That’s what gave me the motivation to keep them nice but as the varnish has chipped away my resistance is weakening.

I'm feeling a little bit let down by my boyfriend to be honest. You would have thought your other half would be the first to offer support to a girlfriend struggling with a 29 year addiction, but not my Thomas, oh no. All I asked was that he have a bash at painting my nails. Doing them myself is proving disastrous! My hands are just too shaky. Sure I can paint the left hand using the right, but painting my right hand is impossible! My fingers get covered and whatever I'm leaning on gets ruined.

For some reason he flatly refused – can you believe it?  He didn't even think about it, he just said no. What's the problem? One of my mates gets her husband to do hers all the time and he does a lovely job (although I’m not sure anyone is actually supposed to know he does it).

Isn't that sort of thing that partners are meant to do for each other?

 I would quite happily wax his back, trim his beard, cut his toenails....actually not the toenails, but pretty much anything else.

I could ask my mum but being part of the shaky hand clan like me, I’m fairly sure she would do as bad a job as I would.

I thought as time went by it would get easier but it's not. Six weeks in and it’s getting really difficult. I've tried to encourage myself by thinking of the benefits of giving up, the trouble is, for every good reason not to bite there seem to be just as many reasons to get nibbling.

They reckon nail biting is unhygienic but at least when they're short they don't get all sorts stuck behind them. I'm going to have to invest in a nail brush at this rate (do they still sell those?).

Most people say long nails look better but I have seen no evidence of this. Since the paint chipped off I haven't received one compliment with regards my new talons. I keep pointing them out to people expecting a round of applause, like you get on Ricki Lake when you say you’ve been dieting … but people don’t really comment. Maybe at 29 they expected me to stop biting them a while ago.

There are practical problems too. My friend’s kids are going to have to start padding up for our Ben 10 style wrestling games, or they are at serious risk of getting scratched. The other night I nearly blinded myself trying to remove a contact lense. 

I’m starting to think having lovely long nails might be overrated.

I could really do with some tips here before I crack! Help me out. Are you still biting your nails? Any top tips to stop?

16th April

If you’re back at work this week I’m guessing that like me, you didn’t make a million on the Grand National at the weekend.

I don’t know why I was surprised really, I never win anything and when it comes to horse racing I know absolutely nothing.

How did you pick your horse?

I know some people go for the colours or patterns worn by the Jockey but not me. As far as I’m concerned no pretty colours or patterns are going to make those skin tight, polyester jerseys look good. I prefer to look at the horses in the run up to the race and find the one with the biggest teeth, cheekiest face or the one which appears to be smiling. Either that, or like lots of other people I look through the list of names and try to find one that relates to a friend of family member. In the absence of a Steve or Marie (My parent’s names, which incidentally would be great names for a horse) I went with ‘Character building’ which was my dads most over used expression when I was growing up. Every time I moaned about a Saturday job or a hard day at school my dad would say “its ok, its character building”. I stuck a fiver on each way and crossed my fingers.

You have to understand; winning is about more than just the money for me, there are serious bragging rights involved here. My boyfriend comes from Newmarket and is a massive fan of horse racing. He studies the form and knows exactly what he’s talking about. Although he’s always willing to put on a bet for me he usually has to stifle a laugh as he realises the one I’ve backed only has three legs and no chance of winning. Just once I want to be right, I want Tripod to romp home winning me a small fortune.

I think I jinx myself anyway, when I start dreaming about what I’ll spend my winnings on before the race has even started.

I imagine people carrying me (The Champ) on their shoulders down to bookies on their shoulders to collect my winnings. In my head the lady behind the counter gives me a high five and I skip off to buy some new shoes! I guess you shouldn’t count your chickens.

I watched the race with my boyfriend and his family and tried really hard to hide my disappointment at losing. It was especially hard as his mum backed the winner and cleaned up! Well not exactly, but £100 is not bad.

I guess my new shoes will just have to wait.

9th April

This Bank holiday weekend my boyfriend and I celebrated our first ever ‘PJ day’. An entire day which is spent doing absolutely nothing but festering on the couch in your pyjamas.

It seemed a bizarre concept to me at first. I haven’t spent an entire day at home in my PJ’s since primary school, when I would pretend to be poorly just so I could stay at home with my mum and watch Lucky Ladders.

I pride myself on being a fast learner and It didn’t take long for me to get the grips with the rules of a ‘PJ day’.

Firstly you must have adequate munchies in the house to ensure you won’t have to leave the sofa for at least six hours. If you haven’t, just do what I did and send your other half down to the shop to fetch supplies. Obviously the main aim of a PJ day is to stay in your pyjamas all day so it is imperative that your other half doesn’t remove his to go to the shop. You have two options here, either your other half risks arrest and goes to the shop in his night stuff or do what my boyfriend did and put your clothes on over the top! He might look a bit like the mitchelin man abut at least no rules will get broken.

There is no need to do your hair and make up for a PJ day; it just makes you look high maintenance. If you’ve been with your partner for a while this won’t bother you, you’re probably past the point of caring. If it’s a fairly new relationship maybe sneak a bit of eyeliner on when he’s not looking.

You will be needing something to veg out infront of too. If you’ve got Sky you could always spend the day curled up with Hyacinth Bucket in a Keeping up Appearances marathon or maybe back to back Come Dine with me’s. A DVD box set is another option, I’m afraid with just the four channels we were scrapping the barrel a bit with Three Men and a Little Lady and an old episode of  Dickenson’s Real Deal.

I learnt one rule the hard way – DON’T ANSWER THE PHONE. I answered mine and than had to explain to my friend (who was standing outside my front door)  that although it was 3 in the afternoon he couldn’t come in because I was still in my pyjamas. I must have looked like an invalid as I waved pathetically from my bathroom window.

I did feel a bit of a slob as lay on the sofa watching rubbish tele, wrapped in a snug rug, munching my way through chips and dips and a cash and carry size tub of foamy bananas. (They were an Easter present… 600 pieces….jealous?).

When was your last PJ day? Any rules I’ve missed, let me know.


26th March

I’ve been dreading my trip to the Dentists this week.

As a kid I don’t ever remember being afraid of the dentist. Infact when you’re little, a trip to the dentist is more like a special event. Back in the day a dentist’s appointment could get you out of school for a couple of hours. I was always a little bit jealous of those kids that needed a brace because they seem to be at the Orthodontist more than they were actually at school.

When you were little you’d get a pep talk from your mum on the way there on how you should behave and there was always the promise of a sticker if you were good. These days if you make it through your appointment in one piece the best you can expect is a bloomin great bill!

A deep breath is whets needed when your names called and you head in for your turn in the big black chair. Am I the only person that jumps out of my skin every time the dentist makes the chair recline? I don’t know why I do it - I know what’s going to happen and yet I still find myself grabbing hold of the arms and holding onto the chair as if it’s Nemesis at Alton Towers

I think the pretty seagull mobile that hangs above the chair is meant to put me at ease but I’m afraid a couple birds spinning above my head are not going to take my mind off the giant metal drill that’s heading towards my mouth! It’s usually at this point that I go all unnecessary, my palms go sweaty and my feet start jiggling about uncontrollably.

As if I don’t look bizarre enough at this point, hysteria sets in when the nurse gets that sucky thing out. I’m not sure of the technical term. It’s like a mini Dyson but for saliva (yummy!). It grabs hold of your cheek and starts making some quite obscene noises. I always glance at the dentist and the nurse to see if they fancy sharing the joke but neither ever look amused.

When it’s all over, I’m never 100% sure of the appropriate thing to say as you leave. Having quite obviously been petrified, visibly shaking and close to tears, thank you doesn’t seem quite right.

Anyway at least that’s my check up out the way for another six months. I know what you’re thinking – A check up! Seems like a lot of fuss over a scrape and polish. Imagine was I was like when I had filling!


19th March

My boyfriend thought I deserved a weekend of total relaxation….and it was….almost.

Don’t get me wrong I’d been looking forward to my Spa day since my boyfriend got me and my best friend the voucher for Christmas. A whole day of pampering -  a massage, manicure, pedicure, the works! It’s just when it comes to swimming pools, spas, anything like that, there are a couple of things that put me slightly on edge.

To be honest the changing rooms are normally the first challenge. Why is it, in all public changing rooms, you walk in to be immediately confronted by a number of super confident ladies who are more than happy to let it all hang out. My friend and I didn’t know where to look as we made a mad dash for the empty cubicles. I’d much rather preserve my modesty behind the curtain… why do they never make it wide enough to draw right across the gap?

Also … I appreciate that not everyone is as coy as I am - but surely nobody’s really comfortable sitting in a Jacuzzi with a complete stranger.  It’s very difficult trying to make polite conversation with someone you’ve never met whilst sitting half naked in a giant bubbly bath trying to avoid getting your toes entangled with theirs!

You might think you can escape the awkwardness of the Jacuzzi by heading to the Sauna, but you’d be wrong.

Saunas are a bit like a sweatier version of a library really. Few people dare to talk because when you do it sounds like you’re speaking through a loud haler. I sit like a sweaty mess, desperately trying not to make eye contact with anyone and struggling to suppress a fit of the giggles. When I did finally manage to talk, in a bid to break the silence, the best I could come up with was “Cor it’s hot in here!” There’s nothing like stating the obvious is there?

Steam rooms are quite unnerving places too. When you walk in it looks empty until you make your way through the steam and a cough from the corner of the room lets you know you are not alone! Why does that person sitting in the corner always have a slightly guilty expression on their face? What have they been up to in there?

I know it probably sounds like I didn’t enjoy my Spa day but once I’d got past all my own silly hang ups I actually loved it!

I can strongly recommend a day of pampering, pummeling and preening to help you to chill out. If you’ve already been on one and had any awkward experiences of your own, I’d love to hear about them.


10th March

It’s been a big week in Hollywood.

The 82nd Annual Academy Awards took place in LA on Monday night and I can’t wait to check out who wore what.

How long do you reckon it actually takes the ladies to get ready? Working on the principle that it can take me about 2 hours (on a bad day) to get ready for a night out in Ipswich, I’m guessing the A Listers must start getting ready DAYS in advance.

With all those cameras around attention to detail must be crucial.

Before attending a ceremony like the Oscars you’d want to feel sure you had been adequately waxed, varnished, fake baked, hair sprayed, boob taped and you definitely wouldn’t set foot on that red carpet without the aid of magic pants. Have you seen how tight some of those frocks are?

If I was giving out the prizes I think Demi Moore would be top of my list not only for her gorgeous dusky pink Versace number but also because she seems to have discovered the secret to eternal youth. She’s either got amazing genes or a very good surgeon.

Also – did you see Victoria Beckham at the After Show party?  Slinky off the shoulder number and it was one of her own designs too – impressive.

J Lo’s dress looked a bit like it was made of bubble wrap but she definitely pulls it off – not sure I could!

My Razzy for worst dress has to go to Mariah Carey - someone should tell her it is possible to show a bit too much cleavage!

And all those dresses cost thousands !  Not a Primark bargain in sight !

Then there’s the jewellery - Imagine having millions of dollars worth of diamonds dangling from your ears or hanging around your neck. I wouldn’t set foot outside the house with that lot on! The only piece of Jewellery I own that cost more than about £4 is my tiffany bracelet and I never take that off for fear of losing it.

The blokes have it so much easier, nobody’s really interested in what they’re wearing.

Make sure you have a look at the photos and then use the comments box to let me know what you think. Best dressed and worst dressed, who gets your vote?


5th March

How long has it been since you took a coach trip anywhere?

Matt and I had our first coach trip in years this week when we headed off with all our work colleagues on a team building mission in London.

Do you know, it hasn’t changed a bit since the days of school trips!

The cool kids ALWAYS sit on the back seat! Matt and I got to sit there no questions asked which obviously makes us very cool and has absolutely nothing to do with the fact that Matt's 6ft 6 and needs the extra leg room.

It’s as impossible now as it was then to resist the urge to wave at the poor driver in the car behind.

You’ll have plenty of munchies on board but for some reason you won’t want to share them. It’s every man for himself on a long journey and a bag of fruit pastilles doesn’t stretch far. You have to revisit the old days of trying to get food into your mouth whilst faking a cough. Luckily it’s a skill most of us mastered in year nine maths.

It’ll be precisely 30 seconds into your journey before some joker utters the words “Are we nearly there yet?” It will probably be the same person who tries to start a sing song with ‘the wheels on the bus’.

And there’s always someone who needs to stop for a wee and if I’m on your coach it will always be me.

We’d only got as far as Colchester before I started to regret the four cups of tea I’d had to drink that morning. I rang my boss on the mobile (he was sitting at the front) to explain the predicament and he didn’t look too impressed.

Finally the coach pulled over at a petrol station and I legged it off.  You won’t believe this though; he’d only gone and stopped at the only petrol station on the whole of the m25 that doesn’t have a toilet!! Just my luck hey?

Some things in life never change – and it’s nice to know road trips are one of them!


26th February

It’s been a tense week.

For me this week has been the time of year that strikes fear into the heart of every motorist; MOT TIME!!

It’s not just me that dreads it is it?  For  most of us there’s a lot riding on the outcome of an MOT; like whether we’ll be able to eat for the rest of the month or not.

The annual MOT makes me very nervous, partly because anything to do with cars is usually pretty expensive and partly because I know nothing about them! I can kick the tyres and stare blankly into an open bonnet with the best of them but my mechanical knowledge is zero!

I know it’s ridiculous but as I drove down to the garage I felt like an anxious parent whose child was about to sit an exam or something. It seemed appropriate to offer my car a bit of a pep talk – some words of encouragement before its big moment. Our chat wasn’t dissimilar to the one my Dad had with me prior to taking my GCSE exams although a bit more one sided I suppose on account of my talk being with a car, “look Nemo, just do your best, I’ll still love you whatever the outcome” All the time in the back of my mind I’m thinking, “if you could do well it would be better for both of us” (probably what my Dad was thinking too).

As I handed over my keys it happened again; the thing I swore I wouldn’t do this time.I don’t know what it is with me and mechanics – whenever I come into contact with anyone in the motor trade I seem to get this uncontrollable urge to stick my thumb up. I don’t know why I do it! I think at some point in my life someone must have taught me it as the universal language of the mechanically minded. Whether it’s a tyre fitter, a mechanic, an MOT tester or the bloke in the post office that sorts out your tax disc! If the exchange between us is even slightly car related, up goes the thumb.I handed over my keys, put my thumbs up and the man said he’d contact me when there was any news.

Two hours I waited for that call!!I spent the afternoon pacing my flat waiting for the phone to ring, checking it every few seconds just to make sure I still had a signal. I dumped at least two people to answer phone to try and keep the line free. When the mechanic did finally ring I thought I’d better play it cool and let the phone ring a few times before I answered; I didn’t want him to think I was desperate.

Good News my car made it straight through! The mechanic didn’t sound quite as excited delivering the news as I was to receive it! This means I can pay my rent and have some money left over to eat. I am a very proud parent!


I have been bursting to tell you about the surprise party I went to on Saturday night. I have been so worried about blurting it out to the wrong person that I have had to keep my mouth shut entirely!

I was chuffed to bits to get an invite a while back to my friends surprise 30th.

All the girls on Facebook gave a collective ahh when we got the message to say her husband was organizing a surprise party for her. The ahh momentarily turned to an ARRRGGGGHHHHH!! When we realised it was fancy dress…..fancy dress with a theme….We all had to dress as smurfs!!!

The first thing that popped into my head was “Oh my god! How am I going to turn myself blue?” Body paint or face paint was the obvious answer but having just made it through my spotty phase I was worried that at best it would block my pores and give me another outbreak – at worst I would have some sort of adverse reaction and end up looking like the elephant mans girlfriend! A mask, a hood or even a balaclava were all potentials but not very glam for a smurfette.

I trawled Google images looking for pictures and found photos of other people who had dressed as Smurfs for fancy dress parties and decided a blue body stocking was the way forward.

Do you have any idea what comes up when you search ‘body stockings’ online? If there were a saucy smurf I would have been sorted but I also think I may have been arrested on the way to the party!

After days of pacing the high street I decided on a very tame white frock, blue tights and a Smurf hat. I think I looked suitably smurf like - not OTT but people would get the general idea.

As my friend and I made our way from Woodbridge to Ipswich to the party on Saturday night, we couldn’t help but feel a bit self conscious. Every time we pulled up at traffic lights adults smirked in our direction and kids looked totally bemused. I suppose it isn’t surprising really - It’s not everyday you see a couple of Smurfs driving about in a VW Passat.

Please use the comments section below to let me know about your weird and wonderful fancy dress costumes. Good or bad, I’d love to hear about them.


My boyfriend calls it a 'Hallmark Holiday'. 

He reckons it's a day invented by greeting cards companies just to make more cash out of us (romantic huh?).

This isn't a sudden revelation, I've always known how he feels about Valentine's Day and I'm not making the same mistake as last year. I think it was because last year was our first together that I wanted it to be really special. I had hopes for violins and candles…or at least flowers and chocs. I woke up to…. nothing! The bottom lip came out and I huffed, puffed and stropped my way around his house until lunchtime when to my sheer embarrassment a florist turned up at the front door with flowers and chocs! I have never felt so stupid in all my life… and believe me I've felt pretty stupid quite a few times!

In light of last year I have come to the conclusion that Valentine's Day only really works if you're both into it. It's fun for singles. I'm sure lots of us have been in the situation of sending a card to someone you've had your eye on for a while. It's exciting, getting a mate to write it for you so he won't recognise the handwriting, and then signing it with a great bit question mark whilst secretly hoping he'll know it's from you!

If you're a new couple Valentine's pretty special too. Those on a first date or still in their 'Honeymoon period' stand out a mile in a restaurant full of Valentine's diners. They'll be the couples chatting non stop and she'll be giggling at everything he says. The couples that have been together for ages are the ones moaning about the over priced Valentine's menu and struggling for conversation.

Every cloud has a silver lining though, at least now I am not celebrating Valentine's I won't have to struggle to find my other half a pressie. Men can be tough to buy for at the best of times but when it comes to Valentines what do you go for? Girls are easy - chocolates, flowers, perfume, we'll have anything! You don't even have to go over the top (a giant Monkey clutching a love heart might be impressive for a second but the novelty soon wears of once we realise we'll have to convert the loft just so we've got room in the house for it!).

Also if you're buying flowers a single red rose is fine. A friend of mine once received a £100 bouquet from her boyfriend! £100!! I don't know about you but I would rather have the money! Imagine the shoes you could buy with that! Men are so much more complicated. They don't love chocolate like we do, some might find flowers a bit odd and you only just bought him that bumper bottle of Brut for Christmas!

Oh well, looks like I won't have to worry about it anyway (violins please). If you are celebrating Valentine's this weekend I hope you really enjoy it. If there are any amazingly romantic gestures from your other half, any nice surprises or even proposals I want to know about it!!


February 5th

I thought annoying pimples were only for teenagers. I know spots can linger into your early twenties but what's happening? I'm 29 and this week I've been plagued by evil spots!

I've realized the way you feel about and react to spots never actually changes, no matter how old you are. I spent Saturday afternoon locked away, trying to cover it using the entire contents of my make up bag. Nothing works!

And why does covering a spot always make it look worse? In the same way I used to when I was 13, I disappeared into my room and emerged half an hour later looking stressed and glowing like an Umpa Lumpa - an Umpa lumpa with a giant zit!

I thought for a split second maybe I shouldn't go out, maybe me and my spot would be better off staying in and watching the box….but then again……

I didn't help myself really, talk about drawing attention to it! I bet you're the same as me. Why when us girls have a spot do we feel the need to announce it to everyone we come into contact with? We apologise to people for it, like it's a gatecrasher, an uninvited guest who's going to take up an extra seat! I may as well have strapped a sign to myself saying "I'm feeling very paranoid about this giant spot on my cheek. Please Stare!"

Its funny how having a spot can also turn your family and mates into fibbers. When you say to someone "I've got a spot" they'll always lie through their back teeth and say something like "Oh that, you can't even notice" - even when it blatantly looks like you've got a giant space hopper stuck to your face!

Not only has this spot been impossible to cover, it's indestructible! I've tried it all - Witch Hazel, toothpaste, somebody even told me to put aftershave on it but I draw the line there - I want to get rid of it, not take it home to meet my parents!

Now I've come to terms with the fact we're not immune from the odd spot or two, has anyone could any advice on getting rid of them?

All hints or tips greatly received.

As much as I enjoyed being a teenager I'm not sure I'd want to go back. What's next? Will I start slamming doors every time I leave a room, disagreeing with everything my parents say and spending my weekends hanging around on the bin outside the kebab shop? NOT AGAIN!!


January 30th

What is it that makes this month so bad?

For a start most of us begin the month feeling either a little deflated, a little bloated, or possibly both. We've all stuffed our faces and partied hard over the festive period and what are we left with? A spare tyre we could all do without, and those dodgy coconut chocolates that no one's eaten out of the Quality Street tin.

The worst thing about January has to be that most of us are skint! It's not surprising really when you consider most of us got paid early in December so have to wait 6 weeks for this month's pay packet!! Nobody has any money so nobody goes out, which means hours of Saturday night TV. I'm not opposed to the odd night infront of the box but if I hear that Paddy McGuiness from that new dating show utter the words "no likey, no lighty" one more time, I think I might scream!!

I think I might be getting a bit too negative, so let's just look forward to the things we can kiss goodbye to with the arrival of Feb.

1) The Christmas Credit Statement may have fallen through your letter box in January and although the debt doesn't disappear instantly in Feb at least we're over the initial shock!

2) We can all start looking forward to summer holidays! I know lots of us may not be able to afford a holiday after those credit card bills but we can still look forward to the boss being out of the office for 2 weeks! Work's always better when the boss isn't around and whilst he's enjoying 2 weeks in Tenerife we can make full use of the facilities and use the office computer to plan a trip to Skeggy.

3) Men everywhere can breath a sigh of relief - no more sale shopping!! You can have a rest now until the mid seasons start and ladies, we can give our elbows a rest and start working out tactics for the next round of sale shopping.

4) As January becomes a distant memory, so to does the hassle of queuing up at customer services with your gift receipt waiting to exchange that dodgy Christmas jumper for something we actually like, and I think we can stop stressing over thank you notes too. If you haven't done one by now, lets face it; you never will….infact when you think about it, what's worse? Receiving a thank you note in February or not receiving one at all? I don't reckon there's much in it do you?

To top it all off we've had the brilliant news this week that the recession is over!! Maybe we can all look forward to getting richer in February…oh and Valentines day of course! x