Monday, 31 December 2012

So Long 2012 !!

If someone would have told me at the beginning of this year, what a crappy year 2012 would be for me, I honestly wouldn't have believed them.

I began the year, hopeful of escaping a temp job I loathed and a crazy housemate aka The Cat Freak.

I shed both almost instantly and hoped that this was the beginning of my new start.

Instead, what followed was a steady stream of work false starts and negativity via faux friends  or acquaintances, who always seem to surface when your life's in the toilet.

The Canadian Virgin who wrote porn in particular; is a piece of work I will never ever forget (an ex-colleague/friend and due to my desperation at the time; housemate, who turned out to be certifiable nut job with 'a poor me' mentality about her life !!!).

Then there was the wonderous R who I thought was a grown up, but at the first sign of the

"Where are we going with this relationship?"

conversation (instigated, I might add by him); ran for the hills, under the false assumption that I was a woman who needed looking after.  How wrong he was!

What was ironic about our whole situation ? I didn't tell him about where I was life wise. Why? First because my previous girlfriend experience has taught me sharing your troubles with your love interest, early on in a relationship, is like throwing a grenade onto an doused bonfire.

And second, because R, just like so many other people in my life in 2012 got the axe at work.

I knew his confidence took a massive hit and he may not have been thinking too clearly when we broke up; but I couldn't help thinking from the ruthless way in which he finished things, I ultimately had a lucky escape.

As it was, he changed his mind about us just one month later.  He tried 'to come back',  Unfortunately for him, having previously dumped me by text, I happily told R, that the good ship Diva had sailed already; never to return to him.

I kept on going.  Through yet more short-term temp jobs and a slow loss of confidence in my own abilities, that I'd never experienced before. Then out of the blue, my Mum was diagnosed as having cancer.

Suddenly my 'struggles' were put into prespective and slowly, things got better, culminating in my new job, which allowed me to regain my confidence and subsequently rebuilt my personal life.

I find myself minutes away from waving goodbye to 2012, having learnt many lessons about myself and life, which I hope, will ensure that 2013 is my year.

Happy New Year to you all, from a humbled and but very grateful Diva, who survived 2012 :0)

Thursday, 20 December 2012

Last Christmas

While it's fair to say the last year and a half has been unwaveringly rubbish, there's one good thing that I can hang onto.

This is going to be my first Christmas as a grown-up,when I won't be nursing a broken heart.

Yes you heard me right. The original hearts and flowers diva is doing ok on the love front, because she's neither in lust or in love; and strangely it doesn't bother her one iota.

Having distinguished myself throughout the years by a heartfelt and reckless devotion to 'dodgy' (emotionally unobtainable, commitment phobics, recovering divorced jocks) which had artfully led me to being a cardholder at club Toxic Central) ; I find myself calmly anticipating the prospect of settling.

Hell no I hear you yell, but back up and wait a minute.

I've gone through the he's not cute/tall enough requirements, to the 'he plays chess and wears sweaters - that's cool' moment!

On the body front there's no real barrier for me to break through here, ordinary joes have always been my bag. Sculptured Adonis's are by my book terrifying, as unfortunately, they require their mates to be equally buff and gorgeous to boot!

Now that would mean I would  have to rise to the relentless sound of the daily gym sirens - which is quite frankly one bridge I'm not looking to cross anytime soon !  This year's stress diet, Zuma and yoga are working just fine thanks!

I'm not saying it wouldn't be cool to cosy up to someone this Christmas - it would be awesome, but instead of being stuck (due to my own actions) with another Mr Toxic, I'll take Mr comfortable, decent, reliable and nice, instead please.

I've been a good diva Santa, so I'm keeping my fingers crossed !

Not So Happy Secret Santa !

I never thought Secret Santa could cause such a hooha until recently. 

When I first announced I would be running work's Secret Santa , it was met with varying degrees of enthuasiasm.  Beginning with mild bemusement, then sprawling into the minor annoyance of picking someone you don't know recognise, or in the worst case scenario - dislike.

Oh and did I mention my having to explain the rules multiple times, because people failed to read my initial Secret Santa by numbers email.  By the end of everything, even I could feel the SS joy draining slowly out of me.

However, being a big kid at heart, once I'd decorated Santa's postbox (don't laugh - I've done it every year since my first ever job many moons ago), the curiousity of an ever increasingly pile of brightly covered parcels, with names on, become a source of daily joy for gatherers at the desk next to mine.

The big SS draw went ok, or so I thought. There was the inevitable "I didn't get anything!" moment, from one of the loveliest people in our grotto.  Embarrassment was averted by the arrival of the 'extra' present, always at the ready, by veteran Secret Santa aficionados like moi.

I thought I was out of the snowy mountains and running home free, until the Secret Santa disaffection reared its ugly head !

It cames from the last person I expected.  Someone I always thought was a real sweetheart, who was extremely hacked off to receive a gift, which she considered thoughtless and cheap. 

It took the wise words, of a more mature colleague, to silence her rant with the wisdom, that maybe her Secret Santa, simply didn't have the money to go large in the Secret Santa stakes.

I thought about what  the "Up to £10" Secret Santa budget has meant to me at various times throughout this year. 

Travel to a temp job I desperately needed to keep me going, while looking for a permanent job. A weekly 'student shop' of beans, pasta and vegetables or an all to rare splurge at my favourite discount store.

I don't mind admitting it, this year's struggles have touched me in ways I didn't think possible.  I am ridiculously careful with money now. It's as if I am waiting to get tapped on the shoulder and told that this gig is about to end and once again I'll have to worry about looking for another one.

I've never been a great lover or truster of money weirdly, but for the first time ever I know its true value - the freedom it gives you in terms of choices/options open to you and if you're really lucky or just super careful - security.

I find myself genuinely grateful for the tiniest good thing that happens in my life. From my daily latte, to the unexpected words of support from a colleague. I think before I speak much more than I ever have and I'm much nicer to friends and family.

For the first time in my life, people have started to describe me as calm and unaffected by the small stuff, which for a former sporadic drama queen, is quite a change.

I don't know how long Zen BB can go the distance, but I genuinely like where I'm at and the possiblities of where it could lead me, without losing who I am essentially - the lady who keeps on going, even when it feels like the deck has become home.

Friday, 16 November 2012

Hooray for Hollywood !

There are some exhibitions that you would kick yourself if you didn't go and see. The biggest must see draw in London right now, has to be Hollywood Costume at the Victoria and Albert Museum. Not since Mario Testino's ground-breaking 'Portraits' show at the National Portrait Gallery, have I seen genuine excitement on this level, from such a diverse audience.

Having had to queue (I know - first at Designing James Bond, now here - I hope this isn't a trend !!) I wasn't going to lose my place in the time allocated entry system. Face to face with a sullen faced, joyless cashier, I handed over my £14.00, which I thought was a tad pricey. Looking at my mini-guide, I wasn't surprised to see that the lead sponsor of Hollywood Costume is Harry Winston Jewellery !! Suddenly my £14.00 seemed like a snip !

So about that queue, yes it was unexpected and a little annoying, ( I am way, way too impatient at the best of times) but read on and you'll see why it was worth every moment of the inconvenience. Before I go on with my review however, I haveto warn you Hollywood Costume is yet another one of those exhibitions which prohibits photography. The exhibition is split into three sections.

THE TRAILER Was a cheeky, teasing short movie, that gently hinted at the gems that lay further inside. I actually gasped when I saw Scarlett O'Hara's green 'curtain' dress, beside it Beyonce's dress from Dream Girls, so skin tight, I finally understood why she went on that crazy lemon and maple syrup diet! Other gems included Charlie Chaplin's tramp outfit complete with bowler hat, costumes from the Last Emperor and Joan Crawford's diner outfit from Mildred Pierce.

Costume storyboards, were complimented by final outfits from Oceans 11, Brokeback Mountain, Fight Club, Adams Family Fun. Look out for Indiana Jones iconic adventurer outfit, broken down piece by piece, detailing its use and origin.

Queen Elizabeth I and II was represented beautifully - starting with the contemporary Queen as played by Helen Mirren, clad in Barbour jacket and plaid skirt opposite Queen Elizabeth I in the various costume guises worn by Bette Davis, Cate Blanchett and Dame Judi Dench.

THE MOVIE - Featured hologram costume designers, like the legendary Edith Head (All About Eve, To Catch A Thief, Roman Holiday, Vertigo, The Birds among so many others!!) talking about her work against a backdrop of the stills from the movie and mood boards. Beside The Birds, the ultimate storybook, complete with virtual page turning, tells the story of the Gangs of New York, the characters and their clothes, as if in conversation with its costume designer Sandy Powell.

My favourite, was my seat at the table of Sweeney Todd. Projected onto the table, a blood stained chopping board, complete with a rolling pin and dripping pie. The other 'guests' at my gory table, were director Tim Burton talking about his vision of the movie with its costume designer Colleen Atwood. Pitched against the blood of Sweeney was the brutal bravery of Gladiator Russell Crowe and in complete camp contrast, the original 1936 cape of Ming the Merciless from the original Flash Gordon.

THE MOVIE FINALE - The exhibition curators truly saved the best for last, occupying a legend filled room, starring a cast of superstar costumes from the likes of My Fair Lady, Breakfast At Tiffany's, Titanic, Funny Girl, Atonement (Kiera Knightley's iconic green silk evening gown - stunning!!!!!), Chicago, Basic Instinct, 101 Dalmatians, Pirates of the Caribbean, Blade Runner, Philadelphia Story, Hello Dolly, Kill Bill, My Man Godfrey, Braveheart, Terminator, The Matrix, Harry Potter, Sherlock Holmes, Twilight, Black Swan, Independence Day, Frankenstein, Legally Blonde, How To Lose A Guy In 10 Days and Borat.

Dotted around the room, overhead, on a platform, crouched on a wall and peeking over Marilyn Monroe and Judy Garland - Superman, Batman, Spiderman and Catwoman. a poignant note with the Wizard of Oz. Dorothy's original dress, blouse (a replacement for the destroyed original) and her ruby slippers (viewed with the dress as a replacement), but beside Marilyn's Monroe's dress from the Seven Year Itch are a set of ruby slippers actually worn by Judy Garland in the movie.

Just like the dress, the shoes surprised me with their size - tiny. I have to admit to getting a lump in my throat, at the thought that Judy never did find happiness at the end of her rainbow.

But standing here with so many other visitors, all of us congregating together, straining to catch a glimpse of the dress, each one with our own memories of the movie, I hoped that Judy wherever she was, was somehow aware of the legacy she left behind.

Hooray for Hollywood and the V&A for putting together a jaw-dropping multi-Oscar winning ultimate Hollywood Costume exhibition - Loved it !!

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

One Tweet Too Far !

Just like drunk texting, Twitter seems to be the place of choice for aggrieved ex's to go and vent their frustrations about their former partners. The added sting in their rantings, is that it is all conducted in a very public arena.

Worst of all, if the rants are memorable flashes of virtual craziness, before you can blink, someone will hit the RT button and set off a viewing chain, that you can never shutdown.

One of the most notable examples of Twitter ex rant overload, came recently from UK Z-list celebrity Chantelle Houghton.

The riveting transcript of her Twitter rant is in the bold text below - accompanied by my sarky comments in brackets !!

"Ok had enough, I'm putting the record straight. I've been in a bad place for weeks now but reason for that is this:I found text messages on Alex's.. (her ex-boyfriend) when Dolly (baby daughter of Alex and Chantelle) was 6 weeks old, it was to a man and he was arranging to meet up with him as Roxanne (Alex's name for himself, when he cross dresses - which is a bit of a novelty considering he's a musclebound cage fighter!)...for sex.

It wasn't the first time either. So I'm in hell right now but who wouldn't be. And Katie Price...(Alex's ex-wife, who Chantelle thinks he's still in love with!) was right cos now Alex wants half of my money and Dolly's money too, that we put in a trust fund for her from first OK magazine shoot.  

And for the record I've been asking Alex to send me a schedule of when he'd like to see Dolly but he won't commit. He can come and see her whenever he wants to. Oh and yes when I was 8 months pregnant Alex turned my house into a sex dungeon...

(I've heard of home improvements, but methinks Alex may have taken things a tad too far!!)

...and I slept on my flat floor for days because I couldn't come home.  

Now I know what Katie Price went through and she got the blame back then! I will walk to the end of the earth for my daughter and he will not be getting my money nor will he get Dolly's money.   And NO I didn't know Alex cross-dressed regularly cos he told me it was a publicity stunt, I found out when I was pregnant. Not forgetting the hookers he was texting that he'd had orgies with.

(By the time reached this part of Chantelle's rant, I started to wonder when Alex found the time to fit in all this crazy stuff?  Is he one of the very few men out there who can multi-task ??)

Forgive me if I look like bad right now but I am feeling it right now. Whole world was ripped apart in an instant.And I've texted the guy who he was arranging to meet and told him what I think of him too. Sick of him dragging me into this. It's wrong !! "

Yes that's Chantelle's rant exactly as she wrote it, which is pretty scary and so tackily inappropriate that it was clear that poor Chantelle has absolutely no concept of just when to put the keyboard down, and move on !

Today when G RTd me a string of tweets from her not so bright, 'player' current love interest who was 'crushing' on someone else, I have to admit I felt a little sorry for her.  After all here's a guy who's saying one thing to her and then doing a 360 Twitter mambo with someone else. All online  for the world and G to see, so what's the answer?

Instead of a virtual rant, which once online remains like a shining flagpost of the crazy emotions you may have been experiencing at the time - simply take your crazy offline !

There's nothing more bad arse then standing tall and telling an ex exactly what you think of them, when it's all over.  Why hide behind your keyboard !

Not enough people are honest enough to say what on their minds and then just move on... that my friends is what you call CLOSURE.. in real time and in real life  ! :0)

Here I Go Again!

Honest (soundtrack)
Honest (soundtrack) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Well I'm back. Having hit the wall three shorts weeks ago, I am now in week two of my new permanent job. Yay BB!!

I'm still a little shell-shocked if I'm honest, but ready to keep my head down and work hard.

Regaining that sense of permanence about work, after missing  it for such a long time in my life, is a real relief.

I'm beyond grateful for the opportunity and mindful that I can't slip back in my workaholic default, where work comes first and I let my personal life go to to wall.

After all if if I haven't learnt anything about the emptiness of being defined by your work; then the last 14 months might as well have not have happened at all.

My big lesson - was that your family and your health have to come first, above work, material gains and that smug satisfaction that sometimes overtakes  you when you're on a roll and stupidly believe your own hype; that whispers nothing will ever touch you.

I'm not that person anymore and am slowly working on that work life balance, I've always been so rubbish at. My 'new leaf' balance started when my nephew took me out for a meal and then a movie - Skyfall - I loved it,  he thought was just ok, on a 'school night'- I know, how crazy am I :0)
For once in my life, instead of texting to say that I was stuck at work, I left on right on the dot. Dinner before the movie gave us the chance to catch up early. Being newly engaged definitely suits him.  He replayed the proposal moment by moment, complete with a ring on his Blackberry - and, well it was soo sweet !

I admire his optimism and total belief in the dream (well for me anyway up to this point !) that love really can conquer all !

Friday, 26 October 2012

The One Where I Get The Job !

The X Factor (Australia)
The X Factor (Australia) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
So this is the post that I've dreamed about writing - the one where I get the job. 

Hooray !

Finally, I've found an employer who believes this little diva's got the X Factor !

No more freelance short-term gigs. It's a real jlife permanent job, with a great company doing what I'm good at and with the opportunity to learn so much more.

When I got the call it was like finally living the dream I've dreamt about for the last 14 months. Yes you did hear me right it's taken 14 months of 'Maybe's' that turned into No's. Way too many "We'll keep you on file" moments and let's not forget the flat out 'No's' for me to land a permanent job.

During that time I've hit lows I've never imagined or thought it was possible could happen to me. After all this type of thing only ever happens to somebody else right? I was so wrong !

Some days I couldn't face sitting there glued to my laptop. Tapping away on my keyboard, sending out yet more applications. Nervousily checking my mobile to see whether I'd even made it past the first stage agency automated responses; you know the ones, that tell you they aren't progressing your application !

In the midst of my despair I've learnt many valuable life lessons.

First up and probably the hardest lesson for me, was I am not and in reality have never been defined or ruled by work, I just thought I was. I am a self proclaimed workaholic. I give my work 120% at all times, but I have never ever managed to get the right balance between work and home.

It took my work being taken away from me, for me to realise this. I'm defined by my family, friends and my actions.  Without work I may feel rootless and frustrated, but I can just about function,. Take away my emotional support and I truly am a diva without hope.

Next there's nothing wrong with walking away from toxic people and bad situations. Why play the martyr when you don't have to?

Trouble always finds trouble and so I have crossed paths with several really unpleasant individuals who in full knowledge of my circumstances exhibited disloyalty, deception and malice on levels that blind-sided me.

The minute I put my foot down, started standing up for myself and physically cutting them out of my life, I stumbled across new friends. Some were initially complete strangers who have offered me kind words, wisdom and support, while other so-called friends just faded away, the longer my troubles rumbled on for.

My Mum always says you never get handed more than you can deal with. I never understood exactly what she meant until now. I am one tough cookie. I've never claimed a dime from the government during the times I wasn't working and I've worked my tail off to make sure I held onto BB Towers.

Finally and this is probably the most important, I've learnt the true value of gratitude and humility. Before my job search, I'd been spoilt, by living a charmed work life (except for the time I worked for HWMBO of course!) .

I've worked since I was 15 and literally whenever I've wanted to change jobs, I've always just walked into the next one. Because of this I'd never fully appreciated how lucky I was and wasn't as grateful as I should have been.

I am truly, truly thankful that my search is over. I'm looking forward to being a permanent part of a team again, but I'm also looking forward to not stressing anymore about where my next gig is coming from and how I was going to put food on the table and a roof over my head.

I just want to live happily, honouring and spending time with those I love and living every day with joy, grace and gratitude.

Dreams really do come true!
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Monday, 8 October 2012

One Day At A Time

Now the news has sunk in about Mum, I'm tryng to deal with it one day at a time. I've done my crying and now I'm focused on what's to come - chemo before, during and after; and then hopefully remission.

I feel incredibly guilty about the situation because I've always been a Daddy's girl and part of me feels like I haven't been as close to my Mum as I should have been. It was kind of fated, as my Dad raised me as a single parent, after my Mum left.

While I grew up, he sacrificed a potentially high flying career to raise me, hopefully the right way. He wasn't a soft touch - far from it, in fact I spent half my childhood wondering why following his rules, seemed to mean that fun was in short supply.

It was only much later that I realised those rules and boundaries had kept me on the straight and narrow and out of harms way.  

I've realised over the years, that I've acquired his stubborn streak, random sentimentality often over the smallest things and a tendency to bury my feelings, particularly when I'm hurt - which is why writing is so important to me.  When I can't say it out loud, I just write it all down.

Pop's always been the constant and strongest male figure in my life, so when he had his own brush with cancer, which thankfully he recovered from, I held it together to support him, but then crumbled after he got through it.

I've always been able to handle everyone else's hard stuff like a pro, but my own crap frequently leaves me clueless !

I've decided that the only way to get through this is learning all about it.  I need to understand the type of cancer we're dealing with so I can help Mum fight it.  Hopefully that knowledge, plus her positivity and determination to beat it, will be all we need.

Despite everything that's going on, life continues to surprise me and just one day after Mum's diagnosis, my nephew called me to say he was going to propose to his girlfriend.

My sister was suitably hysterical about the prospect of 'her baby' doing something so grown up and I probably would have felt that same normally, but for his response when I asked him why she was 'The One'.

"She knows me inside out. She's always got my back. She pushes me to be better than I should be and I love her for it".

That sincerity and unconditional belief in the power of love, was just what I needed to hear at that moment, and I was so thankful for it.

Thursday, 4 October 2012

Hard Stuff !

So let me start with the hard stuff and there's no easy way to say it.

My Mum has cancer. I hate having to write it, say it or even think about it, but it is, what it is.

It sounds so brutal when you see it in black and white.  Brutal is exactly what it is. It's a disease that's invaded my family and so far killed my Grandad, danced around my sister and Pop in the past few years and has now taken up residence in the body of my Mum

She starts chemo in 3 short weeks and has so far amazed me, by her strength of mind, determination to down play it and has even joked that losing her hair will give her the opportunity to discover the joy of wigs!I'm heartbroken and I'm so unbelievably angry. 

I'm angry that this disease is a silent guest that's joined our family. Sitting at our table when we eat. Perched on the sofa while we talk,all the while, wating and watching us before striking like some venomous viper when we least expect it. Mum's never smoked, never drunk, in fact she could be a Gap poster girl for living a clean and wholesome life.

All I keep thinking is why her? Anybody else, but why her? I hate the fact that she's a plane ride away. That I won't be there for all of her chemo because while this never ending circle of B&B gigs continue, I simply can't afford not to work.

No lesson about money would ever have given me the clarity I have right now about the reality of what it can do for you. It offers you the freedom to make choices, but it can't buy you your health.

Tuesday, 11 September 2012

Two Days Down - Three To Go !

Image representing Twitter as depicted in Crun...
Image via CrunchBase
It's been an eventful week already.

Last night, my lovely tenant sheepishly confessed she was moving out to live with her boyfriend and would I mind her breaking our contract?

Apparently she's been 'working' on her other half since before she moved in with me. It  appears her latest ultimatium to him has done the trick.

When faced with such uncompromising determination, I didn't have the heart to tell her that holding a 'gun' to a man's head, to get him to move in with you, isn't necessarily the best strategy or foundation for a lasting long-term relationship.

Her timing is of course pants, but compared to her predecessors at BB Towers, she's been a dream.

She's engaging, almost funny (it varies day to day and it's always gothically black in tone!). She hates cats, is mentally sane and is mercifully devoid of the strange disordersprevious BB residents distinguished themselves by as pill popping while drinking wine, overeating in their bedroom or persistent addiction to spending, extended amounts of time in fluffy or towelling dressing gowns !

Also in her favour is the fact that she's given me a decent notice period; which by previous tenant standards is akin to winning the spare room lottery.

On top of my tenant's news, today I was told my latest gig has been cut to a meagre week - yes, it's that same old chesnut 'lack of budget' I have heard all year.  It wasn't just me, two other contractors heard the same speech alongside me.

I felt quite sorry for my line manager who broke the news with considerable awkwardness; knowing that myself and one other person there, had taken the risk of leaving longer gigs behind, figuring the prestige of this one made it worthwhile taking a chance on.

I didn't want to make him feel anymore uncomfortable (one of the others launched into a spirited rant about messing with people's lives, but as an old hand, he should know the score and probably didn't do himself any favours!).

I simply smiled sweetly and said

"No problem".

I figure, just because it's now a mini-mini gig doesn't mean I won't still learn something while I'm here and at least I get the chance to be creative, something I've been crying out to do for ages.

I made a list of objectives for the week and am steadily working my way through them. First up has been a Twitter clean-up.

Because I'm a slightly enthusiastic connector, I used to followback (with the exception of adult naughty ones, super discounted viagra and incontinency tweeters) nearly everybody. But not anymore!

I am now Queen of the Twitter Culls, having despatched hundreds of 'followings' with my weapons of choice - my fingers :0 )

Since retail consoling therapy was out of the question, I went one better and treated myself to lunch at Pret. 

My guardian angel or that moment of serendipity that pops up on your shoulder every now and then; just to remind you in a surprising way, that smiling really can make you forget 'pants news' temporarily, came in the form of a heavy dose of eavesdropped laughter.

The table beside me was occupied by two young triple threats -dancers-slash-models-slash-actresses.

Listening to their brainless chatter - about who they thought was fat and who wasn't. Who looked rubbish in their audition showreels and just how many hours they should spend practising their monologues over the next week; I have to admit, it was pretty hard for me to stop laughing out loud.

Conforming to just about every model stereotype going, guess what the nutritional backdrop to this riveting back and farth between the ladies was?  Two tiny plastic boxes of salad each. It was all I needed to put the smile back on my face and to happily dive into my sandwich, coke and chocolate brownie :0 )
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Friday, 7 September 2012

Another New Gig

So this week has been a say hello, wave goodbye kinda week.

My 'stalker' read my last post and decided to send me a text to tell me she wouldn't bother me anymore.  The irony for me of sending me a text after my last posting, shows exactly how completely opposite we are.

If I were her I wouldn't have texted me at all. It felt like it was one last attempt at elicting a 'guilt ridden' response from me. Akward!

Yesterday I finished my latest B&B job. I have now had so many of these little gigs, they are truly worthy of their own Facebook timeline!

This one was a longer than average booking, making it a rare and pleasant gig that I was throughly grateful for. However, it came with a price tag.

This gig distinguished itself by giving me the realisation that just because the a building is beautiful and the people inside it are lovely, it doesn't always mean things are going to work out honky dory.

When I first joined the team, I knew I was a square peg. Not alien with two heads kind of square peg. Just line in the sand, different.  I'm a creative professional through and through; with a heart, soul and sensibilities,  so creatively ingrained, that I have discovered I am incompatible working within the straitjacket of a hardcore corporate gig.

The gig was at one of those formal environments, masquerading as not being so formal, but strewn with politics and people that you on not account upset!

Just before I left, I received some pretty challenging 'feedback' from my line manager, saying I was great at my work, but was just a little, how could he say it, it had been commented (which always reminds me of one of those newspaper 'a source said moments') that I was 'too much'. Too loud, too funny, too informal....too everything.

In other words he asked me to try and not be so well BBish !

The joke of course between us my dear readers, is that as we know there are two faces of BB - the kid in the candy store, optimistic, annoying (particularly in the morning I'm told, because I love mornings :0 )hopeful, excited about every single day and ridiculously grateful when she has work.

Then there's the over-critical, more than slightly fearful diva who is just a little jaded and just a little bit more than frustrated at still not landing her big break.

That sometimes frankly toxic BB, is one I don't feel I have to put on display to people least of all my work colleagues and quite frankly why park your crap on someone else's driveway? So I favour and for the most part are kid in the candy store BB.

As he tried to assure me that I shouldn't take the feedback too personally (well when it's directed at you, it's kind of hard not too!) and that all I had to do was be less me and more mindful of sometimes being annoying.

I lasted two weeks as the new BB. Two of the most miserable weeks of my working life, during which I considered the validity of my feedback, wrestled with my disappointment that whoever was hacked off didn't think I was approachable enough to tell to my face, or simply didn't have the balls to do it.

I kept my head down, waved goodbye to my sarky one-liners and barely spoke just in case I 'annoyed' my more obvious 'non-BB fans'! Then thankfully, I got the opportunity to move to (don't get too excited people, its another very short-term gig *sigh*) a more creative environment.

BB of say 6 months ago, would have clung to the wreckage of that long gig, put up with feeling crap and just taken it, but fortunately I'm made of stronger stuff, so I took the plunge and left.

Don't get me wrong, part of me is horrified at my reckless devil may care take on the situation, particularly with the market as it is. How do I square my behaviour with myself ? Easy I've had worse 'constructive' criticism before;  but where I draw the line is when you take a pop at my personality and who I am. 

That's a no go. End of. Not through arrogance, self importance or self-help driven love overload on my part, but because I know myself and I think I rock. I'm a good person, who treats people how I want to be treated (and that includes my ex stalker:0 ) I embrace positivity - well usually.

What's hilarious about the whole thing is that I trained up my replacement perfectly. I wrote a handover  bible, downloaded resource documents by the ton and co-ordinated his entire training programme.I ensured that he had everything, that was lacking when I joined the team.

So much for me being a square peg huh? I was without question more ruthlessly organised about how I left this gig, than I've probably been anywhere, because of what was said to me.  Call it a case of look what you are allowing to walk out of the building syndrome :0 )

We've all met that nut job at work. The one who has characteristics we may actually loathe at times, but for those moments of magic and incident they conjure up around us, we humour and hold onto them. I never thought of myself as being that nut job, until now:0 )

I am what I am and who I am. If you don't like it, then Houston we have a problem.  I consider myself lucky and fortunate, that nearly all of the people I interact and connect with think so too.

Now for one of those unexpected random moments that I love, I've just landed an impromtu gig to take photos for a a client at a function.

 Did I also mention that as well as rock star BB, I'm a very lucky BB too!

Sunday, 26 August 2012

Friends Unreunited !

Cover of "The Friends"
Cover of The Friends
First, sorry I haven't blogged for a while. Unfortunately my Mum's not been well at all in the States. Work has been best challenging and R is still bugging me via text (yes still texting !) about getting back together.

The idiot still doesn't seem to be able to register that he's blown it with me and there is no way back !

I'm incredibly grateful that I've had the support of my hardcore friends to get me through everything, along with my loopy, often inappropriate sense of humour :0 )

I have always been someone who has annual clearouts of friends.  It's not that I don't love them anymore, or that we've fallen out with each other. Life is in my opinion way too short to harbour grudges or ill feelings.

But it's just that the natural ebbs and flows of everybody's different lives mean that sometimes you wind up not seeing each other that much. In some instances a few years can go by without you even talking to each other on the phone.

You may eventually in the circle of life, come together again, but sometimes you may not and at that point I remember that 'friend' fondly but respect both our rights to let go of our friendship.

I have always accepted this as a part of my life and my friends old and new seem to feel the same, apart from one particularly sensitive 'friend' Y who I worked with at the very beginning of my career; many more moons ago than I care to admit to.

I have never come across someone so determined to be my friend, whether I like it or not.
Since I left our shared workplace we have communicated sporadically. All communication has been driven by Y and every single conversation has been punctuated by a moan about my never calling her or returning her calls.

Strangely enough, this doesn't sit well with me. One because if I want to do something I will, if I don't I won't. Second I'm not some child who needs or responds to being told off.

I have my own free will and anyone who thinks that they have some ownership of that will, or seeks to put pressure my will, actually doesn't know me that well at all in terms of what really pisses me off.
In the last three months, Y has called me repeatedly, mostly during work hours, phoning from her work and mobile phones, even using the What'sUp app and leaving increasingly desperate sounding messages, always beginning with a 'telling off' consisting of the type of guilt ridden phrasing, you only ever get from your parents.

"You never answer your phone"

"Leave a message, huh well you never ever get back to me, so I don't know why I'm bothering!"

Y called and left a message about a personal situation I'd mentioned on my blog, suggesting that we talk about it, with the presumed intimacy that only comes from a friend you talk to regularly and frankly pissed me off so much that I texted her to say as much and that also I was actually in a meeting. Her response was to ask me when I was free.

Y then followed that up with a text to apparently ask me a super urgent question about a subject I know absolutely nothing about - modelling?

I told her to email me that super urgent question, restating that I was actually busy at that moment, and I'd see what I could do. She texted back immediately saying she was free that evening and I should call her.

Did I receive that urgent email from her ? Of course not !
I knew instantly that the modelling question, was just an 'in 'to talk to me and force me into a conversation, I'd already made it crystal clear I did not want to have.

Today was the final straw for me, when Y texted me to say that she knew I had read her last text message and she expected me to reply to it since she thought we were friends.

I swear for just a minute I thought I was 15 again, back in the playground and bitching because JW didn't come round to my house to hang out after school.

I haven't responded and I won't be responding. I'm done with this unecessary drama, which I know will only get more messy if I respond in the way I really want to.

True friendship to me is about recognising when to be there and when to back the hell off. My friendships are precious to me, but I don't place my presumptions on how a friend should behave on others.

I treat every single one of my friends as an individual who has their own quirks, emotions, stuff going on in their lives I may not know about and ways of dealing with things, including our friendship.

Case in point is a close friend of mine, L who I recently reconnected with after 10 years. Her first words to me were,

"It's so good to see you and I knew you'd find me when you were ready". 

We never fell out, it's just that our lives went in completely different directions, so we never saw each other and eventually just lost contact - simple as. Absolutely no bitterness, no attempts at playground parent guilt-tripping or anything from her.  She just respected the situation for what it was.

Consequently, she was then and is now one of those hardcore friends who has really been there for me recently. I talked to her about the situation and with her usual bluntness she asked:

"Do you owe her money?"

"Have you had a baby for her?"  

"Were you a regular part of her life when you left the place you both worked at? I mean did you see her lots?"

I laughed and said no to all of the questions.

"Then, don't reply. She's acting nuts. You don't owe her anything and she shouldn't be trying to force something that isn't there".

I put down the phone to L, went upstairs and took down Y's picture that has been on my bedside table for years (if you don't like someone you don't have their picture by your bed right?) and put it in the drawer.

Chapter closed as far as I am concerned.

Morning 27th August

This morning Y resent me her message from yesterday - I know ! How nuts is that?

28th August

Phone call during work - ignored by me.

30th August

Text Message : Deleted by me
Rambling message about dreaming about me last night. That I was getting married and she tried to congratulate me but I ignored her. Just like I am doing now. Would I mind calling for a chat.

My thoughts - she has now moved across to the Stalker file in my life.
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Wednesday, 25 July 2012

Your Cheating Heart or Stuff Kirsten Stewart Should Know!

Ingrid Bergman
Cover of Ingrid Bergman
So Kirsten Stewart cheated on Robert Pattinson with the older, married to supermodel, yes, that's right supermodel Liberty Ross, Snow White and the Huntsman director Rupert Saunders. Scandalous !!!!

Did Kirsten get tired of puppy love with beautiful 'boy' Pattinson. Was her head turned by long days on set with the older, but totally handsome Saunders?
Your guess is as good as mine.

But as any sensible person with other things to do with their time would say - 'Big Deal !!' Really two Hollywood types get together and do the nasty.  So what! This type of naughty Hollywood scandal is nearly as old as the hills themselves !

Everyone remembers Ingrid Bergman for Casablanca right? A classically beautiful Swedish beauty, who became the Queen of Hollywood. Winner of three Oscars and fourth on the all-time list of greatest ever female movie stars.

But all of that acclaim didn't save her when she fell in love with married director Roberto Rossellini. Oh and just to make things even more complicated, she was married as well at the time with two small children.

Payback Hollywood style meant she was effectively exiled from it for 10 years !!! Whether this will be Kirsten's fate or not, may just depend on how well received her 'very sorry I cheated on you' message goes down not just with her boyfriend Rob, but also with how it plays out with her viewing audience; which up til now has largely been teenage girls.

While Ingrid only had to deal with the newspapers, radio and tv; Kirsten gets the joy of Twitter and basically the world courtesy of the net, all throwing in their two cents worth of opinion about her cheating. Which leads me neatly to the question, do any of us have the right to judge her?

If I look at my own cheating chart throughout my dating life, there would be a enormous tick beside cheating for me. Yes I may be a wholesome bunny now, but I have been a bad girl in the past and lived up to that tag 100% and dare I say it at the time, loved every minute of it.

Hottie, uptil now the big love and biggest mistake of my life was taken when I fell for him and  I was tailspinning out of my own car crash with GR. All it took was H (who I'd been sneakily lusting over for about 6 months, without doing anything about it other than staring at him, whenever he stood by the water cooler) asking me for a drink after work and GR was history.

By the time I actually hooked up with H, I'd dumped GR and I was good to go. But H wasn't. So after a short fling with me, he simply went home to his other half and acted like nothing had happened.

I clearly got what I deserved. Pee on someone else's lawn or life and that bitch karma will deal with you as only she can.  Yes, I learnt my lesson the hard way, but I had no one to blame except myself and my poor judgement.

Have I cheated since? No. I'm a grown woman, who absolutely knows the consequences and doesn't want to place herself at the heart of a lie. I know how guilty I felt. I also know how it feels to be 'someone's dirty little secret'. 

Do I think that cheating is black and white anymore? Absolutely not. Especially not since I've been there. There are so many more opportunities to cheat in our daily lives, than there ever have been, but the buck or deciding to remain faithful stops with us as individuals.

Cheating is about making the decision to stay right where you are and accept it or jump into the unknown following let's be honest, the ultimate carnal sin - LUST !

You could be the type of lovefool I was. Kidding yourself that you can convert lust into a relationship, but the reality is if you aren't on the same page as your cheating partner; there's no way someone isn't going to end up being hurt.

Or in my case totally broken hearted and seriously not trusting myself or men for quite a while afterwards.

Whether this is Kirsten Stewart's fate; only time will tell.
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Saturday, 14 July 2012

BB Gets Her Dating Groove Back !

So for a dating and things that happen in my life kinda blog, I am willing to put my hands up and say that there's definitely been a distinct lack of dating recently.
First, because since R dumped me via text (yes, if you're new to 'divas' R was the 40something man who decided that behaving like his 16 year son when dealing with affairs of the heart, was the way to go.

Or in other words why say what's on your mind like a man, when you can text a non-reason for breaking up instead and avoid an awkward conversation.

I was disappointed, but mainly because he was so rude and cowardly about it.  If I'm even more honest, it left enough of a sour taste, to make  me not want to bother with men for awhile. Not that I am tarring them all with the same brush as R, but when you continually meet great guys who are already taken, and you're not the bit on a side type; you can easily fall into diva in her shell mode.

And second because after years of smugly and snobbily insisting on including 'must be in regular, continuous employment' on my ever decreasing list of attributes for my Mr Right Now; finding myself cast as a freelance - operating on a gig2gig status, in my eyes doesn't exactly make me the most desirable date out there.

It may sound a little nutty, but that's how far out of my comfort zone I feel right now.  Fortunately despite my dating reluctance fate intervened yesterday and via a kind deed of mine (knowing the Tube map inside out - I know, I'm a little weird remembering things others choose to forget!), I landed myself a date with a Canadian called Jeff.

Before I had even finished giving him directions, J had asked me for my number (which I didn't give him, but I did take his! ), asked me if I was single and what I was doing Saturday night.

I adore old school men. Straight down the line guys who are black and white direct. The type of men who know exactly what they want and just go after it,. One quick latte to think things over and I called him.

Tonight we went out and you know what I had a great time.

J is terrific company. He's smart, funny, knows how to treat a lady (doors opened, walking on the outside of the curb and evening pulling out my chair for me. He's a little younger than what I normally go for.

No, not jailbait. He's just turned 30. He has a shaved head - yah!  He's ridiculously easy on the eye which is weird for me as good looking guys scare me bigtime usually !

Why? I think it's the competition they seem to evoke in other women. Not saying I won't step up if I think another lady is coming on agressively to my other half, but doing it all the time would really hack me off.

I've only experienced it once before, when I was dating M a male model, who was a sweetheart, but really got a kick out of continuous female attention, even when he was out with me.

Back to J and I - Well we talked, hit a couple of bars, talked some more. Grabbed some food and then he walked me to my train and pulled out his big.... ...good night kiss. (ooo what dirty minds some of you have!).
It was definitely tip-top.  For all of you guys out there, it really is in your kiss. J's was right on the money and not because I have had a good snog in awhile, but just because he just had.... it!

So where is this all leading, unfortunately nowhere. J is in London only until Monday and then back to Canada, where you've guessed it he lives full-time and has a two year old son, who lives part of the time with him and the rest of the time with his ex-wife.

Am I sad about it. Not at all . Life is what it is. And as for J well let's just say he kissed BB back to dating life :0 )
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Thursday, 12 July 2012

Snatching Victory From The Jaws Of Defeat

Andy Murray
Andy Murray (Photo credit: Carine06)

Now that the dust has settled and all of our tears have dried, Andrew Murray may just have cause to be more than a little relieved that he didn't win the Wimbledon Men's Final at his first attempt.

Being beaten by aruguably one of the best tennis players of all time Roger Federer is no shame.

But Murray was as you would expect beyond inconsolable at the end of a match, that he'd given 150% to.

Murray had previously distinguished himself by being a universally acknowledged surly character, seemingly uncomfortable with carrying the weight of a nation on his shoulders, for the last three Wimbledon fortnights.

It was only at the end of the match, when a drained, broken Murray acknowledged the crowd and his support team, before dissolving into barely swallowed bitter tears; that we finally saw the human side of him.

That flash of emotion was enough to melt a nation's heart, send Twitter into sympathy overload and rebrand Murray as a warm, likeable human being and a marketeer's dream :0 )

If he doesn't win BBC Sports Personality Of The Year and more product sponsorships than he can handle, I'll burn my weave - yep, it's that unlikely :0 )
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Thursday, 5 July 2012

Bounceback BB

After a life smackdown (e.g. a break-up, losing your job etc) there are two ways you can go.


With or without bad food, copious amounts of wine and some really bad background music. Oh and you absolutely must brood (the length of time you waste on this is up to you, but I strongly recommend no longer than a few days) !



Cry  it out and get right back on that horse that kicked you in the head, when you weren't looking.

You can guess which one I chose.  Don't get me wrong I did have one angry, self-pitying blub in the toilets at my b and b (bread and butter) job and treated myself to an extra latte after a fat busting lunch; but by the time I got home, having talked to a few friends, I got myself together.

The rest of the week has been spent chasing down new opportunities and gigs, being a Twitter wiseguy (or should that be wise diva?), and painting J's living room.

She's just moved to one of those fixer-uppers that is going to be beyond gorgeous when its done, but right now aside from the living room resembles a interior design nightmare !

Painting to the 'sounds' of totally kitsch Spice Girl megamixes and several volumes of 'Now That's What I Call Music' was strangely the best tonic I could have asked for.

Once we'd finished, we sat down and put together one of my ridiculously essential 'To Do' lists, so I had something to focus on.

Yes. I hold my hands up even in the midst of a crisis, I always have time to make a To Do list !

How do I feel right now ?  Blessed. To have great family and friends and optimistic, no wait it's more than that.

I am hopeful.

Because without Hope, it really would be game over for me ! :0 )

Monday, 2 July 2012

Just Call Me Diva !

Diva Universal (Philippines)
Diva Universal (Philippines) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

You know how you always hope Mondays will set the tone for the week in a positive way? Well sometimes however hard you try ; things still go belly up !

Just like so many other weeks before, I’ve spent the last week waiting to hear about another entry level opportunity, that I would give my right arm to do and more importantly have the passion and aptitude to execute perfectly.

I pulled together a strategic presentation outlining what I would do in the role, complete with platform/brand ideas; which was deemed good enough to see me through Stage One.

Stage Two was a writing/technical assignment the results of which I’d been waiting for and received this morning. All of this before I even got to talk to one person at the company.

That being said all my efforts ultimately added up to a big fat nothing. I received the news in that compassion format, known as email.

It was one of those short HR standard paragraphs,

‘Dear candidate, unfortunately we were overwhelmed by the high standard of applicants’ blah, blah. I couldn’t help but smile when I also saw that I had been thanked for ‘my obvious passion’ for the company.

At the beginning of my long-term job search, I’ll admit to getting thoroughly ticked off by this type of employer ‘interaction’ which really offers an axed candidate nothing in terms of feedback, except to say that you didn’t get the job.

Now I always, always ask for feedback as to where I can improve and what was missing from my application. In this instance, annoyingly it was two ‘minor’ technical points (small), but apparently the finite difference between being cut or progressing to the next stage of the recruitment process.

Then apparently there was a feeling that my blog Divasdelite was not attune to their brand. The fact that I would be representing their brand message and therefore taking on their brand voice, not Divas, seemed to be completely lost on them.

Being told that in their opinion I would be giving off a ‘Diva’ connotation that maybe at odds with my actual personality, was the last straw for me. I responded immediately.

Thanking them for their comments, but also directing them to my makeup blog and online event reviews, as the best possible evidence of a grounded, warm, diverse individual who is anything but a diva in the classic sense of the word.

Just someone, like so many other people right now, who are looking for an opportunity to show a prospective full-time employer what they can do.

The past year has a pretty joyless one with an extended job hunt that has ruthlessly ground me down, to the point where I have felt at times I might never have a proper job again, despite having a solid work history; and being motivated enough to go to night school to get my degree, while working full-time before this bloody work drought set in.

The only thing that’s kept me absolutely sane is my blogging.

I’ve taken on jobs I’d never, ever thought I would do or have to, rather than queue at a dole office. I’ve stood behind the counter in a shop and served my ex HR Director, whose ‘where did it all go wrong ‘look on her face was just the type of humiliation no one needs or deserves.

There are been mornings when I could barely face the walk into town to the library, where I would join the other ranks of job hunters, combing the wanted columns and tapping away furiously away completing numerous online applications, usually resulting in not even the basic courtesy of a response.

I can honestly say I’ve tried everything. Called up old contacts, joined agencies (23 in all!), sent speculative letters, produced more presentations than I ever thought I had within me and still I am hanging on in there with short-term drips of work that just about keep me afloat.

I’ve found the whole experience, demoralising, humiliating and incredibly disappointing. I’ve even hidden away from friends and family for a time, because I was so ashamed of having to admit just how ropey things have been.

For someone who’s worked since she was 15 and grown up with the mantra that if you work hard, good things will undoubtedly follow - progress in my life and work, at times it’s been totally soul destroying, or just plain irritating like today.

There are those out there that have either allowed or been engulfed in the hopelessness of their situation and I’ve watched several really talented individuals recently, effectively ‘disappear’ before my eyes, because they gave up fighting to stay afloat.

I’ve dealt with all my ups and down in the only healthy way I could, I have chosen to fight back with my words, self belief and dare I say it attitude.

If I’ve had a good day, I’ll blog about it. If I’ve had a day like today I own it and write about it, let go of it and start again because tears and woe is me just doesn’t cut it when you’re in survivor mode.

I’ve also received an abundance of Twitter ‘love’, from complete strangers who’ve supported me and encouraged me to keep plugging away. That door will open. Not sure when, but it will open and I will get that elusive yes.

If that ability to keep getting up, even when you keep hearing ‘No’ day after day, makes me a diva then so be it ! I’d rather the survivor, who actually knows what the true meaning of being a diva is.

A mentally strong, independent; sometimes difficult, stubborn but definitely never a boring female, who keeps getting back up, no matter what is thrown at her.

To all of my fellow divas, I salute you, send you hugs, wish you well and ...let’s keep on plugging to get what we want !

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Friday, 29 June 2012

What's Eating Liz Jones?

Seriously - what is up with Liz Jones?

If you don't know who I'm talking about let me fill you in. She an ancient, recently facelifted, ex-fashion magazine editor, who has been boring us senselessly for years, in her weekly newspaper column.

Her kiss and tell prose can roughly be divided into droning on about her insecurities about her body, her face, her house, her animals, her relationships and her life in general.

How can we not forget her detailed exposure of her cheating toyboy husband (she hacked his email account to find out what he'd been up to and all hell broke loose!! )

Her financial difficulties (all self-inflicted). Her obsessional love of animals (probably the only living beings who actually like her and that's probably only because she feeds them!) and lately her aging rock star boyfriend, who no one has ever seen her with.

The one overriding emotion you derive from her writing is someone who is incredibly BITTER. 

This is despite the fact that she's had a great life, experienced the highs and lows of love (haven't we all darling?), has had some great jobs, made in comparison to your average Betty, a decent amount of cash, travelled extensively and triumphed over numerous personal issues .

One would think that she would now be at a point of grateful contentment.  Her rock star boyfriend actually seems to like her, her neighbours in the country are talking to her at last (well sort of, despite her slagging them off), her country pile is under offer and unbelievably she still has her column and other regular freelance writing gigs.

Having clearly found herself with way too much time on her hands and not a hell of a lot to talk about, Jones picked up her poison pen and wrote a cynical article bashing TV presenter Holly Willoughby for

‘betraying all women’ by tweeting a photograph of herself without any make on.

At this point I have to say having viewed the 'offending' picture of Holly, she looks fabulous. Very girl next door and cute.

So how ridiculous was the Jones shark attack? It was completely uncalled for and absolutely not necessary in terms of taking up valuable newspaper space.

The anti-Jones backlash has been overwhelming today. Liz Jones putdowns are everywhere and even This Morning housewives favourite and Holly's co-presenter Phillip Schofield hit back at Jones on Twitter, HARD !

'I swear there can be no greater force against all womankind than Liz Jones. She is inconsistent, bitter, nasty and unhinged'.

Holly has taken the high ground, maintainng a dignified silence.

Jones clearly thought she was being witty and wirily ironic. What she actually did was to betray herself as being twisted, bitter old woman, jealous of a much prettier, infinitely more likeable young lady.

There comes a time in every woman's life when you have to admit, you aren't that young, foxy chick you once were. At that time you can either accept it and make peace with what you look like and who you are now; or you are in danger of becoming  that weird, spinister cat lady just like.... Ms Jones !!!

Jones and that other notorious woman hater Samantha Brick, exhibit total ignorance and bafflement at the impact and response to their comments by other women. Jones has previously bemoaned her lack of female friends in her columns, well if you sprout poison, you'll get it right back at you.

I look forward to the inevitable follow-up article from Jones, which will no doubt be sprinkled throughout with the bitterness and self pity we are so used to hearing from her.

Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Facebook 'Mommy' Lands The Keys To The Boardroom

Image representing Sheryl Sandberg as depicted...
Image via CrunchBase
It used to be that the see-saw of trying  to achieve a decent work/life balance was one of those mommy urban myths, usually reserved for supermodels on the school run or the lessor spotted trophy wife.

Now at last it seems the tide is turning.

The promotion to the Facebook Board their inspirational, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, a mum of two with a sassy turn of phrase “The most important thing career choice you’ll make is who you marry” kicked off a flurry of  Facebook, Google and Twitter flag waving.

@wordwhacker: FB just added Sheryl Sandberg to its board. Makes sense because women lead in social media!

@loriinjapan At Women in Business luncheon, Susan Roos shares Sandberg's advice: "Don't let your fears overwhelm your desires".

Fear (even in the midst of a double-dip recession) is cetainly not overwhelming the legions of increasingly influential 'mommy bloggers' both here and in the US.

This opinionated army are using social media technology from I-Phone games and fitness apps to Pinterest interiors and receipes, in pursuit of achieving their own family/work life balance; while engaging with business and online communities about their passions, likes and bugbears ! are just such a group of women who have bounced back against the celebrity superslim, superfast trends, preferring to focus on well-being, enjoying motherhood and the reality of being a working mum. and offer a fabulous selection of clothes for busy mums on a budget, with more style and fashion tips than you can handle.

And let's not forget our mommy entrepreneurs like Dragons Den winner whose bespoke gift boxes are a delight.

‏The excitement at Sandberg's appointment, coupled with the continued growth of the mommy entrepreneurs and bloggers points to a  bright future for those women who aspire to landing the keys to the boardroom.

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Sunday, 24 June 2012

Many Rivers Too Cross

English: Crossing the river
English: Crossing the river (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
Since my ‘wild’ quiz/karaoke table top night out, I’ve been noticing how many things I am grateful for and proud to say out loud.

Amazing what a blast of positivity can do for you isn’t it?

I was already riding the positive express, which had begun a week earlier with Father’s Day.

Spending time with my Pop is always good. He’s so real about everything in the world in general and of course my life.

He takes no prisoners when he thinks you are behaving like a jackarse, but he doesn’t give you advice. He just presents you with options and then says he’ll support you no matter what.

Don’t get me wrong he is no saint, when he has a grump on, he can put a mule to shame when he's being stubborn, so much so that you want to get as far away from him as possible; but for the most part he is a pretty cool dude.

His memory is akin to the realms of total recall particularly when he talks about when he first immigrated to the UK in the 60s.

Now those really were tough times.

Pop literally fought for everything – a job, a place to live, his civil rights, respect and took more crap than I and my generation of peers could ever imagine or deal with. Yes, Pop battled through the lot and gave me a timely reminder to stay focused, be more determined and work just that little bit harder, to get to where I want to be.

BB Towers is a place I love living and spending time in, so sharing it with the right person, has always been a big deal to me.

What about my new housemate? All good in the hood. She moved in without a hitch and is touch wood at the time of my writing is great. Yep I mean that..M is great.

Having finally acknowledged I can be a real pain in the arse to live with, finding a housemate previously has proved dare I say it - challenging! That is, aside from the amazing J and the unforgettable C.

M is thankfully more like J and C and less like (well you know who you are!). She is not on any medication (either real or pretend!), signed her tenancy agreement, paid her deposit upfront and all without any last minute curveballs or requests.

The difference with this one, is our work/life schedules. They are completely opposite – in other words she likes her space too - not just says she does, like several previous BB Towers inhabitants have.

She is happy with herself and where she is in life. She can stand to be by herself and is able to make decisions all by herself. She’s a fun grown-up, who’s in a relationship with an ordinary Joe who doesn’t have any commitment issues and hasn’t tried to move in with us on the sly !

Now that BB Towers is no longer a nut house (I include myself in this group, although it does depend on the day and hour for me!), it is also in the process of a revamp, concentrating on doors and exteriors.

It is going to look the business when it’s all finished and I can’t believe I have found another set of builders to replace the late great T. His bathroom tiling still makes me swell with pride.

This weekend has been a chilled one. Today, while I was in town, I walked past one of my ex-gigs, which I was forced to take, during those grindingly desperate times last year. It was like stomping on the grave of a ghost that still haunts you.

I was so miserable when I was there, primarily dominated by a need to stay afloat financially and to stop my brain melting into mush, while I was being buried under a pile of ‘don’t call us , we’ll call you’s !” from just about every gig I went after.

As I walked past the store, I swear my heart lightened. I reminded myself, that although things may not be perfect right now, at least I am climbing the ladder back to safety and ultimately to doing what I want to do.

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Thursday, 21 June 2012

Getting To Know You

One of the few benefits of being on a short-term gig is the getting to know you phase.

My latest gig, which we were all hoping was going a long one, has alas due to a lack of funding been cut down.

I have a name for potentially amazing gigs that turn into chop shop scraps ....they are... New False Dawns !  

Just as a little BB quiz, in the last year, just many new false dawns have I had?  I know too many. Right? If they were doughnuts I'd have a serious sugar habit by now ! Actually, wait a minute I already do !

Today's getting to know you session hit the personal side.

"So are you seeing anybody?",  my new table buddy asked me.

Ordinarily this type of question directed at me in non-limbo times is a tricky one that I usually mess up on.

Do I a)A say no and enter into a minor rant about meeting crap men all the time ?

Or do I b) Smile sweetly and mumble something about taking time to find myself :0 )
Since I've exhausted both excuses throughout the years, with varying degrees of passion and indifference I simply replied

"No. Not right now ", which bearing in mind everything else going on with me is about as upfront as I can be.  You'd need to be a quite a guy to take a nutcase like me on. Not point denying it :0 )

Pop Goes BB

If there's one thing we forget to do when the rest of our world is imploding, it's to give ourselves a break from stressing once in a while and have some fun.

Aside from all my arty farty stuff, Twitter fixes, lattes with the girls and the lowest kind of tv (TOWIE, MIC actually I have a way too long list of guilty pleasure tv), I love.... a good pub quiz.

I am the type of person who stores the most obscure random facts in my head, you know the type of nonsense most other people choose to forget.

Ordinarily this would just make me a little strange, but during a pub quiz it makes me the person who excitedly grabs the answer sheet and furiously writes down an answer that's easy to me, but seems to have stumped everyone else.

Yesterday it was the theme song from the Incredible Hunk (I got it two notes in....I know sad am ?)which looking around the table, I realised wasn't a part of any of my teammates childhood and unbelievably no one else knew the Dallas theme !

The name of the actress who played Nora Batty In Last of the Summer Wine, the whole of the Royal picture round and the performers at the Diamond Jubilee concert....oh and...the second verse lyrics of I Just Called to Say I Love You.

For a reason known only to myself I also remembered that Queen first met Prince Phillip in 1934. This combined with a great general knowledge round and our team winning an on the spot prize of a box of Celebrations (heaven because they include Snickers!) and I was on a sugar rush high.

My joy would have been total, if we hadn't of lost the entire quiz by half  a point ! The answer was Forever Autumn not Autumn Leaves !!!

I comforted by myself with the knowledge that we'd taken out the Librarians !!! 

Any team that calls themselves that or anything to do with science or who does research stuff for a living, needs to be 'taken down' in a pub quiz.

One because they should know stuff and two because you know that if you knock them out on a question they 'should' know it will bug the hell out of them !

Two more snickers pieces and a coke later I'd forgotten all about everything, spending the rest of the evening laughing at nothing in particular, singing bad karaoke on a table but best of all having more fun than I've had in ages.

Go Go BB !

Wednesday, 13 June 2012

Just Call Me The Newbie !

Happy Days
Happy Days (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
So it's only day two of my new gig and God it's good to sit at the same desk, have a PC to log onto.

I am the proud new owner of one of those silly plastic pen pots, which should have pens in them, but never does because you lose them or someone else borrows them.

The team I work with are lovely. How lucky am I? Massively I know.

I'm revisiting some old skills I'm rusty on and picking up some new ones, which is no bad thing.

The job itself is one of the least stressful, I have ever had . I thought everyone worked 10 hour days, fuelled by lattes, deadlines,cheeky gossip and never ending to do lists; but apparently that was just me !

I have a feeling that this gig may turn out to be the one that teaches me the most about appreciating when things in your life are great, or at the very least free from chaos.

How to make the most of any opportunity that might come your way and finally; getting that elusive work life balance, something I've never been able to do successfully for any great length of time.

Oh and one more piece of BB joy, I've wrapped up my new tenant - contract signed, money banked (not spent) .

With her working nights and my working days, I have managed to retain some quality me time at BB Towers.

I will chill out (but absolutely not in grubby PJ bottoms and an overly tight vest top, like the New Zealand virgin and the crazy cat lady - ex tenants of mine...if you are new to the blog!), write, design and just be BB :0)

Happy Days !
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Sunday, 10 June 2012

For The Love Of Twitter !

English: and at TechCrunch50 2008
English: and at TechCrunch50 2008 (Photo credit: Wikipedia)
It used to be that a break-up was just between the two people involved, followed by the rapid division of friends, property and CD/DVD collections.

Twitter has moved these goalposts.

From Demi and Ashton, Katie and Peter; through to this week's headline grabbers, the 'War of the Roses' that is the Rothschilds very public break-up.

Reading someone's emotional rants or just straight out insults sent  their former loves is like being party to verbal road kill.

You don't want to look, but you just can't bring yourself not too! Before you know it and without meaning to get involved, you find yourself reading and then siding with one of the 'teams'!

Remember Teams Aniston and Jolie ?
What I hate about Twitter wars, is that it detracts from the positive power of Twitter .

As one of my twitter buddy's wrote today.

"Twitter is the way forward. I meet more people virtually, than I do in my real life".

Twitter will can never replace the intimacy and joy of physically meeting someone face to face, but it does encourage connecting and engaging with people you haven't met before and some of whom you may actually never meet; but who you find you have things in common with either personally or comercially.

Using it as a weapon of mass destruction to publically torpedo a relationship, seems like a waste of time, and only serves to make its participants look bitter, deraged (depending on the content and constancy of their tweets!) and more than a little immature.

There are some things that simply shouldn't be played out on Twitter !
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