Man Versus Their Superior

Why were the sexes created so unequally? Men are biologically programmed to be stronger than us; have better muscle tone and less fat. Yet no need to fit into a bodycon dress or navigate a cobbled street in a stiletto? It’s fact that it’s not written into their destiny that a body-changing event in time will occur should they chose to procreate. In all likelihood their career path will not be obliterated by carer duties (alright; ‘Metrosexuals’; stop flapping, it’s still less likely) and they’ll guaranteed have more free time during their life span to follow their own agenda than a woman will. Women on the other hand immediately have to deal with irritating, time-consuming biological ‘gifts’ handed to her at birth:

1. Periods – costly; seriously why does the Government not dole out the necessary sanitary wear for free? Not to mention that each and every month at least 10 days is consumed with ‘pre’, ‘during’ and ‘post’ period. Oh and boobs; additional underwear required for these ‘fun puppies’…

2. Pregnancy – somewhere in the annuls of time it was decided that Eve rather than Adam should endure the process of growing a human inside their body then when it’s the optimum gestation, size and developmentally ready we should push it out of an opening betwixt our legs. Oh yes I hear you Mother Earth types; aren’t we lucky to have the opportunity to embrace this magical experience of a life within a life. I get it; I’ve done it and enjoyed it and felt the miracle of life. I’ve also lamented the loss of my pre-birth fanjita and bladder control…

3. Body hair – yes apparently we shouldn’t have any. It’s too; manly perhaps? As women we are to be smooth, hair-free, soft and accommodating, nurturing and gentle and kind and again; hair-free. Just skirting over the issue however, given the limited choices in achieving this pre-determined preferred state it’s always costly, time-consuming, irritating and/or downright painful. Like the time I had a pair of my own pants glued to me for what I feared would be all eternity after one gory waxing sesh. I discovered my tenacious side though, for it took me five hours with a torch between my legs and a pair of tweezers. The pants were fucked, like one of those ‘See You Jimmy’ hats most of my pubes were still attached. I’m harking back to the 70s down there these days…

4. Hair – often long, styled, straightened, highlighted; either way again it’s costly, time consuming and in the case of a particularly harsh perm back in circa 1988 painful. It was physically and emotionally damaging after Mum described me as looking like ‘Jimi Hendrix’ which wasn’t quite the look I was after. Mind you 6 months later you couldn’t tell me and Brian May apart…

5. Make-up – along with smelling nice, being soft (think scrubs and pumice stones), manicures and pedicures all add to the costly, time consuming process of being a woman. Lately make-up is a minefield; in my day the biggest decision was whether to draw my eyeliner on the inner lid or outter. Persistent conjunctivitis eventually made that decision for me. These days you need to be bloody Van Gogh to apply the artistic mastery required to give yourself an entirely different face using white, beige and brown powder. I tried once and ended up looking like a hot cross bun so I’m sticking to my jowly-potato shape instead. Not to mention the ridiculous cost of the latest cosmetic must have’s; prices starting at 18 quid for a ‘latex’ lipgloss in labia red…give me Rimmel anyday, not a euphemism.

Mind you men do have to deal with the following conundrums…

1. Rugby or Football?

2. Beer or lager?

3. Pot Noodle with sausage roll chaser or the ‘salad’ the ‘you’ spent last night preparing…

Erm, yeah think that’s about it.

Read more of my shizzle @ http://www.thisbirdcan.com

‘V’ Day…

So it’s finally here; that special day of lovers. And given it’s such a commercially big day; no-one can ignore it. You can’t pretend you forgot; unless you’ve spent the winter hibernating under a tree. Red shit everywhere…in every garage and supermarket; admittedly you’ll barely notice a difference as Christmas has just slid off the shelves and soon they’ll turn yellow for Easter. The never-ending calendar of poignant dates to celebrate; to show someone their worth, to make a fuss thus ‘buying-in-to’ the global market of celebratory dates. Mother’s Day, Father’s Day, Day of the Dead, Today Day, Tomorrow Day, ‘C.U.Next Tuesday’ Day. So it goes on; we could lump them all into ‘I’m being ‘guilted’ into pointlessly spending all my money’ day? But I digress; today is all about those significant others. ‘Couples’, ‘married’s’, ‘co-habitors’, ‘hetero’s’, ‘homo’s’, ‘making it up as I go alonger’s’ each seizing the opportunity to, kind of, publically declare their love to their mate on this auspicious day of exclusivity. Unless of course you’ve handed out a few…then you’re probably a chancer or a twat.

Then there are us ‘soloists’ who have woken today with no expectations of anything other than a Tuesday. There are no demands placed upon us today, nobody will require anything of us in part-payment later and we’re no poorer than we were yesterday. Today is just another day; in my case I must draw upon all of my grit and determination to get the kids to school, go to work and come home. To deal with all that tea-time and night-time thrusts upon the main carer of children, then perchance draw a breath before going to bed early; just in case there are yet more dead of night shenanigan’s like last night’s ‘piddle party’. So today is a good day for me. No disappointment over a cheap card; the glitter of which manages to ‘cag’ my work tights and scratch my cornea as I ‘fake’ cry over the child-like scrawl of ‘be mine, my funny, funny valentine’. The correct interpretation of this message is; continue to do everything for me and legitimise me with your intelligent presence and revered social standing. No horror at being presented with a bunch of yellow carnations which you know clearly points to a potential affair and at the very least an utter cheapskate, thus kissing goodbye to the detached house with the garage and master bedroom with the en-suite.

Yes there’ll be the ‘smugsters’ who’ll gush and flutter around a £30 quid bouquet delivered to work. And those who’ll upload pictures of their love ‘spoils’ and use the eternally ‘twatty’ line of ‘boy done good’. Some will take a more basic and self-effacing line and buy themselves that coat they wanted from the Boden new collection then withdraw the money from their joint account. Then there’s me, who’ll write a little blog by day then come Valentine’s night will slip into bed with a cup of tea and a Crème Egg , why? Because I fully understand the meaning of ‘true love’.

Jealously

A word we use so lightly yet it’s power is immeasurable. Where does it come from? What is at the heart of the green-eyed monster? Psychologists will tell you it’s fear of loss. Fear of losing something or someone you hold dear. And whilst I agree with that, it’s a hell of a lot more complex in reality. We can all imagine the fear of losing someone romantically; when we ‘tip over’ into the muddy waters of ‘love’ it can feel like we begin to lose control. The object of our affection is now literally ‘holding the reigns’; they are responsible for our happiness. Or at least that’s how it feels. It’s all well and good to think we can feel utter adoration for another then not worry about that ending. For the draw of ‘being in love’ is akin, I would imagine, to being on drugs. A heady cocktail of extreme pleasure; mini surges of fear topped up with adrenalin and the fantastical notion that you’re both somehow different to all those other couples, ‘special’ and Disney of course completely hammered this fucker down from a very young age. The feeling you get from being with that person; the clichéd gut-wrenching excitement upon which we layer our shared, special moments. Your song, your favourite place, drink, where you met, first kiss, holiday; these highly emotive snapshots in time that feel indelibly ingrained into your mind. It’s you and he against the world; nobody can come between you as you build the walls of exclusivity around you and can never imagine feeling that way about anyone ever again. Soul mates, twin-flames; ‘we were meant to be’, a myriad of romantic tales interwoven with heroes and heroines and happy ever afters. The reality of which are of course, completely impossible to maintain.

So before anyone kicks off with me, let me say that ‘generally’ women are worse at this bit than men. Yes, yes there are plenty of exceptions to the rules but that’s why I used the word ‘generally’. You see once we have ‘tipped over’ we suddenly find ourselves playing this comparative game, viewing those we surmise are somehow ‘better’ than us, and allowing anxiety to batter down our self-esteem before the object of our lust has even clocked the ‘slut’. Which of course she is not; well not usually, but whilst we are in ‘fear’ mode any woman with thicker hair, whiter teeth, bigger boobs or career power can suddenly reduce us to a smear of brown on an Espadrille. We do this to ourselves; we allow it to happen for it is our doing! All our own bloody fault that whilst ‘blinded by love’, to excuse ourselves just a little, we make a villain out of a stranger whilst turning our inner-angst up to 10. It’s as though we’ve got to spend our whole time mentally dissecting each and every situation, with the misguided notion that we can somehow prevent the loss we fear so dramatically. Now whilst I speak from a position of authority it’s still a pointless, damaging and time-wasting game I gave up many years ago. But I can still remember it’s potency like it were yesterday.

Perhaps for us to be safe we need to love slightly less than our mate? Maybe that’s it; whoever loves the deepest, fears the loss the most, it is them that must play the role of ‘dragon slayer’. Whilst unwittingly smashing down the walls of love, respect and potential you and your mate had taken such joy in building. So there it is; jealousy in all it’s putrid glory, a festering emotion of self-destruction, soul-butchery and time-squandering. Those partaking will disempower themselves by default, will project negativity and hatred onto innocents and literally destroy the one thing they covet and profess to love. Don’t waste your time. Take yourself in hand; procrastinate before you act, listen to your gut instinct it will rarely guide you wrong and love yourself above all others. Make the relationship with yourself healthy before attempting to join forces with another and if you don’t feel loved…move on.

The green-eyed monster is the only malevolence you should be endeavouring to assassinate.

Diet, Shmiet.

As a Mother of four and ‘clean eater’ (i.e. carton of orange juice and the odd banana) it is a matter of great importance for me to concern myself with the health of my children; limiting Happy Meals to once per week and only 3 Freddo Frog’s per day. With this in mind I’ve taken it upon myself to look deep within myself for an answer (whilst double dipping Cheese Strings in Nutella) and I’m proud to present to you my ground-breaking idea!

I’ve come up with the revolutionary notion that re-labelling foodstuffs that are detrimental to our health, might in fact help to re-program our brains to be averse to them; perhaps to instead reach for a healthy alternative. There is a chance I might get a Noble Peace Prize for my research; you never know, exciting times ahead!!

Here are snippets from the first draft of my highly complex and scientific thesis on this matter of global importance.

List of shit we shouldn’t be eating re-named to put us off…

Not so sweet.

Doughnuts – ‘Fat Balls of deep-fried lard with refined sugar middle’ (‘Stroke balls’; for short)
Chocolate – ‘Brown cellulite.’
Cake – ‘Aerated early-death.’

Saver-me.

Sausage – ‘Abattoir sweepings in bovine belly-lining.’
Chargrilled Steak – ‘Cancer-coated heffer’s ass.’
Chips – ‘Blubber Sticks.’
Pizza – ‘Circle of end-of-life’.

End of World Cuisine.

Chinese food – ‘Salty demise.’
Indian food – ‘Ghee you in the afterlife.’
Italian food – ‘Stodgy ticker.’

There would be an initial cost-outlay for re-packaging but weighing that against the financial deficit of the NHS at present it would be ‘fly shit’.
Hilariously ironic is that the kids have had nowt but ‘poppety pings’ whilst I completed my research this month! Hang on! Hold the call to Social Services they had fruit salad for afters! And a few Black Jacks!

Living with a Narcissist

I’ve written this blog to help you. The poor soul; who thinks, like I did, that you are savvy and living life with integrity according to your own moral compass. For those who think themselves confident with aspirations and a plan of sorts for their life and what they’d like to do with it. This is for you.

Here is a simple guide to the signs that you’re living with the worst kind of manipulator; a Narcissist. If any of these ring a bell. Leave. Life should not be this complex. It’s not love; it’s control. And worse than that the offender is incapable of love and you’re merely a pawn in the game of their life. An expendable pawn too. Because if it isn’t you; it’ll be another. Equally drawn in by the carefully constructed character they’ve honed over the years based on what works. And with each new victim the patter will commence; to first build you up into something you simply can’t sustain, then they’ll surgically deconstruct the real you until there’s nothing left. If successful you will become but a nodding dog, a semi-smiling robot playing the essential part of ‘back-up’. This is an important role in a Narcissist’s life; to corroborate the endless lies, along with providing 24/7 attention, adoration, platitudes and doing exactly what you are told. By this time your agenda has been rubbished, you’re needy and difficult; always the ‘worst’ (insert***) they’ve ever come across.

Once ensnared to the point of submission the Narcissist will slowly unravel whilst binding you in, tighter and tighter. Like a snake with a mouse; you’ll not be able to breathe and your support system should by now be long gone. Ironically they will have been ‘seen off’ by you in accordance with the Puppet Master’s ruling that it is odd that you need them. If you’re lucky this new docile iteration of ‘you’ will now be really irritating to them and they’ll start to tire and look outside of the relationship for fresh meat. Unfortunately if you’ve got children together this might start closer to home and at this point you MUST find a way to rise up and take control; for their sake if not your own.

There is only way to win in this situation and it begins with listening. This type of person seeks drama, negativity and blame; oh how they love to blame. They’ll put down their best friend, their parents and family but the most acerbic assessment is reserved for their ‘ex’. Most recent being the ‘worst’; they’ll compare you favourably to them, you’re so very special and nothing like them. They’ve never known anything/anyone like you. They know you deeply; better than anyone, even yourself. They ‘get’ you; understand the ‘real’ you. True fantasists; they’ll concoct ‘unique’ ways that you’re magical together. Whilst peddling this myth they’ll also systematically pull apart ‘your ex’ and by proxy your former life, whether you’ve discussed them or not.

A first class manipulator can feign empathy like a master. Drawing you in; encouraging openness, ‘go on tell me, I’m interested, I understand you’; during this moment anything you divulge will go on file in the manipulators head. At some point later this will be regurgitated, re-packaged and fired at you; at close range for maximum impact. This applies to those who you love; who’ll also be used to syphon information from; then rebranded to apply specifically to you and casting you in the most negative light. Literally your own support system can be used to bring you down.

This person is everything they accuse you of. They reflect back onto you every negative, destructive and damaging element of their personality until you own it. Their appetite for attention is unbridled; they’ll stop at nothing to engage anyone in their game. From the little old lady at the bus stop, the bar tender, young, old, male or female, that’s not the point. The point is to get from them what they need. This can include drama, validation, confrontation, flattery and more. And if you’re with them at the time you know that your needs are secondary to this engagement. You might be in a hurry, need the toilet, feel unwell, be late for work; the Narcissist doesn’t care, the blinkers are on, game is up and empathy and understanding for their ‘partner/friend/child’ no longer exists. Often the game will include you; whether you like it or not. You’ll be drawn in to corroborate truths, to be made fun of, used as a scapegoat perhaps. You may even have to observe outright flirtation which if questioned is diffused with a lecture regarding your insecurity and jealousy before reminding you just how ugly those traits are.

A Narcissist has no boundaries or filter. They are overpowering; physically; the level of their voice and strength, emotionally; by giving you no peace and invading your personal space, mentally; by nit-picking and creating the same exhausting and time consuming scenarios then insisting you talk about it, not to mention endlessly hogging the spotlight. A Narcissist lives for interaction and reaction; negative or dramatic is preferable. Faced with a worthy adversary they become defensive, angry and/or aggressive but not before they’ve tried to laugh or physically goad you out of it. If you don’t find it funny; what is your problem? Then a considered list of all the reasons it is your problem, why and who they could make contact with in that moment to substantiate this. Or there’s the ‘I’m sorry I’m just trying to have fun; do you remember fun?’ Equally peachy; ‘babe is there something wrong with you; seriously I’m here for you, you seem down, depressed, your face is sad and a bit difficult to look at?’ Followed by ‘I know what he/she did to you; the way they treated you, sure the negative things they said could be true; but not always, you do have good days…’.

One of the worst things to contend with I found were the never-ending contentious conversations about the same thing/issue/situation. I say conversations eventually I would call them ‘word salad’s’, ‘circular conversations’, ‘regurgitated venom’ or ‘verbal diarrhoea’. ‘Wordy- bollocks’ if you will. Either way it will drain your life force and sap your soul. Narcissistic talk is complex; veering off on a tangent, random and difficult to follow. This is deliberate; to catch you on the back foot, keep you off balance and therefore susceptible to their influence. You may even fear you’ve developed a hearing issue; ‘can you hear me?’ ‘Is your hearing okay’, ‘HELLO….’. That and nothing is ever their fault. Oh other than the tiny, insignificant thing you’ve definitely not complained/ or care about; like ‘babe I’m really sorry I’ve been placing the cushions weirdly on the sofa, it’s not fair to you and I should know better’ just to later proof their ability to ‘take responsibility’. Yet not for the actual mentally damaging, coercive and controlling mind games that play out day-in, day-out; for they are most definitely not their fault.

First way to break free from this; is it to no longer engage, for it is the reaction which is key to perpetuating the drama and the drama is essential fuel for the Narcissist. It is this fuel that keeps the fires burning; the fires of discontent, anger, irritation, condemnation and righteousness. For they are flawed people; for whatever reason, entitled, spoiled and embittered. So without the ability to be introspective and actually take responsibility for their actions; or at least understand why they behave as they do and how it impacts on those around them, they cannot be helped. Therefore you must leave.

On the other side of this madness; upon breaking free and running for the hills, you’ll experience a freedom, peace and absolute contentment you’d never imagine possible. There is life after the Narcissist and if you learn nothing else; it’ll be that you’re stronger than you ever thought.

❤️

Great Expectations

Life was simpler pre-millennium wasn’t it? Don’t say it wasn’t; it was. Everything is limitless these days. I mean it might have always been but we wouldn’t have known that. Back then we had to walk to use a public phone box to communicate with someone and if that person didn’t answer you’d be forced to return home (berating taking the shortcut via the allotments after walking white (yes, white; you never see that these days) dog poo all over the epilepsy-inducing Wilton). No chance to leave a message or anything. Photographs taken on cameras that you had to fit with a cartridge yourself then wait a few weeks to find out whether you’d managed to take even one decent photograph. People wrote letters; in their own handwriting with a pen then took it to a post box with a stamp and reverence and popped it in.

Waiting was common place; nobody really thought about it, it was what it was. I’d often wait for the local Butcher to fillet 4 chicken breasts right there in front of me. Stuff seemed more precious, more fought for; waited for, longed for. When I was a young Mum a big night in at our house was fancy crisps from the Spar which included a little tub of sauce to dip them in. I bloody loved those crisps. Washed down with one bottle of Diamond White each. If there was a celebration we’d share mushrooms in gravy from the chinese with prawn crackers. Yes I really was that classy. Obviously buying a deep-fat fryer was a game changer; now we could have fried potato in any shape our heart desired, on any given day…simple pleasures you see. That’s all we needed. And contentment was generally high as we had no real concept of what others were doing or having.

Today we are forced to mentally digest everyone’s life. Yes we can chose not to look; not engage in the social media circus and for the vast majority of us we dip easily in and out. And if the phone apps don’t get you the televisual brainwashing and advertising will anyway. Most of us have the good sense to know it’s only the polished version of a truth, even though the public display of what people have; regardless of how they’ve achieved it, has definitely furthered the myth of what is normal and in turn expected; particularly by young people.

A night ‘out out’ years ago would have seen me popping a Harmony box colour on my hair whilst spackling the bathroom and carpet a few hours before, then popping on my ‘going out clothes’ as there was invariably only one choice at a time and applying the brightest lipstick I owned. I’d drink either half a lager or Martini and lemonade and only expect to visit a few pubs and still be home in time for Come Dancing. I never thought of having my nails done, fake tan, eyelash extensions or having a ‘hair-up’ in a salon pre-drinking Prosecco with my friends.

And this level of expectation now applies to all areas of our life. Because we’re being led to believe that there is a lavish way of doing absolutely fucking everything and literally everyone is doing it and we can also do and have it should we aspire to do so (not labouring the extremely high price you will invariably pay as you entrench yourself both fiscally and mentally). Unless you’re going it alone; and then you can pick a ‘minority’ label? Of which there are now MILLIONS. If going down this route; at least go for something conservational; Veganism perhaps, anything other than some vile introspection, where you seek attention by berating the masses to appease your grossly inflated sense of self.

The poor young people of today with their great expectations of the brand new car that all their friends in essence ‘rent’ these days. Yes you don’t’ just rent a property, you also pay a premium to be told how far you can travel and in some cases between which hours of the day/night; in order to have use of a car you will never own but at least can be seen driving in the meantime. This along with your extortionate i-phone contracts, Netflix and Spotify accounts starts to drain the pay you receive for that middle-grade job you struggled to secure after 4 years at Uni put you into 40k’s worth of debt that you don’t really see as being yours.

Then there’s the ticking time bomb of ‘do I go travelling’, ‘further my career here and get on the property ladder’, ‘find my soul mate and get procreating’? And each one is time-limited; and to enable just one person to ‘have it all’ which they’re being invisibly force-fed to truly believe they can and should but for that to happen requires everything to go smoothly; absolutely fucking everything. There must be no mishaps; no deviations, missed turns or opportunities. No, there’s no time for that; not if you hope to tick off every stage of ‘having it all’; one bit going wrong will have a knock on effect and suddenly down come your hopes and dreams; collapsing like a pack of bloody cards and suddenly you’ve failed. Oh dear, you’ve only managed to have a career and a family; never been travelling? Must try harder; look at all these golden families on Insta trotting round the globe with their offspring; living the dream, assuring you it’s all totally possible. So you’ve travelled the earth but have now returned home the wrong side of forty with no significant other and an untarnished womb; all the mind-blowing sunrises not enough to stop you feeling unfulfilled and like you’ve failed the ultimate life experience; to actually create life…and so it goes on.

Expectations that remain just that and never materialise end up like a vulture of self-loathing that sits on your shoulder and constantly reminds you of what you’ve not got/had. They’re to be avoided. Though today’s world makes that very difficult and avoiding the endless taunting images of all that you’ve not yet achieved damn near impossible. And unfortunately no amount of motivational words, self-help links or sensible platitudes from your contemporaries will be enough. We need a full societal overhaul. For it’s not just the planet that’s in danger of imploding.

On a lighter note; it’s nearly Christmas and all my wrapping is done (badly).

I’ve Fallen off the Wagon

So there it is; the demise of my fitness is nearly complete. To re-cap 2017 was the year I re-sculptured my body and overhauled my cardiovascular system. I entered 2018 with a robust; muscular heart and arteries you could whistle down. I was an acheiver and could legitimately tick the ‘I do moderate exercise five times per week’ box without clenching my bum cheeks. Speaking of which when I did clench them; two firm orbs would be revealed; not that I looked…in a mirror…with a mirror…and a smile. My bingo wings were less dinner lady and more Caitlyn Jenner’s first unveiling. Even my ‘wobble’ (extra chin) which I inherited paternally along with dry skin and tiny cankles was reduced. Confidence levels relatively high I sashayed into the new year with further plans for physical endurance and personal acheivement.

2018 however didn’t pan out quite like that. In fact it could be described as roller-bladings over cobble stones in a tutu with no pants on, or juggling with puppies wearing Freddie Kruger’s gloves. Either way it’s kept me on my toes; and perhaps in retrospect that was quite enough exercise without actually visiting the gym! I did manage a walking challenge for charity in the summer and from that point on I developed an unhealthy obsession with excess eating and chilled white wine served with ice. I blame the heatwave; long summer nights listening to music under the trees whilst the kids made memories in a cheap 3-ring paddling pool until dusk. Where Kettle crisps and hummus replaced actual meals, and every night I’d produce a top-notch ice-cream cone with a variety of sprinkles before practising my Lambada and recalling the more deviant details of my first holiday abroad; Majorca 1988…

To be honest it’s standard for me to be fatter in the summer; why oh why the Lord does this to me I’ll never know. I mean right when I want to get my milk-bottle thighs out he adds podge and usually a fine rash from the heat. It seems a little unfair considering I’m Baptised, Confirmed and used to sing a ruddy decent Alto in the church choir for many years before turning to fags and cheap liquor. Anyway I accept this curse and usually adapt my warm weather wardrobe by becoming a hippie; layering, chakra bracelets, flip=flops with black painted toenails that sort of thing. That way I maintain an allure of still being in shape whilst working wishy-washy, flouncy clothing with an ethnic twist…up there for thinking down there for Bangra. Then before you know it I’m back in 80 denier’s with an a-line skirt and boots fooling the world like my Patchouli oil don’t stink, anyway I digress…

So it came to pass that my 10 classes a week at the gym fell to 6 then down to 4. As if to highlight my utter failing a whole bunch of my contemporaries at the gym continued (almost on purpose) to maintain their enthusiasm for what now seem a ridiculous number of classes per week. Furthermore they began to restrict their diet, clean eating and all that, weighing everything they ingested and performing complex mathamatical equations to ensure success. Rising like skinny, toned goddesses from the cheesy chips I still coveted they could calculate the macros I’d eaten that day, just from the the tension in the seams of my leggings. Whilst they were upping their kg’s, I’d purchased a pair of elastic-waisted trousers from Primark and considered an ISA to save for the Bariatric bed I’ll no doubt require in my lifetime. At this point it was autumn and life was simply about baked potatoes and early nights plus I’d also discovered Aldi’s cheap chocolate which wasn’t playing in my favour. Heading towards Christmas I’m now only attending one or two classes per week and the likelihood of me cancelling one or the other is quite high; depending on the Mother appearing brandishing a bottle of mulled wine and either child requiring a bath. So I’m now in a period of acceptance. And will trade henceforth on my ‘kind face’ and cheery disposition.

However my goals for 2019 are perfecting a ‘crab’ and achieving the ‘splits’; so watch this space…