Britmums Live- Like I Wouldn’t Come Along!

This June is the annual Blog version of the holy grail of Conferences, Britmums Live at The Brewery, and as longterm readers know I’ve been going since the very start (as well as the two earlier versions under a different name). I even came along to the 2009 Zoo Meet Up.

I wasn’t sure I was going to come along this year. After all, I’m ancient, I can’t and wont learn HTML or SEO or anything else that seems more important than actual blogging these days. 

However, I did have second thoughts when some very lovely mates told me I should come along and they would miss me if I didn’t. 

That’s why I’m happy to announce I will indeed be there, and all thanks to the lovely people at Harper Collins.

Harper Collins will be linking up both with us here at Lazy Girl’s Life, and we’ll be bringing you competitions and reviews (or rather the Brats will at their Youtube Takeover channel) at Family Panel Reviews too.

We love Harper Collins books in this house so its certainly a great partnership. You can sign up at my sponsor badge top left.

I am going to join in with the Meet and Greet, although I’m sure most people will know me by now, but there are so many new faces excited about Britmums and their first year maybe there are some new people to meet too.

Here is me:

This is me with the long suffering, long written about Elder, my other half of some 14 years (I know, 14 years!) 

I blog here at Lazy Girl’s Life, at Lazy Girl Cooks and I’m Chief at Family Panel too. Well, I say Chief but most folks want to work with the Brats these days. So it can only be a matter of months before they nick the whole thing.

I am a Twitter user, and have been almost as long as I’ve been blogging (I’ve done that since 2006!). You can find me @TheLazyGirlBlog , and at Facebook too. But I don’t do much there to be fair, its more for my mates and for buying too many records on Facebook selling sites.

I also love Instagram. I’m addicted actually. I post all sorts on there- stuff I cook, stuff I love, stuff of the Brats not seen on my blog, I always have a camera in my hand. 

*What I look like:

Well, I have red hair (totally thanks to Live Colour XXL, not down to genetics), cos if I don’t it has gray and I look well old. I have green eyes. I’m pretty tall I suppose. 

I have not a clue what I’m wearing on the day, but it will probably be jeans and not the stupid shoe boots I wore until I got to the cafe last year, or the red shoes that I hadn’t realised how slippery they were until I slipped in a puddle before the BiBs and thus everyone thought I was drunk, when I actually wasn’t. 
I don’t drink very much at all. I prefer Cake. 

I will be wearing my purple specs though. I will also probably have my phone in one hand, Instagramming everything, and my actual proper camera in the other, whilst balancing my business cards and looking for peeps I know.

*What are you looking forward to most?

Oh tough one! There are some brilliant speakers this year (as ever), a proper eclectic mixture of ‘slebs, and the Old Firm of Blogging. I am most looking forward to Mel‘s words of joy and wisdom (the lady who stopped me from making this blog into a twee nondescript bore fest and told me not to follow everyone else’s expectations but to blog how I wanted), I want to go give Chelsea a big hug (as we barely had chance last year). I want to swap gossip and intrigue and Breast feeding love (sorry Mumsnet- boobies rock whether we are being feminist with them or feeding a baby) with Liska, and generally want to meet some great people, as I do every year.

*Stuff in general:

Well, I’m sarcastic, shit with names (I shall call you sweetheart, babe, darling or doll. I am crap at names, blog or otherwise. I’m not rude, I just have appalling memory down to the headaches I get), I won’t look over your shoulder for someone better to talk to, I will stalk ‘slebs in a fan girl way, I will crush on how immaculate Susanna and Jen always look (they never look frazzled despite organising a behemoth of a conference every year- how? how?). I will love you if you talk music (I love vinyl), don’t ask me about SEO (I know nix) but you can ask me a brief history of the blog world as we know it (copyright). 

So, come say hi!

I may be doing the cafe pre-meet up, but after seeing Annie and pals having a boozy time across the road last year, I may just join you. I may actually go and grab some pie and mash from Arments first (so I can Facebook a pc and annoy Elder), so stay tuned.

Thank you so much Harper Collins!

Say you in June guys x

(Oh and if you’d like to nominate me for Keynote speech feel free!)

…And Then the Stupid GP Proved Me Right (Again)

Following on from my previous rant laden post regards the NHS and their attitude towards woman, I wanted to update you on the latest farce. It seems it’s not just woman but anyone who fancies asking the NHS to actually do anything, at all.

About 12 weeks ago, I asked for Littlest to be re-referred to his lovely Consultant. He hasn’t seen him for about 2 years, and we were hoping we wouldn’t need to see him again as we would have assumed that the District Asthma Clinic could be sufficient.

Why, why on earth, going on previous experience, did I think that? I actually could kick myself.

The thing is, Littlest has the same inhalers he has always had. They simply do not do the same thing as they used to do. His Blue, Ventolin Inhaler is supposed to work to put a halt to the times when he finds it hard to brave without coughing. Despite giving him up to ten puffs at once (which is supposed to act like being on a nebuliser when used with his spacer device), it does absolutely nothing to relieve it at all.

As for the Brown Preventer, well, we may as well not bother with it for all the use it is- think making a brew with a chocolate tea pot.

We have begged and pleaded with his GPs, and the frankly slappable Asthma Nurse (who bad mouthed me for using the correct spacer as given to us by his Consultant and backed up by the GP) to do something, anything, to try and limit the effect his illness has. He is having more and more time off school, which means we had the bloody Welfare Education Officer trying to interfere (she got told where to go until she can suggest a cure for his illness- that soon shut her up).

It also means that Littlest’s behaviour is getting beyond a joke. He runs at me on occasion, fists raised, and he gets so angry. Which in turn then makes him get out of breath and cough lots. Its the lack of sleep that causes a lot of it, the same as I am constantly knackered and could happily nod off by 7pm every night as I’m just so sleepy.

The thing is, we know of other families attached to the same GP, who have children of similar age with the condition, and they are forever trying different meds on them. Littlest, meanwhile, just doesn’t exist.

Now, because the Cretinous GP and his shoddy and brain dead Secretary know they have messed up, by asking the Consultant to see Littlest about his allergies, rather than his cough, they are now trying to skirt round the fact it is there fault this mess has occurred and are trying to pass the blame to me.

How on earth they can blame me for their immense cock up is anyone’s guess. As you’ll remember, if you read the previous post, firstly I was told I hadn’t been clear enough on what I wanted him to be seen for (so telling the GP I wanted him to be seen as his inhalers don’t work any more and I want him, for the first time ever since SCBU, to be monitored overnight is clearly not plain English enough for him).

When that didn’t work, they lied and told him I was very unhappy with his original help (bollocks) and I wanted a second opinion.

Which, correct me if I’m wrong, but a second opinion from the same person who voiced the original opinion clearly does not work. And why on earth would I want to go back to someone that I didn’t have faith in to the point I would want a second opinion? It just doesn’t make sense.

So now, as the previously OK Consultant is now sulking (like a bitch) thinking we have been all mean about him (diddums), he wont see Littlest.

Great stuff. God knows where we turn to next. 

Which leads me onto epic cock up number 2 from the same surgery.

In the same post I mentioned how I felt the female GP I had hoped would show some female solidarity was an utter cow and had, in my opinion, ignored me, but that I awaited to see how much she had ignored me when my referral for a Gynaecological investigation came through.

It came through today.

Is it for the female Gynaecologist who I mentioned I wanted to see, for the simple, non-sexist reason that, frankly, my Lady Garden is my own and it’s quite up to me who I give an audience to?

No, is it buggery.

It’s for the same bloody pissing male one who I asked, begged and pleaded not to see last time, then twiddled my thumbs waiting for a new appointment to switch to his female peer, gave up and went to the bitch of woman GP to ask her to resend my referral. 

I hate to be proved right, I really do. Why have I wasted the last week odd waiting patiently to see who the referral was to? I knew, I just flaming knew before I left that office, shaking and upset, that she had ignored me. That she had some bloody issue with me, you know, how dare I, wanting to use what is my right as a patient to voice that I wanted to see a fellow woman rather than a man. 

So, now it all starts again. I have to phone up the hospital and cancel, and hope they don’t forget why I’ve cancelled (or forget I’ve cancelled at all) and yet again send some snotty letter to my GP. I then have to wait for an appointment with another GP at the surgery. I wont be allowed an Emergency appointment, as the Gates of Hell otherwise known as the desk Secretaries wont allow me to (they ask what you want, and before you tell me you don’t need to tell them, the last time I refused, telling them it was naff all of their business, they made me take an appointment for three weeks later), so I will need to wait at least a week and half, if not two, for a standard appointment. I will then have to wait two weeks (if not more- after all, we’re at the 9 week mark for Littlest’s referral with no conclusion or appointment in sight) for the letter for an appointment, and then over a month (at least) for an actual appointment, if anyone actually listens and books it with a bloody woman.

This, this is why the NHS is in crisis.

Why in Christ’s name they cannot get their heads around simple admin is beyond me? Its to the point where I am close to requesting to write my own bloody referrals, getting them stamped by the GP and then handing them in at the required hospital, getting an acknowledgement of receipt while I’m there. 

If they actually did it the first time, rather than having to go back and forth, sending out new referrals for the same thing at least 3 times before you get anywhere, they’d save a bundle.

I can’t be the only one wondering why I bother even seeing a GP, when I know, full well, from years of experience that they do naff all however much you beg and plead.

The (Not So) Dreaded Parents Evening, 2014 Edition

Tonight, we had to stand around in the cold even longer than usual after school, as it was that time of year again where you are herded into a classroom which comfortably fits 25 5-6 or 6-7 year olds but is slightly tight for space when filled with parents.

Yes, the group Parents Evening.

I think, despite the claustrophobia, that I prefer the mass Parents Evening to the scarier individual one. You can generally get away with a glance at the books, a few positive nods for a certain drawing or piece of maths and a quick chat with the teacher and be done and dusted in under 5 minutes per child. 

I also have to admit, that, now both Brats seems to be doing very well, and Mini’s teacher this year gets her and her, shall we say “artistic temperament” (and encourages her), and we are no longer the parent’s everyone listens out for, I can now assume the position of eavesdropping on other parent’s teacher conversations.

And before you all pour scorn on me, don’t say you’ve never actively tuned in to the discussions between the harassed teacher and the parent’s of that kid who you know is always being told off (and in the case of our school, habitually pulled aside outside of the classroom where it is far too loud to listen in on).

 Being nosy aside, I have to say both The Brats are doing pretty well. Littlest is catching up considering he is half a year behind and has time off sporadically due to his ill health. He is far outreaching other’s in Maths. They do some new challenge where they ask the kids to pick what maths they do (I’m assuming that there isn’t a “not for me, I’d rather read comics or surf the net” option), and how hard the maths in, and he always picks the hardest level. He clearly does not get this maths skill from me. I can barely add up with the aid of a calculator.

Mini is still not interested at all in maths- my fault entirely as to be fair I was exactly the same. However, her handwriting is much improved, and when they all get together to make up a story, she is by far the one who gets into it, and would carry on for double the time the rest do before they get bored or go onto doing something else.

It’s nice to see two kids who are mine doing well at a mixture of things. As I said to a disappointed Mini, if you’re great at everything without trying, life would be pretty boring. It’s much nicer to have something to work towards, and, in the same way she read Green Eggs and Ham over and over for a month before she could read it without stumbling, so she will eventually do the same with maths.

As for Littlest, he appears to be much more able to keep up than previously, and has gone from someone who could barely hold a pencil to writing and problem solving for fun. 

Safe to say that regardless at this age it’s all relative, I’m happy if they are happy, and at this age they are still so young and have plenty of time to progress.

I am still quite a proud Mummy this evening though.

Are you off to Parent’s Evening? Do you dread them? Let me know below….

World Book Day, An Actual Win and An Attack of the Dolly Daydreams (Again)

Yesterday was World (or Middle Class as I like to call it) Book Day, and we sorted out costumes rather well in the end. 

Littlest, who wanted to be Bunny Foo Foo, then James Bond (so he could kiss his favorite girls) and finally settled on Willy Wonka had a rather fetching top hat, although not from the Poundshop- there’s an idea for next year guys). It was from a Fancy Dress store in Windsor. 

On the morning, he didn’t want to be Willy Wonka afterall, but Spiderman. Threatening him with wearing his school uniform worked in the end though and he did as he was told. It wasn’t too cold yesterday, but I did change the costume slightly at the end. Instead of wearing the purple trousers (which came with the purple velvet top as it was really a Joker costume), which were very thin, I persuaded Littlest to wear his cream jeans. 

You have to love Youtube at times like this. He was very unhappy at wearing the jeans until I proved that Gene Wilder wore cream trousers in the film (neglecting to show him the Johnny Depp version). 

Mini was happy until we got to school and everyone of her age thought she was Red Riding Hood and not “70’s Film Version” Verruca Salt. That soon past when everyone over the age of 30 knew exactly who she was. Her lovely teacher (dressed as Matilda) knew straight off who she was, remarking that only her hair wasn’t a carbon copy of the costume from the film.

Lots of the teachers turned up in costume to add to the excitement, we had an Ommpah Lumpah, a Jessie from Toy Story, a Cruella Devile and a Where’s Wally amongst others. With the kids, there were lots of Gruffalos, Wallys, Princesses and Super heroes of varying degrees.

And, before you read this you may wish to sit down- Mini only went and won her class costume prize. I know right? Which ended up causing much hilarity on Facebook and suggestions of “d’you think they’ve read your blog again?” (which did cross my mind).

I walked up to grab them from school, the weather seems to be doing well now (hooray) and so its nice to meander home. 

Only problem was, I was laden with some shopping, my handbag, Littlest’s hat and PE kit, and Mini’s reading folder, so I asked Mini to put Littlest’s reading folder which had a mere 3 think books inside and weighed next to nothing on her shoulder. Her one doesn’t have a strap but his does.

Except, she decided at some point on the 5 minute stroll downhill, to hide it behind a wall in someones garden. Or drop it completely. 

She has no clue why or where she left it. She could’ve just asked me to bloody hold it. We didn’t realise until we’d been in half hour, and by the time we drove back up the road it was gone. 

Which will cost me at least £24 to replace the school books and folder, and meant Littlest was upset as his free book token was in the bag. I was so cross with her, she’s not a baby, it wasn’t heavy. I don’t honestly know what on earth has gotten into her recently, one minute she is so good and helpful, next minute she reverts back to babyhood.

As I said, definite attack of the costly Dolly Daydreams.

So, a win, a massive fail, and a Book Day all in one.

They’re off to the local Building site next week- which fills me with horror as Mini has enough trouble walking round a flat, even, dry surface indoors without causing a disaster, so goodness knows what she’ll be like at a building site.

How did your Book Days go? 

Pop Stars Are Not Role Models for Your Child. You Are.

Bless that Rihanna.

Not since Madonna and Ga Ga has someone caused such consternation regards what she wears or, more to the point, doesn’t wear. 

Last week, at Paris Fashion Week, she was photographed wearing a mesh top and no bra. Yes, everyone, her Lady Lumps were front and centre.

Now, what Rihanna thinks of bras I don’t know. I’m not a massive fan of the buggers myself, and there is no greater feeling than removing one after a long day (especially the scaffold ones I have to wear these days). However, the fact that she has a rather admirably fine pair of them, well, good luck to her. She’s a grown woman, she is clearly confident enough to pull it off without a hint of embarrassment, and frankly, boobs are such that you may as well make the most of their flashability before they droop. There is only a short window of opportunity. 

The media had a field day though, and, as per usual, the same “how dare she! She’s a role model for Britain’s youth!” was voiced loud and clear. 

Well, the thing is, I don’t agree. 

When Harry from that crap band my daughter likes goes out merrily shagging anything with a pulse and a Lady Garden, there is mild tuts but he’s treated like a legend. Rihanna celebrates her lovely figure and pert bosoms and she gets widespread condemnation. 

The thing which annoys me is not just the blatant sexism, but the fact that there is a suggestion that, down to Rihanna, a load of young impressionable girls will be no doubt going to their local shopping centres with their own burgeoning breasts on show. 

How, though, is that Rihanna’s fault?

There seems to be a suggestion, linked to the media, that Pop Stars and TV folk are suddenly responsible  for what our children do. It’s their fault if your child goes out inappropriately dressed. Or if they have daft tattoos too young. 

Yet it’s not their fault. It’s your fault.

Celebs are not there to parent or guide our children. They are not there to show them what is right and wrong. 

I’m finding, as Mini gets older and starts to get to the Tween age (she’s 7 in April), that she likes a wide range of celebs and their music or TV shows. She loves Perrie from Little Mix, and as she is blonde too (although I’m not sure Perrie is as naturally blonde as my daughter), Mini wanted to dye the ends of her hair just like her favorite pop star had last year.

This is as close to dressing like Little Mix as my daughter gets

If I had of let her do that, whose fault would that have been? The whole putting chemicals in her hair thing? It would have been my fault as her Mum. 

She also likes Rihanna and Katy Perry, and although both dress the way they do which is, if not age appropriate certainly makes the most of their figures, there is no way on earth I would allow Mini to wear anything like what they wear. Especially not the vest with on show boobage thing.

It’s not the job of these people, who we will probably never meet and who, most times, are guided by a need to be in the newspapers and on gossip sites to tell our kids how to behave.

It’s about time we told the media that too. Stop making excuses when parent’s fail to have the sense they were born with. 

So, next time you blame a celebrity for your child’s behavior or dress sense, take a moment and take responsibility. There is such a word as no after all.