Why Hello there!

The Face was a nickname bestowed me when I was little, given kindly to me by my parents as a result of the many ridiculous faces I used to pull.  This habit has in fact never left me, and I find the motivation behind these forms of expression to me represent the extraordinary, wild and wonderful world I find myself living in.  I am amazed every single day, I laugh every single day, I get mad.. real mad.. every single day.  The beauty and wonder, the pain and the sorrow, the intriguing and the downright stupid, I love it all and enjoy finding the funny side to every tiny piece of life I live.  I enjoy it so much in fact, I couldn’t possibly keep it all inside anymore as it was starting to leak out of my seams!  So here I go! Weeeeeeeeeeee

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The Mother-in-Law is coming…

My husband just came downstairs to find me crouched half way in the fridge, armed with a pot of super glue and delicately sticking together hairline fractures in the salad drawers.  “You have to write a blog about this!” He exclaimed through a mocking snicker.  He really doesn’t get it does he… my mother in law is coming to stay!!

Something about this yearly event, always and  without fail, results in parts of my house being cleaned that I haven’t seen since the day we moved in. I am seriously sent into some kind of Monica Geller frenzy, it’s like a spring clean on crack and for some reason it starts with a month of sadly, very conscious denial.

This is swiftly followed by a long period subconscious preparation, instructing myself sternly that this time will be different and that a quick once over with the hoover and a couple of anti-bac wipes will EASILY suffice. Oh and obviously the loo will need a wipe.. but don’t sweat it kendy, that won’t be required until at least the day before! Relax..

This goes on for a healthy stretch, the trepidation rising a teeny bit more each time and temporarily squashed by my “chill out plan”.. but to deal with the narrowing timeframe my list must slowly increase. It begins with the obvious, a shower clean, normal stuff!? Then windowsills.. definately still in the acceptable arena I would say.

Nevertheless, as the weeks surrounding the actual day come into view, the list starts to morph into quite a different creature. In fact the “mental list” takes a back seat as each day I find myself targeting a point in the house, starting with a casual sweep behind the sofas… still run of the mill stuff right!

I did question myself one morning as I scratched in an unnecessarily frantic manner with my fingernails at the kitchen tiles, but a quick internal assurance they “had to be done at one point” allowed me to carry on in blissful ignorance.  I then retrieved the glass cleaner from the back of the cupboard and even felt impressed at this point with my motivation as I blitzed the windows and buffed the mirrors.

You might be thinking at this stage that I am being overly dramatic, that it’s completely unexceptional to clean in preparation for a family or friend visiting.. and if it wasn’t for what occurs in the last 2 days before D Day ….you would be entirely correct. But suddenly things turn ugly…..very ugly

I clamber on top of kitchen counters sorting through kitchen trickets, I wander throughout the house in rubber gloves armed with anti-bac wipes and sliding them across every surface I can see that exceed 3 milimetres. I reorganise the attic space (because clearly she will be rooting around in there!!!?), Restacking the kindling next to fire like I am building a card house and at midnight can be found scrubbing bleach into the tile grout with a toothbrush in my dressing gown.

I spent over an hour on my knees with an old knife, painstakingly scraping between the floorboards retrieving plastic from broken toys, old used cotton buds and foul smelling mush that once upon a time.. in a galaxy far far away was most probably edible.

I dust picture frames, clean skirting boards, the fridge, the hob.. kettle.. toaster and banister rail. I fill holes, repaint doors, wipe down the tops of kitchen chairs, making endless trips to charity shops and the tip as I declutter every room in the house.

I actually nearly even poisoned the family when in an attempt to whiten our prehistoric bath that has ZERO enamel left, I poured neat ammonia all over it and nearly lost my eyesight and use of my lungs… Then against my hubbys advice I even left it on there for 30 minutes as we ran erratically around the house opening all the windows and doors and shivering as we painted the stairs. (Yup I painted the stairs too)

And no … The ammonia didn’t work..

Soooo by now you may possibly be viewing me through the eyes of most people I admit this all to, that I am absolutely and utterly ridiculous. But in my defence can I just squeeze in here that I did begin this blog with the full intention of questioning why I, and others like me, (i tell myself I cannot be alone..) go to such depths for visitors, and what it means on a psychological level.

But you know what, as I write all of this down something has become abundantly clear..

I LOVE IT!! It’s flipping fantastic!

Yes of course this facial tic causing debacle has me shouting at my family for a week like an enraged market trader, but man alive what better excuse can I use to pay such loving attention to my home.  Those parts of my abode that are as neglected as my fingernails get the love and care they so poorly need, and no self motivation was required!!

A total win for a professional proscrastinator, and for that my dear mother-in-law I thank you sincerely from the bottom of my heart.

Love & Regards

Your very exhausted daughter-in-law…

Let me tell you a little secret about “Yoga Class”

Ahhh, time for yoga.How lovely!.. what a joy it is to spend an hour of the day in total relaxation, not a thought in my mind, such peacefulness, only me and my empty mindful mind….. PAHAHAHA! Erm, the word NOT doesn’t even begin to cover the hilariousness of this concept, and though I know that is exactly what I SHOULD be thinking about yoga class, I know me and many other woman I have conversated with take part in an entirely different experience.

So let me break it down in a much more honest fashion than you may have heard previously, or possibly it was delivered to you by means of the media, most likely a youtube video that left you with envy so green that 4 minutes in you could likely massacre the incredible hulk… should the challenge present itself .  However of course you could also be in the same boat as me and relate quite comfortably.. or on the flip side happen to be a seasoned yogi who has mastered the wonder of being a hot ass yoga chick/fella, and in that case?….. through gritted and spitting teeth I give you my desperately forcrd congratulations.

So where to begin?  Well, actually that’s easy, as even walking in the door brings heart palpitations as you are met with a sea of eyes (if you are ALWAYS late like me of course) pouring over you and your general attire.. Well at least that what you are imagining anyway, the truth is neither here nor there and that goes for every mad thought us ladies have during these aneurysm inducing classes.

You feel your hands go clammy as you scan madly for someone you know, and the rising anxiety makes you so dizzy it’s hard to even recognise your friends!  Second to that, even if they came the chance of a spot next to them is slim, and the panic turns your stomach as you often realise you are left with the real possibility of a spot infront of… the mirror…. That friggin mirror!  I mean REALLY!?  Women are expected to contort their body into ungodly positions of imaginative torture and all the while have body parts we have never seen in our adult lives thrust infront of our face and under the scrutiny of 20 strangers.

The mirror has a wide array of problems actually, and the following is my favourite for sure. A friend of mine amuses me greatly when she describes how numerous times she has been stricken with a mirror spot, and twisted in a knot has found herself rarely and smugly admiring her form and physique, commending herself on her progress and general yoga smexiness. When suddenly the sickening realisation she is perving on some other chicks behind hits her like a wet fish. Funny, but so, so awful.

I personally have found myself time and time again with my head peering through between my legs, trying as hard as I try to ignore the jeering voices in my head egging me on to glance at myself, but my eyes ALWAYS betray me and flicker instantly to the reflection of my thighs!  I feel sick as I hysterically grasp at the hope that this mirror is just a mean one, one of those distorted kinds you find in some clothes stores, and wonder pathetically when on earth my legs became so ginormous. They cant possibly be as bad as they appear can they??  I mentally chant positive affirmations to myself and beg for the position to end or else my retinas may burn themselves into a crisp of shame.

Sooo many other thoughts cloud your mind during yoga classes, invading their way into your breathing and choking up your feable attempts to clear the space for “peace”.

You spy a pert butt infront of you and for 5 minutes are hypnotised with jealousy and hatred, with only your self assurance that she hasn’t had kids yet, she doesn’t know te stress and pain of life.  You tell yourself she is simple and naïve and probably has a miserable life of starvation to look that way… and just when you are almost convinced they turn around and you are greeted with a woman who is twice your age and has the figure of a victoria’s secret model. I mean.. SERIOUSLY?!

One of my fav issues is the crotch hole dread. Every time I am in class and first time comes to throw myself over my legs and  lunge my fanny toward the ceiling, I am forced to find a sneaky second to slip a finger over my seams to ensure no holes are exposing a place I personally like to save for my hubby and the toilet bowl. It’s just weird let’s be honest.. but unavoidable! (I know you’re thinking I could check in the car first.. but thread doesn’t choose when it snaps ok!)

And whats with the breathing? You make every effort to appear poised, exerting your breath in a meaningful but pleasant display.  However what comes out is always substantially appalling, and the challenge of not sounding like some enthusiastic porn star or a friggin 250lb russian bodybuilder grunting through a deadlift session seems insurmountable.

And man alive you better hope the teacher doesn’t start to head your way. Mid position you spy her edging around the room tweaking people into place, and trust me when I tell you this…. You DONT wanna be tweaked! You push yourself as far as you can, every muscle quivering and screaming in pain, eyes wide with panic as she passes you by, her gaze travelling slowly over every inch of your form, deciding whether you will feel her wrath. It is quite literally terrifying, and easily comparable to when you were in primary school waiting with colossal distress to get picked last for rounders teams.

And don’t even get me started on the leggings!!  Like seriously..  It’s fashion warfare and all guns are blazing let me tell you!  An honest friend admitted a decent chunk of the lesson is occupied by her observation of which leggings were purchased from which store and which were sourced online.  I should say at this point that we all live in a rural location so saying decent clothes are hard to come by is a major understatement. Looking snazzy at yoga is the height of cool OK,  and clocking the chick rocking up in her shiny new pants is quite intense mark my words.  Through the faint murmur of feigned appreciation in the room you can literally smell the envy seeping out of our pores. Once an awesome pair has sauntered into the room I can easily be dazed for a full 30 minutes imagining what design I could aquire to make some heads turn and picture my entrance like I am some kinda loser face in a Katy Perry video.  Sad….  Just sad.

So with this added pressure to dress like an instagram model, perform the positions of torture,  avoid the mirror,  and all the while being bendier and more effortlessly beautiful than anyone else in the room you may ask me why we do this to ourselves? Why even go to yoga… right??

Well, us ladies have convinced ourselves it is for spiritual growth..  That we can also be and feel like the bronzed goddess we saw on social media, who was doing crow pose on the beach in Thailand, as she travelled in her gap year. And that being  able to put our legs over our head will be useful in our old age.. I mean,  why wouldn’t it be?! And also if we do yoga it automatically makes us sexy meditation Queens of light and love right?

It’s a badge of honour, and when mentioned casually in any conversation it leaves an impression on any listener that you watch TV with your belly on the floor in box splits, and can pick up your kids with your feet while in handstand. And you do this with a core that would rival the earth’s iron inner and with glutes that could open a pistachio nut.

Well…. that’s what everyone else thinks…. Right…?!

The Search for fame: A sociological disease

Let me just make my excuses before I begin here, because yes.. I wanted to be a pop star when I was little OK! I will admit it now and explain myself later. And yes OK when I say little I mean probably up until I was 24.. does that count as little?! Hey in Okinawa I am practically an adolescent at 24 so I claim relativity in this case and feel I can safely move on to my concerns. translate -general whinge.

I will also say I expect anyone reading this may already have a fair insight into this sweeping epidemic, and probably know someone of are indeed an individual who is personally affected? I speak of course of the “I want to be famous” bug that has infected our culture like a killer virus. Everywhere we turn children of increasingly younger ages are painting their faces and mimicking their idols on the internet in the hope of achieving stardom.

That isn’t the only way either, with the endless barrage of reality TV shows focusing on some of the mostly absolutely desperate fame seekers in their given countries the example shown to our youth is a hilarious but terrifying travesty. Social media platforms such as twitter, Facebook and Youtube also allow for the creation of huge followings based on nothing more than their ability to look great in a bikini and a ton of war paint that would make Predators’ Arnie look like freshly bathed baby.

Every single half way to pretty girl who can hold a tune is picking up a guitar and soullessly strumming out identical tunes, in an identical voice, with identical hair and in an identical format. Our young men and boys are doing the same too.. chilling carbon copies and each one more willing to sell their soul than the next. Competing in cyberspace for likes and comments, subs and followers. Pictures of heavily edited selfies and plates of foods that these clones spent 20 minutes decorating congest the pages of our web, leading me to wonder if they even remember what warm food tastes like anymore.

And hey, if not even a sniff of talent or personality is available they can join a show like ‘The only way is Essex, audition for Xfactor or BGT, then last but by no means least.. sleep with a footballer. Oh wait! I thought I reached the bottom of the barrel but missed something hiding under the sludge… ahh yes Big Brother of course… the one and only.

So where did this all start? How have our sweet darling children gone from wanting to be astronauts and nurses to wanting to find self worth in the adoration of faceless thousands for something that essentially has no meaning? Maybe I can make sense of it by using my own example? I myself grew up listening to and loving music and dance, and being a huge Michael Jackson fan I would watch him glide across the stage and sparkle like a star under my adoring gaze. His performances and the sheer entertainment he delivered was undoubtedly a huge inspiration, so what little boy or girl, or adult for that matter wouldn’t want to be loved that way? Well yes maybe not everyone, but I was not alone.. obviously!

I found out luckily I did have a talent for dance and studied performing arts then moved onto amateur dramatics in my 20’s, but then life took over, insecurities and self doubt crept in and throw in a good portion of laziness for good measure and I was out of the game. In my defence I like to think those from my generation had a more purest approach to their pursuits in regards to fame, but it was around this time we saw the birth of reality television and the horror show REALLY began.

I feel like I may have had a lucky escape sometimes, but still question my own previous expectations to try and relate to the modern youth. More likely a frantic attempt to remove myself subjectively from any comparisons but whatever. So thinking back, I didn’t think a lot of myself at all, and yes I suppose I wanted to be loved, I wanted to feel beautiful, I wanted to feel… special. My home life had tough moments like most of us of course, and where there may have been an affirmation gap the thought goes that the applause of a crowd could go some way to filling it? This is a gross simplification I know and the psychological dissection could go on for 1000 pages i kid you not, but what we see today?! I am not sure in all honesty could be explained by stories like mine.

It’s like trying to understand why a heroin addict would abuse to the point of tragic overdose when they came from a loving and nurturing home. This present day ambition for attention is some kind of warped and disjointed version of mine, one that was driving through the desert, ran out of fuel, got lost in the vast expanse looking for help and came out the other side starved of food and water, with only the whisper of a memory about where they were heading in the first place.

And Facebook?! I perceive it as a tasteless tabloid newspaper illustrating every inch of our lives. Triggering in people a scary ability to perform like circus monkeys, to throw away all self respect, identity, any sense of privacy, and enabling the worst parts of human nature to spill out all over the news feeds of what now seems to be every nations of our already crippled planet.

I have no smart solutions I won’t lie to you, and it may seem like I am being somewhat resistive or antisocial, but I worry for my children s future. I wish they looked up to people because of their unquestionable positive impact on humanity, and not for the fact that they changed their hair colour six times in their last music video. I know I must do my best to offset the compelling and persuasive media and teach my children as much about the true meaning of life that I can, and trust me I will. But it is a hard battle to fight, and if I am not checking myself CONSTANTLY the current can be known to sweep me from my soap box in an instant and leave me stranded…. pouring over an article on some flipping Kardashian. Sigh…. so yeah, the pull is strong and we MUST fight tooth and nail darn it! Wish me luck!

 

The lunchbox debate: Tales from the WORST offender

This is a thing right?? Lunchbox shame? I CAN’T be the only one who agonises over the choices I make as I painstakingly endure the designing, prepping and packing of… THE LUNCHBOX. Can I just say, If you are low income enough to get school dinners paid for.. then congratulations!.. and the same well wishes go to the rich peeps who can pay for them themselves too. I don’t hate you.. I am very.. very… happy for you, honestly… I am…and can I add I am in NO way upset with the fact i am blessed by the wonderful affliction of which I now speak. Cough… cough.
So, I remember so clearly the first time my shame reared its ugly head, when a darling lady i know so innocently remarked on her shock at the state of children’s lunchboxes at her school. She exclaimed with great passion how her own offspring have come home and reported back the horror of what they saw as the scanned their neighbours boxes during lunch. “JAM sandwiches!!” she gasped at us almost in disbelief.. “on WHITE bread!!” My stomach turned in a way that almost made me choke as I sipped my tea and I panicked, throwing her a glance back that assured her I was as surprised and appalled as she was. “That’s not even starting on their crisps and chocolate bars that they have as well!!” she added, and the nail was well and truly in the coffin.

She had described perfectly the desecration of a lunchbox I sent my kids in with everyday, and I couldn’t even bring myself to admit it and defend myself… I mean what was there to defend?! “I know right! Same at our school! Just crazy isn’t it?!” The lie left my lips and I was about as proud of myself as I would be if I had taken spare change from a blind mans’ collection tub.

I ruined my kids in their early years… I will confess to that now. The stress of parenting took a hold on me and left me with the health concerns of 13 year old boy. I had become so lazy there were many times we just had breakfast from the treat drawer, the sight alone of which would give most people diabetes, and a drawer of that gross magnitude should never have been allowed to even exist in a home with toddlers.

The next stage I shuffled on to wasn’t much better, and it generally meant I would ask the kids what they wanted.. and that’s what they got… (not the best responsibility to give a 2 and 4 year old ya reckon?!) Supper was often sugary cereal or toast with chocolate for dessert! Lunch could easily be 5 bags of crisps and a piece of fruit, and we NEVER ate together. Being a vegan and a bit (OK a lot) of a food nut I was forever trying the latest fad diet and hardly ever ate grub that the kids didn’t wrinkle their faces up at, so after various failed attempts to get my family on board I gave up like a penchant child, grumbling and whinging that “there’s no point in my cooking suppers, no-one even eats them!”

Now why am I telling you all about this I ask myself, is it even interesting?? Is this just confession maybe, spilling my guts to repent for my sins in my attempt to peel myself from my old skin? Most likely this was initiated by a not so small triumph I take credit for actually, when last friday my youngest son brought home a sticker he got at school and proudly announced it was for having the healthiest lunchboxes in his class. Yup that happened, the skittles and penguin bars for breakie mum felt like she had won the lottery, no joke!

It has been an incredible struggle to get to this place and man I have along way to go with getting my act together, but maybe I want to open up to let others know who may relate to me that EVERYDAY i want to stuff oreos and dairylea lunchables in their bags with a caprisun, and EVERYDAY i want to give them poptarts and strawberry milk for breakfast. But I don’t, and now eating supper together is one of the highlights of my day.

Honestly though at times it has literally hurt me to make the efforts I do, but when I look at their little faces and bodies, and remind myself that as they grow every single inch will be formed directly from the fuel that mummy dearest puts on their plates, I quickly get a slap in the face. It’s a mad concept that I know, but a true one, and a magnificent responsibility that keeps me focused thankfully.

So, am i alone? Maybe yes I am a shining example of how NOT to feed your children, and maybe you have never struggled, and I applaud you if this is true, but maybe now you may feel a little more normal, and forgive yourself a little more… if you are even a small bit like the person I was and fight not to be. You must also know we are up against the giants of industry at every turn, peddling their shiny and delicious wares that have been delicately and with precision engineering, designed to make us and our children addicted in ways we may never fully understand without decades of research ourselves.

We have to just tweak and tug, here and there, and do our best with the knowledge we can acquire on google (around vital netflix sessions of course) and with what our environment allows. Nothing can be perfect, and I most certainly am not, but things are changing, and change is the only constant… apart from those friggin fiddly lunchboxes with their tincy tupperware containers and all the crapping prepping!!!!… AGGGGHHHHHHHH…… SLAP!!… so worth it Kendy ❤

Oh youth where art tho??

Oh no.. Tell me this isn’t happening… years of arrogant boasting about how I will grow old naturally echo in my head as I sense clammy pits coming over the horizon.  It sneaked up on me slowly in my defence, and considering at the tiny age of 34 it still feel like yesterday I nervously purchased my first box of tampons I couldn’t have really been prepared right?!  Well OK it was probably a box of super plus nappy imitating pads, but I like to romanticise I was a tad cooler than I actually was, so lets get back to the deadly serious subject of my sudden desire to self preserve. Right, so It doesn’t help that my husband is a budding photographer you know.. and In fact I would like to renounce all responsibility and blame my recent (incredibly superficial) concerns on him completely if that’s OK? I mean why on earth would a happy clappy humanist mother of two, who has spiritually propelled herself past the trappings of image presentation that held me prisoner in my youth, suddenly feel like leaving the house without lippy on would be as sensible as doing the school run in my pj’s??.. and not the nice ones either. (you know the ones I mean!)

It started with a picture here and there as I faffed about the house doing chores.. “hey kendy smile a second” my husband would innocently ask after fiddling with the settings on his camera.  I kindly obliged, as I generally do, and thought nothing of it at first.  “Don’t worry about posing it’s just to check the lighting” he would say, and I confidently smiled as he clicked away. I happily Ignored the small and meek voice in my head and initially took no interest in seeing the pictures he took, blissfully floating on in ignorance.  But, time passed and inevitably my husband started to ask my opinion.. from a professional angle of course.. and completely unbiased, naturally!  So, I scanned my eyes over them, purposefully keeping my judgements as far from my tongue as I could bear and chanting mantras of self love loudly over that (not so meek anymore) voice that was chattering to me a bit more casually than I would have liked at this point. “they’re great honey! Well done!” Every cell of my being urged me fervently to spend an hour pouring over the images, dissecting my wrinkled eyes, my red blotchy rosacea covered skin and my pale cracked lips. Not to even get started on my puffy face that I hardly recognise from those extra damn 30 lbs that seems to attach itself to me, no matter how hard I try to ditch em when their back is turned!

And hey don’t get me wrong, I am aware.. WELL aware just like the rest of us that I am not a victoria secret supermodel, and I eat more for breakfast than they eat in a week.  And along with the rest of the sensible women in the world I know my looks don’t define me, they are not what make me successful, a good mother or wife, or a good and humble human being who contributes positive energy to our planet, spreading love and peace as I go about my day… but man alive I REALLY don’t look 17 years old anymore!!  I could always rely on my young plump red lips to present my smile, and my glowing skin to carry that smile happily around without a care in the world (well less cares anyway).  But, it appears that I have stumbled upon the realisation that at some point I maybe have to actually start taking care of myself??  That my nonchalant care free approach to my skincare and general presentation (ie coconut oil and a splash of water) wont carry me trough into my 40’s and beyond. Am I destined to be scanning forums for advice on plumping creams and mature skin friendly foundation?  To spend hours pouring over lipstick  reviews to ensure I get a lasting effect that leaves me content I got good value for money? Ahhh crap balls…  And YO! on top of that I have even discovered a new desire to “dress for my figure”, to wear things because they are practical and stylish, not because those 7 inch wedge platforms will clash perfectly with my pink spiked hair, and not because my flared jeans are slung so low  that when I bend down a 30 stone builder would be jealous of dat biblical crack.

Also, I NEVER thought I would agree with my mother on the ideal rise on a pair of skinnies, or dreamed I would consider chopping in my vintage glam rock faux fur jacket for some kinda ..fitted.. wool coat with… toggles?? Sigh… I am not the person I thought I was anymore, and I must take this new woman out for a skinny soya latte (I know right…) to ask her how we should move forward from here.  I feel about as prepared to grow up as I feel ready to do a 360 backflip off the wall of china on on a bmx, but apparently it is inevitable?  And hey, maybe it wont be so bad to look clean and classic, maybe I could rock it?!  Maybe I will enjoy my new brown brogues,  and relish not spending 5 minutes adjusting my outfit every time I get off a chair.  It’s very possible that resigning myself to watching youtube tutorials on “how to create the perfect 5 min early morning dash Up-Do” will lead to a found effortless looking style that makes me proud to be growing older…. With a little helping hand of course!!  Let the sell out begin….

P.S I’m obviously keeping the fur.. (Shh don’t tell grown up kendy)