Mary Poppins – A Magical Distraction To The Reality Of Real Life

I’ve never seen the original Mary Poppins. Obviously I know all the songs and I’ve seen clips but I don’t think I’ve ever sat down and watched the whole movie. I was, however, hugely looking forward to the new film and mainly because of Emily Blunt who I think is an immensely talented actress (sorry I refuse to gender neutralise everyone with actor) and someone whose films I always enjoy.

So on a very grey December afternoon, in that period between Christmas and New Year when no one knows what the actual day is, I settled down at our local cinema (one of those quaint, step back in time places with ushers, bags of proper sweets and comfy seats) for a couple of hours of escapism.

I was hooked from the opening song and despite being surrounded by coughing, wriggling, children I completely absorbed myself into the movie. I have to say that I thought Emily Blunt was superb as Mary Poppins and I found myself quietly sobbing as she reminded the children that their deceased mother hadn’t really gone away as she was all around them (through the haunting lyrics of “Where the lost things go”. All of the acting was superb, the special effects excellent and the score destined to become a timeless classic. The appearance at the end by a very elderly but energetic Dick Van Dyke and Angela Lansbury was the icing on a beautifully decorated cake for me. I could have sat there all afternoon . I left the theatre smiling and uplifted with a renewed determination to keep finding the joy in life. It was magical.

Go and enjoy it.

A Sobering Affair

My son has a new girlfriend. This in itself is good news as the last one brought with her a whole pile of problems so I’m glad that new said girlfriend seems normal – although I’ve yet to meet her. “What will girlfriend be doing today”? I said when he arrived Christmas morning (I won’t give her a name in case she follows my Twitter account and thinks I’m a bit nuts). “Oh she loves Christmas” he muttered into his coffee “they have stockings, sing songs together and bake on Christmas morning – I told her we always end up in a drama and someone has a row”.

I’m not being nominated for family Christmas of the year this year then?

To be fair our Christmases do tend to follow a pattern and yesterday wasn’t an exception to the rule. It all started off quite well. We aren’t drinking so no hangovers then some nice relaxing present giving before I cooked lunch and we headed off to my ailing parents with said lunch in tow. Deciding to give them a call to make sure they put the oven on before we left (to give my roasties a final blast) was the first nail in the coffin. “Just turn round if you are nearer yours than ours” Mum said “you’ve done your bit”. Second nail was me repeating conversation to hubbie who (through gritted teeth) told me that this was all a waste of time and I’d planned it badly. The third nail was me lambasting hubbie in the car while the scent of roasted turkey wafted around us. Son sat with his earphones in (probably listening to some screaming hard rock to remind him of the gift of Christmas). Halfway there I knew hubbie was sulking as he wasn’t singing to his newly purchased Paul Heaton CD so I tried to make amends. He stiffly stared ahead and only broke out into a strained rendition of “perfect10” hours later when he had had a slug of brandy cream.

It all turned out ok in the end though. Mum and Dad enjoyed the visit and son amused himself going up and down stairs on the stair lift. The microwaved sprouts nearly brought on a medical emergency when Mum failed to penetrate hers with a chain saw but despite the stress and drama they appreciated the effort and it was the right thing to do. It might not have been baking and carols but it was family time and that’s all that really matters.

Back home I cracked open the hot chocolate and settled down to Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and a drama about Torvill and Dean and concluded another typical and soothingly familiar Christmas Day.

Maybe next year I’ll do stockings and baking – but I doubt it!!

Why Am I Always Ill at Christmas

I am typing this laid in bed. To be fair I’m wearing my Christmas jumper (the one with Rudolf sporting a huge red sequin nose) just in case people come and visit me. I don’t want to be accused of not keeping the festive spirit going.

Every year it’s the same old thing. You have a hint of a cold just sitting on your chest – taunting you while you charge through December at an inhuman pace, adrenaline coursing through your veins. It battles admirably with your cold, beating it down when it threatens to floor you. There’s no time to be ill – we have work to do plus shopping, wrapping, baking, entertaining. This year in a battle between flu and fighting fit – fitness will prevail.

You get to the last working day and triumphantly skip out of the office ready for ten days of eating, drinking (well not for me) and making merry then just as you let your defences down the evil flu gathers its army (a bit like the scene in the Two Towers) and batters your defences.

Still it’s two days to Christmas and I’m determined to fight back. It’s actually quite nice lying in bed under my lovely new goose and duck down duvet and watching reruns of Real Housewives of Beverly Hills on my iPad (I know I’m shallow but I’m too weak for anything deeper).

Hopefully tomorrow fitness will prevail!

Go Natural He Said

My Hubby is a diamond. He really is unique – he’s handsome (and I’m not the only one who says that), he’s talented and kind and most of all he’s very funny. Over 25+ years he has given me lots of belly laughs and it’s this that keeps me going and probably keeps me sane.

There is a flip side to all these compliments however. He doesn’t understand why women bother so much with their appearances and in his eyes natural is the way forward. Because of this I’m not sure he realised what impact he would have on me last night when he glanced across at me, resplendent in my mid life dressing gown and owl pyjamas, and lovingly said “did you know you are receding”. My response was pretty unprintable then I spent the next hour peering at my Ant McPartlin forehead and googling caffeine shampoos for over fifties. “But you are beautiful inside” he dared to utter! Cheers 🥂

Now I know I’ve turned fifty and my ageing blog is a bit tongue in cheek and yes I know everyone says looks aren’t important but in a world of such intense scrutiny and judgement I shall continue to follow the shallow path of vanity and continue slapping on my age defying serum – oh and perhaps invest in a headband!

Happy Wednesday everyone x

When Did I Become So Boring?

A friend told me the other day that I was boring. To be fair he was drunk and I was sober (and he has apologised since) but it did hurt and I found myself wondering if I had really become dull because I’ve stopped drinking.

I don’t know about you but when you don’t drink life tends to be a bit less like a rollercoaster and more of a gentle, undulating ride. You lose the extreme highs and desperate lows and, to be honest, I’m ok with that! I think what I’m not ok with is that I seem to be slowly slipping into a cocoon and, when I’m not working, for want of a better word – vegetating.

Tonight I started crocheting- I mean what the hell has happened to me. I got a heady buzz from mastering a chain stitch.

I know that life adopts a slower pace as we get older but at this rate I’ll have knitted myself into a corner by the time I’m 51 and I’ll be wearing one of those foot warmers that plug in!

But….and it’s a big but – if I’m content then does it really matter? I don’t have anything to prove – perhaps a few months of hibernation will do me good!

A Sobering Christmas Do

Yesterday I did my first sober Christmas do! I’m not a reformed alcoholic (note to HR – I do not need support) but I just decided not to drink for a bit and I’m enjoying it plus it’s helping me deal with menopausal symptoms so that feels like a benefit.

The day started well. I had a lovely new outfit and managed to get my hair and makeup looking pretty good so I set off with a spring in my step – well as much as you can spring in six inch heels. I arrived and received lots of compliments on how well I looked etc and I lapped it all up with my Diet Coke in hand feeling smug and saintly in equal measures.

We sat down to eat and everything was going swimmingly (apart from a brief interlude when my eBay account got hacked and someone had set up a LOL doll shop in my name). I don’t need to drink I thought – I’m confident and fun! Alcohol is in the past.

I danced until my feet were sore, soaking up the compliments, embracing my inner strictly and singing along (and high kicking to New York New York with everyone else). What a fantastic party. I kept my husband up to date via text with the gossip, took lots of pictures and even tended to the office drunks – ensuring they were safe and had escorts home.

We headed off into town to hit the bars and this is where the evening changed for me. Merry people are fun, drunk people are irritating. Packed like sardines in a trendy bar, feet stinging and starting to feel hot flushes (of annoyance) I realised it was time to depart. I headed off home to cries of “don’t leave”, “get a taxi” – but my mid life pyjamas were calling me.

Once home and in said pyjamas I couldn’t help but think I might be missing out and, to be honest, I felt a bit old but I guess the rewards are here this morning with a clear head and no chance of an embarrassing picture popping up on Facebook.

I did it anyway and it felt like a milestone so I feel proud of myself but maybe a teeny bit boring. I will be glad when it’s dry January and the party season is over.

Blogging Feels Good For The Soul

My husband hates social media – he says that Facebook is the spawn of the devil and in someways I do feel that he might have a point. Everybody is so busy looking at everyone else’s “perfect” lives that you become a bit obsessed and a bit miserable about your own. I stopped posting so many selfies a few years ago because it took quite a lot of camera angles and good lighting for me to feel confident enough to put it out there and, to be honest, I’m not that bothered if I get many likes anymore anyway.

Blogging however is a different matter. It’s good for my soul and a few days in has lifted my slightly sunken spirits quite considerably. What I really like about it is the diversity and the honesty of it all. No one is pretending to be flawless or (well not that I’ve seen) posting pictures of their dinners or wrinkle free expressions and trout pouts. It’s just an outpouring of feeling, a lot of laughter and some really lovely support. I may only have a few followers but they have been real diamonds and I thank them for their early interaction.

Plus who doesn’t get a little thrill when they look at their stats and realise that people all over the world are interested in what you have to say.

Have a lovely day everyone.

Liz x