Friday, 16 April 2010

Everything you say will destroy you

I've realised something in the last week, while I've been musing on why I don't feel like me any more. I've noticed that I don't seem to have opinions on anything much any more. Well, unless you count my shouting at Cow and Gate adverts (Yes, give your child 20 litres of cows milk to make sure they have enough iron-or, alternatively, how about some broccoli and red meat?)
I think it's a mixture of becoming a parent and not having time to think, and coming off my anti-depressants. Since I came off them I've realised that I can cope perfectly well without them, as long as I don't think too much. However, not thinking about anything makes for a very boring life. Also, I've started to worry about what people think of me, and as a result, tend not to have an opinion on anything for fear of offending anyone. This isn't me at all, and I want to change it. As long as I don't deliberately set out to offend anyone, what does it matter if no-one else agrees with what I think? 'If you're in a minority of one, the truth is still the truth', or something like that. (I've got that on a mug, maybe I should take heed of it)
So, as part of my TYSIC to get back to being me (whoever that maybe), I need to start having opinions on things. Which is where you, dear reader, come in. Suggest to me some subjects, be they controversial or mundane, and I will have a think about them and give my opinion on them. And I'll try not to worry about no-one agreeing with me.

Monday, 5 April 2010

Feeling a bit lost

I've come to realise that I don't know who I am anymore. Over the last few years I seem to have completely lost my identity/personality, and now I have nothing that makes me stand out.
I used to have pink hair, now it's back to it's natural colour (with slightly lighter bits at the end where dye is growing out)
I used to dress differently- skirts, brightly coloured tights, hippy type skirts and tops. Now I slum it in jeans and t-shirts- mainly because I was overweight (and then pregnant) for so long it was the only thing I could find to fit that didn't make me look hideous. I wore a short skirt, pink tights and Doc Martens for Nicky's party on Friday and I felt like me againfor the first time in I don't know how long.
I used to have definite favourite things- music, in particular. Though I don't want to go back to my Manics stalking days, fun though it was, these days I feel 'meh' about everything. I don't get excited about anything any more.
In short, I used to be a person. Now, I feel like I'm disappearing. So part 5 of my TYSIC is to find out who I am again, and get that person back.

Thursday, 1 April 2010

TYSIC-year one, week four. A progress report.

Oh dear, I've been very lazy this week. With this blog, I mean- the TYSIC seems to have been going reasonably well. Want to know what I've been up to? Tough, I'm going to tell you anyway...
1. Cake. I made one, the first of my TYSIC, and only the second properly decorated one I've done, ever. It's not great, by any means, and certainly not up to a professional standard, but I tried. I only started shouting at it once, when the icing got stuck to the table when I was trying to roll it out. I learnt a lesson though- icing, like most other inanimate objects, doesn't respond to shouting, mutterings under the breath, or having a knife waved at it.

2. Music. Listened to Rilo Kiley, and Billy Bragg. I remember nothing about Rilo Kiley (I'm not even sure I'm even spelling their name correctly), so obviously I couldn't have liked it much. Billy Bragg, on the other hand, I liked. Though I have to admit that it wasn't the album I'd had recommended to me (which was 'Life's a Riot with Spy vs Spy), as it wasn't on Spotify. So I listened to 'England, Half English' instead. When I get a chance I'm going to listen to the other albums of his that are on Spotify, though it won't be for a while- not until I've worked my way through a few more recommendations.

3. Parenting. Up and down this week, but I think more up than down. Except for one day where none of us had any sleep, and I seemed to spend all day being cross. We've been to the library, toddler group, and Ikea. Ikea might not sound like the best day out for an almost 1 year old, but he enjoyed himself, honestly. It gave him a new set of people to wave at, plus it has a large car park full of 'ba' (cars) and 'va' (vans) to point at.
I think, in this section of the update, I'm going to start including my parenting quote of the week- the weirdest/most nonsensical/daft thing I've heard myself saying. This week it was 'Nicky, don't put dirty nappy liners in your ears'. He's developed a habit of emptying his nappy bucket and putting the liners on his head. Odd boy. (Yes, I did wash his ears/hair afterwards).
4.Being nice to husband- I've just asked him, and he says I've managed this. I'm not so sure, I feel like I could have tried harder. He found out at the weekend that his dad, who he hadn't seen since he was a teenager, died a couple of months ago. So he's been feeling a bit, well, I don't know- I don't think he knows, really. But I've been feeling a bit useless, and unsure what to do for the best. I've not known what to say, so I've not really said anything. One thing we did manage was to not have an arguement at 2 in the morning when Nicky was having one of his middle of the night grumps. Considering that 90% of the time we end up bickering when we're both awake when we don't want to be, this is a major achievement.

Thursday, 25 March 2010

TYSIC-year one, week three. A progress report.

I have to admit that it's not been a great week for my TYSIC, I seem to have lost the initial urge to get out and make my life better. I'll put it down to tiredness, and I resolve that next week will be better.
1. Cakes- Not made any progress here, unless you count standing in Sainsbury's looking at food colourings, and trying to work out if it'll be better to buy a box of ready coloured icing, or try to learn to make royal icing and colour it myself. I think I'm going to go for a compromise, and buy a box of white royal icing and some food dye. All this is for Nicholas's birthday cake, which I will be making this time next week. Eep!

2. Music- As I've blogged previously, I've managed to listen to 2 albums in the last 7 days, and have a 50% success rate in finding something I like. This is the highlight of my TYSIC this week. As I type this I'm listening to Sigh No More by Mumford and Sons. It's ok, but nothing spectacular- I don't think its one I'll listen to more than once. But I'm trying, and that's what's important.

3. Parenting- This has been up and down, but mostly up. We've had 5 out of 6 good nights sleep this week (by good nights I mean only waking up once, and not until 1-2am) He even stayed asleep until 6.15am this morning, which is the longest he's slept in for a couple of weeks. The more, better quality sleep we all have, the easier life is for everyone.
One thing I did do, in my quest to be a good example, is give blood. I've been meaning to do it for years, but I've always managed to put it off, or find an excuse. But I could put it off no longer, and on Monday I finally did it. And it was easy, despite the needle reminding me of one of the straws you put in a Capri-Sun pouch. Seriously, I'm not scared of needles, but it was huge! I got tea, biscuits and a sticker out of it, as well as a smug feeling that comes with doing a good deed, so all in all it was a good thing. Only problem is that I might not be able to do ti again for a while- the nurse told me that they try to discourage women who are actively trying to get pregnant from donating, as they don't know how it could affect a developing embryo. (We'll be on our way home from Glastonbury when the next session is on so I'd have to miss it anyway.)

I've added an extra, mini-challenge to all of this, inspired by Mark's blog yesterday. From now on I'm going to try and say at least one nice thing to my husband every day. When you have a small child around it can be difficult to remember that you're part of a couple as well as a parent, and we've both slipped into bad habits-not talking about anything other than baby stuff, snapping at each other because we're tired, that sort of thing. So I'm going to be nice. Or, at the very least, less nasty.

Tuesday, 23 March 2010

This week, I have been mostly listening to...

Even though I've only listened to 2 albums this week, I thought I should write a bit about the music part of my TYSIC, as I seem to have focused on the parenting part rather a lot lately. Though, to be fair, being a parent is what I do, so it's hardly surprising that I get a bit preoccupied with it.
So, this week I have listened to 'The Decline of British Sea Power' by, well, British Sea Power, and 'Angles' by Dan le Sac vs Scroobius Pip. Of the two, Angles is the one I'll be listening to again. British Sea Power were just a bit...meh. I can't remember anything about the album at all, and I listened to it twice, just to make sure I wasn't missing anything the first time. It was just boys with guitars, and I think I've grown out of boys with guitars music.
Angles, on the other hand, I rather enjoyed. OK, I think I'd possibly decided I was going to like it before listening, what with them being Stanford lads (and possibly the only good thing to ever come out of my home town, unless you count the train line to London). Again I listened to it twice, as the first time I was sitting in the kitchen with the washing machine on, and missed bits of songs. Lyrically I like them, despite being a bit 6th form poetry at times- I think that's part of the appeal. Magician's Assistant could have been aimed at me aged 18.

I've discovered, in the short time I've been doing this, that I'm more open to new music than I thought I was. From being nervous about listening to something new, I now look forward to the times I get a chance to open up Spotify and search for something I've had recommended to me. I've also found that going out of my comfort zone isn't really that uncomfortable at all. If asked I would say I generally like indie/rock type music- boys with guitars. But, as I said earlier, I'm getting bored with boys with guitars, and need something different. Maybe this is where I've been going wrong, and why I've not found anything new worth listening to- I've been looking in the wrong places.

Monday, 22 March 2010

Confessions of a bad parent

I am failing miserably at my attempts to be a good mother. Instead I'm a moany, grumpy mother who has spent the day doing as little as possible with her child.
Truth is, I'm knackered. My last full nights sleep was sometime in October 2008, and I've not had more than 5 hours in one go since then. I'm learning to cope with it, and most days, when I've only been woken up once in the night, I can cope. But today I've felt like hell. Lat night he boy was unsettled from when he went to sleep until he finally came in with me at 1am, and even after that he was awake at 5, climbing over me to get to my bedside table to get to my mobile. Which he then used to hit me in the face.

Of course, Nicky is the most wonderful, lovely, charming, delightful, funny, clever baby there has ever been, but when we have days like today I wonder why I thought having a baby would be a good idea. When we have days when he's grumpy, I'm grumpy and everything one of us does seems to annoy the other, I'm seriously tempted to put him on eBay. I have idly wondered, at times when he's pulled my hair for the nth time and screeched at eardrum splitting levels once too often, whether Angelina Jolie has room for another child. (Though he's probably not ethnic enough for her- he's oddly blond for a child with Chinese heritage)

In short, I am trying to be a good mum. But it's really, really bloody hard work, and I don't think that I'm ever going to be as good as I could be. Not until I get my full 8 hours again, anyway.

Friday, 19 March 2010

TYSIC-year one, week two. A progress report.

2 weeks in already, doesn't time fly? Yes, I know we're 2 weeks and one day in really, but I didn't get a chance to write yesterday. How are things progressing?

Cakes- I now own a cake tin shaped like a number 1, to be used in 2 weeks time for the boys first birthday. Now all I've got to do is find a recipe, as I have no idea how much cake mixture I'll need to make a cake that size. I'm a bit annoyed, actually, as the tin claimed it came with instructions. It did- instructions to buy a ready made cake mix, and icing to decorate it with (all made by the same cake tin making company, funny, that.) I think I'm going to post on Mumsnet to ask if anyone has any tips/recipes. Mumsnetters know everything.

Music- As I said before, I listened to 2 albums this week, but didn't like them. Still, at least I tried. I'm going to listen to Dan Le Sac vs Scroobius Pip's new album this week (if it's on Spotify), as I have Scroobius Pip's girlfriend as a friend on Facebook and she keeps posting about it. Besides, they come from my home town, so they must be good, right? We've also aquired a best of The Kinks CD, which I'll have a listen to.

Parenting- The young man is still happy (most of the time), and seems to still like me, so that must be going well. I know in my revious posr it might have sounded like I had all sorts of exotic plans for him, which I have, but they are long term. This is a 10 year project, after all. I know he won't get much out of far flung holidays and suchlike just yet, so for now I'm going to concentrate on smaller, more age appropriate activities. This week we went to the aquarium, which he seemed to enjoy. I bought an annual pass so we can go throughout the year, when I've run out of ideas for other activities. We went to toddler group too. I still don't like socialising, but it wasn't too bad, and he liked it, which is the point of going, really.
On the downside, I'm now attempting to drop one of his night feeds, as there's no way he really needs a feed at 12 and again at 3. He's just waking up out of habit now, and I need to try and get him out of it, for the sake of all our sanities. It's now 18 months since I had a full night's sleep, something's got to give. He wasn't happy last night, but did go back to sleep after half an hour of being offered water and being held by his dad rather than me. Now we've started this we're going to have to stick to it- I'm going to be a even more zombie like than usual for the next week or so...

Wednesday, 17 March 2010


Well, I only went and bloody won it. The iPod, that is. Needless to say, I'm a bit pleased about it, if only because it meant I got an email from a proper, real life famous person.

Mostly I'm pleased about it because its made me feel wanted, and accepted. Which sounds really quite pathetic when I write it down, but there you go. I am, in general, a miserable bugger, and fitting in has never been one of my strong points. So to win something that relies on people liking me/something I've said feels odd, but gratifying. This feeling, one of being part of a gang, is what I'm enjoying most about the TYSIC so far. I've always liked the idea of doing daft things, just because I can, so to join a group of people of different ages, in different countries, who feel the same, well... I feel like I fit in somewhere.

I love the fact that there's people who, when faced with the idea of passing an iPod around the country and filling it with music they love, for the benefit of someone they've never met, have said 'yeah, great idea, lets do it!'. Most people, I'm sure, would ask why, or point out that the iPod could be stolen, or lost, or just dismiss it as a stupid idea. Knowing that there's people who think like me, who want to do something silly but fun just for the joy of doing something silly but fun makes me smile. Knowing that I'll be taking part in equally silly but fun projects for the next 10 years makes me smile even more.

Thank you, Mark Watson, and thank you, fellow TYSIC's, for letting me join your gang. You're all lovely, lovely people.

Tuesday, 16 March 2010

I hate thinking of titles...

I've been having a think about this parenting thing. One thing that I want to do as a parent is expose Nicky to all sorts of experiences that aren't part of day to day life. Now, I don't mean I'm going to take him travelling around the world (as much as I'd love to, but alas I don't have the money for that), just, every so often, do something unusual.
To do this, I need ideas. So far I've come up with:
Go to Glastonbury. We're doing this in June. It'll either be the greatest weekend of his life so far, or a miserable disaster. I'm sure it'll be the former...

Go to the Olympics. Now, I dont know if this will be feasable, as he'll only be 3 by the time the Olympics come round, and I don't know if it'll be something he'll be interested in. But if we can find something he wants to go and watch, we'll go.

Try new foods. I don't want him to be a fussy eater, so I want to expose him to as many different foods as possible. I even want him to eat curry, even though the smell of it makes me feel slightly ill.

Travel abroad. That might not sound like much, but I didn't go abroad with my parents until I was 16. I don't feel like I missed out on much, and I've certainly made up for it now, but I want to take him on a plane when he's young and expose him to other languages and cultures. Besides, I don't want to give up my holidays! We're taking him to Rhodes in September, to start this one off.

That's all I can think of for now-does anyone else have any ideas? What kind of thing would you have loved to have done with your parents as a child? Inspire me!

In other news, I've listened to 2 more albums. Fantasy Black Channel by Late Of The Pier, and Say I Am You by The Weepies. I didn't really like either of them, but I tried, which is more than I would have done pre-TYSIC.
Oh, and thank you if you've voted for me in the MP3 player contest. I'm extremely flattered that people think that I'm worthy, and its given my self-esteem a much needed boost. So, cheers for that :)

Sunday, 14 March 2010

In reply to comments

I thought I should do a quick post to reply to some of the comments I've been left- I'm quite flattered that people have been reading all this nonsense, so it's only polite that I should acknowledge the fact you've bothered to comment.

Amycool- You're right, I should try and like the personality I already have- I'm too old and set in my ways to go changing now. So I'm going to try and think of one thing I like about myself every day. So far all I've come up with is that I've got quite nice handwriting.

Liz- Yep, I know, it's a great picture of the boy. I like the fact that if you look at the full size picture you can see the brown stripe in his right eye, which I've been trying to get a picture of since he was born.

Max- You did recommend The Decemberists, but you mentioned The Hazards Of Love, which I've not listened to yet, but will very soon. Maybe tomorrow.

Lisa D- Thank you for saying nice things about me. Though I didn't mean to start doing a job like that at 18, I sort of fell into it because I'd left college due to mental health problems and really didn't know what to do instead. University was a no-go due to not finishing my A Levels, but I wanted to leave home, so I became a volunteer, because it was the only thing I could do.

Liz (again)- I've already joined the library (If I hadn't I'm sure I'd have both you and Kelly after me!), CBT books sound like they might be a good idea, so, yes, please, recommend some to me!

Proper blog entry tomorrow, I'm going to drink wine now. Only one glass, mind you. Breastfeeding/co-sleeping and alcohol don't mix.

Saturday, 13 March 2010

Time for a bit of positive thinking.

I've decided that I am probably in need of some CBT, to help me work out why I'm so relentlessly negative, and to learn how to change this. However, I've neither the time or the money for therapy, plus a distrust of counsellors (the only ones I've seen have been, in my opinion, useless). I've decided that I'm going to use this blog as a cheaper and easier way of sorting my head out. If nothing else I'll get feedback/advice from people who are actually interested, and aren't being paid to listen to me (my main problem with counselling- I can't believe anyone who charges by the hour is really all that interested in me)

What I need to do is to think about the things I do right, instead of the many, many things I do wrong. Easier said than done, but I can but try. Lets make a start, shall we? Here are some of the ways in which I am, in my opinion, a good role model to the small person I brought into the world.

I read. I don't always read books that are worthy, or educational, but I always have a book on the go. As a result of this I know a little about a lot of things, which makes me quite useful in pub quizzes. Which means that that when the young man gets to the 'but why?' stage of toddlerdom, I might have a chance of answering his questions, or, at the very least, will be able to show him how to use reference books to find the answer. (Yeah, like kids use books to look things up any more...)

I try to be environmentally friendly. I recycle, and always have done, I take my own bags to the shops. I don't drive, I use a mooncup, and the boy is in reuseable nappies. I try to buy second hand clothes instead of new, and will put on a jumper rather than put the heating on. There is lots more I could do (I buy imported, out of season foods for example), but I try my best.

I worked for charities from the ages of 18 to 26, with children with epilepsy and learning disabilities. Now that doesn't automatically make me a good person, I know that, but I like to think it makes me more open minded, tolerant and less quick to judge than I may have been otherwise.

I'm not rasict, sexist, homophobic, or otherwise judgy. Well, maybe I'm a little bit judgy, but only when the situation deems it necessary- like the time I saw a woman give a child of no more than 18 months old a can of Red Bull. Judgy pants were firmly on then.

I'm sure there's other things I could list, but I don't want to go on, for risk of sounding arrogant. To be honest, I've impressed myself by thinking of that many things. Maybe I dislike myself less than I thought.

Thursday, 11 March 2010

TYSIC-year one, week one. A progress report.

So here we are, one week into a project which will end when I'm nearly 40. OK, 38 and a half, but that's close enough to 40 to scare me.
What have I achieved? Well, on the world domination through cake bit, not a lot. I've asked to be notified by my local college when they next run a cake decorating course, and there's not much else I can do until I start with that. Though I did make a coffee cake which was rather nice, even if I do say so myself. I've decided that even if I can't do much on the decorating front I can practice baking. I'm going to be obese by the time I'm 35...

Music- I've listened to 3 albums that I otherwise whouldn't have bothered with. First was Rage Against The Machine's debut, which wasn't as bad as I thought it would be (I like my shouty music to be made by girls), but I don't think I'd listen to it again. Next up was Boxer by The National, as one of my friends has been raving about it. Unfortunately it left me cold (sorry Kelly!), but I'll give it one more go before writing it off. The third was Picaesque, by The Decemberists. To be honest, I've not finished listening to it yet (I've got it on now, my earlier attempts have been thwarted by the boy waking up from his naps), but so far I like it. This is a major step forward for me, I've not listened to an album by an artist I've not heard before and liked it in about 2 years. Lyrically they remind me of The Auteurs, for some reason, and that can only be a good thing in my book. Don't sound anything like them though, I don't think there's anyone in the world who sounds quite like Luke Haines (This, also, can only be a good thing, I'm sure a lot of people would think). Picaresque, incidentally, is one of the albums recommended to me by the TYSIC mastermind himself, so I'm quite glad it's good.

The parenting thing. Hmm. I still think I'm a bit rubbish at it, and the fact I think that is the reason that being a good parent is one of my challenges. I'm sure I'm doing everything right, and Nicky is a happy little soul (most of the time), but I still feel inadequate. Trouble is, being a good parent isn't something you get instant feedback on. If, in 10 years time, he's not a fledgling psychopath, I'll say I've succeeded. Until then, I'll just keep muddling along. We're trying for number 2, I wouldn't be wanting to inflict myself as a parent on another poor unfortunate child if I thought I was that bad, right?

Bring on week 2!

Wednesday, 10 March 2010

A confession

My reasons for starting this challenge are not the ones I have claimed. Oh no. All this stuff about self improvement and learning a skill is just a front, I'm afraid.
My real reason is that I have a huge, undignified schoolgirl crush on Mark Watson, and all of this is just an excuse to get away with reading his blog every day.
That's all, as you were.

Tuesday, 9 March 2010

Changing who I am

Before I start, let me introduce you to the slightly insane looking child here. That's Nicholas, my 11 month old. Part three of my TYSIC, the part that I can't fail at, however hard it is, is to be the best parent I can be to him.

Trouble is, I think I'm a bit crap. I've got seriously low self esteem, mainly due to not having any friends at all between the ages of 11 and 16. I'm also a bit of a perfectionist, which causes me no end of problems- I've got to the point now where I know that I can't do anything as well as I want to, so I don't bother. My life is littlered with half finished projects and schemes that went wrong at an early stage and were abandon. Unfortunatey, with a child, you can't just give up on them once it starts to get a bit tough.

What I want, more than anything, is to be a good role model to my son. At the moment I look at myself and see someone who has no proper qualifications (I don't count an NVQ level 3 in childcare as a proper qualification), no interests or hobbies, and no real love for herself. Is that the kind of person I want bringing up my beautiful, funny, clever, intelligent little boy? Of course not. So, I have 2 options.

1. I leave his upbringing solely to his dad. Now, I love my husband, but I'm not having him being Nicky's only influence in his formative years. He'd grow up supporting Liverpool, and thinking Michael Winner was someone to aspire to rather than punch in the face.

2. Completely overhaul my personality. The more difficult option, yes, but the one that will ultimately be more rewarding. I want my little boy to look at me and think I'm a happy, interesting, intelligent person. I want to set an example to him. I don't want him to think that I'm stupid, and only stayed at home to look after him because I wasn't clever enough to get a paying job. I suppose, really, that all of my TYSIC is ultimately working towards the same goal. The cake making/decorating aspect part is to sho him that you don't need to be academic to succeed at something, and that it's never too late to educate yourself and to make a success of yourself whilst doing something you enjoy. The music part is to show him that I take an interest in the world, and that constantly exposing yourself to new ideas and experiences is a good thing, and will make you a happier and more interesting person.

Basically, my aim for part three of my TYSIC is to be a better person. Partly for my own sake but mainly for the sake of a little boy who will be on the verge of starting secondary school by the time this project is over. If anyone has any tips on how to become that person, please let me know, because I'm still not too sure on how I'm going to manage it, yet.

Sunday, 7 March 2010

Well I guess I should confess that I am starting to get old, all the latest music fads all passed me by and left me cold

Onto part two of my TYSIC, and the one which will probably make up the bulk of my posts, for the first few months, at least. This is my promise to listen to an album a week for 10 years. At first I was going to pledge to listen to new albums (as in ones made in the last 5 years), but, aftr thinking about it I've extended it to any album in any genre that I've never heard, and would probably have never considered listening to.

The reason I'm doing this is because I'm suddenly feeling very old. I've no idea what's number one any more, and to be honest I don't really care. I can't remember the last time I bought a new album, and, unless you count downloading Rage Against The Machine at Christmas, I've not bought a single in about 8 years. I don't want to be like this. I love music, I love the joy you get from hearing a song you love unexpectedly being played on the radio, I love putting a much loved album on and singing along, loudly and tunelessly. But these days this happens less and less. I've started to dismiss all new music as rubbish without giving it a chance.

I swore when I was 18 that I would never get like this. Obviously very few people are as obsessive and passionate about bands and music in their 20's as they were in their teens (it would be exhausting, not to mention expensive), but my lack of interest in anything I don't already own is quite sad, really. I'm bored of everything I own, but make no effort to discover anything new. But now, this will change. I will find new music, I will find new bands/artists to fall in love with, to obsess over, to sing along badly to. Who knows, once the boy is a bit older I might even start going to gigs again. (Apart from Glastonbury, which I miss for no-one. He's being put in a backpack and coming with me)

When I've asked for music recommendations the first thing people have asked what I already like. I've said it doesn't matter as I will listen to anything (up to and including death metal and country and western), but, if it helps, these are the albums that I play most
Manic Street Preachers- All albums except Lifeblood. Lifeblood didn't happen in my universe.
Frank Turner- Love, Ire and Song. My adoration of Frank Turner gives me hope that I can still find new music I love.
Hole- Live Through This
Rufus Wainwright- Want One/Release The Stars.
Pulp- His 'n' Hers
Guns 'n' Roses- Appetite For Destruction

The Auteurs, Bikini Kill, Sex Pistols, Imagined Village, Marilyn Manson, Suede, Mika and The Levellers also get semi regularly played too. Basically, anything that isn't any of the above will be put on a list to be listened to at some point in the future.

Friday, 5 March 2010

Time to come up with a plan

Now I've decided on what my TYSIC plan objectives are, I suppose it's time to decide on how I'm going to achieve them. Let's start with objective 1- world domination through cake.

So far, in my life, I've decorated 1 cake. Well, I've done more than that, if you count fairy cakes with icing sugar and water type icing, but only one, proper moulding with sugarpaste type cake. It was for my mum's 60th birthday, and she thought it was great. She was drunk though. All I did was cover the cake in blue icing and make a little model of a woman lying asleep on a lilo out of sugarpaste to put on top. I can't do faces, so it had a hat over it's face. I would post a picture of it here but I don't think it I've got it saved on the computer anywhere.

Anyway, that cake was not overly hard to do, so it got me thinking that maybe it was something I can do professionally. But to do that, I'm going to need lessons, motivation and practice. Lessons are easy enough- I'm on a waiting list for them at the local adult education college, which gives me plenty of time to save up the £180 I need for the course. Which brings me to motivation- If I'm having to pay out that amount of money, I'm going to damn well try my hardest and complete the course. Plus, I've started this blog, and made a public commitment to try my best. I instruct you, oh reader of this blog, to point and laugh, kick me up the bum, or otherwise do your best to help me not fail. Ultimately it's no-one's responsibility but mine if I humiliate myself by failing spectacularly, but I'd like a bit of help to make sure that doesn't happen.

Finally- practice. If, over the next year or so (until I'm reasonably competant/confident), I'm willing to make cakes for anyone who wants one for the price of the ingredients, as long as you're willing to accept a slightly deformed cake, make with enthusiasm but not much talent.

Tomorrow, point 2- convincing myself that all music that I don't already like isn't rubbish...

Thursday, 4 March 2010

Right, what's going on here then?

Welcome to my blog, imaginary reader (No, I don't think anyone is going to read this. Not more than once, anyway.)

The idea of this is to keep track of my successes (or otherwise) in the Ten Year Self Improvement Challenge. If you don't know what that is, look here

My pledges for the challenge are
1. Learn to make, decorate and (hopefully) sell cakes.
Since becoming a stay at home mum to young master Nicholas I've realised that, despite the fact I've never liked working, I've always liked having my own money. I don't want to go back to work, so I need to do something that involves working from home. I want to learn a skill, and decorating cakes sounds fun, and like something there will always be a market for. Everyone likes cake, right?

2. Expand my musical horizons.
In recent years I've come to the conclusion that I don't like music anymore. Well, not that I don't like music, I just don't like new music. I need to stop myself before I turn into an old git, moaning that you can't hear the words, and no-one can write a tune anymore. Also, there's so many older/classic albums that I've never listened to, due to lack of opportunity and/or musical snobbery on my part. So I pledge that, from now on, until 4th March 2020, I will listen to at least one album a week that I've not heard before. All suggestions as to what I should listen to will be considered with interest. Except The Smiths. I've tried, I think Morrisey can't sing, and nothing will ever convince me otherwise.

3. Be the best mum I can be.
Self explanatory, really. Over the next 10 years I want to do the best I can for Nicky, and any other children that may arrive. I promise to teach them to be decent human beings with the confidence to be themselves, to take their worries, interests and observations seriously, and to not get too cross when they don't sleep/won't eat dinner/do all the things that children do naturally that I really irritating to the adults around them.