My slightly late to the party #InternationalWomensDay post

This time two weeks ago was International women’s day and more than anything I wanted to write an inspirational post. Obviously, I wanted this post to be some of my best work, which would definitely inspire generations and propel me to my rightful spot as World Ruler. All brought about by your realising how awesome, wise and right about everything I am.

The reality however was I had to duck out of work before lunchtime to spend the rest of the day working from home as I was having the worst period pains. Ok, not the worst, I didn’t end up unconscious with an ambulance being called. They were bad enough that I had to go home and put some heat on them in a pre-emptive attack to prevent the need for an ambulance. At first, I felt a little bit like a failure, and I even made a joke about it “what do we want? equal rights…unless our stomach hurts, in which case we want to go home and cuddle on the sofa in comfy pants, with an infinite amount of chocolate and tea!”

However, as I was in the process of judging myself, negatively, I realised that actually, my situation said a lot more about why we needed international woman’s day. When I walked out of the office, despite that fact that I have a genuine medical condition, which resulted in an ambulance been called, I said nothing to no-one. I just kept my head down and shuffled out of there hoping no one would notice. I couldn’t admit to my male colleagues what was going on. Of course, all my female colleagues were very aware and had offered paracetamol and taken me for a walking hoping some fresh air would help. But I kept it quiet, I was ashamed.

It makes me mad, that still in this day and age woman are ashamed to admit they are on their periods and the whole natural monthly occurrence is shoved under the carpet. I’m not quite in the free bleeding camp, but I do think that we shouldn’t have to hide it. It also makes me so mad, that there is so little funding for ailments that are purely woman focus. How much is spent each month on looking at Polycystic Ovary Syndrome (PCOS) or Endometriosis. When I was told I had PCOS I was in my appointment for a full five minutes, I was told to take some tablets which would make all of my symptoms worst but provided me with contraception, and told that I may struggle to have kids. That was it.

It’s now almost 10 years later, I have had ambulances called out to me and I have still not seen a doctor about my problems. I know I should but how do I walk into a room and say “I have period pains” and get the seriousness of the situation understood by a doctor? When my cramps are at their worse I pass out. However, I quickly bounce back and there is nothing to see. The ambulance was called when I had stopped responding to anyone but by the time it had arrived I was sitting up and talking as if nothing was wrong. Trying to explain that to someone… the only symptom I had was a slight change in blood pressure.

I was reading something this morning about how one in ten women have Endometriosis and don’t know about it. I can’t help but think how?!! I know that there are also a lot of male symptoms which don’t get as much funding as they should, and probably if I was a better blogger I would have researched them so I could name them, but surely woman’s period care needs looking at.

I mean let’s talk about the luxury that is the tampon. Something we have to pay over the odds to put into our bodies to control something natural which can give us toxic shock syndrome which can be fatal. I thought toxic shock only occurs when you leave a tampon in too long, something I think we all have done, but then I was reading the other day that another cause of toxic shock can be getting an infection from inserting one. Apparently, tampons scratch the lining of the vagina when they are inserted and this can get infected. How, in this day and age, with all the advancements know to us, can we not come up with a better way of stopping blood leaks in this day and age?

Something needs to be done.

Looking back on history it is easy to say “well they didn’t know better” but now we do. We know that there are glass ceilings, we know that there is a pay gap, and recently I learnt that a woman’s right to choose whether or not she wants an abortion is STILL not legal in my country (UK). Forget, whether or not you agree with abortion for a second, and instead ask yourself is it right that half of our population do not have the right to make a decision as to what happens to their own bodies?

That’s why we need international women’s day, that’s why we can’t stay silent anymore.

I’m so pathetic.

So I have just finished a lovely, if not massively confusing, couple of half days with S. Long story short he has been approached about a job near me and so I have spent months trying to show now excitement about this, in case it doesn’t come off. While internally doing backflips every time it is mentioned and secretly house hunting for him on the side every time he has another positive phone call. If he doesn’t get the job, I will be both gobsmacked and devastated.

Anyway, as he had a job interview in my neck of the wood he stayed with me last night and then this morning I left him at mine while I went to work. There was something about it that felt familiar and nice. Well, it does so long as you overlook the fact I spent the entire time faffing, worrying whether or not I was a good host, and I barely slept last night worrying my boiler was keeping him awake. Which is very much a hang up from my time with OH where one of the reasons given by him for dumping me was the fact I would sleep through the night, he wouldn’t and this annoyed him. Arse! He called me as soon as he got out of the interview and then he came to meet me from work and we went for lunch. It was all so lovely. We walked hand in hand, freezing to death as neither of us had brought a coat and there is the whole Doris thing going on at the moment. But, it was just lovely.

Then we tried to put a date in the diary for our next date and it’s looking like it’s going to be a month until we see each other again. Gutted doesn’t cover it.

I just miss him so much and I hate that it’s so long before I will next see him and the worse bit is I can’t complain about it as the fact we have settled into a seeing each other once a month pattern has very much been my fault  as I had such a hectic life that I could barely find time to breathe, never mind fit in a visit with him. But, being very aware that I was getting very close to some sort of breakdown I have had to make a change and now I find time for myself and I am saying “no” more than I have in my lifetime ever.

For the next two weekends, I have no plans. Ok, that’s not 100% true. I am busy this Friday, a friend is coming to see me. Saturday afternoon I am dog sitting and next Friday I am going to spend a night with my sister. But to me, that is no plans. That means loads of spare time to spend with him, but he has commitments and those commitments must come first.

I know that this is not going to be the case forever. I tell myself that we are working towards a future together and his heavy work schedule now means a brighter future for us. And on days when I am not feeling as positive about our future, I tell myself that at least not seeing each other I won’t have wasted lots of my precious time seeing him.

But right now, after a long day and a lovely surprise lunch date, I want more than anything to go home and walk through my front door to him.

Ignore the words, just look at the pretty flowers

Ahhh, I must have started this blog post 100 times and still I can’t get it to work! I have so many different angles I want to take it in that it’s all just becoming a bit jumbled in my head, and I am managing about 3 sentences before I let out a sigh, hit delete and go and put the kettle on. I am officially water logged with tea. The problem I have, and yes I am very aware that this isn’t actually a problem in the true sense of the word, is that I have been sent some stunning flowers by Prestige Flowers in exchange for a review. So now I have pretty flowers, a deadline and no actual writing skills to get the words onto the page… well, screen.

So, for your reading pleasure, we have a review in two parts. Although if I was you I wouldn’t waste my time reading either of them and I would instead just focus on the pictures.

flowers

That’s right look at the pretty flowers and ignore the words

Option 1: I am finally taking care of me. Yep for this one, I at least managed a title.

Long story short I saw they were offering free flowers to review in the run up to mother’s day and my initial reaction was, I should apply and get some flowers sent to mum. But as I went about applying I realised how much I wanted the flowers for myself. I love fresh flowers and I decided a while ago I would try to always have fresh flowers in my house. I do have a couple of house plants, but for some reason, I am unable to keep the stupid things alive. Honestly, S’s parents bought me this lovely planter for Christmas and the only thing growing in it at the moment is mould. So, flowers which you buy when half dead (yes, I am too cheap to buy full price fresh flowers, unless it’s a bunch of daffodils for a quid) and put in a vase for a few weeks before throwing out seems to be the way forwards for me. I haven’t had a nice bunch if we overlook the valentine’s day rose, which I will tell you about another time, since people sent them when Dad died. A free bunch of proper flowers was too good an opportunity to turn down and so, for the first time in a long time, I put my wants first and I asked for the bunch of flowers to be sent to my work so I could take them home with me and enjoy them. I decided I needed a treat.

See, I even did blogger like packaging shots

See, I even did blogger like packaging shots

 

However, this decision led on to review post option number 2.

What sort of idiot gets flowers delivered to her office on a day she isn’t going straight back to her house but is instead going to spend the night at her sisters (an hours’ drive away) and she is going to her sisters after a night out at the theatre. On the positive, this means that I really did put the packaging and longevity of the flowers through their paces as my beautiful flowers spent the first 48 hours of their life in their box without much water. The hilarity of this story is found when you realise that my car is a 2 door sports car, and that night I was taking my sister back to her house with me. Have you ever tried fitting a box of flowers, a sister and an overnight bag in a sports car?? Also, the theatre we went to was in a city centre, and being a bit of a county bumpkin, I like to make sure that if I am leaving my car in a town there is nothing on view in the body of the car.  I had to try and Houdini the flower box in the passenger seat foot well, the box wouldn’t fit in my boot, using an old coat as I was worried someone would break in and steal them. I was so keen on this idea I even took photos to document the events.

car

I even took a photo to show you how full my boot was!

 

However, neither will make it into a standalone blog post and so I am left a little stuck with what to do. I do love the flowers, I am a massive fan of the dark red roses and can’t wait for the other lilies to open. Interesting fact, ok interesting might be overselling it, but my Mum is allergic to lilies so actually I did her a favour by being selfish as she wouldn’t be able to enjoy these flowers anyway. The only slight negative that both myself and my sister had was the gold wire which has been wrapped around the flowers. My sister didn’t like the look of the gold, whereas I loved the gold but struggled to arrange the flowers in the vase with the wire but didn’t want to remove it totally. It has been a few days and I feel like the flowers are relaxing slightly and so fit into my vase a little better and although they haven’t brought me a comprehensive blog post, they have brought me a lot of joy.

And Poppy too - she was given the box to play with

And Poppy too – she was given the box to play with

 

*disclaimer: I was sent a bunch of flowers to review on my blog however the complete inability to do so is purely my own.

Boy meets girl and…?

It’s no secret that I am a massive musical fan and last night I went to see a show. The show was fantastic,  the cast were amazing and I loved every minute. This was not a show I had seen before and I had no knowledge of the story line when I went. My friend had bought the tickets as a Christmas gift for me. However, about half way through I realised that this story was no different from the hundreds of other “great love stories” out there. Boy meets girl, they fall in love with a highly choreographed thunderbolt moment. Boy messes up and hurts girl. Boy realises his mistake, after a world-altering revelation, usually provided by a secondary character and goes running back to girl just in the knick of time and apologises. Girl forgives, takes boy back and we all live happily ever after.

As I watched the same old love story being played I couldn’t help but think, oh come on this is me, I was clearly panicking. I don’t think S and I have had that thunderbolt moment. Although he doesn’t  know it yet, I have clearly fallen for him. But rather than one big thunderbolt moment, it’s been a million little things that have made him impossible not to love. I started to worry did that mean I was wrong, again. Yes, this feels different but then so did Raoul, and OH before him, and the sex predator before him.

However, the more I pondered it the more I wondered where this idea of a thunderbolt moment has come from?

Why from a young age is it instilled in us that love will hit us and when that happens you just “know”. I’m not saying that that can’t happen for some, but does it happen to everyone?

Also, why does the classic love story always involve the guy letting the girl down and why, having had his eyes opened by a secondary character, does he go running back and she so easily forgives him? When did it become the norm that you will fall in love with someone and you should expect they let you down? I have now known S for over a year and in all that time he hasn’t let me down, not once. It hasn’t all been perfect, we are both still finding our feet and I have no idea what the future holds. I also feel I should point out here that I am not holding us up as some sort of shining example as the perfect couple, with the perfect romance –  we aren’t! But we do both try to be there for the other, and isn’t that what being in love is all about?

I’m going to save the world, one pot of face cream at a time!

I am one of those people who really want to save the world, but am not sure exactly how to do it. It seems that there is so much to do, so many causes to support it all becomes a bit of a muddle and so I sort of bury my head in the sand and run in the other direction. I am not the best at facing things that are going to take a lot of effort – just look at my none existent financial planning. Every month I say I will get it under control and then about half way through the month I resign myself to the fact that nothing has changed, but I’ll get it under control next month 😉

The same is true when it comes to my shopping. I want to support local businesses and buy responsibly. I rarely buy meat from a supermarket, as I am trying to convince myself that buying for a butcher means the meat is higher welfare, and on the odd occasion I have to I will buy organic. I have also massively cut down the amount of meat I am eating, although I have to admit that part of that is I realised how much weight I lost when I couldn’t afford to eat meat every night so had no choice but to eat veggies.

However, it all gets a little confusing when I look at buying none food items, such as cleaning products, toiletries etc. I would like to say I refuse to buy anything that has been tested on animals, but as I am never sure who the parent company of a product is, I can never be 100% certain that by buying brand A, I am actually paying money to company C who is the parent company and funds animal testing for brand B.

This is why I was ecstatic when I saw that Naturelle Cosmetics were looking for bloggers to review their vegan products. I might have sent a very pleading email to be given the chance to review it. As I said, I am not the best at going out and searching the internet to discover which products I can and can’t buy – I am just too busy. But when a vegan gift is being offered on the internet and all I have to do is put it on my face… let’s just say I can beg like the best of them!

I was overjoyed to be sent their honey and aloe vera face cream.

facecream

My face has smelt of honey for the last few hours, and weirdly it’s having a very relaxing effect on me.

(You should be aware this is where I stopped writing to use the cream for a while before drawing my conclusion, it’s why the tenses differ. I know I could have gone back and re-written but who has time for that?! Shall we continue..?)

In fact, the honey smell lasted until lunch time, which I was really impressed with and the feeling of my skin being moisturised lasted well into the evening. For the first time in a while, I had a hectic weekend, which meant lots of attempting to look my best. The cream worked really well under my foundation and my makeup seemed to stay in place until the wee hours – which is not something I always managed. I have now been using the cream for a week and my skin feels full of moisture and I even think it’s looking good, and the fact that it’s vegan – I’m sold. I will be buying this again.

*Disclaimer, I was given this pot of face cream free for the purposes of the review. However, the words are all mine and this has not swayed my opinion or affected my hope to single-handedly save the world!

**It has just been pointed out to me that Honey is not vegan, which I feel is something I should have realised for myself. I have contacted the company about this, as the vegan claim comes from their website and I will let you know what they say.

*** I have now heard back from the company and they have said “Thanks for your e-mail. There has been a debate going on about this for quite some time, many people claiming that honey is not vegan,  and others explain why it is in fact vegan. So since our suppliers claim that their products are cruelty free and vegan and posses all the necessary certification – we like to give people the choice as for our customers –  it’s a matter of preference.”  So there you go vegan/not vegan the choice is yours.