Monthly Archives: September 2018

Find your diamonds and hold them tight

I’ve just finished reading “Cows” by Dawn O’Porter.

While very well-written and thought-provoking, I struggled with it. I just couldn’t buy into the main premise. Women aren’t that down on each other in my experience. Granted I don’t live in London and I don’t work in an office environment, but I am pretty media-savvy. The kind of ruthless judgement described in the novel just rang a bit hollow with me.

Two things happened this weekend to prove me right.

The first was Slice in the City.

Now, I love Instagram. I appreciate many of you prefer Twitter or Facebook or, you know, phone calls – but I get SO MUCH out of my insta community. It’s as close as this 11 years-married chick gets to speed dating. Thanks in large part to the advice of Danni @chachipowerproject, I have deliberately designed myself an inspiring and healthy feed. I follow dancers and artists, mums and independents, businesswomen and inventors and experts in all sorts of niche areas.

Slice in the City was where we all met in real life.

Csn you imagine a more interesting crowd to spend your Saturday afternoon with?

When Nic stood up to do her welcome speech (she goes by the name of @weeslice and is the powerhouse who brought us all to the Apex that sunny day) she pointed out about 70% of the 80 or so people there had come alone. And yet, no one was standing by themselves.

i know I approached a woman looking a bit lonely to say hi – and loads of others must have done the same.

I was invited to join a book club (“Oh we don’t actually read books, you ok with that?”) and a brunch club (“I need to escape my kids at least once a month”). I finally found an eyebrow expert who kindly agreed to make my brow sisters into twins and got massive hugs from people I’d never met but felt I knew.

In short, I spent three hours with 80 women and felt nothing but positivity.

The next thing that happened was utterly terrifying.

My 7 yo went missing.

I’ll tell you the short version, in that he was found within the hour and he was fine.

I had to phone the police and I put a message on our local Facebook group. I don’t want to go into it, except to say I was overwhelmed by the reaction of my community.

Everyone was out looking and the support was really quite humbling. When he was found I got so many messages full of love. “You must have been beside yourself” – “We’re so relieved” – “Go and pour yourself a large drink”. I was mortified to have caused such a kerfuffle – but all I was getting was compassion. I don’t think I’ll ever forget it.

So while I accept that “Cows” is just a novel, and Instagram is often toxic and neighbours can be problematic – I want to stand up for the good guys.

There are fabulous, genuine diamonds all around us if we just open our hearts to them.

They could make your afternoon – or save your child’s life.

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Filed under charity, Edinburgh

How was your morning?

My watch buzzed and my pillow muffled the beeping of my phone.

4.30am – time to get up.

I climbed down from my son’s bunk – it had been another night of musical beds.

I crept downstairs to the toilet – but before I could even make it to the living room and my carefully laid out clothes – I heard footsteps.

KD’s fingers appeared on the toilet door and his squinting, chubby face – eyes half obscured by a too-long fringe – loomed out of the darkness. He was clutching a sporran filled with pennies.

“What are you doing up?” I crouched to cuddle his warm little body.

“I didn’t want anyone to steal my money,” he informed me.

I tucked him up on the couch with a fluffy blanket, dressed quickly and put cartoons on so I could do my makeup in peace. When the taxi arrived and I kissed him goodbye he burst into noisy sobs.

“I want to come too mummeeeeeeeee” he wailed.

Rod appeared looking dishevelled and scooped him up so I could leave without the histrionics waking the Wee Man.

The driver wanted to chat, but I was trying to check in online and the FlyBe app wasn’t cooperating. Eventually I emailed myself the boarding pass and took a screenshot to make sure.

It was all going swimmingly until I realised there were two flights leaving for London City at 6.30 – with one letter of difference. One was at Gate 5. The other – the right one – was at Gate 28. I sprinted but I was met by a red screen and a rude high vis jacket.

Desperately I turned to the other, older lady and gasped, “I need some help please, how do I rebook?”

“It’s OK love, just go to SwissPort next to baggage claim, they’ll help you out,” she said kindly.

I repeated SwissPort, SwissPort, SwissPort as I sprinted all the way back through the airport – almost to the fucking taxi rank.

“There’s another flight at 7.10, that will be £111 please,” the SwissPort woman announced.

I was actually relieved it was that cheap – and smiled at the boiling Irishman next to me who was being charged £55 to check in at the airport. “That’s still only half the money I’ve wasted,” I remarked and he smiled a bit.

All she gave me was a receipt – I still had to make it to the desk for my boarding pass before tackling security all over again.

“This happens every single day,” the check-in clerk told me. “You’d think they’d do something about two flights so similar.”

Her sympathy was nice, but her typing skills were slow. I glanced at my watch. 6.34am. I then took it off, and my bangle, and my jumper so I’d have a survivor’s chance at security.

I was that person pushing past everyone going “excuse me, sorry, so sorry, I’m going to miss my flight again, sorry” (yes I actually said again, they must have thought I was a rocket). I made it through the scanner (woop) but where was my boarding pass and drivers’s licence? They were right there on top of my jacket…

“Excuse me?” I said loudly and too high. Thank the fucking fuck the security guy found it on the floor. He passed it to me with a look but I could only grab it and run. Except I couldn’t run could I? Suddenly every child in the whole western world was in front of me, every passenger had a bag the size of a small four poster, every walkway was suddenly out of order…

Ladies and gentlemen – I made it onto the 7.10 with four minutes to spare. It too left from Gate 28.

My hair is frizzy, my back is soaked with sweat, but I’m typing this from the ExCeL Arena in London and I made it here (after missing just the one DLR train) BEFORE THE EXPO OPENED.

Winning.

 

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Filed under work