A day in the life…

This morning I was rudely awakened at about 3am. The ill mannered culprit was pain. This time it was intense & centred in my stomach. So, i got up, took my stomach meds, some painkillers & hoped for relief.

Relief was not to come. I lay in the dark for half an hour waiting for the medication to work it’s magic. My body was having none of it, a wave of nausea washed over me & I knew I was going to be sick. I ‘rushed’ to the bathroom where I proceeded to vomit repeatedly. Each violent wretch sent pain shooting down my back. An hour later I’m sweating, dizzy, sore & unable to get off the bathroom floor.

All the throwing up had triggered some hefty heartburn & reflux, but meds weren’t  an option for fear of kicking off more vomiting. I slowly picked myself off the floor & retreated to the living room. Once situated on the sofa, I turned out the lights & put Joni Mitchell on low.  Over the next several hours,

I tried breathing exercises,

put on my tens, 

paced, 

drank mint tea,

curled into ball,

took more medication, 

vommed more medication 

watched the sun come up

& resigned myself to having a rough day. 

That’s exactly what happened. Today was a riot of pain. My stomach continued to be a nightmare. My back ache progressed into agony. I was intermittently sick throughout the day. Thus I had to cancel appointments. Most of the writing scheduled for today wasn’t even attempted. More housework piled up as I struggled to control my pain & rising panic. An acute flare like is this stressful because I never have any idea how long it might last. I could be in better shape tomorrow or I could be in hospital. I live alone & I work freelance; if I don’t do it, it doesn’t get done. I worry. A lot. I grow concerned about 

staying solvent, 

my professional reputation,

keeping my home presentable,

keeping myself presentable,

how I will keep important appointments,

letting my loved ones down, 

losing control of my mental health, 

Basically, I worry about everything, from the state of my kitchen floor to the state of my relationship. Of course all this stress is detrimental to my health. Especially with regards my to stomach problems, stress is the enemy. Likewise, stress is an anathema to sleep. Lack of sleep makes illness more difficult to cope with, but of course pain & illness also make it harder to sleep. If I can’t manage my anxiety it will spiral into panic attacks & depression. Any decline in my mental health reduces my productivity, my ability to leave the house & my chances at engaging with the world positively. Around & around I go. Symptoms exacerbate symptoms all adding up to an almost permanantly exhausted, scared, sick & sore me. 

And this is my life. This level of illness is not rare. My good days are not pain free. I don’t know when the bad times will hit. I wake up every morning with no idea if I’ll be able to get out of bed. Chronic illness is fucking nightmare. It forces you let people down, to miss huge chunks of your own life & to live that life always walking on broken glass.  

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Polish my nails real bright…

Some folks need their hair done or lippie on or maybe even just a big smile to feel like they’re killing it. For me it’s kick arse nails. I don’t feel myself unless my nails are sporting a dapper polish. Finger nails may be a strange place to get a confidence boost, but c’est la vie. My mum always has perfect nails, my sister’s are exquisite; who am I to let the side down?

I always do my own nails. On the rare occassion that I’ve had them done professionally I’ve felt like I could do just as good a job (if not better). Thus I am diy manicure enthusiast. Even nail art is a lot easier than most people think. If you  invest in the right brushes & have a little patience, most folk can master it. My secret weapon is nail drying spray. Instantly drying each coat or detail saves so much time & frustrating smudges. I am often asked where I find the time to do my nails & this is one of the few times that insomnia works to my advantage. I almost always do my nails in the middle of night. There has to be some perk to living life perpetually tired & sore. This, my friends is it…




Bells will ring…

I have a couple of weddings to attend this winter & nothing to wear. In my panic to rectify that situation I have stumbled upon some new plus size high street options. I now have a new problem, which of these gorgeous dresses do I buy?

Quiz has never really been on my radar, mainly because I had no clue that they stocked my size. Colour me delighted to discover they actually have a Curve range that goes up to a 26, which includes these wedding ready party dresses. I’ve narrowed it down to one of these beauties.


Debut is a brand I had never even heard of. I discovered them via Debenhams website & I am so pleased that I did. They have really flirty cocktail dresses, again topping out at a size 26. I did manage to whittle my favs down to two, but I doubt I’ll ever be able to choose between them. I can has both, yes?


The biggest revelation has been the Lipsy Curve range. This is a brand I have previously castigated for having impossibly small sizes. It warms my heart to see how far the plus size revolution is spreading. They have a really excellent selection of going out dresses, ranging from funky to formal. I am lusting after quite a number of their dresses, but these are my wedding picks. 

I am famously indecisive, but these frocks have got me stuck. Help a girl out, which would you choose?

Pleasant valley sunday…

I had a fairly lazy weekend until Sunday when I packed in both my own & the toy boy’s family.  Well, things also got a little busy when the toy boy came home drink & frisky on Saturday night, but that’s another story.

I had lunch at Mum’s with my bro, sis & nephew. Our little super baby is now on the move, talking & generally being wonderful. He was incredibly amused by mum’s poodles. His own pupper, Ringo, has a lot of chill; Coco & D’artangan do not. An afternoon of chatter & laughter ensued.

Here’s Coco failing in her attempts to push La off the sofa & giving in to her new life as a cushion. 


Next up was a birthday dinner for Tb’s sister at his parent’s  house. His niece provided cuteness & his family were as sweet as ever. 

In between familial visits I squeezed in a wee blog shoot with Lauren.  Incidentally, she is looking stunning & you can check out her side of shoot here. I adore this skirt. I had fun dressing it down with a cute tee & the beautiful scarf my bestie gave me for my birthday. 



Pockets!


T – Shirt – Glad Rags (thrifted).

Skirt – Lindy Bop

Scarf – Accessorise (Gift)

Shoes – Primark 

Go gentle…

This year World Mental Health Day has intersected with Baby Loss Awareness week resulting in lots of media/online talk about both subjects. Obviously, this presses pretty much all of my buttons as my mental health has historically (& currently) been so interconnected with my losses.

I believe society’s discomfort of miscarriage increases the distress experienced by those who live it. Feeling that I could not talk about my loss certainly compounded the trauma of my first miscarriage. There is a massive crossover between mental illness & baby loss, I believe part of that is how we treat people who have to deal with either issue. I also believe that making really simple changes in attitudes would allieviate so much pain. Miscarriage & infant loss will always be horrific, but if we allow people to openly explore & process those losses long term mental illness can be avoided. Or at the very least recognised & treated. 


Miscarriage  & other types of baby loss affect many people. We can all help make their lives easier by following these straight forward suggestions.

1. Acknowledge the loss.

Many people feel so uncomfortable about this kind of loss that they simply don’t acknowledge it. I know that this often comes from a good place, one might fear upsetting a grieving parent or intruding on their privacy.  I get that, but trust me, the silence is worse. If you know that someone has miscarried a simple ‘I am sorry for your loss’ goes a long way. Having people recognise that you have suffered a loss is massive. Too often those of us who have experienced miscarriage are  left feeling that our child only existed for us. Having people in your life affirm that the life you carried was real & had worth is extremely valuable. 

2. Really listen. 

Asking someone how they are, sending love etc is a good gesture, but if you really want help, listen to their response. When I lost my first baby what I really needed was to talk about it. I desperately needed to express how I felt & what I was struggling with, but never felt it was ok to do so. Burying those emotions compounded my trauma & led to a complete breakdown. If someone needs to talk about their experiences, please let them. 

3. Respect the grief.

When you have a miscarriage you grieve. Your grief is not only for the baby you have lost, but also for the life you have been planning. Grief is a very personal thing, everyone does it in their own way & on their own timetable. Wether that involves a memorial service, commemorating an anniversary, a tattoo or even never speaking of it again, please respect that. Don’t judge or rush.  Be supportive of whatever your grieving friend needs . There are no right or wrong ways to heal, even if you feel uncomfortable with someone’s chosen expression of grief. Just be kind & remember it is not your journey.


4. Don’t hide baby news.

I understand the urge to shield loved ones from pain. Certainly be sensitive, but share & celebrate your baby news. I can guarantee that although it may sometimes be painful I never want to dampen anyone’s joy. Losing a baby is hard, but it does not prevent me from being thrilled for other people. Any tears I have to shed will be done in private & are only my concern. I want all good things for everyone that I love. I absolutely adore the beautiful little people my siblings & have friends have been blessed with. I have never met a person who had suffered a loss who felt any differently. 

There you have it. Four straightforward pieces of advice that may lighten the load of someone who is suffering. All you have to do is swallow your discomfort, listen & be respectful. Surely, that’s not too much to ask? 

They say it’s your birthday…

I had a birthday last week. I celebrated the proper way with sushi, cocktails & loved ones. I was spoiled with gorgeoues gifts & even better company. Unfortunately I was also blessed with the worst hangover on the world the next morning

Perhaps it’s my advancing years or the fact that I don’t drink much anymore, but 4 drinks should not add up to feeling like you might die. My head had actually started hurting before I fell asleep. Pile on some hardcore menstrual pain (yup, I got my period for my birthday too) & I think I would have been forgiving for hiding in bed. I actually had a child’s birthday party to attend. I’m quite proud of myself for getting up, donning some presents & hitting that gathering. 


Dress – Asos Curve

Biker Jacket – Capsule

Tights – Gift 

Boots – Primark

Necklace – Taking Shape

Bag – Primark

I was flagging a little by the time these pics were snapped, but still looking cute. The observant amongst you will notice this t shirt dress appeared in my wish last last week. My clever little sister snapped it up for my birthday along with the most perfect autumn tights. I usually go for more curve hugging styles, but I really love this dress. It’s so bright & comfy; it feels great. Paired with a biker, scarf & a velvet clutch it kills. 

I feel incredibly smug about these boots. They were a sneaky bargain from everyone’s favourite fast fashion outlet, but are cool af. Pearls? yes. Floral print? yes. On a big clunky boot? Omg, yes! I expect to wear the soles right off them. 


Oh & a wee peek at the night before. Not doing too bad for 37.


Do you want to know a secret?…

I have a secret. It could be argued that keeping this secret makes me a bit of a hypocrite. For all my body positivity, there is one thing about myself that I cannot learn to love; my facial hair. 


Until about I was about 30, I wasn’t a very hairy person at all. My body hair was all fair & fine. As such it wasn’t something that I gave much thought to. To begin with I had a little bit of fine hair on my neck, which I put down to getting a bit older. The hair quickly progressed to my chin, then to my upper lip. I started waxing it & so began my facial hair war. 

As the hair got thicker I consulted my gp (as a person who had crazy periods, sometimes 1 a year, sometimes lasting 6wks) PCOS should have been any easy diagnosis. In actual fact it took 6yrs to convince a dr to even investigate. Blood tests revealed increased hormone levels & that was that. I was prescribed medication to regulate my periods, which thankfully worked. The beard, however, remains. I’m too pale & fair for laser removal and nothing else really does the job. The hair continues to get worse. I’ve tried waxing, hair removal cream & even a No!No!; none of which keep my face smooth for more than a day or two.


I can love my fat & my scars. I don’t even care what others thinks about my often hairy legs. I feel no compulsion to remove my pubic hair other than when I feel like it. I don’t wear make up daily & my hair is most often to be found in a very messy bun. I have skin tags & moles & birthmarks that it has never even occurred to me to feel self conscious about. I am almost entirely impervious to societal demands upon my body. Expect it seems when it comes to my increasingly hairy face. 

A hairy face appears to be my line in the self love sand. I cannot get past the notion that it renders me repugnantly unwomanly. As I write those words I know how stupid & misogynstic & backwards they are. Yet, none of my strident feminist views prevent me from being utterly ashamed of my stubbly chin. 

The fact that I have internalised this patriarchal bullshit makes me so angry. I know I don’t have to measure up to some nonsensical notion of femininity, but part of me still wants to. I hate that. I hate how much energy I waste on getting rid of this hair. I hate that despite my best efforts I have bought into such a narrow definition of what being a woman is. 


Maybe part of this is the same as any other stigma, no one talks about it. Well, not outside hushed, unhappy tones with our closest ones. Or whispered exchanges with professionals who might rid us of the dreaded hair. I know other women who have PCOS, but none of them have visible facial hair & I’ve never asked. Are they too constantly removing fuzz? I wouldn’t know because I’m not sure if talking about it would be rude or even out right offensive. So, I just carry on feeling like the only person who could have a side job in Victorian freak show. 

Until now. I’ve decided to come clean. Yup, I have a beard. I may not ever be ready to let the world see it, but at least I can start talking about it. It’s just hair, right? Fuck it. Girls can be furry too. What’s the worst that can happen? Someone might even have a good tip on how to get rid of it!