Aimee Horton

When you turn the television on.

Feb
26

When I fell pregnant everybody told me that I’d have no time for myself.  That my leg hair would grow long and wiry  that my face would be make up free, and dirty laundry would be piled up around my house unable to be dealt with.

Their suggestions at my lack of life were then enhanced by these bloody stupid Facebook shares that keep doing the rounds about how by trading the hairdressers, or nice handbags that you loved being a mum, that you were being a good mum.  They make me stabby.

I prepared myself for the worst, I ensured my nails were devoid of varnish (no time to paint them you see), and cut my hair into a style that didn’t require any effort (no time for a shower), and got ready.

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Well. That was an anti-climax.

You see, I’m not saying time isn’t tight, in fact, it does tend to slip away at an alarming rate, however, it’s nothing that good organisation, timetables and most importantly…kids tv, can’t help with.

That’s right, Kids TV.  Against the odds, three very important channels have become an invaluable asset to my day to day life.   Thanks to Mr Tumble I’ve been able to apply fake tan.  Thanks to Chris and Poi I’ve been able to use the toilet in peace, and thanks to Peppa Pig I’ve been able to stick a load of washing in without anybody attempting to commit suicide over the stair-gate.

Before you judge, don’t worry, I don’t stick my children in front of the television all day every day they never bloody sit still for that long however, I don’t see what’s wrong with them sitting infront of a few programmes, after all, they all have some educational element included (WHAT! I’ve learnt A LOT about Italy from Peppa Pig, and Mummy Pig is all about body confidence).

They’ve become my babysitter, some have been known to quote “free” babysitter.  However, sadly, nothing in life is free, and this is no exception, so as I sit on my sofa sharing a plate of rich tea biscuits with my children, I am paying the price for wanting my cup of tea while it’s still hot.  After all, all three channels have their flaws.

Sometimes it’s the presenters.  For example Jen from Milkshake, I want to like her. I really really do, (and Mr. Aimee has a huge crush on her), but she’s just so happy.  YES, I do appreciate that that makes me sound old and cynical but it’s true.  WHO THE HELL is that excited at stupid o’clock in the morning? SOMEBODY WHO DOESN’T HAVE CHILDREN THAT’S WHO!

We recently took the children to see Milkshake Live.  It was actually very good, and Mr Aimee was hugely excited when bursting onto the stage in an orange vest top and floral tapered trousers came Jen.

Matthew’s Crush

Happy to be there with you RIGHT THEN, perky, perhaps having drunk too many Red Bull’s Jen.  Jen who after her two performances can go home, and go to bed AND HAVE SOME PEACE AND QUIET.

Larry wasn’t as pleased to see her as he normally is…I think she was a little TOO excited.

Bovvered?

Bovvered?

Then there is Mr Bloom from CBeebies.  Now, I’m aware that apparently he’s considered “a bit of alright” in the mummy brigade?  Is that right? HOW?! I mean, apart from obviously needing a wash, you just get the impression that he’s rolled into work stinking of booze and kebabs after a night on the town with Katie.

Another Pint Guv?

“Katie?!” I hear you exclaim.

Yes. Katie.  Who has (in my opinion) given the hint on many occasions, that she doesn’t actually like children or cooking that much, so perhaps the night out with Mr. Bloom (OH MY GOD – are they together do you think?!), leaves enough alcohol in her system to allow her to fake her way through the enthusiasm of preparing “Falafel Footballs” (note the gutted look on the kids face when they realise that yet again they aren’t making a pudding) before picking up that god awful guitar and faking her way through the tuneless yet catchy songs.  Which now, as I type this paragraph are circulating my head, so even on my child free days, I’m humming about rolling up my sleeves and giving my hands a wash.

SEE! I’m REALLY ENJOYING MYSELF!

Over on Nick Jnr – home to back to back Peppa Pig and Ben and Holly,  no presenter registers as anything other then pretty vacant and not really there.  But that’s not the issue.  Neither are the toy adverts which are often followed by a small voice from the sofa saying “I need that” It’s their bedtime hour song.  Sickly sweet, with slightly scary children, and don’t even get me started  on the lyrics.  A TINKLE?! A TINKLE???!!!!!

At least the CBeebies version fills a parent with joy, it’s wholesome enough to sing along and sound like you’re being loving and nobody notices that the parent is actually doing an air punch and counting down the minutes until they can open the bar (sadly still just over 58 minutes after the song is complete).

But before you can get to bed, you have to watch the same Peppa Pig episode that has been playing day and night for the last week.  There have been approximately 209 episodes of Peppa Pig made.  WHY THE HELL DO WE HAVE TO HAVE THE SAME ONES ON TIME AND TIME AGAIN.

Cup of tea anyone?

I know I could change the channel, but the child has stopped attempting to wipe it’s nose in my hair, it’s moved away from the book shelves where it’s been systematically emptying it book by book, and is gravitating towards the TV.

 

I know I should be expressing rage at the show, dissecting it and discussing about how it betrays feminism, that certain characters such as the Bin Men have “working class accent’s”, yet the Doctor doesn’t, that apparently it encourages naughty behaviour…

…But you know what, pass me the gin because actually I’m enjoying five minutes of relative peace.

 

 

Friends

Nov
06

Friends.  Now there’s a contentious issue.  And I’m not talking about whether or not they were on a break.  Nope, I’m talking about best friends, worst ‘friends’, real ones, pretend ones, the good, the bad and the ugly.  Not to mention Facebook.  Friends come in all different guises and it never fails to shock me about how amazing the unexpected are and how shitty the supposed best are.  You win some, you lose some, some cut you out whilst others claw their way in, friendship really is an absolute bloody minefield.


When I was younger I wanted lots, it was all about the numbers.  After all, how many friends you’ve got is a clear indicator on how wonderful you are as a human being, no?  Look at my numbers, just look!  I’ve got over 200 friends on Facebook ergo I am incredibly popular and therefore wonderful.  Bollocks.  I’ve just happened to meet, go to school with, work with and socialise with a grand total of 246 people since I was born, which in those terms seems pretty sad.  Even sadder that I’d say I can count my real friends on my fingers.  But now I’m older I’ve realised viewing friends in the same way as sweets is needless and equally as bad for my health. I’ve always wanted as many as I can, not caring about the quality and even putting up with the sour ones.  Whilst my Haribo addiction is going strong, I’m starting to feel a little sick of the ersatz ones.

This year there has been a giant friendship shift.  One of my best (I use the term loosely, very loosely) friends has decided that we are no longer such.  I only discovered this little nugget of information when she and my other three ‘best’ friends met up and posted pictures online of the whale of a time they were having together.  Minus moi.  Ouch.  I’m 28 and was immediately transported to year 4 when again; my ‘best’ friend told my successor that she hated me in the girls toilets.  “No she didn’t,” I said smugly, “she wouldn’t say that, she’s my best friend!  You wouldn’t say that, would you?”  Looking me square in the eye she answered calmly, “YES”.  At least she was honest.  This time there was no such explanation, I was back at school and my supposed best uni pals had decided that the individual feud I was unaware of was worthy of some classic cutting out bitchiness.  Yes there’d been a slight chill in the air between me and she, but I’d spoken to her and she bluntly said she was irritable, I was irritating and it was just one of those things.  We’d been friends for five years; of course it was just one of those things, no biggy, right?  Wrong.  The fog didn’t lift, so I spoke to the others and each one said the same, “it’ll be fine, she’s done it with us all, you know what she’s like”.  Yes!  Yes I do!  And so do you, so why am I the one getting the big heave ho? I asked.  Something meek was muttered, there was a lone apology and the stark realisation hit me, I didn’t really care.  If they were truly my friends would they have followed the forceful ringleader just for that reason?  Had we all kept in touch because of some imagined duty founded just because we’d shared the same lectures?  We were growing up and apart yet were determined to cling on for dear life despite personalities and geography getting in the way.  For a while I felt bereft and, honestly, a little embarrassed.  It made me feel unpopular, humiliated and disliked, it hurt my feelings.  I was disappointed because whilst I was aware of the tension in one camp I thought the others knew better and it was a shock to be dropped quite so brutally.

Once I’d recovered from the initial jolt of friendship from playgrounds past, I looked around and noticed that I was surrounded by people concerned about my glumness.  It was then I realised that these were all the girls who’d called me the second they heard I’d been made redundant and who organised a surprise chocolate cake on my birthday.  These were the girls who text to see how my mum was getting on when she moved house and pointed him in the direction of my favourite jewellery at Christmas.  Scary thing was, I’d not known them since school or bonded with at university, we’d met, we’d got on and a friendship grew from a mutual like for each other.   Sheesh, this was new.  It had been instilled in me that friends were made when you were young and it is those you hold on to through thick and thin, through irritability and irritation.  But what if the only bond was the same course, same class or penchant for eating play dough?  What happens as we get older and the very thing on which the relationship was established no longer exists?  It falls apart, and trying not to feel like a big fat (and not to mention unpopular) friendship failure is hard.  So much focus had been put on keeping duty friends; I hadn’t noticed how many other pals I had around me.  Of course I have friends that I grew up with and who I have a genuine bond with.  But looking around at the grand old age of 28 I realise my best buddies are those not forged from family or educational institution.  Scary but true.  Part of me is a little sad that I haven’t grown up with my best group of friends and can’t reminisce about that time in the sandpit, common room or SU.  But the other part can’t wait to make more memories with the greatest gang a girl could ask for.

Introducing “The fairest of them all”…

Jul
03

I love beautiful things.  I love cool things.  I love shopping, and cooing over photographs of outfits, or even better stroking beautiful shoes.  However, in case you hadn’t guessed, there aren’t enough hours in the day.  If I’m not banging away on the laptop producing either articles, emails, or marketing materials I’m constantly clearing up toys from my floor and wiping fruit off my favourite wallpaper, so I don’t have much time to hunt for the new and the amazing.

Therefore, I’ve called in a little help from my friend The Fairest of Them All.

Pale skinned and red lipped, Amanda’s resemblance to the fair Miss White is often remarked upon.  But unless Princess Snow has a penchant for leopard print, Bumble Bee Teas (her cocktail of choice) and builders strength Earl Grey, that’s where the similarity ended.  Or at least it did.  By day, she is all SEO, PPC and OMG.  But by night, you will find her sewing, styling and sourcing the unique, the chic and the fairest.  And so, once upon a time, I asked Amanda to share these finds, so from heels to Hendricks, wallpaper to waspies, The Fairest of Them All was born.