I have mentioned Todd Parr (a hella long time ago, mind)- Todd Parr writes babies books. Todd Parr is awesome. I really like Todd Parr. Here is one such example of a Todd Parr book:
Accordingly to Amazon, "It's Okay To Be Different cleverly delivers the important messages of acceptance, understanding and confidence in an accessible, child-friendly format" (although, I may be inclined to argue that by their very nature children are actually the experts at acceptance, and society has a lot to learn from them). Confidence, however, is something that it is never too early to instill. So, basically, on each page is a different message (e.g. "it's okay to need some help" with a picture of a blind person; "it's okay to have big ears" with a picture of a rabbit; "it's okay to be a different colour" with a picture of a multicoloured zebra; you get the theme). I first bought this book not so much to "teach acceptance" (bleurgh I don't like how that sounds) but to show diversity. I want to raise a confident, positive, well-rounded, kind and caring person. If she happens to be a genius too- that is amazing. I think the more that we encounter earlier in childhood, the more accepting of it we are as adults (this is probably why I struggle so much at failure....). So, yeah. Todd Parr. I like him.
MOVING SWIFTLY ON, to our homage to Todd Parr; here's what we've been up to recently:
1. It's Okay To Be Slow
So, our most recent two races were the Potters 'Arf marathon and a 10k Race for Life up in Edinburgh- both of these were performed as Mummy Piglet combo runs. Hence, they took a little longer than if I was flying solo.
I had mentioned that I wanted a sub-2 hour finish in the Potters 'Arf (my best result so far was 2:02, so I am SO CLOSE IT HURTS). Obviously, with Piggly, I was not making 2 hours. Also- hilliest course EVER. EVER EVER EVER. SO MANY HILLS. We finished around the 2:30 mark. But, do you know what? The atmosphere at that race was so amazing, I kind of wish it had taken me even longer. It was incredible. And it was really lovely to be running a race back in the "motherland" as such. The fact that I had Piglet with me probably added to the general excellence of the day to be honest. We hadn't done a race as a pair for a really long time, so it was a great feeling to be doing that again (side note: I could not feel my arms for several days afterwards). And obviously people were so so supportive- "Yer a tough woman, duck", was said multiple times. I bloody loved it. I WAS A TOUGH WOMAN. I had multiple offers of childcare for next years event from people in the crowds. A man gave me an ice pop, and I almost asked him to marry me there and then. And a lady at around 10 miles gave us flapjack, jelly babies and lucozade- LADY I LOVE YOU.
We did our race for life the weekend after. It was Fathers Day, and as I am once again The Daddy, I wanted to so something fun (also, if I am being totally honest, I was concerned that NNB may want to see Piglet, and...I didn't really want that. Maybe that is unfair. Maybe it isn't. I don't care. I am a registered psychopath). So we went up to Edinburgh for that weekend, and had our race (finished in 1 hour- best solo 10k is 51 minutes) and then we went to the zoo for the remainder of the day. Again, race atmosphere was amazing. And Edinburgh is so pretty. Edinburgh is on my list of places to live.
Okay NEVER OKAY To Have Fleas
Speaking of NNB and the fact that he never ever listens to me at all and thinks that my opinion is useless and not valid... I told NNB to make sure that he de-flead Pig. NNB did not de-flea Pig. NNB went on holiday for two weeks and sent Pig down to his parents. NNB returned to a house full of fleas. NNB watched Percy for me for an hour whilst I went for a run. NNB brought fleas into my flat.
I am being serious right now. I encountered mushrooms- I eliminated them (ok, ok, the builder eliminated them); I faced slugs- I vanquished them; and now I was met with fleas. I was very angry. I would say that was an understatement. Now, this all happened shortly after we came back from Edinburgh, so like mid-June-ish? 21st/22nd? Within 72 hours I had removed the fleas. I did what any sensible person does- google it. For anyone suffering with fleas- Indorex spray. It's like £12 on amazon. Don't buy stuff from the shops, because the fleas have become immune to it. Just get indorex, and hoover the life out of your house- twice a day. Strip everything and wash it at 90 degrees aswell. ONE FLEA CAN CAUSE AN INFESTATION- AND YOU DO NOT WANT THAT. As I have said, because I was a normal person who does not want fleas in my house, I am now flea-free. NNB still has fleas. And ignores my offers of information re: Indorex. Because clearly I have no idea what I'm talking about do I...? Honestly, I don't even know why I talk to him sometimes, he just irritates me.
3. It's Okay To Get Symbolic Pets
Piglet and I bought some dwarf hamsters (ha ha ha "Piglet and I"- pretty sure that should be "I bought some hamsters because I am a child"). These were a treat for getting into Newcastle (I am a ridiculous, ridiculous person). I wanted a pet. BUT I was sensible, and I thought it through, and I was like, "Piglet, we can't get another puss cat. We don't have time for puss cat. We go away for weekends a lot. It is not logical to get a puss cat". So, we got hamsters. Here are the hamsters:
Their names are (are you ready for this? Prepare yourself): Mnemosyne and Elpis (Nemmy and Elp). "What? What kind of names are those?" I hear you ask. Mnemosyne (Nem-os-inny) is the Greek Goddess of memory. I shall not forget the final year of my degree. I shall not forget the past year of my life. I shall not forget how shit everything was. I shall not forget that- whilst I may at times think that I can do everything- I can't, and I have to prioritise. Elpis is the spirit of hope.'Cos...y'know we have that now...and stuff. So, yeah. Symbolic hamsters. Very important additions to the house. Always remember, and always have hope (I'm an 8 year old, ok?)
4. It's Okay (In Theory) To Have A Mouse
Right, I'm going to have to flashback again. Whilst I was at uni, I did a research placement over the Summer one year, and during this time I stayed in one of the student halls. Now I would say it was ok. Like, sure it wasn't one of the newer ones, and there were 9 bajillion stairs, but it was fine (also plus side- rooms were a hell of a lot bigger in the older buildings). But it was fine; that is what I would say. However, it was torn down at the end of that Summer because it was infested with every creature known to mankind. Anyway, I had a mouse who lived in my room. Retrospectively, I am fond of that mouse. At the time- I'm pretty sure I was having a mild hernia over his presence (again, like Sid, I had to name him to make him semi-ok: he was christened Max Whiskerton III). But like anything, you distance yourself from the event, and it becomes almost pleasant- just another funny memory.
Ok. Flashforward. Set the scene. Mushrooms? Gone. Slugs? Gone. Fleas? Gone. I'M ON A ROLL. YEAH, LOOK AT ME GO. There's quite a few holes in my house. Like in corners, and in the skirting boards and stuff. But that's not really a big deal to me ("Oh wow, look at all the character"- I am such a dick). Anyway, I was casually binge watching Homeland one night when I spotted something near one of these holes. Initially I couldn't see anything. But I can tell you that I had the same feeling then that I had when I noticed Max Whiskerton III for the first time. I knew he was there- I just hadn't spotted him.
And then I did. I did spot him. By the fireplace. A mouse. OH MY GOOOOOOOLOOOIUII9GUYGIYGFDDDDDDDDDDDDDDURIEOW7KDTUD. WHYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYYY. WHYYYYYYYYYYY DOES THIS HAPPEN TO MEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE. It was 11pm. There was nothing I could do at 11pm. I couldn't fill in the holes- I had no filler (also, this would have been a TERRIBLE idea, but this is to come later). All I could do after the mouse had returned to his hole was this:
(I like to think of myself as resourceful- I may put this on my CV)
Yay! Totally fine, right? Now the mouse would just disappear into the walls and move along the terrace (I am on the end) to one of the other houses with far nicer food than ours.
Yeah, that didn't happen. Turns out, (well, I think anyway) that's not where the mouse came in, that's just where he darted when I scared him. So I had trapped him behind the fireplace with nowhere to go. And I could hear him scratching. And scratching. And more scratching. I had to unblock the hole really, didn't I?
I put towels under the bedroom doors to block the gaps that night. And in the morning, I went and got this:
OH THE IRONY! RIGHT AFTER TALKING MYSELF OUT OF GETTING ONE! This is Adelaide. She's been with us for around a week now, and has settled in very well. She is incredibly clingy. But also, incredibly good at catching things that don't need catching (e.g. stray beads that appear from nowhere), so I have high hopes for her mousing ability. The mouse has not been seen since her arrival (dead or alive), so I am hoping that he's gone and found a new home (I don't really want her to kill the mice, just deter them from entering. Although if one comes in then I suppose yes, absolutely, kill the mouse).
It's Okay Is It Okay To Be An Escort?
Confession time ladies and gentlemen. Back before I went back to work 97 hours a week, and before I got the results for my degree, I was obviously looking at doing a PhD. But, as I have mentioned before, there is no childcare funding for PhD's and- because of funding regulations- you are only allowed to work 6 hours per week (so not enough to claim tax credits). There is a website for people in that kind of situation- Seeking Arrangement. Seeking arrangement matches "sugar babies" to their "sugar mummies/sugar daddies" . You see where this is going, don't you? So, I as a "sugar baby" wanted money. The men who contacted me as "sugar daddies" would be happy to part with their money in exchange for...well it varied really. Some were looking for a "long term companion"; some were seeking dates to events; some were just after sex. I had arranged to meet one of these men last April to discuss what sort of "arrangement" we could come to.
And I bottled it. And I actually went on my first date with NNB instead (WASTED OPPORTUNITIES! STUPID GIRL!)
Recently, I have been offered the "opportunity" (is it an opportunity? Is it really?) to embark on a similar venture. It's a lot safer. Although you are basically a glorified prostitute (although- this "is not endorsed by the company"). It's something that I have not said no to. I haven't said yes yet, either. I'm currently considering it. Some of the girls take home £2000 a week (although, if this is something I go into, I think the first question I'm going to ask is if I need to become self employed and pay my own taxes, or am I technically an employee and they take care of that? Logical thinking). Morally, I don't really have any objection to it. And if I'm being totally objective, I could basically work 3 evenings a week and potentially end up with more money than I'd know what to do with. Obviously it would be short term. Like 6 months-1 year. I wouldn't miss out on Piglet. It would be easy to fit round uni. But...I don't know if I've got the balls for it. I don't know how it would make me feel about myself. I don't know how it would make other people feel about me (I think I care what people think. I think I do. And I don't think that's necessarily a bad thing).
I probably won't do it (or maybe I'm just saying that and I know I'm going to do it really). I don't know. I am in a quandary. I could pay for my entire masters in three weeks. How crazy is that? I don't know if there's a right answer to the question to be honest.
I've got to call the bank tomorrow to discuss my application for my career development loan. We'll see how that goes first. If that's all fine, then I shall not be an escort. Or maybe I still will. I DON'T KNOW WHAT TO DO WITH THIS. I think it's okay to be an escort. I just don't know yet if it's okay for me to be an escort.