After the entire restaurant hears a plate crash in the kitchen.
When the final and most devastating insult is slung in an argument.
When there’s an unexpected pause in traffic during rush hour.
When you remember…..
Happy Birthday When I Grow Up blog! Yes, if you can be bothered, you can click on the ‘Archives’ button over there on the right and see my first feeble offerings beginning on the 7th April 2004. I don’t know anyone who’s been blogging that long! We didn’t even own a digital camera then, so none of the posts have photos to go with them for a while! Many people talk about needing a creative outlet as their reason why they started a blog. Well fourteen years ago I had recently done my A-level Art and was on my second year of a part-time degree in Creative Writing with a novel about to be published; so I can’t really site that as my reason. My kids were eight and five, but ‘Mummy blogging’ wasn’t yet a thing, let alone a thing that occurred to me to want to do, so talking about parenting wasn’t my impetus either. At the end of the day, I suppose it all boils down to the simple love of writing…..
I’ve never really considered being a Mummy blogger – I’m not sure why – it just wasn’t what I wanted to write about; however this topic of conversation came up in the car a while ago, and as it was Mothers’ Day on Sunday, I thought I might do something a bit different and write about the subject in a blog post!
Yes I am in a category. I am a statistic of the 90’s. I was a teenage Mum….
I’ve been showing up to work at YouTube for close to three years now on a part-time basis. I didn’t start doing it for the money and I didn’t expect to get paid to begin with. I did it for the chance to get my name out there and reach people who might be interested in reading my blog or purchasing clothing from Threads of a Fairytale and hopefully entertain everyone along the way. I didn’t realise quite how much of my life it was going to consume. Each video takes a minimum of two hours to edit; and the longer ones such as travel vlogs; well that can be up to ten hours. It’s a lonely hard slog.
Filming can take anything from half an hour for a quick sit-down and chat video (plus the time it takes to put on make-up, tidy up around me and sort out lighting) to several hours over a period of weeks for the more in-depth ones. Then there’s the head-space vlogging takes up – working out how you’re going to tell the story of your day; remembering all the little transition shots; giving a good blend of talking and showing; making sure there’s a comfortable mix of slow and fast pace to the video etc.
It was a joy to get to the point where YouTube started to pay me a little money – maybe enough to get the bus to work and go halves on a coffee once a week. It’s not much at all, but it’s a little recognition of how hard you’re working and you start to see a little opportunity – a glimmer of hope that there might be some financial reward for your efforts. And then I received an e-mail from YouTube this morning telling me they are going to take this away…..
I’ve heard of this erm…what would you call it?…A theory? A challenge? An idea? I’m not entirely sure, but I’ve heard of this thing before, where you choose a word to guide you for the coming year. It’s a word you go to if you’re stuck; not sure which decision or choice to make; to inspire you; to basically help you out when you’re not sure where to turn or what to do. I’ve previously thought this wasn’t really an idea for me – I’m too haphazard and never really know where I’m heading or what is going to be important to me in the months ahead. However, this December I took part in the Instagram challenge set by Emily Quinton at Makelight, in which she set us the task to plan our word for 2018. Surprisingly, it didn’t take me long to think of mine…
Only last week we talked about her – I joked that Jude had to become friends with her daughter again just so I could reconnect with her Mum! I thought that we were more than just Mum-friends – we went ice-skating and held gloved hands round the rink. I remember her hugs so vividly. They were not polite, brief, pat-on-the back sort-of hugs; they were long, lingering, squashed and intimate. I miss those hugs…..
I recently went to the Next Blogger Network event in Shoreditch in London, and I’ll be honest, it’s one of the most scary things for me I’ve ever done! The week leading up to the event was spent either putting it to the back of my mind and pretending it wasn’t happening, or feeling so worried I got a massive ulcer on the inside of my cheek! However, I knew once I’d forked out the money for the train fare, I would have to go, so I went ahead and did that first so I couldn’t change my mind! In the end, I feel it was a very successful day and I’ve come away from the event feeling very proud of myself and ready to go out and find another blogging event to go to! Here’s how I managed it…..
Are you a blogger and feeling the pressure to take part in Blogtober? (ie publishing a blog post every day for the month of October.) Well worry no more; I have five good reasons why you shouldn’t do it!
If you know me, then you’ll know I am a person who happily trundles on in life, getting on with things as pleasantly as I can, doing as much as possible to avoid drama or confrontation. However, I think someone linked to a blog post I wrote over year ago, as I’ve come back from holiday to a flurry of angry comments on the post called OSHUN – THE STORY OF MY CLOTHING BRAND, AND THE YELLOW DRESS INSPIRED BY BEYONCE’S IN LEMONADE. I thought I would respond to those comments in a blog post, rather than reply to them individually, as hopefully I will explain myself and my opinions in a more complete and thought-through way. So to understand what I’m about to talk about, you might want to have a look at that post first and have a read of the recent comments below it. In summary though, it was written at a time when Beyonce appeared to be channeling the ancient African deity, Oshun, so I wrote a bit about her for those who hadn’t heard of her before, and explained how I came to choose her to name my clothing business and a dress after. I wrote a brief message a couple of days ago addressing this on my Threads of a Fairytale website, and if you don’t mind, I’ll quote it now as an introduction:
“Hello! I’m back from holiday and had a wonderful time exploring the Acropolis and other ancient remains and ruins around Greece and Albania and have come home full of inspiration. Three new goddess dresses influenced in design by ancient Greek attire will be appearing in the Threads of a Fairytale shop very soon – one in pink, one gold, and one in a mottled green and grey – all pure silk chiffon. I will continue to be inspired by religions and cultures from all around the world; ancient and modern, because that’s the way art grows, develops and nourishes one’s soul and interest. The term “cultural appropriation” seems to be more in fashion than fashion itself at the moment….If you’re a regular visitor to this page, you’ll know that I changed my clothing business name from Oshun to Threads of a Fairytale a couple of months ago and explained my reasons here. And no, the change had nothing to do with cultural appropriation because I’m sorry, I simply don’t agree that it’s a problem here. We have been influenced by our neighbours of all colours and heritage since time began and I think that’s a wonderful thing. Segregating oneself and not allowing this to happen comes from a place of ego, not from a place of good”.
If you are going to comment here or on facebook (or anywhere), I would appreciate it if you take the time to read this whole piece to fully understand where I’m coming from, and hopefully even take a minute to think about some of my points. I haven’t written this to try to get anyone to change their opinions – of course we’re not all going to agree, but I want to say at the beginning that I have listened to your comments; looked into them further, and really given it some thought from all points of view before writing this……
Have you ever noticed how it’s generally successful people who advise you not to compare yourself with others? I hear it a lot lately and it’s really annoying me! When I hear someone with a hundred and seventy thousand Instagram followers and a blog with an income good enough to support their family, spout quotes on their popular podcast such as “Comparison is the thief of joy”, do I think, Oh yes, that’s really good advice, thank you for that? No I do not. I swear out loud and stick two fingers up at my computer.
I hesitated as to whether to share this horrible, ugly side of my personality here, but then I thought, Sod It, no-one’s reading this anyway(!)….