Monday, July 30, 2012

On the edge

Dangerously close to another meltdown this morning. Everything became too much. Yes, I know what you are thinking, some of you have spoken to me as recently as yesterday and I would have said I was feeling really good. I am still desperately struggling with the face-to-face stuff. I do feel so much better putting on a happy face. I do try to convince even myself that all is good.

And then I think, am I just a drama queen? Aren't these all just first world problems? That everyone has.

I had a bit of a moment this morning. I was just recovering from a conversation with HM about insane work choices and realised something had to give. I simply cannot keep working day and night (and I mean till 2am and later) and missing out on all the good family stuff. Some nights HM has been asleep for six hours before I even get into bed. I cannot remember the last time I sat in the loungeroom at night without my lap top. I am either too tired to or I am working.

And I am a boring mum at the moment. Sometimes the only quality time they are getting with me is the bedtime story extravaganza. Which could soon to be made into a movie I might add.

So after my almost-crash, I buckled down to work this morning and lo and behold, an email from the publisher. Turns out there were a few things she forgot to mention about the books that I am currently writing. It would appear that the series has "evolved" since we signed the contract some months ago. Apparently the books I am writing are not even going to be BOOKS (!). They are going to be INTERACTIVE WORKSHEETS. This "evolution" of theirs seems to have happened sometime over the weekend. What goes on in that place?

Now I won't bore you with the details but the ramifications for this lack of  CRUCIAL information in the publishing brief are bigger than Ben Hur. Essentially, almost everything I've written so far cannot be used. MONTHS of work now rendered useless. Naturally, I remained extremely calm upon reading this news. I wrote a nice reassuring, carefully worded, soothing email expressing that I did not mind at all that everything I've done so far has to be binned. I did not feel at all put out that I have spent so many nights ignoring my family. I mentioned that I was more than keen to redo everything and start again following their impossibly limited, new interactive format that evolved since last FRIDAY. I also pointed out that I was not fazed in the slightest at having to forward on far, far, far more interesting and highly lucrative projects to my other colleagues, so as to fully focus on these BOOKS that aren't going to be books. Yes, that's what I did.

Just kidding. Of course that's not what I did, at all.

What really happened is that I fired off one of my horror angry-bird emails again. And I do have to say, my publisher--god bless--who I have never met face-to-face, is either VERY USED TO THIS KIND OF ABUSE or she is on serious happy drugs and whatever they are I would like some. She never writes anything remotely unpleasant back. She just goes with it and actually agrees with me. She even said, she will pay me for the book that is going in the proverbial bin. And that I do not have to rewrite it. I can just move onto the next books and she will give it to an editor who will "FIX IT" for me.

Isn't that nice.

So I'm stopping now. I think my posts are far too long anyway. And I just wanted to end on a happy note. Also, just checking, who of you are actually reading all the way to the bottom? I want a show of hands. No, I want a comment. Anything to prove that you read this far. I'm off for a walk in the sunshine.
Image by

Friday, July 27, 2012

Angry Bird

I'm angry today. Angry with everyone and everything. NO one has done anything in particular that bad. But even just the slightest whiff of disagreement with anything I've said or done has resulted in a verbal assassination of offending person, be they standing in front of me or at other end of a computer email.

HM made a hurried exit [see below] house to avoid the wrath. The Surfer is at school and thankfully oblivious to the storm. Barnstormer is actually behaving and has piped down about not having matching clips in her hair. I think she must not be feeling well. Hammerhead is knee deep in Angry Birds and informs me he is up to a level far higher than has ever been achieved by anyone else, EVER. Which is probably a good thing because he has a very, VERY angry bird for a mother.

That's me in the black.

Why am I mad? I do not really know. But it is a classic case of INSANE JANE. Where seemingly tiny things get blown right out of proportion to create a CATACLYSM of epic scale.

Case #1
The publisher I am dealing with casually mentioned a few things of concern about my latest manuscript. In a fit of rage, an email that one MAY perceive as nasty, sarcastic and accusatory, was fired off by moi. I shouted and muttered over my computer while HM made coffee. He read the publisher's initial email and could not really see what I was so peeved about. At this, the volcano inside me erupted and verbal lava spewed out all over poor unsuspecting HM, but obviously not aimed at him. Exit HM stage left.

So then I reread her email. And turns out there wasn't really anything that bad in it at all. I quickly fired off another apologetic, begging and grovelly more coherent reply.

Case #2, hey
The surf mum that follows HM around like a BAD SMELL--even worse than NAIL POLISH--has also copped it, hey. HM innocently mentioned to me some of the questions she had been asking him ABOUT US and it was all too much for me, hey. She has been defriended on Facebook, HEY. Thankfully he thinks the same about her as I do, hey. What is it with some women, hey? And she's married, hey. I would possibly understand a bit more if she were single but to blatantly stalk attempt to flirt with another parent at every surf comp is just not on, hey. The fact that she ignores me ALL THE TIME just adds fuel to the fire, hey. HM says she is one step away from being a bunny boiler.

But really, on another day her inane questions to him probably wouldn't even bother me, hey. And I think she just stares through me in wonder as she knows that we do not have A SINGLE THING in common, hey. Or maybe it's because she knows I am onto her bunny boiling aka "Play Misty for Me" strategy, hey.

Case #3
HM {home again hoping that good calmer karma has come my way} informs me that it is going to take MONTHS to get an appointment at a skin cancer clinic with a specialist. He's had conflicting reports from two GPs and wanted a third opinion before they go all Jack the Ripper on his back. All of a sudden I find myself drafting out an email to The Hon Tanya Plibersek MP with some key recommendations to funding priorities for mental health skin cancer screening

Some time later ...
Ok, breathe in, breathe out. I'm calmer now and the angriness seems to have passed. Relax. It's Friday. It's whine wine night soon.

Oh and why the new look? {What new look I hear you ask?} Well, dear sister said she traversed upon a blog that had my retro pic background. It was just an image off the net. Hmmm, so I've found a new one. As they say, a change is as good as a holiday. I think I may leave the old image on the FACEBOOK page which is here for anyone who hasn't gone there yet.
* Late note: Have reverted to original look. It was a short holiday.

Thursday, July 26, 2012

The perils of living with a sniffer dog

Back from Dongers. Nothing like glorious sunshine to really lift the mood. I didn't even feel melancholy on returning home. It's all good.

Had a splendid time EXCEPT I made an initial, monumental, a what-the-hell-were-you-thinking-type faux pas while doing my last minute packing. This horrid error involved the packing of not one, but two bottles of nail polish--as you do when you are going away to a small, sleepy country town to hang on the beach with tomboyish hardcore surfer mums who put "hey" on the end of every sentence.
What do horses eat, hay?
I'm very good at joining in these conversations.

Now I should mention at this point that HM has a nose like a sniffer dog. He can smell a cigarette being lit over a kilometre away. If there is a fire in Fremantle, he can smell it. If someone burnt some eggs in Armadale, he knows about it. If someone is spraying toxic fertiliser in Yanchep, he winds the windows up. Already, there are rules in place at home to accommodate his sensitive olfactory problem. I am not allowed to put nail polish on inside the house. I am not allowed to use fish sauce in ANYTHING. I am not allowed to use Mr Sheen. I happily abide by these rules and The Surfer has to be ultra careful with his daily teenage angst-ridden application of Lynx.

So as we embarked on our road trip, HM enquired as to whether I had been painting my nails. I said of course. YES, the toenails got a pre-holiday coating outside in the backyard as pre-arranged (see house rules above). Nose was turned up at this comment. We got to the end of the freeway and HM could not stand the smell any longer. I was questioned on the contents of my bag. DID YOU PACK NAIL POLISH IN YOUR BAG? Why, of course I did. Who doesn't when they are going to Dongara?

No one else could smell a thing and the little people were concerned at the kerfuffle.

A few minutes later, in a complete olfactorial meltdown HM had to pull over at a servo and I was asked to check the contents of my toilet bag (which naturally was packed as deep inside the boot as one can get) for a leakage. Sure enough, one bottle HAD smashed but the damage was thankfully contained. I removed the offending bottle and wiped away drips--in the process getting a smudge or two of nail polish on fingers. Oh, calamity.

The ever so faint whiff of nail polish to mere mortals is of course a foul, toxic, pungent stench to HM, as bad as if someone had made him swim and breathe in the stuff. He could not think straight. It was all he could talk about and the entire trip there was RUINED by this acrid stink. Even my homemade gourmet salad rolls tasted of nail polish--for him.

When we finally got to our destination, HM scrambled out of the car like he had been locked inside the toilet cubicle on an aeroplane with a vomiting skunk. The offending toilet bag was not allowed in the chalet and was condemned to hang from a tree to "air out". {HM really wanted it buried but I reminded him it was a birthday present.}

All of the five sets of clothes HM has packed (for a trip which will see him wear the exact same clothes he drove up there in everyday) were hung out and aired in various parts of the chalet. It looked like a Chinese laundry.

But at least my toenails looked flash on the beach, hey!
Insane Jane with Barnstormer

Thursday, July 19, 2012

Travelling north

Tomorrow we are heading off to Dongara to attend the third State Surfing rounds (actually held at Geraldton). I may have already mentioned the anticipation in this earlier post.

Hammerhead and Barnstormer are SOOOO excited and have been counting down sleeps for a week now. They have even packed their little suitcases for the first time. They have packed them full to the brim by themselves and lined them up at the front door. I was making dinner while all of this packing was going on and have only just checked the contents now that they are tucked up in bed. I have been pleasantly surprised to find that Barnstormer has remembered to pack her hairbrush, which is very odd as she rarely wants to use it at the moment.

Hammerhead's suitcase has his pillow pet crammed inside it with a new storybook (from Nanny) and his pyjama pants. He is clearly only focused on packing for the moment--bedtime.
Have pillow pet, will travel.
Barnstormer's case has eight pairs of knickers, an array of short and long sleeved tops, jeans, a bottle of bubble making solution (!), five random pencils and three different sets of pyjamas.

I have come down with a cold. It crept up on me this morning and is worse than the man flu I've been dealing with for the last month. It is a ruddy, great, big, horrid, blocked up-type cold that requires me to walk around constantly looking for tissues and working out if we have any suitable medication that has not expired. The sinus tablets I washed down with a glass of red at dinner time have done absolutely NOTHING.

HM also informed me that The Surfer "smashed up" his board this afternoon. Yes, two days before the big event. This is like Cadel Evans getting a puncture in LeTour and having no one to fix it. OK, I know Cadel probably has ten bikes stacked up on some Mini Cooper's roof just behind him, waiting hungrily for him to get a puncture so this is not a fair comparison as alas, The Surfer does not have this luxury at the moment. And there is no way a ding can be repaired in this timeframe, not even via the DIY backyard job, considering we are leaving tomorrow. What to do?

I could have sworn they were talking about a POXY repair kit.
For the record, "smashed up" will mean a tiny, seemingly insignificant indent somewhere on the board. It may even involve the need for a magnifying glass. Worse, it may mean he has to use a crappy older board. I don't know if I am a drama queen or not but when HM said "smashed up" I was at least expecting the board to be in two pieces. I know not the bounds of a surfer's sorrow.

Anyway, I am far, far more concerned about The Surfer or HM being eaten by a shark. But I dare not mention it ... it's the elephant in the room.

On a more positive note, I'm extremely looking forward to a getaway as it's been some time. I'm especially hanging out for more of this glorious sunshine. Have had an up and down week but am good now. One of those weeks where little things annoy me and I can fly into a rage at any given moment, usually over something that I wouldn't even care about at another time. But there's no point dwelling on it. It would be nice to know why because the very next day I won't understand why I felt like that.

What I do know, however, is that giving up coffee and wine didn't change anything in that respect. Which is somewhat of a relief ... imagine if you gave up coffee and wine and then EVERYTHING [as in mentally] was much, much better. And, even worse, you and every single person around you, felt that you should never drink coffee or plonk ever again !! I can honestly say that I didn't feel any better for it (other than experiencing some  'I'm purer than thou' feelings) and I know for a fact that HM missed sitting down for our glass of vino together while the fence jumper shows are on.

I had no trouble giving it all away but am now most content to have one long mac in the morning and a vino here and there. Not every night mind, but definitely one on a Friday.

Also, I must confess that despite having the best intentions, I still haven't packed my bag in advance.  I did, however, purchase a pair of thick three-quarter black leggings to wear under my skirts. As one friend has already mentioned to me, this is the closest I will ever come to wearing trackies.
Also, a number of peeps have mentioned that they cannot work out how to comment below. If you click on the link that says X number of gorgeous people have commented then you should be given the opp to do this. You can be completely anonymous. xx

Sunday, July 15, 2012

Fifty Shades of Over It

Yes I've banged on about this before. And I don't know about you but I think I am Fifty Shades of sick and tired of reading about Fifty Shades of anything. I guess it's because I read these books on my iPhone some months ago now, and while I couldn't put them down--despite the author's very limited vocabulary (synonym for mercurial anyone?) and propensity for stating the bleeding obvious, not to mention her obsessive use of repetition as a literary tool--the love affair is completely OVER.

And the whole sexy-mommy-porn-thing was completely ruined for me because ALL I could think of was that Christian Grey was just a tad too Fifty Shades of American Pyscho  and the ONLY person I could picture as Christian while reading the entire trilogy was his somewhat scary namesake, Christian Bale. There were just TOO MANY references of bodywash to get over.

Sadly, one cannot currently open a newspaper, magazine or website or pretty much ANYTHING without some reference to Fifty Shades. And it is everywhere you go. While women may have once been secretly reading them on their kindles while on the train to work, you will now see all sorts of women [be they young, old or bogan] with the hard copy in FULL VIEW while eating their $9.50 combination Chinese meal in the local shopping centre food hall with their kids. I know this for a fact because I counted three women doing exactly this at Whitfords yesterday.

My online research into this phenomenon has been much more sophisticated than my shopping centre field work. In my travels, I did discover some very clever reviews and have linked them below for your perusal. These reviews are much, much better than the actual books themselves. Enjoy!

If you have nothing else to do on a wintery day, I seriously recommend reading some of the above. Katrina Lumsden's reviews, in particular, are utterly HILARIOUS and also illustrated.

I said "Don't bite your lip!"

But back to reality for a moment, an update on how things are going in the house of Insane Jane:
  1. We still have no kitchen tap. Surprise. Lots of work is being carried out in the shed, however, I am still carting hot water via bucket from the laundry. I feel like Laura Ingalls. 
  2. The boys are still surfing despite more tragedy in the oceans.
  3. I am contemplating an early start to the packing fiasco for our mission to Dongara this Thursday.
  4. You may have noticed that instead of doing (paid) work, I have been fiddling around with fonts and colours on this blog. I am the original procrastinator.

Incidentally, I mentioned to HM that I was actually looking forward to going to Dongers and that it was possibly the first time I was really feeling positive about a little family weekender rather than dreading the whole packing nightmare, clean up and more [see here]. Never one to miss an opportunity, HM immediately booked us in for an extra night into our delightful beachfront cabin - the same one we stayed in last year. Yee ha!
The little people are travelling well. Barnstormer and Hammerhead are living the high life during school holidays with parties, beach visits, cafes, movies, cooking, Mr Men stories and other non-stop entertainment. It's all good and this afternoon we will be making pikelets.

**** LATE NOTE**** Just looked up American Psycho author (Bret Easton Ellis) to see what else he has done since American Psycho and was SOMEWHAT PERTURBED to read that he is putting his hat into the ring in a bid to write the screenplay for the Fifty Shades movie.

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Tap dogs

This is what happened in our house today:
HM and The Surfer decided that after MONTHS and MONTHS of enduring a broken kitchen sink tap, it was high time that something be done. I suspect they really thought it might be time to put an end to the non-stop nagging from me.

Just a bit of background ... the tap started leaking well over a year ago. It has been tinkered with a few times by HM and The Surfer and always there is some glitch in the proceedings which results in a fruitless trip to Bunnings and some sticky tape over the offending leak--and nothing is done until next time.

For the last two months the tap has been leaking like a fire hydrant and must be covered up with a tea towel. It is not very becoming. And now they've taken the tap out completely.

HM and The Surfer like to adopt the names Nigel and Brad when they go into what I call tradie mode. Unleashing their inner tradie. They laid the lounge room floor boards as these alteregos, complete with singlet and low hung jeans. {insert silly Fifty Shades of Grey joke about jeans that hang from the hip. Oh my!}

And I have to say Nigel and Brad are capable of a job well done. Several other man jobs have also been successful and one really should be thankful that these 'tradies' are around. However, sometimes the mentality of Nigel and Brad leaves me just a little concerned.

Regarding the tap issue, it is clearly a job for a professional plumber with possibly ten years experience in kitchen sink leaks. However, Nigel thinks getting a plumber involved is a waste of money and has full confidence that he can DIY with the best of them. Instead he will spend far, far more time and money than a one-off plumber visit would ever cost by travelling all over town, to-ing and fro-ing from one tap shop/plumbing supplies to another on several occasions. I have even been taken on one of the tap shop missions myself. It is as mindless as they come. We always leave empty handed and I look enviously at the other people departing with a box of some description. No tap shop in the southern hemisphere apparently stocks what HM thinks is required. I've offered to look for something on the net but my help was declined.
So now the entire contents of the cupboards underneath have been emptied and to the tradies' horror, water from the leaking tap has wet all of the chipboard inside the already very ugly area under the sink. Me, I knew this all along. Even told them. The stench of damp should have been enough of a giveaway. And still they are surprised.

The dishes from three meals (x 5) are lined up at the top of the sink. Soon there will be no clean dishes or cutlery and I am thinking I may have to use the laundry sink. *Late note: Have since discovered that I can use the laundry bucket to put hot water into kitchen sink and am ashamed that it took me all day to think of this. I dare not let HM see this as he will think it is OK to not fix the tap in any great hurry. Anyway back to the story ...

While Nigel and Brad were off at the tap shop, I used the hair dryer in a pathetic attempt to dry out the cupboards. It made no difference whatsoever.

In my boredom, I reverted to entertaining the kids with LEGO. Hammerhead was given a  recycling truck for his birthday--he loves anything that goes BEEP BEEP BEEP when it reverses--and of course I have had to construct it. It takes about an hour to build and is very complicated despite saying it's for 5+ on the box. Maybe that actually means you need a 5 years+ engineering degree to build it. Anyway, each time I have made it, with Hammerhead always watching on closely, he has taken it from me at the end and almost immediately broken it up again into hundreds of tiny Lego pieces. What is it with boys and breaking things/taking them apart? The first two times I didn't care, but today I clearly threatened emphasised that I didn't want it broken up again and I would not be rebuilding it. He now has to wait until he has a 5-year qualification in mechanical engineering before he can play with it again.
Beware: Extremely intricate on the inside.
* Before you call MEDIA WATCH this is NOT a paid post by LEGO, in fact quite the opposite. I paid them to deter others from subjecting themselves to Lego construction torture.
So today I have had NO TAP, a never ending supply of unwashed dishes, two ratty kids in destructo mode, a smashed Lego truck and no working hours racked up. But it doesn't end there ...

I arranged to go and visit my sister in the afternoon so the kids could play together and I could sit there and whinge drink tea. I went outside to hang out a load of washing and on my return I discovered that everybody had vacated the premises, including the little people. It would appear that Barnstormer and Hammerhead had been seconded on a tradie run to the Tap Shop. Apparently I could not be found to say goodbye to. Have had to ring up sister and cancel.

So here I am whinging blogging about it. I really should be doing some work. And be thankful that the small peeps are out and about all over town. 
WHO KNOWS? But we live in hope.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

The social commentator/domestic non-goddess

You may have noticed (on my subtitle) that due to recent press I'm now moving away from the mummy blogger tag. While I have the utmost respect for those in that GENRE, I just think it's a little closed for me. Yes I am a mum and yes I am blogging but I am not providing instructions on how to get nits out of the kids' hair or what sort of cereal keeps the fuzzies away. There is nothing remotely parental about my blog and there is certainly no parenting advice. AND I'm not receiving free stuff of any kind to promote. But if you want to send me free stuff I'll quite possibly use it. I'm not making a living out of blogging and I'm not looking to. I just like to rant. It's either that or HM has to listen to it = not very happy HM.
I read somewhere, probably on that bastion of knowledge that is Mamamia, that women who blog (even those sans kids) are called mummy bloggers and men who blog are called social commentators.
Now what would Carol say?
And also, since my last post, I've been thinking A LOT about this blog and how useful it has been so far and I now think it may have served its original purpose as I feel pretty good. SO I'm thinking it's not going to be ranting on about depression and stuff any more. I'm just going to tell it like it is ...
This is a spade.

Today is sunny. There have been moments of cloudiness but on the whole it is a most pleasant day. Too good for sitting inside trying to work. The whole family is at the beach--watching The Surfer in a comp--and I really should have vacuumed the house by now and whipped up a cake for the random afternoon drop-ins.

Today I have a not-so-random calling in (she who is the maker of very delicious food). One who doesn't have children and thus, does not EVER have a messy house. Now don't get me wrong, I absolutely adore my girlfriends who have no kids--they are the ones I can usually have a great conversation with. It's simply that I always feel just that bit more compelled to clean the house when these kinds of friends visit even though I know none of them care at all about the state of the house. AND tomorrow I have even more of these kinds coming. These girls (also makers of delicious food) are even threatening to BRING THEIR OWN lunch, despite having been catered for here on several occasions. I love how they think that I cannot possibly organise a meal for them despite the fact that I will already be making a meal for at least five people anyway.  What is two more? Plus I LOVE cooking.  I find it very therapeutic. I would rather cook than clean these days. I always like to make a hot lunch on the weekends. Yes, sometimes this involves toasted ham and cheese sandwiches but more often than not it will be a frittata or a quiche or something with cream, butter and pastry. YUM.

I ALWAYS look like this in the kitchen.
I better get started. x

Monday, July 2, 2012

Fifty Shades of Anonymity

Oh dear. Oh dear. Oh dear. 

Newsflash: In my rush to get the last post done (Happy Face) before hitting the real workload falling asleep, I made a massive faux pas of sorts. I shared the post to my Facebook page. Except instead of going to the INSANE JANE facebook page (which is here) I accidentally shared it on my PERSONAL TIMELINE. Quel horreur! 

All I can say is THANK GOODNESS I haven't written a three-part trilogy about bondage porn with some impossibly rich, really, really ridiculously good looking but completely messed up billionaire. Oh my!

Anyway, now it would seem I am not as anonymous as I once thought. I am terribly sorry if I have offended anyone by not telling you personally that I've been a-blogging. And terribly sorry if you are just down right offended!

I do hope that self-outing  doesn't subconsciously cause me to censor my posts from here on in. Especially since my last post was about not hiding! And I know I won't be writing about any red room of pain in the near future.

OH MY, indeed! 

Seriously, I wonder if this is how the author of Fifty Shades of Grey felt. We all know now that EL James is not her real name and that she is indeed a working mother-of-two from England.
The thing that SHOCKED me most in Fifty Shades was not the bondage, it was the fact that she never got an editor to have a look at the books before she published. They are really horrific.

Oh My, I mean who actually says "Oh my" anyway?

Yet still I read it. I read all three books actually. I found it to be like Chinese food. You know it's bad, you know you are better than that, but still you persist.

And I hope you will persist with this blog as well.

From Insane Jane who is not really insane and is not biting her lip, rolling her eyes, or bemused in any way.

Sunday, July 1, 2012

Put on a happy face

There is nothing like a bit of winter sunshine to really sort out the symptoms of seasonal affective disorder (SAD). Yes as I have mentioned before I get sad with SAD. But when I drive down West Coast Highway on a glorious day like today I become the shiniest, happiest person in the whole city.

I even started singing to the kids in the car:

Grey skies are gonna clear up,
Put on a happy face.
Brush off the clouds and cheer up,
Put on a happy face.

And spread sunshine all over the place,
Just put on a happy face.
Ok, some of you might think that I may have inhaled one too many cleaning products this morning, but it's true. The weather can totally make or break my day. I was so happy to be out and about this morning that I stayed out twice as long!

I wasn't even going to go anywhere but HM did the last minute sneaky-exit-without-taking-the-kids after telling the kids they were going to the beach on the obligatory surf check. This of course was actually a clever ploy to get me out of the house (once the kids think they are going to the beach, you either have to take them or be prepared for no end of harrassment). They simply will not be placated any other way. Not even with ice cream.

So there I was driving down to the beach on the most magnificent of July mornings. SINGING.

The kids did not utter a sound during my warbling. They did not even flinch.

So we arrived at the beach and the glorious day just continued on. We watched The Surfer shredding it, we sat and made sand castles, some of us walked and collected shells and stuff, we had a muffin at the café and I had the most divine macchiato. For the record, I'm slowly introducing the odd dash of caffeine (and the odd slurp of vino) back into the diet. In my hiatus I learned this:

But just getting back to my choice of song for a minute ... I recently decided to stop putting on a happy face, as in stop pretending to be happy when obviously not feeling happy. Stop pretending to the girlfriends and extended family members, while letting it show at home. I realised that this was not that healthy (or genuine) and was a continuing part of the charade that I had so often played.

It took me a while to realise that it didn't matter where I was or what stage of my life I was in, there was something in my brain that just wasn't seeing the good stuff in life. It was only seeing the bad stuff. When my life experienced any major change (one of many), instead of being happy about the future, I was deeply upset about the loss of the past.

I have nothing to be sad about. Yes I've lost some very good friends far too young, but I also have a lot of very, very good friends still around. I have my health, I have my kids, I have my family and I have a good man.

And I have wine. But for all the right reasons now. Cheers!