A budding career in puberty

spring-budsMy daughter has buds…not the obvious, ‘buds’, mates at school type buds, though, thankfully, she does have those. But more, spring like ‘bud’s, the type that are just about to blossom and bloom, into, well, yes: breasts.

I have to admit – I am not ready for buds, nor bras or B.O. and don’t even mention boys. But despite my desire to file her in the freezer immediately and keep this ‘on-hold’ for a few years whilst I get my bonce round it… puberty appears to be one road we are racing headlong towards without my authority or consent.

BUT, it appears I must wholeheartedly embrace this new found chapter of motherhood, not deny the existence of boobs and periods like some of our fore-mothers of the 1970’s.  Many of whom were happily indifferent to those one or two poor big-breasted girls who were left to swing and hopefully, presumably, work it out for themselves?

Into, obviously, the lingerie department at M&S we go. I mean, where else? BHS has long gone, Woolies a distant memory – and H&M or Primarni’s is surely not the place to take your beloved baby to begin her lingerie buying and puberty embarking career?

I try and appear, outwardly, nonchalant, while inwardly I am nervous and my heart is slowing shattering into a myriad of failed mother fragments. As we stroll around the bra section in M&S, it dawns on me that this is, without doubt, a milestone and I think that perhaps I am also a little bit excited about embarking on this together.

A large, soviet looking matron bustles up and ushers us into the official M&S: ‘bra fitting cubicle’. “I am professional bra measurer, Sveetie” she barks at us in a 1950’s Hungarian accent. “Remove your top sveetie”. My daughter looks to me for reassurance and I nod nervously.

32 Double A – the classic beginners statistic – Grade One, if you will. I am relieved – Miss Hungary circa 1956 brings us in a number of overly pinked and princessed starter bras from their ‘Angel’ range…my heart sinks. Simplicity, classical innocence, why the need to trash, brash and over-design everybloodything?

“You look beautivul Sveeetieee”, Olga drawls, did I mention she was Olga?

All, the bras in the Angel Range are made from a thick padded material that Olga had reassured us: “protects the growing nippvles”. However, the 32AA still seems vast on the buds and a great cavernous valley opens up between my daughter’s actual chest and the bra cup. I am secretly relieved, maybe we still have, what – another year at best – to enjoy the last sighs of childish innocence.

We thank Olga profusely, because despite her overtly Bolshevik manner and mighty, square, breast shelf – she was incredibly kind and gentle. As we leave, we hear her booming in the next cubicle: “I am Olga. I am professional bra measurer, Sveetie.”

Giggling we dash past the cubicles, ditch the unicorn covered pink starter bra and find a simple white one, which my daughter clutches over-enthusiastically. Her unimpeached joy at growing up and becoming: a Woman, as overtly abundant as my unfathomable fear of losing my innocent daughter to the devil clutches of puberty, pimples and parties.

But, I muse, I think I handled it well – puberty is safely stowed in the back drawer until the next unleashing of her wild humanity. I was calm, practical: a hands-on mother who smoothly ushered in and managed: The. Next. Stage.

This is what motherhood is about surely – utter panic, sleepless worry-filled nights, followed by facing: THE TRUTH and then, naturally, dealing with it in a modern, finger-on-the-pulse woman, kinda way…bring on the pimples and periods – but not the boys, not yet.

Working nine-to-five

For the first time in four years I have utterly, totally and completely abandoned Fealte & Rosebud. My place of respite and rejuvination. I screwed up: I went and got myself a fucking job. Now I find myself writing for the wedge, not the edge and my friends let me tell you – it sucks. rosey_mother

Well, not the money in the bank every month bit – obvs. But the actual, physical, doing the work bit.

As your very last child crosses the bridge into the eternal abyss of the British schooling system one is left – and bereft. The pressure begins to build…expectations, raised eyebrows and you feel you should move on – your work here is done – hell, let the teachers pick up the slack.

So you scan the job sections, you talk to friends, you fantasize about the perfect job and here’s the rub…it doesn’t actually exist.

The real nux of the problem – is that the school day is ridiculously short. Within that 9-3 window the washing still needs to be washed, the shopping bought, the meals cooked, the old man appeased, the hoovering – jesus, girls how do you do it? Who washes the inside of the pan these days? Who, tell me, puts out the recycling, folds up the pants and pours the wine? And, into this madness, not to mention BTW, the football practice, ballet, play-dates, cubs and all the other social overkill that escalates with school attendance, you have to squeeze your working day in and out and appear, deep breath: measured, on the ball, intelligent: unflappable – not the washed out old bag you really are…

So without employing a cook, a cleaner and a myriad of after-school or before-school clubs, frankly, your just winging it. But in the craziest of ways, it feels good: you can do it: you’ve pulled it out the fucking hat.

Yes – it might be pasta every night and hell, who needs play-dates, they spend all day with the bloody blighters anyway…and, guess what, I can afford perfume now.

Until, that is, someone pukes…or the holidays rear their ugly/beautiful head.

But what I really wonder is – when the day comes that I lie on my deathbed…bear with me …and consider: what was the most important achievement in my life? (Apart from the, as yet, un-published book) it is, without doubt: my children – no regrets.

So, in order to juggle everything – all the minutiae gets thrown out – the sweeping, hoovering, play-dates, hand-made bread, cubs – fuck it all – we will just do the best we can without, compromising the bin lids…and our, very precious, time together.

Project Bush

A dead bird
A dead bird

“Why should we wave our fannies around to show feminine strength? I’d rather take up knitting…”

This has been, without doubt, the general response to Project Bush. A project launched by ‘edgy’ creative Shoreditch Ad Agency Mother, asking women to come and have their ‘lady gardens’ photographed.

The agency claims the project is: ‘a call to action for women to stand up to the pressures of modern society and present their bushes in all their glory’.

Women have in droves claimed that there is no need to publicise your bush just so that younger women may not feel the pressure to conform, to wax their bodies so that they resemble a pre-pubescent 10yr old girl.

What I say is – why not? As a mother, god-mother and auntie I despair at a society seemingly rapidly spiralling out of our control.

We have the right to chose – it is clear – whether we wax or not. We also have the right to be angry about what appears to be a mainstream culture where girls try harder to look like dolls.

Project Bush may indeed be crass, obvious and showy – but it also represents how women today feel.

It gets voices, opinions and thoughts heard and both sides of the story told. And, yes, images of many fluffed muffs may not stop a 16 or 21 or 42yr old ripping out her pubes – but it gets us thinking and talking about it.

Considering we are fighting against a behemoth porn industry which is all pervading online – we have to try something.

And me?

I am on my way to Shoreditch as I write this my friends – my bush is bouffed…

I feel proud to be part of something however many guffaws and sniggers I receive it will be worth it to put proof to my Pom Pom Bush Power.


50 Shades of boredom

Is it just me or is Fifty Shades of Grey the most appalling pile of dross yet to make it to such sensational publishing heights?

Having been brainwashed by a girlfriend, I could only assume that this trilogy; which she could not put down – and, btw, she still bangs on about ‘Christian’ months and months later – would be unputdownable.

Sadly not, I keep reading the first book in the hope that the sex scenes might be worth the time and energy I am putting into reading this snogswhiffle, but no, no, NO! she screamed – in utter frustration – it is unprovocative and salaciously, stark – void of any kind of drama and literary edowment.

The characters are lifeless and one dimensional, the plot is shockingly flimsy and the pace banal… I am left hollow each and every time I pick it up. Although, I feel I should pursue it to the end just for the sake of my girlfriend – my hearts just not in it.

My heroine Caitlin Moran, claimed that despite its petty drivel 50 Shades has allowed, and continues to in droves, women to enjoy female porn in a more acceptable way.  Yet its not decent is it? Its toss and not even literally.

Does she have a point though – do women want more feminine porn? Well, yes, maybe they do. Or maybe they don’t do. Do you ladies??

One thing is for sure though, the current copiousness of superfluous pornography in the 21st century is quite literally a tidal wave.

And horrendously accessible for children.

They see women with enormous round knockers, pouting lips and ridiculous tranny heels as an ideal, as normal. They watch the way they are treated physically and think: ‘this is ok’ – and lets face it: that is not ok.

So does 50 Shades have a function or does it just, as in my mind, add to the heap of sordid drivel already over-whelming us?