Dear Teenager

Ok so I’m now classed as old, not cool, mum, whatever, talk to the hand. But once I was a teenager, and yes that was after the dinosaurs became extinct.

Life as a teen is much harder now, I will admit. Your learning seems harder, your exams seem harder, social media didn’t exist when I was a teen.

What I do know is you will make a total arse of yourself. You will be self absorbed, you will make bad judgment, bad decisions. But you will learn and come out a better person.

People will be cruel, but this reflects more on them than you. And as above they will make the same mistakes you make and will also hopefully learn from it.

Why am I’m writing this? Because as your mum I’ve been given the honour of knowing the real you.

I’ve seen you throwing up from the anxiety attacks. I’ve seen you bottle up your feelings, put on the joker mask, when inside you feel crap. Ive seen the worst side of you, were I could actually throttle you.

Whatever people think of you I know you have no self belief, no ego. You just have a dream your chasing. I’ve never seen anyone so driven to succeed.

You work so hard. Every day no matter what the weather you go out to do your paper round. You want to do as well as you can with your education. You study and put 100% in to anything that involves performing. I would say your probably a little to keen🤣.

You try so hard to be positive, kind and supportive to people. And if their awesome and kind you will be able to lean on them for support like you once showed them. Just know true friends will give you that time and understand when your being an idiot, they won’t judge.

The teenage years will pass, and you will look back and think to yourself how trivial your problems were. I can say this, as I was once a teen. And my best friends that I have now, were the best friends I had in my teens. I’m lucky enough to have some fantastic supportive people from my teens, and friends I’ve made as Ive muddled my way through this adulting part of my life.

Just be true to yourself, because you really are a pretty amazing human. As your mum I just hope you find happiness and self belief you deserve.

P.s some adults can be total arses as well😜.

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West End Calling

Having a theatre kid meant going to see a west end show was going to eventually happen.

Must also say that this isn’t just about west end performers, this is about the professional acting industry that so many people dream to live as a reality.

First born has wanted to perform on stage since the age of 4, now at 14 he’s had a massive eye opener to how hard it’s going to be.

Two shows watched, Wicked and School of Rock. Two very different shows, both amazing.

First thing you notice is that most of the actors are on the mature side who have probably worked their arses off to get where they are. Or they are already known for doing something, a tv role for example (not saying they haven’t worked as hard, just that their name is already known).

The talent pool must be massive. These people who get their lucky break are one extremely lucky, secondly really deserve it. They are talented and slick, worked hard, had knock backs, yet still kept going to achieve their dreams.

What has the boy child learnt from the west end. He still really wants to achieve that dream, but now knows how good he will need to be, and how hard it will be. Will he achieve it? Haven’t a clue. But what I do know is he definitely has the drive and determination.

Without a doubt all these people would have started off doing amateur productions

Amateur productions and casting are a whole different ballgame. And definitely a whole different blog😉

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Mary Poppins Returns Review

I’ve waited over two years for this film to come out, and now I’ve seen it I’m not sure how I feel.

I haven’t looked in to who’s involved in the film, on any level. But it was a must see for me.

Breakdown so I don’t ruin it for others who are wanting to see it.

It has that original musical feel to it, with some modern added in. From the music and dance to just the feel of it.

Music seemed classic Sherman, although I’m not sure if they had anything to do with it, but if not it was done right. It also had the most random Hamilton feel to it in one of the songs, can’t understand why😂. Some catchy songs that will probably catch on.

The dancing was fantastic. Some modern moves added in, but again still some classics to take you back in time.

I loved the way the film brought memories of the original, but was a totally new story. I did shed a tear😢.

Lin must have done a good job as Jack, my son actually gave him a round of applause after one of his number (not normal for a cinema😂).

Kids are fantastic in this film, specially the youngest boy.

So happy seeing Dick Van Dike busting some moves. Even more ecstatic to see Angela Lansbury😊.

Emily Blunt! This is a very talented actress, who I love. Still found myself trying to dissect her as Mary, but if anything I think she’s probably brought more to the roll.

so I said that I’m not sure how I feel about the film. Loved it, but you will get to points in the film and say to yourself that bit is instead of such and such in the original. You’re allowed to, the original worked for a reason.

8/10 from me.

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The Brain

When I was between about 16 and 18 I was diagnosed with depression. I opted not to take medication for it, but went with talking to a therapist. I won’t lie, I didn’t think it would work. I was right, it didn’t. But it did help me understand myself. One day something really random happened that snapped me out of my depression. Since then I have learnt how to deal with how my brain reacts to things. I still have no control over my mouth!

As I’ve got older I’ve been surprised with who else has suffered or suffering. Some of those people are the strongest people I know. It could be due to a massive trauma in their life, or lots of little things.

Most recently my first born has suffered from confidence issues and anxiety. The anxiety has been so bad it’s made him vomit. Now nothing major happened to him, just lots of little things. And he’s tried desperately to hide it. To stop the anxiety I found talking to him, listening to him, making him understand and most importantly finding an answer that makes him feel secure helps. Confidence issues are not so easy. He’s had me give him a talking too, he’s had other people give him so much support and advice, he’s also had people tell him to basically snap out of it otherwise his dreams will not come true (probably the least helpful of all). He’s also had people who don’t believe he struggles because he comes over as extremely confident, almost cocky. It’s not real guys, it’s just an act.

Luckily he is now back to his old self. Thanks to a mixture of kind words and people showing they believe in him.

What I have learnt over the years is never be embarrassed by your mental health issues. At the end of the day your brain is amazing, look at all the things it controls. What I will say is support people and don’t judge, you could be that one person who could help make a difference. Or you could be the person who makes things seem ten times worse. One day it could be you, so always be kind.

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Friendship

I was told to do blogs that you feel passionately about, as it makes the process easier. So I decided to ask people what my next blog should be about! I’m going with friendship, what could go wrong!!!

I moved to Devon at the age of 12. The above girls circled are Sharon, me, Michelle, Jaye and Beccy.

We have been friends from 12-40 (yes that long). Our friendship has never changed, and probably never will. We don’t see each other much, but when we do get together we are like teenage girls again (well teenagers that prefer an early night instead of all weekend benders).

Now I’m obviously not going to tell you what we’ve got up to over the years. For starters it’s none of your business, secondly it was so awesome I actually can’t remember much. What I can do is tell you what makes us work.

Personalities

Me- I’m the blunt one who doesn’t have a filter. I come across as rude and aggressive at times. If you want an honest straight answer ask me, but you might not like the answer. The things the other girls tag me in on social media tells me they think I’m the nutty one. I am protective, I’m the one who is more likely to get in a fight.

Beccy- Our drama queen (pretty sure my kids should be hers). She’s loud, bubbly with a heart of gold, all wrapped up in a tiny package. Born for the stage, and is definitely entertaining to have around. Very protective over us. Would say she’s more nutty than me.

Sharon- She’s lovely. She has the best warmest smile. She’s very calming yet funny to be around. She would be the one not to piss off, as she socks a good left hook. She’s very caring and supportive.

Jaye- Very private. Keeps a lot to herself. But she knows we are always here for her. She’s funny, intelligent and the grown up. She can also drink us all under the table. Another very caring and supportive friend you can rely on.

Michelle- The matriarch. The glue that holds us all together. She keeps us all in contact, and in check. She knows everyone and remembers everything (she is god). She is the caring, emotional and most loving one. She will drop whatever she is doing to support any of her friends, and will fight your corner. I really don’t know what we would do without her. If Shell is your friend you are very lucky, so treasure it.

All very different characters, but put us together and you can guarantee laughter, bitching and fun.

I don’t think we’ve ever fallen out. I’m sure our memory bank Michelle could clarify this.

The best thing is that although we don’t see each other much we support each other. We have all suffered losses and sadness, and we have always made sure we are there for each other. We share the joys, the pain and love for each other.

I’m feeling slightly nauseous now so I must stop.

And finally. Although I am the tall gorgeous one, at no point have they ever shown any jealousy towards me. Thanks ladies🤪

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Fringe theatrefest Barnstaple. Who would have known!

Anyone who knows me, knows that this whole drama, singing and dancing malarkey has been forced on me by my first born. So why am I writing my blog about it? Well turns out Barnstaple theatrefest is amazing. So much variety to suit all tastes.

Now I’ve know about theatrefest for a few years now and have avoided. Nothing personal, just not my thing. But this year the first born is actually taking part with Total Theatre School.

I arrived in Barnstaple today, parked up and got the message that total theatre had to cancel today’s show, due to the lead being extremely ill (heartbreaking for the lad, and hope he is better very soon). It will have been a devastating blow for them all. I really feel for them, as I know how hard they have all worked. But I was still going to make sure my kids would get the feel for theatrefest.

First of all, first born did get recognised and received really positive feedback about the show from the previous day. And a lot of support for total theatre, which was great to hear and see.

We visited the square where a couple of cows were entertaining people (well it is devon). I had a clown that came charging over to me (nothing like from the film IT luckily).

We went in to Greenlanes and watched the children from centre stage school. Wow those kids can sing. Their harmonies were amazing. Will definitely try and catch one of their shows they put on.

Next was Amena. Now I know this lady can sing, I’ve seen her in a number of local shows. But in a room with just her and her ukulele, you realise how beautiful her voice is. She is such a talent, there is no limit to where she will end up. I see a bright future for her. My youngest absolutely loves her, so she’s not just amazingly talented she super nice as well.

Next! Leg it over to the library, where Brook.Wood Puppetry were doing some grime tales. Now apart from the very loud samba band outside I really enjoyed it. Nick is very talented, and surprised to hear he actually makes the puppets himself (they are really cool). Now I know Julie who was also performing, was very nervous. She has only been doing it a few weeks, well you couldn’t tell. She should be very proud of herself, both her and Nick worked great together. It was really enjoyable.

Walking back to Greenlanes we saw a street performer with a 7 foot unicycle! Well your not going to just walk past that. Apparently it’s The Tom Show. Well he was fantastic, so funny. I could have watched him all day (well at least an hour in that heat).

Then tonight we watched Upclose theatres around the world in 80 days. Probably wouldn’t have been something I would have watched if it wasn’t the fact I know them. But really glad I did go. It was very clever and funny. I generally don’t laugh at jokes. My sense of humour is when someone falls over or walks in to something. But I actually laughed out loud a number of times. Don’t get me wrong I think some of the humour wasn’t for me, but all in all they’ve done a great job.

Tomorrow we see An audience with Billy Buckingham and hopefully my big fat Tudor wedding. Might catch some other things as well if we can.

Well done to the Barnstaple fringe team for bringing such an array of performers. And for the sponsors for supporting them. It really is a great way for people to see the arts.

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The truth about turning 40!

Well I ache most days. Could be joint pains, sudden stabbing pains or just a good old fashioned headache.

I can no longer count my grey hairs, there are far to many. Won’t even start on the fact I’m turning in to a werewolf.

Cameras seem to age me. When I look in the mirror I see me. The same me from twenty years ago. The camera ages me beyond my years. I know this because I often see pictures of people I went to school with and they look amazing, and they are forty. So why does the camera lie about my looks!

All I ever want to do is sleep. I can fall asleep as faszzzzzzzz. Sorry dropped off again.

Skin tags? WTF. Liver spots or the correct term, age spots. Just rude!

My personality isn’t much better. I like to be on my own. I like silence. I’m a total bitch when I’m with the rest of the human race. I’m brutally honest. In fact I can deliberately go out of my way to crush a persons soul. I never say sorry. If I need to say sorry it means I shouldn’t have said it in the first place. And well I did, so I’m not sorry.

Everything annoys me. People with pushchairs, people walking down a pavement and not going in single file. People walking slowly. People driving. People shopping. Parents, children, yapping dogs, yapping old people, people, the snail I stepped on in the garden, the stairs, the door I walked in to, the bed I stubbed my toe on, when my kids say mum every five seconds. Think you get the picture! Yes I’m very grumpy.

All this happened before turning 40, so can’t really blame it on that. In fact 40 is no different than 39. The truth about being 40, I just don’t care. I haven’t changed as a person. Like me hate me, I just don’t care. I actually like me. I find myself amusing, and I’ve got some good friends who get me. If you don’t, that’s actually your problem.

People need to take a look at themselves. If your unhappy with something about yourself, change it. Answer these questions without being self absorbed. Have you got friends who you care about, and they care about you? Do you have family who will be there for you, and vice versa? Can you look in the mirror and despite your faults, still say your a good person?

Love the good and the bad and embrace who you are. You will probably find out you’re pretty awesome. We have one life, so live it to the full.

The truth about turning 40! Apparently you become philosophical.

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