Hairy Niggles and Honesty

We’ve all got ’em, ‘niggles.’  Some of us more than others.  All those who know me will find it really hard to believe, but prior to children and life and chaos, … my ways were verging on OCD.  Now, if I’m honest, I’ve lost my way and it’s all a bit of a shambles.  I’m not proud of the state of my home or my life, but I’m trying, piece by piece, car boot by charity clear out, spring clean by drawer sort, to put things back into order.  This may take some time … some considerable time – years maybe!  I’m obsessional about some things, less so about others and if I get a bee in my bonnet … well!

I just love Meryl Streep’s declaration, that has recently done the rounds on the web, cropping up recently on my Facebook feed.  She’s an incredible woman and I guess, a woman of her high regard, her gravitas, and as a woman of a certain age, – she can get away with saying it just how it is.  I commend her for that.

Meryl Streep

Since my emergency hysterectomy a couple of years ago, I’m quite an emotive soul and my intolerance of certain things are really obvious to me.  Foibles become ever more apparent and I find myself biting my tongue – frequently.

Just the other day I had ‘facial hair issues.’  Not mine, perish the thought (fortunately I’ve never been particularly hairy – one of only a couple of things I actually have in my favour), but those of a bloke I was meeting with.

I’ve never been a massive fan of facial hair, but then I’m not against facial hair per se, either.  I do, however, remember when my Dad first grew his ‘tash, I didn’t kiss him for a week or so and begged him to shave … but it’s still there to this day, and I couldn’t imagine him without it now.  I’m not sure what it was that got me then, but right now I think it’s merely the idea of the uncleanliness of it that turns me off.

So, back to this meeting, I spent a considerable length of time sat, feeling antsy, desperately trying to avert my eyes from a piece of mush/fluff inextricably attached to a hirsute lip.  My attention was caught, so much so, that it was making me feel ill and I’m pretty certain I looked sullen and disinterested every time the poor man talked – as I failed to make eye contact without a furrowed brow.

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I’m not ‘hairist,’ promise.  I have plenty of friends sporting facial hair (in some cases more than is actually on the tops of their heads) and I’m sure it’s regularly maintained and beautifully clean, and in most cases it really suits them.  However, for those of you out there a little lax in this matter might I offer a word of advice.  If you insist on sporting hairy appendages of any measure, please take pleasure in the tidiness and upkeep of said adornments.  Oh, and, from personal experience (during Movember for a couple of years running, and after having suffered some ugly red rashes in my misspent youth) can I suggest that beard oil (or coconut oil as a more accessible alternative) is a fabulous invention to soften stubble and hair.  So please be thoughtful in your ‘moustachio and beardyness’ and save us females from a fate worse than death!

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I know there’s worse things than a bit of beard grot, an untidy house, an exchange of cross words, being on the receiving end of bad manners, but it’s the little things that seem to irk me more and more.  P’raps I just need to relax a little, take a chill pill, or perhaps a little open honesty like Meryl’s wouldn’t go a miss in some cases either?

Food for thought … possibly … but please don’t store it in your beard!

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DADDY’S GIRL

IMG_9089 (2)My Dad means the world to me….

young france family  He’s always taken his responsibility seriously, done his fair share, played his part, pulled his weight and been the sort of dependable Dad that’s been there through thick and thin.  I’m incredibly lucky – this I know.

They say what goes around comes around and I’m hoping all those years of frustration, pocket money handouts, anguish, taxi-ing to and fro and general loveliness that has been my ‘Daddy’s’ forte is starting to pay back, as the responsibility shifts. I hope my Dad realises just how much he’s appreciated and indeed always has been, after all I’m Daddy’s girl, but it’s all the more evident now it’s Dad and me against the world!

They say life comes full circle and after losing my Mum earlier this year, the biggest blow Dad and I could have possibly ever come up against, I feel all the more accountable for my Dad and I think closer to him than ever. I was going to say it’s just Dad and me now, but actually, more recently, I’ve realised that that’s just not so.  Our extended family has drifted over the years, let’s say had its differences, as families often do, but thanks to intervention and selfless acts of some family members and their love and support, not to mention the swallowing of pride and re-evaluating what’s important in life (as indeed life is too short)  … bridges are being built and hurdles being overcome and slowly but surely our family seems to be coming back together, when it’s needed most.  Let’s hope this is the start of a new phase of renewed familial relations!

Dad’s get a bad press … especially on a day like today when, on the back of the more prominent celebration that is Mother’s Day, some people believe that Father’s Day is just another excuse for the business world to reap financial rewards from the commercialisation of it all.  However, I believe, certainly in my case, that Dad’s need to be celebrated too. IMG_4760

With less time now than I think I’ve ever had, I chose some fab cards from http://angiebealdesigns.bigcartel.com/products for the two Daddy’s in my life -(my own Dad and my children’s), although the children made some wonderfully artistic and heart-warming homemade cards too.  I particularly liked my daughter’s ‘Thather’s Day’ card!

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My Dad’s such a massive part of our lives and the children idolise their Grandpa John.  Jem and Papa are like 2 peas in a pod and my Dad’s thrilled with Jem’s increasing sportiness this last couple of years.  I’ve always fallen a bit foul of my footballing skills and cricketing abilities myself (I’m not sure that handstands on the pitch or cricket teas quite cut the mustard, or the fact that I didn’t marry a sportsman), but the fact that Jem’s already starting to make waves in the rugby world pleases him no end.  Their joint love of all things sporting is an endless source of conversation, shared enjoyment and hilarity.

IMG_8643    Jem and Papa

My Dad is proud of what Jem’s achieving in the media world, not least dancing on the pitch as part of the B-boys for the Rhinestones, but he equally enjoys cheering on the Leeds Rhino’s and discussing tactics from the sidelines.  Dad and Jem at Rhinos match 2252015 (2)

My Dad gave me away almost 16 years ago …

Giving Me Away

but I didn’t stray too far, and our bond is stronger than ever!

I know only too well what a challenge our family is; ever unpredictable and generally pretty bonkers (‘normal’ is so overrated), but it’s ours and we stick together through the thick of it!

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Speaking of which, Pete got spoilt rotten today too.  Cards, pressies and after a lovely day with the kids, lunch out with the family, a jaunty little walk around Yeadon Tarn and snuggles and a film this aft … Archie’s just chosen this evening to test Pete’s fatherhood skills to the hilt and covered him in vomit!  Pah!

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Happy Father’s Day Daddies you’ve every reason to feel thoroughly celebrated! xx