What a fucking year.

I was going to write a long boring post today about all the shit that I’ve gone through this year. It’s a lot of shit. In the past few weeks alone I’ve felt the sting of death, twice, and helplessly watched my son crying out in fear and pain as a doctor manipulates his pudgy limbs to check for signs of a broken bone. I’m stressing constantly about my housing situation, which seems to fluctuate between “nearly fixed” and “hopeless stream of paperwork”. I miss my bunnies. I’m trying to give up my self employment to help my mental health but I can’t actually afford to do so and the prospect scares me.

But that would make me cry and I’ve shed so many tears lately I’m not sure I have any left in me to shed.

Instead I’m going to try and tell you all the good things about this year. Like finding the strength to leave a dead relationship, finally. And somehow having the luck and good fortune to step out of that relationship straight into another, quite without intending to, bringing me happiness unlike anything I’ve never known. Allowing me to experience things I never thought I would: trust, respect, autonomy, love without conditions.

I’d like to tell you about the joy of seeing my little girl pick up a book, sound out phonemes until she’s figured out a word, string words together until she has a sentence and ultimately read a book. My little girl enjoying something that has always been incredibly important to me, something that I hope will become just as important to her in years to come.

I want to talk a little about my little boy who turned around recently and counted to 20, just like that, except maybe missing a number in the teens but I’ll forgive him that because last time I checked he’d only learned how to count up to 7.

I need to talk about the immense feeling of pride I felt when I sat and listened to my Granddad talk about the love he felt for his beautiful wife and his children. How privileged I felt to hear his stories, realising how hard he worked to provide for his family. (And not think about the regret I feel for not visiting him more when I had the chance.)

I can’t talk about the positives of this year without a nod to the BeEx-ers who welcomed me into their little ‘family’, allowing me to enjoy their company and share their laughter (and Smirnoff Ice).

I have to mention the amazing people who have supported me in my effort to raise £20,000 without whom I wouldn’t be able to pay the fees on the mortgage, which I’m submitting the (hopefully) final bits of paperwork for today, which is going to secure me that £20k.

Last but definitely not least I have to wax lyrical about the friends who’ve supported me this year. Every hug, virtual or physical; every kind word, phone call, offer of a shoulder; every time someone has reached out to me on twitter or facebook; every single one that’s just said they’re there if I need them: I probably wouldn’t have got through the year in tact without them all. Thank you.

How to: make the whole WordPress excerpt clickable

A client recently asked me to make the post excerpts in their blog page clickable. This seems like a reasonable request and the logical answer (if you know your WordPress basics) is to open the relevant template file (probably index.php or home.php in this case) and wrap the_excerpt(); in <a href=”<?php the_permalink(); ?>”.. (and so… read full entry »

In which I nearly have a breakdown

Things have been a little weird recently here at Chez Jem. When I posted Enter title here I was struggling more than I let on. I was struggling to see the point of anything. I didn’t want to get out of bed in the morning, I didn’t see the point in going to work because… read full entry »

London, baby!

I am … hastily does the maths nearly 29 years old and this weekend I visited London as a tourist and used the underground for the first time. The capital city of my very own country and it’s taken me this long to go and visit it! On Thursday, Gaz and I went to see… read full entry »

Enter title here

Feel like I should blog to record some of the stuff that’s been going on lately but I’m struggling to formulate intelligent sentences. Fall back to list format! I came home on October 22nd to find Flymo dead and Rosie missing. I can only guess but I assume something managed to get into the garden…. read full entry »

Another setback

The next time I decide to utter something as stupid as “I’ve never had a running injury…”, somebody please punch me in the face. I’ve clearly jinxed myself as I’ve now fucked up my other foot. On the 4th week of training for the Milton Keynes half marathon this is a bloody disaster (especially as… read full entry »

Weight: Love, Loss and Lifting

It’s no secret that I have been struggling with my weight for a long time. Actually, struggling is probably the wrong word. I was fat for a long time, but I didn’t really do a whole lot about it except moan that I was fat, so struggling is perhaps over-egging it somewhat. This is me… read full entry »

Best Chips in Shropshire: The Bell Inn, Cross Houses

I don’t often blog about my experiences eating out, but there are times when I’m so surprised (either positively or otherwise) by what I’m eating I can’t help but give it a mention. This is one of those times. I have recently had the pleasure of dining — twice, in fact — with Gaz at… read full entry »

HostPapa? More like HostCrapper*

* sorry, I couldn’t help myself. Yesterday I opened my work inbox first thing to a panicked email from a client (Sutton Community Farm) labelled “URGENT” – their website had gone down (again) with a Resource Limit Reached error. I quickly shot off a reply to let them know that this was usually caused by… read full entry »

Half marathon training plan

Now that I have officially signed up to my first half marathon (so much for pacing myself and doing a 10k first) — a half marathon that actually isn’t that far away — I’ve had to come up with a “proper” half marathon training plan. I’ve browsed and compared suggested training guides from the big… read full entry »

In which I admit failure

I failed another Sugar-Free September. It’s not my fault, honest. The biscuit spread leapt out of the jar into my mouth. The jelly beans tempted me with their sweet, sweet goodness. The cocktails proved too much for my willpower. Oh well, maybe next year :/