The pop stars were right

screen-shot-2016-11-25-at-13-37-33Last night I met an old friend from university – we went out for thai and got very very drunk on natural wine. It’s supposed to be better for the hangovers apparently and makes you feel worthy while you are getting obliterated. Jane works in the food industry so she knows all these things.

Anyway. We got worthy drunk and she turned up with roses and macarons for me. After dad died she sent me a text message that was so sweet I keep re-reading it to cheer me up. I might actually get it framed. It’s about how lovely I am. Ha!

Anyway, anyway, we ate food, got drunk and then ended up in some random rock basement bar dancing. It was gorgeous. We hadn’t done that since we were in our twenties. And it’s a shame. I’m realising that this is what life is about. Dancing with people you love, chatting, hugging, laughing, eating and drinking.

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David Bowie, Prince… and now dad

Two weeks and three days ago my dad died. It was unexpected. At about seven in the morning, he jumped out of bed and collapsed on the bedroom floor. Mum called the ambulance but they couldn’t revive him.

He’d had a massive heart attack. He was 67.

When I say it was unexpected – it was as unexpected as it could be for a man who had five heart bypasses when he was 47 and had spent more time than most on the cardiac ward of Frimley Park hospital.

But after lots of false alarms our guard had gone down. Over the last few years he seemed healthier than he ever had been. He’d been to the doctor just a few days before and been given the all clear.

So it was a shock, but then at the same time, not really.

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What’s happening with the book?!

Screen Shot 2016-02-01 at 10.02.42I bumped into an ex-boyfriend of a friend of mine last Friday night.

He had been going out with my friend while I was in the early, exciting, jump out of planes, do stand-up comedy and naked modelling stage of the blog – and he’d witnessed a lot of the craziness/excitement up close. It was lovely to see him.

‘What’s happening with the book?’ he asked. ‘I’ve been looking on Amazon. I even tried to get on Brazilian Amazon to buy it.’

‘Is there a Brazilian Amazon?’ I asked.

‘I don’t know, I kept getting links to the rainforest,’ he said. ‘But what’s happening? Can I buy it? Is out yet?’

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You’re great, you can do it.

I’ve been thinking today about how important encouragement is.

The word ‘encourage’ comes from Old French word ‘encoragier’ – which means ‘make strong, hearten’. And who on this planet doesn’t need that?

I don’t care how independent and strong we may try be, we all need encouragement from time to time. A friend saying ‘You can do this’, ‘I love you’, ‘I have total faith in you,’ can make the difference between you giving up or keeping going.

I am so beyond lucky to have friends who are doing this for me at the moment. They have faith in me, even when I don’t. They keep me going and keep me trying. They are my cheerleaders and my safety net.

So I guess I was just thinking about how we make more difference in people’s lives than we might realise; saying a kind, supportive word to someone who is struggling in the office might stop them from going into the loos and crying all lunch hour. A teacher encouraging a pupil might change their whole life.

Often we think that it goes without saying that your colleague is great at their job, or that your friend is lovely and will find the love soon, but nothing goes without saying. Always say the nice thing. Even when you’re feeling grumpy and hard done by and don’t feel like you have kindness to spare, say the nice thing.

Let’s all try to encourage each other, to remind each other that we are great and even if life feels like a giant old sh*t show, it will, get better. It really will. Just by getting up every morning and trying our best, we are all, in our own small way, winners.

Love to you all.
I think you are GREAT.
Mx

My only New Year’s resolution

Screen Shot 2016-01-03 at 19.03.29This year, as I do most Christmases, I watched Bridget Jones’ Diary on the telly (while eating cheese and drinking whiskey). And this year, as I do most Christmases, I shed a little tear when hot lawyer Mark Darcy tells Bridget that he likes her. Just as she is.

‘There are elements of the ridiculous about you,’ he says in typical bumbling Rom Com style. ‘Your mother’s pretty interesting. And you really are an appallingly bad public speaker. And, um, you tend to let whatever’s in your head come out of your mouth without much consideration of the consequences… But the thing is, um, what I’m trying to say, very inarticulately, is that, um, in fact, perhaps despite appearances, I like you, very much. Just as you are.’

I like you very much. Just as you are. 

What a line.

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Time to rest

It’s 27th December and it’s rainy outside and I am in my pyjamas for the second day running. I am lying on the sofa, watching telly and making my way through a box of Milk Trays,  on the grounds that we’ll all be better off when they’re gone and the only way for them to be gone is to… eat them.

You know the logic.

Just when I think I can’t eat any more, I do. Oh well. It’s been nice.

The whole Christmas has been nice. Everyone behaved themselves. We ate, drank, read some crap cracker jokes and then fell asleep. I think that post lunch nap (coma) on the sofa on Christmas day might just be my favourite part of the year. Dead to the world, there’s nowhere else you have to be, nothing you should be doing.

It’s like being in a little bubble. Real life can’t touch you.

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A pink towel and a finished book

MARIANNEAbout eight years ago I was in TK Maxx with my best friend, Grainne, looking at towels. She picked up a giant hot pink one and asked me what I thought.

I liked it.

‘Would it look good in the cottage?’ she asked.

‘Definitely’ I said.

Grainne was hoping to buy an old cottage on the West Coast of Ireland, near where she grew up – and even though no cottage had yet been bought we had decorating it in our heads ten times over.

All our conversations now revolved around the pros and cons of marble versus slate, wood compared to tiles, original fireplace versus wood burner…

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I’m done

morning gloryYesterday I got up at 6.30 am to go to a morning rave. For three hours I danced with hula hooping toddlers, glitter girls and a man who, I think, was dressed like a carrot. It was bloody brilliant.

These early morning parties, called Morning Glory, happen about once a month in cities around the world.

It’s all very hippy and happy.

They serve £3.50 cappuccinos rather than beers, and raw cacao shots instead of drugs.

I danced non stop from 7.30 – 10.15 am. Seriously, non-stop. I bounced, I whooped, I flung my hands up in the air…I sweated like a glorious partying pig.

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A reality check

Screen Shot 2015-04-22 at 12.12.00I’ve just been reading about the migrant shipwreck which has killed hundreds of African and Bangladeshi migrants trying to escape war and poverty.

In today’s paper rescuers describe a ‘cemetery in the sea’, while yesterday one of the survivors told how hundreds perished because they were locked up below deck ‘like rats in a cage’.

It’s hellish. Whatever your views on immigration, what happened to those people – fellow human beings – is hellish. And heartbreaking.

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A man came up to me on the street…

An extraordinary thing happened to me last Sunday morning. A man came up to me on the street, near where I live, and said ‘Are you Marianne?’.

I said ‘yes’ and did that thing where you flip through the rolodex in your brain trying to think of how I knew him. Turns out I didn’t.

‘You don’t know me but I read your blog,’ he said.

I was stunned. Totally stunned. A total stranger on the street coming up to me because he’d read my blog. BLOODY HELL.

He explained that he’d read a piece I did on meditation in the Daily Mail years ago and has been following my stuff since. ‘I promise, I’m not a stalker!’ he said.

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