• Momma Sophs •

Letter number 5 (which is a day late) is for my American Mom.

Momma Sophs,

I don’t know if there are even any words to say what I want to you.

I aim to surround myself with fierce females who I look up to, aspire to be like and you are definitely one of them… what a woman!!!

You are one of the most generous people I have ever met, period. You’re generous with everything but your time and your love

are the ones I love most! You wear your heart on your sleeve and there is quite literally nothing that you won’t do for someone you love. How lucky am I that I get to count myself as one of those people!?

I probably don’t say it enough but I love

you too. So much.

I remember talking to you on the phone when I was still at Uni with Jade and you invited me to stay with you in LA – obviously I was thrilled because, you know me, any excuse to get on a plane. The 2 week invitation slowly became a 3 month invitation and the Summer of 2013 you welcomed me with open arms and through the years you made Rincon Ave. a safe place for me. When I have a panic attack I often find myself thinking of your home because it really is such a safe space for me. It calms me down.

Thank you for that.

I also have some more thanks come to think of it.

Thank you for knowing me a bit better than I know myself.

Thank you for noticing changes in me, in my mental health before I’ve even noticed them and thank you for not being to scared to say something to me about your concerns. Not a lot of people do/would.

Thank you for reminding me it’s ok to change me my mind about everything from what pants I’m wearing to whether or not I want to move across the world on my own.

Thank you for never judging me and giving me a safe space to completely be myself.

Thank you for making the best lasagne in the world and for always freezing some so I can take some home with me.

Thank you for always trying to remember that I hate people talking to me for the first 10 minutes after I wake up 😂 You rarely remember until I grunt a response at you but to do try haha.

Thank you for being part of some of my favourite moments in my life – every time I hear ‘Happy’ by Pharrell I think about us in the apartment in Naples ♥️

Thank you for always insisting that we see each other at least once a year.

“I really like it”.

Love you!

Can’t wait to see you in May

♥️♥️♥️ Your Michaela baby!!

• Mark •

Hey, pal.

Day 4. Here’s your letter.

I was going to be a little bitch and make you wait for ages for it but then I was feeling sentimental and changed my mind.

Aaaah, where to start?

Mr Derry Dude.

The Will to my Grace, the Ant to my Dec, the Clive to my Dolores.

Congratulations on making it to ‘friend’ status after being an acquaintance for the last 9 years. Clap for the heavyweight champ 👏🏼

God bless Kingston university and the Big Brother house on Grove Crescent for bringing us together. I miss living with you so bad, we had such fun. I mean… at the age of 21 we were still building forts and sliding down the stairs on mattresses. The house was a shit hole anyway really so it didn’t really matter if we messed it up more. Shit digs. Fucking brilliant memories.

When I think of some of the stuff we have got up to over the years together… I hate myself for not filming it… quality viewing. Although thinking about it, I’m not sure anyone but us would find it amusing. How many times have we been sat there cracking up at stuff and everyone else was looking at us like we’re high?!

Our adventures have taken us to many places. (The adventures of Dolores and Clive).

LA (more times than I can count now), strutting up 5th avenue in NYC, meeting prisoners in Alcatraz, dance parties at the Cape, booty popping to Queen B 🐝 in Dublin, visiting my boys in Liverpool…and then some.

I remember when I bought you your ticket to LA back in 2014 (?). You were so used to flying shitty planes to Europe and to and from London that you were convinced those seats weren’t for us 😂 Like Jack Dawson going to dinner in first class in Titanic. You peasant.

Some of the best memories though are of us just navigating our way around life in London fresh out of Uni. Paddy’s day 2012 in Derry was up there too. Me with Ginger hair (remember that phase in my life?), Irish flag wrapped around me, dancing alone in a club. Such a treat.

I can say, hand on heart, that no one in this world (except my Mum, maybe) makes me laugh as much or as hard as you do. Most of the time it’s at you doing impressions of me, or you taking the hand out of something I said but I still laugh none the less. In fact, being friends with you has taught me to laugh at myself if nothing else!

It hasn’t all been plain sailing though… we’ve seen each other through everything. Even across the ocean that separates your little island from mine. New jobs, new men, old jobs, old men, heartbreaks and 808s, death and depression (well this just took a turn 😂)…

Now you’re a week and a bit away from flying across the world to start a new adventure without me. In case I don’t say it when I see you. I’m so proud of you. I hope that you find everything you want in Canada. You deserve everything good it has to offer. It makes me sad that you’ll be so far away but I’m so excited for this next chapter of yours. Return of Saturn, baby!

I’ve never told you before but growing up I always wished I had a brother; as you know, my brother was stillborn and growing up I always wished it was different and he was here because I always wanted a brother. I always wondered what it would be like. I feel like I wished it into existence because 20 years later the universe gave me you. Now you’re stuck with me for life. SUCKER.

Well this has gone on long enough and if I don’t stop now I think I might have to turn this into a book so I’m going to stop now.

Acquaintance of the year? Nah, man. Acquaintance of my life.

See you in less than 48 hours for the last hurrah (until LA in June, obvs)

your pal

xo

• Diane Alice Lorraine •

Day 3. Letter 3.

Diane Alice (Lorraine) Dalby.

Well, this is an odd one to write because although I know you know how much you mean to me, I don’t think I’ve actually ever told you. What a dick.

If you’d have asked 17 year old me if my first ever manager would become one of the most important people in my life I’d have probably told you to fuck off but somehow it happened.

To think I hated you when we first met properly.

I remember leaving the interview at Mothercare and saying to my mum on the phone “I really hope I get that job” and then you called me 3 days later to offer me the job. Little did I know that I was signing up for 12 years of fun (there was a lot shit too but I choose to only remember the fun).

Then you fucked off to another store for a few months, came back and I hated you.

I remember being sat in the staff room on those god awful brown chairs opposite the white board and you asked me about my shifts… I thought “who’s this? She’s never here and she’s asking ME about MY shifts” Bit big for my boots really. The team always blame you for turning me into a monster but I think it was always there, you just bought it to the surface.

Slowly though, I realised you’re actually alright, a bit mad, but alright. This one’s a keeper. You took a chance on me and gave me my career. One that I actually love (we all know you have to love retail to work in it long term).

I don’t remember when you moved from boss to friend, it just feels like it’s always been that way now. It’s been nearly 13 years. I’m still waiting for my medal for putting up with you, Duncan did promise me one?!

Little known fact about you: you are pretty much the reason I’m alive now. I know that sounds dramatic but you’ve seen me through 3 depressive episodes and, unknown to some, the last one I was suicidal. You talked me down from that train platform, from afar. Without you on the end of the phone when I was stood on that platform I definitely wouldn’t be here. I literally owe you my life. I’m so glad you did that because I actually love my life and I wasn’t ready to die. I was just so ill I couldn’t remember that. You made me remember.

So cheers for that. Nice one.

Life coach. Therapist. Advice giver. Belly laugh inducer. You literally tick all the boxes of what it means to be a bloody brilliant friend. You’ve never tried to change me, ever. You just accepted me for the weirdo I am and honestly you probably know me better than anyone else in my life so that’s saying something.

You have played such an important part in my finding my voice and navigating this weird world and helping me realise that no one ever has it all figured out. I even like that you don’t always agree with me (you always point out when I’m wrong, not that it happens much, obvs 😉)

I don’t think there will ever be enough thank you’s really.

I’m so glad you’re off having your adventures with Dunc now, even if it means I don’t know when I’ll see you next. Though I do know that I can’t wait for the stories because there are bound to be some fucking brilliant ones 😂

I’m not sure anything will ever top the story of Andrea on the roof though!

Adventure is out there.

Love you, Dalby.

Mickey D’s xoxox

• Amy Jayne TayTay •

TayTay, you big slut.

Letter number 2.

Remember you told me last weekend I’m never nice to you unless I’m drunk? Well buckle up, sista. Here comes a whole lot of nice. And I’m sober. And publishing it. On a public platform. For the whole world to see. wait, maybe I am drunk?! (I’m definitely not)

First of all, let’s clear something up.

I think you are bloody fantastic. Ok, there, I said it. To be fair, I wouldn’t have kept you around this long if I didn’t think you were. I know I seem to pick up a whole manner of people (seriously, what is with that?) but only the best ones are allowed to stay. It’s been 10 years, you’re a lifer now.

You know I am completely backwards in that if you’re worth a dime to me I’ll call you all the names to your face and cut a bitch that talks down on you behind your back. I’m just backwards, ok?

I don’t even really know what else to say to be fair.

Like, I just think you’re great.

One of the most genuine and supportive people in my life. You always have a kind word to say about me (even if it’s followed by calling me a wench) and have been one of my biggest cheerleaders for about as long as I’ve known you. I really miss those car journeys to school placement – tell me you don’t miss my CD mixes! I’ve such great taste in music. Eclectic, but great (a couple of people from my past may disagree but whatayagonnadoaboutit?)

I feel very lucky (no I’m not lucky, I’m blessed YES – Nicki Minaj) to count you as one of my best pals – I think it was the wise Ellen Degenres that once said “it’s wonderful to be loved but it’s profound to be understood” and you understand me and all my weird ways. You just ‘get’ me.

One of the things I love most about you (other than your dog, God bless Fudge!), is that you are so unashamedly you. You don’t ask anyone to like you, you just are you and that’s something I have long admired and a trait I so wish I possessed!

You are loyal, you are so kind, compassionate and empathetic, passionate, protective… when you become a Mama they will be one lucky chicken – just remember James promised to name it after me if it’s a girl. 💃🏼

Speaking of James… what a guy. My favourite farmer who’s not really a farmer, ever! I love how happy he makes you. To be asked to write something to be read at your wedding was a privilege in itself but then when you asked me to read it… brave move – after all you did warn your friends about me before I met them 😂🙈. Not sure where I got this reputation from to be fair, I’m a proper treat!

Seriously though, I was completely honoured and I’m so pleased you trusted me enough to do it. I’m also so pleased to have been able to choose 2 of your wedding songs. I might not believe in love but I know a good love song when I hear it.

I’m going to wrap this up now because I think I’m just rambling a bit but yea, you’re pretty great. Don’t goooo changing.

See ya in Croatia.

Love you for life.

xoxo M

P.S my favourite, favourite thing is that you get jealous when you’re friends talk to me / ask me to hang out and you’re not involved

“but Kala is MY friend” 😂😂

• Lisa •

Dear Liseeeee,

Linda Lash, Lisa, Liza… I never know which name to call you because normally I just call you rude names 😉

I don’t even really know where to begin. I guess, Happy Birthday to your boy?!

Nicholas Brian Lashaway! 31 years ago you birthed that force of nature. What a treat. I hope today isn’t too hard for you, I hope that you are able to laugh at what a tit he could be amongst the sadness. Also, remember I’m forever judging you for never having made him sit down and watch ‘Mary Poppins’ 😂

I guess I should move on to saying the nice things now, ay? You know me, I’m a bit awkward and so very British about this kind of stuff. Show emotion, me? Say what!

I’m only good at being nice when I’m drunk normally… however I will do my best now.

Lisa,

Lisa,

Lisa.

What a woman.

Someone who I admire for being a hippy at heart (like me) but also for not taking any shit from anyone (a skill I’m still learning)

Maker of one of the best margaritas ever – at this point I’m convinced your mama (Queen) taught you all how to do this because your sisters make killer ones too.

An essential skill if you ask me.

My very first memory of you is our holiday in one of my favourite places in the world – Valencia. When I left there in 2010 I left a peice of my heart there so it was so special that I got to go back there with you, Soph and Jade in 2012. It was like going home for me and I was so proud to show off my city (yes, it’s my city in my head).

I remember being sat on the couch in the apartment the morning after we got there and you walked in the room and farted and then said good morning everyone. Sophie assured me that meant you liked me because you wouldn’t have felt comfortable enough to do that if you didn’t!

Add that to me realising we both loved peanut m&ms and men with good arms on that trip – I knew you were a good egg.

Over the years we’ve had sooooo many amazing trips/ visits together – let us never forget the delicious man candy in Naples, singing ‘Don’t stop believing’ on the drive from Boston to the Cape, introducing you to Honest Burger in London, crying with laughter at the Book of Mormon (we definitely should have bought a fuck frog).

I also have to mention that amazing family of yours… I know I tell you all the time how much I love them! All 750 of them, who are also now my family regardless of whether they want to be or not 😂 Surely its time for another reunion? It’s been 6 years since the last one! I’m definitely overdue for a dance party with my best friend Ben, gal pal Rachel and Princess Charlotte!

My favourite times though are us sitting in the man cave swiping left and right on Tinder, eating donuts Mark made me drive to Hollywood to get, watching Catfish (Nev has great teeth) and drinking whilst fighting over the pups.

You are hilarious (another trait we share – obvs). You make me laugh so much and are so supportive of everything I do even when it makes no sense. You’re great at reminding me that whatever happens is all part of the journey. We all need a friend that does that.

When Nick passed… I can’t even begin to fathom what you went through, and continue to go through daily. The way that you carry yourself through your grief and continue to live life is truly inspiring. I know there are days when the grief feels too much to bear but you do it because you are you. The Lisa we all know and love doesn’t let it beat her… hero.

Amongst your own grief you’ve managed to provide comfort to someone else in my life who has experienced this type of loss… having never met them and you did it without being asked to. It means so much to ME that you did that, let alone them.

I’m so blessed to know you (I really hate when people say ‘blessed’ but I feel like it’s the only appropriate word).

I’m so proud to have you in my corner. I’m so grateful that Jade chose me to be her friend because without that little cherry blossom I’d not have met you, nor Nick.

You are so fetch.

You big shitbag.

Love you! See you in May

xoxo Michaeleee

hey, is this thing on?

hey, is this thing on?

hello?

hello. hi. it’s been a while hasn’t it?

jesus, mary and joseph and all his carpenter friends it has been a while.

8 months since i’ve blessed you all with my ramblings. what a xmas treat for you this is for me to be back (i’ll leave you to define the word ‘treat’).

so why am i back now? in all honesty, i haven’t wanted to write and share for the last eight months. i’ve still written, just kept it to myself, but recently i have been itching to write and share. today my therapist reminded me how important and helpful it can be to write things down, both good and bad, to get them out and just get them off your chest and i guess this was the kick i needed to start again.

each week my therapist (we’ll call him J) gives me homework to complete, some of this has been fun – let’s take watching Inside Out – and some of it has been not so fun; reliving the events leading up to each time the darkness came back and won me over so we can understand the triggers and make a plan to help if it comes back again. this week it is writing. i just have to write. the only condition is that i have to write at least one positive thing that happens each day. it sounds simple, right?

J is trying to teach me to show myself compassion – something i have in spades for others – some of whom we’re discovering really don’t deserve that from me – and i think that it is something we can all actually learn to do. show ourselves some more compassion because life is hard. we all have our shit. we all have stresses and strains and worries. we extend that compassion to other people so easily but we can’t do it for ourselves…

so i guess, this is a message to myself from myself but also to you too…

2018 is almost over. i did it. i made it. i met new people, learnt new things, tried new things. tried things that scared me, that hurt me, that i loved. things that made me grow. things that made me laugh. i picked myself up off the floor when i felt defeated, when i felt heartbroken. all those tough nights where i had nothing but my own thoughts for company… i survived them. i’m still here. i made some people happy by just existing. there were a few goodbyes but there were also lots of hellos. some of which were serendipitous. i made some right fuck ups, but learnt from them. i worked hard and saw that hard work pay off, next year i won’t downplay those successes so much. i found people who believed in me, people that believed in me even when i didn’t. january 1st seems so long ago and so much has happened but i am stronger for it, i’m wiser than i was. i’ve compared myself to others and hated myself for not being as ‘successful’ but then learnt that other people thought i was the successful one.

true story.

my sister bumped in to someone i went to primary school with. she asked after me. hearing about my life she responded ‘oh, she’s done alright for herself, i always thought she was a bit posh’

not quite sure about the ‘posh’ part – hello, mouth like a sewer – but i’ll take the first bit.

i’ve had moments when i wished for times before, times before i’d had my heart broken and before life hit me and made me sore. before i’d been disappointed. i had times where i felt so grateful that it had. and so hopeful for the future and excited that some of my best days have yet to happen. some of the people who will change my life forever in the best ways, i haven’t met yet. i remembered i enjoyed exercise (thank you, Adam and the bootcamp gang). i have nearly completed my personal challenge of reading a new biography each month to learn about other people and their stories. i learnt that it’s ok to share how you feel – something else that J and I are working on, i’m not very good at it –  and that it’s normal to want to be someone’s first choice, to have someone who makes us feel less invisible. that you can miss someone, but still be mad at them and not want them back in your life. that there are some losses you just don’t get over. and that is ok. what you do do is learn to move forward without them.

2018 was a year of growth, and 2019 has the potential to be even better.

we just have to be kind to ourselves.

i’ll try if you promise to as well.

xoxo micks

 

 

april, 2018

bonjour and hello to you, the reader of this post.

how are you? well i hope. is it just me or has april been another january? as in, it’s felt like it has lasted about 700 weeks. it is finally the end of the month which means i can use my favourite meme in this post because…

how am i? well, this month i’ve mainly spent it feeling like i’m in the way and a bit forgotten if i’m honest. which, i know sounds to most either

  1.  bratty
  2.  utterly ridiculous
  3.  a bit pathetic

the thing is, i know it is probably all of the above but it’s how i have been feeling. so shoot me, why don’t ya. it’s a feeling i’ve tried (unsuccessfully) to shake off. i know people are just very busy and that i am not the centre of their world. i know that cancelled plans and minimal communication is just a result of people being busy and having more important things taking up their time but it’s still how i’ve been feeling and i wont lie to you. and i wont apologise for it either because, as i’ve told many a person, you should never apologise for how you feel.

in a complete 180 i have also been feeling very inspired by all the marathon runners, both Brighton and London. how fantastic are they all? (answer: very)

our very own Teddy’s Tribe did it, raising a phenomenal amount of money in the process. the cheerleaders spent their time wandering around Brighton seafront (one of my favourite places in England, just FYI) sporting their Teddy’s Tribe Foundation T Shirts, and myself the chipped tooth and fat lip i gained courtesy of my nephew on the train down there.

hero of the month

celebrity

Jameela Jamil

i have followed Jameela for what feels like years now. i remember her presenting on T4 back in the day but i really started to love her when i started reading her columns in Glamour magazine. at least i think it was Glamour, it might have been Cosmo, it was one of them. i loved how ballsy she was, i loved that she didn’t hold any prisoners, i loved that she had fucking opinions like a real person and not some puppet created by a PR company to give the generally acceptable answers that didn’t differ from the status quo.

in more recent times people will know her as Tahani in NBC’s ‘The Good Place’. holy forking shirtballs it’s good. it’s one of those shows that are very easy to watch.

she also runs two Instagram accounts, one of which is the reason she is my celebrity hero this month.

‘I Weigh’ is a movement. a movement that encourages people to see themselves as more than the number on the scale because that is only part, a small part, of what we are. it’s bloody fantastic.

personal

there isn’t one this month. sorry, i just generally hate everyone this month sooooo

book of the month

giving myself a pat on the back because i read not one, not two but THREE books this month.

learning more about people April edition was : Patti Smith – Just Kids

what a story. a story of friendship, love and survival. a story based in one of the best cities in the world – NYC. a story that shows that success is not an overnight job for anyone. hard work is rewarded. a beautiful read that i would highly recommend.

Joanna Nadin – The Queen of Bloody Everything

a novel. this was sent to me for freee (i love it when that happens). i had to read it and then give my feedback on it. what i loved about this is that, whilst it was a love story, the main love story wasn’t based on romantic love but rather parental. the main relationship was between a mother and daughter – and we all know how complicated they can be.

Dolly Alderton – Everything I Know about Love

now this was supposed to be my ‘learn more about other people: May edition’ book but i read it in one day. so i need a new book for may, if you have any suggestions then send them to me.

my friend Amy, upon seeing i was reading this, said to me she wants to start a cult of dolly. well, Amy, sign me up. i devoured this book. every 20 something woman needs it.

i also realised after i finished that i always seem drawn to people and the stories of people that aren’t necessarily traditional. a lot of the biographies i read the people have made royal cock ups, or have had their hearts shattered, or have some form of mental illness. they’ve experienced the very worst of what life can give you, felt terribly alone, or like a failure, like they’ve been left behind but have lived to tell the tale. their stories fill me with hope and a sense of calm. they make me feel less alone, i guess.

soundtrack to the month.

there have been three songs on repeat for me across this month.

patti smith – because the night

anne-marie – 2002

chris lane – take back home girl.

bad joke of the month

this got me giggling this month

food of the month

i’ve been enjoying yoghurt pouches like the 5 year old i am and also, lots of tea and biscuits. as lent finished i’ve been making up for lost time. oh and MARMITE CHEESE. my mouth is watering just writing that. motherforking shirt balls, it’s delicious.

realisation of the month

i will always have a love-hate relationship with people. they fascinate me, but they also piss me right off.

april 2018

i’ve been thinking a lot about stories this month. everyone’s life is a story and we try to write it simply as beginning – middle – end but perhaps we have it wrong. perhaps our stories aren’t as simple as that. perhaps they are lots of little stories that each has their own beginning –middle – end. maybe the people we meet are who make up the chapters. maybe we need to let go of the role we think people play in our stories to see the role they really play. i’m sure i’ve played the heroine in some, the villain in others. i’m sure i have hurt people in ways i can never make up for even though it hurts to admit that. perhaps my ability to face the things i don’t want to, the things i convinced myself i wasn’t strong enough to make me the hero of some stories, perhaps it makes me the hero of my own story. the character i play in other people’s lives, the role i’m cast in is not mine to decide, really. some chapters, no matter how much time passes, will still be painful to revisit, as painful as they were when they came to an end. these chapters will mean we actively avoid things; places, foods, movies and music because they remind us of that pain and reliving some stories are too painful. at least for now. one day we’ll gain those things back – sure, deep down we’ll hear that song and remember that person that broke our heart, or that friend that let us down, but one day, we’ll be able to claim back those things and rewrite their meaning in our chapters, in our stories. at least that’s what i’m hoping.

happy may, friends.

be good. to yourselves and others.

xoxo micks