•dear my little sophia•

oh my little Sophia. happy, happy birthday to you. i cant gift you nice things in person and we can’t get tipsy and dance on the high street but i can write you your letter to let you know how important and special you are to me. so here we go.

Dear Sophie, (or Sophia as i have called you since forever ago)

please forgive me for taking so long to write this letter to you. you really should have been one of the first but for some reason i couldn’t write it. each time i sat down to write to you i couldn’t find the words. charge that to my head and not my heart.

i still remember the first time we met… this shy teenager turning up to a group interview at mothercare (rip). denise was adamant on hiring you… i thought you were too quiet… she told me to remember how shy i had been at the beginning and how I had blossomed… so we hired you and i’m really bloody glad we did!

(disclaimer: she definitely didn’t say i blossomed, i’m sure it was more along the lines of ‘now you don’t shut up’ … oops)

it’s been about 8 years since we met and i honestly say that my life is infinitely better for the Sophie shaped addition to my life. i don’t’ remember when we went from boss/employee to pals; it kinda feels like we’ve always been like this. i can not imagine my life without you now. who would have thought that little one would become so very important to me? you are the little sister i never had and i wouldn’t have it any other way.

you (and leanne, hi leanna, yes, i love you too) are one of my favourite people in the world and i’m not sure i tell you enough. your friendship is unconditional; you just let me be the weirdo i am deep down and you never make me feel ‘less than’ for any of my flaws – you do of course take the piss out of them at the appropriate time which is all part of the privilege of being a best friend.

you have been by my side through the biggest transitions and heartbreaks in my life and given me some of the best advice. if there is ever a dilemma, i always come to you because you give me advice that always hits home. you always give me food for thought; you’re supportive but you’re also not afraid to tell me if i’m being a bit of a dick. we ALL need people like that in our lives! i hope that i have been able to provide that to you too. in the times you didn’t know what to say you told me just that but didn’t ignore the pain i was feeling. you just let it sit with us like an unwanted dinner guest until i’d had enough of it and got the strength to finally tell it to fuck off. that’s not an easy thing to do or deal with, so thank you.

one of the things i admire the most about you is your bravery. yes, you my little cherub are brave. you feel the fear but you do it anyway. i so wish i possessed that trait. your life is going to be so much better because of this; know that i will always be on the sidelines cheering you on. oh the places you’re going to go! i cant wait.

now i have started this letter i’m kind of finding it hard to stop writing but i will because it’s now verging on an eassy but I just have to say 2 more things i love about our friendship.

  1. that no matter how much time has passed we just pick straight up where we left off’ there is no hard feelings that it’s been 75 days since our last catch up. it just it what it is.
  2. how much we laugh. normally we’re embarrassing Leanne – remember Disney. HAH.

you are a ball of loveliness and you’ve got me forever.

i love you, squirt

xoxo M

 

 

• Mummy Cheese •

Mummy Cheese.

You’re my day 10.

1. I miss you

2. I love you

3. I miss you

Please come back to me.

One of the BEST things to come out of my time at Mothercare. Swear down. I miss calling you after conference calls on a Tuesday to have a chat and occasionally advise you on what to do when a pigeon gets stuck in the shop (RIP Clive).

I got the good vibes from you the first time I met you. Region 9 (I think) meeting in Maidstone. You were the new kid and you walked in with your backpack and I was like “she’s my people, she likes backpacks!!” (honestly, I know, I’m weird)

Since then you’ve just gone up even further in my estimations.

You’re such a support to me, you help me cut through all the noise and remind me to pick the weeds from my garden (so to speak). You say the things I need to hear, even when I’m not really ready to hear or accept them. You just keep saying it until it sinks in and I go ‘you were right’ and you smile and say ‘I know’.

I know that you always have my back. Please know I always have yours.

We have the same (excellent) taste in music and I always looked forward to the conferences/ xmas parties / leaving do’s because I knew we would be on the same team asking the DJ for a bit of Dizzee or old garage chooons.

You love of a good pun is the cherry on top of the cake.

You are beautiful, inside and out, and can rock that Pixie cut in a way that no one else can. You have no idea how jealous that makes me.

I love how much you love your new job.

I love that they are recognising your greatness. You deserve it. I feel like you’ve found your place there and it’s so amazing to hear about and see.

My only issue is that it means we aren’t working together. Please can we work together again?! Some day in the future? Purleeeeaseeee.

Love you, Rachel.

Thanks for being my pal.

xoxo M

• J- Ro •

Day 9 (I think)

JRo.

If anyone ever needs proof that opposites attract then they need look no further than us.

Honestly.

Even your Ma has commented on how different we are.

Our friendship just works though, and I’m so glad it does. I think we balance each other out.

You’re one of my most low maintenance friendships. We go months and months without any contact and then when we do chat, it’s like old times. Nothing’s changed.

I know that I can be hard work, and I know that I’m not always the easiest person for you to be friends with – sometimes our differences are glaringly obvious and that can cause some friction. I know, without you saying anything, that there have been times when you don’t know if you’re coming or going with me and for that I apologise. I want you to know that I’m glad you have stuck around though.

My first and original travel buddy – we’ve had some adventures! I love how keen you are to see the world and how educated on EVERYTHING you are. You are, without a doubt, my smartest friend.

Our adventures have taken us all over Europe and the US. The most glamorous moment of my life is still brushing my teeth in Walmart when we were RVing!! I’m so glad I got to do that with you by my side.

You have the kindest heart of anyone I know – you are my moral compass at times. Not a bad word to say about anyone (except maybe Trump), you lead with love and compassion.

Like me, you just want world peace.

I’m so glad I met you. I’m so glad I get to call you my friend.

I can’t wait to see you in May, give you a big ‘ole hug and make some more memories.

All the love, JRo. All the love

xoxo M

• Steph •

Stephanie Hall.

You Goddess.

When I try and describe my friends it’s always a hard thing to do because there are always so deliciously complex that to only use one word / one phrase would do them an injustice.

You are no different.

The best way I can describe you is this though – you’re the inner voice everyone should have.

You know how fuck boys always have a habit of coming back just as you’ve moved on? Well you always seem to have a habit of checking in just when I am about done with life and all it’s shit. How do you knoooow??? LITERALLY.

I still remember the first time I met you, just a couple of small town girls, living in a small town world (Big up Guildford). You and Gemma both got the job at Mothercare and told Diane that you didn’t know each other… then spent your first shift walking around the floor together. I remember saying to Huma “they’re obviously mates”. Didn’t hide it well, hun 😂

Then there was the jumper out the back (that was pretty traumatic) but you were just as nosy and me about it and I knew then you were just like me.

You were always down for a laugh and weren’t scared of making a fool of yourself for it and I LOVE THAT ABOUT YOU. This probably sounds rude but I’m gonna say it anyway – you wouldn’t expect someone so hot to be so funny. You’re bloody hilarious.

We’ve come along way from cleaning porches on a Sunday and being sung to by the homeless folk of Guildford (he was right, you are beautiful) and I’m so glad I’ve got to stand by the sidelines and watch you blossom into a kind hearted, successful, beautiful woman.

Instagram has such a filter on it and I know behind the happy grins and ‘carefree’ life on those squares there is a lot of hard work and effort that allows you to enjoy the best of what life has to offer. You deserve all of it and so much more.

You are such a force and I’m so glad I get to feel that in my world (sounded less dodgy in my head lol)

Keep on being you, because you are just wonderful.

I love you.

M xoxo

• Byng •

Day 7.

My Byngalyng.

I adore you.

That’s all.

No, I’m just messing with you, but I do. I really do.

You are, most probably, the funniest person I know and you have definitely taught me how important it is to be able to laugh at yourself and how much more fun life is when you laugh your way through it. Any afternoon spent with you is an ab workout. Everyone needs a friend like Byng!! (They can’t actually have you though because you’re mine and I don’t like to share too much)

One of the most genuine, kind hearted people I know. I’m so glad you’re my friend. So supportive and so easy to get along with. I do not know anyone that has a bad word to say about you. We all know I’m a bit like marmite – people either love me or hate me, but you, you’re like chocolate. EVERYONE LOVES YOU.

Always up for an adventure, be it to Norfolk or LA. Some of my favourite memories over the last decade are with you and because of you.

Shout out to that time walking down Venice Beach –

“You in the black! The sun is not your friend”

What a dick.

Thanks for sticking around.

I can’t wait to see what the next 10 years look like.

Love you, peanut cup

M xoxo

• Rachpal •

Well I’m just slightly behind on these 🙈 please forgive me!

Today, Day 6.

McCarth.

I don’t think I really need to tell you how important you are to me because, well I think you know, but I will because I can.

I fucking love you.

I might not have used my degree but the fact I got to meet you – well that is worth the Student Loan debt 😂

I’m so glad I get to do life knowing you.

I sometimes forget how much we’ve changed since we first met. I mean… jeez louise.

I still remember the first time we met.

Stood in that lecture hall to listen to Ursula harp on about Erasmus – we both wanted something more out of uni, hunting for an adventure.

“My brother’s girlfriend did it and said it was just one big party” – direct quote from you.

HELLO VALENCIA.

Theeee best 4 months.

We worked, we played, we laughed, we walked out of university lectures and placements (oops) because we’d rather be at home in one of our apartments having a cup of tea and listening to emo music.

There are far too many memories and private jokes for me to list here but a couple of my favourites are (and these won’t make sense to anyone but us)

“Yeah, yeah, yeah”

“YOU STAGGER”

“DONT LET THEM GET THE BIKES”

“Sea bass (sea bass), Scallops (scallops)”

We have the same sense of humour and I knew we were friends for life when we would lay in bed laughing for hours through the night, knowing that we’d regret it in the morning because we actually had to be adults and teach classes of impressionable Spanish children – imagine they will be about 16 now?! Might be older actually… 18? Sweet lord.

You are thoughtful, generous, kind, make a killer cup of tea. You always have an ear for anyone and you never make people feel like they’re a burden. You’ve been there for me through some of theeee worst times and through all of my mistakes (there’s been a few). Even though I’m sure there were times you wanted to shake me and tell me to buck up.

You also are the most incredible mother to those two incredible boys – they are a credit to you. If I ever have children (that little girl you were talking about the other day) I can only hope to be half the mum you are and I’d be chuffed with that. I love them more than life. I hope you know that.

You deserve all the happiness in the world.

Truly.

One in a million.

Love you, pal.

Xoxox M

• 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

march, 2018

march 2018

happy easter, chums! how are you all? i hope march has treated you well. i hope you are all celebrating today with lots of chocolate. i am taking this rare day off with no plans to catch up on personal admin (such fun) and write. it will be dotted with drinking lots of caffeinated tea (i gave up caffeinated tea/coffee for lent, pure torture) and trying to not induce type 2 diabetes with all the chocolate that has made its way into my house.

so… march

hero of the month

celebrity

well, they aren’t really celebrities but their post certainly went viral – quite possibly the cutest video on the internet. of course i am talking about 50 mums | 50 kids | 1 extra chromosome. what a beautiful way to celebrate World Down Syndrome day.

personal

there is a group of them this month. the teddys tribe marathon runners.

in June last year my cousins went through the worst situation anyone can imagine – their little boy, Teddy-Blu passed away at just 9 hours old. i can, hand on heart, say that the day of Teddy’s funeral was one of the worst of my life, so i can only imagine what Katie and Adam went through and are still going through now.

in the midst of their grief, they set up Teddy’s Tribe Foundation – to raise awareness of the complications that the parvovirus b19 (better known as slap cheek) can cause during pregnancy, fundraise for those charities and the hospital ward that supported them throughout their pregnancy and in the time following Teddy’s passing and to ensure that the world does not forget their beautiful little babe.

whilst we may not see Teddy grow up to be the beautiful soul he was always destined to be (you only need to look to Katie and Adam’s two gorgeous girls, Izzy and Betsy, to know that Teddy too would have been a beautiful soul – it runs in the family) we can continue his legacy and use his life to ensure that what happened to him wasn’t in vain – the money we are all trying to raise is going to two charities that need this money for one of the most worthy causes in the world.

on April 15th (two weeks today) there will be a group of 6 runners taking part in the Brighton marathon, to raise funds for Teddy’s Tribe.

they have a way to go until they reach their target of £5000, so please, use the link here to donate anything you can.

you can also read more about Katie, Adam and Teddy on their site HERE.

you can also search for Teddy’s Tribe on facebook to stay up to date with their fundraising and to see the runners.

book of the month

A HISTORY OF BRITAIN IN 21 WOMEN – JENNI MURRAY

in the month we celebrated international women’s day this felt very apt.

i loved reading this. it starts off with Boadicea ending with Nicola Sturgeon. whether you like the ladies in this book, or agree with who the author has chosen to write about, you cannot deny the influence these ladies made on shaping our nation, on changing the opinions, the rights and lives of us today.

the blurb reads

“they were famous queens, unrecognised visionaries, great artists and trailblazing politicians. they all pushed back boundaries and revolutionized our world. Jenni Murray presents the history of Britain as you’ve never seen it before, through the lives of twenty-one women who refused to succumb to the established laws of society, whose lives embodied hope and change, and who still have the power to inspire us today”

bloody brilliant stuff. i cannot recommend it highly enough. an essential read for all women i’d say.

soundtrack to the month

this was provided by my favourite emo/skater/punk pop –whatever genre you put them in – band –Simple Plan.

i have adored them since, in my emo teenage phase, i heard ‘welcome to my life’ and felt it in my soul.

this month i re-discovered their album, ‘taking one for the team’. it’s still as good as the first time i heard it.

i have also been overplaying Daddy Yankee’s ‘Dura’ because i want it to be summer already.

bad joke of the month

how do you make an octopus laugh?

with ten-tickles

food of the month

i have been craving peanut butter ice cream so much this month you could think i was pregnant. also, petit filous and granny smiths.

realization of the month

the movies were right – good guys don’t run away.

march 2018.

for me, march was a lot of work and little play – although the playing i did do was a treat.

a glorious afternoon with my nephew, days in our spectacular capital being tourists with two of my very best friends – no one gives me the ability to laugh at myself like amy and byng. we celebrated all the kick ass women around the world on international women’s day. i felt spoilt by my team with random presents – everything from chocolate to jewellery from india to new pens; although im certain the pens are just to stop me sealing their ones and not bringing them back! i had the best evening with two like-minded friends and bonded over tapas and sangria. i celebrated what would have been Nick Lashaway’s 30th birthday with random acts of kindness in him memory – the outpouring of love all over social media for him was amazing to see. as i said to his amazing mama – she did the universe proud with him. i got to go back to one of my favourite places in the world – Derry – to see two of my favourite humans (and one of my favourite canines).

and yes, i did work a lot BUT it has all felt worth it – the changes, what is coming, the things we’ve achieved.

march, you were alright.

hello, april. be nice to me.

until next month,

xoxo M

here’s a second a day

i like to think i’m ok.

i’d like to apologise in advance if this post comes across as me fishing for compliments or me feeling sorry for myself but, like the girl in mean girls ‘i just have a lot of feelings’ and i wanted to share a bit. it’s been taking up a lot of my thoughts recently and i just need to get it off my chest.

i like to think i’m ok. i’m not the prettiest person nor do i have the perfect body. i’m not the nicest person. i’m moody. i get tired. i swear too much. i am not perfect but i like to think i am ok. i try to do my best at everything. i try my hardest to be a good friend, boss, family member. i try my hardest to be there for my everyone because i know what it’s like to feel completely alone. i’m more sensitive and emotional than a lot of people realise. i’m passionate. i have a lot of opinions. i try to educate myself on things before i give these opinions. i can be negative but i try to stay more positive than not. i’m shy and awkward. i like to think i am not judgemental but actually quite open to most people.

i like to think i am ok.

i endeavour to not make someone feel like shit because of who they are. recently i have been on the receiving end of behaviour like this and it has made me question if i have the right people in my life and if i have the respect for myself that i thought i had.

i’ve been thinking a lot about the people i surround myself with and how these people make me feel about myself. there is a great quote attributed to someone on the internet about ensuring that before you diagnose yourself with low self esteem and depression that you are not surrounded by assholes first.

the people we surround ourselves with are a reflection on how we see ourselves, why if i thought i was ok, would i surround myself with people who make comments about me, to me, that make me feel unloveable? that make me feel like i am too much hard work? that i am not worth the effort? i thought, with the end of university, i had rid myself of the ‘friends’ that only saw me as the less attractive, fatter, funny friend and only wanted me there to be an accessory to make them look better. i thought i’d rid myself of those people who weren’t my biggest cheerleaders – not that all my friends have to cheer me all the time, but part of being friends is being each others biggest cheerleaders, in whatever way you feel comfortable expressing it.

at 28 and a bit, i really thought all this shit would be dealt with but i guess, as Bowling For Soup so eloquently sang, ‘high school never ends’.

one thing all these thoughts and time wasted over thinking and being upset recently has made me realise though is that i need to make some changes. there really is a lesson in everything apparently.

why do life lessons always have to cause us so much shit?

answers to that one on a postcard, please

xoxo M

february, twenty eighteen

hiya pals,

how are you all? are you coping with this beast from the east? my hands are permanently cold, my hat is my new best friend and the thought of going anywhere without my slippers and a hot water bottle makes me want to cry but i, much like the rest of the nation, have soldiered on. the sun is coming, it has to!

how was your february?

mine went very quick, after the longest january on record, february went by extraordinarily fast, no?

so, without any further ado, let us crack on…

hero of the month

CELEBRITY: EMMA GONZALEZ

well she didn’t start the month famous, but that’s how it has ended. under the most awful circumstances too. Emma, and people like her all over the world, ARE THE FUTURE, and that makes me REALLY FUCKING EXCITED. when i was her age i was mostly confused about who i was and what i was going to do with my life, not calling out the leader of my country on their BS. i mean, please may i be like her when i grow up?

for any of you that have been hiding under a rock, the speech of the month is below… everyone say it with me WE CALL BS.

PERSONAL:

this is a bit of a weird one because i don’t know her name BUT my personal hero is one of my customers at work. she can be no more than 23/24 years old. she came into work to ask for some help with her pushchair and whilst i was helping her i asked how she was finding motherhood – her beaut of a little boy was only a few weeks old (and yes i got a cuddle!), she explained that, unfortunately she had caught her baby daddy cheating on her just after the baby was born. you know what she did? SHE KICKED HIM OUT. this is a woman who moved from east london to south to be with him and have a baby, knew no one in the new area she lives but still kicked him out, with no fear and now, she is being a badass single mum. for me, i was blown away by her strength – how many women could say that with a newborn, they’d do that? sure, we’d all like to think we’d do it, but would we actually? i’m not convinced. personal hero.

book of the month

HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON – WHAT HAPPENED

well, i actually can’t tell you because i am rubbish and have yet to finish it. oops. i now need to read two biographies this month to catch up with that new years resolution. also, sidenote, if you have any recommendations for biographys/ autobiographies please send them my way. i have another 10 months to fill.

soundtrack to the month

as predicted, ‘The Greatest Showman’ has stayed at the top of my most played this month but i am also really enjoying Rudimental ‘These Days’ – i adore the lyrics to the chorus. sometimes when im having a particularly good or bad day, i check myself and think to myself that some day in the future I will wish to come back to this time in my life and try to appreciate the moment.

bad joke of the month

what is forrest gumps password? 1forrest1

you’re welcome.

food of the month

i’m obsessed with popchips this month, the salt and vinegar ones – well, I can eat a family bag by myself in one sitting. so bad but so so good.

realisation of the month

this month i have realised that i forgive people too easily – is that a bad thing? maybe, maybe not. i let people flit in and out of my life, people who should really know better because they know me well enough to know that, even if i don’t say it, it hurts when they drop me again.

i’ve also realised i’m too old to play stupid bloody games now, say what you think. be honest. what’s the worst that can happen?

february

short but sweet. I spent a lot of time with the people who make my world go round this month. when my nephew says ‘kayla, come and look at my trains’ or jumps on the sofa for a cuddle, completely unprompted, my heart just melts. i enjoyed random act of kindness day, spreading some joy to my team, customers and colleagues. my fellow store managers are absolutely bloody angels, there are some real key players and it means so much that i can just pick up the phone to have a rant to people who understand, who know when to tell me im being too hard on myself. special shout out to Mrs Cheeseman because without her at the end of the phone i would have gone mad. i celebrated my nephew turning one. i made new friends. i tried to be more positive. i ran a lot. i made progress. i appreciated a boss who took time to ask if i was ok because i was quiet and it was unlike me. i missed my old boss. i wished i could do nothing but watch musicals on the west end forever more. i tried to let the little things go. i realised i’d rather be anything but ordinary. i realised that really, every thing is a beautiful accident. i realised some people really aren’t worth it. i made progress.

february, thanks.

here’s one second a day.

xoxo

M