Am I ready for T2 Trainspotting?

A friend of mine shared this this morning

She said it was for anyone who had the poster on their wall, obsessively played the soundtrack on their CD player and “lived and breathed this film”. And that was me. I loved the original Trainspotting. It was probably the first film with truly adult themes, that I found and made my own. And I think a lot of my generation felt the same. We were obsessed. At the beauty and the horror. Because after all, what’s more horrifying than real life?

But that was 20 years ago. A long time past. I haven’t watched, or even thought about Trainspotting in years. In fact I think the last time it even crossed my mind, was on hearing that Danny Boyle was directing the Opening Ceremony of the 2012 London Olympics. A fleeting “wasn’t he the guy that directed Trainspotting” moment and I moved on. Because Trainspotting and everything about it lived in the past. My past.

So I was really thrown, when I found they’d made a sequel. A real sequel, with the same cast, playing the same characters dealing with real 21st Century shit, the way the real people do. 20 years on in their lives. I can’t say I was happy or sad or excited or reviled. Thrown really was the best way to describe it. And that surprised me.

Part of me really, really wants to see this film. I watched the trailer and it really does look like it’ll break you and entertain you in equal measure, as much as the first ever did. But part of me really, really doesn’t. That part of me just wants to believe Renton got away and lived happily ever after. I know life doesn’t happen like that, we never truly get to out run our past, but that part of me, that 17 year old, 18 year old part of me, who was innocent and naive and hopeful, she still wants to believe we can break away and start again. This film meant so much to me at the time. It broke my heart and gave me hope. Hope in a time when things were bad in my own life. Not as bad as those depicted in the dirty streets of Glasgow I’ll grant you, but bad enough that I wanted to get away. Far away.

And I almost want to protect her naivety. Let her live in blissful ignorance. That the happy ending is all it was and all it takes. I want to shout at the filmmakers “You pulled me in with my suspension of disbelief long enough to care about these characters. To care that good stuff happened to them. So why are you now trying to show me that actually life happened to them? I don’t want to see Cinderella arguing with Prince Charming or having to take a crap with the door open because the kids are screaming at her. I can see that in real life ‘ta very much!”

Or maybe it’s this quote from Robert Carlyle

“I tell you, this film is going to be quite emotional for people. Because the film sort of tells you to think about yourself. You are going to be thinking: ‘Fuck. What have I done with my life?’”

Robert Carlyle, NME

And maybe I’m just too scared of what the answer might be.

 

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A Teen Dream?

I had a shocker of a time as a teenager. From age 13-16, life sucked. Maybe I’ll write about it one day, but for now let’s just say I wouldn’t go back and do those years again if you paid me in cold hard cash and pretty handbags. When I was 16, things started to change and that was largely due to the people I met, the group that pulled me in and the confidence it gave me. Some of those people are still my closest friends. The kind of ‘don’t speak to for months, then it’s like no time has passed at all’ people. You know the kind.

Anyway I got to talking about these people and that time with new friends this weekend and it got me thinking. I was a teen in the mid 90’s. No one had a mobile phone let alone access to Facebook or Twitter (our school only got internet access in 96. On one computer in the library. That you had to book to use!). If we wanted to find out what was going on in each other’s lives, we had to use the landline (after 6pm) or meet up. In person. We rarely made plans. The summer evenings were for hanging out. But we never made ‘appointments’ or sent iCals. No, we had the ‘circuit’. Our circuit was a network as much any social media platform; only ours was a network of roads, within a self defined area of my home town. Our way of finding each other was to go to those roads. Our plans went as far as “Stay on the circuit. I’ll find you” We didn’t know where each other would be, we just trusted that one or more or us would be there somewhere. And we were.

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6th Form Me circa 1996

Teenagers today would never need to be so haphazard. Every meet up can be planned and re-planned and cancelled and locations changed at the ping of a message on any one of the hundreds of social media platforms available. And that makes me just a little sad. Surely it takes some of the spontaneity and indeed camaraderie out of those fleeting years. Or maybe it doesn’t, who the hell am I? I don’t know any teenagers. I’m just making old people assumptions. But in my eyes everyone using the same platforms and having access to everyone else at all hours makes me wonder if these kids wont lose some of the freedom, the uncertainty, the fun I had growing up? Which may or may not be a bad thing. I mean the only time we ever arranged to all be somewhere in advance was for the occasional party at someone’s house. And they NEVER went well (I mean parts of them were brilliant, but something always went awry, usually caused by the same over hormonal girl – not me may I add!) I bet today’s teens could arrange a much better house party than we ever could. We were so unused to organising that we would whip ourselves up into a ridiculously over excited frenzy. Like toddlers hepped up on sugar. No wonder it always went wrong. Today’s teens are so much more sophisticated than we were. I bet they’d never get so excited over a silly house party.

Or maybe they would? I hope so. I hope today’s kids spend as many hours as I did daydreaming about this month’s favourite guy, or deliberating over which dress to wear to the next party, or playing albums til they know all the words off by heart. I hope they have real friends, who they can muddle through these bonkers years with, people they can be themselves with, whatever that may be. The new friend I was talking with this weekend, was of the opinion that teenagers have been homogenized and that there is no opportunity for sub-cultures to exist or develop any more. I hope that’s not true. An entire generation of teens thinking and doing and being the same thing, is going to result in some fucking boring adults.

Do you have teens? What do they reckon to all of this? Do they think I’m just old and out of touch? I’d love to know.

 

 

Life with Baby Kicks

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

More than just shopping

So last week was a bitch. Apologies if that offends you but I seriously can’t think of a better word to describe it. I’m not sure if it was that Oscar was struggling with being off preschool. The week before had been half term and while he seemed to cope ok with that, this past Monday he had to miss it again, while he had his Speech and Language assessment at my favourite place, Royal Surrey County Hospital. So maybe it was that? Or maybe he was just sick of the sight of me and bored out of his mind. Either way the pair of us just seemed to spend the week miserable. By the time Friday rolled around and it was time for him to go back to preschool we both cheered as we arrived. One day I hope to enjoy my child’s school holidays, but for now I enjoyed it most when it was over.

So anyway last week left me feeling completely battered and in serious need of some time alone. It just so happens that next Saturday we have a weekend away in Devon to celebrate the 60th wedding anniversary of Ben’s maternal grandparents, and blow me if I didn’t need a new dress for the occasion. It’s been a while since I went actual clothes shopping. I mean yeah I got my new jeans recently and the occasional top, but it’s mainly been online or a ‘run in run out while the boys wait in the car’ job. And while it can achieve the same objectives, it just really isn’t the same.

So Saturday morning found me up and ready pretty early. I got the train to Guildford and made the decision on the way, to challenge myself. Since losing over 6 stone, clothes shopping has become much more fun that it ever was, but I do tend to gravitate to stores I know and feel comfortable in. And while I don’t think this is wholly unusual, I decided on Saturday that enough was enough! I was going to go in AND try things on in at least two shops I’d always been too scared to go in before. I mean it sounds rediculous. Who was ever afraid of a shop? I admit I was. But no more.

My first stop was a new Phase Eight store that has opened since my last trip to Guildford. I would never normally go somewhere so dressy, but it was a dress I was looking for, plus I’ve never been there before making it the first of my two ‘new stores’. While their stock was lovely, some of it was much more mother of the bride than I was looking for. I did try a black and white shift dress on, however even in the 18 it squashed my boobs flat – no mean feat in itself. I left, but not disheartened. I was thrilled I’d gone in and tried anything on at all. Sad I know!

The second shop was faithful old Monsoon. You may remember I got my dress for Ben’s Christmas party 2013 there, when I’d been losing weight for less than 6 months. I was thrilled that day to fit into a size 22 and wore that dress with such pride I was bursting (and not out of the dress!!) This time however I tried on a beautiful lace dress in a size 16! I was just as proud, but this time knew I had more possibilities to try. That while this was a beautiful frock, what if there were others out there I could fit in to? Other beautiful dresses still to try on. I left it behind the counter, just in case, and carried on.

The socks really set this Monsoon dress off dontcha think?

The socks really set this Monsoon dress off dontcha think?

Took me days to notice, but my sister in law pointed out how clear my collar bone is

Took me days to notice, but my sister in law pointed out how clear my collar bone is here!

And carry on I did. I checked out Jigsaw and Jack Wills, having been in neither shop before, although I didn’t try anything on as neither had anything that spoke to me. I then tried on three dresses in my beloved Joules, but none were right. I remained too scared to go into LK Bennet, but I think that had more to do with the price tag. What if I fell in love with something and just couldn’t afford it? I decided it was just best to move on!!

I’d been in Anthropologie several times before, in fact I discovered it in the States in 2008 and bought a beautiful leather handbag there, but I’d never bothered to look at their clothes. The biggest size they’d had in anything was a 16, so I’d never had reason to. Before now. Granted a lot of it was not my style. A bit on the Hipster side. And very expensive. I did find one dress in a print I adored, but luckily they didn’t have my size (I just couldn’t have justified the £148 price tag).

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Dress in Anthropologie. Not in my size luckily

But I did try on a couple of things. A grey midi dress with a slash neck and long sleeves (just not me at all) and this shirt. Oh my god this shirt. How gorgeous is this shirt? At home I’m Mama Bear and here I was depicted on a shirt with my Daddy bear and cub! I loved it. And had it fitted better on the bust I’d have paid the £68 they were asking for it. In fact the more I think about it the more I’m tempted to go back and make it fit 😉 !

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The cutest shirt. Damn you big boobs!

It seemed my bust was just against me on Saturday. Nearly everything I tried on was scuppered by my double Fs. I tried on a gorgeous spotty dress in Cath Kidston that, even in a 16, wouldn’t go anywhere near me. Clearly Ms Kidston cuts her clothes for those with a much smaller cup size. I didn’t leave too disheartened though. I did purchase 2.5 meters of the cutest fabric. I’ll have me a Cath Kidston dress even if I have to make it myself*

(*I’m not making it, my amazingly talented husband is. Is there anything this guy can’t turn his hand too. Website one day, summer dress the next!)

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Can you see me in this print?

So taking into account the boob situation I decided to give Pepperberry another whirl. You may remember last year I had no luck at all in the store where everything is cut to fit different chest sizes. Either nothing fitted or the styles were all wrong. But I’m all for second chances, so went in and grabbed a couple I liked the look of. I tried the first one on and that was that. I just knew this was the one. It made me giggle and smile and well you just know don’t you? It’s smart enough for a celebration meal, not not so smart that I look like I’m going to work, fancy enough to feel special, but not so fancy I look like I’m off to meet the queen and sassy enough to suit me, but not so sassy I look inappropriate! And the best bit was the size, a 16, but cut generously over the boobs. Means it can be fitted, but without restricting my lung capacity!! And I already have shoes and a bag to match, so all in all it’s perfect!

I promise I will post a picture of me wearing it after the event, but you know me, I like to keep a special dress for the special day. If you really can’t wait, here’s a picture of the dress on the Pepperberry site.

I spent the rest of the afternoon, well just happy, I guess. Relaxed and a little bit giddy at the same time. I bought a couple more bits in some old faithful shops. Jeans and sweater for Oscar in Next, some soap and shower gel in Lush. If you follow me on social media, you’ll now how much I lamented the come back of 90s fashion everywhere. Man, I wish I’d kept all my teenage wardrobe, I’d be making a killing on eBay right now. And if you ever wore a choker back in the day, guess what, they’re in again. Dig them out, you’ll be right on point! You shouldn’t laugh, but I couldn’t help myself! I went in Topshop for the first time in 19 years and funnily enough very little had changed! Did you know DUNGAREES were back in fashion, god love us!

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But then I realised I hadn’t technically achieved my goal for the day. I’d been in new shops and I’d tried on clothes in familiar shops for the first time, but I needed to bring the two together one more time to complete my challenge. Which is how I came to try on a fabulous coat in Mango. In fact I liked a lot of the stuff in Mango and despite it being a shop I have literally never been in, I definitely would again. Ahh well, next time.

(And did you know Mango had a plus size section on their website? No me neither! Wonder if it’s new. Typical, now I don’t need it!)

Not normally into text on t shirts, but I really liked this

Not normally into text on t shirts, but I really liked this

I may not have had a great week last week, and my weight loss motivation may have been stalling recently, but a day alone, fitting into clothes I’d never dreamt would fit, in stores I was too scared to go in, well it’s cheered me up more than any cake could do. And the feeling of achievement I came home with has seen me through this week too. I wish I could afford to do it more often! I just can’t wait to wear my beautiful Pepperberry dress on Saturday.

I’ll let you know how it goes down with la familia.

xxx

Mama and More