LEAVERS, LEADERS, LOSERS, WEEPERS (Where’s My Irish Passport?)

Whoa! What a week it has been! I Might just leave it there, you all know what I mean. OK, indulge me a little further….

This is not a political opinion piece, so stay with me. I’m not going to furiously argue my view, I’d make a rubbish politician. I’m just observing and commentating (from the back, staying out of trouble, mostly).

So in a week where a Referendum has divided a nation, friendship groups and families, I have found myself feeling pretty low. So, as usual, I am turning to mockery to cheer myself up.

Last Thursday Britain decided to leave Europe, then on Monday England decided to leave Europe. Seriously can everyone just stop leaving Europe? It’s getting embarrassing! Most of it is pretty nice, I know lots of Europeans, they’re good people.

And so, strategically positioned media coverage and social media mayhem has portrayed the British people as a bunch of stupid, unfriendly, neanderthal racists, regardless of whether you voted Leave or Remain. Normally I’d write something flippant after a name calling jibe, like “I’ve been called worse” but in this case, I really really haven’t!

And this historical event was apparently an open invitation to #BringOutYourCrazy. My God it’s been like a madhouse.

All the news coverage is on immigration of course because it’s a ratings-puller. Accompanied with sound bites of Nige saying outrageously ridiculous things (on our behalf *sad face* *shudder*), endless footage of Dave appearing sad & embarrassed and Gove looking like a startled hamster caught in headlights (see image below). “Who me?” ….*Sigh*.

Whether you see Briton’s exit from the EU as a messy disaster or an undiscovered opportunity, I’m just not really sure these are the best people to represent us good folk. I wonder if Rod, Jane and Freddy are available….wait….are they all still alive?

Talking of leaving, Jezza’s not getting the message is he? Like a Toddler being asked to leave the soft play, except all reasonable negotiations have broken down. Do you think he’ll go for a Digestive or are we going to have to up our game and get a Chocolate Hobnob?

My favourite internet thingy this week – BoGo in action….

A Few Observations Before We All Move On:

YOUR VOTE WILL COUNT  – for those now declaring they were confused about this [insert emoji, the one with the shocked faced – ‘HERE’]. It’s just basic maths. Two boxes available, you put a cross in the one you like best and then lots of nice people add them up. Box with the most crosses wins.

So for next time, as you’re highly unlikely to have a f’ing clue which box the other 30 odd million people prefer, you should assume that your vote will make a difference.

POLITICIANS LIE – newsflash people! Yes, I know it’s shocking, isn’t it? Some naughty people just say stuff to get you to like them and then go back on it once they have got where they need to be. Are you new at this? Oh well not to worry, no biggy *smiley face*

WE NEED NEW LEADERS – and quickly. Voting democratically doesn’t seem to be working that well. What else could we do? What about a Wipeout style contest (minus Richard Hammond). If Gove got up on those big red balls I may forgive everything, sod it I might even vote for him.

SOME OF US NEED A LITTLE TIME ON THE NAUGHTY STEP – some of us, when tensions and emotions were high last week, may have made some sweeping statements about the intellect of the Leave voters. Eek… All in jest, I might add but yes ok I’m going to the step and I promise not to get up to tell you I need a wee or a biscuit or that I have a really good idea that you simply must hear right this second.

WE NEED TO STICK TOGETHER – grab a [Leaver] / [Remainer] *delete as appropriate. Ruffle them on the head and come on let’s all be friends. We have a long journey ahead of us and apparently there’s no plan. BoGo filed that under ‘L’ for ‘Let’s do that another day, it’ll all be fine. So we need to stick together.

– The word Tw*t. This fella has shot up massively in popularity in the last week. Good for him, I’m a fan
– The Irish Passport Administration Team. They have no immediate job security worries

– Dave, who now has to pack, everyone hates packing, right? And must explain to his children that they need to leave their massive luxurious mansion…. for another massive luxurious mansion. Sad times….
– England football supporters who voted Remain. Wow! Things can only get better for you guys….

Love as always xx

**Yes I do obviously realise that this situation is quite serious and people are worried about the future. So just in case something really bad happens I reserve the right to un-say all of the above and will gladly refund all readers on this post.

***Yes I am aware that BoGo have now unceremoniously parted company. “Boris, would you like any help with that knife in your back”? But the image is way too hilarious for me to consider removing it.


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Time To Be Brave And Make Things Happen….

I started writing a blog 8 weeks ago. Here are a few things I have learnt in that time, about myself, blogging and life in general.

The last 2 months have been an extraordinary personal journey of discovery for me. Yes, I started writing a blog, but that’s just one part of it. Something changed, I’m still not sure quite what, but it is good. I have stopped looking at other people and thinking “I’d like to do that” or “I’d like to be more like that”. I’m trying to make positive things happen for me by being proactive and brave. It’s slow progress but there is progress and that’s the only thing that matters.

I feel like this is my time to figure out what I want to be when I grow up…..

Things I have learnt about blogging in the last 8 weeks:

The blogging community is full of lovely people. You’d think people would be cliquey and possessive of their space, a space that as a newbie I just invaded. But they’re not. There are millions of blogs out there, which makes it feel like an uphill battle but everyone is very welcoming and supportive, it’s a great place to hang out.

You could spend all day on Twitter, I mean ALL DAY. Tweeting, retweeting, sharing, liking, linking, it’s exhausting!!! I have a day job so obviously I don’t do this ALL DAY but it’s key to marketing your blog and trying to get your voice heard. As a Marketer myself, I would say just spend the time you do have wisely, in areas where you know you can connect with people in your target audience. Ooh, look at me, giving out advice at just 8 weeks in…….. *rolls eyes*

Looking around you is good. My most favourite thing so far to come out of writing a blog is that it has forced me to stop and look around. I need to figure out what to say each week, so I do research but mostly it’s observational. I have started to put down my phone, turn off my music and watch the world. Watch people (not in a weird way), listen to conversations, notice things around me. It’s honestly wonderful, I highly recommend it. In the words of Ferris Bueller (…. I love this movie)

Life moves pretty fast. If you don't stop and look around once in a while, you could miss it.

Things I have learnt about myself in the last 8 weeks:

I love writing, I mean I LOVE it. I can’t believe that I discovered something new (out of nowhere) that I love doing. I encourage you all to try something new, anything, get out of your comfort zone. Do it and do it now. If that’s not enough encouragement for you then check out the Shia Labeouf video at the bottom of this piece (well I want you to read the rest don’t I). It’s not only hilarious but it might be just what you need right now!

A good opportunity came my way last week, an opportunity that wouldn’t have been possible if I hadn’t of put myself out there and taken a leap of faith 8 weeks ago.

My inner monologue is VERY loud. Jesus, I thought writing stuff down would help but I think it’s made it worse! I do wish I’d pipe down sometimes. It’s got so bad that occasionally I can’t remember if I’ve had an ‘out loud’ conversation with an actual person or if it’s just the voices in my head.


….Who said that?

Things I have learnt about life in general in the last 8 weeks:

If you don’t ask you don’t get. An old one but so true. This is about confidence and seizing the moment, something I’m trying to do much more these days. If you want some help or you think there might be an opportunity for you somewhere, go and ask about it. The worst thing the person can say is no. Then you’re no worse off than you were before.

I asked two friends this week to help me with some things for this blog, things that will take them some time to complete. They both accepted enthusiastically and were pleased that I came to them (for which I am hugely grateful). Me from a few months ago would not have asked this question, I would have felt like I was putting them out and asking too much. They are both very talented in their fields so this would have been a massive missed opportunity for me.

‘Winging It’ (to start with anyway) is totally ok. People think that just because you write stuff down and publish it, you must know what you’re doing and be a really confident person. I am not confident about writing at all but I keep going because a few months or more down the line I envision this changing. I’ve learnt that appearing confident is a big step towards actually feeling it. I’m also learning something new every day at the moment, which is exciting and massively rewarding. How many of you can say the same thing? When was the last time you learnt something new?

Know your priorities. Writing about my own journey & thinking about the future has reinforced for me that family is the most important thing, don’t ever lose sight of that, whatever crossroad you come to.

Last few (random) learnings:

Donald Trump needs to shut the f*ck up.

The song I have been joyfully singing along to for weeks now – “Angels On My Side” is Rick Astley!!! I literally had no idea until the other day! #HowDidIMissThat?

Oh and don’t eat yellow snow (but everyone knows that, right?)

Much Love xxx

Thank you to Dan @Don’t Believe The Hype for getting all Shia Labeouf on my ass and telling me to JUST DO IT.

Amazingly brilliant – Shia Labeouf JUST DO IT video




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Crisis In Confidence

Self-doubt can be crippling. Call on friends, you know which ones, to help you fight this battle.

This week has not been a good week. Out of 10, I’d give it a meagre 3 and 2 of those points are just for not falling over or something equally as embarrassing in my first client presentation.

After being away from my job for a whole year, coming back and just ‘getting on with it’ is actually quite hard. Lots of things have changed, the world didn’t stand still whilst I populated it with one more person. My confidence has taken a real knock. What if I don’t know what I’m talking about anymore? What if someone asks me a question I can’t answer? Can I still deliver what everyone expects whilst managing a busy family life as well?

And then I thought about this blog. Should I carry on writing? It actually takes quite a lot of effort and therefore time. It’s not like it’s been a lifelong passion that I’m finally living out or anything like that. This just happened, I started writing 6 weeks ago, having not ever previously considered it. So I could just let it disappear into nothing, as quickly as it arrived.

Urgghh, but something inside me doesn’t want to let go of it, like a child with a new toy. Mine, mine, mine MINE! Back off self-doubt.

It has ignited something in me that I didn’t know existed. It gives me a real buzz, much like photography does. For me, photography is about capturing a moment, which means anyone can do it, on any kind of equipment. But when you get that shot, the shot that tells the exact story you want it to, it’s just an immense feeling. And to my utter surprise, this is how I’m also feeling about writing.

I’m not winning a Pulitzer prize for my photography anytime soon and it’s the equivalent with words. I know my writing is not ‘technically’ good, as I use an online editing tool that insists on frequently telling me so. It says things like:-

6 of your 20 sentences are hard to read

2 of your 20 sentences are very hard to read

6 adverbs, aim for 5 of fewer

I don’t know what to do with that? I will endeavour to learn of course. I want to be better but I also don’t want to stop whilst that process happens.

Another reason I don’t want to stop despite the aforementioned disapproval is that I remembered something a client said to me about 2 years ago. He said, “You’re funny Michelle because you write emails exactly the same way as you talk”. I think he meant I am informal and I will often, for people I know well, forgo any kind of greeting and get straight to the point. Unlike my Dad for example, who still starts every email to me with ‘Dear Michelle’. And then precedes to send me a text message to tell me he has sent me an email (which makes me smile, every time). Sorry, I digress……

The point of bringing that up is because it’s exactly what my blog is, it’s just me talking, I am starting a conversation here. This is just me, talking to just you and that’s what I like about it. This isn’t fictional writing where I’m trying to create a new universe for you to immerse yourself in and forget about normality. It’s quite the opposite in fact. This is just normal life. I want to write about things that people can actually relate to because real life provokes real emotions.

Whilst it’s not perfect, (I am quite self-aware, don’t worry) if we were having a face to face conversation I’m not going to stop half way through to Google synonyms to make myself sound clever am I? So I won’t here either. This is as clever as it’s going to get people!

I spoke to a good friend in the week whilst wading knee-deep through self-doubt. The kind of friend that you don’t talk to really regularly but when you do they give you a warm fuzzy feeling inside. We have the type of conversations that are worth waiting for.

He told me to “get out of my own way”….What a brilliant analogy, I am banking that for later use.

It’s a good point though and I do need to be told occasionally. Because it’s true isn’t it, sometimes you are the only person stopping yourself.

So for now, I am giving Michelle a swift elbow to the ribs. I am re-reading some of the positive comments I have had so far as they are affording me just enough momentum and confidence to carrying on.

Stay with me…….?