Saturday, 30 June 2012

The thing about getting older


The thing about getting older is that it's a surprise.

When I was in my teens the idea of growing old hardly impacted on my thoughts and anyone over the age of 30 seemed old and people over 40 were positively ancient.

In my 20s I felt invincible, like my story was only just beginning and life held so much promise. Men, careers, babies, travel...all waiting to be had.

In my 30s I started to feel a sense of panic. On my thirtieth birthday I cried all day: I was in a a bad relationship and my biological clock was ticking. I knew things had to change if I was going to have those longed for children, so the old relationship ended and a new one began.

By my 40s I had my much wanted children, but otherwise life was messy. By 42 I was divorced and a single parent.

Now I'm in my 50s and I can't believe it. How the hell did that happen? I'm older than the Prime Minister for crissakes! My brain knows I'm 51 but when I try to type my age my fingers automatically punch out 41 before having to correct it.

The thing is, in my head I'm still 27. I still have the same slightly warped sense of humour, the same sense of the ridiculous I had then. Unfortunately I also have middle-aged spread and a dodgy back.

I've become accustomed to seeing a strange, baggy face in the mirror that doesn't seem to belong to me but follows me everywhere. Just last week I saw two old school friends in the supermarket and was shocked at how old they looked. Then, with a jolt, I caught sight of my own reflection in the shop window.

I'm now the oldest person in my workplace which slightly freaked me out when I realised. How can I be the oldest? And, more worrying, how can I be old enough to be the mother of some of my colleagues?

When you begin a sentence with the words "Who remembers that TV show/song/news story about..." and you're met with blank stares you know you're getting on a bit. And yet, and yet....I don't feel old but things keep happening that seem to slap me in the face with the ugly truth.

I went to a colleagues 80s fancy-dress party recently but I didn't recognise the neon, netted tutu skirts worn by several of the (younger) women as being 80s style. Where were the power-suits, the big earrings and even bigger hair? When I was asked what it was really like in the 80s, I realised I was the only person there who was actually an adult in that decade.

I have no idea what my 50s will bring but I'm hoping for some adventure and some much needed excitement from my usual staid existence. But that would mean actively doing something about it and, well, there are so many distractions. Or should that be 'procrastinations'?

In the last few years I've lost both my parents and, when my one remaining, elderly uncle passes on, I'll then be at the top of my family's mortality ladder, and that's a terrifying thought.

The other thing about getting older is the sudden sense of panic. I have so many things I want for the rest of my life, but have no idea how to achieve them anymore.

One of the questions I ask myself all the time is will I ever find love again? It's a huge sadness that my marriage didn't work out, and also that even if I were to marry again I'm unlikely to ever celebrate a silver wedding anniversary. It's a strange thing to feel sad about things that may lie ahead, or not as the case may be.

So, what have I learned so far in my 50+ years? Well, I know that life is too short to wear uncomfortable shoes; that dogs are much easier to get along with than men; there are no quick ways to lose weight ; people don't fundamentally change; if you're old enough to have worn the fashion the first time around you shouldn't wear it the second time; men have a tendency to say they are taller than they actually are; and regrets are a waste of energy. That's it pretty much, everything is still a complete mystery to me.

Friday, 29 June 2012

The one where I giveaway football coaching, postcards, hobbits and knickers.

I've got a few lovely treats to share you.

First up, you may or may not know that the film version of The Hobbit is due to be released on the 14th December, so there's till time to read the book! I first read it when I was about 10, and then again when I was in my teens and both of my daughters have read it so I'm sure we'll be watching the film when it comes out.



For those of you don't know the story (is there anyone who doesn't?) it's about Bilbo Baggins, a peace loving hobbit.

Bilbo enjoys a quiet and contented life, with no desire to travel far from the comforts of home; then one day the wizard Gandalf and a band of dwarves arrive unexpectedly and enlist his services – as a burglar – on a dangerous expedition to raid the treasure-hoard of Smaug the dragon. Bilbo’s life is never to be the same again…

If you'd like to introduce this magical story to your children, I have two copies to giveaway. Details on how to get a copy is at the bottom of this post.

Some of the best ideas are the simple ones and Cards in the Post is a genius idea - it's a new website where you get to design your own postcards and send them anywhere in the world. So now you can dig out all those great photos sitting on your hard-drive and send them to friends and family as a postcard.  I sent myself a sample to check the quality, and I'm honestly delighted with the card. It's a good card stock and the photo looks great. Just look at Tessie's little face!

The price for each card includes processing, printing and a First Class or Airmail stamp to get the card to its destination as quickly as possible. You create a postcard. They print it and put it in the post. Simple.

And the very lovely people at Cards in the Post (set up by two friends by the way, it's not a big multinational!) are offering you 25% off the price of any card just enter the voucher code 'notSupermumSpecial' at the checkout. Plus 6 lucky people will get free use of the site to send up to 6 postcards each - that'll sort you out for a few thank you cards and holiday postcards  - keep reading for details of how to get hold of them!

Watch out for a competition on their Facebook page very soon.


Next up, how about a voucher for a day's football coaching for one child and a friend at one of the Powerleague sports centres. Powerleague have centres up and down the country so it's easy to find the one nearest to you, and with the summer holidays coming up it could be just the thing to keep one of your little angels happy during the looooong summer break.

Yes, this really is my bottom...
As a blogger I'm used to getting unusual stuff sent to me through the post, and yesterday I opened a jiffy bag to find a (very nice) pair of knickers. As you do. Always Dailies has teamed up with Figleaves to offer the first 2,000 customers  20% off their first order and a free pair of these stylish purple knickers. Ooh la la!


And finally, if you're thinking of taking your family out for a meal this weekend please consider going to Frankie & Benny's. A waiter who works at one of their restaurants has a beautiful five-year-old daughter called Susanna who suffers from Cerebral Palsy. He and his wife are desperately trying to raise money to send Susanna to Missouri in the US for a life changing operation that will enable her to walk unaided. The operation has a 100% success rate. They have so far raised £15K but it’s been a struggle and there is a long way to go as they need £60,000 in total.

Frankie & Benny’s is embarking on a nationwide fundraising weekend on Saturday 30th June/Sunday 1st July in every single one of their restaurants where they will donate £3.95 from every child’s meal purchased.

If you'd like to win either a copy of The Hobbit, the free postcards or the football coaching voucher please leave a comment specifying which one you'd like receive. And because I'm nice, you can ask for more than one.

I will select the winners next Friday 6th July.

Terms and conditions: there is no cash alternatives. UK entries only. If winners do not get in touch within 7 days I will select a new winner. I will select the winners randomly, and my decision is final.
This post is sponsored.

Monday, 25 June 2012

Dealing with stress ~ live online help


This is a sponsored post

Stress. It's something many of us are familiar with, and it's an increasing problem in the workplace with many people taking time off work with it. 

A certain amount of stress can be good for us, although I think it would be better described as positive pressure rather than stress. Some people (and that includes me) need a certain amount of pressure to get things done - a deadline that pushes them to finish the task.

Stress, however, is a different animal. Stress is when we take on too much or, for different reasons, are unable to cope and the side-effects, such as headaches, insomnia, exhaustion, depression and impaired judgement, can be at best difficult and at worst completely debilitating.

I've had some very stressful times in my life when things have been too much for me, and I've struggled to cope. Many years ago I had a job that involved daily deadlines and although I thrived on the 'rush' of meeting the deadlines everyday, after a while I started to notice that I was getting pains across my shoulders, bad headaches and I developed a rash on my face and neck. Not long after those initial symptoms appeared, I had a complete physical breakdown - I was taken to hospital with exhaustion and had to take 6 weeks off work.

I was lucky because I was paid for the time off, but there's plenty of people who don't get paid for sick leave. So, dealing with stress is something we need to be aware of and noticing the early warning signs can help us to look for ways to change the amount of stress in our lives. For me, I know that things are getting too stressful when I feel that tingling feeling across my shoulders although trying to address the causes of the stress isn't always as straightforward.

Half a million people in the UK believe work-related stress is affecting their health so it’s no surprise that many of us are so aware of it  - which is why AXA PPP healthcare is putting its’ expert health knowledge to good in a dedicated online health clinic on stress. Anyone with questions on stress or the  effect it can have on the body can get their questions answered live on the day. Here are the details:

• Dr Mark Winwood, the clinical director for psychological health for AXA PPP healthcare’s specialist Health Service division will be providing live support for anyone with questions on stress from 1pm – 3.30pm on Thursday the 28th of June.

• This online clinic will primarily focus on stress and its effects on the body. Left unaddressed, stress and anxiety can negatively affect our mental and physical health.

• Once the live chat is over, participants can continue to find good online resources on stress on the be healthy section of the AXA PPP website, here and here.

• Anyone who can’t make it to AXA PPP’s web discussion on Thursday 28 June can get in touch through Facebook or Twitter, and AXA PPP will get back to them with a response from Dr Winwood a few days after the online clinic ends.

I intend asking a question of my own: I'd like to know what's the best way to deal with the first signs of stress. We all have to deal with stressful situations in life, but what's the best way to stop it developing into something we can no longer deal with?

Guest post: Style advice from the Online Stylist

I've been thinking about clothes and fashion more than I usually do, and instead of  my usual habit of  just throwing on the first clean/ironed outfit I can find, I'm actually trying to plan my outfits in advance. Hand on heart I can't say I always achieve that, but I am trying to make more of an effort.

Shortly after I wrote the post about my life as a slob I decided to contact some of my favourite fashion/style bloggers and ask for their help. First up is a blogger who has really reinvented herself. After years working in finance Amanda used a career break to set up a blog which has since developed into The Online Stylist, and I was thrilled when she agreed to write a guest post on the subject of capsule pieces. Over to Amanda.



I was really pleased when notSupermum asked me to do a guest post for her style advice series as she was one of the first people who used to read my old blog, 39 And Counting. If memory serves, we bonded over a post about a broken heel on my Louboutins…I think most women could sympathise with the pain of that!

When I read her post about dressing for comfort, I found myself nodding along  - it’s something that I hear lots of people say. After all, who wants to be tugging at their clothing in despair all day when you have a million and one things to do?

Whilst NSM referred to herself as “becoming a bit of a slob” which I’m sure is somewhat on the harsh side, I don’t think comfort has to mean slobbiness. My first piece of advice would be to persevere in finding brands that offer easy pieces that fit your shape really well and make you feel good by camouflaging your least favourite parts.

I’m a huge fan of draped jersey but it has to of a good heavy quality so that it falls away rather than clings. Try Isabella Oliver 365 – every season they bring out stunning collections with form and function.

Classic Wrap Dress by 365 Collection
NSM also replied to someone in the comments section that she’s planning on losing some weight and in the meantime is “dressing like a slob”. My advice would be never do this – go out and buy a couple of things now that you feel good in…and wear them! The boost that knowing you look your very best ends up becoming a self-fulfilling prophecy. It kind of reminds me of the saying “Dress for the job you want, not the job you have”. I think if you feel good, it can help you achieve all your goals.

I’m writing NSM a shopping list for the top three basics to get her started now - they include:

A dress to wear during the day – keep it casual if dresses aren’t the norm but go for a good, nipped in at the waist fit. She mentions having a fuller bust so I’d advise more of a dipped V neckline. You don’t have to go too low but it’s better than something that goes straight across the neckline. This classic wrap dress has been all over the press for its ability to flatter every figure.
Black Drape Collar Jacket from
 Dorothy Perkins
A jacket to throw on on cooler days – look at the other pieces you’ve decided to keep and make sure the jacket works with those too. Try a more casual looking blazer that you can push the sleeves up. This one, £40 at Dorothy Perkins, has a slightly nipped in waist and could be dressed up or down.

To get over the legging phobia buy some slim fit, cropped trousers to wear with the tunics you’re keeping. Better and smarter than leggings and far more flattering with longer line tunic tops. Wear with a lower wedge sandal to add height and elegance. These stretch slim leg trousers, £25 at Wallis won’t break the bank.

Black Slim Leg Trousers
at Wallis
When you’re out shopping, don’t do it all in a rush. Take time to experiment with styles you’ve never tried on before – you never know what you’ll find that suits.  Experiment with accessories – for me I find cuffs and a cocktail ring always works but others love a necklace – find what works for you and build up a small collection of favourites.

And above all….don’t save the good stuff for best – hang it up and wear it now!



The Online Stylist offers a Style Advice Service where Amanda will personally select outfits from online retailers to fit your specifications.

Friday, 15 June 2012

Looking for inspiration

Just recently I've been googling the same thing over and over again: inspirational quotations.

And today I found a great website that has plenty of them.

Here's a few of my favourites.






Tuesday, 12 June 2012

The new BlackBerry 9320 or how to make The Teenager very, very happy

This is a sponsored post
The BlackBerry Curve 9320
Every now and then I get asked to review something that I know will make the Teenager squeal with delight, so when I was contacted recently to see if we'd like to test drive the brand-spanking-new BlackBerry Curve 9320 I knew it was going to be one of those times. Of course I made the huge mistake of telling her that the phones were on the way and she drove me crazy kept asking when we would get them, so it was a blessed relief when the parcel finally arrived!


We're a family of BlackBerry users - all three of us have them and the Teenager seems to be on BBM all the time - so this model is perfect for her with its dedicated BBM button.  Anyhow, I'm not going to witter on because I'll let the Teenager take you through the highs and lows of the 9320:

The Teenager
I had been using the BlackBerry 8520 before this new one arrived, and it's so much better.

What the I liked about the 9320:
  • it has a faster internet connection and is easier to use;
  • the icons on the screen are more colourful and look much better compared to my old phone;
  • the QWERTY keyboard is easy to use, and the raised keys mean I can type messages much faster than before;
  • this model is slimmer than my old one and looks really good;
  • the BBM key is genius, and means I can read a message quickly without returning to the menu.

What I didn't like:  the battery doesn't last as long as I'd like it to.
So, as you can see the Teenager is very impressed with the new phone, although from my point of view it wasn't that much of a departure from my 9360 - it has the same pleasing styling, along with the excellent keyboard that I'm used to and a 3.2mp camera that gives impressive results.

The big plus for me was the introduction of the built-in FM radio. I admit to being a radio freak: I love having it on wherever I am, and it means I can now listen to the radio when I'm walking the dog (without using any of my data allowance.)

And, just in case you're into your social networking I believe you can also download the Facebook and Twitter apps *cough* although I'm far too busy to do that....

If you're concerned about your child's online safety, there's a new Parental Controls feature that's been introduced to allow parents and carers to restrict access to certain functions and features as and when necessary.

There's a lot to love about the BlackBerry 9320, and I think they've made it very appealing to teenagers and a young audience....but some of the, erm,  more mature customers love it too.



The new BlackBerry Curve 9320 is available from O2, Carphone Warehouse, T Mobile and Orange from free, price dependent on carrier.  The Curve 9320 is also available from O2 for £149.99 on Pay and Go; on Carphone Warehouse on pre-pay for £119.95 (upgrades) and £129.95 on new connections. 

Disclosure: we received the phones free of charge for review purposes, but the opinions are our own.

Monday, 11 June 2012

Daddy I've fallen for a monster - what the hell sort of song is this?!

Driving home after picking up my two daughters, a song comes on Radio 2.  The song is called Black Heart, you might have heard it.

Tall Daughter says how much she likes this song, and at first I thought the singer had a great voice.

Then I started listening to the lyrics...

I don’t like it when you break me honey
why’d you have to do that?
tell me when you make these tears keep fallin’
do you feel like a man?

I start thinking, "What on earth is this song about?"...

figure figure, there’s no working you out whatsoever
only one way i could sum you up all together
you got a black heart
daddy i’ve fallen for a monster
somehow he’s scaring me to death
ah yes he is
he’s big and he’s bad
i love him like mad
mamma he’s the best i ever had
daddy i’ve fallen for a monster
he got a black heart

So, it's a song about a man who treats her really badly but she stills loves him? OMFG!!

I can't tell you how much I detest this infuriatingly catchy song! What are we telling our children - that's it's ok that he's a monster because she loves him? That abuse in relationships is somehow acceptable because this woman is singing a song about it? How ridiculous and totally irresponsible. And not for one minute do I think it's 'just a song' - it's a song with a message and it's completely the wrong message and one I don't want my 12 year old, impressionable daughter singing along to.

What next, a song about how rape isn't all that bad?

It's on the Radio 2 A list (why? Doesn't anyone check the lyrics of songs?) which means it gets played between 15 - 20 times a week, and no doubt other radio stations are playing it too.

And yes, I've already complained.

Sunday, 10 June 2012

Nowhere to turn


This weekend has been a really difficult one - extremely difficult, and I feel like a complete failure as a parent. But it's also made me acutely aware of how isolated I've become, to the point where I don't have anyone I could turn to. It's at times like this that I really miss the common-sense advice my Mum would give me.

So, instead, I would usually turn to my blog and ask for advice from the many amazing parent bloggers who have helped me in the past.

BUT.

The reasons for the difficult weekend are, as you might imagine, very personal and I no longer feel the sense of security that once came with writing on here.  Since my anonymity was diluted not so long ago I've started to self-edit , and there have been a few times in the past couple of months when I've drafted a post and then decided that no, I couldn't post it.

There's a world of difference between publishing something when you're a so-called anonymous blogger to writing something once your anonymity has been compromised and your neighbours, colleagues or acquaintances being able to read it.

This weekend I've spent some time on the Parent Bloggers' forum on FB and have had some really helpful words of support and advice, but I still miss being able to use my blog for exactly this sort of thing.
I'm torn between closing down this blog altogether and starting afresh, or just maintaining it and keeping it a bit less personal. Either way, it's not ideal. I've worked hard on this blog for 4 years and I'm not sure if I want to start again, but then again I loved it when I was anonymous and could write pretty much anything. It was my santuary, my safe place to rant and rave, and it's probably saved me a fortune in therapy sessions, and I really miss that.

One thing is certain: things can't go on as they are, both at home and on here.

Thursday, 7 June 2012

My life as a slob



So far this month I've spent more than average on clothes. I don't like clothes shopping, it depresses me, but somehow I've managed to spend more than I normally do on a variety of nice tops. And for 'nice' read 'safe'. Safe because I don't really know what to buy anymore....I've got to a point where I have a wardrobe full of similar clothes, mostly unworn.

I'm now 51, and have fallen into the trap of always dressing for comfort. Always. Okay, maybe once a year I'll venture something out of my comfort zone (heels?) or I'll dress up a little, but other than that it's comfort all the way.

And not just comfort either. Truth is I've become a bit of a slob.

For work I try to be reasonably tidy and smart, but I have a set of clothes that get worn week in and week out, for practical reasons apart from anything else. And despite my best laid plans to always have my outfit ready the night before, I occasionally have to search for something in the morning that is a) clean, and b) doesn't need ironing. Not good.

And weekends? Ahh, yes, that's my relaxing time. And for 'relaxing' I mean of course, slobbing out. I usually grab something that's sort of clean and maybe not too wrinkly, because - hey - nobody's going to be looking at me going about my business at weekends are they? Right. Except when I'm in my finest slobby clothes - the really special ones with missing buttons and a drooping hem - that's when I meet people I know. Of course it is!

So today I looked through my bags of newly purchased clothes, hung them in the wardrobe and sorted my clothes into sections. Dresses (five in total, 3 of them unworn); trousers - too numerous to count, mostly black or dark colours; tops - way too many, and quite a few with the tags still on. Only one skirt, black again.

I also filled up two large bags full of clothes I haven't worn for years, and clothes that I really shouldn't be wearing. I put in my favourite baggy cardigans, trousers and tops that get worn at home and when I'm just 'nipping to the supermarket'. They've all gone to the local textile recycling bin, and not before time either. I wouldn't be surprised if they were rejected by the recycling centre and returned to me.

Putting outfits together is definitely my bĂȘte noire. There's no doubting that I have a lot of clothes, but not many outfits - and I wear the same things over and over again.  And finding new looks isn't easy either. There seems to be a huge amount of tunics and longer tops in the shops at the moment, which I imagine are meant to be worn with leggings, but I think there comes an age and a dress size (both of which apply to me) that should forbid the wearing of leggings - so where does that leave me?

I'm hoping to get some advice from some of my favourite fashion and style bloggers and have been busy sending emails asking for advice in the form of guest posts.  It's so easy to fall into a style rut, and I could do with some words of wisdom. I'm keeping my fingers crossed!

What's your best style tip?

Monday, 4 June 2012

This month's round-up featuring Tall Daughter, Tessie and a chance to win a prize

This is a sponsored post, but as always all opinions are my own.

We've been some interesting things to try out recently, and because I'm slightly behind on the reviewing I'm going to do a round-up of the best of the bunch.  Here we go.

My Tall Daughter and Tessie mousemat
First up, I was offered the chance to have a favourite photo turned into a canvas print or one of the many other products on offer at Snapfish. I chose a small canvas print of Tall Daughter, primarily because she had been nagging asking me to get her one and suffice to say she is chuffed with it, and it now has pride of place in her new bedroom.

I also ordered a photo mouse-mat and (because don't we all have digital photos that never get printed out?) several photo prints. The service was excellent and I received the products very quickly, and everything was really top-notch quality.  Suffice to say, I've already made two extra photo print orders from Snapfish!

Next up, we were sent a voucher to try out the range of Good Natured fruit, veg and salads a long time ago....so long ago, in fact, that I'm embarrassed to admit it. But better late than never.
Good Natured use only natural predators (good bugs) to control pests (bad bugs) and disease, and so the range is completely pesticide residue free.

Personally, I'm always concerned by the number of chemicals used on salad products so it's reassuring to know that this range offers pesticide free tomatoes, aubergines, cucumbers and peppers as well as their range of fruits.
I like making soup in the colder months, but  how about the summer? Here's Good Natured's recipe for gazpacho:

Good Natured Gazpacho
Serves 4-6
1 kg ripe Good Natured Tantalising Tomatoes, roughly chopped 3 cloves garlic, peeled and chopped 4 spring onions, trimmed and chopped 1 red Good Natured Perfect Pepper, deseeded and chopped ¾ Good Natured Cool Cucumber, chopped 75ml extra virgin olive oil 2 tbsp red wine vinegar Seasoning 1 avocado, peeled de-stoned and chopped 4 eggs, softly boiled
 1. Place the tomatoes, garlic, spring onions, red pepper and cucumber into a food processor or blender, and blend until finely chopped.
2. While the machine is still running, slowly pour in the olive oil and red wine vinegar.
3. Season and taste then add a little more vinegar or oil if you think it needs it. Chill until needed.
4. Serve in shallow bowls, garnished with chopped avocado and halved softly boiled eggs.


Tessie was the recipient of a rather large box recently, which contained a rucksack with her name on it (cute!) some play balls  and 6 weeks supply of the Pedigree Joint Care+ chew sticks.

I was asked to keep a record of her progress over the 6 weeks to see if her mobility improved. Unfortunately, the timing wasn't great as she's been quite ill due to problems with arthritis and osteomyelitis, an acute bone infection, in her feet. But happily, she's now on the mend and enjoying her Joint Care+ treats.

If you want to ask the Pedigree team any questions they are on twitter @wearefordogs and Facebook.


And finally, we have a film review and a giveaway! We were sent a copy of Journey 2 The Mysterious Island to review, and then lo and behold a second copy arrived with a little activity pack, so I've decided to give it away! I'm all heart, me. Here's the official blurb for the film:

In this follow-up to the 2008 worldwide hit “Journey to the Center of the Earth,” the new 3D family adventure “Journey 2: The Mysterious Island” begins when young Sean Anderson (Josh Hutcherson, reprising his role from the first film) receives a coded distress signal from a mysterious island where no island should exist. It’s a place of strange life forms, mountains of gold, deadly volcanoes, and more than one astonishing secret. Unable to stop him from going, Sean’s new stepfather, Hank (Dwayne Johnson), joins the quest. Together with a helicopter pilot (Luis Guzman) and his beautiful, strong-willed daughter (Vanessa Hudgens), they set out to find the island, rescue its lone inhabitant and escape before seismic shockwaves force the island under the sea and bury its treasures forever.

So, Tall Daughter has watched and reviewed the film:

I like that it's an adventure themed film, and it has lots of action in it. I like the Rock, and he’s good in it. There are some really funny bits in it. The setting was alright but in some scenes you can tell a green screen has been used. Some parts were a little bit predictable but I really enjoyed it.

Over all I think it was a really good film. I would recommend this film to both boys and girls from the ages 6/7 and up.

I'm awarding it 4 popcorns out of 5.

The prize includes a Triple Play Blu-ray, DVD and digital copy of the PG rated film; some dinosaur tattoos - temporary of course, and a Mysterious Island Growing Hatching Lizard* (I don't think it's a real lizard, but I'm not making any promises.) 
If you'd like to enter the draw to win please leave a comment saying Pick Me! and I'll do a random draw at the end of the week. And please, leave an email or twitter address so I can get in touch!

*UPDATE* The winner of the film and activity pack is Ness @baggiesbabe69 - congratulations. Please email your details and I'll get the prize sent out to you. Thanks to everyone else who entered.
Note:  there is no cash alternative. UK entries only. I will choose the winner randomly and my decision is final. If the winner does not respond within 7 days on close of entry, I will choose a new winner. *Not suitable for children under 5.

Things the Queen has never said

Image credit: scaryduck

One fancies a fish-finger sandwich for tea.

OMG, one needs some new shoes but it's two weeks until payday.

It's not one's turn to unload the dishwasher!

Ugh, don't get me in the photo, one hates being photographed.

Do you think the band could play some AC/DC? They're one's favourite.

Oh bugger, the dress one wanted to wear is still in the wash.

Philip, just ring them up and say we can't make it to the Royal Variety performance because one has a headache.

Go and ask the neighbours to turn that bloody music down.

Do you think we can afford a new car?

We don't give nearly enough dinner parties, Philip.

There's too much month left at the end of the money.

One hasn't got a thing to wear.

One thinks Beatrice has the most exquisite taste in hats.

Right, one is taking a sickie.

One thinks Kate is a right porker.