All posts filed under: Grenglish

Parents Who Judge Other Parents

As parents, many of us have been on the receiving end of well-meaning parenting advice at some point and often from people who don’t have children of their own. Before I had my son, I certainly had my own idea of the kind of mum I would be; and now that I am one, the reality couldn’t be further away. I was going to be the parent with the well-behaved child, who ate everything on his plate, had impeccable manners and never a hair out-of-place. I was NEVER going to give him a dummy (I lasted 3-weeks), he was only going to eat fresh, locally sourced, organic food (pizza is our friend) and I would remain calm, patient and never raise my voice to him, EVER (hahahahahaha). None of us are perfect, but we are all doing the best we can with what we know. It is for the parent and child to work out such details as potty training methods, ways to discipline and breast or bottle feeding, together.  There is more than one way …

The Ghosts of Friendships Past

I read in The New York Times that Charlize Theron ended her relationship with Sean Penn by ‘ghosting’ him. Ghosting is a term used to describe a way of ending a romantic relationship by cutting off all contact and ignoring the former partner’s attempts to reach out. While I have no idea if the article is true, the act of vanishing from someone’s life without explanation seems to me a little harsh. Or is it? While I do not recall ghosting any past boyfriends, I am sure I have ghosted one or two platonic friendships over the years, although I did not know there was an actual term for it at the time. In my twenties, I approached new friends like an excited puppy, bounding towards them, wagging my tail and licking their face.  Inevitably, a few weeks later when we had run out of things to talk about, or wine, I would realise that we actually had nothing in common at all… and so the slow fade would begin. While remaining nice and cheery in tone, I would suddenly be briefed on a big work project that meant …

Are you a Radiator or a Drain online?

I think it was Oprah Winfrey who once said that people can be divided into two camps – radiators and drains.  Radiators beam warmth, kindness, love, happiness and enthusiasm. They smile when you walk into a room, are genuinely interested in others and make you feel good about yourself. Radiators bring out the very best in people. Drains have a more negative outlook on life and their glass is always half-empty. They can be self-absorbed, demanding and will often TAKE TAKE TAKE without ever giving anything back. Drains zap your energy levels with their constant need for reassurance and leave you feeling totally diminished. Drains are toxic. Over the years, I like to think I have got pretty good at differentiating between the two and tend to steer clear of mood hoovers. However, I have been less careful about letting drains into my online world and I have recently noticed that my timeline has become infested with them. Online drains take to twitter to complain that someone else just got sent a packet of biscuits and they did not. They DM people to ask how they got …

In Your Face

I looked at myself in the mirror yesterday, not just to guide a face wipe over day-old mascara or while absent-mindedly brushing my hair, but I really looked at myself. I examined my face from grey-roots to neck.  I pulled at my cheeks, lifted the skin around my eyes and turned my mouth up and down. Who was this woman staring back at me, the one with the silver stripe along her crown and a forehead that wrinkled when she strained to take a closer look? Her skin looks redder than I remember and when I stretch it this way and that, it takes a few seconds to fall back into place.  Both her eyebrows are flecked with grey and she appears to be growing a third… on her chin.  Her eyes look a bit bleary, probably because she had two glasses of wine the night before; and the dark circles beneath them are there because she never sleeps well after wine. It is me, but not the me I remember. The last time I looked, really looked, my skin seemed brighter, …

As Good As It Gets

When you are a young child, you talk about what you would like to be when you grow up. You dream big – astronaut, writer, doctor, fireman, landscape gardener, gymnast, politician, deep-sea diver, rock star, teacher, Queen of your own country; or perhaps even all of the above… *coughs* As you enter your teenage years, maybe you start to think about who you will marry.  In my case, it was Michael J Fox and briefly Ralph Macchio, circa The Karate Kid Part 1. Or maybe you will decide that marriage is an outdated institution and not for you at all. I swayed between the two for many years. You explore yourself. You get a sense of who you will become and perhaps more importantly, who you will not. I quickly realised I did not have the education or patience to be a teacher, a doctor, or an astronaut. I did not have the courage of a fireman or a deep-sea diver, the flexibility of a gymnast, or the bloodline to be Queen. I did not have …