About Me

My photo

Hi, I'm Lyndsey. I'm a 36 year old Mum from Wales. I have a Masters Degree in Marketing Communications and Public Relations and put it to good use in my work as a freelance Marketing & PR consultant. I also work part time as a fundraising coordinator for a Welsh charity which I absolutely love!! With two jobs, two children, two cats and a handsome man, lets just say I'm a busy lady. 
From 2006-2008, I wrote a column for the Denbighshire Free Press. I was so proud of the feedback I got for this, even the one angry ‘You Suck’ letter to the editor cheered me up no end; it showed that people took notice of what little ol’ me had to say. It’s good to know that people give a rat’s ass either way! So, succumbing to requests from my former fan club (ok, overstating there – readers who had nothing better to do on a Thursday afternoon) under the March 2014 archive you will find a selection of my early Free Press articles. I’d love to hear what you think on any of the subjects raised…you know, rat’s ass either way feedback ;-)

Sunday, 5 April 2015

The Easter Proposal

Easter time already?  As I am wandering round our estate, two kids & pug in tow, waiting on the text message from Hubs allowing us back home, I couldn't help feeling an old fogey style amazement at how quick the year had flown.

Exactly one year ago to the very hour, the kids and I were doing exactly the same trawl around the estate waiting on exactly the same text message which would say the clues and the egg hunt were all set up and it was time to go a hunting.

Easter Sunday 2014 was one of the most special days of my life! I knew this year it would be impossible for any bunny or chocolate eggs to beat it. Last Easter was when Hubs proposed to me.

Hubby2B has had ownership of the Easter egg hunt for the last four years now. True to his squaddie mentality of thorough Planning & Preparation Prevents a Pee Poor Performance, he had begun writing his clues weeks in advance.  The biggest kid of all, he was excited to see the look on the children's faces at the end of each clue before they raced off to find out what was in "the place where everyone, except daughter, puts dirty socks". 

That Easter, I took the kids & cat (moggie went by choice, I think kitty leads are mean as hell!!) for a walk round the block while Hubs stayed home to hide the eggs and clues. On our walk, the kids kept breaking off and having private giggles but flatly refused to tell me what was so funny. I spent the entire walk paranoid and checking for bird dumps on my jacket or well aimed stickybobs hanging off my pyjama pants; I know, PJs in public - the shame!!

Eventually the text came and we hurried home. The hunt was brilliant! Upstairs, downstairs, in the garden, in the washing machine until eventually, both children had equal numbers of scrummy eggs (which would still be in the cupboard in June torturing me) "Right, Mum's turn" Hubs announced. 

"No waaaayyy.... I get an egg too? Fantastic!" I exclaimed. I NEVER get my own egg hunt!  Back around we went, clues indicating upstairs, downstairs, back garden, back to the living room. Then inside the table drawer...Ta Dahhh... My very own egg, with a note stuck to the box 'OPEN ME'  Ahh No I thought. If I open it then they are all going to feast on my egg before breakfast, I will be lucky to get an eighth of my egg. I don't want to open it!

Hubs had noticed my expression and misreading it, suddenly looked desolate. I thought that he thought that I was disappointed with my egg and quickly pronounced that it was a perfect egg, thank you, thank you, thank you.  "Open the egg" the kids yelled excitedly, and that's when I became suspicious. What had they done to it? My son is going through a phase of pranks such as toothpaste Oreo cookies and vinegar cake,  so if its a fake chocolate egg or a scary clown was popping out of it, then I wasn't going to be impressed!

Now had I known what a romantic, special moment this was about to be, then I would have never, EVER have laid out the egg, imitated the Karate Kid circa 1980 and chopped the chocolate, exploding the egg and breaking my hand at the same time.  As my kids did a synchronised face-palm, a jewellery box dropped into my lap.

Shock & surprise, I will admit my heart was hammering.  Partly because we had both sworn we would never be 'stupid enough to do marriage again' and partly because I never know what to do with my face in romantic moments, I just end up looking gormless, stressed, a possibly a bit freaky. Inside my box was small, handwritten notes from my babies 'Mum, please say yes, we really want you two to get married' and 'Mum, we love you and Steve very much and really hope you will say yes'.

More messages followed until I got a message from Hubs. With eyes misted completely, I read the most beautiful, perfect proposal message. Hubs was sat with both kids on his knee, arms wrapped round his neck. "I asked the kid's permission first and they helped me choose the ring. Do you like it"?  It was beautiful and knowing that they had all chosen it together made it all the more special. "It took ages to open the egg without breaking it" my Son informed me. "Then we had to melt another egg and use the chocolate to seal up your egg again" my Daughter laughed.  The picture in my head of them all gathered around this egg, trying to make it perfect made me laugh out loud.

"So...??"  Wishing I had make up and pretty clothes on befitting this moment, instead of my PJs, I hurried over to them. The three of us on his knee as I tearfully (I don't normally do happy tears or soppy stuff btw - not cool) said "Yes".

So today, as the 'Home Time' text finally pinged in, I couldn't help but wonder, how on earth could any Easter day compete?  As it turned out though, it was wonderful too. A romantic anniversary card and my very own egg at the end of the hunt. Beat that Easter Bunny :-)

Wednesday, 31 December 2014

Beardember & The Elf n Safety

My man has a neon pink beard.  He and his beard are taking me out for New Years Eve revelry tonight.  I will be wearing a stunning full length, gold sequin, sexy gown with gorgeous gold shoes and my hubby will be wearing ....well, lets be honest, who the heck is going to notice what he's wearing? the dude looks like he has a muppet stapled to his face!


Beardless
My fella saw an advertisement in work back in November calling for men to grow a beard for Decemberbeard; a spin off from Movember.  The disappearance of 50% of his face behind a beard would be documented and in return, friends and family would donate to the Bowel Cancer charity.  Knowing his friends and army buddies would need a bit more incentive to donate, my man promised that should he reach £1000 within the December deadline, he would dye his beard neon pink and wear it like that to work all week.
 


Big Beard
You have probably guessed by now, that the opportunity to see their sqaddie-mate humiliated publicly was too good to pass up. The donations were coming in thicker and faster than his facial growth.  I knew my dude was both chuffed and horrified at the same time.  I was so proud of him for resolutely promoting his endeavour, despite him really, really not wanting to be pink in public.  Yes, I was very proud, but I also have the same sense of humour as his army buddies and there was one more surprise that he was blissfully unaware of, until Christmas morning.

It's at this point I need to tell you what my fella does for a living.  He teaches the butch stuff; as in  fire safety, violence & aggression, personal security and... Health and Safety.  So when the kids and I spotted a Christmas jumper in New Look which had an elf's body and the words Elf & Safety on it, we just had to get it for him. Devious as ever, I put the Christmas label on it and signed it from the kids.  It is the rule of all parents, if the kids get you something then you MUST love it and if they get you clothing, then you MUST wear it.  Its the universal Dad rule!!


During & more worried than he will admit
Well, can you believe it? He hasn't taken that jumper off all week!  Pink beardy face on an elf's body.  He happily plodded round work, visited the in-laws, took me to the cinema and did a charity bucket collection outside B&Q.  The oddest part is though, that nobody seemed to give a monkeys!  There has been no pointing, staring, laughing, crying kids...nothin! How boring is that?  What more does it take to look a bit bonkers? The complete acceptance / nonchalance of our locals was impressive! Not since living in London have I seen such utter immunity to the weird looking people. Have to say, I think its fab!  Keep it up peeps. There's room for all sorts in this world....but my man has proved his point now so, where's the soap?

There is still time to donate to this cause. Please click on this link to donate on my Hubby's Just Giving page.  Thank you x

JUST GIVING DECEMBERBEARD

Monday, 29 December 2014

The Christmas Rage

My son has never really bothered much with arts or anything creative, preferring facts, science and computer technology. His favourite TV programmes are Mythbusters, Bear Grylls, Top Gear and How its Made. So when he came home from school last week and told me that he had written a Christmas poem and had been asked to perform it at his school's Christmas show in the local church, I was surprised to say the least.

That was, until I heard it at the show last night.  Then all became crystal clear.  Nobody but my son could have wrote this poem!  My boy is a massive Christmas fan but it was his dry, old for his years, wit came through loud and clear.  He spoke proud and perfectly clear in his best public speaking voice, betraying not the slightest hint of nerves.  He was fab and very funny!


As we left the church, I told him how impressed I was with his poem, to which he raged "The teachers messed with it".  How blimmin dare they! I asked him why on earth they had done that, knowing that his work was good enough not to need 'tweaking' and even if it had, that's his work and should be praised as is.

"They changed the last line to '& that's a fact'.  How can it be a fact that IPods and Ferraris existed over 2000 years ago?  We wouldn't be singing about Mary travelling on a poor flippin donkey if that was the case would we! These people are supposed to be educators - god help us....*tut* "  I suppressed a smirk. Can't argue with that can I?








So, here for your festive enjoyment, is my son's UNEDITED Christmas poem.  Merry Christmas

Wednesday, 17 December 2014

Clothes Show, StereoKicks, Amy Childs & Us

Since I was 12 years old, I have been wanting to go to the Clothes Show in Birmingham's NEC. Yes, Ok, those of you doing the maths now will wonder why on earth it has taken me over two decades (and a couple of extra years) to get round to it and all I can say is this...No bugger would go with me!

This year however, I have a mini-me (who is a lot taller than me) who is now 12  years old and therefore, will get my dream come true - despite not having a clue what the Clothes Show actually is.  I bought us platinum tickets for December 7th 2014, a manicure appointment with Saks, new outfits each and promised her an abundance of celebrities for selfie-heaven; she was sold!

Alarm set for 6am. Sat Nav programmed. Car tyres, oil & water checked. Tickets printed. We were off.

As we arrived at the NEC, my daughter looked completely intimidated. I forgot that she is not accustomed to massive crowds of glammed up birds all pushing and shoving to get near the cosmetics, clothes & Lambrini counters. She is a sweet Welsh kid who practically had a panic attack in the Trafford Centre on Boxing day, so this was like a PTSD flashback for her.  Me though, I've lived in Reading, London and Chester Ave, there's no messing!  I squared my shoulders and showed her my best city'ite stance.


"Watch and learn daughter dear" I said as my sharpened elbows rose, chin lowered, evil dig eyeballs err..digged and I launched myself into the crowds like a bully-kid in a British Bulldogs tournament. Of course, it was a few minutes before I managed to beat my way back through the crowd and find her cowering in the exact same spot. "This is how it works, I bulldoze a path, you raid the space and grab every bargain you can reach, OK?"  She shook her head. Damn, I knew bringing her up with manners would backfire one day!

An hour later and I had discovered the secret to making my kid turn from a timid sweetheart into a 'Shift your teeth outta my path or I will smash 'em in' ferocious diva.  Free Stuff.  Although not technically free since it was me that was paying for everything that she just had to have, but it turns out that my kid can really shop! 
Cosmetic bundles from Rimmel, Hangover Hoodies, ear cuffs, fake tattoos, two lunches and that was all before 2pm.  She wanted to carry all her own bags and her fingers were white from lugging so many bags.  I carried my own bags too... which got lighter and lighter since all I had was my goodie bag and a nearly empty purse.

 
Ok, I have to point out here that, as a 12 year old clutching my first copy of the Clothes Show magazine and dreaming of rubbing shoulders with models, pop groups and celebrity stylists, this day was all that and more... for my kid. The 36 year old me however, wasn't really feelin it.  Where was Carolyn Franklin & Jeff Banks?  I didn't recognise any of the models lurching round the hall, neither did my kid. We bypassed the queues for the pics with the celebrities as we didn't have a clue who they were either. Peter Andre wasn't around and I figured my pic with his waxwork in Blackpool's Madame Tussards was good enough anyway.



We did recognise the pop group Stereokicks and were impressed. They were really good!  Amy Childs, who I only know from magazines which proclaim that this miniature, bony woman is fat. Shameful. Yes, she played thick and had bizarre looking lips but fat? What a load of crap!


Stereokicks
The catwalk show was AMAZEBALLS according to my girl.  I thought it was most excellent.  We were 3 rows from the front and loved every minute of it.

By 4pm we were utterly pooped. By 5pm we had finally found where the hell we had parked the car.  Home by 9pm. Snoring by 9.30pm  Can't wait for next year's show, only this time - my kid is taking her own purse!
 

 

Tuesday, 2 December 2014

Working Home Alone.

What's the most profound thing I've learned from working from home, I will pretend that you have asked.  The answer is this. Its bloody lonely!


Working Home - Alone :-(
I've never been the most social of people, quite happy in my own company and never, ever endured boneheads simply to avoid being alone.  That was back when solitude was a choice.  These days though, I'd welcome interludes (short ones) of talking pants with boneheads of any planetary specie, as my brain needs a break from its incessant, internalised waffle.






For the last year, I have been a P/T Blogger, P/T Charity Fundraiser, P/T PR exec & P/T Student; which basically means that I have been F/T mentally fecked!  Although I am living my dream right now, I never considered  during my previous 10 years of daydreaming and scheming in order to get this life, that whilst I'm working from home, everyone else is out, either at work or at school.  My cat Jackson is still missing after so many heartbreaking months and my other cat Sandy has moved in with my fella, since his house is posh enough to have a catflap, a luxury not allowed in my rented abode & she sulks if I bring her home.  Therefore, its just me debating strategies with my four walls.

Doing charity and PR work does mean that I regularly get to put on my 'this is my work face - talk to it' persona & I enjoy the banter, but as I am still in work mode, I'm still on my own; kind of lonely in a crowd scenario.

Me & Charity Mascot
I know, I know, this is not acceptable social etiquette. Only sad, socially inept people admit to being lonely right? Well, here I am, suffering from neither Sad-syndrome or inept-itude; just perhaps a tad too much honesty.

I wish I was one of those women that could work productively from home, wearing PJ's all day, meet all deadlines and still have a tidy home and ediblely flavoured dinner on the table ready for the quality family time each evening.  I am the most spectacular failure on all points!

Nope, first thing in the morning, I MUST put on work clothes, slap on work warpaint and attempt salon-swooshy looking hair.  Without this armour, I simply cannot switch on my work brain and will instead, spend the day doing 'essential' jobs, aka work avoidance projects.  Work brain says "I have a deadline" Result - clean shower-head and shiny taps.

Kitchen / Office = Fail
I don't have an office as such, transformation of conservatory and a bedroom work desk have both failed to glue my butt to the office-style swivel chair.  Instead, I have adopted Costa Coffee as my office.  It has people who don't interrupt, tea which I don't have to make myself, WiFi which I don't have to pay for and electric sockets which I don't think they know that I am plugging my laptop and phone into. 

Every morning like clockwork, I dump my mahoosive workbag at my favourite, four-seater table (next to concealed plug socket), order tea & toast and work solidly for exactly 2hrs and 50mins, then dash out to my car before the parking fine kicks in at 3hrs 1min.


Costa on a Failed Swooshy-Hair Day
It has occurred to me though, the money I spend everyday at Costa could probably be better utilised paying for a jelli (weird name for a rented desk in a shared office space with other lone(ly) workers).  This is definitely worth looking into until I discover if this annoying need for other human's company is just a phase.

Or, I could go with my Son's eager suggestion. A Pug.  I could waffle to a doggie all day, take him out with me to events as my plus one and he could be like my best friend; except in this case, when my best friend drops a shit-bomb, in this case it will be literal.  I'm not allowed pets in my house according to my contract though, I'd need to train Pugly to sit statue-like and pretend that he is a doorstop whenever the landlord visits.

Alone - Oh Woe IS Me
I love the flexibility of working from home, of organising (hahaha) my own schedule so that I can almost always be there for my kid's shows, school visits etc and not panic if they are too poorly for school.  These bouts of loneliness are worth it for the precious short years before my kids are too embarrassed by my presence at the school fayres and open days.

I'm determined that I will get better at being alone soon, otherwise my ambition to be a F/T writer, working from my home office in my splendid big country house in the middle of nowhere will prove to be an uber' bloody stupid one!!    

Monday, 24 November 2014

The Wedding Fayre at Venue Cymru

In the words of Carrie Bradshaw "I am missing the bride gene"!

I was never the little girl who played dress up!  Yes, I raided my Mum's wardrobe and tried on her outfits whilst she was at bingo but never did I pretend that her lace curtains were my veil and do the "dadadadaahh" wedding march down a makeshift aisle.

My fiancĂ© informed me quite early on that he wanted a beach wedding; I'm assuming abroad as Rhyl promenade, being dive-bombed by seagulls doesn't conjure the most romantic picture. He talks about bare feet, sunshine and warm breezes.  The closest we get to a warm breeze round here is vindaloo boffs down Wellington road on a Thursday night.  Nope, he MUST mean abroad...

Initially, I had shrugged my shoulders, smiled and said "Oki Doki".  That suited me as I haven't the foggiest about wedding planning, etiquette or tradition and to be honest, the details didn't interest me at all.

Then Hubs introduced me to 'Don't Tell the Bride' and suggested we apply.  Groozy!.  I was happy for him to do all the faff and I just show up and enjoy...until that it, I remembered last Christmas and the complete disaster of him choosing me a handbag and undies.  I had said "Think Marilyn Monroe"  I received Hilda Ogden.  Sacked!!

So, it was in search of the bride gene that my daughter and I attended Venue Cymru's wedding fayre in Llandudno recently.  I guess it didn't get off to the best of starts when I was handed a goodie bag and asked to wear a sticker with BRIDE written in bold pink on it.  My daughter (also not a dress up kid) rolled our eyes at each other.  We slapped the sticker on the goodie bag instead and left a bunch of excitable, giggly brides all stickering up at the entrance.

Inside, we saw a chocolate fountain, with a selection of dunkable yummys. "When is the wedding?" Scrumdiddly Umptious, the first of soo many stall holders asked me. It occurred to me that I hadn't given that much thought either.  I felt like a fraud, a fake bride as I mumbled "No date set yet". "Do you have a theme in mind"?  "Have you booked a venue"? the questions were coming thick and fast and this woman was freaking me out.  "Dunno yet" I replied as her eyes narrowed then lowered to my wedding finger, obviously checking I even had a ring.  I was ready to show her another finger but my daughter quickly hustled me away.

"What's the matter with you"? she asked.  "I'm just pants at this, I want to be married but I just cant get excited about all of this  stuff" I replied, gesturing around the room.

We plodded across to where Cute As Can Be stationary were displaying some beautiful invite cards. "That's lovely; I would choose something like that invite card, its festive looking". My daughter grinned widely "Mum, that's it, well done, a breakthrough" she high-fived me.  I was unconvinced but it was a very nice card.

Next we passed a wedding venue display.  I pointed at the chair with a big bow on it "Eurgh, I loathe bows on chairs, but that sparkly hangy thingy looks nice on that chair"  Daughter nodded and winked at me. Hmm.. maybe I am getting into this.

Whilst my girl got new eyebrows powdered on by the eyebrow ladies, I glanced round the other stalls. "Ahhh, how cute"  I sidled over to the next stand where Groomintails had doggie bowties and pictures of dogs in attendance at their respective humans nuptials.  Again, I got asked all the same questions but this time I felt a little less defensive "Nothing set yet but I've come here for inspiration" I replied truthfully.

We looked through BenWalkerPhotography & GrahamWilliams portfolios, enjoyed operatic singers Canig , chatted to make up artists KayEvans & JessicaDineen and exchanged compliments with headband designers NinaWren.  With each stand I visited, I grew in confidence and began to notice subtle surges of excitement at the thought of what our wedding could actually be like.

Music started up and across the room, we saw models stride down a catwalk.  We watched as dresses of all descriptions from KarenLesleyBridalEmporium swooshed across the stage.  "Like it, Don't like it, That's lovely, Err...No, def no to that one".  I could see the types of dresses that I knew Hubs would like and I could see the ones that I liked, they were very, very different dresses! I mentally shoved the application for the reality show in an envelope and set fire to it.  Not only had I gone from 'bum all interest' to 'oh me likey but, the thought of being barefoot on a beach when I could be wearing beautiful shoes like the models had on, meant that the beach abroad was fast losing its appeal too!

After the show, we discovered a company called Smooth (Contact smoothmobilebars@ymail.com for deets).  They had put out a giant pool-table, with footballs on it, where people could kick the balls into the pockets. "That's Brilliant!!" we exclaimed. Love it!  "When's the wedding"? *sigh* "Dunno, my Hubs wants a beach wedding but I don't know ..."  He grinned at me. "Well, what makes you happy?" he asked.  "Christmas" I beamed.  Next thing, this fabulous man concocted a full theme that incorporated all the seasons culminating with a snowy, Christmas first dance.  It was the most amazing wedding I had ever heard of!  I wanted it!!

That's it.  I was / still am excited!  The entire picture, from the cake to the dress to the music, everything came in one full hit. Genius!!

Full of excitement, daughter and I suddenly found ourselves behaving like those giggly, stickered up brides. We popped over to PictureBox Photobooth to record the moment, donning hats and wigs, before dashing home to tell Hubs all our new plans. 

I'm relieved to say that he loved the ideas too, thank goodness.  Right, now that's me bride gene found, where's the calendar??

Thursday, 13 November 2014

From Moo To Me

Bring your business cards they said.  I was invited to attend the National Mumprenuer Conference (Yes, and awards but that's another blog post) along with entrepreneurs, celebrities and my fella.  I was so looking forward to it and planned to maximise this opportunity to the hilt.  Lots of my target readership all rounded up in the one place for an entire day. Fantastic! As I fished out my business cards though, I realised that they were all for my Blonde PR business, no mention of That Welsh Blonde at all. Ahh.. Crap!  I googled Moo.com immediately.

www.moo.com
Six weeks later and my suitcase was packed in full 'mum on the loose' essentials (Don't play coy - we all know its sassy clothes, foxy undies and half the nightstand draw ;-)  ready for two nights in a Warwickshire hotel, close to the event venue.  Babysitter booked and I was good to go. 

The day before we were to leave, a text pinged in from DHL to say that my Moos had arrived and I could now collect from my nearest Ryman store.  Phew. I'd paid for express delivery but  was really cutting it fine.

At Ryman, I handed over my delivery info and they passed me back a massive, floppy parcel.  "Err.. I don't think this is mine".  We checked the label; yep, From Moo to Me.  I refused to sign for it and instead opened the parcel.  WTF??? A gigantic, weird, purple/ pinky, bumpy leathery beanbag'ish kinda thing - inflated it must look like a swollen scrotum after a 10 hour porn shoot!!

Frantic calls to DHL did not go well. The dude insisted that the fault was with Moo.com, despite me telling him that Moo does not make bloody beanbaggy things. So next I called Moo and prayed that the American woman who was dealing with my desperate pleads was not sat at her desk in AMERICA since I was on my mobile in BRITAIN.  Argghh..  Have to say though that she was absolutely lovely.  She refunded my delivery charges and sent out a new batch of business cards which I would receive by Monday. MONDAY!!! Too flaming late...Argghh..

I admit, I got a bit tearful then. Massive networking opportunity, professional business contacts & me with no cards.  So, I did what all good bloggers would do.... I let fly my first ever Twitter rant.

My First Twitter Rant
Post vent, I was calm enough to put on my PR head.  I thought to myself 'How can I turn this around?'  Huge event...Celebrities...Photographers...  Blog to promote....I know... I need Matalan!

I bought Matalan's finest plain black t-shirt then headed to my local printers.  "I need this shirt to become my business card on the front" I stated, giving my social media, email and blog deets etc.  Then I flipped the tshirt over. "Right. On the back I need hashtag, DHLLostMyBusinessCards.  I had no doubt that with all the photos that would be taken that day, my t-shirt rant would go nationwide!!  Although I was gutted about my cards, I was pleased with my plan.

It meant ditching my lovely new outfit in favour of a sandwich board style t-shirt but at least people would remember me; plus it would be a talking point for my new anti-DHL twitter campaign.  If the DHL dude on the phone hadn't been so arsey, then I wouldn't have been so angry but at that point I was just soo pissed off! 

"Shaa-Ting ..just got a text message - ooshh" screamed my Keith Lemon text tone.  I opened it up and there was a DHL message. 'I'm outside your house with your parcel'  OMG!! Yaaay...& Nooo, but Yaaay...errmmmm.....  I shot back into the printers "STOOOPPPP"

Dues to them
At the event, I wore my TShirt with @ThatWelshBlonde on the chest and my blog address on the back. It was rant-free.  I got lots of compliments on the t-shirt and it did get photographed to death. The bigger part of me was so happy that I had my Moo cards, which everyone agreed were fab & the other part of me, the PR chick, was bummed out at an opportunity lost. 

The reality is though, I would have felt poo if I had actually gone ahead with my twitter assault.  The people at Moo and DHL had gone to a lot of effort to fix the situation for me and I would have had a far lower opinion of myself if I had crapped on them in order to get attention for myself!  That said though.... my latest EBay delivery is taking way too long....hhmmm..