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May, 2013

  1. Life advice #17: Use the fancy schmancy stuff

    May 29, 2013 by Amy Hansford

    17. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don’t save it for a special occasion. Today is special.

    Thankfully, this is one piece of advice that I already stick to.

    I am very much the kind of person who, if they don’t need it, doesn’t buy it. That means if we have it, it blooming well gets used until it falls apart. Whether that’s a nice pair of jeans, Little L’s pretty party dresses, new bed linen or some posh plonk, it doesn’t wait for a rainy day.

    We don’t have the budget or childminding facilities to go out on the town, see a show, take in a film, have a meal etc. So we make the most of what we can do at home. We don’t buy all the treats – I plan our grocery shopping meticulously to ensure we only buy what we need – but we make sure we have lovely meals and if we’re given anything nice, it gets used.


    When I said meticulously, I wasn’t kidding.

    I’ve spent the last ten minutes trying to think of anything I am saving for a special occasion, but truth be told, there’s nothing. Well, there’s Little L’s flower girl dress/shoes and they’re being kept back in order to stay clean until the wedding, but the dress will become a dressing up princess outfit soon after and the sandals will be used as normal footwear.

    Alright, there’s my wedding dress, but that’s not exactly something to slip on every now and again. That is being kept. That’s for Little L. And when she’s at the point where she become engaged, it’ll be given to her for her to do with as she wishes – change it, dye it, remodel it, tear off the train and make a bustle – whatever she wants. Because your wedding day is a bit fancy schmancy.

    Even my beloved wedding shoes got used rather than being hidden away and never worn again. When I say used, I really mean it – lovely Jenna wore them for the two week run of Friends of Dorothy (and all the rehearsals leading up to it). Feet and calves of iron, that woman.

    There’s no point keeping things for best.

    Now is best.

  2. Busy Little Bee

    May 20, 2013 by Amy Hansford

    I missed this Saturday’s post. Sorry! This is why.


    Yep, I’m in a show! I’m playing the part of Cinderella’s Stepmother in Into The Woods, but this is no pantomime. I’m stepping out of my safe zone with the first non-panto I’ve been in for yonks. It’s dangerous in them there woods…

    See it, don’t see it and miss out, up to you. But I’ll be there singing my socks off. I’m not hidden in the back; there’s solos and stuff. And I have a wicked dress. Normal service to be resumed once it’s all done!

  3. Life advice #16: You can be happy

    May 11, 2013 by Amy Hansford

    face16. It’s never too late to be happy. But it’s all up to you and no one else.

    A friend of mine has been going through a tricky time lately. They run their own business and they’ve worked so hard on it, but it’s at the point where it’s not able to grow any further. They’re starting to question what they are doing and where they are heading. And you know what? Questioning yourself if a very good thing.

    For my friend, questioning themself has led to a realisation – the business is brilliant and has done so well, but they’re not as happy as they could be. So they are freeing themselves from that stress and trying something new.

    My friend is in their 40s. Not that being in your 40s is old, or too late. Far from it. In your 40s, you have been through enough to get the hang of life (just) but have so much more to do ahead of you. My friend had spent the last five years thinking it was too late to change. But through realising that they were the person who decided their fate, not anyone else, they’ve made a really positive change to the road that lays ahead.

    All I can do is support my friend in their new adventures. They’re taking a leap of faith which so far is proving fantastic in terms of a work/life balance. They’re happier than they were. And I know they’ll only get happier from here on in.

    Are you happy?

  4. Life advice #15: You are strong

    May 5, 2013 by Amy Hansford

    15. Whatever doesn’t kill you really does make you stronger.

    This isn’t just about the big stuff. I could tell you tales of people who’ve lost limbs through accidents and have gone on to have bionic legs. I could talk about the many people I know (too many) who have lost parents. Children. Yet they have made it through. But I’m not going to talk about them. I’m going to talk about the small things that are a huge deal.

    There are small confidence killers that happen to us all every day. Someone looking your work over and hurrumphing. The person who looks at you like you’re dirt when they’ve decided to overtake you. The realisation that you’ve got to the end of the day and seemingly achieved nothing. These little moments make us feel like we are lesser beings, if only for an instant, but they stay with us and build up over time.

    This week, I did a taster session for a group which the kids loved. I was told afterwards ‘It just wasn’t for us’, and asked if I could try again but just do nursery rhymes etc that the children knew rather than the content that represented what I do. I was a bit taken aback by this – everyone has loved it so far, and surely a taster session for a specific class should represent that class? This knocked me down a peg and left me asking if the product I was offering was good enough.

    That same afternoon, I saw a quote that really irritated me. It was by Yoko Ono.

    yoko copy

    I was still on a downer from the morning’s taster session and this riled me. But then it made me think.  (Damn you, Ono, for making me actually think!) – what would happen if I applied that concept to the owner of that morning’s comment?

    I was empowered. My brain readjusted to the new information. You know what? Pyjama Drama is brilliant. It genuinely is. And the songs and activities are so much fun. So there’s a group that doesn’t like change – that’s why you do tasters. You’re proud of what you do so don’t ditch something fantastic just to rehash The Grand Old Duke Of York for a group that aren’t interested in what you offer.

    This new look at the situation made me feel stronger. It got me out of my funk. It made me feel even more passionate about what I do and gave me added focus.

    It didn’t kill me. It made me stronger.

    So you. Yeah, you. Pick out the last thing someone said that knocked you down. Draw that halo round their head. And get strong.