RSS Feed

Posts Tagged ‘life’

  1. Life advice #18: Prep then chill

    June 13, 2013 by Amy Hansford

    18. Over prepare, then go with the flow.

    I used to be the most prepared person in the world. Ever. With my Mary Poppins bottomless bag, I was on hand to rescue any situation. On venturing anywhere, I would run through every possible scenario that could evolve through the day and the potential results so that I could be ready for them.

    It was exhausting.

    bagI was overly over prepared, both physically and mentally.  And for every positive potential outcome during the day, there would always be a negative potential outcome which I’d also run through completely in my head. it got to the point where the stress of very unlikely situations was making me nervous. Silly, right?

    And then stuff happened. My mum died. The best advice I have ever been given to this day is still ‘take it an hour at a time’. When your life changes forever in the space of a second, it’s hard to look much further forward than that. I stopped going through all the potential consequences, packing for a natural disaster. Money, keys and Ibuprofen. That’s all you really need.

    Then more stuff happened. Our daughter was born. And while I did revert back to packing enough everything to last a week even for a trip to the shops, I soon got my head back to normal and began preparing for regular eventualities rather than obscure ones.

    Little L has just turned two so heading out is a much easier affair these days. Nappies, wipes, drink, money, keys, Ibuprofen. Money is pretty important unfortunately. It can’t buy you happiness, but by golly, it can enable a trip to Tescos to buy nappies, wipes and a new set of clothes should they be needed in the case of a bottom explosion, or entry to a farm to bust those afternoon blues, or a picnic when we receive a happy phone call from friends heading to a park.

    So now we go with the flow. We have an idea of what’s happening for the day but other than that, we see where the world takes us.

    It’s a much nicer place without the Mary Poppins bag.

  2. Life advice #12: Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

    April 13, 2013 by Amy Hansford

    Life advice from a 90 year old? I’ll take it.
    Backstory blog can be found here.

    me12. Don’t compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about.

    I would not say I have ever been a jealous person. Comparative, yes, jealous, no.

    Facebook and Twitter et al have become an online way to celebrate positivity. This is essentially a great thing. The only downside to this is the risk that others look on and feel defeated at the poster’s achievements. That the onlooker feels like they are operating at a level below their peers. I also think this is is probably why my blog is very honest, possibly to a fault. This blog is a demonstration that even though a lot of my life is brilliant, there are down bits.

    For example: Friend A who is stunningly beautiful, has stunningly beautiful children and even looks stunningly beautiful and raises money for charity in doing an activity that would make anyone else look ridiculous.

    I cannot operate at that level.

    Friend B who is completely unique, has a fiercely intelligent, imaginative child, is incredibly skilled and whose family lives an almost surreal life, making the most of any community event or experience that comes their way.

    I cannot operate at that level.

    I look at these women and feel like I’m not providing an exciting enough life for my family. I feel ugly. I feel unproductive. I feel less worthy. And all of these feelings are wrong. These women lead different lives to mine. They have different families, different pasts and different futures.

    I am naturally comparative, I don’t think I can avoid that. But what I can do is start reminding myself of the things that are good, and that there isn’t a need to become someone else. After all, if I become someone else, I don’t get to be me, and being me is pretty fun after all.

    Mummy Kindness says all the the above in a far more eloquent way. I absolutely love her blog post. You can see it here.

  3. Pyjama Drama Is A Go

    April 12, 2013 by Amy Hansford

    UntitledI’m 6 weeks into my new job. In case you’ve completely missed it this far on the blog, I’m the manager for Pyjama Drama in Milton Keynes, having had a chance encounter with an advert seeking franchisees. The resulting trip to Wales gave me a glimpse into one of the most wonderful activities for children I have ever seen, so good in fact that I quit my job to bring the idea to my home town.

    I’m 6 weeks into starting a new business. I have an office area upstairs, I have a gosh-darned-fabulous Pyjamobile, I have a parachute in case I fall out of a plane (or maybe it’s for games, I don’t quite recall) and I have more time to spend with Little L.

    I’m 6 weeks into a world of delightful admin. I’m not kidding you – I love admin. Freakin’ love it. If I can colour code a spreadsheet, I’m full of glee. And now I have a whole wealth of admin that’s mine, all mine.

    I’m 6 weeks into self employment, and self-earned income. I’ve only run two sessions so far, so you can probably guess where that leaves me at the moment.

    I’m 6 weeks into my new way of life and, while I do look back (of course I look back, it’s been brilliant), I can’t help but look forward to everything that’s happening.

    I’m 6 weeks in.

  4. Life advice #3: Life is too short – enjoy it.

    January 26, 2013 by Amy Hansford

    Life advice from a 90 year old? I’ll take it.
    Backstory blog can be found here.

    3. Life is too short – enjoy it.


    Someone else who likes to enjoy life and have fun.
    Photo from The White House

    People die every day. There. I said it. It’s a sentence that remains true, no matter how horrid or personal it may feel. Some people make it through to a grand old age, having the time of their life, and passing away gently in their sleep with no sudden pain or long illnesses. That’s a good way to go, I think. Others choose to go, in which case I can only feel bad that their life didn’t turn out the way they had hoped. Others, well, others are taken too early. And that’s just not good at all.

    I could get hit by a bus today. I sincerely hope I’m not. Equally I could suffer a fatal concussion at the hands of a clumsy squirrel and its nut. I can be as careful as I can be, and yet something might get in the way and cause me a mischief.

    It could happen at any time, so there’s no point putting off the things we want to do until the weather is better, or Little L’s a bit bigger, or it’s not so busy. Well maybe a bit of the latter, but the point is, we should get on and do stuff.

    So we are. We’re getting a babysitter so we can go to a party. We’re going for more walks – the snow is a fun talking point, not something to hide from. Less Cbeebies, more activities. Less sofa slobbing, more fun. Less waiting patiently on the career ladder and more jumping ship to do what I’d really enjoy.

    I would write more but I’m off to dance around the room with my toddler. No matter how long or short my life is, I want to enjoy that as much as I can.

  5. Life advice #1: Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

    January 12, 2013 by Amy Hansford

    Life advice from a 90 year old? I’ll take it.
    Backstory blog can be found here.

    its-okay1. Life isn’t fair, but it’s still good.

    Since the start of December, I have been learning the words, songs, dances and blocking to play Aladdin in the Griffin Players‘ pop up panto, a one off day of shows for the families of a local company. The chap who played him in the main family panto wasn’t available on the planned show date and I was delighted to be asked to step in.

    It was great. I’ve never played a lead in a panto. I’ve played the comedy lead over and over, which I adore. But the romantic lead? I’ve neither the look or the grace for it. But somehow, we made it work, and rehearsals were brilliant. Full of laughs and I finally got to sing a solo, something unheard of since the days of Anything Goes (2007?).

    The night before the panto I was struck down with the norovirus. When it hit me at 5am that I wouldn’t be able to do the show despite all the hard work, I was absolutely gutted. Gutted for letting down the cast, gutted for giving the director a horrid task the morning of the show, and gutted to have had the opportunity taken away from me.

    A knight in shining armour made it to the venue with 15 minutes to spare before the first show and played Aladdin with script in hand to an amazed audience and a grateful cast. The shows went down brilliantly – the Griffins have been asked back next year – and the day was saved. Meanwhile, I was – well, you know – for the next three days.

    So that’s the “life isn’t fair” bit. But it’s still good.

    It gave me an enforced rest break in these months of rehearsals/visits/work/being a mummy. As a friend pointed out, while it was cruel to have put in all that work and then fall ill, it gave me a chance to remember what it’s like to be on a stage. To sing. To learn a dance routine. It stopped me from going too rusty. It reminded me how much fun it is to be part of a cast family again.

    And you know what? It’s still good.

  6. Coming up at Awakey

    January 11, 2013 by Amy Hansford

    Stan Lee is 90 but I don't think it was him

    Stan Lee is 90 but I don’t think it was him
    Photo from Nerdage

    The lovely people at Pyjama Drama recently linked to advice from a 90 year old* on how to live life. This list tickled me. As much as I’d like to take on all the advice in one go, I figure that’s not going to happen. It’s easier to absorb one item a day, or even a week. As such, I thought they’d make great blog post titles.

    There’ll be other stuff coming up on the blog too – there’s the big changes in my job to talk about as well as updates on adult panto and other esciting projects. I’m rubbish at sticking to timetables, so let’s see if I can stick out the whole list of 42.

    In fairness, it’s a brilliant number.

    *Whether it really was from a 90 year old or or whether it was a marketing prop by someone else to get ‘likes’, I don’t mind. I think they’re great either way.

  7. Countdown

    January 4, 2013 by Amy Hansford

    No, not the telly programme. The timed anticipation of events. And there are lots of them coming in 2013.

    3 weeks until: Opening night for Friends Of Dorothy, the adult panto that I co-wrote for the Griffin Players. Rehearsals invariably contain a portion of people becoming unable to speak through laughter. The cast are just so good at what they do and are so easy to direct. The show is going to be brilliant.
    2 months until: The end of an era! More on this nearer the time.
    3 months until: Little L’s second birthday. No idea what to do yet, but the thought of being able to do anything at all is quite exciting.
    And a bit further to: Jenny and Stuart’s wedding. It’s going to be brilliant.

    And they’re just for starters. It’s going to be a good year.

  8. Hanging On the Telephone

    July 15, 2012 by Amy Hansford

    I had a brilliant hen weekend. My amazing maid of honour and co found a fantastic house with a maze of rooms, a great chill out lounge plus a pool and jacuzzi. We relaxed, we had the Amylympics and generally escaped from it all which is what we all needed.

    I did witness a curious occurance, and probably would not have noticed it had my phone had an ounce of signal. Unintentionally, I ended up on a communications blackout as I only had signal on my mobile in a small area of the bedroom. This turned out to be a good thing – it forced me to relax. I found myself holding a cup of tea with both hands and being able to observe and enjoy everyone having fun. I wasn’t checking my emails, Twitter or Facebook every two minutes*. I had no idea what the rest of the world was up to – I was happy in the one we’d all made in Lincoln.

    It also gave me the chance to look around. I saw a room full of friends alternating between sharing the experience of a duvet day and near silence as everyone checked their friends’ Facebook statuses. I saw people take photos of what was happening and upload them as soon as they could. Even on a getaway, people were drawn to share their experiences with the rest of the world rather than with those in the room at the time. There’s nothing wrong with this – it’s the world we live in – I just found it curious.

    Similarly, on the last night when there were only seven of us, we had a karaoke session. Karaoke is something that is very much a social experience. You reciprocate the support your friends give you while singing by supporting them when it is their turn. I found myself singing a tune and looking out to find silent friends checking their smart phones. Again, that’s now the norm and wouldn’t be noticed in the pub, but it was a strange thing.

    I should reitterate, had I had normal reception on my phone, I would have been doing exactly the same.

    So what did this experience teach me?

    I am too reliant on my phone and, specifically, my internet access.
    I’ve started leaving my phone on the table at home rather than having it stuck to me.
    I’ve vowed not to live life through a lens – I will watch gigs and shows and giggles, not record them.
    I appreciate seeing friends and family and keep reminding myself that tweets, messages and emails won’t disappear if I don’t look at them.

    How much do you rely on your phone?

    *Yes, that’s pretty much the frequency I check. I am addicted to my iPhone.

  9. Offbeat Bride

    April 8, 2012 by Amy Hansford

    I’ve slowed things down. Generally, life is good. My impressive run of bad luck continues – each day seems to bring its own new surprise – but things are dealwithable. There’ve been a couple of chest twinges but nothing that a cup of tea and some pills haven’t helped. Just don’t tell work – someone somewhere will surely put me over their knee and slap me.

    Anywho, one of the feeds I follow on my Google RSS is Offbeat Bride*, a brilliant blog with ideas and thoughts on weddings.I wanted to rip this entire blog post and put it on here but thought that would be unfair to the author. So instead, click the link below to see

    10 tips for how to handle me now that I’m a bride.


    *I also follow Offbeat Home and Offbeat Mama – I just wish I had time to try out everything I see!

  10. May I present… Little L!

    April 6, 2011 by Amy Hansford

    Been a while, eh?

    Last time I blogged, our baby was pretty much due. But there was no exciting birth for a good while – after a week of contractions, I was taken into hospital for the big event, waving goodbye to the inflated (and HUGE) birthing pool in the comfort of our living room. Wednesday night on the labour ward floated by on a bed of Epiduralness, followed by one heck of a heave ho on Thursday morning. Two hours, a wealth of contraptions and a fiance’s fully squeezed hand later and Little L was born!

    Little L was born at 10.03am on Thursday 24th March 2011, weighing in at 7lb 4.5oz.

    We were allowed home on the Friday to start life as a new family; The Hansfords.

    It’s taken me this long to blog for obvious reasons – babies are incredibly tiring. They wake for feeds at 2-3 hourly intervals, and while you intend to nap when they nap you often find yourself catching up on chores instead, making you knackered. Additionally, I was pretty poorly after the event and it’s taken me until now to be able to operate as a normal, mobile human being. Alex (my partner) has been looking after Little L and I for the past fortnight – an absolute rock. He is an amazing man and – sorry ladies – he’s mine.

    At two weeks, Little L is getting used to life with her slightly silly parents. Alex’s dad jokes are coming into bloom, as are his gurning skills. I’m enjoying cuddles and building up the bond with Little L that I didn’t quite manage to forge in the early days.

    I will try not to make this blog entirely baby/child-centric. Normal people lead normal lives and have things to talk about. I’ve been encompassed by babyness and little else the past month, so that’s my subject area of knowledge. The more inane and odd topics will resume in due course, I’m sure. But until then…. awwww, ain’t she a cutie?