Now: 1

Another one of my New Years resolutions is to read more books. I have a habit of embarking on this particular quest. My house is littered with books that I’ve started and not finished. I tend to get a few chapters in, put it down for five mins, go back to it 6 months later and have no idea whats going on. It then seems too much effort to re-read what I have already read and alas, said book finds itself on the shelf with nothing but a bookmark lodged inside. So along with my zeal to write, I attach an ‘add-on’ as it were.

The first of hopefully many, is a novel written by Gail Honeyman titled ‘Eleanor Oliphant is completely fine’. A few chapters in and I must admit it’s not my usual go to. I generally gravitate towards a Dan Brown thriller, or something involving a strong male lead like Jack Reacher. This way I can romanticise the life of an ex covert ops assassin and spend the duration of the read imagining myself cruising around in a fast car, dodging bullets and cheating death. In reality it’s a transit van with a bright pink car seat in the front, I would say less cruising, more trudging and the only thing I’m currently trying to dodge is the email from my daughters school requesting a volunteer to be the next parent ‘rep’.

I digress, the works of Miss Honeyman were recommended to me by my mother. Which itself is enough reason for me not to read it. My mum only recommends books to me if it contains some form of hint attached to its contents. ‘Parenting, the pits and falls’ etc. Nevertheless, I will see this one through on principal, and it has highlighted something for me that has made me question all manner of things. Upon reading the first couple pages, the lead character is introduced as a 30 year old, working a office job she hates blah blah blah. When I thought of the character in my head, I visualised a middle-aged woman, dressed like Mother Hubbard drinking earl grey from a china cup and saucer, surrounded by cats and failed attempts at knitted scarves. The problem is, at this point, all I read was her age. For some reason my psyche has associated the age of 30 as old and past it! It wasn’t till I actually sat back and realised that in two weeks time I’ll be 30 myself, that I started to re-evaluate this very odd stereotype I have built in my head.

30 isn’t that old is it? I can hear all the 35+ year olds saying to themselves ’30? I’d kill to be 30 again’. It did make me question whether I had done enough ‘stuff’ to be called 30. So I’ve got a couple of kids sure, but nowadays that doesn’t require you to be, well, any age at all! I have a business, but having a business doesn’t make one a success. I could register a new business tomorrow named ‘Parachutes with holes in Ltd’. I would be a Managing Director but still be skint and driving the same shitty transit!

The point, I suppose, is that Gail Honeyman, has ruined my day completely. And I am now going to finish her book in the hope that the main character finds the happiness she seems to be searching for, thus proving that being 30 isn’t all that bad!

Today has been the last day of freedom over the Christmas period, my daughter Darcy has arrived home after spending a few days with her mother. She crossed the threshold about an hour ago, and so far we’ve had a row over the benefits of eating ones crusts, I’ve been called into the bathroom to check the quality of her toilet hygiene (questionable at best) and now, utter meltdown. Not because its time for bed, but because I wont allow her to have an entire wooden dolls house in the bed with her.


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