I’m just loving the #nomakeupselfie craze

Unless you have been living under a rock for the past couple of days, you’ll have noticed the sudden influx of selfies being uploaded onto social media sites. Specifically, they’re selfies of women – with no makeup on. The craze is to “raise cancer awareness” and I must confess that my first reaction when it came to my attention was “how the hell is posting a picture of yourself without any slap on going to raise awareness? I’m already well aware of cancer, thanks very much!”

I’ll happily admit that I was wrong. Cancer Research UK has reported a huge boost to the donations being made, which is obviously a good thing. People who have dismissed the selfie-posting as nothing more than an ego trip, or, as I did, not the best way to raise awareness, have helped too, by posting links to donate instead, or advice on being familiar with the symptoms of various cancers. Lads are getting involved; I’ve seen a fair few photos of men doing their bit with their best trout pouts on the go. And to those who are whinging about people who are posting screenshots of their donation, saying that people shouldn’t feel the need to shout about giving to charity – you are wrong; if even one person sees that screenshot and is encouraged to donate themselves because of it then it’s had a positive effect.

I eventually plucked up the courage to post one (naturally in very poor lighting, sans flash, I’m not stupid) and I’ve donated £3 by texting BEAT to 70099. £3 may not sound like a lot. But if you think about the amount of photos you’ve seen on your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram timelines, and if all of those people have donated too, and factor in that thousands of people are doing the same all over the country, then it all adds up. And, whether you’ve posted a picture or not, it has all stemmed from the #nomakeupselfie fad – I wouldn’t have donated £3 on a random Wednesday night otherwise. It’s nice to see social media’s power in a positive light for once.

A final note – one of the nicest things about it is how bloody lovely everyone looks. Of course, the whole exercise is narcissistic – person posts photo, gets loads of “likes”, Facebook friends comment “OMG you look gawjus hun xxx” in their droves. But you know what? Everyone does look “gawjus hun”. I feel all warm and fuzzy inside.

What should I give up for Lent?

Terrifyingly, it’s March already. Seriously, where did that creep up on us from? It is basically nearly Christmas again already and I for one feel rather discombobulated.

It also happens to be Shrove Tuesday or Pancake Tuesday or whatever the hell you want to call it. (Sidenote: I’ve just remembered that, because our Helen was born on a Pancake Tuesday, I thought her birthday would always be on a Pancake Tuesday. Bless. Not the brightest bulb in the box…) I’m not a fan of the ol’ pancake, which I am aware leaves me in the minority, but they make me gag – too sweet! Too *shudder* flaccid! I’d rather, as ever, have some ham. Or chicken. Or sausages. Mmmm.

Obviously, this also means Lent starts tomorrow which has had me a-ponderin’ all morning. Should I give something up this Lent? Usually, as with New Year’s resolutions, I hilariously* state that I’m “giving up giving things up.” And I’m sure you can all remember how long I lasted on the wagon for Dry January. But I want to set myself a challenge, despite my laughable lack of willpower. I fleetingly toyed with the idea of giving up meat, but then realised that I would basically be solely surviving off bread and wine, which, although fittingly Biblical, would not be good for the waistline.

Julia is giving up alcohol (save for a week-long disclaimer which, in my eyes, is perfectly legitimate.) Scouse Bird Problems is, quite brilliantly, giving up gobshites, which is a great idea, but I’d find it difficult to break the habit of a lifetime overnight. And so I need some inspiration. Give me some ideas, dear blog readers, and I’ll see if I’m up to the challenge. Hopefully I’ll last longer than the frankly pathetic nine days of Dry January…

*not funny at all. On a par with “anything else I can help you with?” “Well, the winning lottery numbers would be nice ROFL.” Kill me. Kill me now.

Happy birthday to my little bro

Less than a week after our Helen’s 21st, today is my little brother Paul’s fifteenth birthday, in a spectacular example of bad planning by Mother Goose and Mad Tam. Like Helen’s arrival, I vividly remember the day he was born, although I wish I didn’t, because I was exceptionally ugly and therefore ruin all photographs from this otherwise happy time.  See below for evidence.

image

See? Hideous.

Anyway, he finally arrived on a Monday morning, two days after Mum’s waters broke outside a church where we were for a wedding. Highly convenient for all concerned. He looked slightly like an alien when he was born but thankfully quickly grew out of this and became this absolute cutie.

image

How adorable please?!

Unlike Helen, who I have no memory of until she was thirteen, Paul made his presence known immediately. He was born with dislocated hips, gawd bless ‘im, so spent the first few months of his life wearing a bizarre brace to manipulate the bone back into the socket. It didn’t affect him at all in later years, as he became quite the mover. This was largely due to his obsession with the film Billy Elliott, which perhaps inappropriately the parentals allowed him to watch over and over again. Paul took to pirouetting all over the place, more often than not whilst wearing a Teletubbies nightie, but the Billy Elliott viewings had to be nipped in the bud when he started peppering his sentences with somewhat unsavoury language. Whoops!

One of the most notable things about Paul is his love of music and his talent for drumming. His hobby drives me insane when I am trying to have a nap and he’s giving it beans on the drums downstairs but I can admit that he is absolutely brilliant at it. He said the other week he had me to thank for his passion for music, so my work here is done. (He also said in the same conversation that, out of his three sisters, Maria was the coolest, but we’ll gloss over that.) Indeed, from an early age, I tried to mould him into a really excellent person – I took it upon myself when I used to pick him up from school to drum into him liberal-minded and feminist ideals. Sorry Paul, I am aware that I am a pain. This too seems to have worked though, as he’s one of the soundest people I know!

Another noticeable thing about him is his penchant for fashion. Never have I known a lad to be so obsessed with his clothes and hair! He spends more time sorting his barnet out than I do. To be fair to the lad, he is always immaculately turned out, to the point where I am slightly resentful of the fact that he appears to have escaped the awkward stage that most teens go through.

Most people say that Helen looks like me, but Mother Goose is adamant that Paul is “so like you, Cath, that it’s scary!” Scary indeed – I feel sorry for the lad. He is doomed to a lifetime of tardiness, rage and appalling hangovers. Sorry again Paul.

He’s had a great day so far – a successful trip to Goodison, loads of presents, and a buffet chez Crilly which should be ready any second now! He’s also got a trip to Leeds festival to look forward to – one of his presents was money for a ticket for whichever day Arctic Monkeys play on. And I’m accompanying him! I’m looking forward to it – spending the day with one of my best mates watching great bands isn’t too shabby, is it? Happy birthday lad – you’re a legend!

image