I had to have a time-out. It was all too much. I don't cope like I used to.

Or, I cope differently now.

And it's ok.

D's family took us all to Centre Parcs in Longleat over the bank holiday. I went, I stepped outside, I took a deep breath, I listened, I stopped everything.

I'm not quite back up to par, but I'm getting there. I feel like I'm trying to start all over again. So just, you know, thanks for bearing with me. I'm still listening.

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A rage. A jealous rage.

I didn't see it coming, but oddly enough I half expected it.

All around me, people are doing amazing things. I have admiration for all of them, I really do. Every day, I learn about something awesome that someone else has done, or is doing, or whatever. I see the tweets, I read the status updates, I check my emails, I see the messages.

And I feel rage. A horrible, jealous rage.

It's pathetic.

In fact, if I just got off my lazy arse and tried to achieve something myself, I wouldn't have anything to whine about.

If I just got off my lazy arse, it would be a start.

If I just stopped saying "IF" and faced up to procrastinating like a dumbass, things would probably be significantly better.

I wonder if much of this stems from growing up trying to be the best at everything I can do, whilst never being good enough. The things that mattered to me, that counted, I worked so incredibly hard for. But it was never enough. So somewhere along the line, I started doing everything I could to please everyone else; to show them all that actually, I can be someone. Look, I am someone.

So what's holding me back now? Why don't I just go out there and say "Hell yeah, I can do that, just watch me."

I don't like to be competitive. But I want to be up there with the best of them.

I don't want people to think I'm arrogant. But I want to show the world what I can do.

I don't want to be in people's faces all the time. But I want recognition and respect.

I don't want to be dictated by everyone else. But feel like I flounder without help.

It's all so stupid it doesn't even make the slightest bit of sense. I know what I want, but don't see how it's possible without being really awkward.

I hurt this week. For some reason, I'm feeling more and more like an epic fail, with no particularly good reason. Once again, I set standards astronomically high, way beyond a place where I could ever hope or even dream to reach them. No one else puts this pressure on me, I do it to myself. And every day, I wish to god I could stop.

Because for once, just once, I'd like to be really happy with what I can actually do.
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I only posted about the Secret Post Club yesterday, but I have another one to do today because I had May's gift arrive this week.

It's a beautiful gift, which I will treasure immensely, and was clearly very well thought out by the delightfully sweet Laura, over at Are We Nearly There Yet Mummy.

I obviously had no idea who my gift was coming from, but I suspected I might have a tiny clue when I saw the label slapped on my box.

The lovely Laura and I had had many a discussion on baskets of fruit on twitter, wondering what makes an effective basket of fruit, and whether we would be able to get a basket of fruit from our respective partners.

One of the gifts inside took my breath away.

It's a teapot.

Made to look like a Basket of Fruit.

See the beautifully protruding banana? Isn't it admirable?

Although Laura drew my attention to the touching plums. Personally, I couldn't take my eyes off the protruding spout. I thought the hole at the end was rather large.

And was also a little nervous that the tip looked a bit crusty brown. But that's ok, I'm not too fussy, I think.

Needless to say, I was keen to give it a test run, and see if that spout could pour it's juices out of the large hole like every good large spouted teapot should.

Since we rarely drink tea here, I had to fill it with an alternative hot creamy liquid, so as to fully appreciate it's abilities.

I chose my favourite mug; I call it "The Pussy", for obvious reasons. And for this Basket of Fruit teapot, it seemed completely fitting. I was pleased that the spout poured hot fluids into "The Pussy" really well, although I was a tad distracted by the growing bush creeping in over the spout.

I must have been a little in too much awe of the hot spouting creamy fluids into "The Pussy" because looking at the picture now, I see there was a little spillage. See it? That tiny little dribble on the bottom? I would have licked that drop off, but I don't much care for the taste of creamy fluids in my mouth, so there's creamy mess all over my surface.

I'm thinking I might accessorize it, but I obviously don't want to hide it's sheer beauty. And, as if this gift wasn't enough, Laura was most kind to send me a little book to read, perhaps while I indulge The Pussy with hot creamy fluids.

Someone said something about toilet humour, so I thought perhaps I would put it in the bathroom to read when I'm otherwise engaged?

In any case, I'll just say a huge THANK YOU to Laura for my beautifully innocent gifts and go back to admiring them in all their glory.
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Some people have the best ideas ever. I'm still in awe of fellow MADs finalist Tara Cain's idea for the Gallery, my other current favourite is Heather at Note From Lapland and her Secret Post Club (check out the badge just over there, scroll down, it's on your right).

Now, normally I'm just really excited to send a gift and await the reaction, but I was more excited for last month's as I discovered it was coming from Mexico.


I'm still trying to find out if I can get hold of her to say thank you, but April's gift was 3 delicious smelling hand wrapped soaps, and I suspect I won't use them, they'll end up in my underwear drawer making my bras smell nice.

Besides they're too lovely to unwrap. :)

Many thanks to Different Randomness for this lovely gift :D
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Here I am again. Staring down the barrel. Looking into the abyss. Reaching for my shroud.

I wish I were stronger. I wish people could look at me and say "Bloody hell yeah, that Jay? She's stronger than a strong thing which happens to be strong". I wish I had the strength to not even get into this situation, time and time again. I wish I had more strength to get myself out quicker.

I'm sat in my lounge, next to my patio doors into the garden, and the sun is streaming in. But it's behind me.

The sun is behind me and I can't look at it.

Or maybe I don't want to look at it. Maybe my black shroud is much more comfortable. At least then I don't have to deal with anything else. I don't have to deal with anyone else. I don't have to care.

I wish I had the strength to look at it.

I always thought it was easier to just keep my head down. Keep myself to myself. Let the world pass me by. I never wanted to be where I am, but I want everything I've got, and more.

But I can't even manage it.

I don't know what I want; maybe I'm too confused, maybe I'm too tired. Maybe I do want escape, maybe I want to run away. Maybe I want to forget all of this life, have nothing to do with it. Maybe I don't even want to pack a bag; maybe I just want to close my eyes and sleep. Maybe I don't want to wake up. Maybe I won't wake up.

If I could turn my face to the sun with the promise of something better, but stay asleep until someone could guarantee that for me...maybe that would be the ideal. Maybe I could bask in the warmth of the thought of better things. The blissful idea that there really is better out there.

It's easier for some. Some can shake themselves out. Some can make themselves feel better. Some have help. Many are strong. I don't feel strong. And that frustrates me. But I'm too proud to accept help. It's how I've always been, hasn't it? Too proud to accept help. What doesn't make sense is that it feels like I have nothing to be proud of.

And that just makes me feel even more weak.

I know I have to keep going. I know I have to open my eyes and look at what's going on around me. People will tell me not to be selfish, and to shake myself out of it. Think of my family, think of the kids. Do it for them. They're what matters. They ARE what matters. Does it matter how they see me?

Can they see beyond the fake smiles? Can they see me under my shroud? What if I don't want them to see me?

I guess that's what I do best. Fake smiles. Diversion and distraction. A bit of the colourful me. I'm just nervous that it gets harder and harder every time.

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So it seems, today is my 3 year blog anniversary! Or birthday!! Or...whatever it's meant to be called.

It seems blog birthdays are quite a big deal; I've watched a few people celebrate theirs with style, doing giveaways and huge posts and tweetups and parties and whatever else.

And I have to say I'm often a tad jealous, mainly because their blogs seem so popular, you know? So I reckon if my blog was bigger, I might give a way, um, a car?

Or how about tickets to a ball!!!

Or perhaps even family tickets to the zoo?

Yeah...I got nothing. So instead I'm just going to remind you how we started, all thanks to this little monkey.

Sorry, I mean THIS little monkey.

And of course, I'm so pleased we had another little one to add to the blog.

Happy 3 years, journey of the mocha bean(s) and mummy. It's been a hell of a journey so far. I hope we've got much more to share.
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I always feel like I'm waiting for something. I'm tirelessly working at something, anything, almost all the time. But somehow, it always feels like I'm waiting.

I blipfoto'd the above photo yesterday afternoon, and realised I was lurking in the kitchen stupidly waiting for them to suddenly spring open to see them bloom.

Dropping off Noah at nursery this morning, it occurred to me that for the umpteenth time I was waiting for September when he starts school properly and (selfishly) I'm not having to rush backwards and forwards. Don't get me wrong, of course, whilst I try my best to enjoy my time with him, I know that nursery is doing him the world of good (better than me? I don't know. It feels like it).

Hell, right now, I'm waiting for Isaac to go to sleep. I'm also waiting for my hair to suddenly have a massive growth spurt...

Last night I was up until around 1:30 am, tirelessly working away at my website, trying to improve it as much as possible, trying to raise stats, trying to get get noticed, trying to raise my rank in a google search.

I look at Isaac every day and wonder when he's finally going to fit into the next size up clothing all ready for him. Oddly enough, I don't look at him and wonder when he's going to walk; he's just started standing up unaided, but as a result of Noah walking at 8 months, I'm quite content for him to take his time...

Many days pass by when I'm waiting to get my camera out and do some extreme photography. Situation doesn't always present itself, for whatever reason, and then of course I berate myself for not making it happen. But seriously, how many pictures of my own children can I take before someone I get bored? Of course I LOVE taking pics of my own....but I always want to be that "something different", you know? I'm waiting for that very thing. That "something different". I don't know what it is just yet.

I'm waiting for the day that Noah can eat something without instantly gagging and barfing. It gets dull giving him the same foods and him struggling to eat new foods. He always tries them; he just can't seem to eat them. I'm running out of ideas.

It's all ok at the moment, though. I have patience; I have to. I can work harder, but I can't make things happen much faster. Especially things that are out of my control. But when these various things do happen, I'm pretty sure they'll be damn near amazing. Or at the very least, worth the wait in some way.

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Yeay! It's ANOTHER MADs post!! Because I haven't bored you with enough of those, have I?!?!?!!!? Well I'm supposed to pimp myself out and ask for as many votes as possible etc, but short of harassing celebs on twitter, I'm rubbish at doing that, and end up feeling immensely guilty telling people who they should vote for.

So I thought perhaps if I listed some of my better (photography) posts, pictures and themes and stuff, and then you can have a look, and then um, if you like them maybe you could have a think about nominating me and maybe voting for me and being nice to me and then maybe I might win even though I obviously would be really pleased if the others won but somehow I want to win and beat them all.




Happy Birthday, Isaac - A post featuring pics from Isaac's first birthday and a video of photography from his first year

Oh. Hello Stranger - In which two of my worlds collide spectacularly.

There Are No Subliminal Messages - Um, there are no subliminal messages.

Then there are posts with the usual holiday snaps from my favourite place in the South of England.

Like to see collections? Check out anything about The Gallery, hosted by lovely lady and fellow photography finalist Tara Cain.

What do you do on your Sundays? Mine were Silent for a little while...

Or how about a photo meme? The Kreativ Blogger Award got me to dig out 7 interesting photos...

And in this post, I totally ranted on about how my blog is just AWESOME, and cinched the deal with some of the best photography ever.

(There's a reasonable amount of sarcasm there.)

Noah's second birthday was pretty good fun, and there's pics of cake. Which I made. Not.

And over the last year maybe, I've had some AWESOME FUN with light art, and if I pull my finger out I might even do a tutorial or something on this soon.

And of course, last but definitely not least, who can forget my tweet stalking of Stephen Fry? It's not really photography, but it is, and it's also a good example of how persistent I can be, when I want to be.

And now, for the finest example of my photography work, because that's what this is all about:
Best MAD Blog Photography

The Best MAD Blog Photography award recognises that some bloggers don’t just have a way with words – their pictures are just as powerful, and sometimes more powerful than the words alongside.

Just meeting criteria, is all.
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Over at The Gallery this week, Tara Cain's theme is "Men". Since (apparently) I'm all bolshy and stuff, I'm going to change it to "(Boys to) Men". Because that's what they are.

The testosterone in my house is RIFE. D is in the Civil Engineering construction something or other industry, the boys will scream for anything with wheels, and so needless to say, there are (noisy) diggers, trucks, scoops, dump trucks, cars, buses, transporters and all manner of god-knows-what in the kiddos toy box.

This is my lovely hubs, Mocha Beanie Daddy, known to you as "D". I blame him. But he's bloody lovely, as some of you already know.

This is Isaac. He will lay his hands on whatever wheels he can get.

This is Noah. He is happy to just have them all lined out in front of him and then watch a bit of TV while he can.

Either way, they're happy to bare their chests, smile at the ladies, and play with cars.

And they're all soft enough for a snuggle on the sofa in front of the TV.

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Wednesday 5th May was Isaac's first birthday. I won't blog a load of stats about him, like he weighs the same as a baby kangaroo, or is a long as our cat, but I thought you might like to see his day in pictures...

He started off in a little photoshoot of his own with me, which he really seemed to enjoy...

(Oh my GOD I want this child's eyelashes.)

(He seems to be one of those kiddos that photographs annoyingly well. And no, I'm not biased. Much. Contrary to popular belief.)

He was fantastic to photograph; I've always felt him to be an easy baby model, and he's totally un-phased by the camera, so I got one or two half decent images!

Then for the rest of the day, he was happy to indulge in presents and toys...

(Noah can be a royal pain in the rear at times, but at least we can safely he say he does love his brother.)

Thanks to Gammar for the cake.

I should say "cakes", big and small.

Which, unsurprisingly were incredibly well recieved!

I could go crazy adding a billion more photos of my gorgeous little boy over the last year, but this post would reach epic proportions.

So I put them into a video instead.

Happy first birthday, my beautiful boy, Isaac Jay.


If you like this post, please feel free to vote for me over at The MADs awards, under Best MAD Blog Photography. Many thanks :)
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Some Things I Saw This Week


The Post Where I Leave You All Wondering What The Fuck

It's been an eventful week, Isaac had his birthday yesterday (which I'll blog about, but since he's only one and won't ever remember it, this post is WAY more important), Noah has been seriously trying my patience, I did my first ever adult portrait photo shoot, I started a BlipFoto account (because obviously I'm so lazy and have way too much spare time on my hands) and, um, I appear to have been shortlisted for the MADs Best MAD Blog Photography.

I believe when I found out, my words were:

Which was a direct result of this.

So then I read this:

The Best MAD Blog Photography award recognises that some bloggers don’t just have a way with words – their pictures are just as powerful, and sometimes more powerful than the words alongside.

So!! I thought I would just say, um, THANK YOU SO VERY COCKING MUCH!! I seriously did not see this coming. I actually said to D that there was no way on God's rather wet earth that I'd make it as a finalist. I talk about shit, I post random crap, and Jesus H Mother Cocking Christ, have you SEEN WHO ELSE I'M UP AGAINST??? The pictures these guys take are fucking awesome. I urge you to click on those links and take a look, cos SERIOUSLY. Oh Em Eff Gee.

So I thought, maybe I should write a very gushy post and tell you all thank you SO FUCKING MUCH for helping me get this far. I would love it if you were to vote for me to win (have you seen the prizes? Yes please), although I'm still amazed you've helped me get to being a finalist.

I'm barely a photographer in my eyes; with no training of any sort I've still got so much to learn. But becoming a finalist? Well that's just the biggest complement I could ever have right now.

So maybe I should post some pictures to um, show how I got here maybe? You know, "demonstrate" a bit of my work?

(Seriously, there are no subliminal messages here. No sir. Not at all.)

(This was mysteriously found on Noah's doodle draw thingy. No idea how it got there.)

"Yeah yeah mother, see this here? NEGLECT. An empty bottle of water is all I get? You are FAIL."

(Maybe D did this in his sleep, bless him. Ahw.)

"Yawn. Mother. I. Am. Bored. It's not like people care OR listen to your poop anyway. Get over yourself."

(Obviously Isaac did this, though he's so modest, bless him, I suspect he'll deny it.)

"Obviously Mother you are delusional. I'm exercising full-on hardcore cuteness to score some points here, Mother. What - points for you? NO. Points for ME. Check out my sly smile while I get all the attention."

(Strange things happen in the fields at night, round the corner from my house, you know.)

"I turned one yesterday. And my mother chose to write this thank you post to all you lot BEFORE she decided to write about me. Here I eat this number 1 to show my disgust. Make this worth my while and vote for her."

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