Nan

So this is my Nan. The delectable Joanie Louie Brickell.
Yep, she’s wearing my sunglasses and doing her finest Stevie Wonder impression. 
18 months ago this strong-willed, fiesty woman began to fade a bit. Her memory was dropping in and out and simple day to day things started to become really hard work for her. Our little tiger got diagnosed with dementia and things have been a rocking roller coaster ever since. 
There are days when we panic within an inch of our lives that she’s off out wandering in the night again or she’s gone to eat the chicken she’s left out for four days. There are days when we get so frustrated with the constant questions and repetition of the same made up story. There are days that we feel guilty for being short tempered with her.
 There are days when we get really angry at the world for a bit for putting her through it.
Then there are days that are pure golden. Without intent she will absolutely crack you up and pull a stunt that even the finest comedy writers couldn’t put their hands to. The woman is a comedy genius. And completely oblivious to it.
Last week the oxygen thief that is Katie Hopkins came out and called dementia patients ‘bed blockers’ and complete half wits that go about their lives agreeing with the low life took to Twitter to come out with some real classics such as ‘if animals had such little quality of life, we’d put them down’…if ever there was a target for trolling, that was it. 
To be honest the comments turned my stomach but in true Jo fashion I decided to look at things from the funny side.
I wanted to write this blog for a few reasons really. Firstly to stick a finger up at people with such awful views and to highlight that in their own little world, dementia sufferers are often having a ball and have a great quality of life. It makes no sense to anyone else but for the most part they are content. If and when the time comes that they require hospital care, they deserve just as much as the next well minded man. So here’s the finger…
Secondly, I wanted to write this not as a way to laugh at this terrible condition but to provide a light hearted read for people out there that are dealing with a loved one who’s suffering. I hope someone, somewhere will read this, chuckle and feel slightly better knowing they aren’t the only ones dealing with the utter madness. 
Thirdly, I wanted to write it for my family. We are pisstakers by default and no ailment, illness or serious problem is exempt from the sarcastic retorts of the Irwins. This is our way of dealing with what is, in fairness, a really horrible situation.
So here it is. The comedy gold that can come from knowing someone with dementia. 
The World According to Joanie Brickell – The Highlights.
– That time she started using a jay cloth to blow her nose instead of a tissues because, well, why wouldn’t you do that? 
– The invention of Teoffee – yep you got it – Tea & Coffee all in the same cup. She couldn’t remember what you asked for two minutes previous so you are getting both. It’s surprisingly not awful. Props to my Uncle for always necking it and not batting an eye.
– Whilst on the hot beverage front, that time that for no reason at all she put soap powder in the coffee jar, mixed it all up and tried to serve it as an appropriate cup of sauce to dip your biscuits in.
– Then there was the time she offered to make us breakfast. We accepted (to our peril) and were presented with three pork pies and a bowl of Haribo. And a teapot of TeOffee. Standard.
– The conviction that the cash point is actually the work of Wizards. It’s like magic that! 
– The disdain at the woman on a voicemail. I mean she is, and I quote ‘a snooty fucking cow’ for telling Nan that my Mum is unavailable to speak. Yep you heard it hear first.
– The invention of Chicken Korma Pasta Bake. That was actually pretty fit to be fair.
– The time we arrived to find Nan’s hair covered in what looked like breadcrumbs. After washing and conditioning it for her we realised why. She was finishing the at home salon job off with a bottle of deodrant rather than hairspray.  Give her some due, her hair smelt lush! Her underarms, however, were crunchy as.
– The sandal wearing in December. Fashionista. 
– The need to fry oven chips in butter to go with any meal. They are OVEN chips love. OVEN. 
– When you arrive to find her wearing every single bit of jewellery she’s ever owned. My girl looks like a white Mr T…five rings on each finger, three necklaces and two watches. Just to sit indoors. Ballin’.
– When she tells you that all the doctors off Holby City were crowding round her bed the other night. Did you know they only ‘fuck off home’ if you push the big red button on the remote. True story kids. Listen and learn.
– Then there’s the people that live upstairs and keep her awake all night. In her single story bungalow…
-…and the fact that my uncle keeps on making a 140 mile round trip to sneak in during the night to steal her bread, make her a sausage sandwich that she’ll leave to go green and untune her TV. He is a bastard for that in fairness. Ever so light fingered when it comes to baked goods. 
– When she asks the meals on wheels lady if tomorrow’s menu will include…wait for it…
Hairy Onion Baked Bullock Roll.
Head. In. Hands.
–  Or when she does the washing up with fabric softener. Lush. 
– Then there’s the time that it’s your birthday…in April…and my girl sends you a Christmas card.
& last but not least.
– That hard time when Pat next door died.
And she wondered why he wasn’t very chatty. 
And then they had that party for him when he got taken off in a big old crate on the back of a van.
Poor bastard.
LL
x

Fibs All Blokes Tell

‘Oh no, my guy would never lie to me, he knows better’ said one particularly awful excuse of a woman on the phone on the bus this morning.
Bullshit 
Firstly, don’t air your business on public transport. Secondly, don’t be a fool.
I don’t care how scary your acrylic nails and four foot eyelashes are sweetheart, he doesn’t know better. I’m not saying he’s out and out lying, being devious behind your back but he has 100% fibbed to you at least twice in the last week. 
Fibs are fine. Fibs are normal. Fibs aint nothing to be worried about. 
But all blokes fib. And they all tell the same ones.
& here they are
The Fibs All Blokes Tell.
– I’m still at work, this report is taking me forever to get through, I’ll be about an hour late.
(I finished it before my deadline, as always, and now I’m having a swift one on the way home)
– Of course I’m listening babe. 
(definitely not)
– Literally, I’m just going for one on the way to the station. 
 (See you in the morning)
– I was honest to god leaving the pub and never guess who walked in. Only Dave..you know Mystery Dave that we never really see. Well I owed him a pint, and then he bought me one back. You know how it is.
(you always planned to meet Dave) 
– It will be good to see your Mum & Dad.
 
(As if)
–  I only put a tenner on that horse
(minimum of £25 has gone on that horse)
– I’m not saying you are less important than the football.
(but I’m 100% not interested in anything you have to say about work in the next hour and a half)

– I’m not having a big one tonight. I’ll make sure I’m home because we’ve got stuff to do tomorrow. 
( I don’t want to do DIY so I’m going to get ‘accident’ drunk)
– Yeah I know the dress you’re talking about, I like that on you.
(No.Clue)
– Ah sorry, my battery died. 
(Was playing FIFA)
& my favourite
– Honest, I’ve only ever been to a strip club because the beers in there are so cheap. 
(& the boobs are so pert)
LL x

Diets

So, if you’re on Instagram, you will have no doubt heard about The Body Coach. You know the cockney, curly haired absolute sort that screams about midget trees and getting ‘Uncle B…IN THE MIKE’…all whilst handily not wearing many clothes. Decent marketing tool that, not going to lie. He sings songs off his balcony and makes you feel that by clicking ‘like’ on his photo, you too can be a lean winner!
Well to be honest, after seeing the mouth dropping transformations of people in as little as 4 weeks I bit the bullet, decided to get my fat arse into action and sign up. I’m a week in, and I forgot the challenges a cake lover faces when starting a new diet….sorry change of lifestyle!
Don’t get me wrong, it’s working and I can feel the difference already & will 100% be keeping it up, but this blog is here just to highlight the challenges we all come across when trying to start being healthy. 
The Devils of Starting A Diet. 

– The sadness you feel when you look at your hand and your mochachocawhoppa has been replaced with swamp juice. See above.
– The moment it dawns on you how many calories actually are in a gin and tonic. And you work that out compared to how many calories you burn per ten minutes on a treadmill. And then you realise that to undo your Friday night out, you basically need to run to Aberdeen.
 Yeah. That. 
– How snappy you become when someone dare ask you if you want sugar in your tea. Erm…sorry. Did you not hear me tell you, in depth, about how long I spent in the kitchen preparing my weeks meals. LIKE HELL DO I WANT A SUGAR. 
– The resentment you feel towards an apple. You cut your eye at that poor little thing that it’s Dawn McCready in Year 9 French who just got caught snogging your boyfriend. Death. Stare. 
– How much your increased water intake makes you pee. Like, sorry, am I 8 months pregnant all of a sudden? 
– When you start to feel like the Dominos adverts on TV are actually out to taunt you to the point that you start drafting a letter to OfCom…before you realise that you’re being irrational because your ten minutes too late eating your 12 unsalted cashew nuts and the hunger is making you bat shit crazy. 
– How happy you get when you leave the gym. Not because of the endorphines. But because of the fact that you can go home and put your face in some carbs. 
– The joys you get from having a protein shake. Because you’ve warped your own mind so much that you’ve convince yourself it’s a McDonalds milkshake. 
– Talking of the golden arches, the things you do when people mention even a hint of a Big Mac. I kid you not, a poor woman in WHSmith’s gave me a book of vouchers last week to get money off in Maccys and I nearly suckerpunched her square in the head because she was obviously so outrageous to just do her job when I had not eaten bread in four days.
I told you…
Bat.Shit.Crazy.
– How much more you hate the girl at work who eats what she wants and never gains weight. I mean, let’s be honest, two weeks ago she was on the shit list but as this stage you are about to unleash all hell on the poor skinny cow. 
– How many phone screens you get through because you throw your phone at a wall every time Mr Papa John texts you. Stick your 2or1 up your arse Papa J.
– How unfit you realise you are when you go on your first run and feel like you’re going to cough up blood. Ever so attractive.
& last but not least 
– When you try to weigh up how bad being larger than you want to be really is…
… Whilst you lick a donut and stick your finger up a the yoga panted woman staring at the avacodos.
LLx

Girls vs. Blokes

We were chatting in the office last week about how differently girls and blokes react to things. It centered around seeing new people and girls in the office moaning about blokes not texting back/ doing a runner/generally being annoying. We spoke about the pickle we can get ourselves in over the smallest little thing and how little blokes seem to care. 
We covered the traumas of getting ‘ghosted’ and ‘fazed out’ and spent a fair while talking about the pure agony of knowing how blanked you are getting because of the two blue ticks on WhatsApp. The elation when they do finally text back and the need to sit back and realise that we are being totally and utterly neurotic. 

Blokes, you’ll be pleased to know that we came to the conclusion that we are 100% the mental ones, but I thought it deserved a blog all the same.
The differences – Girls vs. Blokes
Texting
Girls will receive a text message from a bloke and on average respond within 30-45 seconds of reading said message.
Blokes will read a text message, put their phone down in the living room, go for a wee, play X Box and forget about their phone for anywhere between 4- 24 hours.
Girls will freak when they haven’t had a response back from said bloke. If it goes into the next day before she gets a response she will convince herself that he is no longer interested in her and that he is probably, at that precise moment in time, shagging someone else. She will pace up and down her flat/office thinking up ways she can win him back/ key his car.
Blokes are still playing the X-Box, unaware that anything is wrong. Anytime between 4-24 hours of them seeing your text message they will either….a) be reminded of something funny you said a week ago b) have seen a programme on the television who’s lead character shares your name or c) have a slight unexpected movement in the pant area and as such will be prompted to text you back. Not saying they are just in it for the naked fun but in man land
Pant Movement = Fun Times = Last Time I Had Fun Times = Must Reply To Her Message Before There Are No More Fun Times. 
They will get up, go to go the kitchen and reply, none the wiser to the shit fit the girl has been having for the last day and how many times they have been called something terrible by her….and her mates…because obviously they already know about the ‘blank’. 
Phones
Girls will want to talk on the phone for a minimum of half an hour, just to have a chat. Just to catch up about her day and tell you all the terrible things that happened in her weekly meeting with her boss. She will want to get this all out because by the time she sees you next she will have a WHOLE other list of things to whinge about to you.
Blokes will call your phone to simply tell you they are in the shop and can’t remember if you said Malteasers or Revels.
Girls will use their phone as a way to find out every god damn thing they can about a bloke in the early stages of dating. They will hunt that poor bastards arse down on every social media outlet available and then go off him for something he posted on Instagram a year and a half ago that they don’t quite agree with. Never underestimate the research capabilities of a single girl. They go fully in, and you will never be any the wiser.

Blokes will use their phone to look at pictures of cars, trainers and boobs and to text vulgar messages to their mates about each others Mum’s.
Girls will want to take all of the selfies of her and a bloke together and send them viral. She’s expecting 40 likes for a filtered selfie…she wants the world to know!
Blokes will check the football results whilst the female is uploading said selfie.
They will also secretly like the picture of him & the girl but it will take them a good year before that shit is taking over from the picture of their car on their home screen. The day that happens you know he’s about ten minutes of off asking you to move in.
Feelings
Girls will analyse the living hell out of the way they feel about a bloke. They will talk to ANYONE that will listen about how they’re feeling, their concerns, whether or not they think they are ready to fall for someone again after ‘the bastard’. They will talk about this for hours. They will look into every little thing a bloke has said for 6 months and dissect the meaning of it.
Blokes will stop texting you if they no longer fancy you. Straight up.
 If they’re really into a female, they will only tell her in one of the following scenarios
a) bit boozy
b) really boozy
c) the first time a girl has a bit of a go at him and he’s worried she might bolt.
Nights Out
Girls will make sure they take their phone to the loo or out for a cigarette so they have ample time to text a bloke they are involved with about their evening/ check in.
Blokes will be drinking all of the lager and will probably only look at their phone when they get it out to call a cab. This does not mean they don’t still fancy you and are chatting up someone else. It means their brain can think of two things at once. And beer, dear girl, is winning tonight. 
Dates
Girls will spend, on average, 4 hours worrying about the date before it and 4 days thinking about it afterwards. When talking to their friends about it, they will reinact the whole goddamn night, with actions, accents and timelines. At least 17 people will know the guys name, age, home address and occupation before lunchtime the next day.
Blokes will turn up.
When a mate asks them how it went they’ll get one of two responses. 
1. ‘Weren’t my cup of tea’ (this means she was a munter)
2. ‘Yeah, she was alright you know’ (this means I’ve been knocked off my feet mate, can’t stop thinking about her)
If a girl is in charge of planning a date night a while into a relationship, Wowcher is getting hit up. You are going some place fancy but reasonable for food, and maybe for a little stroll along the Thames. She’ll buy a new top, paint her nails and get her hair blow dried. All the romance. 
If a bloke is in charge of planning a date night a while into a relationship, you two are going to the first restaurant he passes on his way home from work.
Clothes
A girl will fret about what to wear on a date, will buy new pyjamas to wear round the house when there’s a new bloke on the scene, will go all out to make sure even her ‘comfy clothes’ are brand new and make her arse look nice. That’s without us even going down the underwear road!
A bloke will carry on as he has for the preceding 20 odd years. Take it or leave it.
A girl will judge a guy on his choice of clothes. I’ve known girls (true story & you know who you are) not accept a second date with a guy because his choice of jacket wasn’t her cup of tea. Granted a leather bomber is a touch and go area but I felt for the guy.
A bloke aint looking at your clothes sweetheart. 
& off the dating topic but all the same needs noting…

Illness
A girl who has a cold gets up and goes to work. Will probably not feel amazing for most of the day, but will trojan on with a Panadol and an early night. She won’t expect anything from any man in her life other than maybe a peck on the forehead and a bit of a cuddle.
A bloke plans his funeral. 
LL x