College at 30 – Pros and Cons

So coming up to the end of September and thus my first month as a college student is drawing to a close, with only a few more weeks until half term too. So how have I been doing and what has been the good and bad points of going to college as a mature student?

Thankfully I’m only in for three days a week, one of which is purely GCSE Maths. I thought this would be my hardest day but actually it’s probably the less stressful. Whilst I am the oldest in the classroom (everyone is 19 or under) and whilst I am currently studying some of my least favourite areas (fractions, ratios and percentages) I am understanding a lot better then I did as a teenager. Downside is… well I’m in a class full of teenagers and there is a small group of them who clearly don’t give a damn about passing or learning anything. This means often can’t hear the teacher or I am trying to work a problem out but find it hard because the group of trouble makers are loudly discussing unrelated and rather disrespectful topics.  Thankfully they have an addiction to sugary drinks and these cannot be drunk in the classrooms so if they want a drink they have to leave the room, thus giving us some peace for a few seconds. It’s lovely and I am okay with them ruining their teeth and missing bits of class if means I actually hear the teacher and do my work. Sucks to be them, right?


Hairdressing has been interesting. We have a group of young girls who did their Level 1 last year and currently they are bored because they are basically re-learning stuff. But what I don’t like about them is that they are not very polite to the staff, they seem to think they are better then everyone else and have spoken about us mature students thinking we cannot hear them. Of course the mature students are being… well mature. None of us care what they are saying because we all know they are just teenage girls and they’ll one day learn that isn’t acceptable behaviour. We just accept they have their clique and we’ll speak to them for help when needed. For example one student is from Ukraine and her English isn’t amazing so she asked in her best English the name of a certain comb. I couldn’t help but I knew the girls who did Level 1 would know and so asked, they answered and I thanked them. But overall this course has been bit more exhausting then I expected. I also feel like we’ve be thrown in the deep end rather suddenly!

Canteen food is shoddy, but I take what I think looks decent as I get my food paid for. Well I get £2.50 towards food and drink. And I can’t use that on fizzy drinks, chocolates or crisps. I also can’t use it at Costa or Starbucks. Yes my college has both of these and speaking to some other students they all say Starbucks sucks and they miss Costa (it use to be in the canteen area but now is far away hidden in a small area in the university section of the college)  and the Costa has a very limited menu, actually offers Prima coffee (I normally ask for a ‘regular’ but when I said this at my college Costa she looked at me as if I said something rude to her) and I cannot collect my Costa points. I have tried the tea but it’s PG Tips and maybe I’m tea-ist but I cannot stand PG Tips… sorry but it tastes cheap and gross!


As most of the students are youths I often get to see how the youth of today think is acceptable behaviour. Some Portuguese lads thought it would be acceptable to speak their native language to say rude and sexual comments about female students. Unlucky for them a mature student who I have become friends with speaks their language and could understand everything and told them (in Portuguese) that wasn’t acceptable and when they said “it’s okay because we’re not saying it in English” she laughed (as did the rest of us) and told them it doesn’t matter what language you use it’s disrespectful. They walked out of the room with their tails between their legs, but it sure reminded me of what teenagers can be like and think is an okay way to behave, specially in a place of learning. Most of the time I laugh at the ones trying to be “cool” and “impress the ladies”. I also had a group of 17 year old lads wolf whistle at me and go “girl you look hawt in that pink hair” and followed me. I turned around and said I am not interested in little boys, that isn’t my kink. They soon left me alone and boy did they look embarrassed. Yeah because I bet their own mothers are much older then me!

So it’s got some bad points but the plus sides has been I’ve gained confidence I haven’t had in a long time. Those lads who whistled at me if I was a teenager I would have freaked the hell out and cried in the toilets. Instead I stood up for myself and told them I am not a cradle snatcher. When a teacher asks a question I’m willing to speak out with my opinion on what the answer could be even if I am incorrect, also happy to speak out and ask for more help or query something. Again teenage me would never have done that. When my Media Studies teacher asked what does the alien from Alien look like and picked me to answer I said “penis” the class laughed at me. I was correct but teenage me was like “oh god I’m gonna be remembered as ‘penis girl’ forever now”. And now that is on the internet and I will forever be remembered as ‘penis girl’ or something. Whoops.

Honestly I think returning to education later in life is way better then back when you’re a teenager. You have enough stuff to deal with as a teen and have little to no real world understanding. I feel understanding what it’s like to work, have a family, live on your own wage and have some ups and downs in life can really mould you and help you, specially when going back to education. I never understood how to figure out fractions in to percentages as a child but this week I learnt how to, have used it several times and almost feel like I could do it in an exam without fear in failing that area.

One thing I don’t enjoy as a student with children is homework. My son has homework, a book to read as well as some studying to help prepare for his Year 2 SATs tests in May. I have homework also which so far has been write a responding letter to a complaint, make a presentation about why I am on this course and now working on a draft which is part of my course assignment. Man… no wonder I’m always tired!

Life Changing Stuff

So you’ve probably noticed a lack of posts here. Well with becoming a single parent of two children and within a month of finding out my fiancé no longer loved me and was interested in a women at work I spent a lot of my time thinking over and over about what happened in the 11 years I was with this man and realised so many things that made me feel a mixture of emotions.

I felt angry at myself for not seeing this coming. When the person you love asks if can sleep with another woman and then when you are not happy with this responds with “I’m disappointed in your answer” surely you’d think something isn’t right, yeah? No, for some reason I just cried in bed at night and felt sick for days. I never questioned in further until he told me he no longer wanted to be with me on New Years Day. How stupid could I have been! And also angry at him for dragging me along, specially as I know he felt this way for a long time and yet didn’t say a damn thing, I felt used and that annoys the hell out of me.

I felt sad because I had been with this person for so long and saw us being together forever, I mean we had a family together. I could not see myself as raising as “broken family”. And also scared because I could not deal with the idea of being alone with two small children. I was having panic attacks, feeling sick and considering seeing a doctor and getting some help for my mental health again. The ordeal put me off relationships, I couldn’t see myself getting close to anyone ever again as I feared the same pain and heart ache,

I started to feel stronger. I have my own money for the first time in nearly 8 years. I could say “you know what? I want to buy some make-up for myself” and not feel bad spending £60 on myself. I could buy my children whatever the hell I want and be sure they are fed well and dressed in things other then hand-me-downs that look like they have been through the wars. And I could go to bed whenever I want to, something I have gotten use to now because that’s what any person should be able to do, right? Previously I when to bed when he went to bed even if I wasn’t tired or wanted to play Minecraft for another hour.

I’ve taken a step to better myself. I’ve spent years trying to get a job in Media. I love events, I loved doing what I did at MCM Expo and even with all the drama behind a certain anime event I helped create and design the mascots for and even helped me even exist on the first year (seriously they had nothing, the games room was literally all my consoles and video games, I had to DJ because they hadn’t organised one and the AMV night had nothing until I made a disc of AMVs the night before) but the fact is I need to be paid and no one wanted to pay me for my work. So I’ve gone back to college to train to be a hairdresser in the hope to get a job either in a salon to suit my family or to work on my own to be flexible and have control of the hours I work. I did however feel events calling my name again when I was at i58 this month, I do so miss being a presenter on stage, but such is life.

I’ve met someone. Yes I know not long ago I said how I felt I could not see myself in another relationship or getting close to anyone ever again in fear of all the heart ache. I’ll write in detail in another blog post on how I met this person but for now we’ve recently celebrated 2 months together and he is very understanding about the fact I have children and cannot exactly drop everything to go see him, but he is happy to travel hundreds of miles to see me. This has also been an eye opener after having someone in my life who seemed unsure whether he could travel 3 hours to see his own children.

And because of this I have realised I’m lucky to be out of that relationship. Yes I loved that person for 11 years of my life, I bought a wedding dress that will never get worn and thinking of the pain of him saying he wanted to end the relationship still brings tears to my eyes, however I am way better off without him. He is meant to be seeing his children once a month but that isn’t happening, it’s a shame for the children but I guess it’s also his loss that he isn’t interested in being a part of their lives and I’m almost at the point in speaking to his boss again to find out if he has any holidays left (he use to say he had none left and then I’d contact his boss only to be told he had tons left so you can see why I don’t believe him) but perhaps that isn’t my place any more. Perhaps I should just accept he simply isn’t going to be a father and count myself lucky that he pays child maintenance on time every month. Because I know a lot of single mothers who are not that fortunate.

So there you go, that’s whats been going on in my life. I’ll post more soon on my new found relationship as well as some gaming related stuff. It’s just been a bit of a whirlwind ride these past few months. Hope you all understand!

Things I Probably Should Stop Saying to My Children

There are things I say to my children probably way too many times thinking they’ll understand. However I never expected them to repeat some of these words. And no I am not talking about swear words. These are just sentences I use often and have made me laugh hearing them from my youngsters, but also reminded me they probably heard it far too many times and perhaps I need to be a better parent.

“Can’t you see I’m busy right now?”

I have said this usually whilst making dinner, making glasses of juice that they have asked me to make and then get asked to do something right now such as look at them doing this cool karate move or find a missing Duplo block that they need right now or they’ll die or something. I am not very good at multi-tasking at the best of times so two things is hard for me, three things? Nope, I’m sorry but gonna have to wait. But today whilst emptying the dishwasher with my son I asked him to put a pot away that I had dried. His response was “can’t you see I’m busy right now?”. He was busy putting a spoon away in the slowest possible time ever. I didn’t know whether to be angry, laugh or be embarrassed. I mean it was cheeky of him to say but also hilarious. And yet also sad because he clearly hears me say it all too often. But his facial expression when saying it just tipped me into laughter mode.

“I’m working at the moment”

Okay I don’t have a job, working is used for when I’m writing a blog post, answering an email or on the phone to someone important. So yeah perhaps cheeky of me to say in the first place but found it an easy way to explain that I’m doing something important and need to be left alone for a moment. Today my son was trying to build something with Lego and his sister kept asking him for his help. He huffed and said “I’m working at the moment!” and after a while he said “Well I guess I’m not working any more!”. Now that last one I can’t say I’ve ever said that, or at least not said such a thing in a very long time. This was all because she wanted a balloon she could not reach but every time he got it for her she would let go of it again and found it funny as hell. As did I because it was like watching a mini version of myself. I haven’t said this in a while though as I just haven’t been able to write anything here in ages and writers block has kicked me down too.

“You have got to be kidding me”

When you have cleaned up the living room and started wiping the dining table down only to hear what sounds like the exact opposite of a clean living room and see all your hard work ruined by a cup of milk all over the carpet you will say “you have got to be kidding me” or similar. This is something I feel I have said too often recently and both my son and daughter have repeated randomly. My son saying it because my youngest has broken something he has built and she often says it because there’s some cool toy being advertised on TV that has caught her eye. Hearing it from a toddler is brilliant though because it’s often said as “oo got to be kidding be” which is too darn cute.

So have you ever said anything that your children have repeated and found funny?

Real Nappy Week 2016

It’s Real Nappy Week everybody! For some of you who may not know the history of this blog many years ago I was offered the chance to test out a cloth nappy brand that was due to come to the United Kingdom and they wanted a parent who used disposable nappies on their baby to try it out and get their opinion. I was that parent and my son was the baby and you can still read that same review on my blog.


I read it now and can see what a total newbie I was to cloth nappies. Since then I have run a nappy library, I have campaigned for supermarkets to bring reusable nappies in to their stores and part of their Baby & Toddler Events and they actually listened (might I add Boots and Aldi have since joined in) and I’ve made friends within the cloth nappy community. My first step in to the real nappy world was over 5 years ago! And so much has happened. And as it took me a while to learn what I have learnt I figured I should least help out so if you are interested in giving cloth nappies a try then you won’t be confused and lost as I was back then!


Drying Time
You can tumble dry on low some cloth nappies, however this may affect the PUL (which is the breathable waterproof fabric used in most nappies) over time. Do you have an outdoor area for drying or an airer? Certain fabrics take longer to dry such as bamboo, whilst microfibre dries out very quickly.

Heavy Wetter?
Is your child a heavy wetter or pretty average for a child their age? If your baby is a pee monster then you’ll need something that is thirsty such as hemp or organic cotton. If your child isn’t much of a wee machine you could get away with microfibre.

This is where it can get tricky. You can get all sorts of nappy systems. If your child is going to nursery perhaps you want something easy like a pocket nappy or all-in-one for no hassle. Or perhaps like the idea of wraps where you can re-use the wrap two or three times as long as it’s dry and clean by simply adding fresh inserts to the wrap each change. There’s hybrids, two-in-ones and so much more to look in to. It really is up to what works for you and your baby.

Price Tag
Whilst they make seem expensive for something they will poo and pee in on a day to day basis it works out much cheaper in the long run, specially as you can sell them on or keep for another child. There are different nappy brands for different budgets. Bummis and Daisybirds are simple nappies that are budget friendly, whilst Bumgenius and gNappies are a little bit more on the expensive side.

Try Before You Buy
There’s over 100 nappy libraries and nappy advisers around the country and many stockists of reusable nappies also offer advice, some have trial kits as well. If you want to see where your nearest nappy library is check out this very useful map. If you aren’t near one then feel free to speak to them on Facebook and I’m sure they’ll help you out in the best way possible.

Good luck on your real nappy journey!