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Emerging Writer Member Profile

The Fresh Pants Blog

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Member Bio:

I’m a ‘plenty’ 9 year old, professional and mum to 2 happy, young, bright souls I helped make from scratch. With a dash of fun, a dollop of madness & a pinch of inspiration, Fresh Pants shares a mix bag of stories/experiences with its 5 regular readers in an open, passionate, honest & courageous way. All views shared throughout this blog are a mix of my own inner voice(s).

1 or 2 of its 5 regular reads have provided feedback including they were fortunate enough to stumble upon an “aha moment” or indeed something that resonated with them in a familiar even comforting way. This feedback helps keep FreshPants alive!!!

The purpose of Fresh Pants is to get all my thoughts & inner voices out of my head – if it helps others in any small way find what they really want to be doing in life, what legacy they hope to leave behind - that then is a super added bonus.

Fresh Pants – Big style
Like most of us the voice behind Fresh Pants wears many different hats including; head of keys & lights, fixer, negotiator, taxi driver, washer upper, volunteer – this is not an exhaustive list. It’s mammy however, to two children that currently takes centre stage & gives me the most reward & pleasure.

We share many treasured moments as I forever pick up after them with my bum in the air – they love to call out ....

“quick Mam it’s our favourite TV programme, – 50 ways to kill your mammy"

this I try very hard not to take personal.

Number 1 son has been known to greet me with open arms after a day at work & traffic jams to advise .....

“I’m so glad you’re home, we’ve lots of maths homework tonight”.

Throughout my professional career before Fresh Pants there was/is a passionate advocate of Corporate Social Responsibility (CSR) responsible for driving numerous engaging initiatives resulting in fun & emotional moments. Believing we can all make a difference & that any deed no matter how small can have an enormous impact on others, I was a very proud Non-Executive volunteer Board member of Special Olympics Ireland for 7 years.

In addition, there were letters earned to put after my name (I've yet to) ... - a Fellow of the Chartered Institute of Personnel and Development (FCIP), one of few female members in Ireland who has secured Fellowship. A Certified Professional Executive & Personal Coach, who has worked one-to-one with clients to help them identify and achieve results they want in their career, workplace & life.

It was while coaching the realisation to tell stories came about, not sure what or indeed whose – a fond memory as a 17 year old includes a Great Aunt chastising for....

“talking a good talk but always procrastinating”

It’s only taken a couple of decades to put a red light to this procrastinating habit. The result, Fresh Pants is a way of paying attention to the signs that have guided me towards embracing vulnerability & to write wholeheartedly. Inner voices (yes plural) challenge constantly,

“why would anyone be bothered reading what I write”?

I reckon I could start with a list of reasons why people wouldn’t be bothered, including:-

Grade C in Leaving Cert English (100 years ago) & no journalistic background.

If Fresh Pants is fortunate enough to improve on its current 5 readership, he/she will find stories told in an honest, courageous way. They may possibly even find…. a smidgeon of comfort & if I can’t sprinkled it with chocolate I hope to add a dash of fun!

If you stumble across Fresh Pants the grammar police are encouraged to remember – a C in English. It can promise it will not always include perfect grammatical content but it will always try its best as it stays hungry to remain true to itself while foolishly having some fun (stolen from Steve Jobs).

Writing sample

‘Tis been a few months & apologies to the religiously regular 5 readers who “any given Sunday” jump outta bed eager to open their Fresh Pants.

The excuses, unsupervised adult aside, the noise of life took over together with that ever frequently present flaw, procrastination. Sure there was no hope of getting a half decent blog outta my head. I did, however, have every confidence readers would survive safely in the knowledge – we would meet again.

Rest assured ’tis been busy mammying, daughtering, working, taxi-ing, lecturing, moaning, pontificating, chief bottle washing & “brace yourself Ambrose”, there were even a couple of adult fun nights out.

Regular readers might remember Helena Christensen’s lookey likey. Well Helena has been up to her old tricks again, on my back about joining Tinder. This gig she started with me New Year’s Day & she is still at it. If I was a gambling lady, Paddy Power would give good odds that Tinder & I – “Never the Twain shall meet”. I’m way too much of a scaredy cat. Helena on the other hand, sure she has her feckin beautiful profile pic oozing with sexy Goddess confidence.

Couple weeks back while the kids were away, Helena & I spent a lazy Sunday afternoon out my back garden – surrounded by beautiful flowers. Yes, flowers that another very good school friend helped me plant. When I say this friend helped me plant…… In actual fact, we drove to the Garden Centre, where I think I muttered;

“I like purples”.

This was followed by 2 hours of her selecting a variety of plants & shrubs. Me, I carried the watermelon, ah no I jest, I pushed the wonky garden trolley. Who knew the garden centre even had trolleys?

Now, there are very few times in my life when I like to be bossed about, however, when I am out of my depth I will accept a good bossing. Like recently my 2 year old car’s first service included an angry mechanic;

“4 tyres all death traps, I would kill you if you were my wife” (I won’t repeat what I thought).

That “tellin off” I rightly took on the chin. And, later that evening leaving the garage quickly half blessing myself – I whispered ever so softly to Michael on my shoulder,

“thanks for minding me, yet again”.

So when it comes to car & gardening thingyamajigs – bossing me is kinda acceptable.

Returning from the Garden Centre & following a cuppa we both got to the gardening work. When I say we both got to work, she bossed & I followed her instruction;

“that needs more water, pour it there, no, not there, there!!!”

Throughout the day, I intermittently filled my friend with coffee & hey presto 3 long hours later – my purple covered garden was beautifully blooming back at us. That was back earlier this summer & with the exception of our water free week, due to a burst pipe – nothing has died. I’m secretly quite proud as is my school pal, whom I love dearly.

Back to Helena – we hadn’t caught up in person since April & I was dying to hear her news. Helena leads the Hollywood single life…. always arrives in style & this visit she remained true to form. While the whole of Ireland this Sunday was out catching rays, me, I was watching the hurling as I waited for Helena.

Up screeches her gold glistening, 2 seater merc with roof top down. Helena parks, not in the driveway I might add – like all the normal Joes who visit. She parks across my front lawn.

Answering the door – there she stood, Lady Muck in the most beautiful multi- coloured, figure hugging knee length dress, hair pinned back & her piece de resistance, 5 inch very sexy designer heels. Helena wore enough gold a family of 4 could live comfortably off & she looked feckin stunning, as per usual.

Truth be told, I was a bit pissed with myself for only throwing on a clean v-neck white t-shirt, green faded combats & a pair of flip flops. Sure at the best of times I live in my own little bubble believing once you get past my charm, intelligence & sense of humour – sure its my modesty that stands out most.

Daily pair of fresh pants & if the t-shirt is clean – sure I’m ready to meet Liam Neeson. All that’s missing – a dab of vaseline on the lips. But then, stand me beside Helena – that charmed confidence slowly begins to shrivel.

Tut tutting at the hurling on the TV Helena headed towards the back garden, admiring the flowers she couldn’t believe they had been nurtured by “moi”. She had just returned from Marbs with one of her many men, Charles. I was itching to hear all the gossip & oh I could tell she was itching to share…..

Now Charles, she met him on Tinder. Charles has a wife, but I’m told;

“she doesn’t understand him”.

Helena gets my input once – after that she knows the drill, it’s up to her. Our friendship is based on accepting our differences – chalk & cheese but when the shit hits the fan, in a heartbeat – we are both there for each other.

“Marbs was amazing fun dahlin”, Helena preened as she poured the wine (bet it was, I thought to myself)

“Charles hired a private yacht & minded me sooooo much” (bet he did, I thought)

“unfortunately we could only stay Monday to Thursday, Charles got an emergency call & we’d to dash back home” (bet he did).

Swirling & now staring into my wine glass…..& whilst always remembering our friendship rules of engagement…

“how long is it you are seeing each other?”

“Oh I don’t know – 3 years ‘ish”

“do ya love him”

“course”

Ping goes her phone, ping it goes again.

“do you want to answer that” I add

“nah you’re grand, it’s just Tinder the lads are swiping they like my profile”

My inside voice rambled;

“course they bleedin like your profile, jaysus I’d like your profile”….

scaredy pants me pleads……

“can I see”?

I nervously picked up her sparkly, rose gold iPhone 7 & staring back at me is an absolute Adonis. I say nervously as I am the dope who thinks, if I can see him he can see me…

Under the perfectly gorgeous profile picture of Adonis;

“Paudge, Co. Wicklow”.

Paudge was smiling on a beach in shorts, very short shorts that look like he borrowed from a 1970’s Diego Maradona. God this lad was ripped, his ripped was ripped & if Paudge’s tan was fake, where the hell did he get it?

To best describe this lad, he had the look of a French footie player with a dash of Hollywood film star.

“Paudge?? from County Wicklow?? are you sure he’s real?”

I tried my best to keep my judging tone to a minimum.

Helena gave me her pissed look & snapped,

“course he is real AND what would you know Miss Judgy Pants hiding behind your 2 kids”

“more wine” I nervously added..

Helena held her glass out indicating a refill was required. Funny she is the opposite to me, she loves the red, a nice chateauneuf-du-Pape for Helena. Result, we usually end up having to finish our respective bottles…. life can be tough at times!!!!

I was distracted by another ping, followed closely by 2 more, while Helena picked up a carrot & began to nibble. Not once did she glance towards her ever increasingly pinging phone. Me, sure I couldn’t keep my wandering eye from the feckin flashin blue dot. In an attempt to divert my attention, I emptied a large fist full of tortilla chips smothered & overflowing with hummus into my mouth.

Amazingly, for someone who has such a big gob, it all didn’t fit. And a large blob of hummus landed smack bang between my boobs – on the clean white t-shirt…

“balls it”

We both burst out laughing..

Feeling the sun burning my face, I reached for my factor 50 & Helena belts out…

“jeez dahlin don’t dare splash me with that stuff, it’ll leave marks – I’ve factor 6 oil on”

Realising she raised her voice a little too loud, she softly, yet sarcastically added – with a wink,

“So, how’s life with you Ms. Comfortably Numb”

Ice broken – we both simultaneously lifted, clinked glasses & sipped our wine.

Glancing around my garden, butterflies fluttering as they hoovered around the flowers – & remembering I’d be face timing the kids later – a genuine happy in that very moment smile covered my face…

“Ah you know me, sure good & bad days & taking the rough with the smooth. Funnily, today…. Fresh Pants on, hummus stain on my boobs – sure I’m plain ole happy with my lot”

Keep the sunny side up!

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