My week: an annus horribilis (squeezed into seven days)

Back in 1992, the Queen famously announced she’d had an “annus horribilis”, admitting: “1992 is not a year on which I shall look back with undiluted pleasure.” Which kinda sums up how I feel about week 34 of 2013.
The Queen – as eloquently summed up by Wikipedia – had quite a few setbacks in 1992.

Here are some of the horrible events to which she alluded …

  • In March 1992, it was announced that her second son, the Duke of York, would separate from his wife, the Duchess of York. Later in the year, scandalous pictures of a topless Duchess of York being kissed on her feet by her friend, John Bryan, were published in the tabloids.
  • In April, her daughter, the Princess Royal, divorced her husband, Captain Mark Phillips.
  • In June, the Princess of Wales’ tell-all book, Diana, Her True Story, was published.
  • In November, just four days before the Guildhall speech, one of The Queen’s homes, Windsor Castlecaught fire. The castle was seriously damaged, and several priceless artifacts were lost. John Major, then Prime Minister, originally indicated that the government would fund the cost of repairs (Windsor Castle, like Buckingham Palace, being government-owned). Convention requires the monarch to accept the advice of his or her Prime Minister, but there was considerable public outcry against this plan. As an alternative to relying solely on the taxpayer, the government decided to open some publicly owned royal residences to tourists during the summer period when the Queen is not in residence, and the revenue from those tours was applied to the castle repair costs.
  • In December, the Royal Family faced further difficulties when the separation of the Prince of Wales and his wife, the Princess of Wales, was announced.
Yep, sounds like a total shocker, Liz.
As for my week 34. I kinda wish week 34 could be erased. Make that the last two weeks. They weren’t much fun. Gross understatement – they sucked. They might just be the worst I’ve ever had.
But I’ve survived. Although I’ve freaked a few people out in the process with my moochy woe-is-me blogs.
That’s the problem with a blog being your therapy. It’s all very well when you’re sweating the small stuff, but a little too public for the bigger roadblocks life throws at you.
>> The week kicked off with me having a weep over my chicken-pox stricken child.  I called it My Poor Little Girl. But, like me, she’s a survivor. All the shite stuff life’s thrown at her in seven short years haven’t stolen her sunshine. Still covered in scabs, but racing full-tilt through life again with a smile on her face, like I knew she would. Having her smile and reach her little arms up from the bed to give me a goodnight hug is one of the best feelings on earth.
>> By Tuesday my bad luck cooties had started rubbing off on those around me, so I sent out a warning to proceed with caution in my vicinity lest your life start falling into disarray too.
>> On Wednesday I admitted I was Out of Order and needed repairs. A little alarming for those around me, especially when your workmates are your friends on Facebook (where you posted the blog) and stare at you nervously when you stumble mournfully in the door at 9am.
>> So I attempted to reassure them on Thursday with a blog about funny movies. It was called Laughter is The Best Medicine, and mused on the funniest movies I’ve ever seen. I think Four Weddings and a Funeral would be the one that made me laugh most, mainly because I was lucky enough to see a preview before the hype and had no idea what to expect.
>> And then I went totally left field with a blog about the world’s most bizarre themed restaurants. But it gave me a laugh too, so I don’t mind the crappy page views it scored.  Speaking of crappy, I’m still pretty mind-blogged by the Taiwan restaurant chain called Modern Toilet …
Next week will be better, I know it. Because the songs are creeping back. Some of them are pretty mournful, lots of Natalie Merchant warblings like:”Oh promised land(Oh promised land)

What a wicked ground

(Wicked ground)

Build a dream

An’ watch it all fall down

Watch it all fall down”

But a bit of Kate Bush’s Cloudbusting too: “I just know that something good is gonna happen …”

Meanwhile, over at iVillage …

This adorable meme pretty much sums up the way I’d like iVillage to feel for you as a reader – it’s an electronic hug and entertainment wrapped up together in a website. Here are my favourite ways we tried to make that happen for you this week.

The stories that made us weep and think …

>> These “Benjamin Button children” have a condition so rare there are only half a dozen like them, including one in Western Australia. Click here to read more.


>> 7-year-old Jane Richards lost her leg in the Boston bombings – but she hasn’t lost her hope. Read more about this amazing little girl here >>
>> Our iBlog Friday winner, Lisa Baker, wrote about the pregnancy she wasn’t sure she wanted and the devastation when she miscarried >>
>> The words every new mum needs to hear – that they’re not crazy alone and why – click here to read then share it with the mothers in your life >>
>> “Don’t sigh enviously over how thin he is” and other advice for talking to your son about his body >>
>> The mum who said brushing an unwilling child’s hair is assault. Oh yes, she did! Read her reasoning here then have your say >>
>> The amazing lesson a terminally ill mum taught her friend about life >>
>> Last week we brought you a letter from a woman to the man who cheated on her friend. Now, he’s responded…

On the lighter side …

>> 15 rules for peeing that every mum of boys should read (and secretly giggle over) >>
>> iVillage’s new contributing parenting editor, the brilliant Kate Hunter, wrote about why you should ignore your kids (…sometimes) >> and a hilarious guide to surviving school fete season – and staying in the P&C’s good books >>
>> The awkward moment when a dog has better hair than you… Click here for the full gallery >>
>> Move over, sepia. The latest wedding photo trend is here and we reckon it’s a game-changer. Click here to find out what sets it apart >>
>> The most golden retrievers in one place… and other bizarre world records that have been set this year >>
>> And of course, for the week’s best gossip – and gratuitious True Blood nudity, click here.
How was your week? Any tips for iVillage on making our site more irresistible? Send your thoughts to

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