Life as a mum on the East Kent Coast with two young kids. It's not all Chablis and Oysters you know.

The Tantrum

Please give that toy back to your brother. I ask brightly, but I know what is coming. The witching hour is upon us. YOU ARE NOT BEING A KIND MUMMY, he shouts loudly. I try not to smile at this “insult.” A dramatic arm fold and harrumph  follows. A stamped foot punctuates the point. I ignore it. This is not the reaction he was looking for. He pushes the baby over. It wasn’t hard but damn it, this cannot be ignored. He is officially overtired and heading for a tantrum. He needs to go home. I have left it too long, hoping to finish my cup of tea, my conversation with a friend, my moment’s peace. Silly me. Now I will pay.

I enter the “Damage Limitation Zone” going down to his level, speaking calmly, quietly, stating only the facts. In 2 minutes it will be home time. Let’s get our coats. All hell breaks loose. For some kids it would be sobbing, for others screeching, hitting. For him it is angry salty tears, cross words, a flushed face and his whole body tensed and ready to react. NO. I. DON’T. WANT. TO. GO. HOME. I.DON’T. LIKE. YOU. Said with such intense feeling. I feel exhausted watching him. HORRIBLE MUMMY. He isn’t shouting. But his voice is full of rage. 5 minutes ago he was laughing.

Tantrums. The real ones, are not about naughty steps. They are not about control and discipline and calmly managing the situation. The tantrum says, NO. I WILL NOT BE MANAGED. I will not be polite. I will not calm down. I will not do as you say. I WILL ASSERT MYSELF AND MY WILL. YOU WILL HEAR ME. I will not go to the supermarket nicely. I will not leave my friend’s house when I am having a lovely play. I will not be kind to my baby brother who keeps taking all my toys. And I do NOT want to go to bed. A hundred minor grievances throughout the day have built up to this moment. These feelings must out. And it is happening now.

We look at each other. Then I pull him close to me. He thinks about resisting but chooses not to. A hug disperses the anger this time. Tears of frustration give way to sad tears and slowly his breathing returns to normal. The tightly wound little body relaxes in my lap, relieved not to have to hit or shout. We sit like this for a moment. Quietly. Then, waters calm again, I suggest coat, shoes, home? Without a word of dissent, he agrees. And off we go. Hand in hand.   me&boy

2014 the year of the experimental vegan

January is nearly over and so I can confess that one of my resolutions this year was to trial a period of veganism. I am embarrassed writing this because I wonder what assumptions will be made about my decisions? I suppose the main one would be that I’m desperately trying to loose weight. That is the bit that is embarrassing because British women like to pretend that they don’t work hard to look good. To be sexually attractive we’d be thin with a decent serving of tits and ass of course. We’d devour steak and chips and a bottle of red wine and order the creme brulee AND the cheese because everyone knows that a healthy appetite at the kitchen equates DIRECTLY to your appetite in the bedroom. Unlike women in LA, we know it is important to be a laugh as well as look the part and no one wants to go on a sober date with a vegan right? This is why I get embarrassed. You can see right? Also I’m a bit of a crap vegan it turns out. More on that later.

So I’ve been struggling since the birth of my second child who was an 11lb beautiful monster of a baby, to reach something I would consider in the vicinity of normal weight/size for me. And at the end of last year I just got fed up. Fuck it, I thought. FUCK. IT. I have worked my arse off eating low carb, low sugar diets. I have trained for and successfully run a half marathon less than a year after said monster baby was born. I’m sure I lost some weight along the way but it wasn’t making me happy, it wasn’t enough. So I had a lightbulb moment, I decided to stop making decisions about what I’m doing to my body based on how it will look and start making decisions based on what is good for it and the planet. This led me quite quickly to a decision to trial a period of veganism becauase plants are great for you and because it isn’t forever but I thought it might help me reassess how I eat and my reliance on animal based products – it has.

About halfway through January I heard about Veganuary  via this piece in the Guardian which was cool because I felt like it wasn’t hypocritical to trial veganism for a short period. As the campaign founders suggest, a period of veganism has made me think more about what I’m eating and whether I really need that food or whether I just eat animal products out of habit. I’ve enjoyed the fresher, cleaner flavours of a vegan diet. I also got comfy with carbs again. As I said, this diet wasn’t about getting skinny but trying to feel healthy and I remember that for me, carbs make me feel amazing and happy so I tuck into a bowl of courgette and chilli spaghetti with gusto. I just don’t put parmesan on top. And luckily for me I love houmous. Beyond anything normal or reasonable. (I’m not the only one) I’ve slept better and I feel like I’ve snacked less. I also just don’t fancy the stuff I’ve (mostly) cut out. So it doesn’t feel like denial, within my vegan parameters I eat as much as I like.

I remember my brother telling me that veganism is only possible today because we have access to products like soy or milk substitutes like almond milk and I take his point. As a vegan you still have to be mindful of the footprint of your food… But his point was that the consumption meat and animal products is the natural way, the way our ancestors would have eaten. But factory farming is the opposite of natural, the creation of processed meat or cheap milk relies heavily upon technology, machinery and antibiotics so I don’t feel like that argument really stands up. (Read “Eating Animals” if you still need convincing.)

I am not a judgy vegan. I’ve opted out twice this month. Both times I was with friends who I hadn’t told about my experiment and ended up eating delicious meals that they prepared for me. I ate one sausage and some pasta with tuna. I was cool with it and still am. I like those things and I made a bit of a decision early on that I would be reasonable with my new diet which meant not making friends feel super weird. If I’m at a restaurant and there is nothing delicious and vegan I’ll go for the vegetarian option. But as it is January that hasn’t happened yet. As the year trundles on I may reintroduce small amounts of fish and eggs – I miss both. But meat and dairy? Not so much.

In case you are wondering I think I’ve lost a little bit of weight. But actually I am working hard not to give that headspace this year. I have too much else to do. As for you guys, any top vegan recipes please send them my way! As I near the end of January I am ready to go forward into February as an open minded vegan. Tonight I’m eating veggie laksa, can’t wait.


Half term at Grandma’s from a 4 year olds point of view

One wet afternoon on half term break in Norfolk I gave Nate my camera and told him to go and keep himself busy. This is what he saw. I like seeing things from his perspective!

Just keep swimming…

When I worked for someone else I always knew what was expected of me. I knew what success looked like and I knew when I had achieved it and when I had let it slip by. But it was tricky because it wasn’t the kind of success I felt would make me happy long term. But now I’m trying to forge a new path and even though it feels right it is even harder in a way.

Looking after the boys. Training for my half marathon. Fundraising for my half marathon. Starting a business. Writing on my blog. Hanging out with my husband, friends, family. Shopping. Cooking. Cleaning. Laundry. Getting stuck into a community project. I know I spread myself too thin, but I don’t know how to do life any other way.

My day-to-day glides effortlessly from the sublime to the ridiculous and back again. And sometimes it makes my head spin. A phone call to a business contact bouncing the baby on my hip hoping he won’t cry. Trying, desperately to sound professional. Waiting, restless, raring to run out the front door for an exhilarating 10k when my husband gets home from work. A brief kiss the handover. A crying toddler waking in the night and falling then asleep in my arms snotty but perfect. And laundry. Endless loads of laundry at all hours of the day and night. Scraping porridge off the floor on hands and knees. A sleepy lull in the middle of the day when finally I can have a bath and a camomile tea in peace. Then write and write and write until they wake.

It is so chaotic, so mad that sometimes a month goes past and I am so surprised. Now I have no idea if I’m making progress or just treading water. But I know if I stop then I will sink, so I just keep going.

“Nothing is ours except time”

This week I stumbled upon this wonderful letter from the philosopher Seneca to his friend Lucilius via the wonderful “Letters of Note” blog.

“…hold every hour in your grasp. Lay hold of today’s task, and you will not need to depend so much upon tomorrow’s. While we are postponing, life speeds by. Nothing, Lucilius, is ours, except time. We were entrusted by nature with the ownership of this single thing, so fleeting and slippery that anyone who will can oust us from possession. What fools these mortals be! They allow the cheapest and most useless things, which can easily be replaced, to be charged in the reckoning, after they have acquired them; but they never regard themselves as in debt when they have received some of that precious commodity—time! And yet time is the one loan which even a grateful recipient cannot repay.”

“Hold every hour in your grasp.” It’s like a punch in the stomach. Wake up it says to me. Life is fleeting and fragile. Hold onto it. Every. Last. Bit.

Given I spend all my days looking after my children I’ve been thinking about whether this wisdom can help me with my parenting, day-to-day. If I am “holding each hour in my grasp” what would my behaviour look like? Well, I’d try to appreciate my children as they are at right now rather than pushing them towards the next thing whether that be learning to walk, read, sit nicely or wear pants. There are YEARS of your life where you have to wear pants right?! I’d read and listen more, tell and instruct a little less. I wouldn’t worry if they don’t eat veggies at this meal. They probably will at the next and it isn’t worth spoiling the chance to share a meal together when we could be talking about DINOSAUR MONSTER ALIENS instead of sweetcorn. We would eat the chocolate ice cream. We would giggle and play and prioritise kindness and loving each other over nightly hair washing and not making a mess. We would bake fairy cakes, not to take perfect pictures at the end but to learn how and lick the spoon.

This approach would need me to loosen up and let go of my inner control freak. Don’t get me wrong. I believe in routine, I believe in teaching manners and this isn’t some ridiculous notion about letting kids rule the roost. In our house that would mean we ONLY ate the chocolate ice cream and watched Octonauts and never got dressed. A bit of structure makes a child feel safe and in control (not to mention the parents!) But I also know that in our house we have unnecessary battles over pointless crap. I know that sometimes I roll my eyes and say “COME ON HURRY UP” or do things for my toddler that he could, with a bit more time, do himself. This isn’t because I’m horrible but I’m onto the next thing in my mind. I want to get him to nursery on time. Or I want to get the baby home for his nap so he is in a good mood later. And I rush them. I rush them into clothes and boots and out the door, past the most fascinating slimey worm EVER on the ground and give hurried answers to the many good questions I don’t always know the answers to. It is much harder to slow down, enjoy the walk, look at the worm and talk to each other and be in the now. Because ultimately, life is nothing but a series of hundreds of thousands of those moments. And each moment has the opportunity to be as valuable as the next. To me, that thought makes the day to day a bit more beautiful.

“Live in the sunshine”

We deserve this. This SUN. This summer that has finally arrived.

We need it. Beautiful, radiant, life-enhancing soul grabbingly brilliant bloody sun. We need the summer. The day upon day upon day of warmth where we learn to trust that there will be a tomorrow filled with more opportunities for garden sitting and Pimms sipping.

Each summer is a memory of those that have gone before and a promise of what is yet to come. Summer is a place where the adults throw off responsibility with our clothes. We drink the wine, forget about work and let the kids stay up late running barefoot on the beach ’til dark and eating ice cream for dinner. We see ourselves no longer as the pale, stressed, sullen creatures of winter but bronze limbed, passionate, spontaneous life grabbers eschewing chores and for a beach barbecue and a large G&T.

We look back at the summers of our childhood and try to relive through our own kids the magic of the summer holidays. We want it for them, all of it. The summers we had, or if we were unlucky, the summers we longed for or read about…

Running, running, running with friends ’til your chest was fit to burst and legs were filthy. Reading stories on the grass in the sunshine. Eating ice cream on the beach. Any beach. No worries, no school, just bikes and mates and playing in each other’s gardens and not coming home until you are so tired ant thirsty that you have to. Then downing a pint of squash and it tasting – SO GOOD. The smells; coconutty sun cream, cut grass and always a barbecue somewhere. Climbing trees in bare feet. Collecting bugs in jam jars. Building leafy dens. Adventure walks. Mud pies. Nettle stings and hunting for a dock leaf. Driving in the car with all the windows down singing at the top of your lungs on the way to anywhere. WATER FIGHTS with your best friends.

Do you remember daydreaming outside watching clouds change shape and wondering what life life would be like when you grow up? Feeling like summer would never be over even though we knew it would and soon it would be all autumn leaves and exercise books and shiny shoes and socks again.

And now, it is our kids with the sweet sweaty heads and sticky sandy skin wrapped up in big coloured beach towels and washed clean and patted dry each night. Our kids barefoot in the grass and sand and dirt. Our kids voices singing in the back of the car on the way to somewhere. Our kids in and out of each others houses making their memories of summertime. And all the noise and mess and warmth and joy.

It is a gift. Grab it.


Why being labelled a “Retro Wife” makes me angry

I’ve been avoiding the much discussed article in the NY Times “The Retro Wife” for a couple of months. If you haven’t heard about it it is a piece about the new generation of affluent middle class women turning their backs on feminism and opting to be stay at home mothers and wives. Arguably because this kind of applies to me (for the moment anyway) I’ve avoided it because I assumed it’s author intended to shame me. “Look, you there” she would say, “you, yes you, white, middle class young lady. YOU ARE A CRAP FEMINIST. Where is your ambition? Don’t you know you are indulging in a ridiculous sexist nostalgia trip? FEEL GUILTY IMMEDIATELY.” 

It actually didn’t do that at all. Possibly because writer Lisa Miller is torn about the path she is taking. (Disclaimer - this isn’t me being judgy but something she explicitly voices in the piece). She seems intrigued, impressed and yet slightly repelled by the idea of being a traditional “homemaker.”

And this is where I start to take issue. The story the media likes to tell is that we are a new generation of homemakers, we craft, quilt and bake. We tend to our men and children. We aspire to be the housewives our grandmothers were. We reject the decisions taken by our mothers in the 70’s and 80’s to work and raise a family simultaneously. We embrace our femininity, put on vintage dresses and pour our husbands a glass of wine when they get in from work.

And yes there are some aspects of truth in it. I do bake and cook more now that I’m at home. Cooking is a joy for me so that makes me happy. But the focus on a new generation of happy housewives completely ignores some of the key reasons women are dropping out of the world of work. It makes it seem as though we have the world at our finger tips and we just aren’t ambitious or driven enough to make the most of our chances. Some seem to think we are frightened of the corporate world and so retreat to a world of comfortable domesticity.

It ignores the sexism we encounter every day in the work place, the review where you get reprimanded for being “bossy” and “pushy” where male colleagues are admired for being “assertive” and “decisive.” It ignores the fact that early years childcare in this country is either sub-standard or unaffordable for the majority of families. It ignores the fact that for the moment if you want someone to stay with the baby for the first 12 months of their life without losing their job it has to be the woman because men aren’t yet entitled to longer parental leave. It ignores the fact that that housing crisis means there is a lack of affordable housing in urban areas pushing families further and further away from the places with jobs. If you have two kids and a one hour commute how easy is it for both parents to continue working full time? It ignores the fact that pregnant women or women with children are consistently overlooked for promotion. It ignores the fact that even today our culture consistently reinforces the notion of women as primarily wives and mothers above any professional status they may achieve.

It may seem like it, but mums who stay home aren’t all on a sodding nostalgia trip. After all, it’s a messy business raising a family. Many of the mums I know would prefer to have (or are actively pursuing) a more equal split with their husbands where both parents work and undertake childcare. But for a lot of us we are trying to do the best for our families within the society and culture we are actually in and not some pretend world that assumes that we’ve achieved equal status with men. So a lot of us turn our backs on the corporate world, and spend a few years focussed on our kids of course. But increasingly, the women I know are doing more than just that. Instead of spending their spare time baking a pie for their husband they are quietly starting businesses from their kitchen tables. Businesses they can run from home. Businesses where they can work flexibly and hopefully do something they love. Businesses that can grow alongside their family instead of in competition with it. And for me, THIS is the new domesticity. Where homemade entrepreneurs are born.


Thinking of moving to Whitstable?

Recently I’ve had a few lovely people get in touch with me here on LITB or via Twitter to ask me lots of questions about living in Whitstable so I thought it might be helpful if I outline the main answers here for anyone to read.

When we were in London we both worked full time and my eldest went to nursery, (so lovely, so expensive) 2 bus journeys/40 minutes from where we lived. Taking and collecting him was the worst part of each of our day.

Since we now had one child (and another on the way) we no longer went out all the time and enjoyed all London had to offer. Yes, we could see our friends easily if they came to us. Yes. we went to Broadway Market every weekend. And yes, fashionable hairdressers and flat whites were easy to come by. These were all good things. But we mostly went to work, collected Nate and went home. And we lived in a little 2 bed flat on a main road with no garden. We wanted more space. We wanted a proper place for our kids to have a childhood.

So far the things we love about living here:

Community – it is properly and unexpectedly amazing. Friends just pop in for tea, or you pop round there and your kids will have mates who live in their streed that they run around with and get sweaty and overtired with and drink Ribena with on summers evenings. You will have friends who understand the demands of family life and will offer to drive you to hospital in the middle of the night if you or your partner goes into labour. They’ll miss you if you go out of town for a week. That is cool.

Food – East Kent is a really foodie place. Kent is the garden of England so there is lots of brilliant produce that comes from here, loadsa farms where you can stop (at this time of year) for new season asparagus and strawberries. We have proper local butchers selling meat from local farms like Monkshill Farm. We have great Cafes like Windy Corner Stores and The Beach Cafe. There are fab restaurants and I don’t mean like, fab for the provinces I mean like fab for the New York Times. There are Supper Clubs galore from our very own community supper club to the very talented Emma Wilcox’s. We have the utterly lovely Sportsman (Michelin starred) and I haven’t even got round to Margate with the best burgers in East Kent at Fort’s, innovative Indian at The Ambrette and gourmet Pizza at GB Pizza.

Beach – We swapped a 2 bed flat in Dalston for a house by the sea. We are about 3 minutes away. This means when it is sunny we go to the beach. We go when it is cold and windy too. Before school. After school. In the day. In the evening after supper. I run there. The kids play there. And in case you are wondering it does not get tired. They ALWAYS want to go to the beach. We have pebbly beaches here in Whitstable and round the coast in Margate, Broadstairs and Ramsgate they have sandy beaches.

Creativity – This is going to be a bit waffly sorry. Basically lots of people who live here are arty and creative. By “here” I mean Whitstable but also East Kent. This means creative businesses like Margo Selby Textiles and Cloth Ears are based here not to mention lots of painters and photographers. Also lots entrepreneurs, people who want to have a better balance between family and business come here to set up a different type of life, check out East Kent Mum and Catriona Campbell to see what I mean. East Kent has even launched a bid for European City of Culture 2017!

Ok so there is the prosaic stuff. The nitty gritty now:

Commute – The commute is tough. Dylan gets up every day at 6 and is out of the house soon after 7 to get the 7.25, this is the latest of the “fast” trains from Whitstable in the morning. This means it takes 1 hour 11 minutes to St Pancras direct. Miss that and he has to change at Faversham and it takes at least 1.5 hrs. The latest fast train back in the evening is at 6.25pm otherwise same deal. This means he often sees the kids for about 5 minutes in the morning and he comes home after their bedtime. TOUGH. It is also very expensive. Somewhere in the region of £5k per year. However, the train he gets is really nice and he always gets a seat. He tells me that he enjoys the downtime. I get a bit jealous of his hour of peace each day. Many people I know have said that the commute is more pleasant than commuting from one side of London to another.

Schools & Pre-schools – In Whitstable there is a great selection of pre-schools, childminders and primary schools. Go on the fab Whitstable Mum site to find out more. They also give details on all of the (many and varied) drop in classes, parent and toddler groups and all that good stuff. I’m really happy with Nate’s pre-school. After primary the schools aren’t quite as good – there are two middle schools in Whitstable and reports from Mums I know here is that one is good and one is not. I have no personal experience of this though, welcome any comments from existing Whitstable Mums. Similarly, I have no experience of the one secondary comprehensive in Whitstable. Kent still has the whole complicated Kent test at 11 so my concern is that the clever kids go to the grammer schools in Canterbury and Faversham. Not sure I particularly love that.

Houses – We decided to rent when we first moved here and although that has been a drama I still think it was the right thing to do given we had to make our decision quite quickly (I was pregnant). The rental market is tough though, it is a very small market and good houses go very fast. The house we are in had 8 couples view it on day 1. So don’t assume that because it isn’t London it isn’t competitive. Buying is more normal I think, the market here is still very buoyant though compared to national picture. Lots of lovely houses from bigger places out in Chesterfield and Tankerton to lots of Victorian terraces in central Whitstable. If you want (a LOT) more house for your money consider Margate or Ramsgate as Whitstable isn’t cheap (though obviously cheaper than London).

I hope this is helpful. And please feel free to message me in the comments with any further questions. Whitstable Mums is a great resource too, and there is lots of chat daily about Whitstable goings on in their associated Facebook group.

My relationship with my body then, and now

When I was 21 I didn’t like my body much. The first boy I ever loved had just cruelly dumped me. I grew thin and pale. As far as I was concerned getting thin was the only good thing about getting dumped. Even though all my friends and family told me I was too thin I STILL didn’t think I was thin enough. Throughout the relationship I had studiously controlled my weight through insecurity. Whenever we’d bump into an ex of his (there were a lot) he’d say, “she’s gained weight, she used to be a lot more attractive when we were together.” I was so obsessed with not becoming the fat ex-girlfriend that I didn’t think very much about how this made him sound.

Ten years on and I’m in a very different place. I’m very much in love with my husband and have had two kids. I am not that pale thin (and insecure) creature I was at 21. But the last decade has given me some much needed perspective about my body. I haven’t been that kind to it I realise. I drank – lots, I smoked, I’ve eaten far too much or too little and swung wildly between the two. I’ve over exercised and ignored exercise for months at a time. All the time, whatever state my body was in, I can guarantee that I didn’t like it. And that was before 2 pregnancies that bloated, stretched, weighed me down and tried me like you would not believe. One 9lb baby and one 11lb baby were not easy.

But bizarrely this is when the change started to happen. I have more lines and lumpy bits than ever before and yet, I care less than ever. I look back at my 21 year old self (pre-heartbreak diet perhaps) and think, “If I had that body now I would be naked ALL THE TIME!” If I have any common sense at all then I need to start imagining what I’ll think about my body when I’m 40, 50, 60, 70? What would my 70 year old self say to me now? She’d say “Forget the insecurities lady, put on that bikini and have a cocktail, dance around a little YOU ARE SEXY AND YOUNG!” Please bear in mind my 70 year old self is a little out of control, but I think she’s got the right idea. I am young, and my body is probably better now than it will be in 20 years or so. Life is too short to worry about what we look like in bikinis and forget to enjoy ourselves. I was chatting with my friend Kat on Twitter recently and she reminded me of that speech “Wear Sunscreen” that was made into a song a few years ago,

“Enjoy the power and beauty of your youth. Oh, never mind. You will not understand the power and beauty of your youth until they’ve faded. But trust me, in 20 years, you’ll look back at photos of yourself and recall in a way you can’t grasp now how much possibility lay before you and how fabulous you really looked. You are not as fat as you imagine.”

THAT. THAT is what I will try to remind myself as I step out into the world each day.

Having babies, particularly having Arlo, gave me massive confidence in what my body can achieve, running makes me feel free and alive. Dancing around with my kids and rolling round on the floor is the best. There are so many fucking awesome things that I can do with my body that aren’t about presenting it neatly for other people but are about making ME feel amazing.

I looked back through my photos, to try to come up with a few of me from the past few years to go with this piece and they are so few and far between. Mostly consisting of photos of me checking my hair looks ok and almost none that include my whole body. This is ridiculous. From now on I’m going to be photo bombing all of you. But for now i’ve included a series of phone self-portraits that would never normally see the light of day from bedrooms and dressing rooms, me without makeup or without a brush having seen my hair. Because as I look back at myself now I just think, I looked allright actually, and most importantly, I was happy.

Running on the beach

I am absolutely loving running at the moment. Especially as I have this beautiful route which goes something like this. Leave house, 2 mins later arrive on beach. Run 20 mins in one direction. Run 20 mins back. 2 mins to home. Don’t get me wrong. I loved running last week in Regents Park when I was at the Primrose Hill Palace (mum and dad’s) but there is no run that is better than a beach run.

Here are some pics I took on my last evening run just to prove what I’m on about.


In my everyday life I sometimes feel the lack of physical freedom that is normal when you raise kids. This is definitely a bigger deal now that I don’t have another job to go to. It means that I am rarely on my own. I travel with a pram, handbags, bags of shopping and a toddler holding my hand OR I am carrying his scooter. We are lucky in Whitstable that we can walk everywhere but it takes forever to get ready to leave the house. I never just pick up my keys and phone and LEAVE. Until now. Now it is still light when my husband gets home. And last night I was ready. I got the kids to sleep. Then I changed into running shoes and waited. The moment he was home I was off, running along the beach. I’ve always hated to run but now I love it, because I love the physical sense of complete freedom. Some days I think I could run forever. But my body isn’t ready for that. I have stopped thinking, “I hope this makes me thin” and now I just do it for the joy. And yes. I felt this way when I ran in the rain too. Tho I didn’t take pictures.

Please remember I am training for the Royal Parks Half Marathon and I would love you forever if you sponsor me.