Browsing Tag

Milton Keynes

Life in general, Marriage, Motherhood

I was hacked

Head in handsFeckety feck. I’ve FINALLY gotten around to writing a blog post – my first in the best part of a year – only to find out my website has been hacked. And I have no idea how long for! Note to self: even if not blogging regularly, check your website!

So, while my magnificent husband has managed to reclaim my site from the gremiins, I’ve lost a couple of posts. Quite important ones too: the story of the birth of my first child, and one on breastfeeding. I was amazed by the huge response I got to the latter post and was hugely saddened to find my breastfeeding story is the norm, rather than the exception, and that so many women out there face pressure, guilt, and extreme pain trying to feed their children. (Both posts have been reposted below, as they were).

But a lot’s happened since that first post, not just the fact my boobs are now purely ornamental and not for touching, I can’t stand it. My daughter, now 11 months old, accidentally pinched a nipple while trying to climb me the other day and if she wasn’t my child and I didn’t love her terribly, I may well have flung her across the room. God, it hurt. Continue Reading

Media, social media, Technology

Cybher – meet and greet

cybher 2012 logo

I’m really chuffed and exciting to be attending Cybher 2012 in May, the first all inclusive female blogger event of its kind in the UK. Woo! Not only will I revel in excellent blog company, learn some new stuff and hopefully put faces to the Twitter names I’ve been following for some time, I may well cover the event as part of an assignment for my Masters. We’ll see. I’ll be popping along with my fellow blogging friend Carrie Walton and thoroughly looking forward to a day which celebrates the fact there are so many fabulous female bloggers out there.

So here’s my Cybher Meet and Greet post *waves to everyone*…


Name : Robyn Bateman (formerly the artist known as Robyn Slingsby)

Blog :

Twitter ID: @robynbateman
Height : 5ft 9ins
Hair : Mostly crap and not nearly thick enough for my liking, prompting underlying fear I’ll one day go bald. Currently cut in a lopsided bob which I’ve since learned is asymmetric.


Five things you should know about me…
1. When I was younger I wanted to be the female equivalent of Linford Christie and be an Olympic sprinter. I then wanted to be an author (and still do) and then a journalist (tick).

2. I used to be a newspaper reporter then editor and got nominated for the Midlands Media Awards Headline of the Year a couple of times, but didn’t win.

3. I have an 18-month-old Cocker Spaniel called Ralphie who I love to bits. And he even has his own website (created for one of my MA projects, refer to point 5)

4. I was born and bred in Shropshire which I fondly refer to as ‘The Shire’. I then lived in Leicester for a year or so and am now in Milton Keynes, which isn’t nearly as horrible as most people think it is.

5. I’m doing an MA in Online Journalism at Birmingham City University (via distance learning) and loving it. And Cybher may well form the basis for one of my assignments!


You can find out more about me by reading this blog (or my Journo Nest blog where I post about my studies) or by following me on Twitter.

If you would like to join the Cybher Meet and Greet, do a post and add it to the Linky here. Really looking forward to seeing you in May!

Oh, and if you already have your ticket make sure you grab your badge here.

friends, Just stuff, Life in general, Serious stuff, what I think

Drink too much, it gets ugly

Only a small scuffle for a taxi took the shine off an evening of cockails and convo with the girls last night. I’m exaggerating when I take it took the shine off, ‘cos the shine was firmly in place after a gathering of five girls, 15 cocktails, a sharing platter, some main courses and a sprinkling of cheesecake and chocolate brownie. But it has inspired this blog post.

We laughed when my friend, the birthday girl, announced at the dinner table: “I’ve been looking forward to staying out until it’s dark.” Now in our late 20s, early 30s we’re mostly in bed or asleep on the sofa when daylight leaves the sky.

But as a heavily intoxicated girl fell from the top of her four inch heels to the cold concrete of a Milton KeyneGirl dancing on a night outs pavement, yelling obscenities as we climbed into the pre-booked taxi she’s tried to hijack, I was reminded that night time is when the monsters come out.

As the taxi pulled off we glimpsed back at the high heeled girl struggling to stay on her feet but steady enough to plunge her middle finger clearly in our direction and yell a few unoriginal swear words. I felt embarrassed for her.

And it’s only because I’ve been there, done that and got the T shirt  (the whole outfit in fact) in a previous life that I’m able to say this: how unattractive and unsafe it is to get so leathered you’re happy to make a show of yourself in public.

Drink too much, it gets ugly, says the Australian Government and if I’d heard that 10 years ago I’d have raised a hand to my mouth and mocked a yawn. Now, it’s truth rings a huge bell of recognition.

According to this report it is estimated that the cost of alcohol related harm to the NHS in England is £2.7 billion in 2006/07 prices. That’s a lot of money.

The statistics linking alcohol with fatalities, serious injuries, broken homes, and major health problems, don’t make for good reading and it’s easy to catch a glimpse of that when you look around town on a Friday night. When I go out and about on an evening I want my wits about me and that doesn’t involve numbing them vodka.

But what will change? Probably nothing. Getting hammered, waking up with no memory of how you got home (if you even did get home) and spending a morning gripping the toilet bowl isn’t how I want to spend my weekends but I’ve given plenty of them over to just that in a previous life. Perhaps it’s part of growing up. My younger siblings are certainly continuing the tradition.

Am I saying I’ll never get drunk again? Hell no. When the first sip of that Kir Royale touched my lips the stresses and strains of the week wriggled from my shoulders and I eased myself into the weekend. And while three cocktails sounds miniscule my pansy arse self feels a tad jaded this morning. The difference is I don’t want to waste my weekend shaking off a hangover, I don’t want to have grazes on my knees from toppling drunkenly off my heels, I don’t want to have a black hole where my memory should be and I don’t want my friends to hold my hair back while I empty my stomach contents onto the street. I want to know when my mascara is sliding down my face, I want to hold myself upright when I walk, I want to treat people with respect when I talk to them and I want to avoid losing hours to alcohol induced blur.

I’ve reached the point in this blog post where I need to draw some kind of conclusion, but I’m not entirely sure I have one. I had a fab night last night with the girlies and think it’s only experience and hindsight that can turn you from binge drinker to sensible drinker and still have just as much fun.

Picture by Edward Allen L. Lim taken from Flickr under Creative Commons Licence

crime, Life in general, Serious stuff

On a serious note…

Domestic violence isn’t a topic I expected to be covered when I rocked up at the netball AGM this week. Umpire difficulties, fee increases, voting for a new chairman, yes. Domestic violence, no.

To hear that a member of the netballing community lost her life earlier this year to domestic violence churned my stomach and when I connected it to the local newspaper reports of past months, I just felt sad.

One in 10 people is suffering domestic violence in their life right now and one in four will experience it at some point in their life. Numbers don’t tend to mean much until it happens to someone you know, or, in my case, rubbed shoulders with on a netball court. Knowing the victim, even through sight alone, personalises it and the message hits home harder.

As a tribute to a netballer who lost her life so tragically and needlessly, a rep from MK Act came to talk to us about the help and support available to anyone suffering from violence or abuse at home. The Milton Keynes Netball Indoor League is a community of around 500 women, an ideal forum to pass on the message that there is help out there and no one need face it alone.

MK Act is a service for the victims and survivors of domestic violence and abuse, offering support, advice, emergency refuge or rehousing.

For most of us our home is our haven, where we feel safest and happiest and no matter how crappy a day we’ve had, we can return home, switch off and be ourselves. Imagine if going home is the worst part of your day, the place where you’re most vulnerable and at risk.

The speaker from MK Act asked that everyone pass on information about their services in the hope it may help someone, someday, avoid losing their life like one of our netballers did. So this is me doing my bit. To contact MK ACT call 0844 375 4307 between 9am and 5pm or to speak to a member of the Thames Valley Domestic Abuse Unit call 0845 8 505 505.