We live in a celebrity obsessed culture where we spend our time wishing we looked like Angelina Jolie or were as successful as David Beckham.
What we often seem to miss is the people who are our real inspiration, our true role models who are often right under our noses.
The woman who inspires me turns 85 this week and I can’t believe where the time has gone.
Not one to mince her words, my Nana Jean is opinionated, straight talking and intelligent and none of that has changed as she’s grown older. Her needing help to get up from a chair and her frailer frame along with her silver hair does tells me she’s no longer a spring chicken though.
However when I look at her, I still see the young women chasing the three-year-old me around the living room with a wooden spoon telling me to behave! I see the women who cuddled me to sleep every night, cooked the best dinners and who did everything for my brother Adam and I.
She never let us down not once, never missed an important date, never forgot a thing. With our own parents nowhere to be seen, there she was at every school sports day, swimming lesson and cake bake.
She was in her early 50s when she took Adam and I in, I was a toddler and my brother was just a baby.
Throughout our childhood she was just a regular superwoman, juggling a number of jobs, whilst being a wonderful mother figure to us and a loving wife to my Granddad. She biked everywhere in her famous purple hat that she still has.
I don’t think I ever saw her sit down, if she wasn’t cooking and cleaning, she was ironing, or bathing us and running around after us all. I honestly don’t know how she did it; I’m 35 and am exhausted just being a mum to one!
My Nana has had a really hard life, plagued with tragedy. She never met her own mum who died when she was a baby; she also lost her own brother years later in a terrible accident.
After losing my Granddad just as they were about to embark on their retirement she endured what no parent ever should - she lost her only daughter - my mum Susan.
As strong as an ox she just carried on, looking after us and making sure we were all ok. She is the toughest person I have ever met and the most selfless.
The times I ran to her to get me out of a scrape or when I was heartbroken. I remember when I first started university – I hated it.
I used to drive to her house in the middle of the night. She’d stand there in her dressing gown making me my favourite pasta dish with tomato sauce.
I’ll never forget her reaction when I quit my job as a supermarket customer service assistant for an unpaid job in radio.
She was horrified and I don’t think she ever thought it would work out but she accepted my decision and supported me financially. She never brags or tells us that we are brilliant but I know when I got my first paid job in radio she listened to me every day.
I couldn’t have done any of it without her. No matter what I’ve done she has always been there for me, full of advice and most importantly love.
I always knew how much she loved me as a child even though she isn’t one for big public displays of affection. She say’s it’s about showing love rather than saying it to the point where it loses meaning.
She has shown me love every day of my life and I know how lucky that makes me. So when I think of who really inspires me as a person it’s my Nana Jean. When I think about where I get my drive and determination from, it’s my Nana Jean. I know as a young woman I would have given up on life if it hadn’t have been for her.
She may not be a celebrity but she truly is an exceptional person who as made such a difference to my life and I’m really proud to call her my role model.
Thank goodness for ‘envelopegate’
Thank goodness for ‘envelopegate’ at this year’s Oscar ceremony.
It saved it from becoming another boring awards do where actors send us to sleep with their thank you speeches and political rants.
Who really cares about the winners or losers? What we want is some good old drama to make us laugh and say “I can’t believed that happened”.
This year that’s exactly what we got – drama.
The focus wasn’t on who was wearing what fancy dress or sharp suit.
The focus was on Warren Beatty’s awkward face as it all went so horribly wrong.
The organisers of the Academy Awards say they “they deeply regret the mistakes” that led to La La Land being wrongly named the best picture.
Well I say don’t be sorry, if it hadn’t been for “that mistake” no one would be talking about your boring awards ceremony, no one would care.
Will Aram find true love?
We are into the second week of Ultimate First Date on Radio Aire’s Breakfast show.
This week our Leeds bachelor Aram has been getting to know the female contestants over the phone.
Based on his conversations he then has to pick two ladies who he will meet before choosing one of them to go away to Paris with him.
It got me thinking about first impressions – do they really count for everything?
I would say yes they really do. I believe most people, myself included, use our intuition when chatting or meeting a person for the first time.
It’s like a gut instinct – you know if they are going to be your kind of person or not.
That said when it comes to love it often happens when you’re least expecting it with someone unexpected!
To find out whom our bachelor picks and if he finds true love or not make sure you’re listening to Kelly, Ant and Michael from 6am every week day morning.