Friday 30 December 2011

Grief - one year on

When I lost my Grandad around this time last year, I didn't think I would ever be able to talk about it without dissolving into tears.  Grief is a raw, savage emotion that rips you apart and then stomps on all the broken pieces - at the time you think you will never get through the next moment let alone the next year.

I still cannot talk to my family in great depth about him because their grief on top of mine is still too much to bear but I can sit and remember the good times, think of him fondly and miss him with a smile in my heart.  The human spirit is capable of such great things, we (collectively) survive great hardship and bear huge burdens all in the day-to-day run of life.

We adapt ourselves, adjust our life to deal with the hole within it and learn to live on and over time, that great healer, it no longer hurts as much as it did.  The loss is still great and the sorrow is still felt but the hurt goes away.  Perhaps we adapt to ensure that we don't feel the hurt anymore, a inbuilt protection mechanism of sorts.  It works well, it takes time for it to settle into place, but it works well. 

This new years I hope to be able to raise a glass to my Grandad and wish him well.  There might be a tear at my sadness in not being able to be with him but the pain of loss is gone and for that I am truly grateful. 

Thursday 29 December 2011

The weight of Christmas

Tis the season and all that.  But the scary fact is that the average weight gain over the Christmas period is half a stone what with all the turkey and the trimmings and the puds and the chocolates and the alcohol and that's just on the big day, let alone all the left over hoovering that has to take place because after all, let's not waste good food.

I myself have gained a modest 3 pounds however the immense weight gain of the entire last year precedes the modest 3 and over all the numbers are not looking too good.  In this season of plenty, perhaps the focus should have been on plenty of greens and fresh air rather than death by raisin.  I am by no means a harmless bystander in this weighty festival - there was the cake and the pud and the mince pies and the fudge and the sausage rolls all lovingly hand made and now hanging out in the kitchen saying eat me, go on, I dare you.  There is only so much richness one delicately balanced digestive system can handle.  So there will be lots of chopping and wrapping and freezing and please don't be dismayed in several months time when you pop round for a cuppa and are faced with a slice of Christmas cake.

I admire those of iron will who stick to their calorie controlled way of life throughout the year and are out pounding the streets in their Lycra holier than thou outfits on Boxing Day but it seems I just don't have that constitution.  Now, if you need someone to last through a marathon Buffy session surviving on just junk food and pop, I'm your gal.  I guess this is an indication to the uniqueness of how the human brain is wired, some of us can just say no and others have to go swim in the sea of grease - figuratively - unless of course that actually does float your boat and then I'm first in line to say ewwwwwwwwwwwwwww. 

The older I get the more I come to realise that you are what you are and no amount of wishing or hoping is ever going to change that.  I will always fall on the curvier side and my hair will never convincingly hold a curl but I can work with what I have and attempt to do a little bit of zen gardening on the inside, looking after my internals in the hope they will look after me.  Now, where did I put that StairMaster??

Wednesday 28 December 2011

The Aftermath

The end of Christmas for another year leads us to the aftermath of the festive season.  I hear the January sales (which began 26th December!) have been insane this year with huge amounts of money being spent at very early hours of the morning.  I can't imagine anything worse.  After spending time with my family enjoying good food, good company and good presents I just don't want to go a-jostling with the masses.  Plus my purse strings are most definitely closed...for a good long while.

The aftermath in the grasshopper bubble involves finding homes for the new additions as well as chomping our way through a mountain of raisin-related food.  The miniature grasshopper's room looks like a whirlwind ran through Santa's workshop - an excellent opportunity for a 'tidy/throw away' of tat.  Why is it that the miniatures love the tat so much?  Why is it that we human beans love the hoarding?  It seems that we just enjoy building little piles around us, our ever important stuff that gets continually added to.  I will never understand how people manage to live in show-home styley rooms where everything is minimalist and bland and has no personality.  It's important to have that slinky in the hall under the mirror, and those miniature guns on the window sill, the helicopter firing range on top of the computer and a bag with skateboards, chocolate and gloves in the kitchen.  This is real living in the aftermath.

Waistline aftermath is of course a very crucial question, but one that we don't need to address until the New Year because after all - there is the raisin-related mound that needs to be dealt with.  I dread to think what's going to be the end result but with a new series of Biggest Loser to look forward to and a non-existent food budget until I find a job plus that free gym - the great outdoors - I am only slightly panicked.  As always we say this year is the year but who knows - maybe this year really will be the year?  It's a very positive, gently glowing aftermath so maybe that's the key.

Wednesday 2 November 2011

The quiet calm

There is that moment of utter calm and peace you can achieve when you make a decision about your life.  It's the quietness before the storm, it's the utter clarity that you were looking for as you dithered over what to do? what to do? what to do?  It's the immediate relief that a choice has been made, a path laid out and direction to travel in.

That moment of calm overwhelms your senses; your breath deepens, your heart slows, your eyes droop and you long to curl up and relish this feeling of utter contentment yet life yammers in your ear.  The decision may be made but the actions have not yet been taken and lets face it - actions speak louder than thoughts, even shared ones.

And so to action - a plan of attack.  I know the when and the where, a little hazy on the who but I'm sure that will resolve itself.  I want it to be quiet and calm, to cut through the humdrum of the day like a hot knife through butter.  I almost don't want anyone to know so I can just disappear but I know that practicality won't allow that particular drama to unfold.  There are such things as handovers and training and such like.

What comes after the calm?  Well.... either glorious sunshine or tempestuous storms but hopefully nothing as dismal, grey and dreary as the present.  I would rather there be drama and fire and noise than the gloom, doom and indifference I have to currently endure.  The new year is often looked to as a new beginning but I want this one to be a closure, an end to the horrors of the past 5 years.  A definite bang as the door shuts, the books closes and the shutters shut.  I don't want new chapters.  I want a brand new tome.

Tuesday 1 November 2011

Hard to say goodbye

There comes a point in everyones life when they realise they have to say goodbye because it is just not going to happen.  I'm talking about that dream of being a superhero, or in my case Lois Lane (from the New Adventures of Superman era).

You just have to face facts.  You have to accept that it's never going to happen.  And it burns.  It breaks you into pieces and threatens to sink your world into deepest darkest despair.  Dreams are for the rich.  Those naturally talented.  They are not for the everyday normal.  And that is perhaps the hardest goodbye to make.  To realise that you are just normal and shooting for the stars is so beyond what is meant for you that you almost feel painfully ashamed in having made the dreams to begin with.

There is a certain quiet satisfaction as you pack up the weight that you have been carrying around with and finally getting rid of the dreams hanging around you.  Gone is the motorbike and finally the motorbike gear.  Dreams of biker chick dissipate into the ether.  Gone is the basketball board and the dream of being like Mike - dreams of playing fled the scene when fingers were dislocated just before Christmas last year but somehow the tangible evidence took longer to gift away.  Now the basketballs really can be used as footballs.  Gone are the little snatches of other lives gleaned from magazines and Internet sites and possibility brochures.  They are all destined for those with more time, more luck and more money.  Gone are the far away dreams of idyllic life - life is not idyllic.

It is hard.  It is rough.  It burns you - it eats you up and spits you out the other side, never caring if you make it whole because it plans to eat you again, over and over and over and over.  Life doesn't care for right or wrong, it makes no distinction on race or gender or age or even the amount of times it has chewed you out.  It keeps cracking you, chipping you, breaking you until you realise the inevitable - there is no escape from the grind.  Join the herds before you, accept the monotony and just sink into the stupor that life wants you to fulfil.  There is no dream - there is no better - there is no light.  There is nothing but the vast emptiness of longing and wishing and hoping.

But wait, what is that inner glow?  That tiny piece of hope that cannot be ripped out of you and trampled.  What is that spark that will always survive?  That is the tiny voice that says - OK, I may not be able to be Lois Lane but I can be the best Jimmy Olsen you've ever seen.

Tuesday 11 October 2011

A London Cyclist

Last week I began a new adventure - cycling in the Greater London area.  All in all I managed to cycle 60 miles and make it to the end of the week.  This week will be the big challenge as I tackle 100 miles of perilous wheel spinning just to turn up for a job that causes my brain to curdle.  But enough about the job, lets look at my top ten highlights of cycling in London!

1. Cyclists are invisible to pedestrians

2. Most cyclists are colour blind and physically unable to stop at red lights

3. Everytime you pass a bus stopped in a bus stop it will indicate to pull out and start moving

4. Taxi drivers can't see cyclists

5. Some bus drivers are incredibly considerate to the cyclist, others want to crush you beneath their wheels

6. That space that you think you can squeeze down - you can't.  Even though four other cyclists just squeezed past you to squeeze down the gap.

7. If you are inbetween a bus and a taxi, like the filling of a rather attractive sandwich (if I do say so myself) you will get squished unceremoniously.

8. When you are zipping along at a fantastic speed, 11 other cyclists will overtake you and vanish into the ether

9. Traffic pollution makes you cough violently

10. The shiny blue painted cycle superhighway routes on the road get slippery when they are wet and cyclist suddenly disappear as they fall sideways causing brakes to squeal and gasps of 'are you alright?'

But the biggest realisation I have made is that cycling hurts your butt.  Alot.  And the exquisite pain as you get 'back in the saddle' is unlike any torture previously devised by man.  I thought my large derriere would be sufficient padding.  Oh how I was wrong.

Wednesday 14 September 2011

Don't burn the garlic!

I'm getting back into life - slowly but surely the fog is lifting.  I'm feeling human, I'm feeling happy, I'm feeling alive and connected and awake.  The past few weeks have almost been hell on dietary earth but a tough lesson has been learnt - you just can't do it.  My tract says no and thats that - if I didn't make it then I can't eat it.

At first the thought is wah!  I wants it!  It's not fair!  But then the slow realisation dawns and the thick head finally gets it - feeling ill all the time is so yesterday.  Plus all these foody chemicals make me so aggressive - I'm really quite zen once you get to know me.

So it's back to basics, back to making from scratch which I love and reading cookery books which I love and salivating over the Good Food cooking channel when no-one is watching.  The colours and the variety of tastes and the taste is literally quite wonderful.  I am currently sitting in a little heaven having just enjoyed a new potato, chorizo and green bean 'salad'.  It's ok because it doesn't actually have any salad ingredients (according to the lore of grasshopper) and it was so yummy that I actually think I could smile right through the afternoon.  I certainly couldn't have gone out and bought this especially as anything that come midly close to it would be swimming in (eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeew) mayo or some such similar nasty.

One cookery lesson learnt last night however was - don't burn the garlic.  It goes very nasty.  Very.  Especially when you are settled down to watch the Great British Bake Off and are engrossed in the masterful (sometimes) culinary skills being demonstrated and not really focusing on what is going into your mouth!  Pause it, pause it, pause it!!  Burnt garlic!!  Gah!  It's not good! 

I'm excited at the prospect of what I can rustle up next and look forward to titlating the tastebuds further.  Promise to keep you posted  :)

Thursday 18 August 2011

Money, money, money

I have two love/hate relationships in my life - food and money.  These are relationships that I crave to be in but also wish there was an escape hatch.  Money is horrid.  We need it for everything but when we have it - it never lasts long enough, it never goes far enough and we always, always, always have to have more.  Then the clever-dick banks come along and tempt us with loans and credit cards telling us in their smooth, silky voices that this will take away all our problems and how lucky we will be.  It's utter rot.  If I could destroy one thing in this world it would be credit.  It is the bane of our lives and encourages us to live outside of our means giving in to the gimme, gimme, gimme mentality of society.  The very idea of credit actually sickens me to my very core and I am so ashamed of the debt I have amassed by being so stupid to entertain the notion that I can borrow, borrow, borrow and make the repayments without getting myself into really, really, really big hole.

It doesn't help that life throws you curve balls along the way and washing machines blow up, cars break down, clothes wear out, you keep having to buy the damn food and little things like solicitors and divorces just add the finishing touches.  I caved in to Excel and creating a pay back spreadsheet - it is in no way idealistic (for once), it is based on the bare facts and not the rose tinted spectacles that say oh yes I can pay twice as much that month because I will definitely not spend it on anything else.  This is a master plan.  An iron cast solution.  A no-brainer.  A no-fail.  A win-win - well you get the idea.  This should work.  I can feel it in my water.  And the good news people?  Debt free in 14 months - hear the bell toll to mark the beginning of that countdown and the death of my debts.  14 months - it's much less than I thought however I am sure it will seem like eons of hell as I live through the firm yet firm repayment plan.

My post-repayment plan?  Watch this space ;)

Wednesday 10 August 2011

Green, green grass

I am homesick.  I am actually sick for home.  I miss:

  • my bed
  • my sheets
  • my pillow
  • my shower
  • my lotions and potions
  • my tea cup
  • my milk
  • my tiny fridge
  • my cooking
  • my sofa
  • my TV
  • my music
  • my Internet!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  • my clothes
  • my swimming pool (ok not mine but you get the picture)

Basically my everything.  But the one thing that I am missing more than anything is my better half.  I miss his smile, his laugh, his singing, his dancing, his high-fives, his hugs, his good-mornings, his happy attitude, his pick me up and his actual pick me ups, his sausage rolls, his light switching abilities, his gaming, his appreciative eating - well you get the idea.

Home sickness is not something that I remember really having had before and it's pretty brutal.  I sympathise with anyone who has had it before - I feel your pain.  I just want to go home so so so desperately.  These uni weeks usually fly by but this week is stretching for ever.  Once more time is doing its squirly whirly routine and dragging its ass whilst travelling at its usual speed and passing me by. 

Everyone keeps telling me 'soon be home time' which is not overly comforting but I guess it will soon be time to pack up and go and then I will be missing the freedom from the usual 9-5 grind and wishing myself away on holiday once more.  You just can't win these things I guess.

Monday 8 August 2011

G Block

This week I am mostly standing back and shaking my head in disbelief at the behaviour of a disparate collection of human beans in one place.  Yes folks, I am at Uni this week.

Apparently when you go to University you loose the ability to flush the toilet, speak politely to other people, sit together at mealtimes and act your age.  Apparently when you go to University you revert back to the school sub-type you were assigned to.

Well not me, I don't forget the fact that I am an adult with my own personality and opinions without the need to adopt sheep conformation to keep a bunch of strangers I shall never meet again happy.  And it is with some satisfaction that I can look down upon the mob who seem unable to smile unless the leader of the group deems it is appropriate.

So far this week I have been smirked at for wearing a red t-shirt - omg people, this is unforgivable in the slut fashion stakes of OU uni week.  I have been disparaged for being a lone wolf and not rushing to beg to be included in the 'popular group'.  I have been shushed in a lecture for whispering very quietly at the end about a course relevant to the lecture attending.  I have even been eviled for taking notes, albeit on another topic,  quietly and methodically with the ease of someone who hasn't stopped studying since the age dot.

Now, don't get me wrong - I don't feel hard-done-to enough to defend my position however I do find it laughable.  I expect to attend the labs, the evening lectures and then visit the bar for a quiet one each and every day - there is no need to rush to excess just because you are away from your home environment.  Yes you are at University but does not immediately convert you to an 18 year old who needs to get plastered every night, snog all the remotely handsome blokes and stay up until 5am making excessive noise.  Yes G block, I am referring to you.  First night here and they partied until 5.  Consequently early morning lectures were missed which invalidates attendance which affects your ability to pass the course.  The second to last ever summer school that the Open University will ever run.  Is the opportunity to run away from your life so appealing that you think nothing of throwing your hard studied degree away?  It doesn't make much sense to me but then what do I know.

I know who I am.  I might moan about the size of the packaging from time to time but I am comfortable with who I am, what I am like and what I stand for.  I don't need to adopt a fake persona to fit in with a bunch of people I am never going to see again.  Allow me to float through my residential week without pigeon holing me or relegating me to 'waste of space'.  I am me and you can't touch me.

Tuesday 19 July 2011

First Time

First times are scary, and I'm not just talking about the obvious here - all kinds of first times are scary.  The first time you go to work, the first time you realise you are all you've got, the first time you realise you need help.  This weekend will be the first time I turn 30 (thankfully) but also the first time I have a birthday without my grandad. 

Grief is a tricky animal, it leaps out at you when you think it is safely tamed and always, always catches you unawares.  I don't know how I will be on the day but the very thought of sharing a happy day with my nearest and dearest is making me so so so so unbearably sad.

I don't want him to miss it.

Who will help me make humourous guesses at what is contained in the shiny paper?  Who will I show all my cards to?  Who will I take a moment to sit next to and discuss the merits of various gifts with?  Who will I have a quiet birthday word with?  Who will give me that birthday hug and smell just like him?  Who will carry out the comedy heavy birthday cake act that no knife on this earth can penetrate? 


There will be this huge void. 

'The Family' are all coming.  We are a small family so it is not difficult however it is unusual.  And the last time everyone was all together was the funeral.  So it won't just be my first time, it will be the first time for everyone else.  This year was meant to be extra special as my Grandad hit the 80 mark and I hit the 30 mark - a joint celebration of generations, of loved family members and of special individuals.

I think there may be tears but I hope there will also be laughter and fond remembrance of a great man who is much loved and missed dreadfully.

Tuesday 21 June 2011

Losing Momentum

It's a slippery, slidey bugger is momentum.  When things are ticking along, one might say it is a momentous feeling but really momentum is hard to get going, hard to keep going and hard to start going again.  When you have sails full of wind you can breeze through mountains of tasks without a by your leave but usually sooner or later you find you have nothing but hot air.

I think momentum goes hand in hand with good intentions and planning.  Planning in my book is nothing but writing lists of things you are never going to do even on your best day ever.  Yet I still plan meticulously, surrounding myself in comforting slips of paper telling me what I should be doing every second of every day right down to the letter.  The good intentions often look really impressive however without a healthy dose of momentum they are rarely fulfilled. 

Momentum is usually found on a Monday morning with a hey yeah, here we go, new week, yee-hah etc.  Momentum is generally being looked for at about 11am on a Monday morning in amongst the soft digestives and broken custard creams of the sad looking tea break biscuit tin.  It's tricky.  It knows all the best ways to get lost and not be found.  It's an expert at playing hooky.  Lessons could be learnt.

In a recent blockbuster it was stated that strength of will overcomes fear and it is fear that obstructs us and potentially steals our mojo aka momentum.  My strength of will is probably on par with a gnat.  However, I have hand weights and I'm not afraid to use them - with some good intentions and a bit of planning  ;)

Saturday 4 June 2011

Weighty Love

So you remember when you were miserable, single & skinny?  Good times.  But then you meet someone who lights up your life and makes you feel alive inside.  It's a little thing called love.  And I love it, I love being in it, having it swish around me and fill me up with its nuss.  However... I don't like the weighty side.  Why should being the happiest also be the heaviest time of your life.

They say it's called contentment and being happy,  but why should being happy mean that you end up gaining pounds in weight and feeling like a lump.  An unattractive lump.  When you come to think about it, you met your guy when you were skinny so what will he think when you morph into heffalumpitis.  And he can't understand why you are grumpy and touchy about what you're wearing because he still loves you just the same.

The food love relationship is horrible - the takeaways, the chocolate, the goodies, the lets treat ourselves to more junk never ending circle of eating.  Salad is never the way forward for me and it never will be - I refuse to curtail living for the sake of a diet but there must be balance.  Balance is all important in life.  At the moment there is definitely no balance, it could in fact be said there is drowning and sinking and being crushed under the weight of love.

I wish we didn't have the relationship we do with food - I wish we could just go fill our tanks up at the petrol station just like our vehicles instead of being brought up to finish our plates, treating ourselves to elevenses and afternoon tea, cakes at 3, sweeties at the cinema, dinner - lunch - breakfast out, fast food, quick food, beige food.  The food of love is beige - man that is depressing.  At least the food of love isn't salad.

Thursday 2 June 2011

Water, water, everywhere

Normally pouring from the sky when you don't want it to to be honest but the wonderful British weather isn't what I wanted to talk about.  This month it is all about water.  It takes 28 days to build a habit which happily fits into a month.  And June is water month.  So.... we've all heard it, about a billion times - drink water!!

It can't be warm because then it just isn't refreshing but it can't be too cold because then it hurts your teeth although cold water is meant to burn more calories.  Ice cubes are annoying because they bump your teeth and stop you getting a good mouthful of water - fizzy water is just wrong, it's not refreshing - the carbon dioxide dries your mouth out.  Flavoured water is almost as bad because.... because it's either juice or it isn't.  Oh and tea doesn't count apparently - s'got water innit!  You can't drink it out of a tap because it hasn't been filtered but if you use a filter you've got to store it in the fridge and make sure you change the filters regularly.  You can't keep it in a bottle because when it gets warm the plastics in the bottle are gradually melting into the water and can be carcinogenic.  Oh and you can't drink too much either because it will kill your kidneys and whilst you might actually be thirsty when you think you are hungry nor is it a suitable meal replacement.

The water challenge then - well it's simple.  8 glasses a day.  Apparently you are meant to do things like put post it notes everywhere, set your phone alarm, send yourself emails to remind yourself, drink out of a pretty glass so you feel special, drink it at every meal, in between meals but never more than like two glasses in half an hour (!) and jobs a good un.

Cup of tea anyone?

Wednesday 1 June 2011

What is your deepest fear?

I cannot help but hear Coach Carter aka Samuel L Jackson's voice when I hear that question.  I refer you to the quote in point:

"Our deepest fear is not that we are inadequate. Our deepest fear is that we are powerful beyond measure. It is our light, not our darkness that most frightens us. We ask ourselves, Who am I to be brilliant, gorgeous, talented, fabulous? Actually, who are you not to be? You are a child of God. Your playing small does not serve the world. There's nothing enlightened about shrinking so that other people won't feel insecure around you. We are all meant to shine, as children do. We were born to make manifest the glory of God that is within us. It's not just in some of us; it's in everyone. And as we let our own light shine, we unconsciously give other people permission to do the same. As we're liberated from our own fear, our presence automatically liberates others."

I'm not a religious person but when I see God referred to in this way I think of it as the divine power that is in control of our universe rather than a religious faction grabbing at wealth and causing strife.  Lets face it - we are certainly not in control of our universe and without denying the obvious fact of evolution, there is a spark of the unknown about how we came to be what we are.

This speaks to me in so many ways - my deepest fear wraps me up in chains and stand in my way but maybe one day I will be able to speak of it openly and undo those chains weighing me down.  Now lets go run some suicides and do some push ups - after all - Coach Carter's in charge!! 

Wednesday 18 May 2011



Saviour of the universe!

Which is extremely random unless you know the song, which most people of my generation do.  This got me thinking about the random associations we make with words and jingles and tunes and how they get incorporated into our day to day language.  And then that got me thinking about old adverts which I still remember the jingle/tag line for:

"You do the shake and vac and put the freshness back - do the shake and vac and put the freshness back!" - Beanz meanz Heinz - ad infitnitum *sigh*

Even now if I say "Bud" someone else will invariably say "weis" and the word reaches it's natural conclusion.  (It's "er" just in case you are an ingrate who never heard the advert).

The worst of it all is that I rarely watch TV these days and yet the jingles/comments remain to taunt from now until forever.  Everyone seems to have their favourite but it is peculiar how some stand out in time and others fade into forgetfulness.  Here is a small selection :) 

And last but not least

Tuesday 10 May 2011

Circling 30

I will be 30 in t-minus 75 days (ish - maths has never been my strong point) which sounds like a really long time but when your cunning plan is to be all skinny and stylish by the time you hit 30 it isn't really all that long at all.

There comes a point in your life when you have to realise that you will never be perfectly coiffed on your way to work, you will never have beautifully manicured nails, you'll never totter down the platform in high heels or sashay along Piccadilly in the most up to date fashion.  The best I can muster at the moment is mild disdain for those who can whilst keeping my nose firmly planted in my book, after all the pages of my latest tome don't care what I look like.

A milestone in your years is something no-one can avoid thinking about; it is a period in your life when you look to your past to see what you have achieved and you look to your future to see what may be on the horizon.  Sometimes it can be difficult to see whether there is anything in either direction but it is important to think of everything no matter how large or small because even if you don't think so, you will have touched people's lives and made impacts.

It is tragically easy to think back and decide that you have achieved nothing or that you have failed especially if your life doesn't conform with the ideal we are all supposed to have.  I think that everything happens for a reason and has a myriad of knock on effects that we cannot even begin to be aware of - there is no point on looking back and wishing things to be different.  Instead focus on what you have now and enjoy the good things while they last.

A wise # told me once that if you think happy then you will be happy.  Maybe the problem lies in too much thinking but if there are happy fawts around, I am trying to catch them with my net!

Friday 29 April 2011

A right royal event

Awwww, just watched the Royal Wedding.  I can't help it, I am a royalist and I do love the Royal family.  I must admit as I sit here I wonder why I didn't make the effort to actually go into the city and be there for real event but the coverage has been exceptional.  I'm sure the atmosphere there would have been amazing but it has already reduced me to tears.  All that is left now is the kiss on the balcony.

I wasn't born when Charles and Diana married but I have seen the footage and the photos and of course the kiss.  A Royal wedding does seem to be the epitome of romance and class.  Kate's dress was beautiful, just the right amount of elegance, she looked effortlessly regal despite its old-fashioned quality.  I think it set the tone for the whole wedding.

I did cry during the service.  For a long time after my divorce I viewed all weddings as pointless and stupid and would be filled with bitterness and rage but after the hurt had died down and time had passed, they began again to be a joyful occasion.  It always fills me with joy to see two people marrying for love - it's almost like all things can be overcome and nothing bad will ever happen again.  Today's wedding had me in floods, tears at the love, tears at the sadness of my own.

I hope that any future wedding of mine will be one of love and not sadness, it is a huge undertaking to be wedded to another.  I don't think people realise the effect it does have on them, especially that change of identity and being known as someone elses' wife rather then yourself in your own right.  I wish William and Kate all the luck in the world, we all know he will be king next and her life will change once more.  Today is a sad day for her parents really - never again will Kate be able to just pop in for a cuppa or go for a shopping trip with her mum.  In fact, I don't think she will really ever see her parents again and as she gripped her fathers hand during her walk up the aisle, it was clear that Kate knew she was also signing her 'normal' life away.  For all their talk of normality, they can never get away from the fact that they are the country's prince and princess.  Let us not forget that Diana was the People's Princess and I think the Duchess of Cambridge will soon follow in those footsteps.

Saturday 23 April 2011

Standing in the way

I've been chatting to various people lately about the perceived cant's in my life and it has been pointed out to me gently and somewhat less tactfully that the only person standing in my way is me.

I state a problem, listen to the answer and then say oh I can't do that because blah, blah, blah.  And it's curious to even look back and realise that you are standing in your own way.  The human mind is a powerful thing, it really can stop you in your tracks or push you beyond all your goals.  I don't understand why I would put road blocks in my way.  I don't understand why I would rock the boat and risk the destruction of good things for no apparent reason.

It reminds me of The Matrix (bear with me), when it is explained to Neo that the original computer programme failed because it made life too perfect for the human brain to accept.  Are we really evolutionarily hard wired to expect things to go wrong and bad things to happen all the time?  Do we really expect to fail at every corner and be beaten before we even start?

It is a peculiar thing and I'm not sure how to overcome it.  People say, oh just relax and don't worry and everything will be fine.  I actually feel relaxed and unworried so that's clearly not going to work!!  The world is so much smaller today, everything is so much closer and the pressure to be the best you can be is immense. 

When it is only yourself standing in the way of yourself you can wonder what you can do about it.  Do I get up off the sofa?  Shall I have another cup of tea?  Does this blog need to be a bit longer?  Ah yes, you've caught me - all these pontifications are not designed to get out of my way.  Epic fail once more.  *sigh*

Tuesday 12 April 2011


If I didn't eat so much, I wouldn't need to keep going on a diet and there wouldn't be biscuits in my middle drawer (people always check the top one!!).

If I had more money, I wouldn't be so poor but then I would probably spend frivolously on things that don't mean anything and I probably still wouldn't be able to go on that amazing holiday.

If I didn't have to work, I would no longer be sat bored at work but would probably be bored out of my skull at home and be gagging to do something or maybe I would just not get out of bed.

If I didn't have an ass the size of a small country it would be a perky, pert thing worthy of a wolf whistle or three.

If my boobs weren't so big perhaps I wouldn't get so much leery attention when I wear a tight top but then the baggy ones make me look much bigger then I actually am.

If I was a brainiac I would have already finished my degree and wouldn't be slogging through piles of homework that make my brain actually hurt and I wouldn't have to worry about my upcoming resit exam.

If I hadn't learnt to live the Spanish way - maƱana - then I wouldn't constantly say that the diet/exercise programme starts tomorrow.

If is a great word - we can forgive ourselves for so much by saying if, if, if but really I think if all our ifs were solved we'd just find new ones.

Now.. where's that biscuit tin..

Thursday 7 April 2011

TV made me cry

It's silly really, why a TV show should make you bawl your eyes out.  But they do.  Lovers say tearful farewells and you sob into your t-shirt as the tears flow.  You cry because you don't want to have to say a tearful farewell to your loved ones.  Despite the show being set in a fictional setting, the basic facts of life never change.  You will always miss the ones you love especially if you have to say goodbye before you are ready to.  And the writers know this, its what they are counting on, its what they tap into to make their show last longer than all the others.  They want you to feel, to share the pain, to rage against the unfairness of it all.

I can almost guarantee that the episode you remember the most is the one that made you cry the most.  Strong emotions stay with us - oftentimes the negative emotions over the positive which is a shame as it seems that happiness could very well be the fountain of youth.  As I write this I contradict my own thought processes - comedies stick in your mind too - everyone has a favourite episode of Friends or Seinfeld or Frasier or Cheers or something.  Perhaps it is the blend of laughter and tears that we need to get right.. and not just in light entertainment.  Although perhaps our lives are light entertainment for someone(thing).

Our inability to deal with our emotions may be what leads us to watch a film we know is going to make us cry because we need an excuse to tap into that emotion.  Lets face it, if someone we know is overly emotional it makes us nervous and we prefer to make as much distance between us and them.  We prefer to loose ourselves in fiction, TV or film and feel our emotions that way.  And for the most part it seems to work - it certainly seems to keep the filming business booming.

I muse that this blogs needs an end, it had a beginning and a middle.  How to end, how to end?  Perhaps some large outpouring of emotion?  I've been humming the tune to Sesame Street lately, my inner child obviously needs a damn good dancin' so maybe that's what I'll do.  Have a boogie woogie, a shimmy and a shake and a be bop do wop.

Wednesday 6 April 2011

Under Pressure

We all love Queen so yes, this is a little indulgence on my part for a brilliant song however... I'm screaming, let me out!! 

I'm feeling the pressure.  I feel its hot breath on my neck making my hackles rise.  I feel its weight on my chest making it hard for me to breathe.  I feel it crushing me downwards making it hard to stand up straight, to walk tall, to look you in the eye.  The pressure is winning.

But even when the big shoe is crushing down on the tiny beetle, its shell can be tough.  Maybe it can withstand the pressure.  Perhaps there will only be a small cracking.  Sometimes the tiny beetle survives and can glue its shell back together.  The key I think is to identify the pressure points and let that steam escape.

Scream.  Jump up and down.  Stamp your feet.  Punch that pillow.  Don't eat the chocolate cake!!  Pressure can make you crazy.  It can make you do stupid things.  It can make it feel like the whole world is falling down on top of you and there is nothing you can do about it.  Pressure cooks you.  Your brain keeps going and going and going and going and going and does not stop.  Ever.  Pressure eats you up from the inside bringing simmering rage to the surface, making every problem a million, million times bigger than it is.  If you can admit that pressure is killing you then surely there are things you can do to stop that pressure from winning. 

Another name for pressure?  Worry.  You worry because you feel under pressure to achieve something and that you are never ever going to get there.  Then you worry that you are worrying.  Pressure.  Pressing down on you. 

Are you a quitter? 

Does it really matter if you are?

Friday 1 April 2011

April Fools

I like April - it makes me feel like we are most definitely into Spring now and therefore Summer can only be a hop, skip and a jump away.  I have never been quite sure about April Fools Day though.  I am not sure whether this is a national (international) event that I can get my head around - I mean, what is it all about?

According to Wikipedia, which of course is completely unbiased and is never incorrect about anything ever, All Fools Day first appeared in Chaucer's Canterbury Tales.  Now I know we are all classically read but just in case you can't spring this particular tome to mind it essentially describes how the vain cock Chauntecleer is tricked by a fox - a joke is played upon him on the first of April.  Naturally this date, concept etc etc is argued by academics so we will just take Wikipedias word for it.  It didn't appear more regularly until the 16th century and is now a firmly established 'holiday'. 

I wouldn't be surprised if Hallmark hadn't already created a Happy April Fools Day card with a suitable sentimental poem inside... oh dear!

As we chatted about the merits of the day and the fear of birthing a child on 1st April, it was brought to my attention that the BBC first took part in April Fools shenanigans in 1957 with a special report on harvesting spaghetti from the spaghetti bush.  This link includes a video of the humorous event - - ah what fun they had in the 50s!!

I hope you had a foolish day x

Tuesday 22 March 2011


Not quite as much fun as it sounds to be honest.  The 'big day' was awesome BTW and seeing everyone was always a pleasure never a bind.  But then the following day was more quiet than quiet can be and nothing happened, nothing was occurring and I don't even think that anything was breathing.  You could have heard the pin dropping through air molecules let alone the actual impact.  Very much an anti-climax.

Monday morning work was as you would expect but imagine my shock, surprise and delight when I realised that I had a half day due to hair cuttage.  Probably the best news one can have on a Monday especially when it has slipped your mind.  So excitement builds and the momentuos occasion arrives, I trill byeee as I skip, hop and jump out of the door into a hairdressers chair for 4 hours!!!  And I think they cut it too short and instead of copper it looks... orangey.  Very much an anti-climax.

Mind you the day can get better surely.  I was not looking forward to the man's choice of date-night movie.  Battle Los Angeles and have anti-climax already however, it shone with American masterfulness.  Once again the Marines were the only ones who could save the day and only once the man who wasn't meant to be in charge took charge and overcame all his personal odds to ensure his men (and 1 Hispanic lady, covering all bases) followed him loyally and saved the day.  I'm sure you know the drill.  And yes there was a child, a dog and a pregnant wife who lost her bloke.  This was a case of anti-climax being ... climaxed?  I'm not sure of the exact terminology, suffice to say it was much better than I thought it was going to be.

And so and so, we move to Tuesday.  Tired, battled scarred (from a cinema lasting memory point of view), hungry, stifled from a three hour meeting in which you are not expected to contribute one single iota and we are back to being anti-climactic about life, the universe and everything.  But guess what kids?  I'm going for a run tonight, if I win the fight with the lazy couch potato head voice, and apparently all kinds of endorphins will surge through my body causing happiness to ooze from every pore.  A fitting end to these last few days. 

Friday 18 March 2011

Nothing to wear

Tomorrow is a big day.  It's a huge day.  It's a day to eclipse all days that came before and those that will follow afterwards.  A day of importance, of solemnity, of Chinese food - it's big people.  It's the day my Mum meets the new man and I have nothing to wear.

This is the problem with losing weight, if anything you become even more body conscious then you were before and all those big baggy clothes that you used to schlep around in and threw out in a fit of 'I'm skinny now' are no longer lurking at the back of the wardrobe waiting to for you to drape yourself in their vastness so you can hide.  So what to wear?  Those new clothes that you bought are still feeling a bit tight, a bit clingy, a bit ooh er missus and I'm not sure whether they should be worn in public (if at all) so perhaps jeans is the way forward.

But you don't really have the figure for jeans because you are between sizes (which is what you keep telling everyone) so the ones you have at the moment are saggy in the butt area and you are constantly hitching them up in a terribly ladylike manner and the hem at the bottom is all raggedy and torn but you know.. they are jeans.  Still.. it's a big day.  Will jeans really cut it?  Plus you have to wear a t-shirt and you've lost your Karate Kid t-shirt (who stole it??) so that means you have to go with either 'meh' or Back to the Future -both valid life choices but honestly you do look a bit scruffy and aren't you a bit old to be lounging around in tatty old jeans and t-shirts?  OMG I just had my first almost 30 panic attack....and breathe... and breathe.

Ok, ok so jeans are out.  Wear trousers and a jumper, like you do for work, so you look like you are at least 10 years older then you actually are and you feel like you are going to work - that place that you try to avoid even when you are there.  No, no, I'm not sure that the formal look is going to work.  Sequins?  NO.  Short - NO!  Come on now, it's not that difficult - you are meeting your mother, who you have known your entire life, with your new man in tow.  Crivens!  Ok, ok, think, think - weight loss has been slow lately, unlikely that you've magically slimmed down to the next size overnight plus there was that custard tart...mmmm - hey - focus!  Right - big day, nothing to wear.

So, here's a crazy idea - go shopping for something new, today, the day before the big day.  On your lunch break, which is only an hour, on Regent Street/Oxford Street, which is right besides your work and extremely expensive.  You picked that money up didn't you?  D'oh!  Hmmmmmm - do you know what?  I think it's time for a cup of tea and dang it all a biscuit, clothes are clothes, they don't make the person and your mum and your fella love you just the way you are!

Wednesday 16 March 2011

Daddy or chips?

Do you remember that advert? 

Isn't it funny how we are often asked to choose between one thing and another - why can't we like them both equally?  I like healthy food and bad for you food so why can't I eat both?  Giggle

But on a serious level, sometimes things that we want are not good for us and we really shouldn't have them.  Even more confusing are the things that we think we want that are really really not good for us and instead of avoiding them like the plague we run towards them.  These things can destroy our lives especially when they go bad.  The crucial thing is to be able to look back and say - this was not a good thing but now I'm over it and life has moved on.

The best thing about choices is that if you make the wrong one, in theory, you have the ability to make the change you need to.  However, if you have made the wrong choice over and over again - you begin to doubt your ability to know what the right choice for you actually is and it can seem that maybe all the good things you have found for yourself could disappear in the blink of an eye. 

Self-doubt is probably the most destructive emotion that the human race ever discovered, named and kept close to their bosoms.  It can destroy a person from the inside out whether it be at work, at home, within a relationship or devastatingly within their entire persona.  Listen to your insides - if it feels right then it is.  If there is even the slightest waver of 'I don't know' then you have a decision to make.  One that is slightly more weighty than Daddy or chips.

A serious blog topic that many might think represents the grasshopper's frame of mind.  To this, all I can say is it used to but now I have the Daddy and the chips.  Life is good x

Tuesday 15 March 2011

Try, try, try

I was never allowed to give up.  As a small child the whine 'But I can't' was met with, "There's no such thing as can't."  And whilst I must admit I am human and I do give up from time to time, I never stop trying.  Trying to achieve something is part of what makes us human.  We may try to make our loved ones smile, we may try to save up for that summer holiday or we may try to get in shape for a special event.  I guarantee that everyone who reads this blog is trying to do something.

Without try there would be no success.  We may fail at the first hurdle, we may stumble at the second and we may throw the towel in at the third but most of us will come back again for another beating.  Never let it be said that Homo sapiens wasn't a trier.  It does us good to have goals - be they easily achieved in the eyes of some people or hopelessly unattainable in the lifetime of others - a goal will give you focus, give you an end point, send you whispers of a prize.

The people we meet on our path of life will be many and varied.  Some of them will make us want to try and move!  Others will make us want to be better versions of ourselves, to strive for greatness.  There are some that will make us try not to end up 'like-that' and others who we will look at wistfully trying not to be too jealous.  I think it is good to have a fire lit beneath your bones - whether it is to make sure that something does not happen or to make sure that it damn well does, the trying is the important part.

If you never try, how can that achievement be met.  If everything is handed to you on a golden platter and you never have to lift a finger to greatness then nothing you have will be worthy and all you will have is a hollow shell.  I don't want that. I would rather cry, weep, bleed and rail at the fates as I try to reach my goals then have someone say oh hey, here you go.  I want to know that I did that - that was me - I am, in this moment, greatness.

Monday 14 March 2011


That is the noise the doorbell at work makes.  It is loud and high-pitched and lasts for quite a long time.  The front door is locked so whenever you hear eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee you need to leap up (ahem) and go answer the door.  Usually to people who sweep in without a by-your-leave, the usual comment is 'tut' and sigh because they have had to wait a few seconds for the door to be opened for them by polite, smiling staff. 

It's Monday morning.  There are two meetings.  Sum total of about 100 people.  Who all arrive separately.  Eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!  And people wonder why Monday's are not good days lol

I had a hot cross bun this morning.  Disappointing.  The hot cross buness is not as ness as it used to be.  I'm not sure why - the tops don't seem as sticky, the dough isn't as doughy and the spices are just not there.  I used to love a hot cross bun, now I think I'll just avoid their mass-produced staleness and have a nice home-made fairy cake.  Ahhh the fairy cake.  So simple, so quick, so delightful in its appearance and so tasty in the eating.  It really is the princess of all cakes - they make you smile to make them, decorate them and eat them.  You even smile in the memory of them.  Happy cakes indeed.

The sun is shining today and even though it is a Monday and even though my thought process is being disturbed every one and a half minutes or so with a high pitched eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee that smile is still in place and I think that is a great sign of what the day, and possibly even the week ahead has to offer :)

Hot cross buns - hot cross buns
One a penny, two a penny
Hot cross buns!

Tuesday 22 February 2011


I have been full of musings lately.  Nothing of any particular length hence the quietness of the blog.  One tends to muse over small things.

Why do baths dry out your skin?  Could it be that the expanse of water is too great for the skins natural waterproofing?  Or perhaps the heat of the bath cooks you slightly and leaves you somewhat drier than before.  Does taking a bath reduce your overall hydration?  And why is it so much easier to wash your hair in the shower - what about all those people with hair before we had showers?  Or maybe hair standards were oh so very much lower then.

Why are food allergies cyclical?  Some days I can eat the chocolate, enjoy the chocolate, long live the chocolate.  Other days even the mention of the C word turns my stomach and has me dry-heaving in my waste bin.  Cows milk can mostly be tolerated in the odd cup of tea but today I feel sick as a dog after one small cup this morning.  IBS is on the rise and I can just tell that the internal spasming will be with me before very long.  Waves of nausea roll over me as I contemplate what to eat, if anything.  And yes I know, they are accumulative but do they have to bloody well accumulate today when I am fighting the worst headache I've had in forever that has currently lasted about a week and a half?? 

If we sleep for at least 7 hours a night, why then do we wake up as if no sleep has touched our brow.  As if we have been burning the midnight oil for an eternity and every day has been heralded by the earliest wake up call known to man.  Why?  What sleep demon is robbing me of my peace?  Is it just so that fellow tubist can mock me as I snooze, drool and very possibly snore on the commute into work?  Is there some great mockery plan in place?  I am actually the next contestant on The Truman Show aren't I?  *facepalm*

Whose idea was it to create a boiler that wasn't a combi-boiler?  Who actually thought that it would be a great idea to not split hot water and heating so that whenever you do want hot water you have to turn the heating on?  Why would you want to do that?  Why?

What is it about getting older that means that suddenly the skin on your hands has cracked and gone all snaggy and rough?  And why does my hairline look like it is receding?  And should I really still be getting huge red spots on my chin?  I mean honestly!!  I won't even begin to talk about the condition of my bath dried skin. 

I think the thing I am getting at the most is that I feel rubbish and I want a holiday.  Musing over, where is the holiday brochure?

Thursday 17 February 2011

Comfort Me

I willed at the banana.  Please, please, please just comfort me.  Take the place of that chocolate digestive, that slice of cake, those crisps and just ... comfort me.  I'm not even entirely sure why I need the comforting but my mind (not my brain) is telling my body that I need comfort food and I need it now!!!

The only problem is that the waistband of former roomy trousers is beginning to feel snug again and I think my memory has forgotten what a vegetable actually looks like.  I know there has been alot of blog recently about healthy regimes and wotnot - what can I say?  I didn't realise it was meant to have started yet - can I get away with that? 

My fellow comfort eaters will know that it is not necessary the wherefores and the whyfores that matter, it's more about the placing of illicit food groups into our mouths, repetitively, that usually does the trick.  Sadly all things healthy fall by the wayside, they simply will not do.  What is required here is synthetic, fat-loaded, calorie-loaded, sugar-loaded goodness to soothe the little voice in our heads that demands comforting.

There is an interesting programme on 4OD at the moment which is putting 'volunteers' through three historical diets - Victorian, Edwardian and 1920s.  It is fascinating to look at what people would go through in order to loose weight however it is the main-man that really gets my goat.  He is an eminent historian and claims that we have gotten so gargantuan because we have become a culture of fast gratification rather than taking the time to enjoy our food.  He goes on to state that we have no willpower, no control over ourselves and that we lack any kind of discipline.  I splutter indignantly at such a slur but in my heart of hearts, I can't help but agree.

Friday 11 February 2011

I'm a Jack

You ever heard that saying 'Jack of all trades, master of none'?  Well I have decided I am a Jack.  I know some of lots of things but I'm no expert in nothing.  Which is a double negative.  But the point is that I am no expert.  And it is beginning to annoy me.  I want to be the know it all at book club.  I want to win all the general knowledge quizzes in the world ever.  I want to be smart and remember everything I ever read in my Open University text books but lets be honest that is never, never, ever going to happen.  I want to be the person who remembers the names, lyrics and music to all the songs on the radio.  I want to create awesome digital art and be an HTML whizz kid and that geek who knows everything there is to know about something. 

But it seems that is never going to be the case.  I am always going to know some of most things.  I just don't have the patience/inclination to learn everything about something.  It's much more interesting to find out about lots of stuff.  It's just a little bit disheartening when you meet other people who are into the same thing and they know so so so so so so much more than you and are so so so so so much better at it all then you.  I often feel that I lack smarts in these situations but then later I get my chance to shine with a wee gem of nonsensical information that no-one in their right mind would even bother to save in their memory.

Still recently this year I have learnt the art of flat pack assembly but my screwing leads a lot to be desired (ahem), I've learnt how to cook meals for tea for two weeks using just a microwave and a George Foreman but also becoming best friends with the local Chinese takeaway and how to cook in the dark and eat in .... the dark lol! Mind you I'm pretty sure that Jack has a lot more fun than the rest of the cards in the pack ;)

Thursday 10 February 2011

Is it so wrong?

To want a £40 box of chocolates?  I know - it is.  But I really really can't get them out of my head and I wants them so.  But even I baulk at paying £40 for 35 chocolates that come in a heart shape box and will be the envy of all the other girls in the office when they arrive on your desk next Monday and each one will be rapture in your mouth and for someone with a milk allergy they will last a really, really, really long time.  That or I'll be horribly sick but you know... a heart shaped box of chocolate is so worth it.

I do however, find it discouraging that Valentines Day promotes over-indulgence as a sign that we love our partners.  This feels fundamentally wrong to me.  Firstly, one day should not be the only time that you say 'I love you' to a dear one.  And the strength of your relationship is not defined by the soppyness of the Hallmark card or the redness of the ridiculously overpriced roses.  I'm not saying it isn't nice to receive such things, I just feel that it would be nicer to get them more regularly when that feeling of overwhelming love just pours out of you and you want to do something for your loved one rather than when the corporate monster decides today is the day to say how you feel.

And what about that half of the population (admittedly women) who are still fighting the Christmas flab?  How are we supposed to keep to our healthy eating regime when society is dictating that you must eat large quantities of chocolate, drink lots of alcohol, go out for insanely large and overpriced meals and there may well be a red velvet cake included in there somewhere as well (very naughty but very nice).  What a minute.... aren't we constantly being bombarded with the concept that we must eat all these things anyway... hmmm maybe my point is lost somewhat.  Nevertheless - don't use Valentines Day as an excuse to say I love you.  Say it anyway and buy the chocolates!  teehee 

Tuesday 8 February 2011

My first Con

Now before you get all excited and think I have managed to figure out how to get my hands on millions and millions of pounds without getting caught.... it's not that kind of con.

I'm talking sci-fi convention people.  I'm talking crazy costumes, crazy people, crazy zombies and crazy weather.  In short - it was crazy.  But the thing is - the people at a sci-fi convention may well be slightly more out there than the 'normal' boring sheep of the world but do you know what?  They're friendly!  And funny!  And relaxed!  And they don't care that you just dressed up in silver spandex when you really really really shouldn't have.  If you have a love of something sci-fi chances are someone else at the con loves it even more than you do and you can geek your little self out to your heart's delight.

Some people may pooh pooh the concept of science fiction as being cool.  And yes ok the far-out-theres do give it a slightly deranged craaaazy feel BUT sci-fi is cool!  Plus you just have to ask my brain how it is recovering from all the stimulating thought processing that it had to do this weekend - What IS next for TV vampires?  What DOES count as sci-fi, fantasy & horror classics?  How DO you survive a zombie apocalypse? 

But do you know what the saddest part of the whole con was?  That I didn't have a sci-fi outfit to dress up in :(  That was a critical slip up that will have to be rectified if the con experience is to be repeated.  There were some cooooooooool outfits at the maskerade ball.  There were also some very very bad ones that burnt my eyeballs and should never be repeated in the normal world but hey normal world is dead boring so why not give it your all for one convention?  Now... where did I put that bodypaint???

Tuesday 25 January 2011

Tempus Fugit

I have no concept of time, it has ceased to exist for me.  Instead it flees infront of my ever grasping fingers, tantalising me by tick tocking just out of reach and making the days disappear into oblivion.  I just need another 5 minutes, another half hour in bed, another few hours at work, an extra day at the weekend.  Time!  Time!  I need some, I wants some, I'd even buy some but there is no time anywhere to be found. 

I have decided to stop calling the days of the week by their name - it seems like a pointless exercise.  Each one shall now be known as 'day' without any prefix.  I don't actually even know which one I am on.  So why try and keep up with them when they are so determined to march past as quickly as they are able.

Seconds, minutes, hours, days, weeks, months, years - even decades have just blurred into nothingness.  My memory is shot, full of holes and the inability to discern between one moment in time and the other is quite worrying.  Vivid dreams and imagination fill the gaps with what could have been but there is no way of knowing for sure. 

I almost want the train wreck of life to stop and just let me take a moment.  Even when you are able to indulge in some time sooner or later life comes rocking and rolling back in, filling your head with I haven't done this, I need to do that, don't forget this, make sure you do that, now, now, now, hurry, hurry, hurry - there is no time to waste.  For time is fleeting and despite our best efforts to catch it, it slips through our fingers and rushes ever onwards.

What is there to show for this time spent?  Digitisation is a wonderful thing but how many of you last took pictures on a camera of an event with friends and family and then had those photos developed/printed, framed and hung?  I have huge chunks of life missing from my actual-virtual photo album.  I cease to exist.  Time has no measure of me.  And will there really be any virtual impression left?  Hmmm I think not.  I miss that time that has passed me by, I will strive to find my place within it again.

Thursday 20 January 2011

Nervous Speaker

Yesterday was the scariest day of my life.  I had asked to speak at my Grandad's funeral and as regular blogettes will know, I had found it difficult to even begin writing the eulogy.  What I didn't take into account was how pant-wettingly scared I would be in delivering my words to a full church of mourners.

I am no stranger to public speaking. I used to teach, I have given presentations to a 200 strong workforce, I have delivered pitches at board level and I have presented scientific results to my lecturers and peers.  But somehow this was a very different kettle of fish.  I think it is because the words were so personal to me.  When I finally managed to catch them and force them into submission onto the paper, the reading of them overwhelmed me and even to a devoted audience of one, I barely made it all the way through.

It seems wrong to even worry about how you will find the strength to stand up and deliver a eulogy when your loved one's coffin is placed on its pedestal in church.  This day is not about you - it is about remembering a cherished and dear family member and yet, when I got out of the family car at the church, I thought I might pass out before I even made it to my pew.

When the time came my heels clattered nosily across the flagstones, I clutched my words to my chest and brought my MS (moral support) with me to the podium.  My hands shook violently as I placed the paper down, licked my lips and tried to make my voice work - I had to swallow several times and squeeze the hand of my MS, trying to blink through the tears and make the words stay still on the page.  My legs were shaking so hard that I thought they might collapse so I crossed them and took a deep breath.  The words came, some slowly, some thickly, some with longer pauses then they needed and the final paragraph was said with a growing sob and tears flowing freely but the words all came out and were taken in by my fellow mourners giving comfort, raising smiles and allowing people to say 'I remember that too.'

After I had made it to my seat and the jitters had finally left me, I looked past the altar to a stream of sunlight dancing through the church window and watched a butterfly dance into the light for a few precious moments.  This gave me a measure of peace.  I loved him.  I miss him.  I will remember him.

Grandad’s Eulogy

A few months ago I rang my grandparents and Grandad answered the phone with his usual booming hello.  As always I asked him how he was, the standard reply is fair to middling.  This time he paused and said not too good to be honest.  That was when I knew my Grandad was not well.

To me, my Grandad was always a very tall, strong, calm presence in my life.  My earliest memories are of him at Pantglas in his flat cap listening to me chatter on about some nonsense or other, following him around the farm, wanting to help and getting in the way.  I don’t remember him ever shouting at me or getting cross at my questions.  I will always remember thinking how large his hands were and quietly listening to him singing to the goats.

I always thought my Grandad was a great man, I would proudly tell people that he had been in the RAF, had owned a jewellery shop and was a farmer.  He seemed unshakable throughout life as if nothing had ever or would ever make him pause.  He always listened to me, was always interested in what I was doing and I like to think he was proud of me.

I will always remember how he would smash his shredded wheat down in the bowl; give me an extra roast potato at the dinner table; sniff, shake and feel his presents at Christmas and carry Nana’s sponge cakes like heavy lead weights.  I always, always wanted a putty medal and I am extremely proud to have been his granddaughter.

The last time I spoke to him properly, he was in a lot of pain and very strong medication.  I was having a difficult time and yet despite his ill health, my Grandad did his upmost to make me feel better.  I knew then in that moment how much he loved me and I just hope he knew how much I loved back.