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.

Friday 14 January 2011

Too much junk food

I feel much like I imagine a giant seal feels like when beached on a sandy spit.  Large and blubbery, rotund in its excessive size, lethargic and irritable.  Too much junk food.  Too much MSG, sugar and trans-fats, too many E-numbers and unpronounceable chemicals leaving a bad taste in mouth, furry teeth, a swirly belly, nasty burps and dodgy piping.  Why oh why oh why do we do this to ourselves?  Everytime I cleanse my system with water, fruit, vegetables and home-made cooking I feel so so so so much betterer so why the constant slip back into junk food-itis?

It's a drug you know.  We are all addicted to the taste of junk food, the high it gives us and the constant need to feed the sugar craving.  There is too much choice - which bad tasting fake foodstuff shall I eat today?  Which convenience will be rewarded with my money today?  Apparently we waste enough money on buying junk food to actually buy a brand new car, twice.  That is a disturbing thought.  I think people are so time poor that they don't even think about the non-intelligent food choices they are making.

Luckily (!) for me, I have an extremely sensitive digestive system.  What this means is that I spend a great deal of my time feeling ill to the point where I have actually been known to weigh up the illness factor against whether to eat a certain item or not.  It's brainless behaviour really because when eating right, the difference is unbelievable.  It doesn't take long for the sugar craving, cold turkey headaches to disappear and as we all know, home-made cakes are fat free and contain no calories.  Plus that sense of satisfaction when clothes are fitting nicely and you feel awake, full of life, energised and ready to face the day.

So basically I'm whining, which is no way for a grown woman to spend her time.  If I could, I'd slap myself, just not too hard!  It comes down to this - do you want to feel grotty or great?  Great wins everytime, it's a no brainer.  So what is standing in my way?  I don't have time - make some.  I don't feel like it - put some mood lifting music on and get on with it.  I, errr, umm, can't think of another reason.... gasp!  You lazy giant seal!  Sort your life out grasshopper!!!

Tuesday 11 January 2011

How to write a eulogy

Stare for a very long time at a blank piece of paper.

Put it off for a few days.

Go for a walk to collect your thoughts.

Make a cup of tea.

Call your mum, boyfriend, sister, friend - anyone you can get hold of.



Put it off for a few days.


Actually do some work at work.

Go out.

Stay in.

Read a book.

Watch a film.

Tap a pen thoughtfully against your teeth.



Write something.

Cross it out.



Make another cup of tea.

Write your blog.

Tuesday 4 January 2011

So what have we learnt?

So far this year it has been ....panic!!  Well not all panic but I do feel like I am trapped in the centre of a swirling vortex of chaos and big things need to be decided and the whole time I am very conscious that my wobbly jelly belly is a bit more wobbly then it was before the start of the new year.

Why is it life throws us a curveball just when we think everything is simmering along nicely?  Are the gods up there nudging each other and saying - look at that one, it's calm and peaceful, lets spin her on her head backwards.  Honestly... just when you think everything is ok the universe says no, I think you can handle a bit more.

Meanwhile, back at the ranch, love is very much in the air and let me tell you - what love!  What feeling!  What expanse of emotion that I can't even begin to describe to you!  You know when you have to pinch yourself because you are not quite sure that this is actually happening and things are so perfect that you cannot actually believe how you got to this position in the first place?  Now quadruplex that.  And you may be in the ball park of how I feel right now.

So it is no wonder that the gods/universe/fate/chaos (take your pick) looked down upon me and said - no no no - have a bit more swirly vortex.  Well you know what?  I'll take your swirly vortex.  I'll take your curveball.  I say bring it on - I'm in love, I know who I am and I'm ready.  Grrrrrrr.