The road to hell

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It’s official, im doomed. I’m going straight to hell on the back of Chris Rea’s motorbike, one way no stops, no collecting £200 as i pass go but going full speed down to hell.

It all began with a cheese sandwich you see. Now i know youre chuckling or thinking i’m mad but this really is serious stuff here.  Hunting frantically through the fridge for something for lunch i had happily decided  on tuna, you know that nice healthy fishy thing i eat a ton of. The trouble was i only get a very short lunch break and glancing at the tuna and then at the clock i concluded, after wondering just how fast i could chew, that there was no way i was going to be able to make the darned stuff and eat it too.  Typically this just had to coincide with the day the supermarket was all out of my favourite roast ham so there was nothing else around.

”EAT ME”

Erm excuse me?

”I said…EAT ME”

Okay nobody believes me here but food really does talk to me, i mean do i look like a skinny person?  But really it does and right about now a bag of grated cheese was flexing in my direction and urging me in a rather sexy drawl to eat him. I wavered..really i did and loyally glanced back at the tuna i know i should eat. I’m on a diet you see and i really do have to be good since i have had a few extra pounds donated my way of late.

”EAT ME”

ohhhhh really?? okay i crumpled..i was hungry and time was ticking by so i crumbled and gave in much to the smug delight of mr cheddar himself. Believe it or not i am usually quite resolute once i am on a diet and can lose the excess quite quickly and easily but i have this awful no mans land where i waver.  If i am not in the zone it only takes a very small nudge at my resolve and i crumple to indulgent abandon. 

I’m a typical Taurean what can i say? We love to eat, alas eating does not always love us back. Many a battle with the scales will follow although in definitely much more on the winning side than i used to be. Still i did feel rather terrible giving in to the lure of the cheese and hastily smothered the urge to turn into Britney Spears and skip around the kitchen singing Oops i did it again. Of course i shall now feel terribly guilty for the rest of the day, never eat again and eventually die of total shame.

So there you have it. One minute i think im safe in my nice little kitchen and then one random act sends me hurtling to the underworld on a cheese coated road to hell.  They say you are what you eat and i dont know how true that is but if it is so then the next thing i eat will be a skinny person. 

Ah well nice lettuce, lovely lettuce….come to mama!

goodbye my friend

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From the time we are small we will encounter many other people whose lives will interact with our own. Some of them will linger for a time before passing along their own path whilst others may stay with us forever. No matter the length of time each leaves behind some tiny little footprints in our memories and often our hearts. 

It is with great sadness today that i learned of the passing of a very old friend. A friend lost in the distant past but despite the different paths our lives had taken still a friend for all that. Mingled with sadness is an overwhelming guilt that perhaps i should have tried harder to hold on to the friendship instead of letting it go,. Perhaps my presence could have made some difference to her as it did in the past. Could i have saved her?

She was fragile you see and i knew it. A total contrast to my own mulish strength and i often was the support for her failing life. She did not cope well with the downsides of life and sought solace often in the bottom of a glass. I know it was not my choice and she lived the way she wanted but memories of old remind me that i could have stopped her or at least led her to moderation as i had in the past.  But maybe i failed her by not being there. 

It is all too easy to become wrapped up in our own lives and i am the first to admit i am very solitary. My friendships are few by choice even if my acquaintances are many. Yet we found each other she and i, in a time when we were both at our most vulnerable and formed a firm kind of limping friendship that i like to hope mattered at least a little. That she was only slightly older than i is a painful jab at just how short life really is and perhaps makes me more aware than ever of my own mortality. Yet i like to believe that once a friendship is formed then it will always be so whether the years steer you in different directions or not and i think that perhaps she would have agreed with that. 

Wherever she is i hope she is in a better place for i know that for her life was not an easy experience. Perhaps now she will find the happiness that for so long eluded her and finally find herself some peace.

Goodbye my friend, 

Alexander The Great’s Last Wishes.

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Its not often i reblog an article but i liked the sentiment behind this one. I guess it just proves that hindsight is a wonderful thing

Originally posted on Help Change The World. The Future Of The County Is Now.:

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Alexander the Great is known as the most powerful leader and conqueror of the ancient world. Before he turned 30 years old, he conquered an empire stretching over 3,000 miles from Greece to India. He was born in 356 BC in Macedonia, known today as northern Greece.

Alexander, after conquering many kingdoms, was returning home. On the way, he fell ill and it took him to his death bed. With death staring him in his face, Alexander realized how his conquests,his great army, his sharp sword and all his wealth were of no consequence. He now longed to reach home to see his mother’s face and bid her his last adieu. But, he had to accept the fact that his sinking health would not permit him to reach his distant homeland. So, the mighty conqueror lay prostrate and pale, helplessly waiting to breathe his last.He called his generals and said…

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There is a happy land

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In the course of my work i encounter many many people. All walks of life, all ages, races and religions. Some of these are your average pleasant examples whilst more often they are sadly the opposite. Whatever the person you meet there are occasionally those who for some reason or another stay firmly lodged in your memory. Up until now it has been my misfortune for all of those of my experience to be of a negative nature rather than a pleasantly positive.

Recently all of that changed when i had a conversation with an elderly man. To begin with he won me over with his lovely chirpy greeting and after a morning of exceptionally rude people he was definitely a balm to my downcast mood. They say that you can hear in the voice when a person is smiling and of this gentleman this was certainly true. Smiling he most definitely was. 

Faintly Welsh with that singsong lilt to his voice he replied that as the sun was shining he was very well indeed and asked after myself in return.  ‘My Lovely’ he called me and that in itself made me smile for it was nice to hear after a particularly harsh day. I explained the purpose of my call and he listened intently before pausing for a moment after i finished speaking. then he began to chuckle and i was taken aback as he announced that he would be glad to help but he really did not see the point for he was not long for this world. ”I’m dying you see” he told me quite nonchalantly.  Like any empathetic person i was horrified and apologised profusely, condolences rushing forth although i wasn’t really sure any of them were enough to befit the situation. Startlingly he dismissed my words with another chuckle and told me that he was ready to go.

”I’ve lived my life you see” he told me ”I’ve lived a very happy life, had a wonderful wife who is waiting up there for me to join her”

Then he began to talk. He told me of his life and his time in the second world war. That he found in me a willing audience there seemed to please him greatly and we talked for some time as he told me of his time as ground crew personnel. Scoffing genially at me as i enthused my love of the B-17, telling me firmly that there was nothing to hold a candle to the good old Spitfire. As he talked he never changed, that same chirpy happy nature shone through and despite his bombshell i found myself smiling too, very much warming to this old man i had never met and he did seem to be genuinely happy. 

Smiling still he told me of his wife, clearly from the gentle affectionate way he spoke of her it seemed he really did love her. That he was looking forward to seeing her again in whatever place exists after passing touched me and made me smile. No clearly this lovely old man had lived a happy life, this much was evident from the way he spoke. He stuck in my memory for his charm and his friendly nature and his gentle acceptance of his lot and i wondered if in my own turn i should feel the same. 

I have always been a big believer in trying to do the best we can with the life we have for we really do only get one try at it. There is no ‘return to go’ for those who make mistakes and get it wrong no matter how much we should wish it. Although many years hopefully yet to go i couldnt help but hope that i should be able to say the same as this lovely man, that my mistakes however many were still nothing compared to the happy parts of the life i managed to have. I have to admit a relief that my time is not yet up for i have not yet reached that place where i can look back and say i have led a happy life. My mistakes are many and i am not so very good at getting things right. Yet there are those things, however few, that definitely make all of the difference and i can truly say i feel i got right. It is so very hard to realise just when something is worth counting and when it is of no consequence at all but just sometimes there are things you just know you have to count. Regrets will follow when you realise you should have counted something that you didnt or in hindsight put too much stock in that mattered not at all.

It is all a question of balance and doing for yourself those things that will make you look back and say you led a happy life. Perhaps you may not have started out that way but the world is full of choices and it is up to us to choose the path to the right memories. For myself i shall remember that lovely old man whom i met only briefly but who made me smile on a very bad day and who gave me faith that if you stay true to yourself and what you believe you really do have the potential to be happy. 

Wherever you are sir i wish you and your wife a most happy ever after. 

On a whim and a prayer

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I knew today was going to be one of those days.

I knew it the minute i woke up at the wrong end of the bed, nose to nose with a teddy bear that shouldn’t have been there.  I knew it the minute i tripped over my over long pyjamas as i crawled out of bed and i knew it the minute i fell over the cat whilst making my coffee.  No surprise then that as i emerged from the kitchen blearily clutching my coffee i should pause in the lounge and frown at my surroundings.  My family would groan and hurtle me speedily up the stairs on seeing this look for they know very well what it means.

Amanda is going to rearrange the furniture again. 

I do this often, i have no idea why but i will be seized by a sudden compulsion rearrange a room and make it different from before. Okay so its still the same items in the same room but it’s different. At least i tell myself it is.  

So in full grip of room change fever i abandoned my coffee and started rolling up the rug to the glee of the cat who decided this was a very good game indeed. 

”Get OUT of there!” i grumbled, as the cat tried madly to wriggle into the middle as i rolled it carefully across the room.  My reply was a swish of the tail as monster moggie disappeared head first from sight.  My cat is a little horror you see. If she is not supposed to touch it then she will deliberately do so, everything is a toy and i mean everything and i cannot move without her skipping like a pint sized kangaroo between my feet. 

”Oh stay there then” i tutted ”PLEASE behave just for 5 minutes!”

Hauling at one side of the sofa my feet skidded from under me and i landed in a heap on my bottom to the delight of the newly emerged cat who launched like a tiger at my hair which for some reason she is always trying to eat. 

”Get OFF me you furball!” 

Now my sofa is a very big, very very heavy leather one and although i am definitely no lightweight it is still rather a hefty weight to move. Retrieving my posterior from the floor i hauled again at the sofa and succeeded in moving it some way away from the wall. A cascade of coloured balls scattered across my feet as i dragged it leaving me rolling my eyes at the cat who was, as usual, in the way. 

”So thats where all of your toys went” i sighed kicking them sideways across the floor. The cat was ecstatic and hurtled across the room after them before returning to drop one particularly bright sphere at my feet. My cat thinks she is a dog you see and loves nothing better than a game of ‘fetch’ . Rarely is she seen without some kind of coloured ball in her mouth and my house is littered with the offending items. She has however, the most annoying habit of always chasing them either under the sofa or instead under the television cabinet from where they have to be regularly rescued. Another tug on the sofa brought forth more coloured balls and i reached down and picked up as many as i could before throwing them across the room. A furry head shot up, ears like radar swivelling to find the source of the sound before the cat bounds at speed to see what is going on. Bumps and bangs from the hallway as she chases first one coloured ball and then another whilst i swiftly take advantage of her absence to haul again at the massive sofa. 

”Move darn you, MOVE” i muttered, hauling madly before crashing drunkenly into a large bookcase. Yes definitely one of those days as the bookcase wobbled and the contents tumbled out onto the floor. 

”Its your fault” i growled at an image of Liam Neeson on the front of a dvd case.  Scooping up the contents i dumped them on the now mid room sofa before hauling at the large bookcase to move it out of the way. 

PING

Yes definitely one of those days as i tugged too hard and the entire back detached itself from the teetering carcass sending the remainder of the dvds in a great wave across the floor. The cat returns, ball in mouth and drops it besides the dvds before deciding this must be some new game and skitters her way across the offending items. 

”Get OFF there” 

The cat was not amused and stares balefully at me before scampering after the string on my pyjamas as i am picking up the mess. 

”WILL you get off that you furry fiend, go and play!! PLEASE”

Of course she didnt and my shadow followed me closely as i went in search of some tools to repair the now very sorry for itself item of furniture. Firmly between my feet we performed a now familiar ballet as i tried to make my way across the room with supplies in tow and the cat doggedly following with customary ever present ball . Probably a bad idea then to place the items on the floor for within seconds the cat had stealthily crept up to investigate. Holding pieces of wood together with one hand i turned and groped for the screwdriver, finding nothing as i fished blindly around. I could have sworn i had brought it with me and fished around again. No screwdriver.  I had, of course, brought it with me and further investigation saw the screwdriver disappearing as if by magic around the foot of the stairs. Who else but the cat, who now was frantically trying to drag the new toy up the stairs in her mouth. Realising she was caught she flattened herself upon the stair and swished her tail at me for taking away her prize. 

Much tugging and hauling later i had furniture rearranged with much hampering from the cat who was definitely enjoying this new playtime as she dangled merrily from the tv aerial i was trying resignedly to reattach to the sky box to no avail. Moving the cabinet to reach better i heard suspicious slurping noises leading me to look inside to see the now prostrate cat chewing contentedly at another as yet unconnected length of cable. 

”Oh for goodness sake will you just leave things alone!” I exclaimed frustratedly batting at the ever present cat who was most reluctant to be prised away from her chomping. 

Swiping madly at the cable as i moved it across the room she valiantly tried to thwart my every attempt to reconnect the offending item. As usual only one respite from catzilla and i threw a ball across the room for the want to be canine to retrieve which right on cue she did. It is amazing how swiftly you can move when needs be and i hastily did the necessary repairs before the return of my furry nemesis. Hindered and plagued every step of the way by this shadow of mine i hauled and heaved and rearranged to my hearts content before deciding a compensatory coffee was a suitable reward. As i paused sometime later, cup in hand, in the doorway of my smallest bedroom my mid whirred as yet another urge to rearrange seized me. Almost on cue the cat sidles to my side and sits down before looking expectantly at me. 

No, then again perhaps not.

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Broken Wings

It is easier to build up a child than it is to repair an adult choose your word's wisely

It is a fact that never in your life will you experience a time that makes more of impact on the person you are than your childhood. Whether we realise it or no those milestones of learning are set to impact our lives in ways we cannot even imagine, often having a reverberating ripple effect that will stay with us forever. We as adults often do not realise just how much the children we were has shaped the adults we are now and i wonder if ,were we more aware, we should change the way we are lest we affect another.  Throughout my life i have encountered many different people and each has had a very different childhood and as a result each has grown into a very different person from the other. 

My own childhood was not a good one, being both abusive and massively dysfunctional. I grew up feeling that i could do nothing right for it was hammered home in a most painful way, forever to stick with me after that. When you are repeatedly told you are not good enough, that you cannot do anything right and hear the constant ‘why cant you be…’ then eventually this sticks in some permanent recess of your brain. I believed it. Then and i still struggle with it now. 

Stupid. I heard that word a lot. 

Useless. That too. 

Thick. Gormless, Mental,  Not right in the head…i can go on but you get the idea. 

Perhaps not the worst of it is hearing it at all but on hearing it after you really have tried your very best to be good enough. I remember as a child trying so hard and emerging flushed with success for i believed i had done well, only to be dashed to the floor when i was told it wasn’t quite good enough. If i got an A it should have been an A+, likewise a B should have been an A. 

After a while i guess you just stop trying for what really is the point when you’re stupid anyway right? I often wonder had i and many others like me received the right kind of emotional scaffolding and encouragement, just where and what we could have achieved as a result. Back then, however, i was not as wise as i am now and like many i had very little comprehension of any self worth. We settle you see. Settle for what we can get for we do not believe we are worthy of anything better and thus we forget how to try. It makes me wonder just how many of us could have been a somebody had we only had the belief that we could. 

Self Esteem. Such an important factor in taking us where we want to go in life yet rarely do we put any effort into either our own or that of others. I struggle badly with self esteem, thankfully aware of it in my wiser years than i was when i was young. Yet being aware does little to fix the problem for being aware does not repair the damage of a lifetime. You can stand infront of a mirror all you like and tell your reflection that you are wonderful but if you do not believe it deep down then it is all really for no gain. 

I am great, i am wonderful,  i am a nice person,  i am worthy….NO you’re not youre STUPID remember!! Youre FAT and USELESS….remember?

It is surprising how much power we hold within ourselves to be the build up or the tear down of another person. I am very much a silent observer, i people watch and i see and i learn. Even in adult life there remains this blatant self absorption that sees little room for the consideration of others and sadly it seems the more successful one becomes, the little we care for the feelings and struggles of others. It is sad to see that often people forget to remember from whence they came and pay it forward to those not yet so far along the road. Instead the childhood behaviour continues and those lesser mortals are trampled over, ignored or made to feel just not quite good enough. It makes you wonder just how any of us get anywhere at all for it seems that far from being an enlightened society we are often most predatory in behaviour, having the ruthless uncaring aggression of our long ago predecessors. It is so easy to revert to type and look down our noses at those we consider not our equal but are they really? But for twists of fate and fortune are they infact your equal after all but without the positivity you were privy to throughout your life.

I don’t particularly want to be a significant somebody. I have no aspirations to be a member of an elite superiority that cares naught for the little people in life. I do not want to be holding out my hand for a little help up the ladder and finding nothing there for i was not considered ‘good enough’    I never wanted to be famous, nor infamous and i certainly do not want to be a ruler. I simply want to be the best version of me that i can. You may consider yourself superior and i am truly glad for you if you do for i shall not mind a bit.  I am learning to accept those things i cannot change and i have learned the hard way those people worth putting my care and effort into and those who are not worth my time at all. I do not need to impress anyone with some fake version of myself to make people like me for i no longer care if you do or no. Being popular no longer holds any attraction for me if it means i have to be anything other than myself. 

Still occasionally like everyone i find that some hurtful behaviour from another, some slight or some ignorant dismissal will cause the childhood conditioning to crowd in and overwhelm me before i stick out my chin and remind myself i am not a child any more. Still the fact remains we shall always be a product of our upbringing and the teachings of a childhood remain with us for a lifetime in more ways than just the learning from books. Perhaps it stands to reason that the cure is to build the solid foundations in the first place and avoid the crumbling walls and shaky buildings later in life. Look around you, do you put out your hand to help someone else just for no other reason than because you can? Do you ever give someone a chance to prove to you that they can be great even when you have no proof that they can? Do you ever stop and think about how you treat someone else may impact them for longer than the time you actually interact with them?  Instead of berating someone for their ‘failings’ have you ever instead just praised them for their successes?

Childhood has a far reaching impact within our lives and it is sadder still when the actions of we as adults continue the damage that has already been done. It costs nothing to help someone else, perhaps you may in turn get help when you need it most.

You can learn to fly with broken wings. You just need to heal them first, 

Fifty ways NOT to leave your lover

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Breakups.

According to the old song there are fifty ways to leave your lover. There are definitely the old classics and again some much more inventive and whilst i hesitate to bore you with exactly 50 ways it seems there are a few of the definite old favourites..

Most of us have been through one it at some time or other and you are a rare person indeed if you have not.  It is very hard to know the right way or the wrong way to end such a personal part of your life, especially when often the other person has little idea of what is coming.  I have lost count of the times friends or acquaintances have sat in floods of tears as the result of the object of their desire effecting some ruthless termination of their ‘affaires de coeur’.

Is their a right way to leave your lover? 

The matter is one of much debate and indeed there seems to be much opinion on how NOT to do it as a pose to how to actually get it right. Having instigated debate amongst friends it seems that people are of the same opinion about the faux pas of the relationship terminating world.

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THE TEXT MESSAGE:

Oh yes the dreaded text. Probably one of the worst and most thoughtless ways of all and yet possibly one of the most frequently used. A perfect way to avoid the confrontation and the devastated reaction from ones partner yet calculatingly cold and callous. You can only imagine the response that will be forthcoming and wishing to avoid the scene and make an easy escape many do choose this option as a get out of jail free card. One of the most hurtful methods however since for the recipient the chance of closure and an explanation as to why the relationship failed is never given.  It must be crushing indeed to feel your spirits lifted at the beep of a text from your lover only to find a textual dear john stating ‘its over’

ITS NOT YOU, IT’S ME:

Ah the old chestnut. Trotted out so often over the decades that it is now a statement of much ridicule. Used in times of cowardice when the aggressor wishes to bow out gracefully but avoid the confrontation of a scene. ITS NOT ME??? Of course its me you snivelling little toad…you wouldn’t be leaving shortly to hurtle into the arms of another if it wasn’t ME! Actually now i think about it , you could be right here and it is actually you after all. Clearly you have deficiencies which i was besottedly unaware of, cowardice being the aforemost of them all. Seriously though, how often have we rolled our eyes derisively as some poor sap bleats out that eternal old phrase ”It’s not you, it’s me” NEXT!

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THE PHONECALL:

Admittedly a step up from the text message but only just.Usually lasting only so long as it takes for the recipient to dissolve into tears and demand an explanation before the call is ended. Exactly the same reasons as with the text message, avoidance of confrontation and total absence of any courage but still with the same result. Perhaps a little less cold and callous this one but still getting the old heave ho via the telephone is hardly the ending of choice. BUT at least you get to say your piece or scream blue murder on this one even if just a little before the other person baulks and hangs up the phone. Courage only goes so far you know!

HI HONEY IM DEAD:

Oh yes this one is true, believe it or not. I have heard this story more than once with both males and females as the protagonist and was rather horrified at such deliberated dispassion. The general idea was that, tiring of the relationship, the person would invent some serious illness or disease that would enable them to lessen the contact and time spent with their partner. Often coupled with financial extortion this enables the protagonist to very often take up with a new partner and not need to find excuses for being absent from the relationship. After a time the ‘illness’ progressively worsens until eventually the unsuspecting partner receives a message from a ‘friend’ saying their signifcant other has passed away. Horrifying and cold in the extreme but nonetheless true. I felt such sympathy for these people for this was truly an abuse of trust in the extreme. Perhaps it is just me though, that sat and thought why bother?? Why go to all that trouble and intrigue instead of just saying sorry it’s not working. The mind boggles and maybe we shall never know but happen it did. 

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THE EMAIL:

Oh ye fiend of modern invention, how many of us have received the old ‘dear john’ via email. Perhaps it is the safety of hiding behind a computer but often it is the case that explanations are more than forthcoming in this instance. There can be no doubt we all like to know just WHY our security blanket suddenly became rather moth eaten but often the email takes the why just a little too far. Perhaps it is just the modern day age that we live in that leaves us feeling safer ‘talking’ by email rather than face to face. So many people i know have received emails from partners in times of emotional upheaval outlining clearly all of the things that they feel are lacking. Sometimes perhaps this can be a gentle opening for a good heart to heart talk and a chance to address any problems within the relationship but often it is just a covert way of venting ones spleen and once started tends to spew forth unguarded. I have seen many a friend shocked at he receipt of such an email since they mostly had little idea anything was wrong. I have been guilty of this myself in a lesser degree but only in the early days of a relationship when i was unsure of the person and their reaction to what i considered to be an issue in our relationship and thankfully it led to proper adult discussion. I, thankfully, have never dissected my whole relationship via email nor felt the need to end it that way and much prefer to talk whether it be good news or bad. Email can be a good opener but should never be used as a method of closure in our opinion.

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THE CHEAT:

Oh definitely topping the best seller list with everyone here for the worst way to leave your lover. Nobody likes to be replaced and there is no doubt that seeing the object of your affections in the arms of another is never an easy thing to take. Confronted with your replacement you would have to be very secure indeed not to compare yourself unfavourably with the new improved version of ‘US’. This has to be the most uncaring way of ending a relationship and the visible proof that you are not irreplaceable after all is a bitter pill to swallow. Worse still is having this thrust upon you whilst you are still in a relationship with that person as a pose to having time to bring yourself to terms with it to some small a degree. I can never understand why a person should cheat when it would be simpler to end that which you are not happy with and then look for something else yet still so many continue to do so. Perhaps it is the old having your cake and eating it scenario where they simply wish a little excitement aside that which they already have. Definitely a risky business then since often when caught you lose everything anyway. The other option is perhaps the simply wished to be caught after all , leaving their partner to do the act of ending the relationship for them. Whatever the reason there is no worse feeling in the world than knowing that the one you love has another besides yourself. 

Maybe there are 50 ways to leave your lover. I have no doubt that many of you have heard of some of the more inventive ones but still it cannot detract from the fact that a heart is being broken. Does it really cost so much to be honest and to simply sit and talk. I cannot promise it will be well received for people people react differently to the loss of that which they love but surely it is kinder to be straightforward and truthful. We all decided the same, that we would rather be truthfully told that our significant other did not love us any more and be allowed to grieve for the relationship than to be the receiver of untruths and excuses.  Whilst some of the more colourful of us decided that throwing your other half over Niagara Falls in a barrel or putting them up for sale on ebay were perfect ways to end your affair perhaps it is kinder to just talk. 

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50 WAYS TO LEAVE YOUR LOVER:

We thought of a few, how about you?

The weight of desperation…

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As you go about your daily life it is highly unlikely that you will fail to see the obesity crisis rocking the western world in more recent times. Whether it be the huge increase of overweight people in general  or simply the ever increasing adverts screaming ‘LOSE WEIGHT FAST’ you would have to be blinkered indeed not to notice. We are a self indulgent society, there is no escaping from it and sadly it seems we only consider the consequences after the fact. Very far after the fact it seems for many and i myself have been no exception.

I am not one to take much stock of some aspects of social media yet i am amazed at how many people, my friends included, live their whole lives on facebook or its like. There is nothing too personal nor too private that they do not feel ready to announce to the world and i am ceaselessly amazed at some of the things i see and read. As a blogger i am happy to share certain opinions and amusing anecdotes relating to my life but i like the option of privacy and am selective about whom i share my intimacies of life with. Still i am not above browsing interestedly at the public announcements of my friends cringing or chuckling as the status may warrant. Today however, as i idly browsed i was struck by the number of weight loss adverts peppering many of the pages i viewed. Although all different brands and methods they all nonetheless screamed out the same message ‘LOSE WEIGHT FAST’  Perhaps the most alarming thing of all was not the presence of the adverts themselves but the sheer number of people flocking to them wanting that quick fix to their excess weight.

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For me it was a definite trip down memory lane and an almost Christmas Carol like visit to my former unhappy self. To say i was overweight would definitely be no understatement for the disgrace that i had become was almost double the person i am now. Yet it was all of my own doing and to a certain extent a deliberate attempt to obliterate the unhappy shadow that i had become. Never in truth did i consider the consequences of my actions nor did i have the foresightedness to realise that being big would not change the problems that had forced me there, it would only serve to be lessened slightly by the momentary comfort of some sugary treat. It is hard for anyone who has not experienced it to understand the comfort and solace that can be found in the arms of a bar of chocolate. If only the feeling lasted as long as the unhappiness but alas it does not and with it comes the crashing low of reality.

IM FAT!! 

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There may be those rare few who genuinely are happy being bigger and who do not feel the need to conform to a society ideal in order to feel attractive and loved. Sadly i like many was not once of those and longed to undo the damage that i had inflicted upon myself and be once again the slim person i had been before. But again like many i was daunted by the long road ahead and i failed to see the reality of the situation, it had taken years to become this large and it was going to take equally as long to take it away.

I wanted it now! 

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Therein we find the problem of many a dieter, once the decision has been made and the excess weight confronted we want suddenly to be slim overnight. This does not happen and even when the weight loss is rapid the effects upon the body cosmetically are not appealing as the skin fails to keep up with the speed of the weight lost. I have seen many a person embark upon some extreme weight loss programme only to be devastated by the resulting swathes of excess flesh where they had imagined some bikini body. Yet still they flock to these adverts willing to part with hard earned money for the illusion that this will be an overnight fix. I did it the hard way. I dieted, i failed, i cried, i sweated at the gym and i got right back on the wagon after every cheat and tried again. I threw many a tantrum and hurled many an abusive name at my reflection in the mirror but i kept on trying until i finally saw the results. In hindsight i think the stuggle in itself taught me more of a lesson than any quick fix ever could and even today i still carry on fighting the battle to keep from obesity. 

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I cannot help but feel a sadness for those who clamour around the quick fix for i was them once and i remember well the hopelessness and the desperation. The need to conform and the desire to be accepted and loved. Once you have been overweight you are never free from a diet for it is your curse to be susceptible to temptation and weaknesses that led you to where you were in the first place.Yet you learn in a way you never have before and you find a way to ignore the little voice reverberating in your brain urging you to give in and indulge.

I am quite sure i drive my boyfriend mad with my constant self criticism and shattering insecurities and that is my cross to bear. Yet thankfully he understands me and knows from whence it comes. He listens without complaint yet sometimes will reprimand me for slamming down any comforting compliment he may make. Perhaps the latter rather frustratedly for he knows at times that no matter what he says i shall not hear it.  But hear it i do although it maybe sometime later when it penetrates the sometimes self loathing i feel. It is a battle i shall continue to fight maybe forever but i’m winning…at least i am winning. Still i cannot help but feel sad when i see the girls i used to be, cannot help a wave of memories crash in, followed by the relief that i made it. Almost.

There simply is no quick fix. It is something you come to learn as you make the journey yourself, for the battle is as much inside as it is out. I made it on the outside, i was lucky and i do look good i grudgingly can admit this but it took someone else to open my eyes. The inside is something else and i shall carry on along the road with a supporting hand in mine.

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The weight of desperation.  

In the end

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Ask any person if they consider themselves polite and well mannered and they will undoubtedly tell you that they believe that they are. They will heartily endorse their own virtues and emphatically state that they are infact most definitely polite and courteous. Although there is no doubt that there are those who may be as they say alas it seems to be that, these days at least, those persons are in a definite minority and on a steady decline. 

Even the most unobservant of us cannot fail to be aware when out and about of the general lack of regard for each other as there exists in our modern world. Rarely do people hold doors for each other any more, road courtesy is deplorable and general etiquette  is minimal at best. When reading of the sense of community spirit and general care for each other of bygone eras , it seems hard to equate that with the world we know today.   It seems that people just really do not care for each other any more and lives have declined to the point that most cannot see past their own center of gravity.

Working for a charity as i do means that i regularly deal with the public in large numbers each day and those people with whom i come into contact you would expect to be caring and courteous. There are definitely those kindly souls who really are both things but again sadly in rather smaller than expected numbers. People, i have found, are for the most part rude, aggressive, uncaring and selfish. 

Sadly it has been the experience of myself and many of my colleagues that what may be seen as ignorant disregard or general discourtesy in public is often greatly amplified when on the other end of a telephone. It seems the semi anonymous shield of it leads people to behave with much less regard than the would in a face to face situation. Despite telling myself never to be surprised by the behaviour of those faceless individuals i encounter, i nevertheless have gaped in horror at some of the aggressively rude responses i have received. People, it seems, forget to remember that we are all human too and perhaps in our place they too should be mildly affronted at being spoken to in such a way. Unfortunately they do not put themselves in our shoes  since for the most part i find often people have care and empathy that barely stretches past the length of their own nose. 

 I expect you look horrified right now and stand ready to leap to the moralistic defence of mankind but there is no escaping the truth of the matter.With the exception of a dwindling minority people in general are mostly not very nice at all.

 Sadly as i have passed through life in recent times i have witnessed behaviour towards others as to shock and sadden me deeply although i confess i really am less than surprised. Acts of road rage, abuse and profanity screamed in aggression for nothing much worse than failing to move aside for the aggressor. The fact that this person was not observing the proper rules of the road meant little for he considered himself due deference from anyone he met. Whilst instinct is to retaliate and respond in kind it does little good beyond escalating a situation already out of proportion for the imagined crime. Perhaps it lies to us to break the cycle and turn the other cheek lest we find ourselves guilty of the same.

Doors once held courteously open for whomever was following us are now mostly left to swing closed in the faces of those behind. The elderly struggle with shopping where once a helping hand would have offered to share the load. Snug and dry in their warm safe cars, drivers ignore those sodden souls shivering by the roadside hoping desperately for someone to allow them to cross. Once it would have been the norm to slow for those few seconds to help another but now it seems that arriving at your destination thirty seconds sooner is more important. 

Everywhere you look you cannot help but see the growing self absorbtion that seems to come as standard in this present day existence.  I wonder as i look around, which i do frequently for i am a keen people watcher, if people have just become so disenchanted with life that they forget just HOW to care.  I guess it would be all too easy, on the frequent receiving end of such treatment, to become angry or bitter and vow to behave in exactly the same way yourself. Granted you may feel better for it but ultimately does it really make you feel better to be one of the many? Is it really any harder to say please and thankyou, to hold out a hand to help or just take that few extra seconds to put someone else before yourself? I have and i do and no matter the response from others i shall always try and help if i can. I have to admit it is often rather amusing to see the surprise on the face of the other person since they clearly are not used to courtesy as a norm. 

Still as a sullen voice rudely tells me in no uncertain terms where to get off i sigh and wonder if perhaps it is a change that cannot be undone. Perhaps people only band together in times of great adversity and at others care little for anyone else. Perhaps it is not until you view yourself through the eyes of another that you realise just how much you are guilty of yourself. No it hurts little to put yourself out, to be less selfish and to make a little time where you insist you have none.

Because in the end it doesnt even matter.  Does it?

Be my Valentine

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Valentines day.

Love it or loathe it, you can hardly avoid it in todays consumerist society. Dash off to the supermarket for a much needed pint of milk and you are assaulted by an array of nauseating pink and red hearts and overly priced greetings cards gushing about how much the intended other means to you. Totally at contrast to the other 364 days of the year when many are infact bickering and hurling abuse at each other, totally forgetting that the previous day they had been besottedly ‘in love’. I expect you think i sound very bitter and cynical dont you? Further still i bet you think im single right? 

Wrong..i am infact very much taken and i wasn’t always so scathing as perhaps i sound now. 

As a much younger girl and then a woman i was very much as you might expect. I believed firmly in love and romance and Valentines day was a crushing event indeed if some token of someones affection did not sail its cupid assisted way to me. With a head full of romance and the ideal that some smitten male adonis was going to sweep me off my feet and declare undying love for me i looked very much forward to the national day of love. Sometimes those tokens did come my way, often from those persons i in fact did NOT wish them to be from leaving both parties regretful and devastated. Many an unfortunate friendship spoiled as my blinkered eyes had failed to see that, at least on the males part, it had not infact been friendship at all. Still i waited, head firmly in the likes of a Pride and Prejudice novel for my Mr Darcy or his like counterpart to fall head over heels for me as the novels suggested were so. Because that, of course, is exactly how it happens.

I waited.

I read.

I dreamed.

I waited some more.

Like anything unused after a while the ideal was becoming a little tarnished. My own choices or non choices were turning out to be far from the princes of my dreams and the idea that perhaps romantic novels were infact just stories after all slowly began to creep in. Rather like when a child discovers that infact there is no such thing as Santa Claus i was at first reluctant to believe it at all and then inconsolably desolate in the way only one with crushed dreams can be. Life infact had not turned out as i had expected and poor choices on my own part left me with only a perfect life in books to escape to. Escape i did as i lived the many lives of the heroines within. Many times i experienced the sweeping love and the crashing lows of some turbulently passionate relationship that i know by now i could only dream of.  

Reality has a way of returning though and even as i try not to let it cloud my optimism, i have grown accustomed to the true existence or not of romance. My thinking has been adjusted from the consumerist and literary ideals of it and have settled into a more pragmatic approach. Perhaps sometimes it is possible to set your dreams too high and spend your life forever being disappointed. Is it then more sensible to lower those expectations and perhaps have some chance of actually meeting them. As i said i expect you imagine me single. Some bitter old maid, so often spurned in love and doomed to a life of nostalgic regret. I am infact far from it and am blessed with a wonderful partner who although totally unromantic does not love me any the less for it, nor i he. I do not expect flowers from him and we have often joked that should he ever give me them i should instantly be suspicious and demand to know what he had done wrong that he was trying to make reparation for. He however does not find it easy to express feelings so those little moments when he does are so very precious, much more so than if they were freely forthcoming. Again this affords the chance for the unexpected, when some little comment or unanticipated gesture has rendered me speechless or emotional. My small but precious hoard of these is jealously guarded and much valued for what they lack in number they make up for in feeling. 

Valentines day. Yes although i admit even in the recent past to having felt a twinge of jealousy as some lovestruck gentleman goes bounding towards his lady love clutching roses, i am a realist with the wiseness and fortitude to be grateful for that which i have rather than longing for that which i dont. As a rather surprised looking bear smiles in my direction from the corner of my room a happy memory obliterates any thought of roses and chocolates to be replaced with another more recent and of much more value. Yes i hate valentines day, i loathe it with a passion and never again will i subscribe to the enforced falsity of it. Think me cynical if you will for i shall not mind a bit. Instead i shall content myself with a memory of brown eyes smiling into mine in some rare unexpected tender moment or of a furry little face emerging from a box causing such a rush of emotion from me as to bring forth tears. 

So as on any other year there will be those who are disappointed. Some with desperately watch the letter boxes hoping for some sign that their partner ‘Loves’ them. Each knock at the door will be met with the anticiaption of flowers or some gift to demonstrate the love or affection of their significant other. Some will be rewarded and bask in the joy of feeling loved, whilst some will be left bereft as no gift is forthcoming leaving them feeling unloved and unwanted. I cannot ever promise myself that i shall never feel unloved again, the future is never certain. What i an be sure of however is that never will it be the result of an empty handed postman. I am sure my boyfriend will surprise me one day when i am least expecting it as he frequently does. Some word or deed guaranteed to make me smile as he has in the past. But not on February 14th when he is ‘supposed and expected’ to. Never then. 

Valentines day…………… no thank you!

Ain’t no mountain high enough

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Pick up any newspaper, turn on the television news and you cannot fail to see the constant doom and gloom predictions of the current economic climate. As we read daily of hardships and hurdles, of food banks and homelessness you cannot help but see the downturn of life in general for so many. There is surprisingly an odd detachment in society  however, with the true realities of a life of hardship being a most alien concept to those more fortunate and favoured. Perhaps it is true that unless you have had to live a reality then why should it even exist for you and this definitely seems to be the case today. Not for the first time i have witnessed people shocked by the genuine realities of life for the less privileged and the admittance of a total unawareness of such existence. Media it seems has much to answer for in its portrayal of modern human lives.

Personally i cannot deny that things have been somewhat of a downward spiral in some elements of my life and, control freak that i am , i find being hemmed into very tight corners a most unpalatable situation indeed. I have likened the situation very much to running a hurdle race and finding that some imp of fate is gleefully adding extra hurdles only in my lane, leaving me running far behind my fellow competitors. 

I have in the past often imagined my life as like that of a rat in a maze, constantly searching for that one door exit whilst fate peers interestedly at my struggles to succeed. I guess here though is where my quirky sense of humour kicks in and i send up thanks that i am not growing an extra ear upon my back. Yes the life of a lab rat would definitely not be one of my choosing and i am more than a little thankful that i am not so far down the species ladder as to genuinely be of the rodent variety.

Despite normally being of such a positive nature it is very difficult after some time not to allow those glimmers of disillusionment and negativity to creep in. It is easy then to self doubt and wonder perhaps if it is not society at all but yourself that is lacking and failing on an epic scale. Looking in the mirror you cease to smile and focus instead on those imaginary flaws and inflate them to fantastical proportions until they dominate your life. I have to my shame done this and i freely admit it. 

”Stupid ugly cow” i have hissed at myself in the mirror. 

I have never been the type of person to outwardly direct my frustrations and self doubt, instead choosing to direct it inwardly at the person i consider to blame. 

Myself.

Perhaps this is more than a little unfair as most of my obstacles have come as the result of outside influences that i genuinely had litte control over and whilst hindsight is a wonderful thing it would have been very hard to erase any of them as each sprang out of an at the time necessity.  Frustrating in the present though when any present efforts are hampered by the chains of the past. But the whole point of running a race is to get to the finish line and often those most remembered are not the ones who came first in blazing glory but those who fell and yet got back up and finished despite coming far behind everyone else. 

So as another monday rolls around i feel a little lightened and ashamed of myself for my negativity thanks to the words of a friend.

The strongest wood, is from trees that withstand the strongest winds, And steel, has to  go into the hottest fire/furnace to become the strongest steel. And of course a piece of coal, has to undergo the most tremendous pressures, to become a diamond

I am running my own race, i realise this and must keep on running no matter the hurdles. I may not come first but i will never fail as long as i just keep on running. The same friend pointed out to me the following quote and i realised he was right, i knew it all along i just let negativity blinker my goal. 

Behind every fear, is a person, you want to be. You face your fears, you become the person you want to be. You run from your fears, you’re not living

So following a friendly mental slap, armed with new motivation and the offer of help from that friend i am willing to walk out onto the ledge and take a small leap of faith. Not in him but finally in myself.  Perhaps after all it is not for me to judge my own strengths and weakness but someone more impartial and less biased in any direction as i am in myself. I am willing to try at least for i shall never reach my goal if i keep on standing still. Someday you may know my name, someday you may not but whatever the result i shall know i gave it all i had. Obstacles are there for a reason, to climb over but often the biggest obstacle of all is infact yourself.

It is possible, so i have been told, to climb a Panda.

Anything is possible if you only try. 

New Year Dread-olutions

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Yes its that old January time again and just the same as every year i ponder the resolutions i’m going to make. They rarely vary much and whilst i don’t exactly break them i couldn’t say i exactly keep them either. As usual on the top of the list is the inevitable post christmas diet which, were i to stick to my pre christmas vow, would not really be necessary. But as usual i ate too much,  wolfed down more chocolate than a cadburys taste tester and generally overindulged on a grand scale. After so many months of restriction it is rather reminiscent of offering water to a man in a desert and so rapidly the pounds piled on. Fortunately i know when to stop and as january rolls around i was once again haunting the aisles of the local supermarket avidly scouring labels. 

I am actually quite resolute once i actually set my mind to something and since i like being slim more than i like my beloved chocolate i wasn’t too unhappy about the diet at all. Until……

Sitting in the mall later that day i had forgone the greasy pasties my companions had favoured and instead had opted for a lower calorie salad sandwich. I had just taken a bite when a blur appeared infront of me and thrust a small plastic bag at me saying ”Here have a freebie” before rushing away. Rather startled i lowered my sandwich and peered inside, wondering what on earth she had given me. My expression changed somewhat as i pulled out a notebook, pen and shopping bag all emblazoned with the words ‘WEIGHT WATCHERS’

Now whilst i may mention dieting i am not infact obese, being 5ft 10 and a healthy size 10. I had certainly not considered myself as looking in need of Weight Watchers and to say i was rather offended was putting it somewhat mildly. Truth be told i seethed about it for rather some time afterwards muttering crossly to myself in the mirror as i tried to breathe in hard and look like a size 8. Eventually i had to breathe out and pondered for some time the positives and negatives of wearing corsets in the modern day world. Bridget knickers perhaps??

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So the New Year diet is in full swing and i sat today dolefully prodding at my cottage cheese wishing it were something a sight more interesting. I do not dislike Cottage cheese but it is one of those foods one would definitely not rush to get in line for. The kitten twitches its nose in the direction of my lunch trying to decide if i am eating anything tasty and i wave a forkful in her direction. ”Help yourself” i tell her generously, but she twitches her nose again and decides i am not eating anything palatable and stares balefully at me before settling back to sleep.

”No” i tell her prodding it again ”I wouldn’t eat it if i had a choice either”

Perhaps the cat has the right idea and next year i should bypass the chocolate, ditch the cottage cheese and make an altogether more exciting resolution.

Skydiving anyone??

I dreamed a dream..

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Love them or hate them, when we close our eyes we all dream at some time or other. Many of us will not realise that we do for they are so quickly and easily forgotten upon waking. Have you ever experienced the frustration of trying to remember a dream that despite your best efforts slips away without you even realising? I have, to the point that i resolved to keep a notepad beside my bed to pen down my imaginitive nocturnal ramblings. I have always been of the opinion that dreams are the minds way of making sense of what it either cannot or will not whilst we are awake. 

I dream a lot. I have never quite decided whether it is purely because i think too much and have a chaotic mind or whether it simply is because i have a lot of unresolved past residing in the darkest recesses of my brain. Perhaps a mix of the two although i confess i definitely do fall into the overthinkers anonymous group a lot of the time. Still given the fantastical nature of some of my sleep sodden imaginings, i should perhaps be writing them down and turning them into potentially best selling novels. 

Sometimes though a dream will recur and these i do remember. Perhap the sheer repetitiveness of it drums it into my longer term memory for me to muse over and self psychoanalyse at leisure. Lately though a dream has recurred that i do not have to particularly look at in too much depth for i know the source of it very well.

REGRET.

My dream is of my grandmother, i have news she is dying and i am trying frantically to get to her but cannot. I find myself running through a field of deep mud and getting nowhere as is often the case in a dream. As i run i pass people i know and frantically hold out my hands begging for help. One by one they shrug and turn away or just ignore me completely until i say desperately ”But i was there for you!!” Then one parody turns and laughs saying  mockingly ”That doesn’t mean that we are there for you”

The result of the dream is always the same i am so bogged down that i do not make it in time. Whatever the visual interpretation my brain put on it the facts are still the same, i have a lifelong regret that i did not make more time for her in the years leading to her death and this is something i have had to learn to live with because the clock cannot be turned back however much we wish it. Perhaps the bigger regret is the time wasted on meaningless things and on those people who deserved my time much less than she. Whilst i know she would not judge me and never would she think ill of me, still i feel that i have failed.

I have always tried my best not to regret things i cannot change for it does little good and in the end merely holds you back.  The curious thing about this dream however,  was the presence of people within it who either were not present in my life at the time or who have no relevance to the situation. I have not yet concluded what significance they have in the dream but i wonder if perhaps it is my own inner awareness warning me not to make the same mistakes again. Perhaps i am guilty of placing too much importance on things and people who do not matter and neglecting those things and people that could be a cause of regret. Maybe it helps to remember who were those who were those who were there for me when i needed someone and who were those who caused me the pain to need someone in the first place. Whatever the meaning it seems sure that this dream is determined to recur until i have taken heed and acted upon it. 

Life is full of regrets. Some we can live with and some may haunt us for the rest of our lives, emerging in our dreams as sad reminders of the mistakes we have made. I do not want to spend my life running through mud chasing regrets, especially the ones that will be the kind to haunt my dreams. It seems, at least for me, that it is time for change although much thought is needed as to what these changes will be. I cannot ignore the fact that lately i have been less than enamoured with some aspects of my life and a redress is in order. Perhaps then i can return to my fantastical dreams of the purely fantasy nature and sleep more soundly than i have of late. 

Still if one is going to be a Panda then at least one should look like a Panda and thanks to a few sleepless nights i most definitely do.

Sweet dreams everyone!! 

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Don’t you DARE!!

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Like many people i confess i have been hiding indoors lately avoiding the ever present rain. I do not really mind the rain as a rule but i have no crazy desire to run out into it when i have no need. Not being a driver sometimes does limit my plans but mostly i tend to just get on with things whatever the weather. The rain however has been excessively heavy of late and exceptionally cold so i have been content to merely admire it from my window.  There is something rather relaxing about the rhythmic drumming of the rain against a window pane. 

Alas though i am a little of a magpie at times and when i see something i want i do not let a little thing like rain deter me at all. Seeing a collection of books pop up for sale on a local selling site, my eyes lit up at the sight of a beautiful hardback book about my beloved Lancaster bombers. I just HAD to have this book and two others besides so i quickly rattled off a message to the seller asking could i PLEASE have those books. At bargain prices, a little thing like precipitation was not going to deter me!!

Thankfully the designated sale and time agreed, i was relieved to see the sky had cleared and with a favourite catchy tune ringing in my ears i set off on my mission to the other side of town. You will be relieved to know i did not sing out loud since i really did not wish to inflict my tuneless warblings upon  an unsuspecting public. I rather think the rain would be punishment enough without an onslaught upon their eardrums! But so musically engrossed was i that i did not at first notice a rapidly darkening sky.

”oh no” i exclaimed on spotting the angry looking sky above my head ” Dont you DARE!!”

Yes i confess i have a habit of talking to just about anything and this was no exception. Still obviously the weather was in no mood to listen as a big fat raindrop plopped right onto the end of my nose.

‘Don’t you DARE” i repeated and began to hurry a little faster.

Wasted words, it seems i am no weather whisperer and the heavens opened around me with a rather emphatic whoosh. I actually stopped, put my hands on my hips, looked skyward and snapped half amusedly ”Thanks a LOT!”

Now at this point my boyfriend would be chuckling for i had an expression he finds most amusing. I have a terrible habit of screwing my mouth up to one side in a wry expression that he  finds extremely comical. But yes there was i with my wry expression, rolling my eyes in resignation, hands on hips talking to the sky. Still there was nothing to be done but carry on walking and as little rivers began to run along the road i hurried to the house i was bound for.  

Thankfully the walk was not far and books collected i hurried for home with trickles of rain running down my neck. Cold now i tried to hurry faster when..

eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

Somohow the rain had gotten into the soles of my trainers and each step was making an air whoosing squeak. By now my socks were getting rather sodden also and i cursed whichever genuis had decided ventilation holes would be an ideal design. 

eeeeeeeeeeeeeee eeeeeeeeEEEEEEEEEEEE EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

Swiftly i looked around hoping there was nobody around to hear and stamped my feet hard hoping to stamp out the water. My walk had become a little more of a plod as i  squelched merrily in my shoes, rain running like a waterfall from the end of my nose. I guess i am lucky i have an upturned nose i mused for a second, having images of myself with a hook nose and a mouth full of water. This of course made me giggle and im sure any passer by would have found me rather odd with my drowned rat appearance, giggling madly at who knows what. 

eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee eeEEEEEEEEEEEEEE squish EEEEEEEEEEEEEE squish EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

Definitely getting louder i realised as i hurried along with Olly Murs singing chirpily in my ears. 

”Dear Darling, please forgive my EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE squish… i cant stop my hands from shaking EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE squish, i miss you EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE squish squish EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEe”

So as Olly and i hurried home, in a rhythm of squishing eeeeeeeeeee’s and chirpy singing, i decided that perhaps just sometimes i do mind the rain after all. Nicely topped off by a passing car that flung a nicely timed tidal wave in my direction i decided that in future i shall only go out of my house when the skies are raindrop free. 

eeeeeeeeeeeeeeee eeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee EEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!! 

Lo-commotion

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Being a regular train passenger means i definitely do get to meet my fair share of characters. Christmas eve therefore was defintely likely to be one of those events that i was likely to encounter those fellow travellers designed to stay in memory. The terrible storms of the previous few days did nothing to help the travelling conditions and as cancellation after cancellation flashed up on the deparature board even laid back little old me began to become a little worried. 

”I’m leaving on a jet plane, don’t know when i’ll be back agaaaaaiin” i yowled tunelessly.

I know i cannot sing and although i was not infact actually going on a plane at all, nevertheless i was looking forward to my destination and happily crucified a much liked song. My singing has been likened in the past to a strangled cat, a fact i announce quite proudly for i happily admit i am tone deaf and could not carry a tune in a bucket. Stil since i am never likely to be dragged kicking and screaming onto X Factor and nobody but my cats have to hear, i quite happily launch into my very best rendition a la Armageddon style.

”Leaving on a jet plaaane” i screeched merrily, whilst keeping one eye on the train updates for further news. What can i say it was Christmas eve and i was excited! That is my excuse anyway and i shall be firmly sticking to it. 

Checking the train timetables yet again i squawked in horror as my planned train flashed up on screen saying ‘CANCELLED’ followed by a message from the train operators advising passengers to travel earlier than planned and by any route necessary. 

PANIC!!!

Okay, maybe not quite panic for i am far more practical than that and having travelled to London so often these last two years i know every route like the back of my hand. Several swift minutes of  searching left one available route flashing merrily on screen.

‘ON TIME. ON TIME’

The problem was this train left in 40 minutes instead of the two and a half hours i had originally planned on. Standing there in my oversized pyjamas with my hair stuck on end i really was not exactly travel worthy nor fit to be seen in decent society. Now when i say my pyjamas are oversized i MEAN oversized. So after a quick call to the local taxi firm i hurtled for the stairs with great swathes of fabric bunched in one hand, tripped drunkenly over the over long trouser legs and narrowly avoided using my staircase as a prayer mat. I trip over these trousers so often you would think i would throw them into the trash but i cannot bear to part with the tent like comfort of them. With a speed worthy of Wonder Woman i effected a rather miraculous transformation only stopping to lecture myself on the demerits of carrying luggage down a flight of stairs in high heels. 

”Put the shoes on DOWNSTAIRS next time  you dummy” I chided myself ruefully as i clung like a limpit to the bannister with my one free hand. 

Giving myself a mental shake i don an air of sophisticated composure that belies the hurried rush of the previous few minutes. Surverying the mountain of luggage as i slicked on red lipstick i had a momentary doubt as to how i was going to manage the less than small pile sitting waiting to accompany me. A load worthy of Scott of the Antarctic, the amusing thing was that this did not include clothing which was already at its destination. A tooting horn from outside left me frantically gathering up baggage, pausing momentarily to  swiftly swap from arm to arm until i had a balance i could safely totter along with. It all seems such a good idea at the time until you have to actually carry it although i consoled myself with the hoped for reception to the gifts inside. What can i say, i love to give and can easily be accused of going overboard when it comes to gifts but i do not care. Giving is fun. The taxi driver knows me and as we drive along buffeted by the storm force winds he enquires ”London again?”

I nod happily and once at the station gather up the giant luggage bags and stagger towards an elevator. THEN comes the spanner in the works….they cancelled my train!!! 

”Noooooooooooooo” i wail in horror, frantically wishing at this point that i had data left on my phone. A passing platform attendant hears me and enquires where i was trying to get to and helps a very relieved me onto a waiting coach outside for the first leg of my journey. I can already feel myself turning green for i do not travel well on buses at all and have a mental image of vomiting into the lap of the gentleman beside me which makes me stifle a hysterical giggle. Oh well it’s only for half an hour i console myself as a rather large gentleman and his equally large partner squeeze themselves along the narrow gangway, bumping everyone as they go. 

A frazzled looking woman dashes for the seat behind me tapping my shoulder as they sit down. 

”Are there toilets on here” She whispers loudly ” i’m dying for a wee and i didnt have time to go in the station”

I shake my head and tell her no and at her wail of dismay enquire where she is going. I feel a pang of sympathy as she tells me her destination is over two hours away and tactfully suggest she plead with the driver to tarry a minute at the next station to allow her to alight and find a bathroom. Thankfully the driver is in a most Christmas like obliging mood and allows the desperate woman to rush from the coach in search of relief. 

Once on the move the conversations of my fellow passengers swirl around my head and i am confessedly nosey enough to listen half interestedly to what they are saying. There is a man rushing to get the last flight to the channel islands behind me sitting next to the now relieved ‘i need a bathroom’ girl. I listen as his rather cultured tones describe his desperate need for the coach to arrive on time for he will be stranded with no way to his destination if it does not. To my right a twenty something lad telephones his obviously clucking mother to reassure her that he is on his way whilst my heart feels for the man and his daughter infront who are trying desperately to get to the nearby city hospital. So many people all in the same boat, almost all trying to get somewhere for christmas. As i listen i hear some complain, some are resigned and some like me do not care too much about delays just as long as we get to where we are headed. 

Alighting at my station i am relieved to find that one solitary train is due to head for my London destination and i clutch a much needed cup of coffee and wait with those straggling few who had dared to take a chance on getting a train. A smilingly apologetic platform attendant flits from person to person enquiring on destination and offering solace to those waiting to depart. As yet another train is cancelled and replaced by a bus, a man at a nearby table explodes in anger and thumps his fist onto the table infront of him. He does not want to get on a bus he shouts although i gently point out that i have just come from that way and the journey was fine. He is not to be mollified, he wants a train and not a bus though i cannot understand why since does it really matter HOW you get there just so long as you do?

Relieved i gather up my baggage as the train to London is announced, abandoning my much wanted coffee when i discover i do not infact have a free hand to carry it. Tottering along like a japanese geisha i am startled by a twenty something guy clutching a coffee who offers to carry one of my bags for me since it seems obvious i am rather overloaded. There is plenty of time to board and i am not too far from the train so i smile and thank him and assure him i can manage. Eyeing his coffee i cannot help but wish i could have managed to carry my own for i am very much in need of it and i have a long way yet to go. Thankfully the carriage is not infact the crush i had expected, instead being almost empty and as i reach for my tablet to read a book i am relieved at the thought of a nice peaceful journey. 

Did i say peaceful?

”I dont WANT to sit in the middle” Hollers a scowling little darling, blonde pigtails bouncing furiously as she mutinously shakes her head. She climbs determinedly into the seat across the aisle from me defiantly folding her arms infront of her. My heart sinks and i mentally wave goodby to my peaceful trip. A woman i can only assume is her mother rushes back from the middle of the train and pleads with the child to move offering colouring books as a proverbial carrot to persuade her. Miss pigtails is having none of the womans wheedling and announces even more loudly that she is NOT moving and intends to occupy her current seat for the entire journey. 

Oh great! 

”Please darling, come and sit with mummy and we can look at a book together” the woman desperately pleads.

As the child still resists she admits defeat and wanders back to the side of her male companion whilst Miss pigtails stands up in her seat and bellows to her father that she wishes them to move and sit where she has chosen. His refusal brings forth loud wailing which he ignores until catching the expressions of the other passengers upon which he leaps from his seat and barks at the child to move. Surprisingly she does and i heave a sigh of relief before an older woman throws herself into the seat opposite.  i smile politely and continue reading my book but it seems she clearly is something of a chatterbox and does not care if i wish to read in peace. 

Ten minutes pass as i politely answer her questions and engage reluctantly in the conversation she seems to seek before trying to get back to my much enjoyed book. She however has other ideas and continues to talk incessantly and i abandon all hope of my quiet trip and i had hoped. Flicking through a magazine reading my stars i am startled when the woman pulls my magazine down with one finger and announces ”oh im a virgo are you looking at your stars??”

My mouth drops open in surprise and i mumble that yes i am just having a quick glance although i only partly believe in them. Still she tries to peer at my magazine until i at last offer it to her hoping she will read it and leave me in peace. 

”Oh MY” She exclaims loudly, leaning across the table and waving the magazine at me. ”How could anyone actually DO that to someone?”

I mumble something non commital and return to my book but it seems she is not finished for she again exclaims loudly and wafts the pages in my direction. Inwardly i am muttering with a diatribe worthy of the cartooned Mutley although i refrain from grinding my teeth since this might be rather audible. 

SHUT UP!!!! PLEASE!!! 

I am not so rude as to say it though. Generally i am very sociable and will politely talk to anyone but right at this time i just wanted to quietly read and get the journey over. As time passed and the refreshments arrived she eventually subsided into her tea and magazine and i quickly produced another incase she should read faster than i hoped. 

Peace at last. 

I journey a lot and never fail to meet a character or two on my way and most make me smile although some i should like to never meet again. But as my train slowed for its final stop and a smile crept on to my face, a beaming elderly man wished me a merry christmas and gave me a wave. I grinned back at wished him the same then happily departed from my Lo-commotion journey. 

That which i do not know

                                  Image

Plans, plans plans.

It seems our society thrives on them and for many of us it is a predictability that dictates our lives. We plan every aspect of them with regimental detail and for many of us the resulting order is the only path we feel safe upon. We like to know what will happen and when, from getting up in a morning to when we go to bed. All carefully organised in a familiar routine.

I hate routine. I find it suffocating and i am one of those rare people who hates to plan. I abhorr appointments and preplanned order, partly because i am terrible at remembering to keep them but mostly because i do not like being forced to do things at a certain time. I am very much a whim person, if i want a haircut i want it done the same day or i do not bother but this works very well for me.

So with the passing of the Yuletide holidays, waving goodbye to christmas, as usual my friends are planning planning planning. Holidays, Easter, Birthdays, going to the gym, family get togethers and even those christmases yet to come. No sooner has one ended than another one is already in the planning department being drawn up for final review. However i try i just cannot seem to bring myself to think further forward than a month at the very most. Oh of course i have hopes and dreams like everyone else but i would never begin to forward think on any of them.

If i am honest i would have to admit that unlike most people i am not afraid of the unknown but more likely the complete opposite. It is the fear that what i do know will be taken away that scares me most of all. So often the unpredictable comes along to scupper any plans you have made and then perhaps it is all the more painful because you had expected things to happen or for situations to be a certain way. Instead you are left devastated when your hopes and plans are shattered because it was not as you had imagined it should be. So no i do not plan, i do not take for granted that what i have and where i am now will stand to be the same a month from today. I am too afraid to want for certain things to happen or for certain things to stay the same. So i expect for change and loss and should it not transpire then i am only left gladdened and never disappointed. Perhaps if in the back of your mind some small part of you expects to lose that which you have, it makes you value it all the more rather than taking for granted.

Is it any way to live a life, secretly fearing? Perhaps not, but as i listen to those friends making plans for many months from now i cannot help but wonder how many of them will actually get to see those plans transpire. I should like to hope they all will but experience tells me it shall not be so. I do not know where i shall be  a year from now, i will never imagine or even plan for it to be any particular way. Life has a funny way of working out exactly how it is supposed to now matter what we try and do about it.

For now that is enough.

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