In the shadow of Heathrow

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Right on cue the air screams with the vibrations of a timely plane as it passes overhead, seemingly close enough to reach out and touch. This is Heathrow, one of the busiest airports in the world and arrivals and departures number in the seconds not in the minutes. Believe it or not you do tune it out to some degree but the sight of the giant metal Avians littering the sky is a familiar one and one you expect of a bustling city like London. Being somewhat of a country bumpkin myself i nevertheless feel very at home in my city second home and thrill in the vibrant diversity of it all. The hustle and bustle feels very compact and crammed in , with every available space untilised to the maximum and hardly a green space to be seen unless it be of the grass verge variety. Or so i thought.

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Following a maze of urban streets you step through the gates of a city park and are instantly transported to rural heaven. Along winding tree lined avenues, following the wild overgrowth of the River Crane, you would believe yourself to be in the heart of the British countryside and not infact in the depths of the largest city in England. Butterflies wheel and spin, vying for airspace as they dance their fluttering dance across the heat shimmering sky. The air of silence is oddly shattered by the alternating sounds of the overhead jet engines interspersed with the raucous cries of squabbling magpies. Crossing an elderly bridge to gaze down at rippling water and contemplate a game of ‘Pooh Sticks’ before turning a corner and stepping back in time.

St Dunstans church nestles serenely in a sunlit corner of the park showing visible signs of age yet none the less impressive for all that. Splitting wood and age worn gravestones announce proudly that this elderly house of god has been there for many more years than you and i could contemplate.

”Come inside” it smiles invitingly, like some beneign old grandfather welcoming you around for tea. Who are we to refuse and we walk carefully around the grounds interestedly peering at those gravestones visible enough to still be read. Yes old it is and the gravestones lay testament to its age. Who were you we wonder as we pause by first one and then many more of the higgley piggledy scattering of stones. Serene and welcoming and cause indeed to linger a while before continuing on our way.

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Much of a surprise then to round a corner and see undeveloped land as far as the eye can see. The alien bulk of a distant control tower the only blight on the otherwise rural looking landscape. Golden fields ripple in the gentle breeze leading to enticing looking tunnels of trees and yet more green and golden expanse. A flash to the right as a little grey body makes a dash for cover, white fluffy tail bouncing madly as it makes a bid for safety.

Bunnies!!

Yet another and then two more as they pause to consider our motives before either fleeing or dismissing us of no consequence and remaining as they were. We briefly halt our progress and tarry a moment to consider them as they in turn watch us a little warily but do not flee. Another is not so bold and dashes for the safety of a large patch of undergrowth yet perhaps it was not us who sent him there as a large magpie hops madly around upon the path infront of us. Just about to perform my usual superstitious salute i spot another and lower my arm in relief. The area is almost deserted compared to the overpopulated urban madness not a stones throw away, yet here it is peaceful and only the odd passing stranger indicates that we are not totally alone. Along the river we wander before out into the wide golden wilderness we step once more. Some thoughtful soul has cut a wonderful path of crossroads within the expanse and some time is spent wandering first one way and then another , randomly taking first one turning and then a  second. The bunnies give way to a lone kestrel soaring in the evening sky, clearly it is time for dinner and we are too far away to disturb his efforts and so he pays us no heed. Look another and yet another and still one more! Six we count in all and they swoop and soar in the warm evening air first gliding landwards before flapping madly to hold in some advantageous position. Glorious they are and so many is a sight to see but secretly i pray ‘dont catch a bunny, oh PLEASE don’t catch a bunny! ‘
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Again the raucous call of a bullying magpie as a tag team of the embullient avians lay chase to an unfortunate Kestrel. Clearly laying ownership to a small tree they are having none of the poor Kestrels attempts to gain perch there for some small moment of time. Two against one is no match and in defeat he wheels away to seemingly float upon the night sky with his bretheren. Pause for a ‘selfie’ for posterity and then it is time to let those jet engines intrude once more as the rural hideaway fades and urban life encroaches once more. How magical to find such a place so hidden from view in a most unexpected place and one i hope i shall visit again sometime in the future.

Typically bridget

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We’ve all seen the movie right? The wonderfully hapless Bridget Jones drowning her sorrrows in a tub of Ben and Jerry’s whilst sporting the latest fashion in duvets. What is it about us women that immediately makes us dive for consolation in the form of something sinfully gooey in quantities we’d normally cringe at the thought of. I wonder why we’re so predictably cliched to the point that they even make movies about us highlighting our more obvious behaviour.

Guily *hand up*

Going through a painful breakup myself i shamefully admit i have become essentially Bridget although my Ben and Jerry’s is more of the M&Ms variety and far from wailing all by myself in a tastefully messy bedroom i have instead resorted to crime drama and moving furniture and sniffling over breakup songs on youtube. What can i say i like having control over something right now even if it is just the current days position of the sofa.
Why do we do it? I mean never yet have i seen a single movie where some dejected guy is welded dolefully to his bed whilst putting himself on the outside of a three gallon tub of ice cream. No, in movies men go out and get a new girlfriend whilst little miss slightly tubby has a minor breakdown and murders every break up song ever heard before sobbing hysterically that nobody will ever love her. Hmmmm not a good stereotype really i think. Yet that is exactly what we women do.

Then true to form being as predictable as we are we then launch head first into reinventing ourselves in a bid to ‘fix’ all of the things that are wrong with us. You wouldn’t be single if you were prettier, thinner, blonder, taller etc etc so partly in a guilty bid to rid ourselves of the results of our gastronomic decline we haul our spare tyre into the gym, buy endless new outfits (in a size smaller of course) and embark on a whole new look. Again hand up for i am guilty of all of those and confess to spending 20 minutes leaping about like a nutcase trying to squeeze into size 8 jeans.Perfect, exactly one size too small, something to aim for!! Horrified i had only realised just how womanly predictable i was when a friend sent me an article about the 7 things not to do after a break up. Oh dear well i’ve already done four of those only 3 left to go OOPS!! Who am i to disappoint??

Much later wailing along to all by myself along with Bridget on dvd i suddenly had a fit of the giggles as i realised that in the space of just one week i have, minus the cigarettes and alcohol, become Bridget Jones, spinster. Oh dear. Still you can’t help but love her no matter how hapless she is and i live in hope that far from finding me miserable and grumpy, those who know me will decide i’m adorable and indeed very’Bridget’
I couldn’t help but wonder as an aside just how many tubs of Ben and jerrys are purchased to be consumed in a non emotional moment and whether the company would actually go out of business should we women all cease to become such emotional puddles of unconsolable depression.
Still there is a lot to be said for reinventing oneself and may i be forgiven if i cannot raise my hand a third time,the gym definitely has a lot to answer for. Perhaps it is no bad thing to effect a change after all, perhaps the new me may be far better than the old and i have to admit i do rather like being a blonde again even if it is on the No No list of ‘after a breakup’
Perhaps i am more predicatably female than i ever imagined, perhaps we all are yet strangely i do not feel offended for once at the thought of being like everyone else. Duvets have their place and time in life as does Ben and Jerrys as Bridget and i both agree. Still on to number 5 on my list and time to fit into those jeans.
Better to be typically Bridget.

Who am i

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Recently i was looking at an old black and white photograph online of a smiling lady from around the 1940’s era. As i stared at it i wondered who she was. What did she do, who did she love and what did she think about. I couldn’t help but wonder if one day, long after i am gone, someone would stumble across a photograph of me and wonder the very same.

Nobody knows me totally you see. There are some things i just never tell anyone. Not because i dont have a someone to tell them to but mostly because i don’t like to admit some things to people and mostly because i dont like to wear a negative persona and bore people. I talk on here quite a lot and i guess i let a lot slip through my thoughts and little anecdotes but i never really confess some of the things i really think and feel.

 

Until now.

What do you see when you look at a picture of me? I look happy right? I’ve mastered the art of looking perfectly smiley in every photograph yet would you be surprised to know i loathe photographs of myself so much that i have to take dozens before i will allow one to be seen. My boyfriend despairs, he has long ceased to try and surprise me with a camera since he knows i will hate every shot and beg him to delete them. I am very unphotogenic which really doesn’t help me like them any better and so i do not very often take any. 

Look a little closer at my photograph, can you tell that i hate myself and cannot bear to look in a mirror? Did you know i used to be fat and that even though im now a size 10 i cannot look in a mirror without focusing on those areas where i still carry that excess weight? I fight an ongoing battle to keep it down and feel a real hatred for myself in those times when my emotional eating wins out over my dieting. I do not think anyone who has always been slim can possibly understand how hard a battle it is to win and even when you do you still have not won the war. Right now is one of those times. I was looking in the mirror today and felt an overwhelming disgust at myself and even calling myself names did not make it better.  I am struggling to lose the few pounds i have gained almost to a point of standstill and this just makes me hate myself more for being greedy and weak. I really envy those people who can eat as they please and never gain a pound whilst i struggle to make my ageing body lose anything at all.

Can you tell from my picture that im a loner? You’d imagine im outgoing and surrounded by friends wouldn’t you and at one point i  really did conform and do the whole friendship circle thing in a bid for acceptance. Strangely i am great in social situations, i’m told i’m very personable and caring and friendly yet oddly i do not often feel the need for the company of others. I am actually one of those people who likes their own company. I honestly think i should be happy if someone asked me to be caretaker of some tiny uninhabited island with only my partner for company. We are by nature social creatures and i know most people find me very odd in my solitary ways. Yet talk to me face to face and i am warm and funny and intelligent and extremely talkative, a pure contradiction in nature. 

Look into my eyes, can you tell i’m a dreamer? Can you tell that i lose myself often in books and films in a bid to find even temporarily those things that are missing in my life? Yet i never watch those happily ever after movies most women seem to love. I cannot bear the sugary tweeness of them and long ago lost the ability to sigh wistfully as some hero goes the extra mile for his girl. I confess in my older years i have become cynical and were it not for the fact that i once experienced that all consuming love i should think it a myth and scornfully dismiss it. Yet dream i do. Of chances missed and paths to take and a world a little better than mine. That i am extremely fortunate in many ways does not elude me and i am mindful to be thankful for what i have whilst quietly allowing myself those moments to dream.

Take another look, can you tell that i had a bad childhood? Would it surprise you to know that i was very unwanted when young and that my parents long ago disappeared from my life? I long ago accepted this and told myself i did not need parents anyway but secretly i confess that sometimes i envy those people with caring parents. Sometimes i wish someone would hug me and say we love you ,are you okay, do you need anything, we miss you. Would you guess that sometimes i just wish someone would miss me and notice that i’m not around. Oh they do, of course they do. When they need something. I channelled all a lifetime of being unwanted into making sure others did not feel the same and became everything for everyone you see and they need me. That’s when they notice. Not because i am me but because they need. Someone did miss me desperately once, i remember so well the feeling. It kind of touches your soul to know that you mean that much to someone that they do not feel complete without you. Between you and me dear readers i miss that, i hate admitting it but if i’m honest i do. It’s so touching to feel wanted. 

So look at me again. What do you imagine that i like? What do you think makes me smile, cry, scared or happy? Would you imagine for one minute that i’m a geek? That i love Tudor and WWII history. Would you guess that i coo over WWII war planes in the same way that i coo over my teddy bear collection? Can you tell that i love sci fi and war films and am totally at odds in interests to my very feminine looks and manner. Could you tell i always wanted a train set when i was young yet never got one or that i love to hike into the hills and watch the world go by especially on windy days? Did you know that i love storms and the rain yet im afraid of deep water and heights. I can watch any amount of surgery on tv even whilst eating my dinner, a fact which disgusts my children and i love to people watch. Would you know that i love all kinds of music from rock to pop yet if i have to choose one piece of music that stirs me i should choose Samuel Barbers Adagio for strings. I love that piece of music, it really gets me every time i listen to it yet nobody would imagine me to be a classical music kind of girl. I guess i have a very old fashioned soul inside that i do not often set free. 

Sometimes i feel guilty when i let little bits of me show. I feel like i am being selfish and should conform a little more to meet their needs rather than mine and so i do. I conform. I only let my happier personality out and keep anything else inside where it is safe and where i do not need to bother people with my thoughts and issues and those quirks that make me different. I guess perhaps i am a casualty of my own solitary nature, you tend to internalise a lot rather than sharing your inner thoughts with others. I know that i am a good person, i am by nature caring and compassionate yet i am whimsical and unusual and i was once told i am very deep.I never did ask what they meant but i should like to think they intended it to mean i have hidden depths.

 I like to help people and i like to feel needed to some degree. It makes me feel like i matter and that people notice i am around, even if not for the ways i would wish it. Perhaps i am too much of a dreamer and i have an unrealistic view of some personal utopia. Always seeming to elude me and forever keeping me dreaming. 

I think too much. Did you know that? Always thinking, always analysing anways practical and i know given the chance i should have made a good counsellor as i hoped i could have been. Still i use my skills on those around me and it makes me feel good to help even if it is only for a little while. 

Look at my photograph. Perhaps some day if you are ever looking at it you shall not need to wonder who i am or what i thought and dreamed. You may never know me but perhaps i shall not be such a stranger after all for i am just me behind a smiling image but i am me and this is just a little glimpse into the girl behind the anecdotes, funny stories and strong opinions.

I’m Amanda and it’s very nice to meet you. 

Just amanda 

 

A tale of two kitties… or maybe just a few more

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Love them or hate them you can barely go a step down the street without running into a furry feline of some form or other. I am definitely a cat person and am the frazzled owner of a barking mad part bengal tabby. Tally thinks she owns me and thinks nothing of creating havoc in order to have me chasing around after her.

So when some weeks earlier my boyfriend announced that a feral cat had given birth outside his parents house i immediately went into full-blown gush mode. Definitely a very smart mama cat, she had wedged herself and her furry brood in a very small space between the two houses, far out of reach of human hands. Peering excitedly into the gloom a couple of weeks later i could just about make out a furry bundle of shapes at the very far end. Strangely mama cat did not seem one bit fazed by us cooing over her offspring and merely flicked a tail in our direction and sauntered off in search of food.

But one day mama cat did not come back and the hours rolled into one day and then two. The poor kittens far from being safely hidden at the back of the small alley were cuddled up at the front awaiting their missing parent and the promise of food.

But mama never came.

As two days rolled into three and boyfriend was keeping a strict vigil it became clear that something had to be done. It was clear that mama cat had either abandoned her tiny offspring or something untoward had befallen her.  It seemed there was no other option than to mount a rescue and since very concerned boyfriend was the only one on hand, the task fell to him. Now i can only tell you the events as related to me but as you can imagine all did not go according to plan. Whilst three were very swiftly whisked away before they could even realise what was going on, the other two made a very wobbly run for it further back into the enclosed gap. Definitely not wide enough for human occupation, it meant that our hero had to be inventive in his attempts to shoo the elusive felines out of hiding. Since the gap was too small and too high to reach into or enter  it meant a long length of wood had to be fashioned from smaller pieces in order to lean down and shoo them along with it. Now even today i cannot help but giggle at the thought of dear boyfriend balancing on high smacking a kitty up the bottom with a plank of wood. It did prove effective however and two little bundles of hissing fur were dispatched into the box with their siblings.

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So what exactly do you do with 5 feral kittens who havent eaten for days? Feed them first of all..one by one with syringe and cat milk and bless him he did a good job. The little tortoiseshell was definitely not impressed and hissed madly whenever approached but after deciding exploring was more fun set off on an adventure. Thankfully after several calls a veterinary surgery was willing to take them and raise them so back into the box it was, bumping and fighting all of the way to their temporary new home. I have to admit they are adorable and i got to visit them myself some days later. Very much changed and much more sociable than before they happily came close for attention as we approached. Houdini, as i have christened the tortoiseshell, was very much an escape artist and made a bid for freedom at every opportunity. Scampering around the surgery with boyfriend in tow he alternated and in return followed at my other half’s heels like a nosy puppy. As i sat and watched they jumped and tumbled, pouncing merrily upon each other as they played.

All but one.

Sitting right at the back one tiny black kitten made no attempt to join in. Staring with wide blue eyes he appealed to me greatly for where the others made every attempt to gain your attention, this one did not. Simply sitting quietly observing whilst the others vied for attention this one did not even try. This would be the one for me were i to take one home. Timid and overlooked yet to me the one that stood out the most.

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So that dear readers is how you save a life and proof that just sometimes, just sometimes, a hero does come along when you need one. Five little kittens are going to have a better life than the one they would have had before and i shall remember a quiet pair of blue eyes looking up into mine.

PURRRRRRRRRRRRR

Three wheels on my wagon



 

You never let anything get you down do you, you’re always so upbeat?

I’d never really been one to take much notice of other people’s perceptions of me until the above statement from a colleague made me pause and examine my own psyche. Long ago i ceased to care what other people thought of me and decided that they could like me or not but i wasn’t going to change who i am for anyone. I guess the truth is i lost myself for a while, forgot who i was and lived smothered under an alter ego created for me by others. I forgot how to have an opinion, i forgot how to have a voice, i forgot how to be me. Now i remember who i am and i shall not let anyone take that away from me again.  To this day whenever i see a bird in a cage i feel so sad, for i know very well how it feels and wonder where it would go were i to set it free. Would it know how to be anything but a bird in a cage? Probably not and i have seen instances when even were a cage door to be opened the bird makes to attempt to leave and make a bid for freedom. It simply does not know how.

It is said that a persons personality is set by the age of 7 years of age and that whatever traits we have gained by then will remain with us for life. How much truth there is in this i do not know but i do know that without doubt the experiences of childhood remain with us forever and invariably shape the people we become even if we are not aware of it. Having seen both first hand and in others the effects of a negative emotional upbringing versus a positive one there is no doubt the effects of both are lingering.  Life  experiences made me tough, i’m a survivor, a practicalist and an eternal optimist and if i ever feel down only one person should know it. I’m often told im a strong person and i guess i am, i have needed to be. There is very little that life can throw at me and i have been told i have a very pollyanna attitude to life (most of the time). But i have also seen the ill effects an emotionally damaging upbringing can have on an individual who is not as battle hardened as i and there is no doubt that however hidden those scars may be they are scars nonetheless. A lifetime affected by actions that were given little consequence at the time leaves me wondering how blind we are to the effect we have on others. Certainly it seems a lot more than we should be.

My childhood was rather contradictory. Whilst i was quite rightly taught that if i could not say anything nice then i should remain silent, this was not infact put into practise by those setting the rules. It however seems the ‘Do as i say, not as i do” rule was very much the number one when i was young and sadly this was simply taught to me and never followed. I thankfully to this day remain a firm advocate of remaining silent rather than say something unforgiveable and i try to be as mindful as i can, for something once said cannot be taken back. Some wounds, as i have seen for myself, run very deep and are very slow to heal and some just simply fester and may remain as wounds forever. The power of words has never been more in evidence for me than as of late as i have seen the suffering they have caused.

Yes i firmly believe childhood has more of an impact on us than at any other time in our lives. It is when we learn the most whether the good or the bad and follows a road that sets us upon a way of life we will barely waver from. Being a child is tough, being a damaged child is even tougher still. Childhood made me stubborn, strong, resilient and a dreamer. Yet it also made me caring and empathetic to the feelings of others in the most unlikely way possible.

Strangely and perhaps quite perversely a song popped into my head when i was musing over my colleagues remarks on my attitude to life. A song from my childhood that used to make me laugh until the very last verse when the poor man has no wheels left upon his wagon.  I used to get very upset imagining the grisly demise of the poor unfortunate fellow at the hands of the pursuing Indians. Today the song still makes me chuckle but i find it very fitting for me as i plod my merry way through life.

Two wheels on my wagon and i’m still rolling along…..

 

 

Dear diary

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Dear Diary,

Today i cried. 

Not just any type of crying but full blown howling complete with hammering fists and stamping feet worthy of any small toddler. I haven’t done that since i was a child but today i just let loose and threw a full blown wailing rage of a tantrum. 

Everybody cries right? Well wrong actually, i don’t. Do you know why?

Its funny in adult life how each of us develop a ‘role’ like some undefined job that you didnt realise you had applied for. Sooner or later you get to realise your job title and the status you play in the lives of those around you. My badge says ‘Fixer’  of literally everything. Need an ear to listen or a hand to help you up? Need a problem solved or something you can’t manage to do on your own? Is there something you can’t build or something you need? Then i’m your go to gal. Whatever your problem you can rely on me to help you through it. 

Strangely i have no idea how it ended up this way but perhaps so many years of taking a back seat and putting everyone else first until i was so busy sorting everyone else out that i forgot about myself. Sheer stubborness and lack of support made me learn how to do everything myself and gradually the art of asking for help from those few who would has totally eluded me. I can do almost anything, from fixing a washing machine to writing you a formal letter. I can wallpaper and fix my plumbing, cook and play counsellor. I’m logical and problem solving to almost Vulcan proportions and i have totally forgotten how to need people and instead concentrated on fixing everything and everyone else. There we have the crux of the problem and the reason i was dragging furniture around in the early hours of the morning.

I guess i am so used to flying solo and not having anyone to share the burden that i sometimes forget how utterly frustrating it can be trying to struggle alone.

Like today. 

OCD in full force found me once again rearranging my furniture. Those who know me will roll their eyes and exclaim ‘not again!’  since this is an almost daily occurence. My critical eye is never satisfied and some mad compulsion drives me to continually rearrange my surroundings hoping somehow to make it rather better than it is. Had i endless funds to just run out and buy this perfection i should find it far easier but alas i do not and have had to let creativity improvise. Yet still this OCD of mine pushes me to make it ‘just that little bit better’  

So very early morning saw me yet again trying to move a very heavy unit in a limited space and im darned if that thing would mavoever. If i’m honest sheer tiredness combined with the slightly not quite well feeling i have had for some time made me shorter tempered than normal and thus the volcano erupted. Sheer blind fury of a kind i have not experienced for a very long time just gushed and i wailed and hammered in sheer temper before bursting into tears. If only the horrid thing had moved!!!

In hindsight i know it is not the fact that it would not move that broke me nor the fact that the furniture just wasn’t ‘right’ that was the problem. No the real cause was i was just so fed up of always having to do everything myself. Tired of saying ”I’m fine” when i’m really not. Tired of fixing everything for everyone else but never fixing myself. Tired of never having someone to help when i need it even if it is to indulge my OCD impulses. Just tired.

 People, i find,  are unfortunately always so busy with thoughts of themselves that even on the occasions they do ask if you’re okay it is usually as an opener for you to ask the same of them and allow them to gain an ear to talk about their own problems. They readily accept your statement that you are indeed ‘fine’ for they do not want to have to detract from attention towards themselves by having to listen to any problems you may have. Be honest are you someone who will listen to someone elses problems before you pour out your own? Few people are since it is often in our nature to be selfish. 

Perhaps i am a doormat for i am the opposite and it is a very clever person indeed who can tell if something is bothering me for i am very adept at wearing a mask. i have learned the hard way over the years that nobody is really interested in your problems even if they are polite enough not to say so. It is far easier to just not have problems and to mentally remind yourself frequently that there are always those worse off than to find nobody there to listen when you need them.  Watching people on the rare occasion i have sought an ear taught me to keep silent for body language and tone of voice are very easy giveaways. Anyone perceptive enough will see when the listeners eyes glaze over or the person is distracted and not really listening to what you are saying and i am most definitely perceptive. People sadly are just not interested unless they are talking about themselves. 

Guilt is a terrible thing and i feel ashamed for thinking i have anything resembling problems no matter how life knocks me down for i have been in a far worse place than this and survived. That there are those in  far worse place than i is something i am all too aware of and i feel i have little right or cause to complain. So i shall keep my silence as i always do and hope that for now the weight has been lifted and some small relief gained by letting it all out. 

So like the proverbial camel i am back on my feet with straws balancing steadily and i tell myself there is always room for one more. Perhaps there is a lot to be said for just having an old fashioned tantrum after all for there is nothing better than letting off steam from time to time. So anyone need anything fixing?

I’m your go to gal. 

 

 

 

 

The memory box

Folding the letter she gently smoothed the sheet of paper under her fingers feeling beneath them dryness of age that had affected it. Eyes too poor to read it now, nevertheless she knew every word by heart having devoured it so often over the years, now carefully stored with so many others and only now seeing light of day.

HARRY!

Closing her eyes his face flashed into her mind, hazy now as she struggled after so long to keep his features sharp and clear, she was losing him to time she knew that and the thought made her smile sadly. So long ago yet brief moments of clarity would invade her thoughts, his smile cutting through the fog and making it seem like only yesterday and then he was gone again leaving her with only these tangible memories. 

Sighing softly she replaced the pages into the large carved wooden box, fingers brushing a small packet as she did so drawing it slowly towards her before cupping it gently in her wrinkled palms and clasping it to her chest.  ‘Not long my love’ she thought to herself ‘Soon, it shall be soon’

Leaving the packet unopened she returned it quickly to the box, thrusting it inside as guilt burned and she slightly afraid of being discovered although she knew she would not be, nobody came any more. A splash of bright colour caught her eye and she reached towards a garish painted picture of a child’s hand with crude scrawl underneath depicting the artist’s name.

Ella.

Another smile, eyes warming briefly before the light quickly faded, no Ella was long gone and this just yet another memory of things come and gone in her many years of being. Sadness less sharp as each year went by panged momentarily before she dismissed it and returned the picture to lie back along its fellow inhabitants of the cluttered old box. 

Her worn gaze swept over the small grizzled teddy bear and the beribboned letters, oh she had been so popular in her day with her many suitors all begging for a smile, a glance, some sign of recognition from her but almost from the first she had only had eyes for him. Sweeping an errant lock of hair from her forehead she leaned further over the box disturbing the contents in her hunt for the one thing she sought. She needed to find it, to bring him close again before her failing mind refused to remember what she was looking for and left her in that absent place where nothing mattered any more. 

There! There it was.  Her heart leapt as she found the one thing she wanted and fingers rapidly cleared the dust from the front of the small framed picture. Lovingly she gazed at the sun bleached photograph, yellow with age, showing a young couple smiling shyly at each other.He resplendent in some bygone uniform showing duty to his country and she delicately pretty in florals and lace, bonnet trailing from fingers gently clasped between his.

Harry.

Even as she gazed the fog came and eyes clouded over, picture already forgotten falling into her lap and memories of him vanishing like mist in the sun. In the shadows of the room a figure waited, brass buttons shining on a uniform of old, boyish face echoing the love reflected earlier on hers. He could wait, he’d waited such a long time that a little longer would not hurt. 

‘Soon my love’ he smiled ‘ i shall see you soon’ 

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.

xpanda1969x:

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?

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