A weighty issue

So as you all know, if you have been following my blog, i’m currently being a typical woman fighting the weightloss war. Whilst by most peoples standards i am definitely not obese, by societies standards i am definitely bigger than i should be although i am very lucky that i am such a tall girl. Actually the only time i curse my height is when trying to purchase jeans and finding them flapping merrily around my ankles being far too short. 

So yet again morning finds me at the gym stepping up the effort as much as i can since to date all dieting and exercising has produced no results. I do not mind being proud that i work very hard at the gym doing both weight training (real hard training not pink barbie weights) and doing hard cardio to help with the burn. But all to no avail as the pounds cling grimly to my curves stubbornly refusing to move. Curse you darned pear shape!! 

Now i have to add into this a moment that made me giggle. Imagine the scene, myself and another woman both training hard plus half a dozen serious body building guys putting in some super effort when in sashays another woman. Sashays is definitely the right word as she wiggled in walking primarily on her toes with perfectly curled pony tail bouncing as she went. Wearing designer Sweaty Betty gym trousers and matching crop top with sweat bands around her pretty little head and wrists to keep the sweat from her perfectly made up face. This doll like creature proceeded to lie on the floor and wave her legs in the air two or three times before sitting up to ‘rest’ then wiggled her way over to the nearest machine. Setting it at the lowest weight she pulled delicately at it whilst admiring herself in the mirror no more than five times before skipping back to the mat and repeating the leg waving. 

This pretty little barbie was in the gym no more than twenty minutes and did not break into so much as a sheen let alone a sweat and i did have to grin for the guys gave her barely a cursory glance before turning their attentions to their training. I think my face must have betrayed me for as one guy observed my amused grin he caught my eye and shook his head, raising his eyebrows in her direction. 

Lack of effort is definitely not my problem so i felt a change of approach was much needed. After speaking to a fellow dieter i learned about Intermittent Fasting and i admit this really interested me. Basically intermittent fasting means you only eat within a certain window of time per day and then fast, drinking only fluids for the rest. Most women usually do 14/10 (14 hours fasting/ 10 hour eating window) but since i weight train like the guys i figured the 16/8 would be better for me. Since we are sleeping for on average 8 hours per day this covers a fair portion of the fasting period.

WHAT DOES THIS MEAN??

Well essentially it means that in my case i do not eat before 12pm and never after 8pm which actually suits me very well. I’ve never been a breakfast fan and pretty much only ever eat breakfast when i’m on a diet so this really was no hardship.(Yes i can hear people gasping in horror up and down the country, how can she not eat breakfast!! )Allotted calories for the day are then eaten between the hours of 12 and 8. Exercise is always done in a fasting state and must be done when the stomach has been empty for at least 5 hours. I admit i was a little worried about this figuring i would have zero energy but i was amazed when my body responded and i actually had loads. Afterwards i felt fantastic which really did surprise me!

WHY MUST I TRAIN ON AN EMPTY STOMACH??

Well the reasoning behind this is simple, if you train having eaten then your muscles will first use up the Glycogen stored within them and then your body will begin to use the food as a source of fuel to maintain your workout. Training on an empty stomach forces the body to use its own fat reserves in the absence of any food to fuel itself therefore essentially increasing weight loss. Nothing is to be eaten for a minimum of an hour after training to allow the body to carry on burning fat instead of latching onto post workout snacks.

Yes it probably sounds like you are going to starve but this is not true for you are still getting your daily calorific needs but within a shorter fixed period of time rather than grazing and eating throughout the whole day. How effective this will be remains to be seen and i shall update my progress.

We shall see…

Advertisements

Distinct Lack of Manners

Well for those of you who don’t know Dear Daughter number 1 is getting married in march. Yes oh boy do i feel old as this in effect makes me mother of the bride, an image that conjures up middle aged woman in mauve two piece skirt suits and fussy hats. I definitely do not feel old enough to be mother of anything let alone mother of the bride and you most certainly will not see me dressed in such a way at the altar!!

Mostly the wedding is fine, all is plodding along nicely until Dear Daughter begins to enlighten me about her soon to be relations who are apparently of the super religious variety. Now don’t get me wrong i have no objection to this and stoutly believe that each to their own and nobody should be subject to derision or prejudice pertaining to their beliefs. What i do object to however are those who forcefully impose their beliefs on others and potential relative being a rather effusive American preacher seems to have a tendency to do just that. 

Even for this i can make allowances for just one day as long as this does not interfere with the choices of the bride and groom whose wedding it happens to be however, judging from dear daughters accounts, the wife of said minister cares little for this, being a dominant controlling character. I could sense Dear Daughters annoyance as, having pre-warned by soon to be mother in law that this woman will try and control the wedding and have things to HER own liking, she related events to me. So this lady first expresses annoyance that their engagement was announced to friends and distant family via facebook (their choice) and that this lady did not receive a personal written notification. My eyebrows raised at this but i remained silent as the tale continued with this lady insistently pushing towards her husband performing the marriage ceremony. 

Now Dear Daughter and Almost Son in Law are getting married in church and seemed to favour a traditional church service held locally and performed by the local vicar but it seems this lady thinks differently and continues to forcefully push her point, regardless of the wishes of the couple. Now my hackles raised slightly at this for this woman is nothing to do with my daughter, has never met her and ultimately will only be an aunt by marriage at the end of it. I do not like pushy people and nobody is going to decide MY daughters wedding except for her Fiance and herself and already the lines of battle are drawn as i am not a person to rile when it comes to those i love.  

As dear daughter continued to inform me of Almost Mother In Laws warnings that soon to be relation would seek to criticise and reorganise every part of the day i had already decided I shall not take to this woman at all. So it was with no surprise that I logged onto Facebook today and clicked on a photograph my daughter had been tagged in by this woman. Now my daughter was not actually IN this picture and was infact a photograph of the preacher but nonetheless she had been tagged to bring it to her attention with the caption underneath stating

He can still do the wedding you know’

Oh Lady carry on for you and i are set to do battle and believe me you shall not win! Perhaps your lord should have seen fit to teach you some manners and decorum for it really is not the done thing to impose your will upon others. Yes hackles are firmly raised and although i shall be very polite and respectful you can be sure that the lady in question will not be gaining the forceful control she seems to be so desirous of.

Sorry dear this time you have met your match!!

Conversations with an electronic system

Image

Today i had the misfortune to need to telephone the tax office, a task i admit i had been putting off due to the total rigmarole involved in past experiences. This type of call is no simple matter and after several attempts i was no closer to getting my call answered than if i had not bothered to dial at all. These phone lines are most cleverly sneaky i should add and far from dialling and ringing you are subjected to the press one for this, press 2 for that palaver, all the while racking up the costs on your telephone bill. To make matters worse each section has vast amounts of do’s dont’s, general rules and reams of information that only serve to draw the call out longer, most of which would be more appropriate on a separate helpline since most is totally irrelevant to you. 

6 minutes into the call i am trying to stifle a yawn when finally the section i want comes up and i press the number for my chosen option. The now annoying voice informs me my call will now be transferred and i roll my eyes and think ‘FINALLY’ .Ten seconds later the voice is back  informing me that my call cannot be taken since they are too busy! okay so at this point i am quite cross, why could they not have said this in the first place instead of charging me to listen to a load of rubbish i wasn’t interested in. But then they are incredibly savvy since they are fully aware we have no choice but to call and jump gleefully on the opportunity to make money from this by clever systems and high charge call rates. 

Image

5 attempts later and the result was much the same so i decided to be smart and press the option for a totally different section and then plead dumb once the call was answered. Oddly enough this call had far more success and i was placed in a queue with tasteless tinny music being filtered down the line. Huge sigh and i decided to float around the internet whilst waiting and jammed the phone between my shoulder and my ear thus leaving my hands free to type. Sometime later with definite crick developing in my neck and my right ear giving off heat worthy of a swedish sauna, i was getting rather bored with the distorted echoey music yet stubbornly resisting the urge to hang up and try again later.

”Hello Tax helpline can i help you”

YES!! finally a real human voice and thankfully a male one this time for i was rather tired of hearing the silly woman on the looped recordings and would have quite happily have listened to Mickey Mouse rather than that. Putting on my best voice i announced that i wasn’t sure if i was in the right place for i had gotten a little confused (cue silly little giggle to emphasise point) Now i am far from being this dumb but he wasn’t to know that. Since this achieved my object i wasn’t going to feel one bit guilty about it and i set about launching into my details. 10 minutes later and business concluded i heaved a sigh of relief that the dreaded deed was done and i could stay away from the diabolical helpline debacle until the following year. 

Whatever happened to the days of speaking to human beings?? In our electronically enlightened society are we really so advanced when this is the best lines of communication that we can manage? Personally i will take hearing a real voice minus all the press this and that anytime and i thank goodness my official call quota is minimal. 

Oh and to my little imp of a best friend, if you say press one for this and press two for that the next time i call you i shall throttle you 😛   yes i know you!! Love you 🙂

On dating and being a muse

Image

I like to hope i am reasonably intelligent and articulate and i freely admit i am drawn to those similar to myself. I personally find intelligence a very appealing quality and will inevitably be drawn to this rather than looks although admittedly finding someone who is also aesthetically pleasing is a bonus in dating circles.  Alas the world i live in brings me into contact with such people most infrequently and most often my only source of intelligent conversation is one of my marathon phone calls with my gorgeously handsome best friend. 

As you can imagine it was rather refreshing to strike up a conversation with a gentleman of looks, wit and intelligence and unusually i found him rather interesting to talk to. Importantly also he could spell which after the text talk or badly spelt missives i usually receive was rather a pleasant change. Such a change also not to have to go through the rigmarole of 

”hi hows you, what do you do”

When you have replied to this kind of message for about the hundredth time believe me it gets wearing and it is very tempting to have some prewritten response that you just send to everyone who asks it. No this particular gentleman was different for he had taken time to read my profile and consequently had far more interesting things to say and also the talent of conversation.  Suffice it to say i was rather surprised when, having messaged to say he had to log off, he dropped me a short message that said i had inspired him and was his muse and as a result he had written a diary entry.

ME?? A Muse???? 

Oh how wonderfully, artistically romantic is that?? Hmmmm but then the small thought appeared that i had not seen this piece yet and it could possibly not be favourable as i was anticipating. Well wouldn’t you know it the wheels of dating were moving incredibly slowly as i awaited the required review by the powers that be and i drummed my fingers for quite some time. What if it was terrible and he had named me in it? I would have to emigrate and go and live in some remote outpost of the world!! Okay so im being dramatic but still it would mean a lot of keeping my head down and hiding from obvious censure. 

At last!! The text in question appeared on the screen and i have to admit i was impressed and i could see from which point in our conversation his observations had stemmed. Was i flattered? Well yes, of course, for far more appealing than being told you are gorgeous is the realisation that someone has listened to something you have said and it has made an impact upon them. Of course i am not so unwomanly as to not be flattered when someone tells me i am attractive, indeed far from it but i much prefer more substance to someones interactions with me. 

Fancy that, me a muse!!

Image

Whilst i highly doubt this will rank me up there with the Mona Lisa and yes i shall probably never speak to this particular gentleman again i have to admit i am rather tickled that i should inspire anyone at all. 

Me a muse? How Amusing!!!

Only in England

Finally after weeks of uncharacteristic rain worthy of an Indian monsoon we finally get to see a little sun here, two whole days in a row and hopefully counting. Whilst temperatures in England may be far from the norm for this time of year it is nonetheless pleasantly warm and skies of a glorious blue. For many it is a relief to put away the umbrella, shrug off the coats and woolly sweaters and bask in the rays of a long forgotten sun. 

Image

But this is after all England and we would not be so very English were it not for our quirks and oddities that in any other country would raise an eyebrow or be distinctly frowned upon. 7am on a Sunday morning and child next door is outside in a paddling pool screeching and bellowing at the top of his voice waking those who, having worked hard all week, are enjoying a Sunday morning lie in. Not for much longer it seems. Yes the sun is out but it is far from pool weather especially at such a time of day but as is so typical of us the first sign of sun prompts us to behave as though we had suddenly become a country much more tropical than we are.                    

                                                      

Everywhere girls parade in outfits so tiny as to be almost non-existent, clothing more worthy of some Caribbean beach than a less temperate day in the far milder west. To their favour my last boyfriend adored these much younger scantily clad girls and had perfected the art of double take and 270 degree turns of the head in a most impressive way. Chance it to say that being so very typically English has its merits for some after all. 

Next comes the supermarket, now this has only brought me here in search of a pint of milk for my coffee but is already packed with shoppers fighting frantically over the last package of bread rolls for the requisite barbecue on an English day with some semblance of sun. Overweight men, shirtless and sweating parade the aisles shuffling along in the flip flops they are so unused to wearing but which are rapidly dusted off as the day looks set to be fine. This is not a sight i wish to see and should i go to any other country i expect i would not but here it is just another average sight. Oblivious and totally uncaring as to how they appear to others, red faced and already grumbling about the heat yet it is not yet the hottest part of the day.

So funny a race we British, we complain constantly about the rain or the snow and welcome the sun with all the abandon of welcoming a lover after a long absence yet so very rapidly we revert to type and grumble instead over the heat and the lack of breeze. After many weeks of rain and constant wishing for sun from the masses, ironically, should the weather hold, in a few days time the wishes will be the total reverse. You cannot help but laugh and wonder if it is just in the nature of we English to need something to grumble about and surmise that as a result we should never be happy no matter which situation should present itself. 

As i go about my daily business today i cannot deny i shall be tipping my face up to the sun and enjoying the warmth of it while it is here but as much as i enjoy a barbecue i shall not be battling the queues for a fight over supplies. Should it rain tomorrow i shall not mind that at all so perhaps i am not so typically English as all that. I wonder are we the only ones to have such typical behaviour or if it is a norm that occurs everywhere wherever we go. 

I wonder

In a different place and time

                                                                                                     Image

 We all interact, meeting others on a daily basis that we barely register, lives intertwining however briefly and yet in essence even these small encounters have an effect upon the paths our lives will take. What if we hadn’t met a certain person at a certain time, would our lives have been so very different?? Would we even be here at all? Imagine if we hadnt stopped to let someone cross the road, or we hadnt been at a particular place at the very moment we were? What would our lives be like now?

An old boyfriend of mine used to say to me, after we broke up,that he wished we had met ten years earlier than we did and then things would have worked out, he seemed so certain of this at the time. I must admit i did ponder this rather a lot and debated the truth of his words. What if i HAD met him ten years earlier, long before he got himself into his unhappy situation?I did try hard to picture this and although i could clearly picture myself as i had been then i had great difficulty picturing him, i did not know the person he was back then so i had nothing to work with. Yet for sure there would have been no obstacles such as there were when i actually did meet him but would we have worked out?? I confess as much as i would have liked to answer this question in the affirmative i found that i could not for my logic prompted me that we were not the people back then that we were when we actually did meet. 

For myself i am a big believer in fate and i truly think that the people we meet are for a purpose and that they have some part to play in our destiny however brief it may be. I have thought in the past that the reason i met a certain person was simply because i was meant to, at that exact point in time because this is the point in which they were needed in my life. Perhaps the reasons were not always obvious as to why but i only know that it was so. Of course it would be wrong to assume that all these points of destiny are positive ones, indeed they are not but those also have a part in shaping us into who we are however briefly and whilst we may be quicker to discard those than the more positive it is nonetheless all part of the destiny we are intended for. 

Just occasionally you meet someone that you know in all logic you should never have met within the course of your life but some spark of fate brings them into your path in one great miraculous twist. These are the ones you know destiny had in store for your life all along and was just waiting for that exactly perfect time to introduce them to you and these are the ones that are the most special of all. No there is little you can do about destiny, i firmly believe that what will be will be and there is little we can do about the path that is meant for us. But all the better a path to walk when fate decides to send along a fellow traveller to make the journey just that little bit more worth it. 

If you want something doing…..

As the mother of two mid and late teens you would think life would be pretty easy right? All those extra hands to share the chores, a cup of coffee made for me when i am studying or extra busy?

WRONG!!!

These two delightful offspring of mine barely know one end of a duster from the other and never would it occur to them to lend a hand. My son, the elder of the two, will do something for me if i ask but at 19 and Autistic the degree of effort depends on how quick a chore it is and how boring he considers it to be. Dear son has sarcastic grumbling under his breath down to such a fine art that we nicknamed him Victor Meldrew!!

Dear daughter number 2, the youngest at 16, is very reluctant to do anything unless the question of remuneration should arise. If i come home and she has voluntarily done chores i am instantly on my guard since i can pretty much guarantee that some request for funds will follow in the near future. Welcome to Bank of Panda..please insert your card!!

I have pondered the fact that is my own fault for being so exacting, for i tend to be rather fussy and if something isnt done perfectly i tend to go and do it myself, i hate mess it drives me crazy. It is a long running joke in our family that when someone claims something is clean the retort is always

”Would that be your kind of clean, or my kind of clean??” 

So today as a strange yellow thing was shining in the sky i asked Dear Son to cut the front grass for me since we were in danger of being listed as a local nature reserve and the resulting sigh from upstairs should have easily shaken the rafters. My excellent hearing picked up the muttered grumble which preceded a delayed emergence from its source. To his credit Dear Son did actually cut the grass although the result looked rather like it had been chewed by a herd of Wildebeest. As he plodded back into the house a trail of grass followed prompting me to go outside and look. Grass everywhere!! From my front door to the bottom of my driveway looked like a grass bomb had exploded, a far cry from the immaculate frontages of the neighbouring houses. 

To say Dear Son was most unimpressed when i asked him to go outside and sweep it up was an understatement and watching his half hearted effort prompted me to open the door and say

”SWEEP it dont tickle it”

”I AM sweeping it!!”

Hmmmmm. Yes again fussy me took over and i took the brush, rapidly sweeping the pathway to the door informing very impatient son that THIS is how you sweep. Back in the house i noticed yet again half hearted sweeping and called for Dear Daughter 2 to assist her brother. Well have you ever seen a fairy sweep a garden?? Picture one and you have the right idea. Tiptoeing carefully around the grass with brush held delicately between fingertips she flitted around managing little better than Victor Meldrew who was at this point rolling his eyes and tutting. 

Cue Panda impatience and brush was whipped from Fairy fingers and rapid sweeping of the drive was undertaken with the announcement to said children that there was this strange thing called EFFORT required. 5 minutes later MY eyes were rolling as i sighed and swept it up myself before retreating into the house for coffee leaving grumpy and fairy to bin the pile of rubbish i’d made. Surely they could manage THAT!!

I have rapidly come to the conclusion that for the most part if you want something doing in my house it is far better to do it yourself unless you are prepared to live with less than perfect results. I dread to think how these little darlings will live when they leave home and i have already informed them that i will most definitely not be coming to their houses for tea until i reach the point where i am considering euthanasia and need a quick exit from this world. 

Ahhh well i made my bed i guess i have to lie in it, perhaps i should have been far stricter when they were small and set a regimen of chores such i had myself when i was young. Logic tells me that even had i done so this would all have gone out of the window when my little angels mutated into carnage evoking teen demons so perhaps i can console myself with this. So as fairy skips off down the street and Victor retreats to the safety of his room and the computer games within, i make my own coffee and comfort myself with the smug knowledge that one day they will be parents to teens of their own and mommy will sit and have a little chuckle. Revenge will be very sweet!! 

Perhaps i should feel mean but i dont!!

Image

Evening is rolling in and i’m sitting trying to study, my stomach is growling to be fed but im determined to finish this section before i set my work aside. Perhaps it is a heavy workload but i am studying Business and Admin and also taking a Proof Reading and Editorial course, the latter of which occupies my attention and is rather complicated. 

BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG!!!

This is my front door knocker being hammered against the door with force enough to make it shake upon its hinges. I do not need to answer the door to know who it is for i can hear a very loud bullmoose voice bellowing outside but i am busy working so i choose not to answer. 

”There’s nobody in”

Footsteps fade and i sigh and continue my work and have read no more than five lines when..

BANG BANG BANG BANG BANG!!!

The bullmoose voice is back and is nothing if not persistent. My eyebrows raise as i hear the letter box open and the voice, louder now as the person looks through my letter box to see if i am home. GO AWAY!! i think furiously, although conscience niggles that perhaps i am being mean. 

BANG BANG BANG BANG (door kick) BANG BANG

Yes you can bet for sure i am rather annoyed now as i reread the same sentence for the third time. So who is hammering so furiously upon my door? Ah well this is easy it is the child next door.

At first i would always answer when this child kicked his ball over my back fence for i have children and my own when small have mistakenly kicked their ball into a neighbours garden before now. Rather differently i would never let them knock on the door to ask for it back but instead told them that if they had been careless enough to let it go over then they would have to wait until the person chose to throw it back , if they even did. 

But nevertheless i would at first answer to this child and obligingly retrieve the ball from my garden which received neither apology nor thanks. Shortly after the ball would come sailing back over the fence and the hammering on the door would commence with a loud request to get the ball back. This child does not have a volume switch, actually he does but it consists of loud and very loud and of an evening i have to close my door and windows in order to hear my tv but i try and remind myself that he is after all a child.

After repeated retrievings of the ball i began to get rather fed up especially since my garden has been very waterlogged for some weeks now and sploshing around in it for a ball is not my idea of fun and i politely asked him not to kick it over and informed him that if he did it would have to stay there until i went outside for something. 

BANG BANG BANG BANG KICK KICK BANG (letterbox opens again)

I know, i know perhaps the easy way would be to go and fetch the ball and thereby cease the kicking and hammering at my door but irritation is prompting me to throw the door wide and bellow ‘ STOP kicking that bl@@dy door’   I may think it but i would not do this and i try my best to ignore it. Footsteps fade again and the child takes up residence upon my driveway with friend in tow kicking another football back and forth thumping it repeatedly against my garage door and house wall. Sometimes i wish i were not so nice natured for i should dearly love to shout as neighbours would have had i behaved so when small and rightly so. 

After six attempts to hammer my door down coupled with frequent peering through my letter box there is finally silence as it seems for now at least he has given up. Of course i will return the ball when i or one of the family does go outside i am not so mean as all that but if i should feel guilty for not answering my door and fetching it when he wished then i’m afraid i do not. I was always taught manners and respect cost nothing even from a very young age and had i hammered on our neighbours doors in that way when i was small you can guarantee i would have felt my mothers hand and further been hauled next door to apologise. 

So do i feel mean?? NO!! 

One day i’ll fly away

Image

I’ve never been a lover of routine. We all do it, that 9-5 plus family plus spouse responsibilities that leave us needing some semblance of order to our lives in order to know where we are in life and to function. To some degree i am like everyone else, i live the daily grind and do as i am meant to, therefore ensuring life sails on slowly by with nary a hitch. A lot of people love this routine and thrive on it, feeling a safety and security in knowing exactly how everything is going to go.

BUT I HATE IT!! 

I very rarely make appointments for anything, much preferring to do things off the cuff and maintaining the spontaneity  that is within my nature. I do not like to be tied to specific things at specific times and when forced to on a regular basis i will inevitably begin to feel suffocated. My friends laugh at me because it is a long standing joke that if i cannot walk into a salon and get my hair cut then and there i will not have it done as i refuse to make appointments. Predictability is not something that sits well with me and more than once friends have rolled their eyes as i have yearned for something exciting to happen. 

Like today.

Today i am in a rebellious mood. I am NOT going to clean my house ( i’m a tidy freak so there is little to clean anyway)  I am going to make today my off day at the gym and i am not going to do one single thing i am supposed to. I guess i have always been a bit of a free spirit, i always feel there is a touch of a hippy child in me and when routine forces me to stay indoors for any length of time i really do begin to have the feeling of being caged. This happened again today. Last night i woke in the middle of the night after an infrequent nightmare, panicking as dream me had been trapped somewhere i could not get out of. I hate this feeling, it is one that prompts me often to don my trainers and head for the nearest open space by myself. 

Just some space to breathe.

Oh do not for one minute assume i am an unhappy person, i am far from being that. I have fantastic children, amazing friends and a lovely home. Whilst i may grumble about my weight or my crazy hair i still like the person that i am and i have much to smile for. 

But yes i cannot help that untamed wild nature in me that longs for adventure, some unexpected event that frees me from this wheel that i run on day after day. I chuckle as i picture my eldest daughters face when i announced that i wanted to pack a backpack, shove some money in my pocket and hop on a train and see where i ended up.A little adventure all of my own. I had every intention of coming home and my children are old enough to fend for themselves for a while but my daughter looked aghast at me and exclaimed ”You cant do that!!” 

Why cant i??

After a lifetime of doing what i am supposed to is it really that wrong to want to actually do some things i’m not supposed to do?? Perhaps it is just kicking out at being taken for granted, some prodding reminder of all the things i do without thinking that are expected and unnoticed..at least until i stop doing them. Perhaps it is a lifetime of expectation and conformity all reaching up to settle on my shoulders keeping me firmly in my rut so that i do not try and defer from my lot and my dislike of this oppressing feeling.

But i dont want that, i want to see new places and do new things. I want adventure and surprises, something different from the norm that i have been always so used to. For today i shall be content with just rebellion, closing my front door behind me as i head for the train and something different just for once. But one day i will pack that bag and i will go in search of that adventure i so crave. I shall run along a beach at sunset, see the sunrise come up over somewhere new. Learn to swim, conquer my fear of heights and go climbing, throw snowballs in the snow and dance under the rays of the sun. One day i shall do all of this. 

One day i’ll fly away.

Its not easy being a girl……….

Early morning and as a very sexy american voice chirps merrily from my phone to wake me up i force open one eye, unweld my face from the pillow and try and untangle some silky effort of a nightgown from where it has invariably settled around my waist in the night. Stupid thing this is why i prefer pyjamas! 

 Good morning amanda, the time is 8am and the weather is cloudy with wind from a south easterly direction. The weather today will be blah blah yada yada……..

Yes okay okay i’m awake you can go away now!! Now contrary to the movies that brainwash men into thinking we all look stunning when we wake this is actually far from reality. Myself i tend to look more like a disgruntled hedgehog, i do not need my morning shriek  in the mirror to know my hair sticks up wildly in all directions from my head and my face has so many sleep creases it looks badly in need of ironing. No i do not tumble sexily from bed purring good morning darling whilst swishing my perfect hair around my perfectly made up face flashing perfect just brushed teeth as i perch on my smoothly unruffled bed. No my bed resembles a war zone in a morning with it and i looking like we were deposited there by some passing tornado.

Resisting the temptation to crawl along the floor i head for the kitchen and coffee. Most days i think i should just bypass the kettle and sit and eat it with a spoon thereby gaining instant caffeine rush and some semblance of normality. Kettle on the boil its time for the morning weigh in which usually does not lighten my mood any but today was a bit of a yeay moment as the scales dropped a pound and i hugged them happily cooing ”i love you’ at them before merrily hopping over to make coffee. Big mistake leaving the mirror in the kitchen and i wailed in horror as i passed it. 

Ooooh panda by name and how accurate! Girl where did THOSE bags come from?!  One down side of having young looking skin is the occasional habit of breaking out into a blemish even in my 40s and today sitting waving at me is a small one below my eyebrow. Great! I prodded gloomily at it before turning the mirror around and reaching for solace in the bottom of my coffee cup. Just what i need….a zit!! Pondering how to cover up the mini Mount Vesuvius that has taken residence upon my face i dive into the regulation skin care cleanse tone moisturise blah ( yes you guys have it so easy)  before glaring balefully at my eyebrows and deciding they were in need of tidying up. Again guys you are so lucky, i hate doing this for it hurts and it makes me sneeze for some odd reason. But still the thought of giant caterpillar like brows is enough to send me hurtling for the tweezers. I have never considered myself to be overly vain but i do confess i do not like to look terrible and will avoid doing so as much as i possibly can. I freely admit i will not set foot out of my front door unless i think i look okay and if this be vanity then perhaps i am guilty of it after all.

                    

So half an hour later, bags reduced to sleep smudges and caterpillars well and truly banished and small amount of makeup to made me look a little more alive and i’m glugging down coffee number three as stomach merrily sloshes and gurgles when i walk. What can i say i drink too much coffee, i know this and yet i still do it. One thing at a time i say and as i hop up and down dressing in gym clothes i confess energy is in a little short supply today but my desire not to look like Nellie the Elephant hauls my butt out of the door. Sometimes i think it must be so much easier to be a guy, almost all of my acquaintance make little effort and do not care if they look less than perfect. Maybe in my next life i shall ask to be a man and see for myself but until then time to keep up the effort. 

ACHOO!!

A question of beauty

There is no getting away from it, society in this day and age is so very visual and often success and popularity are based on a person conforming to the ideal of the time. How often have we seen pictures of a celebrity pre fame and it held up to ridicule or criticism since they were not the of the conventialist ilk. We admire them, emulate them and ultimately aspire to be them, at least this is how we are supposed to be but small few are not. I think perhaps this may place me firmly in the category of the unconventional for i most definitely do not wish to conform to societies ideal and its predilection for the super skinny, the over tanned and the overly cosmeticized. 

The ironic thing is that for the most part those most attractive of all are those so unassuming and totally aware of their own attraction. One would assume that beauty is something visual and tangible but more often it is some indefinable quality that can render those of lesser visual aesthetics to be infinitely more alluring simply from some inner quality that those others do not possess. For myself i have never had aspirations to conform to societies ideal and whilst i may seek to improve upon my appearance for my own self image i should not wish to be anything other than what i am. Whilst this may render me less attractive in the eyes of the world nonetheless it has no influence on my choices. 

Perhaps i am unusual in that often in the past those persons to whom i ultimately became attracted were not those who had instant visual appeal but became so much more appealing in my eyes on knowing them. That is not to say i am immune to the appeal of an attractive man, of course i am not but couple this with an inner beauty and they become so much more than those counterparts who may be of an even more aesthetically pleasing variety but without the substance within. Whilst there will always be those who care little for content and will be satisfied with looks alone there a those who will always search for more depth than this. 

Sometimes you just have to ignore the crowd, being a sheep may make you fit in but it does not make you stand out. Admittedly you may not receive the adulation of the many, you are not after all ideal but you will receive the adulation of the ones who matter. I know some beautiful people, they may not be beautiful to you but then in this i am fortunate, for i know them. 

The perils of not paying attention

 Well day three and back to the gym we go, rain drizzling madly as usual as we trudged along the road. The thought of hitting the gym on a saturday was pretty daunting, for my love handles and i were not ready to encounter the guys just yet and they held on firmly to the door frame wailing ‘ pleeeease don’t make me go in!!’  Dear daughter and i had figured that most guys would be there on a saturday afternoon and pre lunch we would be safe….WRONG!! The gym was busy, very busy and apart from some cobweb delicate little waiflet who looked like a puff of wind would blow her away we were the only girls. 

Great, time to pull the stomach in and walk slowly so the wobbly bits dont start shouting ‘LOOK MA I’M A JELLY!!’  Okay so i’m not that bad but it does make you kind of paranoid working out in a gym full of perfect bodies when youre more Bridget Jones than Beyonce, trust me. Just then dear daughter hisses really loudly ‘MUM there’s that guy that stares at you in town’…….. oh goody!! Yes this particular guy always catches my eye in town whenever i see him and i’m nice i say hello but do i want him watching me work out?…erm NO!!

Ten minutes later firmly ensconced upon the treadmill dear daughter was gloomily prodding her lower stomach bewailing its size whilst i pinched the spare wobble under my derriere to keep her company reassuring her she was not the only one. A muffled snort followed as dear daughter stage whispers ‘mum that guys eyebrows just shot up and he smirked like crazy when you did that’ Okay comedy moment followed i blushed furiously, lost my composure and kicked the front of the treadmill causing me to wobble and sail backwards flailing wildly. Just managing to jump onto the sides before i fell off i collapsed into giggles as did the young guy behind me who had clearly thought it a moment worthy of You’ve been framed’  Luckily i am not one to be so easily embarrassed so i had no qualms about getting back on but that will teach me to keep my concentration in future. 

I guess we are lucky where we live for the gym is quite small and everyone very friendly, the guys more than happy to make room for the girls and offer advice if we need it. Still bewailing the less than perfection of her stomach dear daughter enlists the aid of the very helpful trainer to advise on exercise and issue the most golden moment of the day. Eyeing her up and down he glanced at her middle and said ‘oh just had a baby have you?’

SILENCE

Well dear daughter has never had children and the furiously indignant look on her face would be guaranteed to turn any man to stone. Admittedly the only thing he could’ve said that was worse is ‘ARE you pregnant’ Yes and panda brain instantly had images of the trainer shrunk to 3 inches high running around in circles screeching ‘I’M SORRY!!’ in a high pitched voice. Protesting loudly that he was a ‘cheeky sod’ she indignantly enlightened him to the fact she is infact childless, which escalated further when very helpful trainer unabashedly announces that usually only women with children have kangaroo pouches. Oh dear, he would have been most wise to stop talking right about then.

I really shouldn’t laugh but as i said before dear daughter is most funny when in a mood and her disgruntled diatribe continued long after we had reached home. Still going some time later i had to sympathise somewhat with almost son in law as he stood in hesitant confusion wondering what to say and perhaps was wisest of all in remaining quiet. As evening rolled in and my arm muscles screamed in protest i pondered starvation as even the effort of lifting a cup proved difficult then reassured myself it will all be worth it…..eventually.

A Man just like Grandpa

                             Image

When i was young i was never a daddys girl nor yet a mummys girl like most children, right from the off i only had eyes for my paternal grandfather. To me he was grandad although to the world i know he was something else, which makes me sad for i would love to know the man he was and the life he lived. 

But to me he was just grandad.

                                      Image

Memories of cuddles, cheek pressed against the scratchy wool of the waffle knit cardigans he wore as i sat cuddled up on his lap toying with the wood effect buttons that held it together. Never from Grandad came the scold not to pull at them because i would pull them off. No, never from him. Strange after all these years i remember his car so well, a bright yellow Hillman Hunter rapidly filled by my brother, sister and i as we piled into the back for another adventure with Grandad. ”come on then girls sing me a song” he would say and my sister and i would so happily oblige, squawking out our own rendition of Matchstalk Men and Matchstalk Cats and Dogs’ in the way that only children can. Grandad never cared if we were off key, i bet if you’d asked him back then he would confess he never noticed

                                       Image

Yes we loved to sing for Grandad but just as much we loved him to sing to us for he was funny in a way that tickled us immensely and always wise to when a little girl needed to smile. We would beg him to sing as he drove around the hills speeding up over them so that our tummies flew up into our mouths as we descended the other side and we would shriek with glee and beg for more. All things bright and beautiful, this was grandads song although i doubt the vicar ever heard it sung so in church. Every time he came to the word ALL it would be sung in a really high pitched voice totally out of character with the rest of the song and guaranteed to have us in fits of giggles and i confess to this day i cannot hear that song without hearing his rendition in my head.

Oh if there were ever a hero of any little girls childhood then my Grandad was mine, my refuge, my rock and the best man i have ever known. Never did i need to explain for he always knew and hindsight makes me wish i had told him so whilst he was alive. But something tells me that if he did not know it then he most definitely does now. Sadly my Grandad died when i was in my early teens and somehow i knew long before my parents told me that he was gone. I remember well the startled look on my parents faces as i blurted out ”Grandads dead isnt he” before they had even said a word. They consoled themselves that i had overheard but i hadn’t, some things you just know. I have but one photograph of my grandad and it hangs on my living room wall where he smiles his gentle smile down upon me. And i know he is there, smiling as my hand reaches for the Radox bath salts that i buy just because he did and i feel him nod his approval as he always did.

                            Image

Yes my Grandad was the best of men and maybe someday i will find out his story and if i ever meet another someone i hope with all my heart that he is a man just like Grandpa. 

Avoid getting wet

As anyone who lives anywhere near me will tell you, today it rained. I expect it was the same for much of the country but when i say it rained i mean it came down in sheets, really heavy torrents of rain. Having already got a soaking on the way home from the gym i pretty much hoped that was it for the day and since i had the dentists this afternoon i knew i had no choice but to go out. Dear daughter number one duly piped up and volunteered to accompany me and i was happy enough of the company. 

So 3pm and the sun has disappeared but the sky remains dry as we ventured off into town and the dreaded event awaiting me. Actually it wasn’t too bad but just as we emerged a very darkened sky burst showering us with big, fat, cold raindrops and no chance of shelter. My hooded coat was still drying out back at home so i was stuck with second hoodless one and pretty much fathomed i was going to get wet.Cue internal shrug and  an air of ‘oh well’.  As the rain continued to pour rivers began running down the streets matching the ones running down my hair and into my neck and puddles already remaining from earlier began to reach larger proportions causing us to hop over them.

I actually wasn’t that concerned but dear daughter who had sadly decided to wear ugg style boots was now squelching along complaining loudly. She doesn’t realise but she is actually very funny when getting cross which she does very easily and loves to complain. If dear daughter is not happy then you can be sure EVERYONE will know about it. So as we hurried along i was trying desperately to hide a smirk as dear daughters complaining turned into a rant. Now anyone who has seen the cartoon Dastardly and Mutley and seen Mutley when he gets cross will easily envisage what i mean. A non stop stream of loudly muttered complaints and curses, freely decorated with bouts of sarcasm and you could almost see the dark cloud glowering above her head.

Me?I laughed. I trudged along soaked to the skin with rain running down every free space and i laughed. The more she ranted the funnier i found it which didn’t go down too well and in mild temper she started to stamp her feet hard which given the way people walk in ugg style boots reminded me of a duck and made me laugh all the harder. Of course this only resulted in her stomping into a really deep puddle totally soaking any part of her that wasn’t already wet. So this how we got home, she and i, her glowering and ranting and me laughing so hard i could hardly walk. I have no doubt she did not intend to be funny but oh, she was. 

Of course i am nice and on reaching my home i did give her dry shoes and socks and placate her with coffee but something tells me that in future it might be a good idea to avoid getting dear daughter wet!!

On gaining a little motivation

Well it just had to be done, i finally got frustrated enough to get my behind back down to the gym and sign on the dotted line. After yet another day of dieting yesterday i hopped onto the scales this morning and they hadn’t moved, not one single gram!! I actually got off, reset them, took off my pyjama top and climbed back on but no, still the same. I then got off again and got back on standing nearer the front but still no change and then resorted to jumping up and down on the darned things which resulted in a 1lb gain followed by a 1lb loss. Definitely not impressed i jumped off, scowled at the scale and growled ‘stupid bloody things’ at them before tossing them into a corner. 

It was all so much easier when i was younger but now the love handles are definitely in there for the long haul, aptly named they hug my hips tightly crooning ‘i love you’ Yes well i dont love you, pack your bags and leave!!  Well there was nothing for it but to head back to the gym and become a gym bunny again, so trainers donned, grown up daughter in tow we headed down for a torture session designed to shift even the most stubborn of inches.  I was actually relieved to see the guy on duty wasn’t some buff tanned pretty boy guaranteed to make me feel like a 90 year old nellie the elephant but instead a guy of around my own age who certainly seems to know what he was talking about. 

It seems much has changed in my absence and emphasis for girls is on reps rather than weight as it was when i was there before. I was slightly disappointed by this for i confess i did take a rather gleeful delight in sitting next to guys on the benches and easily pressing more than them and watching them slope off to pick up something heavier to struggle with and retain manly pride. Aren’t i terrible??

So as we launched into new training programme i was pretty pleased that i didnt struggle too much and hadn’t had to drop weights too far although trust me i’m pretty sure i’ll suffer for it tomorrow and will be walking like a 90 year old. Two hours flew by and although i emerged half dead it was with that strange kind of exhilaration you get when you’ve been training. I’d actually forgotten how much i love the gym although i think i’ll tone up a bit before i resume training with the guys. Biggest surprise of all was surveying myself in the full length changing room mirror and realising i wasnt quite as big as i had been mentally picturing myself although there was plenty of room for improvement. 

So once again i am a gym bunny panda and hopefully middle age spread will be well and truly banished. Watch this space!! 

Sweep me off my feet

                       Image

Alas the dating love boat has been sailing on by without me lately. Mainly due to me for i confess i haven’t really had the enthusiasm to weed the odd potential out from amongst the ‘oh no’s’  and have pretty much avoided answering any messages sent my way. Yes i guess i do feel slightly guilty and a little bit bad mannered which really isn’t my way but any desire to chat with faceless romeos has drained away somewhat more rapidly than i expected.

I have replied to the odd one or two, more in a friendly fashion than anything else and on some whim responded to a wink from a very cute looking soldier which i wouldn’t usually do. Okay i’m strange, uniforms really don’t do that much for me. Sure they’re smart and can make a guy look good but thats it i’m afraid, you wont see me running alongside the nearest fire engine screaming help i need resuscitating!  

Some time later amid all the chat he says to me ”So do you want to be swept off your feet?”   I blinked in surprise at that, i’ve never been asked it before. Guys are usually inclined to be the sweep you off your feet kind or as in most cases they aren’t.  The question actually threw me and i sat and pondered for a while, did i want to be swept off my feet?? I’m not easily impressed i’m too practical and logical for that but it can be done and as i sat and thought about it realisation dawned. YES!! actually you know what, i do want to be swept off my feet. Just for a change i think it might be nice! Although best of luck to you if you’re bold enough to try!

This is in itself a big surprise for as much as i’m a girl (obviously) and really soppy deep down when it comes to the whole true love thing, i’m also quite a strong character and the idea of someone else being in control in a good way was novel but mildly appealing. Perhaps i am guilty of being so disillusioned with love itself that all notions of romance have long since been torn up and thrown onto the fire. Then of course as is my way i set to analysing, what exactly does being swept off your feet entail? Flowers? waste of money they only die, Chocolate? i’m on a diet….you see the problem? 

Perhaps the truth is i’m looking for someone to be a little more inventive than that, things don’t always have to cost money but something that says they know you and thought about you is far more appealing than off handedly bought chocolates that they felt obliged to buy because tradition dictated they should. Hmmmmm i guess it really intrigues me how those few truly romantic passionate natured men really view love and just what is their idea of sweeping a girl off her feet. Well as the years roll by i confess i am still yet to discover but perhaps there is potential yet. 

                                                                                                         

                                                                                                                       We shall see!!

Previous Older Entries

Top Clicks

  • None

Top Rated

Follow xpanda1969x on WordPress.com

Twitter Updates

Error: Twitter did not respond. Please wait a few minutes and refresh this page.

Enter your email address to follow this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 2,278 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 37,222 hits
The KiltLander's Blog

JP's Outlander Recaps and other perspectives from the Dirk Side

Dionne Lister - Author

I love sharing my stories but I wish they wouldn't keep me awake at night

Great Scot!

Cultural Musings of An Outlandish Nature

clotildajamcracker

The wacky stories of a crazy lady.

Professional Moron

Daily Doses of Surreal Humour & Culture

Soul Love 11:11

Love That Transcends All Understanding

InfinitelyRemote Blog

Gateway to BlogDogIt.com

There By Candlelight Press

How many miles to Babylon? Three score and ten. Can I get there by candlelight? Yes, and back again.

Top 10 of Anything and Everything!!!

Animals, Gift Ideas, Travel, Books, Recycling Ideas and Many, Many More

PICZLoad pics a la carte

Watchout Loud and Have PICBliss!

Under Construction

Something is coming soon.

Jane Austen's World

This Jane Austen blog brings Jane Austen, her novels, and the Regency Period alive through food, dress, social customs, and other 19th C. historical details related to this topic.

eyE[before]E

in the land of the m[EyE]nd the one E'd man is kEEn

Perking the Pansies

Jack Scott's random ramblings

%d bloggers like this: