the art of procrastination

Procrastination…

We all do it, even those most decisive of us are guilty of it to some degree or other and i alas am no exception. I blame the little pandas for it is entirely their fault and as they sit one on each shoulder pulling faces at each other behind my back i roll my eyes in resignation.

One, a total goody two shoes is the voice of reason and sensibility with a knack for making me feel guilty whenever i deliberate about a task in hand. The other in total contrast more devil may care with a cheeky nature and a ‘don’t care’ attitude, takes great delight in urging me to rebel and do everything that i know i should not. Whilst the latter is definitely more fun she is much more inclined to lead me astray and push me into the most terrible of bad habits.

So cue an early Sunday morning and as i crawled out of bed at an earlier time than usual i walked sleepily into the laundry hamper and hurtled into the bathroom with Goody cooing good morning on my left shoulder. Naughty was at this point peering through a mad tangle of hair and growling something that sounded like 

”What time of the morning do you call this!!”

Actually it is pretty hard to decipher anything sensible through a muffled tangle of hair but we will take it as said. Dutifully making coffee shortly after Goody is gleefully hopping up and down at the thought of yoghurt and fruit whilst Naughty is mutinously sitting cross legged demanding a biscuit to go with the coffee and muttering about deserving something after being hauled from her bed so early on a Sunday morning. Well since i was in no mood to listen to the constant complaining there seemed to be nothing for it but to oblige and shut her up even if just for a little while.

As per every other morning Goody was not to be phased and moved on to loading the washing machine whilst Naughty added further protests to her already grumpy diatribe, loudly lamenting the amount of noise coming from a rapidly filling appliance. Most annoyed she demanded crossly to be taken back upstairs and returned to bed to drink coffee in comfort since she had a dislike of the cold floor of the kitchen. Of course she again won in her demands for tv to accompany the coffee and swiftly threw a cushion at her saintly counterpart, knocking her firmly from my shoulder leaving her to begin the long journey back to her perch. 

Decidedly under the influence of the now smug Naughty a Sunday morning passed in total idleness and it was not until a slightly ruffled Goody hauled her saintly form back onto her lofty perch that i began to feel perhaps just a tad lazy. As she slid down my stomach and prodded the spare inch at the top of my thigh for dramatic effect i guiltily slunk downstairs to retrieve clean gym kit and dispatch my now empty coffee cup into the sink. To say naughty was far from impressed was an understatement as she emerged blearily from beneath the pile of crumbs she had been using as a duvet. 

Battle commences as the two war over how to spend a Sunday and i watch helplessly as the time ticks away whilst they fight. At least i am ready so should my saintly saviour win out i have only to leave the house but Naughty it seems is not to be bested so easily on this occasion. Naughty does not like the gym you see and would much prefer to spend her afternoon in total leisure for, as she reminds me frequently, it is meant to be a day of rest. So today i may or may not be going to the gym, just as i may or may not be having a lazy afternoon. Infact i really have no idea what i am doing today.

I do wish they would hurry up!! 

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Run for your life

Not content with being a total gym addict and hitting the weights with all the determination of a G I Jane i recently decided that running would be a good next step for me. Now i have not run for almost thirty years when  a much younger me lined up to strut my stuff in the 800m and i was good, back then i was very good.

Today however is another matter and previous years have seen me doing a most faithful impersonation of Thomas the Tank Engine when subjected to any attempts to move at more than fast walk speed. Definitely some short circuit between lungs and legs leaving me with a decided inability to use both at the same time. But being as i am when i set my mind upon something i do not rest until i have won and this being my new focus of determination was to be no different to any other. I freely admit positive bolstering from more than one direction led me to believe there was no earthly reason why anyone could not run and i blithely skipped into the gym believing this was so.

Day one and treadmill selected i tentatively selected my usual fast walk hoping to naturally slip into a run with little effort but oh i was wrong. Yes…help im suffocating!! White flag was a waving and i swear my face turned an unbecoming shade of cherry as lack of oxygen shut down all essential parts of my body and i gasped for air like a landed flounder. Okay so those in the know said the first few minutes are the hardest so keep going..and like a litany a line from Finding Nemo chanted in my head like some ancient spell

‘Just keep swimming, just keep swimming. swimming swimming, just keep swimming…..

Actually perhaps here i am a little guilty of artistic license for i was actually coping rather better than i had hoped and was actually breathing rather well. Ten minutes sailed by and still going and if i had developed a rather fixed interest in The Alan Titchmarsh show on the big screen tv you can forgive me a little for i needed the distraction. Small prayer being sent up shortly after that the sound of clapping behind me was a fellow gym goer applauding my efforts and not infact the sound of my bottom cheeks clapping in their efforts to keep up.

Actually i was proud of myself as the girl who cannot run clocked up twenty minutes and as my feet flew i felt like Peter Pan for some brief moment in time. Unexpected the next day was unaccustomed aches as my legs protested with every movement leaving me feeling as though i had aged somewhat overnight and i hobbled wincing from my bed. Had i not known better you should never have thought i spend hours in the gym but it seems running reaches the parts that other exercise fails to reach. 

So wincing and groaning to the treadmill went i for my feet and i are most determined to fly.

Run run as fast as you can, you can’t catch me i’m the gingerbread man

So run i will and try and try for i shall not give up until i can run with the best of them. I close my eyes and i run and run….and he runs with me….so i run. 

Wishing for the moon

Come on lets face it when was the last time you sat down, looked around and smiled because you were happy with what you have? How many times have you been guilty of saying i want? Most of us are so guilty of perpetual ‘i want’ ing that we forget to look at what we actually do have we merely spend our times thinking of all the things we do not. For many that long road from where we have been and where we are now is so long that we forget how to look back along it and remember the journey and the achievements along the way and ultimately celebrate them. A recent quote i read was perhaps most apt and fitting at this point merely stating

‘Appreciate what you have, for if you do not then you can be sure somebody else will’

I have been told i am an unusual woman and perhaps this is so since i will never ask anything of anyone that they do not freely give and whilst i have dreams and aspirations like anyone else i am also mindful to be happy with what i have. If it comes down to a choice between pushing for more when it is not freely offered, risking losing everything, or being grateful that i actually have it in the first place then i will always take the latter option. Perhaps the trick is to remember, especially in respect of relationships, how things were before you had that person who means so much to you and ask yourself do i really want to go back to how i was before? Anyone who loves someone would always answer with a resounding no, of course not and why would you.

Yet despite all this so many are so willing to do exactly that and throw away everything that makes them happy just upon that quest to demand more than is already given. I guess for the most part you do not know what you have until it is gone and often once lost it cannot be retrieved. Perhaps then we would all do as well to sometimes remind ourselves of what life would be like without all the things we have. It never hurts to count your blessings every once in a while, even if you forget they are blessings, for one thing you can be sure of is someone else would value and want what you do not.

Yes an unusual woman i may be but also one who has spent a lot of time waiting for things to appreciate to come along. I can see clearly along my road no matter how long it gets and never will i take for granted those happy things  that make me smile. Offer me things freely and i am often wise enough to take them but never will i ask for them for myself. When you have what you’ve always wanted you do not throw it away trying to get something better for the grass is never greener on the other side it is merely a trick of the light. Never be guilty of crying for the moon to the point that you forget to live in the here and now for you might find one day that here and now is exactly where you wish you were.

Hindsight is a wonderful thing, but all the better when you do not need it. 

A Toy Story

No matter how old you are there is always a small part of you that never grows up. Some inner child that refuses to be tamed and see’s the fun and delight in everything no matter how small. For many this is something they never let out whilst in others that childlike quality sets forth, breaking free at every chance it gets. 

I am for the most part a lady and proud to be so but my inner child refuses to be squashed and i take great delight in being spontaneous and having fun. Match this with someone with all the qualities of a woodland imp and you have my boyfriend and i. So, a recent trip to London whilst beginning sedately was never likely to stay that way given the nature of the pair of us. Of course there is only one place in London to take your inner child and that is Hamleys, biggest toystore in the city. Now i have never been to Hamleys although my partner has and knew what to expect as we descended upon its colourful doorways….

Arriving in a cloud of soap bubbles my eyes did not know where to look and thus did not see the impending attack from a London Souvenir teddy bear. Those things have teeth you know and more than once i had to fight for my life and defend my as yet unbitten neck as it staged an all out assault upon my person. Aided and abetted by the dastardly vampire (aka boyfriend) i was most definitely under attack from all directions and seeking refuge amongst the Steiff bears. A cunning plan here since Steiff toys are far too costly to be involved in any rebellion and as a slow meander through their ranks ensued a cease fire was forced upon him. 

Breaking cover and dashing for the awaiting soft toy army this time the fight was on and team Panda fought back bravely, spurred on by pink fluffy teddy and big white curly teddy. Sensing a lowering of guard a joint assault from white curly teddy and General Panda, sent the afore mentioned sailing through the air to land squarely upon the king vampires nose. Direct hit!!! A most comical look of surprise and round one to team panda with vampire in hot pursuit as teddy bear armies sailed across the shop floor discreetly ignored by passing shop assistants yet not by small children staring open mouthed at the grown up warfare. 

Cameo performance by extortionately priced small bat preceded nostalgic wander through a colourful array of fluffy animals at this time heeding the temporary truce. Definite crossing of legs at this point as team Panda hurtled for the toilets hurling a brief ”i will find you” over a departing shoulder. Ah those immortal lines from Last of the Mohicans that saw a desperate Daniel Day Lewis hunting the wilderness for his kidnapped lady love.

Skidding only briefly to a halt to coo over a veritable Wonkafest of colourfully arranged confectionery team Panda speeded through a brief pit stop before negotiating the stairs and the previous whereabouts of team vampire. Despite the assistance of badly synced navigation equipment and triple circumnavigation of the arena the whereabouts of the mysterious vampire remained a mystery, definitely not a Mohican in the making then. All efforts exhausted in true childlike style Team Panda observed the golden rule reinforced on a regular basis throughout childhood..if you get lost stay where you are and we will find you. So as the desperately lost Team Panda languished in a magical doorway between worlds, Team Vampire was far far away hypnotised by an evil demon and his magical flying saucer. Time passed so slowly as Team Panda desperately waited for the vampire to escape the supernatural forces that compelled him and come to her rescue. Magical sorcerers appeared from the gloom hoping to tempt team Panda into submitting with offers of assistance but the Panda held firm and waited for her twilight hero to find her.

Saved only by a mysterious communication device the vampire had smuggled with him he came swiftly to the rescue and amid a cloud of rainbow bubbles they made good their escape into the outside world. Leaving behind an army of no small proportions they plot and plan for the next ensuing battle between teams P:anda and Vampire. Out in the grown up world a happy truce reigns but Team Panda will be forever on their guard for one never knows when vampires might attack.

Do you feel better now??

Today i bumped into an old friend as i was happily skipping my way back from the gym to a very catchy upbeat song and i have to admit i was in an awfully good mood. Seeing she looked tired i asked how she was and enquired after her baby which i knew was a big mistake given past history. This particular friend is never happy and when i say never i really do mean NEVER. She is very self pitying and has more than a little tendency to make self derisory comments because she loves the attention and the fussing she gets from people who rush to console her. 

For a very long time i was a major one of these people and would daily drop everything and go rushing over as each crisis presented itself and spend hours dispensing positivity and praise in her direction to make her feel better about herself. Like any good friend i helped with self esteem and advised on diet when she complained she was fat (which was daily) yet never did she heed any of it and seemed to thrive on running herself down for attention. I wanted to help for i genuinely believed she had poor self image but over time i could not fail to notice she was often incredibly mean in reference to other people. 

Many a time in some public setting she would loudly and gleefully pass criticism on some poor unfortunate passer by , fully aware that the people could often hear her. My horrified reprimands would be ignored and she would laugh uproariously, finding the whole situation incredibly amusing. No amount of reasoning would make her stop and i began to come to the conclusion that she was either genuinely nasty or simply did so to make herself feel better. This aside i found it was not a situation i was at all happy with and eventually we parted as friends for i am not a person who is at all comfortable with causing distress and upset to others. 

Time passed and never did she change. Those traits so displayed in my company continued and grew upon a social networking site and i shook my head as others replaced me to pander to her needs. Perhaps this behaviour was so ingrained that she has no hope of ever changing, i do not know but still the part of me that was her friend cannot help but wish that she had accepted genuine help rather than settling for just attention. We passed in the street and i am nothing if not polite, always a hello and a smile would be offered in her direction yet i was not so keen to renew the acquaintance.

Lately i confess we have talked more and recently i rolled my eyes in resignation as she leered over a photograph of my boyfriend and the typical crude comments came forth. As usual i did not comment, i have found it better to stay silent and make a hasty exit these days. So encountering her again today i enquired as to how she was and stifled a sigh as she began the oh so familiar self pity and self annihilation  and wondered briefly whether to offer sympathy since she seems to need it so. As she focused her self hatred upon her weight i consoled and offered help but swiftly wished i hadn’t as she snapped at me

”Its alright for you, you skinny cow, You look okay YOURE not fat and ugly”

To say i was speechless was a bit of an understatement for she knows full well how overweight i was and how hard i have worked to get to where i am now. Years ago we had even started the gym/ diet journey together but she chose not to carry on where i doggedly persisted. I guess some people you really just cannot help and i shook my head and made my excuses to leave. I had nothing to say and no sympathy to pour upon her wounds and for once my kindly nature had totally run dry.

Musing some time later i realised she is far from the only person i know who behaves this way. Some not so self loathing but still with the propensity to mock others and render critical opinions where often they should keep quiet. I have always believed if you cannot say anything nice, do not say anything at all and i firmly adhere to this principle. The world is harsh enough at many a time, do we really need to be making it worse. Perhaps a little think before you speak would be something we could all use a bit of. 

So, do you feel better now?

A better sense of achievement

So for those of you who follow my blog and more specifically my weight loss journey today is a little bit of an update. Cue a drumroll as i announce that today i reached my initial weight loss goal that i set right at the beginning of this little sojourn of mine yet strangely having reached here it felt like somewhat of an anticlimax. I should be shrieking with delight and turning somersaults up and down the street but instead all this is replaced with a rather flat sense of ‘oh okay, now what’

I guess i could describe it rather like thinking you are going to New York for a holiday and suddenly finding yourself in a B&B in Clacton clutching a soggy egg sandwich and a bucket with a hole in it. Yes you have it exactly and i’d be most disappointed too, deflating faster than a well holed balloon. Perhaps though it is all just down to a sense of perspective and it was only when talking to a newly adopted young friend of mine that i actually realised how far i have come. Like many my young friend struggles with weight issues and self esteem and from the first i felt such sympathy that i took her under my wing and try to help her where i can.

Being the character she is she will listen often but also ignore advice i give then come to me with tears when she finds that she has failed but i do not mind this for she needs to make mistakes in order to learn. She is at this time where i once was a long time ago and i understand so well the mountain set before her and the feeling you will never get over it no matter how you try. Frequently she exclaims to me about the weight i have lost and the work i have had to put in to get here and it is only then that i actually realise just how changed a person i am.

How comical to think that at 43 i look younger now than i did 10 years ago at 33 and just over half the woman i was back then. Yet for all i reached my goal and am now slim and perfectly in the middle of my ideal weight range for my height i decided to reset my goals and aim for more.Yes i look good, i know this for i have worked so hard for it believe me, but i know i can look better and this spurs me on.  A gym addiction that i never could have believed leaves me with a fierce determination for an athletes body and the sleek definition of a weight lifter and i know i can have it. So 10 more pounds and lifting with renewed vigor and yet again i have a goal to aim for.

I have my eye on the ultimate dress for christmas, i know it will fit and look good already but i want amazing. Watch this space!!

Through a door just like Alice

Curiouser and curiouser.

As far as the eye can see the doors stretch in an endless colourful sea, all so very different neither uniform nor alike. Some catch the eye more than others being gaudy and opulent, designed to draw the eye and the beholder like a magpie to some shiny coveted bauble. Others less assuming, meek and drab, so easily dismissed and passed by unless one had reason to tarry and examine them more closely. I cannot tarry i am looking for something.

I am here and this is me. My doors are there for a reason and each one hides behind it some memory or some thought that i have filed away for perusal at my leisure. Some doors do not stay shut and the contents seep around its edges reaching for my feet bidding me come and dwell a while within but i know i do not want to go there. Some inner sense of me alerts a warning that i know not from where but i shall heed it for it has been my constant companion and i know it almost as well as it knows me.

Something is seeking me or perhaps i am seeking it, i do not know. All i feel is that i am looking for something but i know not what, only that i shall know when i have found it. Behind this door then? So pretty and bright, leading me to think some rare happy memory resides within and i am happy to approach it. Even as my hand reaches out some instinct tells me this is not a happy place, some indistinct growl resonates from within stirring a familiar alarm making me snatch my outstretched hand away from its reach. Familiar a feeling yet i do not know what lives behind this door only that i do not want to go there. A lesson i have learned so well and i trust my instincts when they tell me what i cannot know.

A smaller door then? Something less obvious and unobtrusive and my eyes scan the row after row hoping something will stand out and suggest that i choose it but all remains as it was before. Nothing remarkable at all and i wonder that i should be so ordered when i sense such unseen chaos within. The nearest then and i choose one so small and dull as to be barely noticed, hesitating briefly before looking inside. This one i know, so small a feeling yet also so happy, still now frowning i realise it occupies so small a room. Why?

Door after door, some i will open but the greater i will not and i speed my steps to hasten my search. I must find it? But what? How strange this need to find something of which i am afraid and it leads me to frown as i turn this way and that with still no idea of where i am headed. I am afraid of this place i do not like to come here and i wish that i could turn and run back the way i came, back where it is safe. Yet i do not, cannot and so i must keep searching hoping i find what i seek before i am lost behind a door not of my choosing.

Doors, so many doors. An endless colourful sea of unassuming facades that stretch as far as the eye can see. I am here and here is me. Through a door just like Alice i chased my white rabbit and now i am lost save only for the grin of a cheshire cat who smiles yet does not smile.

I am here and this is me, i wonder can you find me?

Keeping hold of a ninja panda

Every good superhero has their alter ego and in this i am no exception. I have christened her Ninja Panda for trust me this is what she believes she is. Blame squarely on her shoulders for hauling me from my lovely warm bed and happy little dream world, forcing me to haul ass on the treadmill for what seems like an eternity yet no sign of relenting from her. I cannot help but envy her get up and go for who else would have the energy to dance upon a treadmill at the end of a 10k power walk? Well she would of course!!

Ninja panda has a mission, not content to let my once cuddly form find gleeful solace in some disgustingly sinful gastronomy she steals away my comforts in the night. Whilst i clutch hopefully at a stray donut and practise breathing in a little harder she skips around in gym clothes poring over skinny jeans in an online store.Skinny jeans really?? We don’t do skinny jeans!!

Really aiming high this Ninja Panda and boy do i suffer for it, were she and i not so close i think i could really hate her at times although a twinge of envy creeps in as she twirls in a pretty dress i never could wear. But she lands me in trouble every time and today yet again she has done just that. Okay i suffered her gym torture, 10k!! why do we need to walk that far, is there a Starbucks at the end of it?? Apparently not, yet as usual she makes me walk top speed every step of the way laughing as every muscle shrieks and i dehydrate faster than a fish in a desert. A most evil Ninja Panda indeed.

Not content with forcing me to a life of hard labour she now wants us to run, oh yes you heard right. Now something seems to have escaped her notice for pandas do not run, they are by nature quite lazy and like to sit and eat. Yes you heard me i said they like to sit and EAT!! No running, no exercise just blissful decadent eating in comfort as a true panda should. My alter ego and i?? No we’re going running, apparently. Not content with making my ample bottom move faster than it is used to oh evil one wishes me to do this in public, for 10k!! This made me chuckle for i am not sure quite how long they pay these people to hang around and wait for the stragglers to roll in, for straggler i definitely shall be whether madam ninja likes it or no. 

So as the tender ministrations of Herr Ninja sign me up to running lessons with the female trainer at the gym my face drains of all colour as one time military fitness instructor pipes up that he will train the ninja and i when his counterpart is not available. I’ve been good honest mom!!!  Now i know im not in Kansas any more but never did i dream that OZ would look like this. Time to get jogging down that yellow brick road then with Ninja Panda at my heels pushing me all the way.

Superheroes seem so glamorous dont they? Wouldn’t we all like to have an alter ego to turn us into the heroes of our dreams and to make us all the things we can never be in our less than remarkable lives. 

Yeah thats what i thought too!! Anyone want a Ninja??

How Brief an Encounter

She paused in the doorway self-consciously smoothing down the unaccustomed skirt as though to make it longer than it actually was. Her toes curled in the unusually high new shoes as she nervously toyed with the clasp of the small bag she clutched to her like a shield before squaring her shoulders and surveying the gloomy little room. Blue eyes narrowed slightly in defence against the thick smog of cigarette smoke which assailed her yet she resisted the urge to waver in her composure and cough furiously as she would have liked to have done. She had attracted attention now as more than one pair of eyes turned in her direction, one slightly more lecherous in amongst the appreciative glances and she again felt the slightly uncomfortable awareness of the lack of length to her skirt.

Again her gaze swept the room, this time a little more apprehensively for she had imagined she would be able to pick him out more easily than this but none of those within seemed to fit the description she had of him. Too old, too fat, too lecherous. No none of these fit the bill and she momentarily considered leaving before an almost imperceptible movement from the corner of the room drew her gaze to amused dark eyes surveying her with interest. A wry twist to the mouth told her he knew of her discomfort and was amused by it, was she so obvious that this was the first time she had done this? She sighed heavily, were it not for the money she should never be frequenting a place such as this but circumstances had left her with no other option and nowhere else to turn. 

‘Come on girl you can get through this’ she told herself and a long lost sense of courage raised itself to the fore and bolstered her with a bravado she really did not feel. Pasting on a smile she walked slowly across the room, aware of the eyes upon her, not only the dark ones facing her but also from those she briefly passed. Dismissively she chose to ignore the smiles aimed at her and focused her attention upon the man she approached, she just wished he would smile! Anything to ease her nerves and calm the heart hammering so loudly in her chest. She prayed silently that he could not hear it as she reached his side and swallowed uneasily before summoning a smile. The amused expression deepened and he motioned her to the chair before him inviting her to sit which she gladly did before her shaking legs became obvious to him. A voice that melted her insides offered her a drink and she gratefully accepted, her glance sweeping his glass already half empty. Whisky she surmised, or brandy. No definitely whisky, he seemed the type for it. 

Regarding him over the rim of her glass she swallowed a mouthful feeling the liquid fire hit her empty stomach making her draw her breath in unaccustomed surprise. 

”Did you bring the money?”

Again that wry smile as the dark eyes laughed at her discomfort but he reached slowly into the inside of his jacket producing the envelope which he proffered in her direction. A man of few words she mused thoughtfully as she reached for it but he held onto it for just a second too long making her composure falter once again. She flushed her shame that financial gain had brought her here wondering for not the first time if she were really doing the right thing. Need won out and she dropped the envelope decisively into her bag snapping the clasp firmly shut before sliding forward in her seat and placing her palm upon his thigh. 

His eyebrows raised at the blatant action but he said nothing, merely watched as she met his gaze from beneath lowered lashes. Her eyes lowered to his lips and she licked her own, the tell-tale gesture the only indication of the direction her thoughts were taking. He grinned triumphantly knowing his desire to kiss her was reciprocated before standing and holding out his hand to her indicating it was time to take this further.

”So darling” he chuckled softly ” How was your day? Shall we go and buy those carpets” 

The rule of 7

There is a theory i found whilst browsing our online world that we re-invent ourselves in cycles of every 7 years. Perhaps this is mostly an unconscious change but i think most will agree that they are not the same person they were prior to today. I mulled on this for some time for i can well remember the person i was that number of years ago but then the question came to me was i actually myself back then or indeed in prior years?

The answer after some thought was actually a resounding NO. Not entirely, although with the exception of this present point in time it was the period in my life when i was closest to actually being myself. Of course barring for the unlikely explanation of alien abduction or body snatching it would seem logical to assume that of course i was me.

Who else was i likely to be?

Well i guess on further examination the truth is you are only the product of what other people and yourself allow you to be. Consciously or not we change and adapt ourselves to suit those around us sometimes so much so that we lose sight of who we really are. One thing i find most amusing is the meeting of two people, initially attracted by the other person they set about forming a relationship as is natural. Curiously then they seek to set about changing that person into some pre-conceived ideal that they have but in essence destroying all that appealed to them about the other in the first place.

Why?? 

This, for me personally, is something i cannot abhor having been victim to it on many occasions and thus i am a firm believer in not trying to change someone to suit yourself. After all you liked them in the first place and everything that they were drew you to them so why set about trying to fix that which is already right? Yet in honesty this is where i failed so dismally on the 7 year change for looking back i could not fail to admit that in all previous cycles i was more often the product of what other people had wanted me to be or forced me to be rather than being myself. Whether by manipulation or pure design i was actually guilty of being less my own person and more some other whom for the most part i did not recognise. 

Some cycles this was more evident and in hindsight i cringe when i think of the person i was and admonish myself for being so susceptible to domination and manipulation and yet i was.Such a contradiction considering the strong minded person i really am and i wonder whether this says more about me or those in my life at the time. Reasonably and logically i know that this was more to do with external forces than anything within myself for if i am honest i was always there but buried away where nobody could see. Only when in the company of the right person do you finally get to be only that which you really are.

How sad then that so very few would be able to step forward when i am departed from this world and say ”yes i knew her”. Oh yes many may think it to be so and i know those who would like to be able to make that claim but in truth those who actually did or do are only two in number at this point in time. Whilst this may seem to many be a pitiful number i find that it pleases me greatly. A woman of mystery and intrigue perhaps? No not really, i find instead that it is just a little more special when you do meet those persons with whom you can be everything that you are, without restraint. And if then you are told that those persons like you just the way you are it is all worth it and you know those are the right ones for you.

Who will i be in another 7 years?? Actually this is where i hope the 7 year change ends for i like this person that i am now. I find i like her very well. She has taken so very long to break free that i would be loathe to part with her again and i for one hope she sticks around for a little while longer. 

True Romance

Anyone who knows me will know that i am really not one to take particular notice of events in the media but today one particular story really did catch my eye. A Canadian dentist named Sandy Crocker has travelled 8,000km to try and track down a young woman he  met for just two minutes ( yes you read that right) last summer. The lovestruck Mr Crocker was holidaying last year in the beautiful Irish town of Ennistymon when he spotted the Irish beauty at a cafe where he and his brother stopped for lunch.

Not wanting to interrupt her meal he waited until she had finished eating before approaching her and asking directions to the local cliffs but did not pursue the matter further since he was leaving town the next day. However it seems Cupid had other plans for our handsome dentist and after her departure the arrow struck home leaving him changing his mind and desperately needing to find her. In true romantic hero style he and his brother desperately searched the town and cliffs but could find no trace of the woman who had captured his heart. I defy any woman not to melt at the thought of making that much of an impression upon a man, for don’t we all wish we could?

Back home it seems Cupid really was not wiling to let this one go and our poor hero could not get his princess out of his thoughts, so much so that he decided upon a whim to remake that eventful journey and try once again to find her. Our gallant hero does not even know the name of his lady and has only the description of ‘mid to late 20’s, freckles and reddish brown hair’  but is determined to give himself every chance to find her. 

So as the world holds its breath and waits to see what fate has in store for the smitten Canadian you cannot help but wish for a happy ending and hope that he does indeed find the woman for whom he went to so much effort. It seems in this case at least there is such a thing as love at first sight and romance is definitely not dead. Definitely the stuff of romance novels and surely the utmost in compliments, i for one will definitely have my fingers crossed. I would not be so much of a woman if i were not so easily swept away by a little bit of true romance.

Sandy Crocker may you find your girl.

In the eye of the beholder

We all have our own ideas about that which we consider to be beautiful. That we will all differ in our opinions is a fact but one cannot fail to deny the existence of certain trends that many adhere to in order to perceive ourselves as such. One of the most comical of these in our modern times is the existence of the well known ‘Duck Face’ seen adorning profiles the internet over and considered by those young and aspiring beauties to be the ultimate in appeal. Most amusing of all is the total oblivion to the ridicule this overly exaggerated pose receives and blithely they continue to grimace and gurn in a parody of attractiveness.

Recently dear daughter number 2 and i were discussing the phenomena that is the ‘Duck Face’ and i was more than a little horrified when she related a story to me, showing me a photo to describe the tale. Some days earlier she and a friend had been posing for photographs when the other girls 2 year old sister had wished to be pictured with them. Upon crowding together to take a shot this small child had automatically assumed the potentially provocative ‘Duck Face’ pose and was captured in the shot this way. Now to the child this was merely innocent copying of things that she had seen but i was rather concerned at so one so young falling so naturally into a pose that aimed to be sexy.

Dear daughter also showed me two photographs from a well known networking site. One, a picture of an overly made up teen in an overtly sexy pose with requisite ‘duck Face’ pout had received thousands of ‘likes’ from viewers. The second, of an extremely pretty teenager with a show stopping smile and normal amount of make up had received….3 ‘likes’. Clearly it seems that although this second teen was very genuinely beautiful   she was not the ideal of the time which is the overtly sexy pouty kind. I personally fail to see why pretty young girls would wish to make themselves look as though they had been around the block more times than a New York postman but i guess there is no accounting for the influences of media and society. I freely confess i have the greatest fun doing an amusing send up of the ‘Duck Face’ but should i ever resort to doing impressions of a trout in order to look sexy then please dear readers feel free to have me committed to the local asylum. One can only hope that society will soon make a return to genuine beauty and allow the young to remain so and rely more on other qualities to be popular. 

After all the only thing that should look like a duck…is a duck!!

I want one of these!!

So recently i told you all about unwanted attention i am getting at the gym. Well today this escalated to the point where one guy got so in my face that i actually injured myself and to say i was angry was putting it mildly. I rarely get angry, it actually takes a lot to get that kind of a rise out of me but this guy managed it. To my credit i actually avoided erupting like some long dormant volcano but oh i was angry. I think the worst thing was he persisted even AFTER i had told him quite plainly i have a partner after which he still needed to clarify whether it was a serious relationship or not. Ummmm well i’m not doing it for a joke dumbass!!

Actually i would never actually say that even if my brain let me down and thought it for i am well mannered and ladylike and this is not seemly behaviour. But when relating the tale to friends and fellow  fitness pals one did make me laugh when she sent me a link to the perfect cure to all my problems.

                                                   Image

I WANT this t-shirt!! Were it not for the fact it is from America you could bet your life i would be handing over my card details as we speak and purchasing one of these little gems. Of course i am assuming here that these guys are literate and can actually decipher the less than cryptic message on the front of it. 

Either way it gave me a good chuckle and at least it seems i am not the only one with this problem. Perhaps the only thing that worries me is i am still not at my ideal and i worry what will happen when i have the body i am dreaming of. Perhaps i need to develop more of an attitude, not very me at all but we shall see. 

10,000 hits!!

Wow i really cannot believe it!! My little world of burble has accumulated 10,000 hits in the 5 months since i started it and still going. I still find it quite amusing that something i started to please my now partner has turned into something i love people to see and i still get excited that people WANT to read it and even sometimes actually like it. 

I had no idea i could write and were it not for the less than subtle nudgings of a certain Vampire i should never have even dreamed of doing so and yes i freely admit i did so to shut him up. As i said long ago, i had imagined that he should read my waffle, cringe politely and then allow me to take it down whilst grudgingly admitting that i could not infact write anything more substantial than a post-it. Okay i guess it helps that i am slightly off the wall and have a rather humorous take on life but i never was cut out to be a sobersides trust me! 

The world according to panda.

So 10,000 hits later i am the one admitting i was wrong ( yes lovely you read that right- i was wrong) and perhaps there is something of a mini writer in me after all. All i know is as long as people are reading this waffle, i shall keep writing it and i am having great fun doing so. I admit there are some days when i panic and think aarrgghh what shall i write?? But now i have learned not to force it and if nothing is there to write, then don’t write it. 

So to my lovely followers and all of the other great people who take the time to read my ramblings, thank-you. Thank-you for sharing in the wonderfully crazy world of Panda, i’m not sure if that makes you as crazy as me but i hope you can live with that. On this note i hear the gym calling and i really must get myself organised( can you believe i can do sit ups now!! – me, sit ups!!) 

Panda over and out 

The art of being subtle

Well another day over at the gym and to say i am pretty annoyed is putting it mildly. My usual workout is between 2-21/2 hours but today i was lucky if i did 80minutes. Yup i feel lazy and oh boy do i feel like i’ve cut half of my weights out which actually yes i have. 

And why??

Well it is simple, i got so annoyed with my latest admirer and his blatant staring that i grabbed my stuff and left. I know what you are all thinking it’s flattering to be eyed up but i really do not feel comfortable with such open appraisal and really wish they would be more subtle about it.If you’re looking at me and i’m not looking back then please just take a hint. A lot of the gym where i go seems to be guys since most of the women stick to the fitness classes and not so frequently weight train as i do. So far i have 3 guys who seem to check me out a lot and sure, i’m a girl, it was a tad flattering at first but trust me it rapidly gets annoying especially since i am very honest that i am taken and am not the remotest bit interested in any of them.

I guess the problem is i go to the gym to work and i mean WORK. I have my ipod and i zone out and really kick up the weights and cardio and to be honest i really do not want someone yakking in my ear while i am doing so. I need to concentrate! If i drop my weight and injure myself because you’re distracting me lets just say i’d be awfully angry. I have to say most of the guys at the gym are pretty great, they’ll chat after workouts but like me they dont want to be bothered while theyre working out so other than a quick smile and hello we dont interact. But for all that there are those who seem to treat it as some kind of pick up joint and spend half their energy looking around.

So the three guys in question??

Number one is pretty okay, he’s kinda subtle and had he not hunted me down online and sent me a very flirty message saying i had a fantastic body i should never really have noticed him looking. I have to admit he has gotten slightly more obvious since then but was fine when i told him i have a partner. He doesn’t invade my space while im training and chats only when he can see i’m not busy which i really am okay with. I dont mind this guy so much at all and am happy to be friends with him.

Number two, lets call him council guy. He has for a very very long time been staring at me since i frequently bump into him in town and he is quite blatant about it. He will stare and put himself in my eyeline catching my eye until i am forced to acknowledge him and say hello. I do not like being forced to say hello to people, i am far from antisocial but i like to choose who i wish to speak to but this guy does not care. At the gym he is very blatant and not content with a hello on first meeting he has to have me acknowledge and say hello to him EVERY time we pass. This guy engineers bumping into me so much (trust me nobody can really need THAT much water from the cooler) that dear daughter commented yesterday that this guy seems to be obsessed with me. She remarked quite loudly that surely one hello was enough then loudly announced that he was staring at my bottom. 

Number three. Now this guy is new having only latched onto me this week and now suddenly his every workout coincides with mine whereas before they did not. Another one who is very blatant about catching my eye the minute i enter the gym and there is no getting past him until i have. This guy has taken to intercepting me on the treadmill and will stand straight infront of it and start talking until out of politeness i am forced to remove my headphones and answer him. Anyone else would get the idea that someone going at a very fast incline pace with headphones on is not likely to be disposed to chatting but this guy does not care.Good manners force me to answer him and despite very terse short responses from me he was not to be deterred, even commenting at one point that his making me chat was leaving me very out of breath. When i replied that yes indeed it was he laughed and carried on. I’m sorry but HELLO???

So today it was guy number three that forced me to leave, having caught my eye the minute he walked in just by his overt here i am body gestures. I replied a quick hello and turned up my music and put my head down and carried on and he made several attempts to catch my eye and get me talking. Shortly after my spidey sense prickled that someone was behind me and a swift glance revealed this guy standing right behind my treadmill doing stretches whilst staring at my behind. Most infuriating was that he did not even have the decency to look away and stayed there despite my turning round twice more. This guy then positions himself on a rowing machine right next to me leaving his head at my crotch level and within touching distance despite the fact there was another further away. At this point i decided to get off the treadmill and head for the weights but again spidey sense prickled that i was being watched and indeed this was the case. Self consciously i put my head further and further down but it made no difference.

Well to be honest that was enough for me and i grabbed my kit and left and have decided that in future i shall be going to the gym rather earlier where i can hopefully workout in peace. Yes it is flattering when people think you are attractive and i daresay i would be very disgruntled if nobody ever looked my way but there is such a thing as being subtle. Whilst i am very receptive to such appreciative looks from my partner i am definitely not so from total strangers and such obvious staring makes me feel decidedly uncomfortable. Perhaps the fault is mine and i should learn to be more flattered but i cannot help but prefer rather a lot more subtlety in an appreciative glance. Perhaps there is something to be said for being fat after all for being called fatty is rather easier to handle.

Don’t tell the bride

Today Dear Daughter number 1 and went into the next town to do some shopping and to pay another instalment from her wedding dress. She has been super excited about her dress and has described it to me in great detail and was really hoping the shop owner would be obliging and get the dress down to show me for my approval. Of course i wanted to see my daughters dress but i explained to her that this was HER dress and the only one who really needed to like it was she herself but i was happy to coo over it and share her excitement. Although i would never tell my daughter i have a very cynical view of marriage having had a far from pleasant experience of it myself but i do understand that for couples TRULY in love it is a huge happy event. So i swallowed my cynicism and shared in her excitement as we hopped up the stairs to the bridal shop.

Now the girlie side of me could not help but appreciate some of the beautiful dresses and i would not be much of a girlie girl if i did not want to try one on and twirl around in it. However far from like most women for me this interest was purely cosmetic because i adore clothes and it was a pretty dress that i knew would look pretty stunning on me. Yes vanity thy name is panda. 

So approaching the counter Dear Daughter bounces over to the tiny lady excitedly announcing she has come to pay for her dress and could her mom take a look if it wasn’t too much trouble. Now this bit was both funny and awkward as the little woman looks straight past me down the shop which was empty. Dear daughter turns to me and says ”Youre going to LOVE my dress mum” to which a visibly stunned shop keeper stares at me and says to dear daughter ”THIS is your mother?? I thought this was your friend or your sister”

She then peers into my face and croons ”ohhhhh you look so young!!”

Well dear daughter and i laughed as the lady trots off for the dress for we are used to this and tend not to take much notice but as tiny lady returns she again peers at me and exclaims ”oh my, youre so young” Okay now if she had stopped there all would have been fine but tiny lady turns to dear daughter and says happily ”You will have to look amazing on your wedding day or else everyone will be looking at your mom!”

Oh dear. NOT the thing to say to a blushing bride.

Dear daughter and i busied ourselves looking at her dress which is admittedly beautiful and perfect for her and she has chosen well. After tiny lady coos again for the third time that i look young i was getting embarrassed and i think dear daughter was slightly nettled for as we passed a rack of non wedding dresses and i stroked a stunning sea green one she announced that i was not allowed to wear anything that would make me look better than her. 

OUCH.

Like any mom who loves their daughter i reassured her that NOBODY will look better than her on her wedding day and this is the truth for she is a pretty girl with the perfect dress and she will look amazing. Still i couldn’t help but wince as on the bus she turns to me and says ”mum you can come to the wedding in jogging bottoms” Part of me thinks she was half serious and i couldn’t help but feel a little sad. Whilst i am sure the tiny lady meant only to deliver a compliment i cant help but feel she needs to work a little on her people skills and work on making her brides feel special.

Hopefully Dear Daughter is not serious and i shall not have to wear jogging bottoms to her wedding, firstly because i do not own any but secondly because they really would not suit me. Still needs must right??

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