An Apple a day

Picture a grey cold morning with the wind blowing its chilly little fingers around anything in its way and people hurrying heads down against the cold. Save one…ME. I was quite happily skipping along singing a mental duet with Matchbox 20. I’m not sure they’ve ever heard Our Song done in quite such spectacular fashion but oh i was good!! Play the guitar? Oh you bet i did that too and  on lead to boot. 

Imagination, the light of every creative persons life and definitely the light of mine. Even JK Rowling herself would be hard pressed to magic up some of the things that appear in this little noggin of mine. Noggin… i have to chuckle every time i hear that word for it reminds me of someone. Strange how the most random of things can suddenly take on special meanings just by association isn’t it? I’m sure i looked quite mad smiling away to myself but i don’t actually care. 

Anyway back to the cold and the awesome singing and i was happily skipping my way to our shiny new Health Center. We used to have a doctors, a regular few rooms with a few familiar faces behind the desks only a few steps up from a small town one doc room. Powers that be suddenly decided our lil ole town needed hauling very firmly into the 21st century et VOILA  the appearance of bright shiny space age Health Center. Not that i visit the doctors much, okay less than much but i do put in an appearance once or twice a decade to reassure them my national health number is still in circulation.

Okay we’re skipping again, right through the swishy swooshy doors to be confronted by….the electronic receptionist. Yup even the grim looking Matron from the front desk has gone all space age and turned into a touch screen ”hey guess what, i’m here’ recorder. Of course through another set of swishy swooshy doors there are the requisite receptionists but they’re less Matronly and more glamorous than their counterparts of old. Me, ah i decided to keep with the times and hit the touch screen firmly announcing my arrival. 

There are three patients before you in the queue, the screen brightly announced and i shrugged and headed for the coffee machine. Might as well fill the old tank, after all there’s nothing more interesting than wiggling on your seat and playing a game of will she buzz for me if i go to the loo. Little things amuse small minds right. So Mocha in hand i glanced around the bright colourful but HUGE reception keeping one eye on yet another space age screen that announced your presence was required and where. Last time i was at the doctors it was all harsh buzzers in a coloured board with all of the doctors listed upon it. The resulting silence would have been nice if it wasn’t for little johnny wailing for some sweets and the unceasing yowls of a small baby whose mother was more interested in her mobile phone. Shortly interspersed with rattling coughs from a gentleman half a dozen seats down who made little attempt to cover his mouth it resounded like some strange symphony. Yuk…shallow breathing through very small space commenced at this point and i groped in my bag for my antibac gel. I hate germs, especially other peoples!!

I really have to confess don’t actually like the doctors and avoid it at all costs unless i really have no option, like today. The problem with doctors surgeries you see is they are all full of sick people!! Yes i know that probably sounds a terribly blonde thing to say but the point is that you really should not be going out in public and sharing your germs and making other people sick!!  Actually i’m really not that harsh i do sympathise but you can guarantee if you aren’t actually sick when you go to the doctors you can be pretty sure you will be by the time you leave.

So as the time rolled by and i amused myself people watching and giving people interesting new identities the screen flashed and the Russian Spy got up and followed a pretty young nurse who smiled brightly at him and farmers wife sat down in his place. Snatches of conversation drifted my way and i surreptitiously touched every bit of wood i could reach as an older lady reeled off a list of ailments to a companion that would have made even Grays Anatomy need a sequel. OOhhh if ever anything makes me more determined to stick to my healthy eating and the gym its going to the doctors. 

To say i was glad when my turn to see ‘very nice doctor’ came was an understatement.Leaving a short time later i mentally vowed i was never going to get sick or infirm. Bring on the veggies i don’t care if i don’t like them i’m eating them anyway. So some short time later i jammed my headphones into my ears, washed in copious amounts of anti bac gel and renewed my determination to never get sick. If an apple a day really does keep the doctor away i’m eating the whole bag!! 

COUGH!!

Advertisements

Great Expectations

                       

If you had asked me to describe myself i could think of many words to do so. Perhaps they may differ somewhat from those other people would use for me but still there are some that would not have automatically come to mind unless i thought about it for  a while. Optimistic has always been a word i would apply to myself and for the most part i am very much so yet much recent musing has led me to realise i am also very much of a cynic and a pessimist. Such a strange contradiction for surely one cannot be both, can you? 

For myself i believe they can and that both do apply in my own case. Steadfastly determined to see the bright side of every situation i refuse to let things drag me down. Unerringly strong and dependable and definitely very much of a go to gal. I was once told i’m the kind of girl you need around in a crisis which pleased me greatly for i have never been the fall apart kind. Yet under this optimism and positivity i have to admit lurks a slightly less Pollyanna view of the world that i do not often acknowledge nor admit to.

We are alI a product of our life experiences and through mine i learned long ago never to expect anything of anyone or of life in general. This may sound awfully negative but my experience has been that in setting expectations you are frequently let down by people and situations themselves.This in turn has yet another effect upon the person you are and often not for the better. If you go along your merry path with no prior preconceptions or wants then you will never be disappointed but will only gain the opportunity to be pleasantly surprised along the way.

Admittedly i confess that the surprises are few since the people i have encountered are invariably  not of the positively life changing kind. Still all the more significant then when every once in a while someone comes along to break the mould and make me revise my opinion somewhat. Still the further down the road you walk you cannot help but don a little armour to protect you from the definitely expected and if your steps become a little weary you would no doubt be forgiven for that. 

Perhaps modern life itself is to blame for people no longer have the care for others that once was such an inherent part of their nature. Selfishness more frequently lurks behind every thought and action and rarely do a lot of us put other people before ourselves. Those that do frequently are trampled upon and taken for granted instead of appreciated and thanked. One would be forgiven then as such a person for becoming much disillusioned and unappreciated and set to wondering why they should bother at all.

But optimism prevails and whilst i will never look very far forward and dream and plan as others do i will never fail to make the best of what does come my way. Those rare surprises will be valued and appreciated and whilst i may secretly smother a small hope in some direction and would never turn away the chance for it to become reality i will never take it for granted that it may one day be so. Many say we need dreams and things to aspire to and yes perhaps in this harsh modern society of ours this is so but what we need more is the wisdom to distinguish between that which can become a reality and that which cannot. 

Yes i am definitely and optimist, but a pessimistic one at that. 

mission impossible

Being pro green doesnt mean i suddenly develop an amazing memory infact i cant be terribly scatty at times for such an organized person. Take this morning, plodding my way down the stairs stifling a yawn, tripping over my giant sized pyjama legs as i go i heard an all too familiar clinking and crashing sound coming from the next street THE RECYCLERS!! Now i do recycle as you know and i’m rather good i separate things into correct boxes, well i call them boxes but after the asda van merrily rolled over mine some time ago i find i’ve had to improvise and now have a strange assortment of crates and bags in which to put everything. What i am terrible at is remembering to put the darned things out before i go to work and im usually gone by 7am when the big recycling orchestra comes tinkling and clanking down my street, but not today. Oh no not today!! I actually stopped at the bottom of the stairs and said RECYCLERS!!! to myself before tripping out of the back doors, pivoting in the garden and flying back though for the garage key, standing on a most indignant cat waiting for his breakfast as i went. Now Tom Cruise would’ve recruited me on the spot here as i scaled the contents of the garage before sliding over a mattress and landing in a heap next to a pile of empty kitekat tins. Anything guaranteed to put you off breakfast is the faint aroma of long used sardines and the nauseating waft of turkey and duck in tantalising jelly. Yes not so tantalising at 7am when your bum is on a cold stone floor and your nose is inches from the nearest tin can!! So rescuing my butt from the floor i carefully opened the garage door halfway hissing at it to HUSH as it screeched gleefully on its hinges,announcing to all in earshot that i was about to emerge.In my best mission impossible style i peered under the door making sure the recyclers werent standing at the end of my drive arms akimbo, tapping one foot in a ‘what do we have here’ manner, grabbed the nearest crate, limboed under the door and hurtled down the drive trying to reach the end  before some man in yellow caught me crate in hand displaying all my guilt. Of course it had to be wet so there am i, crate loudly going clinky clanky, socks going splishy splashy and praying madly that i didnt trip over my trouser legs before i reached my destination and avoid further embarrassment. I confess i must’ve looked a comical sight in giant pyjamas stumbling furtively up and down the drive before diving under the safety of the garage door, doing a quick reconnaissance before emerging with the next load to be hurriedly deposited with the rest. I think once the pile grew to the size of a small armchair i had to abandon the mission and plodge at speed back into the house, once again standing on a most disgruntled cat before hiding behind the curtains to watch and see if the recycling mountain was disposed of by the lovely men in yellow. My guilt forces me to confess they really didnt look impressed and i had to duck from several glances towards the house but eventually the wagon rolled away somewhat more weighty than before and i breathed a sigh of relief and vowed to put out the boxes more often and avoid another mission impossible

Gone with the wind

I very rarely form an opinion on events pertaining to current affairs and news preferring to be a silent observer, learning but non involved. I usually opt for learning things of a non political nature and so browsing the lesser headline news i couldn’t help but chuckle at a recent publication in Current Biology by paeleoclimatologists that suggested that dinosaurs may have been responsible for their own prehistoric version of global warming. Now this really did tickle me for in more recent times it has been suggested that a more bovine culprit was responsible for our own more modern events and given the size comparison between a cow and your average dinosaur i could only conclude the air must have been of a most toxic nature. Of course my rather quirky sense of humour had cartoon dinosaurs running through my head stopping to break wind then saying ‘oh do excuse me’ in a very deep rumbly voice which i guess all but put paid to any seriousness to the report i was attempting to read and given the extinction of the dinosaurs in question one can only conclude that they really were gone with the windImage

Rowing a small boat in a big ocean

Crisis, breakdown, issues, problems….

Call them what you will but we all have them at some point in our lives often when we least expect them. We may be merrily ambling along the path of life when suddenly we are knocked off our feet and left down in the dirt trying to find a foothold to get ourselves back upright again. For some of us this may be easy but for others even such a short ascent  may seem like facing the tallest mountain when they know they are no mountaineer.

Ultimately there is just no tried and tested way to deal with all these things, we are all so very different and what may be an effective coping mechanism for one may leave another floundering.Good advice whilst kindly meant may often result in an adverse effect to the one intended, for none of us can say how another may react to any given situation.But does this mean we should not offer for fear of doing the wrong thing? Encountering a rebuff whilst hard to accept is inevitably better than failing to act at all then regretting the fact you did not.

Call me whimsical if you will but i rather like to picture life itself as a small boat on an ocean.

We start our voyage of existence sailing solo but along the way we may invite people to share the journey with us and at various ports along the way we will pick up and drop them off, sometimes just one or sometimes a few. Fate will bring along its share of both calms and storms but struggle begins when you choose to either ask someone to row along with you or whether you choose to weather the onslaught and battle along alone.

After much practise i find i have become rather adept at rowing my boat, rather skillfully weathering the storms and if at times i get a little seasick, well at least i know it will pass. Even so there are times when rowing this boat alone gets a little lonely and then sometimes you wish that you had someone else along to share the ride. This is when i wish i had not put into port so often and cast ashore my shipmates. Hindsight most truly is a wonderful thing.

Perhaps there was something to be said for press ganging after all!

So as we cruise along on our various odysseys perhaps we should all keep an eye for those boats adrift or battling the storm and as we pass by hold out a hand and offer to help row. For when life’s tempest rears its ugly head we should like to hope someone will sail by our side and battle us into calmer seas. 

And since i can profess no claim to being any kind of mariner I know i would.

 

Austen-tatious

Image

I know myself to be far from alone this weekend being totally immersed in the screening of Jane Austen’s Pride and Prejudice, sighing wistfully as the knee weakening Mr Darcy bestows on the most beautiful Elizabeth Bennet ‘THE look’  A tale much loved by me in both literary form and the visual adaptations which duly followed, i find myself drawn once again into the romance and propriety of Austen’s world with all the ease of donning a favourite cosy cardigan. I am a most old fashioned girl in all things pertaining to matters of the heart but also find great appeal in such decorum and wealth of manners and believe i should have felt most at home in this earlier period of time. Oh how very wonderful to be wooed by some dashingly handsome man emanating respect and to be duly afforded such correct behaviour as was my right. So very far removed from most gentlemen of my acquaintance today, and i hesitate to call them gentlemen, who are more likely with great ribaldry to request that i display some area of my anatomy for the entertainment of all present. So appealing too, those so articulate and eloquent, an art which these days i find is very much on the decline and the talent of conversation and wit is severely lacking in all but a few. Perhaps i move in the wrong circles having neither connection nor fortune to move in a society above my own but this does not prevent me from longing for the stimulation of intelligence and decorum that seems doomed to be lost in a bygone age. Little wonder women the world around sigh disconsolately and  take solace in a world so very far removed from our own. And forgive me if, just for a short while, i  join the ranks and submit to the smoulderingly charismatic charms of the irrepressible Mr Darcy.

On the wrong track

The rhythmic rattling and jolting draws nearer as the train lurches steadily towards the station. A surge of people, already pushing and shoving, rush for the doors of the not yet stationary transportation. A groan echoes up and down the platform as the doors open revealing a crush of people in the doorway, grimy windows revealing the absence of seats in a visibly overfull carriage. Never mind, people will be getting off here and making way for those waiting to board and the waiting passengers shift restlessly looking for the chance to break for the slightest sign of a space. One or two alight but not enough to make a difference and the milling crowd jostle to find room.

Standing occupants from previous stops frown in irritation as yet more travellers squeeze into the already claustrophobic space and reluctantly we go with them hoping to find there may be seating after all. Alas it seems the grubby vision was no mirage. Barely even standing room and we are forced to shuffle along the corridor in an uncomfortable crush with other passengers. Sandwiched between a less than pleasantly odoured male and two hysterically giggling teenagers, my personal space was undeniably invaded. The unappealing smell of the nearby toilet mingled with a pervading stink of wet dog from a nearby unidentifiable person making me resort to shallow breathing and covering my mouth with my perfume scented sweater.

                        

You have to expect these conditions in a third world country of course, only this is not a third world country this is Great Britain. In conditions many would regard as only fit for animals we travelled with First Great Western having actually paid to travel this way. As usual only three carriages on a route that frequently leaves passengers standing, yet the train operators themselves refuse to provide adequate seating despite a recent hefty hike in ticket pricing. Perhaps the uncertainty of recent franchise developments have left those thrifty penny pinchers considering their own benefits rather than those of their customers. On this occasion it would defintely seem to be so.

The train pulls in to yet another station and an argument ensues between a current passenger and someone forcibly attempting to join the already overfull doorway. There is nowhere to go and we are almost nose to nose yet the guy on the ground is as determined to board as the other gentleman is not to let him. The new passenger wins and heaves his bulk through the doorway, stepping on a nearby female passengers toes before wedging himself in next to the not very pleasant smelling gentleman.The journey was an interminable torture and the sight of our destination could not have been more welcome. To say it was a relief to disembark was somewhat of an understatement and the rush of fresh air was definitely a pleasant change. I could not help thinking that all it had needed was the presence of a few chickens and a goat and we could truly have been experiencing third world railway travel.

                        Image

Expecting the return journey to be less busy i was in for a rude awakening as yet another heaving train drew into the station and not wishing to repeat the experience we chose to wait the half an hour for the next. When the next proved to be equally as overladen we quite angrily decided to pass and wait for yet another. Watching in disbelief a short time later as the departures screen announced that this next train was also full and standing we quickly realised that another porcine style journey was upon the cards. Then a saviour rolled into the station heading our way. A lovely shiny clean South West Trains service with adequate seating and a pleasant atmosphere and the relief was palpable all round. Travelling home in comfort with coffee and bottoms perched upon comfortable seats where they had paid to be was luxury indeed. In future i for one shall be a lot more particular when selecting the operator i travel with. 

From this passenger and, i imagine, a good many more i give a huge thumbs down to those out of touch personages at First Great Western. To their fellow operator South West Trains, after yet another pleasant journey with them, i give a huge thumbs up and my custom wherever possible. After all if i wanted to travel in third world country style i would buy a goat and travel on a third world country train wouldn’t i? Or maybe i’d just jump on one belonging to First Great Western …..

                   ImageImage