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. 

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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.

 

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.

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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 …..

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On breaking glass and being soulless

It was only to be expected that i would crawl from my bed looking pretty crappy this morning. Day 3 of nasty germy buggy thing and i actually feel worse than yesterday so i am really not amused. Add to this the fact that i only managed a fitful two hours sleep last night and i think Return Of the Living Dead comes to mind. By 4am i had gotten pretty cranky and had taken to physically assaulting my pillow whilst my hedgehog hair settled in a mad tangle around my face. 

Part of my problem is that i think too much. Right when i should be winding down for sleep my brain turns into a cross between Wikipedia and The Jeremy Kyle show on fast forward,which really does make catching some Z’s pretty difficult. Last night Irritating crackly noises from my semi blocked ears added to the cacophony in my head sending all chances of sleep out of the window and several times i gave up and turned the tv back on. Why do they only put the little sign language man on pre dawn tv shows? Do deaf people only watch tv in the middle of the night?

So 6.30am rolls along and i decide it is daylight enough to crawl from my bed and search for the coffee. Maybe i shouldn’t have looked in the mirror at this point and left well alone for if i had not i would not have dropped it and doomed myself to be soulless for the next 7 years. Yes i am terribly superstitious sometimes and breaking mirrors is right up there on the no no list of things you really do not do.

Superstition has it that breaking a mirror heralds the start of 7 years of bad luck but why? Where did this come from? Well the earliest reference i could find was that the Romans may have started this superstition. Since mirrors were very expensive they were naturally very nervous when a slave was cleaning one and to ensure they would treat them carefully told the slaves that if they broke it their souls would be trapped in the mirror for 7 years. Other religions also believe that the soul is projected in the reflection of a mirror and hence the superstition has continued. Currently then my soul is residing at the bottom of an Asda carrier bag waiting to go into the bin. 

How very fitting!!

So as i attempted to correct the panda eyes and the bad hair day i’m seriously considering grinding the mirror into dust which seems to be one of only a small handful of ways to ward off the ill omen. I really do not think i am in need of more bad luck right now and although i only half believe it i am really not willing to tempt fate.

Hmmmmm i wonder what i would be like as a soulless panda eyed hedgehog for the next 7 years? what an interesting analogy!! But for now my cranky mood and i are off to grind a mirror 😛  Peace out!!

The best medicine

Today has been far from a great day which is unusual for me since I’m usually such an eternal Pollyanna i can pretty much always see the good side of anything. Not today. I’m ill, I feel terrible and have zero energy and i missed the gym which is really annoying the hell out of me. Everything today uncharacteristically irritated me but as usual i kept it all hidden behind my nauseating optimism. Sometimes I even make myself want to puke with my failure to let things drag me down and wish I was the kind to have a crisis, but I’m not and I don’t. Not ever. Still the hidden inner bad mood and general fed up feeling lingered and I figured another restless night was on the cards. AGAIN!!

Until…..

I get chatting to a friend online and we end up having the most random conversations. One point we’re talking about pizza and the next we’re talking about moobs!! Yup you heard right..moobs!! Well before i know it he sends me some comical quip and I’m rolling on the bed laughing so hard I cant breathe and doing my very best seal impression. Its not so much that what he said was hilarious but more the comical image that my quirky  little brain conjured up as I read it. No dear readers, before you all think it, it wasn’t in the slightest bit rude!! I really think i am completely off the wall sometimes though and I have a crazy imagination but it helps. 

Its funny but that was all it took for me to feel better. I laughed until i almost cried even though it wasn’t that funny and though I still feel ill I don’t feel quite so fed up. I guess it’s true what they say about laughter being the best medicine after all. Now if it could just work a little on my sore throat then everything might just be perfect.

Running on Discount Store Batteries

Today i feel UGH!! 

There is no other way to describe this although i am quite sure were i a man i should be suffering from some deadly disease and need three days constant nursing in bed to recover. I do not have a cold, no headache as such merely a very cloudy fuzzy not quite functioning niggle coupled with the general dizzying feeling that a truck ran over me in the night. Energy levels definitely flashing red, in need of a good charge!!

Oh Dear!!

I am not good at being ill, i do not have time and get very impatient and frustrated at being below normal par and will fiercely resist giving in to it. Perhaps i do more harm than good since i have been told before that i only make it linger for longer, instead of giving in and allowing my body to get itself better.Boring!!  But today i feel like a Duracell bunny fitted with cheap discount store batteries, my drum is not banging enthusiastically but has dwindled to a feeble sporadic thump and bunny ears are definitely on a less than perky droop. I think were i to roll down the conveyor belt this way i should surely find myself being firmly deposited into the rejects bin!!

Intention this morning was to hit the gym since i had a day off yesterday but after a less than energetic wriggle into gym clothes and half hearted stagger in search of coffee, this plan was abandoned as not such a good idea after all.The stagger required much effort since my initial impulse was to crawl and then slide down the stairs on my ample bottom!! With all the enthusiasm of a person being led to the guillotine i managed a steady plod in the direction of the supermarket, hauling back groceries with far less than my usual strength and energy that even the most upbeat music on my ipod could not improve. 

No smiling from this panda today, this requires effort and energy and i have none to spare of either!! 

Thankfully i am lucky for i am rarely ill but on the flip side on the few occasions i do fall foul to some stray roaming viral beastie i find i do so in most spectacular fashion. Personally i think i should rather have more, less debilitating illnesses, rather than receiving a whole years worth in one fell swoop. So i have decided to stay home and feel uncharacteristically sorry for myself (this is just an excuse to slob on the sofa and watch the olympics) and i shall commence my usual copious doses of vitamin C to ward off the worst of the effects. 

I have to add at times i regret being single and this is one of them for the idea of being coddled is sometimes rather appealing. Not that i subscribe to the chicken soup and being fed grapes scenario but still having someone to take over the chores and dispense cuddles and sympathy would be rather an attractive prospect right now. Instead i shall force myself to clean up and then retire to the sofa with hot chocolate and the tv remote. Ah well it is saturday after all, time to recharge the bunny batteries, now where did i put the vitamin C???

who do you think you are

We spend our lives surrounded by people, everywhere all around us interacting yet solitary, dimly aware yet so absorbed in our own lives we take little notice of those around us. I like to people watch, i have a strange curiosity about the people around me and i often wonder who they are and where they are going as they rush along oblivious in their own daily lives. The old lady, face screwed up, bent almost double as she battles the wind and rain clutching a battered old shopping bag to her chest. You can see she doesn’t like the rain, her very haste and whole aura of distaste make it very plain as she forges on and tries to hurry just that little bit faster. Where is she going? does she have a doting husband waiting patiently for her return,missing his companion, glancing now and then at the clock to anticipate her return  or does she return to a home silent but for the cries of a ragged looking tabby pacing anxiously by the door. The workman, lunchbox under one arm walking rapidly and purposefully towards his destination, glancing neither left or right in his desire to get out of the cold. He’s less obvious in his distaste but nonetheless you can tell he wishes he was somewhere else. Is there a wife bustling around making dinner whilst children watch with noses pressed to window, waiting to hurl themselves at him as he crosses the threshold or does he return to a darkened house and a meal for one, to take early to his bed unable to bear the solitude for too long a time. The child, oblivious to anything but the pure glee of splashing with reckless abandon through puddles of muddy rain, pulled along by a mother desperate to get home and not inclined to linger like the child. Does he go home to be smothered in a warm towel before perching on a chair, heels swinging, to await the return of rain sodden family members complaining loudly in a clamorous throng about the weather and the journey home or maybe its is not his mother after all and he will not infact see a parent until long after he has retired for the night, greeted only by a perfunctory kiss on the sleeping childs forehead.

And then i wonder if someone else is watching in me and wondering who i am and where i’m going. I try to see myself from the outside and wonder what i would think of me if i were them. Do they see me? Do they know that i dont mind the rain and am in no hurry to get to my destination. Do they notice that i watch them and wonder at their daily likes or maybe notice the small skip around a puddle and think that some recent event has made me want to share a happiness with the world. Do they know that im the one that goes home to the meal for one but later greeted by the family members bewailing the english weather. I wonder what they see when they look at me, do they even see me at all??

Could you be a Cougar??

Cougar, its a term most of us know these days. One of those colloquialisms developed in society to label something which previously has either been indefinable or simply did not exist.

So what is a cougar??

Well simply put it is any woman who pursues the attentions of considerably younger men rather than those her own age. Usually a minimum of 7 years younger is required for the age gap to fall into the cougar status. I have always dated slightly younger men, mainly due to the fact that i do not look my age and can get away with it but i have never yet reached the requirements that would fit me into this cougar category. 

But could i be one?? Well this morning i admit i had rather a giggle as logging onto a diet and fitness forum i belong to i had a message alerting me to updates on threads i had replied to. Skimming the first two serious and advisory ones i picked up a few tips and added a further comment of my own. Now the third thread was entirely different and was infact a game entitled..do you think the person above is attractive. I had happily joined in the previous evening commenting that the girl at the bottom of the list was, despite being rather overweight, a very pretty girl. Considerably more entries had been added since mine and i skipped through them reading the comments and then rather absently flicked backwards looking for mine. In truth i had expected my comment to be from a girl since the boy/girl ratio was very much in the female favor but NO!!

’43?? I would do her!!’

Yes this was my comment and the commenter was…..a young lad that looked about 18! I actually choked on my coffee caught between exclamation, a giggle and the desire to swallow the contents of my mouth. The result was a spray of coffee upon my laptop followed by a mad coughing fit. Now i say this boy looked 18 he could well have been older but it would not have been much and i certainly wasn’t going to be seen checking his profile for fear of giving the wrong idea. But the comment set me thinking, could i really be a cougar?? It is not the first time i have had favourable looks from considerably younger guys infact very far from it and yes if i am honest i could have more than once dated far younger guys but yet i have not.

WHY?? 

Is it not every womans dream to be seen with some young fit looking guy rather than the frequently less so older men of their own acquaintance? Would women rather wake up to some smooth tanned body rather than the slightly wrinkling version she is expected to date? Perhaps, i know many women would jump at the chance to date a younger  man, seeking maybe to hold on to their own youth in the process but strangely i do not find this appealing and in truth would feel decidedly uncomfortable waking up with a boy in my bed.Romantic moment as he leans over and whispers ”Darling i love the way the sunlight dances across your wrinkles in a morning” It has to be noted that i consider any  guy under 28 to be in the category of boy more in reference to my own age although i own they would not thank me for it. As odd as it may seem i do not really look at much younger guys and even in the cases of movie stars i remain curiously unmoved. A friend recently asked me to go and see Magic Mike with her at the cinema which for those who do not know is about male strippers. As she drooled over the bronzed muscles of the male leads i found myself looking rather dispassionately at the picture for it did not appeal to me at all and i happily declined. 

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Give me Colin Firth or Kiefer Sutherland and you will happily see me melt (curiously so for both are older than i) for i prefer men who look like men and cannot see the appeal in those so much younger whom to me are just boys. It seems as i have aged my taste in men has aged with me and though i would happily date a guy a few years younger than myself i confess i am not the cougar type and have a line firmly drawn with regards to age. So whilst i may blush furiously at the comment left in regards to me i have to confess that where he would, i definitely would not. 

Could i be a cougar?? No after much thought i confess not but am i alone in this? Could you?

When its all just down to Mr Benn

I remember back when i was small ( yes trust me i can remember back that far) and one thing i always remember is a childrens tv show called Mr Benn. Short little cartoons where an ordinary unassuming little man in his ordinary little bowler hat would take a trip to a fancy dress shop and try on a different outfit every time and disappear on a wonderful adventure to be an astronaut, a wizard or even a roman gladiator. Back then i imagined it to be so very wonderful to magically be someone else just by putting on another hat and yes i wanted to go to that little fancy dress shop and be a princess or a ballerina or perhaps something even more wonderful than that. I wanted to be Mr Benn…..

All grown up now and i had to smile when recently i stumbled across a reference to the adventurous Mr Benn but then as i sat and looked at the pictures a thought occurred to me that never would have as a child. Mr Benn went into that shop so often and came out as someone, but never once did he go through that magical door choosing to be just himself. In my own way i am my very own Mr Benn, the very person my childhood self  had always wanted to be but somehow it doesnt seem as magical as i thought it would. A lifetime spent wearing different hats, mother, daughter, sister, wife and in all of them im somebody else and limited by the dictates that the outfit provides. Somehow as time went by i realised i was so busy being what everyone else expected me to be i forgot about the most important character of all…ME. 

How often in our lives do we strive to impress others, those who actually really do not matter at all since they are not an essential part of our lives but merely passing through. Yet we change ourselves to impress when in reality what we should say is ..this is me accept me. Strange how we feel the need to be perceived in such a positive light by people who do not know us, mostly never will and who at the end of the day will not give us another passing thought as they go about their own busy lives. Why should they? We are nothing to them beyond those brief points in which we interact, once over resuming to as it was before.  Ultimately when doors are closed and we are all alone the only thing we see looking back at us is our own face in the mirror, but are we really looking at ourselves or have we tried so hard to be what we think will impress that we have lost all sense of what makes us who we are. Who do you see when you look in the mirror?

I used to be that way, so desperate to please and to be liked. Strange that i wanted to be liked for someone who did not exist rather than the one who was there all along. Now….this is me, accept me for i shall not change. And if you like me i shall know you like me just for myself and nothing more than that.

Mr Benn? No i don’t want to be Mr Benn. Do you?

I am Panda, and Panda is me. 

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?

Facebook, Jeremy Kyle and a whole lot of laundry

Rare for me, since Saturday mornings usually find me wearing myself out in my local gym, i spent today watching morning television whilst cruising the internet. Like many I have a Facebook account although unlike most I do not really bother with it overly. I find i much prefer the less personal realms of the Twitter world. I tend to be a pretty private person and I am not so awed at the thought of millions of people knowing all of the inner workings of my life. Yes clearly I blog, but blogging is less invasive and I am very careful about those things I choose to reveal to my readers. 

Whilst I am very happy in my relationship and love my boyfriend dearly, I  for one do not wish to publicise the inner workings of my life with him for the whole world to see. Although I am not above displaying for the Facebook world some uncontained burst of happiness for the most part I tend to keep my private life to myself. Not so my friends and acquaintances it seems for, as i scrolled my news feed with one eye on a heated debate on TV’s Jeremy Kyle show, I was a little surprised at some of the statuses.

One side of a couples argument. For everyone’s amusement the woman is visibly making vicious comments about her partner. Friend’s jumping onto the one sided bandwagon adding to the general nastiness with little or no idea of the facts or whether any of it was at all true. Another ‘friend’ publishing intimate medical information about herself regardless of the fact that the whole world can see and comment upon this yet they do not seem to care.

Scrolling further down i see more personal information, a phone number and yet another status spewing spite towards some faceless unnamed individual. Again this person has had the foresightedness not to reply and draw themselves further into the deluge of venom directed their way. Such things amaze me for I have always been taught and am a big believer in the saying

‘If you cannot say anything nice then do not say anything at all’

As the TV continues to drone in the background my attention shifts again to the now furiously arguing couple upon the screen and i cannot help but wonder..WHY?? Are we as a species so desperate for our five minutes of fame that we would resort to airing our dirty laundry in public and ultimately setting ourselves up for ridicule as a result of this? Do those people on screen or even on Facebook stop for one moment to consider just how they appear to other people? Perhaps they simply do not care and again i find this difficult to comprehend. 

It seems with the advent of more and more advanced technology, there are many of us content to be drawn into the fantasy of the online world. In our attempts to be modern and popular we are content to broadcast those facts about ourselves that would have seemed so scandalous when whispered behind twitching curtains decades before. Perhaps  things have changed and what was once so socially unacceptable is now simply considered the norm in today’s society. There is little doubt that, given the presence of many such shows as that of Jeremy Kyle, we are much more voyeuristic in nature than we once were. We watch avidly as the dysfunctional and the desperate bear all to a viewing public of millions and in many cases pass judgement where, in their place, we should not like to receive it. 

So sad a world when the misfortunes and distress of other people are considered a form of entertainment for others and for the most part i refuse to watch. I cannot feel anything but sadness and sympathy for those poor souls drawn to solve their problems in such a way. Me? I think I shall continue to keep my private life to myself, even my friends and family are not privy to events within my relationship with my boyfriend and perhaps as a woman I am unusual in this. It seems the norm to share with friends those occurrences, arguments and happy times within your intimate relationship but for myself I prefer to keep those things between he and 

Dirty laundry? Personally I think i shall forgo my five minutes of fame and keep mine firmly in my laundry basket!! 

VW525EFYWZWD

The Panda guide to packing

Do you struggle with packing? Do you constantly arrive at your destination with all the wrong clothing and end up wearing the same items over and over again? Then follow the Panda guide to packing and you will always be covered for every eventuality…

1) Make sure you have a suitcase big enough for your needs, if in doubt try and fit your whole body into it and if you cannot then it really is not big enough. This also doubles as emergency aid to getting rid of dead bodies should the need ever arise. Be sure to buy a suitcase with wheels thereby enabling you to trot elegantly with said suitcase in your wake. 

2) Start by packing towels and shoes at the bottom to avoid crushing any clothing you pack afterwards. This also gives you the added bonus of being able to hide totally inappropriate shoes away from sight and therefore avoid having to justify taking them.

3) Pack enough pairs of knickers for your stay then add the sexy ones, the no vpl ones, the hold in your tummy ones, the incase i get run over by a bus ones(with matching bra of course) and just for good measure add a few more anyway. Follow the same advice with regards to bras and sexy lingerie. At least if your case gets stolen nobody will focus on your Bridget knickers, they will be too busy leering at the little black lacy number.

4) Decide exactly what you wish to wear on each day of your trip and set aside a travelling outfit. Then add another outfit for each day just in-case you change your mind about each choice.This is a womans perogative and completely reasonable.  Follow this with clothing to cover extreme cold weather (you dont want to freeze do you?) ditto with outfits to cover sudden extreme heatwave (cmon how silly would you look boiling like a lobster in your big jumper?)

5) Survey the contents of your half full case and throw in more shoes.Shoes are good, you really cant ever have enough of them so this is a perfectly valid action.

6) Disregard earlier point about packing shoes at the bottom as it really is too tedious to remove everything and repack it all again.

7) Empty the contents of several jewellery boxes onto the bed and spend a happy half an hour co-ordinating accessories with your outfits. Remember to add belts and scarves!!

8) Pause in writing blog as you realise you HAVE actually forgotten to pack scarves!! Run upstairs to rectify the error immediately.

9) Fill every space space with toiletries, cosmetics and fragrances then heed caution and unpack them all and repack in plastic bags to avoid explosions.

10) Lean your whole bodyweight onto the suitcase to ensure a tight fit and zip it slowly closed. If it refuses then further assistance will be required. Gather up stray children, pets and passing neighbours and balance safely upon the offending suitcase, therefore allowing you to zip it closed and tuck in any stray items poking from the sides.

11) Ponder madly teetering case and debate whether you have in-fact packed enough clothing. Decide that in an emergency you can always borrow suitable items from your boyfriend (lets face it who doesn’t look cute wearing their  guy’s clothes huh?) 

12) Have mad burst of inspiration and pack sunglasses even though the weather forecast says heavy rain and wind. Add another pair incase the first get broken in transit then sit smugly on the floor confident at your practical packing methods.

13) Put camera, ipod, kindle and mobile phone on charge and leave in plain view to be packed later.

14) Begin organisation and packing of Mary Poppin’s style never ending handbag, just as important as the suitcase itself.

15) Congratulate yourself on a job well done and ignore mental images of boyfriends look of resignation as the back wheel of his car buckle due to your fabulous packing. 

There you have it, the Panda guide to packing. Follow these simple rules and you will never be caught unprepared again. Happy holidays!!

In an alternate universe

Recently i have been sent a request to join a group for former pupils of my senior school by a few people so i decided to accept and take a walk down memory lane. Now unlike most people i loved school, i was the most incredible SWOT (a well used label in my formative years) and quite liked the idea of catching up with my peers.

Unfortunately such SWOT status left me firmly on the outskirts of school society, most definitely i was not one of the popular crowd but, like everyone, you find those like you and friends are made. I guess things really were not helped by the fact that until aged about fourteen when i blossomed i tended to resemble an anorexic boy, tall skinny and pale. Whilst my contemporaries were living the 80’s with big hair and wild manner of dress, i was more conservative more likely to be at home in an episode of The Waltons.

Parents are fantastic aren’t they? Little comprehending the importance of conformity mine blithely dispatched me out to be ridiculed and bullied as only children can be and in this part at least i had a dislike of school. Children can be very cruel at a time when you are most vulnerable and more likely to take it to heart than at any other time of your life.

So my boys shoes, frumpy clothes and i struggled our way through those teenage years bolstered by an assortment of non-conformist friends and a love of learning that has never left me. Still these many years later i was curious to see how my peers had turned out and wondered whether time had been as kind to them as it had to me and i happily accepted the invitations to join the group. Hunting through the groups to find the Class of 85 i scrolled the names hoping to find those i recognised, and scrolled, and scrolled some more. Frowning i double checked the name of the group and then finding it correct i scrolled again.

I DIDN’T RECOGNISE ANYONE!!!

Of all the names in all the groups i could not recognise one single solitary name. Certainly my old friends were not on there but surely i should remember the names of some of my classmates right?? I have an incredible memory, i rarely forget anything yet when i sat and thought about it and tried to remember the names of someone, anyone from my classes i cannot remember a single one. Perhaps i dreamt school?? Perhaps some alien conspiracy left me thinking i had attended school when i was younger when infact i had not. Perhaps i had gone to school in an alternate universe which bore no resemblance to this one?

WHY COULD I NOT REMEMBER??

Perhaps more likely the fact is that apart from those close few with whom i had great friendship and those teachers who were so kind to me in my school years i have simply forgotten all the things that made it unpleasant. Sometimes the mind has a funny way of blocking out things that it does not want remember, yet how curious i have memories far worse than these than linger with me. Certainly though it seems some of those people remember me (i imagine i probably i did their homework for them) yet i remember nobody at all. Nevertheless i decided i  shall stay in the group for part of me does hope that my real friends might join in time and it will be good to catch up with those who were important in the hardest years of my life. 

Perhaps it was an alternate universe after all.

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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