Ain’t no mountain high enough

quote-Anil-Kapoor-there-are-hurdles-there-are-handicaps-hardships-21496

Pick up any newspaper, turn on the television news and you cannot fail to see the constant doom and gloom predictions of the current economic climate. As we read daily of hardships and hurdles, of food banks and homelessness you cannot help but see the downturn of life in general for so many. There is surprisingly an odd detachment in society  however, with the true realities of a life of hardship being a most alien concept to those more fortunate and favoured. Perhaps it is true that unless you have had to live a reality then why should it even exist for you and this definitely seems to be the case today. Not for the first time i have witnessed people shocked by the genuine realities of life for the less privileged and the admittance of a total unawareness of such existence. Media it seems has much to answer for in its portrayal of modern human lives.

Personally i cannot deny that things have been somewhat of a downward spiral in some elements of my life and, control freak that i am , i find being hemmed into very tight corners a most unpalatable situation indeed. I have likened the situation very much to running a hurdle race and finding that some imp of fate is gleefully adding extra hurdles only in my lane, leaving me running far behind my fellow competitors. 

I have in the past often imagined my life as like that of a rat in a maze, constantly searching for that one door exit whilst fate peers interestedly at my struggles to succeed. I guess here though is where my quirky sense of humour kicks in and i send up thanks that i am not growing an extra ear upon my back. Yes the life of a lab rat would definitely not be one of my choosing and i am more than a little thankful that i am not so far down the species ladder as to genuinely be of the rodent variety.

Despite normally being of such a positive nature it is very difficult after some time not to allow those glimmers of disillusionment and negativity to creep in. It is easy then to self doubt and wonder perhaps if it is not society at all but yourself that is lacking and failing on an epic scale. Looking in the mirror you cease to smile and focus instead on those imaginary flaws and inflate them to fantastical proportions until they dominate your life. I have to my shame done this and i freely admit it. 

”Stupid ugly cow” i have hissed at myself in the mirror. 

I have never been the type of person to outwardly direct my frustrations and self doubt, instead choosing to direct it inwardly at the person i consider to blame. 

Myself.

Perhaps this is more than a little unfair as most of my obstacles have come as the result of outside influences that i genuinely had litte control over and whilst hindsight is a wonderful thing it would have been very hard to erase any of them as each sprang out of an at the time necessity.  Frustrating in the present though when any present efforts are hampered by the chains of the past. But the whole point of running a race is to get to the finish line and often those most remembered are not the ones who came first in blazing glory but those who fell and yet got back up and finished despite coming far behind everyone else. 

So as another monday rolls around i feel a little lightened and ashamed of myself for my negativity thanks to the words of a friend.

The strongest wood, is from trees that withstand the strongest winds, And steel, has to  go into the hottest fire/furnace to become the strongest steel. And of course a piece of coal, has to undergo the most tremendous pressures, to become a diamond

I am running my own race, i realise this and must keep on running no matter the hurdles. I may not come first but i will never fail as long as i just keep on running. The same friend pointed out to me the following quote and i realised he was right, i knew it all along i just let negativity blinker my goal. 

Behind every fear, is a person, you want to be. You face your fears, you become the person you want to be. You run from your fears, you’re not living

So following a friendly mental slap, armed with new motivation and the offer of help from that friend i am willing to walk out onto the ledge and take a small leap of faith. Not in him but finally in myself.  Perhaps after all it is not for me to judge my own strengths and weakness but someone more impartial and less biased in any direction as i am in myself. I am willing to try at least for i shall never reach my goal if i keep on standing still. Someday you may know my name, someday you may not but whatever the result i shall know i gave it all i had. Obstacles are there for a reason, to climb over but often the biggest obstacle of all is infact yourself.

It is possible, so i have been told, to climb a Panda.

Anything is possible if you only try. 

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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.

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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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.

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??

Spiders, heartbeats and the speed of an Olympic Panda

For someone who hates water i admit i turn into somewhat of a mermaid when it comes to my bath. You can keep your showers for me it has to be a very very deep, very bubbly bath. I’m definitely lucky there because my bath is quite large and if i bend my knees i can lie right down in it.

Call me strange but when i need to relax i lie there with just my face sticking out of the water, close my eyes and listen to my heartbeat. Did you know you can hear your heart beating under water?? Well you can..try it and see!!

So evening comes and i’m doing my usual listen to my heartbeat routine and i admit i do stay there for quite a while getting horrid prune like fingers but i can never quite summon up the will to drag my waterlogged behind out of the bath. Humming merrily and totally out of tune i have no idea why but something prompted me to open my eyes.

 

Oh then did i holler, for sitting teeth gnashing right above my nose was a HUGE tarantula. Now i know you’re all going to say spiders don’t have teeth and it probably wasn’t a tarantula since i live in England but hey this wasn’t your nose this blood thirsty arachnid was wickedly hovering above. This thing was big and i mean BIG!!

Anyone who tells you pandas cant run, its a lie!! With a speed that would’ve put Linford Christie to shame and a maneuver  that should’ve guaranteed me a place on the Olympic high jump team i shot out of my lovely bubble bath shrieking like a banshee. I hate spiders, typical woman i know but i’m terrified of them and whilst i would never hurt one it doesnt mean i want them within a hundred mile radius.

Normally i’m quite smug for if i catch one scuttling across my floor i plonk a glass over it and then slide something under the glass to keep it in whilst i hurtle for the door and run right to the top of next doors garden to get rid of it. Seriously you don’t think i’m fool enough to put it in mine do you??

Well suffice it to say there was no way i was getting back in that bath so i crept closer and slammed the bathroom door shut, dashing for the safety of my bedroom dripping soap bubbles as i went. Fleetingly i wondered what i was going to do when i needed to pee for nothing on earth could prompt me into the bathroom with a man eating spider in residence!! 

Two hours later frantic crossing of my legs was not helping the fact i needed to go and there was nothing for it but to brave the bathroom so i tiptoed upstairs and eased open the door heart hammering nineteen to the dozen. Trust me i’d have spotted that spider from fifty feet so alert was i, but worriedly on seeing nothing i scanned the ceiling wondering where it had gone.

Inching closer my heart almost stopped in relief for there floating on top of the water quite dead was the spider. Dead or not my hand was definitely not going into the water and i sped downstairs for a kitchen utensil and gingerly hooked the chain of the plug, yanking it out. Yes i was still terrified almost as though i expected it to suddenly arise from the dead saying ‘ah fooled you’

Still frantically crossing my legs i willed the water to drain faster for i’m sorry was not taking any chances and being caught with my trousers down when super spider decided to resurrect itself. Nervously i held my breath as the water drained then wailed in disbelief when spider stuck firmly in the plug hole ( i told you it was big!! ) Well there’s only so long a bladder can hold before you really have to go so there was nothing for it but to grab a toothbrush and quickly poke it through the hole.

Definitely wise i speedily rammed the plug into the hole before dumping the bathroom bin on top and dashing for the loo. Needless to say i dont close my eyes any more when i lie down in the water. I dont want to be caught napping when mommy spider comes looking for revenge!!

inuit and pandas and loudly ticking clocks

Usually i dont mind being awake at 5am, often the early night prior results in waking far earlier than intended but it is usually so peaceful that i quite enjoy being the only one braving the wee small hours. Today not so, for some reason i was bone crackingly cold on retiring to bed and sleep eluded me for quite some time and an hour later curled in a ball trying to get warm i drifted off to dreams of inuit and ice fishing which were not particularly comforting to say the least. I cant quite imagine myself as nanook of the north and whilst i dont detest the cold i confess i feel it easily and do not embrace it well i think myself more of an autumn girl all cosy and colourful. So needless to say waking at 5am was not particularly welcomed, although i admit to being somewhat more temperate i awoke feeling much as i should imagine would a disgruntled bear with probably the same nature which will uncharacteristically linger with me throughout the day. Quite some time ago i obtained a clock for my wall, deliberately choosing one with a very loud tick which brought back some small pleasant memories of sleeping at my grandparents house, curious as i sleep so lightly and normally this would disturb me yet the familiarly comforting noise usually has the opposite effect. But not this morning, today i find it annoying forcing me out of bed when i really want to hide under the duvet and try and find solace in sleep. Alas i’ve never been able to fall back into slumber once awake and as my brain argues with my body for blame at an overwhelming tiredness i decided to admit defeat and contemplate the world in the bottom of a coffee cup. For if i ever did more resemble a panda then today would most definitely be the day,who said pandas were cute!Image   

Pet Peeves

We all have our likes and dislikes, those little irritants that really get up our nose and each of us is very different as to what they may be. Like anyone i have my own some of which people find amusing like my dislike of morris dancers and mime artists, totally illogical and without foundation but there you have it, for some reason i have no tolerance for either. Then there are the dislikes of stronger things like those who cheat or in my own particular case my ultimate abhorrence those who lie. I freely admit be it in all naivety i cannot fathom the reasoning nor the gain from untruths and subterfuge yet so often it happens and still the perpetrators blithely imagine naught will come of it and that the truth will never out. Sometimes this is the case and some poor unsuspecting fool will be ultimately deceived by someone they could never imagine would utter untruths and long since past i have myself been the victim of this but i learned from my mistakes and in turn became very perceptive and being in possession of an excellent memory quickly learned what the  prevaricator failed to….to lie you need to have excellent recall which most do not. It is very easy after that to piece together clues, wait for small slips in the relating of occurrences and wait until eventually the entire tale becomes a contradiction of itself which invariably happens. So now i find it amusing when people believe they are deceiving me successfully because truth be told infact i am just watching and waiting and just when you think you have taken me in, i have all the rope i need to hang you Image

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