This is.....

My photo
Probably insane, sometimes cynical, mostly absurd and occasionally feisty, buddhist, sapiosexual witch with a passion for love, food and life. Convinced that most people either need a hug, or a damn good slap :)

Saturday, 26 December 2009

Christmas Ramblings

This is an odd time of year isn't it. It's probably the one time of year that single people really feel their status. Being newly single again, I've not really had time to sit down and assess what it means and have rarely felt alone or lonely, but over the last few days I've realised that as much as I kick against it and adore my own little cave with my own company, I am at heart a social animal and enjoy sharing time with someone.

However that being said, I've had control of the television remote, I can eat and drink what I please during the day, I can decide when to go to bed, when to get up, when to laze in the bath and loads of other little 'couple' decisions that I've been spared over this time. Yahoo :)

I think if I ever do decide to become part of a couple again, it will be after long and careful consideration of loads of factors. I will pick someone who I actually have things in common with, similar tastes in food, films, books, sex (of course), humour. I've ignored these in the past as not being important, apart from one (guess which one lol) and for long term it really doesn't work.

I know once this holiday is over I'll be fine again and staggering my way through the world as usual quite happily, quite single, quite content.. but I do think that there should be a huge place, somewhere nice, that if you are single, you can go to, free of charge at Christmas, to be with other single people, and enjoy Christmas together, eating drinking and orgying.... ok I'm being hopeful about the orgy bit lol.. but the main thing.. is there would be a togetherness and people wouldn't have to be alone.

To me that should be the true meaning of Christmas..

Monday, 5 October 2009

List this!

Got to thinking today, after a tweet from someone talking about lists, how some people are born list makers and some never do them. List makers will often try to convince us that the only way forward, the only way to conduct your life is by making a list. They will spend a large part of their time feverishly scribbling on bits of paper, or tapping away at keyboards, compiling these lists that prioritise their lives.

It starts when you're a small child, making Christmas lists, firmly convinced that you are going to receive every single thing on the list, which, depending on age, can grow to several pages. The poor parents are fully aware of this, but the pressure is now on them to choose things off this list that will make the child forget that they actually didn't get everything on this list his parents insisted was done! (They do notice though and the disappointment if you get it wrong can last a long time)!

I fall on the "never do them" side. I think they are evil things, things that, once written, demand your attention.

I can accept that if someone has a lot of things to accomplish, they think that a good way of putting them into order is to write them in a list. However, for me, once the things I have to do are committed to paper, the humble to-do lists become a set of demands, with the possibility of a pass or fail situation. The person who said "write down the things you have to do today and if you accomplish two things off the list you are doing well" is, quite frankly, a loser. If it's good enough to put on a list, then it deserves the respect of doing it! Which of course, if not accomplished becomes yet another thing failed. I have quite enough of those than you very much! (I could show you the list of them but won't)!

If you are going to do something, do it. If you have to think of what position it is on the list, or that you have to do something else, before you can do it you are wasting time you could have spent getting something done!

The universe flows inevitably, there are no lists that help it along it's way. It gets everything done, when it's time to do it. It doesn't fret at the end of the day that it hasn't got a black hole created or the meteor shower didn't happen quite on time, because of course, being the universe, whichever time it happens, is the right time.

So take a lesson from the universe, let things flow naturally, if you go to tidy the living room and take a dirty cup to the kitchen, then realise that the washing up needs doing and start that, then as you reach to get a new bottle of washing up liquid you realise you have none and trot off to the shops, meeting someone and having a coffee with them along the way, before going back home an hour or so later to begin the living room again... trust that this is exactly the way it's all meant to flow and enjoy it :) Life isn't on a list.. just enjoy it :)

Saturday, 29 August 2009

Reality Shows - Who's reality are they?

I was listening to the radio today, while sorting out what clothes I want to take on holiday. It was on Real Radio Northwest, although was only half listening as they were prattling on, as only dj's can, about the X Factor.

I don't watch reality programmes. Any reality programmes.

I feel there is something fundamentally wrong in finding the humiliation of others entertaining. Quite apart from the fact that half of the programmes are as boring as watching cheese mature. So my mind was more on my packing than on what they were saying.

That was until they phoned one of the contestants. As she spoke my attention was pulled more and more to what she was saying. From what the dj's said, she was very good and was going forward. I can't quote word for word, but roughly what she said was:

"The judges actively encourage the really awful singers, telling them they are really good, in order to talk them into coming back and singing in front of an audience, so that they can be laughed at".

I stared at the radio appalled at what I was hearing. I had cynically voiced my suspicion about this in the past but to hear it admitted by someone was a shock. I can't actually put into words how this makes me feel. The human race really hasn't evolved very far at all has it. From Victorian Freak Show to the present day, we still seem to think it is fine to laugh at others.

I voiced my concerns and someone came back questioning whether they were "all there" as surely people know if they can't sing. This raised two points in my mind..

1) Surely if they aren't "all there" as it was so daintily put.. isn't that even worse? We are back to the freak show mentality.

2) I think there are some people who don't realise what they sound like. I have known a few people who are completely tone deaf, singing along to music quite happily not realising they are hitting completely the wrong notes. They were intelligent people, definitely "all there".

I realise I have no hope of changing people's minds about these programmes. I think they perpetuate the freak show mentality. They give people, in effect, permission to laugh at those people that aren't perfect.

One day the human race might realise that this is very wrong.

Or one day, those that find it so funny and entertaining, might find themselves on the receiving end. I can only hope, because they really are a sorry excuse for humanity.

Friday, 14 August 2009

My Pride and Joy

There isn't an awful lot I'm proud of in my life. I've not been particularly generous, I've not worked tirelessly for a worthy cause, I've not amassed fortunes to distribute amongst the needy, I've not even given huge amounts of pleasure to dodgy men.. couldn't even keep my two ex husbands happy.. although to be fair that was my decision more than theirs.

However if, once I leave this life, I am asked what gave my life meaning, I would only need to give two dates. They would be the birth dates of my daughters.

I would never ever say that being a mother was easy by any means. I have on the whole been dragged through motherhood kicking and screaming by these two amazing people. They have patiently shown me, over the years, that however much they threw at me, I was, to my intense surprise, able to cope, ready to put things back together when my first instincts often wouldn't have been either legal or ethical!

It can't have been easy, having me as a mother, but in teaching them, I learned myself. In guiding them, I was guided as well. I had a temper, they taught me to control it.

They are very different these daughters of mine. One can and does eat anything while maintaining a lovely slim figure (even after numerous children!) The other is as fussy as all hell, and only has to look at a chip and she can feel the weight go on. (Her lovely figure is worked very hard for!)

One is constantly stressed and I find I have to tread on eggshells most of the time I talk to her, never really feeling I can say what I think in fear of upsetting her. I know, as I have managed to many times in the past. She is such a sensitive soul in many ways. The other I can say anything to, tease, torment, laugh and cry with and I know I can speak my mind with her. She is very empathic so knows most of what I say is garbage anyway!

One is fiery, the other calm. I could go on and on about their differences, but through all of them I am more proud of them than anything else in this life. They are beacons of sunshine and light when things get dark.

They will always be my beauties, my achievement in this life, they are two very different but very special people. If it were allowed, I would protect them forever from all that would hurt them, but I know that for a long time now, they have been busy carving their own paths in life.

They exasperate me at times, but mostly they amaze me, I couldn't imagine life without them.

My girls, my pride and my joy. I love you both.

Sunday, 19 July 2009

What a Swine!....

On my travels today, I came upon this sign, tacked up on the front doors of our local shopping centre. I barely looked at first, intent on going to get the latest useless bargains in the local Asda (add in image of me slapping non existent pockets on my backside).

I did stop though, unlike most people and took the time to actually read what it said. Obviously the second paragraph is the normal safety blurb that we are all getting used to, although not one of us could quote the information line number, me included. No, it was the first paragraph that grabbed my attention. "Do not enter these premises if you have flu-like symptoms....".

In itself I guess it's just a natural escalation of the scare mongering going around at the moment. The thing is though, I can't wait to see how they actually enforce this. Will everyone who sneezes get forceably ejected, or will you have to cough and sneeze, or cough, sneeze and look generally feverish? Will the use of a tissue set off alarms through the centre, causing other shoppers to stop and point accusingly at your red nose, which by this time of course will match your face at committing such a an evil crime! Will there be a reward for telling the security staff on a snotty shopper?

As the only pharmacy in the area is inside the centre, will that be relocated outside or be forced to close due to selling things likely to intice said snotty shopper into the centre, desperate to fill their prescription, or even just pick up some cough medicine? If they are allowed to stay, will they set up a prescription delivery service, where the afflicted and ejected can post their prescription through a hatch, so that a nice flu-free security guard can trot off, clutching it to his chest, straight to the pharmacy and bring back your medication?

How will they differentiate between someone who has hay fever, or just an ordinary cold. Will they have some kind of monitor, that you have to pass through, will there be a questionnaire?

It's not hard to see that I think this an amazing over reaction on the part of the centre. I would have thought merely telling everyone to leave their clothes at the door and spraying them with freezing disinfectant would have been more than enough!

Sunday, 12 July 2009

When a Twit Twitters..

I admit it, I've become hooked on Twitter. It's an excellent way of keeping in touch with people, finding new friends and updating them about what you're doing. I have discovered, over the relatively short time I've been 'tweeting' that I probably do a lot less than most people, and that has motivated me into changing my habits. I'm going to look around and see what is out there for me to go and visit, what's happening at the theatres and locally that I might enjoy. I have already started this and will continue, after all, I need something to tweet about to stop everyone thinking I'm boring don't I! It also helps me to collect and order my thoughts a lot more, after all, as you can see here, I can run off at the mouth (or fingers) for ages at a time. Twitter gives me 140 characters to say my piece. It's not always easy, but it is concise!

I've never been impressed by fame, so there are only a few celebrities that I am remotely interested in following and that is only because their tweets are interesting, funny, informative or just plan ordinary. It makes you realise that they are real people, with real lives, laughs and loves.

I like that.

However as much as there are good things about Twitter, it does have it's mild annoyances. There is always someone ready to exploit a good thing. Here are some that I've found:

The Porn Industry: Ever grinding along (s'cuse the pun) following bunches of random people offering all sorts of carnal delights if only you click on the link.. you can block them and indeed Twitter bans them once identified (I think) but all this does is prompts them to create another account under another random nick and block follow people again. So in effect you get this bouncing offer of sex at least once a day as they create new profiles.. it does nothing to stop them.

The Companies and Sales People: these are slightly less random. They do key word searches and may the gods help you if you've mentioned something in a tweet that they can sell you! I've actively played with this, deliberately mentioning key words that are almost guaranteed to get you followed, just for the pleasure of blocking them (by the way Menopause is a great one. Mention that in a tweet and you can get immediate followers!) When I tweet now, I try to consider whether there is a better word to use, just so it's not picked up by the company bots.

The spiritual, motivational people. Yes, I know it's nice to give support to friends when they need it, I do this myself whenever I feel I can. However, I do it in plain English. I don't try to sound like I sit naked, legs crossed on a velvet cushion with all the wisdom of the cosmos pouring into my head, just so I can pass on "the word" to all us hapless tweeters. In reality of course, I know damn well you actually have nothing to say, so you sit with a book of motivational quotes, just typing them in.

Let me ask all those that inflict this spam on everyone - Take a look at your last tweet. What the hell has that to do with "What are you doing?" which is the whole basis for Twitter's existence!

I don't expect it to stop, it will probably get worse, however the one saving grace in it all is that no matter how many sex kittens, sales people and gurus follow you, you don't have to see what they tweet if you don't want to. You have to actively follow them before you get their tweets.

So really, having said all that, the only problem they cause is that your followers list goes up. Big deal. If Saucy Susie wants to see that I've done my laundry and might go to the pub that night, she's welcome to!

Freedom of speech.. an old concept that didn't really exist until the internet. Don't you love it?

Sunday, 5 July 2009

The Joys of Cat Owning

When you first buy, or acquire a pet and you look at that little bundle of fur and eyes and fall in love, very rarely is your first thought "I bet you're going to be really smelly when you're old"

But it should be!

I love my cats, enough to put a picture of them here. The big one is Bruce, so named because, as a kitten, he reminded me of an Australian surfer dude, all wide eyed and no-brained. He's lived up to his name wonderfully. The smaller one in the picture is Psyche. She is the mother of Bruce and about a quarter of his size.

Both of them were so cute as kittens, and once able to go outside, were completely clean indoors. Of course I had no idea what the future would bring. I had owned cats in the past... as much as any human can ever own something so convinced of their own omnipotence, but they had all neatly disappeared when they'd reached ten or so and I had been spared sharing my living space with the most hideous and pungent of things, known as the Geriatric Cats.

The picture above is recent and shows the Geriatric Cats as they are at the moment. Psyche is now 16, with Bruce only 6 months or so younger.

They have always both been very much house cats, never roaming far from home. Over the last few years they have hardly ventured out of the garden and in the last year it has been harder and harder for them to get up on top of the shed, which is their favourite vantage point and basking area. Last winter for the first time, we realised that the time had come to buy a litter tray for them. We came largely to this conclusion due to the fact that we became very tired, very quickly of cleaning poo from between our toes and off the floor of the passage in the middle of the night. Bruce had obviously thought long and hard about the best strategic place to deposit this message, which was usually anywhere in a direct line between the bathroom and our bedroom, guaranteeing that one of us would wail in despair at stupid o'clock, hopping desperately for the bathroom while he sat smugly by the back door waiting to be let out.. as if he had anything left to do out there!

Litter tray, and litter bought, we thought our problems would be over and to be fair, the leaping around in the middle of the night problem has disappeared, the Geriatric Cats taking to the litter tray like they'd been waiting for it all their lives.


How can one cat pee it's own body weight and still live?? Why do they wait until five minutes after I have cleaned it out and put fresh litter in it, to prove that not only can they do that, but that ten minutes later, they can do it again! I buy expensive litter, not the mashed up concrete that Asda sell as their 'value' range, which, while brilliant at stopping most of the odour, sounds worryingly like rice krispies when the cats pee on it. I'm convinced that this amuses them no end, however I won't be eating rice krispies anytime soon.


Every morning I wake up and my first task is sweeping up all the stray litter from the passage, so that we can get into the lounge without crunching it underfoot. I'm sure Bruce has decided that litter throwing is a cat olympic sport, as I've found it as much as twelve foot away from the tray. This is the cat that staggers about, his back legs getting increasingly wobblier, depending on how much sympathy he wants, has trouble jumping up anywhere and yet can back-kick cat litter the whole length of the passage!


I have to spend ridiculous amounts of time de-furring the place now. I'm sure they've got worse as they get older. Shedding fur has now become the second cat olympic sport. I'm amazed they aren't bald! Every time I comb Bruce I get the equivalent of another cat off him! Psyche doesn't get combed, as she has OCD and is rarely seen without her tongue working methodically from one end of herself to the other. The best way to annoy the hell out of her is wait until she stops, and stroke her in an awkward spot. You can almost hear her shriek in anger as she twists herself round to lick where you've contaminated her! (Yes this is one of my favourite pastimes and I'm not ashamed of myself at all). However this also brings up (s'cuse the pun) the subject of furballs. Why can't she learn to sick them up in the litter tray too!

By the way....

When your cats get to be Geriatric Cats too... DON'T go near their mouths! Good grief their breath!! If they come up to you and meow in your face.. don't be surprised if you look in the mirror to find your eyebrows have disolved! Take this as a warning.. its toxic!

I love my Geriatric Cats, one is asleep beside me, where he usually can be found snoring like the old man that he is. I've had to turn the sound up on the television twice. I know they only have a limited time left and I also know that they will probably smell a hell of a lot worse as the years take their toll.. but please, remember when you look into that kittens big beautiful eyes.. you are doomed to eventually experience Geriatric Cat in all their malodourous glory!


Friday, 3 July 2009

A Lost Cause

I've battled all my life with my weight, with varying degrees of success. I can remember euphoric times when I've been happier with my weight, although I've never managed to reach the society accepted size. I can also remember times when I have been lost in a pit of despair, feeling awful both physically and mentally because I'd failed once again and ballooned up to a ridiculous size.

This isn't going to be a "pity me" blog, because I know society has little patience with those that they perceive can't control themselves. I hate pity because I don't deserve it. I'm the only one that has allowed myself to get to this place, to this size and I'm the only one that can get me back to where I want to be.

Yes, dammit I love food!

Since I was a child, food has been presented to me as a souce of comfort, of solace, of pleasure and in a strange way of medicine and company! My mother was a strange woman in many ways, very old fashioned, who considered she had done her duty by my father by giving him a son and daughter. When, eight years later, I came along, she was resentful to say the least. Her plan of getting her independence once my brother became more self sufficient went out the window when I was born and she never tired of letting me know.

One of her favourite ways of dismissing me, was by giving me food. Whether I was happy, sad, ill, in need of company etc., her answer to this was "Here, have these sweets, have this cake, have some crisps.. take them into the other room". Oddly my older siblings became resentful in their turn because they saw me getting whatever I wanted. All I really wanted was mum, but of course this was replaced eventually with food. My relationship with her never really improved over the years and neither did my relationship with food.

Of course, I also hate food.

I hate the fact that I can't seem to control it. I don't consider myself particularly greedy, just the things that I do like are stupidly high in calories/fat/carbs (and taste!) I really do try to like healthy food but fruit bores the arse off me and while I enjoy veg and salad, they damn well better be cuddling something that tastes nice or I want to know why!

If I talk to anyone for more than a few moments about diets, or my relationship with food I get extremely stressed and end up angry and pathetic. I might well need counselling, but the counsellor had better put a suit of armour on!

Dieting is simply about eating less calories than you burn. Someone said this recently and this annoyed me slightly because, while true, if it really was that simple, there would be no overweight people in the world. While doctors will happily dish out all sorts of help for people who are bulimic or anorexic there is little help for the fat person who may or may not be just as screwed up.

Having said all the above, I'm going to attack this problem again. I'm going to enrol in a bloody horrible slimming club, pay for my weekly ritual humiliation session. I'm going to exercise as much as my leg allows and hopefully get to the point where I'm comfortable once again in public.

However one thing I won't do anymore. I won't apologise for being fat. I'm sick of being made to feel guilty about it, being made to feel somehow even less than second class. In our politically correct society, it is not acceptable to discriminate or abuse people because of race, sexuality, disability, gender, religion etc., however it apparently is still fine to discriminate and abuse someone if they are fat. I see it a lot and quite frankly sod you all if that's what you need to do to feel superior in the face of so many restrictions.

I'm not going to bore you with my progress, but this fat bird is fighting her demons once again. Wish me luck!

Monday, 29 June 2009

Motivate Yourself

I am very aware that I've ignored my spiritual side for a long while and the hole it has left inside me keeps me aware that it's something I need to get back to.

Some might say that as I get older, it's natural that I would want to make sure there was something 'after', however I know that it's not that.

Buddhism isn't a religion as such, it's more a way of life, one that I have felt drawn to since my early 20's. When I lived in London, I used to go to the Buddhist temple in Wimbledon and felt such peace there, the monks so devout and yet at the same time so full of fun and life.

When I moved up I found somewhere in Wales, but have only managed to get there once. While I would love to go again, but life seems to get in the way all the time.

Likewise my Wiccan side gets sadly neglected, even though I have a supreme love of the earth, and often talk to the goddess I feel closest to, I know there is more I could do, more I want to do and yet, as with everything else in my life at the moment, I feel I am freewheeling, not really making an effort in any area.

Perhaps this is the menopause? Perhaps there is no excuse and I'm just damned lazy. This provokes feelings of guilt because yes of course I'm lazy! If I wasn't then I would be doing all the things I so badly want to do. I need an injection of passion. Not the sexual kind, although that would be nice thank you very much, I mean more of the passion for life, passion for a cause, passion for being. I can meditate really well.. I can do long periods of time doing absolutely nothing!

I need a kick.. a reason to fight.. a passion. Does anyone know if they sell it on ebay??

I so need to change myself, my life, my direction. All I now need is the motivation. I suspect I need to feel I'm worth it, worth fighting for. How do you suddenly change that inside of yourself? Does self esteem come free if you buy two slimming products at Boots?

I'm going to make an effort to find the motivation somehow, hopefully without giving over my life savings to a lifestyle coach, no matter how good they are I don't think I'd get a lot of motivation for £56.43!

Be excellent to each other.. however, I need to be excellent to me now.

Saturday, 27 June 2009

Can I have a Word?

Words are powerful things aren't they.

They can:

Make you laugh, make you cry, scare you, arouse you, sicken you, hurt you, soothe you, uplift you, delight you or plunge you into despair

They can turn around and bite you.

They can be twisted, hurled, shared, bad, good, murmured, shouted, whispered, spat, held back, spun into yarns, used to draw attention to you, and away from you, they can be heated or cool, firey or icy, soft or hard, damning or exalting.

You can chose them carefully, or like an avalanche watch them spill from you without thought of harm to others or yourself.

You can use them as a weapon, or as a first aid kit, harm or heal, to build friendships or to tear them down.

Too many words can destroy something forever, too few can have the same effect.

Words have started wars, and ended them.

They can have more than one meaning, the same word can be insulting or exciting, depending on the way its said.

They can tell you more about the person saying them, than the person they are meant to be about.

The old saying "better to be silent and thought a fool, than to open your mouth and prove it" might be corny.. but corny is just another word for "well used truth"

I love words, they can also transport you into other worlds, other times and places, they can be springboards for your imagination to take flight.

However they can also be used to write lists, which are really the product of the devil. A list of things to do invites failure. A list of wants invites greed. Horrible things lists!

Friday, 26 June 2009

When it's time to go...

As often happens, when I sit with a blank page before me, I have no idea what's going to appear. I have no particular idea in mind, no moan or rant, so I sit and wait for another muse to unfold. I am feeling that I should comment on the untimely death of Mr Jackson, being that we were both born in the same year. Last night, when I first heard the news, and then subsequently felt the need to wait up for an hour until it was confirmed, I remember feeling shock, then to an extent numb. The thought processes were along the lines of:

"Oh dear, same age as me, in fact 7 months younger"..
"His heart? Wow and he looked so healthy and slim"..
(looking down prodding chest) "Hey in there, you ok? I know I don't treat you well but hang in there ok?"
"he must have died alone"

Strangely I think it was the last thought that I found the saddest. The initial reports last night were that he was found by a member of staff, not breathing. An icon, a legend, a man who has had friends appearing out of the woodwork all day to pay tribute to him, who liked to surround himself with people, died on his own, with no one to ease his passing.

Somehow I can't see his life as a happy one. I don't know the whole story and I doubt anyone ever will, but the things he put himself through, the loneliness, the mental health problems which he obviously had. He was a battered tortured soul and I although I feel sorry for those he's left behind, I can only feel that at last, the poor vulnerable man is finally at peace, where no one can hurt him anymore.

Having said all that, he has brought pleasure to millions, his songs while not all to my taste, they were successful and fit their time. The video that went along with Thriller was groundbreaking and amazing in it's originality.

It made me smile today when someone said it was cruel that he had died so young. I'd like to think that people generally class 50 as young, (I do!) however I think it was more because he was always perceived as a boy, a Peter Pan figure who certainly would have been at home amongst the Lost Boys.

Just a man, that's all he was, a human male, no more or less important than any other human who died today. There are people grieving, mourning the death of loved ones, each to be remembered in someone's heart. There are people celebrating the birth of new loved ones, children who will grow, some to become, I'm sure, the superstars of tomorrow, some to scratch a living any way they can.

I hope none of them die alone. Goodbye Michael, rest easy now.

Thursday, 25 June 2009

Where are you from?

I had rarely given thought to this question while growing up or busy bringing up my children. It wasn't until my girls were grown up, that I started to think about how little I had to pass down to them, about who they were, where they were from. Sure I could talk about their grandparents, but further back from that was a mystery to me. My mother had told me stories that led me to believe that the path to our ancestors was so broken as to be impossible to follow.

It occured to me, that now, with the internet, it would be easier than it had ever been to start to get an idea about my ancestry. I knew that somehow back in my paternal line, there had been a change of name, apparently involving a German who came to live in England during the years of war. So I was fairly sure that side of the family would lead to a dead end (sorry, couldn't resist).

I joined all the sites I could, found out about ordering certificates etc., and set off on a journey of discovery that even now entralls and fascinates me.

First of all, I have been surprised by the amount of family that have got in touch. Cousins and second cousins that I never knew, or knew when I was tiny and then lost touch with. Complete strangers have turned out to be somehow connected and as the tree grew, I began to realise just how far and wide a family can spread. Australia, America and Europe all came into the picture, discovery that the unknown German not only took a mistress when he came to England, he also gave her four children, all of which started out with his name (Horwitz) but only one kept it, the other three assuming her name, which came down the line to me.

I also found that the first name Louis was very prevalent on the maternal side and that my mother had been less than honest, and in fact had come from an extremely large family which spread out over Southern England. My German ancestors mistress however was the biggest surprise, her ancestry moving to the North of England, quite near where I have settled, and the picture above is of Hoghton Tower, near Preston which apparently is an ancestral home!

Now although I can't leave them anything so grand as an ancestral home, I can leave them the knowledge that they stand on ground that their ancestors have walked for hundreds of years. I have given them roots, an identity. As I continue the journey, ever completing the picture for them then it also gives me a certain amount of peace that I am surrounded by my own history, my own roots and family, a connection to the land I walk about on and eventually will be scattered on.


Wednesday, 24 June 2009


Have come to the conclusion over the years that imagination is probably the most important thing that a human being can have and also the worst. Everyone has imagination, even those who claim otherwise.

It can however work for, or against you. It can help you play, it can help you dream, it can give you hope, imagining what 'might' be if a series of events take place. It can help you decide on a course of action, showing you the best possible road to take.

It can take fear, and grow it to the point of panic, chasing those fears and forcing you to confront a myriad of possibilities, each one more gruesome than the last, until you are almost paralysed and unable to move forward.

In my case, as well as the above, my imagination tends to take me down very strange roads, often showing me the absurd and ridiculous. It tends to do this at very awkward moments, so that in the middle of a most important meeting, it nudges me, forcing a smile to my lips or on a couple of singularly embarrassing occasions, making me laugh out loud that i've hurriedly and very unsuccessfully tried to turn into a cough. I managed to stop a meeting doing that once, the coughing fit, that was there to cover the laugh, decided to put in an oscar winning performance, which had my ex-boss running down the corridor for water (which of course I found even funnier - more coughing - more concerned looks etc etc).

My daughter suffers from the same affliction. We are very alike in many ways and I can see the light of laughter in her eyes, listened to the stories of her being told off for laughing at the wrong moments. She hasn't managed her mothers level of control just yet!

We both also suffer from the darker side of the imagination. We skip our way through the bright possibilities of a situation until suddenly we realise we are in the shade, the path in front of us in shadow, uncertain. We are unable to turn our backs, we need to see what is down there, the dark possibilties of that same situation and that haunts us. Once there of course, it's very hard to remember the brighter side of things.

We are by no means unusual. We also do not suffer mental health problems. This is the way most people think, to a greater or lesser degree. What it does mean for us is that it is all too easy to hurt us. We have already worked out all the possibilities of "I'll call you.." If you don't we don't condemn you, we condemn ourselves as our imagination has convinced us we weren't good enough to call.

We demand honesty, because that's what we offer. We know how much anything less can hurt and destroy something that could potentially be great.

This blog didn't really have a direction, more of a muse I think. Rambling can be such a comfortable thing to do sometimes....

Tuesday, 23 June 2009

Smelling the Flowers

For an ex-smoker, I have a ridiculously sensitive sense of smell. I accept this, I have always been the same and while age has taken its toll on my taste buds, eyesight and hearing, for some reason the gods have decided to leave me this sense as a gift. I can understand the reasons behind these senses failing:

  • Your eyesight starts to fade so that you can't see your looks going,
  • Your hearing starts to go so that you can't hear people saying your looks are going,
  • Your taste buds start to go so that makers of extremely strong cheese have people to buy their product,
  • Your sense of smell goes, of course, so that as you fall into increasing decrepitude, you don't notice that faint aroma-de-wee that seems to come to us all.
(You can see the direction this blog is taking I hope.. express train to Rantsville approaching, all aboard!)

I have, over the years, become used to the fact that I smell things other people seem to miss. I can smell if rain is approaching, long before it does. I seem to be wired so that I can smell days. Saturday always has a distinctive smell (honestly it does!). I can even smell if someone has cut themselves. There is one smell however, that I will never get used to and it seems more and more common. It varies in strength, but always induces a flight reaction in me. I do anything to get away from it, even to the point of being rude.

Body Odour

Even the words have a smell! Why are we so reluctant to tell someone they smell? It can be seen as offensive to mention it, however I find it offensive to be around someone who smells. When you're in a food store and every section you walk down seems have the lingering odour of unwashed body, because let's face it, that is what it is, then it makes shopping, which is a generally unpleasant but necessary experience into a downright nightmare for me.

Am I being intolerant? Hell yes I am! Men - women do not find it attractive! I don't care if you've been grafting hard all day and your muscles are bulging. If you'd washed and put deodorant on in the morning then you wouldn't smell. The Diet Coke man, out on his building site, or fixing his lifts DOES NOT SMELL!

I'm not putting all this on to men either, although they are by far the worst culprits. Women, you know who you are..(gods I hope you do) a little anti-perspirant goes a long way after a nice wash! Please.. think of the example you are setting your children. If you don't have any children of course, are you at all surprised??

It's not only old people either so don't blame it all on them (I'm not mentally ready to put "us" there yet).

So please, have a thought for those that still retain their sense of smell, if only for the sake of your dignity. Don't make people recoil from you when they move near. It must make you feel awful - don't do it to yourselves!

Monday, 22 June 2009

View from the Window

There are a lot of times when the view from the window is far better than the view of your surroundings. The urge to take flight, to run over the rolling hills of your imagination and see what is just out of sight, the possibilities of 'maybe if' is often very attractive.

When things aren't what you expected them to be, you are faced with choices.. take the bull by the horns and try to change it, ignore it and hope things will change, or leave it all behind or decide its just not worth the effort and run. Which one to choose is the question.

When your chosen career isn't what you expected it to be and the country is in recession so little chance of changing it, your options become limited. Trying to make the best of things seems to be the order of the day, hoping that at the end of the recession you will have more control over it.

It's when options are taken away that things change again. Several work colleagues today learnt that they were to be made redundant. A common occurrence at the moment around the country, people are discovering that the life they had carefully moulded for themselves was suddenly in jeopardy. Their home, their future all seem uncertain. This time I was one of the lucky ones. Next time I might not be.

Which is when the view from the window will become very attractive, the endless possibilities of change. The challenges roll themselves out and it's up to you to rise to them. Sometimes things are easy, sometimes they are hard, but with passion and drive mountains can be moved.

Sunday, 21 June 2009

So this is how this all works is it?

It's amazing what you suddenly find while clicking on links that other people have posted.

It appears I can now put my thoughts out into the ether, whether they make sense or not, whether they are vitally important to the safety and continuance of the known world or not, even whether anyone else reads them or not. Apparently also, I don't have to worry about anyone disagreeing with me.


My life as a 50 something menopausal woman can now be told, the puberty spots that have finally appeared 35 years later than they should have done, the sleepless nights that are suddenly all too overheated, the mood swings that cause me to be completely mellowed out one minute, AND A CRAZED RANTING BANSHEE THE NEXT... ARRRGGHHH!

Of course, this isn't the only thing I am likely to write about. Being 50 something also gives me the superpower of invisibility to at least half of the human race, which provides a perfect opportunity to people watch, without getting them all excited that a woman actually might fancy them.

Married twice, gratefully divorced twice, I realise I might not be the easiest person to know, but this small space will be mine and mine alone, to rant, to gush lovingly, to muse, to occasionally scratch myself in private places.

You're welcome to stroll along with me as you see fit.