This is.....

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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 :)

Wednesday, 30 December 2015

Blesséd are the poor... I just can't remember why now.

Feeling very conflicted today. I'm not a political person, but anyone with any contact with the outside world would be aware that this government seems to be actively trying to make things worse for a whole lot of people. I know I only have posts on Facebook, Twitter and various other sites to base this opinion as 'luckily' so far I haven't been affected. How long that lasts is probably in direct relation to my general health and ability to work and even I know that could change overnight. 

It seems the media has set out to destroy our opinion of the NHS, no prizes for guessing who is funding that propaganda, governments and large private companies who would reap the benefits of us all suddenly having to pay for treatment if it collapsed. Not everyone can afford private medical insurance, especially if they charge the same as they do in the U.S. for treatment. I happen to love the NHS, they do fantastic work with bugger all thanks and an even smaller salary. 

They also seem to be targeting the disabled, people who, if given the choice, wouldn't rely on 'hand outs' from the government but are denied that choice. Over and over again we see services and benefits being removed, causing stress, lack of mobility, independence and security. 

In my admittedly limited knowledge of what the governments long term plans are, it seems that the poor and disabled are the easiest targets, neither having the money or the opportunity to have a voice. I'm not naive though, I do know there are people out there with no intention of working, who play the system to the extent that they appear to have more than me sometimes, but this isn't the majority.

As someone who lives alone, my wages just about cover my living costs with just occasionally enough to treat myself. I can't afford holidays, or great expensive things, but I'm warm, have food and have no great needs at the moment. 

The reason I'm conflicted though?  I don't have this clear in my own mind yet so please forgive me if this comes out wrong. Is the media/government/big businesses actively promoting the awful stories we read in an effort to push us into helping each other, thus absolving them of the responsibility and allowing them to keep their precious billions while we remain suitably poor? 

Don't get me wrong, if I could persuade people to look around their local community and help each other out more, I'd be all for that. If I needed help with getting out of bed in the morning I'd much rather it be a friend doing it because they wanted to, rather than an unknown doing it because they are being paid to. Should we do that though and let the government get away with it? 

The other conflict inside me is that I've deliberately not bought a newspaper in 37 years (I know this figure because I remember making that decision when I was 20). The reason being all newspapers are skewed to match the political beliefs of a particular party. They work to brainwash the masses, printing outright lies if necessary to move the public's view their way. (Ha, I always say if I'd wanted to be lied to I'd have stayed married!) Now however, if I want to stay on social media, I am subjected to those same lies in a different format. 

Money equals power. This is a sad truth. It's not the size of your heart but the size of your wallet that counts in this skewed society of ours. But, do we let them get away with it and help each other or do we fight back? If we fight, how do we do this? Riots? Demonstrations? They don't work and in fact quite often only hurt those who are in the same position. I wonder if riots would be subtly encouraged as it will cull a few more poor people out of the equation. Sometimes I think there is a despot out there who is thinking to themselves "Hmm we want to be a wealthy country. If we kill off all the poor, we will be!"

Perhaps that is my cynical view on things and I'm sure there will be people out there laughing at my politically uneducated views. As you can see I've come to no conclusions about all this and now it is all down here, I'm just as confused and suspicious as I was when i started. 

May you all never need government assistance.

Monday, 21 December 2015

It's nearly here!! I can see it!

This is a strange time of year. As I do every time it comes around, You know that feeling, when you're in a queue for sometime particularly good, you're excited, impatient, a little bit annoyed that there are so many people in front of you but so looking forward to getting there? That's how I feel right now. 

It has absolutely nothing to do with Christmas, apart from that happens to be around the same time. It's the New Year coming closer and closer. To use another analogy, it's like walking in a tunnel and you can see the end of it, all bright and shiny and new, dazzling with promise. A blank book, waiting to be written. 

ok stop with the analogies as they are getting all tangled together.. I think you get the idea though!

I've always made resolutions, rarely kept them but that's not the point. It's all about the planning. To be a better you, to work harder at that thing you've set your sights on, possibly more than once. I think they are important to give you focus, to begin to write on that nice clean blank first page all your hopes and dreams for the coming year. They only fail if you lose sight of the goal. Only you can keep them going. 

So looking back on the promises I made last year, and largely messed up.. i say "thank goodness this year is finishing, bring on the next one where I WILL succeed"

Whether I will or not is totally up to me, but going to make it official by writing them here, and then keeping you updated every few months on how they are going. Here goes:

1. Commit one act of random kindness per day.
2. Exercise more and work at eating healthier 
3. Explore photography more
4. Do Reiki more, use it to help others as well as helping me
5. Believe in me because if I allow myself to, I rock!
6. Dance.
7. Give more, even if it's only time.
8. Sculpt more.
9. Accept that people might possibly actually like me
10. Let go.

In some ways, numbers 9 and 10 are the most important. I have real trouble believing that I'm likeable. Hmm does that mean I don't trust people and think they are lying when they say they like me? Now that's something to ponder on. A basic flaw in my nature perhaps.

As for 10, I find this the hardest of all. It's like I can't give myself permission to relax and just do something or just be in the moment. I'm great at telling others to do this but it's like all my life has been anxiety ridden, waiting for that shoe to drop. I need to learn that not only is there no spoon, there's no shoe either!

The overall plan is to get something off the ground I started thinking about a long time ago. Something I want to call 'Tender Moments'. As I think people need to connect more in this contactless world, a project that a few people are willing to do with me. Going to shopping malls or town centres, just giving out free hugs, that last for 60 seconds to whoever wants them. Anyone can join in and if you see me out and about and want a tender moment, just ask :)

That's my plan, and my goals for 2016. 

Tuesday, 1 December 2015

softies, suicides and surprises

Was chatting to my boss today, he was telling me about a friend of his that had committed suicide. Apparently it was his third attempt. He was successful, had a loving family, but that old black dog depression finally took him. 

As chats generally do, it gently touched several related topics before settling on something I wasn't expecting. He is a lot younger than me, and nearly always upbeat. 

I'd commented, in the way of all older people when talking about the 'younger' generation, that it seemed to me that people just weren't coping with life how they used to when I was young. He looked at me for a moment and then sighed.

"Even I can see it Kate. Things are so different now. When you were young, people just got on with things. If they had nothing, they made the best of what they had. When you were young, things were so different" 

I understood what he meant, even though I was kinda waiting for the "what were dinosaurs really like" question!

This is not them!
When I was young, I had two uncles. My father's brothers. Both had gone to war, one to be captured and ended up in a prisoner of war camp. On his return, all he could eat were little cheesy biscuits that he kept in a tin beside him. He'd pop one in his mouth every so often. He wasn't able to keep more than that down. The other, although a robust and healthy looking man, took a bullet which travelled through the side of his thigh, upwards, taking out most of his 'manhood'. I remember them as lovely men, smiling and laughing, although even at a young age I remember the occasional haunted look in my Uncle Harry's eyes (the POW). They fought on, long after the war was ended, both dying old men. 

I can't help wondering what would happen now, if our young men had to go to war, had no choice like my uncles.

We talked on, comparing differences, then and now. Designer clothes hadn't really been around when I was small, nor had most of the electronic things that people rely on now. My boss is convinced we are breeding a world of 'softies' who can't cope without a mobile phone, access to the internet and a decent wrapping of cotton wool protecting them from the world.

This made me think. I remember my dad, who was ill for so many years, telling me that the world didn't owe me a living, that everything I wanted I had to go out and fight for. I did too, taking any job that came along, hating nearly all of them, but doing what I had to do to get what I wanted. Worst saturday job?
Worst job EVER!
Easy. Working in a wet fish shop, with fishing nets full of ice, dripping down on all different kinds of raw fish. An open fronted shop, so in the winter, not only was it cold from the weather, iced water constantly dripped down on your frozen hands while you were trying to bag it for the customers. Have you ever squeezed the arse of a fish to see whether soft or hard roe came out? I feel nauseous even remembering it! Then going home, stinking of raw fish. It was the best paid Saturday job in Billericay High Street but the most god awful one as well! 

I'm trying really hard not to turn this into a rant, because while in no way do I agree with some that people with depression need to just 'pull themselves together' and as I have had depression I know just how insulting that phrase is, it was the catch all for every emotion going when I was small. You couldn't go along to the doctors and get anti-depressants, not easily anyway. People got on with it.. or didn't. There wasn't the publicity there is now. It was kept very quiet, I really think people were ashamed if a member of their family killed themselves.

Doing a little research, I discovered something surprisingly interesting.. yes i'm warped like that. Take a look at this table It shows the ratio of suicides for men and women from 1981 to 2013 aged between 15 and 85+. Looking at the men, there are no great differences until you get to the age of between 40 and 50. The increase in suicides of those of that age are frightening. In 1981 the total was 279 between 40-44 and 286 between 45-49. In 2013 that had jumped to 496 and 505 respectively. Oddly, in women, at every age range there has been a drop in the rate. 

What does this tell us? Damned if I know. Are kids softer now? I think they might be. So many don't seem to have the drive to succeed, to go out and earn, to explore. 

And we wander off on a short tangent here. I was known as the strictest mum on the street when my girls were small. I was the one that didn't have underage pregnancies or drug addicts to deal with though. No reason for saying that, just wanted to put it out there!

There is a large part of me that would like to see the return of National Service, not an army based one though, one where kids are taught discipline, taught to take pride in themselves, learning skills, helping others, being shown how to look out at the world rather than in at themselves. 

My word.. this was a ramble. I actually came at this from a grumpy old woman point of view.. I was going to put down all the things that annoy me, all the things that I think people are doing wrong etc. Jeez I can get conceited sometimes in thinking I know best. I'm glad it toned itself down a bit. 

Sunday, 29 November 2015

Could this get any more whiny??

I'm going to indulge myself in this blog. I'm going to winge, feel sorry for myself and generally have a pity party. I maintain a positive, bright and sunny disposition for everyone who sees me, but here, in the darkess and quiet, where no one can hear, no one can object or say "oh, surely not!" I'm going to put down thoughts that I have about myself. This will only happen once so I'm going to make the most of it. Feel free to bail. 

Having said that, I have no idea where to start. I don't often delve into the black room in my head to see what demons are lurking. I usually leave the room firmly locked and barred, so they can't get out, but since I've just finished clearing out my walk in cupboard and it's looking a lot neater now, I feel it's time to let them out for a while, before locking them firmly back in.

I feel so useless. I do nothing that benefits anyone, not even myself. I don't lose weight because I don't feel I deserve to. I punish myself by eating, and in that way denying myself any hope of having a relationship or enjoying life. 

I'm not needed. There are no friends who turn to me when they need something. No one who wants my company enough to come and see me. No one who calls me to say "Let's go out and have a laugh". Again this is my fault, as I clearly am not enough of a friend to anyone to make them want to be with me. I am under no illusion that this is anyone's fault but my own. I don't put myself out to see people, mainly because I'm too afraid of rejection, or getting the vibe that they are only being 'nice' and really they would rather wash socks.

At best I would say I'm tolerated when I venture out and about. I know I'm blunt and tend to say things people don't necessarily want to hear but I'm not rude and most of the time if I feel they can't take the truth, I keep quiet. 

I hate conflict. Not only directed against me but any conflict. If people are arguing near me, I will do anything I can to get away. Not because it scares me, but because I can feel the negative emotions and frankly, they hurt. A lot. However, because I hate it, I don't show people my passions very often, in case they conflict with anyone else's. 

Odd little aside here. My dog has just come up for a hug, she does occasionally, stamping all over the keyboard and demanding a few minutes of attention. As is my habit, I nuzzle into her and breathe in her scent. It takes me right back to childhood when I stayed at my aunts house. She bred border collies and the smell of dog always takes me there. It was one of the happiest times in my life but in this pity party, it just made me want to weep for that child who had her whole life ahead of her, not knowing how crappy it was going to turn out.

I weep for humanity. I look out my window and think of all the pain and suffering going on. Then of course I feel guilty for feeling down. I have a home, food, clothing, a job, some have none of these. Then, I look around at what we are doing to our planet, to our mother and I  have to fight the anger down. We really are a cancer, slowly destroying her bit by bit. She's going to fight back one day. Don't think for a moment we will win because we won't.

Good grief, living alone sucks. If it weren't for my dog I think I would seriously go downhill. As it is I'm becoming stranger by the day. I hate being alone, but then I hate crowds. Crowds just prove to me how alone I am. I would love to go to the Christmas Market in Manchester, but alone? No. Families, couples, friends, all laughing and joking and I'm on the outside? Self inflicted solitude is better than that kind of reinforcement that I'm not worth being with I can live without. 

Here now is another twist. I've said above that I'd love to go to the Christmas market but everyone who knows me thinks I hate Christmas and would be shocked that I'd want to go there. I confess I don't hate Christmas, but I do hate how it starts in September. Thankfully I don't watch television anymore, because every advert showing families around the table at Christmas prods me in a sore spot and a little voice in my head says, that won't be you. I won't spend the whole of Christmas day alone, as I'm going to my daughters. But I will wake alone, and I will spend the evening alone. 

I would love to be in a relationship. I would love to look forward to coming home to someone. The only relationships I've had for years though are ones where I'm an option, not a priority. I'm not about to give everything to someone who goes home to someone else. I've realised that I need to be the most important person in someone's life or it's just not going to work. Of course I'm not likely to get this now. I put too many obstacles in my own path for that to happen. 

So these are the demons that sit in the black room in my head. There is one slouched in the corner, not even wanting to come out and be seen. The one that is the fear of dying alone. Oddly I'm not scared of dying, to me it's just another step in the adventure. Doing it alone though, boy that's terrifying. So he can sit slouched there while I stuff all the others back in, chasing down those that don't want to go back. 

Right I've aired the room, hoovered the floor and cleaned so you demons can just get right back in there. Thank you.

Well... that was some clear out! Do I feel better? A little. It can be exhausting 'putting on a face' all the time, it was nice just to let it all out, like squeezing a particularly annoying and painful spot.. getting rid of all the gunk. 

I'll leave you with that delightful mental image and wander back into normal service. 

Saturday, 28 November 2015

Wedding Day Pride

I blogged a while ago about my daughter getting married. It was an amazing day, full of love and happiness and in spite of all her worries, it went off without the slightest hitch. We all wish we could do it again as it was so beautiful!

The thing that surprised me the most was that although I knew it would make my girl cry, when I had finished, I looked up to give the toast to see a sea of white hankies and sniffles throughout the room... oops!!

So for anyone who is interested, here is the speech in full.

Ladies, Gentlemen and Gentlefolk

We are here today to celebrate the marriage of my daughter to her dream man, Kyle. Well, what can I say? I know what I can’t say, and that’s anything against Kyle, for three good reasons. 1 because my daughter would skin me alive, 2 because actually I can’t think of anything bad to say and lastly, well, I’m just a tad outnumbered here today!

But in a way it’s a good outnumbered. This is a happy day and I for one am overjoyed that they can share it with so many good people. 

I have no need to talk about Kyle, most of you know him far better than I do. However he has made my daughter happier than I’d ever hoped I’d see her and y’know what? No one can ask for anything more than that.

So that leaves me to talk about my girl. Every mother is going to stand up and speak about their child in glowing terms and I could do that.. I really could. She is every mothers dream child.. but she’s given me some ‘interesting’ times along the way...

I knew my daughter had arrived in the world, apart from the obvious way, but also by the piercing shriek that nearly took out my eardrums.  She calmed down fairly quickly though and spent the rest of the night blowing bubbles. However, as I and several of my friends found out, that shriek wasn’t a one off. She’d go from sleep to shriek without any snuffling or fidgeting to give warning.  So it was, with sleepless nights and shredded nerves my daughter introduced me to being her mother.

Opposite in every possible way to my eldest daughter, who sadly can’t be here today having just given birth to her fifth child, Bonnie grew with a personality as big as her grin. She really was the kind of child that would quite happily lead you through your emotions one by one, from joy to frustration through tears of love to tears of rage.

We lived in a cul-de sac, right at the end and the little turning circle became Bonnie’s stage. There whenever she could, she sang and danced, convinced she was going to be famous, as most of us do at that age. The neighbours used to watch from their windows, I know because they used to tell me, although she was oblivious to them, wrapped up in her world.

Bonnie coped with her teenage years a little differently to most. Every teenager works busily to find their own path. Bonnie was no different in that. Everyone here who knows her sees the woman who loves fine things, takes care of herself, wants the best for her family. I dread to think how many clothes that she and Greyson have that they’ve never worn. There’s nothing wrong with that of course. Perhaps you think she’s a little ‘girly’. You might be surprised by the teenager she was.

Picture a young 14 year old, who in discovering the world around her, noticed a lot of homeless people. I think I remember her asking me a few questions about it but then she seemed to forget about it. It was only a few years later I found out that she’d been spending most of her time with them, with no thought for her own safety, sitting, talking to them, trying to understand them, mostly just giving them the reassurance that actually someone did care.

For one particular man,  she was his turning point. She hounded whoever she could to get him a place to live. Nagged him to within an inch of his life to stop drinking. He was her mission. She won too. He ended up getting a place, going on a course and made himself some money fixing people’s computers. He also found himself a wife. He wasn’t the only one she helped but that was I think her biggest success.  She thought nothing of sitting in the dirt listening to them and I couldn’t have stopped her. I learned, very quickly that this girl had her own ideas and nothing I could have said would have changed that. So I did the only thing I could do. I was there for her. So if she likes the finer things of life now, perhaps you can understand why.

She is my rock, my star, my proudest achievement.

Writing this, I’m afraid I came over a little poetic. And so I give you,

Ode to Bonnie and Kyle
(does that sound familiar to anyone?)

My youngest daughter got married today to a man I’m proud to call son
Her eyes told me with no hint of a doubt that he’s her own true one
I wore them heels all down the aisle to make me look less dumpy
But took them off as soon as I could because they made me grumpy
Oh how I tried not to cry as we walked towards her man
To be honest he looked as terrified as any one probably can
As I handed her over, this girl I had raised the tears began to fall
This last task was done, to give her away when she had been my all.
I trust you Kyle to keep her safe, to cherish her forever
To go through life hand in hand, the true meaning of together
Always put each other first, never go to sleep on a row
Always put the seat down, and always look at each other like you are now!
Fight each other face to face, fight others back to back
Look out for each other every day though I think you have that knack
And now I’ve finished this little speech there is only one thing to say
And that’s be upstanding one and all on this most excellent day

And now..
Raise your glasses high for the toast to bless this union
To my daughter, my son, and my grandson too
A toast:  Success, love and happiness always

Bonnie and Kyle

The Tomorrow People

Well! It's been a while since I've been here. Time got a little away from me I think and I've had lots to do, so not much time for reflection. It remains to be seen at the moment what this blog is going to be about but I do want to at least aim for the topic I had planned.

I guess I need to start with a disclaimer. This is the perspective of someone who has very little idea so I really hope I don't offend anyone with my thoughts. It certainly isn't my intent, and I will make a decision about posting this once I've reached the end because it will only be then that I will know if I've made the remotest sense. 

This hasn't stopped you before! I hear you cry. Well no, it hasn't but this is a much more sensitive topic than usual.

Over the years I've managed to create this little bubble of existence. It's a very lonely little bubble but it's safe. I love people so much, but only let them in so far, in fear that if i do open up completely, they will pop that bubble and walk away, as so many have done in the past. If I feel that's about to happen, I run. I don't have the mental strength or shielding to let that happen. It destroys me.

However, I know who I am. I know my strengths and weaknesses. I know my sexuality and have never thought of myself as trapped in my own body. I can't say i like my body particularly, but that has been of my own making, along the lines of 'well if I'm fat then no one will fancy me so I won't have to cope with them walking away'. Messed up? For sure.

Enough self obsessed rubbish. I am what I am. Time to try and force this blog in the right direction.

All this was getting around to talking about those people who aren't happy with the body they were born with and have the strength of character to go ahead and change to become what they should have been all along. I can't say I understand it, because how could I? I can never experience it. I can't say to them 'I know how you feel' because of course I don't. What I can do is accept it and that I find easy to do. 

Why is it that people find it so hard to grasp that we are just entities, actors in a play if you like. This skin that we wear is temporary and it's really not surprising that occasionally, it doesn't fit. It's not what we were supposed to wear for this play. My entity is neither male or female. It is both. Even though the body I inhabit for this time is female I have very very strong memories of being male. One of the strongest memories i have of a past life is seducing a woman, slowly, sensually, feeling her body move beneath me and entering her in a wave of passion. Let me tell you, if men feel like I do in that memory, it's no wonder they spend most of their time trying to get laid! I completely understand!

Back from a cold shower and back hopefully on topic.

I could venture an opinion that those who feel that they are in the wrong body, are suffering from past life memories that are too strong to ignore. It's a possibility for sure but no basis in fact and very probably a gross over simplification of it all, but I do tend to do that because often, the most complicated of problems have the simplest of answers. 

What it all boils down to though is that person needs to change themselves into what they want to be. The strength it must take to step down that path, not knowing if loved ones are going to be supportive, faced with a million and one unknowns. Wow. That has me in awe. What a steep hill they have to climb armed with only a deep conviction that they need to do it. So much more can be done to support this decision. 

If you love someone, you might quite like the outer appearance, but you don't love it. Much like a favourite book, you don't say 'This is my most favourite book' because of the cover but because of what's inside. If two people love each other and then one day some horrible totally made up affliction comes along and they turn into green blobs.. they will still love each other even while they are saying 'eww... you're green!' 

Isn't it enough that two (or three, or more) people love each other? It certainly is for me.

I've known quite a few trans people over the years and in getting to know them, without fail, every single one of them has presented mentally to me as the gender they need to be. Even if they didn't though, I respect the hell out of their right to do what they feel is right. 

A thought to finish this. If it is indeed true that the most homophobic people around are the ones fighting their own insecurities about their sexuality, is it possible that the most transphobic are doing the same about their genders? 

Sunday, 11 October 2015

Who me?

This week has been an interesting one. I was privileged enough to meet some new friends and spend an evening in their company. I hope I get to do that again, if they'll have me. 

If I were to say that I suffer social anxiety with self esteem issues and lack of confidence generally, most people who have met me and know me on a 'surface level' would laugh and call me a liar. Those who know the deeper me though, do know how I'm cringing inside sometimes in company.

Many years ago an overweight, shy young girl, took a long look at herself. She knew that if you were 'different' at school you were usually picked on as she'd already had a taste of that, and seen others suffering because of their differences. Quite analytical for one so young, she thought about how best to get accepted. Reading some self help thing or other (hey give me a break it was a long time ago!) she learned that apparently the way to get over being shy was to fake confidence until it actually became who you were. The more she pondered on this the more sense it seemed to make, enough sense for her to give it a go anyway. So, armed with this new battle weapon, she started to strut around, joining in conversations, well when I say joining in, I'd stand there listening, then suddenly come out with a one liner that would (hopefully) crack the group up and then wander off smiling. This worked overtime as I found I had a bit of a talent for the 'one liner' and eventually I became the clown, people actually asking me if I'd go with them on group stuff because 'I was such a laugh'. Oh well, I thought, bullshit works!

Just noticed something on re-reading that. When I was talking about the shy girl who frankly pretty much hated herself, I disassociated by calling her 'she'. Halfway down it very definitely changes, as I manage to start integrating, to 'I'.

Funny how our own writings and thought processes catch us out isn't it. That's actually freaked me out a bit!

Anyway, back to the plot, if there ever was one. I grew up, using this ploy in many many different scenarios. I developed a public me, and a private me. Frankly the private me thinks the public me is a complete pain the arse and you'll usually find me apologising to people who've met me for the first time as I'm convinced I'm as annoying as hell. Even at the start of this blog, just in case any of them read it, you can see the private me being unsure and almost apologising. 

There are different levels of public me too, depending how nervous I am, or how many people there are, or what it is. 

People tell me I'm a great coach/trainer/facilitator, whatever the hell the term is this week.  I do give talks, I lead presentations at work, I train people on software and I've always done this well if the feedback is anything to be believed. I actually thoroughly enjoy it. I have no nerves at all when I stand up in front of a room full of people, whatever the standing in the company. I can only attribute this to the years of 'faking it' that I've done, and the fact that I'm not worrying about what they think of me, more about what I'm presenting.

However, put me in a room with half a dozen people I don't know and are actively wanting them to like me and gods, this manic, loud, comic comes out, determined to get everyone smiling or laughing. It's like I need to entertain! I wonder sometimes if I should have been an actor! I sometimes pity the poor sods who meet me for the first time. Some do look a little shell shocked lol

The private me no longer hates herself.. well apart from this constantly nagging feeling that I should be doing more with my life. Perhaps every hermit-in-training feels that way. They aren't likely to tell us, being hermit and all that.

The new friends I met this week though seem great people. They have been through their own struggles and that is very probably going to be my next blog - my thoughts on all that. Unsurprisingly, that was going to be what this blog was about but as usual, they write themselves, I'm just the silly bugger doing the typing while the literary me dictates. 

Ohh! There's another thing! How many 'me's' are there? I have a feeling that a lot of us have many persona's that they call on or who appear right when they feel like it.  For instance, talking about me again (because, well, it's my blog innit) I have a terrifically organised me who goes to work, sorts everyone out, knows exactly what to do, and is good at prioritising. Get me out of work and I'm frankly an air-head. I find it extremely difficult to even open post, let alone read it. It sits on the side for months sometimes before I screw up the courage and spend a morning wading through it all with a rubbish bin beside me. I miss appointments, I'll put  up with something faulty for ages because I can't be bothered to call and get it repaired. Procrastination is my first name let alone my middle name in this persona. 

Sometimes I think I should have been called Sybil (and if you've never seen the film of the same name, you should!)

bye for now :)


Sunday, 4 October 2015

Sit down a while, we have time.

Have you ever taken the time to think about time? 

I do accept that this might be seen as an odd question but bear with me, you never know it might even get more interesting! I think about it a lot, not just because my allotted amount of time is well past the half way mark now. It's something I've always done. I've never been comfortable with the notion that time is something that we should be so very obsessed with, especially as it is a man made construct. I can understand why, people need order, they need to feel there is a script to their lives.

I wish people could see how robotic it makes them! Let me explain.
Mr Normal sets his alarm so that it wakes him up in time for work. He's thought about that alarm, he's considered how long the three S's take him, dressing, time to eat breakfast, the travel time to work, allowing some leeway for traffic. All this so that he can be in work for a specific time that the company has contracted him to be there. It's a wonder he doesn't 'beep' every time one of these tasks are completed!

For arguments sake, Mr Normal arrives in work at 9am sharp, works until 10.30 and then makes a cuppa, might chat with a few colleagues in the kitchen while it brews, but then he's back at it. He looks at his watch a while later and sees its 12.30. Ting! Lunchtime! He doesn't even stop to consider whether he's actually hungry, it's lunch time, so he should be.

To be honest Mr Normal spends the rest of the day like this. 5pm home, 6.30pm evening meal, 8.30 television, 11pm and he's back in bed, ready to do it all over again tomorrow. 

I could have actually broken that down further, but to be honest Mr Normal was beginning to depress me and I seriously thought I heard him start to squeak. So we'll leave him to oiling his bits.

Now of course we come to the silly bit. I like the silly bits.

The earth travels around the sun every 24 hours. This apparently is fact, although who decided what an hour was and how long an hour was to be able to come up with this piece of wisdom I have no idea. I could google it, but actually I don't much care, time stopped for him several millenia ago I'm sure. 

Our brains don't necessarily conform to all the restrictions of time, which plods along, seconds exactly the same distance apart until they reach their first goal of a minute, which then plods along exactly the same distance apart until they reach the heady heights of an hour. Again and again. Brain is a bit of a rebel sometimes. Brain wakes up and sees a Monday morning. Brains clock starts to slow immediately in reaction. It notices that it's raining.. slower. It remembers that meeting is today that you didn't want to go to... brain is now almost in a coma. You think to yourself "today is going to go on forever!" and while that's an exaggeration on your part is certainly feels like it! 

Brain wakes up another morning. After some scratching of its frontal lobe it realises it's Saturday!! Brain takes on a jaunty little tick now and you get up, humming softly, not even really thinking of the time and do all those Saturday things we enjoy so much. Then, you notice that it's starting to get dark and you frown, confused, so you look, possibly for the first time today at your watch. "Bloody hell I only got up a few hours ago!! How can it be evening already!!!" Inside Brain is having a little tantrum because time went so fast. 

So really, for us, time isn't that consistent. However, left to our own devices, we'd sleep when tired, eat when hungry.. 

Oh I just thought of something! How many of us, at work have said "I have this piece of work to do that's going to take a long while but will be really good, but there's only half an hour left so I'll try and fit it in tomorrow" (and then waste the half hour trying to look busy). If we weren't so tied to the clock, we could do that work, maybe it takes us until 8pm but you're in the zone and it's really good. What if then you could wander in 3 hours late the next morning.. nice lie in there and less stress. Company gets more from you, you get to relax.

So, what can we do with time. Oddly we appear to think:

We can save it
We can spend it
We can waste it
We can steal it
We can borrow it
We can lend it
We can give it
We can take it
We can earn it
We can lose it
We can set it
We can beat it
We can make it

But you know the best thing you can do with it? Live it! In whatever way it's given to you, it is YOURS. 

Afterthought, which should have been a forethought but got lost... sharing time with others is probably the best thing you can do :)

Saturday, 3 October 2015

"I've Had to Change the Title and now have no idea what to call it"

As I've been doing more of this blogging lark lately, a few things have occurred to me. I waffle on quite happily on here, with people rarely commenting, which is a shame but the way of the world sometimes. This kinda puts me in mind of the drunk at the party. They drink, and as they drink, words leak out of their brains into their mouths and in order to be able to drink more without choking on a stray capital letter, they have to let them out. It matters not if anyone is listening, or commenting, because these words are just in the way and have to leave. 

There are of course people who can do this without drinking. These poor afflicted people have a slight malfunction in the brain which over produces words that again, have to come out before their heads explode. If they are lucky, these people can make a living at this, people like Tolkien and Isaac Asimov were early sufferers, as was Terry Pratchett.  JK Rowling, Faith Hunter, Kim Harrison, and many other more modern sufferers deal with this most troublesome condition under the guise of entertainment. There are some of course that it would have been more entertaining had they kept their words inside their heads until fifty shades of grey matter had exploded out. Not naming names of course.. ahem.

It is said that no word, once said, can ever be unsaid. I think it is true. We may forgive a harsh word, but we will never forget it. It will visit again, usually in the dead of night when you can't sleep and you'll have to remind yourself that you actually did forgive that, honestly you did, so go away please. 

I've decided with my blogs, I'm going to be the drunk. I'm not clever enough to earn money at this but I love doing it, so, I take the drunk option. This doesn't mean all my blogs are going to be typed when I'm drunk, that would be silly, and i couldn't afford it, but as I live alone, rarely drink and friends don't visit me very often (almost never) I don't get the chance to have debates, or pontificate about everything I know nothing about, like everyone else does.

Ha! Just looked up the word pontificate as I knew what it meant generally but wanted to make sure I was using it right and got this definition:

"To pontificate is to talk in a dogmatic and pompous  manner. To pontificate properly, you need to be a know-it-all with very strong opinions and the urge to share them.
Pontificate comes from the French word pontiff, another word for the Pope, the leader of the Roman Catholic Church" 

Well har har har!

Ok another short pathway meandered down for a moment. Back now. 

You, good people are going to be the long suffering listeners of my ramblings. I'm going to pretend that we're all here together, and we are (I am) discussing deep and meaningful topics, ones that plague me while the OhGod of Insomnia sits cross legged at the end of the bed making sure I worship him properly (usually by beseeching "OhGod please let me sleep!") By the way, did you know that the Roman God of Sleep was called Somnus, which is how we get the word insomnia as unable to sleep! (just imagine that I put square glasses on and spoke that last sentence through my nose please)

Ok to be completely honest, it's when I'm laying in bed in the middle of the night arguing with my body about getting up for a wee. Then once I've given in and gone, arguing with my body about getting back to sleep before I need another wee. BUT I do think deep thoughts at this time too!

Right I think I've given you a good idea of how they are likely to go. The next one I'll be muttering about relates to Time, which this one would have, but got sidetracked before I even started! Bugger, got to change the title now.

Bet you can't wait now :)

Sunday, 27 September 2015

Why Autumn is my favourite time of year

I'm a nature lover. I always have been. I love Britain because to me it has such a beautiful countryside. We are lucky to have such diverse weather, most will say not enough sunshine, but we have more than enough rain to make our 'green and pleasant land' lush and verdant and full of life. Every season brings its own beauty but Autumn is when nature really shows off. It colours the trees in an amazing display which, for those who take the time to look, lifts the spirits and eases the heart. 

Just like nature, we have seasons too. Pregnancy and birth, when a little bud appears and pops into the world, where everything is new, nothing is known and everything is out there to be learned and experienced. Time is taken in our Springtime to grow and learn. No deep thoughts, just mostly instinct driven its a very 'black and white, love or hate' world as we don't learn all the different shades or variety of emotions until later in Spring as we move into early Summer. Boy do we learn all the emotions possible then and we usually experience them all in a very short time.  Puberty can be a harsh teacher for some giving us such a range of emotions that often we are not equipped to deal with. 

We do however and summer arrives. We are the kings and queens of the
universe at this point! There is nothing we don't know! No one older can even understand just how amazing we are, after all, we've invented sex! Older people don't do that clearly, or if they do they don't do it as well as us! Just don't talk about older people having sex as that is just gross!! We can speak for hours on a variety of subjects, although not in any great depth of wisdom as our experiences are still fairly limited. We do still manage to learn a lot whether either cultivating a look of sheer boredom, or listening attentively, nodding occasionally as if agreeing. This summer is a long one, in it we grow to full ripeness, make offshoots of our own, bask in the sheer enjoyment of being an 'adult' (although this can come much later for some than for others) and, if lucky, generally enjoying good health, loving family and the normal everyday things that you think will go on forever.

Everything changes though, and as Summer turns into Autumn we have experienced many things, some good, some awful. Our wisdom shows itself in many ways, much like nature's Autumn. We may be overripe now, but we are colourful! There is less rushing around, less worry as our offshoots are fully grown plants and we have a wealth of knowledge to pass on. 

This is why i find people in the Autumn of their lives so much more interesting. Although, just like nature, some plants in the Autumn just start to drop their leaves, look scrawny, and miserable, so do some Autumn people. They are easy to spot though because the brilliance and humour of the wise ones shines out like the multicoloured trees. 

Winter is something we all have to experience sooner or later, but like everything else.. it's just the sleep time before re growth. 

i love being an Autumn person, I feel an affinity with nature at this time of year because it's my time. i have colours, i have depth and thank all the gods I have humour. 

Shine out your colours Autumn people, you are fascinating :)

Monday, 14 September 2015

For Just One Day

In just under 7 weeks time, I will be doing something that is unusual for a mother to do, but it will be one of the hardest things I'll ever do for my youngest daughter. It will also be my last task. A most important one and it will be a great honour to do it. 

As I walk her down the aisle, my shining girl, I will be remembering the baby, who's gaze at only a few hours old, pinned the doctor to his seat, who's ability to go from zero to deafening scream made a friend fall off the bed in shock.

I will be remembering the young girl, who spun in the street, singing Spice Girl songs, who sung Mama for me and made me cry. 

I will be remembering the silent teen, who struggled with growing up, turning that struggle into helping others who had drink and drug problems, without falling victim to them herself. 

I will be remembering the girl turning into a woman, moving with me almost the length of the country, taking on so many new challenges with a strength of character that almost made me burst.

Most of all though, I will be in silent awe of the woman she has become. No need to say how proud I am of her, it will shine out of me on that walk. The hardest part of all, will be handing her over to her man. He may well see death threats in my eyes at that moment, warning him that if he ever, EVER lets her down, he will know pain. He will need to know that while I love him too, and will defend him against all, watching over them both, even while maintaining a discreet distance, he really wouldn't want to make an enemy of me. All he needs to do is be good to this precious gift I'm giving him. 

I have started the speech that I want to give, and in spite of her concerns, I will not be showing her up on her big day. I can't guarantee no tears, but every single word will be from the heart. It's my duty, my last duty for her :)

I daresay there will be favours in the future, babysitting, dogsitting, whatever, but this, this is special. 

Oh but I had so many ideas for my outfit. I pictured myself in a morning suit, after all if I was to take on her father's role, then I should be dressed properly! Uh, apparently not.

Oh Oh then can I wear my red top hat and maybe a corset dress?? Decidedly not.

Ok then.. what about a steampunk look.. that'd be fantastic!! No

By this time I was getting 'the look'. Hang on, that's MY look! When did you get that look!! I want it back right now!!

"I'm not a conventional mumsy woman!" I wailed. "Don't make me look like Hyacinth Bucket!!" 

"Oh yes", came the retort, "That's another thing. Your hair. I'm going to pay for you to get it done.. maybe a different colour.. a nice brown maybe?"

She sighed at my look of stunned horror.

"Oh mother it's only for one day, can't you be normal for just one day??" 

For you, my wonderful girl, I will be anything you want me to be.. for just that one day xx

Sunday, 13 September 2015

Waxing Philosophical

I suppose it's natural, when you get to a certain age, to ponder on life, wonder what it all means, where we are heading and who actually has it right. 

I'm one of those people who have been thinking about this for many years. Not being particularly religious, I don't have faith to fall back on for what happens after life but I do have a belief, which, for no good reason at all, I decided to share. Remember this is my belief, you are more than welcome to disagree, even laugh but this is mine.

I believe that we are all sent here to learn. This is, in effect, school. Before we are born, we decided what we need to learn in the coming life, be it hardship, wealth, jealousy, adversity, greed, or even something more abstract. 

See right there, with that statement I've told you that I believe in reincarnation. If it didn't exist, we'd have to lump all our learning into one lifetime and bloody hell that life would be a busy one! So yes, I think we return time and time again until we have learned all we need to progress onwards.

Right so there we are, all energy, knowing what we need to learn. We also need to choose parents that will give us the best possible opportunity to learn this thing, after all, we wouldn't want to have to come back over and over and relearn the same thing, especially if it's going to be a difficult life. Once this is all decided we bid farewell to that realm and return to earth to start our lessons. We don't know what that lesson is once we return here, after all if we did we'd rush to learn it so that we could be let out of school early, maybe missing some important appendices as we go. We grow and learn, the parents that we chose hopefully pointing us in the right direction for good or bad and we live our life making decisions that hopefully help us through. 

Then, with all the knowledge we have gathered, we leave this school and go home where we look at the life we have lived and judge ourselves on whether we completed our task. The cycle then continues. Simple yes?

"Oh but what about...." I can hear you cry. OK we'll go into 'what about' territory. These are things I've been asked in the past and this is my take on it.

What about abortion though, wouldn't that mess up the plans if someone chose their parents and then they had an abortion?

Well I don't know about you, but I were looking at the parents who will give me the most opportunity to learn what I needed, and I've seen far enough into the future to know whether they would or not, then surely I'd be able to see if they were going to abort or miscarry and stick a big 'PASS' on their file? I think this is why I don't have any firm opinion about abortion. I have quite firm opinions on those that have abortions just because it's not 'convenient' to have a baby but that's another topic entirely. 

What are your views on suicide?

At the risk of upsetting an awful lot of people, I think it's wrong. I don't consider the people that attempt it to be cowards or anything like that, I feel immense sadness for those who feel they just can't go on, but everything in me feels it is wrong.

We are sometimes here to experience hardship or debilitating illness, or living with disabilities, all manner of horrible things that happen to humans. We have our time to die, our 'sentence' to complete and to leave before the end just means you haven't completed that learning and you will just find yourself doing it all again or, maybe in the case of assisted suicide, coming back to live those final months/years again. Who would want to do that?

Reincarnation to me is very real. To have had children who used to talk to me about "When they were big" and having had experiences of my own (like at 4 years old, being taken on holiday to Devon for the first time and telling my father where to drive to get there) tells me more effectively than anything else could, that it exists.  This is the basis of my belief system.It's as valid as any other and more logical than a lot. If you feel like asking me a question about it, I'm happy to answer as best I can.

Through all your lives, know that where you are now is transient so enjoy it while you can x