Friday, 29 January 2016

No regrets.

Standing at the crossroads of life, do you ever wonder where that other path may have taken you? You know...the one that you stood at, looked down and thought '"Nah...I don't like the look of it"?  Do you regret the choices you've made or worry about those missed opportunities that might have made the life you live so very different?

I'm pretty happy with my lot. Last night I did something that I don't regret. Generally, I'm someone who always looks forward, tries not to look back and gets on with the task in hand. I don't look over my shoulder, and I know that the grass is never greener on the other side or if it looks it, it's usually the same as the grass on this side. It's all grass.

I have no idea what made me do what I did and I had no intention of doing anything about it. I looked on Facebook for an old boyfriend...and found him!!! Well...I found his profile anyway.

It took me back to those days when I was young, pretty and , well, a little bit shallow. Yep...I admit there were times when  I thought a pretty boy would look good on my arm.  Who wouldn't? I could never shag an ugly man.

I met Jamie at a party. I didn't fancy going, as I knew most of the availables would be gay, so'd be a waste of my time (see...shallow!)  but my friend had promised that we'd hit the town later if we got bored. If I remember rightly, I was standing on the terrace and I got this feeling. You know, that feeling, when you know someone is staring at you. There was this guy standing by the wall, nursing a beer.  He was tall, blond, tanned, and incredibly good looking. He just had to be gay. He waved me over. I ignored him.  I'd had enough, so turned to Kerry and suggested we made tracks. We were saying our goodbyes, when he grabbed my arm and said "Och eye hen, ye shud meet me fer a wee dram tmorra". At least I think that's what he said.

I had nothing to lose so I met him, the next day...and he wasn't gay. He was Scottish. He was vain, arrogant but oh so beautiful. Getting ready to go out he'd spend more time in front of the mirror than me. He liked women as much as I liked men and would happily engage in flirting and I'd see him writing his number on the arms of girls we'd just met. I spent a weird year in a very odd relationship with him.  We never really talked about our relationship or what we wanted from each other. It ended. Well, it kind of fizzled out. Then I met BH, so less complicated and so right.

Looking at Jamie's profile, I knew it was him immediately. I checked through his pictures and there he was as the young guy I knew. I can see he hasn't aged too well, but we all get older, don't we and I
can't hold that against him. He has a daughter, but he's not married. Maybe he was, but he isn't now. He has his hair, and maybe his teeth. He's slimmer than he was, almost skinny. I checked out his friends list. It was full of women, young, older, sexy women so I guess he still likes them. I don't  regret looking for him. I'm pleased that I found him. It put a daydream to bed and he's has awful taste in sofas!

You won't be surprised to know I didn't add him!! 

Wednesday, 20 January 2016

Competitive parenting

We've seen and heard it all before at the school gate, but there appears to be a phenomenon where lots of my friends congratulate their children on Facebook.  Nothing wrong with that.  It's nice to be proud of your little sprogs, but it's beginning to make me feel that my little and large sproglets are on a hiding to nothing.  Really, it makes me feel a bit sick in my mouth when I open up my FB page of a morning and has found that my frenemy, Giselle has posted on her wall

"Well done, Sproglet!  Winning the overall champion of Mensa!"

  I mean, really?  Isn't that boasting and not congratualting? Your child is 5!! He doesn't  even have a Facebook account!  I know, I've looked.   Now I can understand being proud. I can understand writing on your childs wall, but I can't understand why you don't realise that I know, that you know that I know it's just plain competitive and it makes me feel inadequate. But that's what you want, isn't it?

Pre kids, I was one of those people who'd turn off when at dinner parties, parents would tell the gathered group how clever, beautiful, amazing Morticia was.   I swore that I'd never bore those who didn't know my kid. I still don't.  Now it's all gathering around the school gates, comparing reading books, class tests. There's one mum who has a notebook. I'm pretty sure she's jotting down everyone's scores so that she can accurately place her child in the class. I've seen her whip it out and jot stuff down as she walks back to her car. Or maybe she's noting down what I was wearing that morning? Eek!

My kids are clever (not mensa level) my kids are sporty (not international level), my kids are very, very funny; but I don't tell them that.   I don't want them thinking they'll be able to take on James Cordon a comedy battle! My kids are quick witted and astute. They know how many beans make five!
"A bean, a bean, a bean and a half, a half a bean and a bean!" They shout when I test them. See...clever!

I remember a teacher discussing Bart at a Parents Evening many moons ago.

"He won't be a high flier" she said "He's very immature"
He was four!!  Of course, her experience proved her wrong.  He is a high flyer. His  head's way up in those clouds...and that's the way I like it.


I'm not knocking you if you like to boast..but be honest.  We should all pre tag our comments with #boastalert. In that way we're being open and transparent about our emotions..and I won't get all worried that I didn't spend enough time with them on Algebra or algorithms.

When the 11+ results came out last month, Mimi sat in the car with me while we opened her results letter. I looked at her sadly and she punched the air with a "YES!!!"  We high fived, then did our victory seat wiggle.

You see, I know what my daughter wanted.


Saturday, 3 October 2015

My Talking Dog

Now...I like writing in my office. I like to sit down with my cuppa and ponder my world for a few minutes (possibly for a few hours after I play a few games of Candy crush...eek!). I could sit in there all day if my life didn't drag me away...but I just don't get the chance!

No sooner am I lost in something  really, really, really important or am in the middle of the masterpiece, I'm thwarted! Yes, you've heard it. Thwarted!  Not by the kids (and don't they know better than to interrupt mummy's  'mummy time'? Yes they do!), not by BH, who knows that something very important is going on behind that door, and not by the phone ( just ignore it) but by the large brown bear called Peewee! He stands at the door screeching! Yes...Peewee displays vocal abilities in all manners! Peewee is a talker. More than that he's a crier. A wailer and a moaner! Baby Bear (yes, I was forced into getting another brother for the brother of another mother) on the other hand is a sweet, less vocal creature who demands attention of strangers by jumping up and licking their faces.  If he can get his tongue in their mouth then it's a bonus as far as he's concerned as he bounds away after his happy slapping! Embarrassing or what?





Peewee looks all sweetness and light but he's the demander of my attention. If I don't give it...woe betide the whole household...he just won't shut up! 

"Eeeeeewwww! Eeeooooowwww! Eeeeeooooaaawww!" 

Seriously.  

He stands in the doorway telling me he needs my attention and doesn't like me sitting locked away.  It's fine when I'm standing in the kitchen  or when I'm doing the ironing, but he can't stand me sitting down.  Come to think of it, he doesn't really like me sitting at the kitchen table either.  He thinks if I'm sitting down I should be curled up scratching his belly...and he will whine, cry and moan until I give in!

He has several different cries or squeaks.  There's a certain one for the lack of water in his bowl accompanied by the raised eyebrow.  There's the one when he needs to go into the garden to bark at the world.  There's another when he's locked himself in the bathroom...(lovely cold floor in there but he will close the door behind him!!). Peewee just loves to talk. 

He's not a bad boy, in fact I would go as far to say he's an amazing boy.  He's almost human. He doesn't like anyone watching while he has a poo, so I have to turn my back. He wakes me up in the morning not with a cuppa, but his heavy load bearing down on my chest peering into my face...squeaking!

BH tells me I have him ruined.  Not for me! I give in for him.  I do it all for the loves of my life. Without me, they'd all have to run hither and thither for our talking pet. 


 They're so lucky I pick up the slack and the cr@p!!!

Wednesday, 5 August 2015

Losing a Parent.





My Dad is strong, fearless and brave. Those were the opening words of my eulogy for my Dad and those were the words I'd written in my exercise book when I was 8 years old. It was accompanied by a picture of Batman...another hero.

There are not enough words to describe him. I said that too. How can you condense a persons life into  a few paragraphs? When I sat down to write his eulogy I found I couldn't stop. I had my memories and I wanted everyone to know what a great man he was. It was easy, because I knew and loved him.

Losing a parent when you're an adult is strange feeling. As you get older you know the inevitable is going to happen but you consign it to the back of your mind in the hope you'll deal with it. Fleeting ideas pass through your mind. How would one parent cope without the other, or how would you cope without one of them? The little things they do as they get older is a reminder of their mortality. The general loss of confidence as they get older. Their slight slowing down. Their little ailments that seem to become more frequent, the questions they'd constantly ask about the Internet and technology, and all the things they kept forgetting and all the things from the past that they remembered....more than once!

Which one you'd prefer to go first?
How can you think like that?
But you do.

They became a tiny bit more dependent on us. How did all that happen?   None of it stopped them from enjoying their life and none of it stopped us from loving them but you hope you won't have to deal with the inevitable.

It's something you don't want to think or talk about.

When the inevitable did happen the world stopped turning for a few minutes. I couldn't think. I couldn't talk. I needed to sit and assimilate the words. I know my brother did too. He told me he'd have to phone me back because he couldn't think.

My dad passed away overseas and we all needed to get to my mum as quickly as possible. We needed to be with her that night but the flights had already left for that day it seemed like an insurmountable task given the state we were in. My sister had found a flight to Finland with a connecting flight to our destination. She wanted to take it. Her husband was pushing her to take it. The chances were she'd be stuck on her own, in a place she'd not be able to leave were higher than I wanted. I wanted us all to go together. Let me think I said. I'll work it out. So I did. We were all with my mum by midnight having taken planes, trains and automobiles.

I've found it hard to cry and but I think it's too big. I know if I cry I might never stop. Tears seep when something moves me. I weep when I hear of someone else's sadness and I cry at a sad tune on the radio, but I can't cry for Dad. If I give into the grief that I'm holding in my heart then I would be giving in to the madness which might engulf me...and that would be no help to anyone.
Spending time with mum has helped me. Over the past couple of years I've realised that caring for others in the same situation helps me greatly. It helps me understand my grief, sadness or pain by seeing it reflected back at me. Obviously, helping mum is the right thing to do, but being with her I know that it's also helping me.

A friend once said that caring for a parent is an honour and a privilege. It is. I see that now.

She's having to start all over again, after having had Dad in her life longer than not and she's finding it difficult. Of course she is. She's never been a weak woman but losing dad has sucked the life from her. She's weak right now. She has no idea how life works without dad. But she'll get there.

My Dad taught us to be strong, fearless and brave. I think we're living up to his legacy. 

Monday, 27 July 2015

"Where have you been?" they cried?

Well..I thought the last post was the break in my 'block'...but it appears it wasn't!  Not that it matters. Shit comes in all sizes and I've had a colon full this year.   I couldn't remember my password as it's been so long, neither could I remember the email address I used. Useless, that's me.  Anyhow, I've found my way back, so for me at least, that's a good thing. I'd hate for it to be lost in cyber world and I'd hate for all the words to mean nothing.

I've been away so long that I've forgotten how it all works. I've forgotten about Twitter and I've forgotten about Facebook. It became so complicated, especially when Google decided to change its method of feeding the feeds and all of that complicated stuff so I decided I'd really had enough.  Following someone because they followed me, just to get a few more views. Working out the best ways to get read and to promote the blog. For what?  It really became pointless after a while.  I tried to read everything everyone wrote and I became disillusioned with the whole process. The gangs, the mummy brigades, the whole works! I didn't fit in...and I wondered whether I wanted to. I wasn't sure where I was. I wasn't really anywhere except in my own real life.

There was a point to my blog, but I lost it trying to second guess what others might read.  What I'm really I'm really trying to say is that I wasn't true to myself. The truth is...I'm a writer. I write for the love of writing. I'm a mother, a wife and a writer. There. I've said it. No use pretending. No use in trying to be anything else.










Saturday, 4 January 2014

Bloggers Block.

I know you're not really that interested but I've been busy dismantling my life.   A bit dramatic, you think? Hmmm..maybe that's not quite accurate. OK, in that case I've been painting.  I've been painting everything!  I've painted the kitchen, I've painted the bathroom, I've painted some picture frames and I've painted some jolly nice hearts! 

You see, I've had bloggers block for a while.  I'd sit at the blank screen of the computer...and sit...and sit...smoke a fag...sit...make a coffee...sit.  It's made me feel practically useless so instead of just staring at the blank screen I thought maybe I should get creative.  I'm pretty good at painting. Not so good at sewing. Baking makes me fat...and exercising? Well, that just makes me tired.

So yes...I've had bloggers block ( I admit it!) and I felt (and still feel) that I didn't/don't have one original thought in my head!  Not one single one! Nothing I have to say is very interesting (still isn't, and please, I'm not looking for sympathy here).  I suppose my blog is a bit like my mind.  It jumps from project to project...thought to thought with very few paths, clear ideas or where it's going and where it will all end.

I love writing about the kids, but in all honesty although they amuse me I'm not sure it's fair to inflict them on the world.  I love the dogs and they make me giggle but really...a blog about the dogs?  I'm not that self indulgent not to know when something I find funny, others don't.  I'll be like one of those mums at the school gates who turn away when they see me coming.  "Oh here comes the boring one...you know the one that always has a tale to tell...not funny!"

Can I just tell you this though? 

Ma phoned me the other day. She was crying with mirth.  Mirth I know.  Mirth is when something happens to someone else.  Mirth is merciless and can not be hidden.  I knew I would laugh but didn't know for how long.  They were in Waitrose, at the tills paying for their groceries.  Pa's become a little clumsy in older age and dropped his paper, whilst holding onto the bags, so Ma bent down to pick it up as he rummaged in his pockets for his wallet.  As he leant over to put his card in the machine he could feel his trousers slipping slowly down towards his knees.  Ma was still on the floor picking up the scattered paper but looked up to see the spectacle of my father holding onto the bags, rummaging through his pockets as the his trousers slid south.  Apparently (she said) she let out a screech of horror (which I interpreted laughing uproariously!), which attracted the attention others, not only immediately behind, but those in other aisles...who started to laugh.  I have visions of everyone pointing at my Pa...laughing.  It fills me with pain...but it doesn't stop me from giggling...just a bit!  Pa managed to hitch his trousers back up before it became a "offensive act" and scuttled out of the supermarket, with Ma trailing behind, weeping, barely able to walk.  When she stopped crying (with mirth) long enough, she called me.

Anyway, I digress.  I think I've had this conversation with myself several times over the past few years and I'm no clearer in my direction than when I first started. As it's only for me (my blog, I mean) and as I'm not trying to please anyone but me...perhaps I should carry on down this road...but if I do will the bloggers block continue?  Or has this little post broken the cycle? I hope so.  I so enjoy it here!

Friday, 13 December 2013

Is Venting good for you?



Okay, so we all like a little rant now and again. I'm good with that. It's fine.  It's normal. Isn't it what Facebook is for after all? Something annoys you so you have a little rant and release all that pent up angst and fury.  Keyboard warrior comes rushing to the fore.  Let it all out. It’s good for you.    But is it? 

I’m a member of a forum of which I’m quite active.  A few of the people on the forum are personal friends...well..as much as the internet allows relationships with people you don’t actually know in real life.  A few are also Facebook friends.  I’d posted something on Facebook which I thought was ironic, witty and sardonic.  However, someone to exception to the status and proceeded to lambast all similar posts on social networks on our little home (the forum). 




Now, I’ve taken this a wee bit personally as my status was clearly supposed to be humorous . This particular person waxes lyrical about being pious and saintly yet has the audacity to take others to task over something which is a personal choice.  What followed was a debate about people who don’t send Christmas cards, preferring to donate to “charidee.”   I think the “friend” was more cheesed off with the fact that people were posting it rather than the actual act.  What’s wrong with that?  Isn’t it a personal choice? The “friend” thought it was tacky publishing it for all to see, but isn’t it a way of letting people your FB friends know that you won’t be sending cards to them all?  
"Charidee?  Charity?  Wassat?"


 I send cards but the list has gotten smaller these days.  Relatives dying off; friends moving out of your life; lost addresses.  I used to love writing Christmas cards but now it’s just a chore.   Looking through my Christmas card address book (oh yes, I have one) I see the names of those no longer with us.  It makes me feel sad and it makes me feel vulnerable.  I send cards to people who are important in my life and people who I don’t see as often as I’d like, not to send a card for cards sake.  I send a card to a friend each year in the hope that one day we’ll be friends again; and I send a card to Mrs B down the road, so that she doesn’t think she’s been forgotten.  She’s not on Facebook.

But charity is a choice and there’s nothing wrong with it. There’s nothing wrong in letting people know you won’t be sending them a card, is there? 

One year I sent a card to a friend I hadn’t seen in years. We sent the yearly Christmas card but that was about it.  Soon before Christmas I had a phone call from her. 

  
“Is everything all right?” she asked 
“How lovely to hear from you! Everything's fine. Why?” I replied.   
“It’s just that Connors name wasn’t on the card and I wondered why. “ she said warily.   
“No, Connors fine...but he’s the dog”. 



 
Whilst it might feel good to get it off your chest research has shown that that “venting” could make you less happy and more angry in the long term.  Andrea Weckerle, president of CiviliNation, a nonprofit organization working to reduce online hostility and adult cyberbullying, said "Online hostility is a public health crisis. Lives are destroyed through aggression online,".

Actually, I feel a bit better now...thank you for letting me vent.   And she’s off my Christmas card list!

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