Friday, 29 April 2011

Do we make our own luck?

It's an age old debate...are you lucky or not?

The other questions could be...is your glass half full or half empty.  We know the right answer to that.  My glass is generally half empty but that's only because I want it re-filling. I think the two are linked. But is it how we view our perception of luck or do we really attract bad luck?

I recently attended a couple of events.  On the table at both events were people who I view as intelligent, quick witted and interesting but who are either plagued with bad luck or blame outside influences for their lack of "je ne sais quoi."  One of the guests couldn't get a job in the industry he wanted.  I'd asked him what he'd tried and he replied "Nothing, it's not worth it...all the jobs are taken by those in the know" He'd put it down to his "bad luck" in never getting the job he wanted. He was plagued with it stating "I've never got what I wanted!" He poo pooed his degree stating that it wasn't worth the paper it was written on, but I have a sneaky  feeling he doesn't want to start at the bottom of the ladder. But he saw situation as being unlucky despite him not doing anything to rectify his situation.

Usually when "bad things" happen we put it down to bad luck.  The car breaks down, we're made redundant or someone close becomes ill. When "good things happen like a friend being able to fix your car, a job position becomes yours, or that person who is ill  gets well, we put it down to good luck.  But is it?

My parents have always believed they were lucky. Despite having lost two children, Ma often tells of her luck in keeping her remaining "chicks" close by. She thinks she's lucky to have had her "lost" children in her life. She's thinks she's lucky to have such loving children.  I put that down to good/great/amazing parenting. They put their successful business down to luck and being in the right place at the right time. It wasn't luck, it was hard work; making the right decisions at the right time; challenging themselves to create a better future and being certain of the great things during their times of sacrifice and hardship. They weren't afraid to take the plunge...they never were.  People will often say to them "Oh, you were so lucky" but they haven't seen the  blood sweat and tears that went in to creating such an empire. 

The person sitting at my table emitted pessimism and gloom. Yet, I know he could change his circumstances if he just looked at his options and made informed choices. Sometimes you have to go knocking at a lot of doors to get what you want.  Doors are opened by talking to the right people.  BB (beautiful Ben-nephew), has left Uni, and is searching for the right job.  He knows he has to take what is offered for the time being, but he understands the importance of networking and spends time talking to people.  He isn't afraid to put himself out there.  He recently tore a tendon in his knee, and although devastating for him (he is an athlete), he sees it as an opportunity to as a stepping stone to greater things.

People always tell me how lucky I am, and it's a phrase that I often spout out when something good happens.  "Of course," I say "I'm lucky that I have three beautiful children, two dogs, a home, a husband,...."
or
"It was luck pure luck that I got that for half price...I would've paid full price!" but I was in the right place at the right time and deny it's down to my own talents, but it got me thinking after speaking to the guests at the events. Some put their success down to hard work, others put it down to being in the right place at the right time. Some engineered situations, and some made choices that were right at that time. The ones that put it down to bad luck were the ones that usually saw the negativity in every situation.

On July 7th 2005, my brother was working in London. At Paddington, he decided not to catch his usual train and pop outside  for a quick cigarette. He boarded the train 5mins later...seconds after the train left the station he heard the explosion that devastated and killed many.   I'm not sure if that's luck, but we now say smoking saved his life!

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

I am my voice.....

I've been told many times that I have a "commercially viable voice".I'm not too sure what that means but I think it may have something to do with it's tone and timbre. You see, I have a deep voice. Deeper than most women's sweet  tinkling sounds. I've always had it. Ma used to laugh, especially in the morning when her sweet little girl would croak  "'ello mummy!".  I've also been told that I'd be good working the sex chat lines, but I tend to disagree as the filthiest words I use are generally "Take out the rubbish, you effing lazy git!"

When I phone for room service on my many jaunts, it's usual for the room service attendant to reply "It will be with you shortly, Sir." I used to respond "It's Madam, actually", but that sounded too prim, and very often they'd have put down the phone before I'd had a chance to respond.

Now, it's quite useful to phone on behalf of BH and pretend that I'm him, especially as very often it HAS to be him that is required on the other end..  I think I sound like a gay man, but who cares, it does the job.  As a child I found it difficult to sing and would mime the words in assembly. As I got older, men would listen to me.  Women would be a little intimidated.  Once, I overheard a co-worker talking about me. It wasn't hard as I was sitting right behind her.  "God, she sounds like a man...her voice is so deep!" As a 23 year old I was devastated.  I'd only heard "She's...like a man!".  I was often mistaken for a boy as a youth.  I was tall, skinny, flat chested, and it didn't help that i wore jeans and converse trainers most of the time. My hair was long (as it stills is), and I'd pull it back in a low pony tail. When baby-sitting for my elder brother (I was 15) I opened the door to one of his friends

"Oh, you must be Chris's brother!" 
"No, I'm his sister!"

Three years later, I had to fight him off with a stick.  The duckling had blossomed, and gained a few curves, but I didn't gain the dainty pretty voice I always hankered for.

Now, I'm told I have a sexy voice and it doesn't bother me. I have dulcet tones, and women and men love to hear me talk. I've been told I sound like Mariella Frostrup, or Sarah Beeny. I cringe when I hear myself on an answering phone or am caught on video.  I don't sound like me.

BH, on the other hand squeals like a girl when tickled. Although his voice is not deep it is appropriate for a man of his stature. He sounds gentle and kind and women will gaze into his baby blues and utter "I could listen to you all day!".  When he's excited his voice raises several octaves and I have to remind him that he is beginning to squeak!!

The boys still have their childhood boy voices, and Mimi, well, I think she's beginning to take after her ma. She has a croaky little voice, which makes me laugh, and in the mornings she sounds just like me!

Monday, 25 April 2011

I think I may live in Stepford......

I think I may live in Stepford.  I have lived here for 15  years. I don't know anymore people than when I first moved here.  I don't know my neighbours and I don't know anyone who I could borrow an egg from. It's not that it's unfriendly here. I'm on nodding terms with many of the dog walkers, apart from those with dobermans and rottweilers (who freak me out!),  but the only time I actually see anyone is when they're out washing their cars on a Sunday and in winter...forget it, the village looks like a small pox alert has been called!

There is a community. We have a community library, a post office, a pub, a sports club and we have a church, but I'm not part of it. My home is my castle. I have built a metaphoric wall around it and prefer not to become involved. I don't see my neighbours, because I don't have to.  I come out of my house and I don't see the houses either side, I jump into my car and off I go.  If I walk around the village, I wouldn't recognise them if they bit me on the nose!  I only know the name of the postmaster because I heard the guy in front of me call him "George"...I have no idea what his wife's name is.  They are both incredibly dour and if I try to engage them in conversation they pretend they haven't heard me, leaving me feeling a little silly while I cough in an attempt to cover any words that may have slipped out.  I always leave feeling like I should say something to draw their attention to their rudeness, but I'm not sure that they'd care. I know the folk in the queue behind me would probably leap on me and beat me with their zimmer frames so when I hear them say "Hello George, great day for a fishing trip" I know he likes fishing, when they say "How's that car of yours"  I know he has a fondness for his old jalopy which sits outside.  "How are the grand kids" "Is Jodie coming back for Christmas?"  I know they know things that I don''t .  I can hardly say "How are the grand kids...what are they doing now?" when I've never had  that actual conversation with him ,can I?

Mimi has noticed that they rarely talk to me.
"Why don't they talk to you mummy?"
"Because mummy is a pariah."  (I'm not) She thought I'd said mummy is a piranha, and told the boys that mummy is a fish!


The kids never play outside in the streets.  It's not the done thing. The other day Bart and his Friend Josh were in the lane next to the house on their bikes.  The neighbour came out and asked them what they were doing.
"Where do you come from?" he demanded.
Bart, ever polite said they lived  "over there!"
The man said no children lived around here, "Go away and don't come back. I'll call the police."

I nearly spat my coffee out when he related this back to me.  Clearly the kids are quiet as church mice. They don't hear them screaming blue murder as they beat each other up in the garden. Admittedly, they go to school at 8 and don't come home until 5, so the neighbours are clearly tucked up with their coco by the time the kids get to go outside. At the weekends, we're usually at the rugby, or on the lake so no noise from us at the weekend.  Our friends live in nearby villages, and as the kids don't go to school locally the only peeps we meet up with are those at the library.

My neighbours (although very nice, I'm sure), insist on trying to gain access in someway to my oasis. Our garden is protected by shrubbery and trees but they keep hacking through it  making small holes so that they can gain visibility into our domain. One night, while we were sipping pimms on the deck with some friends we spotted a light being shone through the trees.  On further investigation it was revealed that it was a torch being used by the neighbour to see what we were up to. Why?  Because we were laughing!  I don't need to see them and I don't want to see them.  I hear them very occasionally in their gardens, but that's usually when they're shouting at Peewee to get off their cabbages after he's wriggled through the smallest of gaps in the bushes to visit them.


If you think you recognise Stepford or me, then please don't greet me.  I'd be mortified that you'd recognised me, and I'd go scurrying back to my castle, pull up the drawbridge and deny that it was ever me!

Friday, 22 April 2011

I'm going to do a review!!

I'm all excited...wanna know why?  I'm going to do my first review!!  Not just any old review, but of a book...and I get to read it first!! Yee haaa!

Another part of me, which I'd forgotten as its such a major part of my life and is taken for granted is that... I read!  Not just one book each week but it can sometimes be up to 7 or 8.  I calculated once, that I spent more on books each month than on clothes...that's how much I love the written word!

I've always told the kids that I would always buy them any book they wanted, no matter the cost as a love of reading can change one's life and perspectives. It has never been questioned or the subject of debate and they know if they need a bit of retail therapy, then toys are never the answer in my book (pun, geddit?), but a book will push all those buttons. Bart, always asks for books then sticks them on the shelf never to be looked at again.  Finn on the other hand devours his books by the dozen. He then flicks through Bart's shelf to pick up the goriest he can find, so no waste!! And he reads them again and again.  Mimi is unlikely to read any of the boys books, so she has her own selection of sparkly, pink and visually attractive ones.  In fact anything that catches her eye, regardless of the content.  I've also found that Peewee loves books....he's chewed his way through those I leave on the floor.  He recently chewed the last two pages of a new book...I don't have the heart to start it now!


Beside my bed at any given time, there are about 10 books.  I have a study where I keep all of my favourite reads. Two of the walls are covered in floor to ceiling bookshelves.  They're not very tidy (neither is the study, that's why you're only getting to see a section!), but hey, who cares.....
My books...


I haven't taken to the kindle although I have it on my ipad.  To me the best part of reading is flopping into bed, and falling asleep on it! I love the feel of a book in my hands, bending back the spine and folding over the pages to mark the page where I need to start.  I use the dustcover of a hard back to mark those places too.  Sacrilege, I know, but they are my books.

I used to use "Read it Swap it" to recycle my books, but because the books weren't in pristine condition (I sometimes read in the bath!), some swappers got a bit narky.  Personally, I don't think  it mattered.  If you love reading, any book is worth reading despite it's condition.  I'm certainly not anal about it.

Now I donate them to our local community library. They are far more grateful.  Our library closed down last year, which is disgusting considering the rates we pay.  We live in a village, where the community is a mix of old and young.  The library was tiny, the size of a small shop, but it was regularly used.  The elderly would go and read the papers, and we'd meet up with the local children.  The selection of books weren't that brilliant, but it was a place where you could meet with others. We campaigned endlessly, but to no avail. So a group set up their own  library in the village and it now has a tea shop and a charity shop attached.


I had been toying with the idea of doing book reviews and have even dedicated a page to it (as yet still hidden)...however, hopefully this may kick start my idea of adding another blog to this blog with my own personal book reviews. So, next week I shall be reviewing my first book for this blog for Random House....oh and they sent it to me, for free...I wonder if I have to send it back?

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Award's and me...it's all about me as usual!


I've been given a couple of awards today so it looks like I'm going to busy the next couple of hours wracking my brain to find suitable responses and try and find 10 + 7 blogs to those who haven't already been awarded.  I'm sure you'll all be totally bored by the end of this post, and I won't be surprised if anyone denies they ever heard of me!!

The Kreativ Blogger award was awarded by Him, me & three. Please go and visit her lovely blog.   There are, as always, rules with the award and they are as follows;


1) Link to 10 Blogs
2) Let the 10 bloggers know they’ve been awarded
3) List 10 facts about you

The Versatile Award was awarded by 40blogSpot for my ramblings...she thought it amusing! Please go and visit, her blog is great!


1) Link to 15 Blogs
2) Let the 15 bloggers know they’ve been awarded
3) List 7 facts about you

Phew...I have no idea how I'm going to find 25 blogs that no one else has seen, but I will try my hardest. It may take some time.

Thanks for the award guys, and I'm sorry if I break the chain.


So, 10 + 7 facts
1. I'm older than most of you!
2. I hate my photo being taken.
3. I play the flute and the saxophone.
4. I have brown eyes.
5. I have a penchant for open topped cars.
6. I'm a hippy at heart.
7. I've lost a brother and a sister...both devastating, but has shaped me into the person I am.
8. I won't move away as my family is nearby and I love them all so much. I want to live on a boat, but the family ties are too strong.
9. I have taken RCA level one in sailing (toppers) but gave it all up because it was too difficult to light a fag.
10. I grow vegetables (badly).  The potatoes too small, the cabbages, slug infested and the marrows eaten by worms.
11. I was approached three times by modelling scouts, but I thought they were trying to get me to join a cult....when I look back I see how lovely I was.
12.Tony Hadley asked me out but I thought he was a creep.  I was never swayed by the fame of people...I knew they pooed the same as me!
13. I was once held hostage (2 days), but escaped when I begged to go and get a takeaway...I never reported it as I thought it was an experience.  Nothing happened, I wasn't hurt, the guy just wouldn't let me leave. Jaysus, what was I thinking?
14. I work in aluminum tubing.
15. I don't drink because I'm allergic to alcohol.  It makes me do crazy things, and I really like to be in charge of my faculties!
16.I have a degree.
17. I was chucked out of the girl guides for being a "bad influence"...but I wouldn't leave!


Now I've bored you to death, I have to list the next phase.  If you don't want to do it's OK.
For the Kreativ Award my votes are for:


A Scandinavian Sojourn
Dotty Noggin
and for the Versatile Award my votes go to:
I always find this a great opportunity to read and find other gems. There are so many great reads out there that I'm finding it hard to keep up with everyone. I'll add more when I have more time.

Sunday, 17 April 2011

My au-pair....

Unsurprisingly, the post about my au-pair created the most outrage amongst my lovely fellow bloggers.  It was a tad unexpected though, because I found the incident quite funny (although a little disturbing, if I'm honest.).

Ben has been hiding in his room...in fear of his manhood I guess. BH has made himself available for all viewings should they happen suddenly. Miriam, well, she's just Miriam. Water off a ducks back!  I finally plucked up the courage to tackle it head on and came away feeling a bit of a prude!  I mean, after seeing Mocha Beanie Mummies silent Sunday post (the wardrobe decoration)..I guess I shouldn't be too harsh on the poor girl.

Miriam was surprised that she offended anyone..but was the garden off limits for sunbathing in a bikini?
I said no, of course not as long as she shaves her legs...well, she said where's the difference?

Miriam has been with us for quite sometime.  The boys like her, Mimi likes her, BH is terrified of her (which is how I like it) and I have always liked her.  Her brazen ways amuse me. She makes good copy. If I tell her not to use my lipstick (it's disgusting) she says OK, then continues to use it.  I hide it, she finds it. I hide it again...then I can't find it!  It is getting me used to having another female in the house and I know that I'll have it all again with Mimi when she reaches that age.

Miriam comes from a small village in Slovakia. The family don't have a dishwasher, and granny lives next door. They grow vegetables, and keep chickens. She thought she was coming to the bright lights and streets of gold but unfortunately has landed in the "burbs", where it seems that every house looks the same (I beg to differ here!).  There is no bus route and she is cheesed off that she has to take a taxi as I won't let her drive my car.
"You must be joking!"  I said, as she asked for the keys to the Chelsea tractor...no way! So I gave her my bicycle to get her around, but she looks pretty great on it, even though she's in stilettos and smoking a fag...I've seen her! Really! I call her the vamp because I know once she gets her teeth into some guy, she isn't going to let go!

I told Ben that I think that Miriam "likes" him. He looked startled, then afraid.

"I know", he mumbled "I've had to lock my bedroom door"

"Why's that?"

"She's freaking me out. Every time I come out of my room, she's there...waiting"

What is it with girls today?  In my day, we'd wait for a guy to at least show some sign of interest, but now it seems that girls are not even interested in "interest".  If they want it, they'll take it. If a guy showed no interest in me, then I'd be a bit devastated and do something to draw attention to myself, like hang around outside his house...same thing eh? But now I see it's just scary.

Ben avoids all eye contact with Miriam. He skirts her like you'd do with a dog you're not too sure of. He leaves the house quickly in the morning and doesn't linger over dinner. I feel sorry for him as clearly, he's never been hunted before. It's quite funny, watching a strapping 6ft 3'er at odds with having to deal with  unwanted attention.

He says, "It because you're my aunt. I'm embarrassed. I don't want to offend you and I don't want to have to look after your kids if she leaves suddenly!"

There's no chance of that I'm afraid.  Miriam is un-offended by any statement, action or deed. She knows which side her bread is buttered. She is a rubbish au-pair, but I know she likes us, I know she's trustworthy and I know she'd never let me down.
Ben needs to develop a thicker skin, and Miriam, well, she'll be leaving us soon, so the search is on for another one.
Miriam has suggested her friend. My one question to her was,

"Is she like you?"

"Oh yes. But not as pretty!"

I'm not sure I could deal with another Miriam!!



Silent Sunday

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Iman al-Obaidi and rape victims in Libya

Several weeks ago (March 26th) we all saw a drama unfolding on our TV's.  A woman rushed into a hotel in Tripoli, where a group of foreign journalists were staying and having breakfast and told of her torture and gang rape at the hands of 15 of Gaddafi's Militia.  It was a frantic and frightening scene leaving many wondering what had happened to her.  Many thought she would disappear never to be seen again, and little has been reported of  the case that shocked much of the world, at least on our TV's.


Iman al-Obaidi was released into the care of her sister and on April 3rd gave a telephone interview on Libya TV. She told of her kidnapping, of her ordeal, and of her escape. She spoke of the 16 year old girl, also held along with other women. She spoke of her arrest and detention after the scene at the hotel, and the subsequent demands from officials that she change her story to reflect that it was the rebels that held her and not Gaddafi's men. They have offered an apartment and money.  She refused.  Officials are going to great lengths to discredit her and her story, with the official line that she is a prostitute. Adding to the drama, her perpetrators intend to sue her.

This is not a lone incident  in Libya.  Many victims of rape are placed in "social rehabilitation" centres allegedly for their own protection and to protect them from "honour" killings for which rape would bring shame to the families honour. But why would rape victims need rehabilitation? Why should rape victims feel punished rather than helped?

Whether or not you believe the story, or the circumstances is not part of the debate.  I read an article where a journalist (male), cautioned care when reading stories like these as they are part of campaign on part of foreign Psyops (Psychological Operations)  to try and sway public opinion and create outrage. Whilst I understand the reason for the article, it angered me, as it belittled the plight of any woman who had suffered at the hands of a rapist.  This woman had not been raped by one man, but by 15.  Without going into details she suffered a horrific experience and one that I would not expect any woman to endure in a civilised society. No woman deserves to be raped and no woman deserves to be smeared for speaking the truth.

Women are being raped the world over.  A woman raped in Libya (or in any country) deserves the same treatment as a woman raped in the UK or in any country that respects human rights. Iman al-Obaidi is not alone in Libya, but she is one lone voice speaking out about the atrocities that women face in her country.

I wonder what will happen to her when the foreign TV camera's and journalists leave and we've all but forgotten she existed. I wonder what will  happen to her then...but it won't matter because we'll have forgotten all about the brave woman who risked her life to let the west see how women are treated by their male counterparts in countries where your voice is stifled.

Avaaz (meaning voice) highlights campaigns, and has been organised to "organize citizens of all nations to close the gap between the world we have and the world most people everywhere want".  If there is one thing you can do from the comfort of your chair, then please join Avaaz, sign the petition and let victims the world over, have a voice.




Thursday, 14 April 2011

My must read blogs

I was recently asked by another blogger for my "must reads".

I'm probably not the best person to ask as I think the back of a cornflake packet can make for fascinating reading, but there are a few that I'll spend time over and will visit several times a week.  I like to think of them as my "friends" as they have something to say that I find interesting. They probably won't be every one's cup of tea, but if you're looking for something a bit different look no further than this eclectic bunch.

In no particular order



For me reading these are like visiting the homes of friends where I can relax, laugh, reflect or be peaceful...everyone has something different to offer and each of them offer something needed. I don't always comment on their posts, but I always read them.

I have mentioned some of them before and there are others that I  haven't included as I think a long list will detract from the quality of their work.

If you haven't already, please take a look they are real gems.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Tots100..my score is off the scale!

I have a tots100 badge on my sidebar...I have no idea why as my three are no longer tots. It just seemed like a good idea at the time!  However, I wonder whether I should remove it as I'm not in the 100 mark, or even the 200 mark...it's way, way lower.  I think it's off any scale that has been devised.  Why would I be proud to be 588th??

It's made me giggle all morning.  I think I may have to do a little bit more cleaning...of the blog; the home is filthy as it is and doesn't need any more help.

While it's a great idea to find out where you are score wise and who you are reaching, it is linked to Twitter and Facebook, which may give you an idea of the work involved but it's a great way to find other blogs to add to your rss reader. 

Don't add tots100 to your page if you are a sensitive soul, as it will have you reaching for the tranquillisers!

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Smells.......

Smells evoke memories of a time and place. I say this because recently I lost my sense of taste and smell for a while, and despite not being able to smell or taste anything I could imagine and remember what they were like.  I pondered the idea of just eating just lettuce and pretending that it was chocolate.  Having tried the experiment on cottage cheese, I soon realised that it really wasn't going to work.  Cottage cheese does not have the texture of cake...it has the texture of cottage cheese!

I have a candle on my desk. It's in a tin and was bought for my birthday by Bart.  I haven't lit it.  But every now and then, I lift the lid off and breath in the beautiful smell of a bluebell wood. I'm sure it doesn't smell like a bluebell wood. I'm not even sure I've smelt a bluebell wood, but it says so on the tin.  Now that spring is here, I open the door and smell the wonderful fresh distinctive smell of new beginnings. Walking the beasts, I smell growing grass, budding trees and earthy smells that mean the ground is beginning to wake. The slightly damp smell of early morning, but with a touch of sweetness.

As a child I would often stay with a friend in Primrose Hill.  She lived opposite the park, a short walk from the zoo. The smell would make her feel sick, but for me it was beautiful. Her home smelt like it had been doused in Patchouli oil, and peanut butter. I adored visiting her home, as the smell was so different from my own. With three dogs, geese, chickens, the noisy and disruptive brothers and sisters our home smelt of chaos!
I'm conscious that my home shouldn't smell like wet Labradors or muddy rugby boots, so open the windows for the fresh breeze to blow through.  When the lawn is cut, the cut grass aromas filter through the windows...aww luverly!  When we first looked at buying a house, we dismissed many as not suitable for our needs. It wasn't that they weren't right, they were, but they didn't have the right smell.

All the seasons have their own smells. All places have their own too. Autumn is bitter, musky, and damp scented with decaying apples and leaves. New York has a throaty, fuel scented aroma. Winter is crisp, and has been white with snow, scentless but breathtaking at times. Hong Kong too has the throaty fuel scent, but with a touch of fresh blue breeze as the wind rolls in from the sea.

Of course, there are a few smells that have me gagging and holding onto my stomach with a tissue stuffed in my mouth, running around the garden in an attempt to quell the rising bile... the smell of rotting fish and potatoes!  BH has other...well...dislikes. Peewee couldn't get to the garden the other morning, as we'd had a bit of a lie-in. I could hear BH retching when he went down to make a cuppa.  I wondered what could be making him gag so much.  On entering the kitchen there was the biggest pile of dog doo that I have ever seen (and they are getting bigger as he grows!)...it was mahoosive...seriously!  And it was steaming!   BH had attempted to cover it with a tissue, but he was gagging so loudly and theatrically, that his eyes were welling up with tears that he couldn't see where he was placing it...he missed by about a mile!! Watching him running around retching was the funniest thing I've seen in  a long time...I was crying with laughter!!   I had no problem cleaning up...but that's probably because I love him...Peewee, I mean! BH was never able to change nappies without collapsing onto the floor in fits of gagging...mind you, I love him too, that's why I forgive him!

Sunday, 3 April 2011

A pause...time for reflection.

Friday started pretty much the same as most days. Get up, get dressed, kids dressed, breakfast, shout, school run, chit chat at the school gate, back home, walk the beasts...then a quick glance at t'interweb. However, the quick glance turned into a marathon 6 hour visual, visceral, disseminating experience...and I'm not sure I actually enjoyed it.

You see, I have recently joined up to Twitter..(so I suppose I'm either a twit or a tweep), and let me tell you, it's shattering! Twitter is a social experience. Twitter expects interaction, after all that is its purpose, but I find  it has stolen huge chunks of my day. My phone receives tweets; my ipad receives tweets, but why do I feel this need? I've actually stopped answering my phone and text messages, in case I miss that tweet.  Why, for gods sake?  I didn't even tweet with anyone!.

For the second time this week, I've read a post which explained why they "unfollow" on Twitter. "Admirable," I thought.  "telling it like it is." There is etiquette, you see. Every single thing I did on Twitter, they despised. I would write inane comments, after all, that was what everyone else appeared to be doing.  They were amusing little tweets (or so I thought), but apparently, they are irritating!  They don't want to hear that I wondered whether the Fairies had left me any gifts.  They didn't even care about the size of Peewee's dog do (it's massive!), and they certainly didn't care if I was a bit reticent...it's a bloody social networking site for gawds sake! I have to be proactive, but by the time I've thought of a witty response to an inane comment , the moment is lost and they've actually moved on for a chat with someone else.   

Why I joined Twitter

Because somebody told me I should. Initially, that's all I thought I needed to do. Join Twitter and they will come.It felt a tad odd, so I followed a few people.  They followed me back. Had a bit of interaction. Nice, sane, intelligent people. Interested in education and politics.  Then, all of a sudden, I was followed by some others.  So I followed them back. Before I knew it, I was watching people chatter and I couldn't join in.

But it also made me think about the reason I joined Twitter. What do I get from it? Is Twitter working for me? At the moment I have to say no, I just don't have the time. I really don't interact...  just don't know what to say. I'm not normally a reticent individual...I'd go as far to say I'm quite gregarious.  BH tells me I'm invited to events for my entertainment value!

But it's also made me question, why I want to blog. All I want to do is write. I'm not even sure I wanted a blog, but I needed to write. Some time ago, someone commented "You're not just someones mummy!"  And she's right.  I'm not just a mummy, but my blog is about being a mummy.  But I'm so much more.  I love politics, I respect human rights, I relish civil liberties, am passionate about education and I adore travelling. So I think I may have lost my way.  Twitter has made me visit other blogs; blogs that I wouldn't have found in a million years, and for that I'm thankful. It has, in someways opened up the blogging experience. It's not all been fruitless.  I have "interacted" with and "met" some very talented writers, artists, and mothers.

So if you don't see much of me on twitter it's not because I don't want to play anymore, it's because I've realised that there is more to blogging than Twitter.  I want more. So Twitter, its "Sayonara" from me...just for a while while I tidy up the house and find something else to occupy my time...like living!

Postscript.  While I was writing this, I checked Twitter  7 times and I followed a further 5 followers who were following me! And I actually had a bit of fun!  How desperate have I become???

Saturday, 2 April 2011

The sum total of my words yesterday....

"Cup of tea?"
"Yeah"
"Get a move on"
"Later"
"Taking the dogs out!"
"Stay"
"Peewee! No!"
"Tired"
"Later
"I said later!"
"OK"
"What did you have for lunch?"
"Good day at the office?"
"Oh?"
"I said later!"
"Bed!  Now!"
"Not tonight...I've got a headache!"



Friday, 1 April 2011

Time to recycle

I once tried not to buy anything new for a whole year...I lasted 5 days! So much for my year of austerity.  I caved in because I saw an eyeshadow that I knew would change my life. I love recycling, it gives me a sense of doing something worthy.  We've always brought second hand furniture (BH says Antiques), but the effect is the one we're always after.  A great afternoon for me is a wander around the Junk (antique) shops, in the hope of a great find.

It's not for me, the expedition to Ikea, although I do like their napkins....and the meatballs with gravy and cranberry sauce!  BH gets palpitations in Ikea, and pulls at the neck of his shirt.  I can tell he's getting a bit angsty, so I divert him with a plate of herrings and smoked salmon.

Years ago, I was a regular car boot attendee.  I'd take a fiver, and give Bart £1, and off we'd go on a Sunday morning (before rugby took over our lives), I'd find great books, great dresses, and great crap...I once bought two beautiful armchairs for £5 because they hadn't sold for £200...and I pushed them home one of them with Bart sitting it, while I phoned BH to come and get the other. He was angry and mortified at the request, and demanded to know why I wanted them when we clearly had enough chairs!

When we were kids, my brothers and I would love going to the local jumble sale. Ma would give us some money and we'd come home with an abundance of stuff (rubbish). Everyone would get a gift.  Ma would get an ornament, that someone had decided was total tat, otherwise they wouldn't have given it away.  Pa would get some smelly old books.  We'd be sitting on the floor of the church hall flicking through the comics and books that were almost 50 years old. We once bought an early edition Alice in Wonderland.  The tracing paper covering the ink drawings were still intact.  It took pride of place in my bedroom, until one day I realised that it had gone.  Transpires that big bro swapped it for an Afghan coat...I've never forgiven him for that!  Very often, we'd have to buy a pram to push all our crap back. Ma would appear delighted with our purchases, but I know secretly she would donate them all back. A couple of times I saw  our things at the jumble sale. She hadn't asked for permission to donate so I would feel duty bound to buy them back.

I remember, the smell and I can feel the excitement.  The table were stacked high with clothes.  The book stall was always the one we would run to first. Little bro developed a passion for bibles and would collect all that he could find.  We did wonder whether he may divert his attentions to a secular faith, but no, he became something in IT.  I remember the home made cakes and the tea stall.  We'd always buy the cakes to take home for tea, and the ladies would throw in a couple of extra bits for these very strange ragamuffins who appeared to take delight in their wares, and we'd munch them on the way home.

We don't see many Jumble Sales any more.  Most of my stuff I donate to the charity shop or the local hospice.  I know it will be going to a good cause but for some reason I donate when they're close.  I leave the bag outside the shop, probably because I'm embarrassed to be donating such rubbish, and I worry they may drag out the items piece by piece, turn their noses up and tell me to take them down the tip...but if it wasn't rubbish I wouldn't be donating it, now would I?

I've decided that I have to do some major sorting out.  We can barely move in our house for all of the crap we have accumulated.  Toys, clothes, books, magazines (OK,  the books are not crap...but I have no intention in reading them again, so why do I hang onto them? )  but I don't need any of it, so why am I reluctant to dispose of it all.  What with all the bags of clothes in the spare room, I now have boxes of ornaments, old pans, sheets that I've had since year dot one, and an array of curtains.

So maybe it's now time for a car boot?

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