Wednesday, 27 July 2016

I almost had a meltdown

and not just because of the weather temps, although last night when I upped the speed on the treadmill because I thought it felt cooler, I almost literally melted. I was sweating in places I didn't know it was possible to sweat (too much. It's not often I doubt myself or feel bad about myself, but this past week or 2 I've come pretty close to dismissing myself - for quite a few different reasons. Obviously as I shared the other day I've found out a friend has been lying to me (although I really did know that from the very beginning deep down, I just didn't want to see it).
Check out my delightful "sweaty Betty" look after my workout :)
The girl that works for/with me told me she is leaving (she's actually on a interview right now for another job). Now, this isn't a bad thing in itself - it means the shop can free up some more money to spend on other things and I think spreading her wings will do her the world of good. Of course I'll miss her but sometimes you reach a point where things just have to change - we've reached that point. I've helped her out with what to wear to the interview and printed off her CV for her; it goes without saying if the new ones want a reference I'll give her a glowing one. However, I sat there wondering to myself what it is that I am doing so wrong when I can't afford just one part-time staff member and other shops are advertising for full and part-time. For days I doubted myself about whether I am good enough to be doing the job I do, then I had a lady bring me in a card and some chocs, a guy email me and leave the shop a great review and a phone call from a new customer telling me she won't go anywhere else. I then realised it's not that I'm doing anything wrong, it's just how it is. Being tucked around a corner from the main throng of shops doesn't help, plus the shop has a crap window area - I am working on changing it to a point but short of spending out £5000 there isn't a lot I can really do to change it too much. I've got some ideas on how to make the shop stand out a bit more but these all cost money and right now we don't have any to spare. We are busier than this time last year, but with the costs of everything else going up in recent weeks we're only just covering our overheads; there isn't anything spare to invest back in. I did decide I will get out and do a few wedding shows - I hate them with a passion, but it's a great way of meeting new people and getting others to know the shop is here. Even if I can't book a wedding or 2 I can at least make a good impression on people and let them know we are here. Yes, it means paying out money we don't have, but 1 wedding booking will end up paying for it in the long run so it has to be worth it. The downside to both Bex leaving and the shows though is the extra hours I will now have to work. I'd just got used to having a Thursday afternoon off once a month - that will have to stop and wedding shows mean working after closing on a Saturday and all day Sunday, but if that's what I have to do to pay the bills, then that's what I have to do. Maybe her leaving and me having my doubts are just what I needed because I am now more determined than ever to get things where they should be, no matter how bad my social life will suffer - let's face it, I don't have a social life to begin with so it won't make that much difference. I'll just spend more evenings at work than at home in front of the TV.

Then, just when I was thinking about how bad it could be, the shop went crazy. The phone didn't stop ringing, I had customers queuing outside the door and found myself working flat out to make up the orders - guess it was life showing me that having that little bit of faith in myself again I was to be rewarded. Happy Days.

My other 'meltdown moment' came earlier on today. I logged onto my bank account to see just how bad things are  - they're worse than they've ever been - but while logged on I got a message from they saying I was already pre-approved for a loan up to £9000. I sat back and thought about it for a while before telling myself to "go for it". I didn't/don't need that much so picked a figure a lot lower, but one that would cover my outstanding credit/store cards, clear my overdraft and give me a buffer in the bank in case of emergencies. It would also mean I could put away extra each month for savings. In effect I would be paying out almost £400 per month less (that's including the loan repayment). As I was already pre-approved I filled in the forms, explained why I wanted it, what I would be doing with it, and they turned me down. How can they tell me I am pre-approved for up to £9k, when I chose a figure half that and they refused me. It really didn't make any sense and I felt a bit down about it for over an hour or more. Then I sat back and worked things out and realised their loan wouldn't be paid off for 4 years, yet my bills will be paid off in 14 months. I know it means paying out a lot more but it will all be cleared sooner, so I'll just keep taking advantage of my overdraft and get on with it. Just goes to show, things don't always work out how you want them too, but they do work out exactly how they are supposed to.

Have I mentioned my weight stayed the same last week? Talk about being disappointed. I have stuck to the plan like superglue sticks to someone's fingers. I've not deviated off it once, nor have I gone over (or really anywhere near) the little extra's I'm allowed each day/week, yet I stayed the same. Still. I guess it's better than putting on. Had I put on I think I would got some scissors and cut bits of myself for there is no way wiht how I am eating I should ever put on again.

Sunday, 24 July 2016

Hmmm.. well that was unexpected

I've had a great week - actually it was even better than great until some ignorant arses decided it was ok to have a party that was still in full swing at 2.30am this morning (their music was shit and for 8 hours all I could hear was Doof, Doof, Doof). Then this morning I hopped on the scales all excited as I've been exceptionally good again this week and I didn't lose a single pound. Not one. I was exactly the same weight as I was lat week - I can't tell you how much this disappointed me. :( Thankfully I am so far into it now I believe I will keep going further and there is no going back - this time next week I will be smiling again :) My plan originally was to lose 2lb per week; I'm still ahead of that target so all is good really. Besides, these things happen. Just got to keep at it. Admittedly I didn't work out much last week - it was way too bloody hot - but that's really just for toning and feeling fitter on the inside. Of course I will be burning extra cals so it will help with the weight loss to a point, but what I ate should have have guaranteed I lost also, so no idea what happened. Onwards and upwards. 

Where it's been so hot the dog hasn't been out as much as she normally would - she's a dog that charges like a loon, wears herself out, then refuses to drink anything until she gets back home, so her walks have been late in the evening and shorter than normal - several times I've just let her out and played on the green outside the house with her so she's close enough to come straight back and drink. Yesterday though it felt slightly cooler than it has done, so I thought we'd take a drive over to a small woods that we like to walk through and she absolutely loves being in. We've never yet met anyone else inside them (although the last time we were there as we came out some guy with no control over his dog allowed them to try and attack her, leaving her traumatised). It usually takes us an hour to stroll round them, with the dog bouncing round like crazy the whole time we're in there. It's the only place she behaves like it and you can see she is just full of excitement to be there. She bounces back and forth through the ivy, bushes and weeds like a dog possessed - I call them the "magic woods" :0) Yesterday I figured it was time we headed over there - I figured under the cover of the trees it would be cooler and ok for her. I took water 'just in case'. When we got to the carpark a wedding was going on further over in the village so there was just one space left - not near where we usually park but it was a space. The dog was in her element. She ran from one bush to the next (peeing on most of them). She charged back and forth, jumped over fallen trees. She ran into things, over a fallen barbed wire fence (that caused major fear in us but luckily she's thick skinned and escape unharmed). She ran straight into a stick (that bounced off her tough chest - thankfully). We had to reel her in a bit she was that excitable to be there. I just love watching her there and seeing how much she enjoys herself. It's a like a child who has been let loose in a toy shop. 

Then came time to leave. Getting back to the car she was hot so I grabbed the bottle of water I'd taken with me, filled up the bowl I keep in the car for such times, popped it down in front of her and she did what she always does turning her nose up. Because the car was so hot I decided to open the doors, get the zircon running and have the car cool before we god back in. The dog was still panting like mad so I sprinkled a few splashes of water onto her. She then moved towards a wall where there were some bushes, dragging Mum along with her. I had the car cooling nicely when suddenly I heard Mum shout "bloody wasp - get off" before flapping and yelling. I looked over to see what was up with her and was going to tell her to get a grip over just a wasp, when I saw a swarm of bees just above her head - there must have been 300 of them, if not more. I then screamed "get in the car" as she let the dog jump in. I wasn't sure whether she was getting in the back or front so reached over to shut the front door when she threw herself in. I did my best Starchy and Hutch and pulled away like a rocket - I was terrified the way they swarmed I was about to have a car full. Mum then yelled she'd been stung and I noticed there was one int he back of the car. I was out, round to the back, had the door open, bee gone, door shut and was back in the car like a flash. As I pulled away I then noticed there was a bee in Mums hair, told her and she was out shaking it off, and back in the car. We were out of that carpark like a rocket - the whole thing lasted less than 30 seconds from the minute her and the dog get in. The bees were moving our way so I realised just how dangerous the situation we were in could be. Thankfully the dog avoided being stung, Mum never and has a nice red lump on her leg. It was all go for a while that's for sure.

One other downside to how last week ended and this begun is realising a 'friend' has lied to me and although I had my suspicions they've just confirmed it on their FB and Instagram pages. Sadly it seems that my choice of friends over the years has been totally shit more often than good, but we live and learn. 

Saturday, 16 July 2016

There's a small chance

I may have learned a thing or 2 this week :) 

One major thing I learned is that no matter how things are in my life, worrying about them is totally pointless. I had a bad night Thursday with many things on my mind, whizzing round, causing me to be awake more than I was asleep. Some of these things had me actually doubting myself which is never a good thing. Some had me wondering whether I need to clear a few more 'friends' out of my life. Another had me wondering whether it is just that I am so boring, people seem to feel the need to ignore me when I am talking by talking over me, or if it's just because they are totally ignorant arseholes? Yep, many, many people do it to me. One 'friend' the other week asked me a question and as I began to ask then completely blanked me and went on about something completely different. I guess I've just answered myself with that really - I must just be boring :) I'm sure you've all been there though; one thing happens in life that makes you question many other things? Stupid things that really are of no significance in the grand scheme of things. This I was reminded of when I switched on the news Friday morning to see another 84 people had been murdered in France. I don't know what is going to happen in this world before I depart it, but the way things are going I fear it will only get worse. That one act from a lone creature (not worthy of being called a man, or even human) made me realise though that everything I had spent the night worrying about, was totally pointless. If someone talks over me I just need to turn my back to them and carry on with my day, or wait until they are on a waffle about something and do that same back to them. It's that simple. The other things I was worrying about are things I don't really have any control over anyway; I've done the best I can to my own ability. Sometimes things work out, sometimes they don't - that's just life. When I saw all those people who lost their lives, and loved ones who will never get to hug their partner, wife, husband, son, daughter or just someone they love, again, it put everything in context. Cherish the people you have in your life; let me know daily just what they mean to you. Never take anyone for granted as you have no idea how long they may be around for. 

Now, back to life in general and how I am still on my health kick - oh yeah, just about to complete week 11 and not once have I been tempted back to the dark side. The box of charity sweets we have in the shop is still as intact today as the day they dropped it off. This girl is on a mission. That mission lead me to the purchase of a treadmill - an electric one at that. There are only so many local streets I can pound with the dog every day before I get bored (and they are not the most entertaining of views either) so I thought I would make up the extra miles I want to be doing in my own garden, under the gazebo while watching a movie or listening to music as I do so. I had to build it myself with instructions MFI could only ever have dreamed of attaining - as it turns out the leaflet in the box I had wasn't even for a treadmill, but for a cross-trainer so that's why it took me a little longer than normal to get it set up and running. Once it was sorted I warmed up properly, set the speed at 3 miles an hour (my average strolling pace - I didn't see the point in route marching myself) and stepped on. I walked for what felt like hours. The temperature outside was 26'c (way, way wayyyyyy tooo hot for me on a normal day as it is) with and 80% humidity. The sweat was running off me (and I don't normally have to deal with sweat at all). I looked at my watch expecting to see I'd been going for at least 40 minutes to find I was only 12 minutes in. How on earth is it possible for such a thing to happen? Had I been out on the streets for 12 minutes I wouldn't have even made it passed the woods, yet there I was, walking for England and getting absolutely nowhere. I thought time passed by slowly when I worked in the factory and would check 30 mini conveyor belts covered in tampons (I had to make sure they all faced the correct way - it took just 5 seconds for them to get from one end to the other too so there was a lot of little blobs of white cotton whizzing by me at any one time). Since having the treadmill I have learned time actually flew by at the speed of sound at the factory, when I compare the 2.  My second evening passed a little bit quicker when I stuck some Ugly Kid Joe videos on youtube, set the speed to the average tempo of most songs (the beaty ones at least) and bopped along as I walked imagining I was at a gig jumping along with everyone else. However, even that seemed to drag and after 24 minutes (yep, I made it that far) I was ready to pack the thing back up, sell it on ebay and wander the boring, grey streets. Then I remembered. I'm not a quitter, so last night I got my fat arse back out there, did a 2 mile walk in just under 40 minutes, sweated out at least 3lb (I can't wait to weigh in tomorrow morning) and have challenged myself to get to an hour a day by the end of August (I can't set that target any closer, because I'm not quite ready to be bored to death just yet). If I've not lost 2lb this week, I think I might just cry. :) On the plus side though, no part of my body aches and breathing was as natural as any other time, so I must be better equipped on the inside than I thought I was. Except my back, but that's been aching a few weeks and I think a proper deep massage would help that no end. Not sure my friend having a bash the other week did me any good either - in fact I think he did more harm than good as it hurts now, whereas before it just ached.

I've now gone 7 weeks without alcohol. Go me. Will admit tonight I could happily crack open a bottler of wine, but the amount of SW syns in a bottle it's really not worth it; besides I never sleep well when I've had any kind of drink, even if it's just one glass and there is enough other crap to keep me awake at night without adding to it.

I also learned that not everything should be dyed a different colour, but in an odd way I'm quite glad they did. What am I talking about? Well you've all heard about the Rainbow Roses.. how about a rainbow Chrysanthemum bloom?

Wednesday, 13 July 2016


I read a book yesterday - see, I said I was going to read more :)  It was recommended to me by a friend, yet it's not one I shall be recommending to anyone, or sharing on here; not because it wasn't any good (in some places it was really good) but because it is the kind of book that is personal. If I thought it might help someone I would suggest it, but 90% of my friends are no open-minded enough to even want to try to read such a book - they live in a world where it's black and white with no grey and colours don't exist. Anything that doesn't conform to their version of "normal" is irrelevant. The ones who I know would read it, aren't at the stage in their lives where it would be of any use to them. As for the random stranger who may have come across this blog while searching for something else (I can only apologise to you if you have been lead here and suggest you move away quickly before you are bored to tears :) :) ) well I don't know those people so can't say if it would be of any use to them or not :) 

Yes, I am aware I am being the one thing I don't like about social media (vague) but that's just how it has to be and you either accept that and move on or you don't - I really don't care :) 

There was one bit in said book (that I've not said but you know what I mean) where the author touched upon a characters fear and that really struck a chord with me. There were literally just 3 lines in a book of 200 pages but they stood out for me in such a way they have helped me to make sense of a lot of shit I've been through and dealt with. Fear is an odd thing which makes people behave in strange ways and I know now that the very people who have bullied me and made up such horrific lies about me, did so out of fear - now I pity them even more than I did before, and if there is one thing I would hate someone to feel for me, it's pity. I get that my female (ex) friend believed the lies she was told about me and got herself on one so much over it because of fear. It wasn't because she was jealous at all, it was because she was scared. Scared that if the lies had been truths then she could end up a loser - sadly she still has, as has the one that told her such nasty lies as well. I can only assume she was scared her kids would end up spending more time with me than her, and that if the lies had been truths I may have stopped her ex from giving her the huge amounts of money he gives her each month. It was her fear that caused the issue with us, not her jealousy as I lead myself to believe. Sadly, the vile thing that put those fears into her head was also suffering with fear. With my being out of the way he stood to gain much more so he behaved towards me the way he did out of fear, that he may lose everyone. Both of them have issues and fears of abandonment, and while one made up lies to try to cover his fear, the other believed them based on her own fears - equally they both fear being alone or not being wanted. She, because she is adopted and has a chip on her shoulder the size of Gibraltar rock about it; he because he was sent off to boarding school and left to his own devices while his younger siblings were kept together in the family home. Both of them fear being abandoned; that's why he chose not to stick up for me with regards to an issue his Mother and I had with each other. For him, he had to let her believe I was the one in wrong because he couldn't handle her turning on him. How sad is that?  Not that she ever would for she has an even greater fear that her own children will one day walk away from her, so he actually has the upper hand on that one. What soul destroying worlds they both must live in. 

Having said all that, this is not just about them. I realised that I too have let my fears affect how I live, how I behave and how I let people treat me. For years I allowed him to bully me because I feared the consequences of his actions if I hadn't let him. I now know the worst he could do is what he's done, but before it all kicked off I had no idea how far he would be willing to go, or what the end result would be. I feared him in the same way I had feared the bullies when I was at school; they had inflicted great physical pain on me (physically) yet I now realise they too need to be forgiven, for they weren't doing it for any other reason than their own fears either. I was popular with the boys in school - not in a sexual way, but in a way of my being "one of the boys". As such I got on well with 99% of them (still get on better with males than females). Yes, the girls were jealous, but it was jealousy fueled by fear. What if one of the boys they wanted made a move on me? They feared they would never get the boy they wanted because of my friendship with him, so I was then someone to fear. How do you deal with your fears? You either let them rule you and become insular, or you lash out at them.  The pattern I can now see between all my former tormentors is so clear I'm amazed I never saw it sooner - maybe my own fears stopped me from realising that's what the issue was. Maybe I feared letting go of it all for by keeping it, I got to keep a protective barrier around myself. Letting go of the fear of them means letting go of it all (something I have done more in recent months and after yesterdays reading session will be doing more of also). At the end of the day they did their worst and it affected my life in no way other than I lost someone I thought was a friend. That's the worst they did. They came out of the whole thing far worse off than I did also, so my fears were really for nothing, and that is something I am going to remind myself of the next time I find myself fearful of something - anything. At the end of the day what is the very worst that can happen?

The really odd thing about it all is that the book I read wasn't recommended to me for that reason at all, and I said there were just 3 lines in it where a character felt fear - I guess I was meant to read if for that reason alone :)

Sunday, 10 July 2016

Happy Days

2 weeks it's been since I waffled on here and what a lovely fortnight it has been indeed - ish. I do have a poorly little old Mumsy right now (she has some kind of flu bug with a right nasty cough). She's been rough for 8 days and although the cold part of her illness has disappeared, the cough hasn't and she has basically been tucked up on the sofa for the whole time - anyone who knows my Mum will know she's not the kind of person to do such a thing (she goes out every day at least once). 

Anyway, aside from that I had a catch up with the kids and old friends the other Friday evening which was lovely (not sure I should have eaten the pudding I did during our meal - 41 Slimming World syns.. eeeeeeek, but so very worth it). Thankfully I still managed to lose a whole pound even after the pudding (it was lush) so that was a huge bonus. Having cuddles with Juanita was lovely too - I do love that little munchkin.

I upped the exercise this week too (not sure who I am or what's going on with me right now). Not by a massive margin as I'm not crazy enough to over-do it; I know this is a 'take it slow keep it off health kick' but I've added some extra roads to my usual dog walk and upped the speed with which I do them, and it feels so good to be able to. This week (by that I mean today) when I weighed in I'd lost another 4lb. That's half short of 2 stone in 10 weeks - I'm happy with that. Basically I've averaged 2.75lb per week - 2lb per week is my aim and would see me lose 8 stone in a year (more than enough) and ensures it stays off if I do it that slowly. It's been so much easier since I signed up to Slimming World again - oddly I tried with them twice before but it just never gelled. This time though I'm finding it so easy and I feel all I ever do is eat - thankfully all the right stuff. When I find myself heading for a peach or strawberry rather than a biscuit I know I'm not the real me.. hahahaha.. Or maybe I am the real me, it's just taken me way too may years to find myself :) Same with the exercise; I didn't need to up it because with SW I can eat treats if I want them, whereas when I was calorie counting I had to do exercise if I wanted a treat, but I think because I don't have to do it, I am enjoying doing it. It's about getting fit now, not just as a chore for something I might want to have a nibble on. It also means I'm getting ever closer to being able to add my name to the Bone Marrow and Blood Cancer register, and that is something really important to me. I know I may never get called upon for either, but to know I am on the list and could help at some point would mean a lot; that helps to spur me on and keep me on track.

Now, I'm not sure if it's because I've lost some weight (although I am still massively overweight) but this weekend I've not taken a bad photo - something that NEVER happens to me.  There is another full length one of me but I couldn't crop out the others and I don't share people on social things without their permission (other than Facebook if they were on there as I tag everyone) . 

Yesterday I had a wonderful day. 2 of my cousins were over from the USA again; they've been here a week and went back today, but yesterday they were not far from us, so we decided to have a meet up at Stonehenge. Mum was meant to come but was unable, and thankfully I was able to get the morning off work to go or I would have missed out. I travelled with my brother and BIL which was nice (I do enjoy days out when someone else drives :) ). I've never been to stonehenge before and in all honesty it's not somewhere that appealed; I've driven by many times and almost stopped once a few years back but the weather was a bit iffy and as it didn't appeal we never stopped. I would say what a downside that was and I missed out, however, I don't think it would have been the same had I not visited with the family, as I did yesterday. I think I ways meant to visit with them which is why I never went before. I absolutely loved it and could have spent a lot longer there - sadly our family were en route to the airport for their flight home so we didn't have as long as we could have. They do offer an out of hours tour round them where you can actually get in among them so I think I may look into that as I would dearly love to have got closer - the tickets are dearer but I think they would be well worth paying for. 

All in all, I am totally loving life right now; long may it continue :) 

Monday, 27 June 2016

"YES, I did"

I voted out in the EU referendum last Thursday. 

So, now we've got that out of the way, shall we continue? What? You're shocked because you never knew I was a racist, and would do such a thing as vote to leave? Ok then, while I don't have to explain myself to anyone, I will damn well defend myself so it looks as though we're going to have to talk about this and get it out of the way.

First off, WHERE do you get that I am a racist from? How does my voting out make me so? Is it because I want my own country to be governed by people who live here, not by someone who lives across a sea hundreds of miles away? Because I believe that the EU had way too much sway over the country I was born and raised in? Because I was genuinely concerned that in 20/30/40 years time we would be swallowed whole (along with the rest of the 27 EU countries - with more to join later) and become just a non-specific state within a European Federation ruled by people who have never even experienced our culture or part of the world? Is it because I believe being a part of the EU actually hinders us, rather than aids us - there's a big world out there and by tying ourselves to Europe we were pushing further away from the rest. Does all that make me a racist? NO, of course it doesn't, so what gives someone the right to brand me one? I was lucky enough to be brought up by amazing parents who taught me to never judge anyone on the colour of their skin, to judge them solely on who they are. Those are learnings I live by each and every day. I don't give a shit if you are red, black, white, yellow or sky blue with purple dots - if you are an arsehole, then that's who you are, but I won't judge you on that until I get to know you, so how DARE these people (those who voted remain) claim I am a racist. Sadly some of my friends and family have also shared things since Thursday via social media that basically claim anyone who voted out is a racist. Those words really hurt me, as these are being shared by people who know me, have spent time with me. I find their tarring me with a nasty brush genuinely upsetting.

I despise Nigel Farage as much as the next person - now he is a racist - and everything he stands for. In fact I find him even more despicable than the BNP because at least they are upfront about being vile creatures who hate anyone that doesn't conform to their stereotype. I am aware his whole campaign was run on the immigration issue, but that was just him, and he had no sway or control over my vote. I'll be honest anyone who voted out based on immigration is a fucking idiot. We already control our own borders, we always have done. That will never change. Thankfully I am educated enough to understand that immigration works both ways - people enter the country, people leave the country. Of course there are some idiots out there who haven't got a clue and who would have voted out based on that ignorance, but I am not one of them. I have not a single problem with anyone coming into - well I guess England now, for we are definitely not a United Kingdom at this moment in time, and there's not particularly anything great about us. My own great-grandparents were themselves Polish immigrants (albeit they ended up stateside, but they were immigrants none-the-less), and I would rather have people moving here from European countries who want to work and make a better life for themselves, than 90% of the English people who were born and raised here that sponge off our benefits system. I am also all for helping out people/refugees who are being persecuted in their own countries - just because I voted out, doesn't mean I don't care about these people. I'm on the edge of a big housing association/council area and every day I watch families with the newest mobiles, the latest designer clothes, the best prams and buggies, who have take-away's for dinner every night, they drive brand new cars, yet talk about how hard done by they are while discussing how great they think sky Q is (I work 60 hours a week and can't really afford a basic sky package yet they have the most prestigious one there is which they watch on 65" tv screens) when they've never worked a day in their life, yet I have several Polish guys who deliver to me at work who start at 6 in the morning, finish at 9 at night and work for little more than £3 per hour (sometimes less if they get stuck in traffic and can't get all their deliveries out on time). I would rather my country was filled with those guys, than the spongers. Having said that though, I do feel we need to have a better system in place regarding who we allow in, and that did go some way to me choosing to vote out.

Let's take the Americans now as an example for allowing/not allowing people in and out. If I want to go there (or anyone from Europe wants to go there) I have to fill in a form stating where I am staying, why I am visiting and what I will do while out there. I am then finger printed and have my eye's scanned before they might consider letting me through to visit. That allows me no more than 12 weeks to stay in the country. If I wish to stay longer I have to apply for a visa, prove I am capable of supporting myself and I have to pay extra for the privilege. I see nothing wrong with that; they want to protect themselves from undesirables. If an American wants to come here, they face similar scrutiny although I don't think we are quite as tough. In fact I have an american friend who is not allowed to visit here because he has a criminal record. They have everything they need to know about him on file, his whole life is covered, I would have been willing to stand as a guarantor for him, yet he is unable to visit due to an indiscretion in his younger years. Now, let's say he was from within the EU. All he would have to do is show his passport photo matched with his face and he's in. Not only is he in, he can stay as long as he likes, he doesn't have to show he can provide for himself as we have a benefits system that will help him; as he's done his time for his crime he's free to come and go as he pleases, just as any criminal from within the EU is, and that's where I think we need a better system in place. Is it right that just because a country pays into the EU coffers, automatically everyone of their citizens has the right to come and go as they please, yet people from outside the EU have to jump through hoops? Oh wait - half of them don't even pay into the system either. Am I wrong to believe we should all have to follow the same rules, regardless? Does that make me a racist?  

I want to visit Berlin, Warsaw, Saltzburg and many other EU countries before I depart this mortal coil so I'm not anti-europe in any way. I just think the EU bureaucrats were gaining too much control and it would have soon begun to spin way out of the individual countries hands.  

Leading up to the vote all I kept hearing was how we need to stay as we do 46% of all our trade through it. So, let me get this right. 46% of our trade is via the EU, which is made up of 27 countries. That means the remaining 54% of our trade is done OUTSIDE the EU. That's right, again, there is a whole world out there, and come on, do you really think they are suddenly going to stop trading with us? They have goods they want to sell and products they want to buy; they're really not that stupid that they would cut off their noses to spite their faces and stop trading with us. And if they do, then so be it. There are plenty of other countries in the world we can buy from. Even Obama (who I used to have a lot of respect for) has come out and said he doesn't want anything to change between our 2 countries, yet just the other week he was saying it would be foolish of us to leave and could affect relations. I've actually seen some pretty awful stuff coming from the other side of the pond about those of us that voted to leave, also. Again most of it playing the race card. The irony from a country that is quite possibly the most racist in the world, who treat the very people they took the land from that they now live on as if they are 3rd class citizens. Maybe if they were to pally up with the rest of of North America, and all of South America, only to find that they are unable to make their own rules regarding their own country and have to abide by what some elected government from 27 different countries operating out of Venezuela tells them, they might think differently about those of us who voted for out. 

The whole fallout since is pretty farcical. A petition to have another vote because those who wanted in didn't win. What happened to democracy? Just because the result didn't go the way you wanted, doesn't mean we need to do it all again. The majority ruled, whether you believe rightly, or wrongly, that is how democracy works. People like Kim Jong Un and Robert Mugabe must be sat back laughing at us right now; they can use what is going on over here as a valid reason to explain why democracy doesn't work. It needs to stop. What's done is done. Had the result been the other way I would have said the same thing if the brexit brigade kicked off about it. 

I've seen over-privileged teenage kids living off the bank of Mummy and Daddy, who think they know best, whining on TV about how it wasn't 'fair' they didn't get to vote when it affects their future. Well younglings, life isn't fair - deal with it, and it's not just your future that was being voted for. I hope to have another 50 years on this planet, so I was thinking of my future also when I put my cross in the box. While I have no doubt that there are some 16/17 - possibly even 13/14/15 years old who are educated enough to understand how politics work (some of them far better than I ever will) for each of those there are probably a dozen who couldn't even decide what to wear to school that day. I heard one girl going on about how she's "not british" but is in fact "European" which just goes to prove my point about how we seem to be losing our identity. I saw a great meme shared on twitter yesterday regarding youngsters. I'll add it below this paragraph. I found it rather fitting, yet I am sure they will still bleet on about "how unfair" it was for them.

So, YES, I voted out. No, I never expected that would be the result. I was as shocked as the rest of the country when I saw what had happened, but I'm glad it's happened and if you still believe me to be a racist for doing so, then you really don't know me at all. 

One last point to note. Surely by voting in I would have actually been more prejudiced and discriminatory against anyone from outside the EU, because anyone who voted to remain was effectively saying "if you don't belong to the EU then we don't want you here" as it's harder for people outside the EU to enter, than it is for those who are inside the bubble. Now. who is the racist? 

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

I looked in the mirror

and for the first time in so many years (so, so many) I genuinely liked the woman who looked back at me. I looked beyond the outer shell and into the eyes, where I saw not only who I have become, but who I am yet to be. There was no anger, no hatred, no negativity to be seen at all, just promise and positivity, things that for so long seemed out of reach to me. The same promise and hope that would stare back at me when I was a teenager, looking at the world through those eyes, wondering what life held in store for me. I'd overcome the childhood bullies then, grown into my skin (ok, so it stretched a little at the edges - still does, a lot) and was ready to take on the world. Before I allowed others to take hold of my thoughts and feelings, before I allowed people to tell me I wasn't good enough, wasn't pretty enough, didn't dress right, wore the wrong shoes, had my hair the wrong style and colour, didn't have a perfect figure. Before people who were meant to be my friends would tell me what I should wear, because to them, being me, was wrong. Being the real me, the person I was (AM) didn't fit with their thoughts, with their opinions and so I allowed myself to be pushed down as well as pushed around. I let those people make me believe I wasn't worth anything, that nobody would want me for who I was - although NEVER once did I change how I dress or my hair to please them; some small part of me remained and fought against them. They would tell me people wouldn't/didn't want to know me because I didn't conform to what they believed was right, regardless of how I felt inside. As a result of this I too began to think I wasn't good enough, which resulted in me not setting my sights any higher than the dregs. I never believed the good looking guy would want me, for my friends had told me I wasn't good enough for him, so I set my sights lower and lower until all I could allow myself to be with were total and utter arseholes, who treated me like shit - because I let them, because I didn't think l was worth more than them. When one day a gorgeous guy - a few years my junior - entered my life and began to pay attention to me, I assumed it was for a bet. Don't get me wrong, he had some issues, but because of my own issues I pushed him further away, never believing his intentions to be good, never believing I deserved such a person. One day he finally broke through, I actually allowed him to hold my hand as we walked along the seafront. This may not sound like a lot to you, but I despise PDA's. I have no time for them and have no intention of kissing and cuddling in public - it's a personal thing and not intended to upset or offend anyone, I just believe that some things should be kept private. Now, admittedly it was past midnight when we took our stroll (we used to head to the beach with a flask of tea - so old for such young people - where we lay down and looked for shooting stars) but even so, there were still people about so for me to allow him to take my hand was a big deal. He made me feel like the most important person on the earth and while I still held back about things and had a lot of reservations, deep down within me, I truly believed him the day he told me we would end up an old married couple, still heading to the beach on summers evening, enjoying each other's company. He helped me to believe that maybe I was worthy - he hated the people who seemed to enjoy spending their time pushing me down. Then, one day, he died. I saw this as the doubters being correct - I wasn't worthy of such happiness, so I sank back to being the person they told me I was, the person they seemed to want me to be. I sat back and let them walk all over me and ended up hating who I was, and what I had become. Years after Lou died, it didn't matter how many times my Mr Nathan would tell me I was worth more (so much more - now there's a man who loves me for who I am) I still didn't believe I was worthy of anyone's love and so I would push away those who genuinely cared, while keeping those who made me so miserable, close. It was as though I couldn't dare let myself be happy or find happiness. The old saying "it's better the devil you know" was so fitting for me. It was safer to stick with who (and what) I knew, rather than find the courage to walk away, try something different. Trust that it could be everything I dreamed it would be, and more. Then suddenly, one day I bit back; I decided enough was enough. It was time to take control. 

It's not been an easy ride and several times I've fallen back into that mindset I had (so easy when it's been ingrained in you for so long), but finally I feel like me again. It was me I saw in the mirror - I like me. Heck, I even LOVE me. I'm not sure what brought about this revival - whether it was finally realising I am free of them; whether I had a dream where I was reminded that this is MY life, that I only get ONE shot at it and that I've spent way too many years being miserable.  Maybe the real me would have surfaced had they still been around (I'll never know for sure) but I do doubt it. I would have kept plodding along, thinking myself not worthy, believing I was a nothing and a nobody, when I am in fact a something and a somebody and their lack of respect is an indication of their personality, not mine. I could get angry at myself for being so bloody stupid for all these years, or angry with them for doing it to me, but there is no point in that. Anger doesn't get us anywhere, in fact it makes things feel far worse than they are. If anything I feel pity for them, for their lives must be so awful to make them want to project their pain onto someone else. I was once told I'm the perfect vessel for a psychic vampire to attack for my empathy is what they prey on; they like someone who cares, who has feelings, who will put themselves out to help others. I realise that's exactly what happened. I allowed them to suck the life force out of me. I allowed them to feed from me. The only person to blame for my misery is, ME. They are not to blame - they know no better. It's just who they are and I wish they too could finally find the peace, contentment and inner happiness that is currently flowing through me. They can't help being who they are, any more than I can help being who I am, but the difference between us is that I don't need to feed off others for where they see darkness and hatred, I see light and nature. Sit me in the middle of woods with a book and I will be happy. I find the rustle of the leaves comforting, the sound of the birds chirping enthralling. I don't need humans to entertain me; I don't need to use people to bring pleasure to my life (except for a select few of course who I hope will always be part of my life for they are the true ones who help make each day a little better than the one before). For the most part though I just need to breathe deep and open my eyes to find my own personal happiness and contentment. That is why those who have wronged me so badly, and who have gone out of their way to push me down will never need to fear my wrath for how they have wronged me (as I said, I allowed them and they cannot be held responsible for that. I and I alone take the blame for letting them do it to me). I hope one day they truly find whatever is lacking in their lives that makes them behave to others in such a cruel and nasty way - I just hope it doesn't come at the expense of another empathic person. Never fear though, I'm not going to shave my head and start dancing round the woods naked (although if that's what helps another person deal with their life or bring them happiness, then who am I (or anyone else) to judge?). I'll still be the same person everyone knows (those of you I still allow to be part of my life that is). I'll still get angry about things (in fact Sunday something made me fume). I'll still rant about things for I can't change who I am, but I will no longer allow fear that someone may not like what I say or how I behave, to stop me from being who I am. You may notice a difference in me, you may not, but rest assured I notice the difference and that is all that matters. 

For those of you wondering if I am still sticking to the new eating plan, I can tell you emphatically right here and now that, YES, I am. In fact this week I managed to finally shift the 4lb I put on while camping and am back on track, still ahead of where I wanted to be at this 5 week point. I set myself the challenge of 2lb per week for the first 20 weeks, so at this stage I should have lost 10lb. I have in fact lost 17.5 (it would have been more had I not put those on while away) so I am feeling mighty proud of myself. Think I need to double that before it notices on the outside, but I can definitely notice on the inside. The only downside is this drinking 2 litres of water a day - I used to pee a lot before, but dear lord I feel like I'm forever peeing these days :) I've also got me one of them Garmin fitness band things - ok, so the steps are out by anywhere between 30 - 45% but I've made allowances for that, upped my minimum in the settings to take the difference into account and have been thoroughly enjoying proving it I CAN do it :) I even thank it when it reminds me I need to get off my fat ass and move.. hahahaha.  The heart rate monitor on it is almost 100% accurate (considering my size and stuff I have a very healthy heart - as proved when I had my MOT last year) and the sleep monitor seems to conform with my sleep pattern (which is shit again at the mo - I so thought I'd got that sorted and under control). 

Did I tell you I have a budgie? I don't think I did, so let me share the little story about how he came to live with us. What started as a joke between me and Mum while out visiting garden centres, saw us  enter into one that had budgies, where a certain little blue fella caught our eye. We were tempted at the time but logic suggested otherwise and then Mum said "No" so that was the end of it. Until a few days later when my brother came round for a BBQ - I'd mentioned almost purchasing a budgie on my fb account the day we almost did, which he had seen, so he started going on about how we should get one and how it would be great for Mum as she is home alone often and it would give her some thing to talk to which may talk back, unlike the cat and dog. Mum was still saying "no" but we could both see what she really meant was "Yes". The next thing I knew, the 3 of us were in the car (my BIL wasn't joining us until later) and at the pet store. I was concerned the little guy we'd taken a shine to would be gone, but there he was, chirping away at us - either side of his cage other's had been sold, but he was there, just waiting for us. Having had him at home for 10 days, I can now see why.. hahahha.. What a noisy little shit he is.. Pretty much all day he screeches while swinging back and forth like a loon on his swing. The only time he's quiet is when he's eating, which he does a fair bit of - you should have heard him kick off at me the other night when he realised he'd eaten all his millet (he sure likes to hang off that and have a chomp) :) Thankfully by the time evening comes round, he does quieten down and is showing the potential of being a chatty boy; a couple of time's it's sounded as though he's said "Good boy". Not a word we have taught him but I guess the people in the store would have had a chat with them all when they weren't serving customers. Now, if we could just get him to stop the screeching and not see the toys we've bought him as threats to his well being (he has a rope bridge, football, bells, dumbbells and yet all he wants to do is swing on his ladder (and swing) or hang from the roof of the cage :) ) he would be a perfect little fella. I feel there is hope for him :) 

You can almost see the defiance in his eyes... naughty little shitbag that he is :) 

Thursday, 2 June 2016

Great bank holiday...... ish :)

This past weekend so us having one of those wonderful inventions - the bank holiday (one thing to thank the bankers of this world for). I found myself sharing mine with much loved friends - old and new - in the wonderful area known as the New Forest. By the time we arrived at the campsite (by we I mean the middle child, the Mum and 2 little people) we had driven through rush hour traffic in record time, witnessed a great electrical storm going on further west of us (the way we were driving but it had moved on by the time we reached our destination). Upon arrival the middle childs girlfriend ( lovely young lady) and her daughter (just the cutest 2.5 year old I think I have ever encountered) were there - having left before us. Middle childs Dad was there (good job as we were staying in his tent) and hubby of Mum that was with me had their caravan set up. Middle child's Dad didn't stay long as he'd chosen the sports team he helps coach over us (in his defence they had just made it to a final so it was a really big deal for him and we're all so easy come/easy go it didn't really matter to us - if he's reading this I'd like to say you were missed.. but.... hahahahaha). He'd pitched his tent for us (me, middle child, girlfriend and cute a button little person) so all I had to do was chuck my mattress in (middle childs Dad blew this up for me before he left) chuck my bag in, lock my car door and I was good to go. Pour me that vodka and tonic people :) 

The evening was spent having a catch up, eating some great food (the chicken was to die for) and consuming alcohol (of which I had a fair amount, but not too much). By the time I fell onto my mattress just after midnight I was happy, content and ready for sleep. My head hit the pillow and the next thing I knew it was just after 4am. Not wanting to wake anyone, and not being the kind of person to just sit around doing nothing when I awake, I took a stroll through the field at the back of the campsite - I should have taken my camera with me as the fog rolling across the field made for a quite magical experience. 

Saturday included a full english breakfast followed by a stroll down to the local river. Normally it's having down there but it was a lot quieter than I thought it would be. The little people loved it, as did I. Yes, I went in. Took my old shoes, wore leggings that dry quick and off I went. The little ones had fishing nets (as did I) and although I found loads we never caught a single one - they are quick little slithery things :) I took a wander with one of the younglings and the water was so clear we could see the bottom - the water being roughly 6 inches deep. Until, we rounded a bend in the river and although we could see in front how shallow it was, we hadn't seen the big hole that was before us, and suddenly the water was over my waist and the little person was floating along next to me (luckily I had hold of her and she did just float) and once we got back to shallow water she asked if we could "do it again". The answer to that was obviously "no".

While at the river middle child's Dad turned up with his mother-in-law (the Mum of 2 of my childhood friends so family to us all).  They came back to the campsite with us for dinner and cocktails - very nice the raspberry style one was too :) As was the pork that was cooked for us - most delicious. They left again after dinner so the rest of us poured some alcohol and again sat around chatting with each other. This was great and all was good, until I suddenly realised I needed to be sick. I made it to a tree - which I hugged - and I hurled... and hurled.. and... well you get the idea. That was my night over; I took myself off to bed, was sick again several times (thankfully on a towel - there was no bucket nearby) and then fell asleep.

I woke again just after 4 and felt fine; walked to the loos and back then decided I'd try some more sleep which I managed until 7am when I got up. And hurled again - so many times I can't count and you really don't need me to share with you. I was that rough I told the others to go out without me for the day as there was no way I felt like I could go anywhere, other than to bed. Eventually I managed to keep a lucozade down, had a dry bread roll and went and laid down for half an hour, when I suddenly realised I was starving, was craving a greasy cheeseburger and realised I was human again. Now, I blamed the alcohol but I've never known a hangover to disappear as quick as it did - a hangover normally lasts all day and often into the next. By the time the race finished (they were kind enough to let me watch it) I was good to go and off we pootled into the town where we found a nice little pub for a spot of dinner (I never did get the cheesy chips I wanted!!!!). 

Back at the site that evening everyone was a little worn out and headed off to bed early. I stayed up to see if I could capture some night sky photos - I'd left my decent camera at home but had a little point-and-shoot job with me and as it turned out I managed to get some fairly usable ones - not as good as with my proper camera but they were good enough when it is just a cheap little camera. While they will never be good enough to print, I learnt a lot about finding correct settings, and that can never be a bad thing. I shall take my proper camera next time :) 

Monday arrived way too quickly and we were packing up and heading home. Roll on the next weekend is all I can say :)

These 2 were happily plodding around all weekend... adorable

Sunday, 22 May 2016

Bloody marvellous

Drum roll please…….  Nope.. not good enough.. Try again…. Drum roll please……. Pfffft… if that’s the best you’ve got then I guess it will have to do :)  Why do I want a drum roll? I am so glad you asked that question. It will be because I lost 8.5lbs this week. Can you believe it? 2 weeks completed and 15lbs lost in total. Way more than I had planned to lose, but a great kickstart to it all - of course, I’ve done well in the first few weeks before, then failed miserably, but last night I even went without my Saturday night bottle of wine because I’d not done enough exercise to have earned it. Who the hell am I? The Sarah I know would have just drunk it anyway and accepted it could mean she didn’t lose quite so much. You betchya I’m feeling proud of myself :) The great thing is I’ve not even felt hungry; I just need to keep at it. There is still a really long road ahead of me but for now it’s all going great guns. Of course I am more than aware that this time next year I could end up even bigger than I am right now, but that’s not my plan - I intend on being the half the person I am with the same amount of amazing personality though; that will never change. Well, it may, slightly. If I’m feeling good about myself then I will obviously behave in a slightly different way, and I can’t promise I wouldn’t turn into a tart.. Ahahahha… As if I could ever be such a thing :)

Why won't this text justify? hmmm.. I don't like it when it has dents at the end of the lines (one of my little foibles - of which there are many :) )

Today I did a crazy thing; the 2 boys I had left have been added with the girls (I know, I can remember what happened last time) but I have a new tank coming soon (a gift from my uncle who is getting an even bigger one for himself) and there just isn't the room to keep as many as I have so it was time to condense. Putting them in together may seem a crazy idea, but the bigger tank will allow for it and for any babies that may appear - if I get too overrun then I may have to re-think it or make room to set up one of the tanks I've just got rid of. Wish me luck :)

In other news it would appear that the pills I am taking for the hormones are having an effect - in more way than one. The biggest symptom I was suffering (the *tropical moments*) appear to have disappeared. I've not had once since last weekend - that's a whole 8 days. The red cheeks are still occurring but not as often and they no longer burn. I am sleeping 6 hours a night - 6 hours? What's the all about? In fact last night I slept for almost 9 waking for several minutes at 3am and again at 6 before I got up at 8. I've not experience that kind of sleep since I was a teenager. They also appear to have sorted out the IBS style tummy problems I was having. They really are little miracle pills, and I am so glad I gave them a try, for I had decided prior to going for them that I was just going to have to suffer through it all for the next 8 - 13 years; I only hope they continue working :) I feel so good about myself (and my life) right now, I think if I can lose the weight I want to I might even find myself ready to let someone love me again - never thought I would hear myself say that. I finally stop pushing people away - but let's not get too carried away, just yet :)

I also hope the herbal teabags I got continue being as good too... hahahaha. I'm not entirely sure they have legal herbs in them though!!! :) They're supposed to be better than Camomile for relieving stress/anxiety etc, not that I am suffering any of those but I ordered them before the I got the pills in the hope they may have helped with how things were - they are, of course, not really necessary now but oh my goodness I have ordered another couple of boxes because about half an hour after finishing a cup I feel as chilled as chilled can be. I drank a mug full before the dentist on Wednesday (I knew I was having my roots jet washed and they weren't willing to anaesthetise the gum line for me so I was expecting much pain). By the time I got into the dentist chair I felt as though I was on another planet and I felt not even the tiniest amount pain - I really was that relaxed. Apparently the dentist said I had the "biggest ulcer" she had ever seen in 27 years of doing her job, and although I could feel as though as I had some slight swelling, it wasn't anywhere near as painful as the tiny ones I've suffered in the past. I won't however, drink a tea while at work or if I know I have to drive, for I do feel that I wouldn't be safe to do so.. hahaha. I believe I have found my little bit of perfect. :)

Monday, 16 May 2016

So much smoke

but look how pretty it is :)

Not sure one of my neighbours would agree about how lovely it is though!! oops.  After owning this little beauty for 2 weeks I decided on Saturday night it was finally the right time to give it a try (also, none of my neighbours had their washing out - I'd never light anything (bbq included) if they did, and the one time my neighbour did have washing out and we wanted to have a BBQ, I ran round and got it in for her  - they were out for the evening and it was already dry (I'm nice like that). Anyway, it had been a beautifully sunny day on Saturday with a glorious north wind blowing that took the temperatures lower and made it feel a lot colder than it was, but as I am fed up wtih spending too much time shut up indoors it was the perfect evening to try it. I had earlier grabbed the logs we had collected from the garage, noticing they appeared to be a bit damp so had laid them out to dry a bit.  I used some screwed up paper and a couple of firelighters to get it going, positioned my chair close enough to feel the warmth, but far enough away not to melt it (it has some kind of plastic coating to keep it waterproof in the garden). I poured a large glass of wine (is there any other size?) took hold of the longer handled lighter we have (it's designed for lighting candles inside jars), not before I had moved all the plants away from behind it - hence why the wall looks so bare and not very attractive. I opened the safety door, pressed the button on the lighter, held the flame that appeared at the end against a piece of paper, and whoosh... I made fire :) It started beautifully - there was a small amount of smoke from the paper, but not enough to be annoying and it was blowing away lovely so as not to affect anyone (I did warn my lovely neighbour I had lit it just as a precaution as she had her big bathroom windows open, but none entered her's so all was good). Then I put on a log and it all went to pot :)  The wonderful heat I was feeling disappeared and suddenly there was smoke billowing - lots of smoke :) Thankfully it wasn't blowing into our house or my lovely neighbours and looked as though it was going over the 8ft fence between us and my other neighbour and blowing away with the wind. It would appear though that wasn't the case because 5 minutes later I heard a window slam from my other neighbour - followed by another, and another before all of their upstairs ones had been slammed. It would appear that some of the smoke had made it's way into their windows - OOPS. Now, I know I should be feel worse about this than I did (after another 10 minutes I did put the whole thing out as unlike other's - who shall remain nameless - I am actually a very considerate person) but for 20 years we had their BBQ smoke pouring into our house every time they lit it (they have a massive garden with nothing but open space on one side of them but for some reason always chose to light their BBQ against the fence between us and them, right by our back door - they also never bothered to let us know they were going to do so if we had washing out). Every firework night they would light their fireworks on their patio closest to our house, their catherine wheels on a pole next to our wall so all the sparks flew into our garden. They would often have a piƱata for birthdays that they hung on their washing line, but bashed against is so bits flew into our garden rather than their own - all the while screaming and screeching making it unbearable for us to sit in our garden. They have an air-vent on the wall between our houses that pumps the most disgusting old greasy/fat smell into our house whenever we have the windows open - it should have gone the other end of their kitchen but that would mean they get the smell. Our garden has been covered in raw sewerage on more than occasion because the fat they tip down the drains has caused a blockage which then backs up another 11 houses worth of shit into our garden - the sewer system is also to blame but it's often been down to their fat. When they play cricket with their grandchildren they use our fence as their wicket (as I've said they have a massive garden and could easily use the wall that backs onto the road) meaning that not only do we get their balls in our garden often (one day I got so pissed off with them keep knocking for me to throw it back I told them the next time it came over I was keeping it - mean that may sound but I was laid up with flu and they knocked at least a dozen times; all I wanted was to be left alone to feel sorry for myself). Using our fence also meant that each time they missed the ball smacked against it, which terrified the dog - nowhere near as much as letting off fireworks so close does). As you can see when it comes to consideration they've never once bothered about disturbing us - don't even get me started on the wall :) Had I been them I would never have extinguished it, but I'm not that kind of person. I do take other's into consideration, hence why I put it out. Sometimes I wish I could be more thoughtless though - it would make life a lot easier. 

It would also have meant I enjoyed my holiday away a bit more, as I would have ignored the sulking of my travel companion and pointed out what a selfish git he was being - the only reason I never is because I knew he hadn't been/wasn't too well, yet that never stopped him from having a moan at me when we went away last year. If I'd been more inconsiderate and only thought of myself I would have refused to eat out on my birthday, I would have taken the room with the big bed so I might have actually got some sleep and I would not have kept tidying up after him (that was more for the people that owned the property than him though). The reason I mention all this again is because all weekend, all he has done is send me lovely photos and videos of what a great time he is having, as he is back where we stayed with another friend of his. I've heard how they've been for a swim in the harbour, watched porpoise and seals frollick in the waves. How they've dissed an olde worlde haunted pub I would have liked to see, telling me it's not worth visiting. How they've found some beautiful spots for photography. I've had videos of waterfalls that look stunning, and been told what places they will be going to next. I know he's only doing it because I love his photography and he wants to share what a great time he's having, and I am really pleased he's having such a great time, but I also felt as though he was taking the piss a little bit and almost as if he's rubbing it in my face that he's having a such a good time with his other friend, yet he had such a shit time with me. He did say, when I asked if he was trying to make me jealous, that when we "go back" he's got some great places we can visit. Not sure when he's planning on us going back but I don't have any money and as much as I loved the place we stayed, there's no way I could go back there again - I need to sleep. I'm also very wary about going away with him again because of how he's been when we have been away before - although I guess if we stayed in a house with bedrooms upstairs and I could have a room with a double bed, and neither of us were ill then it could work. Maybe. 

I might even be slimmer by the time we do... hahahhaha.. Or not. Although I started proper again last week, have been finding it a lot easier than I thought I would - I think at the moment I am in the right mindset to do it - and lost 6.5lb last week which is spurring me on. I am also working out what I should/shouldn't eat when I camping later in the year and normally I wouldn't bother to do so and would just go with the flow telling myself I was away and allowed to be bad - that's got to be a good sign for me sticking to it.... hasn't it? :) 

Monday, 9 May 2016

I went to London

- didn't buy a heat magazine though :) 

I did buy - ummmm.. actually I didn't buy anything really, other than pay for my own lunch, so I guess you could say I bought steak, and the most delicious tasting pudding I've ever eaten (yesterday was my last day for eating such things as today I am back on yet another healthy eating kick - who knows? maybe this time I'll stick to it... whoa.. did you just see that flying pig?)

Why did I go to London? Because one of my cousins from the States is over - it's a yearly get together - so we arranged a catch-up. Things didn't go quite to plan as we had to deviate from our original meeting place of Hampton Court Palace, to their hotel at Canary Wharf, but I think we'd all agree that we had a much better day, for we literally sat down to lunch, then sat down in a bar after chatting and catching up. Had we been at the palace we would have been drawn to look at other things, and probably wouldn't have spent so much time with each other, per se. We also joined my cousins Mum and Dad in as well via the beauty of facetime - it was a lovely moment. Probably not so good for other people that were dining as well, but they had babies screaming later so paid us back :) 

I was quite surprised just how easy the traffic was driving into London (I think I may have got nobbled by a speed camera as I came off Tower Bridge as I saw the 30 sign and speeded up to keep up with cars in front, before Steve pointed out it was still only 20 and there was a camera above us - however, I believe they may have been average ones which would mean I was ok as we had crawled over the main part. I was a bit annoyed at myself that's for sure, as I set my speed restriction on the car specifically so I don't ever get caught out, or speed, but hey ho. I'll deal with it if I get the letter to say I was nobbled. Quite proud of how calm I was though considering there were idiots coming at me left, right and center. At one junction I had 2 motorbikes,  cars and a push-bike all trying to get in the lane I was in as I was trying to pull away - it could have ended in carnage. There were also some really great drivers too, and a taxi actually got me out of 2 holes I could have got stuck in where I was being too polite - I'd like to buy that man a drink. How they drive round that city for a job I will never know; it must take them hours to actually get anywhere. I'm sure I'd have road rage if I had to drive there in the week for a job. 

The weather, although gloriously sunny - which I don't mind - was also way, way, way toooooo hot 29'c at one point. WTF? Thankfully we were able to find a table under a tree for lunch as it was unfair for evereyone else if they had to sit inside just so I didn't cook, and the lounge/bar area back in their hotel was air conditioned which was a huge bonus. It did also make me realise how I really do need to try and stick to some kind of healthy eating, for while everyone else was stripped off enjoying the sunshine, I was covered over so as not to share my bingo wings and extra flab..  bit late for this summer, but who knows what might happen for next? 

Sunday, 8 May 2016

Why no photo's?

I got to meet my number 1a this week - she will be known to me as Juanita (obviously not her name). She was 7 days old by the time we got round to meeting each other and as someone that really doesn't do babies, I was totally smitten the split second she was handed to me. She snuggled deep into me and is just adorable. She's also super cute (not words I normally use when I'm discussing babies). As an extra bonus my numbers 2 and 3 also turned up. Due to issues with their shit of a father it had been 18 months since I'd last seen them, so their arrival truly made a wonderful day a super special one - I went for dinner with them when we left number 1 and Juanita for the evening. 

Now, there were photo's taken. I took several selfies on number 2's phone (something to brighten her day if she's ever feeling a bit low :) ). There were also photo's of Juanita taken by me and number 2, and this is where the subject of this blog entry comes into play. Several people knew I had met her, they also know me well enough to know I would take photo's and they've asked why I've not shared any so they can revel in her scrunginess. The reason I've not  shared, and will not share any photos with her is because she's not my daughter and as such I have no right to share images of someone els'e's daughter on the internet. Her parents are free to share as many as they like on their social media - she is their daughter and they then have control over who sees them, but until she's old enough to have her own social media account allowing photo's which she can be tagged in, then neither I, nor anyone else, has a right to share images of her on our own pages. Just because she is a baby doesn't mean she doesn't have the right to privacy. My number 1 hasn't asked people not to share images, partly because I think there are some people in her life who would either ignore her (or take it as a personal dig and have a fallout with her) if she did, but I personally have no intentions of sharing any, and think any decent, respectful adult should also refrain from doing so. I never shared photo's of numbers 1, 2 or 3 until they had their own media accounts and even now they only get shared on fb where I have strict privacy and control who is able to see what. 

Some photo's I will share is of my new Chiminea :) I didn't think through the logistics when I invested as the only place it can really go is where the gazebo used to go, but of course you can't have a fire inside a gazebo (even with the sides off) because the smallest spark could cause the whole thing to flare up and then melt, so now I either have to use the chiminea or not use the gazebo that I love to sit under in the summer when it's raining. Now, we could move the gazebo to another part of the garden, but only when our neighbours have finished building their wall (they started in August and it' still not completed). The reason we have to wait is because they need access to our garden for the pointing of the cement, although being completely honest I think we should just do what we want and they'll have to lean over the top to do it. As it is we've already let them keep the support pillars in our garden (that we were never asked about and only noticed after they'd go halfway - they're still only halfway) at which point we would have seemed pretty petty asking them to take them down - I did ask them to remove the 12" wide x 18" long x 12" deep of concrete they'd poured on our side of the garden (although all they did was chip off a pointed edge and cover the rest with some soil). I never asked them to replace the plants they pulled out and got rid of when they did so, so I think I have already been more than fair and accommodating but Mum doesn't like to upset people and so I am told to keep quiet more often than not, hence why our neighbours the other side have their dividing wall on our property - I know it's only a bricks width, but even so its our garden and not theirs.  I wasn't living here when they did it or I would have stopped them/said something at the time. They too also poured gallons of concrete onto our side of their wall rather than on their side.

I know you're all wondering where the photo's of the chiminea are!!! Well, let me tell you, they are still on my camera and I've not got round to uploading them yet, but wanted to share this post, so they'll have to wait :) 

Monday, 25 April 2016

Been there, and back again

I went on my little holibobs, had a good time (ish) and returned again this time last week. Since then it's been all systems go; so much so, I need another week off :)  This time one where I get some sleep though.

My week off started on the Sunday with a great trip to the Isle of Wight with the family. We visited the Donkey Sanctuary (I adopted Doris for my BIL at Xmas). What a great little place. It's not huge but it's free - there is a donation bucket and if you don't donate then you should feel ashamed of yourself. The donkeys all have their names on their halters so you can be in no doubt who is who. They have little name boards for each one describing their personalities, etc and pretty much everyone we encountered that worked there were lovely (of course there is always one, but you get 'the one' in all businesses). Oddly enough the car park attendant was the best person with the most interesting information we met. From there we went to the Alpaca Farm - don't bother wasting your money. What a huge disappointment that was, and we had to pay to get into that one. Dinner was in a cafe at Alum Bay (because it was so windy nobody would ride the cable cars with me). Aside from those 3 places we didn't visit anywhere else - except for a coffee stop in Shanklin where my brother had an ice-cream on the beach (an outside covered seat because it was pissing it down with rain and blowing a hoooly so we couldn't sit on the beach itself) but we did cover the whole of the island and as a family that are happy to sit in a car watching the world go by, it was a really good day :) 

Monday saw our plans to visit Lulworth Cove (I know, me at the Cove, who would have thought it?) and Weymouth change, when the weather was just vile. Wind, rain, more wind, more rain, so instead we headed off to a craft shop, some normal shopping in between, then we found ourselves in Southsea at the DDay Museum. First time there and although it's not somewhere I would choose to go again, but it was a nice way to spend an hour or 2 - the DDay Museum at Omaha Beach in Normandy took me 4 hours to go round, so I was a bit disappointed in ours, but it was nice enough and as informative as it needed to be. The tapestry is well worth taking a look at. Before coming back home I let her have an hour in the amusements (I am such a good daughter) :) 

The original plan for leaving on the Wednesday was for us to get on the road at 5am. This then changed to 9.30 and by 10.10 Jase finally turned up. He'd been laid up with man flu for a couple of days previous but when he arrived at mine he was full of the joys and I found myself really looking forward to getting away for a few days. It was just after 11 before we finally began though as he had to stop at Sainsbury on the way. Traffic going down was a lot quieter than I thought and even with 2 pee stops we were still at the cottage in Sennen Cove by 3.30pm - the exact time the satnav said we'd arrive.

The cottage is beautiful - 300 years old, walls as thick as can be, in gardens that are equally as lovely. I've never seen such tall, thick stemmed bluebells like the ones in the garden.  Now, when it came to rooms I had the 2 single bed one with a snug above, that was at one end of the house, and my bathroom was at the other end - I had to walk through the lounge, kitchen and down the hall passageway to get to it. The only other room in the house was the one Jase was in that was off the lounge, huge, open, light and airy with it's own bathroom, so he literally fell out of bed and into the bathroom. When he wanted to pee in the evening he rolled off the sofa he was lolling on, took 2 steps left and was at the door to his room. My room had the lovely olde worlde cottage feel to it with tiny windows (thankfully there was one either side of the room or it would be have extremely dark). I had a fireplace in my room but it wasn't a working one. 

The outbuilding (which we think is a private art studio, for the owner as we know, is an artist) had a flat roof with a glass panelled edging on one side offering the most glorious views over the gardens, leading out to the Atlantic Ocean. 

The swimming pool (unusable the time of year we went) looked like a great size and I'd love to be able to afford to go there when it's in use; I should imagine I would be in it quite a bit. :) 

After settling in that evening we went for a little drive. I saw Lands End car park - very nice it was too - before we drove round to the Minack Theatre - that was closed. I did get out the car and was walking down the hill to see if I could get a couple of photo's from above when I was yelled at to get back in the car ...  eek. I did as I was told and we left quickly and quietly :) The rest of the evening was spent in the cottage chilling out with a book. 

Climbing into bed that night I could hear the TV from the other room where I'd left Jase watching some crap reality tv stuff, so I snuggled down, switched off the lights and settled down. An hour later I was still awake (most unlike me, especially when I'd had so much fresh sea air and had been awake for 21 hours before I went to bed). Nearly 2 hours later I was still laying there when I heard noises from the snug above me, before I felt something grab at my wrist. Part of me believed I had nodded off and was dreaming, but the other part of me knew I was awake. When it happened a 2nd time I grabbed my quilt and headed to the lounge as quick as I could. I laid myself out on the sofa, convinced sleep would hit me as soon as I popped a cushion under my head. The sun rose just before 6am, I was still awake, then resigned myself to the fact I was going to have to wait until the next night before sleep would join me. 

Jase got up about 9.30 (I'll be honest listening to him in his room snoring his head off pissed me off a tad by the time 4am arrived, but it wasn't his fault I couldn't sleep). After showering and sorting himself out we left the cottage just after lunch heading for the Tate Gallery in St Ives. We went via Sainsbury in Penzance, and St Michaels Mount (we didn't stop there for me to take photos). When Jase went to Sainsbury I stayed in the car. It was a really hot day and after 10 minutes I realised the car doors had locked when he left and I didn't have a window open. 20 minutes later I was cooking and if I'd been a dog someone would have broken a window to rescue me. By the time Jase arrived back I was just about to pass out, and couldn't get the door open quick enough for some fresh air. He laughed at me and asked 'why' I hadn't opened the door. Ummm.. he'd locked them and I didn't want the alarm to go off so I looked like a tit. Lunch was a coffee and slice of cake in Porthleven, before we finally made our way to St Ives. What a tiny place (by that I mean the roads). We never stopped though as Jase realised he wouldn't be able to climb any of the hills due to him having had his cold, he was suffering a bit with his breathing, so we drove through, by and back to the cottage, via Sainsbury again where we picked up the bits needed for dinner that night (Jase cooked a chinese dish which was very nice). By the time 11pm arrived I was dead on my feet so took myself off to bed, where my head hit the pillow and I found myself in dream land. Until midnight, when I woke up, get freaked out again in the room and headed back to the lounge. By 12.45am I'd had enough. It was officially my birthday, I'd had one hours sleep since 5am on the Wednesday, I could hear Jase snoring again and it all got too much. I cried, I actually cried. Proper big heaving sobs followed. I know it was only frustration and anger that I couldn't sleep, but the crying just made me angrier with myself. In the end I googled train times, deciding I just wanted to be at home with my little old Mum, Dog and Cat - now any of you that know me will know I have NEVER been homesick and only ever want my Mum if I'm really ill. I look forward to my holidays as a break from Mum (in a nice way because I love her dearly but living with her we do need time away from each other now and then for our own sanity) so to want to come home, I must have been feeling low. At 5am I had to go for a walk outside because had I not, I would have walked into Jason's room and held a pillow over him. There is only so much snoring you can listen to when you are desperate for sleep. He arose from his pit at 9.30. Because I wanted a fry up, I cooked. I also washed up, dried, put the pans away, cleaned the kitchen down, before heading off for my shower (I know, it was my birthday and I did it all - go figure). I did shit myself while cooking when I turned round to find a man staring at me through the window. He was from rentokil and had been told the place was empty - this lead us to figure out that could have been why we had to make the beds and had no heating; nobody knew we were there. I got Jase to ring the property manager and he left her a message (we found out that evening we had been given the wrong number). A chance meeting with the gardener gave us the number of a man, who in turn gave us another number and 12 hours later someone phoned us and told us how to get the heating working - this pleased Jase immensely and he hugged the radiator for half an hour. Sadly it did nothing for me, as someone that keeps a window open in my bedroom in the middle of winter, heating set to as high as possible just about finished me off. 

We headed out at 12.30 towards a Tin Mine - I thought it was one we could go round, but it was in fact just ruins so I was a bit disappointed, but Jase wanted to visit the place and enjoyed it so at least he was happy. We did stop at a working one for a coffee on the way to a lighthouse he wanted to visit, but he didn't want to go round the working one, so we never stayed longer than to eat/drink. When we got to the lighthouse I took the ice-cream he bought me and walked off to have some me time, because I'll be honest I really wasn't enjoying myself. I wanted to walk to Lands End or visit the Minnack while it was open. We left the lighthouse and went back to the cottage where we discussed getting the Indian Meal I had said I wanted for my dinner. I planned on sitting on the roof terrace, watching the sun setting while I chowed down, but after researching for half an hour, Jase decided we would do a sit in meal. We ended up at the first table by the door so constantly had people walking by, and the drawer they kept the cutlery in was just behind my head so I kept getting workers bashing me as they opened it. I'd decided I needed alcohol (and lot's of it) only to find I was in the only Indian restaurant that doesn't sell alcohol. My birthday and it all seemed to be conspiring against me. By the time we got back to the cottage I'd resigned myself to the fact it's a birthday that needs to be filed under 'shitty days' and left at that only for Jase to put on some shit film that I had to sit through. When I said I wasn't enjoying it he told me there was nothing else on, so I just kept quiet waiting for the day to end. It was at that point I realised just how alike Roger he is. He won't go anywhere without a satnav, had told me I should do more with myself, how to do my hair, made me watch what he wanted, cooked me with the heating and visited the places he wanted. The only difference is he doesn't have the nasty, two-faced lying streak that Roger does and he has never spread around malicious lies about me - in everything other way though they could be the same person. I'd made my mind up to sleep in the lounge that night so had to wait for Jase to go to bed at 1am before I could bed down. I did tell him this but I think he thought I was joking. I never joke when it comes to Roger.

Yet again sleep didn't happen and I found myself watching more crap TV.. until 5am. The channel I was on ended then and before I knew what was happening I was asleep, properly asleep. I slept solidly for 2 and a half hours. Now, in the grand scheme of things thats not sleep at all, but in comparison to what I'd had previously it was a miracle and because it was solid, sound sleep, I did feel a little bit better for it.

Several people asked why he never offered me his room to see if that would help with my 'not sleeping'. When I mentioned it he replied "I never even thought of that". We still had 3 days to go - the offer never materialised. 

Jase got up at 10 by which time I had been sitting on the roof terrace for 2 hours (I'd have been out there longer but I had to shower and make/drink coffee). He did make me laugh later when he told me he would have liked us to get out and about with 5am starts but because I like my sleep he'd not bothered to set an alarm. I'd not slept - which he knew - and would have been more than happy to go out at such a time. I was up at that hour the day we headed off so no idea where he got that crazy notion from.  He cooked breakfast about 11, and after he'd washed (I dried, put away, cleaned round etc) we sat in the lounge chatting.. and chatting.. and by 2.30pm I was bored shitless so grabbed my camera and headed off to the garden for some fresh air (an old damp cottage that smells of the wood burner that's had heating on high for 20 hours does not make for good air or help tired eyes). Jase did come out about an hour after and showed me how to do a couple of things with my camera. He also brought out the telescope and set it up on the roof terrace where he played for an hour getting it ready to photograph the moon that night - he never let me play with it at all). He did have a little snooze for an hour when we came back in. 

3 photo's taken on different days, at different times. I see a pattern emerging
At 7 he said we needed to get out so we drove to Lands End (just a mile away but we had to go by car) and while there we sat and watched the sunset, which was lovely.  We stopped for dinner in the hotel there, before heading back to the cottage, waiting for it to get dark enough for some night sky shots.

We got back at 10pm and Jase said the best time to go out would be 1, so at 11 I curled up in the chair and actually nodded off, only to be woken 45 mins later as Jase had decided it was a good time to get the moon. I never got to play with the telescope again as he took the shots he wanted and then said we needed to head up to the roof and do the sky shots. I took all the different lenses and filters for the telescope too but for some reason he only used the one he'd brought with him that his friend had leant him. At least I learned how to set the camera attachment up to it though so will be able to play myself at home. 

Normally he's very good at showing me how things work, but he was a right grump. He took my camera playing with a setting to focus and when I asked what he'd done he said "focused'. When I asked if he could show me how he replied 'not really, it's just something I know how to do and you'll have to practice next time on your own'. He also shouted me when he told me to do something and I didn't know how to do it. I know he was cold up there, but it did piss me off massively and was uncalled for. I was quite chuffed with one of my shots though - the fact I can see Cassiopeia is a bonus as I see that at home every night :) I also managed to catch Venus but she blurred a bit so wasn't a good shot. 

I went to bed (in the bedroom) when we got back indoors at 3am. I slept, genuinely slept, until 7am. 4 whole hours that felt like I'd slept for a month. I think part of it was because earlier in the day I'd aired the room. It was windy outside so I'd opened both windows and let that wind blow through. I'm sure that made a difference as I sleep at home with a window open. 

Again it was midday before we left the cottage and we found ourselves at the Seal Sanctuary. There was a tractor with a seating trailer that took people from the entrance, but I'd done so little walking I chose to walk to the park - not realising just how steep the hill was to get there :) Jase sulked a bit as he didn't want to walk so I shouted at him not to be a martyr and to get on the tractor but he refused. When we got to the top he really snapped at me, so I let him walk on ahead and bit my tongue to stop me from kicking off and saying something. I spent most of the day wandering round alone and loved every second of it. I spent about an hour watching the 2 sea lions chasing each other back and forth, but I fell in love with a big old grey seal who had the cutest looking face to him. 

When we left there we headed back to the cottage for a couple of hours before driving down to the cove for the sunset (which was nicer than the one the previous night, except the sand was too wet to sit on and the rocks too bloody uncomfortable. Once I'd got into a good enough position I couldn't move and by the time it was over and we had to head back I'd got stuck in the one position and was as stiff as a board :) )

When we got back I packed up ready for leaving on Monday morning, which took a really long time to arrive as yet again, I didn't sleep. 

We left the cottage behind at 10am stopping off at some Japanese Gardens on the way back. They were nice but I felt not worthy of being charged to visit them. Jason liked them though so that's all that matters. 

Again the journey back was like the one going and it took us just over 4 hours to find me sitting on my sofa with my first decent cup of tea since I left - for some reason down there no matter how hard I tried my tea was weak as dishwater (I even used 3 teabags once and still nothing).

I went to bed at 11 and I slept solid for 8 hours straight. It was almost heavenly :) 

Then it was all over and I had to go back to work. 

I forgot to mention our trip to Mousehole... yep.. that's about it. Nothing to see; nothing to do; nothing to talk about it.