Sunday, 18 September 2016

Up and down

I love a merry-go-round, sang Howard Donald on the Take That song "Here". 

Sometimes the merry-go-round is great fun, others not so, but one thing's for sure, what goes up must come down, what's down can only go up. I started the week down, really down, in fact at one point I never thought I was going to get back up again. On Tuesday I felt as though my whole world was crashing down around my ears. Having had a bust up with my little old Mumsy I found myself in the position of looking for somewhere new to live (we're all sorted now, but I do feel I've outstayed my welcome and that the 2 of us probably shouldn't be living with each other). Then a wholesaler let me down - not their wisest move. Even less wise was getting the welsh woman that works for them, who I dislike immensely on a good day, to phone me (3 hours after I'd tried to ring them and left numerous messages about them letting me down). When she uttered the words "well it's not my fault" I saw red; first time in 20 years I've proper lost my temper, had it not been for a customer coming in the shop to place a funeral order I really think I would have driven to where she's based and followed up on my promise of ripping her throat out with my bare hands. I literally descended into the "red mist". I was livid. This though then lead to tears - not because I was sad (at the time) but because I was so bloody angry and it's easier to cry than get arrested for GBH (or murder)).  Once the customer had left I'd calmed down a wee bit and this was when the proper tears came, for I picked up my phone to ring Donna. I planned on asking her (telling her, I never had to ask her for anything) that I was going to stay with her for a while (to give Mum and I a break) but of course, there was no answer. She's not there any more. That's when the tears came. That's the first time since she died I've not been able to stop them. My heart broke all over again. I broke and for a while I wasn't sure I was ever going to be mended again. I realised for the first time (proper) that my best friend is truly gone; she's not there, she won't be coming back. I miss her so very much. However, it was also the day I discovered I had chicken pox so that would explain why I was quite so emotional as I was.. 

The week got better though. Not because of anything in particular (for I am still very emotional and could easily cry, but that's just part of the grieving process that I seem to have finally entered - I know that's what it is, I understand it, and I know it will pass when the time is right) but because I told myself I still have a life, I have everything to live for. If I was feeling miserable the only person to make me smile again was me; nobody can take away how I feel, nobody else can make the pain go away. It's one of those things I have to deal with, on my own. 

On my own. Hmmm.. aren't I just? I also realised this week that my 2 closest friends are a short fat guy who is over-opinionated on everything. A pedantic middle-aged guy who is always right - even when he's wrong. A guy who's selfishly considerate (he can be kind on an emotional level but is a selfish twat most of the time). He does give great hugs though and knows when I'm going off on one to just let me get on with it. He doesn't try to make me talk but will listen (for 2 or 3 minutes before interrupting and talking about other stuff) when I need to get it off my chest. The other? A middle aged, pot smoking native american career criminal with anger management issues. They're not Donna replacements (she can never be replaced, and the fat one has been in my life longer than she was, the angry one almost as long) but they are the 2 people I trust more than I trust any others in this world. The little fat man can be trusted because he has a brain like a sieve and forgets most things he's told anyway :) The angry one, just because he's always there for me, regardless. I've been so mean to him at times, taken out my pain, anger and sadness on him, and still he let's me throw more at him. He wasn't in my life for a couple of years (my choice) but I am so glad I got him back. I don't know what I'd do without him sometimes - what I would do without both of them really. 

Don't get me wrong; I have a couple of other friends (yes, really just only a couple) but they're not people I share with. I consider them friends, but they're more like family; I don't see them often - the family that you don't really invite round (and vice verse) or spend time with yet you enjoy being with them when you get together and when we do see each other we pick up right where we left off. Hence why I don't share with them (there are some things you don't talk to family about - besides I don't think we're close enough that I would talk about personal stuff with them).  They do say that as you get older you realise it's not about how many friends you have, but the quality of the ones you do have that matters. That is so true yet it doesn't mean I don't have room for anyone else, I'll just be a lot more wary about who I let in and trust in future. Especially after recent events with people I considered friends. 

The words above don't really make it sound as though I had any up's this week but I did. I see the realisation part of it all as an up, for it means I learned something, and isn't life all about learning? I finally started to grieve (not a nice thing but far better to get it out than keep it bottled up). I lost my temper and while that is never a good thing it reminded me that I can lose it. That I am still alive, very much so. For so long I've sat back, let people walk all over me, backed down, been a pathetic little creature allowing others to treat me bad; this week that changed. I accepted the things I can't control while taking control of the things I can. I'm very much alive and intend to be for a lot longer. There will be more bad days in the coming weeks, of that I am 100% positive, but I also know they won't last. I'll work through them, deal with them and one day the rainbow will shine brightly again. That time is just around the corner. I can feel it, smell it, sense it. Life is about to get interesting. 

Another good thing; I finally got a selfie with the dog.. hahaha.. well.. kind of :) I laid on the ground, camera ready. She ran towards me, I snapped off one shot, before she then launched herself at me wanting to smother me with sloppy staffie kisses, before head butting me so hard I ended up with a bruise - no, for those of you ignorants reading this, the head butt wasn't deliberate, she was trying to give me more kisses. 


Sunday, 4 September 2016

What if the world ended tomorrow?

I've had a really weird day today and it got me thinking about life, love and the universe (on a Friday lunchtime too - not gone midnight, fuelled with alcohol). There I was, sorting out the flowers for the wedding of a childhood friend who is getting wed for the 2nd time tomorrow, when it suddenly struck me out of all my friends, I am the only one who has never found someone willing to love me enough to want to marry me. Every single one of my friends has been married at least once. All of them, every last (non) single one of them. Except me.

Now, I could sit here and tell you it's because I've been too fussy, but let's face it I really didn't set my standards very high at all. I don't even think I set them midway, so I can't use that as an excuse. Of course these days I can say it's down to the fact I am a heffer, but some men aren't shallow enough to look at the outside, they judge someone on who they are on the inside - or at least that's what I've been telling myself for all these years, so I don't sit on my shelf feeling sorry for myself that nobody wants me :) I've spent years using the excuse that I keep myself overweight so that when I do meet someone I'll know he's interested in me for who I am, not what I look like or can offer him (let's face it other than an amazing personality, I don't actually have anything to offer anyone :) ) but even I'm not silly enough to know men aren't shallow creatures. I know for a man to look at me as potential girlfriend material I have to make changes, I have to make myself look better, because at the end of the day we are (humans) a shallow race of people, we do judge books by covers (I too am as bad). I look in the mirror and while I may not like the shape I see staring back at me, I do, these days, like the person staring back at me so that's a good thing at least.

Jase says I give off this vibe that I'm not interested in anyone, that I don't want people to approach me or get close to me. HE says that even when I do have someone I'd love to give it a try with (there was/is someone who interests me) I still act aloof because I doubt he would ever be interested. It's nto that I doubt it, it's just that with some people you know if they are or not by their behaviour and what they say to mutual friends, so it's not worth allowing myself to hope when I know there is no hope - it's not being disinterested at all, it's merely protecting myself from unneccessary angst). With some other people he is absolutely correct, but not all. He was saying how I never go anywhere to meet someone new, again he makes a valid point, yet I have always believed - and most likely always will - that when you're meant to be with someone, you will be with them, regardless. How many people have met in the most random places under the strangest of circumstances? They could be going out to places every night in the hope of meeting someone, yet end up with their future partner because they bumped into each other on the street, got into conversation as their dogs sniffed each others butt in a park, be stood in a field with a camera while you stand the other side with yours. People meet in all kinds of places and due to all scenarios. Heck, I met Jase on a bus going to work one morning. We struck up conversation and here we are, 30 years later, still great friends - best friends even, which is why I don't believe I need to be out and about putting myself out there to meet someone; if it's meant to be it will be. That's what I find so hard at times though. I wonder why? it's not meant to be. Is is because Jase is right and I give out a vibe that yells to people "I'm not interested"? or is it just that I'm meant to be the sad singleton among my peers?

My plan when I was younger would have seen me celebrating a Silver Wedding Anniversary this year, yet I sit here, alone at work, tapping away to strangers in cyber land about how I am still single at my age. Damn right it gets lonely at times. Then again, I guess I don't have time for a full-time relationship so maybe that is why it's not happened and I've not met someone. Maybe I'm not allowed to find someone because I can't commit 110% but surely there are others like me? Surely there are men out there who also have commitments, that don't have the time to give 100% yet would love someone to share moments with? Someone they can pick up the phone and chat with when they have a spare 10. Someone they want to share the random moments with. I can't be the only person that wants those things, those moments, without having to give over 100% of my time? All the things I share with Jase and Nathan are the things I want to be sharing with someone I can say is my Somebody. I don't want to own someone, I don't want to be an "other half", that's not how relationships should be, but I do sometimes want to be part of something, to be important to someone. Yes, I am aware I am important to many people (Nathan especially) and he is an extremely important person in my life - right now he's the one I share everything with. He will always be an important figure in my life, I will always share everything with him. I want what I have with him though with someone in the real world also). If I could take bits of Nathan, an odd bit of Jase (he's not a twat all the time) and mix it with some other bits of people whose company I enjoy I think I could make an almost perfect person. Thankfully I am aware (and glad) that perfect people don't exist, but someone who has just the right amount of imperfections, who appreciates all my own imperfections, would be the perfect person for me. I don't think it's too much to ask, is it?

So, while I wish my friend all the happiness in the world as she embarks on her married journey, I can't help but feel slightly aggrieved (not the right word but I can't think of the one I wanted that would fit correctly) that the universe has provided her with 2 chances at getting it right, while bypassing me completely, not yet giving me one chance.

However, having said all of the above, please do not think I am complaining in any way, or feeling hard done by. I am a very lucky person who is blessed with a couple of amazing family members and although my friends pool has dwindled somewhat in recent months the remaining few (there really are on a few left) are true friends and I can't ask for any more than that. 

Monday, 29 August 2016

Family, friends and wedged in tent pegs

I have just had another most excellent weekend away with my camping friends - they're friends in real life too, not just people I go camping with.... although...  this was only the 2nd time of seeing them this year - that was on another camping trip, so maybe they're not really friends in the real world any more? hahahaha. As if. The old saying about not seeing friends for years but picking up right where you last left off is so perfect for us (well me, for they are related and see each other all the time - hmm... then again., maybe it is just me :) )

This time though I wasn't alone, oh no. I had my number 3 with me. Now I can't get the boy to shut up (jeez he can waffle) but it would appear when in company of people he doesn't know, he's a bit of a shy one. Don't even get me started on his resting face. He looks like a right grump, yet, he's not and by the time we came home he'd really started to come out of his shell. The others have invited him along next year (I think he will definitely be joining us) and I have no doubt by the end of the first day he'll be with them how he almost is with me (they'll then be wishing he'd shut up for 10 minutes :) ).

There's not really much to share. We ate lots, some of us drank lots (not me, only 3 ciders and half a glass of pimms over the 4 days). We took a walk into town, had a pub lunch (more food and drink) before heading back via the river for a paddle. Jase popped by on Saturday for a few hours with his sister; the rest of the time it was just the 12 of us (9 - I should say adults but I'm not sure what we are really - and 3 little peoples (my number 3 is not so little any more so been added to the adults class)).

We did get a tent peg wedged into a tree root - we didn't know there was a root there until the peg went in and wouldn't come back out; I would NEVER harm a tree deliberately. It took 4 of us - me, number 3 and 2 (men, we'll call them men.. hahaha) and that bloody thing was not going to move for anyone. In the end we had to bang it in further which will most likely have done more damage, but it was the only option left to us. 

Not sure letting the kids loose with the face paints was my best plan of action though. Was quite funny going to the shower block in the dark - I must have resembled a giant glowing alien :) 



Friday, 19 August 2016

Happy Days

I may be ending this week a little bit tired - a lot tired in all honesty - but it has so been worth it. I took Wednesday and Thursday off work and went out to play (I know, on a work day). Wednesday saw a planned trip to the Isle of Wight with an early start - really early start. The ferry was booked for 7am (I don't get up in the mornings until 7.05) so to have to be up, dressed, ready to leave home over an hour before I awaken was never going to be easy for me. It didn't help that the night before I got caught up in the Olympics (cycling) and there was a problem forcing it to run late which meant I went to bed a lot later than I had planned; it was well worth waiting up for though. I was on the edge of my seat at one point - I never knew riding a bike could be so exciting.

The ferry crossing was lovely, which is always a bonus when I hate being on a boat. Jase had 2 jobs to do over there which were done by 9.15 then the day was ours to do as we wished.


A coffee and stroll along the beach at Sandown started our time off lovely. I even went for a paddle :) Had I taken a swimsuit with me I do believe I would have stayed there longer and had myself a swim. The sun was bloody hot and being in the water would have cooled me down nicely :) I was surprised at how few people there were -  in fact the 2 days we were out and about really were very quiet for the time of year. Maybe everyone knew I was going to be about so kept out the way - except the family in the pub yesterday that we stopped in for lunch. The place was huge (there must have been 50 different tables). We were the only 2 people in there until this family of 4 entered and sat on the table behind us. An empty pub and they practically sat on my our laps. I just don't understand humans at times. 


We left the beach and headed to the Zoo. Now, I know it's more of a rescue centre, but I will admit I expected a little bit more. There was a cage of Lemurs, followed by another cage of Lemur. If you were lucky you might have seen a Lemur or 2 in one of the other cages. The spider monkey cages had spider monkeys in them. One part of the building - it's all based around an old fort - housed a POO museum (yes, you did hear me right, a poo museum).  I nearly forgot the meerkats, but what zoo doesn't have those.


There were 2 cages with a tiger in each (beautiful creatures) and 1 with 2 lions (male and female) in. I didn't get any photo's of the lions but Jase got one that makes the male lion look like he may have been smoking a wee bit of pot :) 


I'm not convinced about the lesser spotted bearded English Man they keep locked up in one of the cages..!!


The zoo took about an hour out of our day (I did come away slightly disappointed in it - maybe my expectations were too high). After leaving there we had a bit of a mooch about, before finding ourselves at the Garlic Farm (Jase wanted some garlic jam.. I know, garlic, jam? I am yet to be convinced and not brave enough to try it). I did, however, try the garlic ice cream - yes, such a thing does exist. I wouldn't have chosen to purchase any to try, but as we were walking around the grounds this lady decided to talk to me and basically shoved a spoonful of the stuff at me (she'd bought it for herself but was willing to share, for some strange reason :) ) I was surprised it wasn't as disgusting as I thought it would be - in fact it wasn't unpleasant at all. It wasn't however something I would want to eat again, no matter how many times the lady tried to shove another spoonful at me. 

The rest of the day we spent mooching. We had lunch at the Victoria Country Park (a nice place to stop). I inadvertently and unintentionally had some poor lad nearly cry with laughter even though he was trying so hard not to. I decided to sit up on a wall - not a big issue, except I forgot I wasn't wearing leggings and did in fact have a cotton dress on, which meant there was no give to the material. As I just got myself high enough and went to move my fat ass backwards onto the wall itself, so the material pulled taught and I ended up literally bouncing off the wall instead. Jase laughed at me the 3 times I tried (and failed) before I realised what I was doing wrong, successfully (kind of) getting myself up there on my 4th attempt. This wasn't without it's issues though, as the material still failed to shift, but I was in a better start position which is what got me up there. I ended up breaking my dress strap though because of the taught pull and I ended up having to tie the strap to my bra strap to keep the thing from falling down (I just don't have big enough boobies to hold tops up on their own :) ) There is video of the moment that I am sure will be shared on social media at some point. 

We found ourselves driving down some pretty narrow roads which lead us to a small nature reserve where you are almost guaranteed to see a red squirrel. There was another couple at the lookout hut when we got there (he was a right miserable git who I heard say to his wife after Jase had asked him one question "why don't they just fuck off and stop asking me things?". They then made loads of noise (I think they were trying to get us to leave - they gave in before we did). About 5 minutes after they left I saw one on the window shelf of the hut. Luckily (in one way) I'd put my zoom on so snapped off a couple of shots but they were too dark, then Jase walked down to it so he was in my way. It did make its way to where I was but the shot I got is a bit blurry as I didn't get chance to change to a shorter lens and couldn't stand back far enough to get a crisp shot, but I am happy with it. 


Our ferry back that night was 11pm so it was gone midnight by the time I got home. I had to be at work early on Thursday to get the days deliveries ready for the drivers before heading down to Dorset for the day. I still never got to Carisbrook Castle or Quarr Abbey - 2 places I've wanted to visit the last 3 times I've been to the Island. That's a hint if anyone wants to take me :)

Every year a friend and I go to Lulworth Castle as they have an open-air cinema down there. She's not been well and has been unable to come out to play all year (she's not been well enough for me to visit her for an evening either). As Jase knew I how much I love to go but didn't have anyone to go with, he organised to take me (he also knows what a huge Star Wars fan I am and as they were showing 'The Force Awakens' he knew it made it an ever better trip out for me. My favourite place and Star Wars, what more could a girl want? I normally end up on the beach at the cove for half an hour but yesterday it was so busy we'd never have got near, so we headed to Weymouth then sat on the hill at Bowleaze Cove watching the world go by before making our way to the castle. 

I won't lie, when I saw the friend I usually go with (who's been telling me she's too poorly to see me) sitting on a chair a few rows in front of me, I felt hurt - really hurt, but such is life.  There were some great people sitting around me and Jase, I had a perfect view of the screen, the skies were clear, the moon was full and it was Star Wars. Happy Days. The perfect ending to a great couple of days. :)




SaveSaveSaveSaveSaveSave

Sunday, 14 August 2016

Bloody marvellous

the 2 words that best describe my week - with the exception of splitting one of my molar teeth in half on Thursday, but that's a minor inconvenience (a bloody painful one) that can be fixed when I go to the dentist on the 24th - yes, that really was the earliest they could fit me in as an emergency. I did try some acupressure last night which has appeared to work (I'm sure it's all in my mind, but if it stops the pain that's good enough for me). When I say it's split, I'm not joking either. The back part has split in 2 from the front part. That'll teach me not to be naughty and eat a jelly sweet - which was so hard I joked it was going to pull my filling out, right before I felt (and heard) the tooth split. Actually I also managed to get sunburnt again today (fixing new waterproofing to the shed smothered in factor 50 sun lotion). I also smacked my thumb with the hammer (who hasn't done that when playing with nails and hammers?) and as I went to help my little old Mumsicle off a ladder she elbowed me in the cheek. Hmmm.. did I say it had been a good week? :)

Hold on; I also put on 2.5lb this week - the reason for that will become apparent in a bit. So worth it though :) 

Tuesday I had a call from my little fat friend asking if I fancied going out that night to do some photography. He was talking about heading to the new forest and taking photo's after midnight. I had work on Wednesday so thanked him before declining the offer, when it struck me that just the other week I was saying about how short life is, and how I should get out and about more and stop making excuses for not living life, so ended up agreeing. It wasn't until after we were stood on the edge of a lake that I realised I'd not bought  a cardi with me and once the sun went down it was bloody chilly as. Thankfully Jase had 2 work polo shirts in his car that I was able to put on; they surely helped. I managed to capture a lovely sunset shot though. 


The best bit came a few hours later when we headed to the other side of the pond (after we'd been to Calshot for a while to waste time). Not only did I see the triangle shape of Saturn, Mars and some other big star that I still can't remember the name of. That was a pretty special moment. Topped though by the shooting stars we saw (Jase managed to capture one in a photo so he was chuffed to nuts). My chuffed to nuts moment came when we got back to the lake and I managed to set my camera up myself to take some night shots where for the first time ever I was able to capture the Milky Way (to begin with I was more chuffed I'd been able to set the camera up on the right settings and get it in focus - something I'd struggled with on the previous night shoot he took me on). 


I'm still amazed that I actually took the photo. My first proper try - ever. Just goes to show what you can achieve when you have a good teacher. 

Thursday he rang to see if I wanted to go out again, but I'd split the tooth that day which was causing me no amount of pain. I'd  also been out earlier in the evening with Mum. We went to the beach which looks out over the Isle of Wight as the Red Arrows were flying over there for Cowes week. Obviously people on that island would have got a far better view than we did, but considering we were treated to a great show by them - I also got a couple of pics I'm really happy with.  While we were there we had an ice cream (99 with flake, nuts and chocolate sauce - it would have been rude not to). Most delicious it was too. After leaving there it was getting late so we treated ourselves to Fish and Chips - so naughty and no wonder I put on 2.5lbs this week. They were well worth it though :) If I add them on to the previous 2 weeks it's just means I lost 6.5lbs in 3 weeks. Sounds so much better than saying I lost 9 then put on 2.5 


I did tell him I could go out on Friday night if he wanted - Saturday at work was only half a day so wouldn't matter too much if I was super tired). He said it was meant to be cloudy so there was no point going out, which was fine by me. How wrong he was, and how pleased I was that he changed his mind and came to get me. 

We found ourselves in a carpark at the back of beyond where we had the most amazing view of the night sky. The meteor shower which had peaked the previous evening treated us to some consolation shooters - 2 of them were like balls of fire flying through the sky. Sadly every time one whizzed across the sky neither of us had a camera taking a pic at the time. They were that good I'll not forget how they looked though.  Most weird when at 2am so guy came wandering along the hill above us, down the path and out through the carpark gates. He had a head lamp on with a red bike light attached to his rucksack and he appeared to be hiking. Not sure he was seeing as much as he would during the day :)  The moon created a lot more light than we needed so the milky way shots weren't as bright as they were on Tuesday, but I loved how the man gave some great reflections and colours. I'm not overkeen on being in dark, lonely, quite places in the dead of night (you never know who might be lurking) but I do love the photo's I'm getting by being in those, so it's a case of the good with the bad - swings and roundabouts. 


Roll on next week is all I can say. 2 days and 1 night out booked for it already :) 



Tuesday, 9 August 2016

I was thinking earlier

never a good thing in my world, about how much life has changed for me in the past few years. How at the time I thought the changes were bad things that would make life harder to live with, yet now realise they were great changes that have allowed me to finally be the person I am without fear or reprisal. I do still find myself being careful what I say around certain people - sadly there are still many who can't be trusted - but the fear of having a nasty attack made at myself has diminished. Don't get me wrong I would never have wished for Donna to die, I would give anything to have her back on the planet, laughing, smoking, insulting me - I miss her each and every single day, but I would never wish back in my life those who made it so hard for a few years (in truth one of them made it hard for pretty much most of my life). I shall still keep their secrets (that's what separates me from them as I am sure they would happily dish the dirt on me) and some moments and memories of them I shall treasure - things weren't always bad, yet the difference in me, in my life, since I am no longer walking on eggshells is amazing. Even I can see I am not the person I was. It's as though I have broken free from the chains that were keeping me tightly tethered. It sure took me long enough to walk away though. All those years I wasted - for nothing. I do however wish all involved the very best for their futures. I hope they finally get to put their own demons to sleep.

Now, I've wasted enough of my life and time on them, have only really thought about things this morning as I had a reminder pop up on my phone because one of them has a birthday today and I obviously didn't remove all aspects of them from my life (I have now, that will be the last reminder). Time to fill you in on my world :) 

Not that there is much to share really. I've been exceptionally busy at work, which is taking up most of my time. I have been out and socialised a few times, but I don't need to be sharing those details with anyone as they're not interesting enough to others to share. I did laugh as I wrote that knowing how much crap I tend to waffle, the irony of that comment has not been lost on me :) I'm actually going out to play tonight, on a school night (well not because it's the holidays for the awful little creatures, but I do have work in the morning and the chances of me getting home before 2am are very slim.. very slim indeed. I said no to begin with, then thought about how life is short, how I spend too much time sitting round doing nothing, so decided to go for it. Who know's where it might lead me? 

It's funny how when life is good things change for the good too. I rediscovered my love of crafting and as a result have stepped away from spending as much time on social media as I was. Now rather than deal with everyone else's dramas I create something; it's given me a sense of calm again. I guess I really am a creative person after all and it would appear doing something creative gives me a good sense of well-being. I create a calm atmosphere around myself at the same time. Plus I get to see something at the end of it all, am rewarded with something rather than just moving onto another game level. I am aware the bits I'm making are not of a platinum standard but I'm not making them to sell. Besides I am sure a charity shop/event would be more than happy to receive the bits made. They would be able to get something for them, so I get to enjoy life and have a serene calmness enter it, while someone else gets to raise a few pennies to help out those less fortunate or maybe raise enough to help fund a medical need. It's a win/win situation. 

How's the weight loss going, you ask? Well, let me tell you, it's going mighty well indeed. Ta for asking :) Another 4lb off last week - 39.5 in 14 weeks. I'm happy with that. Puts me 11.5 over my planned target, so will also help keep me on target when it does eventually begin to ease off a bit (I am aware I can't keep losing at such a rate for the whole time I am trying). This time next year I believe I will be exactly where I need/want to be. That may seem like a long time, but the way time moves these days it will be here sooner than I am probably ready for. I reckon in another 39.5 it might even begin to notice I've lost some too :) 

Sunday, 31 July 2016

Great end to the week

or should that be great beginning to the new week, as I count Sunday as the beginning? Whichever way it was, it's ended/started, wonderfully. 

I went out to play last night with my little fat friend, but we didn't go out until 10.30pm. Been a really long time since I last went out at that time of night, normally I'd be coming home then ready for bed. We ended up by the lighthouse station at Selsey - never been there before and not sure I'd be that impressed in daylight hours but it was nice enough there last night. Sadly just as we got sorted the thick cloud appeared and wiped out any chance of us being able to snap off a shot or 2 of the milky way, but I'm still learning so more practice at any kind of night shot is not a bad thing :)  I did manage to snap off a red star that we're not sure if it is just a pixel malfunction or a star known as the Giant - I'm going with the giant, although not sure we can see it in our night sky :) We never saw it with the naked eye and I didn't even know about it until my friend sent me a link to it. 

This one has a shooting star in the background - or is it just a plane? :)
 The next shot is one I thought might make a good photo - I'm sure with the right photographer with a better understanding of shutter times, lights and other bits it would have worked how I thought it would, but for a novice with not much of a clue I'm really pleased with it. 


The one below has the red dot in it (which for some reason doesn't want to show up on social media but is bright as a spotlight in the original. 


The very last one has the start of the Milky Way - we were gutted we couldn't wait around for it, but the cloud was thick, there was no sign of any break in it and the weather forecast was showing rain, so there was little point hanging around. 


Mind you by the time I got to bed at 3.30, only to be rudely awaked by a neighbours dogs at 6am I wasn't quite so sure I appreciated it all :) Definitely didn't appreciate people asking me mindless questions or talking to me about things I have no interest in for hours on end later today when I as beginning to feel tired. 

However, the tired/grumpyness is a by product of a good night and I'm still buzzing from the moment I stepped on the scales this morning. Week 12 and I lost 5lb.. whoop whoop.  No idea how but I'll take it - makes up for not losing anything last week :) Mimd you, losing is not such a good thing as Mum pointed out yesterday as we walked the dog that my stomach now wobbles where it never did before so while I am smaller I actually look bigger because the wobble is drawing people's attention to the size of it. Oh joy - now, where did I put my spanx? 

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

Fear

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 :)