Wednesday, 25 February 2015

This could be a long one

so you might want to make yourself a cuppa and get comfy - I have a cuppa myself, but am perched on the awful wooden stool thing I have at work, so am far from comfy, but it will have to do for now. 

I am going to rant (ish). I may rant is what I should have said; what I'm really going to do is make a few observations and ask some questions (obviously I'm not expecting answers as I have no idea whether this post will be seen by anyone to begin with - so maybe I should have said I will be asking rhetorical questions). I did warn you it was going to be a long one. :)

I'm sure I've ranted about the narcissists and attention seekers that seem to be creeping into FB at an alarming rate, but just recently I've begun to notice it more among people I had never considered before. I've even perused the option that I could be one too - this blog in itself could also lend weight to me being one. However; what leads me back the other way (the way that I'm not and I'm really just some grumpy middle aged woman that likes to rant) is the fact that it doesn't bother me a single jot if nobody reads this. I don't sit and write this for anyone other than me (in fact for years I kept it private and all my posts were just drafts). All my life I've wanted to keep a diary (I know some people that write in one every night) but I've never been disciplined enough to keep one up together (or had the time) which is why I've never written the book I would dearly love to be able to write, but then blogging came along, and I realised if I was to start a blog in the way I would write a diary, I would be more inclined to spend time on it - and I do - so it's more for me to keep a track on what I've been up to, or how I've been feeling, than it is garnering attention from others. The only reason I ended up changing the settings so others could read it, is because one day I was talking about death, grieving, and how the pain never goes away, and I (in my narcissistic way) thought that maybe someone just beginning their grieving stage, feeling at their lowest, could possibly come across what I had to say, and they would be able to see that it does get easier (it never gets better) but you do reach a stage eventually where you are able to laugh again; to live again. I know when I reached my lowest point with my Dad (he laid the foundations for everyone that has followed) actually speaking to someone that had been through the various stages, helped me to deal with certain stages when they arrived. I never knew about the anger at the person that had died - had I known when I was going through it, that it was all part of one of the stages of grief, I may have not had such guilty thoughts and feelings for being so angry. 

Anyway; I'm not really here for that (I just wanted to see if I was an attention seeking narcissist or not and I don't think I am - your opinion may differ). 

What's got me on one this morning (and for the past few weeks) is attention seeking from others - or more their ignorance (yeah; I think that's what pisses me off more - ignorance). 

I'm one of those people that will share a lot on fb (no; really, I do :) ) - I find it's a great way to keep in touch with people, and to catch up with those you may have lost touch with; I do have my phone connected to it most of the time, and I log on when I get to work. Not because I want the world to see I'm there, but because some days I can spend 10 or more hours in the shop on my own; having fb logged on gives me the feeling that I'm not totally alone - there is life inside the computer I can access at any time if the solitude at work is too much.  It's an odd kind of place though, where I've certainly got to see people in a different way to how I thought they were. People I've known for years appear at times more angry, sad, pathetic or downright ignorant than I ever thought they were, or have experienced them in the real world. I post random stuff on my account - some of it gets responses; some of it doesn't, but one thing I have never, and will never do is post something just looking for attention. If I want interaction with people I'll either send them a private message or respond to something they've posted. This is where the really annoying (piss me off) side of fb and people come into play. I have some friends that will deliberately post things they know are going to wind people up the wrong way (religion and politics being particular faves of some). To be that desperate for attention when you have a family and big network of friends I find quite sad, and in a way I feel an odd sympathy for those that do, but at the same time I want to shake them and tell them if their life is that bad then change it. 

Then there are those that have a crush on (or blatantly fancy someone on their fb) and will put up status posts related to that, in the hope the person will see it, realise it's directed at them and they'll fall madly in love and live happily ever after. WTF is that all about? To the person who's not on the receiving end, it's reads like desperation and is reminiscent of kids in the playground. As a grown up (adult) if you like someone, get off your arse and tell them. Don't play the cryptic route and then whine to friends that you seem to be getting nowhere, or that the person you like obviously doesn't like you. They may not even know your status is about them. If the amount of death that's surrounded me from people close to me that have died so young, has taught me anything, it's that you can't sit back and wait for life to come to you. At the end of the day, the worst thing that can happen is the person you desire doesn't look at you that way. If they are a decent person (or good friend to begin with) they will continue to be so and in time you will both laugh about it; if they're not and they get shitty about it, or start to blank you, then know what a lucky escape you've had because they're an obvious twat and move on; either way at least you'll know and won't waste a year or 2 of your life wondering, and then being gutted, if they meet someone and move on with their life. 

Now the cryptic's (I actually got told by a friend once that I had been posting quite cryptic status updates - when I asked the friend why they hadn't posted at the time on the status to let me know it was (at which point I could have answered what it was all about - I really am that honest and transparent) so we could have moved on, they said they just thought I was messing about, but there are those that will post cryptic's and ignore all comments and questions from people; they really piss me off. If you don't want to answer people, don't post the bloody status in the first place. That is total attention seeking; ooh look at me, I'm going to get you to notice me, but once you do, I'll ignore you. If you don't want to share what's going on, then don't post anything. It really is pathetic - although not as bad as those that will reply to a cryptic comment question with the words "I'll PM you". FFS - I'd expect that of a child (maybe) but an adult? Again if you only want certain people to see select things, only share with those people. Don't share with everyone - unless of course you are seeking people's attention, at which point you become pathetic. I recently saw on my news feed someone posted about looking forward to going out that evening; half an hour later when it got no response they posted about how they were looking forward to going out and having a catch up. An hour later another post showed they were already out; that evening when they got back the next post was along the lines of "oh my; I wasn't expecting that". This was the post that finally got a response, with someone saying "ooh do share". There never was any sharing and the next day another status similar was posted. That is just so sad and ignorant as can be. 

I think I've said before (I am getting on a bit so often repeat myself) but I have my fb set up so I can share with who I want; there are some things I'll share on there that I don't want my Mum or older relations to see (not because I'm keeping things hidden, but because I couldn't be doing with the 20 questions that will follow). There are grown up style status updates I may not want the kids to see (especially if I've used bad language - rare, but it happens) so they will be stopped from seeing such updates. As much as I can be an open book about things, I can also be very private and I choose what I share on fb and who I share it with, just as I choose who I share what with in real life (I know fb is real - sometimes - but you know what I mean?) Yes I share photo's of places I'm out and about with friends, and I'll tag myself at places with people (sometimes just so a certain group of people that know me don't get on at me to get out more, because they think I spend all my time at home watching tv or reading books - they think that because I don't share my life with them, no matter how much they think I do, or how well they think they know me - and believe me some of them think they know the whole, real me, when they haven't got a clue). I keep a lot of my life private and share with only select people. I can guarantee over 90% of people have no idea I had an odd 6 year part-time relationship with a guy in Andover, that only really ended about 18 months ago. When friends were telling me I needed to get out more, they didn't know I wasn't even at home. I'd laugh some mornings when I could see some status updates, with friends complaining about the traffic they were stuck in on their 4 or 5 mile journey to work; I could have been sat on the A303, or A34 for over an hour, worrying about whether I was going to make it to the shop in time to open up, and they had no clue (mind you I did try to stick to Friday and Saturday nights only if I was staying over), so while I'm being told I live my life over fb and people always know what I'm up to, they actually have no clue what I'm really doing - they only know what I want to share; however, I won't share unless I am willing to commit to that share 100% which is why it pisses me off when people play cryptic.

My last rant (this hasn't turned out to be quite as long as I thought it would, although there is still time for it too) is the ignorants that don't like it when people act the same way to them. The worst thing about a lot of messaging services these days, is that they will show you when someone has read the message that's been sent to them. This is the biggest piss me off thing going. Sometimes I will get a message and I'm at work; I may be busy, but not enough that I can't stop to read the message that's come through. in case it might be important or urgent (yes I know a phone call would signify urgent, but some of my friends may not have enough credit to call, but can access their messaging services without it affecting their phone balance). If I read it and it's not something that needs an immediate response I will pop it to the "to-do" list, once I have finished all my work jobs. I never fail to reply, but don't always do it immediately. I expect my friends if they don't reply to a message I send straight away don't do so because they've glanced, seen it's not important and will respond later. However; those same people that don't respond to me straight away, still expect me to do so to them the second I read the message. I've had it before where I've not replied so 15-30 minutes later another message has been sent asking if I received the message ok (they know I have because their service tells them I have). Luckily if I can see it's from the same person I don't bother to open and will read the 2nd message when I'm ready to respond to the first; in doing this though I've then had a whatsapp message bleep on my phone, from the same person asking if I got the 2 earlier messages on fb from them? In opening the whatsapp, they can then see I've read it, so if that's not replied to it's followed up with a text asking me why I'm ignoring them - I'm not; I'm just trying to run a business. These very same people are the ones that will read my message, and not reply (I have no problem with that) but what does piss me off is that will then spend the next 8 hours posting crap all over fb, and when they finally do reply they'll come out with some crap like "sorry I didn't reply earlier; I've been so busy I didn't have time to stop". NEVER lie to me; just tell me you didn't think it was urgent so got on with sharing your crap first. I can't stand people that lie when it's obvious they are lying. 

I can't even begin to tell you what I think of those that get on their fb and share the status "I'm deleting my account after today for personal reasons" and who then either don't delete it after everyone has sent them comments asking why or not too (these are never responded to from the status poster) or a week later they will re-activate their account and their first status back will be "I'm back; did you miss me?" Nope - didn't even notice you had gone you attention seeking twat. 

Will I share this post? No idea until I go to close it down (google does share it to my g+ page the minute I hit publish though, which is another thing that pee's me off because I then have to log that page on to delete the post, if I don't want everyone to read it and only want to share with a select few).  I probably will share it, but not because I'm looking for attention; more for those that might see a part of themselves in it and realise their actions at times do affect others - mind you I guess a proper attention seeker or narcissist would never see themselves as one of the people I've ranted about to begin with, so therefore I once again make myself look like one - maybe I really am after all. 



Thursday, 12 February 2015

whoah.. eeeeee.. arrrgghhhh

ooooff.. THUD.. s*%t, f(@k, Boll(£ks..  yep; that's pretty much how my morning went yesterday. 

It started with me being rudely awakened (by the alarm clock of all things; can't remember the last time that woke me up - I'm normally wide awake hours before it goes off). I was in the middle of a wonderful dream (you know the ones you really don't want to wake up from?).  Completely thrown (and still wanting - and feeling like I wanted - to be in bed) I wandered round in some weird daze-like state. Thankfully by the time I got to work I was fully alert and ready to start what was to be the beginning of a very busy few days; had I known yesterday what I know now I really would have stayed in bed :) 

Getting to the shop I saw that my lovely assistant (I've got to say she's lovely in case she ever reads this) had changed the window display for me after I went home Tuesday afternoon (I had asked her to do so but also knew she'd been really busy so wasn't expecting it to be changed. There were a couple of bits in there though that I thought needed not to be, so I got the steps we have (it's a stool thing with some steps on it) climbed the steps and balanced one leg on the top of it (which is wide enough to use as a seat if you so wish) and the other I placed on the window's base so I could reach to do what I wanted. The bottom of my lowest foot was 3ft off the ground - this is relevant.  Having completed the window challenge I stepped back the foot that was in the window, onto the top of the stool - or that was the plan. What I actually did was step to the side, missing the top of the stool all together. 

It all seemed to happen in slow motion; the leg that missed it's spot flailed wildly still hoping that it would make it to the stool top - the brain couldn't register that it had already missed it's spot.  As the brain kicked in my arms did some kind of weird windmill motion (I can only assume I was trying to fly so I didn't hit the floor as hard as I knew I was going to - from a distance of 3-4ft and with my weight I'm sure you can imagine how hard I hit the ground). In waving my arms, I managed to catch some vases, so by the time I did hit the floor (and I hit it hard I can tell you) there was also broken vases, flowers and about an inch of water waiting for me too. My arms never made it to the floor before me to help break my fall, so when I landed I did so with a THUD. Thank goodness my arse is so well padded, because that definitely distributed me nicely over a bigger area (had I not had so much I think I would have really hurt myself - well, hurt more than I did). The worst part was the water - aside from feeling stupid, feeling the bruising begin almost immediately, throbbing everywhere from my thighs to me neck (it's actually my neck - where I jarred when I it the deck - and right arm that hurt more today than my back - I think my arse is going to throb for weeks).  It took me about a minute before I found the energy to lift myself up, and it was at this point I fully registered that I was sitting in water (my trousers from top to bottom were sopping). Luckily I was in leggings and they dried quickly - had I been in jeans I may have had to ring my Mum to get me so dry clothes and then bring them up to the shop for me. 

I wasted half an hour mopping the floor (time I needed) then went out the back to clean the mop bucket out, and as I turned round to put it on the floor, a pile of boxes fell on top of me - I'm so glad they were empties waiting to go back to the wholesaler. 

Hoping that was my lot for the day, I was gutted when I spoke to the wholesalers who couldn't get all my order to me in time (half my order was still in Holland) and the bits I really needed weren't the bits I got (that added to my time issues - I was already behind after my acrobatics) so things were a bit tense for a while, but I had no choice to not carry on. Opening a wrap of white roses I managed to get a thorn stuck in my finger but rather than pull out, it kept me stuck to the rose itself and the only way I could free myself was to rip it from me (this then left a bleeding jagged split in my finger). At this point I wanted to give up and go home, but I had no choice to soldier on, and I was glad that nothing else happened for the rest of the day - well nothing as bad as earlier. 

I did have a vase jump off a shelf as I walked by that hit me - there was someone in the shop at the time who could't believe that I was nowhere near it when it got me (I think it was something to do with the builders next door). 

By the time I finally got home I was exhausted and hurting a lot more than I thought I should be.  However, even after all that, what hurt more was the fact that not one of my friends bothered to ask if I was ok (fb friends, other florists and customers all checked in on me - even a guy that I follow and who follows me on twitter) but friends? Not one, and they can't use the excuse they didn't know because I put it on my fb (twice) and the shops fb, and they were on and off line all day sharing their own stuff (and a couple were doing their drama llama, woe is me crap looking for sympathy from everyone - they got none from me :) .

Wednesday, 4 February 2015

Why do all

crazy woman moments happen in the early hours of the morning? (normally around the 3am mark in my world).

Now before I go on, I know sometimes my little brother (who is really not little any more and towers over me by a foot) will often read my waffling on here (think he's trying to work out at what point he finally needs to have me committed - I won't go down without a fight though) so brothery dear if you are reading you might want to look away now and come back another day - your big sistery is about to talk about men lusting after her and you don't need to be having those images in your head.. hahaha - "too late" he cries.. they're now already there :) I am such a great big sister... Mind you; at the time of writing this he is waiting for a train to take him to the airport where a 40 minute flight and some more travel await him, so he may miss when I share :) - just spoken to him and his flight is delayed by an hour :)

So; back to my waffle - that really is not interesting and is just a way for me to make myself look like a din in public :)   What awakened me I do not know (although the older I get the weaker the bladder gets - that wasn't the reason last night but I think my body is so used to having to wake in the night, it wouldn't have felt right if it hadn't). Having given up counting sheep - my room just isn't big enough to keep them all in - although I should have thought about it better; I could have counted fish - of those I have hundreds - as I lay there trying to ignore all the noises round and about (the cat wailing, dog howling, floorboards creaking - all those delightful sounds) so I could clear my mind hoping sleep would return, when suddenly a message a friend sent me earlier popped into my head (it actually hit me smack bang between the eyes, in big, bold, red writing) and sleep was to be no more, as the tiny little pea brain went into some crazy overload. 

Yesterday I'd posted on my fb about how I had walked to work (I left early so I could avoid those awful school children creatures - although I did encounter 5 with absolutely massive snow balls).. that was the reason I walked; I woke up to snow :) - when you get to the bottom of this page you will know that with the snow and what has happened to me since I started this blog entry, the last 2 days have been totally AMAZING so far - but for now back to snow. There it was, all lush and white on the pavements, trees, fields and my car, so I decided to dig out my coat and winter woollies and take a stroll (normally I bring the car in case I have to nip out and do a delivery but I had no intentions of driving in the snow so used it to my advantage). Anyway (I keep getting distracted; if you're keeping up with me you're doing really well because I have no idea where I am right now) I mentioned on my status about what a gorgeous walk it was (when the 5 school children creatures had found another route) and how lovely the trees were and I wished I had a camera with me, and a friend of mine (someone I grew up with but who I haven't seen for years) asked if I was still living in the same place. Of course I am... I think I'll still be there when I'm 90 (unless I meet a millionaire of course; but then do I really want someone with that much money? There's no challenges when you can afford everything you want) so I just replied that I was. That's what the 3am monster latched on to... 

That monster; the 3am one, suddenly decided that she had asked me if I was still living there, because someone had asked her where I was living these days. That someone being my first ever love (yes I know I mention him a lot, but he really was *the one*.. hahaha.. well the one until someone better comes along :)  She is still friends with him, so the 3am monster (I'm going to name him Greg - that sounds like a perfectly good monster name to me) decided she was asking me on his behalf. Greg told me that his perfect wife had left him, and he wanted to get in touch with me again because he'd always been in love with me.. hahahaha.. you've gotta love Greg when he sneaks in at silly o'clock. Greg also said he was willing to move back to the UK (he lives abroad now and has done for years) because he wants me still.. hahahahaha.. I did warn you I was a bit crazy :) He also wanted my address so he could send me a Valentines Card (this one then got totally thrown to one side because everyone that knows me (and he knew me really well) knows that I despise everything Valentines related and he would never send me a card because of that). I have a friend who is doing an anti-valentines which to me is even worse because they're falling into the whole valentines crap, but thinking they are rebelling against it. It's quite ironic really to spend as much time and effort on going anti when they could just waste their money on the normal day and be done with it - I for one won't be doing either; normal valentines or anti - the whole thing is a load of claptrap nonsense. If someone likes me enough to want to buy me flowers and send me a nice card, they can bloody well do it on a day when nobody else is; talk about sheep following the herd. Greg just wouldn't give up though and lead me from my first love (who Greg was still trying to convince me wanted me back - and no I wouldn't have been seconds to his wife (who I am sure is lovely and so I am sorry for thinking of her husband in such a way) because I was his first, so could never be a second) to the 2 other men I would have difficulty choosing between at the moment. Yes; I do have a bit of a thing for 2 who are totally different to each other, but really very similar at the same time. If either of them (one is married so he's a no go anyway; the other is single) were ever to have some kind of breakdown and decide I was the one to put a smile on their face, I would seriously struggle to know which one to choose; alas neither will step up to the plate so I won't ever have to decide.. but one day.... one day.. :) :)

One of my male friends is right; I really do need to get out more - although he didn't say that.. but I am sure you're intelligent enough to get his meaning? :) 

If you've stuck with me through all the above crap then congratulations, because now comes the best bit; the most exciting bit.  Today Ugly Kid Joe released some tour dates for this year (I had a feeling they would) so me and the nutty one have only gone and booked ourselves not 1.. not 2.. but 3 (yes that's 3 - and if they do any other closer we may do more) gigs.. 2 of those we have gone VIP on - it means we'll end up with 4 signed albums between the 2 of us and they can claim us as stalkers, but who cares?? .. I am dancing me a mighty happy jig right now I can tell you. I knew 2015 was going to be one amazing year; so far it's really not let me down :) :) I literally am bouncing off the wall; 3 gigs.. Three? I've been happy in the past with 1 (that's because that was all I could afford) but THREE?? OMG I think I might smile for the rest of the year.. I definitely won't eat for the rest of the year. I remember my last photo with the man.. I am NOT looking like that this year.. :)




Friday, 23 January 2015

I am loving

2015. I knew it was going to be a good one before it started, but I never in a million years (not that I've been around for a million years - such an odd saying really) thought that it would start as well as it has. I can honestly say it's all quite mightily marvellous. 

Work has just been amazing since I came back after the festive season; never known a January like it, and there are still 8 days of this month remaining (where has the time gone?) and already there is enough money to cover ALL the bills including a big chunk being paid back to Clive - that's now 4 months on the trot I've been able to pay him some (this months being the biggest chunk so far). This makes me muchly happy - I might even get him paid back before 2025 at this rate :) 

Obviously the year started the right way with the trip to the pub (where we ended up last night too - it's like a magnet to us :0) I think we were most welcome too - partly because we doubled the amount of patrons - it was wee bit quiet in there, but also because we are so fab and they love us in there.. hahahaha.. if any of them ever read that bit I may not be allowed to live it down :)  :) I also gained a potential new customer (2 more people came in for an hour then left, but they trebled the patronage :) ) which can never be a bad thing. It's a great little (actually it's quite big) place if and if you're ever passing by, you should definitely pop in. 

Prior to our visit there, we (that's me and the nutty one of course - she's the only fool brave enough to go out to play with me) both took the day off and went out to play for the day. We were actually really well behaved yesterday and didn't attract a single weirdo (James doesn't count last night because we attracted him years ago - you know we're right too Mister if you're reading this... hahahahaha). In fact, we ourselves were very quiet and caught up in taking in absorbing our surroundings, but that doesn't mean we didn't have a fab day.  

It all went a bit tits up and pear shaped to begin with when as I was sat having a cuppa in the morning, thinking about washing my hair, putting a face on and working out how much time I needed to de-frost the car (I'm also loving this wonderful cold weather that we've got) check my oil and water levels, before heading to the petrol station to fuel up and check my tyres. Mum was sat in her pj's watching tv, when there was a bang, bang, bang on the front door. One of things I love about my Mum when someone knocks on the door is how she'll look at me and ask "who's that?" like I have some kind of xray vision and can see through 2 walls and curtains :) Turns out it was the BT engineer to look at our broken (for the umpteenth time) phone line. When I booked the engineer the one thing I stipulated was that Thursday was the only day we weren't free, and yet there he was, just before 8am on a Thursday morning knocking on my door. When I told him we'd booked for Friday afternoon he told me he either did it yesterday or we'd have to phone and re-book - having spent over an hour on the phone to book him in the first place, there was no way I was turning him away. By the time I finally had to leave, my hair still needed washing and there wasn't a single flicker of anything on my face - I went out blotchy and red. Thankfully the trip to the garage and car de-frost didn't take too long, but I never fueled at the place I did my tyres (it was too busy to wait) so decided to do so nearer to the nutty ones abode. What a mistake this was to be as I got stuck behind a pallet lorry who also decided to use the same petrol station, however, thanks to some woman in a BMW (they are actually worse than men in beemers) the lorry stopped half on the forecourt, and half on the road. This action by him meant I was blocking the lane for cars to get by and for some reason the dick behind me seemed to think it was my fault (he was in a merc so you can imagine what kind of dick he was) and started to lean on his horn to get me to move (I had nowhere to move except give up on the idea of fuel and carry on to the nutty one). After his 3rd toot I got out the car to have a quiet word (he literally went as white as a sheet and suddenly didn't want to lean on his horn any more). While out of the car I then made my way to the lorry driver, who had plenty of room to move forward or onto a pump. A little altercation passed  between us, but he backed down before I did and moved so I was finally able to fuel. At this point I thought maybe someone was trying to stop me going out to play. 

The plan before I left home had been to look at a map to work out my route for getting to Avebury (we went to see the neolithic rings don't you know?) but due to the BT man unplugging everything so I had no internet, and just causing delays this didn't happen, but I knew I could go via Salisbury or Andover and head north, or go up to Newbury and head west; I chose Newbury on the way and Salisbury to come back. However a wrong turn in Marlborough saw us log on to a phone sat nav, who was doing great until she told us in 600ft to turn left on the roundabout - she then told us in 100ft, 1000ft, quarter of a mile and half a mile to do the same thing without pausing for breath. As the left turn on the next roundabout we got to only lead to an industrial estate, we assumed this was a new one and not the one she meant, so we continued straight until we found the next one - the next one never materialised and poor sat nav lady pretty much lost the plot - we had to fire her.  Finally 35 miles from our destination (we'd been less than 3 when we took the wrong turn) we were able to load a map and find our way back to where we needed to be. 

While the mighty big pieces of rock were quite phenomenal (the one with the face of the devil really caught our eye) I will admit being able to walk through the field of sheepies was much more up my street :) I was able to get close enough to one to get a great photo but after 30 attempts at shots to get him to look at me resigned myself to the fact I was only going to get a side view :) I could have moved or got closer but didn't want to frighten him. The stones though were amazing and there were a lot of photo's taken - my brother had lent me his camera which made me feel like a female David Bailey and I kept trying to take arty shots, while the nutty used my little point and shoot - she spent ages photographing one stone from every angle. I've had a quick look through them and posted my favourite below, but am looking forward to sorting them out over the weekend and having a proper look - especially as I borrowed my brother's camera to help me decide whether to invest in a decent one of my own (I believe I have decided to do so).

I wish I could take credit for this but other than the fact she was using my camera, this shot was taken by the Nutty one :) 

After leaving the rings at Avebury, we drove round to Silbury Hill and the longbarrow (we wandered to the mount) but it was starting to get darker by the time we got to the longbarrow, so we've decided to go back at a later date to explore that. Before making our way homeward (pubward really) we came across a place called Woodhenge - neither of us had ever heard of it before - that's just to the north of Stonehenge. These days the wooden poles that had been there originally have been replaced by concrete ones, but it was a lovely little spot to stop at and watch the sun go down. 

From there we headed to the pub which is where I started this blog entry, so this seems like a good place to end it :0)  Ooh; forgot to mention after I got home last night (which was late) I had a message from an old "friend" that I've not seen or heard from in over 2 years - the weirdest part is that we had practically driven by where he used to live when we got lost so I'd been talking about him during the day.  Also, the amount of tanks (which includes the men in uniform driving them we saw most definitely helped keep a smile on my face). Add to that some other news I heard yesterday (that I've wanted to hear for a while) and I can honestly say yesterday was a really great day :) 

Friday, 16 January 2015

Letters

Not just the alphabet shapes that we know as letters, but those sheets of paper that fill an envelope with writing on (that these days are more likely to have printed typing on - but you get the idea).

How many of you actually receive these rare things any more? I'm not talking about the ones from Bill - or other service providers, utilities or health care offices, or the scrawl that gets written on the inside of the Christmas card from someone you've not seen for years, and only hear from over the festive period, filling you in on all the things people you don't really give a monkeys about, that some of you will have received in the past month or so. I'm talking about the ones from real people. 

When was the last time you heard the clatter of your letterbox and found a hand written letter from a friend or family member?

I got round to thinking about letters this morning when I opened up my emails and facebook, to find overnight several people had left me messages. Now this is a great thing and the fact we can communicate so quickly with each other is amazing, but I was hit by a wave of nostalgia because of it too. A couple of the people I had messages from live away, but the things they were saying weren't bits I necessarily need to reply to immediately, and it got me thinking about how nice it would have been if they'd sat down with a pen and paper ad sent me an "old fashioned" letter. 

I had a friend at boarding school when I was a teenager, and another that moved away, who I would write to each week. Occasionally I (or they/we) would telephone each other too, but that was an expensive way to keep in touch then, so a letter was the best way to keep up to date on all we were doing. It also meant we could say as much as we wanted to (I remember sending a letter to a friend once that was 40 pages long - I had a lot going on in life at the time - and he didn't mind :) ) I guess now with post, unlike like then, with phone charges, it comes down to the costs involved. These days it's so expensive to send a letter, but we have calls and internet included in our phone packages, that mean we can chat for hours. We can send unlimited emails with thousands of photos (in the "old days" you had to print the photo's out at your own cost, and could only fit so many into an envelope). We can take all day to write an email that stands a chance of losing it's personal touch where we're trying to do so many different things. Written letters were different.

With a written letter I used to take the time out to stop and read it - thoroughly. It wasn't something I would leave lying around (in the way I leave an email open) and when replying I would make a point of sitting down for an hour, shutting myself in my room (or another room when I didn't live at home) and I'd reply. Just one email can take me several hours where I flit about doing other things, so it loses even more of that personal touch. Bits in the email may get overlooked because time then runs out before I feel I have to hit reply, because another thing about people in this day and age, is that they expect an answer immediately - oddly though those that expect an instant response will often not bother to reply themselves for days. With a letter I know the person the other end is not expecting anything immediate; they know a reply will arrive when the time is right, and when the postie decides to pop it in his bag. Part of the joy of receiving a letter was the anticipation of when it might arrive - will it be today, or tomorrow? Emails you know are going to arrive pretty much the same day.

In discussing this with someone when I first started this blog entry - I actually started it a few days ago, but got caught up in other stuff, and didn't get to finish it (see what I mean? If this had been a letter I would have sat down in the evening and got it sorted in one go) - a friend of mine said there was no point in corresponding with me via snail mail, because I live my life on FB so people get an update of what I am doing at the time I am doing it, and that is true to a point. But the people that think that are the very ones I wouldn't write to in the first place :) They're the people that think they know me, but haven't got a clue. Sure I share on social media (FB, Twitter, This blog) but the things I share on ALL those mediums are less than 5% of who I really am. The real me is very careful about what I share with who; this is a public place, as is twitter and fb is full of people that I have to be guarded about what I do/don't share, so I'm ultra careful. Just this evening I am out with some friends, but that won't end up anywhere because those people may not want their lives shared in public view, and because it could also cause more gossip, so it will be a private evening among ourselves (see; I don't need to share everything - but this isn't a moan about who I can/can't trust, or who I share what with). It's about the personal touch; the taking time out for each other.

So if any of you have  a spare hour or 2 one evening and fancy putting pen to paper and jotting down a few lines, then feel free to post me a letter. You can talk about anything - Donna sent me a letter once about Rhubarb, little green men and coke cans and she sent my Mum one about blow up Gary Barlow's floating in space and purple trees, so as you see if you can make the time, then you can also always find something to write about. :)  If I like you I might even take the time to reply :) 

I find myself a little bit

pissed off - something I know that happens often (with phone companies normally - which oddly enough right now I am having issues with as we again have no home phone. Credit card companies piss me off too - just had a letter from one of mine telling me they've passed my account onto a credit agency for non-payment on my account. An account that I had cleared and had NO debt on in any way shape or form. They apparently charged me £9.83 for having no debt on said card, never informed me of this, then black marked me for non-payment - but they're a rant for another day when I've got it sorted).

What's pissed me off today (actually pissed me off yesterday but I didn't have time to rant about it last night) is my old dentist.

Some of you will remember almost 4 years back when the dentist I'd been with for years put all their prices up by about 30% and I decided that for someone earning only £600 per month, giving my dentist over 8% of my monthly wage for a check up was getting a bit ridiculous, so I tracked down and found an NHS dentist that was taking on new patients. Imagine my joy when they told me they had room for me - if only I'd known then what I know now. 

Having never had any problems with my teeth until my wisdoms (why are they called that? they're not wise) came through - they hurt like crazy for over 2 years and because there wasn't enough room for them pushed my lovely straight teeth (that I was very proud of) out of sync so several are crooked. I'd had the odd filling (one courtesy of a girl at school that managed to crack a molar for me when she smacked a brick round my face - I also have an extra dimple in my cheek as a reminder of that day too) but that was it. No decay; no rotting; no nothing - just bloody wisdoms that grew and 3 of the 4 did so at angles, so I managed to get my previous dentist to remove one for me (at a cost of £150 for a quick tug on some pliers - I was in and out of the place in less than 10 minutes from the time I checked in, until I went home minus said tooth). Because of this (my oral hygiene and regular 6 month checkups with my private dentist) you can imagine my shock when the new NHS dentist told me I had gum disease. I felt like the most unhygienic person in the world, and as someone that has always, always, taken my oral hygiene seriously, this disturbed me greatly. I always thought people that didn't bother got it; not someone like me that brushes 2 or 3 times daily, uses floss and mouthwash and takes good care of my gnashers.

Imagine my even bigger horror when my dentist told me that if I didn't have over £3000 worth of treatment (bare in mind this is an NHS dentist) then I would lose all of my teeth in a matter of years. Now they did tell me the disease was caused by smoking, so I quit the very next day (and that in itself is a good thing). I told them I didn't have that kind of money, so they said their hygienist could possibly do a deep clean and scrape; I would need 8 appointments with her, but she's not covered by the NHS and I would have to pay privately for this (I've since learned that the hygienist should have been covered as I was an nhs patient, and I should have only ever been charged once; the sum total at the time of £49 - or somewhere around that figure). Instead, for 8 weeks I was charged anywhere between £40 - £50 for my visits with her. This was on top of the NHS check up charge of £17.30 (as it was at the time). 

While all this was going on I had a problem with a wisdom tooth on the bottom left, and also 2 teeth along from that I had one with a filling inside and in a split that appeared when I was a teenager on the front of it. The front one had chipped when I replaced my toothbrush, so I asked the dentist if she could re-fill that one and pull out the wisdom tooth for me as it was growing into my cheek and was most uncomfortable. She refused. She told me the filling tooth had problems, was loose and would need to be removed, and that there was nothing wrong with the wisdom one so no point removing it. This went on for 18 months, during which point because of the (now) filling less tooth I got an infection thus prompting her to try to remove it - oh yes; she tried to do that without my permission the day she finally agreed to pull the wisdom tooth for me. Aside from the fact I had no trouble with the tooth once the infection was sorted, I knew letting her remove both would mean then losing the one that sat in between them as it would have nothing to keep it in place - this would have meant I had no teeth on the bottom left of my mouth. 

At my next appointment - after the wisdom tooth removal - I was again told that the one I wanted re-filled would have to be pulled as it was useless, and was then told that the treatment the hygienist had done was not successful and I would need to repeat the whole process again, or pay for the £3000 treatment I'd been recommended to have in the first place. She also managed to chip a bit of tooth off one of my top teeth on the opposite side - she then told me that the tooth she'd chipped was rotten and would need removing, which is why it chipped so easily. So there I am thinking I have such rotten gums and teeth and that I need to save up and pay for another set of treatment, or just have them all pulled and replaced with false ones after I've saved for those. The future did not look pearly white.

Then an odd thing happened. When I came back from the states in October I did so with a throbbing ear, which I believed to be due to the flights. As it got progressively worse I made my way to the doctors, who gave me some pain pills after telling me it was just earache and there was no infection. 4 days later when even Tramadol pills weren't touching the pain I decided it must be toothache; not wanting to ring my own dentist for fear of what they would say, I rang the 101 number and they got me an appointment with a dentist in town. Off I pootled to be told I did have an infection, but that it was an ear infection and nothing to do with my tooth, and I was informed my doctor should have seen it when I visited her, as apparently as soon as the pain started, that was a sign of the infection spreading - I'd had it over 3 weeks by the time I got to the dentist. The woman I saw was very kind and wrote me a prescription for antibiotics (10 days worth, 1000mg 4 times daily so it really was a raging infection), While there, and because of her niceness I asked if they were taking on NHS patients and was told no, but as I had already been they could fit me in :)

Yesterday I had my first check up with a lovely dentist man. Because I told him I don't like the jabber they use to find holes, he used a puffer thing - apparently if there's a hole it will be sensitive and I'd have felt it, and reacted so he could investigate further. Imagine my shock when he told me there is NO sign of gum disease (my gums are perfectly healthy) but that behind the wisdom tooth I am always complaining about is a lump that needs removing that he can do. Imagine even further my shock when he told me NONE of my teeth are loose, and that the 2 my other dentist wanted to remove are easily fixable so I get to keep them. Then he dropped the bombshell; he will fix the 2 she wanted to pull in one appointment; the following week he will sort out the wisdom tooth and it will cost me only £50.50 in total. For all of it - including my check up. When I asked why so cheap he said because it's all been picked up on the one appointment so is therefore classed as one course of treatment. When I explained how my last dentist had worked he told me to report them, as EVERYTHING I had done by them should have been classed as just 1 treatment because it was all picked up at the same time. He also told me that the 8 lots of treatment with the hygienist (that have left me with teeth so sensitive they hurt; something I NEVER suffered with before I saw her) was completely unnecessary.

So you see; I am one pissed off Sarah. For 4 years I believed I was a dirty, unclean person - even though I knew how I was with my oral hygiene - and I spent out a lot of money that didn't need to be spent. Yes, I will be reporting my last dentist (not that it will make a difference as nobody really gives a shit any more these days). In a way I am grateful my doctor is a useless tit, because had she picked up on the ear infection I would never have got my new dentist, and wouldn't be getting my little issues sorted (he said there's nothing that can be done to help the sensitivity now as the hygienist has already done the damage) but he can solve all my other issues, so in a few months time I shall have all my teeth as they should be. 

Saturday, 10 January 2015

I absolutely LOVE

how a song heard on the radio can bring a smile to my face, and send me on a trip down memory lane. Whether you like Rock, Pop, Classical, Jazz, Metal - or any other genre - music really can lift the soul; not just the song itself at the time, but the memories that can be conjured up.

There I was, at work, on a really wet, dull, windy and completely dismal day. I was working my way through the orders ready for when someone arrives to do the deliveries for me (no idea on Saturday who's going to come in and do them) when on the radio I have playing in the background if I'm alone, comes a song (not one I like or have ever bought myself, but one) that suddenly sent me back to 1988 and a night out in some local woods with my cousin and a couple of friends. It was also the night I got my heart properly broken for the first time, but oddly that's not one of the memories filling my mind. The memory of my cousin flying past the windscreen of his van, when the guy whizzing his van round the car park did a hand-break turn, was one I'd not thought of for years, but that song this morning bought that night flooding back. My cousin was ok by that way, and laying on his roof as someone drove his van, he really didn't expect to get away without a cut or bruise here and there. 

Back then woodland car parks weren't locked up the second it got dark, and we would often head over for an evening. We'd get out the cars and go for a wander, finding a log or opening where we could sit and just chat the night away - obviously there were always ghost and woodland axe murderer stories told too. Most entertaining one night when the male's in our party decided to run off and leave me and my friend on our own in the middle of nowhere; she was a bit freaked, but I could still hear them moving about, and knew at the end of the day they would never leave us in any kind of danger. I am laughing to myself right now as I type this remembering how loudly she screamed when one of them suddenly jumped out from behind a tree; I could have told her exactly where they were, and I knew what they were planning, but where's the fun in that? She got her own back with me later in the year when we spent an evening out in the New Forest. Someone (one of the 3 males we were with) suggested a game of strip catch (like you do at that age :) ). I believe they thought they would be better than us, but as it transpired, me and her were pretty good at catching tennis balls in the dark. By the time the 3 of them were stark naked, I was still fully clothed and she was down to her underwear. Carefully we'd been moving ourselves around so that we were closest to the car, which also meant their clothes were too as they'd started out closer than we had. I had no idea me and her could move so quick, but in one fell swoop we had all their clothes, and were in the car with the doors locked before they even knew what was going on. I will never forget their faces when they got caught in the headlights of our car as they ran towards us, just as another car came up the road and saw them in all their glory to. If only we'd had camera phones back then - the photo's I could have taken :). I wonder if kids (teenagers) get out and do things like that these days? Or if they're too interested in playing their x-boxes and getting drunk in the local cattle market clubs? I know they can't go to some of the woodland parks we went to, but there are still many that have car parks open at night - mind you, these days I guess they have to avoid the doggers in those. 

I wish I was good at writing. I'd love to be able to get some of the experiences I've lived through into book form; they'd probably not be interesting to others, but they'd make me smile :) and who knows? Maybe somewhere they'd trigger off a good memory for someone else. Or even better, they could inspire someone to go out and make memories of their own. I wonder how many kids these days when they get to my age will be able to sit there and say to their friends "remember when we did this, that and the other?". So many I know do nothing with their lives except drink, and share what they're not doing on social media. They're like "Look at me; I'm at home doing nothing but how about you like me for a rate". What's that all about? Or they're "ooh look; my best friend is round so we're sitting on the computer asking you to like us". Get off the computer and talk to each other for crying out loud. When we visited friends (and even as grown ups when we visit each other) we'd sit and talk to each other. TV's would be turned off (and these days computers are too) and we'd socialise. Don't get me wrong, I am a big advocate for social media; it helps me keep in touch with people I can't physically get out to see, but it's there for when you're on your own; not when you're with people. - with the exception being, when the person you're out and about with does something mad that you happen to capture a photo or video of; that needs sharing there and then, if nothing more than to embarrass your friend (in a nice way of course) .  

This wasn't meant to be a rant about the state of kids and the world today. It was my little homage to nostalgia and what a great part music can play in our lives. I'll admit not all songs bring back happy memories, and just on Wednesday of this week, I forwarded on a song that was about to play on the ipod, but that's because it was my Dads birthday and the song reminded me he's not here - but in a sad way. Instead I found a song that always reminds me of his decorating my bedroom for me when I was younger. One that never fails to bring a smile to my face as I remember him with his hanky knotted on top of his head, paint drips running down his nose and all over his top, as he was singing away at the top of his voice. I'd like to think that memory would pop back into my head every now and then in a normal moment, but I truly believe it's the song (the music) that triggers that one particular thought; those images - that memory. 

The great thing is that it's never too late either. A song heard later today while I'm out and about, may trigger the memory of whatever I'm doing in 20 years time when I hear it played somewhere. 

So. Whatever your taste in music, get out there today, tomorrow or next week. Go visit people, see things, experience things. Add some background music and remember that you may have photos (something I don't have a lot of from my younger years) but that one song could bring back more memories than you could imagine. From those few minutes this morning I have travelled through many years of times that made me smile, laugh or cry (happy tears) until I ached in places I didn't know I could ache.

I seized the day, each and every day when I was younger, but as an adult with responsibility I've let life get in the way too often, which is why when I get the opportunity to go out these days - and it's with the right people; people that make me laugh, smile and feel good about myself - I take it. I just never know what great memories I may make.