Monday, 16 January 2017

I stabbed myself

not intentionally, or course, but unintentionally a sharp knife went into the underside of my hand, just below my middle finger at an angle that saw it also slice into my 4th finger, and it bloody well hurt.


I'd prepared what was probably the best roast dinner I have ever cooked. For once the whole thing came together and every single piece of veg, the gravy, meat, was cooked to perfection. Having had visitors lunchtime I'd only eaten my pink grapefruit for breakfast so by the time I dished up at 6pm I was more than ready to get tucked in. I'm sorry to any vegetarians or vegans, but I am a meat eater. I hate how the animals are treated too but nothing compares to a nice bit of pork crackling on a Sunday. In fact the piece I had yesterday was so thick it had an extra layer of melt-in-the-mouth fat under the main outer crackle - this under-layer is the best part in my opinion. I always cut that away from the main bit if I have any; yesterday though for some stupid reason I decided it would be a good idea to hold the crackling in my hand as I cut away at it (normally I would stand it up and move the knife downwards towards my plate). The first 2 pieces came away beautifully; I should have stopped at that point, yet I chose to have one more bash at another piece I could see was slightly more stubborn. This was a really bad decision to make for my knife slipped and embedded itself into the flesh on my hand just under my middle finger. It went in so far the bruise has come out on the top of my hand - the knife went into the underside. The split second I pulled the knife out so the blood pumped all over the place. Mum asked what I was doing when I got up from the table (I think she thought I'd forgotten a veg or something). She said after I was so matter-of-fact as I told her "I've just stabbed myself" when I left the room to sort it out she thought I was joking. Until 10 minutes later when she came out to the kitchen to see what I was up to and why I'd walked away from my dinner. It was then she saw the blood too and realised I had in fact injured myself :) I'm not one to bleed easily - although when I donate blood it whizzes out of me like a rocket - so for there to have been so much we knew I'd done a proper job on myself :) Having worked in the health care service, once the blood finally stopped Mum was able to patch me up and I went back to my dinner, which of course by then was cold and pretty much covered in my own blood. I ate what I could but my appetite wasn't quite what it had been before I'd been such a tit and damaged myself. Turns out I'd also sliced through the flesh on my 4th finger as well but I'd not realised that until I went to run my hand under the tap - you know what they say about "no sense, no feeling?" :) 

It's been a most interesting morning at work trying not to get the plasters wet as I work in job where my hands spend 90% of their time in water. I managed to stretch a rubber glove on (had to do that also in the shower) but then my hand got all sweaty and damp so it kind of defeated the object. 

One thing that has amazed me though is the amount of people who have asked whether I went to the hospital with it. The cut is deep but not that wide - I was using a steak knife so you can guess how wide it was. I rinsed my hand well, put on an antiseptic cream and covered immediately with a plaster. I don't get why I would need to go to the hospital for something I was able to patch up myself. I've not lost the use of any fingers so guess I've not damaged a tendon or ligament and other than maybe put in a couple of stitches there's nothing a doctor or nurse could do more than I have done. No wonder our NHS is in such dire straits if people are prepared to waste their time with wounds/injuries that can be treated elsewhere. I'm up to date on my Tetanus jabs (have to be in my job) so there is nothing more they could do. 5 different people have told me they would have been straight up to A & E after seeing my wound and knowing how I did it. I find that shocking so many people are willing to use our hospitals in such a way - one even told me to me get there today for I may end up with Septicemia if I don't get it looked at (I know people IN hospital who have ended up with that so that doesn't really fill me with much confidence). I'm no fool, I know how an infection looks and presents itself. IF I thought it wasn't healing correctly then I'd head off to my local pharmacy and ask their opinion before doing anything else. They are after all as qualified as most doctors in hospitals and surgeries but unless I had a gaping wound I couldn't stop bleeding or had ripped my hand apart I'd never rush off to hospital. They have real emergencies to be dealing with and don't need people like me wasting their time. 

I'll tell you one thing though; it don't half throb!!!

Thursday, 12 January 2017

If I was worried

do you really think I would be putting it out there and posting with my own photo's and details? 

I learned a long time ago that life is over way-to-quickly and there's a big world out there to explore. I honestly don't give a monkeys arse what someone thinks of me any more - except my family of course, I'd hate for them to think badly of me, yet that won't stop me from doing what I feel like doing and I'm sure they wouldn't look down on me for it anyway - if they do they are just mean and I won't talk to them for a week.. hahaha.

Ooh, sorry, I have just vaguebooked on you. What I'm waffling on about is my fund raising efforts - which are currently at the grand total of.... drum roll please...... a big fat ZERO.. hahaha.  Of course I am aware some of you who read this will be working your arses off fundraising for big (or small) charities. You'll be trying to raise awareness for different things and illnesses and I admire each and every one of you who is. I've done things in the past also but if we were to all fund raise for the same things, nothing would ever get sorted in this world, and while there are people who are far more deserving than I am of strangers pennies, there are also those who aren't. It's all a case of swings and roundabouts. I'm not forcing someone into making a donation to my little travel fund, but if they choose to do so then I would be extremely grateful. Unlike some people who try to make you feel guilty when you tell them "I'm sorry but you're the 10th person today who has asked me for a donation to the same charity" - race for life being the worst - I had 27 different requests to donate to that last year - all worthwhile and I sponsored the first 3 who asked, but if I had sponsored everyone I'd be in even deeper dire straits than I am. The guilt the ones I refused tried to pour on me was actually quite shocking.

Being totally honest I'd rather friends and family didn't donate to my fund raiser because I'd feel like I have to owe them something in return then. I like it being strangers who will come to my aid - I still strongly believe someone somewhere is just waiting to come across my page and send me on my way. However, that being said. I don't mind other people sharing it around. I put on the twitter page for my fund raising efforts that I've heard about internet things going viral. I then shared a facebook event I set up yesterday on there, you know, just in case it gets picked up and goes viral. When it comes to social media I have enough outlets to try and get it out there. I have instagram, twitter, fb, tumblr and a blog (after 3 months of that you'd think somebody would have made the first move)

Yes, I've come across trolls, they lurk on every corner and under every bridge. Thankfully having dealt with such people all my life in one way or another I either delete their comments, block them or just ignore them. One thing I NEVER do is respond to them. Maybe that's why I've had to deal with some many awful people in my past? It was to prepare me for the trolls who are lurking. See, maybe it's also true that "everything happens for a reason". Had it not been for the bullies, 2 faced liars and all other manner of scum that have disguised themselves as my friend over the years, I'd not be able to deal with the trolls whose bridges I occasionally trip-trap over.

Anyway, I decided to create a facebook event - cos they're easy to share - and have set it for Valentines Day because we all know how much I hate that day. I figured if it got shared and went "viral" then maybe that one someone will see it and the ball will get very much rolling. Of course I could be the only one at the event (virtual for those of you thinking I was going to sit in a room all on my own) and I may not raise a single penny but if I don't try I'd always be sat wondering and that is never a good thing. 

"If you don't ask you don't get" I often hear. Well I've asked so it now stands to reason I WILL get :) :) Unless it's asking for snow; I don't ever really seem to get that. The rest of the country is thoroughly enjoying (well maybe not enjoying as it's causing chaos as usual) the lovely white stuff. All we have is rain; lots and lots of rain. 

Monday, 9 January 2017

Photographs and photoshop

the things that pop into my brain just as my head hits the pillow, my eyes straining to stay open, my body flagging, in need of sleep. Last night it was photographs, more to the point people who alter photographs - I know, I am most definitely one of a kind. 2 hours later (so tired I thought I was sure to finally drop off) I was still asking WhY? Why do people feel the need to mess with something? 

Don't get me wrong there are some absolutely stunning photographs out there for us to view. I saw one just yesterday that took my breath away. Then I realised that it wasn't just one photograph - it was several different shots taken at different times, layered upon each other to create something totally new. Now, while this image was (as I've already said) stunning, it wasn't real, so should it really be allowed to even be called a photograph? Shouldn't it just be called an image? Should people be allowed to display these images as photo's? What about the people who are selling the images? Charging people for something that's not entirely real. I know many people who have paid out money for something believing it to be genuine, when in fact it's not. Are not the sellers committing fraud in a way? Unless of course they let on it's an image made from several layers but those selling an image as just a photo are surely not being completely honest and are taking peoples money, money which is handed over in good faith. 

I love looking at other peoples photos - I'm one of those rare breeds who enjoys others holiday snaps. I log on to several different sites and have a nose through. I gasp in awe sometimes until I realise I have been cheated and I hate that.`Ok, rotate those images by all means - nothing more frustrating that having to turn your head to the side to view something - quite frankly you're either a muppet or just lazy if you post a photo and you've not bothered to rotate it. Crop the edges if you really must (I do understand that sometimes it's not always easy to get teh shot you really want without having to include a wider edge that you will remove later, but please, DON'T try to trick people. These days you can preview your images as soon as you've taken them. If you don't like it, tweak your settings and take another shot. Don't get home and set about manipulating the whole thing. 

To me a photo is more than just images on a screen, or piece of photo paper. They are an exact moment in time, a moment you will never get back again, so to go around and change them, manipulate them, turn them into something they're not is really akin to changes time and erasing history. I am aware that sounds over-dramatic, I told myself as such when I was lying there trying to sleep but it's how I feel. These days with digital you can take many, many, many shots of the same thing, literally split seconds apart. Each of those is a moment in time. There will be some moments you'd rather not have, but the one you choose as the one you want, why then go about changing it? If it's not good enough in its raw form, then it's not good enough at all. The photo of the bird diving into water is a prime example of how to do it. The guy rook 170000 (yes, that really is a lot) of photo's to get the one perfect shot. Now, he could have taken several of those many hundreds of thousands he took, manipulated them, altered them, changes them and layered them to get the same effect, but they wouldn't have been real and I couldn't admire him more for choosing not to. It's not perfect by any means and he could easily have made it so, but he chose to keep it just as it is. That to me is how photography should be. You can't manipulate time. Accept it for what it is, embrace it and run with it. 

Failing that if you really must play around with various images be honest enough to let people know. 

Thursday, 5 January 2017

Before I get into it and waffle on, I'd like to wish you a Happy New Year. Yes, I am aware I did so on New Years Day also but you can never be wished well too often :)
I hopped on over to my fund raising page earlier - you can find it HERE :) I wanted to update the amount I've been able to raise offline; it's on the up - but I'll come back to that in a moment.
For now I want to waffle about perspective. How changing our view of something can make a huge difference to how we are perceived and how we also perceive ourselves. I'm back at Slimming World - I really do need to shift these extra (I'd like to say pounds but am going to have to go with stones!!!) for I don't want to look like a heffer in all my road trip photo's :)  I've followed it before, stuck to it before, had something happen, got off it, then given up, with no real idea why I have done so.  I've thought of myself as a failure when I've gone off track and am sure that's why I then give up. This time around I am going to forgive myself if I have a bad day. Something else I'm going to do (change) is my photo inspiration. This is where my perspective change comes into play. I have always in the past found the most hideous photo of myself that I can. I've then put that as my phone/computer screen savers so that it is the one thing I see more of than anything else. It's to remind me how I look, to make me stick to being good, to put my off wanting to be bad. I realised today that doesn't work; it's never going to work. The reason I realised is is because I took a selfie (I know, shocking, to think I would do such a thing :) ) I took it because it's freezing at work today - customers have told me it's warmer outside than it is in. Trying to warm up I zipped my cardigan right to the top of the collar, turned said collar up, then pulled it over my head basically making a hat and scarf out of it. I then took a selfie to pop on my facebook page. Looking at it I saw that for once I didn't look too bad. The treble chin and fat cannot be seen in it, and it struck me that I was looking at how all my photo's could be this time next year. All I need to do is stick to the slimming world plan and it will happen. It also made me realise I should be looking at those kinds of photo's on a daily basis and not the fat shaming ones. Positivity breeds positivity. Looking at negative images I was filling my head with negative images and thoughts. By looking at one I like, that radiates a positive image it should follow suit that I will be more positive about myself and therefore able to achieve that which I desire. This also ties in with my holiday fund raising.
Now I can see some of you are wondering what on earth a selfie can have to do with raising a positive attitude to my fund raising.  Well, the answer is that although I truly believe that someone is going to make the first donation needed to set the ball rolling, and that I will be able to raise all I need, I don't think I have been portraying the right attitude to get people to help. I feel maybe I've come across as needy, begging and whiny, which is not who I am at all. I guess I wanted people to feel sorry for me, believing that would make them want to help me achieve the total I need. I realise now that's not who I am, in fact a needy whiny person is the very thing I am not and would never want to be. I would not help someone like that. The real me is the one who is excited at raising the money, and who wants to let people out there see who I really am which is why I am going to stop asking for help. Instead I'm going to be me, talk about the things I chat about with friends, put the real me out there for you all to see. Yes, I can be vulnerable, but I can also be tough if I need to be. The trip will be an amazing journey of a lifetime but far better than that is the journey I'm on right now, this very minute, the one that is called LIFE. Buckle up people, it's going to get bumpy. I know it's a ride we can take together though, and if at the end of is (or during) you think to yourself  "You know what, this woman is worthy of my crisp new plastic £5 note" then just follow the link and feel free to share :) Don't forget in March we're getting new £1 coins; your old ones donated would be more than appreciated. :) 
There will be blips - I am only human and can't be positive all the time. Yesterday I had a really bad blip when I phoned the vets to get my dog's test results. I rang just before 2pm and the receptionist said "they are back but I can't give them to you, the vet wants to speak with you". She gave me no indication of anything. I spent the next 3.5 hours absolutely shitting myself that she was going to tell me it was the worst news, that my fears were not silly. My bestie popped in literally 2 minutes after I had phoned and did an excellent job of trying to cheer me. That didn't stop me worrying though. When I finally got the call from the vet who told me her tests are clear, the lump is not cancerous, I almost cried with joy. No amount of money could make up for the relief I felt knowing she is going to be ok. 
It was a good day in another way too. Now. I would never condone gambling and aside from the occasional Euromillions ticket purchased (convinced I am going to win the big one) I am not prone to wasting my money on such things. Thankfully it's not something I've ever had a problem with - I know many people who have, people who will keep spending more and more money in the hope of "winning big". I've never been one of those people. If I go to an amusement arcade (very rarely for me to do so)I allow myself a set amount to play with and I never go over that amount. If I happen to win on a fruit machine and the amount goes over my starting amount, I will put the difference in my purse and walk away with it. Yesterday, however, I got an email from a betting account I have (I've had it about 8 years and have put no more than £20 into it in the whole time I've had it - I got it only to do a football bet as I was sure a particular player was going to score a goal and having had a similar feeling before which I didn't bet on (and he did score at odds of 100/1) I decided to give it a try. It was a waste of my money :) ) Anyway they emailed to say there was still £1.68 on the account so I thought having such a good day I'd take a look at some horse races and use it on a horse bet. I picked 5 horses (I don't look at form or odds - a horse could be 11/10 or 100/1 it would make not a jot of difference for I choose them purely on the name I like). I could have done an accumulator but for that to be successful all 5 horses would have had to finish in the top 2 (3 if there are a lot of horses in one race). Instead I did what is called a Lucky 31 (I have no clue how it works if I'm honest). Doing one of those it doesn't matter if one of your horses fails to finish; you can still win. Did I have a win? Yes, yes I did. One of mine failed to finish (had it done so in the top 3 I would have walked away with over £2000). The others were all placed though (I did them each way) and I ended up winning £51.23, plus my original stake, so I had a total of £52.91. What did I do with the money? Did I use it all to do the same thing and "win big"? Nope. I banked the £50 (in the holiday fund savings account). The remaining £2.91 I did use to pick another 5 for today. There's a chance today could be the day but if it's not to be I've been able to add £50 to the fund, have lost nothing and life is moving in a great direction :) 
 
 



Sunday, 1 January 2017

1st day

and it's really no different than any other day in any other year, except I am exceptionally tired - I did think not going to bed until 3am would mean I'd sleep until maybe 9am (I was up and into the day by 7am - they do say as you get older you don't need so much sleep!!!!).

So, I spent last night with Jase (I think he will decline all future offers to spend the evening with me). I did tell him to take me home at one point so he could go party but he said he'd made plans with me and was going to spend the evening with me. hahahahaha. It was definitely a different evening to those I am used to but I really enjoyed myself (I think secretly he did too).. hahahaha. 

Dinner with his sister and step-dad before we found ourselves down the beach waffling about anything and nothing in particular was lovely. We went to Casa Brasil - I'd heard about the place before but never been to one. I'll be honest I am a carnivore, I love my meat, but even I was all seated out by the time we left. There were 2 staff members who you could tell really didn't want to be there but the rest of them (of which there were many) were lovely and some of the friendliest I've come across when eating out. It definitely makes a nice difference. The food was delicious (especially the Parmesan Pork) and I almost refused the warm (yes, that's warm) pineapple that had been rolled in cinnamon (I don't like the spice) however, I am so glad I never for I would have missed out on a most delicious taste treat. We were there for meat, of course, but I could have happily spent the evening eating the pineapple - I'm salivating again just thinking about it. It's not the best place to go if you want to socialise (it's really quite noisy) but if you're happy to shout to be heard and enjoy meat then get yourselves down to one; you won't regret it. The prices aren't bad either. 

After learning there we had no particular plan but had originally intended to do some night photography - the only photographs I took were inside the car of a couple of glow sticks were snapped. We spent the whole evening in the car park on the edge of the beach looking out over a huge chunk of Hampshire - where we were we had a 360' vista taking in the Isle of Wight, Portsmouth, Southampton and bits around and between. This was perfect when the clock struck 12 and afforded me a sight I would never have imagined seeing and was actually quite surreal. There aren't really any words I can use to describe it either, it was purely down to our position, the vista we had and the amount of fireworks going off (I normally hate fireworks but the view was something quite magical). I was very glad to have been there and to be there with Jase made it a lovely evening and a nice moment for us to share, especially after the years he's had. As I said I doubt he'll ever do another New Year with me so that made it that little bit more special too (I think next year - this year now - he'll have himself a nice lady (she best be nice or she'll have me to deal with)). 

Jase managed to snap off a selfie (it would have been rude not to) Aside from that and the one I took of the glow sticks I don't think any other photo was taken - to think I spent a couple of hours charging all my batteries too !! 


Today - this 1st day of the year - has been most good also (although I've not done half the things I wanted to do - nothing unusual for me). I did manage to take down the archways and garlands in the hall (Mum had done the mantel and porch last night) and we got the bits put away. Was about to go and make a start on the craft room (which looks like a Tazmanian Devil has whizzed through) when my brother text to see if we were in so he could pop round, so the room never got done because we were here (always look forward to seeing them both) and he came bearing gifts. We now have a new TV and Bluray player (proper sharp pictures on our telebox and crisp sound that we can actually hear). We are feeling most spoiled and extremely lucky. Mind you I keep promising I'm not going to watch so much TV so not sure it's such a good thing :) :)


Saturday, 31 December 2016

Goodbye 2016

hello 1985 - yes, you read that right. I'm saying hello to my favourite year again, 1985. I decided that a new year doesn't bring about renewed hope (we can do that on any day of any year) it doesn't bring with it any promises about this thing we call life; it doesn't have the power to change any part of your life (only you have that power and can - again - do it on any day, in any year). 
What is does guarantee though, is that if we make it through the next 365 days we will all have got another year older and I really like being young, so I'm not going forwards this year, I'm going back to 1985 - I'm going to do it all over again.😂😂😂
I'll be honest I didn't have much hope for this year so thankfully I wasn't disappointed; had I planned a great year I most definitely would have felt let down by the end of it for I really didn't do a lot - at all. In fact I feel as though I allowed it to pass me by and I never made the most of any of it. I'm a bit angry at myself for that, but have been blessed to make it through another year, am blessed to be here poised for the beginning of a new one and will make every effort to not be sitting here at the end of 2017 feeling as though I have let myself down - I plan on sitting at the end going "Wow, how much have I done this year? How did I manage to fit it all in?"

That's why I'm going back to 1985 - back then I had a "devil may care" attitude, was surrounded by many people (most of them friends) and there was never an evening when there wasn't something to be done. Of course I don't want a do-over, we all know my thoughts on that,  and a lot of the friends I had back then are either no longer here, or have moved away and are unable to come out to play. When I say I'm going back I mean in a metaphorical way - it's not about changing the past or what's happened in it. It's more about looking at the world through those same 15 year old eyes I viewed it through back then. I understood the way of the world back then, how dangerous it could be (just 3 years before I'd seen the death and destruction the Falklands War brought to my little area of the world). I understood that life doesn't do on forever (my lovely Nanny died just 4 days before my 15th birthday). I learned about heartbreak when the relationship I was in ended (my friend ever proper relationship and it ended because he cheated - he was the first of many, by many I mean each and every single one since). I should have been sadder about it but Live Aid was going on the day after so I had something to take my mind off it all. We did get back together on the day after, for me to end it just a week later. That was my lesson about there being no "2nd chances". If it didn't work the first time, then it wouldn't have worked the 2nd - that rule got broken when it came to John Campbell though - the chances I gave him (would probably still give him ... hahaha - had I not split with my firstie I'd never have got any chance with John so while I should have been sad, I found myself in fact, very hopeful :) ). In my firstie's defence I had spent a few days over the summer holidays hanging out with another boy (who I got caught kissing - the only time I have ever cheated) while my firstie was out at work (being 3 years older he was already a working man).

So, as you can see, 1985 was a pivotal year in my life and so far there has never been another like it and I am sure it was my attitude which made it what it was. Hence why the only promise I will make to myself for next year is to change how I approach life, how I react to things, how I will try to grasp every ounce of happiness that I can. There are no guarantees for any of us. Nobody can tell you what is around the corner, what's out there waiting for you. If you can make a change then do it. If you can't then remember you have what you have because of the choices and decisions you've made; only you have the power to make the changes that will make 2017 a great year for you. I hope you all experience happiness and health.

My plans for this evening have already changed, thanks to the weather. I didn't want to stay in this year, watching TV - which let's face it is totally boring - but I also didn't want to go anywhere or do anything to hectic. As I no longer have any friends to go out and do stuff with or to receive invites from to go out and and do stuff with,  I asked Jase if he had any plans thinking he might say he was going to the local pub (I know most of the people in there so an invite along with him would have been good in my book). As it turns out he had no plans so said we should do something together and I got the impression we were going photographing skies. That would have been a new one on me, a quiet evening learning something. I planned on popping a bottle of wine in a flask (I have to toast the new year properly) had my sleeping bag ready (it has been cold the past few days) and the camera batteries on charge. Then I got up this morning to see the weather forecast is foggy and cloudy. I thought that would scupper our plans so offered Jase the option of going elsewhere if he wanted, but he said we'll just cruise around playing happy music and if we see something we think will make a good photo then we'll stop. I like the sound of that. I'm now taking tea in the flask but will take along a bottle of wine with me too and some nibbles for both of us to share (left over sausage rolls, tubes of pringles, cocktail sausages etc - they need eating). As I was writing that so he phoned me to tell me we're now going out for dinner beforehand with his sister, so who knows where tonight will now take me? Anything is possible and I like that idea. The only downside is I will now have to shower and do my face and hair.. hahaha.. had it been just me and him I was going in leggings and thick jumper with lank hair and make-up free face :)

I've said a couple of goodbyes this year - metaphorically (twice I've been able to get that word into this one blog) as well as to physical people. After the lies she was telling me (which I allowed her as I figured it made her feel better about herself) I let Annette still be a part of my life but when she began telling people lies about me I decided she'd most likely have to go unless she sorted herself out. When I never heard a word from her for Christmas I realised she is not the person I thought her to be, she does not deserve my sympathy and so she has gone. I've spent enough time sticking up for liars, I'm not about to continue doing it. I have too much respect for myself to allow people to treat me like it. I'm grateful for the times out we had together but occasionally things have to end - our 'fake' friendship being one of those.

One good thing I will take from this passed year is the new skill I have learned. That's right, I can now crochet - not very well but I've finally learned how to do it and can only get better from here on in. In fact the very first thing I ever crocheted was from the Star Wars kit my brother gave me for Christmas - I did the Yoda. Now, he's not perfect of course, far from it in fact - my cousin said he looks as though he's been run over (he used to by my favourite but I might have to replace him with any other - my cousin that is, not yoda). I did try the Stormtrooper from the kit but made a mistake (his legs are in the wrong place) so I'm going to have to unpick him and remake him. The more I make though, the better they should become and I plan on making the whole set of them at least 3 times (one for me, two for other peoples).


And there it is, over. I've had just 5 days out (Cheddar, Isle of Wight (twice) Lulworth (twice)) and 5 day mini-break to Cornwall, 2 long weekends camping and just 3 nights out (all of those photography lessons with Jason). A lot less than last year but far more than many people are lucky to be able to have so I consider myself a lucky lady. Here's hoping next year spoils me as much.


Thursday, 29 December 2016

There it was.......

gone...

I know as you get older time seems to travel a lot quicker than it ever did as a child, but already Christmas Day is 4 days gone by; it still feels as though we should be in the beginning of December, yet here were are, preparing for the end of the month and another year. Literally the blink of the eye appears to be all it takes for a day to be gone. It's quite scary in one way and frustrating in another for I really didn't do much with 2016 at all - but the year past is an entry for another day. This is all about Christmas.

Thankfully the colds that everyone kept coming in to see me with beforehand have not caught hold of me as I feared they would (I am sure my time will come) but that would truly have made Christmas Day itself almost unbearable (it was hard enough as it was). The only saving grace to the day was that my brother came round at 10.30 in the morning and stayed for a couple of hours, and the grandfather was ready to leave by 10pm - if I'd had my way he'd have left by 12 noon that day. What an absolute horror he was this year. His usual bad manners, bored attitude and hatred for losing when he plays cards we were prepared for but his rudeness was something we were not ready for, and my goodness he was exceptionally rude. Several times he made some pretty awful comments about my brother's weight; after he'd left he then made them about mine before starting on my Mum about her hair. When he then went to talk about my Mum's brother (who for the purpose of this entry will be referred to as MHB) he finally pissed us both off to a point I wasn't sure we could come back from. It was hard work enough for me to not kick off, but I then had to keep it together to stop Mum from doing so.

You see MHB is a wanker of the highest order and my grandfather knows we do not like him. for some reason he seemed to think the fact the MHB had been in hospital recently would be something we would want to discuss - we didn't. The MHB has made no contact with my Mum since their Mum died TEN years ago. I saw him a few times when he came into the first shop we had; one day he said to me "You'll have to get your Mum to come over to visit us one day". My response was "She works full time, you don't work at all, you know where she lives, she has no idea where you live". That's how selfish he is; he thought Mum should make the effort to see him. Her whole life she's made the effort for their mother so there was no way I would let her do the same for him. You can bet your arse though when my grandfather pops his clogs the MHB will be first in line for a share of anything the grandfather has. This is what really pisses me off.

The MHB has nothing to do with the grandfather - he contacts him once a year around Christmas. For the first 36 years of my life my nan and the grandfather came to our house on Christmas Day on 33 occasions - the other 3 they came on Boxing Day. For those odd 3 days did they get invited to the MHB? did they fuck! they may have got an invite over for tea one evening after Xmas. We had them both ALL day from early morning until late evening. Until my Nan died EVERY single Monday they would come to us for the afternoon/evening where we would feed them, then listen to her going on about her "perfect son". The son (MHB) who she saw maybe 4 times a year - he was the one who was perfect, my Mum the imperfect one who was spoken badly about (and too) by my nan at every chance she got. EVERY single birthday of my Nans until she died they came to us. The MHB never had her - we did. I remember only one childhood holiday that my Nan and the grandfather didn't join us on - JUST one. They NEVER (not ONCE) got invited to holiday with the MHB. Since she died it has continued, just with the grandfather now instead of both of them. The only difference is we can no longer afford holidays so he doesn't holiday with us - everything else has remained as it is. He was invited to the MHB a couple of years after xmas for an evening (2 or 3 hours) where they bought him some fish and chips before sending him on his way for another year. We have him over for the day/evening EVERY single Wednesday. Yet you can bet your arse, having never done a thing for either of them in my lifetime (46 years as I write this) he, the MHB, wil l be first in line for a share when the grandfather dies and that really pisses me off.

As I write this we are awaiting the grandfathers arrival - we had him last Weds, Sunday and this Weds. I am dreading that he may have been invited to tea with the MHB last evening (there are occasionally things which happen that can shock and surprise) and then we will have to sit and listen about how wonderful he is and how poorly he's been. I don't give a shit, about any of them and am desperately hoping Jase may phone to tell me he has a job to do a couple of hours away and is looking for someone to keep him company - I'll be waiting out the front for him in a flash :) Alas he only ever seems to do such a thing when I already have things to do - bloody typical.

Anyway - enough of the moaning.

That's where I stopped because he arrived and although much better than he was on Xmas Day the first thing he went on about when he got here was the MHB. We DON'T CARE. 

So, back to Christmas - our official one was the 27th when my brother and brother-in-law came round. A great time was had by all - although my roast potato's didn't go crispy enough around the edges (failed, Sarah). They bought me 2 fabulous presents. I got a colour light changing Stormtrooper head (fab in itself) but they also gave me a gift that will just keep giving. Oh yes, everyone will be receiving a hand-made gift of some kind from me this year, for they gave me a Star Wars character crochet set. I've never crochet successfully in my life (I tried once but wasn't any good at it) so I am about to learn a new skill while I create :) The kit has all I need to make a Stormtrooper and Yoda, but the pattern book has Luke Skywalker (well, it's not Star Wars without him) Princess Leia (so very sad that she passed away the day before yesterday, her Mum just yesterday - what a year 2016 has been for massively famous people. I felt a little bit of my childhood die when the Princess was taken). There is Chewie, Han Solo, Bobba Fett, C3PO and R2D2 - I think there may be another but I can't remember which ones :) Expect to see pictures of them appearing on future blogs :) Who knows, I might even get round to making all my presents for next year - as I planned to do this year and never got round to doing :) I got a staffie calendar (never used a calendar in my life but get one every year) and a huge snowman filled with wine gums - nom nom nom :) 


The festive glasses making and jumper decoration went down extremely well. I shared the photos of the 4 of us on Facebook - my BIL did on his also - and we got friends to vote. Mum won the glasses, I won the t-shirt (apparently my father christmas's position won me the votes :) )

I have hardly drunk either you will be surprised to know. Three quarters of a bottle of wine and 2 vodka tonics on Christmas Day, a bottle of wine and 2 vodkas on the 27th. Aside from that, it's been coke zero, tea and coffee. I would have drunk last night but had to take the dog to the vets for 9 this morning. Planned on drinking tonight but now have to take the dog to another vets for 09.10 tomorrow morning - she has a lump that I found and she thinks it's just a fatty lump but because she's lost 1.5kg in the passed year and because Staffies apparently have a habit of being different to most dogs and throw up non-expected symptoms she wants it checked. I am not a religious person by any means as you all know, but I shall be praying hard for those results to come back negative. She did say they could be inconclusive at which point we'll have to go down the biopsy route but I'm keeping it all crossed it won't come to that. I can't have a poorly Myrtle - that's just not on. 

So, in just a few days this year ends (I shall of course be writing a post about how this year has been) but until then I wish you all a great new years eve (whatever you may be doing) and a very happy and healthy 2017. 

Wednesday, 14 December 2016

People constantly amaze me

and not always in a good way.

As I'm sure most of you know, I am in the shop on my own next week - yes, I am really dreading it. It will be busy, I probably won't sleep between Monday morning and Saturday night and I will most definitely get a wee bit stressed as the week progresses (it's already started as none of the wholesalers can get me any more holly wreaths so this weekend I shall be making my own from scratch (not my most favourite thing). Anywho (where did that whole thing start? the anywho instead of anyhow? - who (or should that be, how, knows?)). So, several people have offered me their friends or family members to help out. "How kind" I can hear you thinking, and yes, it is, until I tell you that the catch to this is that they will need to be paid (that's right they're willing to help but only for money). Not only that they expect to be paid 'cash in hand'.

Now, first things first. Paying someone 'cash in hand' is technically illegal, unless of course they are self employed and will declare to the taxman at which point they're not the 'cash in hand' that was being touted for if I paid someone to work in cash it would go through my books they've been paid that way. Their version of 'cash in hand' is the one where it doesn't get declared to the taxman. This PISSES me of BIG TIME (yes, there really is the need to bold capital letters). Firstly, to do this I would have to not pay any cash that comes into the shop in the till - that's breaking the law, then I would have to pass that cash onto someone who is going to keep it all and not share a penny with the taxman. This is where my real pissed off bit comes from. These people don't work, in fact as far as I'm aware all those offered to me are over 30 and have never done a days work in their lives, so for at least 14 years they've taken money out of the system - don't get me started on how if they are sick they get free prescriptions and don't lose any pay whereas I have to drag myself into work or lose money AND have to pay all my prescriptions. They've not paid a single penny into the pot they are happy to take from and then they want to take even more without adding anything back. These are people who know how hard I work, how long my hours are and what little pay I take home, wanting me to pay minimum wage (oh yes, they expect the proper going rate even though they're willing to defraud us all) and then not pay a single penny back.

I worked out just now that on average I earn just £2.56 (and a quarter) per hour. That's my normal working hours each week - of course I do overtime which I receive nothing for. The £2.56 is my basic hourly rate for the times the shop is open. Out of that I pay tax and insurance, my business then pays tax and insurance on my earnings too so I technically pay twice. In the past 10 years I have taken just 9 weeks holiday (not really that much if you add the amount of Sundays and bank holidays I've worked). That means I have worked 511 weeks out of 520 for just £2.56 per hour. In my 30 year career (I started working before I left school) I have only ever been out of work for 7 weeks - my choice and I NEVER asked our government - or anyone else for that matter - for a penny. I provided for myself and still made my national insurance contributions so even though I wasn't working, I was still paying into the pot for those very people who expect me to pay them 'cash in hand'. 

Mind you I'm not sure why I am so surprised by this. It seems to be the way of the world these days. Those prepared to get off their arses and do something get shit on from a great height while those who make no effort sit back and laugh at the rest of us. I look at my poor mum. She gets just the basic state pension. All those years she worked, all those hours my Dad worked (just to die before he hit 50) and she gets nothing. When Dad was dying they had no help whatsoever so that when he died (uninsured as he didn't think he would be dead at 49) my Mum had to remortgage the house to help pay for his funeral and the other debts that had been run up while he was dying. He worked on average 85 hours per week, 50 weeks a year for what? An early grave. Because Mum was still paying the mortgage she couldn't' afford to pay into the works pension where she was so when they decided she had become "natural wastage" (don't get me started on how the NHS treat their older staff) she ended up with nothing. Not a penny. She said to me the other day "Me and your Dad did it all wrong. We thought buying our own home and working for a living was the right way to do things, would provide for us in our old age. I see now we shouldn't have bothered. We should have gone into council accommodation and I should have given up work and let the state pay for me". What words for her to say. To think of all her and my Dad gave; what was it for? She's not benefited from it at all. Because she bought her house she's had to pay for all the repairs - had they gone into council they'd have had it all done for them. They thought they were doing it right, they bought me and my brother up to be the same. They instilled a hard work ethic into us, but for what? So that those who don't get off their arses can sit back in their houses they don't pay for, watching movies all day on their modern TV's with every games console going, while their kids run round with ipads and iphones which are upgraded every 18 months. 

My whole life I have watched both my parents (and now just Mum) struggle to put food on the table or heat the house while praying the TV we have doesn't pack up, hoping the phone she using (way out of date) doesn't become so obsolete she can no longer use it, putting on extra jumpers at such times as she couldn't afford to heat the house, and then some lazy jumped up waste of space thinks I should pay them 'cash in hand'? I'd rather work 24 hours a day for my money than let them anywhere near my shop. What gets me the most is that they don't even see anything wrong in it. I'm the one in the wrong for refusing their request. This country really has gone to pot.

I'd like to say "rant over" but I don't think I'm finished because this has reminded me of the guy who came in the shop once. He went to pay and said "I guess you'd prefer cash, would't you?"
I answered "actually no, I prefer card that way I don't have to worry about having cash on the premises".
He came back at me with "I understand that from a safety point of view but if I give you cash you don't have to pay it in".
"ummm, yes, I do" I replied "any money taken has to be paid in".
"Not cash though, you could syphon that off for yourself".

This went on for a good few sentences until in the end I said "maybe that's how you run your business Sir, but if I was to do that it would be stealing for the business has paid for those items and if I keep the money I have technically stolen from my own business" I then added "it would also be illegal of me to do so for I would be committing fraud by taking money and not declaring it and I don't plan on doing any such thing. If you want to pay in cash that is fine but please be assured by doing so it will end up in my till just as a card payment would"
He paid in card, told me I was "crazy because nobody else would be fool enough to ring it in" and I've never seen him in my shop since. 

Let's just say for arguments sake I was that kind of person who would not bother to ring it in and would pocket the money for myself and it turned out he worked for HMRC. He'd have just got me by the short and curlies. Aside from not being worth the risk, I like my little business too much to lose it (and everything else) for the sake of a few extra pounds in my purse. At least I know I can sleep at night and not have to worry about getting caught doing something (not just) illegal, but in my view immoral also. Every penny that comes into this shop, goes to this shop. 

That's another thing. Someone said to me once "it must be lovely to just take your pick of stuff to take home". 
"In one way" I replied "if I could afford to buy it all it would be great. Alas sometimes though I just have to enjoy it while it's here".
She came back at me with "it's your shop, why do you need to be able to afford it?  Why don't you just take it home?"

Is that really what people think? Because I own the shop it's ok for me to just take whatever I want from it? Do these people not see that would be wrong? It's not MY stuff to take. It belongs to the shop. The business has paid for it, not me. Ok, so I own the business but I can't just go helping myself to stuff. If I've not paid for it then I've stolen it. What kind of person would thieve from anyone, let alone themselves? Yes, you're right I do know many people who would do such a thing but I am not one of them. The woman wouldn't have it, kept telling me it couldn't be theft when it was my business so I gave up trying to explain myself in the end. Maybe that's why I have to live with my Mum at my age. Maybe my being so honest and not taking anything that's not mine to take is why I don't have anything, but I would rather live in a cardboard box under a bridge than take something I don't have the right to. I know morals don't count for much these days but to me they are the basis of everything I am and all that I stand for. 

Rant over. 


Tuesday, 13 December 2016

Has totally lost

what tiny bit of motivation I had left.

I currently have 3 lists on the go that I am working from (there could be a 4th but I need to finish the others first) and yet I just don't have an ounce of motivation to work my way through them. I know I have to or I'll find myself up the proverbial creek without a paddle, but right now all I really want to do is nothing. Not a thing. Sit in my car looking out over water, a field or even a mountain doing absolutely nothing. Not speaking to anyone, hoping nobody parks next to me, while I just sit. I was even tempted just now to put a closed sign on the door, pretend I'm not at work and hide in the office, just staring into space.  The funny part is I had a customer in earlier who has asked me to come up with a great idea of what he do for his girlfriend at Christmas with flowers, rather than just giving her a bouquet or the usual bits and pieces. I can't even think about what is going to inspire me for dinner and he wants me to inspire him into a gift? I'm fully aware that the longer I sit here writing this - doing nothing - the longer my list is going to become so I'm going to have to find some kind of energy boost or motivation in a mo; I have a business to run.

See, that's all I can think of to say. How is this ever a blog entry when I can't even drum up the enthusiasm to write anything? Me, the woman who can talk for an hour about a hair pulled from my head, who uses 18 words when just 3 will do. There is just nothing though. This will be, all it will be, just so I can tell myself I've done something :)

Monday, 5 December 2016

Coincidence?

Way, way, way back in 1991 (which still really only feels like yesterday but is in fact a whole other century away) I experienced a coincidence that was so strong, so powerful, it made me re-think my whole outlook on certain things. At the time I, like many, believed that a coincidence was just a random happening. While for those 21 years of my life I'd believed in many things I now no longer believe in, what happened that Saturday in April made me think that a coincidence may not be so random after all - a complete backtrack on everything that had gone before. I may have since stopped believing in ghosts, the paranormal and things that go bump in the night (maybe not stopped as such for there are still some things I cannot explain, but I certainly don't believe in the way I used to) my thought process on whether something is just a random happening or not did a complete 180. Too many things happened that day/week to make me believe there was anything random at all when it comes to this thing we call life. The 'random' coincidences of this weekend got me wondering all over again. 

There I was Saturday morning having a read through an online paper - I'd done all the jobs at work I could do, the place was dusted, swept and polished, so I took the opportunity to do nothing for 10 minutes while I was waiting for a customer to collect. Scanning through this paper trying to find something that might be of small interest I saw a photo of a lovely looking older couple staring back at me. They looked as though they might have a happy tale to tell so I clicked on their link and had a read. I was correct, they did have a happy tale, albeit after a sad one to begin with. They'd been childhood sweethearts back in the day having known each other from infant school when the ladies father had found himself a job in another part of the country. As often happens they were separated at just 10 years old, promised to keep in touch (not as easy back then as it is now) only to lose contact with each other completely. Her family had moved some 250 miles away. I always find stories like that sad, but what is meant to be and all that. Fast forward 60 years; both have been married, had 2 children and found themselves widowed. 18 months ago the lady was travelling by train to visit her grandchildren in the west country somewhere. En route she'd had to change at Bristol. Due to the train she was on being delayed she missed her connection and found herself with 2 hours to kill while waiting for the next available one to her destination. She grabbed herself a cup of tea, found a seat and prepared herself for a long wait, when a gentleman sat down next to her. He'd been on the same train as her, was travelling to the same small town as her and also had the same wait as her. They struck up a conversation, enjoyed each other's company and agreed to sit with each other once their next train arrived, which is what they did. Yep, you've guessed it. While on the train chatting they realised who the other was and have been with each other ever since. The odd thing about it was that the lady only booked her ticket at the last minute as she'd had plans to go away with a friend, when the friend was taken ill at the last moment her family invited her to stay with them instead. Had her friend not been taken poorly she'd never have been on the train that day. She used the words "I was brought up to believe if something is meant to be it will be regardless".

Yesterday (Sunday) I took my Mum and dog out for a drive to some woods we enjoy strolling around - at least Mum used to until she got attacked by the bees in the summer and on our previous trip the dog was attacked by another 2 dogs, so that kind of put Mum off a bit. Not sure she was entirely happy about going over but thankfully none of us were attacked (although the dog failed to make a log when she was jumping and smacked into it instead - I made that the 3rd thing) and we had a lovely wander around. On the way home we got into a conversation about her friend when Mum said "well, there's a couple who were just 'meant to be'" It turns out they too had a similar story to the couple I had read about on Saturday (although they are much younger and their "chance" meeting was at a party that her friend had not wanted to go to and had almost pulled out of only going at the last minute because her friend told her she needed to get out more - she'd not really been out since her divorce. While there she got chatting to a guy who looked familiar; low and behold it turned out to be the boy she'd had a crush on in infant school, who she'd gone all through junior school with but been separated from due to a family move by the time they got to senior school. They have now been together over a decade. 

2 different couples in 2 days, both with similar stories. They met were separated, went on to live their lives, ended up with each other. Coincidence I should hear such a thing or the universe trying to tell me something? oh my, as I was typing that I remembered I had a similar experience a few years back that I wrote about also - will have to see in a bit after this if I can find it!!!

So, this morning. There I am, working my little fat arse off with a list as long as can be that I have to get done today, when a customer comes in - actually she's not a customer at all really as she rarely buys anything, but she likes to come for a chat with me now and then and the dog she walks likes to have a treat from me :) She got to talking about how she'd had a crush on someone a few years back but that nothing had ever come - she'd never made her feelings known to this other person assuming them not to be interested. She then moved away meaning she didn't get to see this other person any more - the other also moved areas. A few weeks back they both found themselves in the same area again and have passed a few pleasantries with each other.  Over this weekend she'd been chatting to a mutual friend of this person, to find the other person had feelings for her also, but had always thought she wasn't interested. She said to me "it's weird isn't it? Maybe we were meant to be after all". When I asked what she meant by that she explained that she'd always been told if something was meant to be, it would always be, regardless of what may get in the way at the time. She actually used the same terms and words Mum had used yesterday when explaining to me about how we start at one point, end at one point and can choose different points in between but will always end up exactly where we should be, with whoever we should be with.  3 people, 3 days, 3 identical ideals about life. 

What does it all mean? Probably absolutely nothing, or does it? I guess it's all down to what you believe. I've seen a pattern, a synergy, a 'coincidence' you may have seen nothing more than an every day occurrence. You may not have even noticed it all; it could be down to how I've been thinking/feeling. Who knows for sure but if there's a chance a certain Mr Campbell might be reading this right now, who has decided to leave the hot deserts of Africa to move back to the UK because his lovely wife (I'm guessing she's lovely - never met her but he married her so she can't be all bad) has run off with a tribal chief, or because they've just decided they weren't right for each other after all and amicably gone their separate ways, then rest assured I will be happy to meet you on any train station bench - in the UK of course :)  Just say the above has happened, he is able to come across this by some means - would that be a coincidence or something that is meant to be? 

What if our life does goes in cycles? Some people say we reset every 7 years - hence the 7 year itch - others say we have our own reset pattern which could be anything from 1 month to 20 years. Say mine is about to reset, I'm about to reach one of those metaphorical crossroads where I get to choose which path I take as I continue my journey and I come across him (or someone else) at that junction? Would that just be a coincidence? Or would it be fate trying to intervene again, giving us options, leaving it to us which path we take for the next phase? Or will I get to that crossroads and find someone totally new waiting for me? Someone who's been missing me each time we arrive at the same point. I could have turned left, as he turned right. We may have only ever caught the back of each other as we passed by. Maybe the chance encounters me and Mr C had over the years, were really just a matter of chance. Who knows for sure? What I do know is I love it when my mind is opened to possibilities, when I am awakened to the idea that not everything is as it seems at the time, that maybe there is a plan after all. If there's not at least I've explored the options, done some research, expanded my mind a little. So many people spend their lives closed off to anything that doesn't fit into the stereotypical box they believe life should be. If nothing else, I could never be accused of that :) I've experienced many things during my time on this earth I can't quite explain with logic but that doesn't mean they are of a spiritual or higher plane nature; they really could just be a random coincidence, but does random truly exist? Even the most intelligent and mathematical of minds would argue that point.!!



Monday, 21 November 2016

Infections, Funerals, Crystal Balls and Flickering Lights

What a subject line for an entry :) 

After suffering for a week with toothache I decided it was time to finally head off to my dentist where it turns out I've been grinding/clenching my teeth a wee bit too much and have managed to loosen one slightly - that's where the pain is coming from - the infection was nowhere near my tooth though and was in fact in my cheek (I thought I'd scratched it on some pork crackling the week before - DOH).  Not sure when I became a clencher as it's not something I've noticed myself doing before. I guess maybe I'm a little more worried about my boobie lumps and swollen lymph glands than I thought I was. I did think (hope) that maybe being on antibiotics they would go down (after all they can swell if your body is fighting an infection) yet they are still very much up. Only another 9 days and the 4 weeks I was asked to wait is up though, so I can then get back to the doctors and get it looked into properly.  My whole week seemed to revolve around my tooth and the shop, the shop and my tooth - pretty much par for the course though in my life :) 

Then came Friday, a day I had been dreading for it was the day of Jason's Mums funeral. They'd tasked me with her flowers. Not a big thing as it's my job, yet whenever I am making them for people I know I always get a little more stressed out then when making them for strangers. Not that anyone gets treated differently for I have only one level when it comes to my work and that is to always make every item to the best of my ability. I think it's just because I don't want to disappoint a friend. Along with the tributes his sister had asked me to decorate their mums casket (made of wicker which was lovely) with some ivy garlands around the sides and some roses tied into it. Is it wrong to say I was looking forward to doing this? I got into work early so that I could get everything done in time for I wanted to go to the funeral in the afternoon (I also didn't want to go) and I knew I was having to close for an hour while I went to the funeral directors to sort the garland out. The part of me that didn't want to go was winning the battle against the part of me that did (I say that but I never wanted to at all, I just felt I should be there for my friend and to say goodbye to his Mum who was always so lovely to me). The main tributes I'd prepared the afternoon before so they weren't an issue but I had weddings on the Saturday that needed my time, a function that evening and of course I needed the ivy for the casket. Arriving at the shop ready to get ton with things I was stumped - my wholesaler had failed to arrive. My meticulously planned morning had been lead astray. By 10am I was beginning to panic for the funeral directors wanted me there at 11 and I was still waiting on the ivy and had done none of the other jobs I should have had ready before I left. I started to feel as though the universe was conspiring with me as at that point there was no way I was going to find the time to go to the funeral - I had a little chat with his Mum and thanked her as I figured she'd had a hand in it also. Jase came in to collect something for the funeral and could see how far behind I was. When I told him it meant I may not make it he said "work is work". I stewed on that for over 2 hours wondering if he was having a dig that I was putting work first or if he was saying he understood.  He left at 10.15 and as he pulled away so the ivy I needed (with my wholesaler) arrived. I can't tell you have relieved I was, for I'd already made the decision I was going to have to use the artificial ones I had in the shop for there was no way I would be able to get any nice enough to put round the casket and she deserved the very best. 

I arrived at the funeral directors 15 minutes early (better to be early than late) to find them in complete turmoil. They weren't anywhere near ready for me. The casket wasn't sealed and they'd not moved his Mum from the viewing room the previous day. After 20 minutes the 2 girls working there came back to tell me they couldn't get the casket sealed and were going to have to wait for one of their male counterparts to arrive but he could be a couple of hours. I told them I'd leave the ivy for them to do but got the reply they were too busy so asked if I was able to dress the casket without it being sealed - this was agreed the best thing to do. As it was when I got to his Mum I was able to help one of the girls seal her (my first ever time in all the years I've dealt with funerals). Not having enough room inside they had moved her into the garage area (she'd have hated that as it was bloody cold out there - only 5'c when I was there). 2 other caskets were there also. Finally I was able to get to work doing what needed to be done. I had a chat with her as I was going, mentioning how I knew she would hate being so cold and how I wish I'd taken a jumper with me (I'd assumed I'd be working inside so only had on a t-shirt). She was quite close to one of the others in there so I moved her over slightly to work on one side, but it still wasn't far enough as I found when I bounced my fat arse off one of the other coffins. Apologising to the gentleman (I wasn't even sure when I said sorry if it was a gentleman - thankfully his name plaque suggested he was) I got on with things chatting eventually with all 3 of them when the lights began to dip and flicker.  I thought this a bit odd then put it down to the fact I was in the garage area so the lighting wouldn't be as up to scratch there as it was inside - turns out that one of Jason's other friends had the same thing happen to her when she'd been to view his Mum who was inside at the time!!!! I explained to his Mum I wasn't going to make the funeral as I had a lot to do and didn't really need to say goodbye, but also that I'd feel guilty not going but was sure she'd understand. When I'd finished I said my goodbyes, left and had no plans to go to the funeral. 

Back at the shop I found myself getting on far better than I thought I would and by 12.30 (the funeral was at 2.30) I couldn't get this nagging voice out of my head that kept saying I'd regret it and feel guilty if I didn't go and that if I was truly Jason's friend I would be there for him. Another voice (that one of reason) kept telling me he would have enough people there, yet the nagging one was getting stronger by the second.  I knew then I was going to have to go. Then a customer came in wanting something made up. I told him it would be 10 mins so he said he'd pop into town, pay some bills and be back. Then another customer came in (she never buys anything and can be hard to get rid of but she was a welcome distraction at the time). She knew I was meant to be going to the funeral and asked why I'd changed my mind so I explained it all to her. She said she thought I'd regret it if I didn't go at which point I said I needed to leave by 1.40 at the latest to get there in time and was waiting on the customer coming back. If he didn't turn up it would be too late. I had stuck a sign on the door saying I was closing at 1.30.  At 1.29 I took the sign down for the guy had not come back and I saw that as my sign not to go. Just 30 seconds later I saw him drive up the road, a box sitting happily on the side of the back bench for 3 days fell off and the sun came out through the clouds shining directly onto me. I put that closed sign back up on that door and made it to the funeral and now I am so glad I did. I think I would have felt so guilty if I'd not been able to make it. Not really what you would say of a funeral but it was in fact the nicest one I've ever been to. It was at the new crematorium 15 miles away and the place was so light and airy it made what was an extremely sad occasion a lot easier to bear. The 2 others around us are dark, dingy and mournful places, this was filled with light and love and had a truly wonderful vibe to it - not what you would really say about a crematorium, I know.  His sister had organised everything and she did a truly wonderful job - she did her Mum proud, that's for sure. 

Now, the crystal ball. hahahaha. I've never believed in such things as seeing into the future with them and bought it as a gift for someone who was after one for photographic purposes - they ended up going and getting their own so I wasted money buying it and will now keep it for myself. I may have a play on a photographic level with it, but I may also have a go at seeing if I can see the mist and the future in it :) :) Watch this space 😂😂😂 No, before someone thinks it, I am not mocking it in any way, shape or form and will genuinely make sure if I try I do so properly and with the respect such a thing deserves. 


Thursday, 17 November 2016

My job at times

can be really sobering and make me realise just how very lucky I am.

Not that I have felt lucky this week - until today (I actually started this yesterday but ran out of time so further down the page is changes to tomorrow, which is in fact now my today). I've felt mighty pained and grumpy if I'm going to be totally honest with you all (and why would I be anything else with you?). I've also been a little scared with a touch of sad added to the mix. 

It started Saturday. That slight niggle in my tooth, a wee bit more sensitive than normal when I had my cuppa at work but I thought nothing of it.  After finishing for the day I headed home and took the dog for a long walk in the rain - she didn't like it much but I think it was the best walk I've been on for a really long time. Everything about it was lovely, including the rain bouncing off the trees leaves making sploshing sounds on my coat. The layer of leaves on the ground all differing shades of red, yellow and orange made for a beautiful natural carpet to walk upon (a bit slippy in places but nothing to worry about and I managed to stay upright - not an easy thing for me with my lack of balance). I could happily have walked for hours - the dog, not so :) 

By later in the evening after getting all my jobs done I began to relax and little and that's when I realised the dull thud from my tooth was still very much there. Now, being the type of person who hates going to the doctors (I had to have been - was - really worried to go about the boobie lump the other week - yes, it is still there as are all the others but I think now they may begin to go, reasons being you will see if you are bored enough to carry on) I decided that I may have a bit of an infection starting so needed to nip it in the bud. Out came the garlic cloves (always a great thing for drawing an infection out) and once I'd got over the horrendous stinging sensation that comes from using it, I was fine - I think the alcohol I drank helped also :) It didn't help quite so much when I woke at 2am ready to rip all my teeth out from the right side of my mouth. I've been lucky when it comes to infections and have had only 3 that I know of in my life (not bad when you consider I've got that gum disease - if you smoke GIVE UP NOW. It's not just bad for your lungs it can fudge up your gums too - take it from someone who suffers now because of it). Anywho, the tooth I had pulled a while back used to get a bit iffy now and then but a clove or 2 of garlic would always draw the crap out so I knew what to do to try to get this one sorted. By Sunday teatime I did begin to think that maybe the route I was going down wasn't my best idea for it began to twang as well as throb, but I'd not needed to take an aspirin or anything so I didn't consider it to be "that bad". By the time I got to be Sunday night I was shattered and I stank - garlic was leaking from every single pore. I went up about 11.30pm and was still awake, tossing and turning trying to sleep at 1. I must have dropped off but by 2 I was wide awake again and in so much pain I almost took a pill. Not one to take them unless I really have to I stuck with it finally dropping back off about 4am. Now, I need to tell you that Myrtle was also feeling a bit poorly over hte weekend (I was ready to whip her to the vets first thing Monday although thankfully she picked up a little - as I type this she is fully fit and back to her 'normal' self :) ). The pair of us were not doing well, she'd been awake with me the whole time I was. Suddenly, at 5.13 my bedroom door flew open, my Mum stood in teh doorway yelling "Sarah, are you ok?" My reply was "yes, shit have I overslept?" at which point my light went on. Now the light is directly above my bed and the only time I switch it on is if I am looking for something; I'd NEVER switch it on at that time of day. Mum flicked the switch just as I opened my eyes. I won't tell you the words that spewed from my mouth - they weren't pleasant. Turns out either me or Myrt had been making funny noises (I'm assuming we were snoring) and Mum thought one of us was dying. It's really sweet she cared enough to check but having on just got to sleep I was less than impressed. That then was me awake for the rest of the day.

The toothache began to get a bit worse (I was still not giving up) and more garlic ensued, along with some pain relief pills (I'll admit I considered the dentists on Tuesday but ruled out making an appointment just in case I needed to whip the dog down the vets - getting her better was higher on my list of priorities than getting my infection sorted). 

Tracking back a bit, Monday was the night of the Super Moon and I'd spent Sunday cleaning the telescope, working out how to attach the camera mount to it, then how to get the camera attached, so I could get outside and take some photo's - it was way too cloudy and I didn't even see a sliver of it.  The same thing happened Tuesday (although it was smaller it would have still be good enough to see).  Why did I tell you that? Well, as it happens by Tuesday night I was in agony; the garlic had failed, the painkillers were not working and I got that fizzy popping sensation you get when you know you have an abscess. It took me forever to get to sleep (again I think it was around the 4am mark and I literally then just passed out from the pain and exhaustion). Next thing I know Mum is flinging the door open, not giving me time to think about what's happening or focus on anything, yelling that the moon is outside the back of the house. It was 6am (I don't have my alarm set for another hour after that time). It took me 1.5 hours and so many attempts I lost count to tell her that there was no way it could be photographed in the morning as the light was too bright, the moon also too bright, nothing would really come out other than a bright white dot on the screen. This was was heard in a different way and before I knew what was happening she was complaining about the camera I recently gave her (because she complained her camera doesn't have a viewfinder on it and she can't see the screen to take pics so I gave her my canon eos which does) that it was useless if it couldn't take a shot of hte moon with her than ranting about where I'd put her old one. Finally she found it, by which time I was more than a little pissed off and left her to go to work. 

B/y lunchtime I was feeling thoroughly fed up. I was tired, in pain, and had (still have) a mountain of things that need doing, when an older lady came in to organise some funeral flowers. Turns out they were for her son, her middle son. She gave birth to 3 boys (apparently would have loved a girl). The youngest was killed in a car accident at the age of 18. The one she was ordering the flowers for is her 2nd son. He just dropped dead in mid conversation with his wife. As if that isn't bad enough, her eldest son is currently battling cancer and she said not likely to live to the end of the year. Suddenly my early mornings didn't seem quite so bad. My raging toothache (that could have been sorted on Monday had I not been so stubborn and gone to the vets) wasn't quite so painful as the heartache this lady was suffering. I felt very small and insignificant in the world again. I can't tell you how sorry for this lady I felt. To lose one child would be bad, to lose 2 is unthinkable, but 3? Don't ever tell me there is a god for nobody deserves that. 

I'm still going to complain - it's what I do and I do it well. I'm still going to rant about things and feel sorry for myself - we all do it, but it's nice to know when I get too carried away my job is there to knock me back to earth with a sharp bump and kick, to remind me just how bloody lucky I am. 

Oh, I now have antibiotics too; I'm hoping that not only do they remove the infection from the tooth, but also they make the lumps go down, for if one section of google is to be believed the lymph nodes swell when the body is fighting an infection - of course they also swell if it's something more sinister, but I believe it's not. Wasn't quite so sure when I had some pretty mean hot flushes the 3 nights I didn't sleep. Never had anything like them before and I know that the nasty lymph issues can cause that, however I then realised Mum had switched the heating on, I'd changed to a different sheet (not one of my cool ones) and someone (not me) had closed my bedroom window. Last night with the colder sheet on, the heating off and my window open again not a rise in body temperature was to be had :) 


Monday, 7 November 2016

That moment you realise

that your body is not rebelling against you because it's fighting some nasty life threatening disease (as such - in a weird kind of way that is also exactly what it's doing). It's because I have allowed toxic people into my life and slowly one by one they have been poisoning me. Not in a literal sense (of course) but very much in an emotional and spiritual sense. I've allowed these people to get to the very core of my being where they've gladly infiltrated to the point where I have allowed myself to become so run down on every level that now the physical symptoms are exposing themselves and manifesting. My body has had enough; it's telling me I need to step away, get back to me, start looking after myself. I know some people (my doctor) will say "take a holiday". If only it was that simple. I A) can't afford to, B) don't have time to. I'm running a small business (that has been having it tough in the past few months). I can't walk away from it. It's what gets me out of bed in the morning and I absolutely love what I do. I consider my self truly blessed to be doing something I love. Of course I would love to be able to take a week or 2 off, get away somewhere, chill out. The reality is though that is not going to happen, in fact now I am back to being completely on my own in the shop it's looking highly unlikely it will happen at all for a good few years to come. That's fine. I don't work for someone else and can take advantage when it's a bit quieter. I will admit having only had 10 days off this year though is hard, especially when I work 58 hours each week over a 6 days, sometimes there are Sundays thrown in too but I do what I do because it's what the business needs and one day it will make enough money for me to earn a decent wage and take on some staff to help out - one day. Until then though I have to keep it at. Aside from my current medical ailments I am fighting fit and working long hours is not an issue in a physical sense - not really in a mental one either if I'm in the right frame of mind. In answer to whether I am still suffering with the lumps and bumps, yes, I am. They don't seem quite so bad this morning but it's definitely my lymph nodes that are swollen and full of hundreds of little cyst like bumps. That's what has made me realise I am being poisoned by toxic people. Those glands only swell if your body has cancer (I've ruled that out) you are fighting an infection - I don't feel as though I am although have had a cold threatening to take hold over the past 5 weeks (another sign my body is struggling) and I did have chicken pox at the beginning of October so maybe all those things are contributing, but I think the biggest thing is that I have just become "rundown" in the general sense and my body is reacting to that, trying to fight itself to get me back where I should be. That's why I need to "let it go" move away from those spreading their toxins. Maybe I need to learn how to meditate! If the brain and mind are good then the body should follow suit, shouldn't it? I'm going to eat some garlic cloves and add some turmeric to a drink several times a day though, just in case. Both are meant to be good natural healers for helping fight infection; they may well help the glands go down (or at least reduce the lumps in them :) ) They do feel much better today but anything that might help can never be a bad thing :) I've kind of let go of one issue, although not if I really think about it. I guess the whole Roger/Nicky scenario hurt me a lot more than I tell people (myself included) that it did. Of course I was being stupid to believe it wasn't hurting. 2 people I've spent my life defending shit on me from a great height - why would I really think that wasn't hurting? Why would I lie to people telling them I was ok with it? Have moved on from it? Until just now I didn't realise how much it still affected me, how hurt I was by such a betrayal from people I trusted. Yes, I always knew Roger was a lying 2 faced cnut, but I'd seen another side to him also, a vulnerable side, so I allowed him to remain in my life. I defended him when others rounded on him so for him to behave towards me in such a way was never going to "not hurt". I was a fool to believe it wouldn't. As for Nicky. I considered her to be the best friend I've ever known. She knew every single thing about me, about my life. There was nothing I didn't tell her over the years. She knows each and every single one of my deepest darkest secrets. For her to think so badly of me, well, that really hurt. I won't ever lie about that. In fact that hurt more than any other hurt I've experienced. To think she believed the lies she was being told about me is actually quite soul destroying. I would never have done anything to hurt her. She tarred me with her brush while knowing that I would never do such a thing. I can only assume she did it to make her feel better about herself and her own actions. It just goes to show how you really can't trust anyone. In a way it's like a whole grieving process except the people are still alive. I'm sure once the 4 years are up (that seems to be the norm for me when it comes to grieving loss) I'll finally move on, although I am hoping by the time I get to the end of this entry I'll have started the process in my own tiny pea-brain and will in fact be over it a lot sooner. I think part of it is that I have also finally started to grieve for Donna. Having been through so much in the years since she died, her not being there has been so very hard. She's the one person I would have gone to, spoken to about it all. She would have made me put things into perspective, dealt with it sooner. A few weeks back I picked my phone up to ring her, needed desperately to talk to her about something, and she wasn't there. To think people have taken advantage of me, shit on me, treated me so bad knowing I had lost my best friend makes me hate them even more and I shouldn't have hate inside of me, because that can eat you up, destroy you. I need to let it go. I need to let her go, I need to let Roger and Nicky go. I need to let Annette go too (I'll get onto her in a mo). How I let go I don't know but I do know if I don't then that hatred and anger will manifest itself into something more serious and then there will be no going back. It's so easy to sit there and say to someone else "let it go, move on". The reality of that is so much harder, especially when it's been caused by people you've been so close to. Then there's Annette - I think she's been the catalyst to this. She is the straw which finally broke the camels back. Where do I start on how badly she's hurt me (although I'm more angry and pissed off than hurt). I guess it goes back to Longleat, although had probably been going on longer than that, it's just I finally saw more of what was going on - ooh no, it goes back furhter as I'd been to see Take That in the May with number 1 and leading up to that all Annette kept saying was "I'm glad number 1 is going with you, but I hope she does pull out as I'd love to come wiht you". I think she believed if number 1 was unable to come I was going to give her the spare ticket for nothing. I remember at the time thinking I'd rather give it away to someone else than let her have it for free. Now what kind of person would think such a thing? One who felt as though she was the one who always ended up paying for things - I think you'll find if you bother to read on why I feel such a way too.