Thursday, 29 May 2008

Film Review

Dah da da daaah!
Da da daaaah!
da daaaah!
Dah da dah dah!
Dah da da daaaah!
Da da daaaaaaah!
Da da da-dup da da-dup da da-dup da dup diddly dah.

Dah da da daaah! Da da daaaah! Dah da daaaah! Dah da dah dah! Dah da da daaaah! Da da daaaaaaah! Da da da-dup da da-dup da da-dup da dup .....


Life garage

Sometimes, our cars get better care than we do. Serviced each year, they are checked over with oil washed through, exhausts and other worn items replaced, mended or cleaned. And yet our bodies, the finest engines in the world, go on for decades without any thought for servicing, coping with the abuses we throw at them from alcohol to tiredness to stress. Well, I have anyway.

A few weeks ago I went to the doctor with an issue that had arisen and once there, like a prisoner in the dock, asked for a number of other issues to be taken into consideration. Maybe I struck gold because my new doctor at my new doctors surgery seemed to have all the time in the world, or maybe I am so out of service it was about time I showed my face. She gave me over twenty whole minutes of her time and it felt great with her gently insisting "was there anything else" they could help with.

Yesterday was the first of my investigations, the original concern, and that was utterly clear and OK. And allayed connected fears that I might have had for the future on that score. So that's one down and ticked off. Next week I have a full range of blood tests, last week I had a urine test, and I'll get all those results in a couple of weeks.

As well as my body there is my mental health. The Doctor even touched on that and even though I have much to stress me concerning trying to sell house and move as well as finances and worrying about kids, I reckon I am much stronger and more in control than I feel at times. Helped by being more pro-active lately. It would help greatly that a suitable buyer came along and not only love our house but also get their finances sorted to arrange a quick purchase. Leaving us free to start again in rented property with all money earned being saved or usefully used than going in to debts here and there.

Icing on the cake would be to have a nice, affordable rented house very near son's new school (which is in an area that we couldn't afford to buy just now) and near to the little shops for a bakery and a Post Office. We'd have a driveway for off-road parking; a little garden to tend and sit out in; a main room large enough to be a living room and an office with large windows to look out on the world; large enough bedrooms and space for our books; a decent bedroom for my son to be so happy, and he could independently get to and from school and go to after school clubs such as Fencing and Basketball, and see his friends after school; a kitchen with space to eat and enjoy cooking; a conservatory or second reception for an alternative place to relax or eat and have friends over; a fabulous landlord grateful to have us nice people to stay and look after their house; and our growing bank balance enabling us to have security, buy our next house, go travelling to visit far flung family and friends and to have fun.

Oh yes, I am booked into the Life Garage and all these things are being looked at and are going to be fixed.

Sunday, 25 May 2008

Day Out

Determined not to let another half term slip into nothingness. Adults with their heads tucked into computers and son off doing his own thing. Plus, our kids are only young for a short time and I want some memories to be about us, as a family, and not just when we have friends and family to stay.

The weather also helped. A good forecast meant Saturday must not be squandered as the rest of the week is forecast to be rainy and cold. We set off in the morning with me driving at my 50mph limit which led to much mirth considering whether we would still be in our mid-forties by the time we got there. Son joined in and the journey was as much of an adventure as the destination. We stopped off en-route at a supermarket to put together a little picnic. Amongst other things son plumped for some hot meats from the deli counter; Mr Doris went for a pic and mix salad whilst I went for a kabanos sausage, olives, French bread and a mini bottle of red wine. Quite a feast!

Upper Burbage in the Peak District National Park was more than I could have hoped for with expanses of moors, rocky outcrops, valleys, streams and forests:

Mr Doris and son can't help but bound down a few rocks alongside the stream:

The climbers are dotted along the small cliff face where we had climbed up to be amongst the rocks to get out of the wind and enjoy our vittles with an incredible view:

Then ambled over to the forest as that was where son wanted to go:

It was a useful experience for son to see how quickly one can get lost in a forest and the importance of keeping bearings in mind. Thankfully Mr Doris drove us home but I know not at what speed as I flaked out after all the sun and walking and probably the wine too. It was a great day out.

Friday, 23 May 2008

The pace of life

Taking the gentle road brings some lovely views:

So lovely, that I had to get out and smell the morning air and listen to the birdsong:
(that's if video uploading works on here!)

Seems that traveling at 50mph or less makes a dramatic difference to fuel consumption and to one's nerves.

Wednesday, 21 May 2008

50 mph

Driving home yesterday morning, with the rising cost of petrol in the back of mind, I consciously did something extravagant. Not extravagant with money but extravagant with time. I slowed down. Instead of a one hour journey at full pelt of anything from 70 to 90 mph (where I can) it took about twenty minutes extra.

It seemed so slow driving at 50 mile per hour. Very strange. Like being in a parallel universe ambling along as the cars and trucks sped by leaving me to ponder life and the universe. Wondering whether it was actually safer for me to be driving at this speed as it felt so sedentary. Like I could almost fall asleep! It was also embarrassing. I am one of those people who get fed-up being stuck behind a slower moving vehicle pondering if they really had to travel that slowly and wanting them to get moving. I really felt for the cars stuck behind me trying to find a space to over-take, so I try to be considerate and keep right over.

Driving at 50 mph meant that I could identify the road kill as I went by rather than just seeing a furry mass and going all sympathetic. As I drove along, I wonder if I actually felt a little spring inside me unwinding. The stress being released as my knuckles didn't have to grip the wheel so tightly, and I could sit back in the seat not feeling as if I had to process quite so much safety information as when one drives at 80mph.

It is almost a metaphor for my life. Balancing out the speed. Bringing it into a more even keel so that there are not weeks of high speed followed by weeks of exhaustion. Indeed, taking things at a better pace all round might just get me places a whole lot faster. Maybe not quite at a tortoise's pace but there is something to be said for the parable of the tortoise and the hare.

Tomorrow I have a long journey again and I will build in more than extra time to get there. And on Friday I have the journey back again. It will be interesting to see if I manage to maintain that more gentler pace and what the effect will be on my state of mind. In the short term, it will fascinating to see if that fuel dial really does move slower at 50 mph.

Fuel Prices:
Sunday just gone, my local station charged 109.9p per litre of unleaded. Unsurprisingly it was a very busy station. Further down the road and nearer my destination it is around 113.9p per litre. That is about $2.24 (US) per litre. I think the US are only just set to break the $1 per litre barrier. I wonder what they would make of what we pay?

Sunday, 11 May 2008

Been busy

As I scan through my mini-list of things I needed to do in the last few days I have ticked off quite a few items that have been waaaay overdue. There are a few more things to do on that list but for some reason I am here blogging instead. Malingering and avoidance.

Not good.

On the other hand, I have eight items ticked off. Eight whole items. Worth a brownie point or two in the scheme of things rather than kicking myself for what I haven't yet done. If I was to think of it, I know there are other things that didn't make it to that list ..... from the dark and dusty recesses of my conscious always waiting in the background to attack and reprimand me. So maybe I'll do another list in a few days and see what gets added to that, and tick off a few more items.

That is good.

In the last week there were moments when I stood on the edge of a great precipice and decided not to fall into its grasp. That I wasn't going to be swallowed up in wallowing self-pitying mud that sticks inside the crevices and needs to be scrubbed out. Side-stepping the depths I wrote my list and got on. But someone was laughing at me this week because a visual migraine was slapped upon me and wiped out one whole day and left the next marred. It is now a glorious Sunday morning: the windows have been thrown open; the plants watered before delighting in my frothy coffee and warm croissants made by an adoring hubby; the music is playing loud through the slimline speakers and I am about to tackle another item or two on my list.

Oh glorious day, I can do anything.