Wednesday, 28 November 2012

Holidailies are coming

The 13th Annual Holidailies no less though I couldn't find this free community project in 2010 and did my own December Dailies. I first came across it in 2007 and took part as an "At Home" participant which meant I did not have to go and post updates to the Holidailies site. This year however, in honour of doing everything as differently as possible and it being a productive year one way or another, I am going to be a fully signed up member.

Starting December 1st it is best to sign up now. Wahey, starts this Saturday.

Last Saturday I discovered from a close friend that I have become a grumpy old woman! Yesterday in the bank, the cheerful teller beamed at me like a best friend and cheerfully asked me if I had done most of my Christmas preparations. I quickly replied not a thing and I don't care. After being taken aback she laughed and said she was glad she was not the only one. Funny thing is, anyone who knows me knows how much I love a lot of the little details of Christmas: the decorations; snow; food and advent calenders; Christmas Stockings; and the good wishes; so it really was a blunt display of bah humbug. (Which, with the help of the useful blog search facility shows that I am also not adverse to either!)

On Sunday I volunteered as a Marshall at our local town's switch on of the Christmas lights. Silly me did not realise when I offered to help back in September that I would not yet be in the festive spirit and that I would be subject to Christmas Carols from 2pm through to 6pm. I had my face painted and charmingly smiled and chatted and Christmas bopped. I still wasn't feeling it.

Maybe Holidailies 2012 will do it. Bring it on!

Tuesday, 27 November 2012

Snappedy de do da

Yesterday 18 year old son did not snap at me. Not once. He smiled. He talked. He shared. He even answered a question. All before going out to work in the morning. I sit here typing almost with bated breath - will he emerge this morning as Mr Jekyll or Mr Hyde?

On the other hand, 23 year old daughter who has been so so lovely of late, and was admittedly suddenly struck down by a bad throat yesterday, and for whom I had really pushed the boat out by driving across the country the day before to rescue her because the UK train network sucks and she needed to be at her job by a certain time, was so unnecessarily short tempered with me. Very snappy on what could otherwise have been a momentous day.

Yesterday, I went down the road to do piano practise and had an impromptu lesson before late shift work. Both hands are working together, albeit simple notes, and it feels great. Had the first black key yesterday which was F ♯, otherwise known as G ♭. That was just an accidental note in a short piece. The next practise piece was in the key of G Major which means it has F ♯ but then, bizarrely, did not have any F ♯ which I had just "learned". What is that teaching book trying to do? Starts to tell you about these lovely licquorice notes you get to stroke and then tells you in this first piece where they are not accidentals that you are not to play any. I am puzzled.

Monday, 26 November 2012

Ironing the edges of ones life

Hats off to a very lovely Saturday in the company of an old friend and just chilling out. A very special day topped off by reclining on a sofa with friend in her conservatory, chatting about life and times, looking out into the wide vista with dusk gathering across the gardens, river and fields, as the rain pelted down. A moment in time to be treasured.

♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡ ♡

Bit by bit over the last months I have been clearing and sorting aspects of my life. Simplifying. Cutting back either actively or by default. Some of it has not been done positively and has happened as those things fell off the edge of my ability to cope. There was never anything personal. It just was what it was and as long as others did not take offence then there was nothing that could not be mended in time. Am I sad that some things are beyond repair? I'm not sure and I don't know. Is it worth me being angry and upset about someone's action as a direct result of my non-availability? Rhetorical belly button gazing.

Bit by bit I've been taking positive actions to help me live in the here and now. To appreciate and love and enjoy right now. In the middle of the night I have discovered the call centre for my mobile is not 24 hours so I have to wait before I can telephone to ask them to switch off my voice mail. What is the point of having a voice mail service when it distresses me? When I do not manage the calls and (wrongly) feel under pressure all the time by its very presence. Bizarre when one realises that the mobile is part of my business. Better to switch it off now, and then to re-integrate it back when and if I am ready for it. The callers can always text and at least they do not have to pay for a phone call to an answerphone that is not answered.

Dealing with the email has been a long drawn out process. Unsubscribing from a million and one lists I seem to be on has been cathartic. Lists and Groups I truly believe are great are just overwhelming. There was a time a few weeks back when I thought I was seeing a bit of space and then all the Christmas related emails have ramped up even from lists I thought I had already carefully unsubscribed. Many email lists are just rubbish and unsubscribing would just ensure being added to many more lists so those have been left alone.There may come a time when I think starting over with yet another new email address might be the only way.

Friday, 23 November 2012

Piano Playing

And just like that, I am learning the piano. Again. It is years since I have played with both hands and decades since I had lessons as an adult. Starting again from scratch feels great. A sense of jubilation as first the right hand plays some notes and then the left hand plays, one after the other in time and notes correctly picked. My teacher plays the jolly accompaniment and I feel like I have achieved much being part of this music making.

We do not have a piano nor space for one, then I recall that in my lifetime I have bought and owned two pianos and ended up giving both away.

Tuesday, 20 November 2012

Intolerance all around

Today - November 20 is International Transgender Day of Remembrance 2012

When you look at this Memorial List and realise it is of some of those murdered in just the last twelve months it is gut wrenching. All those lives cruelly cut short due to intolerance and ignorance.

What should also be added to that list are those that kill themselves and who have, in effect, been constructively murdered by society around them.

I hear people give lip service to understanding but sadly I think there are not many. Trans is not a lifestyle choice and the sooner people truly realise the better.

Thank you to Anji for bringing this to my attention today.

Monday, 19 November 2012

Still dancing!

I can still move, shake my booty and dance. And the only two men who got up on the dance floor all evening were my darling Mr Doris and our 80 something neighbour who we took along for our other neighbour's 65th birthday. Mr 80 is a petite looking chap who scrubs up nicely and had some nice grooves - it was he and I who kicked off the dancing for the evening with an elegant little number.

Maybe I didn't join in with the "party" dances and their set moves and routines but I was there with anything freestyle. It was so much fun and just what the birthday girl needed was to know that her guests were having a blast.

Apparently Mr 80 hadn't danced for twenty years as his wife had been ill for so long and then died last year. He had such a grand time and looked so happy when we dropped him home again, as we all did. I just hope he is in good health this morning and it didn't finish him off - albeit with a smile on his face!

I could have danced all night ..... I could have danced all night and never ever stopped.....

Friday, 16 November 2012


Sat here eating a substantial healthy breakfast (1) at my desk .... shortly needing to switch off (2) to wash and shower for work .... solid clients (3) from 9am to gone 2pm with not a break (4) .... back home to help Mr Doris buy a 50th gift (5) for his brother .... need to take it easy tonight so I have the energy for all the socialising this weekend: a 50th tomorrow on the other side of the country and a 65th on Sunday back here. Such a social butterfly! LOL

  1. I do healthy these days, big style. From chia seeds to Acerola cherry juice to pomegranates which are currently four for 99p in Aldi! I even tried making my own peanut butter using a small herb grinder. It was a tad gritty and industrial as I over roasted the peanuts (64p from Aldi) and didn't remove all the red skins but I know exactly what is in it: from 200g of raw peanuts yielded 196g peanut butter which had just a little splash of olive oil added and barely a couple of pinches of salt. I'm looking forward to the next batch in a week or so - need to pace myself. This morning I had an avocado (50p from Lidl) sliced with the squeeze from a dried up lemon knocking around and pepper; with two slices of wholemeal toast with homemade peanut butter; two satsumas (bags were recently 69p from Aldi); and a weak black tea. I went for the slight caffeine on account of my day ahead.

  2. We used to only use standby. Mr Doris had assured me it cost nothing..... hmm! That myth is so busted. Shut down and off is where it is at these days. Not off at the wall, just at the equipment.

  3. Clients are at the clinic I work at so I am paid just a bare minimum. However, my boss has been amazing and put me through all sorts of training I could not have otherwise accessed and excitingly I am currently helping to trial out a new machine.  Busyness means clients which means employment which means higher pay.

  4. Modern day working laws in this country seem non-existent. If I can grab even a glass of water over the five hour period is down to me - as long as I tell a client to please hold on while I do so. Or if there is a gap but then at those times there is so much to be done including cleaning the room down before the next client. I tell you, we are probably more hygienic than a UK hospital!

  5. We live in a lovely small town with its own delicatessen. So I will help Mr Doris to choose some treats to go into a hamper and also some beers from the specialist ale shop. Mr Doris does not drink and he would have to rely on just the pretty pictures to guide him - at least I have drunk and enjoyed the real ales in the past and can give a convincing argument for one beer or the other!

I really must dash - the countdown had begun.

Tuesday, 13 November 2012

The Duvet:Mattress:Husband Ratio

Nothing better than that feeling of lifting the duvet corner with its fullness filling my small hand, stepping into bed and sinking into the deep softness of the in-built mattress topper upon a firm mattress, and snuggling up to a warm and naked Mr Doris. Feels like I am sinking gently, cosseted in warmth and fabric and human touch. Feels safe.

This year has been amazing in some ways as change is good and there have been so many changes. On the other hand, so many tumultuous things have happened and are happening. Storms going on around me in other people's lives that impact me. Life can be so hard and just unfair at times. Bad things happen to good people - where is the karma in that?

A dear friend of many years is ill and after dealing with many difficulties in life is possibly terminal. The doctors have said it is so .... I just don't know how one lives with that knowledge. She is vibrant and very much alive. Who is to say what and how long? It is just not fair.

We started the year looking forward to a potential empty nest. That went pear shaped and moreso, delightfully, daughter has moved into the area and now lives just minutes away. The daughter I had previously shed many tears over on account of our diffcult relationship is amazing and wonderful. Son has changed careers already and now an apprentice will need to live with us another year on account of the economics of it all. At least he is gainfully employed - I'm not sure I could have coped much longer with him hiding out in his room playing games online.

Some aspects of my work are great and some, well, very sad. Mentally and emotionally this year I have been more fragile than ever. Resorting to an antidrepressant for the first time in my life. After 10 weeks and no sign of any benefits I came off them but hey, here's the great stuff - the side effects of coming off are still awful that weeks later I am still feeling it. In the place of drugs there have been some wonderful changes: a free of charge allotment to dig over - nothing like good solid exercise and turning the earth; going back to a no-sugar and no-alcohol diet; other diet improvements; and other exercise improvements. I had the feeling my GP was very impressed though I still have a way to go. Which reminds me, I have had a raft of tests and am still getting some other things sorted out.

Early next year I'll be fifty years old. For that I have vowed to get myself in good condition and sorted out. Despite the financial quagmire we are still in there are many aspects I can already tick off as a result of improvements and efforts this year: dentist - check; lose weight - check; better nutrition - check; exercise - check; wardrobe to be proud of - check; decent shoes - check; and I'm sure a few more. More are in hand such as improving libido!

As for the ratio between Duvet:Mattress:Husband I rather think the ratio is actually between that and the rest of my life. Thank goodness for Mr Doris and our lovely bed. Each time I lift those covers and step in I feel a sense of relief and calmness. An appreciation for the snuggliness of all three and the sanctuary they provide.