I saw this the other day and found it amusing. I am posting it here for those who haven’t yet come across it. I hope it brings a smile or two 🙂
I saw this the other day and found it amusing. I am posting it here for those who haven’t yet come across it. I hope it brings a smile or two 🙂
I have been on long term sick due to labyrinthitis, M.E and fybromyalgia. Today I had a meeting at work. Although I was initially excited, as time drew near I started dreading it in a heart dropping, stomach churning way. What if they thought I was faking because externally, I look no different. What if they pushed me to return or allocated work which would, at the moment, be too much? My imagination fired up as non-existent conversations between colleagues in my absence came to mind. “Ere, I bet she’s dragged this out coz her kid’s had the summer holidays, don’t you?” “She’ll have forgotten everything, we’ll have to train her again! Imagine the time that’ll take!” “Have you noticed how quiet it is?!” “She’ll be wanting annual leave next!” I distracted my mind before it traveled further into the realms of the untrue..
I ambled slowly to the bus stop (I am, for now, unable to drive due to symptoms). I felt as though I was in a Victorian novel:
The sky was a blanket of grey, draining the world below of all light and energy. The wind blew icy cold and light rain bit the face of Angel as she pulled her coat tighter around her. “I should’ve let this coat dry after washing it! Now I feel colder than ever” she thought (O.k, that veered from the Victorianesque slightly). She shivered and kept her head down as she battled through the winds. The streets were empty. save a few brave souls, blowing into their hands and marching on to their destinations. Cats lurked down every pathway, glaring accusingly as Angel passed: their whiskers kissed by the fine rain, their eyes bright with the challenge of the day.
The bus stop, when I got there, was busy with people waiting: A lady in her tracksuit smoking to “pass the time.” A young man in a t-shirt bouncing from foot to foot, puffing on an electronic cigarette and swearing profusely, his mother giving him the odd smack on the shins with her walking stick. A young mum rocking a pushchair gently back and forth. Her baby shoeless, coatless, sockless, hatless and blanketless wriggling red toes in the rain. I perched on a wall away from the group and started to plan things to say at the meeting.
Maybe I could ask for a fan. I struggle controlling my temperature. Maybe they would let me have drinks by my workstation. Maybe I should mention my hearing is now damaged in my left ear and my memory is shocking. Maybe not. The bus came, the group of people boarded and I stayed put. My bus was next. A lady joined me and asked if she had missed the bus. She was relieved to learn that I was waiting for the same one. We watched a postman across the road slip and drop his letters. How long before the red vans, the post boxes and the daily deliveries from, generally, cheery postman become a memory of the past? Will Abi tell her children about it:
When I was a kid, we posted letters in a red letter box to Father Christmas. He would write back, you know. And we got post everyday. If the postman had a big parcel, he would pull up in his red van outside the door. My stepmum was a postwoman for a while, and our neighbour was too. They have some stories to tell about banging heads on hanging baskets, running away from barking dogs and finding pet rabbits on pavements! (all true!)
The bus arrived. The clock was now ticking. In exactly fifteen minutes I would be walking off the bus right on the doorstep of work. My heart started beating faster. I distracted myself further by staring out the window trying to get gardening ideas from the properties we passed. I started feeling travel sick. I looked down. I looked ahead. I looked to my left. Nothing helped.
By the time I got off the bus, I felt dizzy, exhausted and sick. I stumbled in to the door frame of my workplace and came face to face with my two bosses. Well, I thought, at least I look ill! My worries were instantly quelled as they both held me and were happy I had made it. Over coffee and a catch up, all my questions were answered and my worries eased. In two to three weeks I will be back at work. In my swanky new workspace complete with new chair and new blinds (so I am more in control of the light in the room). I will be meeting the rest of my colleagues next week and I am told there will be a buffet for the occasion. I do hope there is carrot cake!
I am a notorious deep thinker and worrier. Nothing is ever as bad as I fear it will be and today is a classic example. The results of my worry are, as always, exhaustion. I have spent the rest of today power napping whenever I can. I have longed for pyjamas since the meeting closed. I have wanted to run back to the safety of my home and close the door on the world for the day, safe in my cocoon of home comforts: my partner, my stepdaughter, my space, my cats, my sanity! At home I am, for the most part, calm. I am free to be me. I don’t need to wear the “i’m fine, really” mask. I don’t need to worry about what’s about to happen. At home, I am never alone. At home I have unconditional love and support. At home I am complete.
This lady is a superbly funny, deep thinker who observes life and relays it in such a way that even the strongest bladder-owner would struggle! Strap yourselves in, prepare for some laughs and enjoy the ride! I am reblogging this in the hopes of her gaining some waves as she passes by on her rollercoaster of wit! 🙂
To me this site would be used by serious people with serious thoughts. Somebody, maybe, who would want to further their careers in the writing world. Maybe have a degree in creative writing and understand the universe of English literature, to even know what a “Madding Crowd” was. Or, at the very least, someone with some knowledge in computers which extends beyond Farmville on Facebook and vintage items on Ebay, (that were more than twelve months old.)
Someone maybe, who wouldn’t need to turn to their partner after the first paragraph to ask, ” What do you think of this so Far? I don’t think you’ll like it. It’s a bit mad really isn’t it?” To be told, ” Yes its is mad, but that’s o.k.” ( Not the answer I was looking for!)
Or to feel the need to turn and ask same partner ( as I only have…
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I am sat here, having finally managed to get Cath set up on wordpress, watching her type her “about me” blog. The TV is off. The room is quiet. Deep concentration ensues, followed by the odd giggle and a look in my direction. “What?!” I ask. “Is it OK to talk about farmville on Facebook, items on Ebay and debate the number of “p’s” in polyester knickers?!”
“Yes hun,” I answer. “You can talk about anything you want.”
Cue another giggle.
She is now set up, still in her nest, cheeping away as she learns her way around the site. She is guaranteed to make you smile on a not-quite-so-guaranteed daily basis! (for being online, I mean – NOT because she is half Sicilian and therefore it is compulsory for her to keep a straight face most of the time!)
Cath would like everyone to realize that she has a very Victorian style of writing (long sentences, and long explanations for points which could be paraphrased). She does however, draw the line in painting her rooms dark red and mourning for more than five years!
SO I have introduced Catherine: cathmoran73 to the wonderful world of wordpress. I am sure she will receive as warm a welcome as I did 🙂
This is my stepdaughter Abi (8). The picture speaks many words. Abi is confident, cheeky, dramatic and always singing. Always armed with her quick wit, she is a master (or madam!) of managing to get herself out of trouble by making others laugh. Those who meet her never forget her: she is our shining light, our star.
We have never been pushy parents – I see too many pushing children through auditions and working numerous rehearsals around and sometimes during school hours. I watch from a distance and see the toll it takes on their little ones. These parents I have known since school. They too used to audition for shows. One mum in particular desperately wanted fame (I think the writer Judy Blume classed this type of person as a bun head). She now wants the same for her daughter. Nor are we pushy in the sporty sense. We are not the lone parents standing up to watch our child win a swimming gala race, shouting “faster, faster” from behind the video camera, then giving a twenty minute lecture about technique and how this will evidently need work- even though their child won the race and even had time to tread water and check where his competitors were in relation to him!
Whatever Abi wants to try her hand at, within reason, we let her try. She will find her niche someday but needs the opportunity to try things out first. We have encouraged swimming though. When Abi was little we lived in Cornwall near a river. We figured swimming was essential for safety purposes so enrolled her in the local swimming club. Abi was four. We spent ages choosing swimming costumes (“not that one, it hasn’t got FiFi on!”), goggles and floats. We made it exciting with songs and games, then the day came.
It started much as it ended: Abi, despite being surrounded by peers she knew, screamed! I don’t mean shouting and crying which echoes around the sound-magnifying hall, I mean deep breath, full lung scream! We reassured her that she would be safe and went to the cafe in the hopes that she would calm once we were out of sight. We could still hear her from the cafe. We snuck a peek through the window to see her clinging on to the teacher, legs hitched high out of the water.
At the end of the lesson, the teacher asked why Abi would have such a fear of water. We couldn’t give an answer. We had never “dropped” her in water, she had never been out of her depth. She relished baths, enjoyed splashing around and loved water toys. We couldn’t understand it.
The next week was a little calmer, but Abi continued to cling to her teacher. And so it went on, sometimes screaming, sometimes not. Never jumping in and never letting go. Her peers moved up a class, Abi stayed put. On bad days, the tannoy would boom “Would the parents of Abi come to the poolside please” and we would have to fish her out. We gave up. We figured Abi would learn in her own time. Just like she did with potty training (on her terms), riding her bike (on her terms – she would not let us help!), tying her laces (on her terms) and getting dressed (you guessed it! On her terms!). We don’t always give in to Abi but we choose our battles wisely.
Fast forward to eight years old. Abi is in a school swimming gala. She struggles to swim a width whilst her peers are diving in the deep end. She watches them intently. She decides she wants to do what they are doing. Abi has finally set her terms. Now is the time!
We enrolled Abi in three 1-1 lessons so they could gauge which class she should be in. Over the summer, in three half hour slots, she mastered swimming a front crawl, swimming a width, jumping in the shallow end and swimming for short times out of her depth. She is now having group lessons. Her swimming peers are mainly younger than her by a year or two but she is driven by determination to “show them” at the next school gala and dive in with the boys. Today she was made an example of swimming a width front crawl. The others had to watch and copy. Today she jumped in the deep end for the first time.
Today she smiled.
Abi has decided she actually likes swimming now and is keen to learn everything there is to learn. Abi has decided she will not only “show them” next year but will win too. It is such a magical thing to watch your child grow in confidence. All it took was the opportunity to do it….
…… on her terms!
I used to run around as a toddler with tea in a bottle and marmite soldiers (toast strips with marmite on) squished in my hands. (Not a lot has changed since – my tea is now in a mug, my toast now sliced in half. The essence is still there). I remember the stickiness oozing through my fingers and the fascinating marks my fingers would then leave on the walls! Marmite has always been a part of my world and there is always a sinking feeling when the jar is nearly empty! It may be more expensive per gallon than petrol (so my mother used to tell me), but it is almost drug like in the way it has a hold on me. I have to have it. It is pure comfort.
As I got older, I experimented: Marmite on toast dipped into boiled eggs, marmite drizzled on to pasta and cheese, marmite dumplings! Friends and colleagues would joke about it, handing me meals and leaving a jar of marmite on the side in case I wanted to use it as freely as children use ketchup!
I first noticed marmite merchandising when I was ten: marmite crisps. My mother never bought these because thesewere a “want” item rather than a “need” item (We worked strictly within these boundaries). As I got older I noticed more products on offer – Marmite chocolate, cashew nuts and biscuits! Even marmite toothpaste and lip balm was on offer! I tried the cashew nuts but it was, I am sad to admit, a little too odd! I didn’t try anything else. Alongside the alternative treats, jars changed. Squeezy bottles were now an option, different “collectable” flavours came in to play: old, extra old, champagne, gold. I tried them all! (The gold was my personal favourite) There are now marmite tea pots, aprons, china pots, mugs….. you name it, marmite has made it.
Marmite even made an appearance on an antiques TV show. Old jars (I can’t remember now if they were open or unopened), from years ago – particularly the limited edition ones are, apparently, worth money! What a shame I didn’t keep all the jars I have gone through!
So, after three days with no marmite (possibly a record for me), I have finally relented and bought a jar. I am feeling creative so the floor is open to suggestions: Have you ever cooked with marmite? Have you ever baked with marmite? Have you added marmite to dishes in any unusual way? Maybe you are not a lover of marmite (I call these the marmaladi). Whether you are a lover or not, I would love to hear from you.
For now though, my toast has popped up. Time to break the seal and dig right in!
When you try to hurt me I will smile and close the door. You try to enter my mind and fly around in fits of excitement playing games but the way is barred and the only storm raging is yours. You think I don’t see you with eyes wide open, but I do. You have no power over me, my life is my own. I will not react.
If you try to hurt her, the door will not close. You are in her mind playing in the playground she freely shares. There are no storms there but bitter laughter echoing in her head. She is waking up. She is seeing you of her own accord. She knows. If you think you can continue, my own storm will brew. You will not be solitary in your bitter world for I will join you. I will hold the mirror up so you see yourself. I will hold her up so you see what she has become. I will show you the results of your mindless acts then I will take her hand.
We will walk towards beauty, towards love, towards calm, leaving you behind in your ugly, dark, lifeless world.