Saturday, October 31, 2009

Blessings on the Feast of Samhain

The Wheel of the Year turns again. The Feast of Samhain mourns the losses of the past year and celebrates the coming new year.

This is the time of year to honour those who have gone before. To remember our loved ones and honour our ancestors. To let go the hardships and heartaches of the past year, to take the lessons learnt into the Winter.

I do this every year and I would be honoured if you would join me, by writing the names of those you hold dear, who have died. Please write their names and their relationship to you, if you wish. Or remain anonymous. It doesn't matter what spiritual path you walk upon. The dead are never truly lost to us, they live on in our hearts and memories.

Bambi ~ mother of my heart
Dennis ~ father of my heart
Angela ~ my mother in law
Helen ~ beloved grandmother
Herta ~ beloved grandmother
Tricia ~ my friend
Eric ~ mentor

I miss you.

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Breaking up is Hard to Do

Earlier this year I started a relationship. It came out of stress and angst and in it's own way, it preserved my sanity. However, it is becoming more and more clear to me that I can't continue with it. It may very well be the death of me. The problem is, like all things which are fundementally bad for me, I want it all the more now. As I write this, I want to roll a smoke.

It has become a ritual. With that familiarity, a sense of peace, stepping out of the stresses of the day, just for 2 minutes at time. It's completely my time. I stare into my garden and let my thoughts go into free-fall. Inspiration often strikes at these moments. Problems and insights which have eluded me in the house, become clear and firm.

My GP has stated categorically that I can't smoke. He says I have the potential for an addictive personality and my lungs can't cope with the regular assault. He's not concerned about cancer, his worry is bronchitis and emphasema. The current tightness round my chest rather does reinforce this message.

I am not going to go cold turkey. My life has too much going on it right now, for that to be a viable option. Turning into Bitch-from-Hell because I've given up nicotine and creating mass destruction around me will not help me achieve my long-term goals: an easy life.

Wish me luck.

Currently smoking: 6 a day.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

The Aftermath

As I sit here in Palais de Roses, I'm quite pleased. I think the virtual party went quite well.

I've managed to clear up with the help of Cogidubnus and Dave. Hottie managed to make sure everyone went home in the right clothes with the partner they arrived with. I have vague memories of Savannah and her MITM dancing on top of the kitchen table. Don't worry loves, I'll just sand it down again and re-lacquer it. It won't take long.

Dave was in a feisty mood and he an XL kept fighting to be under the table, which quite frankly, with Savannah and her lovely dancing on top of it, was brave. Thank the Goddess I like sturdy, proper wooden furniture.

When I next see Kaz, she and I will have words. She held court in the kitchen all night, with as many men as she could manage and now I can't find my emergency bottle of marmalade anywhere. Nor do I have a crumb of bread anywhere in the house. We won't even talk about the white wine she drank. Speaking of which, given that mago was only passing, he managed to polish off several bottles. Having a drunken foot massage is not the same my friend.

Good to see Ing drop in, I knew there was a reason for getting those chocolate hobnobs in. Beth, my dear, you looked stunning. Next time sweetie, you'll have to turn up on time, otherwise you'll never get pole position (so to speak) on the kitchen table. Not with Savannah around. Mind you, it was fun seeing you dancing with Vetnurse, she does a mean moonwalk. Considering she was knackered from her night shifts, I am impressed. If she mentions mushrooms again, I will be ill; though it was very, very funny.

I've had a brilliant time, hope you did too. I'm going to lie down now.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Party Hearty


After an amazingly crap start to the week. I've decided to throw an impromptu party to celebrate the end of the week. Therefore, I am throwing open the doors of Palais de Roses for a virtual party.

I've got lots of red wine and some white wine for KAZ and mago, twigglets for Ms Scarlet, vodka for Ms Boxer and some red velvet for Hottie. There are bowls of mixed olives and posh crisps. And I've got several party CDs ready to go.


What are you going to wear? Will you bring a bottle? Will you bring a partner?

So, who's going to be the first one to dance on my kitchen table then?
You will come...won't you?

Monday, October 19, 2009

Monday or how you know it's going to be one of Those Days

I woke this morning a little before 6 am, to the sound of the Cat heaving.

She was surprised a little while later when she lept onto my bed, started coughing and I chucked her off.

A little while later Boy poked his head round the door and said he wasn't feeling very well.

I decided it was an omen and arranged with work to stay home today and go in to work tomorrow instead. I'm glad I did. I didn't find where she'd been sick until after I tramped through it and draped my fluffly pink dressing gown in the lovely goo. The un-naturally pale Boy went back to bed.

You have to understand I'm fully aware I'm pre-mentrual. But I have Thornton's chocolate caramel shortbread in the house and a lethal dose of paracetemol and ibuprofen on standby. Not to mention a huge stack of Buffy dvds and my duvet on high alert.

Boy was napping on the couch, I was watching crap on the idot box when I noticed a guy creeping round the bushes outside my front window. I got up, opened the front door and asked him what he was doing creeping round my bushes. He said he was checking my water meter and walked off.

I was surprisingly not happy. Don't get me wrong. It's not that I have anything against men creeping round my bushes. But I'd have liked to at least had a proper introduction. Not to mention dinner and some polite conversation. I'm becoming old-fashioned in my advancing years.

So I rang Anglian Water. When I finally got through their telephone tree (press 1 for a headache, press 2 to talk to an idiot), I stated my name, address and problem. The customer service person put me on hold to talk to Operations, she then came back to me and said she could give me a number to ring if I would like to go after the strange bloke and get his ID, I could then check whether he was kosher. Or I could ring the police.

I take option 2, get the non-emergency number and talk to a very nice lady called Katie. She took my details, his details and asked if I would mind a visit from the Plod if it became necessary. I was talking to her on a cordless and I could see him working his way up the road. Bending over other people's front walls. There wasn't even an Anglian Water van in sight. At least she understood why I wasn't particularly happy.

I know I'm being slightly hysterical but I live in Studentville. Often the first port of call for the light-fingered. They quite like to relieve those scabby students of their lap-tops, mobile phones and i-pods.

This bloke was in a blue jumper, blue trousers with a hi-vis vest. Nothing of which read Anglian Water. In case you're taking details, I reckon he was slight, 5'8 and had light brown hair. Now, most of the utility guys I've ever met were very meticulous about showing ID. They usually walk around with lots of gear, name emblazoned on everything, and a clipboard. This guy just seemed to have a screw-driver. I wasn't about to run after him and demand to see his ID.

I might be fairly spikey, but I do know in a fair fight I'd still come off worse. I'm not very big and it's been years since I've done my martial arts training. The worst I'd probably manage is to bite his ankles. So no, I'm not going to be challenging anyone thanks very much. They might need cleaning, but damnit, they are my teeth.

So I'm afraid I have probably just wasted police time.

I can't wait to see what happens for the rest of today.

Mind you, I can afford to be grumpy and pre-mentrual. But we are still waiting with Savannah. She's a lovely Southern belle, who has become a new friend. Please pop in and give her a hug.

PS. Just had a visit from a very professional WPC with no sense of humour. Now I feel 2 inches high and teary.

PPS. I'm going to implement emergency procedures and go smoke in the garden. Anyway, I've missed the opportunity to die young.

Update: Someone from Norfolk Constabulary rang to do a customer service questionnaire. I gave positive feedback, just because the WPC didn't have a sense of humour and made me feel 2 inches high, it wasn't an opportunity to be petty. It turns out they rang Anglian Water, who did not have anyone working on my road that day.

I feel vindicated for being a nosey old bat.

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Details

I'm not good with details. This morning, I realised I'd given you a feel rather than proper feedback about my blogmeet with Dave.

Bearing in mind my memory is mush, I thought you might like some more details of our lunch together.

He warned me he talks a lot. I didn't bother to tell him, I talk a lot as well, I thought he'd figure it out for himself. We talked for over 3 hours. We parted at 3 o'clock cause I was promised to someone else for more coffee and cake. Otherwise I suspect we'd still be talking.

I brought up the unkind commentor on his health. Dave remains stoic and humourous in the face of real pain. We talked about the joys of steak. We both agree GPs are dodgy and pnemonia is no fun. No fun at all.

I asked about his mum, who seems to be doing better. She sounds lovely. I hope she is soon up on her feet. She's in good hands when she does come out of hospital. Mt Snowdon here they come.

Dave ran marathons and loves cricket. As a dedicated lazy-arse, I smiled and nodded. As I said before, it takes all sorts.

We talked about other bloggers and the effect blogging has had on our lives. See below.

He ordered plaice and chips, I had the pumkin rissotto. I kept on nicking his chips, though I passed on his gherkin. I'm still gob-smacked he didn't fall for the homemade tartare sauce with lumps of capers. Dave was taught to clear his plate, I stop eating when I'm no longer hungry. The fish and chips won.

We both like Earl Grey tea. I introduced him to the joy of 103 hot chocolate. A real pleasure. Proper hot chocolate. Mmmmm. Dave tells me he has a packet of Options in case of emergency. I'd rather go without.

After awhile we got the hint and cleared off so the staff could use the table for more paying customers. Besides, I could feel the need for a smoke. We strolled back to mine.

I had to evacuate Boy's clothes from the downstairs bathroom in case Dave needed to go.

The Cat came to say hello. Dave was polite.

We went into the garden so I could poison myself and Dave could see the garden proper. He found the wonky paving slab. He thinks grass is a waste of garden space, I do agree, but I'm keeping mine to lie out in next summer. We both think having thin borders is ridiculous.

I am impressed that he sews, bricklays and does 101 things with 6 stone of tomatoes. I don't have a practical bone in my body, though to be fair, I cook. Occasionally.

We talked about the horrors of divorce, the joys of working on friendships with exes and plans for the future.

We even talked about spirituality, different religions and atheists. I proved to him I can't tell a joke to save my life. He didn't try to convert me, I didn't set the gladiators on him.

He gave me a lift to my next coffee and cake meeting. I still think he should get a sports car.

Friday, October 16, 2009

Meeting Dave

Today, I met Dave. He says I'm his 21st blogmeet. I find it difficult to do a reciprocal calculation for the simple fact quite a lot of the bloggers on my list, I knew well before I blogged, or knew they blogged.

I was late. I had to shout at the bank first thing this morning and when I got home I didn't want to leave for the eaterie, without doing the dishes first, in case he wasn't a serial killer, and I invited him back for a cuppa.

He began by apologising. He warned me that he talks alot. Yes, he does. And we talked pretty solidly for over 3 hours. I was concerned that as a Man of the Cloth, he would attempt to share with me the error of my ways, being a dippy-hippy pagan and all that. I could have saved myself the worry-time. He didn't try to convert me to the Dark Side and I didn't break out the Lions. Though I will say, at one point he talked about his love of cricket; I smiled and nodded. After all, it takes all sorts.

Note to Self: most people don't take it as a compliment if you point out that they are spitting images of your birth father, bar for the obvious racial difference. Strangely enough, he has a similar sense of humour and the same deep well of compassion. Perhaps that's why it was so comfortable?

When I figured out that he would make a lousy serial killer, I invited him back to the Palais de Roses to see the garden where the purple oriental poppy seed he brought, will be sprinkled. He is not partial to grass, but could see why I wanted to keep it. I think he approves of my gardening plans.

Dave has been blogging longer than I and when we talked about it, I realised that for both of us, blogging is a community made up of friends you wouldn't always meet IRL. But once people become blogging friends, they are solid and with you through thick and thin. They are the people you can reveal the parts others don't necessarily see in your day-to-day life. People who don't blog, don't get it. And that's fine. I would argue that us bloggers have a deep need to communicate, to create connections and through those connections, live a little. It's a way of having a bit of fun, exploring creativity, exploring personal issues, sharing yourself. It's a way of being seen and acknowledged. It's a way of getting to know people that you wouldn't normally think would be friendship material. Dave said to me as I rolled up my crafty smoke, that he wouldn't normally meet smokers in his day to day life. I think he's walking on the wild side!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Wearing Purple

Over the weekend, someone made a throwaway comment about being 40 and living like a student. It suddenly occured to me that I'm getting old. How weird. I mean, I like celebrating my birthday. Like most pagans I'm always up for a good celebration, and events which come with pressies, friends and wine, are just good by their definition. But, I really am growing older.

In my head, my parents' friends were always going to be middle aged, and when I grew up I would then become the same age as them. So it came as a shock when they and my parents, not only aged normally, but then had the temerity to die. How rude!

I look at other 40 year olds, they have careers, marriages, mortgages, children, businesses...they're all so terribly grown up. I've got Boy, Cat and a home, but I don't feel grown up. I just feel more me. Which is difficult to explain, but I think I'm begining to arrive.

Just as my body prepares to go south.

I was sitting in my favourite eaterie this morning, contemplating my cappuccino and I started thinking of 10 things which I have found great about growing older (though the wiser bit is questionable).

1. I am now less concerned about being liked, and more concerned about being accepted.

2. I quite like my appearance. I like spending my time on make-up. Not because I want to be more attractive to anyone else, but simply because it gives me pleasure. It's a treat to myself.

3. I am less of a control-freak. As I have got older, I'm less interested in being sensible and more interested in having experiences. And you know what? I'm still keeping myself safe. I haven't turned into a crack whore, yet.

4. I value my vices. They bring me great pleasure.

5. Being compassionate is far more important than being right. Though I suspect that's still a work in progress.

6. My tolerance for day-to-day cruelty and rudeness has plummeted. Life is too short to waste time on such things. Yes, I'm perfectly aware this completely contradicts #5.

7. Quality is far more important than quantity. I would rather go without than put up with something cheap or substandard. That applies to more than goods and services.

8. I have learnt I can survive the most awful things and flourish.

9. Perseverance. As long as I keep breathing in and out, all will be well. Again, similar to #8, but not quite.

10. And perhaps most importantly, the inadequacey of the word 'love'. The horror and atrocities perpetrated in the name of love...I sit here and shake my head. I have no need of it to be said to me ever again. A bit dramatic? Perhaps. I would rather someone say to me 'you exasperate me beyond belief woman, but I brought you dinner and a bottle of wine', than say 'I love you' and not call.

Your turn, what gems have you learnt while growing older? Make it as funny or as heartfelt as you like. I'm nosey.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Over to You


As you know I am often found on Facebook, one of the great time thieves of the Interweb era. In reply to a cheeky response to my status update, I misquoted the famous saying I'll try anything once, except incest and folk dancing.
So apart from incest, what do you refuse to try?
All answers gratefully accepted. Don't be shy.

Thursday, October 01, 2009

Compiling the To Do List

There are quite a few things I should be doing. In fact, I'll go as far as saying, there are I lot of tasks I ought to have got done by now.

I'm not a huge fan of 'should' and 'ought'. I take it as a personal failure if they come into my daily vocabulary. However, I have extenuating circumstances. I'm still not fighting fit. At this point, if I was attacked by a brown paper bag, I'd ring 999. Mmmm...there's a thought. I could request the fire brigade. Firemen. There's a nice thought.

*pulls mind away from hunky firemen wielding their mighty hoses*

Anyway, I'm procrastinating writing my To Do List. It's just too scary a thought to contemplate at this point. I don't want to see how much deadly boring stuff I have to do. I would rather continue to waste time on the Interweb, watch the idiot box and smoke outside every now and then.

I took my new clothes out for a test drive this week. I looked fabulous, if I don't say so myself. Good clothes, new boots and good make-up. It set me up nicely for work. It's good getting back into the manic rhythm that is earning an honest living. I'm equally pleased my employers have understood my stamina isn't up to full-on work yet and have given me a two-week period to gently slide back into the work ethic. Until I find a sugar-daddy to keep me in the manner to which I could (easily) become accustomed, I am resigned to my fate of working for a living. Though it is slightly irritating that it's interfering with my social life.

Having the time to lose on the Interweb has meant I've made new blogging friends and had the chance to annoy old ones. I've even been playing with Blogger's new fangled bits. If you look, you'll see my new friends, do follow the links, some of them are naughty...but nice. I warn you now, watch out for MJ and her love of cake. CyberPete and I have a mutual appreciation of the odd glass of naughtiness. Ms Scarlet, though she says she's permanently perplexed, is quite capable of wielding a bottle of Febreeze with finesse. A. Boxer, that's Ms Boxer to you, is actually a very gentle and artistic soul who does wonders with Bow Tie Pasta and a video cam. Mago, the Franconian, gives very good virtual foot rubs and he is a thinking man. Watch out for Donn, he may be reaching escape velocity quite soon, especially if he keeps calling me 'normal'. I have wrangled promises out of Dave for some fabulous purple oriental poppies and I hope to be annoying him soon.

Of the original crew of misfits, the Viking has hung up his keyboard and I still miss Murph's words of wisdom, although, to give him his due, Rog does try his best to fill Murph's paw prints. I've decided that Kaz actually lives in Spain and occasionally visits Manchester. Northern Monkey is expecting a baby monkey in December and Sanddancer has recently changed jobs. Hottie, is as gorgeous as ever and is embarking on her university career and would make Hermione blush with her over-achieving. Since my split with the Viking, I haven't been as frequent a visitor to the police blogs, but I still lurk to make sure they aren't working too hard.

It occured to me that I missed this blog's 3rd birthday in June. I missed an opportunity for a celebration. Very unlike me. Therefore I've decided instead of procrastinating today, I will be celebrating Journeying's birthday today.

As I've been writing this, I realised how much blogging has meant to me. This blog started out as a project for art school and I got hooked. I've made fabulous friends who've stuck with me through thick and writer's block; friends who've encouraged, mocked, cajoled and catcalled. Permit me a soppy moment.

*virtual hugs*
You guys rock!
And I think you're stuck with me. Sorry.

(If I haven't mentioned your fabulous blog, don't sulk, you know I love you really)