Friday, November 28, 2014

Spoilt Girl

It's true, I've been spoilt. These last seven days have been proof of this. I am a spoilt brat. In the last week, I have had cause to take to social media to have a middle-class rant, worthy of The Guardian newspaper.

It started innocently enough. Last Friday, I stopped off at a diner for something to eat. It looked like it would be good. The decor was 50's all baby pink and baby blue, with placard Elvises and Marilyns on the walls. But Ladies and Gentlemen, there were warning signs. 

In and amongst the 50's rock'n'roll atmosphere...they ruined it by playing the Tamla Motown hits from the 60's. I shit you not. It was 60's soul rocking the joint. Don't get me wrong, I like 60's soul. No such thing as too much Diana Ross. Worse! I spotted next to the triptych dedicated to Sandy and Danny...London 60's posters. Pfft. What can I tell you? I was surprised. But still, I ordered a burger and chips, telling myself these inconsistencies are easy to make. They don't matter.

Then the burger arrived. 

I'll just leave you with this: cheap roll that dissolved in the burger fat; gristly, greasey burger and styrofoam chips. I stopped eating half-way and left. I regretted spending the £8.20 and the 600 calories I ingested. Don't worry. The burger had it's revenge. I had heartburn for hours later.

Dave and I went to Warwick for the weekend. The UKBC's (that's UK Barista Championship.Coffee, not law) heat was being held at the University of Warwick and although Dave wasn't judging this year, he likes to keep involved. As for me, you know I'll turn up at the opening of an envelope. 

We trudged around historic Warwick in the damp and grey, which granted would make any UK city look as appealing as a regurgitated jelly fish. We declined the £6.00 carpark fee and £18.00 per adult entry fee to Warwick Castle and instead, walked around some more until we found the Tourist Information centre. 

Saturday night, university city...awesome. Live Music. Or so I thought. Or rather, hoped. If there was live music happening somewhere in Warwick last weekend, the two lovely women ringing round all the venues they could think of, couldn't find it. Not even in a smokey pub. We did however, have a lovely cuppa with matching china in a warm and cosy tea room. Which at 3.30 in the afternoon was the most buzzing aspect about the whole city. We left Warwick and Dave showed me Banbury and Stratford (and Shakespeare's old house, obv). I have to say I liked Banbury. I'd like to go and spend more time there in daylight. I wasn't too bothered about Stratford. I crossed it off my list.

I did have a lovely time away, despite my whinging. It was good to get out of Norfolk and experience a different way of being. It was also excellent to return.

The thing is, you can have a gourmet burger in Norwich for the same money as I paid in the diner. The homemade bread roll cuddling up to the handmade patty, chances are excellent that it actually would be cow (unless you asked for a different type of animal/vegetable). And knowing some of the places we frequent, the cow would have probably spent her time running around in a field with her mates all her life, only to come into the barn every night for her usual massage with Patchouli oil. 

We went to a gig on Wednesday night. It was great. We saw Clive Gregson at Bedfords. Don't know who he is? Here's a clip (not from the gig).



Did I mention he was then off to open for Jools Holland the next day? Click here if you fancy seeing a little bit more about the evening.

Yeah, okay. So perhaps I just needed a break from Norwich. I just needed to take stock and smell the M11. I've been spoilt in Norwich. Where there's fabulous live music being played most nights. Where there's great coffee and great food and you don't feel bullied into using chain restaurants because the other local alternatives are too expensive or too questionable. 

Last year, I floated the idea to Dave that we should spend every evening for a month, looking for live music in Norwich. I reckon there would be very few days without something happening. I think it would be a totally fun project to do next Spring, though it might become a bit expensive with the tickets etc. I'll leave that thought to simmer away on the back burner  for now. 

Tuesday, November 11, 2014

How to lose two days....

This weekend, I lost two days. A decade before, it might have happened because of a Saturday night gone wonderfully right - with merriment and lots of alcohol. I'd have been sitting on my arse, holding my head gingerly, trying to tell myself off. Not this weekend. This weekend, the most fun thing I did was contemplate the inside of my eyelids and hang on to my breakfast.

I know, original party-girl, right?

I have had a couple of migraines before. It's not a regular thing, thank goodness, or I'd be forced to think of amputation. Of all the ailments to have, it's got to be one of the most, frickin' tedious. I've decided of all the ailments I could possibly suffer from, the one that I'm not going to have again is that.

There are good drugs for migraines now. If you take them as they hit, they are supposed to stop it in its tracks. I'm told. If you get them regularly, they must be a God-send. I don't. All I had was my normal drugs and I didn't bother to take them. They wouldn't have hung around too long, so I had to be big and brave and tough it out.

Let me tell you, lying in a dark room with nothing to do, sucks. All of the stuff I like to do if I'm not going to get up and be productive: reading, watching crap tv...hurt. It's boring as fuck. 

My stomach still doesn't like me very much, my head doesn't care for me much either. Ya boo sucks to both of them. I'm so fed up of being fragile. A stiff wind blows and I collapse in a heap. I haven't moved for weeks now. I'm really struggling to do more than the necessary. But ya boo sucks to that too. 

Moving on up. I'm bored with the whinge. I'm missing out on the good stuff. Great opportunities have passed me by and it's not good enough. Onward and upward.

Friday, November 07, 2014

Life as a journey

It's funny, I'm 44, technically (statistically) I'm at the mid-point in my life. I lost the first 20 years of my life growing up, doing school things, leaving home. The last 24 years has been a bit of a mish-mash really as I managed to fly in the face of any kind of life-stage planning. I really did things in a mixed up manner: left home, got a job, got married, had Boy, started a degree, got divorced, finished degree, got a job, hated job, started a degree, got a job.

My work in marketing at Insight has been the longest I've ever worked anywhere and it's fast getting to the point whereby I'll have been there longer than I was married! The only constant in my adult life has been Boy. The flat was a constant for 15 years and I'm not at all sorry to be shot of it. I'm only sorry I didn't get shot of it when I first moved out, I could have used the money to invest in another property. But there you go. It's easy to say that in hindsight. I obviously wasn't ready to let it go at that point. I still had romantic illusions about it as a home. I can't wait for it to be sold. I've been told that's likely to be in 3-4 weeks time. I don't see it myself, but it will go. That's all that matters right now. It will go. 

Driving home today, I realised I'm quite excited about the future. I'm looking forward to next year, even though it's a big, blank sheet of paper. I think that's why I'm so excited. I don't know the way Life will unfold, it's just a bud right now.

2014 sucked arse. It really did. It's got another few weeks before it permanently buggers off, to bite me again, but I'm keeping it on a short leash with a stick close to hand. I think about that amazing New Year party we went to and how I felt...you'd think with such a great start the year would have been awesome. But no. 

On the whole, I have few regrets, remarkably few experiences that make me cringe. I suppose in the grand scheme of things, that's not a bad thing at all. Especially since I'm not going to get a do-over.

I attacked my monobrow this afternoon. The magnifying mirror might be a necessity for tackling the caterpillar above my nose, but it doesn't half show off the wrinkles and parts of my skin that are struggling with gravity. It seems I'm no longer 21. Who'd have thought eh? Hah!

As the years go by, I realise how comfortable I am being me. I don't have a typical Life Path and I certainly couldn't cope with it, even if I'd have had a serious opportunity to do Normal. In fact, I'm not sure what "normal" is anymore. Perhaps there are some "normal" people out there...I bet they don't blog.

Anyway, after having spent the majority of my day writing, I'm going to blitz my soup and see if anyone wants to share. I don't intend to get dressed tomorrow, therefore, if you don't like onesies, don't call round!

Wednesday, November 05, 2014

Notes from the mid-Life Crisis

These are just a few of the thoughts I've had recently, in no particular order, because that's pretty much the way I think...

  • I like living in the country. I like the silence and the darkness.
  • It's funny, but apart from the deer, I see exactly the same species here, as I saw at home. I prefer being here.
  • I'm not enjoying the commute. 
  • I try to leave the house at 7.30. I am usually not successful. 
  • If I leave 5 minutes late, it adds another 15 minutes to my journey. If I leave at 8 am, I still arrive at work at 9 am. Go figure.
  • My intention is to have that extra half an hour in bed tomorrow.
  • It's been a challenge to figure out how to continue to shop cheaply. The nearest big shop is a Co-op, which adds at least another £10.00 to my weekly shop. 
  • Calling into Lidl, my discount supermarket of choice, after work requires a lot of will power. I'm usually so knackered after my working day.
  • However, if I do that, the traffic has a chance to clear a bit. 

  • I called round the flat. I picked up a few bits. Locked up and left.
  • I don't miss it.
  • I don't regret leaving there.
  • Technically, I'm living in a bungalow.
  • That's like living in a flat on the ground. But with lots more space than I had before.
  • I definitely like it. I didn't think I would like living in a bungalow. But I do. 
  • I'm beginning to think past my year here. Wondering where I'd like to go next. 
  • I'm not sure I'll be ready to move back into Norwich. 
  • However, as I don't know what I'll be feeling like in 11 months time, I'm keeping an open mind about things. 
  • It's good to have options. 

  • I ran the other day. 
  • It was so good to move again.
  • My back has hated me since. It seems I have to work on building up the strength in my muscles before I can go back to running.
  • I look like a bright lemon knob when I run.
  • Don't care. I don't want to be flattened running on country roads.
  • Besides, it's not like I look wonderful when I run anyway.
  • I have started on my 5-a-day diet again. Once I've got that sorted, I'll start upping it. My aim is for 9-a-day. You know I like a challenge.
  • I am also trying to cut down sugar.
  • I had an iced donut at work today. It tasted magnificent, but it left me feeling very weird for hours after. 
  • Fatigue is still dogging my heels. 
  • This weekend, I am starting my fitness routines again.
  • My aim is to start off very gently and build up to my previous levels.
  • I also want to get into meditating regularly. I'm still very sporadic with my meditation practice.
I took a quiz in The Guardian this week. It turns out that I'm neither happy, nor unhappy. Neutral, describes my results. I felt that was pretty accurate. I've lost that awful trapped/claustrophobic feeling. I wake up every morning and feel blessed. I am truly grateful for the life I lead. I've been very lucky.