Tuesday, December 29, 2015

Because Life...

It is the end of 2015 and I look back at the last few months, the word count on my novel still woefully short, the aches and pains returned, the poems unwritten and the pictures unpainted. It would be easy for me to be discouraged at all the things that are left undone. And yet as I type this, Boy is stretched out on the sofa watching Samurai Jack, my chickens are exploring a neighbouring field and there is sunshine.

Life happened over the autumn, there were too many funerals. Then Dave and his left kidney started arguing again. Rather than their usual spats that we've got used to, this is far more serious. Like all toxic relationships, it's taking time to unravel. He has initiated final divorce proceedings and we are waiting to hear whether it's mediation or if it's to go to Decree Absolute. Frankly, I'm tired of their arguments. But we will hear by the end of the week. 

I think it's fair to say I lost the plot temporarily. But that's okay, shit happens (even if most of it was in my head), I rode it out. It occurs to me that I am good at making Plans, but not so great at seeing them through. The Plans mock me as I deal with the shit Life throws up. 

But isn't that the point? 

It isn't the fact that I get thrown off the pony that matters. All that matters is that I pick myself up again and get back on. That I keep getting up again. 

The end of the year is the perfect time to have a good look at what worked and what didn't. To revisit my goals and objectives. To ask "what do I want?"

The answer to that is *more*

I want more words added to my novel.

I want more economic activity.

I want more hours spent lifting in the gym.

I want more poems read and written.

I want more paintings painted.

I want more more miles run and cycled.

I want more emotional and physical resilience. 

I want more boundaries between myself and the situations that encroach on my head.

I want more activity in social justice.

Then, there is the *less*

I want less financial insecurity.

I want less self-sabotage.

I want less of the key-board warrior I've become.

I want less of my judgemental self.

I want less of other people's drama.

As I type this, I realise that even if I only manage half of the things on either list, I'll be doing well. I can keep taking my small steps and I'll get there. Wherever "there" is.

Are you making any wishlists for 2016? Want to share?

Friday, December 18, 2015

Joy To The World | Muppet Music Video | The Muppets

Because quite frankly, how could I not?

Things that make me Unreasonably Happy (right now)

  • Jenga giving it large. He's a fine looking bird, dumb as a brick, but just lovely. 
  • Hunters. Thanks to Dave, I now have proper Hunter wellies and they are bloody worth every fricking penny. I never knew there was such a thing as comfy wellies. And they are purple.
  • Uggs. While we're on footwear, I need to throw these in there. Dave made the suggestion after seeing how poorly my furry bootie slippers lasted the year. Kept my feet warm, but couldn't take the punishment of living with me. I followed through and bought a pair. As slippers that can take going outside in the dry, they are the biz. Comfortable, supportive and most of all: warm. And no, I won't be wearing them in public, no matter how comfy they are.
  • Electric under-blanky. Again, this is down to Dave. He knew I was thinking about investing in one and then he bought this amazing king-sized, double side settings. It's only been about 2 months since I've had it and I still squeal with joy when I go to bed...
  • Electric blanky. Blame Dave. He found one. A blanky that I drape over myself when I game or am Netflix and relaxing. It has variable settings.
  • Netflix. I've recently worked my way through Jessica Jones, Daredevil, Spectre and Dr Who. It's been brilliant. By the way, David Tennant is frickin amazing and I've still to warm up to Matt Smith, but the episode with Van Gough makes me cry every time.
  • My local garage. They sorted out a long-standing issue with my car battery. After the official BMW garage, a mechanic who specialises in performance vehicles and the local garage - all failed. Not only that, they offer 30-day payment terms and fix every make of car (so they now do Boy's as well).
  • Bird feeders. I've got two bird feeders out, for nuts and fat balls. As well as the blue and great tits, the feeders attract blackbirds, woodpeckers and robins. And yes, it's true. Robins are the asshole of the bird world.
  • Lava lamps. I know they are kitsch...but damn I love mine to bits. If I'm on the sofa, the lava lamp is on.
  • Friends. I don't know what I would do without them. The lovely Ursuses, Z and Julia to name a few. That's not including my Facebooking and Blogging friends.
  • Friends. I won these from LX. I will be hanging these in my porch. 

  • Dave. On Wednesday, we celebrated our fourth year of being together. It's still a bit of a surprise. Four years. Not bad going considering I have appalling taste in men and he is rubbish at relationships. We are still learning new things about each other, still having fun and most importantly, still like each other. I am with someone who accepts me and loves me for who I am, no matter how I am. 
  • Boy. He will be home on Monday. I am so looking forward to hugging his big, muscly self. I've missed him so very much. 
The autumn and winter have been hard going. Too many funerals and now, another. Next week, we say goodbye to Zig. I will be holding the fort, but I will light a candle.

Thursday, December 03, 2015

Giving it Large

This is Jenga, giving it large. The chooks have discovered they get a better view from on top the fence and there they were all in a row. 

Sorry about the quality of the sound, I took the video from my front room. 

It's funny, but I didn't realise how much I missed the sound of roosters crowing until I moved out to Z's. It's an everyday sound I grew up with. I remember as a small girl waking up in the middle of the night and peering out my bedroom window. I could hear the roosters crowing in the darkness enthusiastically calling for the dawn. They were over-achievers, they would start crowing at least a couple of hours before light.

Tropical days and nights are noisy. The day shift will be roosters, dogs barking, the sound of traffic and a myriad of birds calling, including parrots and macaws squawking, not to mention crickets and lizards. The night shift belongs to frogs and toads of all sizes. The big ones doing their baritone belching, the littlest ones, no bigger than my thumbnail, sound like tiny bells, but incredibly loud, so loud you can hear them on the other end of the phone.

The thought of a neighbour complaining about a cock crowing in the morning to a Trinidadian, would have them in peels of laughter.

Dogs have free run of gardens and the general assumption is they bark. My brother's neighbour's GSD's when they hear sirens of any kind, join in with their howls at any time of night or day.

I remember on one of Boy's trips out there he turned around and whispered to me "Mummy, why is that man shouting?" I had to explain that he wasn't: that was his normal volume and he wasn't angry. 

In the winter, I find the UK oppressingly quiet. I miss the wildlife sounds. I suppose this is why I love Jenga's crowing so much. It's that little bit of my childhood brought forward into my present.

Wednesday, December 02, 2015

Ranting, ranting, ranting

I've decided to change things around. Normally, I put all my socio-political rants on Facebook and leave my blog clear for my personal and domestic stuff. Today, I'm going to swap. Last week, in the wake of the Paris bombings and the vile spewings on social media, I was in a deep funk.

I am an active Facebook user and occasional tweeter. I have friends from all over the world, in all walks of life. There are some who I disagree with their politics (big and little P), but we have a history of shared humour and personal support. I figure if they can ignore the fact I'm a dippy hippy, I can look past the fact they hold conservative views (big and little C - or Republicans, if they're in the States).

During the summer, the coverage of the refugee crisis was a bit of an eye-opener. People let rip on how they really felt. The vileness of it shocked me. I'm not going to repeat it, I'm sure you've seen it for yourself. It was on a scale that started with lack of compassion and went straight to racist hatred. It doesn't help when our UK PM David Cameron, described the refugees as "a swarm", it gives validation and legitimisation to the filth being spewed.

The thing is, the people I interact with on a daily basis are kind, considerate and loving. I don't see this vileness. I don't know where it comes from, I really don't. I genuinely believe in the inherent goodness of humanity. The kindness of strangers is why I'm still here and I don't say it for dramatic effect either. 

If you lived abroad and all you saw was the disdain, the casual racism, the anger and hatred, what would you think of that country and its people? If you knew that there were campaigns that actively encouraged further harm to vulnerable people, what would you do to protect your home, your family?

That last statement is why today, the UK Parliament is voting whether to bomb Syria and it's the same statement used to recruit and radicalise the terrorists. What does that then make us?

Let's not forget how previous military interventions have been such outstanding successes in stabilising the already volatile region. 

When the leadership of this country says that to be against the bombing is to be a terrorist sympathiser, it's time to be scared. Very scared. 

I have no love for the Conservative Party. I am the person they revile. I am a single parent, a woman of colour, a migrant and I am in the creative industries, not to mention my tattoos and piercings. 

There's a furore in the heart of the Conservative Party, a young activist committed suicide because of the bullying within the party. A few weeks ago, I landed on footage of Prime Minister's Question Time. The behaviour of the Conservative MPs when Jeremy Corbyn, the opposition leader, was speaking was at the very best appalling. MPs jeered, shouted insults and basically carried on like a bunch of hoodlums and bullies. 

These are the people who are life-altering decisions on behalf of the citizens of the UK. Decisions that have long ranging consequences. Whatever is to become of us?

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