Thursday, 31 May 2012

A Week of Goodbyes

My week started by saying goodbye to my car. Now as goodbyes go this one was surprisingly easy; Bob was my re-bound car, the young sporty number that seemed like a good idea at the time but we grew apart, he just wasn't a good fit for our family. I always feel like car show rooms are akin to dating agencies. You go in and tell the salesman what you want from your car; the colour, taste in music, the feel of the ride and they set you up with potentials to road test. As first dates go our test drive was great and a couple of weeks later we have a new member to our family. He hasn't settled into a name as yet but he has an uncanny resemblance to Chick Hicks from Cars or may be a French Inspector, he has that kind of moustache!

Tonight should have been goodbye to my old, knackerd but comfy bed and tomorrow hello to a nice new one with added storage. I say should but that is a whole other story...

Tomorrow does see my last day at work. I may have only been there for three and a half years but I have met some amazing people and I'm going to find it really hard to say goodbye. I have learnt a lot, grown so much in myself whilst I have been there and even though I am going on to better things, I am really going to miss seeing everyone on a daily basis. I hope I have the strength to maintain connections with those that are really important to me and not let it drift to just the obligatory Christmas card, that would just be an insult to the friendships that have grown.

I hope this can put it a little more eloquently than I have so far:

Goodbye is the hardest word to say
It has a very final way
With connotations of forever
And undertones of never
Which make it stick in my throat
And renders me unable to talk

Warm, wet, saltiness traces my cheeks
My heart will hurt for many weeks
But there is an alternate way
Another word for us to say
See you later, ta ta for now
We will meet again somehow

Many tears will still be shed
My heart will still feel like lead
Love and friendships last forever
Between us there is no never
How long apart there is no knowing
Now give me a smile to keep me going

To all those that I am saying 'see you later, aligator' to; thank you for everything and I will see you around!!

Check out the perfect picture to this post here. Now pass the tissues I think I am going to need them!!

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

Close My Eyes and Think of Me

Yesterday Word Nerd posted a challenge and all it required was closing my eyes for a few moments. I can do that right?

Oh with out falling asleep, silly me!

Seriously, who am I, underneath all of this 'life' what is left? Wow this one made me think! cdnkaro and myself have both commented recently about the idea that photo's of us don't reflect the person we feel inside. I don't think that it is age related, although I often feel like a teenager on the inside, I am reminded this isn't the case when the mirror clearly shows the failings of my old lady creams!

I promptly closed my eyes and wrote down the first things that popped into my head. The images kind of came rushing out into the comments section, but in my haste became coloured with the things I love in my life. Over the last 24 hours this has played on my mind, a lot. I eventually had one of my legendary light bulb moments and realised that one of the characters who comes to me every now and then, who is often the subject of my writing that is strictly for my eyes only, is probably my alter ego.

For those of you expecting my usual dose of original writing, as is customary on a Tuesday, I apologise for the slight deviation today; you can blame Word Nerd! Now that said, let me introduce Faith, my alter ego.

view original here

Faith is a slightly thinner version of me, but not too thin, just nicely curvy. Her hair is short, curly and sun kissed, think Meg Ryan in City of Angels. She has a distinctly hippy style of linens, cheese cloths and faded jeans, spending most of her time bare foot but when needs must flip flops and floral Birkenstock's are her foot wear of choice. Doc Martins do however feature from time to time, sporting multi-coloured laces, for the lengthier walks she takes.

She owns a classic beetle, in metallic purple that is mostly stationary outside her modest beach side house. Her home is light and airy but about as far from modern and minimalist you can get before becoming cluttered. Nothing matches but everything has a synergy that is calming. There are handmade crafts and original pieces of art dotted all around. All of which have a story or a memory attached to them. The house certainly has Faiths personal stamp on it, there wasn't much work to do when she fell in love with the place but each room was treated to the Faith makeover when she first moved in. Her favourite piece of furniture is the huge comfy arm chair by the window that she can curl right up into it with a view of the sea. Many an hour sat reading, writing or just thinking, have been passed in that chair, cuddled up under the crocheted throw made by her own fair hands.

Every morning she wakes naturally and sits on the window seat of her bedroom to watch the sunrise over the hills and woods that spread out from the back of her house. After dressing and briefly completing the necessary chores, she takes a walk either on the beach, into the hills or through the woods. Her constant companion is the bag over her shoulder holding her note pad, pencils and a drink along with her blue rowan spaniel, Sam. They would wander for hours and always find a spot to sit for a while and write down her random thoughts. She is hard pressed to choose a favourite between sitting under a tree listening to the birds, on the beach watching the waves or on the hillside looking down on the world.

In the evenings she would cook simple meals of pasta and rice, with an occasional treat of Chinese takeaway. Always eaten by candle light and in the winter months she would sit by the open fire.

Occasionally she was joined by her friend, Dan, who would spend the days showing her the things around her that she had a habit of over looking; from old ruins around and about or the local wildlife. The evenings were passed sharing stories and good wine either sat by the fire or on the beach, listening to the waves crash in the dark. When Dan wasn't around she would write into the evening about what ever came to her, this way she would make enough money to get by, along with occasionally selling her own pieces of art and sculpture in the local artisan shops.

A family was in her future somewhere, sometime and she would stay here long after they had grown and flown the nest. She would teach her girl all the things she knew, they would be raised on a healthy diet of literature and the outdoors. In turn they would raise beautiful daughters of their own.

There is much more to Faith, but like I said for the moment she is mostly for my eyes only. Some writing is just like that. She is the me of my dreams, without life's complications!

If you haven't already tried this check out Word Nerds challenge and see what happens, it is much more thought provoking than you first think!

Sunday, 27 May 2012

Weekend Wonder - Fairy Tales, Sunshire and Tag

Well, I have to say today has been a much better day! Thank heaven! Hormones have a lot to answer for; I mean summer's don't last long in these parts and when the sun shines you have to appreciate every moment! Two days lost to a bad mood, I could get mad with myself.........nah, not today!

What changed today? I woke up to a lovely e-mail and being tagged. I always sucked at tag, much too slow to get out of the way and not fast enough to tag anyone else. I have a feeling though this might be a game of tag I may like. I am one nosey lady and love to find things out about people and this is my chance to quiz you. All I have to do is find some facts to share first, hmmm slightly more problematic. Here goes:

It all started, for me any way, at The Mommy Rant. She was tagged and passed it along to Deb at Kicking Corners, which peeked my interest and also Larisa at Pappa is a Preacher who then tagged me in to something called the 11 questions game.

The rules appear quite simple; tell you all 11 things you don't know about me, tag 11 people and let them know, then set them 11 questions to answer.

Are you ready?

1. I am a dog person, I don't currently have one but I grew up with one in the house and want my girls to have the same experience.

2. I am quite crafty, quietly away. The girls and I are always making little handmade cards, tea light holders out of jam jars...the list goes on.

3. I struggle to see the good in me. Ok so you might already know this but I am struggling for things to write and I'm only on 3!!

4. I like American tv shows, well the ones I get to see on UK tv. Currently SMASH is on in the background as I type.

5. My favourite lunchtime spot is in my local park, off the beaten track, sat under a tree. This time of year the colour and light from the canopy are so beautiful and relaxing.

ok, so this was taken in winter ans isn't off the beaten track
but it is still in my local park!

6. I love music of any kind. There isn't much I don't like from classical, through rock to heavy metal. If it has a beat I'm hooked.

7. Is my favourite number (yes I'm getting desperate!)

8. Monet is my favourite artist.

9. I crush on things and people really easily and rarely fall out of love with them.

10. Only two to go....I wish I could go back to University and study Literature rather than the Forensic Psychology degree I ended up with (long story!!)

11. Seriously I can come up with one more surely?!? Ah ha, related to 6, a lot of songs have special memories attached to them that come back to me vividly when I hear the song again. Which is why I hate badly executed cover versions!

Few, I am glad that is over! Now for the easy bit, answering questions, does anyone else find it easier talking about themselves when you have a topic to talk about?

Here are the questions Larissa posed:

  • What is your favorite book? - I can't pick just one, sorry! I love anything by Julia Donaldson, my favourite of hers is Charlie Cook's Favourite Book. Or Lauren Child, favourite one of hers is Who's afraid of the Big Bad Book. Or Oliver Jeffers, my favourite of his being Heart in a Bottle. I know they are all children's books but they capture my imagination and stick in my mind. Plus some of the adult books I like at the moment I won't admit to!!
  • Favorite color? - I am quite a mono chrome kind of person for most things although green does seem to be creeping into my life quite a bit at the moment.
  • Sweet or salty (food). - Sweet....salty....sweet....salty....sorry just food, any food!
  • What was one gift that someone gave you that you will always remember? (Doesn't have to be one you liked. A memorable one.) - I was expecting my second little lady just after Christmas and the other half presented me with a large parcel as one of my gifts. It was big and squishy and I had no idea what was in it. I actually cried when I opened the shiny wrapping to discover a fleecy blanket covered in pictures of my eldest and the other half all smiling up at me. It was to keep me warm during the night feeds. I still love it and it is currently protecting my knee from the heat for the laptop.
  • What is your favorite blog post? - Of mine, yikes I don't know may be Free to Fly because the sentiments of the poem I posted are the same today and also relate to another lovely lady, newish to my life,  too! Of someone elses, no idea there are too many to choose from!
  • What annoys you? - People that are two faced, I'd rather just know where I stand.
  • What makes you happy? - Blogging and writing, oh and seeing my girls and hubs happy over anything.
  • Truth or Dare? ("Depends" is not an option.) - Dare, always game for a laugh. Nothing dangerous or illegal though, sorry I'm a wus too.
  • Did you collect anything as a kid? - Badges, I kind of still do. I have 5 pinned on the inside of my handbag at the moment.
  • Bath or Shower? ("Depends" is not an option.) - I always prefer a bath, with bubbles and candles. With kids you can guess just how often that one happens!!
  • Would you ever use gel pens? Sparkly ones. - Hell yeah, every Christmas all my cards go out with sparkly silver or gold writing.

  • Now for me to do the tagging, there has to be a first time right. Although I do like to be different and seeing as my favourite number is 7 here are seven lucky bloggers, tag you're it:

    * Masked Mom
    Shouldn't Life Be More Thanks This
    * Jane in Her Infinite Wisdom
    * Frazzled & Frumpy
    * Four Under 4 Plus Two
    * Buttered Toast Rocks

    Pop over to their blogs to see their answers to the following questions:

    1. Who is your literary hero?
    2. Why?
    3. What is your favourite children's story?
    4. Are you a closet reader, are there some books that you won't admit to reading?
    5. Do you have any regrets in life?
    6. Name one ambition, not including getting your writing published.
    7. Heels or flats on a night out?
    8. What is your comfort food?
    9. Normal clothes or comfy PJ's?
    10. What is your favourite film?
    11. Coke or Pepsi?

    I can't wait to see your answers and follow the answers of the other tagged by Larissa. Enjoy the rest of your weekend!

    Thursday, 24 May 2012

    Random Thursday - Grumpy Ass Mood

    I had all really great plans to write on Tangled Lou's post about thoughts on cooking. Best laid plans and all that. I have managed to get as far as 'I like food'

    Today the problem is the mood I woke up in! My Mum would say 'Someone got out of the bed on the wrong side' Well, I always get out of bed on the same side, how can one day it suddenly become so wrong?

    I have snapped at people all day; the other half, friends at work, people on the phone. One would be forgiven for saying that I should have gotten back into bed and stayed there for everyone's safety!! The most frustrating thing is that I have absolutely no idea why.

    I tried loud music on the way to work...nope still grumpy! I tried going for a walk at lunch; I took my self off the beaten path and listened to the birds...nope my walking pace got faster and faster until I nearly fell and my breathing was ragged. I stopped and sat under a tree, slowed my breathing and stared up into the canopy, the translucent lime green of the new leaves and the dappled sunshine...nope, I just ended up with tears of frustration etching their way down my cheeks. Ok time to surrender, music back on, a nice bass line that beat in time to my heart, and surrender to the sobs. That was a little better, but still not great.

    view original here

    A little more snapping later and finally the end of work. Even though I had a meeting this evening, at least it was at the pub and I could enjoy a nice shandy whilst sitting in the sun talking about girls football.

    After all that,  I have had my shower, settled down and read some lovely bloggy words. I am feeling much more human! Just one of those days to write off, put behind me and start tomorrow with a much clearer head. Hopefully I will be much more productive tomorrow.

    Please tell me you had better days! Tell me your happy stories before I go to bed and lets hope the pixies have turned my bed back to the right way before I get up!

    Tuesday, 22 May 2012

    200 Tuesdays - The White Lady

    I may have gone over the word count a little today, so I will try not to waffle too much today. Except to say this short is based on one of the amazing features in my local park. Here is Harri, my eldest, in the dungeons.

    The White Lady

    Becs stood there frozen to the spot, the grey eyes piercing through to her soul. She could feel it, she was being judged. She was by no means pure and was sure hoping that wasn’t the criteria she would be considered on.
    It seemed like a good idea at the time, juvenile but seriously what was the worst that could happen. It’s amazing what you will do when alcohol fuelled!
    Twenty years ago they used to ‘hang out’ in this park. Mostly in the dungeons, which weren’t actually dungeons they used to be roman baths but dungeons sounded cooler. They sat there many nights telling stories of the White Lady who reportedly frequented the park and would appear before you if you repeated ‘White Lady’ three times in a row turning at the same time. Oh please! Becs didn’t believe it then and didn’t now.
    How did she end up staring down the most famous ghost amongst her peers? A dare, yes seriously a dare! The reunion was imploding because of someone’s past indiscretions with his best mate’s girl and she sat there wondering if it was polite to leave after only half an hour. Just then Mark, Craig and Sarah spotted her from across the room. These were the people she spent most of her time with during high school and right up until she left for Africa.
    ‘Ya alright Becs?’ Mark said as he scooped her into a bear hug. ‘You up for ditching this joint?’
    ‘What did you have in mind?’ Came her reply
    And thus they ended up in the dungeons with a bag of beer, all be it slightly better quality than historically, drinking and laughing as the old gang caught Becs up on what had gone on. Who had married who, who had kids, who had split. It didn’t take long for the conversation to come around to the things they used to get up to, particularly the fact that no one had had the guts to challenge the White Lady.
    One ‘I dare you’ later and here she was staring her down. She was definitely beautiful, dressed in clothes from the early 1900’s that were torn to rags around one shoulder making it look like she had been attacked. Finally after what felt like a lifetime, but in reality it was mere seconds, she broke away and turned disappearing through a bricked up door way, leaving a chill in her wake.
    Becs was alone, her friends long gone and the White Lady had returned to where ever she came, she felt a sense of calm. She had been judged and not found wanting. Becs would love to know what it was that the White Lady saw in her that she didn’t in herself!
    Hope you enjoyed this!

    Do you believe in ghosts?

    Sunday, 20 May 2012

    Weekend Wonder - tying the knot

    In the words of frazzled & frumpy epic fail!!!

    You would think that being involved in a very beautiful wedding of a close family member would give me no end of creative inspiration, yet I sit here and struggle to come up with anything to write. Maybe it is exhaustion befuddling my brain, or possibly the tired and achy bones (from all my 'fantastic' dance moves - yes that was sarcastic!) distracting me. Anyway, what ever it is I am stuck, how exactly do you describe the privilege of being involved in someones fairy tale wedding?

    The ceremony was beautiful, my girls were gorgeous (as bridesmaids) and the bride and groom looked radiant and happy all day! So instead of trying, and failing, to put the day into words I thought I would share with you two things; firstly the poem that I was asked to recite during the ceremony and secondly the short verse I wrote for the happy couple. I hope you enjoy them both.

    I will be here - Steven Curtis Chapman

    If in the morning when you wake,
    If the sun does not appear,
    I will be here.
    If in the dark we lose sight of love,
    Hold my hand and have no fear,
    I will be here.

    I will be here,
    When you feel like being quiet.
    When you need to speak your mind I will listen.
    Through the winning, losing and trying we'll be together,
    And I will be here.
    If in the morning when you wake,
    If the future is unclear,
    I will be here.
    As sure as the seasons were made for change,
    Our lifetimes were made for years,
    I will be here

    I will be here,
    And you can cry on my shoulder,
    When the mirror tells us we're older.
    I will hold you, to watch you grow in beauty,
    And tell you all the things you are to me.
    We'll be together and I will be here.
    I will be true to the promises I've made.
    To you and to the one who gave you to me.
    I will be here.

    view original here

    Wedding Day
    Your wedding like a bright spring day
    Love and promise the only words to say
    As the year knows more than spring
    Married life continues beyond the ring
    Many long summers for you I wish
    Savour this day and your first married kiss.

    PS: I wrote recently about my first love for a project Tangled Lou is cooking up. Apparently all will be revealed on Tuesday and I for one and looking forward to seeing what she has been cooking up. Head on over and take a look.

    Thursday, 17 May 2012

    Random Thursdays - Letters in the Aether

    Do you know, for a change, my life has been a lot less random this week! In fact there has been quite a theme to it. The same things popping up every day, the same thoughts circling the drain in my mind. Even my generic mp3 player and the radio were conspiring to provide a sound track to this very singular week. With songs all on the same theme, laughing at me when I just want to sing wildly in the car as a means to forget!

    I haven't liked it! Randomness is my life, it's what I know, suddenly I find myself occupied to the point of disraction and sleeplessness, over just one thing. I have to say it has thrown me. Unfortunately, this thing (strawberries for the purposes of the rest of this post) was not something I could discuss with anyone. Almost like a bowl of sour strawberries served to you at your mother in laws, with no spoonful of sugar to help them go down, you just have to grin and chew through each difficult mouthful until the whole bowl has gone. Pretend that they are the best thing you have ever tasted, there is nothng out of the ordinary with them at all. All the while, your stomach is churning and your thoughts are over ruled to the point of distraction from the polite table conversation that you are supposed to be following.

    This had to stop, enough is enough, I want my randomness back! It was than that I had a light bulb moment. Back in my youth, which seems a really long time ago now, during periods of  serious teenage angst I used to write letters to the aether. Letters that I would pour my heart and soul into but would never see the light of another humans eyes.

    Some I addressed to my Dad, I would ask him things that I felt only a Dad could answer, I would tell him what my day had been like. I would simply get the things that needed to be said off my chest, but for some reason was unable to formulate the words to express verbally.

    Others were to the boys I 'loved' (read - stupid teenage infatuation), of course I never spoke to them directly, but in these letters I would profess my undying love to them and then destroy it. Well you wouldn't want it falling into the wrong hands now, I mean the person it was addressed to might read it for crying out loud. My preference was to burn them, a bit like the flame of a birthday candle, carrying my dreams and desires off to be made reality. Then the next week I would write a whole new one to the next boy and so on and so forth!

    File:Birthday candles.jpg
    view original here

    So this week, for the first time in a very very long time, I wrote a cathartic letter. It will more than likely never see the light of day, but it felt good to describe my strawberries in such  minute detail. To spell out what I wanted from my strawberries; the firm flesh as it gives way to my teeth, the warm juice as it runs onto my lips and the sweet smell as I slowly chew to savour the flavour. A whole bowl of sweet strawberries, fresh from the feild in summer. To pause on the thought of the next bowl, the pleasure of picking them fresh with the warm summer sun on my back, the sound of the flies and bees as they buzz from flower to flower.  It felt good to describe it all. Whether it will help me sleep any better is yet to be seen, but I sure hope so!

    strawberry 08
    view original here

    Have you ever written a letter like this? Did you keep them, did you destroy them or did you send them? How did it work out if you sent them?

    Tuesday, 15 May 2012

    200 Tuesdays - Guilty Pleasures

    The blog prompt for GBE 2 this week at Word Nerd is 'Guilty Pleasures' and this got me to thinking. I know a very dangerous past time, thinking, ha! I could seriously injure myself!!

    When does a pleasure become guilty? Why do pleasures have to be guilty?

    So I enjoy chocolate from time to time, why should I feel guilty if I indulge myself every now and then?

    view original here

    Anyway, here are a couple of poems that kind of fit the description. Enjoy!

    Guilty Pleasure

    Every little thing reminds me of you
    The bright summer sun and the sky so blue
    Stormy grey clouds and the wind in the trees
    Flutterby butterflies and the random bees
    Songs on the radio or being caught in the rain
    All get me to wondering when I'll see you again
    My heart beat speeds and my gut's in a twist
    As I drift off dreaming of your wonderful kiss
    My hand in yours in search of treasure
    You are my one true guilty pleasure.

    And seeing as this is only 86 words here is another so that you don't feel short changed.

    My Drug

    Caffeine, nicotine, heroin, cocaine
    Compared to you they are mundane
    You are my drug my guilty habit
    What ever I do I must have it
    Hot and flustered you make me feel
    Like I'm the only star on your reel
    I wake and you are first on my mind
    As sleep takes me you're last left behind
    When you leave and don't say a word
    You break my heart, you wound my world
    Withdrawal hits hard, I am you whore
    But like a fool I solicit more.

    Ok, now I've shown you mine you show me yours!! Spill the beans, what are your guilty pleasures?

    Thursday, 10 May 2012

    Ranodm Thursdays - The return of homework!

    You all know I have a huge blog crush on a fantastic blog Kicking Corners, she had me at fairies. Any way I digress. This lovely lady is taking a break to concentrate on writing, wish I had the will power but I'm just too nosey! In the meantime she has set homework :-/ I was never a fan at school, college or university. But hey ho, this sounds like fun, and seems like a great way to spend my random Thursday!

    view original here

    Here goes: First read this article done, now I just have to get the other half to read it!!!

    Next, blog answering the name-thing let's see...

    'What's in a name?' Hmmm, my brain wants to say nothing. At the end of the day I would still be me if I wasn't called Alison. Strawberries would still be sweet and juicy if somebody had called them heart berries. However, let me tell you the story of my youngest's arrival.

    It was Christmas, Harriett (the oldest) decided it would be a good idea to ask Santa for a baby sister; boy does she regret that request now! Any how, we didn't think much of it at all. Until a few months later and the nursery staff questioned me one evening; did I have something to tell them? ermm, 'I don't think so, why?' They then produced a picture Harriett had drawn of mummy, daddy, harri and baby sister in mummy's tummy! 'Oh' was my reply, 'not that I know of.' Two weeks later we found out I was expecting! The usual conversations came over the next few months, girls and boys names were chosen. We even took Harriett to a 3D scan to see the imminent arrival on the telly, where it was confirmed a little lady was on the way. Grace Elizabeth it would be, until.....
    A couple of weeks before she was due to arrive I sat bolt upright, all of a sudden and blurted out:

    'This baby cannot be called Grace, she will not be full of grace.'

    Hormonal panic set in, what were we going to call this little bundle when she arrived? Various ideas were bounced around, some returning time and time again like a rubber ball, being rejected and returning in the next discussion as a consideration. Finally, inspiration struck, why didn't we just ask Harriett? She asked for this little bundle, she knew before we knew, so why not?

    'Ellie, I want to call her Ellie'

    And so Eleanor, shortened to Ellie, arrived to complete our family (late, as is the family tradition!).

    Call it mothers intuition but our little Ellie is no Grace, although she still holds on to it as her middle name. Our little lady has no fear and is often termed the 'honourary boy' of the family. The name 'Grace' conjours images of a sweet and innocent, well behaved little angel, rightly or wrongly! I am so glad that my subconscious kicked in to let me know we had made the wrong choice before she was born.

    So what's in a name? Years of history, association, prejudice and emotion. We just can't separate the two, no matter how hard we may want to. Sometimes our heart rules over our brain!

    Next, Alison, what's the meaning of my name? It has so many:
    'of noble birth', cool!
    'Honest', yup, to a fault!
    'Sweet', so some say, occasionally.
    'Son of all', well that one is a bit below the belt, comments like that could start a fight!
    Then we get to the 'variation of Alice', you don't say!
    This one I didn't know 'variation of Louise: battle famous', interesting...

    Finally, answer a few questions; are the multiple choice??

    1. What are you listening to right now? - My rock play list, it was appropriate to some proof reading I was doing for a friend!
    2. Do you like your handwriting? - Only when I take the time to write neatly.

    3. If you were another person, would you be friends with you? - I hope so, I always try to offer the traits I would like to see in a friend.
    4. What’s your favourite breakfast? - Porridge with chocolate chips in (mmm now I'm hungry)
    5. The first thing you notice about people is…  - I don't really know, sometimes hair style, mostly shoes.
    6. In what way are you irrational? - Almost everything at that time of the month!
    7. If you needed a kidney, who would be the first person willing to donate one to you? - My other half, and I for him.
    8. Where’s the farthest you’ve been from home? - California, as a child and I can't wait to go back!
    9. Scary movies or happy endings? - Happy endings, always.
    10. What makes you feel young? - My kids, when they are not making me feel really old.
    11. Do you believe everything happens for a reason? - I can't not believe that things happen for a reason, given how I met my husband (see yesterdays post).
    12. What’s something you aren’t? - Confident in my own abilities.
    13. If you had next Monday off from all responsibilities and expectations, what would you do? - Write!!
    14. Do you always smile for pictures? - No, I don't particularly like how it makes my face look.
    15. What would you be willing to literally fight for? - My children's well being and happiness (the joke in our family is that perspective boyfriends will have to get through me not Dad!)
    16. What is your all-time favourite joke? - Why did the feather cross the road? To get to the chicken! (courtesy of Harriett)
    17. Wonderland or Oz? - Wonderland (it has to be really given the meaning of my name!)
    18. What’s the story of your first kiss? - see yesterdays post.
    19. How do you explain déjà vu? - Things I have dreamed before they happen.
    20. What’s the coldest you’ve ever been? - No boiler in the middle of winter and having to wear gloves and bobble hats in bed!

    Wow, that is an awful lot of me! Are you all bored yet?? If you are interested in how others have done with their homework, head over to Kicking Corners and have a peek in the comments, follow the links of all the teachers pets who have already put their links there. And that is precisely where I am off. Laters xx

    Wednesday, 9 May 2012

    One Love First Love

    Over at Periphery Tangled Lou has been asking for us to blog about our first love, so I thought I would give you an extra little treat with a mid week post. I know I should be writing, or at the very least researching my work in progress, but I am easily distracted!

    I have posted a few times about love here or here and given that both mentioned my husband, who is also my first and only love, I guess they apply here too.

    Meeting my other half was not the happiest time of my life. I was 8, my father was ill and we had just moved to a bungalow because of his mobility issues, which also meant having to give our dog, Suzy, away. Another family moved into the house opposite us about a month after we moved onto the street.

    A family of six; Mother, Father, two boys and two girls. I had a new friend in the youngest child (eventually my sister in law) and quite frankly the boys were just annoying! As time went on, after my Fathers passing,  our mothers became friends and we started spending time at their house. It turns out that the oldest boy wasn't actually that bad! We spent time watching telly in his bedroom and generally hanging out.

    Eventually teenage years hit and one evening on a stolen moment, without parental units around, he kissed me. Time stood still, I had dreamed of this moment for what seemed like an eternity and now his lips were on mine. It was a nervous kiss and probably shorter than it felt, but I will always remember how he smelt, the arm of the sofa that I was perching on at the time and how my heart felt like it was about to leap out of my chest.

    Our relationship didn't get off the ground for some time. To cut a very long and involved story short he is 4 and a half years older than me, which at 14 and 19 seems like a huge gap. For me there was a couple of two week relationships thrown into the gaps created by our flings but eventually we took the plunge and made what we had public, never looking back.

    A full and beautiful sixteen years later I still remember standing in the kitchen waiting for him to get home from work just to catch a glimpse, heart pounding. I still remember the taste of that first kiss.

    Tuesday, 8 May 2012

    Mad Men and Cameras

    200 Tuesdays comes to you courtesy of a talented and inspiring friend of mine this week. You may have noticed I have finally uploaded a profile picture. After much searching I realised I hated every picture I have that has my face on it and I also couldn't find any other picture I thought was right.

    A.eye touched on the reason in this post, I just don't like being the centre of attention. I am very introverted and much prefer to be on the other side of the camera or computer screen.

    Ever one to face the things I don't like and always wanting to do things well, I smiled very sweetly and managed to get Lee, the friend I mentioned above and before on this blog, to take some decent shots of me for use on my blog and other things.

    We had a really great laugh, wandering round in the local park in the lovely spring sunshine, stopping every now and then to take a few photos. So, today I thought I would share the poem I wrote whilst trying to ignore the camera!!

    Mad Men and Cameras

    Look here, look there
    Growl just like a bear
    Eyes open, eyes closed
    You know you want to strike a pose
    Flash on, flash off
    Look down your nose like a toff
    Sit here, stand there
    Imagine that you just don't care
    Big lens, wide lens
    'This ok?' Well that depends
    Now smile, look up
    That's great, it's a wrap!

    What is it like for you being the centre of attention? Do you thrive there or are you more like me, introvereted and reserved? How do you cope when you are thrust into the lime light?

    Sunday, 6 May 2012

    Flutterby Butterfly

    Ok, so I get it now, Doh! 'Butterflies' relates to nice nerves, excited nerves, nerves for things you are looking forward to. The feeling you get in the run up to a big holiday or an exciting life change.

    Earlier in the week I had two interviews and I wanted these jobs A LOT! I have never really faced this situation before. Sure I have applied for jobs, been through interviews and wanted them to like me and for me to get the job. But they have never been jobs that I saw as having any career prospects or where I thought I could stay and work until I jog on to retirement. No they were all temporary and I knew that going into them, so it never really mattered if I got the job or not! This was different, which meant the nerves were different too. Great big somersaulting Dumbo's doing their best to make me feel ill at every possible moment.

    Now the interviews are over and apparently not as affected by the nerves as I thought they were. It appears that I impressed them. So soon, date to be confirmed, I will get to work around my most favouritest thing in the world, every day (and yes I did just revert to extremely childish language because that is how excited I am). I never for one  minute dreamed that my path would lead me to working in a library, but the road I am on at the moment is sign posted library, eta approx 1 month.

    I have dreamed of working with books for some considerable time now, always assuming that I would have to win the lottery to make this dream a reality. I placated myself with night time reading and occasional book browsing. For once I can see a dream of mine becoming reality, granted not in a way I ever thought it would.

    link to original here

    As I eagerly await the necessary administrative processes to be over and my start date to be finalised, I finally understand the difference between nerves and butterflies and the two are not interchangeable. The flutter and flitter of the imaginary critters continues in my gut as I anticipate the wonderful new adventure ahead of me.

    Thursday, 3 May 2012

    Random Thursdays - Butterflies

    I have small fixation with these beautiful insects. The process they go through to get their colourful wings, even for just a short time. Not so keen on the caterpillars though, especially when they munch on my cabbages!

    view original here

    However, these are not the butterflies that have been plaguing me this week. The common term for that nervous feeling in the pit of your stomach doesn't seem to quite cover the dumbo sized things flapping around in my gut! I spent sometime today wondering why we term nerves 'butterflies'; is it as simple as the fluttering feeling you get in your stomach. Or does it run deeper than this, is it linked to the anticipation that comes with nerves, the anticipation that comes from the transformation the caterpillar goes through to become a stunning piece of animated art, produced by nature?

    Either way I am not sure 'butterflies' is a great description for that nervous feeling that turns your own body into a traitor. Under it's influence your heart does stupid flips catching your breath in your chest, making you look like a gasping idiot. As the effects spread, your legs turn to jelly, your hands sweat, then start to shake, making it impossible to do anything. Finally it spreads to your mind and it begins to tell you that you are not as good as you think you are, sentences become difficult to form coherently, made ever worse by the speed with which you begin to talk. All in all a horrific process and the term 'butterflies' is too mild and too beautiful a word to be linked to it.

    Are you affected badly when nerves hit? Or do you deal with them easily? How do you deal with them and remain functioning through the fluttering?

    Tuesday, 1 May 2012

    200 Tuesdays - Nessie

    Week two of 200 Tuesdays and another little morsel of original writing for you to enjoy, hope you like it.

    Peace, static, peace, static. Damn Nessie wished she could hold her breath forever. Life is so much simpler beneath the surface, calm, like the world was on pause. With each coil and stretch, with each stroke she relaxed a little, her resolve steeling for what was to come.
    Nessie preferred the open water for swimming; lakes, rivers, oceans. Sometimes though the indoor pool just had to do, it was hard to find open water fit for swimming in the middle of the city. If she could just hold her breath, stay beneath the waves, she wouldn’t have to face what was coming.
    Just one more length!
    Sooner or later Nessie knew she would have to face her daemon, literally. If she was lucky she would be ready, it would be on her terms. If not who knew what her chances would be, the odds weren’t good. Her parents had trained her well, for this, the year she would come of age.
    Since the angels left every sixteen year old had to face ‘their’ daemon before they hit adulthood. Her parents were lucky, their daemons were lower level, her sister was not so lucky and she was nowhere near prepared enough. Nessie would not make that mistake.
    She had memorised all that the ancients had written about the creatures of the underworld, categorised by method of kill. She was physically at her peak and the best of her peers at hand to hand combat in all its forms. Only one person, her best friend, out ranked her in sword play but he helped her train so she wasn’t far off the mark.
    There were rumours that the underworld was not going to make it easy this season. Rumours that something darker than ever was coming. Nessie had a feeling it would be coming for her.
    Just one more length!

    view original here
    Magic Moment
    Today I glimpsed behind the magicians curtain. I saw the magic and I want in!! *sorry if that is a little cryptic, I promise I will clarify soon*