Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Downhill Racer.

The hotel in Val d'Isere was really the last word in opulence. He had originally wanted us to stay in a little chalet but my pained expression told him that it would be the final straw. If I had to endure the snow I wanted to do it in luxury !! A skiing holiday had been his choice and, as usual, he had got his own way, even though he knew that I didn't feel confident on skis, in fact I hated the whole idea. We had had a turbulent few months and I wanted to break off our engagement as soon as I realised he was just a selfish pig. But he had persuaded me to come on this trip, it would restore my faith..... or so he said ! So that's how we came to be in this expensive playground,
             " Learn to ski, babe " he had urged, "then we can ski together, it will be fun !"
And so I spent every morning on the  nursery slopes, making abortive attempts to stay upright while little kids whizzed by, skiing like veterans and he raced down the  'black ' runs like Franz flipping Klammer ! And every afternoon I was left to my own devices, to sink or swim, so to speak, to make my own amusement while he was skiing the pistes , high on the mountains. Some holiday, the self-centred oaf.

We had been there for almost two weeks when he decided he needed a few advanced lessons ..... heaven knows why ! And so, next morning, he joined the small group of  poseurs queuing to pay for some exclusive lessons from an ex-Olympic Champion, who would teach them the finer points of the grande slalom.
I knew it wouldn't be long before he began to adulate the ex - Champion and I didn't intend to hang around to watch. I called out and waved, but he was already chatting ostentatiously with the instructor, who had started to tick off the names of the participating couples on his clipboard. I guessed I had become invisible, out of sight out of mind, a situation that had become more and more common as the days passed.
Lunchtime came and it wasn't until I had finished my meal and was just popping a sugar cube into my coffee, that he came strolling over and gave me a kiss on the cheek. I swear he had just remembered me ! Apparently his group were going to practice what they had been taught on some  Double Black-Diamond run and wouldn't be back for hours.

So off I went , donning my 'sunnies' and strolling in the bright sunshine, watching laughing children sledging down snowy slopes on their tummies and ending in a giggling tangle at the foot of the hill. Then I wandered back to the luxury of the hotel, following the same routine I had for the last fortnight.
I had to smile to myself when , some hours later, they carried him down the mountain on a stretcher. I was told that he had skied too close to some trees and got knocked off balance by some protruding bough, tumbled and fallen and crashed into some snow covered rocks , breaking an arm and both legs.  He was Medi-Vac'd back to the UK the next day, but I stayed on in Val d'Isere, in the  Penthouse  Suite. The suite that belonged to the owner of the hotel, the charming man I had been meeting every afternoon for the last fourteen days !

Yes, dear reader, you guessed didn't you ?  It's another story courtesy of Matt's word game and the words

            Tummies, Bough, Abortive, Tick, Adulate, Tangle, Pained, Sunnies, Sugar, Couples

Farewell January.

                                   " January brings the snow, makes our feet and fingers glow"
So goes the old rhyme, anyway ! However, here on the  Eastern slopes of the  Pennines we have had no snow to speak of .... well just a few fleeting flurries, a few dustings of icing sugar....... nothing that you would expect from a  normal  January.

 Normal  January !! Is there such a thing ?  What would that be for you ?  Has the first month of the  New Year lived up to your expectations, your hopes and your dreams ? Did you make any resolutions or plans and , if so, are they being fulfilled ? How has  January treated you ?

I am not a great planner, I have quite a spontaneous personality and this has always made my life interesting ... if a little precarious !!  Oh, of course, I think through all the important decisions and business matters, but my personal life has always had more than its fair share of spontaneity and  joie de vivre , my heart often rules my head.  But this year I had planned and dreamed ! This year was going to be my year, the year I threw caution to the winds, thought  " To hell with everyone else ", and followed a carefully planned, brand new course !

Oh, how foolish was I, dear reader ? I am an incurable optimist , but right from the start January has conspired against me. This   New Year that promised so much has started so badly.  My daughter and her husband are planning a divorce, which means my apartment in her house will no longer exist once the marital home is sold. Already I am contemplating yet another move and all the disruption it brings; the packing, the chaos and all the difficult decisions which will have to be made.  Throughout January , illness has plagued the family and many of my friends and I worry about my husband's health, which seems to deteriorate by the day. Just last week I learned of the death of  a dear  Twitter friend, in what, I have discovered, was sad and distressing circumstances which I find  prey on my mind in the wee small hours. And then, of course, January 28th was my dear, departed sister Gillians's birthday and a year and 3 months since I lost her and this January, more than ever, I miss her and could use her support and wisdom right now. I'd love to hear her voice, telling me everything will be OK and then we would share a joke or some silly piece of gossipy nonsense and everything would  be  OK !

I realise, in the great scheme of things, my troubles do not amount to  'a hill of beans' ( to quote 'Casablanca' ) I know how many of you struggle with overwhelming difficulties every day and I am sorry about stressing over such trivia, please forgive me. But sometimes we all need to vent, to let out our feelings, that are so harmful when bottled up.  As we used to say about an  Aunt of mine, " It's being so miserable that makes her happy !"  Well, as you know, I am usually a cheerful person, my glass is always  'half full'. For every  down there has to , surely , be an up and , yes, I am fortunate in many ways. Although  January may not have been the wonderful start I had hoped for, I am blessed with a loving family and dear friends and also two particularly lovely people who are my beloved soul mates and  special support system, Lucy and Matt. As I said, I am an incurable optimist and believe that ,when you hit the bottom, the only way is up.

I intend to keep my promise to myself. This will  be my year but maybe not quite as I had planned. And so I am doing what I should have done in the first place; I'm throwing away the plan and trusting to fate, to spontaneity and grasping chances when I can and the downs I am experiencing at the moment will make the highs that much more appreciated.

And so, dear reader, I hope your January has  brought you all you hoped . That things are on course to make 2012  your year too.  But if not, remember what Oscar Wilde said,

                               " We may be lying in the gutter, but we are looking at the stars "

So we go forward into February and all it may have in store. Bring it on ............. !!

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Who's Going to Drive Me Home ?

It was bitterly cold on the street corner and I wished I had worn my long black leather boots, they would have been so much cosier and would have spared my blushes far more than these flimsy black stockings and high heels. I walked up and down the pavement and craned my neck to see if the car was still there, sooner or later I would have to approach it, unless someone else came along. Some youths were standing around a glowing brazier, warming their hands and watching me with amused expressions. They leered as I smoothed my tight skirt over my hips and a drunk, sprawled on the nearby  church steps, called out some lewd comment. Hmmm, despite the presence of the dilapidated old church, this was not the holiest of places, but that was the attraction, the reason I was here. The whole area had a sort of wild lawlessness about it. I have always been a pouter, a bit of a  'puller' and usually it was easy to find a  'customer', but tonight it was so cold that most people must be at home, damping down their fires and preparing for bed .
An empty beer can rolled down the gutter and I peered across the street to the parked car, half an hour had passed and it was still there. I knew what the driver was looking for, there was only one reason people cruised this area, parking up until they found a girl, but he hadn't noticed me !  I adjusted my skirt and checked the seams in my stockings and began to walk towards the car.  The dark, tinted windows gave it a menacing air and I was on the point of turning away, but I needed to earn some money, this was why I was here. I walked to the drivers door and tapped on the window and as it slowly opened I handed the startled man a parking ticket !

Ah, dear reader, once again you have been reading a piece of fiction, this weeks entry for the  Countdown word game. This week the words to be included are;
            blushes, gutter, cosier, damping, sooner, puller, amused, craned, pouter, point,holiest
If you would like to try, please do, the more the merrier ! The words and rules of the game can be found on Matts blog page at miblodelcarpio.blog.co.uk/   .

A Death in the Family.

Yesterday I was shocked and saddened to hear of the sudden passing of one of my dearest, much loved  Twitter friends, the marvellous  @MildewPea.
Milly was one of the first people I followed when I joined the  Social Network and I have no idea how we found each other, out there in the ether, but she welcomed me into her  'family' with kindness and good humour and she, in turn, became one of my treasured  'Twitter family'  members.  Yes, Twitter friends can and do become like family. We all share so much and enter each others lives in a way that only fellow tweeters can comprehend. They are our friends and often our trusted  'confidantes' and we deeply mourn their loss.
Milly lived in the USA but she loved all things British and  she enjoyed our TV programmes, our culture and , especially, our tea drinking habits. She dispensed Tea , sympathy, amusing stories and the occasional ribald comment from her  'tea trolley' Maud and was always willing to listen to worries and troubles and offer her own uniquely worded advice. Milly loved words !
She had become a  Grandmother for the first time last year - both her son and his wife and her daughter and husband presenting her with delightful grand-children- and she was looking forward to watching them grow up , her excitement knew no bounds as we shared photos of our respective families. I am sure she was a much loved  Oma , as she liked to be known ! My heart goes out to  'Mr Pea' and the rest of her family,  I can only imagine how they feel.
She was taken from us in a tragic accident, I'm afraid I don't know any details and maybe that is a blessing. All I do know is that my heart has a piece missing and my timeline is so much duller without her.

R.I.P. darling  Milly, the  world has lost a beautiful person , but I like to think of you now, in  Eternity, pushing your tea trolley and saying  " Good gracious !"

Saturday, 21 January 2012

The Camera Never Lies ?

I hate being photographed ! I would rather walk bare-footed over hot coals or abseil down the  North face of the  Eiger!  I have a phobia about it and here is why.

My father was always a keen photographer and my early life is well documented, photographically. Myself and my siblings became used to being made to stand still for ages, with silly smiles on our faces. To having our games of rounders or cricket interrupted while yet another 'impromptu ' snap was taken.  Of balancing precariously on our new bicycle or roller skates. Every event,  from our first steps to our last day at school, was pictorially recorded and pasted in an album.
For a time Dad  had his own photographic business, taking pictures of dribbling babies, gurning graduates and blushing brides, but I gained little respite.  He belonged to a  Club of like minded men and women, who talked about  'F' stops and  'field of vision' and the merits of a variety of film and developers, of enlargers and tripods and  Hasselblads. As I was fashionable, slim and not unattractive, I was often  'press-ganged'  into modelling at this  Camera  Club and many photos exist of me in some  'glamourous ' pose or another, trying desperately to keep the boredom off my face and failing miserably.  I hated every minute and eventually developed  (no pun intended) an almost paranoid aversion to being photographed. This has continued on into my  adult life until an up to date photo of me barely exists.  If I was to lose my memory and forget where I lived, goodness knows what picture my poor family would have to put on the  'missing person' poster !!
My father and his friends, naturally, did their own developing and printing, as this was long before the digital age and the resulting photographs were a pretty accurate depiction of the subject, warts and all, so to speak.  Unlike today's  digital images, where the picture is so  'photo-shopped'  that the result is barely recognisable from the original.
And maybe that's another reason why I hate being photographed . I always think I look ghastly in photographs , a frozen smile , an awkward pose and quite unlike the face I see in the mirror. Every freckle and tiny wrinkle appears to be enlarged in the harsh flash and compares unfavourably with the heavily airbrushed smiles that gaze serenely from every magazine and advertising poster. Our expectations are so much higher now, I can't remember when I last saw a 'natural' face on TV. We are drip-fed a never ending stream of  'perfect' , surgically enhanced, nubile bodies, of impossibly  line-free, botox filled faces, of hair extensions and lipo_suctioned thighs and , subconsciously , I suppose that is how I judge myself .  I know that all these images are fake but these images are what people now expect .  I would need a gauze filter and lighting and photography by  Cecil Beaton before I was ready for  my close-up,  Mr De Mille !!
I am told that I still look good and , for my age ,there is barely a wrinkle. Now I just need to convince myself. That may take some time.

A rare, up to date picture of  'yours truly' can be found on my twitter profile @tearose68 , it may frighten small children !!

Thursday, 19 January 2012

Liebster Blog Award No. 2

I am incredibly flattered to have been awarded a second Liebster award , this time by the marvellous  Tabitca whose blog can be found on http://tabitca-craftandstuff.blogspot.com . Tabitca is one of those inspirational people that makes me feel very humble and very ashamed when I complain about my trivial problems. She copes every day with a debilitating illness and is in pain on a daily basis . Yet, she finds the strength to write novels, craft, care for her cats and entertain us with her blog and her delightful tweets on  Twitter ( @tabitca )
At first I thought that it would hardly be fair to receive this award for a second time, but I was so thrilled that Tabitca thought of me and I decided it would be a perfect opportunity to highlight some of the marvellous blogs that I had to miss out of my list the last time .

As you know, the purpose of the Liebster Blog Award is to spread the love from one small blog to another.  To make people aware of some outstanding blogs that they may have missed .
So, in keeping with the  Liebster tradition I am going to pass on this award to blogs that I enjoy. Blogs that I have found to be interesting, inspiring and entertaining. I hope that , if you don't already, you will check them out and follow them.

To accept the award you must,

1) Link back to the person who gave it and thank them for thinking of you.

2)Post the award to your blog.

3)Give the award to 5 bloggers (with less than 200 followers) that you appreciate and value.

4)Leave a comment on the blogs of the five people you have chosen, to let them know.

So, without further ado , here are the blogs I have chosen ;

Catherine at Catherine's thoughts . I love this lady's blog . She writes honestly and often amusingly of everyday life. Of her family's ups and downs, hopes and dreams. She leaves her heart on every page and I find her writing to sometimes be almost painful in it's honesty. A lovely, lovely blog.

Richard at The At-Homium . A very interesting and thought provoking blog from an erudite, well-informed and talented writer.

Helen at A day in the life of Mrshmc A lovely blog by an inspirational lady. Another person who copes bravely with illness and remains cheerful and positive .

So, there they are , three worthy recipients. I do hope you will all check out their blogs and come to love them as much as I do.

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

No Pain, No Gain.

As some of you may know, I am making a concerted effort to stay fit. Age is no excuse for letting things slide and so, just recently, along with my daily running, I have decided to try cycling again. Something I haven't done for a couple of years.
Well, I live in a particularly hilly area of the country, on the slopes of the  Pennines, to be exact, which does tend to make cycling difficult; well, going uphill anyway ! So, a couple of weeks ago, I decided to fling my bike into the back of my car and drive over to the East Riding, find a nice flat stretch of open road , park up and cycle around for a while.
This proved to be far more difficult than I thought and I soon wished I had never had this  'wonderful' idea. Although there are many,  many stretches of flat road all over that part of Yorkshire, most of them are very busy and the area  I chose seemed to suddenly attract hoards of  lorries, hurtling up and down the carriageway, splashing me with water from muddy puddles and passing far too close , even though the road was very wide. In fact, a few times I had to call out and gesticulate wildly , but they still whizzed past, dangerously near and each time I wobbled precariously until, all of a sudden, I found myself hurtling through the air and landing in a soggy ditch with my bike flying over my head and landing beside me with a crash !
There I lay, soaking wet and slightly dazed, rubbing my shins and wondering if I had the strength to remount my bike, let alone cycle all the way back to my vehicle, when a large car pulled up and a smartly dressed gentleman got out and peered down at me. He smiled and enquired  if  I was all right, then , calling out to another gentleman who was dressed in a rather natty pale blue uniform and peaked cap for assistance, he proceeded to haul me out of the boggy beck. I was totally exhausted and have never felt punier and more vulnerable and  afraid , so I tried to sound bossier than I felt and refused help. However, they ignored  my silly protestations and soon I was reclining in the warmth and comfort of  soft leather seats and  a cosy  cashmere travel blanket. Well the owner of the car was handsome and most charming and I was so grateful to be rescued from my plight and limousines  have such a lot of wonderful facilities with which to avail  oneself !!
Needless to say, my clothes were far too wet and muddy to be allowed to sully such expensive upholstery and the gentleman's chauffeur was very discreet and kept his eyes on the road as I disrobed and wrapped myself in the blanket. As for the owner of the car, well he was a perfect gentleman,  but it was a long drive home !
Much later, he said that I certainly didn't need to be cycling  on such dangerous roads and something should be done to ensure my future safety while exercising.
So, I write this from the comfort of a gym , on his yacht, which is moored just off  Bermuda and he smiles at me as he dilutes my glass of  Bombay  Sapphire with a splash of tonic and watches me as I take a sip and cycle , very slowly , on an exercise bike.

Yes, dear reader, you have been led up the garden path again. This is my entry for this weeks word game as invented by the incredibly talented Matt Mascarenhas.  This week the story had to include the following words :


Matt's blogpage can be found at http://miblodelcarpio.blog.co.uk/  where you will find the words and rules and all manner of interesting articles . Why don't you give it a go, it's great fun .

Sunday, 15 January 2012

For Everything There Is A Season.

Sometimes some things have, I think, a natural course to run; a season, a limited life that plays out, fades and then dies. I have been thinking about this a lot today as two events have resonated in my mind.

First, a dear, darling friend of mine has had a  'falling out' with a member of her family and amongst all the sniping and vitriolic texts came the accusation that really hurt. My friend was accused of having  'fads' , of picking people up and dropping them just as swiftly, of having a  'favourite ' for a while and then tiring of them. Of starting some new craze and then becoming disinterested and moving on. Well, I have often been accused of the latter and, once or twice, the former .
The second event was finding that a cherished twitter pal had decided to leave  Twitter. She sent her  'goodbye' and that was that ! I have no idea why, that is her decision and I would not presume to pry. However, it all got me thinking about the transient nature of many things in my life, my butterfly mind and equally fleeting interest in my various hobbies and activities.

Let's look at the second event first: the  Twitter  'goodbye'.  Although I still enjoy interacting with my  Twitter family - for that is how I think of the wonderful people I have found on that  social website - I can understand my  Twitter pal's decision. Occasionally I have felt like pressing the  'Delete' button, after a particularly nasty  DM from some mad person I have inadvertently followed , someone who gets some sort of sick thrill from deliberately upsetting people and using abusive language.  But the  'Block' button and the wonderful support from my  true  Twitter pals has always pulled me back from the brink. However, I do find that, the more followers I have accumulated, the harder it is to keep in touch with everyone ! But I know that my favourite  Twit chums are always there and , when we manage to catch up its always as though I have never been away.Twitter is also a great time waster and I often find I'm so engrossed in a discussion that an hour has passed and I have heaps of work still to do and things do tend to get neglected.   Maybe I will eventually tire of  Twitter, but at the moment it seems highly unlikely !! Twitter seems to still be in season.

So, we come to the first event ; the  sudden mad crazes and equally swift loss of interest ! Well, I am certainly guilty of that behavior ! I have always approached a new hobby with great enthusiasm and thrown myself into it, body and soul.  Paper-crafting is one such hobby. I have a huge  'walk in' cupboard full of crafting supplies that I acquired at an alarmingly rapid rate . I had to have  everything  immediately !!  And now, there it sits......admittedly many years, many completed scrapbooks and hundreds of cards later..... looking at me accusingly because I have temporarily ( I hope ) lost interest. This also applies to my painting ..... my little shed-studio sits forlorn and abandoned...... my tapestry and needlepointe, my knitting and crocheting, in fact dozens of fads and fancies.
However, in my defence, I do find that, although a hobby may lie dormant for months or even years, I do go back to it. Revisit it and once again immerse myself in it and discover new inspiration and enthusiasm and many unfinished projects are , eventually, completed .
Is this some flaw in my character, something in my personality, an unwillingness to  'see things through' ?  Or do I simply have an enquiring mind and a willingness to try new experiences ? I don't know, I could not possibly analyse myself with any accuracy. Do any of you know the answer, are any of you the same ? Does everything have a season ?

I would like to think, however , that I have never done that with people. Never picked them up and then discarded them, but , of course, we all have .  Maybe not intentionally, but just because we have moved on.  School friends often drift apart, we all take different paths and some of those paths lead to the other side of the world and we vow to keep in touch and sometimes we do. But more often than not , new people come into our lives and the old school chums suddenly seem too childish or just too far away.  A lost address, a misplaced telephone number, a divorce or sudden change of circumstances all contribute.
 Then there are the failed love affairs, the casual careless way we treat each other when we are young and foolish. The cruel things we say in the heat of the moment when the once beloved becomes the most hated....or the most unattainable. Things so swiftly said that a lifetime will never mend.
We change jobs and work colleagues forget us and we forget them.  We move house and friendly neighbours are lost.We always promise that it will never happen but people come and go like shadows and precious few stay forever. Some are  remembered with affection,  talked about nostalgically , the  "Oh do you remember that day when Ron, was that his name , and Marie did such and such ?"   and , of course, the  " Hmm, I wonder what old Fred is doing nowadays "  Oh yes, we all let people go . It seems there is a season for people too.

And then there are the constants, the ones who never leave ! Family members, of course, are always there. Even though, sometimes, the relationship is strained and you never see or speak to each other. Family are tied together with heart strings and, love them or loath them, they are a part of you.
But, best of all are the  true  friends.  The ones who do not have a  'Use by' date. The people with whom you feel at home , that share and understand your thoughts before you've even thought of them. That never judge or criticize but will tell you, honestly and with affection , that you are being foolhardy and terribly stupid and then support and love you anyway ! Friends you may never see for months, but when you meet its as though you were never apart. Friends to whom you can turn , in the middle of the night or when they are in the middle of some important task, who will still find time to listen and reassure. In my life I have many, many acquaintances , but I count my true friends on the fingers of one hand. They are the ones I will never lose, they are not just passing fads or some new craze. They are  always  in season and I carry them in my heart.

Wednesday, 11 January 2012

It's Not Unusual .

A few years ago, back in the dark ages , my  Mother and I decided to take a trip together. To just go where ever we fancied for a couple of weeks and recharge our batteries without the usual everyday duties and family ties. We rejected the idea of cruises or beach holidays and decided to go to the land of my  Mother's birth ..........Wales  !! I had never seen much of that glorious country, bar glimpes from car windows on occasional trips to visit an aged  Aunt and it had been many years since my  Mother had been back to her homeland and so, for two weeks, we toured the hills and valleys, taking in the sights and reaping the benefits of the wonderful  Welsh hospitality. We toured the whole country from border to coast , from  Wrexham in the  North to  Swansea in the  South and loved every minute and every mile.
My  Mother was born in  Cardiff, in  Llandaff  to be precise, and I think she sometimes models herself on  Shirley Bassey , in the singing department ! So, when we saw a poster advertising a  Talent  Contest in a  Miners  Club in that fair city, my  Mother could barely contain her excitement and went into a sort of trance, dreaming of fame and fortune.
We went back to our  Hotel and bathed and then styled our hair, applied our makeup and , dressed in our most glamourous outfits, we set off into the night.
The  Club was hardly the swanky venue we had expected. In fact it was a rather scruffy, smoke filled room with beer stained tables and a rough, foul-mouthed, clientele, drinking pints and heckling a poor girl who was up on the stage doing her best to warble a song and failing miserably.
But my  Mother is an indomitable woman and so, like a ship in full sail, she elbowed her way to the bar.  Once there a leering barman, who obviously fancied himself as some sort of super cocktail maker, shimmied his way over and smarmily handed her two  Blue  Lagoons. After her fortifying refreshment  Mother dear stepped onto the stage and was in the middle of treating us to a rather restrained rendition of   ' Kiss me, Honey, Honey, kiss me '  when the entrance door swung open and in from the rainswept street strode a huge figure of a man. I suppose he was attractive in a rough, obvious way and had a certain animal magnetism as women were flinging themselves at him, kissing his smooth shaved chin, screaming in excitement and hanging onto his muscled arms. Even the men were shaking his hand and offering him drinks.
I watched coolly from the bar as he glanced at me and then at the flamboyant figure of my  Mother, still doing her rather stilted performance. In a couple of leaps he was up on stage with her and, moving his body in the randiest, most suggestive of ways, he joined in.  Well,  Mother positively glowed and really loosened up, in fact I had to avert my eyes a couple of times as the pair of them launched into a raunchy performance of a medley of songs that had the audience whooping and cheering wildly ! I think I even saw some  panties  being thrown onto the stage  and women were swooning and men were clapping and my  Mother and her partner were really giving it their all !
Needless to say, they won the  Contest by a huge margin and the large silver cup was generously given to my  Mother by her talented singing partner. We enjoyed a couple of celebratory drinks with the  Welshman, who introduced himself as  Tom and then he had to leave as he apparently had a  'gig' in another town the very next day.
We often wondered what became of him.

Well dear readers, I'm afraid I have been pulling the wool over your eyes and you have once again been reading an entry for the Countdown Word Game, this week using the words;

Cruises,  Shaved,   Maker,  Treating,  Models,  Miners,  Trance,  Night,  Reaping,  Toured,  Randiest.

This game was invented by my dear friend  Matt  Mascarenhas and the rules and words can be found on his blogpage at http://miblodelcarpio.blog.co.uk/   do please join in, the more the merrier !

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

Perhaps It's For The Best

I have had to think about posting this blog because it involves members of my family, who may not want their private lives splashed all over Blogger. However, none of you know them personally, they are just characters who occasionally feature in my ramblings: faceless and nameless (in the main) and so they shall remain. But nevertheless, I shall share my feelings and worries about recent events, as they are currently at the forefront of my thoughts

My daughter has been married for 13yrs and yesterday morning her husband left the house, suitcases in the back of his car, to begin, what I am told is, a trial separation . This is all with a view to making it more permanent , yes, we are talking  divorce.

Their marriage has always been quite volatile, rather like one of those fairground rides that I never dare try, exciting and scarey with more than a hint of impending doom. They have had heated arguments which have always culminated in months of blissful happiness and fun , as  though they needed to clear the air a little before they could move on. But just recently the shouting and screaming and crying has become almost continuous and , as I live in a self-contained 'granny flat ' on the lower floor of their 3 storey house , I hear more or less everything. There are no  'other parties'  involved, it is purely a clash of personalities, differences of opinion about every little thing until it has become a huge gulf between them.  I have watched my daughter become withdrawn and depressed and thin to the point of emaciation and the house has such a tense atmosphere you could cut it with the proverbial knife.

And so, dear readers, I have such mixed feelings about the break up. There are two children involved in all this mess, two kids who dearly love their parents and are heart-broken at the turn of events .My grand daughter cried herself to sleep last night.  But is it for the best ? Perhaps it is. Just lately all they have seen and heard has been their beloved parents at each others throats, hearing their parents yelling terrible things that neither of them really mean , seeing  their father sleeping on the sofa yet again. They have become unwilling pawns in this dreadful situation and are also the unhappy recipients of bad tempered rants, being told off for the slightest thing because their parents are so stressed.  I am not taking sides, I am very fond of my son-in-law and he has always provided for his family to the best of his ability and has a very strong work ethic.  I am well aware that my daughter can be difficult, I could have cheerfully strangled her during her teenage years ! But she is my daughter and I love her.

If they divorce it will mean the house has to be sold, which in turn will mean I have to move at a time when I thought I was settled. It will mean upheaval for the children, maybe different schools and new friends and there will be all the unpleasantness of the divorce and all the heartache that accompanies such a step. But won't it really be worth it  ?  In the long run, won't the children be happier in a home that no longer resembles a war zone , where hard hats no longer need to be worn ? lol

 And so we all face an uncertain future as we begin 2012. Perhaps this trial separation will help and they will manage to work out their differences, maybe they can find a way back from here, who knows ? All I do know is that I am keeping out of it and only offering advice when asked . However, I must admit that last night and today it has been wonderfully calm and a feeling of peace has enveloped the house , so perhaps it is for the best...................... we shall see.

Sunday, 8 January 2012

Liebster Blog Award

I am amazed and delighted to have been awarded the  Liebster  Blog  Award  by Helen at CarryonCrafting  ( http://carryoncrafting.blogspot. )


The purpose of the Liebster Blog Award is to spread the love from one small blog ( those with under 200 followers ) to other small blogs . This helps to spread awareness and readership.

Liebster ,in German, means  'dearest' and so, in keeping with the Liebster Award  tradition I am going to pass on this award to 5 blogs that I enjoy. Blogs that have inspired me and made me think about the lives of others. Blogs that have entertained me and, I feel, will be of interest to all of you.

To accept the award you must,

1) Link back to the person who gave it and thank them for thinking of you.

2) Post the award to your blog.

3) Give the award to 5 bloggers  ( with less than 200 followers ) that you appreciate and value.

4) Leave a comment on the blogs of the five people you have chosen, to let them know.

So, before I tell you which blogs I have chosen, I would like to thank Helen for her Kindness in giving me this award, I am overwhelmed !
You can find the lovely, talented Helen on http://carryoncrafting.blogspot.com   and also follow her on Twitter , she is @ACraftyHelen .

And here are the five blogs that I have chosen for the award . It was very difficult as there are so many wonderful blogs and I am sorry that I couldn't give you all an award , but each of these is fabulous for many different reasons.

Jackie on Thinking out Loud   This lovely lady is an inspiration as she copes with a debilitating illness on a daily basis and makes me feel very humble. Her honest and amusing blogs always bring my small problems into perspective and I admire her very much.

John on Music and Waffles John is a very talented, aspiring musician who is rapidly gaining a following. His blog is always interesting, amusing and informative. He gives me an insight into the world of the  'struggling' musician and takes me on a musical journey of  'gigs' and recording studios. He also, selflessly shares his thoughts and feelings and makes me feel like 'one of the family'.

Pam on Crazy days  I love Pam's blogs. She is a lovely, caring lady, who has lived life to the full and it comes across in her marvellous stories. She also writes enthusiastically about vegetarianism and shares the most wonderful and inspiring recipes. I hope she will write a cookbook one day soon, in her own inimitable style !

Matt on The Life and Times of Miblo del Carpio  Matt is one of the people responsible for my foray into the world of blogging and is a constant inspiration and critic. His blog is wonderful in it's diversity. He creates word games and amazing  'freewrites' and generally uses the English language in a way that leaves me in awe. And as if that wasn't enough , he writes the most beautiful poetry.

Lucy on Blogs about Dogs ( among other things ) Now I know Lucy will be cross with me for mentioning her , but I really love her blog posts and I want to give her a little more self-confidence, make her believe in her own ability. She does not post a blog often enough, but when she does it is always so well researched and informative . I have learned so much from your Landrover blog , Lucy ! And her word game entries are always hilarious. Stop hiding your light, honey !  

So, there you have it, my  'famous five' , although I could so easily have made it   'terrific ten' !! Maybe another time .                                                            

Friday, 6 January 2012

Reasons To Be Cheerful ; January 2012

Well here we are at the start of a brand New Year and I wish you all a very happy and peaceful 2012, full of all your heart desires.
It's hard to believe that I only started blogging last year on August 18th, after being bullied and cajoled by my wonderful best friend Lucy Greenfield, who, in turn, was aided and abetted by the equally wonderful Matt Mascarenhas. And so I began, tentatively and very nervously, without any idea of what to do, what on earth to write about and, indeed, wondering if anyone would even read my scribbles. I just began to write about whatever came into my head and suddenly my blog took on a life of its own. I had no idea what I was doing , but I just kept on writing and you marvellous people kept on reading it !
And now 5 short months have passed............ 5 months that seem to have flown by and I am still here, scribbling away, sharing my life with you in my silly tales of naughty dogs and dog shows and grooming salons. My nostalgic memories of childhood and my lovely family. Writing fantasy tales for the Word Game entries. Helping to raise funds for abandoned dogs with emotional blackmail.  Telling you my random thoughts and hopes and fears and generally just writing rubbish in my  'freewrites'.  My blog is just a jumble of eclectic tales, which pretty much sums up my personality. But the most wonderful  thing is .........................................

You are still here too !!!! Yes , that is what amazes me ! You still read my blog and take the time to comment, either here or on  Twitter . You encourage me and indulge me and make me feel that, just maybe, I am actually making a reasonable job of this  Blogging lark.  Many of you write the most marvellous blogs , which I enjoy enormously and I have come to love this wonderful, friendly  'blogosphere'.

And so, dear readers, my main reason to be cheerful today is  YOU ! Yes, you, my marvellous , generous, lovely, supportive readers.
I thank you ; all of you , from the bottom of my heart and I hope to continue to amuse you throughout 2012.

Other things that have made me glad recently are;

                                                            Christmas gifts .
                                                            Shelley poems
                                                            Brie and Carr's Water Biscuits,
                                                            Looking forward to the New Year.


I hope you will all write your own reasons to be cheerful . We all have something to be glad about, however small and insignificant it is. I wish you all joy and happiness and I am sure that each and everyone of you is someone else's reason to be glad.

I would like to invite you all to visit the blogs of the two people responsible for my appearance on Blogger ,
You will find Lucy at http://lucymargaretjane.blogspot.com
Matt can be found at http://miblodelcarpio.blog.co.uk