Monday, 21 July 2014

DON'T DO IT

Don't do it!!. In love, thinking of having a baby, think you and them will last forever.
 Don't do it!
 Because that cute, tiny, helpless little smiler, will soon have tantrums, run you ragged, make you fat, make you crave solo live and break your heart. 
Don't do it!
You can nurture them all you like and for the majority of the time they will be your pride and joy, your trophies to life, your reason for living, loving and breathing.
But, then they'll move into their twenties and thirties, leave home, leave you and hate you.
Don't do it!
They will blame you for everything, for your mistakes, for your bad relationships. You were meant to know way in advance that the person you loved, your soul mate would turn into your worst enemy overnight - they'll blame you for that. For the way they are now, how they think, how they live- that's your fault.
Don't do it!
You should now stop your life and be at their beck and call always. That little bundle of joy will eventually avoid you, wont talk to you, will make you feel worthless.
Don't do it!
They will make you feel guilty, take you from positive to negative in a single breath, make you doubt why you ever had them.
Don't do it!
All the blood, sweat, copious tears of joy and sadness, laughter, sleepless nights, unconditional love will vanish in a heartbeat, as they hurt you and break you.

Don't do it!

Monday, 14 July 2014

ME MYSELF & I IN THE GREY WAITING ROOM


So you remember being 17 - you'd left school for the freedom of the "adult world", excited that you would no longer be under the restraint of authority. Only to find when you got there, you were still to young to "officially" drink, smoke and have "adult" fun.

You were in the "grey waiting room" waiting to be 18 or 21 with the key to the door of life.  Well guess what, when you get to 50+ if you're still single, widowed or divorced you will find yourself back in the "grey waiting room.!!

At 50 you have reached the top of the adult mountain, most stuff from now on is downhill. You'll be to old to go clubbing, you'll feel to old to be seen anywhere with young trendy people- whom you saw as young tikes in the playground.. Instead you'll prefer to be home by 10pm back in the silent security box called home.

It will be assumed that you have retired on a lovely fat pension which will also be assumed that you spend on exotic holidays either for just you on your lonesome or for you as a rekindled loving couple.

If you don't fit those moulds then you will be relegated to isolation, silence and unaffordable luxuries like holidays and socialising. Socialising will become an alien concept because even though "you're over the hill" you will lack the same lack of confidence and self esteem that you lacked at 17. The old grey waiting room rears its head again.

Of course once you have reached the retirement age of 60+ and become a Golden Oldie a whole new world opens up. Free stuff by the bucket load, discounted lunch clubs, travel, holidays, tv, prescriptions.

In the grey waiting room you begin to rethink things, rethink life, become slovenly when once you were organised and clean, walking around naked has a different concept now- things have gone south in the body world or spread beyond recognition.  Its no longer seen as sexy more like "really....pass the iron"!!!  But you don't care.
When once you craved hustle and bustle and enjoyed it, now you endure silence and isolation.  In the grey waiting room even silence becomes to silent. You talk out loud to me, myself and l.

You do of course gain freedom, to eat, watch and do what ever you want when ever you want. You are free to be free in your grey waiting room. Unless you have grown up adult children- a contradiction in terms.

Whilst you are technically still the adult parent you become the babysitter of the next generation, the house sitter when they take their exotic holidays, the animal carer. You will still be called upon to mend broken hearts, fix medical ailments and sub their wallets until payday.  But heaven forbid if you ask the same in return. For them to care for what was once their treasured pet, that they would love forever, which is now relegated to the grey waiting room with you in the home that was once the "family" home. Only to be showered with over zealous affection on the now occasional visits. In their eyes you are expected to have left everything and kept everything as it was- in their eyes there is no grey area anymore because they aren't 17 anymore.  They will be embarrassed by your presence in the company of other people, by your dress sense, your topics of conversation, they will make fun at your expense, ridicule that you can no longer walk as fast as them, can no longer do the things you used to do, belittle your very real frugal lifestyle. They may not even like you. Because they are no longer in their grey waiting room. 

In your grey waiting room you are still a parent, a person of standing in your own right, but the role is changing fast and soon you will become the cared for like the child they used to be.

In the grey waiting room the shades like the book and your hair will become 50 shades of grey.

Tuesday, 10 June 2014

I'M NOT READY


I pride myself in being a level headed person and my age as I've crossed several major milestones has never been a problem.

In fact my 40th was amazing, as l had achieved all of my ambitions by then. They weren't major to anyone other than me, but l achieved them none the less.

My 50th was epic, l had a pre-50th party at 49!! Which was pretty crazy, alcohol fuelled and very fun. My actual 50th lasted several months as well.  My children arranged my first ever surprise party, attended by my very best friends, old and new. Attended by a lot of people which made me feel very liked and loved.
I was also given some amazing presents again by my children and had just the best year ever.
With 4 children and 4 grandchildren l have remained, l feel young at heart without being immature.
And l have recently begun to actually live my life my way, because my birds have flown the family nest and left me alone.
I always believed that life is like a book and we live mapped out chapters. We're born, we're nurtured - (most of us), we learn, we grow, we attend school, we leave school having loved it or hated it.
Then we reach a crossroads some take the college/ university career route, others work and some get married and have babies - regenerating the population.
When we're done, we 'find ourselves' and settle into mature adulthood, reaching the top of the life mountain at 50.
From 50 life starts the slowing down process, the downward path and l always believed we're meant to do this bit with a life partner, soul mate, the love of our lives. For me this hasn't happened and l find myself rethinking things, my life plan of growing old with 'some one' until l retire then die is now in reality going to be a solitary journey. And l was okay with that until this week.
My doctor gave me my blood test results and whilst not drastically bad are a wake up call to my own mortality.
If things don't improve l may be at risk of heart attack when I'm 63- whilst this is 10 years away, the thought that when I'm about to retire from the world of employment my days / life could end is quite frankly scary.
I'm not saying if you have a heart attack that's it you will die, but the possibility  is in fact there.

So for the first time ever l feel vulnerable, l feel l need to take control in order to move the goal posts. In my book we live for a 100 years. And certainly in my family the women last forever, the blokes not so. I want to carry on the slow descent of life- not have a rapid drop hit the ground and that's it.
I'm 53 and l can and will do all l can to keep the slow demise, to halt and delay the onset of old age and the inevitable - death- the end of life.
I'm young-ish!, I'm not ready to die because l have things to do, places to go and people to meet.

Tuesday, 27 May 2014

BANK HOLIDAYS


Bank Holidays- an official day off from paid, from routine duties and chores. A day for families to spend quality time together in leisurely pursuits.

The official definition:- { a public holiday in the UK, commonwealth countries, other European countries like Switzerland. Before 1834 the Bank of England observed 33 Saints / religious days. From 1834 this was cut down to 4. Until 1871 when a Liberal politician introduced the Bank Holiday Act under which it was declared that no person is compelled to make payment nor act if he is not compelled to do so. Although today, 2014, there is no automatic right to time off paid or in lieu. Even though most banks and places of employment grant the time off.}

For me a 50+ divorced, separated, single, ex- mother of 4, grandmother of 4 - l say ex-mother as my off spring are all grown and have fled the nest.  For me Bank Holidays mean silent, solitude, where l see no-one, speak to no-one, go no where- (usually due to lack of funds and transport).

A time to become an unwashed, unkempt, recluse in my secure box which also becomes an un-cleaned hovel.

There is a sense of freedom and rebellion in being able, in this day and age, to remain in the same clothes- usually pyjamas for more than one day. Don't get me wrong, l do wash my face, clean my teeth and brush my unwashed, greasy hair every morning, but l don't change my clothes- none of them. Why?

Because l don't have to, because l don't want to, because l don't need to and because l can't be bothered!  What's the point in creating unnecessary work and laundry.

Being a bank holiday recluse is kind of fun, it is lonely not speaking to anyone but  with the wonders of technology a recluse can "chat on line" to an array of people in a variety of locations and indeed countries. I have a virtual friend whom I've "chatted" to for years in Australia, we've never met but know each other well.

Bank holidays are for me days to spend continual time on one hobby/ activity without interruption, without clock watching, without the routine of having to make, lunch, tea, supper. Yes being a bank holiday recluse means l eat, drink, clean and wash when l want- if l want!  I can use a different plate and the same cup everyday at every meal without 'having to' wash up. The floors can remain littered with crumbs, craft debris and rubbish- at the moment the kitchen and hallway are covered in talcum powder which was liberally spread to stop the invasion of ants l had the other day. And as l have 3 cats and a dog, there are now white foot prints everywhere as well.

As a bank holiday recluse its okay because no one will know, no one will see. The front door remains fully locked and door curtain remains closed- shutting out the outside world.

Tomorrow - normal life returns, routine, clock watching, paid employment, engagement in speech, physical contact with people l know and don't know. My silent solitude will end. I will thoroughly clean and restore my home, l will thoroughly bathe and restore me. I will re-join civilisation and real life until the next Bank Holiday.



Tuesday, 20 May 2014

ONE MANS JUNK.....ANOTHER WOMANS BARGIN

I am quietly amused that my bi-annual clear out of seasonal clothes has caused such interest.
Spring and Autumn see's me drag my giant suitcase from its hibernation place, in my spare wardrobe, in the spare room, onto the spare bed. Where upon it is duely opened revealing each seasons clothes- spring/ summer autumn/ winter. Clothes l've owned and worn or not as the case maybe for Summer clothes, many times over many years.
Each time, each item is duely examined and re-hung to be re-worn for yet another relevant month of the year. Each item is checked for size, style and like-ability. Yet as l get older each item is also catergorised into "Can l get away with wearing that....'at my age'"!!!
And as a result l have this season discarded a few items that l either have never worn, or have worn many times but can no longer get away with wearing 'at my age'.
And l discovered the new trendy ability to sell for profit online across the country my discarded items of clothing.
One such item is as l write being fought over by several people in a cyber battle for the ultimate jumble sale prize. Very much l hasten to add to my ever increasing amusement.
Even non wearable items have actually sold to anonymous buyers into cyber space. Something l have found totally amazing, quite amusing and addictively exciting.   I 'post' the relevant obligatory photo of my junk online with a description and any price l choose plus post & packaging costs and watch regularly as strangers with strange nicknames haggle and bid for my old stuff.
The excitement l get when l see some one 'bid' on my items is unexplainably weird. The 'buzz' l get, not only because l obviously make free money from old stuff, but the exhilaration that a stranger has noticed my once loved or unloved stuff and wants to give me money in exchange is great fun.
When did we become obsessed with making easy money from rubbish, or even just gaining 'new' stuff for free, recycling, upcycling, foraging, free cycling. Have we always been people who want something for nothing, people in search of bargins at any price, to the amusement  and joy of others.
Where did the saying come from...One mans junk is anothers mans treasure? for me its more like One womans discarded stuff is my new found pleasure.
                                          THANKYOU xx

Saturday, 3 May 2014

WOULD YOU?- I WONDER?

Isn't it funny how the things you dread doing are the most enjoyable!  I have just spent the morning gushing to prospective parents with bottomless money pits that educating their off spring at my place of work is a good idea. But would l do it?

Am l a hypocrite for doing so?  I totally get why - if you're child is exceptionally gifted in a certain subject and you have the monetary ability to send them to a school that nurtures that capability, why you would do it. 

However, l firmly believe if you have children then 'you' bring them up to the best of your ability. 'You' teach them the difference between right and wrong, 'You' teach them manners, how to speak, how to read, how to do the basics in life. Preferably before they join the education system, where they if they attend state schools, will learn a whole lot more than the 3r's.  And not all good things either.

My 4 children were all educated in the Hard School of Knocks - which specialises in life skills. They can obviously all read, write, do basic maths but non were academic geniuses, anymore than l was/ am.  Doesn't mean we aren't educated because we all were/ are. We've all learned the hard way in life, which personally l don't think is a bad thing.  My children can all run houses, raise children, work and have a life. But they don't have that expensive piece of paper that says they went to the 'bestest school ever'.

And they certainly wouldn't - even if l had had the money to do it, have gone 'away' to school. If they had been gifted with a passion for a subject and l'd had the money to spend on nurturing that gift, then yes l would have paid to encourage that skill. But l would not have paid to send my child away for the privilege.

Over the years there were probably times when l would have gladly given my children away!!!......briefly. (Jokes).  But hand on heart l would not 'pay' extortinate amounts of money for my children to board, to live away from 'home', to be raised by 'others' in a non one to one environment. Yes they learn to be independent children, they learn to travel across the world - unaccompanied, they learn a higher standard of basic education, but they aren't all happy. They learn to cope in institutional enviroments.  Do they learn to have fun, make mud pies, have carpet picnics, have welly walks, learn how to live in the real world...no! They don't.

Many then leave one institution to join the next one, where they can learn how to drink continually, party, and build up mass debts - University. Then if they survive are let free as 'adults' to go and live in the world, or better still run the world!!!  And we all know the mess that's in.

So am l right in encouraging those interesting people l met today, and indeed over the past few years of  Open Day Meets & Greets to spend their endless amounts of money to off load their children to be educated where l work.  Or should l be saying "What are you thinking sending your little bundles of joy" to us. Educate them by all means, encourage that future Prime Minister!! but have them at home, living with you, being loved by you. The cost of that PRICELESS.

Sunday, 27 April 2014

BELITTLED BY THOUGHTS & FEELINGS.......'ATTACKED'!

Its fair to say that l haven't had much luck with relationships, abused all ways by boyfriends, husband and partner.
So l chose to stay single and celibate until my children were 18 and old enough not to be caught up in the bad stuff that happened to me.

I've lived many years now- over a decade in fact with no relationship, no companionship for me alone and to be honest no one has really been interested in being with me like that. Whilst l am no oil painting, l don't regard myself as ugly or nasty. And have busied myself raising my children.  I obviously have an invisible protective shield that prevents anyone from approaching me.

I've gotten used to being an alone, single. unloved, unwanted female of a certain age!!

So when my youngest vacated the family nest l took in a male lodger, with whom l worked with, was friends with and thought l could live with as a friend/ companion. We could talk about all sorts, had interesting conversations, got on well.  But then as he told me he went out Friday nights drinking....that's ok l thought, we're adults l like a drink too.
What l didn't reckon on was a drunken lodger returning 'home' falling in the front door, before crashing into his room where presumably he passed out. I didn't reckon on being transformed back to my past. I froze in fear, what the hell was l to do? should l have gotten up to confront him, help him or what? I stayed in my bed, frozen with fear and upset, at his disrespectful behaviour.

And there it was the act that threw me back years to my abused adulthood. I spoke to him the next few days only to be laughed at and told l'd lived alone to long. Once my anger kicked in l told him to leave.
How dare this drunken incident make me feel, vunerable, upset, scared, nervous and fearful in my own home.

Months of  alone living followed, where l changed a few things in order to repair my mental state. Only to be 'attacked' again, this time by foreign strangers.

Sat in a 'local socialising' hole with family and friends, watching the world go by, enjoying a glass of wine, dancing, and enjoyment. Chatting to the foreign guy whose accompanying mates were very obviously watching and talking about us. I danced, returned to our table, had a drink, headed towards the toilets.............

What happened afterwards l was told about......for l have no recollection at all....not even now.
I'm told l was crying, screaming, being sick, carried outside, carried in my home. Paramedics and other 'strangers' assumed l was the usual drunken, Saturday night slapper...as did a few others in the days that followed.

I regained consciousness on the Sunday, fully clothed, sick, crying, scared and distraught. I was then left alone to 'recover', unable to eat nor drink, l found a straw and sipped water. I was battered mentally, by body hurt, my head hurt, what the hell had happened to me? Why had it happened to me? l'm wasn't a young girl scantily dressed you'd want to have sex with. I'm an over weight over fifty year old woman. So why me?

In the days and months that followed l vowed to myself, not to go out again at night, not there anyway- never in there again at night. I vowed to myself not to drink so much, not that l'd ever been an alcoholic or problem drinker.  But things had changed. I'd been 'attacked' and abused by strangers.

What is it about me that l do or portray to be 'attacked' for no reason?  I am a nice, honest, hard working, law abiding, friendly person...l think. Yet time and time again l find myself being 'attacked'. That might be an over reaction but its how l feel  'attacked'.

Just the other day l mistakenly crossed the road, with my daughter and grandson at pelican lights that l thought had changed, only to be 'told off' by an aggressive policeman who got out of an unmarked car, and shouted at me. WHY?
I/ we made a mistake, the traffic had stopped, we crossed the road. Why did that warrant a verbal 'attack'?

Why does this happen to me? And why do l constantly feel, nervous and wary all the time ?  Why does my head fill with these thoughts and feelings?

And more importantly.....How do l stop it?