Day 18 – If I won the lottery….

Someone from the office actually asked this yesterday, and whilst the first answer from my boss was (shockingly) bus related it did get me thinking.

I’ve written a little list below of things which I think I’d like to do, in an ideal world, I’d have to be winning a massive amount, a life changing amount so the chances of this happening are slim – especially as I very rarely even buy lottery tickets!!

  • Help out family and friends – I think this is a no brainer really. Of course you would if you could wouldn’t you? I’d love to provide security for my closest friends and family. My loved ones deserve the world and if I could make their lives a bit easier, then I’d happily do so.
  • Set up a shelter type place in Poole, there are so many homeless who need help and not enough charities to do it – I’d always thought setting up a shelter that housed, cared for, fed those on the streets would really help or i’d like to support the current charity more – I already do food deliveries for a local homeless shelter in Poole and I’d love to help them more, or in an ideal world, set up a huge house for those who are currently on the streets. I sadly lost one of my homeless in last winter – he froze to death on the streets after the local council threw his sleeping things away and that genuinely affected me. He was sweet, kind, considerate and just kept himself to himself and despite that, the local council deemed him a menace and therefore thought binning things would improve matters, not offering help, or support and that really irks me. People become homeless for many reasons and I’d like to help, simply cos no – one would want to be in that way (in my opinion) and if I could make life a little easier (I see a common theme here) then I’d happily do so.
  • World travel – There’s so many places that I’ve wanted to see and travel to and even if I have already done them, it would be nice to take it to the next level – not strictly private jets and that but things like a hotel as opposed to a hostel for example would be a nice improvement. There’s so much of this planet I want to see and experience and time is running out so I’m sure money would make things easier. I think i’d get on a plane and go to Borneo, see some Orangutans in action – and help out the same charity to improve and then start ticking things off my bucket list. So many places, so little time!
  • Get the entire Discworld collection in the Unseen Library – ok, so this is a given, I’d like the full collection with 1 set of art, be it Josh Kirby’s or Paul Kidby. Just a special set of uniform looks would please my soul.
  • Adopt some more orangutans – again, for me, another no brainer. I know Palm Oil is now a big thing in lots of people’s worlds – see the Iceland Xmas ad if you don’t believe me but I am happy to have been a part of this fight for a while and for me it’s a sacrifice worth making to save those gorgeous little things…..I mean, look into their eyes and tell me they aren’t sentient.
  • Train as a firewalk trainer/leader – I have walked on hot coals twice and for sure, if I had unlimited money I would happily train to show other people how to do this, it was something that really built my confidence in me and would love to pass that feeling on to others.
  • SEE THE NORTHERN LIGHTS – well, who wouldn’t want this?
  • SWIM WITH TURTLES – as above
  • Silent disco at the Natural History Museum – I’ve wanted to do this for years but money (or lack of) has always stopped me, maybe next year will be the year.
  • Start donating more and practically helping out causes which mean a lot to me – Alzheimer’s research and Orangutan Foundation are the 2 charities I support most at the moment but I’d definitely like to help more and share the love. There’s so many needy people and I wish I could help all of them so maybe more money will help.
  • Take the man to Essen and to Miami, he is such a wonderful man to me that I want to make all his dreams come true. I know how much he loves gaming so would like to take him to the centre of those worlds and be able to spoil him the way he spoils me.
  • Just have time – I think this is the main thing I would choose, I mean, if you have money, you have time, if you have time, you can do pretty much what you want. Not saying I want to break laws and that but I see classes I’d like to take which I cannot, because I work, so if I wasn’t having to work, maybe I’d learn new things, maybe I’d take up hobbies, maybe I’d actually learn to be good at something. Just having time I feel would be a real luxury.

What about you? What would be on your wishlist if you could choose anything? Feel free to let me know, inspire me and see where imagination takes you.

Day 17 – Thoughts on Education

To be honest, i’m not sure how someone can be negative about education……I mean, who actually doesn’t want to be educated and aware of how the world works and why?

I had interesting times at school. I would say overall I enjoyed it, the places, the learning – not necessarily the people and the lack of confidence in myself or the stress I put myself under at the time for something which really, isn’t that big of a deal.

I’d like to share some fun stories from my school times throughout my life, about teachers who have inspired me and things which have shaped my views and behaviours! I have already spoken about let’s say, less than positive points in my learning, not being very confident, being bullied and the like but for this, I’d like to share snippets of stories which have had a positive influence on my life and the person I am. I hope that this shows my thoughts on Education and that also not all education is book learning based.

England – Tower Rd Primary School – Mr Pike – such a great teacher, who I don’t actually think was MY teacher at any point but he was definitely a massive influence and someone who made me question the world, and have a thirst for knowledge of how things worked and their places in the world overall. I’m lucky enough to have now found Mr Pike on social media and despite the fact he and I differ on a lot of views and opinions, I cannot thank him enough for being that first teacher who made me feel open to the world.

There are other great teachers that I had at Tower Rd but I cannot remember them all, there was the teacher who put up with myself a best friend acting out scenes from Monty Python, the art teacher who tried again and again to make me an artist, the piano teacher who couldn’t actually play piano, the teacher who let me take the school rabbit home for the holidays and even the English teacher who helped me with my squint and the stupid glasses/patches I had to wear. These people have all made me the person I began my life as (well, the first 11 years lets say) and that gave me a good base to work from.

I passed my 11+ (for younger readers, ask your parents) and went to the local girls grammar school, this was a strange few years for me as it was stressful at home, a bit disjointed with family life and a very sad time in our home and family. I found myself being bullied by some really awful human beings and thankfully the school librarian Miss Gallagher seemed to understand so she encouraged me, let me go in during the holidays to help out, made me feel comfortable and always willing to give new ideas/suggestions for someone who wanted to read everything. She genuinely got me interested in so many random things, plus was one of the first people I knew who was veggie/vegan leaning and I got a lot of info about things which interested her. I liked that she always treated me like an equal, as opposed to a student.

Mr and Mrs Ross were an epic teaching couple, he taught English and she taught Science (I cannot for the life of me remember which specific one) and in the years I was back in the High school after Spain were year heads. I was certain that they hated me – ok this is a bit dramatic, i’m pretty sure they didn’t hate me but I felt like they tolerated me, the fact I had come back off my own back and not gone through the standard system made me feel very out there and an oddity – but in the end of my time back in the sixth form I found them both to be really lovely supportive and made me Miss smiles in the U6 – how the heck that happened i have no idea!! Even she said when giving me the award that other people had brought up how positive as a person I was……I still to this day think they might have confused me with someone else!!

Moving to Spain when I was 14 was stressful and to begin with, I genuinely cannot remember anything about my teachers that I liked, there were ones who most definitely treated me differently due to the fact I was English. My language was not good enough in that first year and some issues did happen but as i’m trying to be positive I’m just going to focus on the fun teachers.

My favourite teacher, and actually someone who even then I considered more of a friend than a teacher was Vicente, my art teacher for the last year or so of Spanish school. He made us watch films and do creative projects and was always open to just learn about people. He and I shared a very similar music taste which as I was very singular whilst there, really helped me feel less weird. I can remember when a favourite band of both of ours brought out a new album, we knew there would be 1 copy in the music store in Malaga and both had plans to get it before the other. Running through a mall to beat a middle aged man to a quality album is a memory that will stay with me forever.

I’m actually really happy as Vicente and I are still friends, he keeps popping up in my life and I love seeing his gallery shows and the way his life has taken him. Am pleased he still accepts me for me though, he’s still incredibly encouraging – despite my general inability to do anything arty!!

The last teacher I will talk about is one who was a good teacher to me but a great show of how people power can have an effect, probably the first time I’ve ever seen that work in person.

The spanish teaching system is generally based on 1 year contracts, every new teaching student will be sent from school to school to hone their skills and our Music and religion teacher was actually brilliant and when we heard that he had been moved onto his next school we all felt like we would be detrimentally affected by this so the decision was made to have a student strike. We superglued all the doors and main school gates for a few days to no avail so then decided to actually have a sit out, we would refuse to go to classes until he was brought back.

To be honest, this was (and still sort of is) totally odd to me, I fully expected to be out there for say 20 mins before the teachers would just barrel out and order us inside with our tails between our legs……so 4 hours later I was getting cold and more importantly bored. I went home, deciding it would be better to at least do some homework or the like. Cue walking into the house to tell mum why I was home earlier……she totally didn’t believe me so (with my dad – for extra punishment if I was trying it on) frogmarched me down to my school gates to find out what I was on about…….EVERYONE was gone. I’ve never been so nervous in my life, bloody typical, I decided i’d had enough and went home, then the teachers had finally snapped and got everyone inside. I was cacking myself!!

Thankfully upon going inside the school I saw the school secretary who seemed surprised I was there, I explained why I was and her response to my parents at least made them see I was telling the truth. Scary but fun nonetheless.

We never did get that teacher back I don’t think but it certainly made me more likely to revolt in future about things I saw an issue with. Sometimes, lessons like that are invaluable.

I hope over the course of these little stories have given my opinion clearly, I loved learning – I still do – and I honestly feel it’s people like this who gave me this feeling and inspired me to always try more and learn more and see more.

I should also point out that there were a multitude of teachers I haven’t talked about, all good in their own way and therefore should not be ignored. I am immensely proud of my schooling and the person I have turned out to be, and I can only hope they feel the same way!

 

 

 

Day 16 – What’s your favourite movie?

I’m not much of a film person anymore, I’m not sure I’ve got the patience for this right now as my attention span is a lot shorter than it used to be.

There are however, some films I will happily watch and re watch time and time again, like Some Like It Hot, Young Frankenstein, Finding Nemo, Tank Girl and i’m also a pretty big fan of shockingly awful films – generally with massive sharks/crocs or the inevitable end of the world happening so our new introduction to the Sharknado set of films has been a) eventful and b) bloody brilliant!!

I used to really love films but after a couple of operations and being pretty much housebound for a few months I found that I would be able to handle 30m or so but then i’d be way to bored. Or i’d lose my thread and couldn’t pick it up again. I do still try to do watch films but find that unless it’s one i’ve seen before, or REALLY absorbing, I cannot handle or even remember it the next day (true – last time the man and I watched a film we were talking about it the next day and I could remember about half of the plot and even the “twist” were a bit dimmed to me. One day, hopefully that may change but as it stands, I need to find new films which I can actually get into. If anyone has any suggestions, please, contact me and give me your thoughts, am always willing to try something new.

I’ve written about movies I enjoy previously (read it here) so I need to make sure that the film(s) I write about today are not on the same list. This doesn’t mean that these films mean any less to me but that I know they are different to the previous article.

The first film I have chosen is Jaws.

jaws

“When a young woman is killed by a shark while skinny-dipping near the New England tourist town of Amity Island, police chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) wants to close the beaches, but mayor Larry Vaughn (Murray Hamilton) overrules him, fearing that the loss of tourist revenue will cripple the town. Ichthyologist Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) and grizzled ship captain Quint (Robert Shaw) offer to help Brody capture the killer beast, and the trio engage in an epic battle of man vs. nature.”

Whilst I do genuinely love this film, the book and all it’s options, I’ve watched it so often that it’s become a classic as opposed to a great film! I very much enjoy the over acting, the dodgy effects and was really lucky a few years ago to be able to see it out in the open air cinema next to Bournemouth beach.

I went with a couple of friends, took many snack and really relished listening to the real life sea lapping and seagulls crying as we watched the gore and overall superbness of the film.

I think it’s difficult to discuss a film which is one of my faves without giving away too much detail or for that matter story. I know that most people would have seen this but I would definitely recommend the book too, well worth a read over a couple of days 🙂

Another good film which I do re-watch and then promptly forget about is Miss Congeniality.

congeniality

“When a terrorist threatens to bomb the Miss United States pageant, the FBI rushes to find a female agent to go undercover as a contestant. Unfortunately, Gracie is the only female FBI agent who can “look the part” despite her complete lack of refinement and femininity. She prides herself in being “just one of the boys” and is horrified at the idea of becoming a girly girl.”

I know, I know, from one extreme to the other so far on this list but bear with me.

I first saw this film years ago when I was going through a bubblegum phase, not looking for deep and meaningful but more, fun and a bit of cheese and this has this in spades. I’ve always been a sucker for Sandra Bullock films too so that most definitely helped this become a fave of mine!

I’ve always been very tomboy ish and although this takes that to the extreme, there is a huge part of me that would love a glam team, to make me lady – like, beautiful and more comfortable as myself – a lottery win is probably needed for this but still, it’s a 90 minute, glittery fun romp through beauty pageants and a film I can watch again and again and will happily recommend this to anyone wanting a girly film which isn’t just the average sugary sweet romantic offering!

Lastly today I think i’ll write about one of my favourite Disney films – I haven’t seen many of them to be honest and I know that appalls one of my friends as she is a Disney Princess but in real life (honestly, if she doesn’t have livestock coming and doing her chores; then there is something really unfair about the world!

Anyway, the Disney film I do tend to go back to every so often to reattach to my more childish side is Aladdin.

aladin

“When street rat Aladdin frees a genie from a lamp, he finds his wishes granted. However, he soon finds that the evil has other plans for the lamp — and for Princess Jasmine. But can Aladdin save Princess Jasmine and his love for her after she sees that he isn’t quite what he appears to be?”

I can remember watching this at my aunt’s one night we were there when I was a kid, I’d always been a huge fan of Robin Williams and this made this film perfect for me. Ok, so it has a lot of romance, which I don’t care about in any film but the humour and songs are actually brilliant. I hadn’t seen the film for well over 10 years and a friend of mine stuck it on in the background and I was astounded at the amount of songs I could still remember!

It’s corny, it’s funny, it’s colourful – weirdly useful for when you’re in a real funk i’ve found, colourful films are just amazing for that!

Ok, that’s enough for now I think. I’m running out of other things to say so will no doubt expand more, or talk about more at some point in the future of my writing!!

 

Day 10 – Best Trip Of Your Life

I’ve  been really lucky to be honest and travel has been a big thing for me, I haven’t taken advantage like I should have (travel while you can kids – it becomes harder as you get older) but even since I moved back to the UK, I have enjoyed travel and a variety of wonderful holidays.

I decided to write about a few places as some really stick in my brain but I also don’t want to make it seem like I have had only 1 good trip and the rest have all been mediocre.

  • CUBA
  • DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
  • PARIS
  • ISTANBUL
  • EGYPT
  • PRAGUE
  • BARCELONA

I have travelled a few places (from the list above) and every place I go – even if bad things happen like in Cuba, I feel lucky to have seen the places and experienced the life. I definitely try to relish the positives and kind of work past the negatives.

Cuba was the first place I had travelled alone, I had a real wanderlust when I was younger and when I left school, worked for a while, but Cuba was going to be my jumping off point. Unfortunately, I got mugged halfway through the first week and came home early, before I had seen and experienced what I wanted to – something which I regret to this day!  I did love the joy of seeing the crystal clear waters, and the fun of speaking with Cubans and actually finding out about their lives, which was mind-blowing and if someone had said to me “give me all of your possessions” I would have done – and then at least been able to keep hold of my passport! anyway, it was still a wonderful trip.

Sadly I don’t even think I have any of the photos I took in Cuba. I’ve moved about 10 times since then and somewhere along the way, they got lost but the memories of watching storms fly overhead, snorkelling with a barracuda, gorgeous flowers tumbling down in the main hall of the hotel and the wonderful 4 pools and azure sea. Sometimes memories are good enough.

I went to the Dom Rep years ago with the ex who shall not be named. It was a good holiday but unfortunately he managed to ruin a lot of it – we met some lovely people who he managed to push away with his attitude but still, it was nice to see dolphins, swim and feed fish with bread and to generally meet new people. I am still in touch with a wonderful couple we met and that for me is a real bonus. Again the Caribbean is superb and wonderful and despite the negatives from it, I managed to take away good memories.

Paris is somewhere really special for myself and my family. My dad lived and worked out there and it is most definitely his spiritual home. He loves spending time there and I adore being there with him and exploring and seeing how his world has been shaped by it. I try to spend time there as often as I can, I love eating at the restaurants he worked in and seeing the world he lived among. I do enjoy this and love learning random facts every time we go.

My parents and I went to Istanbul a few years ago for my mums birthday. It was really wonderful to be able to stand on 2 continents as it were and a really wonderful place to spend time (I’m not sure how comfortable I would be now as I have heard it is much less friendly to westerners now but I still enjoyed it and apart from a couple of places, I didn’t feel harassed or uncomfortable. It is a wonderful mix of culture and style, such wonderful places to see, lots of beautiful markets and buildings and despite my general dislike of Churches, I do really like Mosques and had a great time exploring and seeing the places which I had read about.

I was so lucky to go to Egypt years ago with my parents. I’d always dreamed of seeing the Pyramids and I actually never thought it would be possible so when I was given the opportunity I jumped at it. I loved it, it is stunning and wonderful but the level of poverty is scary. I would happily go back but feel that my own personal levels couldn’t handle it. I can remember haggling for an ashtray for a friend, and I realised I was haggling between 40 and 50 pence. Which I’d have been happy to pay full price if you see what I mean. I’m not sure how I could cope. I’d definitely recommend it to people though, just be aware of the looky looky men who are very brazen.

Prague was a great holiday, we went for my dad’s birthday and I have written about it previously (see the link here: share about a recent holiday) but it is certainly somewhere I will be going back to. Full of history, culture, galleries, epic food and drink and a real great place to spend some time. Even those places which weren’t the most glam, were still fun.

Lastly I thought I’d talk about Barcelona. I truly love this place and spending time there, I feel comfortable and free there. Great bars, great buildings, fun places and epic restaurants. I used to travel there alone (very much like my dad with Paris) but am looking forward to showing it off to the man, sharing my life and the places I love with him, which, considering that Parc Guell is where I want to be scattered when I pass away, it would probably be a good thing for him to know where it is for example 😉

So, I’ve finally reached the end of my list. Ok so not specifically “The best trip” of my life but I prefer seeing the positives in a lot of things, at least this was I can appreciate all the trips I take as opposed to trying to make one better than the rest.

I’m hoping to take the man somewhere sunny next year – somewhere cheap and cheerful is always appreciated and we’ve never actually gone somewhere warm so if you have any suggestions, I’m all ears. I’d love somewhere with a bit of history and culture but also somewhere pretty and fun to enjoy nature and relax. Think that would cover all bases!

Day 9 – 5 Current Goals

I have a lot of targets that I set myself – see my 40 for 40 list as a good example but I try to also do littler things throughout the years, like this years Pratchett Postal.

These are some challenges I have been trying to do this year so thought i’d share some of those and then we can have a re-cap as to how things are progressing and if there are still things happening throughout the rest of the year.

1: Pratchett Postal – Objective: To buy up duplicate Pratchett books (Neil Gaiman too apparently this has now been extended to) and then send them out to complete strangers online.

I decided to do this on Twitter as i’m so used to Twitter being the place where people are horrible to each other but I was desperate to prove that nice people inhabit that place too. I think that this has gone fairly well, I mean, thus far I have sent 80 books out this year, made a whole heap of new friends, learned some really interesting stuff about both myself and the world of Discworld and more than anything, am really pleased that the love I have for this series, is now being passed around the planet to others.                       pratchett 12

 

2:  Improve my writing – Objective: To become more comfortable with writing and expressing myself.

I love blogging but have always found that I do not have the impetus to keep writing and publishing every day so have set myself more manageable goals of writing twice a week (until this current challenge which is a daily thing, wish me luck because i’m scared!! I’m hoping that if nothing else, I find people who I like to read and to find people who like what I say. I don’t ever think i’d be writing novels or the like but I started this as a way to vent, deal with things and get my thoughts out and I genuinely hope that by the end of this year, I will be able to continue this and continue improving.

3:  Take part in more racing/running events – Objective: To become healthier and fitter, I have set myself a challenge of a Marathon before I turn 40 so thought I’d start small.

I signed myself up for a challenge in January to start small and cover 50 miles throughout the month then after that, a couple of 5ks, a colour run and a local 10k. I achieved the January target with no issues and the colour run and 5k, though I was incredibly slow and unfit, both were finished and both went well. Unfortunately due to health issues – relating to my knee – I had to drop out of the 10K, I did think maybe I could walk it but was worried I’d be too slow and therefore not actually finish…..am hoping that next year will be better, I’ve booked to do a couple more 5ks via Virtual Racing so if nothing else, I will be doing the work, it may not be fast, but am proud i’m getting better. This is my before (from 2015 on the Left) and the now, 2018 on the right.

colour run 2015 & 2018.JPG

4: Attend a convention – Objective: To attend a convention into something I enjoy. 

Actually this year, I’ve actually attended 2. Both superb fun and definitely a good introduction for hopefully bigger and better ones next year, or at least, in our future.

Firstly in August I went to Dragworld Uk – a festival of glitter and fabulousness all to do with the world of Drag. I loved it (and wrote a blog about it which you can read here https://wordpress.com/post/halfbakedproductions.blog/1618)   I loved it, cannot wait to go back (the pre release sale happened yesterday) and this time the man in my life is coming with me. He has some social issues (he has a lot of anxiety) so I’m hoping that to be surrounded by so many lovely and accepting people will help him. I’m already so excited!!

The second con in October was more for my other half than for me, he is very into board games (ok, we both are but he spends more time watching vids/listening to podcasts about them) but we knew there was a large expo up in Birmingham which sadly we could not attend – money for public transport in this country is insane) so when we found out there was a smaller convention in Southampton, it seemed like a no brainer, I booked us a cheapish hotel nearby and we decided to take my copy of Ankh Morpork in case there wasn’t much we wanted to play. We also found a local board games cafe, with a superb collection of games and also really lovely friendly staff and have definitely decided that we will go back, maybe even just specifically for this place!

The con itself was good, we met a couple of new people, played some new games – and some games that we probably wouldn’t own but that it’s fun to experience. It was a good introduction to a little convention and I’m hoping that next year we can do something biggr and better.

5: Get my 10% body award with Slimming World. Objective: To lose 10% of my starting body weight (at the time I was basically 13 stone and a fat size 18). I spent a long time as a younger person trying to diet and adhere to beauty standards but as I’ve got older, I’d got bigger and eating became a really important thing to me. I’d met up with some wonderful old friends and they (as usual) took photos to memorialise the day but when I saw them, they were horrible. I looked awful. I’m really used to being the fat one out of my friends but I felt gross.

Luckily my work were doing a special promotion with Slimming World where when you lost 10% of your weight, my work would pay back a max of 12 weeks subs, this seemed like an ideal way of doing it and threw myself into it. It took 14 weeks in total but I lost just under 2 stone. I am now a much healthier size 12 and feel amazing! it’s mad really as i’ve never been this size before and I love it.

I should be clear, at no point did my other half say I had to lose weight or anything like that, I did this for me and thankfully he still finds me attractive and I know he sees that I’m so much more confident, which for me is the best thing.

So there you have it, 5 challenges or goals I am currently working on. I have really enjoyed these so far so am looking forward to more next year – or maybe not more, maybe just improving my current ones and continuing to work towards my 40 for 40 list. What about you? Do you have any challenges that you are setting yourself or working towards?

 

 

 

Day 7 – Your 5 Favorite Songs

This is a tricky one, my music taste can change from minute to minute so I think this blog should possibly be renamed as “My favourite 5 songs, right now”

1: Geronimo: RuPaul – I really love this, it has a great mix of dance and sass, I’m a pop girl at heart so this really speaks to me, plus, to be honest, the Ru Obsession is real and therefore anything related to MamaRu is a positive for me!

album 1

2: Wish: Nine Inch Nails – alright, I know I said I was a pop girl at heart but this band has been one of my favourites for most of my life now. I got introduced to them in my teens and have only met a handful of people who have even heard of them, so imagine my surprise and pleasure when I met the man, we were chatting and they came up as conversation! Means that we were meant to be in my opinion. He has also learned that if he walks into the house and i’m listening to this song, he should probably turn around and come back again later once i’m calmer.

album 2

 

3: Voodoo People: The Prodigy – This song is one that has stayed with me for years and weirdly, I don’t yet feel like it’s been over played. I can still listen to both this song, and the album it comes from and be transported back to being 17 or so again and having a dance with my friends with my brother behind the decks. A song that really takes me back to my past.

album 3

 

4: Cheap Thrills: Sia – one of those songs which I heard, had no idea who had made it but it made me smile, laugh, want to dance and generally feel good about life. I’m not the biggest Sia fan as I feel that she’s a bit shrieky and ballady for me but this is just a funky song.

album 4

5: Justified and Ancient: KLF ft Tammy Wynette – this is, and probably always will be one of my favourite bits of music, my funeral song, a song I remember from my youth (all those years ago) and that I am so pleased is in my life. The album this comes from is superb and well worth a listen if youre a fan of dance 90s hits. Tammy Wynette’s voice fits perfectly and even the first few beats of this song will guaranteed have me on my feet dancing like an idiot, no matter where I hear it!

album 5

So there you have it, 5 songs I love. I cannot say they are my favourites as it completely depends on my mood (Guns and Roses, Pendulum, Faithless, and the Beatles should all feature in a list of songs I love but in this instance, as I’m feeling today, what is above is what you got!)

What about you? Do you have songs that help calm you, or bring you back to humanity? What is the song you want to have played at your funeral? Is that too deep and dark a question? ok, probably, so if that’s the case, tell me about a special song in your life, I’d love to hear new music and suggestions.

 

 

 

Day 5 – Your Proudest Moment

Hmm, this could be tricky as I genuinely don’t see a huge amount to be proud of.

I’ve done things that i’m proud of, such as raising money for charity, passing my Spanish exams in a Spanish school and not (completely) losing my mind, coming back and coping with things, passing challenges I set myself and the like but I don’t tend to be proud as a person, I mean, lots of people have done what I have done so it’s not like I’m special or anything.

I’m going to write a list of things i’ve done which i’m proud of, it might not be a comprehensive look but a good list of random stuff that makes me smile!

  • Jumping out of a plane – with a tandem instructor and a parachute: this has been one of those things that I’d always wanted to do but the prohibitive price always putting me off. However, when Sir Terry Pratchett passed away, I decided to do as much fundraising for Alzheimer’s research as I could and my dad very kindly offered to pay for a jump so I could do the jump, raise some funds and not have to spend half of the money on the jump itself. I loved it, it was amazing, I felt magical and I came down with barely a bump having flown through a cloud, seen some amazing views and genuinely felt the epitome of joy.

flying

  • Surviving in a Spanish School: We lived in Spain from 1997 (when I was 14) and I went to a Spanish village school and despite having a handful of English friends, the majority of my time was spent talking in Spanish, thinking in Spanish, writing in Spanish and the like. I am really proud I did this (don’t get me wrong, I didn’t think I could) and it has now given me the knowledge that if I ever had to throw myself into something completely alien, I could manage it.

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  • Walking on Hot Coals: This is still one of my favourite things and every time I see that there is a fire walking event nearby I try to get involved. I love it. It is genuinely the one thing I think that I did, made me feel like a superhero and will stay with me forever.

fire

  • Breaking an arrow with my throat: As a precursor to walking on hot coals, the trainer wanted to show us that we are much stronger than sometimes our brain allows us to think. He took out a standard archery practise arrow and asked for a volunteer to hold a piece of wood. He placed the point of the arrow against his throat, and the fletching against the wood. He then stepped forward and whilst I thought he would skewer his own neck, the body is stronger than the wooden shaft of the arrow and it broke. I had to do it. I think he realised he had an adrenaline junkie on his hands and when I asked if I could do that, he was happy to oblige. I am so lucky because I kept the arrow and have always got that to refer to in case I doubt how amazing the human body and spirit is!

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  • I have raised money for charity: As above, I have done a fair few random things for charity. I have done a couple of rainbow/fun/5k runs recently but I am aiming to increase my distances sooner rather than later.
  • I won’t say i’ve beaten it, but I’ve come through some fairly bad periods of depression and the fact that I’m still here is definitely something I should be proud of.
  • I set myself a challenge at the beginning of the year and so far, it’s going really well. I decided to buy any Terry Pratchett Discworld books I find (in second hand shops, cheap on ebay that type of thing) and will advertise and send them out to people who need them in their collections. So far I’ve sent 78 books this year so that’s a lot of Discworld love happening right there!

I’m not sure I have that many other specific “moments”. I try to have pride in my life, make sure my friends and loved ones know I am here for them and I’m trying to make sure I can look back at the good things I have done. Long may it continue I hope!

Day 1 – Your Blog’s Name – Challenge 2

Well, I like having these new suggestions for writing, hopefully I won’t duplicate previous info shared but if I do, apologies, I’m trying to expand my writing and therefore am pretty much writing about anything.

Anyway, now that’s over, on to today’s topic. Where did the name “Half Baked Productions” come from?

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I know i’ve said it before but I have been through the depression process a few times throughout my life and the last time, was I would say, the worst time. It’s the only time where hurting myself and finishing it all actually seemed like a good idea. I was very lucky to be forced to the doctor by friends and loved ones and they were really good at getting me both medication and some help.

I was referred to a really good local therapy centre, and although I felt listless and lifeless, I did attend. The therapist, Sue, was lovely, very caring, sympathetic and seemed to actually listen to me.

It took a while but almost as soon as we started talking, she made the point that I needed to spend more time making ME happy. If that meant eating a giant pizza in front of the TV, do it. If it meant crying and laying in bed all day, do it. Do the little things that make you happy and slowly but surely, you’ll spend more time being happy and less being sad.

She was right, she made me see that the people who loved me, would want to be around someone who was happier, but also would be happy to see me happier and it lead to me trying a lot of new things to try and work out who I want to be.

During this time I spent a fair amount of time experimenting in the kitchen. I’ve always loved cooking and making things but this was the first time in my life where people were coming to me and asking me to make things for them. Jams, preserves, cakes, chocolate and the like, things that i’d take into work for presents and just to fatten up the team and from this, Half Baked was born.

 

I’ve always wanted to be more independent, I’d love to not be working for someone else at some point in my life, to be my own boss and this seemed like a good start. I know i’ll never be the next Mrs Kipling but things like this make me happy, and I love sharing the bits and bobs I make with others.

I also have an unending thirst for talent in crafting. I will try anything in the hope that I can make something pretty. I spent a little while when I first moved to Dorset playing around with beads and making some jewellery and I decided that this was a good waste of my time, I wasn’t being very sociable so I bought myself some cheap bits from ebay and set about self teaching. They may not be the best things, but again, some people seem to like them and I like being able to create pretty unique items for other people.

So there you have it, a sadness which created a half baked idea, no lightning bolt inspiration, just a totally honest approach. I don’t always succeed in my plans but I will always have a go. I tend to be quite Half Baked about everything and this just seemed to work for me.

I will probably always keep Half Baked going, at the moment I’m in a much smaller space so makes cooking difficult for larger events but I’m hoping when we move, that I’ll have more space for experimentation. I am always happy to try new things and have already decided that in 2019 I’m going to work more on my photography skills, but maybe I’ll give crochet another bash too.

What about yourselves my dear reader friends, is there a craft that you do for fun, no matter how badly things turn out? Or is there something you’ve always wanted to try but never actually got the chance to? I’d love to hear your stories and if you do share, you might inspire something else new in me!

A new 30 day challenge

I decided to place all the questions here so that you can join me in the 30 Day Blogging Challenge!

Disclaimer: I got these questions from a fellow blogger – check out her blog, she’s a great writer:

Day 1 – Your Blog’s Name

Day 2 – Your Favorite Quote

Day 3 – Your Biggest Regret

Day 4 – Your Dream Job

Day 5 – Your Proudest Moment

Day 6 – What Are You Afraid Of

Day 7 – Your 5 Favorite Songs

Day 8 – 5 Current Goals

Day 9 – What’s In Your Bag/Wallet

Day 10 – Best Trip Of Your Life

Day 11 – 10 Favorite Foods

Day 12 – Your Favorite Childhood Book

Day 13 – What’s Inside Your Fridge

Day 14 – 3 Healthy Habits

Day 15 – Where Will You Be In 5 Years

Day 16 – Thoughts On Education

Day 17 – Your Favorite Blogs

Day 18 – A Photograph Of Yourself

Day 19 – Your Favorite Movie

Day 20 – What Makes You Happy

Day 21 – What Makes You Sad

Day 22 – Your Worst Habits

Day 23 – If You Won The Lottery…

Day 24 – What Attracts You (In Love)

Day 25 – 20 Things you’d like to do in 2019

Day 26 – Your Hidden Talent

Day 27 – What’s In Your Closet

Day 28 – Most Embarrassing Moment

Day 29 – A Confession

Day 30 – Your Hopes For Your Blog

I loved this idea and thought it would help me write more. They may not be the most special topics but I like the idea of being able to explore more subjects like this.