Why do I blog?

Ever since I started blogging, people have been asking me why do I blog. Even I ask myself the same questions, “Why do I blog?”, “Should I continue to blog?” day in and day out. I find myself constantly questioning myself, my worth and the point of it all……in thoughts such as these and many more!

I am not a good writer, why should I write?
There are so many great articles out there, why bother trying to reach that level?
There are so many people that are more knowledgeable than me, why try?
No one will read my blog, why should even write one – I talk to myself a lot anyway, why would anyone else want to read it?
I have never been a good writer, why should I try and inevitably fail …?
My content quality is shoddy…

This is a going to be written a fair while before I share it, the current 30 day subjects is scary – I’m stressing about writing every day. This isn’t easy and am tempted to go back to less blogs simply to give my brain a break haha!

But yes, why do I blog?

There are many things that I use this blog for, I wanted it to be about my crafting, my journey and the like but as time has gone by and i’ve done less of the actual work my cottage industry needs this blog has become more of a balance space for me. I do enjoy writing – fear about the daily challenges aside – and am genuinely baffled that some people actually seem to enjoy what I write, and am enjoying using this as more of a therapy tool for myself.

Sadness can be a drive:

I do have a very up/down mentality and I know that sometimes a tiny thing can have me feeling really down. I am trying to improve and be a better version of myself but know that it can be useful to vent on somewhere technically anonymous and then I don’t have to worry about the fallout when loved ones see that I am down. Does that make sense? I can vent, get all my feelings out and by the time I hit that publish button – often WEEKS after having the rant in the first place – I am totally done, whereas if I was to share on Facebook or Twitter my instant feelings I’d have people on me all the time checking on me and more to the point, stressing about me and I never want that.

To help me work through:

I write to keep me sane, to keep me calm and to keep me balanced. I am enjoying writing the day challenges as they often give me new things to think and talk about, it’s also a great way to ensure that I stand by my views, they make me think about things and I use the blog as a way for me to answer some of my own questions too. I know that there can be a fair few which duplicate but I am hoping to be more organised next year and maybe split the blog into different moods for different jobs…..cooking, books, craft work and general life. I’m not sure. I need to get more organised in so many ways!!

Why else would I blog?

To share my views:

I suppose in an ideal world, I’d like to write a blog which people enjoy spending time with. I’m never going to be able to do this full time – and to be fair, who would want me to be wittering away like that? – but I just enjoy when people comment or share and give me their thoughts. I love hearing what people think, or starting new conversations and I’m loving that on here, it is always a good way to help express myself and to aid me in finding my tribe.

Blogging has helped me (i’d like to think) that I do have an opinion, if I want to talk about something I should just throw myself into it and use this for me, for my platform, for my views.

I am genuinely really enjoying writing at the moment, I know I say that I stress – especially with a daily challenge when I don’t actually have much spare time and I would like to do it more and am hopeful that 2019 will be the year or crafting my work, however that decides to show itself – but I do really love writing, getting my thoughts on paper (or the computer) and being able to get them out!

What about yourselves? I’m assuming you are here for a purpose and if so, what is that? Have you changed the way you write in your time here or am I totally out of the loop?

Have a wonderful day, I love reading all the blogs I follow (and those I find randomly) and if anyone wants to suggest new things for me to read, please feel free!

A brief interruption from the daily challenges.

Today, I’d like to do something a little different to the current writing challenge and spend some time giving a bit of love to my mum Barb.

family 3

It’s actually her birthday today (so if you are reading this mum, have a superb day) and if you are reading this and aren’t my mum, why not send her a Happy Birthday from around the world?

I should say, she’s going to hate some of these pics probably so wish me luck that she takes them in the spirit it was intended!!

My mum is great. Yes, ok, I know most people say that but I’m actually right! She and my dad have always done their best for me – in every way and I cannot thank them enough. They have both supported me, and although I tend to wax lyrical about my dad more frequently, I felt it was time to share the love of my mum.

mum4

I know that during my life, we have not always been the best of friends, a lot of the first few months in Spain we bumped heads a lot, we are, I feel, quite similar and unfortunately we didn’t always see eye to eye. I know looking back on it now she was doing her best but I know that a lot of hurtful words passed between us and when I moved back to the UK, I really tried to bite my tongue. If mum said something that would normally piss me off, I definitely tried not to rise to it. I knew that arguments would not help our relationship and I’ll be honest, there have been times when she has said something really hurtful, or cruel as far as I see it and I’ve just not bitten because what would come afterwards would be far worse. Over time I’ve also learned that this was the same towards my mum, I know i’ve said some really unkind things and also said things that to me didn’t mean anything but to her cut to the bone.

mum6

I’m making it sound like we were constantly at each other’s throats which isn’t true at all, I feel we’ve both mellowed as we’ve got older and I know that due to the few periods of stress and  depression I’ve had we’ve had to learn how to talk and more importantly LISTEN to each other properly – I think we’ve both been open and realised how much we have hurt each other in the past but now are actually working to improve and try to be more loving.

mum2

I know my mums relationship with her mum is very important, they were both so close and loved each other so deeply and I know my mum wants that with me, it may not be as close but I’d like to think that we are friends now and will be able to carry that on for many more years.

mum sw comp

I know that when I was at my lowest, it was my mum who dragged me out of it, she was willing to listen to my sadness, to feel my lethargy and to (thankfully) not judge. I know sometimes I wouldn’t have been 100% honest with her during those times as I know that if I had been, it would have been more hurtful (I mean, how can you tell your own mother that you’d sat looking at a bottle of pills for over 4 hours just debating who would be the one to find you, how to make sure it wasn’t her, how to look after her even when I wasn’t here) so although I know I lied, I’m so proud of her for just taking everything I said and not making me feel bad for struggling. I think we both learned a lot during that time (if nothing else that things we had both said in the past had really affected the other person so to be more mindful of the off the cuff comments we make, as we do not know what the other person will be going through) and I think that our relationship really matured and became much more close at that point. I know now I can be honest with mum, I can treat her as a person not just my mum and that helps a lot.

One of the few things that I took from my last bout of therapy was about learning to accept your parents as human beings, people capable of both good and bad things as we all are and to not hold them up to a higher standard. Everyone makes mistakes, just because they are your parents doesn’t mean they have all the answers and throughout my childhood, my mum and dad made the best decisions as they saw them at the time, doesn’t mean they all worked out that way but that I should stop holding them responsible for things which they didn’t know the outcome of. I used to hate the fact we moved (when we moved there) as I felt so alone and scared, but ask me now and I say that Spain was the best thing to ever happen to me, it strengthened me, it shaped me, it formed me into the wonderful person I now am and I wouldn’t change that for the world. Like I say, they thought it was a good idea but I cannot blame them for the bad things I went through by them making the decision in the first place.

Now we are closer, I try to go away with mum every year (we didn’t this year but hopefully next year?) and we tend to go up to London, wander round, see the world, catch up, do touristy things and generally just relax. We don’t really do much in depth stuff but we spend time together, eat, drink, put the world to rights and just enjoy each others company. Last year when we were in London we took a boat tour on the Thames and saw one of the boats my dad used to work on back in the day – The Will, I had to take a pic of her with it, 2 of my dad’s favourite things in 1 pic 😀

mum3

I do genuinely love my mum, she is caring, kind, a bit stroppy upon occasions but when she wants to show her love, she will do so. I wish she and my brother were closer as I feel that would make her happier but I hope that no matter what, she knows how important she is in my life. I genuinely don’t think i’d be here still if she hadn’t been there when everything went bad, even from letting me cry in her lap when my heart was broken, or just taking photos away from me that a friend sent of me at her wedding and they made me cry. I looked so awful and I’ve never been a fan of myself but these were simply appalling and I wanted to throw them away but mum kept them for me as I didn’t want to offend my friend in the first place. She has influenced me and made me a lot of the person I am, a fighter, someone who is opinionated, brave, silly, loving, very sweet towards her friends and someone who will help out in a crisis.

One of my favourite things about my mum is her humour, I love making her laugh and I am very grateful she puts up with my dire jokes and still laughs. I know there’s times I really tickle her and I love that, I’m hoping that no matter what happens in our future, I can keep her laughing for as long as possible.

mum1

I suppose this can be summed up as a massive thank you to my mum, for everything she does. She is brilliant and caring and I am so grateful she is in my life, I know not everyone’s relationship with their parents is strong as mine and I know I’m lucky for having them. I know we don’t always get on, or see eye to eye but I hope that our relationship is better than it was and continues to improve that way. You drive me mental at times, but I wouldn’t change you for the world.

Love you so much mum, hope it’s a great birthday and you have a wonderful time, see you Thursday and then Sunday for a lunch and presents xx

Day 20 – Where do I see myself in 5 years…

Well, i’ll be 40 for a start so officially old!!

Sorry, just my little joke as my best friend, my love and my brother are all much older than me so I like reminding them of that fact, mean yes but it amuses me so tough!!

I’d like to think myself and the man will still be together, in our own little place with a garden (rented, not purchased as unless there’s a lottery win, we’re never getting on the property ladder) maybe a pet, a man cave, full book shelves, lots of games and a lot of happiness. My family will hopefully all still be healthy and happy. My friends being happy and settled in life – to be fair, most of them are already but i’d like to know that the people who I care about are happy.

I’d like to travel more and be more comfortable with the person I am, I know I feel more comfortable now than say 5 years ago so I’m hoping as I continue to age, I get more confident, more loving of myself as opposed to how I’ve been in the past. It’s not an ego thing, more of an acceptance that this person is the person I am and overall isn’t too bad a person. I mean, I know i’m not a great person, there’s a lot of anger, sarcasm and envy in me but I do try to be a good person, I hope to leave the world a better place for having had me in it I suppose……..fingers crossed anyway!

This is such a tricky one for me, I mean, there are things i’d like to have done, (see 40 for 40 list…..)  and to be honest, I keep seeing more things I’d like to do but actually want to finish what I’ve planned before setting myself even more ridiculous tasks – speaking of which, if there are any things on my list any of you readers can help me achieve, please let me know….I’m struggling with some of these and need as much help as I can get!!

I think this’ll be a short one today because as far as i’m concerned, life is ok at the moment, pretty good in fact so maybe I should be happy with that as opposed to wishing my life away, Nothing is ever guaranteed and I’d like to just focus on the positives and the time I have instead of missing out on actual life due to being too obsessed with that I am aiming to do at some point.

I suppose that this isn’t the most fascinating bit of writing from me but at least the brief has been filled, sort of.

 

 

Day 19 – What makes me happy

Happiness is a sense of well-being, joy, or contentment. When people are successful, or safe, or lucky, they feel happiness. The “pursuit of happiness” is something this country is based on, and different people feel happiness for different reasons.

Below is a good selection of different things that make me happy, this isn’t a definitive list but merely something to show there are many different things – of differing levels which can bring happiness. I’d rather it not be possessions as I like to live with the thought that if I lost everything tomorrow in a fire or some such, I’m glad to know that a lot of the things that bring me happiness

smiles, moose, orangutans, silly videos, cheese, feeling comfortable, travel, seeing friends, having a man who I adore. so many things really.

I’d like to think that I do try to be optimistic, I know that some of my friends would be amazed to read that as I can be incredibly pessimistic and think that generally I have pretty bad luck but am pleased that after a few bad years, I now actively try to look for the positive as opposed to just settling on the negative.

Above is a good selection of things that make me smile.

My family and loved ones are amazing, I count some of my closest friends as family and am so lucky that they seem to like me (I often do not know why) and they’ve always been there for me, through thick and thin. I’m lucky to still have both my parents around and love spending time with them, I sadly don’t get to see my brother as often as i’d like as I live so far away and Public Transport in this country is a joke but I love the fact that when I need his support, he will be there for me.

Travel is a good thing for anyone I believe, there are some places I’ve never been that i’d love to go to but even if it’s just a weekend away from my normal home, I enjoy it, it doesn’t need to be glamourous or expensive to be a good place to holiday – saying that though, I really could do with a sunny holiday – it’s been bloody years!!

Food factors a huge part in my life, not as much as previously (when I’m pretty sure i’d eat my feelings and those of the people around me) but it is still a sign of my love and care – so if I offer to cook for you, pretend you like it haha – and a good way to make me smile. I know that’s really pathetic but food and the way people prepare, spend time over, care about is a sign of love for others.

Moose are my favourite animal (sorry Orangutans, you guys come a close second) and am so tempted to get myself the cross stitch kit above, I think there’s so many craft things I want to do so being given the option to craft AND make myself something fun is brilliant.

Drag is a relatively new thing in my life but I love it. I love seeing people be their authentic selves and being happy in the person they are. I’ve watched people hide themselves for fear of judgement and to see people finally go “F*ck this” and just decide to make themselves happy, and to live happy is amazing. I’ve always been completely comfortable as the person I am – despite the lack of self esteem and self hatred of my outer form – and I’d hate to be stuck like that, to not be comfortable enough or feel safe enough to just be themselves and that’s something if I could improve for everyone, I totally would do.

Some good things I have used to make myself happy – I was once told that faking it till you make it is a good thing here as you can trick your own brain into being happier, it doesn’t work all the time, but enough of the time – are below. I’m interested to see what other people do for themselves to give themselves a pep or whatnot. Feel free to let me know, lets share the love and happiness and see if we can’t spread a smile around the world.

1. Commit to doing one nice thing for yourself every day. – people focus all their energy on other people putting themselves last, try to not always do this, if you don’t take care of yourself, you won’t be able to take care of other people.
2. Listen to yourself – trust your judgement and do things which make you happy, People talking shit since the beginning of time, less they paying your bills pay them bitches no mind!
3. Forgive yourself – be more compassionate to yourself, you give others slack, so why hold yourself to higher standards?
4. Accept yourself as you are right now – it may not be perfect, but it is what it is, be strong in the person you are as there is NO ONE like you, you are a snowflake – not in the derogatory sense but in the sense of you are unique, individual and in your own way, perfect.
5. Eliminate toxic people in your life – not always possible but it’s just not worth your life constantly struggling with other people’s issues. Worry about yourself more and let others worry about themselves.
6. Prioritize your health – self care is very important. If you burn out, how will you be able to help other people.
7. Stop skipping meals – seriously, never a good thing, even if it’s a snack, or a salad or something small and tapas like, keep your energy up.
8. Breathe!
9. Give yourself a welcoming space – I found making my bed every morning meant that when I got in at night, it felt a bit like new sheets. It feels so much nicer than just crawling into an unmade pit! Plus, if I were to win the lottery I’d probably ask for fresh sheets everyday – but until then, I will just make do haha!
10. Get some sunlight – sunlight helps make you happy, if you feel a bit blue, even if it’s cold I always recommend going out for a walk. Wrap up warm and go for a wander, you might see something great but if not exercise and sunshine will help lift the mood.
11. Buy premium products for yourself – I do this, not always as I am inside a very frugal person but I do see the point, why treat other people but not yourself? I’m not saying only buy premium for you and screw everyone else but you deserve a treat every now and again too.

 

 

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?