The art of life

I’ve just got in from seeing The King’s Speech. I had intended to see it when it first came out but time has got the better of me.

It was magnificent. Firth and Rush are amazing and make the whole film, which is essentially just the two of them for large periods.

It reminded me that despite all the advances in technology and cinematography – sometimes what you really cry out to see is a story about people and real characters that you can get to know.

It made me think about how much we can complicate life. We want the CGI life, the constant action and amazing special effects.

We all want to be the dashing hero or heroine who dazzles the world with their flair, vigour and ability to do anything.

We want to seem invinsible and heaven forbid we ever show a weakness.

Really what we all want is the story of perseverance, accompanied by real friends, real people and the occassional soundtrack thrown in for good measure.

We want to be allowed to fall, mess up and wallow in our humanness.

We want to be allowed to celebrate our successes without seeming arrogant. Celebrate our uniqueness without seeming difficult and to enjoy ourselves without feeling as though we have to be answerable all the time.

You may find it a little strange that a film has sparked of this thought process but this is how I am affected by film, music, literature and I don’t want that to change.

I don’t want to become so numb to everything over than my on life that I no longer think of feel. I enjoy being so emotionally challenged and moved by things around me.

So my question to you is:
What has sparked off your thinking recently? What has affected you that you have seen, heard or read?

 

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A blank page…

At the moment my life feels a little like a blank page. Being made redundant has given me a chance to reassess and re think my outlook.

I have realised how much of my identity was tied up in what I did, rather than who I was. So now I don’t have that to hide behind I’ve had to rediscover quite who I am again.

Usually, I would freak out at the prospect of being out of work and I wouldn’t cope but there has been something really liberating about it.

I have surprised myself in how easily I have taken on the housewife role and I don’t use that term in any kind of derogatory manner but despite my love of baking and hosting, I had never thought I would be any good at being a housewife.

Turns out I was wrong, I have been getting the house in order, today I cleaned and tidied our cupboards – tidy house, tidy mind!

I have been job hunting but not with as much vigour as I may have done previously. Not because I don’t want to work, but because I don’t want to be rash and end up working somewhere that swallows up who I am.

Today, I got a call from an agency I actually liked. They specialise in long term and contract placements and I could be as specific as I liked about my requirements. It has made me feel more hopeful about working in the future.

I suppose what I’ve realised is that having a blank page in terms of my work life has meant that I have been able to concentrate on me – the me I am when I’m not doing and I’ve learned to like myself again.

I’m once again excited about the story of my life and writing the next pages, the fear of failure, of other people and of being myself has gone and I feel free to be who I want to be.

It’s almost like one of those mountain top moments where you laugh as the wind whips through your hair and across your face and it’s exilerating – even though it may sound mundane to you, I find my life right now exhilerating because I have left the rat race and had time to realise what living is.

I’m not financially secure, when someone asks about my day I don’t have anything impressive or exciting to tell them but it doesn’t matter anymore… I’m just looking forward to filling the blank pages!

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Coffee, cakes and come dine with me

Sometimes I feel as though my life consists of the following:

  • Coffee
  • Cakes
  • Come dine with me

Coffee – I start my day with a nespresso. There is something very satisfying about putting the small coloured capsule into the machine and the aroma of fresh coffee filling my lungs.

I often go out for coffee if I’m going to meet a friend. I find that there is something relaxing and soothing about it that means people are more likely to share and be open.

Cakes – I love to bake, I have recently put my apron back on and got back down to business. There is something deeply satisfying about the finished product and the delight in the recipient’s face!

I always feel a great sense of achievement when I have baked a cake especially when it turns out perfectly and there is nothing like the smell of freshly baked cakes either.

Come dine with me – I watch this programme all the time, mainly for Dave Lamb’s commentary I’m sure but there is something strangely addictive about it.

Perhaps it’s the opportunity to be a voyeur in someone else’s life and to be reassured by the fact that everyone finds entertaining stressful. I’m just glad that we don’t get scores.

As you may or may not know I am somewhat of a social butterfly. I like being around people and enjoy having people in my home. I suppose I have a ‘come dine with me’ mentality in a sense as I don’t think there is one week that goes by without me having people over or visitng others.

I suppose there is something about food and drink that brings people together and that’s why coffee, cakes and come dine with me feature so heavily in my life.

I sometimes feel we miss out a little. On the continent a meal is a long, drawn out affair with people talking, engaging and enjoying each other’s company.

I suppose there is a something in me that wants to introduce more of that into my everyday life. Bringing people together face to face.

What does your life consist of the most and why do you think that is?

 

 

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“I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then. ”

There are times when we reminisce, look back, day dream about the past. Sometimes I find my mind wandering back and I snap myself out of it. We are often told not to look back, the past is over etc. I tend to agree. I believe that despite our experiences of the past we tend to look back with rose tinted glasses.

Even the pain and difficulties and bad experiences that I went through, there is a lot of it I have forgotten, don’t get me wrong I don’t want to remember it as it was, to constantly re experience the hurt first hand but the fact that I don’t and I can’t means that I don’t remember it exactly as it was.

The quote above comes from Alice in Wonderland, there is something about the books and the films that strike a chord with me and when I read ‘I can’t go back to yesterday because I was a different person then.’ I knew that it fully explains exactly where I am right now.

This year I turn 30 and I don’t know why it’s such a big deal to me but it is. I suppose it’s because I always believed that I would have everything figured out by now, that my life would be ‘perfect’ and I have no idea what I mean by that because to be honest my life is pretty perfect.

Ok, I have a dysfunctional family, I don’t have a job right now but life in general is pretty good and the reason for that is me and my outlook. I have got to a place where all of the periphery things – house, job etc. They just don’t matter so much to me as they used to. I may even be overcoming my suffocating role as people pleaser and learning to be more independent and speak my mind -kindly and with care of course.

I suppose when I was 18, the age where I truly believed I knew everything, I thought that by 30 I would be married with 2.4 children. I am married but there are no children. Now this post is not going to delve into the child issue but suffice to say despite the pressures of the world I am happy with the fact I don’t have children. That’s not to say I don’t want them.

When I think of myself at 16, 18, 21 even 25 – I am so much different to the girl I was then and I’m glad about it. I’m glad that at 29 I feel more secure in who I am, more prepared to be honest and share who I really am, less conscious of what people think – no longer tying myself in knots trying to keep everyone happy. I feel much more on an even keel and that seems strange considering I am financially the least secure I have ever been.

So, maybe the truth is my life is ‘perfect’ in the year I turn 30 it’s just not the ‘perfect’ I had in mind when I was younger. Sometimes, I look back and miss some of the good times but there are plenty more to come, sometimes I look back and miss people but the best people stuck around, sometimes I look back and wonder how I managed to make it through but I did.

There’s a big part of me that is glad that I can’t go back to yesterday because I’m not who I was and I’m still not quite who I’m going to be.

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“You can’t help that. We’re all mad here.” – The Cheshire Cat from Alice in Wonderland

I have two cats they are part of our family and they both have their own very distinct personalities. They are entertaining, loving and mischievous and make me laugh and smile everyday.

We have had them for three years, they were already house trained and are now 7 years old.  We have a boy and a girl – they keep each other company but fight too!  

Maisey is a black cat, moggy and siamese cross. She will sit on your lap all day if you let her and she loves cuddles.

Ozymandius is a bengal cat and they are an amazing breed who are loud, boisterous and crazy. He is also likes cuddles and attention.

 

They tend to sleep for most of the day – seems like a good life to me.They are rarely more than a few centimetres apart though and often fight over the same sleeping spot.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Their favourite place is the radiator beds we bought them. They rarely leave them when the heating’s on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

If  it’s not warm enough there, they will curl up together to steal each other’s body warmth.

Maisey is usually very aware of a camera being around. She is a typical girl in that respect!

 

 

 

Ozymandius has an obsession with climbing into boxes and  bags this is something we have captured quite a lot as he makes a strange meow noise just before he jumps in or once inside.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Both of them love night time. They run around like lunatics and their eyes are reminiscent of Bonnie Tyler’s Total Eclipse of the Heart video – Turn around bright eyes!

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Caution! This post contains honesty…

I realise as I look back over my blog posts that I have failed to talk about the most important thing in my life – my faith.

Now, there may be any number of reasons for this but I think if I’m honest the main reason is my fear of judgement. I suppose there’s a part of me that has seen the eyes glaze over and the polite smile so many times that I tend to get to know people before I bring it up. Now quite how this response is the  same from a reader I don’t know but I still feel it I guess.

My faith is part of my everyday life – it is not something that is only about Sunday for me or about rules and restrictions and being high and mighty.

This morning I began my day praying in the shower, this afternoon I will read the bible and go to see a friend for coffee and pray with them. Every Tuesday evening I meet up with a friend  to chat and pray about our lives, each Thursday I go to a life group and meet in a small group to pray, worship and share community. Each Sunday I go to church.

I am not super spiritual, super holy, a bible basher or any other such terms which may well spring to mind. I do not live my life judging the world and feeling superior.

There are two things I live by:

1. Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.

2. Love your neighbour as yourself.

I don’t always succeed, I am in no way perfect but my faith is something I live out day by day and it is an integral part of who I am.

Feel free to judge me because of this, feel free to think differently of me but I cannot deny who I am and I promised myself this year that I would be honest, that I would be truthful and that I would not let fear of what people think of me stop me from being who I am.

So there we go… think what you wish but know that I am still the same me you have always known.

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Giving the hairdresser the chop…

I have a confession to make, I realise you will judge me and may think differently about me after this but it has to be said.

I don’t like going to the hairdresser.

I know that all of woman kind have taken a sharp intake of breath and that any men reading are a little shocked.

I would almost say I have a phobia of it. I think I’m allergic to the small talk. I don’t have an idea of what style suits me, what type of cut I want or if I want it blow dried straight or flicked. I find the whole process so stressful.

I thought at 29 I had overcome my issue – there is a salon just down the road that I had started going to every 6 weeks like a good brainwashed person does, parting with my hard earned cash.

The first appointment was a little awkward with the usual small talk but there then seemed to be more of a flow and I relaxed – paid, made my next appointment and was proud of myself for finally getting over my issue.

At my second appointment I was completely at ease and the small talk was no more just a conversation.

I continued to go and spoke to my friends and family about how friendly the salon was and how consistent.

When I went for my appointment in November despite my usual hairdresser being there my appointment had been moved to another stylist. This freaked me out for one and I was also a little put out. I had built up a rapport and understanding with my usual stylist and now I had to start the whole process again.

I didn’t want to and although I stayed for my appointment – I cancelled my next one in January and haven’t been back since.

Although this may seem somewhat superficial and a lot to do with my own issues, it’s also to do with customer service and knowing your customer. If I had kept my stylist they would have had my permanent custom and I would have been a regular source of income every 6 weeks.

Perhaps if there had been some explanation for the change or a phone call before I turned up I may have been more forgiving.

If you own a business how do you ensure you are aware of the needs of you’re customer?

As a customer what is important to you and what would stop you from returning somewhere?

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