Monthly Archives: July 2012

Psychological Air Traffic Control…

… is a b***h!!

One minute all the signals are set to green for go, the next there’s a red flashing light and a voice shouting “abort, abort!”

My heart doesn’t know whether it’s coming or going! My heart is screaming green, but my head is setting me up to be let down.

I feel nauseous, there’s a big knot in my stomach, I can’t sleep, I’m ratty and snapping like a crocodile.

I didn’t ask to get on this plane. It just, sort of happened. I didn’t expect to feel what I’m feeling, or that these feelings would be so strong.

Sure, I thought I’d bought the t-shirt once years ago, but this is so very different, and probably knowing me, completely one-sided!

Wish air traffic control would make its flippin’ mind up though!

I guess the best thing for me to do is head for the hills and get over whatever it is I’ve got to get over. But I don’t want to get over the most intense feelings I’ve ever had, isn’t this what we search for?

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Holidays – Free Kids Places?

Not if you’re a single parent!

Don’t the ads look so great, and then there’s the added incentive of free, or discounted children’s places.

HA BL**DY HA!!!

No, it doesn’t apply if you are a single parent.

If you are a single parent and want to take your child away, they have to pay full adult price. The small print, for virtually every single tour operator (and believe me, I’ve looked) says that the discounts only apply to children sharing a room with 2 adults.

Now, I don’t do package holidays. I prefer to enjoy myself rather than being herded like a sheep with 300 strangers who after 2 weeks of complaining about the food and weather return home looking like an over-boiled lobster!

But, package holidays do hold a certain appeal (more in the safety aspect than anything else) if you’re venturing abroad with a small person. However, I was quite frankly amazed when I started looking for a holiday. I actually stumbled upon this little fact last year, and have pretty much researched as much as I can before setting words down.

Everywhere you go and look for holidays, last-minute, bargain breaks in the paper, full price brochure the same rule seems to apply. Unless you have 2 adults the child discount does not apply.

Do single parents not deserve a holiday and to enjoy the same benefits as, for want of a better word, a ‘normal’ family? In this day and age when more and more parents are on their own surely the holiday companies should modernise their discriminatory rules?

Why should I have to pay an adult fare for SC when he wouldn’t have to pay the same flight price if I booked independently, most hotels actually charge per room per night, not based on number of occupants and finally he certainly wouldn’t eat more as much as an adult?

I’ve come to the conclusion that in these modern technological times holiday tour operators and package holidays are a dying breed and should be left to die out.

It is cheaper and definitely easier to find flights and good quality hotels at decent prices, much lower than a package price. Really the only thing you are paying for by buying a package holiday is a rep, you’re not buying a better quality holiday, in my humble opinion.

I appreciate that  for a lot of people a package is a good option, but the tour operators should really do something about their 2 adult policy, it gives off signals that they don’t want their holidays sullied with the likes of single parents, because of course we are all troublemakers, scum of the earth and underneath are covered in green scales!

For me, I shall stick with avoiding package holidays. I want to take SC on adventures, not just a flight from hell and 2 weeks of not seeing any culture, except the antics of the Englishman abroad!

I think next year we might try inter-railing, quite fancy the lakes and mountains of Austria (but that might also have something to do with me wanting to run up a big hill singing “the hills are alive with the sound of music” 😉

This year, who knows. I’d best get cracking trying to sort something out, I’ve got 2 weeks to take a break from tomorrow. EEK!

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If I could turn back time …

I wouldn’t change a thing. We make our own mistakes to learn from them. There would be no point trying to rewrite history because it won’t stop what, ultimately, will happen.

But wouldn’t it be great to go back in time to get some questions answered?

My dad is very much into his family history. But, wow, how many skeletons inevitably fall out of cupboards. The trouble is with these skeletons, no one is around any more to answer questions, or if they are, either don’t want to talk or feed you a pack of lies.

So, if I had a time machine I would go back to 1935, 1884 and biblical times.

I’d go back to 1935 to find out exactly what happened to my beloved Nan. She had a child out-of-wedlock, a fact which remained hidden until nearly 20 years after her death (someone else tracing their family history). We know my Nan didn’t marry the father, but they were obviously together at the time of the birth because they both registered the birth together and were living at the same house. So what happened? She didn’t marry this guy, he seemed to disappear off the face of the earth. Was he killed? Did he jilt her? The child was fostered or adopted, we aren’t sure. What we have found out about the child from his relatives appear to the a string of elaborate red herrings, every corner my father turns is a blind alley. As for the father, the trail ends at the birth certificate. We have a name, nothing else! Very frustrating.

A similar occurrence happened to my great-great grandmother. She had a child out-of-wedlock. Her father was well-to-do, she had the child in a town and the address she used didn’t exist. The child was brought up by another couple – why, my father doesn’t know. He is surmising that the husband was the father of the child, but that’s just a common-sense stab-stab-in-the-dark guess. Why else would strangers bring up a child, there are no adoption papers. Were they paid? Who knows. As for my great-great grandmother, well rumour has it she went to the States. But can my dad find any trace of her. No. Not even her passage there. Time travel would be such a useful thing to answer these questions for him. I cannot think of another way to find out the information he so sorely would like to find out.

Finally, a bit silly this one, but I’d like to go back to biblical times. Now, I am big Da Vinci Code fan, loved the book and loved the film, but I was in church last week, it happened to be the Feast of Mary Magdalene, and the vicar in the opening of the sermon poo-pooed the Da Vinci link between Mary Magdalene and Jesus as complete poppycock, twaddle and nonsense. But how does he know? That is where the big debate lies and has been going on for centuries. So wouldn’t it be great to go back and find out the truth once and for all?

If you had a time machine what would you do?

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“Oh man! Grow some fuzz on your peaches!”

… is quite the most funniest thing I’ve heard in quite some time.

But ladies isn’t it true?

Despite feminism and equality we actually still want men to be men and take charge. Not dither, skirt or pussyfoot around!

Just wanted to share the saying with you 😉

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Amber Teething Necklace

There was a story in the paper today about the dangers of babies choking from wearing amber necklaces. Specifically those bought off Amazon and eBay that have been made in Eastern Europe.

Obviously on the online version, there was the usual tidal wave of comments about mothers who put these on their children being mad, bad, insane, needing a lobotomy, etc.

Now, SC wore an amber necklace from the day he started teething. I was recommended it by a friend who lived in Germany, and they swore by it.

Apparently, amber is a natural analgesic, therefore a necklace will help numb teething pain.

Believe it or not, that is your choice.

I bought an amber necklace, and unlike the beads that have been reported SC’s necklace was knotted after each bead of amber, therefore should the necklace break only 1 bead will drop.

And before you start about me being mad, there is just as much chance of a child of 6 months choking on an apple than a necklace bead, but obviously weaning children with big chunks of apple at 6 months is OK, but wearing a necklace is not.

SC wore his necklace day and night, and we sailed through teething. Whether this was due to the necklace or not I don’t know. All I do know is that when his necklace did break, the 2 weeks it took to get a replacement was the longest of my life. SC was grumpy, whiney, all the symptoms that teething children get, and nothing could pacify him. Of course, it could just be that he was so used to having his necklace on that he felt bereft without it? But  the moment the new necklace went on, within an hour he had calmed right down again.

I would recommend an amber necklace for teething. My doctor asked what SC’s necklace was for, and when I told him he didn’t tell me I was stupid, rather said that it was a good idea and that Bonjela didn’t work anyway!

Like everything to do with children, of course, you need to be sensible, and of course if you buy a necklace where the amber beads are just tied up then the risk of scattering is greater than a necklace where the beads have a knot between each one.

But rather than scare-mongering reporting, surely a balanced perspective is better. You let children play with your necklaces, whilst you are wearing them and in the ‘dressing up box’ – surely there’s just as much chance of them choking if they manage to snap your necklaces as there is when they are wearing, and manage to snap an amber necklace?

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What does it mean to be spiritual?

Does it mean the same as having faith? Or can you be one without the other?

I would say that faith and spirituality are two separate and distinct features about a person. I firmly believe that you don’t have to have one to have the other.

I have faith. I believe there is an ultimate being somewhere out there – obviously, being Christian, for me that is God, but I also respect that other religions have their own ultimate being. I try to lead a good life and go to church pretty much every Sunday, listening to the sermon and trying to make sense of it through my own experiences in life. This is, after all the done thing if you have faith, isn’t it?

But.

To be honest, I find more peace, serenity and faith sitting alone in a church than I do when there is an entire congregation there. I also find this same feeling when I’m alone with my own thoughts on the top of a hill, in the middle of the countryside, or in the middle of the night. When I’m thinking and trying to make sense of my life.

And that, I believe, is why I also have spirituality. I believe in God, but I also believe we are more than just flesh and bones. We have a spirit, a soul, a thinking being, something that ultimately makes us what we are. To me the flesh and bones is just the canvas, our soul is the artwork and ultimately the beauty.

The one question that keeps popping into my head, and has done since I was a teenager, is what happens when we die? Sure I get the body wears out. But what about our souls?

If there is no higher plane, then surely our thoughts, feelings and emotions are nothing more than a chain reaction of several nerve signals sent from the brain, therefore (logical side kicking in), we should be able to switch off our feelings like we can switch off a tap?

But we can’t, can we? If we didn’t have souls, we wouldn’t be able to love another being, it would just be a simple case of procreation, no feelings, no emotion, no nothing. But we don’t, we search our entire lives to find that one true love, the one person who holds not only the key to our heart, but a ‘soul-mate’!

I firmly believe in souls, or spirits, for want of a better word.

So what is spirituality?

According to Wikipedia: Spirituality is belief in an ultimate, or alleged immaterial reality, an inner path enabling a person to discover the essence of his/her beinghttp://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Spirituality

Doesn’t really explain much, does it?

But how do you find that inner path, the way to enlightenment?

Enlightenment comes from within.

It is ultimately about finding yourself, but I don’t believe you can find yourself on a distance learning course, a 2 week retreat, or even a 6 month jaunt to India.

You can only find yourself by making mistakes and learning from them.

Some people take a lifetime, some of us take several lifetimes 😉

Yes, I believe in reincarnation and that we have been on this earth many times in different guises. Why do you think we get that feeling of de ja vu?

For me, being spiritual is about being at one with myself. Yes, I’ve made mistakes, and no doubt I’ll make many more before this journey is over, but I don’t regret anything. I am happy within myself, I have found peace with my life. I can’t change what is ultimately my pre-destined path. I can alter directions, veer around rocks, try to fool myself, but at the end of the day I’ll still end up where I was meant to be.

I believe that sharing a spiritual experience with someone is a magical thing indeed. It can be anything from music and literature to religious rituals. It’s not just the meeting of two human beings, or even two minds, it is the meeting of two souls who make a deep connection.

And that connection can be stronger than anything you have ever experienced before. Whether that connection is destined to last for a few short minutes or a lifetime, who knows? But isn’t that ultimately what we are all searching for a connection with another soul?

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Top 5 Assumptions People make about Me

Top 5 assumptions people make about me:

  1. I’m a single mum, so I must be easy – this is soooo not the case. As I pointed out before being a single mum was not a career choice, I would prefer to be in the stereotypical normal loving relationship with 2.4 children. I’m not, but this does not make me easy. In fact in my 40 years on this planet I have slept with 5 guys – that’s it. Just 5! Does that make me easy, when young women these days seem to be sleeping with a different man every weekend? I have kissed a lot more. Oh yes, way more, BUT I would like to stress that it was only kissing, nothing went any further than that. But I have only slept with 5 – first time I was 21, 2nd was somewhere in my mid-20s, 3rd was my first love (that’s right I didn’t sleep with him when I first went out with him, it was about the 4th attempt of being together (complete disaster)), 4th was Mr Wrong No 1 and 5th was Mr Wrong No. 2. If it happens that I meet a nice, handsome guy it will only happen if and when it feels right. It will mean everything, not nothing. And be special!
  2. I’m an idiot – they don’t think I’m dumb, but they just don’t think I’m very bright 😉 I feel it’s easier to let them think this. Saves a lot of hassle in the long run. I’m not. I know my own mind, have my own opinions and can, at times, be very blunt. I will call a spade a spade!
  3. They think I’m something I’m not – Rita Hayworth always said that people went to bed with Gilda, but woke up with her and were disappointed. A lot of people think this way about me. Not, obviously, because I anyway near resemble that beautiful lady, but most of the parts I have played on stage (locally, I hasten to add, I’m not Angelina Jolie in disguise) have been strong, sexy, vampish types. I am not like this at all.  I am very shy around people I do not know, especially in social situations. I open up only when I feel safe and comfortable in someone’s company. I was bullied at school, and have been squashed like a cabbage leaf to such an extent that any spark I had vanished. It has only just started coming back. I am happy in my own mind, I am at peace with my life and I look forward to whatever chance throws my way But I am not that sexy lady people see on stage – that’s a part, they aren’t my words, they’ve been written. It’s easier to play a part that is so far removed from what you are really like, than someone who is almost like you.
  4. I ‘have it easy’ because I live with my parents – I live with my parents because I have no where else to go. I will never, ever be able to repay my parents for taking me and SC in. They should be enjoying retirement, not having a small child running around the place 24 hours a day. But at the moment I cannot afford to live anywhere else. Don’t think, like everyone else, that I get everything done for me. Because I don’t. I do the cooking, cleaning, washing and ironing for all of us, and the gardening. I am also trying to build up business so I can afford to get a place of our own and I am in sole charge of SC because he’s my responsibility, not my parent’s. I do not go out every night of the week, getting drunk and abusing their generosity. I go out twice a week. To dance class and rehearsal. Occasionally, and it is very rare I go out at the weekends, it’s usually with my mum to the theatre. But that happens maybe two or three times a year. If I am asked to go out, when pigs are generally flying underneath a blue moon, I always ask my parents, out of politeness more than permission. My mum is always encouraging me to go out and enjoy myself if I have the chance 😉
  5. I can be treated anyway they choose – sometimes people think it doesn’t seem to matter what they say to me, however hurtful their remarks. After all, it’s only me, I don’t have feelings, I deserve to be treated like something they just trod in. I might brush off comments, with a laugh or a quick quip back, but that doesn’t mean I’m not hurting inside. Laughter is my defence mechanism. Don’t let them see they’ve hurt you, or they’ll do it all the more. Laugh it off and they’ll get bored. But that doesn’t mean that when I get home I don’t feel sad about what’s been said. It doesn’t stop me thinking about those remarks, and over-analysing situations, coming to my own conclusions that maybe they’re right and I don’t deserve any happiness. I’ve said before that I think way too much, I’ve only got my own thoughts to talk to and this thinking eats away at me. Here are my top 3 comments I’ve been subjected to: “The only person to go out with you must be drunk, blind or certifiable”, “I pity the poor man who ends up with you” and my favourite said by Mr Wrong No. 2 (I had known him for 10 years before we got together) “When I first met you, even though I was married I thought if I was to have an affair it would be with someone like you!” Charming, eh? (He obviously made assumption number 3)

Everyone makes assumptions – based on a variety of things. But assumptions are just that – assumptions, thought processes evolved from assessing a situation at face value without asking questions.

The more we question, the more we find out and the more we learn.

 

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