Monthly Archives: December 2012

What would you do if you weren’t afraid?

I read an amazing book the other week. I’d heard about it years ago, Mr Wrong No. 1 read it, and I noticed it on the bookshelf in the local bookstore the other week and thought I’d buy it.where to go It’s not very long and only took me an hour to read it, but it was extremely good.

What book was it?

“Who Moved My Cheese?” by Dr Spencer Johnson.

It’s a small story and can be applied to any area of life, work, relationships, health, etc.

I won’t spoil the story, suffice to say it is peppered with good, common sense advice and makes you think about whatever it is you are worried about at the time you read the book.

One of the questions asked is “What would you do if you weren’t afraid?”

You know, that moment of stepping off the precipice into the unknown. Do you step or do you not? Does fear hold you back, or does that fear prompt you into action?

Well, when I read the book my immediate thought was with regard to my business. I have so many ideas that I want to try in order to move things forward, but fear is holding me back.

But what is my ultimate fear?

It certainly isn’t about making a fool of myself and being laughed at from trying – that pretty much happens most of the time, so that I can deal with.

Maybe it’s actually a deep-rooted fear connected with what might happen if I did manage to pull off a big coup – how would that impact SC? would I actually be able to fulfill promises? how would the ‘mother-ship’ feel that I’ve effectively gone over their heads and done something inventive off my own back? etc.

Maybe it’s not connected with that at all, but the mere thought of failure and disappointing my father.

My dad has always been there whenever I’ve needed advice on a business level – but one thing always stand out in his advice, and that is his belief that I, like him, cannot sell. And maybe it’s actually his fear that’s holding me back.

He never fails to remind me, that my weakness is sales and marketing. Even though over the last 6 months I think I’ve lost count of the number of marketing e-books I’ve downloaded and poured over. Not that I’m, by any stretch of the imagination an expert, and would never profess to be, but I think I now know enough to get over the hurdle.

So what would I do if I weren’t afraid?

I would create that website.

I would, pardon the expression, ‘sod’ the mothership and do it anyway – after all, I’m running a business, which I need to make money, not a nice little 2nd income earner. And besides, why would they be upset – probably only because they didn’t think of it first 😉

I would run into the unknown and live every single moment – good, bad, or otherwise.

2013 awaits!

May I wish you a truly peaceful, joyous and blessed new year.

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I’ve Done It!

I am a recovering ‘biscuit-a-holic’.Biscuits

It’s been a whole year since my last biscuit.

They were my bete noir, my one temptation, my big bulimic tendency – whenever I felt a bit down, I would reach out for the biscuits and would quite happily munch through near-on a whole packet with a cup of tea.

But no more.

I gave them up for Lent in 2011 and found that pretty easy. So last December – after having one too many – I decided to give them up completely.

Again the stopping was very easy, and then from not having eaten them, my sense of smell underwent a drastic detox.

No longer when I opened the biscuit tin (SC is partial to a Malted Milk) did I smell delicious biscuit smells.

Oh no!

All I could smell when I opened the biscuit tin was the processed fats and sugars.

It took 10 days for the nice smell to go, and gradually over the course of a month the sense of the vile processed smell increased.

And now, a year on, the vile processed smell is still there. It is quite repulsive, and makes me glad I don’t indulge any more.

I can honestly say, that I do not feel the need to have a biscuit and even when I have made them at home with SC I do not feel the urge to eat one.

Biscuit addiction – cured 😉

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Royal Institution Christmas Lectures

Now, these are a bit like Marmite, you either love them or hate them.

Being a nerdy geeky type, personally I love them.

I will always remember watching them, every year with my dad, and they were (and still are) on in the days between Christmas and New Year. Who remembers Professor Heinz Wolff?

They were, when I was young (OMG that makes me sound so old!), half an hour long, aimed at children with a fun theme that children can relate to.

Then Channel 4 or was it 5 took them over, and they moved to 5 o’clock in the evening and 45 minutes long, and now they are back on the Beeb, BUT on BBC4 at 8PM.

What happened to them being aimed at kids as young as 5/6. Or do all 5/6 year olds these days not go to bed til midnight?

And they are an hour long too.

I actually went to see one being filmed a couple of years ago. Loved it and I can’t wait to take SC, but judging by the average age of the kids in the audience this year, that’s not going to be for a few years yet 😦

But why do they appear to have made them less for children of any age, and more for your 8/9 year olds plus, and put them on at a ridiculous time, and channel?

Come on Royal Institution get back to fun science for children of all ages and please BBC next Christmas make them half an hour and put them on at a time when children can sit and enjoy them with their parents, instead of boring us rigid with yet another Eastenders omnibus!

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The Twelve Days of Christmas

SC has a book about Christmas, full of stories, traditions and carols, and amongst them is the true meaning of the carol “The 12 Days of Christmas”.12 days

It is thought this carol was written for the early Roman Catholics in England at a time when they were forbidden from openly practising their religion (between 1558 and 1829, as it happens, although there is no real evidence for this of course!). The carol was created so that children could secretly learn about the Christian faith whilst just seemingly being taught a song.

The words in the carol are like a secret code, with each object relating to some belief of the Christian faith.

So, here goes:

  • “On the first day of Christmas my true love gave to me…” – where ‘true love’ signifies God, the true love of the world and ‘me’ being the Christian (man or woman) who receives Gods presents;
  • Partridge in a pear tree – Jesus;
  • Two Turtle Doves – the 2 books of the bible – Old and New Testaments;
  • Three French Hens – the Holy Trinity – the 3-in-1 – God, the father, the Son and the Holy Spirit;
  • Four Calling Birds – are the 4 Gospels in the New Testament (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John);
  • Five Gold Rings – are the first five books of the Bible called the Pentateuch or the Book of Moses or the Torah;
  • Six Geese-a-Laying – represent the 6 days it took God to create the world (if you believe that of course!);
  • Seven Swans-a-Swimming – are the 7 gifts of the Holy Spirit which are – wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety and fear of the Lord;
  • Eight Maids-a-Milking – are the 8 Beatitudes Jesus taught in the Sermon on the Mount – Blessed are the poor, those who mourn, the meek, those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, the merciful, the pure of heart, the peacemakers and those who are persecuted for the sake of righteousness – and not a cheesemaker amongst them (for all you Monty Python fans!)
  • Nine Ladies Dancing – are the nine fruits of the Holy Spirit, where the fruit symbolises the 9 visible attributes of a true Christian life – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control;
  • Ten Lords-a-Leaping – the 10 Commandments;
  • Eleven Pipers Piping – are the 11 faithful apostles of Jesus;
  • Twelve Drummers Drumming – are the 12 points of the Apostles’ Creed, this is what is generally said in church as the Nicene Creed.

From a mathematical standpoint, if you add all the presents given up you get a total of 364! 1 less than a whole year!

Which means that if the religious meaning is true and true love represents God – then He loves you every day!

May you all have a truly wonderful Christmas full of peace, love and happiness.

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Christmas Hell

Going to have a wee bit of a moan, about the not-so-sunny side to Christmas.Nativity-Scene

Christmas is supposed to be a time for celebration.

But what of?

It surely isn’t celebrating the endless queues, pushing and shoving or the last-minute panic buying on what the media inform us is the retailer’s annual busiest day of the year!

Why is it that year in, year out Christmas becomes less of a celebration of peace, love and hope, and more a blind alleyway leading to stress, anger and bankruptcy?

We get stressed out worrying that we haven’t bought enough food, or presents, or the right presents for the kids so they can keep up with their friends. All that pent-up stress gets released during the annual Christmas row about 11 o’clock as you have realised you didn’t put the sprouts on in April and therefore they won’t be done in time! And we spend so much on food and presents that we end up paying for this 1 day for the next 12 months!

Is the UK the only country in the world (clearly of those that celebrate Christmas) that has scenes of pandemonium and people queueing at 6 o’clock on Christmas Eve morning (or even last thing before they close) to get into the supermarket or the shopping mall for those ‘last minute essentials’?

IT IS ONE DAY IN THE YEAR – the shops are closed for at least 1 day, at most 2!

Why the sudden onrush to buy things like they are going out of fashion, or you are stocking for a  2 month siege?

In December, for the media at least, it seems that the run up to Christmas is all that happens in the world. As every day is this years busiest online shopping day, or busiest retailers shopping day, or busiest weekend buying day, or busiest day when men go shopping, or I could go on.

But is it only in the UK? Is it like this in other countries, say France, or Canada?

Or is it because, like most things, we, in the UK, do it to excess?

We over-eat, over-drink and over-buy (just in case some long-lost relative you haven’t seen or spoken to for the last 12 months suddenly turns up, uninvited on your door-step)

Talking of over-buying, why do we write Christmas cards to people who we haven’t seen or spoken to in the last year. If we haven’t bothered to keep in contact – it’s not difficult these days, with email and Facebook, and yes, I know it takes two – why bother writing a card, promising to keep in touch or meet up, when the next thing you will do is remember to write another card to them 12 months hence? It’s just an observation.

And Secret Santa – not even going there!

Also, why is it that in Soapland you can never have a happy Christmas? It’s always doom and gloom, someone dies, someone breaks up, another gangster fight breaks out!

I know things like this happen in reality, and at Christmas, but we don’t really want to be reminded whilst we’re having a ‘wafer thin mint’ after saying that we couldn’t eat another thing and lounging on the sofa, exhausted from eating too much!

And yes, I know soaps are supposed to be real-life based , but I think that idea went out the window a long time ago, so therefore why can’t everyone for once have a happy Christmas!

Another mince pie, anyone?

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Colonic Irrigation … Would You?

We’ve all seen the reality shows where ‘celebs’ go on a detox retreat and have to self-irrigate the colon by lying upside down on a wooden plank and pouring strong coffee into … well you get the general drift.

Colonic irrigation, or colon hydrotherapy ‘western-style’ is a more genteel affair.

Performed in sterile conditions, with machinery and warm water replacing wooden boards and coffee.

There are 2 sides the coin.

On one side, science has discredited the procedure as there is no evidence to suggest that colon cleansing, as practised by the Ancient Egyptians and Greeks, actually provides any health benefits, and in some cases is actually harmful, since the colon ‘is not dirty’ and naturally eliminates any waste product.

On the other side of the coin, is the belief, as held by the Ancient Egyptians and Greeks, that all the waste the we naturally expel from our colon (how polite is that?), causes a build up of mucus within the colon that stays after the waste has gone. It is this mucus build up, they say, that then increases toxin levels which enter our bloodstream, poisoning our bodies. Some people claim this mucus build-up causes symptoms such as fatigue, weight gain and low energy.

There is another ‘way out’ theory, that stress and past trauma help cause a build-of of waste that cakes to the wall of the colon and by eliminating this waste through colon cleansing, effectively rids you of all this past hurt – a bit like re-birthing!

For the record I have tried it!

Years ago, I went to a clinic and had it done. One of those things that was popular in ‘celeb-land’ at the time and I thought I’d give it a go.

Now, placebo effect, or whatever you want to call it, it may have been, but after the 1st treatment I actually felt as if I had more energy. I didn’t listen properly to the ‘after-care’ instructions though and didn’t drink enough, which resulted in a stinker of a headache for a couple of days, but like I said that was my fault, not a result of the treatment.

I did have done a couple more times, but the second time the woman doing it, was clearly a novice, as I mentioned that the speculum they … well I won’t go in to too much detail … needless to say I was proved right! I did go back again, but having been traumatised the second time, I couldn’t go through with it.

I don’t think I’d do it again, if I ever felt the need to rid myself of past hurts I think I’d rather just go into the countryside and have a good scream – its cheaper for one thing 😉

I think I put myself on the scientific side of the bench for this one and say that, for me, at least I saw no benefit. It was one of those crazy things you do, just because. I think with a good diet, less stress and exercise your colon will stay in pretty good shape.

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Blog of the Year Nomination

The very lovely Daniella over at ‘Ding Dong it’s Mr Wrong‘ has very kindly nominated me for a Blog of the Year award. It is much appreciated – thank you, and thank everyone who takes the time to read my musings about the peculiarities of life.

There are 3 blogs I would like to nominate, and I thoroughly enjoy reading every one:

1.  Ding Dong it’s Mr Wrong – a wonderful blog to empower all of us that we deserve Mr (or Miss) Right, and to be treated with kindness. With some very witty insights on how to identify Mr Wrong traits.

2. Dear Ms Migraine –  a lovely lady, a wonderful campaigner to bring migraine awareness to the fore and a glimpse of living with migraine (and as a fellow migraine sufferer (stress related) I can totally empathise). A migraine is not just a bad headache that requires a couple of aspirin, it is a very debilitating condition, with real, physical symptoms that can render sufferers incapable of literally doing anything for days.

3. In My Opinion – a beautiful blog by the lovely Diane Owens. She has set herself the unenviable task of answering one question every day for a year. The questions she has asked are extremely varied, but extremely readable and some definitely get you thinking.

 

The ‘rules’ for this award are simple:

1.Select another blog or other blogs who deserve the ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award

2.Write a blog post and tell us about the blog(s) you have chosen – there’s no minimum or maximum number of blogs required – and ‘present’ them with their award

3.Include a link back to this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award at the Thought Palette and provide these ‘rules’ in your post (please don’t alter the rules or the badges!)

4.Let the blog(s) you have chosen know that you have given them this award and share the ‘rules’ with them

5.You can now also join our Facebook group – click ‘like’ on this page ‘Blog of the Year 2012’ Award Facebook group and then you can share your blog with an even wider audience

6.As a winner of the award – please add a link back to the blog that presented you with the award – and then proudly display the award on your blog and sidebar … and start collecting stars…

When you begin you will receive the 1 star award, and every time you are given the award by another blog, you can add another star! So until now I have only 1 star!!

There are total of 6 stars to collect.

You can check out your favourite blogs, and even if they have already been given the award by someone else, you can still award them again and help them to reach the maximum 6 stars!

For more information check FAQ on The Thought Palette.

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Do You Deserve Everything You Get?

Someone said to me yesterday that I deserved everything I got!

This was said with malice, I hasten to add.

And that got me thinking, do I, or anyone else come to think of it, deserve what they get in life?

And thinking further is it actually what we deserve, or merely a physical manifestation of our innermost wants, which we ourselves are oblivious of until such time as ‘we get what we deserve’?

And without getting too philosophical or psychological is it perhaps the universe giving us what it knows we can handle?

I remember watching a film, think it was “The Wedding Date”, with Debra Messing (her off Will & Grace) and the father, played by the rather swoonsome Paul Egan, said to Debra Messing’s character that women get the love life they want.

So men, or women who get treated badly, is it because they want to be treated badly, or is it because they have such low self-esteem that they think they don’t deserve to be treated well?

And that got me thinking again? (And we all know how much I think, and boy has it given me a stinker of a headache!!)

So, I tried to take the philosophy that what we get is merely a physical manifestation of our innermost wants and apply it to some areas of my life.

And here’s what I came up with:

Love

Being a true romantic at heart, with a head full of fairy-tales, I believe in there being a Prince Charming out there somewhere.

In reality though I know Prince Charming doesn’t exist. So maybe, when I thought I’d got close to that fairytale, it was with someone I knew, deep down, could and would never be mine? So I got the fairytale in my imagination, but being reality it never really existed in the first place!

Life

I obviously didn’t set out to be a single-mother, but that is the situation I find myself in. Is this merely a physical manifestation of the fact that I thrive on a challenge and find ‘normality’ tedious? I suppose that could be true – after all I was constantly on the move in my career pre-SC – not that I have any lingering wishes towards Mr Wrong No. 2, far from it. Maybe the Universe dealt me this card because it knew I had the wherewithal to cope – although some days I seriously doubt its judgement!

Work

Nothing is ever handed to anyone, and you have to work for what you want. There are no quick wins to fame or fortune, so to speak, except through hard work. That’s what makes slogging your guts out worthwhile, when you can see the results of all that hard work. Sometimes it takes a lifetime. And again, maybe deep down the reason I keep going, is because I’m not a quitter and I just want to prove everyone wrong – just once – and show that I can do it!

It’s not a perfect explanation, but at least its got the thoughts out of my head, and relieved some of the headache!

I don’t believe we deserve what we get!

I believe we all have the power to overcome anything in life, if we choose too, rather than sitting down, doing nothing and letting life pass us by.

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The True Meaning of Christmas

Am I alone in thinking that the true meaning of Christmas has been well and truly forgotten?Nativity-Scene

If you’re truly honest with yourselves, how many of you sit down after Christmas Lunch and think “Thank God that’s over for another year!”

Christmas today seems to start at the end of August, when big stores put in their Christmas shops, we are bombarded by messages of “only 150 shopping days to go”, and the closer to Christmas we get, the less pleasant people become – everyone focusses in on themselves and their own needs. It’s as if brain cells wither as we rush around like headless chickens, and rather than the season of goodwill to all men we become ignorant, arrogant and rude.

For example, at the beginning of December I went to a local supermarket at a reasonable time (9:30), and the car park was already one in one out! People seem to think that it is OK to literally park anywhere, and town resemble zoos.

Why do we do it? The only people who seem to benefit from Christmas nowadays are those in the retail trade, and the credit card companies.

It’s the best time of the year for family feuds and bust-ups. I don’t know about your supermarkets, but where I live it’s like people are buying for a siege or feeding the five thousand – the shops are only closed for 48 hours at most. In January the first thing we do, after all that self-indulging and gorging, is join a gym or weight-watchers to lose the weight, only to put it back on the following Christmas. And, by using credit cards, we end up paying for Christmas all year.

Christmas is not about how much you spend, or whether you get a better present than your best mate. It’s about hope and love.

I’m not going to get all religious, but we should remember that underneath the turkey, mince pies, christmas cake, wine, beer, presents, et al Christmas is, at its root a religious festival celebrating the birth of a baby symbolising hope.

I found this, which I think sums up what Christmas should be very nicely:

A week before Christmas I had a visitor.

I was getting ready to go to bed, when I heard a noise outside.

I opened the door and to my surprise Santa was standing there.

“What are you doing?” I asked.

But Santa was SAD and he had tears in his eyes.

 “TEACH THE CHILDREN!” he said.

I was puzzled! What did he mean?

In a flash he produced a miniature toy bag.

“TEACH THE CHILDREN!” he said again. “Teach them the old meaning of Christmas. The meaning that Christmas nowadays has forgotten!”

He reached into the bag and pulled out a FIR TREE.

“TEACH THE CHILDREN – the Fir Tree is evergreen, symbolising the everlasting hope of mankind. Its needles point upwards towards heaven.”

Then he reached into his bag and pulled out a STAR.

“TEACH THE CHILDREN – that the star was a heavenly sign of PROMISES fulfilled long ago. The shining hope of mankind.”

He then reached into his bag and pulled out a CANDLE.

“TEACH THE CHILDREN – that the candle symbolises that Christ is the light of the world, and when we see this great LIGHT we are reminded of He who displaces the darkness.”

Once again he reached into his bag and removed a WREATH.

“TEACH THE CHILDREN – that the wreath represents the real nature of LOVE. Real love never ceases. Love is one continuous round of affection.”

He then pulled from his bag an ORNAMENT of himself.

“TEACH THE CHILDREN – that I, Santa Claus, am a symbol of the generosity and good will we feel during the month of December.”

He then brought forth a HOLLY LEAF.

“TEACH THE CHILDREN – that the holly plant represents IMMORTALITY. It represents the crown of thorns worn by our Saviour. The red holly berries are the BLOOD shed by Him.”

Next he pulled from his bag a GIFT.

“TEACH THE CHILDREN – that God so loved the world that he gave his begotten son. Thanks be to God for his unspeakable GIFT.”

Santa then reached into his bag and pulled out a CANDY CANE.

 “TEACH THE CHILDREN – that this cane is the shepherd’s crook. The crook on the staff helps to bring back strayed sheep to the flock. The candy cane symbolises that we are our brother’s keeper.”

He reached in again and pulled out an ANGEL

“TEACH THE CHILDREN – that it was the angels that heralded in the glorious news of the Saviour’s birth. The angels sang “GLORY TO GOD in the highest, on earth PEACE and GOODWILL towards men – ALLELUIA!”

Suddenly, I heard a soft tinkling sound, and from his bag he pulled out a BELL

“TEACH THE CHILDREN – that as the lost sheep are found by the sound of the bell, it should ring mankind to the fold. The bell represents GUIDANCE and RETURN.”

Santa looked back and was pleased.

I saw the twinkle was back in his eye.

He said, “REMEMBER, TEACH THE CHILDREN the true meaning of Christmas and do not put me at the centre, for I am but a humble servant of the One that is, and I bow down to worship him, our LORD, our GOD.”

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Connections

I stumbled upon this quote by C.JoyBell C. and I wanted to share it.

“You can talk with someone for years, everyday, and still, it won’t mean as much as what you can have when you sit in front of someone, not saying a word, yet you feel that person with your heart, you feel like you have known the person for forever…. connections are made with the heart, not the tongue.”

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