Category Archives: General

Lessons I’ve Learned in 2016

snoopyDo I start off with a reflective, thoughtfully written paragraph?

No, let’s dive straight in – so here are the 10 lessons I have learned over the last year:

10.  NEVER put a mixture of grapeseed and jojoba oil on your hair – it’s a b***er to get out.

Why did I do this crazy thing? Vanity, pure vanity. I have never been blessed with thick, voluminous, lustrous locks. My hair is baby fine and there has never been much of it. I have it trimmed regularly, but still, sometimes looks like 9 strands of hair…literally.

So I did what any other vain person would do and searched Doctor Google for some advice on how to naturally thicken one’s hair. And this seemed liked a reasonable suggestion. Just gently massage the mixture onto your scalp for 5 minutes and then wash off using a mild shampoo.

Well, the first bit worked, the massage was very therapeutic and mildly relaxing. But, did the darn oil wash off? No sir, it did not. I washed my hair twice and it still felt like an oil slick. Gross! Once it had dried, it did feel silky smooth, that did not last. By the end of the day it looked like I hadn’t washed my hair for a month. Solution, wash hair with baking soda and then wash hair with shampoo – that seemed to do the trick.

Lesson learned – don’t be so b***dy vain, and just use hairpieces like everyone else! (I’ve got a fab blonde long, curly wig I’m dying to try out. Will my IQ go down though once I put it on?)

9.  EGGS are great as a beauty treatment, just don’t eat them.

I’ve posted previously about the wonders of an egg-white face mask – and yes, I’m still slopping the egg-white on my face on a regular basis.

However, this was the year that eggs decided to give me up!

You know as you get older that your tastes change and things you used to like, no longer do it for you? Sometimes, as in my case, the food in question decided it did not like me any more. Without going into too much detail, I found that I now cannot eat eggs – or rather I can but then regret it!

Lesson learned – just stick to having egg on my face and don’t buy any chickens in the near future!

8.  FLYING SOLO IS FUN

This year, I grabbed the bull by the horns and decided to strike out on my own. S*d the fact that I had no one to go with, I bravely bit the bullet and went to places I never thought I would ever go to. And yes, I went on my own – or rather I was accompanied by a good book – and had the most splendid of times.

I knocked 2 items off the bucket list – I had afternoon tea at The Ritz and lunch at The Ivy and went to numerous plays/musicals in the West End all by myself.

Yes, you get stared at – I just buried my head a little deeper into the book and ignored, and yes I was shoved away in a corner )Ritz) and not really afforded the same attention (Ivy) as someone who had companionship at the table – but I had the most wonderful time.

I met some lovely people at the theatre and saw some fabulous productions.

Next year a spa day beckons – need another crystal healing session – and I might check out a few art galleries.

Lesson learned – don’t be afraid of doing things on your own.

7.  TRAMPOLINING is fun and very good exercise.

There are trampoline parks springing up all over the place. Forget Zumba, Ballet Fitness or Yoga, it appears “bouncing to get fit” is the new exercise fad.

I took SC to one of these trampoline parks and it was super fun. After an hour you certainly feel the burn, even if you do nothing more than bounce. You also leave with a tremendous grin on your face.

It’s also extremely good for your pelvic floor muscles. After having SC, my pelvic floor is not what it used to be. Let’s just say, trampolining certainly gives them a good work-out!!!

Lesson learned – having fun keeps you young.

6. I CAN or I’ll give it a darned good try at the very least.

I have started a couple of projects this year, that I have been um-ing and ah-ing about for a good few years. Finally, I decided that I should just do it – to coin a phrase. After all, what’s the very worst that could happen? Yes, I know, I could fall flat on my face, but at least I would have the satisfaction of knowing that I tried.

The 1st project is going well and the 2nd project after a bit of a shaky start is beginning to gather momentum, so hopefully, cross fingers, it will be onwards and upwards for both of them.

Lesson learned – don’t dither, just do it!

5.  CARROT CAKE and catch-ups are the best thing ever.

My best friend moved back overseas in September, and the one thing I really miss is our regular carrot cake and catch-up sessions.

Lesson learned – don’t underestimate the power of carrot cake!

4.  I AM WORTHY!

I worked out a long time ago that clearly, I am just not the right girl for anyone. And I’m happy with that. Me, myself and I (after a rough start) get on very well now and I don’t need anyone to make me feel happy or complete (if that makes sense?).

I’ve had my share of being treated badly, shall we say – an option, a replacement, a stand-by, a joke, etc.

I finally know my value. I may be quirky, weird, geeky, lanky, but I am deserving of something real, something true and something better.

I am strong enough now to realise that I am worth the effort of climbing to the top of the tree.

Lesson learned – I believe in actions not words.

3.  SMILE everyday.

No matter what, just smile. Like the song goes, “smile, though your heart is aching!”

Life is better when you smile.

Smiles, like laughter, are infectious, and your smile may make someone else’s day.

Lesson learned – smiling makes you feel better.

2.  GRAB OPPORTUNITIES by the proverbials.

Life sends us opportunities every day. We just need to open our eyes to find them.

When you are sent an opportunity, embrace it and make the most of it. It may lead to bigger and better things.

Lesson learned – be grateful for everything life throws your way.

1. LIFE IS AMAZING!

Every day is a blessing, no matter what the day holds for you.

Don’t worry about what other people think, do what makes you happy. What is the point of doing stuff that makes you miserable?

Life may not always work out the way we want, it will always hold surprises – good, bad or otherwise – and those little blips will either lead us onto better things, teach us what we need to know or just be something to brush off.

There will always be some upset, but at the end of the day that’s life, it’s never going to be plain sailing.

We have 86,400 seconds every day to live life to the fullest, so don’t waste them.

Lesson learned – to wake up every morning and feel grateful and blessed for another chance.

 

What have you learned this year?

Happy New Year everyone

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Friday Poem – I Believe

i-believeBrowsing through the Top 500 poems list, looking for a suitable poem for today, I stumbled across this truly wonderful poem by Sienna Harlequinn.

Her name is all I could find out. But the poem speaks volumes and pretty much sums up my philosophy on life.

So, enjoy it:

I BELIEVE

I believe that the sun shines after the rain
I believe if you don’t get hurt you’ll never gain
I believe in not doing things the easy way
I believe that being selfish doesn’t pay

I believe in a second chance
I believe in a life long romance
I believe there is life after death
And standing up to a life of mess

I believe in love at first sight
I believe that revenge isn’t right
I believe that first impressions last
And there is nothing better then a good laugh

I believe that dreams do come true
I believe there’s destiny for me and you
I believe that good things come to those who wait
I believe love never arrives too late

I believe something good comes from something bad
I believe that for tears of happiness there are tears of sad
I believe everyone has a guardian angel
And the good you do will be rewarded well

I believe sometimes there is no explanation
I believe money can’t buy people’s affection
I believe you don’t know what you’ve got until it’s gone
I believe a new day arrives with every dawn

I believe a smile can be contagious
I believe in being very outrageous
I believe in living with no regrets
I believe that life is as good as it gets

I believe that God watches over us
I believe the little things are worth the fuss
I believe you have each friend for a reason
I believe you will get punished for treason

I believe that what comes first is family
I believe we should all live in harmony
I believe in making the most of a beautiful day
And it’s not the end until everything’s okay

I believe absence makes the heart grow fonder
I believe you will lose if you sit and wonder
I believe every experience teaches you a lesson
And nothing cures better then a drinking session

I believe everyone has one true love
I believe sometimes we need a little shove
I believe the whole world is a stage
I believe we only get better with age

I believe that to learn you have to live
I believe that to love someone you have to give
I believe one moment can change your life
And there’s still help when you’re in strife

I believe everyone has one true friend
I believe love helps a broken heart mend
I believe in the power of a song
And things will change before too long

I believe living is the best experience
I believe in not laughing at other people’s expense
I believe it’s hard to watch a lover leave
And when they’re gone all you can do is breath

I believe to always look on the bright side
I believe that life is just one big ride
I believe when I die people will grieve
But it’s ok because I believe

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A-Z of Life – Honesty

self-honesty-freedomLet’s be honest – it’s always easier to blame other people/other circumstances for our misfortunes in life, isn’t it?

But where does that get us?

Nowhere, that’s where.

Or continually walking down a path always looking for something or someone to blame and never once looking closer to home.

But maybe we should.

Every day we always have a choice.

And those choices determine what happens in our lives. Some of it will be good and some of it will be not so good.

But, and here’s the crux of the matter, if the choice you made turns out to be not so good, then instead of looking for someone or something to blame we need to look at our actions. After all, weren’t we the one who made that particular choice?

We’ve all done it. It’s human nature. If something goes wrong it’s easier to blame circumstances or fate or luck, isn’t it?

I’ve spent a good part of my life blaming others for my ‘lot in life’ – unlucky, ugly, useless, worthless, etc. You name it, the list is pretty long.

But, over the last couple years, having been on this voyage of self-discovery I realised the ‘others’ involved may have caused an initial blip in my life (for want of a better expression), but I was then ultimately responsible for how I felt. After all, I was the one that chose to let their actions affect my life, I chose to believe I was worthless, I chose to believe that I deserved everything that was thrown at me, I chose to believe that I should be treated without respect.

“Life is 10% what happens to us and 90% how we react to it!”

I looked closely at my own actions and worked hard to improve and better myself in all areas of life and these days I wake up and choose to be positive.

Because I believe in myself now.

For sure, I may still get a few wobbles and panics occasionally but I stop, tell myself to stop being so silly and as a certain song goes, always look on the bright side.

I am alive.

I am allowed to have dreams.

I deserve to be here.

I deserve to have a life.

I am worthy of life.

I am worthy of respect.

I value and know my worth.

I choose life.

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Don’t Forget Your Toothbrush …

toothbrushDisturbing fact I read in the paper yesterday was the according to a survey 1 in 4 people do NOT pack a toothbrush or toothpaste when they go on holiday.

URGH!

Can I just say that’s totally minging!

Seriously, how could you go on holiday for a fortnight and not brush your teeth once?

Sure, I pack light when I go away.

I don’t need hairdryers or hair products bar shampoo – I like the sea scrunch look and I never use a hairdryer anyway.

I don’t need the entire Bobbi Brown/Max Factor make-up counter – minimalist look.

BUT, the one thing I never, ever leave home without is my toothbrush and toothpaste. It’s another one of my thing’s I’m fairly fanatical about – brushing my teeth morning, noon and night.  And I’ll let you in on a little secret … I’ve never, ever had a filling (touches all the wooden objects I can see)

However, most people seem to pack everything including the kitchen sink when going on their annual fortnightly summer vacation – but despite their seemingly groaning toiletries bag they forget toothbrush and toothpaste … on purpose!

How?

Why?

Words fail me!

 

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Twiddlemuff and the Art of Knitting

A Twiddlemuff or to Twiddlemuff, that is the question?

Either way you say it, it sounds a little bit “Carry On” doesn’t it?

“Would you care for tea m’Lord?”

“No thanks my good man off for a bit of Twiddlemuff!”

Actually, though that could not be further from the truth.

Until a few months ago I too was totally oblivious to what a Twiddlemuff was. It was only when I had a quick flick through my mum’s WI monthly newsletter (as you do when you have nothing better to do) when I saw a small article that caught my eye. The headline was “Twiddling for Dementia” – and again even the headline raised an eyebrow!

So what is a Twiddlemuff?

It is also known as a Sensory Band or Dementia Sleeve, which are double thickness knitted hand muffs embellished with bits and bobs (such as buttons, ribbons, bells, etc) attached inside and out to provide a stimulation activity for restless hands in patients suffering from dementia.

After reading, a little lightbulb went PING! in my head. Ah, I thought, an opportunity to  knock another item off the old bucket list. The art of knitting.

Now, since I wrote my bucket list (or things to do in my 40s) I have knitted precisely one item. A very small scarf (10 stitches across) in plain knit stitch only which is currently residing on small boy’s toy bunny.

So as you can tell I am not the world’s best knitter, by any stretch of the imagination, but I thought it would give me a chance to practice and hone my skills whilst at the same time doing something worthwhile.

I went to the webpage shown in the magazine article for the pattern which said that I should cast on 28 stitches (easy when you know how, I favour the thumb method myself) and then do stocking stitch. Now clearly when I went to my “The Knitting Book” I must have not had my glasses on because I could have sworn blind that stocking stitch was Knit one Purl one.

This was my result after 5 or 6 rows!

twiddlemuff1

 

 

 

 

 

Disaster!

I could not work out why the darn thing was not getting any longer.

Until, I took a closer look.

When it comes to knitting I am very much a beginner’s beginner. Sure I knew how to do a basic knit stitch, but that still involved my concentrating really hard and sticking my tongue out of the corner of my mouth. Knit one Purl one was causing consternation, purely because having read in my knitting bible that to a do a purl stitch the yarn should be in front of the needles.

And therein lay my problem.

What I was doing between each stitch was actually moving the ball of wool so all I was doing was knotting rather than knitting, which is why the thing wasn’t getting nay longer.

Unravel, throw needles down in despair at how rubbish I am and leave it.

For a few weeks, and then I found another pattern, courtesy of Knit for Peace which seemed a lot simpler to follow, since it said you could use just normal Knit stitch, and then it actually explained stocking stitch.

Clearly I had been wearing my “daft” head (as Worzel would have put it) because stocking stick is knit one row and then purl one row – oh, how much simpler.

So recasting 60 stitches we had Twiddlemuff Part 2.

And after a while my knitting resembled something identifiable:

twiddlemuff2

 

 

 

 

 

And yes, I still had 60 stitches.

Sure, I am still as slow as the proverbial snail, in fact I timed it and it takes me 4 mins and 34 seconds to knit one row – a little bit longer for purl. But I am almost, so very nearly at the end of my ball of wool and it looks quite good.

I think I must have not used a 150g ball of wool, as it is not the required length.

Guess Bunny now has a blanket!

I will buy another ball of wool and start Twiddlemuff Mark 3 – then I can send it off.

I will update you on the progress of the next Twiddlemuff soon.

In the meantime, I’m off to Twiddlemuff!

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Wolf-Whistling to become a hate crime – seriously?

In the immortal words of John McEnroe, “You cannot be serious, man?”

Why?

If anyone takes being wolf-whistled at offensively then maybe they should just lighten up a bit.

And before you all go off on one, yes I know sexual assault and harassment are very serious offences and should be dealt with accordingly, I get that. But a wolf-whistle?

If that’s the case, then surely if women yell obscenities at men across the street about getting their kit off, that should be treated in the same vein?

Yes?

No?

Wolf-whistling has been the playful banter, and I use the word banter loosely here, of building sites for years.  It’s harmless fun. And as long as it stays that way why should it matter.

Feminism, schmemenism!

Now, in all seriousness I am not a dog and do not respond to a whistle (I’m a cat, I will take a message and get back to you 😉 ), but I like being wolf-whistled at.

I don’t take it seriously and 9 times out of 10 they will pretty much wolf-whistle anyone – I mean they must if they whistle at me, right? 😉

But getting a wolf-whistle makes me feel a bit zingier – maybe it’s just that little bit of attention. God! that makes me sound so needy, I’m not but everyone needs a little attention sometimes to feel alive – it’s like that little jump your heart does when you get a text from someone you like.  Nothing horrible, just lovely and quite nice actually.

 

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So long and thanks for all the fish …

… or a final word on (shh!) BREXIT.

Note – this is an unbiased post not wavering one way or t’other just commenting on what I have seen today]

The United Kingdom has come out!

Who’d have thought that would be the outcome (or indeed the headline of the day)?

It was a vote into the unknown, with no cold hard facts or figures, like I said in my previous post. And to be honest, anything could happen – there are 2 possible outcomes now that a decision has been reached.

  1. It’ll all go belly up and we’ll still be in a dire mess – albeit with no one to blame but ourselves;
  2. Everything in the garden will come up roses

It was really too close to call, but we live in a democracy where majority rules, so we must abide by the decision.

It appears that anyone who voted “Leave” was clearly too stupid, totally ignorant and should never have been in charge of a voting card in the first place and that those who voted “Remain” are trying to get a 2nd referendum because they didn’t like the outcome of the 1st one!

So here was the map, courtesy of the BBC, of the results:

brexit map

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

It really was, as you can see almost 50/50, but Leave snatched it with 51.9% of the vote to 48.1% – but anything over 50% is a majority (at least it was when I went to school).

And if all those blue regions that voted leave are far too stupid, doesn’t that say something more about the standard of education in country? (just asking)

There have been jokes aplenty about how I used to have a pound in my pocket now I’ve only got 89p, or now I can’t go into Poundland.

But actually is that really true.

Fact 1: We never joined the Euro, therefore you had a pound in your pocket to start with

Fact 2: Your pound is still worth a pound

Fact 3: It’s only if you change currency that the exchange rate is a tad unhappy at the moment. And right now 1Euro is 81p, or £1 will get you 1.23 Euros (it’s been worse).

As for  2nd referendum that’s being demanded by the Remain camp, could I just ask (being devil’s advocate) what would the reaction be if the tables were reversed and Remain won by the same margin and Leave decided to protest and demand a 2nd referendum – would there be an outcry of “you lost, get over it?” (again, just asking).

Now this petition calling for a 2nd referendum says “We the undersigned call upon HM Government to implement a rule that if the remain or leave vote is less than 60% based on a turnout less than 75% there should be another referendum”

One thing, shouldn’t this petition have been started before the result, not after, as it now seems to smack of sore losership?

If we’re going on turnout according to the BBC website, the turnout was actually lowest in areas with more young people!

But, if we take that request based on less than 75% turnout count for a moment, that kind of negates every single general election result back to 1979 where 76% of the voting electorate turned out and Margaret Thatcher won a landslide victory (figures not plucked out of thin air but from ukpolitical.info website).

So, if we go on that argument then Mrs Thatcher is still effectively Prime Minister and we’ll all wake up tomorrow morning back in 1979. Is everyone OK with that?

No?

Didn’t think so.

Furthermore, based on this 75% turnout, then London should have its Mayor removed forthwith since the turnout for London Mayor elections since 2000 has been constantly less than 45% (OK 2008 was 45.33%)

So with that basis the Remain camp have achieved time travel back 27 years, just in time to reach record unemployment of 3 million, a miners strike and flares. On the plus side at least houses were cheaper in 1979 😉

 

Leaving flippancy, sarcasm and everything aside, the vote is done, the die is cast we cannot change what is done. So we just have to make the best of it.

Like anything in life it is a risk, se we just have to think of it as a new beginning, the first step into the unknown has been taken, we just have to hope the staircase is there.

 

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