Wednesday, 1 October 2014

'Practically perfect'

I was under the impression that my family are the best, but it seems not - at least, not according to Mrs Perfect's posts on Facebook.

It turns out that not only is her husband the most attentive, handsome and considerate, but he can also cook! Her children are the world's most attentive offspring who never forget a birthday or anniversary and, indeed, will often produce something beautiful and hand-crafted to mark the occasion. Nieces and nephews are setting the world alight with their talent and ingenuity, while also finding time to raise thousands of pounds for charity. Older offspring excel at music and the arts, while holding down top-level jobs and managing happy teams.

And then there's the grandchildren, with their ditsy clothes and oh-so-appealing pet names. These are the best-behaved tots in the world, who sleep through the night, sail effortlessly through teething and chow down on organic cauliflower without a second thought.

Really, it's just too exhausting. Imagine having to keep up - and keep up with - all that.

Description: Real Girls Aren't Perfect Perfect Girls Aren't Real

Monday, 29 September 2014

I'm a fool to myself

Most Saturdays, I treat myself to the Daily Telegraph. I buy it for its prize general knowledge crossword, and my mum and I will exchange texts relating to African capitals and the moons of Saturn until we have both finished the puzzle. So far neither of us has secured the £200 prize - and between us we must have spent more than that on stamps, but that's not the point.

If I were able to keep my focus on the puzzle section, all would be well, but somehow I always end up reading the rest of the 'Weekend' section. It's not for folk like me. I choose my wine by price, not vineyard, I don't have the wherewithal to take a trip up the Amazon and find it hard to believe that a bronze sculpture of a 'scenting hound' is the perfect gift for anyone (a snip at £250!). Much of the content makes me cross, partly through envy, I'll confess, but mostly because it's all so - I don't know - pointless. I shouldn't read it, I know, but I do, even though it makes me grind my teeth.

This week, the paper surpassed itself, when it devoted 30 column inches plus pictures to the thorny topic of walking in stilettos. You can, apparently, attend a workshop on this crucial life skill for £20 - and if that's not enough, gents can pay £50 to learn how to escort women who wear such shoes. The article concludes: 'Once you can walk in high heels the world is your oyster.'

Good grief.
No stiletto heels in my wardrobe

Friday, 5 September 2014

Made it on time this week!

Made it on time this week. Let's Celebrate the Small Things. My key moments have been:
  • The return of hubby from his golfing trip
  • Lunch with my son on Wednesday - he treated me to an enormous piece of carrot cake
  • Continuing harvest from the allotment
  • Negotiating my way round the Ice Bucket Challenge - I've made my donation to MND, but haven't drenched myself in cold water
  • Lots of variety in my yoga teaching - one-to-one sessions, my regular ladies and getting to know some newbies; and preparing to cover a class for the next three weeks
  • Friday Night Dinner - both 'boys' are joining us tonight, but I do worry that we might be turning into a sitcom
Source: Channel 4 website
Have a good weekend, folks.

'Celebrate the small things' is a bloghop instigated by VikLit on her blog Scribblings of an Aspiring Author and co-hosted by Diana Wilder, LG Keltner @ Writing Off the Edge, Cyborg Mom (Katie) and CaffeMaggieato @ mscoffeehouse. Details are here

Saturday, 30 August 2014

Oops. I'm a day late...

... but I still want to Celebrate The Small Things.
It's been an odd week, with a Bank Holiday on Monday and then hubby going away on Thursday. I don't know where I am. But I'm celebrating:
  • Solitude - not that I don't love my family, but I'm rather enjoying having the house to myself - not to mention that lovely bar of white chocolate that mysteriously fell into my shopping basket (ahem)
  • Getting together with Jeanette, with whom I did my yoga training, and catching up on news of  the rest of the gang
  • New ventures - I'm taking some yoga sessions at a Mudderella event today - that's like Tough Mudder but for women
How about you?

'Celebrate the small things' is a bloghop instigated by VikLit on her blog Scribblings of an Aspiring Author and co-hosted by Diana Wilder, LG Keltner @ Writing Off the Edge, Cyborg Mom (Katie) and CaffeMaggieato @ mscoffeehouse. Details are here.

Tuesday, 26 August 2014

A letter to my younger self

In the light of recent of exam results days, Shelley Wilson posted a lovely addition to her Resolution Challenge blog regarding what she would say to her younger self. I urge you to read it here. It reminded me that I'd written something similar for a competition (that I didn't win). It is reproduced below.

Who Knows Street

 Dear You,

The good news is that you make it to your 50s. I’m hoping as much as you are that this is only half the story.

The bad news is that there are no spoilers in this letter. What would be the point? If I tell you what is about to happen and you don’t like the sound of it, knowing you as I do I’m in no doubt that you’d fix things to go your way. It’s no spoiler to say that you are/I am still a control freak.

So why write at all? I think perhaps it is more for my benefit than yours, so that I can reassure myself that the road I took to get here turned out to be the right one, even though there were times when it looked distinctly rocky! I’m also seeking reassurance from within that having navigated myself to this point I shall be able to negotiate the rest of the journey safely.

It’s OK for you, sitting there as a confident, know-it-all ‘teen spirit’ (a reference to a song you won’t hear until 1991, by which time you will be – oops, nearly gave something away then). You think you’re right about everything and that the world is yours for the taking. Well, you are and it is, up to a point. When you’re ready for your mid-life crisis, though, I hope you’ll take comfort in looking back on a life well lived and relish what is to come.

I’m not prepared to give you the winning numbers for the Lottery (you’ll see later in life what this is – but don’t hold your breath) or to tell you who wins the Grand National in 2009. You don’t need to know these things. You don’t actually need my advice about anything. What will be will be. But you might like to know that following the instinct you have now for weighing things up quickly and efficiently, then making a decision and sticking to it without a backwards glance will stand you in good stead.

I will just say this. You are passionate, so live it, love it and celebrate it. You already know that this passion means plumbing the depths as well as hitting the highs.

You are and will continue to be outraged, indignant and opinionated, but also loyal, tenacious and strong. You are going to love with breathtaking intensity, which will bring you joy and despair. You will break hearts and have yours broken. You will make good choices and bad, meet wonderful people and quite a few bastards. You will work hard and not always happily, and will experience times of plenty interspersed with some hardships.

Your weight will fluctuate and with it your self-esteem. Your moods will swing. Some of your experiences will be exhilarating and glorious. Sometimes you will behave in ways that, on reflection, you shouldn’t have. Some of your actions will make you embarrassed, perhaps even ashamed. People will cross you and some you will forgive; many you won’t. Some people will love you; others not so much.

In other words, you are normal. Whether you find this comforting or disappointing is something you will find out along the way.

Listen to the music, sing and dance, laugh and cry. Most important of all, simply be.

With love
From your older self

Monday, 25 August 2014

Everybody needs good neighbours

We chose to trust the BBC weather forecast and spent Saturday and Sunday up at the allotment harvesting yet more courgettes and beans, and digging up what seems a ridiculously large quantity of potatoes. I really don't know where we are going to store them all.

I was given the job of editing the empty beds: that is to say, restoring order by removing the weeds, digging the whole thing over and covering with carpet until needed again. By the end of the yesterday, the plot was looking quite impressive, although I say so myself.

The same cannot be said for our neighbour's plot. I mean: just look at it!

Any day now, those yellow weeds and thistles will be heavy with seed heads, ready to contaminate our allotment and probably several others. We never see the woman who has this plot. Nothing ever seems to move. Certainly, there is little sign that any veg are growing. It makes me SO mad!

On the other hand, her laziness has resulted in lots of brambles, which are laden with blackberries that we are all enjoying. It's an ill wind...

Friday, 22 August 2014

Namaste, Mr Iyengar

My yoga students and I celebrated the life of BKS Iyengar this afternoon by practising some of our familiar postures in the style of his teaching. (In case you missed it, he died on Wednesday - he was one of the principal teachers behind the popularity of yoga in the West, held in high regard throughout the yoga family.)

It's amazing how different even old standards like the Tree balance can be when you try a different approach. This is why it's so important that you find out what sort of yoga is on offer when you go to a new class and why you should never say, 'I tried yoga once. Didn't like it.' Try another teacher, because there's a style for everyone.

Other than that, it's been another workaday week. How about you?

'Celebrate the small things' is a bloghop instigated by VikLit on her blog Scribblings of an Aspiring Author and co-hosted by Diana Wilder, LG Keltner @ Writing Off the Edge, Cyborg Mom (Katie) and CaffeMaggieato @ mscoffeehouse. Details are here