Wednesday, 22 September 2010

...and counting

Historically I have always been tall and slender, even skinny after having children in my mid to late 30's I gradually gained weight. Eating for comfort is a western symptom of unhappiness, the one pool into which I dived headlong and remained underwater for the past decade.

During THAT week  in February this year I lost one stone, then over the last few months another stone silently dropped off and stayed off.

Although I have recently been eating a healthy meal each day, I have not had a suitable breakfast or lunch. Of course though sufficiently nourishing, this will make me sluggish, as my metabolism will not be functioning properly. So I have enrolled on a healthy eating plan to train my self back into proper eating habits and it helps for me to have this structured guide. I am now eating better, more regularly and l have lost another 5lbs in two weeks. A total of 33lbs. A bit more cycling and I may have this cracked. Though l wouldn't recommend the kick start I had 7 months ago. I'm certainly coming out a healthier, happier and better person for it on several levels.

Khloe Kourtney KIm kardashian beach bunny swimwear

Just teasing, I do not look like these gorgeous babes
but l often feel like......


Sunday, 19 September 2010

Wot price independence

What is a girl to do?

I have been pondering over the value of keeping my car, the costs of running it, compounded with fixing it when it gets ill, can be overwhelming. But this would mean l would rattle around town like a bag lady, weighed down by my wares and my woes. I could let the train take the strain on visits to Kent and on days out etc, no worries there, time to read, listen and think. But then l wouldn't be able to run Mum around and visit friends without planning the trip to the enth degree, which takes the fun and enjoyment out of it.

I do value my new found singledom independence greatly. I am my own woman. Mine own. The car allows me choices in the moment and adds to a feeling of control. Control. Yeah l like that. Mine own.

A few months ago whilst driving in town, the gear stick went limp in my hand (steady), then fell horizontally to the carpet. I felt the anger of the clutch and drove Miss Daisy style, in the one gear l could find to the dealership. My frustration was palpable as indeed was my upset. He must have remembered me, I was quoted £195 to fix it, I had no choice as the car would not move one further inch. Then the service guy told me he could do it for £75. I was so grateful (not too grateful) and paid up feeling so relieved.

So now, the car had a service in July. I was told by the same guy that at 8 years old or 75K miles, the car would need a cam belt fitted? wtf is that! £395 all in. As the look of terror froze on my face and a teardrop escaped he tapped his keyboard and turned the monitor to show me he had revised the cost of £195  for 4 hours workbecause he said, ' The car is 8 years old and you are a regular customer, but if the belt goes you will be introuble so dont leave it too long'. He also told me it wouldn't need doing for a couple of months, so l went away concoting my plan of action to get this fitted soon.

This week I was chatting with some male colleagues about cars, mechanics etc one does! They thought I was may have been taken advantage of and they recommended another garage. Larry was never a handy DIY, savvy type around the home, garden or car so I thought I was continuing in the best vein. If you want a job done do it yourself Saz. Me. Myself. I.  I can do this, that and the other.

Plus ça change (plus c'est la même chose).
saying ,
The more things change, the more they stay the same.

Used when a change does not result in an improvement in a situation

I phoned the recommended garage, spoke of  what needed doing to the car and guess what! It is only a 2 hour job max, cam belt deosn't need changing until 10 years or 85K miles. They told me not to bother!
So I will keep the car, maintain it and move my custom to the other garage.

Now l can stop worrying! Well... that is the theory!


Tuesday, 14 September 2010

A Communion

As the stars, sun and moon keep balance with each other, I too feel blanketed in the synergy here that shines its light through this place of writing.

Often times posts appear on the same or similar subject. It constantly amazes me how this happens within this vast land of united creativity.
In my imagination I see us all as a force of fertile overlapping circles. Bridging the gap. A balance between imagination & frustration.
We are in the same space, different place.
Different stories, same tune.
Like minded exchanges. Some challenging thoughts, views to stimulate thought.

Each story, each journey miles apart, but here we confess, unburden, fess up, confide, enlighten, encourage, incite, evoke every emotion.
Friendships made. Stories written. Hands reach out.
Holding on. Breathing deep. A lifeline for some.
A light for the night time. A few words for the day ahead.
Alone, but not lonely.
Though for some, the fear is always in residence,
punching through the darkness,
bravely we walk, hesitant to run.
Hope is always in my pocket,
I can feel it's shape comforting me through the fabric
that is straining with each beat of its heart
and I remember..
hope is stronger than the fear...
the life blood, we cannot live without.
Less restrained. Unburdened. Here we dare to hope. To speak. To write. To breathe deeply within the comfort of friends.

Saturday, 11 September 2010

Sometimes - revisited

Sometimes – it’s okay to accept less than your/their best

Sometimes - it's alright for things to be less than alright

Sometimes – its hard to cope or to manage the daily grind and that’s okay

Sometimes - life isn’t great and that’s okay too

Sometimes – it’s difficult to see past the hump in the road, this too shall pass, so wait

Sometimes – life is crap, that’s just the way it is. Accept. Move on.

Sometimes – the housework doesn’t HAVE to be done, the world won’t end if it's not done.

Sometimes - just put your feet up, grab a book, DVD, sleep.

Sometimes - that list doesn't need doing TODAY . Let it go.

Sometimes – It’s okay to feel guilty. It’s okay to feel crap. It really is.

Sometimes – ask for help, we all need help sometimes. No one will think any less of you.

Sometimes - is a way for living. Whatever keeps you afloat. Sane.

Tuesday, 7 September 2010


1955 aged 44

My Nana (grandmother) Iris Eleanor Young, June to her friends,
was to me a marvellous woman, a glamorous woman and a brave woman.

My earliest memory of her was when I was about five or six ,
I guess she would babysit me as I was often round her home and probably like most little girls,
I' d to love looking through her jewellery box and her cupboards 'n' drawers.
For some reason I remember I used to play with her box of rubber bands she kept in a drawer, of which there were many - I suppose she would save them or buy them so I always had them to play with. When I got to school age I used them to make french skipping bands. Her makeup and jewellery was a stash of glamour and I felt a sense of naughtiness playing with them I know not why! This memory has a touch of irony as it was many years later I would powder her face and pencil in her eyebrows, after she could no longer do this simple task for herself. Something I recall daily as I pencil mine in. Like Nana I cannot see my public or go anywhere without my eyebrows and my red lippy.

She had a huge loom installed in her home, probably by the social services or invalidity people, to help her keep moving her limbs. She would then have been about fifty - jeez my age now- and living with grandad (Harry see Moannie) I think I instinctively knew all was not well between them, but this post is about my memories as a child and he was always kind and gentle with me. He would bring home fish and chips for us all as he ran a fish 'n' chip shop and his fish and chips were always very tasty. I would sit and eat with them and watch Crossroads, a uk soap from 60's and 70's. He would give me threepence or sixpence or a small 2penny bar of Cadbury's chocolate, covered in blue foil, he'd tell me stories of how he lost some toes, or l'd marvel at his huge earlobes, which he told me had ha'pennies in them. This the man that was horror personified to my mother, so out of respect to her I won't post any images of him.

Nana would sometimes collect me from school in her three wheeled invalid electric car. She would tell me to get in quick and get down low as it wasn't allowed as she didn't want to lose her licence, the car was probably the only small amount of freedom she had left to her. I remember when I had nits and my long hair was cut off, my mum and Nana sat picking at each others locks. Often we would shell peas together or peel spuds.

It's weird what a young child picks up, I was aware of an atmosphere when my parents were around Harry, but I was never affected by it. Of course I now know of  my mothers childhood, of her unhappy time in the orphanage, how her mother could not cope, but I also know as an adult, wife and mother, it isn't really for me to judge, we all make our choices and our mistakes.

As her condition deteriorated ( I believe she was diagnosed in her late 30's)  she was no longer so mobile and unable to do things easily for herself and Harry. I'm not sure of the how and why exactly but it seemed to me Harry couldn't or wouldn't cope and she was of no further use to him.  Nana was admitted to a NHS hospital/institution for the old and infirmed - she was only in her mid 50's and she stayed there for 3-4 years . It was awful for my mother to see her in there, a woman who still had some use in her arms and hands.A woman who was still a vibrant force and character and only hospitalized because she was -a at that time- partially paralyzed, but couldn't take care of herself and apparently noone to take care of her. Awful for her also, as many of the women in her ward had dementia or worse. I remember my mother was always fretting about her while we were in Canada/Mexico, always checking the post hoping for a letter from her.

When we returned from Canada/Mexico and my parents bought a 'Home for Gentlefolk' .  It was here Nana, now 57, had her own large room, her own nurse and my parents could provide her with the care she needed. 
As I got older Nana and her room was my sanctuary, where I went when I was in trouble, when I wanted to have a chat or just to be some company for each other. Later, I rented a room in a house opposite - I didn't move far from home when I left - and I could see her room window from mine, it was the first thing I looked at when I woke up and the last thing at night and quite comforting. I would take me friends and boyfriends to see her and she would sparkle and even flirt a little, they were always moved and touched by her personality and apparent joy of life even in her circumstances. She enjoyed the cricket (!? go figure) Come Dancing, her gramophone and her books were still a passion. She was full of love and praise for my mother and always grateful to my father for giving her a home and she wouldn't hear a thing against them, though she would listen to my teenage moaning and groaning with sympathy. She was a confidante and she would regale me with her dancing stories, I do wish l had written them down. I remember her tales of her standing very still on stage, as she posed nude but for a flesh covered bodice, other times bare breasted but she couldn't move but for the Lord Chamberlain slapping a banning order and closing the theatre. She told me she was an early partner of Victor Silvester and she danced in many a chorus line.

When she was almost totally paralysed from the neck down, I would sometimes help with her 'toilette' and I was so amazed by the condition of her legs. They were a pure white, like alabaster, blemish free and amazingly toned in appearance and so long. Her feet were baby soft and her knees like little buttons. She had gained a fair amount of weight, as the then treatments were cortisone/steroid based, so her face was wrinkle free and her eyes sparkled with a naughtiness that would make me smile and very curious. Her room, from which she rarely left, as it was difficult to lower her to ground level, and then push this quite heavy lady around in a fairly basic wheelchair. It happened occasionally, but not latterly. I'm sure she wold have had more equipment and entitlements available to her these days.

There is one truly astonishing fact to tell about my Nana and that is I never her heard moan about her situation once, nor did I hear of it second from the staff. Itwas hard to understand why she had Multiple Sclerosis, but I do recall her saying she thought it viral and that was why it was difficult to understand it. She always said she had had her fair share of fun, frolics, love and drama and she said she had no real regrets. I think that shows incredible bravery, courage and a tough 'get on with it' survival instinct. That is something all my grandparents seem to have had in common and I'm thankful that I have it too!


Sunday, 5 September 2010

It's September...

and I can smell the change in the air. The wind has an edge to it, cutting into the end of August.

The new month when school is back. A new term. The kids and life is structured again. A semblance of control within the loosely organised chaos.
When I was a school kid, I looked forward to the new school year. Each new term. The new start. The wiping of the slate and the turning over of the leaves. I felt I had another chance to do it well. To do good. As an adult I miss the having of new beginnings. I have to forgive and forget myself. We all tend to ring in the changes at New Year. A celebration which always leaves me cold. Cold as the winter. Too bracing to embrace the new.

Autumn is a time when the trees wear a brightly coloured coat of an orange, brown, yellow and gold mosaic. A dream coat. They drop their technicolour leaves. Divesting of the year long journey. They stand naked and vulnerable in the wind and rain. A rebirth. Renewal. Reinvention. In the humdrum of routine. The monotony of the familiar. The everyday.

Welcome the opportunity in our life of adulthood, to do better with each and every new day.

(written a year ago....the song remains the same huh?)

Thursday, 2 September 2010

Revisiting - Only Yesterday

(June 2009)
It was only yesterday you would run to me when you were upset or hurting. It was only yesterday you held me tight. Rib crackingly tight. For no other reason than that you felt like it. Only yesterday would you share every discovery. Every happiness. Every fear. Every dream. Good or Bad. Every new step. Each fall.

Was it only yesterday you kissed me goodnight for the last time. Telling me gently, but firmly. It wasn't necessary any longer. My heart missed a beat. It isn't? Where is that written? Show me. I wish to silently protest. I'm not ready. Not yet.

I think it was only yesterday when I listened furtively for your each sleeping breath. One to follow after another. So then I too, could breathe.

It was only yesterday you tied your shoes. You buttoned your shirt. You zipped up your coat. First times. By yourself. Beaming with pride. You. Me.

This week you have been on work experience. You've been surprised by the joy and the satisfaction you felt. A class of six year olds called you Mister Watson. Three little giggling girls told you through trembling hands they loved you. A boy asked you if you could be best friends. Life learning. Experience. It has begun.

It was only yesterday I stood paralysed and cold. My eyes following your every step. Every fall. Trip and tumble. On a frozen concrete playground. I stood. On duty. Seemingly, ignoring each other. Balancing the thin line. Secretly comforted by each others presence.

Only yesterday you played in your band for a parents 50th Birthday. I watched you try to hide the emotional squirms and flinches. You asked if we were going. I knew we could not. It is your time. (shhh! I can catch you on youtube)

Your wide dimpled smile sits comfortably in your malleable face. Daily it appears to morph towards manhood. Giraffe like you saunter. Finding you way. Over six foot you tower over me. Man child.

Next week you go away with your history class to WW1 Battlefields in Europe. To the Somme & Ypres. Then a few days later you leave again. For the Duke of Edinburgh award trials. Overnight. Four lads. On the Lakeland fells. Alone. Now I squirm and flinch. My skin itches. I waken suddenly from my thin sleep. My mind is pacing. Across the ceiling. Back and forth. Your bed is empty. Your room is still. My hands sweat and I blink back tears. I try to swallow the fear. My throat tightens. My breath catches deep in my heart.

How do I let go? This is the hard part. The part I have kept boxed away. How not to see them. Nor touch them. Not to reach out every day. I will dehydrate. I will shrink. Visibly smaller. I am less. Lost. To thirst for the smell of them. To breathe them in. Let them go. I know. I must begin. Or else they will tug and pull and rip themselves from me. I am told they will return.

I will sit on the periphery of their lives. On the edge of my own. Watching. Wanting. Waiting. For morsels and cake crumbs. I will drink deep from the well of memory.

She is seventeen. He is almost fifteen. How fast it goes.
And it was only yesterday...

(..and how it has changed in the 12 months since l wrote this post,
 if only l had known, would anything be different now?)

just dropped by... visit Mum's blog and to say Hi to a few friends... I hope you know, you are all never very far from my thoughts. Many of whom I...