It may get hairy…

Posts tagged ‘grandad’

And so I’m back*

It’s been a while since we’ve chatted.

A lot has happened since the days of The Diet, some good, some bad…some stupid, some funny (quite often both). So here goes:

I dieted. I lost next to nothing. I stopped dieting, ate what I wanted to and attended a wedding. My Grandfather got married. He cried through the ceremony with happiness. She laughed with joy (the thing, not a person). My parents split up. I learnt that laptops apparently don’t like red wine. I learnt that when one spills red wine on one’s laptop, one shouldn’t use a hair dryer. I learnt that hair driers melt laptop keys.

I laughed with people and at people. People laughed at me (quite notably the computer store clerks). People laughed with me, but perhaps not as much. I cried. A lot. I started the Soup & Yogurt diet. I learnt that the  Soup & Yogurt diet no longer works. I borrowed my Mum’s treadmill. I ran. I ran some more. My face got fat. I visited Hole in the Wall (wow). I started the Eating for your Blood Type diet. My fridge broke. I ate lots of ‘cold’, but not cold meat. I saved and I saved. I lost all email access (sorry). My business boomed  (bloody Murphy). I hired a freelancer. A freelancer saved my not so tiny bum. I bought my very own sexy laptop. I saved for a laptop all on my tod (through connections). I was sad. A lot. And then I decided to be happy.

In summary: Like many people, my life is series of Mr Bean** moments. My laptop arrived today and I decided I just had to visit my blog again to tell you all about this rather strange period. Of course, I can’t do that without wine, so there’s a glass of wine, in a shoe box, far, far away from my new laptop (but within arm’s reach).

I woke up this morning and despite the nagging feeling that yet again, something would go wrong, I decided to be happy. It’s both easier and harder than it seems. Things did go wrong, but I managed. While running back and forth in Woolies checking out ingredients and getting an audience, I saw flowers. Flowers make me happy. I’ve had a great work month, but alas, work and cash flow seem to misunderstand each other, so while I’m swimming in clients, I can’t afford to buy flowers. So I bought them.

I’ll be dining on more cold sausages in a sealed container tonight (no fridge, remember), but hey, I have flowers. I’m not sure how long I’ll keep them alive, or allow them to make me happy, but I hope each and every one of you finds a ‘flower’ today 🙂

That’s my corny bit, now I’m going to get plastered.

*Admit it, you sang the song. 

** I even have a teddy – 

Trading friendship for coffee

I promise that soon you’ll get a friendly, happy, choppy, cocky post as per usual, but today I feel the need to once again be morose and a tad macabre.

I haven’t posted since my last depressive post, as this has been a rather hectic few weeks. Ol’ Murphy had his way, when I thought life was down and it couldn’t go worse. My darling friends had paid for me to visit them in Joburg and I decided to return the favour by smashing my friend’s car. Whilst trying to do a good deed, I was transporting my very pregnant friend to her surprise baby shower.

Surprise! We never made it… I was driving, it was my fault. There was assistance from the others shouting different directions and telling me to turn when I did, but, I repeat, I was driving and certainly didn’t use the skills I should have used and thus….bang. Apparently we were on a one way. The accident was pretty intense. It was more dramatic and emotional than your normal crash, involving another car, but thank goodness, no one was hurt at all. That’s the  saving grace that I’m clutching too. I’m still wracked with guilt and was an emotional wreck at the ‘crime scene,’ as the guilt took hold. I’m sure few of you can imagine a Sez, looking like a member of KISS, bawling her eyes out on the side of the road. Anyway, I’ve managed to beg, borrow and steal the excess and the car is now being fixed. I won’t eat for a month, but hey ho 😉 Life goes on and one must do what’s right.

Anyway, the reason I’m writing today isn’t even remotely connected to this, but rather something that dawned on me this morning. While I may not be old, I’ve started to realise that as we get old, we learn to fully appreciate the little things in life: a morning coffee, while watching the sea; the smile of a child; what good fortune we have; reading a book on a Sunday afternoon; having a wild and frenzied night with your friends. However, I’ve started to notice that in the process of getting older, I seem to be dropping friends left, right and centre (how horribly inarticulate is that? Oh well, you get the drift).

When I left Uni, I noticed that those friends, who one spends every day with, but never share a single, deep emotion with, seemed to fade away. I wasn’t perturbed, they weren’t all that important to me, I had my close and dear friends, who I valued and cared for deeply; who consistently praised the strength and depth of our friendship and lived up to what it required.

When I went overseas, I noted that without Facebook, I’m sure many would have forgotten about me (please note, not self-pitying, I felt that went for anyone who went overseas). There was a handful of people who stayed in close contact with me. However, when I announced my return, hoards of people bent over backwards to tell me how they had missed me (sans any contact in at least 6 months….despite our dear friend, Facebook). When I landed, there were few. Even the initial handful of people drained away to perhaps three, maybe four people who I truly appreciated. This wasn’t a matter of timing, for 5 months of living in Joburg, I barely saw anyone other than these few.

Then I pop off to the coast and repeat the same sequence of communication I had when overseas.

Now, it’s with a heavy heart, that I start to see those friendships, upon which I judge all others, fade away. Some stay stagnant, but strong (like those I either left behind in the UK, or those I have known for decades, but, too, reside overseas), but a few start to fade, in a rapidly dismissive way.

I believe, as a rule, that I have tried to be as good a friend as I can possibly be. I’m the first to highlight my faults and take the blame (to risk quoting songs, Annie Lennox echoed my sentiments when she sang “If something goes wrong. I’m the first to admit it. The first to admit it. But the last one to know.”). I know that in my moving to the coast, I haven’t been as good a friend as I could have, because I was prepared for the distance that…well…distance causes. I knew I would start to fade into the background for people and couldn’t be bothered to put effort into something I knew was transient. However, to my special few, I kept up communication – halting communication, albeit, but communication. And then I hit rough patches, and I found the people who were there for me, were not the special few on this continent, but the special few overseas, or people I hadn’t ever imagined would write me supportive comments, such as those who comment on my blog. My friends overseas take the time to supportive, kind letters and I, in return, support and help them along. My special few, I have tried, but now find I have been almost wiped clean of their lives.

It makes me wonder, do I re-evaluate who I am and how I treat friends? No. After some serious retrospection, I like who I am and I know I’m a good friend to those who need me and to those who don’t. Perhaps, sometimes I’m a tad self-involved, but it’s rare and I do try my best to put myself out there for people. And hey, with age I’ve started to realise that if you don’t like me, that’s your problem honey, not mine.

So what rhyme or reason can we blame for this dwindling love and support we’ve so come to count on?

As we get older, do we trade our true friendships for the appreciation of something small, like the first sip of coffee, overlooking the sea?

 

 

 

“It’s beginning to look a lot like”….a lot of bloody work

Last night, I donned my Christmas hat, got out my wine and unpacked all the Christmas decorations.

I’d like to place an emphasis on ‘all.’ Let’s remember that I’ve been away for nigh on two years and have had no decorations throughout that time, so I looked forward to coming back, calmly putting up the lights and decorations and moving on.

So I put up my tree and unpacked my decorations. The result was this:

In case you were wondering, all those things around the lamp are lights. All the things on the coffee table are lights. I have, I think, 12 sets of working lights.

Can someone please tell me what the fuck I’m supposed to do with them?

I’m not good when given choices. Set me on my way with one route and I’ll go that way (as long as I have the illusion of freedom). Don’t give me 12 sets of lights! It took me roughly 45 minutes just to decide which ones to put on the tree.

I put them all on. Checked them. Moved them. Nudged them into symmetry (OCD). And then decided they sucked. So replaced the coloured lights with another set. Then added the original set. Then realised it was too crowded and took the new set off.

Last night, I started at about 7pm and ended at 11pm. Not drunk, because I was too busy faffing with bloody lights to drink. I managed to put up a wreath (very pretty, I must say, even if done over the monkey/kitten mesh), put up my tree and put the lights on said tree. That’s it. There are no baubles. There are two pieces of tinsel on the tree. Nothing else.

And this morning I woke up, looked at the tree and thought ‘Fuck it, we’ll have to start again.’

Does anyone else have this kind of OCD or is it just little ol’ me?

On that note, the baubles come next.

“Rest ye merry gentlemen” my arse…

Side note: Four stockings. There is one person in this house. My folks have their own. What was I thinking? About 10 random wall hanging things. Seriously? Old Sez, what the hell were you thinking? Tacky much? A packet of Reindeer Food…with, dear lord, two-year old chocolates in. Three or four decorative mini trees (wire and bead ones). 9 hats…although those are cool, if they survive the kittens. GARDEN decorations and outside lights that no longer work.

A special kind of hell

Friday looms. Most look forward to Fridays, more so as they start to mark the end of the year and the coming of vacation.

Cat + little redhead that looks just like I did = perfect picture for me.

I have no life, I work throughout the weekends and I don’t have a vacation – therefore, Fridays loom. But more so this one, as Friday marks the day I turn a whole 28.

I’m not all that fussed about age. The older I get, the further I seem to get from my small goals, but the closer I get to my big ones, so technically, I’m sort of balanced. However, birthdays for me hold a special kind of horror.

Firstly, a day that’s all about me is likely to send me cowering under the desks and holding back remotely telling anyone about said day (which, due to my terror, I always seem to do – earning myself my very own high-five to the forehead). Don’t get me wrong, I’m plenty selfish and self-centred on any given day, but a day that forces you down on your knees to beg for attention isn’t my idea of fun.

I don’t want everyone looking at me. As a redhead, that comes part of the package and it’s the part I despise. I need no more attention please. I don’t want the world to see my fly’s undone, or I’ve, yet again, spilt coffee down my front. I don’t want hugs from smelly strangers or lovely smiles that, regardless of who they’re from, I feel the need to smack off the holder’s face. And I don’t want presents 😥

Don’t laugh, this is where I quiver in fear. The present giving. Yes, we all like to get shit that we’ve wanted to for ages and the shit I get is good…great even, but the process of getting it? Let’s just say I’m not sure it’s worth the sacrifice.

Days before the big day looms I start to practice my expressions. A one-size-fits-all expression doesn’t work. Present givers know me too well and would know that one present is by far superior than the other, and therefore determines a superior expression. But what if I don’t like said present?

If I’m ecstatic, am I showing my appreciation enough? Do they know that inside I’m yelling for joy and offering them my first-born child? If I hate the present, is it showing? Can they see me plotting revenge behind my tightly stitched on ‘thank you smile?’

The idea that someone would know that I’m not happy with something they went out of their way to get me, sends me off into a stressed, panic-driven spin. The idea that they haven’t the foggiest that I’m happier than I’ve been in years, does the equivalent.

A short example: My parents call me to the nearby mall the other day, as they struggled to find the speakers that I had hinted I wanted (the hint itself took much effort). I rush off there, in dread, but pasted a solider-face on, only to find they’d organised for me to ‘test’ the various speakers. I was in Hell. I tried to look at prices (choose the cheapest), but the folks know me too well and hid the prices. I tried to choose the first one, but they insisted I try them. They know me horribly well.

By the time I arrived home, my ulcer had actually started bleeding again.* This is how much stress birthdays are.

Do any of you suffer the same? Would any of you truly (now let’s be honest) prefer to cancel birthdays and have absolutely no money spent on you?

*On the plus side, the speaker I chose was awesome.

Top 10 Christmas List – It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas!

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted, not that many’d notice ;), but I haven’ t had much to chat about. Things are alright and I find that when I’ve nothing to be pissed at, writing doesn’t come all that easily.

SO, in celebration of the season, I’m going to list why I absolutely freaking love Christmas, even if I’m not allowed to celebrate it yet (although, the Mammoth doesn’t have those restrictions, hence his festive hat).

Firstly, I’m not religious. For those that don’t know, the fact that I don’t burn up when I walk into a church is nigh on a miracle. Having been to a convent (albeit for only a few years) and forced to lie in confession, I’m slightly against the whole religious thing, although I envy the religious few I know…comfort and all that.

Nope, Christmas for me is all about me! Well, just about everything. It’s the one time of year that everyone has to be happy. Yes, it can be sad and horrible for a few. The last  two years were difficult for me, as I hadn’t my family with to celebrate, so I tried to ignore everything remotely festive, but this year, I’m going to ignore all that negativity and be one of those ridiculously cheery people that go around humming “It’s beginning to look a lot like Christmas.”

So, my favourite bit of Christmas is decorating the house, which family tradition dictates I can do on the 8th. I wait until around 8pm, turn the lights down low, put either Christmas songs or some slow, funky, hip wavering music on and then I pour myself a rather large glass of wine and get a mince pie. As it’s summer, I’m dressed in almost nothing (another reason I prefer this tradition to be alone, we wouldn’t want to blind anyone or leave them scarred) and I slowly decorate my house, with more than a modicum of OCD (symmetry has it’s place even in Christmas) and proceed to get tanked.

I do not clean up. I most often pass out on the couch and wake up to a god-awful mess and accompanying god-awful headache on my birthday…

This year I’m looking forward to dressing the Guns in tinsel and taking a ridiculous amount of pictures; Ballot, the Yellow Rat Snake, has already been given a Christmas house, as he crushed his last one a few days ago; and I will start wearing my Christmas earrings from the 9th.

So, my top ten things at Christmas:

  1. Christmas Songs! My favourites being Jingle Bell Rock, It’s Beginning to look a lot like Christmas, and All I Want for Christmas is you. Oh, wait, I’m Dreaming of a White Christmas, Frosty the Snowman … oh bugger it, I love ’em all!
  2. Mince pies. The nice ones, with loads of sugar on the top and the ones that don’t fall apart when you bite into them.
  3. Red wine…loads and loads and loads of red wine.
  4. Lights! My house lights up like a UFO.
  5. Memories. Mainly the ones that come from decorations. I have a pair of little porcelain boots that were given to me at my Christening.
  6. Biscuits – the crunchy ones and lots of them. I always buy a massive tin around the 9th.
  7. Strange smiling. It’s the one time of the year that I can smile at strangers, without them taking a step backwards or averting their eyes. They actually smile back. Granted, I do this throughout the year, but it’s nice to have it returned
  8. The Magic. There’s a buzz, a magic, in the air that just makes me smile non-stop. People go out of their way to help you. Share stories and chat with you more than they normally would. I know it should be like this year-round, but I can’t help but appreciate the small amount of time it does happen.
  9. Kids. I envy all the new mums and the mums and dads of toddlers, who get to partake in that age-old tradition of Christmas Tales. Whether he’s Santa, Father Christmas or St Nick, kids have this endless energy, optimism, excitement and their own special magic that makes watching them worth every second of preparation and every penny you’ve spent on Christmas.
  10. “But the prettiest sight to see is the holly that will be
    On your own front door.”*

🙂

So what’re your favourite things about Christmas? The weirder, the better I say! Comment below!

*PS. For the sad and melancholy few, I’m really sorry. I do know the feeling, regardless of the above cheer. Here’s a virtual hug from me to you –  [    you    ].

Just one stocking

After a moderately stressful day, I popped by my grandfather’s for a glass of box vino and a chat.

My grandfather’s one of those lovely elderly folk who doesn’t dwell on ‘the ol’ days.’ We can have a pretty good chat about current events, family stuff and the likes, never having to enter into the world of the old that the youth so readily condescend without ever having understood.

Yesterday, however, we got onto the topic of how he met my grandmother. A touchy, but touching, subject, as she passed over two years ago and he is still very much in love with her…as are we all. After chatting to him, I got to wondering whether true love, or at least true romance is now antiquated.

We’ve all watched movies like The Notebook and other parodies of history and romance – it makes us weep (or, if you’re a ceiling watcher like I am, bawl shamelessly) and makes us wish for a such a time, whilst realising the fiction and the sensationalism that makes those movies so damned profitable.

*But listening to my grandfather, I realised that, perhaps, movies such as these aren’t sensationalised at all.

He lived that life of trust, honesty, fidelity and romance. He spent years apart from his girlfriend, not yet wife, writing her letters, with which he posted only one stocking a time, to ensure she replied. Stockings weren’t readily available in England at the time and my grandfather had returned to Scotland to dig trenches for electricity lines, whilst my gran completed her nursing studies in Plymouth. So he would only send the second stocking after she replied, thus ensuring their correspondence continued.

They spent months and years apart and somehow retained passion, love and trust. Coincidence had it that they were both transferred to London and one year later they were married. This may seem slightly tame in comparison to the love-birds in The Notebook, but when you look deeper, you find the sensationalism, you find the struggles and the difficulty that they faced just to be together.

My grandfather is a Scot, a damned proud one. My gran was as Irish as can be and came from a…um…rather traditional family. My grandfather was not well off, whereas my gran’s family was wealthy. My grandfather was a Protestant, whilst (and here’s the clincher) my gran was an Irish Catholic.**

When they were wed, no parents attended the wedding.

Whilst apart, they wrote and they knew the other would reply. They had oceans between them and yet they trusted fully. In today’s day and age, we look down on what we term ‘long-distance relationships.’ I’m a loud and proud advocator of not having a long-distance relationship and have accused friends of ‘playing it safe’,  by having a partner so far away that you have a hassle-free relationship without the implied shame of singledom.

After chatting to my grandfather, I now find myself ashamed. I’m a firm believer in true love and have always been, regardless of logic, and yet I felt free and obligated to condescend those that fought for love, regardless of distance.

I am ashamed that I should so readily give up the values of past generations, so am now determined to support those who fight for love, no matter how far apart they may be.

I only hope that someday I shall find someone who will love me enough to send me just one stocking.

 

*please ignore the bad grammar – poetic license.

**allow me some flexibility on the facts, I may have one or two mixed up, but the gist remains the same.


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