Category Archives: Uncategorized

To date or not to date? is that a kitten…

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Over the last few weeks I seem to have attracted a great many comments about my lack of interest in dating. I spent a great deal of my time in relationships that provided memories of pants (not in a good way) and thought that I was happy on the single shelf looking out at the world of relationships content that I was not going to pursue anything at this time, but then this happens…

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Baby Stan the cat was born, he still lives with his mummy but as soon as I mentioned that I was going to be the proud owner of a third cat I became bombarded with strange pictures, comments and pitying looks. Heck my son even turn to me and said “Mum you need to start dating”!

So in five weeks time Stan will be moving in, this I have been informed is now or never on the dating calendar of my life. God forbid that I do not marry before the age of forty, I shall not of course end up on the shelf I shall self combust in a fluffy ball of discarded cat hair. Who exactly decided that forty is the golden age by which we must be tied to our life partner till death separates us and all that remains are kittens and mourning? And Why? oh Why? Is being single and without a plus one such an affliction? These questions have been spiralling in my head along with one other ….

Why is this bothering me? I have started assessing dating potential in the men I meet… It happened all of a  sudden, this chap was wearing a great shirt we chatted and in my head I had begun to list reasons NOT to date him, we had only just met there was no indication of a potential date but no Becs brain hits overdrive and rules him out – no woman can consider dating a man that raises his pinky drinking from a pint glass can she?

Great shirt man was just the start.  Last evening I ended up in conversation with someone who kindly informed me that I am “not bad looking” so at my age I should consider the younger man, a curve ball that hit me in the side of the head it was so unexpected. Oh yes because most of the men my age are taken or passed it… I do not think that is what he ment in this observation but really me a cougar I don’t think I could.

Through all of this, Stan’s moving in date has been set and as long as weaning goes well he should arrive home in 5 weeks. I have been badgered and cajoled teased and tormented at my ongoing single status, my resistance to change this might (this is a big might) have been eroded slightly. Have I succumb to the will of the masses? not at all. Am I going to end up the mad cat lady in the purple hat ? probably.

But just incase, to give me options if you know of a tall, single, good looking chap, who has great arms, a fabulous sense of humour, endless patience an ability to iron and is between 35 and 45 in age perhaps just… I might think about it.

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J Just a minute … I am listening to Janis!

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Just a minute this J is a tricky one…
Oh just a minute, that phrase so over used by my son that signifies he has heard my request and will perhaps get round to doing what is asked before the next decade. “Just a minute” never signifies sixty seconds, more likely it will be three to four hours with repeated requests that might result in tearing my hair out throwing a tantrum or completing the task myself.

J has me in a quandary, I will need a jolly good think before I get this posted, just a minute while perhaps I’ll ponder.  Two cups of tea later and a chat with the Swedish one on facebook I thought I was no further forwards. Thank you my friend but as a vegi’ I cannot appreciate Jerk Chicken, and to jerkorf well we shall say no more on that suggestion.

If I had been posting this at the age of 13 I would have delighted in the joy of Jon Bon Jovi, he was my idol a demi god of Rock who just did it for me. I drooled over his posters and jumped around to the tune from the tape-deck. I would have done almost anything for that man to have laid me down in a bed of roses, until that fateful day he appeared in a shiny gold suit… the rock god fell from grace in my eyes he pranced around looking like he was wrapped in over tight tinfoil waiting to be baked. In the years that followed he cut his hair and I listened to other music.

Recent years have brought me to The Jam, James Blunt and Jefferson Airplane, each musical introduction is part of a story a moment shared with a friend or acquaintance, musical education seems to take place in kitchens (for more in kitchen moments please see tomorrows post). I am pleased to know so many people who are passionate about music who enjoy the process of sharing what they love to listen too.

As I jumped through the list of J’s that now form a small part of my CD collection, I skipped perhaps the most poignant. I met Janis Joplin in the classroom. Well this is where I met her music. During my studies I was privileged to have taken creative writing and my tutor was at best unconventional, he taught us a great deal. It was only our second tutorial; we knew that we would be given a task and an hour to write before we had to feed back to the group for constructive criticism, so we filed in with a sense of foreboding wondering what we would have to write about.

Dick, our tutor said nothing he simply waited for us to be seated and have pens at the ready, he pressed play. One word was written on the board, RESPOND.  As “little girl blue” played he distributed the lyrics and left.

I sat there and counted my fingers, I had no idea what to do apparently this woman who voice resounded through the room knew exactly how I felt, I wanted to run, to put down my pen and give up. But I listened again, I did not produce a resounding piece of brilliance, oh no it was shoddy to say the least but I wrote I went home that night with a copy of the best of Janis and listened some more. She sang journeys in words her lyrics may have sounded despairing but they challenged the listener to move forwards. Janis Joplin has been described as “the first really high-profile female rock singer to carve a completely independent path”. Being introduced to her music set me on a path of discovery, I listened through her back catalogue, read the beat poets and found inspiration over the years that followed, still do.

In that single lesson I learnt to appreciate and embrace the challenge, I was introduce to a singer whose voice I will always love, I was set on a journey where whatever happens you try, you don’t just “sit there and count your fingers” you get up and see what comes next.

Today it might have taken more than just a minute to write my J post. But as I sit her 10 hours after starting this morning I  have that old ” best of album”  playing, and I smile for  I am grateful that I was set on a journey of discovery years ago one that is far from over but in a musical journey you are able to rewind replay and remember. Janis Joplin I am thankful that in that moment your music was shared!

Janis

H – How pleased we were with our aprons? Hilarious moments.

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There is nothing worse than someone telling you a funny story which at its conclusion falls flat with out a giggle. So I shall declare now that this will not be a funny post just an appreciation of funny moments, there is nothing to laugh at here.

Have you heard the joke about the clown that got fired from the circus, he took his employers to court for fun-fair dismissal. Ok so you didn’t laugh, nor did I when that particular little gem of humour was shared the first time, yet the telling of that gag has become it’s own joke part of pub life. We might all roll our eyes but comedy is all in the …
… timing.

Or perhaps not, I am lucky for I have some very funny friends, funny haha and funny odd, however I am aware that I fall into at least one of those categories. During sleep-overs as a kid I recall laughing till my sides ached with antenna’s in my hair made from bendy curlers, trying to balance stacks of mini chedders on my forehead. The actions of the downright weird I know, yet shared moments remembered with a smirk.

Other childhood moments when we truly laughed included a time when one of our classmates stitched her sewing project to her skirt, at the time we howled with laughter. Her cries of “I am stuck stuck stuck and it’s not funny” made us laugh all the more but this saddens me as an adult, for it is my first memory of laughing at some one else’s expense.
To be fair, my fellow student sustained no injury (other than to her pride) and her sewing project was completed when it had been unstitched from her skirt.

When I recently made my Swedish friend howl with laughter cannot declare that I remained unscathed. Crossing the road should be a simple thing but no, not for me with hands in my pockets I located the pavement in a most undignified manner, as the kerb jumped up in front of me I found myself Rugby tackling an innocent wheelie bin while I limped and hobbled up her stairs to dress my wounds, she followed doubled over with giggles at the fact that no alcohol was consumed in the production of that disaster.

Comedy is not all in the timing, it is in the sharing. Can you name a time when you have stood without other human influence and found something properly funny when you laughed out loud alone? I will not admit to being able to think of such a moment in case those men with back fastening jackets want to collect me again.
The people who you stand with as the tears run down your cheeks and you ache from the involuntary chuckles, they make those moments funny so to them I say thank you. I also need to show my appreciation to two good traveller buddies who returned from a recent trip to Italy and brought gifts.

Gratitude is expressed today for many things, I am grateful that i giggle lots and have friends to giggle with. I am grateful that we do not laugh at the misfortune of others unless they are laughing themselves. I am mostly chuffed to bits that my apron from Italy was presented to me yesterday. Clearly my travelling friends had been overwhelmed with the culture and history of their holiday… here is a photo of Swedeling and I modeling or new pinnies
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I must state that mine will stay in the kitchen drawer when mother visits. We have howled with laughter while modelling them, I am thankful for the smiles that have been shared the laughs that are laughed and in the bigger picture,  that my apron needed the largest plate to hide my modesty… the smaller pate on the left was far far more than ample in that aprons case.

Golly Gosh … G!

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Good Grief we have gone through the first week of the challenge and here we are greeting week two with our G’s. Great stuff!

Before I go any further with today’s post I need to give a great big thank you to fellow blogger http://ashortaday.wordpress.com/ for nominating me for a Liebster! Please take a look at their page it is fab, also if you are interested please take a moment and read through my acceptance post https://talesfromtedium.wordpress.com/oh-i-have-an-award I did try to avoid the Oscar style over mushy-gushy stuff, forgive me but I am simply chuffed!

The lovely thing about the Liebster is that it actively encourages the giving of praise from one blogger to another. In doing so it raises the profile of these lesser followed blogs. I never thought that in my first month of posting I would have been selected, but I was ( big skip hop and jump for joy).

It is so easy to take for granted what others do, it may only need a moment to recognise what they give to you but that moment can change a person’s day. My Mum always said that manners cost nothing, but correct use of please and thank you gives a priceless reward.

Giving praise to those around us in, whether in the cyber press or in real life brings as much to the giver as it does to the person that is the focus of the compliment. I am grateful that I experienced this. So todays G is brief and to the point. Today I am grateful for the award I was given and that I had the opportunity to give back to others in return.

My Liebster!

My Liebster!

What the F- Fungi Freinds and Family.

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First time I tried to write this morning I found myself flummoxed as what to put. The fosters fairy may have exerted her influence on me yesterday, Friday night with friends laughing and chatting lead to fuzzy headed Saturday. This morning I have been flagging to say the least. So I wrote a list made coffee and found myself some breakfast…

Mushrooms on toast, it is a favourite on delicate mornings, I think it has helped. So to my F words. Over a beer or three the “F-ing” possibilities were debated. It seems there is a theme with my friends, as flatulence was the first thing someone said… thank you for farting would just be an absurd. Fungi however, I am grateful for them this morning.

Fluke and I wander as often as time allows. A favourite place to walk is the woods above the town. Kicking up leaves, squelching through mud puddles, feeling the changing seasons around you I might only be a few minutes from the urban sprawl but I am free. Often as we walk I reminisce, Fluke is not the best conversationalist. Friends introduced us to the woodland walks, while Bob, Stella and Fluke sniffed their way along the footpaths, we wandered nattered and laughed, there are many moments in the woods that made me smile.

One occasion Fluke met a friend, he wanted to be a forager, thought himself as Somerset’s answer to Bear Grills. The three of us walked for best part of an hour to the middle of the woods. There is a water tower where paths conjoin here we stopped, selected a bench and began to make a brew.

Fires in woodlands are a big no no! I am aware of this and when dog walking I only ever want to leave footsteps. My friend thinks the same way but he was a good boyscout and came prepared. He pulled a Ghilli/Kelly kettle out of his rucksack. Lit a small fire in the base and waited for the whistle to tell us the water was boiling.

Well we waited, poked the little fire and waited some more… Soon enough (about 30 mins later) I was sat in the sunshine drinking tea. Fluke was happy as the Water tower is a great place to play fetch,  we chatted, giggled and perhaps even flirted a little it was fun.

When you walk with dogs you meet people it is an inevitable pleasure of being a pet owner, add a curious water boiling contraption and the possibility of tea on a brisk day and we became a magnet for other dog walkers. Every person that passed greeted us with smiles and a pair of local foragers stopped to admire the kettle and share their favourite locations for mushroom hunting.  A place I still need to explore.

Food and drink brings people together, it might be a fundamental of life, providing sustenance but the act of fellowship that comes from breaking bread with friends or family feeds the soul. Do you recall the last time you opened your home, laid the table to share a meal with friends and family?

For sure there have been many times that bring a smile if I muse over food related gatherings of the past, some of the funniest have been f**ked up dinners.  Burned Cous Cous, (yes that is possible). Lime cordial being used as a substitute in a recipe (that was a florescent dinner). Custard that you could eat with a knife and fork while hot (Dan still will not risk custard).  All of these moments are punctuated with the silly laughs of shared friendships and family moments.

My family and friends. I have no idea where the F’ I would be without them, so today on the F-day I am appreciative of fellowship and friendship. Fortune shone upon me when I found my friends when I was gifted my family. For this I am forever grateful.

For those who haven’t met him … this is Fluke.

Fluke

E -ee by gum, to the end!

For those of you who have not encountered the Yorkshire saying “Ee by gum”, the” Ee ” is an exclamation of surprise, amazement etc and ” By Gum ” means who would have thought that ? or so I am told please inform me if I am wrong. For I appreciate an education.

Education is a founding slab on the path to adult-hood. Parents urge children to learn, teachers take up that challenge, the task at hand is to educate. We should all be appreciative of this should we not, through school, colleges and university I have been blessed to have experienced the influence of some amazing educators.

I remember Mr Watkins making us sit under our desks as we listened to him read “The Hobbit” , I would have been no more than 7 or 8 years old but pretending I was in The Burrow while he read, it was a genius approach. Mrs Astbury, she was the crazy English teacher in purple tights… but her enthusiasm exists to this day. Notes that she encouraged are scrawled in the margins of my first copy of “Jayne Eyre” I still choose to read that copy.
Just two of the teachers whose lessons stay with me. English, the language, the subject, the literature both an aid and a focus of the education they gifted me. That education sparked my enthusiasm for words and learning. I am lucky.

A lesson plan to teach the use of the internet to 11 year olds, springs to mind (apologies for no link but this is from memory). It was a cross curricular activity a comprehension piece followed with discussion time. The students sat in front of the computers and read a Wiki-style page detailing the danger that carnivorous snails were presenting. The snail colonies were spreading fast and awareness was required. Now at the top of the web page there was a disclaimer that this was fiction, but the flashy maps and use of language distracted the readers. When they sat on the floor to discuss their findings all the children believed that man-eating Snails could cause mayhem.

Don’t worry, we did not release a class full of snail-fearing youngsters into the world. No, we discussed the whole piece why they thought it was Fact. These kids all laughed when it was pointed out that even I could outrun a snail, so I wasn’t at all worried. Then the penny dropped, they began to question, to see out the truth and facts for themselves. I hope that still they question what they read, it is too easy sometime to look at the written word without questioning the motivation or the bias.

In the words of Peter Ustinov “what is education but a process by which a person begins to learn how to learn?”

Once we have grasped this, we should not let it go, it is a lesson that should drive us through each day with gratitude that there is no end to what we can learn. In the last few years my education shifted from literature to Metal. Thanks to a good friend, I was granted the task of teaching myself all about Rock. Yes he might have laughed a little when I could not identify Iron Maiden when it played on the Jukebox in the bar, but now I can reel off Bruce Dickinson facts, I own 3 Maiden Albums and I can even tell you what my favourite Motorhead track is.

E is for education in my A-Z, I am grateful that education is a lifelong challenge. Each day presents us with undiscovered knowledge, each person a lesson in their own way. Our education is endless I appreciate this and know that I need lessons in WordPress and blogging. If you have any gems to share that we might find helpful please share.

D- Dignity, delete buttons and I am off for a doze.

Do you ever wonder what motivates people to parade their disasters in the media? Do they know who the father is? Do not worry, DNA tests in front of the nation are available, drag your dirty washing in to the public eye and preserve the whole debacle on DVD for future generations. You think your daughter might have been sleeping with your fella? Jerry Springer and Jeremy Kyle direct discussions to unveil the “truth”, to “get to the bottom of it”. A lie detector test will be definitive. I despair, to answer the question as to WHY anyone would choose this route to resolution is beyond me, but it is their decision.

Decisions are there to empower us as individuals, and as society as a whole.  By electing to watch these programmes we choose to promote digital-circus of talk show telly.  Do I choose to tune in? Do I hell! The “guest”, might be treated to an all expenses trip to the filming location, their choice to attend, but their dignity is then invested infamy. *

Alas, I have become distracted from my aim of appreciation, however distractions can be worthy of gratitude.

Discussions and debates distracted me for hours during my time as a student. Did we think that “for every action there was an equal and opposite reaction”, do we? Harking back to the degree days is a delight. During my studies, I was often thankful for the delete button, the option to edit to completely withdraw words, I am still appreciative of this. (* deleted, diatribe avoided)

Do you recall a time when you thought if only the delete button was available for the spoken word.  We cannot edit our conversations after the fact and this is why I am grateful for dignity. Day to day if we can guard the dignity of others in our actions and deeds, then the delete button might not be required.

During the writing of this post, I dozed a little. Do accept my apologies. D day on the A to Z challenge did not cover many things that were previously thought of, my dog should have had a huge mention in this post, however his letter will come. The double-entendre, did not make the cut and nor did doughnuts.

At this moment I am simply thankful for the digestive biscuit with my cup of tea, that I made the deadline and posted my D before my next doze.