Age is a Growing Number

People say that age is ‘just a number’. Which I guess it is. Especially when it comes to people who you are friends with (age doesn’t matter) and when couples have a huge age difference. You may want to do certain things that isn’t normal for your age…. for example this afternoon I am going to use bright coloured poster paints (that are actually called finger paints aimed at toddlers!) and paint some Harry Potter banners for my boyfriend’s sister’s themed birthday party in a few weeks. So yes in that instant as well, my age of ’26’ is just a number!

But it is a growing number… we all get older every day, every year. And until you get into your twenties, I don’t think you really bother about it. And until you get to 18 you worry about it in reverse as in you want to be older so that you can get into clubs and get served for alcohol. So from 19 – 20, it suddenly loses its novelty yo get ID’D and by the time you reach 22-23 sort of age, you want to be ID’D because it shows you look a little younger. I remember, a couple of years ago, I went out for my birthday with my sister and her friends (who are 5 years younger). So I was turning 24 I think and they were all about 19. We queued up to get into a club and all of them were ID’D and I fumbled in my bag for my pink, driving licence to present it proudly to the bouncer. As I did this, he laughed and said he didn’t need to see mine! Gutted. On the odd occasion that I do get ID’D, it is either because the shop assistant is being over cautious with the ‘look under 25 rule’ or I am looking particularly rough without makeup or something. Or both!

Yes, I’m at the stage there where I love being in my twenties and even though I don’t get ID’D much, I can make my peace with that. I feel more self-assured than I did when I was 18 and more self-confident and know more what I want from life. And I still party sometimes like you can see in Down and Dirty with the Teenagers Part 1 and 2 and Not Sloshed enough to Mosh? My main fear in life is turning 30. Something about that one seems so grown up. Twenties to Thirties. You are more likely to be married with kids in your thirties and do all the serious, grown up stuff. Not as many allowances for screw ups! So for my 30th in three years time, I plan to have a party and celebrate the last 30 years whilst getting very drunk. Surely, you are never too old for that? 😉

It is funny how some people are about ages. At school at the minute, there is a competition for the kids to guess the combined age of the English department. There is a mixture of ages so it is quite amusing. Some are shy about the kids knowing their ages. When kids guess ages it’s normally way off anyway… they don’t seem to have any idea. I have had guesses of anything from 18 – 45 (the 45 guess was from a special needs kid, I will add!). I offered for the department to add my ’26’ age in…. as I am partly with the department too so could be in or out…. and said it could help to lower the average 😉

At the beginning of summer, we had our ten year school reunion. That’s when you feel being grown up and a little older, when you have your first school reunion! Ten years since we left, woah. It was a great evening actually. Some of my close friends organised it and I helped out by getting some old photos together. It was a great night to catch up with people and I actually spent a lot of the night talking to people who I never even spoke to at school. Ten years can change people a lot and the shy, geeky kids are all grown up (I was one of them!) and actually willing to socialise with people. I recommend it to others who are considering a reunion!

I also wrote a poem for the occasion actually, take a look:

Ten years since…..

Ten whole years it has been,
Since years at school as a teen,

Since in Maths we saw Chicken Legs dance,
And over her glasses, she did glance,

Since ‘significant’ Lord of the Flies,
Was a ‘bitty’ chapter in our lives,

Since small, white notes were always passed,
As the back turned they flew so fast!

Since Drama was a Jolley time,
Where farting and burping, both a crime,

Since Collier said ‘Oui’ and ‘Nein’,
Oh Howe did we survive this time?

Since some teachers went into a Buckle,
Pea shoots flew as all did chuckle,

Since Peanut came out of her shell,
If we said too much, she did yell,

Since strict sir Sealy ruled P.E,
But on the fields we could be free,

Since Music gave us fun and smiles,
A purple tracksuit you could see for Miles,

Since Lappy had scared us all so,
But Good Head on his shoulders though,

Since Science gave us Bushes and Woods,
Fires and chemicals and sometimes floods,

And Big Man Watts was the guy in charge,
Where no problem, too small or large,

It really has been a whole decade,
But our funny memories will never fade…

There is a lot of mentions of teachers there, which naturally you won’t quite get the humour unless you went to our school. Many people enjoyed my poem to reflect back on the good and bad times…. which ten years later all seem funny. That’s the thing as we all get older, you have memories that you have built up. The older you get, the more you get.

(See my Circle of Life post for some other thoughts on life and age.)

See you tomorrow, all of us a day older 😉

XSXS

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Remember that?

How’s your memory? Do you remember my name is Sam? That today is Wednesday? What you had for breakfast yesterday? What you did last night? Then your memory is probably about normal. Did you see that programme last night on Ch 4? About a boy, well man since he was twenty, who could remember everything! Everything!

I think you will agree with me that some things we actually want to forget. So imagine if you could remember everything. I talked a little about this a while ago in my post Photographic Memories. The fact that none of us have a photographic memory and need things like photos to help us remember those happy times. Surely we remember the things that are truly important like births of children, weddings, job promotions, first day at school etc. It seems some people can remember further back than others though. I remember my first day at school as clear as day. Not all of it but bits and it is all linked to feelings. I can remember how I felt. I can’t remember what lessons we did or the people I met (even though I know now who would have been in that class) but I remember chunks. I know people of a similar age to me though who claim to not remember their first day at school though. One man claims he can’t remember anything before he was aged ten. He didn’t have a tortured childhood, which he tried to block out. It was probably quite happy. He just can’t remember.

Then there is short-term memory. This guy on the programme last night could remember the day of any date from years ago. He could remember what he did, who he was with, how he felt. It didn’t say on the programme (yet I only wanted about twenty min) if he had good short-term memory. Was he able to remember his dentist appointment later that day? Or his friend’s birthday next week? Surely that would be more use than remembering you went to Cadbury’s World in 2005? Which was one of the examples on the programme. I was in awe though as he could retrieve so much information and his Mum checked it in her diary when they had disagreements about certain days and dates. Must be useful if you needed to remember for a murder case or some sort of enquiry haha.

My next thought after being utterly amazed was confusion. I mean how does all that information fit into his brain? Where does it all? We let go of the mundane, everyday kind of things that we don’t need to remember, yet he has it all. Maybe he has to sacrifice other things like knowledge? Surely only so much can fit!

So remember what you can and definitely don’t forget to drop by again 😉

Lost in Transit

I had a whole other post planned for today. I was going to share my favourite quote with you and talk about that. But that’s down the pan. Because, something so bizarre just happened that I just have to share with you……

Have you ever thought about the people who lived in the house before you? You may have met them if you bought the house off them. We bought our house off the previous owner’s daughter as she had died – after turning the lovely bathroom suite into a disable and she didn’t even have the time to make the most it, we all lose on that one. I also tend to think about owners before her. Our house was rented for a few years before we bought it so there has been quite a lot of occupant. Some things from the old woman and her husband remained though. Like the locks on the stair and pantry door. Odd. I thought she was trying to keep her husband from the food or alternatively lock him in there! I found out after because my Dad is mates with the woman we bought it off (see it’s always who you know 😉 ). Turns out the man had bad dementia and would go into a room and forget how to get back out. The locks were to stop him going either in the pantry or upstairs. We also found a trap door in our living room when we bought a new carpet. I was already gob smacked as the old carpet had a date of purchase on it and it was 50 years old!!!! I thought about the day it got put down and how the floor had not seen any light since. We then discovered the trap door and were muchly excited at the thought of money… or not so excited at the image of a dead body. Neither were down there and it was just a view of the pipes. Very odd. Viewing hole perhaps? The screws were so old when we got it open that we couldn’t put them back so we sealed it shut, preventing future occupants the joy of anticipation of what could be in there.

Anyway, the odd thing that happened to today! I got home and there was a letter, a small envelope in a plastic wallet with a note from the post office of apology. It said how Royal Mail were very sorry that the letter had taken so long to arrive. I couldn’t think of anything we had not received and then looked at the address ‘Mary Smith’. Mmmmm… we have lived there for nearly 3 years so it had taken a long time to arrive. I then looked at the date of postage and it was 2003!!!!! It had taken 12 years to arrive…. lost in their network it said. I was quite excited about what could be in so had a peep inside. You know what it was? Something really important since it had an apology letter? Something really worth waiting 12 years for? Nope. A Christmas card! I then felt unreasonably angry for some reason. I thought: ‘How much money and time has been wasted to get this to an address, with now different occupants, twelve years too late! And it was only a christmas card! Poor Mary must be thinking ‘God, I never did get a Christmas card off Doreen in 2003!’ Maybe she even stopped sending them in return because of this. I know my Gran does that. She will say, ‘Well she never sent a card last year so I’m not bothering again!’ So maybe the contact ended between Mary and Doreen because of that. Sad thought. I just still can’t get over the fact that it has been floating around the ‘network’ for 12 years. Crazy.

Something similar happened a while ago. We received a parcel addressed to someone else but with our address on. I opened it. I just had to. It was a lovely card, a little girl’s jumper and a handmade wooden teddy bear. I felt sad that the owner would never receive it. I kept it for some reason. I just had a feeling and figured that eventually I would give them away. I was convinced the woman would never know because how close could these people be if they didn’t even know each other’s correct address? Anyway, a few months later, guess what? She showed up at the door. I was so glad I had kept it. She was very happy and said the sender would too. We exchanged a bit of small talk and she commented on how the house had changed etc. Must be weird going back to your old house years later. Happy ending that time…. just wish I could tell Mary that Doreen did send Christmas wishes 12 years ago!

We also get junk mail for various people and get calls for ‘Mrs Curtis’ very regularly. I like the fact the house has a history though…. a bit of character. Maybe one day something more useful will arrive through the post or I will find another money laden trap door 😉

See you tomorrow,

XSXS

Dream On

Afternoon everyone,

I got to thinking about dreams today after having a very vivid one last night. Turns out in my quiet, eight hours sleep – I had time to plan and attend a wedding. My own! Everyone was there even the SEN kid that I sometimes look after.. and his parents! Ha. I’ve heard before that ‘dreams are supposed to be a wish of our unconscious’. Mmmm… I think sometimes it can be. The dream was very nice and all but I not desperately needy to get married particularly. I think sometimes we have dreams just because of certain things that have already happened or been said. You see, ever since we got back from France, everyone keeps asking me if my boyfriend proposed whilst we were in Paris! Seems the thing to do – cliché if you ask me! So I think that’s why I dreamt it!

I’ve always been interested in dreams and have a fair few books to explain certain things that you dream about. Seems your unconscious is having a party most of the time. I have one dream analysis book called The Classic 1000 Dreams and I swear every explanation is negative and tends to lead to death. This was the first book that I bought as a teenager and imagine how freaked out I got. All these bad things that were going to happen to me and it made me not want to question any of my dreams anymore! Take nakedness… yeh we have all had that dream where we are naked in front of a room of people. Nightmare! This books says that dreaming of a naked man means ‘fear and terror’ yet dreaming of a naked woman means ‘joy and purity’ – woah, feminists would have a field day with that! It says if you dream that you are naked yourself then it reflects poverty and it means that you spend too much money/time on your appearance. Taken quite literally that one – not so sure about that! My other, more realistic book called, Dictionary of Dreams. Understanding dreams and their messages says that being naked and embarrassed in a dream can mean that you are scared of how people see the real you. You are vulnerable about your weaknesses and them being exposed. That seems more like it to me. But the thing is it is always just interpretation because none of us know for sure or if they are even telling us anything at all. Very interesting though.

It always surprises me when people say they don’t dream. Or don’t remember their dreams. Everyone dreams every night. Sigmund Freud said that people tend to have 4-5 dreams per night during the most deep part of sleep; REM (Rapid Eye Movement) – no not the eighties band! I think each dream only lasts so many seconds too – even though in your dream it may feel like hours or even a full day. Most people tend to just remember the last dream of the night. But have you ever had it when you woke up in the early hours of the morning and remembered a dream in great detail, went back to bed, woke up again and remembered another dream? I think you can train yourself to remember dreams and if you think hard enough when you wake up and try to put them into words, it gradually becomes easier. Also sometimes you may just know one thing that you dreamt about or a person and by seeing that thing or person later in the day it is almost like your dream ‘breaks’. You know when people say..’oooh you just broke my dream’ and it all comes flooding back to you.

I still remember a dream I had when I was a child. I was flying over our local town. It was so real and such a fun dream to have that I have never forgotten it. That is quite a common dream to have. Freud, who seems to be sex obsessed, seems to think it has a sexual nature – surprise surprise! Yet my book doesn’t expand on his theory unfortunately. It also says, though, that it is about direction and finding your way in life. Take a look at Freud, though, if you never have. Very interesting! Everything seems to relate to sex – like dreaming of a train going into a tunnel, think we can work out the imagery of that one 😉

I actually have the above picture on a fridge magnet. Explains a lot! And seems to sum up a lot of Freud’s ideas!

I think it’s funny when the real world and dreams crossover. Like when you dream you are on a bike or on a cliff or you just fall over. You get that feeling of falling and you actually ‘fall’ in bed and wake up because of the strong feelings. Or, one I have quite frequently, is when you have a dream where you keep going to the toilet to relieve yourself yet you never feel the relief of emptying your bladder. And it turns out you need the toilet  in real life and that’s why the feeling doesn’t go away.

Then, of course, there is the whole other meaning to the word ‘dreams’. Hopes and dreams. Our wishes for the future. What to we dream to become or to do? Maybe our night dreams help us to do this and give us messages to help us on this journey. So don’t ignore them – you can see in them whatever you wish and it may just help you to understand or make a decision about something. Dreaming of that train and tunnel may help you make a decision for this evening 😉

So sweet dreams this evening and think tomorrow morning, what did I dream? And what does it mean?

See you tomorrow,

XSXS

Photographic Memories

My name is Samantha Gray and I am a photo-holic.  Phew, feels so good to say that. I just love photos! If I’m not taking them, I’m looking at them or I’m browsing Facebook at random photos!

Remember how I said that after my holiday, it was mainly the thought of the photos that kept me going? Well today was the day! I picked up 300 photos… no I didn’t get that snap happy of the Eiffel tower… these are from the whole year. Italy, nights out, olympic torch relay and of course the recent France trip. I was so excited to collect them so that I could spend the afternoon sorting frames, albums and mentally reliving the good times I have had this year.

When I’m looking through my photos, I always think the same thing. No not that I look good… or damn right stupid on some! But the fact there are so many random strangers on my photos…. hanging in the background thankyou very much, I am no stalker! It always makes me wonder, did they know they were in my Eiffel tower pic? Were they aware that they were in the distance of our drunken groupy photo? Did that man know that his head just blocked my view of that beautiful plant? And what’s more, how many photos out there do you think that you and I are in? Strange thought. I have seen a page on Facebook where people upload photos that don’t belong to them… like if they have found photos or memory cards. Then if people recognise the photos they can claim them back. I found a memory card once. It was when I worked for Woolworths and the shop was closing down. I found an SD memory card behind a dusty shelving unit. I checked it out and it had some cruise photos on of a middle-aged couple. I never did anything about it, partly because I didn’t know what I could do but mainly because there was no telling how long it had been there and I thought the couple would have given up their photographic search by then, sadly. Anyway, I think there should also be a Facebook page or website when people can post their own photos of randomers and see if anyone recognises themselves. What photo fun!

So, why do we take photos? Because we all like to stand in a freeze frame next to random monuments, giving a wide grin and muttering ‘cheese’ whilst secretly thinking – ‘Take the damn photo’? Noo. It’ s because we want memories. Physical evidence of our happy moments. Not the sad and unhappy ones. Note that we never say mid-fight with our loved one, ‘hang on a mo love, just getting the camera – give it the finger for me. I really want to remember this argument!’ How funny would that be? Because, it is all our moments and memories, good and bad, that create who we are and get us where we are today. Taking photos and keeping albums is a way of selecting certain memories to remember… zooming in on those events that we want to….and deleting those we aren’t so keen on.

Like I said in an older post Adieu Internet , I actually like to print my photos off because I don’t like the fact that my photos are just on social networking sites. What if they close down taking all my memories with it? Don’t get me wrong, I upload photos to Facebook and couldn’t wait to put the one of me with the Eiffel tower as my profile pic! But I mainly get excited about the hard copies. Like I said, I’ve had a busy afternoon and created two collage frames; each one dedicated to the famous monuments I have climbed (read about them in I-fell off the Tower!). I also completed a collage album of our recent holiday and put all the nights out ones in one too. Great fun! I have a whole cabinet of photo albums and I have to say they are probably my most prized possession (along with my teenage diaries) and the first thing I would save from a fire (though I doubt I could even carry half!) They go back as far as primary school and I love looking through them. Either alone or with a group of friends. They always bring back many stories because that visual aid takes us back to that same time and place. I actually have one photo where I was at my GBF’s ‘dinner party’ (we were only 15 and thought we were really grown up) and we all got a bit tipsy! Couldn’t handle the alcohol back then 😉  – anyway this photo caught the exact split second of me falling over into a chair. The second after the camera had clicked I was on the floor in pain with some cracked ribs. Ouch. I would probably never remember that if I didn’t have that photo.

My point really then is that none of have photographic memories. We can’t remember every detail of every event. Probably because our memories these days are taken up with pin numbers, passwords and log-ins – argh all these numbers! We need photos to relive the past. I always dream of sharing all my albums with my children one day – probably boring the nappies off them! It’s like when a song reminds us of a certain time. We remember where we were and who we were with and what we were doing. They give us our memories, memories which we then pass onto those younger than us – isn’t that the whole point of life? Living it and telling it.

I suppose we do sometimes take our own mental photographs of times when something happened. Flashbulb memory they call it in Psychology. Like when Princess Diana died. I remember we were getting into the car that morning and my Dad turned on the radio and we found out like that. I was only 13. Or when 9/11 happened. Funnily enough though I don’t remember when I found out about that – it must have been when I got home from school that day. What I do remember though, clear as a photograph, is standing in yr11 geography doing a minute silence for it a few days or a week later.

So cherish your photographs, they are a part of what you have done and who you are. As long as you don’t spend too long looking at them and live in the past ; get out there and live so that you can take some more!

To finish, here is one of my ‘randomer’ photos off holiday – if anyone recognises anyone then let me know!

Can you see yourself??

 

 

 

 

See you tomorrow,

XSXS

 

 

 

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