Tell us something most people probably don’t know about you.

This was the Daily Prompt for blogging today. Tell us something most people probably don’t know about you. Mmmm…. I couldn’t resist as the thing  I was thinking about earlier, I was considering writing about anyway.

I once had an internet relationship. It seems like a lifetime ago really and it was when I was in my late teens and quite naïve. My main relationships with the internet now are this blog, my love for eBay and amazon, and my hatred for when the internet crashes.

But no, I actually met someone online and then went on to meet them offline, after talking for a year. The whole thing seems so surreal now and like I’m talking about someone else. I started talking to this lad through MSN chat. You remember that? I used to think long and hard about my username and font colour – depending on my mood (my friends and I spent many an evening having ‘groupy’ chats, which sounds so wrong now but was so cool that we could all chat at once!) Anyway, I’m not sure how this lad ended up adding me but we started chatting. Just friendly banter, after the initial A/S/L question (Age sex location for those who didn’t use the internet in the early 2ooos!)

It was great to talk to someone online, whom I didn’t know. We chatted about everything and anything. He was funny and loved to chat like me! I hadn’t really found a man who seemed to love ‘chatting’ up to now and it was exhilarating!

It became a bit of a routine to chat every night, but a good one. It was like having a relationship but just in the early evening. At this point in time, I had started University so this fitted in perfectly. Lectures in the day, online ‘boyfriend’ in the evening and then either going out or sleeping at night. It became quite intense to be honest, like a drug. I had not met this person but I felt very attached and thoroughly enjoyed the interaction. Before, you say, it wasn’t an old, creepy man – because he used to put a webcam on so I could see him. No, I am not talking about anything untoward here – it was all perfectly and innocent and he only showed me himself on webcam as a way to prove who he was, I guess. I’m not telling you this to admit something sordid and sexual. I am telling you because I think it is interesting how human nature can form relationships without physically meeting.

We spoke on the net for a year, eventually exchanging mobile numbers. We used to text and chat on the phone then too. It was very thrilling to receive the said texts and phone calls. A stranger but someone whom I felt I knew well.

We had both broken up with partners, which was I think was why we became close. We decided to meet in the flesh. Scary though. No screen of separation. No coming up with witty online and text replies; it would all be real-life and real instant chatting.

He was local so I went to meet him in a shopping centre. I was safe and took my sister and her friends with me. We had a nice day. It was ‘nice’ and not really a lot more to be honest. We got on and I was attracted to him, yes. But it was far more exciting when it was all online and after that nothing more came of it. He got a new partner and I got with my current boyfriend. No more chats and that was it.

I don’t regret it at all. It was a fascinating experience – like a whirl wind, cyber love. That of course, I now realise was no form of love whatsoever. But simply internet banter and someone at the end of a screen to read, listen and type comforting and confidence building comments back. Something we both needed at that particular point in our lives. And something that I will never forget.

 

I invite you to do the same and tell us something that not many people know about you………….. 😉

N.B I am not advising or promoting teenagers to go and meet people they have met on the internet. I was 19 and had a good head on my shoulders. I spoke to this guy for over a year and, as I said, I managed to get proof of who he really was. If you are going to take the step to meet someone like this, then do what I did and meet them in a public place and take people with you.

XSXS

Numbers 3: Inifinity

Thought I should share my views on the third and final book in Rachel Ward’s trilogy Numbers. Numbers 3: Infinity did the trilogy justice and did a great job in tying up the stories. It was action packed and I must admit, I read it in the space of 4-5 hours in just 2 sittings (would have been one if sleep and eating easter eggs hadn’t got in the way!)

This book, like book 2, has Adam and Sarah as the protagonists. Adam is now famous, like his mother Jem was in book 1, for seeing the death-date numbers in people’s eyes and saving them from the ‘chaos’ in book 2. He is living with Sarah, her daughter Mia (the result of incest from book 1) and Sarah’s two brothers sort of on the run. Or definitely, in the rough as the ‘chaos’ destroyed most homes. The government want Adam’s help in order to look at people’s numbers so they know when people are going to die i.e. where not to waste the country’s precious resources. Nice.

We have Saul in this book; a baddie. Something we haven’t really experienced in the books yet. The drama has originally come from circumstance and results  of the predicted numbers. This book still has all that, but it has this extra villain to add to the mix. Saul is working for the government and after impatiently realising Adam won’t come nicely, he forces him (and Mia and Sarah) to go with him. To a prison like place in the hillside. But it isn’t just Adam that Saul is interested in…… and it isn’t just Adam that has an interesting gift. We discover that Saul can ‘steal’ people’s numbers in order to live forever. We also know that Mia, whether intentionally or not, can do this. She took Nan’s number in the ‘chaos’ and survived instead. Mia didn’t just inherit Nan’s number though, she can also see people’s auras and colours, just like Nan did. So there is some special gifts floating about – but will they be used for good or evil?

Without giving anymore away, we learn in this book that the numbers aren’t as factual as numbers should be. It isn’t as clear-cut. Adam thought he know how it all worked but now people’s lives are at risk. Can he keep his little, dysfunctional family alive? And can they escape the number-sucking grip of Saul?

I truly recommend these books: to adults and teenagaers alike. They are a fantastic and dramatic read. It has as many twists and turns as there are numbers on this world. I don’t think I have ever been fascinated by something that was dominated by numbers  – as we all know, I am more of a words kind of girl 😉

So, One, two and three: read them all!

Happy reading this weekend!

XSXS

Numbers 2: Chaos

The second book in Rachel Ward’s fantastic trilogy doesn’t disappoint. It is just as exciting, if not more, than the first. I must say though, if you haven’t read the first book yet – then click off this page now until you have. As it may spoil some of the plot from the debut. 😉

Half of this book is from the perspective of Adam, the son of Jem and Spider. The other half is from Sarah’s point of view – one of Adam’s school colleagues, who first knows him from her nightmares. She can see the future, you see, in her nightmares. And Adam, you’ve guessed it, has his Mum’s gift and can see the numbers in people’s eyes. Yet, the gift seems to be developing with each generation and Adam can see and feel how the person is going to die too.

Spider and Jem aren’t in this book – you’ll see why at the end of the first book 😉 We are left with Adam, his great-nan from the first book and Sarah to try and help save London from the looming disaster. Adam keeps seeing the same number: 1st Jan 2027.  He sees it in people everywhere he does and knows something terrible is going to happen. This is no London Eye incident from the first book, this is going to affect thousands of people.

Adam starts to record the numbers, the people he saw them in, the place he saw them and the kind of death they will have. He starts to notice a pattern: fire, water and tumbling rubble. If people aren’t going to die on New Year’s Day then a lot of them are predicted to die days after. So what is going to happen? And can Adam change the future by warning people? Is anyone actually going to believe him?

Sarah has the same nightmare every night and her days are filled with a nightmare too  – her Dad rapes her on a regular basis. Up to this point, I thought these books would be great for teenagers in schools to study, but it does has very adult themes like this. Something good comes out of her horrible ordeal though. A child. Which to me, seems a bit odd. I mean, I get why it happened, as a result of incest. But she seems absolutely fine with bringing up her Dad’s baby and doesn’t seem emotionally torn in how to love the baby or now – I just thought that may have been more of an issue. And what will happen when the baby asks about her Dad one day? But Ward does do a great job with Sarah and her love/hatred/fear of her father. And the story running parallel to the first book : means she also runs away. She is also partly running away from Adam, he may have met her at school, but she has known him for years from her nightmares! She is terrified of him but doesn’t know why and as much as she runs, she finds that she always runs into him.

Together, will they figure out a solution to the looming New Year’s Day? Will they all survive? And since the gift has now changed through the generations – can Adam now change the numbers?

My only issue with the book (apart from the baby issue that I have already mentioned) is technology. I like how the book is set in the future and people get chipped and there are these palm computer gadgets that every school pupil has. There are TV screens all over London giving safety info. That all seems quite believable. Yet, Adam doesn’t know how to use the internet. Whaaat? Ward claims, Jem always kept Adam away from the internet because it is full of rubbish. But would we seriously believe that a teenage boy, even these days, would do as his Mum says and avoid the internet completely? Let alone in 14 years time! Teenagers can’t avoid the internet, yet Adam doesn’t even know how to warn people of 1.1.2027 through forums or blogs or anything. I find this to be unrealistic, as I imagine people will pretty much use the internet to survive in the future! Adam would have grown up with it.

This book is aptly named ‘Chaos’ as there is nothing but that from beginning to end. It isn’t a particularly happy book,  but as I say about things like that, it will always make you feel better about your own life 😉 I did get a bit freaked out though by the 1st Jan 2027 date – because could something happen on that day?  Could Ward be right? But I guess you always get that with books set in the future – and George Orwell wasn’t right with 1984 was he?! 😉

Happy reading,

XSXS

Numbers

I have never had a head for numbers. You may have realised that I am more of a words kind of girl. 😉 That doesn’t mean that I am not fascinated by numbers though – even if I can’t always add them together very well 😉 For this reason, I would like to say that is why I was drawn to reading the book Numbers by Rachel Ward. But I was bought it randomly by my sister and her boyfriend for Christmas – random, just as numbers can be.

Numbers is a trilogy  – Numbers 2 Chaos and Numbers 3 Infinity completing the trio. So far, I have read the first two. And they are fantastic. Full of drama and twists and turns. And, I know we shouldn’t judge a book by the cover and all – but they are pretty ace too. Numbers also litter the pages and I swear I could see numbers along the closed pages when the book is shut – but I wasn’t sure if I was going a little crazy like the characters and thinking I could see numbers 😉

The first in the fantastic series….

But I haven’t told you enough to make you want to pick up a copy yet. In the first book, Jem is a troubled teenage girl and she can see numbers. In people’s eyes. It is a date. Of when they are going to die. As soon as I read that on the blurb, I was intrigued. I like psychological plots and I knew this would be one. Like, would she ever tell someone their number? Could she save lives? Will she find out her own number? It is compelling stuff because if you think about it, we all have a number. A death number. Without being too morbid, we are all going to die some day. But we don’t think about it because there is no point. We don’t know when it will be. Even if we have a terminal illness, we don’t know the exact day. Would you want to know? I sure as hell wouldn’t. I would be terrified of that day getting nearer. We all like to believe that we have a long stretch of life in front of us and maybe that’s what gets us from day-to-day.

But Jem does know. She sees a number each time she looks at someone, meaning that a lot of the time she doesn’t want to look people in the eye. She is a typical teenage girl in that she avoids eye contact and is awkward in social situations. She is not so typical for the reasons though: She not only sees the date that will end a person’s existence but she has lost her mum to drug addiction, she has no other family and gets shoved from foster home to foster home and she has no friend in the world. Depressing yes – so maybe not get it your teenager to help cheer them up 😉

It is however action packed and this begins when she meets Spider. Jem is a small, delicate, white girl. Spider in strong contrast is a tall, black, gangly bloke. They are opposites, yet find that one thing in common. They are both outcasts and both lonely.

The plot thickens when Jem and Spider are out for the day. Hanging out in London like teenagers do, they want to go on the London Eye but realise it’s too expensive. Jem quickly realises this is meant to be, as all the people around them, have the same death number. The date of that day. She manages to convince Spider, without telling him why, that they need to go. Minutes later, the London Eye explodes. Taking lives and reinforcing the fact that the numbers must be true! But they are seen running from the London Eye just before the explosion and the police think they are responsible for it. So they go on the run.

I won’t give more away but it all gets very intense as these two naive teenagers go on the run. Spider steals cars yet he has never driven one before. The whole country knows their faces so they have to keep hidden. And remember, as soon as Jem looked Spider in the eye, she knew his number. And she knows his fateful day is going to be soon. So it’s all about can she change his number? Can they stay hidden from the police and the press? Or is she going to have to come clean about her number visions?

It really is an amazing story and they are believable characters. Spider’s gran adds a lot of humour and wackiness to the story, whereas Karen, Jem’s foster Mum brings in the realistic and sensible elements – and tries to bring in some stability for Jem.

I’ll discuss the second book in a separate post – but if you like drama, action and romance, then this book is a great combination of all three! 🙂

XSXS

Inbetween the Comedy

Tonight, I want to share one of my favourite comedy shows The Inbetweeners with you. Well, when I say ‘share’ I mean discuss the hilarity of it – as I am sure you will have already heard of it. If you are American then you now have your own versions. Ordinarily, I would say you are lucky but unfortunately for you it is shite (sorry I don’t usually swear but I thought it would be in keeping with the tone of this show – plus the US one really is shite! No other word will do!) So you Yanks, get U Tubing the UK versions – the original and the best!

The Inbetweeners is beyond funny in my eyes. It is crude yes and bursting upon disgusting at times (like when Neil punches the fish? Or Jay talks about  ‘clunge’ as if the search for it  – and the women attached – is a daily occurrence like eating your breakfast!) The reason I find it so funny is because it reminds me of my boyfriend and his mates when we were at sixth form. Every time I watch an episode it is like I am reliving those days. Not just because of the lads – but two of my friends had Fiat Cinquecentos! Haha.

The two years at sixth form when I did my A levels were the best of my life. I mean University was great but sixth form slightly tops it. I met my boyfriend and lots of friends – who so far have become friends for life (or definitely life into my twenties!) Compared to Uni, I didn’t have to ‘survive’ on my own yet so I had the ‘college’ life without the added responsibilities. And boy did we have a laugh! The lads did some stupid things just like the lads on the show. One of my favourite ones was where some of them wrote a letter to one of the lad’s home claiming to be off the Head about him masturbating at school. They used proper school headed paper and everything! Very funny.

So yes, every time I watch, it takes me down memory lane and I can’t help but chuckle away to the ‘laddish’ moments and the the pickle they always find themselves in. I mean, how could so many things go wrong for four teenage boys? A day of ‘grown up’ drinking whilst they bunk of school turns into a disaster of projectile vomiting onto a six-year-old (Simon) and Will calling Neil’s Dad a bumder! Haha. And a trip to Thorpe Park ends up with a car missing a door, a half-naked Neil and Will insulting Down Syndrome boys. Nice one again guys. Not to mention a night clubbing in London to impress some girls results in Will being told he speaks like he is in a ‘black and white film’, Simon wearing pissed on trainers (previously owned by a tramp) and Neil ending up with a cut on his penis after weeing in a drink’s can. And not forgetting the caravan club episode where Jay promises the lads lots of ‘clunge’, but really gives them his foul-mouthed and rear ended father….. with Neil dancing like a piece of elastic and pulling a goth and Simon getting it on with a thirteen year old. You couldn’t make this stuff up could ya? Well the writers kinds of did but you know…….. I realise how wrong this all sounds when it is written down and I am sure, if you have never seen it, you are now thinking ‘What the hell?!’ But on the screen it works. It just does. It is side splittingly funny. And no. The boys at sixth form weren’t as bad as that 😉

Let’s think about the four lads:

Will

My favourite is Will. Aptly named, as he ‘will’ have a go and get there in the end – even if he makes, continuous mistakes on the way!  He is, of course the geeky one – which is probably why I can relate to him! 😉 I love the first episode where he is starting a new comprehensive school (after being at an all boys’ school) He has a briefcase and then to add to his ridiculous appearance, he is given a badge declaring ‘I am new – stop and say hello!’ His parents have recently split up, hence the new school. He has no friends. Yet, he is constantly optimistic and has an answer (often under his breath) to each insult that flies his way. People don’t stop and say ‘hello’ but shout ‘brief case wanker!’, ‘posh git’ or any other weird and abusive things at him. He strides along saying ‘oh that’s a new one!’ or ‘thanks very much’ and stays in his own little bubble. The other lads don’t want a geek as a friend…. but he is like a bad smell that won’t go away. They eventually learn to love his briefcase, the fact that he gets caught having a poo in school (and in an exam: ‘Phil, Phil, I thought it was a fart! I thought it was safe!’) and the fact that he is 17 but wants a dinner party!

We all need a Will in our lives and he would be the one I would choose as a boyfriend – now that I have matured a little! Back then, I probably would have chosen Simon 😉 But Will’s sense of humour (often aimed at one of the others – especially Neil – or his Dad!) and his absolute refusal to keep within social norms make him hilarious to watch. He is who he is, he makes no apologies for this and he has a very thick skin – apart from when his first heart-break occurs 😉  And he has his first drug experience 😉 ‘I really want my Mummy. I think I might be dead!’ Bit of a drama queen at times then……

Will  - he 'will' always be there, brief case and all!
Will – he ‘will’ always be there, brief case and all!

Simon

Simon is probably the one, like I said, I would have fancied at school. He is that stereotypical boy next door. He has the cute hair – which is fondly referred to as the ‘Statue of Liberty’ by Jay 😉 He has that baby face going on. He seems to be ‘nice and normal’. What makes me laugh with Simon is how absolutely unreasonable he is with his family. He screams at his Mum for commenting on his hair gel: ‘Why do you always do this?!’ and continually tells his younger brother to ‘F*ck off’. Even a mention of his Mum and he says ‘stupid bitch!’ And when his parents may be splitting up, his first thought is to ask for a new car off his Dad  (because he was so ungrateful for the yellow Fiat he got when he passed his test.) Not such a nice boy then.

Surprisingly, Simon seems to have the most luck from girls. Carly turns hot and cold like a tap, yet he follows her constantly  – as obvious as his bright yellow car! It works for a brief period, though and he gets his wish. He manages to get a few girls interested like Lauren on the field trip – but getting naked on the boat after falling in doesn’t help matters. The sock on his penis helps even less. He also gets a girlfriend ‘Tara’, but after getting naked and his penis failing to work for him, she loses interest too. So, things tend to go wrong for Simon, funnily enough, when he gets naked! And let’s face it, he is a bit of a sap isn’t he?   😉 But I like how he accepts Will into the group – whilst still remaining good friends with the polar opposite Jay – a friend to all is Simon. Just don’t let him near your little brother 😉

Simon  - who else would drive a yellow car with a red door?!
Simon – who else would drive a yellow car with a red door?!

Neil

Neil is the character we laugh at 80% of the time and laugh with the other 20%. But it could be 40% as Neil would have no idea that percentages need to add up to a hundred. Like he doesn’t know where Swansea is. Like his idea of intelligent dinner party conversation is to ask ‘how many Lego pieces you put up your bum.’ Like how he accepts an invitation to a field trip for Geography and Sociology (subjects that he doesn’t do) in order to help out an acclaimed paedophile teacher 😉 I do wonder to be honest how Neil got through school education in the first place, let alone get into sixth form! He says things like wanting to ‘drive a plane’ or when asked what he wants from the newspaper experience he says he won’t ‘nick anything!’. When asked for petrol money, he says, ‘what for?’ Er petrol Neil. He gives the other three brilliant opportunities to ‘take the piss,’ which from my own experience is half of what sixth form is about 😉

I love how in the film Neil ends up with the female version of himself. Perfect ending for the dopey simpleton. And remember, they both have ‘effics.’ (aka ethics) 😉

Neil - proof that you don't need GCSES to get into sixth form ;-)
Neil – proof that you don’t need GCSEs to get into sixth
form 😉

Jay

Jay provides us with many of the catch phrases from the series. You know, the ones that make the T-shirts and people can say or shout and everyone will know where it came from and instantly fall about laughing. I must admit, I bought my boyfriend a ‘Friend!’ T-shirt (with thumbs up signs). Jay didn’t come up with that one but it was aimed at him because he dared to be friendly to someone outside the foursome. Being insecure and embarrassed as he is (with a Dad like that, we get why!) he doesn’t laugh off the ‘friend’ comments or ignore them. No. He jumps on the ‘friend’s’ car. Until he damages it. As you do….

‘Bus Wankers,’ ‘Minge Mobile,’ and ‘Pussay Patrol’ are classic Jay quotes. He makes the others laugh with his pure filthy mind and gross insults. He also keeps them entertained with his exaggerations and, quite clearly, blatant lies. He has tried out for a famous football team, had sex with every girl within a ten-mile radius, has a drug dealer, who is ‘away’ when they want to use him. He goes clubbing ‘all the time.’ Has mates in the upper six who no one has heard of. He learned to drive when he was ten. Drinks all the time, yet can’t get served. And the list of bullshit goes on…….. Providing us with many funny moments – especially when the others always have a come back –  as they are clearly on to him 😉

Need a disgusting catchphrase? Or a tall story? Jay is your man (or boy)....
Need a disgusting catchphrase? Or a tall story? Jay is your man (or boy)….

So, if you need cheering up then these are your lads. If you don’t find their disgusting anecdotes amusing, or their guaranteed calamities hilarious or just their faces really funny  – then you can always relish in the fact that your life cannot be any worse than theirs 😉 On the bright side for them…. after sixth form things do get better – or at least they did for me and those I went to sixth form with 🙂

Anyone think there should be another movie? Maybe of them coming back after their first year at Uni? Again another ‘inbetween’ stage of life and again one that, with these guys, would be excellent viewing, I reckon!

XSXS

To my 14-year-old self….

Image result for paper pen

Today I was inspired by the Daily Post: https://dailypost.wordpress.com/ and I chose to write a letter to my 14 year old self… see below:

To my 14-year-old self,

I know you now prefer to be called Sam and not ‘Samantha’ because the full name seems too formal – this doesn’t change and you will be called Sam well into your adult life. Maybe ‘Samantha’ when you are naughty! It was funny when your five-year-old self got very annoyed at people shortening your name ‘My name is Samantha, not Sam!’ We all learn don’t we?

I know all you can think about at the minute is getting a boyfriend and hanging out with friends.  You realise into your twenties that there is always something that you will be striving for and working towards. That is life. By the age of 27, the good news is that, you have most things sorted – a relationship, a great circle (or many circles!) of friends, a family you see frequently, and have good relationships with (well most of them!) and a job you are happy with. You also own a house with your boyfriend. But you will be striving to get your writing career off the ground, writing books, stories, poems, blogs etc. You were never ambitious at school and just wanted to get the grades you needed for the next step. Never really knew what you wanted to do! You manage this and go onto sixth form – where funnily enough you will end up working at that school when you are 23! Your lack of driven ambition doesn’t really change either…. as long as you are happy doing what you are doing you just swim along nicely – not a bad way to live your life I suppose. This is probably why you haven’t done more to get your writing out there yet. You realise too, though, that work/life balance is something that is very important to you and something you will always ensures happens.

My advice to you as the 14 year old me is to not worry so much. You seem to be going through a teenage depression phase at the minute. This won’t last too long and you will soon realise that you can be happy and confident and get hold of this life thing! Do not be concerned with what people think of you – you will never be short of friends. The ones who do think badly of you don’t matter anyway. You will probably buy CDs because your mates have; fancy singers because other people do and you will probably go drinking on a Friday night with the ‘cool’ people because you want to fit in. You need to do this. You will then realise years later that you are one of the ‘cool’ people after all. You are liked by a lot of people and making the effort to stay in touch with people from your past will pay off. The Granville ten year school reunion will be amazing and you will never feel so happy and confident. You will realise how far you have come and how happy with your life you are. Oh and don’t worry about the whole boyfriend thing yet – you won’t get one until you are 17 anyway! So just enjoy flirting with boys and chatting to your friends about them!

You have always been a home gal and that won’t change really either. You love nothing more than a day or night in at your own house. Buying things for it and attempting to decorate! But your love of home could be a problem earlier on: the university years. You will spend most of your first year yearning for home and not enjoying the experience! So from my experience try not to. Try not to go home every weekend – you will probably settle in easier and save money too. Make the most of it because otherwise you will find you are finally enjoying the lifestyle and then you have to come home for four months anyway! Oh and in your summer job, don’t fall asleep on the job and get fired! Just a tip…

Keep working hard at school – put your heart and soul into English. This is the subject you will focus on, be the best at, and will end up making a career out of. Also try and start writing some poetry now because you will make life for the 26-year-old me much easier! On another note though, try hard with Maths and Science still. I know, I know, you only want a C and you hate the subjects. But they are still important and you will realise this when you are trying to add up bills etc and help kids at school in these subjects!

You won’t realise what line of work you want to do until you are 23. This is okay and you will have fun working in different environments and with different people. If a job comes up at a certain pet shop, though, don’t take it! Or, I guess, we can’t control the path of life so you probably will take it. But try and stand up for yourself more and quit on the night of the staff meeting where you are publically demoted and humiliated. (Don’t wait a month after this like I did). This may help you get over it more quickly because as you near 27 you are only just starting to get over the horrible experience now!

You will pass your driving test when you are 23. This is a painful experience for all concerned. Two years worth of lessons, four instructors and five tests later you will pass!! My advice would be to chill out a bit and go out practising more…. oh and start your lessons a little earlier! We never have been very practically and logically minded have we? But as I say, you do it eventually! Don’t give up!

I wish you had kept a diary when you were 14. You do from the age of 16 to 21 and they are fascinating reads now! I remember how you feel at 14 though. As I said earlier, this isn’t your happiest time and you are just coming into yourself. Remember when you were 11 and that boy fancied you? You thought to yourself, ‘oh I am too young… why can’t this have happened when I was 14?’ you thought you would be so much more grown-up at 14. I bet now you are thinking how mature you will feel at 27… Well I don’t! I still feel too selfish and immature to have children myself…. so we will see when the 35 year old self writes to you! My scary age is 30 at the minute. And I bet for you it is 18! Adult age…. but I promise you, you will still feel like a kid for many more years yet. Your 20s are great because you get to the grown-up thing whilst acting like a kid too. That’s why I am dreading my 30s; you can’t get away with as much!

Anyway, it is great that I can speak to you like this. When you are in your early twenties, you will discover a book and film called The Time Traveller’s Wife and it is great. The man in that gets to time travel and talk to his younger or older self. The thing is he can never change the course of history. And I guess I can’t either. You won’t pass your driving test until you are 23, you will take that pet shop job just as you will get fired from the summer job in a factory. You will be homesick at the start of uni. It is all meant to happen but the good news is, it happened, you survived it and learnt from it. And you are happy and secure in the present day.

Love your (almost) 27-year-old self.

P.s – you will still love Spice Girl’s songs when you are 27!

Hope you enjoyed that and I guess you know me better after reading that! It is like writing to another person, I really enjoyed doing it. I recommend you try it too!

XSXS

A Little Magic at the Weekend…..

I don’t know if there are any Harry Potter fans out there? But yesterday I was Harry Potter. My boyfriend’s sister had a Harry Potter themed party (well it was actually Harry Potter, Merlin, Disney, Percy Jackson and randomness but let’s stick with Harry Potter to keep it simple!) I painted some house banners, you know of Ravenclaw, Gryffindor, Hufflepuff and Slytherin to decorate the house and I wore a Daniel Radcliffe mask….. that I had to add a red lightning scar to make it authentic….. a wand, a cloak, a scarf and tie. Very funny.

Me in my Harry Potter gear………….Expelliarmus!

There was lot of activities supplied by my boyfriend’s Mum. We had to go and do a treasure hunt yesterday. This involved looking round our local town for random things such as flowers, bus tickets, leaflets, newspapers etc and ticking them off as we went! Bear in mind that I was dressed as above (though I must confess that I left the wand and mask at the house and in my long, black winter coat I looked quite normal… well for me!), my boyfriend’s sister and her mates were dressed as random Harry Potter students and Bellatrix Lestrange and my boyfriend’s brother’s girlfriend was dressed brightly as Luna Lovegood! So yes, we looked a right sight and it made me think that it could be real. Like in the books where the wizards visit the muggle world. That is what it could have been! A group of people at one point were getting into a car dressed as witches (for a Halloween party I assume!) and they said,’Oh look, we aren’t the only weirdos about!’ I said to my boyfriend’s sister that it would have been really funny if they had exclaimed, ‘Err we aren’t in fancy dress… we are actually witches and just visiting your muggle world for the afternoon!’ That would have been really funny and an attempt to bring Harry Potter and the world of Hogwarts to life for the afternoon!

Anyway, the treasure hunt went well. The other team consisted of my boyfriend, his twin, their brother and his mate. So girls vs boys. They boys won, sadly, but I was really pleased with how we did because we didn’t spend a penny (on getting items like Macdonald’s wrappers… we hunted the floor…. or a bus ticket…. one of us charmed the bus driver to give us a stub.) We also went on foot, whereas the boys went in the car. This meant we were slower but not by much! So I think we did very well in that case. Shame we didn’t have actual broomsticks to use like in the film!

I want to end this post byexpressing my ultimate envy for J.K Rowling. Not for the money and the fame. If i was going to be famous, I would want it to be for writing a book and she just has it so good having written a great series of books that have appealed for years to all ages. And then eight great films get made too! It is just such an original idea (even though there was some controversy over her getting the idea from another book about wizards or something?) She not only created great characters but a whole new world, language and culture. I am in awe. I would love to come up with such an idea that I could write seven books about. Maybe it is in me somewhere!

Have a magical evening!

XSXS

Driving Me to Despair

 

Me and my boyfriend have lived together in our own house for nearly three years now. I like it. I don’t like the area so much. We live near a block of flats so fondly called ‘Cannabis Court’. I think that says it all. In addition to this, I like the parking situation even less. We don’t have off-road parking you see. So on the road, either side, whether we can fit really. It is also a bus route, which doesn’t help. People who don’t live on the street and park up to visit someone, don’t get the ‘unspoken rules’ that you have to shift your car right over or if on the other side then half on the kerb so that buses can fit. Also that you have to wait at one end of the street if car has started coming down the other end. Unspoken rules. Meaning, that we get buses impatiently pipping because a car is parked on the wrong side of the road (not on the kerb) and a bus can’t fit. I always end up peering out the window saying to myself ‘god, such idiots…oooh are they gonna move?’ It’s quite entertaining.

It is not so entertaining, however, when you get up in the morning and realise that your wiper blades have been bent backwards and upwards. This is what I saw this morning as I was about to go shopping. Drunken idiots having a laugh I imagine. I had to spend precious shopping time at Halfords asking for a new wiper blade to be fitted, to then be told that it was the actual connected bit that holds the wipers in place. That was broken because the scumbags had bent them back so far. So not as easily fixed. Great.

In the past, me, my boyfriend and neighbours have all had numerous wing mirrors broken… you know just the glass part so you know that it wasn’t knocked by a car. I think I had to buy 3 new ones for my KA – so we are talking one a year on average just because some thugs get a thrill from breaking property. Tyre valves have also been nicked and some neighbours have even had windows smashed in. Lovely society we live in, isn’t it? My elderly neighbour was telling me that someone set fire to his garage once and his car burnt to ashes. I just don’t get it. Is it just the thrill of doing something they shouldn’t? Or is it jealousy because they don’t have nice things? Or is it blind drunkenness and they just don’t know what they are doing? I imagine it to be gangs of teenagers, who have or maybe not had drink. This is why have categorised this post in ‘Teenagers’ but I know that this is prejudice and it could have been anyone. Sadly, though it does tend to be this age group.

From experience though, I know that the elderly can be just as nasty. When I had my KA, as it was a bit smaller and parking was a real nightmare (still is but I will go round the corner now) I used to park right in front of my house. This is the wrong side of the road if you like – pointing the wrong way – meaning I had to park on the kerb quite a way. I used to consciously think of people with push chairs and wheel chairs and make sure they could still get through. This is why, I was really angry when an elderly woman in a wheel chair had a go at me one morning. It was a Saturday and I had a lie in and then treated myself to some beans on toast with a cuppa and some morning TV for breakfast. Then I heard a massive bang on the window. When I look back now I think it was with a walking stick that she banged on the window with because I don;t know how she could have reached otherwise but I don’t get why she would have had a stick as well as a wheel chair. Anyway, she was shouting ‘move your bloody car so I can fit through!’ Then she wheeled off with a friend in tow. The thing that was the most infuriating was that she was sitting in her wheelchair in the gap between my car and house so she must have fit anyway. I opened my door, in my pink nightie and said ‘Excuse me, but if you have a problem, I would rather you come and knock on my door and talk to me like a civil adult.’ They ranted on about cars being on the pavement and threatened me with the police. She also pointed at numerous spaces over the road… I thought ‘course there are spaced now you stupid cow, people have gone out!’ She said she would scratch my car all the way down the side if it wasn’t moved. This made me not want to move it because threats like that shouldn’t get things done. After I calmed down, I did move it because I didn’t want to risk it getting scratched. But it really made me mad that by kicking up a fuss like that, she got her way. A couple of neighbours mentioned her too and I noticed they moved their cars. So turns out, threatening people can work, sadly. If she had come to my door and gave me a sob story about not fitting through easily, she could have easily made me feel guilty because, as I said, I used to think about that anyway and there wouldn’t have been any need for threats or insults.

The funny thing was, a couple of days later, I came home from work and parked in the same place again. I think it was only going to be for an hour because i was going out again so I thought it would be OK. As I was about to get out, I noticed a girl come batting down the road on a bike and to avoid my wing mirror, she over compensated and banged into my fence. I got out immediately to make sure she was alright and knew I was in for it now as her Mum came closer. Her Mum, though, had a got at her. For going too fast and not looking where she was going and asked me if she had damaged my car! I couldn’t believe it and because she had been so nice, I apologised anyway and made sure she had enough room and said that people complain and a wheelchair woman had a go at me the other day. She said that it was fine and she feels sorry for us having such a problem with parking down there.

Guess it isn’t always the things we do then but how people react. But I now know that number one priority in our next house is …. a drive!

See you tomorrow,

XSXS

Not Sloshed enough to Mosh?

Afternoon people, you may have noticed that I didn’t publish anything yesterday. I’ve decided that I am going to fight the guilty feeling from this and not go into this whole ‘apology’ spiel when I don’t manage to post anything. It’s boring for me to write and boring for you to read. Sometimes, I don’t get as much time as I would like and as good as my life is…. I don’t always have something fascinating to write about! So, I would, on occasion, rather write no post than a rubbish post – again better for me and better for you 😉

Anyway, last night I went on a girls’ night out. We had fun with drink, laughter, banter etc and then we ended up in a ‘rock’ club. Not my thing at all and I thought I would share my thoughts with you. I am not opposed to ‘rock’ music as such. I like a lot of the mainstream stuff such as Green Day, Sum 41, Blink 182 and all that. I know some of you out there will be like ‘that’s not Rock but something more specific like …. I dunno… I can’t even think of anything else except Indie and I wouldn’t categorise them as that. That’s the point though isn’t it? All this categorising is a pain…. I just like what I like, no matter what the particular ‘genre’ is. For the sake of this post, I will use the term ‘rock’ loosely depending on how individuals view it.

Why did we end up in this ‘Rock’ place? Well, two of my girl mates are true Rockers at heart. They always come to the mainstream places with me and my other, cheesy pop loving night out, friend. Last night, we had agreed for it to be a belated celebration of the two rockers’ birthdays and when their faces drooped when we went into our usual club, I thought – ‘oh, we need to take one for the team and go to Mosh.’ Mosh is the name of the Rock club you see. So off we went….. to the Dark Side……

I’d had a few drinks but nothing like last weekend (see my post Mixing Drink with More Drink). This was when I thought, ‘I am not sloshed enough for Mosh’ Haha. We walked in and there was a smell. Of sweat mixed with stale sick. Yuk. The music was loud. I know, I know, I sound old. I felt it too at times… as just like we went out for Dirty Thursday (See posts Getting Down and Dirty with the Teenagers part 1 and 2) there was a lot of teenagers out. It was too early for Fresher’s Week but we thought that maybe the 2nd and 3rd year students had come back early to party – or mosh. Anyway, yes the music was ear bleeding, heart pounding loud. The good news was – I knew the first song!!!! Motivation by Sum 41! Oh yes. I thought maybe I would like it in there afterall…… trouble was, I didn’t know the next 20 songs that followed!!!!  I thought maybe if I was drunker, I would have happily danced away anyway. I also wouldn’t have been so conscious of sticking out like a naked person in a sea of appropriately dressed people. Except, I wasn’t feeling under dressed but the opposite. In my little blue and white polka dress, black heels, pretty jewellery, I felt a bit out of place! I felt like I was wearing a huge banner on the back of my dress saying: ‘I don’t belong here – my friends dragged me!’ Haha.

The place had three floors and we seemed to spend the first half an hour walking from one to the other to find the ‘right’ one for us. Quite frankly there was no ‘pop’ floor so I wasn’t really bothered! I knew a few more songs later on but just not enough. It made me think how important music is to a night out. You need to know the songs as they keep you motivated to keep going until the early hours. You get all excited when a song comes on you know and the next few minutes goes by in seconds as you eagerly await your next favourite tune. This is how it was for my two Rocker friends. They have always been into this music since school. They used to dress in real rocker clothes too and one used to have dreadlocks and one had pink hair at one point too! They were called ‘grebs’ or ‘grunges’ back then. They used to drag us to this shop where they could buy their flared, bright coloured corded jeans, skull T-shirts and so on. Me and my other mate joked that this was the closest we had ever come to smoking weed – second hand – because the place stunk of the stuff!! Ha. So yes, last night they had the time of their lives. So it was worth it – I guess 😉

So for a night out, you need good music or if not, more alcohol!! 😉

See you tomorrow (hopefully!)

XSXS

Teenage Sitting

 

 

Noooo…. I am not sitting on a teenager. I am, to put it in more ‘normal’ way, babysitting. But it is for the Special Needs boy I know, who is 15 so to call it ‘babysitting’ feels a bit wrong! I find the whole term ‘sit’ strange anyway that it means to ‘mind’ or ‘take care of’. Weird… sit on em to keep em quiet! Remember I told you about the lad in my posts Never Play with Animals or Children and Swimming in Play Doh and Fish Tanks? Well, his Mum and Dad wanted to go out for dinner tonight so they asked me to watch him for a couple of hours.

I am currently writing this because he is completely engrossed in some Truck programme. He is obsessed with tractors, trucks and any other vehicles really. But the bigger the truck, the better. He is no trouble at all; doesn’t even know if I am there at all to be honest let alone that his parents have left for the evening. No trouble at all. I am, however having trouble with the dog! You will know that I am not used to or great with dogs from my previous posts Never play with Animals or Children (again!) and Two Legs in Charge, Four legs not. The dog, unlike the teenager, does know I am here. From the moment I walked in, she was all over me. Nuzzling me, rubbing up to me. Female attention, not male – dammit! Then when I was just washing up from dinner, I came back into the living room and the dog was eating some tiny pieces of something. It turns out she had come to the kitchen, took the remains of a red pepper and all the seeds had gone onto the carpet. Grrr. So no, no trouble with the Special Needs teenager but the dog has made me extra work! Haha.

We just had some pizza. Last time I came round to have lunch with him and his parents we also had pizza. Must be a favourite of his! His Mum let him put it in the oven as when given the baking tray and the uncooked pizza, he knew what to do. There was 3 pizzas in total to share between four of us. We chatted as they cooked and then his Mum went to check on the food. She exclaimed, ‘Oh he’s only put one pizza in!’ She then realised it was a very very thick pizza. he had stacked them on top of each other! Haha. Good space saver that! Bless him. Today his, Mum put the pizzas in before she went out. I joked that she should stack them as that is clearly how he likes them!

Anyway, I’m off to see what the youngster is up to before it’s time for bed….. guess I’m risking cutting this short as something else is bound to go wrong! Haha… guess I’ll have to update you tomorrow!

See you then,

XSXS

Circle of Life…

Well guys, I’m starting to miss the kids at school (starting to…only just!) because I’ve been to the old people’s home today and seen the other end of the scale. I took my neighbour to visit his brother there. I’ve been a few times… even though I almost drove past it haha…. and they say the elderly are forgetful!!

The old people’s home… or residential home as I should really call it… reminded me of a cross between a hospital and University halls of residence. Which, got me thinking of how life is all a circle.. I know not really a new idea and Elton John beat me to it with his song! We start off in a hospital (well in most cases) where we are dependant on others and need help to be fed, cleaned and clothes.. and that is how we end up. (And if you believe it, we may come back as someone or something else and start again.) The University link came to me as I walked to the room of the man we were visiting, Donald. We walked through the corridor with room after room after room; some had funny photographs on their doors. This reminded me of student life and how our life comes down to that one little room where we sleep, get clean and watch Tv.. amongst other things! Also the smell of sick/poo at on point helped to strengthen this link a bit …. we all know what students can be like at the end of a night out!

Donald made me laugh with his ‘problem’. No I didn’t make light of it or show that I was amused! But he showed me a pack of four beers that he had in his wardrobe. he had been given them as a birthday present by one of the volunteers. He said that he only fancied a beer in the evening. Yeh great! But… the evening is when Horlicks is delivered around the rooms. Can’t he turn it down you ask? I asked this and he said ‘Oh but if I refuse it once, they will never bring it again!’ I thought this was a bit extreme and they aren’t going to be offended if he refuses it once (or four times; one for each beer!). Can you imagine if they did with food? ‘Oh you left your dinner.. that’s it… no more food for you! EVER!’ The other related problems were that no he couldn’t drink both because creamy hot drinks don’t mix with beer, which I kind of agree with. It would be like the students mixing their alcoholic drinks! He also couldn’t bring himself to throw his Horlicks down the sink.. so at the minute the beers remain in the wardrobe and the Horlicks vs beer battle continues! I knew what the students would pick 😉 It also reminded me of when we are little and ‘treats’ are all we think of… when can we have sweets? If we leave a bit a dinner we will have room for pudding! It is funny because in between these two ages, you wouldn’t have time to think about something as trivial as that!

Later on, Donald patted his tummy and said he was getting too fat. I liked the fact that at his age he still cared about his health and appearance so much. Apparently, Cyril, his brother, who I took to visit him, had very bluntly told him that he was getting too big and had to eat less sandwiches and biscuits!! Well, we can’t blame it on the beer can we?? I loved the fact that the brothers could be this honest with each other,… men aren’t usually about issues like that. Again, it reminded be of children in the playground, ‘You’re too fat, you eat too many biscuits!’ Donald very solemnly told me that at tea time (they have their main dinner at lunch time) he used to have three sandwiches and recently he had upped it to five… (wahoo got to love the oldies and their eating competitions!) but now he realised that he should only have four… plus a piece of cake! He didn’t seem a problem with having the cake everyday… no it’s the damn sandwiches!

Obviously another fact will be that Donald just doesn’t move about as much as he used to and that would cause the weight to pile on. He tries though and will help the staff sweep up and collect plates and cups in. It got me thinking that at that point in life, he must need a purpose. As well all do. He always tells me that he would rather be back in our town than there; as happy as he is there. I always look shocked and say, ‘No way.. it’s much nicer here, you get your meals cooked for you and everything done for you! ‘ Is he crazy??? Joking aside, I can see that in some ways it must be like a prison and as nice as they are there and how much attention you get, you do not get the same independence as you do when you live at home. I find it amusing that there is a key pad lock on the door.. to get out! But you don’t need it to get in! Obviously this is for safety of the residents but it seems a bit like they can’t escape even if they wanted to!

So guys, think of the oldies and even if you’re not anywhere near that age yet… think back to your childhood, because it’s very similar! Also think of Donald’s Dilemma (mmm Donald’s dilemma could be a regular slot on my blog haha)…. Horlicks or beer??? 😉

See you tomorrow,

XSXS

Stealing your Trust.

Good afternoon everyone,

I’m trusting that you won’t mind of I visit a more serious topic today. I had some bad news. My partner is a rower.. as I’ve mentioned before.. and he is away for the weekend camping at a regatta (remember I only go to the one day ones 😉 ) .. anyway, he phoned me this morning to tell me that last night, whilst all the rowers were out, the campsite got burgled. Phones, money and other valuables were taken along with two actual tents!!

When they returned, clothes and invaluable belongings were strewn all over the field. A couple of expletives come to my tongue now but I’ll try not to send them out  into blog land as that won’t help anyone. The first thoughts you will probably have are, ‘How can people do this? Steal from someone else!’ But it also got me thinking about the other side… and even though… it is so wrong that people do this… but why oh why did some of the rowers leave valuables in the tents? Were they asking for it?  And just how trusting should you be.. with anyone?  Do these thieving mongrels really end up stealing our trust and faith in fellow human beings more than anything else? Possessions are just things and can be replaced but no one can give back the pure innocence of ‘everyone is a friend’ feeling that we have as children.

My boyfriend, luckily, was sensible enough to put his valuables either on him or locked in his car. But some of the others, especially the younger ones, kept smart phones, money and purses in their tents. Their innocence and naivety will now be replaced with cautious, wary and untrusting attitudes (or at least I would think it would be!)… is this a good thing though? Should we all and need to learn to be aware and responsible or should we be carefree and have a ‘if it happens, it happens…sh*t happens’ kind of mantra? Seems though, that sadly, they have learnt an important lesson when camping.

 

Leave your valuables in your car or preferably take them with you!!

 

I will tell you that I am not at all trusting. And no it hasn’t stemmed from an awful childhood (I had a great one… remember the mud pies?!) or the fact that I was severely bullied (even though I did get called a geek a lot… but I’ve made my peace with that 😉 ) or the fact that I have been completely duped or been ‘had’ in any way. I’ve just always been taught to not trust people until I really know them… and how many people would I trust with my life? Mmmm I’m not sure; it is a scary thought. I’ve always liked the quote, ‘Love many, trust few, live life to the full!’ You can still be nice and friendly to everyone you meet… just don’t let them hold your purse whilst you go to the loo… or give them your pin number!

I sometimes think that people like to push the boundaries of security by leaving their front doors unlocked or by having a stash of money in their house or by walking around with their £200 phone waving about. I’m going to risk sounding old here but I never carry a lot of cash with me, my phone is always zipped in my bag and I always walk with my bag on my shoulder with the zip nearest my hand…so someone can’t just delve in behind. The house is always locked, whether I’m in or out ( a fire hazard.. you may add…. well that’s a whole other issue), our valuables are in ‘safe’ places (sometimes so safe that I forget where!) Am I paranoid? Probably. Is there a less chance that we will get things stolen than anyone else? Probably Not. But why make it easy for the good-for-nothing-stealing-toe-rags?!

One of my mates last week, was finishing her thesis for her PHD. Naturally, she had to back up her work and did this quite a few times to keep it secure. She told us that as it was complete and ready to print, she actually slept with her memory stick (not what I thought people had plastic devices in the bedroom for…). This was just in case they got burgled that night and the computer was stolen… she wanted to make sure that she had her work with her. Again if a fire occurred it could be a different story… because would she think about rescuing her plastic device containing her cleverest scientific thoughts? Mmmmm… and was she paranoid? Or was it just good sense?

I don’t know if any of you out there have ever been robbed or broken into. The closest we have come to (fingers crossed, touch wood and all that…) is when my boyfriend’s car got broken into a few years back. This was again at a rowing regatta (I’m not painting them in the best light haha… overall the rowing community are very lovely and seem to be very generous and helpful and normally it’s outsiders that seem to cause the trouble but I won’t point any definite fingers). We got back to the car at the end of the day and I think the window was smashed. They had tried o take his car CD player and succeeded. They also took a bag with a number of clothes in (another tip, never leave anything on show… even that Spice Girl’s Cd because these rob-dogs will take anything!) and the thing I remember the most was the feeling I had. Someone had not just stolen things but stolen our personal space. Someone had been in his car without permission; stealing trust, security and happiness. That is what they really steal. I would love to hear if anyone has any other stories…

So guys watch your backs and who you trust…. don’t let them steal your faith in human kind but just be aware that not everyone is as good a human being as you!

Right, I’m off to check the door is locked…and if my new car is still outside! Haha.

See you tomorrow,

XSXS

A Hole lot of Digging!

Afternoon folks, To link to my post from last Saturday, Adding Fuel to the Feminist Fire…which seems to have provoked quite a debate so check it out… I have been doing what some would call ‘manly’ chores/jobs/roles or whatever you want to call it. If you see the comments on that previous post, I think the conclusion seemed to be that there are no rules for what jobs people do in a household… but it comes down to the individual and what their skills are. Well I am not brilliantly able at gardening, physical lifting or anything manual to be honest but I had a go! Today, I was sawing branches off trees (I got a bit saw happy actually!), digging roots up and lifting huge slabs and any other junk that seem to be left by the previous owners…

I turned into a teenage boy for an hour actually… No my voice didn’t get hoarse and deep and I didn’t suddenly develop certain male parts or the urge to look at women in bikinis (I could have just put Club land on if that was the case!)… I just quite enjoyed digging holes! I told myself I needed to get the roots up from the plant we have taken up and that I needed the turn the earth over and also check what was under there (still no dead bodies!) BUT really I was just enjoying seeing how far I could dig down. The memories of making mud pies as a small child returned to me. I have never understood why I ever chose to make mud pies. In most ways I am such an indoor girl and always have been. I loved Barbies, reading, dressing-up and all of that but it seems there is this grubby, outdoorsy type in me that resurfaces every so often!

I think, today, I was also influenced by my current read. Remember how I said on Wednesday (in my post That Stinging Feeling) that everyday things can remind of us of  literature?  Well, currently I am reading Holes by Louis Sachar. The pupils in year 8 at school study it and I haven’t read it yet so thought I would over summer. Yes, I’m lucky that as a teaching assistant that is as far as my summer work and preparation goes really! In the book, which I am very much enjoying, a group of teenage boys are at a juvenile detention camp and have to dig holes everyday, five foot deep and five foot wide. So I am not sure if me digging today was influenced by me reading the book or by doing that it made me think of the book! Such a circle of life and literature isn’t it??

The kids in the book have to get up at 4.30 am everyday and once they start digging their hole, they don’t stop – only for a quick lunch break and for drinks – it is in a desert setting and the sooner they finish their hole, the sooner they can get out of the blazing orange rays.  The book has a lot more to it than that with themes of teenage rebellion, families, racism, religion so do take a look! I haven’t finished it yet… I was hoping to today but the garden has made a bigger hole in my day than planned 😉

Anyway, as I was doing the garden, I pictured these fictional teenage boys and how they had to keep going in sandy, dry, boiling, strict and thirst desperation conditions and it helped me to keep going! My small garden of a semi-detached property had no comparison to the setting of the book but still… I thought if they can manage that for a full day everyday then I can clear this corner of the garden! And I did it! Yay! It’s looking more like an actual garden each day!

Digging ‘holes’ also got me thinking about when we say it to people or we say it ourselves. The metaphor we use for basically saying things we shouldn’t!! Haha. We end up digging further than planned or we have to talk the talk and butter people up by digging ourselves out of the hole! I had to do that last night. I told you, I went to see the friend who got engaged. She loved my post about it (Two hearts, Two rings) but we were afraid that her fiancé wouldn’t approve of me writing about it. Last night, I decided to apologise to him for the post and explain. Turns out he didn’t know about it anyway.. as my friend so subtlety told me as I started talking…. TOO late. I was in a hole. I then had to explain about my blog and the fact I had written the post. Then I said how I agreed with her choice on it – then I thought; ‘Dammit, he will think I was insulting him if I was on her side!’ So I ended up digging a little further!  To dig myself  out of that one. I had to say that I also used lots of examples and I looked at the male opinion and everything. Argh. To climb out of the hole completely… I even offered to delete the post… and stop writing my blog and keep my pen and typing fingers prisoner forever more (Ok that last bit was an exaggeration!) he said he was  fine about it.. But I don’t think he has read it yet! Eek… and now I’ve told you all this, I may have more holes to dig out of tomorrow haha!

So people, be careful what you say and if you need to take out your frustration… then dig a real hole (it also comes in handy for hiding in!)

If I have offended anyone then please comment at the end and I’ll happily ‘dig’ myself out of it!

See you tomorrow (I hope!)

P.S – you’ll be glad to know that I have stood up to the cats. I have taking back my butt (of the water kind 😉 ) and I scared away the horrible hisser cat.. with some of the advice from yesterday, so thank you!

XSXS

Hungry for a good read?

Happy Sunday everyone…. I thought that every so often I would write a book review (in my own fashion.. as it may be more of a persuasive ploy rather than giving too much away) as part of my blog….obviously this depends on how quickly I read books. I very often have my nose in one but sometimes it takes me a while to finish them, especially when I’m back at school (I am on book overload then with students and the last thing I want to do when I get home is read!)

But you know when you’ve read a fantastic book and all you want to do after you’ve finished read it is to recommend it to someone?… or tell a non-reader (yes, sadly they aren’t extinct yet) all about it in hope that it will encourage them to appreciate the written word? (rather than watch the blasted film!… which I do want to see but I always read the book first!) It’s like you peel your eyes away from last paragraph and look up and the world is still moving, people are doing day-to-day stuff and have no idea that you have just been to a world of literacy genius.. and they must understand this, they must!! I have this little fantasy that I walk up to friend straight away, hand them the book and simply say, ‘You have to read this!’ Sorry, I can’t do that on here…. and I have to know you really well to lend you my books… they are like my babies 😉

The Hunger Games, for those who don’t know, is a trilogy and has been made into a recent film (which as I said above, I haven’t seen yet but am looking forward to seeing it portrayed on the screen when it is out on DVD in September). If you think to yourself ‘Nah, not my kind of thing,’ please don’t stop reading because I thought the exact same thing. It is not normally my kind of read as it is quite action based (I normally prefer romantic/relationships/everyday life kind of stories) but it is truly fantastic. I whizzed through the three books very quickly (for me) and the first one (which in my opinion is the best..but the other two are also vital thirds to the exciting plot) I started about a month ago whilst we were at school still. I took it with me to work as I neared the end and read it at break and lunch (noooo not in lessons as I am, of course, a professional 😉 ) I just couldn’t wait to find out what happened at the end of that first volume.

As I said I normally prefer books that are based on reality but every now and then I love it when an author creates a whole new world that is so believable that you want to find out more and more about it…like Harry Potter for example. I am so jealous of J.K Rowling for creating that whole world that circles around Hogwarts and the new language that she created and renaming us as ‘Muggles’… fantastic. I may have to kidnap her and pick her brains or put a spell on her or something.

Hunger Games isn’t as punctuated with happiness (in between all the Voldermort visits I mean) as Harry Potter.  Suzanne Collins has created a dystopian society called Panem which consists of twelve (or does it??) districts and the Capitol. Why did I choose to read this book? Well besides me thinking it was food related (haha only kidding) I was fascinated by the fact that all these people get put into an arena for ‘The Hunger Games’ and only one can survive. I am not best interested in blood gore or fighting (which there is plenty of for you violence and guts lovers out there) but I am intrigued by human behaviour and relationships and thought ‘how can they kill each other?’ And the blurb already tells us that Katniss Everdeen, the main character, sacrifices herself to take part in the Games in order to save her sister. I thought she obviously cares a lot about her family and I also knew there was a love interest (from seeing the film trailer, I must admit!) and I was intrigued to see if they would be in the Games too and how would you choose between yourself and killing a loved one? It is gripping stuff.

Katniss, is the kind of character I normally detest. She is stubborn, impatient, rebellious and has two guys fighting for her affection (we all hate girls like that right?). She is also athletic, brave, gutsy and extremely logically clever… which are all things I am not… so I found it very difficult to identify and empathise with her to begin with. But Collins does such a superb job of letting Katniss tell this story that we are instantly on her side; we have her back…. even if other characters (who she thinks she can trust) don’t.

We know that Katniss survives the Hunger Games in the first book of the same title… mainly because she in mentioned in the blurb of the second book (so I’m sorry if that’s something you try to avoid to do…but I haven’t really given anything away here). When I started reading the second book, Catching Fire I was a little dubious and thought ‘Well she has survived the Games…now what?’ Well there is a huge twist in this book and the action is even thicker. The third book, The Mocking Jay then concludes with a war between the rebels and the Capitol….. has all this been the cause of Katniss’ actions? Who will survive? Time will tell….but life for Katniss will never be the same again… god I sound like the Games announcer.

You meet many amazing characters… Peeta (who I imagine to be an absolute God.. so I hope the screen version doesn’t disappoint!), Gale (who I imagine to look the rough and ready type), Haymitch who spends his whole time in the three novels drunk (my kind of character!), the stylist team who are very visually interesting and you need to take with a pinch of salt, President Snow (bit of a Snape, you’ll see), Prim (the sister, who comes across as a girl who seems far too nice to have even survived in this society at all) and many more… but these are the ones who stood out the most for me.

The plot is so juicy with many turns and twists… there are birds that repeat your every sound, lethal monkeys, bloody rain (as in red droplets not ‘oh rain again!’), deathly fog, lightning… oh and a great shortage of food and water (oh that may explain the title a little ;-)) so it isn’t just each other that they need to watch out for!

Katniss and Peeta keep asking….  Real or not Real? You may want to ask yourself this as you read….

One more thing… if you need another reason to read… is the love story… who will Katniss end up with; Peeta or Gale? If any? This is one of the main themes I was always enthralled by… and it definitely does get resolved and it is very worth the wait!

Action, love, hunger… what more could you want?

Rememebr……..’If We Burn, You Burn With Us!’

Happy.. or not so happy… reading!

I’ll be moving onto 50 Shades of Grey next.. (well after I read a couple of books for school)…. I’ve waited for some of the hype to die down and listened to all the  and opinions and now I want my own. It’s the fastest selling paperback of all time.. so yes I definitely want to form my opinion on it and yes don’t worry I will share!

See you tomorrow,

XSXS

Down and Dirty with the Teenagers (Part 2)

Hey people… I’ve discovered since I’ve started writing a blog, that I can longer talk to people! Yesterday, I kept saying to friends and family ‘Ooh this happened yesterday…’ and they interrupted with; ‘Yes I know, I read it in your blog!’ So I no longer need to talk it seems. It made me realise wy I wanted to write a blog in the first place and that is because I simply love story telling. I love telling people about funny things that happen to me or annoying things and getting opinions. So I suppose one good thing is that I don’t have to repeat myself by telling each person now..because that is what I would have done. But I’m not sure how I feel about this yet because what am I now going to talk about? Another worrying thing is that every night last week, my boyfriend walked in and said ‘How was your day?’  My response was to hurry him to the laptop and read my blog! I am hoping that this is because I am still excited about the novelty of the blog and face to screen isn’t going to be our new form of communication! It seems it is now a war between the written and spoken word….

My mates, though, may appreciate a detailed write-up about ‘the night before’…. mmm or maybe not actually! And of course this isn’t that reliable because i may not be able to remember everything! I am hung over a bit yes and also a little tired but I will try my best to recreate the atmosphere of Dirty Thursday. There was firstly wine and chatter before we actually went to the dirty town. One of my friends was deciding which one of us he would call on for advice about certain things. One dilemma he suggested was ‘If I fell down the stairs and landed on a Hoover (vacuum) nozzle, what would I do?’ He decided on one friend who would have the best words of wisdom in this situation and her response was ‘Turn on the Hoover!’ So yes, this is the thrilling conversations we have after a few drops of alcohol. We also discussed by some dustbins were dark brown and some light brown (I started this one!) and also why certain people leave the caps off the toothpaste (in our household, I do and we have to have two separate toothpastes!).

In the first pub, there was black vodka… a whole new experience for me and one that I’ll blame the hangover on…. Glitter Bombs (which I still insist taste like carrot cake!) and more normal vodka and a rainbow of shots! Bleurgh. I found it amusing in one place that there was a sign up saying ‘J Bombs’.. students were too lazy for Jaegermeister so it became Jaegar Bombs.. and now they can’t even say that so it’s ‘J Bombs’… I know it’s hard to hear in these bars and gets busy but still!

Oh, I tried to use my student discount to get into a club and was met with the response from the bouncer ‘It’s already a student night, what more do you want??’ Haha, so I tried and sadly my student card expired at midnight, so that’s the end of that!

There was also dancing… and I have a Dance-ometer. Zero alcohol means I occasionally will dance but I feel stiff and weird. Too much alcohol and I fall over mid dance. Last night, I was somewhere in between, which was probably perfect for the Dirty evening. I was dancing in a bar, with and without friends and using various pointing finger gestures… I blame the black vodka! My mates enjoyed a good old dance and linking back to the student days that I mentioned yesterday.. it’s funny because our dancing becomes much more animated and enthusiastic when songs come on from sixth form/university. Fat Man Scoop came on and this always reminds me of the sixth form common room so we has some very lively bopping to that one and then the song changed to something I don’t know and I shuffle my feet about slightly, decide it’s a good time to go the loo, get some water or rest my shoe rubbing feet. Then Mr Brightside comes on we are in a dancing cocoon again where nothing else matters! It was gone 2am when that song came on I think (No 22-year-old sister, I wasn’t tucked up in bed my midnight like you so teasingly predicted!) and then some rubbish beaty, no words song came on (I rarely like songs without words) and I said to my mates ‘That was the peak… it’s time to go for food!’ So off to the nearest kebab shop we went… all except my male friend who decided to party on solo and walk the one hour it takes to get home! There is still some student in us all…….

Anyway, time to get ready for the next night, visiting good friends tonight and having a meal and drinks… so no dirtiness!

See you tomorrow,

XSXS

Down and Dirty with the Teenagers

Well today, I have been around teenagers quite a bit…. Started the day with an early morning walk again. I’m afraid I’m starting to sound old by talking about ‘teenagers’ and going on early morning walks…sob! But remember, tonight is Dirty Thursday, so maybe ‘clubbing’ (said very loosely in ur town as its pretty much a few bars with sticky dance floors…dammit I’m sounding old again!) tonight will ensure I remain firmly at my age of 26…. Maybe I’ll even rewind a few years since it will be full of students, damn teenagers again!

You’ve probably guessed but I’m going to be telling you all about Dirty Thursday tomorrow, hopefully in my hung over state with my feet hurting from dancing…..now that’s student style!

And I should know as just…. wait….5 years (sob!) I was one myself as I studied hard for my degree in English…and yes partied hard too! We used to go out every Wednesday, which was student night… Not Dirty Wednesday noo…just ‘student night’ where the drinks came cheap and in treble form and everything was even cheaper if you held a valuable student card. (Oooh just thought maybe I’ll use my current student card tonight since it runs out tomorrow and buying clothes with it hasn’t been that successful!) I was a bit of a rebel in my first year at Uni and got told to leave clubs because a) I danced on the tables b) I passed out on the dance floor or c) threw up ON the bar…that was actually my house mate and she did that just as I was passing out haha. We weren’t popular that night and the funny thing was, we went to another bar after that!! Crazy times as a teenage student!

Anyway back to today. Yes i went for a walk with my bloke’s Mum again and with his brother’s girlfriend and his teenage sister came along too today… And the dogs of course. She was saying she had lots of homework to do over the hols…. There was Art, I.C.T and English. Naturally, I chose to ask about the English homework and got very excited because it was about Of Mice and Men, which I looove! I told I could write it as she dictated it to me…. But I wanted paying! These teenagers need to pay their war so I thought that was a fair deal 😉

Later on I met up with my two cousins, one who is 15 and one who is 17, plus her boyfriend. I tortured them by reading my blogs to them but luckily they laughed and we caught up on school gossip. I actually then advised my cousin’s boyfriend on drinking games he could play at his party on sat (whilst his parents are away)… See I’m not too old yet! Would also like to say that I take NO respsonsibility for how those games turn out…. It’s all a sickly learning curve this drinking culture!

And on that note…I’m going to prepare my stomach for tonight’s dirty drinking….that’s one thing you learn after being a teenager! Plus, I am far too selfish to part with my booze at the end of the night anyway (apart from that one time…. It was a dodgy burger though, I swear!) and I never pray to the porcelain alter so to speak. It’s far too expensive and too much fun too let go of! 😉

see you tomorrow on a not-so-Dirty Friday….

XSXS