Monday 24 September 2012

It's Like Baking A (Motherfucking) Cake

Ok, first off I have to give credit to Kristine at Wait in the Van for the title of this post.  For some reason it just made me laugh (although not as much as the actual post she wrote) and so I've stolen it ....  No excuses, just blatant theft and there possibly won't be any mention of cake either but never mind.

What I really wanted to talk about was breasts.

Well, blackberries and breasts.

Or, more specifically, blackberries, Jeeps and breasts (Oh yes, and those vest tops with the built in support which means you don't need to wear a bra unless you are particularly well endowed, which I'm not so I wear them without one).

And dogs, cows and random randy bulls ....

Anyhow, individually, in their rightful place, all of these things are great (well, with the exception of randy bulls).

As a combination ....  Hmm, well lets just say, they don't work so well!

Let me enlighten you.

The blackberries down by the canal have been pretty crappy this year.  The equation of rain and sun has left them small and bitty and they tend to fall apart when you pick them.

When I refused SD a taste of my solitary blackberry and apple crumble (hey, I LIKE him ok, I just don't like him that much!) he offered to take me for a recce around the fields next to the farm to see if we could find some better ones.

Last Thursday was a shorts and vest top day and we headed off, in the Jeep, with Gus running loose behind us ... and around us ...  and FUCK, in front of us!!

Bloody dog nearly gave me a heart attack and SD started to get really pissed off at me shouting:


Apparently I was sucking all the fun out of the 60 degree climb out of the disused riverbed.

Well excuse me but the prospect of your Jeep wearing my dog like a black and white furry muffler isn't really doing much for me either!

Once Gus was safely ensconced in the back of the Jeep happily bouncing up and down as we shot down banks and along a rutted path I realised that the so called 'support' in my tee shirt a) wasn't really man enough for the job and b) that SD wasn't entirely unaware of this fact.  In fact, I'd go so far as to say he might have been taking an unnecessary amount of pleasure in seeking out the bumpiest path he could find!

Whilst it might have been amusing for him, I was in bloody agony!

I sat there, arms tightly folded, glaring at him while he shrugged helplessly muttering something about 'hard springs' and laughing at me.  BASTARD!

In the end Id had enough and hopped out telling SD I'd walk back and heading across the field to a gate that looked like a short cut.

As I approached the gate a herd of cows came rambling over obviously thinking I was there to feed them.  Now I like cows, I was brought up in the country and I'm not afraid of them.  Mostly if you leave them alone they will do the same for you.

I could hear SD shouting something but the cows were making a bit of a noise so I couldn't quite catch what he was saying.  As I swung my leg over the gate I heard him shout something that sounded like 'balls'. 

Balls?  BALLS? How about I repeatedly kick you in the balls and then you might have some effing idea of the pain I'm in??? 

Hmmm ... no, didn't THINK so!

As I dropped to the other side of the gate SD screeched to a halt in front of it.

'Didn't you hear me shouting you bloody idiot? - there's a BULL in that field!'

Ahh, ok, sure enough, there at the back of the crowd was the biggest, ugliest, meanest looking bull (with frankly the hugest appendage Ive EVER seen) eyeing me up with a hungry gleam in his mean little eyes.

Was I grateful to SD for (possibly) saving my life.
Well, no, I've got to admit I wasn't really. 

In fact I was even more pissed off at having my hissy fit inturrupted like that so I still refused to get into the Jeep and stomped off again with  bloody SD following me really slowly in the Jeep across the field and sniggering damn him with Gus barking at me from the back seat.

Trying to reassert my superiority and regain a little dignity I went off to do some kitten wrangling when we got back.  The farm cat had kittens a while back and I'd offered to take them home to get them used to people before re homing them.  Two have already been and gone to good homes and now I had two more to catch.  SD isn't a fan of cats and they know it so this is MY area of expertise.

Want to see what I ended up with?

Hmm, well blogger doesn't seem to want to let me insert photos right now so I'll tell you:

A three inch scratch along the side of my little finger, a gouge out of the finger next to it, a chunk out of one knuckle and a really deep scratch on my middle finger that bled like buggery.  Oh, and no fecking kittens!

On the plus side, there were loads of blackberries and on Saturday I picked enough to make 8ltrs of blackberry and apple to put in the freezer plus four bags of blackberries on their own to make ice cream with and today I made an apple and blackberry crumble cake, yay, now the title of this post makes SOME sense (thanks again Kristine ;).

I have to say, I'm pretty sure there are some people out there who probably have absolutely NO  idea what goes into baking a (motherfucking)  cake!

Friday 21 September 2012

Five Sentence Fiction - Zombie

This weeks FSF prompt is zombie ....  Ummm, thanks Lille ;)

Not only have I never written horror, I've never watched much either and I wasn't entirely sure what a zombie really was.

So, in my quest to know everything I popped over to google.  Many cultures believe in the existence of zombies and they take several different forms.

'According to the tenets of Vodou, a dead person can be revived by a bokor, or sorcerer. Zombies remain under the control of the bokor since they have no will of their own. '

As I wanted to continue with last weeks story  I have used this as a 'loose' basis for this weeks piece:

Barely noticing the cool damp air touching her face, the weak warmth of the sun as it struggled to burn through the early morning mist, the sweet cloud of lavender that filled the air as she brushed past or the cobwebs glistening like jewels in the hedgerow she was empty, devoid of all emotion.

One foot in front of the other, her mind so far detached from reality it was as though she were moving out of sync with the rest of the world as it rushed past her in a blur of colour and noise.

For a brief moment last night she had made her own choices, controlled her own destiny, her soul set free so that finally, finally she could find herself again.

 Or so she had thought ...

For only the foolish could believe that the bokor would willingly relinquish that power.

Tuesday 18 September 2012

Sleepless In Somerset

Last night was night four of very little sleep.  It's an improvement on Thursday and Friday when I got no sleep at all so I guess I should be grateful.

I'm tired.  I'm really, really, really fucking tired!

I almost wrote a blog post at four this morning.  I'm glad I didn't or I might have spent most of today trying to backtrack on it.

You know the worst thing about insomnia?


There is nothing more boring than being awake when your mind is so tired you cant make sense of anything.  You can't do anything much if other people are sleeping.  You don't want to wake those you share a house with.  No one much else is around to talk to.  The stuff in your head is so mixed up that you probably wouldn't make any sense at all anyway. You wouldn't be able to express the crap that's churning around in your mind because mostly it doesn't make sense to you either.

Insomnia is lonely.  It makes you feel totally isolated.  It makes mountains out of molehills.  It makes you focus on the negatives and it makes you feel powerless.

I really fucking HATE insomnia!

Now obviously I'm still in zombie mode.  I've actually achieved quite a lot today all on auto pilot.  I rarely, if ever give into the urge to sleep during the day, it's not the solution and only means that another sleepless night is a certainty rather than just a possibility.  I know my brain isn't firing on all cylinders today but that's ok, it doesn't really need to but I can keep my body going in the hope that exhaustion will finally win and tonight I'll sleep.

I haven't always suffered from insomnia.  In fact it's only in the last few years that Ive had night after night of no sleep.  It's not a constant in my life.  I can't always work out whats triggered it and I find that giving it too much thought only prolongs it.

I can be happy and have insomnia or, as is more usually the case, I can have things in my life that make me unhappy or cause me stress.  I guess the common denominator is that I have things on my mind.

Ive never been big on sleep (which was a bonus when I had one 13 month old and a new born baby).  I don't understand lie ins, I really don't.  I can understand the relief of not having to get up for an alarm just not the 'not getting up' part of it.  But that's me and I fully appreciate that others see lying in bed until lunchtime on a weekend as a well deserved luxury.

Insomnia isn't about having the odd sleepless night because something's on your mind.  That's normal.  It's crap and it gets people down but usually it fairly isolated and explainable (is that a word???).

Insomnia feeds on itself and yes, I know I said I try not to focus on it too much but that's during the day, at night there IS no escape.

It first started after the breakdown of my marriage.  Another of ex lax's legacies I guess (god bless him for being so giving ;).

During the day Id worry about the usual stuff that people worry about in those situations but at night my fears would become totally irrational.

My main fear was that the house would burn down.  Now, if you've read a few of my 'shitty house' posts then you might not see that as so irrational!

The truth is that I'm fairly sure my house is safe and there isn't any danger of it exploding or spontaneously combusting but, in the early hours of the morning that wasn't really any comfort to me as I lay in bed planning escape routes.  I also used to worry that something would happen to one of the children or to me so I couldn't look after them.  Again, not totally irrational fears given the circumstances but intensified to the point where I felt I had to make all sorts of contingency plans 'just in case'.

Over time these fears have lessened.  I can see that they were mostly a product of an exhausted, overwrought, over active imagination. These days I rarely get the nightmares that filled the few hours sleep I did get and left me in a pile of tangled, sweat soaked sheets .

Life has gone on and I've moved past much of that.  Occasionally it make a brief return and sometimes it's hard to distinguish between the nightmares and reality.  But life IS mostly good.  My health has improved dramatically.  My weight has been fairly stable this year with the odd dip but nothing too serious.  I've spent hours decorating, improving my house which (despite the fact that I still have things to do) gives me an enormous amount of pleasure.

But the insomnia still haunts me and I'm soooo fucking tired of it (very bad pun intended;).

I don't know what it would take to sort this ....

Hmmm, actually, you know what?  That might not be true because like so many people I'm too fond of saying 'I'm ok' when the reality is that I'm not.  Possibly the only place I will say it is here on my blog.  The thing is that I bury the things that make me not ok so deep these days that nobody really knows they are there.  Even I don't acknowledge them because, under lock and key they cant hurt me can they?  I can carry on my life, loving, living, laughing (and it's all real, it's not a pretence, there's plenty of loving, living and laughing going on I promise you).  That's what people do isn't it.  It's called survival because each and every one of us have things burried that can hurt us if we let them.

Except ...  they do hurt me don't they?  They are the reason I cant sleep.  They may be buried but they aren't dead and keeping me awake is their way of reminding me they exist.

No one lives a life without these things.  I'm not unique and I'm not alone.  I'm unlucky that it affects me in this particular way that's all.

I guess you may be thinking that the solution would be to confront these things.  If you do then you could be right but then again, you could be wrong.  I may have confronted some of them in the past and nothings changed.  There may be things that would actually be made worse if I did confront them (and not everything IS better out in the open).  There may be things that are just too fucking painful to dig up and actually insomnia is the lesser of two evils.

I don't necessarily advocate burying or ignoring things.  I don't actually think it's the answer for most people but it is a choice that most of us make.  Sometimes being honest about things or even being honest with ourselves is the hardest thing in the world and so we're not and, if there are answers out there, solutions, a way forward that could bring us happiness or at least peace then we will never hear them because we are too afraid to ask. and too busy pretending we are ok.

That's just really fucking sad isn't it?

You know how I feel right now?  No, it's not depressed.  I've been there and this is something different.

I feel melancholy.  

Now that's a great, very underused word that describes exactly how I feel right now.  I don't know what the dictionary definition is (and for once I'm not going to google it).  For me melancholy is an innate sense of sadness, of pensive thought, a yearning for ... well, for whatever.

I guess I've been dwelling a little on my last post.  There comes a point where it really is too late and what then?

Like I said, I'm tired.  This is most definitely one of those posts written at one of those times where if I had any sense I'd leave it in draft for at least 24 hours before deleting it.

Well insomnia ate my common sense so fuck it, I'm publishing and I'll be back to backtrack like crazy tomorrow ok ;)

Sunday 16 September 2012

I Remember

Eleven years ago today tragedy touched my family.

The day before had been a beautiful day spent in the garden with my sister and brother in law.  My sister was six months pregnant.  They were so happy and so looking forward to the birth of their first child.

That night Mario suffered a heart attack, he was 45, a year younger than I am now.

Words can hardly describe the horror and total disbelief that this could have happened.

Mario was one of the kindest, most gentle men I have ever had the privilege to know.

He wasn't just my brother in law, he was family and I loved him

I don't apologise for a re posting. As long as I still have my blog I shall re post this every year on the anniversary of his death as a tribute to a man for whom I had enormous respect, affection and love for.

I Remember Mario

I remember the look of pride and sheer joy in his eyes as he placed his hand on her swollen stomach. ‘My little Piranha’ he said.

They smiled at the private joke, sharing a moment of complete happiness amid the chaos and noise of a family get together.

The plate of food lay forgotten on the table as he crouched down to talk to the young boy playing with his Action Man
Seeing her brother being paid so much attention caused the little girl to forget her shyness of this big man with the big voice. She toddled towards him and gently touched his face, ‘kiss’ she said as she lent forward and placed her lips where her fingers had been.

He looked at me and smiled. ‘This is what it’s all about’ he said without words, ‘this is who I was meant to be’.

When the phone call came early the next morning it made no sense at all. Years have passed and it still makes no sense.

He never met his beautiful girl. She didn’t get to kiss his cheek.

But while she may not have her own memories, as long as I remember, she will have mine.

Be happy and remember, that while when you lose someone, you don't ever get back the opportunity to do what you wished you had done, every moment leading up to that IS an opportunity to fulfil that wish.

Saturday 15 September 2012

Say What???

Ok, so I just logged onto Facebook and thought I'd share this gem with you. 

Now I have a few people on my friends list (and it's not a big list through choice but I've been through all that before once or twice... ;).

What I do have is a few people left over from the early days, mostly relatives of Ex Lax.  They mostly seem harmless enough and to be honest, I'm not sure some of them even know him personally, it's a pretty big and convoluted family.

Anyway, like you do when you first join FB (or like I did anyway), I accepted any friends requests that came my way, mostly because it seemed rude not to.  I'm a lot less polite these days and I've trimmed down my friends list to people I either actively want to know about or people that don't particularly offend me.

This has left me with one or two of Ex Laxs relatives.  A couple I've grown to like (pretty sure none of them are related to him by blood ;), a couple who I keep for entertainment value (it's a little like having my own private series of Eastenders on tap) and one or two I forget are there they post so irregularly.

Every now and then one of them posts something that has me in stitches.  Who could EVER forget this classic from ...  Well, lets just call her C:

 " i can not belive the swear words a couple of little kids were comin out with up the playschool right in front of their mum and she dint say shit about it wtf just goes to show who they learnt it from, so glad my lilman is such a gd boy x"

I don't think C does irony but she certainly makes me laugh!

Today I'm confused.  I just logged on to find THIS update from K:

" 'K' is fucking fumming"

I am genuinely at a loss to know if she did in fact mean fuming (and if so, why?) or if this is some strange sexual practise I'm unfamiliar with. 

After my experience when I googled 'Hogtied' - yes, yes, I know NOW ok but for those of you who missed that post (and for those who are interested in stats, it's interestingly the post I get the most hits on ;), I had confused it briefly with 'hamstrung', a perfectly easy mistake to make ... isn't it ... yes, of course it is!

I don't want to google it in case my computer crashes and I have to take it in for repair.

Anyway, so far there has been no follow up so I'm still in the dark about this one. 

Anybody either know the answer or want to google it for me .....

Friday 14 September 2012

A Shitty Ditty

Oh god, excuse the title but once it was in my head there was NO shifting it!

On the plus side, at least I'm blogging again ;).

I thought it was time to lighten the mood a little and what better way than with a little poetry:

The wheels fell off my Vax today
It's really the last fecking straw
I kicked it's blue arse out of the way
And for good measure slammed the door

My washing machine exploded you know
With a great big fecking BOOM!
You should have heard my wail of woe
As the stench of burning filled the room

My dishwasher made a chirruping sound
But nothing seemed really awry
Until something flew out (it was small and round)
And almost took out my eye!

My steamer's bust (although there's still steam)
It's just nothings ever cooked
It's like my appliances are on the same team
As they laugh at me - 'YOU'RE FOOKED'!

*and don't even get me STARTED on the affect I have on cars ;)

Five Sentence Fiction - Awkward

Linking up with Lillie McFerrin for five sentence fiction - click on the button above to read the other entries.

What it’s all about: Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week Lillie will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.

This week: AWKWARD

Waking slowly, unfamiliar shadows dappling her face, her body slick with sweat, limbs heavy in a long forgotten yet familiar way.

Cautiously stretching her legs she eased them gently from beneath the covers feeling for the polished boards under her feet.

As she pushed with the palms of her hands sliding into a sitting position her reflection was caught in the mirror facing the bed.

A tableau captured in a moment of time, hair damp and dishevelled, make up smudged beneath her eyes and beside her, his breath a whisper in the silence, a faint smile curving his lips, lashed tipped with gold, heatbreakingly beautiful, heatbreakingly wrong.

She turned away, her eyes shining with unfallen tears as the heavy scent of regret stole across the room.

Thursday 13 September 2012

I Really Want A Linen Press

Ok, at this point I should really confess that I'm not entirely sure WHAT a linen press is but that doesn't stop me wanting one!

Of course, along with the linen press I'd like a French farm house complete with red bricked, walled vegetable garden and a donkey in the orchard ...

Failing that, I'd quite like an airing cupboard.  I never really appreciated how lovely it was to have a cupboard full of warm, sweet smelling towels and sheets until I got my combi boiler.  I might have hot water on tap these days  but is it really such a great substitute for a tank full of hot water that you can warm your PJ's on in the winter?

I woke up to brilliant blue skies and warm September sunshine this morning and decided that as my washing machine is still f*cked I would hand wash some bedding ....

I have some really stupid ideas!  Do you have any idea how hard it is to wring out sheets and duvet covers by hand?  I hope not and let me tell you, you really don't want to know.  The bloody things will probably take 3 days to dry and that's if it doesn't sodding rain!

It's not like I even HAD to do them by hand.  SD offered to take a load over to the farm this evening and run them through for me but it SEEMED like a good idea at the time.

They do smell nice though and it might save me watering the flowerbed under the washing line.  Hopefully the plants wont object to Ariel flavoured water.

Would it surprise you if I said I'm not really sure where this post is going ...

'No really!' I hear you gasp ....  (Or maybe not ;)

It was going to be about how wanting things (even when you're not really sure what they are) can actually blind you to the things that you do have.

It could have been a 'grateful' post and I could have told you that while I may not have a washing machine right now I'm grateful that I'm able to wash by hand and that I have a garden I can dry it in but hang on ....

I've never really been good at the grateful posts.  Id rather lie on the floor drumming my heels at the fact that not only did my washing machine blow up but the wheels fell off my bloody Vax the other day!  It doesn't actually fix anything but it does make me feel a bit better!

I am not ungrateful for any of the things I have but right now I'm a little restless.  I want something more.  I'm not talking material things, yep, that WOULD be nice but I'm not that bothered.  I guess what I am talking about is personal fulfilment (ok, I confess yet again to not being entirely sure what that means either ;).

For one reason or another I've been drifting for too long.  I've had the beginings of plans that I haven't seen through and Im frustrated with myself.

I've been reading some of the many RUOK posts.  I've considered writing my own as I did last year but I haven't, and I probably wont because the timing doesn't seem right for me.

Maybe I have everything here that I need right now and I'm just not seeing it.  Maybe I'm investing too much time thinking about the things I think I want to see that what I have is actually worth so much more.

Ok, emo post alert!!!

Now that's REALLY not how this post was designed to turn out, who knew that hand washing a couple of sheets could have that affect on a person?

From now on I'll stick to shocking my neighbours by hanging my (probably far too frivolous) smalls on the line :-)

Tuesday 11 September 2012

Not Just A Pretty Face ...

"You are the most useful woman I've ever known"

"Mwmump, murrmp, errgg"  I replied.

SD looked at me with slight confusion and some consternation as my eyes welled up and I sniffed loudly.

"It was meant to be a compliment you know" he said hurriedly, "I mean, you're ok looking and you're funny and clever too and, and ...  stuff"

Spitting the nails out of my mouth and laying the hammer drill down beside the rip saw I waved the spirit level at him.

I sniffed again.  "I'm not upset you prat".  That's possibly one of the nicest things anyone has ever said to me!

One of my Grandmothers most damning comments was "she/he is neither use nor ornament".  This was usually levelled at Bonnie Langford as she simpered and danced her way across the telly on a Saturday afternoon.  My Grandmother had little time for people who didn't work hard and pull their weight.  She didn't have much in the way of modern conveniences (well, few people did back then) but her house shone and her cupboards were full of home grown, home made goodies and she still found time to knit the four of us matching (hideous!!!) jumpers each winter as well as being an active member of the mothers union and a sewing circle that helped raise money for the local church.

For most of my life (like most other women) I've been judged on my looks and the fact that Im female.  Maybe judged isn't exactly the right word here.  Maybe it's just that assumptions have been made and mostly I've played along with them because ...  Well, I don't know really, maybe the real truth is that it's suited me too.  I've done the child rearing, the house cleaning, the gardening and stuff (as well as working full or part time outside the house) and I've let men get on with the manly, power tool wielding stuff.

Since my marriage to ex lax ended I've looked at things differently.  I've also looked around my house and thought, "FFS, he really was pretty shite at this DIY stuff".  Now ex lax isn't my favourite person but I do like to give credit where it's due and he did try, and,  if you discount the nail through the pipe that flooded the house, the dodgy electrics in the two way lighting in the dining room, the half finished bathroom and kitchen and the fact that he took a fecking chainsaw to my decking, the boy did good!


Anything he can do .... ;-)

Ok, so we all know that I am not a plumber, Im also not an electrician or a roofer, although I have tried my hand at them all with varying (mostly disastrous) result.  But Im a fairly good decorator, Im a bit of a carpenter and Im pretty damned good at making stuff that looks like tatty old crap look good again.

I keep meaning to write 'Battleship Grey on a Budget" aka 'the redecorating of Miss Mac room' and I will just as soon as Ive been in there with a JCB and industrial strength bin bags to restore it's former beauty so I can take some pics.

Talking of Miss Mac, I worry about that girl.  She's too funny and smart by half but she's got some shocking habits.

Glancing through the window on my way in from the garden the other day I spotted her looking at something on the table.  I couldn't see what it was so I waited.  She stood up and walked to the other sofa where there is one solitary cushion.  I keep the cushion (and I hate cushions with a passion!) for SD as for some god forsaken reason he finds my lovely, squishy, bedded in leather sofas give him back ache if he doesn't tuck one behind him.  Anyway, Miss Mac picked up the cushion and then carefully, using one edged, wiped up the juice she had spilled on my coffee table before replacing it on the sofa and sitting down again! 

Later that day I'd left her eating her tea (can't remember what it was but it involved gravy).  As I walked back into the room I caught her LICKING HER PLATE!!!  She didn't see me at first (her face being covered in plate).  As she lowered it, a dribble of gravy running down her chin she contemplated my silent horror before smiling and saying 'some man's going to be really lucky to get me isn't he Mum?'

Anyway, I'm rambling a bit now.  The point of this post was that while SD's compliment might not on the surface of things (or even if you dig pretty deep ;) have been romantic, it meant as much and even more than many of the hundreds of compliments I've received based on how I look etc because it's enduring, it's looking past the surface, it's appreciating ME, the real me.

Don't get me wrong, I love compliments in all shapes and forms and I am very much a girly girl so of course I love to be told that Im beautiful but behind all that there's an electric sander, paint brush wielding force at work who can put up a fence, pimp your shed (pics soon ;) and help take a motorbike to pieces.

Not everybody notices THAT me.

Monday 10 September 2012

Five Sentence Fiction - Memories

What it’s all about: Five Sentence Fiction is about packing a powerful punch in a tiny fist. Each week I will post a one word inspiration, then anyone wishing to participate will write a five sentence story based on the prompt word. The word does not have to appear in your five sentences, just use it for direction.
This week: MEMORIES

It's such a long time since I've written any fiction (thank you Car for the gentle nudge :).  The obvious starting point for me seems to go back to the story I know.

Linking up with Lillie at Lillie McFerrin Writes.

As her hand smoothed the pale blond wood, the scent of bees wax hung heavy in the air.

Her fingers trailed across the cool pewter of the handles as she counted, one, two, three, and paused ....

Sliding the drawer open the box was revealed, untouched but often thought of since it was placed there so long ago.

Inside her Elpis, her spirit of hope, the one remaining thing from that fateful day when Pandoras box was opened, it's contents spilled scattering in the breeze of her confusion, swirling in the mist of her pain.

All but hope had eluded her, tarnished by time  and neglect, muted colours encased in velvet it lay waiting for her to believe again.
They didn't belong together.

In a room full of people a stranger would never have matched them as a pair.  Two halves of different stories, different outlooks, different perspective, different, and yet ...

As a whole they made sense, they fitted.  Together they were complete

Wednesday 5 September 2012

Fetch Me A Tiara!! (aka - a princess moment)

Today I could write any one of a million posts - ok, maybe not a million, but hundreds, well, perhaps 47 ... hmmm, 6 ...

I don't know.  It's such a long time since I've blogged, I mean properly blogged.  There's been the odd post, a couple of photos, but nothing much really for what seems like the longest time and I don't know why.  Stuff happens, THINGS happen.  I have ideas, I have words, snippets, pictures in my head.  The beginings of posts but they just drift away from me.

I haven't lost my love of writing.  I haven't lost my love of reading your posts.  Sometimes I read them and click to comment and just sit there waiting for the words to come. The thoughts that filled my head when I was reading it just turn to vapour and I can't quite grasp them.

So what's going on?

The truth is I don't know. I've lost touch a little.  I feel a bit like the kid at school outside the circle, looking in, watching everyone else having fun.  Wanting to be a part of it but not knowing how.

The difference is that it's of my own making.  I've stepped outside of the circle.  When I write a post a few friendly hands reach out to pull me back in, I smile and look down at my feet but I don't take that step forward.

I see old friends making new friends and new people joining groups that I used to be a part of and I know that it's only me stopping myself being a part of that and I can't quite work out why I am.

It's such a beautiful day today.  The sun's shining, there isn't a cloud in the sky.  I sat in the garden earlier drinking coffee surrounded by animals.  Tillys kittens have all gone to new homes and I have temporarily taken on two adorable black kittens from the farm in order to get them used to being handled before re homing them.  I took them into the garden for the first time since they arrived last weekend and they made a beeline for my tub decimated by Tillys kittens, curling up amongst the lobelia, soaking up the warmth of the sun.  Gus sat by my feet and Tilly curled up on the decking next to me.  Even Bear rubbed against my legs for a moment before disappearing over the fence into next doors garden.

I've been BUSY.  I've been doing STUFF.  THINGS have happened.  Silly, stupid, fun stuff.  I've partied hard, I've been to the beach, I've gardened, cooked, decorated, flirted, laughed.  I've carbooted, been on holiday, watched the sun rise and set over the sea.  I've swum, I've climbed cliffs, I've stood on a tiny bridge and watched the waves crash on the rocks below me while the spray misted my face leaving my skin dusted with salt.

I've lain awake in my bed thinking about all of these things and wondering how it's possible they don't seem to add up to contentment ...

I've never suffered from the princess syndrome.  Being one of four teaches you pretty early on in life that you aren't the centre of the universe and that's ok.  I'm not a demanding sort of person, simple things make me happy.  Being with the people I love.  Sharing my life with people who care about me.  Surrounding myself with my friends.  Taking time out by myself.  So WTF is wrong with me?  What is it that's blocking that feeling of contentment?

Truth be told, some pretty horrible stuff has happened over the last few years and the ramifications echo on in the background and possibly always will.  I sometimes wonder if I could or should blog about them, would that help?  Maybe ....  It wouldn't change anything, it can't turn back time, it probably wouldn't make any difference at all.

I want my enthusiasm back.  I want to wake up with that feeling that I can't wait to put down in words (fact and fiction) the things that I see, the things that happen, the stupid stuff I say and do (it's still all going on) and I think ..  WHAT, what it it that's stopping me?

And that's the thing I don't seem to have the answer to.

I could write a great post about my washing machine blowing up on Monday and no, that's not an exaggeration, the bloody thing literally blew up. Think loud banging noises and lots of smoke!  My initial reaction was, 'damn, wish I'd got a photo of that' as I opened the door and was enveloped in a cloud of acrid black smoke which left the house stinking of burning rubber for two days.  The sequel to 'My Shitty House Strikes Again' maybe and seriously, if you'd seen Miss Mac and I standing there wondering if the bloody thing was about to actually explode taking us with it you probably would have laughed.  And then it hit me, I have no fucking washing machine now.


I can live without my dishwasher, actually, I quite like washing up.  I can live without the tumble dryer, Id rather watch it blowing on the line or have it filling the house with the smell of fresh linen as it drys on the clothes horse (over the banisters, radiators, hanging on the backs of doors and every other available space you could possibly hang wet clothes to dry).  But how the hell am I going to cope without a washing machine?

When big D was a baby I lived in the middle of nowhere.  A tiny cottage high up in the Quantock hills.  It was stunning. We had a huge garden with fruit trees and a view down the valley to the sea and I had no washing machine.  I used to wash his little baby clothes by hand and peg them out on the line.  Every couple of weeks we would go to the laundrette and wash the bedding, towels ect.  It was tough at times but it was ok, I was happy, enthusiastic and life was good.

Big D is now 28, planning his wedding next year to the lovely L and here I am back to square one without a bloody washing machine and what was ok then is NOT ok now so Im pissed off!

Of course I know I'll get it sorted, I'll work something out (and if you're thinking why don't I just go out and buy a new one, well, finances dictate otherwise just at the moment I'm afraid).  It's not the biggest deal in the world, I know that, like I said, the sun's shining, I've hand washed all the small stuff and it's drying as I type.  It wasn't hard and it'll be dry by lunchtime. There's a laundrette just down the road, or, failing that, I have numerous friends who would happily let me run a few things through their washing machine until I get this sorted.

So, it's time to get over myself, stop feeling sorry for myself because, lets face it, in the grand scheme of things, it's not really so bad is it?

Funnily enough, this is yet again NOT the post I sat down to write, I'll actually need to re read it to know what I've actually said.  I was going to either give you the 'funny' version of the washing machine or another instalment of my childhood (the village fete edition, it's hilarious ;) .  Failing that I've been dying to tell you all about my trip to Cornwall, it was FANTASTIC and I got some great photos, and I will, just felt the need for a little moan and a bitch and now I've got that out of my system I'm off out into the sunshine to sand down my shed ready for painting while the weather is still good.

If you've made it this far down the page thank you, I feel MUCH better now :-).