Tuesday, 30 June 2009
4 weeks ago... I was the happiest I've ever been. I felt like I had the world in my hands. Finally things had slotted into place. Finally everything seemed clear and secure and certain.
3 weeks ago... I knew something was wrong. But I was sure it was fixable and I still felt happy. The future felt bright.
2 weeks ago... Things crashed down, without reason or explanation.
1 week ago... I was so excited about Glastonbury I couldn't help but be happy, despite everything. It was a chance to forget, or so I thought.
This week I can't find much to look forward to. This week the tears fall and I wonder and think and try to understand.
But I can't.
Because it doesn't have to be this way. Not this time. We worked so hard. We came so far. It doesn't have to be this way.
Monday, 29 June 2009
Tired, sunburnt, panda-eyed thanks to huge sunglasses, fuzzy, happy and in a state of bewilderment.
It was, predictably, fabulous.
Highlights: Coming third in an impromptu musical statues contest near the cabaret tent, Tom Jones, the sun, Blur, sitting on the grass with a cider in hand and many many other things.
Lowlights: The rain, the mud, waking up at 7am every day in a tent that can only be described as a sweatbox.
More later but for now I need to sleep, shower, sleep some more and bask in the Glastonbury afterglow. 2009 was a vintage year. VINTAGE.
Tuesday, 23 June 2009
So, another 365 days has passed by...
It's time once more for the odyssey that is Glastonbury Festival.
The weather forecast has, predictably, fluctuated wildly over the past week or so. At one point it actually seemed like our prayers had been answered and we were going to, shock horror, get a sunny and warm festival. Now however, it seems fairly certain that we're going to get at least some rain (or torrential downpours, depending on which forecast you listen to) and, with the rain, comes the mud.
Ah, the mud. The mud that, two years ago, nearly made me leave the festival early. Note the nearly. I didn't. I couldn't. But the mud sure does make things difficult. Endless slogging between stages, concentrating so hard on not falling over that you almost forget to have a good time. Those fools who think everyone wants to mud wrestle with them. Well I don't and I will chin anyone who tries to make me. So there. I'd like to remain as dry and clean as is possible whilst spending five days in what can only be described as a 1200 acre latrine.
But I think I've made my point. Mud = bad. So pray for me, won't you?
See you on the other side... xx
Monday, 22 June 2009
Here it is, the third installment of the New York odyssey. Catch up here and here if you've missed anything.
The third day of our little trip was probably my favourite. We started the day with a lovely walk through Central Park in the morning sun. The obligatory photos were taken, see above, but the highlight for me was C asking me to hold the camera while he went to the toilet. Apparently he 'didn't want them to take photos.' Them being potential rapists, obviously. You can take the country out of the boy, but you can't stop him thinking all city dwellers are crims.
Next up was MOMA which was fabulous but absolutely enormous. Art art art. Even I was a bit 'arted out' after six floors of the stuff but I did get to see a couple of my all time favourite pieces. Work by Giorgio Di Chirico that I actually based my Art GCSE final project on, which was quite special actually. Seeing the paintings, not my Art GCSE. Of course, with greatness you always get absolute crap. The below being a prime example...
By the time we dragged ourselves out of MOMA it was about 3pm and our stomachs were weeping with fear that they'd never again be fed. So we did the only sensible thing for two British people abroad to do. We ate in a place called the Manchester Pub. Seriously, you might as well give me a union jack t-shirt, some socks and sandals and a knotted handkerchief. As it turned out though, the food was really really nice. Pulled pork (snigger) sandwich for C and buffalo wings for me. Cue a curious look on C's face when they arrived and this little gem of a quote 'I thought you were having buffalo wings' before the realisation dawned that buffalos don't have wings. Bless.
A meander down to the Chrysler Building and a walk through Grand Central Station later and we found ourselves at the Brooklyn Bridge. The sun was beginning to set as we started to walk across and the views were amazing. My feet were not feeling so amazing, however. Three days of walking around Manhattan had taken their toll and I was, apparently, walking like 'someone with special needs'. Any guesses as to who said that?!? Quote master general himself, of course. Still, i powered through and we made it to DUMBO where we watched the sun set behind the skyline. We then attempted to go to Grimaldi's for pizza but, with a queue around the building, we made the decision to get the subway to Greenwich Village and go to John's. This was swiftly followed by Pinkberry frozen yoghurt. At which point I declared 'it tastes a bit like yoghurt'. Mong.
A confession: our feet hurt so much by the end of each day that we had to use foot soak when we got back to the apartment. In the kitchen sink. Does that make me us OAPs and/or vile?
Sunday, 21 June 2009
Happy Fathers' Day to all the papas out there, but particularly to mine. He's been there for me through so much over the last few months. Non-judgmental, ever listening and so encouraging. He's fiercely proud of me despite the things that I'm not so proud of.
I love you, Dad xx
"He didn't tell me how to live; he lived, and let me watch him do it."
- Clarence Budington Kelland
Friday, 19 June 2009
Ugh. I'm so bored of myself...
I've been sitting here just now writing a blog post about how rubbish I've been feeling recently. WOE IS ME. Then I decided to metaphorically kick myself in the face/arse/life and sort it out. Because I'm ok. Kind of. I'm.... numb. Yes, numb. That's the best way to describe it.
I may be sad and confused and hurt. But I'm not dying.
Other bad things that I could be but that I am not:
- A weasel. Nobody likes weasels.
- Gordon Brown. Nobody likes Gordon Brown.
- Mahmoud Ahmadinnerjacket. Nobody likes him either.
- Semolina. Nuff said.
So, instead of forcing my woe upon you, I shall force my joy upon you. That sounds ever so slightly rude, but I'm leaving it.
Things that I am currently excited about:
- Glastonbury Festival. Yessirree! In 5, count 'em, 5 days I shall be sitting quite happily, cider in hand, in one of my favourite places in the whole world. The weather forecast is more wonderful than I could ever hope for, even in my wildest dreams. I intend to dance, drink, eat, laugh, fall over and
forgetdrink a bit more. Hurrah!
- A potential trip to Scotland to visit at least one wonderful girl blogger.
- A barbecue tomorrow with some of my closest friends, followed by an evening of drunken debauchery and certain shame in Manchester.
- The Cheshire Show next Tuesday. Nothing floats my boat quite like a big agricultural show with a) pig judging, b) food tents giving away cheese samples and c) farmers in straw boaters. Love it.
- Buying a DSLR camera with my hefty tax rebate that came through today. Tasty.
- A Summer filled with beer gardens, friends, festivals, a cheap and cheerful holiday (hopefully) and laughter.
Wednesday, 17 June 2009
Eat. Work. See friends. Drink. See more friends. Gym gym gym. Work.
Don't slow down, even for a moment.
If you do the thoughts invade. The blackness descends.
Work. Work. Work.
Gym. See friends. Work. Work. Drink.
And then the tears begin to fall.
And the thoughts get in. And you wonder why. And you get frustrated because you don't understand.
And still the tears fall.
Monday, 15 June 2009
I know, I know... it's taken me forever to get around to the second installment of the New York odyssey. If you need a reminder, Part 1 is here.
Our second day in New York began with a lovely breakfast at Crepes on Columbus followed by catching the subway to Midtown. The Empire State Building was our destination and, seemingly, also that of half the people in Manhattan. The queue snaked around the building and, with the weather and visibility not great, we debated whether or not to bother. But bother we did and a mere two hours later we were at the top. Weather conditions we experienced included snow, sun, extreme wind and low lying cloud. Pretty much the full spectrum. But it was fabulous. Save for the rude Spanish family who had NO CONCEPT OF PERSONAL SPACE. Rage.
Next up was my favourite museum of the whole trip... the Museum of Sex. Smutty old cow that I am. The Sex Lives of Animals was the special exhibit and it was fascinating. Gay lions, hemi-penises (don't ask) and the frightening realisation that men are closer to Bonobo apes than I'd ever realised before. Throw in a bit of hentai and some scenes of graphic penetration projected 4 foot high and you get the picture. Wholesome it was not, hilarious it was.
Vanessa's dumpling house. It was cheap as chips and with plates piled high with pork dumplings and sesame pancakes, we ate our fill and then staggered across the road to Fortuna's. At least, I think that's what it was called. By that time we were a few beers down and more than slightly tipsy. I vaguely remember trying to understand the rules of baseball. I think.
We ended the evening with a trip to Times Square. The lights. Oh the lights. Slightly too commercial for my liking and an unpleasant experience with a man dressed as Elmo soured the experience somewhat. Still, you've got to do these things haven't you?
When we arrived in New York we made a deal with ourselves. That we wouldn't get the Subway after 10pm at night. I'd heard horror stories and didn't want to take any chances. So what did we do that night? Got the subway home at midnight. Unwittingly I might add, such was the inebriated state of our foolish English minds. But there was no rape, wounding or battery and we fell into the apartment safe and sound. Phew.
To be continued...
Sunday, 14 June 2009
- Sitting in my beautiful garden with a good book and my adoring dogs by my side. Fact: You can't be sad with a West Highland Terrier around
- Drinking San Pellegrino with a wedge of lime out of a brightly coloured plastic glass
- Lamb chops with feta cheese, rosemary sauteed potatoes and mediterranean vegetables, washed down with Oyster Bay Sauvignon Blanc
- Watching Juno and laughing at my Dad not understanding anything she says
- Playing with my Diana camera
- Visits to camping shops for Glastonbury essentials. Rain mac: check. Sleeping bag: check
- Obsessing over Glastonbury, including outfit planning, music planning and food planning. Bring on the pies and nachos
- Being in the gym before 9am and feeling the ache in my legs afterwards
- Ice pops
- Planning dinners and evenings out with wonderful friends
- My parents. For their unflinching and wonderful support. Always
I'm not ready to talk about the things that aren't so good. Not just yet. For now I'm enjoying my weekend and trying to find the positives in my life. And there are so many.
More than I ever realised.
Friday, 12 June 2009
-- Theodore I. Rubin, MD
Wednesday, 10 June 2009
Are you satisfied with your lot?
Your friends? Your partner? Your life in general?
Because I can honestly say that I am. And I'm starting to wonder if that's strange or if I'm totally alone in feeling this way. It's not to say that I don't want more for myself, that I don't have ambition, that I don't want to achieve more, see more places, experience new things. Because I really do. But the bare bones are all there. My support network is there. I truly feel like the people in my life are the best people in the whole world. I may not have a huge group of friends but I don't mind. I'd rather have three or four people in my life who I can rely on than twenty that I can't. I feel the people in my life help to make me who I am and that I want to grow along with them, to continually strive to be the best that we can be.
For the last 18 months I've felt completed. I feel like if this is as good as it gets then I'm happy with that. I don't have a perfect vision of how life should be, or of who should be in it. I wake up every day and I'm truly thankful for the people I love and who love me. I don't want any of them to be anybody else, or to be any different to how they already are.
I love the people in my life, despite flaws, despite occasional idiocy, despite bad behaviour, cutting words, hurtful comments. Because flaws are what makes us, us. Flaws are the little imperfections that make us unique, that make us strive for better. The relationships you see in Hollywood films aren't real. The perfect women, the chiselled jaw possessing men, the relationships where there are no arguments, no doubts, no issues to contend with. They don't exist.
Real life is about compromise and about realising that what you have, whilst it might not look how you thought it was going to look, is pretty darn fantastic.
Monday, 8 June 2009
Today I am mostly feeling blue.
I've got a number of things going on in this silly little head of mine and none of them are really suitable for internet publication. I've got an overwhelming feeling that I'm letting everyone down at the moment and I really need to shake it.
Still, in brighter news, the weight loss and no alcohol regime is going very well. I'm now the lightest I've been for about 18 months and I'm really feeling the benefits. I'm more alert, sleeping less and I've got so much more energy. Losing weight is marvellous.
Normal service to be resumed shortly....
Thursday, 4 June 2009
So, the results?
Well, it's not great news. But it's also not terrible news. My Dad's got prostate cancer. But it hasn't spread, it's slow growing and its non aggressive. His Consultant thinks he's had it for about ten or eleven years, which absolutely terrifies me to be honest. But he's ok. There is to be no operation. No chemotherapy. Radiotherapy and hormone therapy (to which I shouted 'tranny!') only. So that's good, I guess. Part of me can't quite believe that he can have had it for so long and that it can still be contained in the prostate. But he's had scans and I suppose you have to put your trust in the doctors. Difficult to do so though.
- To lose three stone. I've rediscovered my friendship with the gym and I'm going to try and go at least three times a week. I've also been religiously sticking to a new healthy eating regime since Sunday and that's going to continue for the foreseeable future (with a short break for Glastonbury in three weeks time). With hard work, patience and a bit of support I know I can achieve fantastic results. This time it's serious.
- To have more new experiences, visit new places and have more adventures. I want country walks, bike riding and I'd also really like to go up Snowdon in the near future. Plus more camping. Camping rocks my world.
- To drink less alcohol. Me and C have made a two week 'no booze' pact and, to be honest, I'm relishing it. San Pellegrino with a chunk of lime for me please. Less calories, fewer hangovers, less drinker's remorse. Bring it on. This also goes hand in hand with the 'have more adventures' resolution as there should be far fewer mornings spent languishing in bed with a headache.
- To set myself more challenges. Learn a new language, take an art class, sign up for a 5k run. All of the above are things I'd really like to do, plus innumerate others. I want to grow as a person and become the best that I can be. If you're not growing, you're stagnating.
- To let go of the past, live in the here and now and be more excited for the future. Because I see great things on the horizon.
I think that'll do for now.
If you had to make some resolutions right now, what would they be?
Monday, 1 June 2009
They say that bad things come in threes...
Well, this weekend I've had one good thing (in fact, no, one great thing) and two bad things.
1) My Dad's MRI scan results have been lost. Marvellous. We can't even blame the NHS either as he went private. So another 40 minute scan and a couple more weeks of worry await.
2) My Mum broke her wrist this morning. I was woken up by her shouting me so I tumbled out of bed, hair like a wild banshee, creases still on my face, ran down the stairs and there she was, lying on the floor, obviously in a lot of pain. Me, being the supportive caring daughter that I am, what did I do? I fainted. I'm a squeamish old bag and the mere fact that she'd hurt herself so badly was enough to make keel over.
So all in all a bit of a health fail really.
Oh, and the one great thing? Well, I'm keeping that all to myself for the moment...