What is that saying? Something about “the best laid plans of mice and men often go astray“? Or we could go with “the Devil laughs when we make plans“. Either way, it’s clear that plans are not always meant to come to fruition. So why am I beating myself up so much that mine haven’t?
I’m perfectly happy with myself at last;
I’ve finally managed to shake off my past.
I know who I am and I know what I’m doing;
I have new dreams that I’m wholeheartedly pursuing.
I get a kick out of backing crowd funded projects. It’s a real feel-good moment, giving over an often small amount of cash to help someone achieve their dream. I think they are a great opportunity for people like me, who can’t afford to give too much, to make a little bit of difference. If the project achieves their pledge goal then the backers get related goodies sent to them as a thank you, depending on how much money you pledged. If they don’t achieve the goal then your card isn’t charged; you don’t end up throwing money away on a project that didn’t get enough funding to take off.
Bit of a weird dream for me last night, so here it is for you guys too…
I was in the bank queuing up to deposit £30 cash. Finally it was my turn so I approached the counter, but the man in the queue behind me came too.
“Do you mind?” I asked him.
“I don’t mind at all, my lovely” he replied, leering at me.
I tutted loudly and positioned myself so my back was facing him.
I got my money out and put it on the counter while I looked in my bag for my paying in book. While I did that, the man reached around from behind me and took my £20 note from on the counter.
I whirled round, snatched it back and shouted in his face “If you touch my stuff again I’ll stab you”.
I turned back around and started filling in my paying in slip. As I did that he reached around again and stole my £20 note again.
As I turned to him again he started running for the door. I grabbed the bank’s pen from the counter, snapping the chain, and went after him.
I caught up with him by the doors, I made a lunge for it and stabbed him in the shoulder with the pen. He roared out in pain and I just took my money, removed the pen and returned to the counter.
I finished filling in the paying in slip with his blood dripping from the pen.
Inspiration comes from a multitude of places. Some are obvious; an old memory, a song, something I’ve seen from the bus. Other times it’s conversations I’ve overheard. Other people’s lives that I’ve overlapped with mine for a few moments.
One very close friend inspires me a lot. He has this knack of asking questions that really make me think. They bounce around in my head for a couple of days until I have to get the words out. He’s been responsible for a couple of my favourite posts.
Other little things stick in my mind and are stored until my brain decides it’s time to let them out. Silly incidental things, like the lovely lady who is often on my bus after work. She’s probably in her early 50s and looks so kind and caring. Her gentleman friend meets her off the bus every evening with a gentle kiss, then he takes her bags and walks her home.
I think about them quite a lot, but my thoughts aren’t quite forming words yet.
The lad that gets on my bus in the morning, who flashes his monthly bus pass like a Federal Agent flashes his badge.
The Big Issue guy not far from work, who always tells me to take care of myself.
Little things like this give me so much inspiration. People surprise me and give me hope
It makes you wonder though, as you go about your day: whose lives are you inspiring? Who is turning what feels like a run-of-the-mill occurrence into art? A painting? A poem? Or even a lowly little blog post.
I had 2 very different dreams last night. I won’t analyse them; just simply tell the two stories as they happened.
I was away with work at a conference in Italy. We were in a really big building, and late in the evening I went downstairs to check our stuff in the lobby. Two men dressed in black had broken in and were going through our bags. I crept back upstairs and tried to call 999, but my phone’s buttons weren’t in the right place and I couldn’t get through.
I borrowed my colleague Al’s phone, called the police and said there were two people downstairs who had broken in and were now stealing our things. The police told me that it wasn’t the kind of thing they normally dealt with but they would send somebody from the council round in the morning. I argued but they didn’t listen, and by the time I’d got off the phone the two intruders had left. They must have been disturbed as they’d left a lot of our stuff behind, including laptops.
After a lot of talk from my boss, which included the allocation of sandwiches, we decided to pack up and return home. I then discovered that my boss had used my open laptop as a sandwich tray; it was covered in mayonnaise and curry sauce – all over the keyboard. Al helped me clean it up.
The dream then shifted to outside. I was outside the building alone, loading my new car up. My new car was strangely enough a orange and white 1970s Volkswagen Beetle, This is actually a car belonging to a very good friend of mine – I have no idea why it was mine in the dream (I don’t even like it!).
Anyway, I finished loading my car up and decided to get in and sit down. I hadn’t been sitting down long when a black car screeched to a stop outside the building next door. Three people dressed in black and armed with machine guns jumped out and opened fire at the glass-fronted building. It was a hairdressers, but was empty as it was late at night.
After they had gone in, Al came out and wandered across to see me. I frantically told him to get in my car and get down. He did, but they must have seen the interior light come on as they came out and started shooting at my car. The police must’ve heard about it because I heard sirens and the gunmen jumped in their car and sped off. My poor car was shot to bits, every window was shattered and the body was full of holes. Al suggested turning the windscreen wipers on, so I did, and they somehow wiped away the damage.
The police came over to me and said they had found my old car, but unfortunately it had been torched. It turned out it had been taken for a joyride then set on fire to destroy any evidence. I was gutted as it’s currently on eBay with bids on, and I needed the money.
I asked the police why they hadn’t gone after the gunmen, but they replied that they don’t deal with things like that, and that the council would investigate it in the morning.
We decided to head straight to the airport and get home. I couldn’t program the sat nav, the buttons kept moving. I started to get really stressed, Al was trying to calm me down, and that was when I woke.
I was in bed, spooning with my boyfriend when I realised I had a really painful side. I worked out it was where he had hold of me. I tried to wriggle out of his grip but he was holding me too tight. I started to panic, and was hitting him trying to get him to let go. I was jerking my body around trying to get out of his vice-like grip.
Finally I succeeded. I went to the mirror, lifted my pyjama top, and saw a horrible bruise, very dark purple and yellow. I showed my boyfriend, and he looked shocked and said how sorry he was and how bad he felt. He wanted me to go to him for a cuddle. I did, and his hand went straight for the bruise and gripped it really hard. I cried out in pain and the last thing I remember before I woke was the agony of his fingers breaking through my skin.
I’m single, and looking for love. I’ve tried the night out clubbing thing, and decided it’s not for me. Generally you meet people who want sex, not love. And as I’m not really a clubber, why would I want to meet somebody who could potentially be into clubbing a lot?
I don’t want to meet anyone at work; it’s never good to mix work and pleasure. Exciting, yes. But not a smart thing to do.
So what does that leave? Tesco?! Do I really hope to find love there? Maybe brushing fingers with a suitable single man as we both reach for the last Meal for One? I really don’t see that happening any time soon!
I decided some time ago to enter the ever-so-surreal world of online dating. And since that decision was made, I’ve tried quite a few different sites – which often feature a lot of the same people – and met quite a few weird and wonderful men.
One in particular stands out. We first started talking about a year ago, and we hit it off straight away. We instant messaged, moved on to texting, and then to phone calls. It was a great time for both of us; we got on so well. The only thing wrong was that he lived too far away for a relationship to really be practical. We both knew it, talked about it, but still kept chatting, none the less.
One of the things we started chatting about more and more was meeting up for a weekend. We were both single so there seemed no harm in it. Eventually we planned a weekend in London together. He booked the hotel, we both got the train there and met at the station. And it was perfect. He was such a gentleman; he treated me like a princess all weekend, held doors for me, looked after me on the tube (I love the tube, and would have been fine on my own, but it made me feel special having him take care of me), he took me to a lovely restaurant for dinner, we went to the cinema, then after we walked through Leicester Square. It was November, so the Christmas lights were up, and it was truly magical. Not once during the whole evening was he not touching me in some way: holding my hand, arm around me, arms linked. I’d never felt so complete before. And haven’t since.
He is the benchmark I measure all first dates against, which is crazy as I know none will measure up.
The thing is though, I worry that the fact that I have done it makes me look desperate. And like a slut. I knew we didn’t have a future, but we got on so well and I wanted to feel special for a while. I don’t tell that many people about that, and a few other things I’ve done over the last two years. Scared of being judged I guess, which is something I think about a lot.
I told a very good friend about this last night, and his response surprised me. And made me think about it in a completely different way:
“Wow that sounds amazing. Didn’t you see him again? Your life sounds really cool to me. Really different and exciting – you are not afraid to take risks especially with your love life and that’s amazing to me.”
Since I received the above text I can’t stop thinking about it. Do I judge myself too harshly? Am I too self-critical? I worry so much about judging others; maybe I should cut myself some slack.
(Just in case you were wondering, I didn’t see him again. It was what it was, one fantastic weekend, and I’ll never regret it. We keep in touch by email – just as friends. Neither of us wants to let go completely, but we both know this is how it is.)
The best thing my gran ever did for me was take me to join the local library when I was 9. It wasn’t long before it became a weekly visit, every week I’d leave laden down with the maximum 8 books, and return the following week, all would be read and I’d be eager for more.
I read about animals, pirates, aliens – in fact, I read whatever I could get my hands on. I read about love, about hate, jealousy and trust. I learned which of those I wanted in my life. I explored desert islands, planets I’d never heard of, make believe worlds of elves and dragons and so many more weird and wonderful places.
To me, every unread book was an adventure waiting to be had. Inside the cover was a passport to another world. One I could visit whenever I wished. And the best thing about it was the world would stay with me long after the book was returned to the library. It was mine.
My childhood was fairly lonely; I grew up in a very small village with hardly any children of a similar age. Books were my refuge. They became my friends. Sometimes during the long days of summer I would get in 10 hours of reading per day. I would immerse myself in the book during the day and then dream about it at night.
Sometimes I was so taken by the world I had entered, that I tried to draw it; to capture it as I first found it. Alas, I’m no artist. But it didn’t matter. As a child it was the best homage I could pay to the creator of my new world.
Even now, I can come across a book I haven’t read for 20 years and reading it again is like catching up with somebody I once shared my life with.
My collection of books isn’t as big as it once was. I’ve tried to slim it down but my favourites will be there forever. There are books that comfort me after a hard week. Books that can give me that sometimes needed slap of perspective. Books that can hold me when I’m lonely.
There are so many places I’ve visited; I’ve seen famines in Ethiopia, genocide in Rwanda. I was in Derbyshire during an outbreak of the plague. I was in Castle Rock when a clown started taking children. I was with Anne Frank on 4th August 1944.
People talk about your life flashing before your eyes in near-death situations. What will I see? Will it be my own life history? Or will I see all the adventures I’ve been allowed to enter? I hope with all my heart that it’s the latter.
And the best thing about books? I will never run out. Authors all over the world are making brand new adventures for me every day. I’ll always have somewhere to escape to.