To Run Away.

Sometimes I want to vanish. Just up and disappear without a trace. Someone has hurt me, I have a difficult decision to make, I’m avoiding something that is both inevitable and terrifying. Sometimes I just have this cloud over my head that I haven’t the energy to get away from. On this occasion  it was because I’d spent so much time in my head daydreaming that when I came back to reality I was a little disappointed and disconnected from my own life.

I have an awful habit of running away from things, I don’t face up to situations, I don’t do things that challenge me. I flee. I’m trying my hardest to break the cycle but it’s not easy to stop behaving in a way that you’ve done all your life.

Things are going really well in my life right now, I’m in a good place and I’m achieving my goals and yet I feel so thoroughly unfulfilled.

My mindset is wrong. I need to adopt some more positive thinking, I need to start realising all that I have to be grateful for. Stop wishing for things that are never going to happen and search for realistic aims that I can work towards.

I need to sleep more. I need to switch off. I need to not be awake at this time of night trying to evaluate why the idea of staying still is so undesirable to me. However. This feels good, to let my mind wander and let my fingers type away. I feel lighter, I feel like I can go to bed now and not lay in the dark for hours chewing my lip and wondering, ‘what if?’

How To Crack A Coconut and Somehow Avoid Injury.

Firstly we must remove the coconut water, to do this grab your very unused corkscrew,  shove it brutally through one of the coconuts eyes, do this quickly to put coconut out of misery. Screw and screw till you’ve formed a perfect little hole, then pour contents into glass, be very disappointed by tiny amount of water.

Now to crack on…*puns puns puns*

The internet guides say to use the blunt side of a meat cleaver and hit all the way around the circumference of coconut. You don’t have a meat cleaver, you’re a vegetarian. Use largest knife you own, forget it said use blunt side and come dangerously close to loosing a finger.

Tire of not getting anywhere and accidentally discover best coconut smashing device, your little saucepan!! Place coconut on floor, wield pan high above head and with large aggressive swings smash coconut with pan. Chase coconut around floor of kitchen whilst smashing. At last the thing is starting to crack!! Just when you were starting to think this coconut was in fact the Pandorica. Rejoice at coconut victory, you now have two half’s, hit them together to make horse clopping noise, gallop around the kitchen whilst quoting Monty Python. Break from coconut victory euphoria when realise bottom of pan is now seriously dented.

Back to your biggest knife, use this to scrap flesh from the shell, hand slips a few times and yet again fear the loss of digits. Snack on all tiny chunks of flesh then realise that for all this effort there’s really not enough flesh, is it worth it?

Later in evening place one half of coconut into Hamster cage, yes it was worth it because Brontë loves it and is having a wail of a time sat in his coconut shell munching on it’s contents.

Fox Hunting

Please help protect poor defenceless animals from a cruel and terrifying death.

WALK IN THE SUNLIGHT

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I disagree with fox hunting on every level possible personally. Not only is it the killing of animals (which I suppose could be justified considering we do kill other animals all the time in this country for food), but it’s the torturous and painful killing of animals. A week ago the Conservatives were elected into government in the UK with a majority, making leader David Cameron Prime Minister. Among policies such as scrapping the Human Rights Act and refraining from stopping the privatisation of the NHS, he’s also making the idea of removing the ban on fox hunting a possibility.

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Time Flies..

The passing of time really is a strange thing. I feel as though the days have rushed by me in a flash and yet looking back, the start of my week seems a lifetime ago. It’s been a little full on so I’ll fill you in.

Friday

Finish work, change into nice dress, poorly apply make up and battle with flat hair. Jump onto a train and travel four hours to Manchester. Have brilliant night out in Manchester with friends. Get to see friends band play an amazing gig and generally have such an eventful night that it really deserves it’s very own blogpost.

Saturday

Crawl into bed at six in the morning, wake up at one in the afternoon feeling unacceptably horrid. Enjoy the sensation of someone making you breakfast, spend the next two hours begging your friend to hurry up and get ready then rush off to Bolton. Run to wedding dress shop before it closes, try on dress again, coo at how pretty it is then spend largest amount of money you will ever spend on a garment. Head out for food with more friends, then spend entire evening playing board games. Teach your friends how to play marbles and how to practice yoga (not simultaneously) at two in the morning.

Sunday

Drag your friend out of bed and race to the train station. Grab a pasty, bite into pasty, spit out in horror when discover cheese and onion pasty is in fact chicken. Berate girl at pie shop for feeding a vegetarian chicken. Run to platform (wedding dress in tow) cheekily squeeze through the crowds and manage to get a seat. Travel to Chester whilst being deafened by two separate stag parties and two other hen parties. Get off in Chester then ring Dad to complain that you have to get off this train and wait in Chester for an hour to get back on the same train! Somehow stay awake for rest of journey home, find that fiancé has planned dinner and dessert and has bought lovely bunch of pink flowers.

Monday

BANK HOLIDAY! Thank the powers that be that you do not have to be in work today. Head out to Hay-On-Wye to spend lovely sunny day collecting armfuls of books, wander around antique shops and buy huge amounts of salted caramel fudge. Embrace the feeling of complete contentment.

Tuesday

Return to work, this day goes by and I don’t really seem to notice.

Wednesday

The joys of womanhood! It’s that time of the month and you are in agony, you tidy around the house, bake an almond and raspberry cake then decide being productive is not helping your cramps. Grab you playstation controller, use your Bat-a-rang and PMS to defeat Bane!

Thursday

Have sudden terrible realisation that you have to take your theory test on Saturday and you have learnt nothing in preparation for it. Download theory and hazard perception app and spend next two days answering questions on road safety.

Friday

Volunteer at the local theatre for the first time, help usher people dressed as zombies to their seats before they can enjoy Shaun of The Dead Live. Feel very awkward and shy when meeting large group of new people who aren’t the most forthcoming conversationally. Leave at ten then head straight to parents house to spend the night ‘sleeping’ on the worlds most uncomfortable bed.

Saturday

It’s 6 o’clock in the morning you’re exhausted and you’re heading to Newport to sit a test you feel wholly unprepared for. Try to focus on the questions but find self very distracted by thoughts of how to tell people you’ve failed. Miraculously pass theory test and immediately feel one hundred pounds lighter with relief. Get dragged to a national trust home which yes is very grand and impressive but not as appealing as your own bed.

Sunday

Today is devoted entirely to the purists of gaming and eating. Both very noble causes.

P.S I do fully intend to finish the Writing 101 challenge but as you can see, this past week has left me little free time.

Fearful Fertility.

Perhaps the most frustrating thing about fear is that quite often it is completely illogical. My mother is terrified of spiders, when she lived in Australia this seemed sensible, lots of deadly spiders looking to nibble you. However she’s lived in England for the past forty years so there’s really no need to run screaming from a tiny money spider sat on the windowsill. I suffer with mild coulrophobia, not sure how helpful it is to my survival to be anxious of clowns…

My biggest fear of all is a fear that has no logic to it, my reasoning for this fear makes no sense and yet I can’t seem to shake it. I’m afraid that I won’t be able to have children.

Some time in the future myself and my fiancé want to have our own little family. I’ve always wanted children, I’m a very maternal person and I am the loudest cooer of babies. We’re not ready yet, we’ve got a few more adventures to have before we hear the pitter patter of tiny feet. Until then I can enjoy my daydreaming. I’m sitting in a cosy arm chair cradling my child, I’m kissing grazed knees better, I’m reading bed time stories to sleepy ears and I’m sighing in despair at all the mess and anarchy that comes with little ones. Every time I allow myself to spend some time imagining our family together I get a lump in my throat. “I’d better not think about that, it might never happen, I mightn’t be able.”

For all intense and purposes I’m a perfectly healthy woman, there should be no reason for me to think like this. Here’s where it all stems from, two of my Aunties were unable to conceive children of their own. These two Aunties wanted nothing more in life to have children, they tried and tried for years with no success. They’ve told me the stories of heartbreak, miscarriage after miscarriage. I’ve seen the looks of longing when passing a new Mother and baby. I’m so frightened that one day I will wear that look, I will feel that pain and I will know that sorrow. To live your life unable to fulfil the one desire you long for more than anything.

Somewhere at the back of my mind an unreasonable connection has been made, “maybe they wanted it too much. Every fibre of their being wanted babies, it was too much and that’s why they couldn’t.” It makes no sense at all! It’s stupid! It’s irrational! ..And yet. I daren’t express how much I want children for fear that the powers that be would decide to punish me. I’m getting anxious now just typing this. This confession could be the thing that will stop me from getting pregnant one day.

Fear can be such an illogical thing.

Off To War

I cudn’t ‘ave signed me sen up for army any quicker than I did, soon as me eighteenth birthday came ‘round off I went to do me bit for King and country. Me Dad wa’ dead set ‘gainst it. Said “you’re a damned fool for wantin’ go and get thee sen blown up in some godless place. If you ‘ad owt sense ‘bout ye tha’d be gerrin down mine with me and ye brothers.”

It wa’ 1940, the war ‘ad been going for a year, I wanted to do me service before it wa’ all over, back then we thought it’d be done be Christmas, ‘ow wrong we were.

“Why would ye want to go off enyway? Go talk to fella at mine, get yeself a job and tha won’t ‘ave t’ worry about them enlisting lot.” Father gave me this speech every day, “I’m tellin’ ye now son, if tha goes runnin’ off to army tha’ll be no place ‘ere for ye when you get back. If ye gets back that is.”

I wa’ stationed in Scotland, in a place called Fort William I wa’ to become part o’ the Cameron Highlanders. I’d never travelled so far in me life. I paid no attention to the hills and scenery goin’ by me. I’d just left ‘ome for first time and my Father ‘ad made it clear I wa’ never welcome back. I’d never felt so alone in me life. I was numb and empty, those feelings consumed me so much that I felt no fear ‘bout goin’ to fight.

A dun’t like much t’ talk ‘bout those days durin’ war. I saw things that shouldn’t never be seen be nobody. ‘Orrible things, inhuman things. Me Granddaughter, Sarah, is always askin’ questions, “Wha’ were it like? Where did you go? Wha’ did you see?” I look into her brown eyes an’ I see all those little kiddies lyin’ on ground, dead, beautiful little faces smeared in blood. ‘Ow can you tell a little girl about those things?

Nobody will understand what we went through, nobody but the lads tha’ stood by me side whilst we made our way through wreckage of Hiroshima. When all your days are filled wi’ death an’ destruction you need a strong bunch o’ lads behind you. We helped each other through those days. A couldn’t write to me Mam or me Dad ‘bout the things that wa’ ‘appening, at times like that a person needs a family to look after ‘im an’ keep ‘im sane. So although I didn’t ‘ave me blood family, I had a bunch o’ lads that treated each other as brothers. We were thick as thieves and saw each other through tough times. Many of us came close to breaking, it’s only natural, we’d keep an eye out for each other though. If it looked like one o’ us was ‘aving an ‘ard time we’d rally ‘round and help ‘em along.

It’s funny really. After me family disowned me and I had meself fighting on t’other side o’ world,  I managed to find another family, a family that accepted me with open arms.

The Enchanted Forest

Today’s Prompt: Think about an event you’ve attended and loved. Your hometown’s annual fair. That life-changing music festival. A conference that shifted your worldview. Imagine you’re told it will be cancelled forever or taken over by an evil corporate force. 

A few strides from the unsuspecting town of Pitlocrhy hides an Enchanted Forest, it’s inhabitants include many robed druids and a glittering unicorn named Bob. This is not a fairy tale. However during my first walk through that forest I could have been easily convinced I was traversing through a Grimm brothers story.

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If you are brave enough to face the bitter cold of the Scottish evenings there is no finer place to be than The Enchanted Forest. Every October the trees are decorated with an incredible walk through light show. Lights patter down the towering trunks, the leaves glow in every colour of the rainbow and the still lake perfectly reflects the wondrous illuminations. Along the way you will meet friendly druids to tell you tales of the wood. If you’ve ever had any questions about unicorns and the magic they posses then you might want to keep an eye out for Bob, a charming Scottish unicorn who’d be more than happy to tell you all about herself.

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I was carried along the footpath by the ambient music, I smiled and said hello to other joyful visitors. You could feel the excitement and buzz whirling through the the branches and leaves. Everyone here had reverted to childhood and allowed themselves to get lost in a world full of impossible things. There are so many beautiful displays to admire that your senses are overwhelmed. When it came time to cross a bridge that was surrounded by a glowing blue waterfall I had to take a moment to calm my excitement. The evening I spent there was the most magical I have had, I never wanted to leave that bewitching place.

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I returned eagerly the next year to wonder at the new displays, my mind raced with memories of my last visit. As I stepped into the woods I could sense something had changed. I was not greeted by happy people in costume, instead I was ushered along by unenthused uniformed workers. I waited for their merry greeting but was met with grunts and sighs. Although a little perturbed I continued on, hopes still high, perhaps they had tired from standing in the cold all night.

My body jittered with anticipation, soon that wore off. The displays were no where near as spectacular as last time and worst still each step of the way was scattered with health and safety warnings. “Mind your head”, “surface slippery when wet”, “beware steep drop”. How could you envision yourself exploring a land of fairies when you were being shouted at my gruff men in high visibility jackets?

Only ten minuets into my trek and I was throughly deflated and disappointed, I sluggishly dragged my feet along, occasionally stopping to see the lights. I had crashed. I had gone from the pinnacle of excitement to being dragged down to the soggy earth and just when I thought I couldn’t get any lower I realised something. The lights, to which I’d been paying little attention, were not intricate symbols of a time forgotten but where garish neon advertisements for a drinks company.

It all made sense now! The whole forest must have been acquired by a faceless company! They didn’t care about creating a magical and unforgettable experience. They just wanted to shepherd people in by the dozen, charge them through the nose and send them on their way. I was relived for a moment in this discovery, glad that there was a genuine reason for my disappointment.

 Then the grief struck, the place that I had dreamt about for a year was gone. Yes the trees remained where they had always been there was still an ethereal lake at the heart of it. But the magic and love had left this place and it would never be the same. I felt empty.