Category Archives: Our World

An Airbrush for Life….

If you could, would you?

“Of course,” some may reply.

Mmmmm, I’m not so sure.

I was applying my make-up this morning, seriously considering that if I have to use many more primers, plumpers or smoother-outers I’m going to have to start the night before, when the thought of a concealer for life came into my head, then, even better, an airbrush.

My mind quickly started rifling through my memories, selecting those for the eraser of all things bad, the sad stuff and the cock-ups.

But none of our actions happen in isolation. If, along with the bad stuff, some of the high points of your life went too, would you still go ahead?

I know I wouldn’t.

My tough times have taught me about personal strength, the power of forgiveness ( of myself and others), the kindness of strangers and that the love of family and friends is the most important thing in my life.

And as for my high points, I wouldn’t swap one of them for all the air-brushing in Hollywood!!

 

 

 

 

Guilty As Charged…

Of time-wasting on an industrial scale!! I could faff for a living right now, expertly!

I laugh when I think about all those days I was rushing out the door to an appointment or hurrying to finish the washing/ironing before Sunday evening, those days where I promised myself a day of sitting on my bum and reading a great book through from start to finish, or spending an entire day sorting through my clothes, make-up, shoes etc.

Now I have the time…..loads of it, with a limited range of physical jobs I can do, so perfectly suited to my dream days above. So, can I finish a page, be arsed to even open the wardrobe?? Not a mission!!

I can wash two or three cups, swipe at the work tops with some disinfectant, gaze guiltily at the ironing and polish half the coffee table before I think the boredom is going to choke me. Memories of kids on wet, summer afternoons, with their noses pressed against the windows and bedrooms full of toys, moaning loudly, ” I’m bored! There’s nothing to do,” come rushing back and it evokes the same reaction.

“Nothing to do!! Look around you, look at all the things you have to be thankful for! Bored indeed.”

Guilty as charged. ūüėŹ

What’s In A Name??

I believe you can find humour in any area or event in life and my cancer journey has    been no exception.

My husband and I were discussing the surgical procedure with the consultant when he mentions that I will have a dye injected prior to surgery that will colour not just my boob area, but the rest of my body as well, blue for an amount of time.

“Ha,” laughed my husband, “Papa Smurf.”

I shot him a look ( one of those husband/wife looks) as the surgeon continued in a sober fashion.

“Well it will have the effect of making your wife look a bit “corpse-like”.”

I looked back to my husband with a new-found respect. I think I’ll take Papa Smurf on this occasion.

“Corpse-like!!!”

So the day of surgery came. We walked on past the newly built, state of the art building where I will go for chemo and radiotherapy. I glance over at the beautiful bronze statue of Florence Nightingale in front of the door and then up at the building’s name.

“Cancer Unit”, writ large!

Not even a “The.”

Had they run out of funds or was the Minister in charge of naming buildings off that day!

I shudder and walk on. A lovely nurse greeted me and cheerily gave me my programme for the morning.

“Now, you will first go to Mamo and then round to Nuclear.”

Nuclear??

Turns out to be Nuclear Medicine. I think the Naming Minister was off that day too.

About 30 seconds after being deposited in the waiting room another lovely nurse comes to collect me. They must have thought I would run away and they mightn’t have been too far off the mark!

“I have to ask you, for legal reasons, are you pregnant?”

I laugh……heartily. “No.”

Lovely Nurse then gowns up and dons a pair of gloves before injecting this obviously hazardous material into my right tit!!

Because of various taping and markers I am not allowed to get “fully” dressed ( no bra) before me and two-hung-low walk back, through the hospital, to my ward.

Cheery Nurse is bustling about the ward when I get back and I ask her if she finds a sudden increase in the patients need of Valium, post Nuclear visit.

Oh, how she laughs!!

 

 

Proudman Vs Carter-Silk

Why does all of this, including Charlotte Proudman’s response, leave me so uneasy?

In case you haven’t read about it, Charlotte Proudman published a “LinkedIn” e-mail message from Alexander Carter-Silk, a very prominent solicitor, ¬†branded him sexist and misogynistic and is calling for a public apology.

I have read and watched a lot of the reporting of this issue and I notice that just the first part of the message is being shown in most of the reports.

“Charlotte, delighted to connect, I appreciate that this is probably horrendously politically incorrect but that is a stunning picture!!!”¬†

Now, in the ordinary run of things this isn’t a lot to worry about, but he then continues with,

“You definitely win the prize for the best LinkedIn picture I have ever seen.¬†Always interest [sic] to understant [sic] people’s skills and how we might work together.” ¬†

Yeah, right. “The Prize”?? WTF. Does this man have NO sense whatsoever? I question his ability to cross the road unaided.

Then we have Matthew Scott, a solicitor and blogger, wade in with the following comments,

“I think we have to look how this developed… Charlotte sent him a message, asking him to connect so the initial contact was made by Charlotte.¬†He later complimented her stunning picture, so I do think his crime is provoked from Charlotte.”

I wonder what this man’s attitude to rape is? ¬†Might he think women provoke men into this crime too? And then to top it all he says,

“If a man wanted to approach a woman because he thinks her attractive… it doesn’t make him sexist. It is just perfectly natural behaviour”
Matthew Scott

Really Matthew, even if this man is married and this man’s position makes it, at the very least, “awkward” to refuse or rebuff? ¬†What utter crap!

Charlotte’s asking to “connect” on LinkedIn was a “provocation” according to Matthew, but Mr Carter-Silk’s response was “perfectly natural”.

Dear God almighty! And these are the assholes we turn to for help on matters of right and wrong.

But I cannot say I am easy with Ms Proudman’s behaviour either. I understand she is 27 years old, but in her chosen profession I would have expected her to be a bit more savvy about not only what the reaction to this would be ( and I deeply suspect she was very aware) but that lamenting about sexism in the legal profession is an incredibly narrow view of a very serious issue affecting all of society. Just ask some of the girls suffering FGM, or the ones who can’t choose who, never mind if, they want to marry, about sexual inequality and misogynistic attitudes.

I have had my (un)fair share of sexist shit throughout my life, like every other woman I know, and I would love that my daughters did not have to endure the same, but, too late. I know they have and will continue to do so for a long time.

There is a lot of really great work going on to promote sexual equality, but this public and political grandstanding does none of us any favours.

I have answered my own question. These people represent our legal profession. Lady Justice may not wear a blindfold in her post atop the Old Bailey, but some of those inside certainly seem to.

Just Go With It

I heard myself lamenting the other day about how the lousy summer was going to make for a long winter. Well, I’m sorry. This is the kind of stuff I berate others for, and now, here I am buying into it. Well, no more.

I went for a lovely drive today and noticed the start of the wonderful, warm gold and red hues of the leaves on the trees and other indicators of the shift in the season, from late summer to early autumn. It was quite simply stunning. We have four seasons, not two, and if you bear this in mind, then even the worst aspects of each is transient.

When you feel stuck, like nothing can change, then look to nature. Just take time to notice the shortening of the days, the changing colours, temperatures and insect and wildlife activity. And when you think you have gotten used to the new look, guess what , it will be time for it to change again. Nothing in nature actually stays the same, including us. So just go with it.

Stop resisting change. Embrace it and make it work for you.

I am happily thinking of my warm, soft winter woolies that hide a multitude of sins, my comfy boots that sooth my sandal-ravaged feet, the log fires to warm me and mulled wine to comfort. I will worry about the frosty morning starts, slippery footpaths and weather-induced travel delays when they happen. That’s soon enough.

Stressing about things we cannot affect, cannot change, diverts our attention from the potential happiness right in front of us.

Where Is Our Positivity Button?

Seriously.

Yeehaa, I am dieting again. Big shock I know. But…..big shock, it is working. I mean really working.

My “positivity button” is switched to on and things are going well. I feel great.

Then, as is my way, I got to thinking. Where the hell is this bloody button? I mean, why now? What stars are in alignment that makes this work for me right now. I suppose it’s a bit like kicking a hornets’ nest, but what happened at that very moment, that very second, when I just knew, accepted and actioned something that has tortured me for so long?

Wouldn’t we all love to know why the simplest, healthiest (physically and mentally) and often the most beneficial choices, cause us so much trouble.

I understand the strength of positive mental attitude, but I would love to find and understand its spark. The why and the how.

Or is this all part of being human; the human condition?

A friend told me I have a habit of over-thinking things so, with that in mind, I am just going to enjoy this current frame of mind and get my one size smaller clothes out of storage.

Bring it on!

Time Saving….

For what?..

I was cleaning my dishwasher earlier, remembering all the expert tips I have read on how to have the “Perfect” home and, funnily enough, bitching away as I was doing it. I reckon it took me as long to clean this bloody machine as it would have taken to wash the rotten dishes for the last week.

Anyway, it got me thinking. There are so many tips and tricks everywhere on how to save time that I got to wondering as to what we all do with this time.

Can you actually “save time”? ¬†Doesn’t it just pass anyway? You can’t put it in a box and take it out later when you want it back again. It’s like my Weight Watchers Pro-Points; you can’t carry them over to the next day!

So make the most of it.

I prefer to take the same attitude to my time as I do with my money……spend it; spend it laughing with friends and family, reading great books, listening to heart-lifting music, watching the little birds and their antics in my back garden.

Time spent happily is time spent well.

Words

Where would we be without them?

Would we have developed another way of communicating, a better way possibly?

I often wonder because of the number of times when words, quite literally, fail me. It’s ironic how, with the vast increase in the amount of them flying through the atmosphere, whether by e-mail, mobile phones, Twitter, Facebook and all the squillions of other platforms, we all seem to understand less and less.

People could be speaking a different language going by how often I find myself completely lost as to what others want, need or expect from me.

“Oh, but I meant…..”, “Well, I hoped you would know………” , “But you should have guessed…….”

So, have words lost their meaning? Or are we just weary of them?

“A bad workman blames his tools,” they say and perhaps this is never more true than in this case. Words need more than a mouth to speak them; they need ears to hear them and a brain to process them, but, most importantly, a heart to understand them.

Ego, anger and resentment stifle them; twisting their meaning and distorting their sound. And yet in that joyous space, where love, kindness and warmth flow, they lift us out of the blackest of depths and transport us to our own kind of heaven.

Words can move nations to war then bring them back from the brink; they can break hearts, then make them whole again.

It’s Been A Funny Old Year…….So Far

I was lying in bed, thinking back over the first eight months of this year……and wow, how things have changed. The problems I had this time last year are as nothing now beside the events that came after; the dark and dismal summer seeming like a reflection of things going on around me.

It has been life-changing, but, as with most “big things”, good can come out of the ashes. CAN.

Because, as with most things, it’s about choice isn’t it?

I was talking to one of my wonderful friends last night and she told me about a “mantra” she has started using that has helped her enormously, in fact “freeing” her to enjoy where she is here and now.

” I am here, NOT because I need to be, but because I want to be.”

I watched her face as she told me about it and she is right. She looks happier, more empowered and certainly more in charge of her own destiny than I have seen her, possibly ever.

Life does change and some of those changes stink.

So what do you do?  You choose.

Make sure it’s what you want.

Seeing Is Believing….

And enjoying, and laughing and crying and hugging and touching.

A friend has just posted a video on Facebook highlighting something I have discussed before, but feel it needs saying again and again.

100’s+ “friends” on Facebook does not an embrace or belly-laugh or memory bank deposit make!

It should be a supplement to our friendships, not the soul source or mainstay of them.

I had a brilliant non-shopping, shopping day( yes that was deliberate) with a friend of mine yesterday and we laughed again at the days out we have had in the past with her sister; experiences I will recall with warmth and pleasure to the day I die. I want many, many more days like this; many more good memories to fall back on when things get tough.

Okay, we all have busy lives, but busy doing what?

Get your priorities right!

Get off your ass and get out to SEE your friends, your family, feel the air around you and pause long enough to let it sink in, re-charging your spirit with the joy it can be to be alive.