27 February 2013

He Used To Be A Punk Rocker.


I love this man. His name is Frank Turner, he used to be the singer of a heavy punk band called Million Dead. 
After the band's split he went solo and veered off on to a slightly folky path. 

I have been a fan for a long while and I'm really not sure how or why I've not posted about him before. He is an excellent musician. 
The fact he is also physically my perfect man does not hinder the appeal either ;-).

He is some kind of performer live and I would say that if you get the chance to see him perform live, then grab it with both hands as he really is fantastic.

Anyway, these are four of my favourites from a very long list of hidden gems.

For me, this is sheer beauty.




This one has lovely lyrics. A cheery tune that disguises something slightly poignant in the words.



I adore the video of this as well as the song itself. Something a bit special.




This one? This one makes me think of my hometown :-). It also has something of a delightful melody to it.




22 February 2013

Magic.




I spied a comment from somebody on a post earlier and they mentioned a post I did a while ago so I'm re-posting it,  partly because I love of what it reminds me of :-).
It was written way back in 2007 which feels like a lifetime ago now! Six years and I still love my addiction to the horse as much now as I did then :-).

------------------------------


"Gypsy gold does not chink and glitter. It gleams in the sun and neighs in the dark" ~ Saying of the Claddagh Gypsies of Galway



I think I've tasted heaven. My older brother is very into racing, he goes to Cheltenham every year, that's his 'holiday'. He also goes to a lot of meetings at other tracks. All this means he knows a lot of the big trainers both locally & nationally. My sister, who is my build wants to go into racing so today me, her & my brother went up to one of the local trainers yards, her to spend the day there getting a feel for it with a view to getting an apprenticeship & me because I begged to go. So I got to be stable lass for the day & my God, those horses are heaven on earth......


All of them in racing condition & you can feel & see the power, the muscles rippling & the hardness of the sculpted bodies, amazing & so awe inspiring. The pure grace in their movement, gentleness in their face but at the same time the ominous air of awesome power & strength, completely & utterly amazing. Needless to say neither me or my sister were allowed on the big boys but we did get to go out with the string on 'school' horses, the ones that aren't racing but usually used for trainee jockeys/lads to hone their skills etc.





Mine was a bay gelding & hers was grey, both of them gorgeous & even though they weren't the top class you could feel the power beneath you, smooth long strides but as soon as they got onto the gallops you could feel them bunch up & gather themselves, like sitting on a coiled spring, you could feel the horse's excitement travelling up through the reins & the saddle, mouthing of the bit & the jogging, feel the hard body gathered beneath you, knowing with one touch of the heel or slack on the reins & you would be gone, flying. We both ended up going upsides (racing in pairs, I say 'race' but the idea is to keep pace with each other rather than race) each with one of the yard lads. I broke into a canter with mine, got ourselves ready & on the mark broke into a racing speed & my God! The speed literally took my breath away, you know when you're excited & you get that rush in your chest? That excited/sick feeling? I had that.



I could feel the horse bunched beneath me, gathering his hindquarters up to push him forward, feel the pull on the reins & then....gone, having to bridge the reins to avoid having them slip through my fingers, crouching low & feeling his mane whipping up, hearing his breathing & glancing down seeing his legs like pistons shooting out, eating up the ground. Feeling the wind whip past me & feeling the euphoria gather in my chest & throat, the sheer joy & freedom at the speed & motion but at the same time that innate sense of danger. My fingers knotted in his mane, cheeks stinging, looking ahead & seeing out of the corner of my eye the speed at which things are passing, no more than a blur.





The sheer, raw power beneath me moving at 25/30mph+ needing control from my hands & heel only, the speed & energy at which we were moving & feeling the air catch in my throat, feeling a shout of ecstasy escape. The excitement & the knowledge that this horse wanted the speed as much as I did, having to collect him up to stop him running out of steam, keeping my legs on & guiding him with my whip to keep him straight & trying to fight the urge to go flat out & just race. Smelling the smell of horse, the smell of his coat & the glancing over to see the same grin on the lad I was pacing with, euphoric. Relaxing into it & moving with the rhythm, respecting the power but urging it on as well. Feeling the resistance in the reins, the responsive mouth, the iron hard neck seeing the veins raised & feeling my horse fight for his head, gently keeping the reins gathered giving an inch but slowly taking it back again, keeping him paced. Both of us fighting not to give into the temptation to go flat out, him constantly asking & me bringing him back, checking him back down to a working pace.




Reaching the end of the gallop & slowing to a canter, trot & eventually a walk. Coming down from the high & seeing the sweat on the horses necks, feeling the heat of my own body & ache in my thighs from riding short, catching my breath & letting the reins slack, watching the horse stretch his neck long & low, gathering him back up to ride back down to the others. Joining the string to ride back down to the yard & realising it's still only just 7, the sun rising higher & feeling the freshness in the air, the clean clear earthy smell & breathing it deep, feeling my heart return to normal. Watching the steam rise from the horses as we make our way back, back to unsaddling & breakfast but above all remembering, remembering that sheer, pure unadulterated adrenaline rush at that first burst of speed & wondering if I'd have been able to stop even if I'd wanted to.





That's why the horse is my drug of choice.



"Visions of horses ... make the moment brighter, inspire respect, and make
the heart beat faster. God forbid that I should go to any heaven where there are no horses" ~ R.B Cunningham-Graham.



14 February 2013

Snapshots.


I don't often look back if I'm honest, there's not much to be gained from it but there are moments when something happens or is said and it's like a snapshot rushing up to 'greet' me.
I have a lot of happy memories but an awful lot of bad ones too. They weren't enjoyable but they've made me a better person, I try not to judge, I have a lot more empathy than I otherwise would have, I see the positives in life  and I don't stress about the small things. I don't get caught up in pointless arguments and I really could not care less if the small details don't add up. 
I don't know, I just see the bigger picture as a result of various experiences.

It's safe to say I am still a bit of an emotional cripple despite working on things, I hate people getting too close emotionally, I cover up hurt and difficult situations with sarcasm and black humour. I don't take people at their word very often and I please myself a lot. I push people away, if I'm finding things difficult to deal with or I feel somebody is getting too close I shut down completely and the barriers come up. There may as well be a fort with razor wire around me sometimes for all the welcoming vibes I give out. Too often my defence mechanism is 'get away from me'. I do a good job of faking it but it is always there, I've never let somebody get close enough for me to be truly and properly vulnerable, not after the first time. I've never since properly trusted somebody with my feelings and it's a vicious circle because I've often been proved right, that it wasn't safe to trust. The problem is, the older I am getting the more I am wondering just how much was my fault with my self-preservation instincts and self-defence mechanisms.

Today was a 'snapshot' day. I had a friend on the phone to me in tears because her best friend (a girl unknown to me) had ended up in hospital beaten black and blue by the 'man' who is supposed to love her. 

Now I know the easy answer is 'she should just grow some balls and walk away'. Except it isn't that easy, it never is that easy.

When I was younger, too young to know what I was getting myself in to and running from problems at home, parents moving abroad to take chunks out of each other on Foreign soil instead of home ground, I ended up in a relationship with an older man. 
I thought I'd landed on my feet, I adored him. Things were so good for a few months, I started to feel good and 'safe'. He was so good to me.

Then the tiny little digs started, the sly comments about weight, looks, what I wore, how I behaved, what I said, what kind of friends I had, started coming from him. 
I was young, messed up from a home life that was at that time like a war zone and seeking comfort in arms I should have steered clear of.

People say 'walk away'. It's like somebody telling you to stop breathing, you believe you need them as much as you need the air you breathe.
The worse he became, the more I craved his love, his attention, his approval. I wanted so much to make him happy, I would have done anything to try and make him happy, I frequently did try anything to make him happy. The worse the verbal abuse became, the weaker I got. The more he pushed me away, the more I craved his affection. The more he withdrew his affection, the harder I worked for it. The more he criticised me, the more I criticised myself. 

On the bad days (and there were many) I wondered how I could ever have got myself tangled up with someone like him but the thought of leaving him, or him leaving me, left me feeling sick, shaky and with a racing heart, in tears often. It was too awful a thought to contemplate.
There were times he threatened it and each time, I promised I'd be a better person, I'd be the girl he wanted, I'd love him more.
The power he had was absolute. He never physically hurt me, there were no physical scars or marks but mentally? Mentally he beat me black and blue until my emotions were in bits and my heart felt like it was going to break.
The names, the insults, the cruel words. I felt like it was my fault. As he said, didn't I always push him to it?

I hung on his every word, the often bad ones and rarely good ones. The 'good' days made it all seem so worth it, the high I got from him saying something nice, telling me he loved me, it was unreal. It made me feel like I could change him, like I was changing him. That it wasn't his fault that he said what he did but mine, after all, he could be nice so it wasn't him just being awful all the time, it must have been my behaviour, it must have been me tripping the switch. I must have done something to make him say what he did, to make him threaten what he did.

There were times he'd pick me up from somewhere and say he'd had an offer of another woman's company and tell me how lucky I was that he hadn't accepted it.
There were days on end where nothing seemed good enough but for the odd moment, the odd hour, sometimes even an evening where he made me feel like I was on top of the world. 
It's like a drug, the euphoric feeling that it will 'all be okay', the rocketing of emotions when he told me he loved me, the heady feeling of having his undivided positive attention and then he gut-wrenching twist of guilt and upset and emotion and goodness knows what else at having it all snatched away again.
It makes you want more, it makes you crave it until it becomes the only thing on your mind. From your first waking moment to your last thought at night, the plans and ways to gain an affection that should be shown in unlimited amounts, not handed out for 'good behaviour' as and when it was decided. 
It messes with your head in the same way a drug would, it's all you think about, the 'hit' of emotion when you've finally found the golden moment that makes it all okay and you desperately try to hold that feeling close and remember every single step that led up to that moment so you can get his approval again except you never do get it again through the same steps because the 'acceptable' steps change each time. 
Wearing a skirt = good. I was his woman doing it for him.
The next time it would be wearing a skirt = bad. Other men were looking, I must have been doing it for them.

The constant high-low of emotions, the highs feeling like the greatest love I'd ever had for someone and the greatest love I'd ever receive and the lows feeling like I was never going to see the light of day from the pit I was in a heap at the bottom of, crying my heart up for another misdemeanour, another wrongdoing. 
Apologising, promising it wouldn't happen again, promising I wouldn't upset him again. That I loved him, that I'd do anything for him, that I needed him, I wanted him.
Craving his forgiveness for what I'd done wrong, craving his affection and the aching need to know that he loved me too, he needed me too. That it would be okay, that he wouldn't do it again. 
Except he always did, it always happened again and it always left me feeling bruised and battered from the inside out. 

The sheer exhaustion of working for his affection and the sheer relief when it was given. This time I was home and dry and it wouldn't happen again, he was sorry, he'd never say such awful things again. Telling me that I deserved better, that I didn't deserve him, that I should just go. Go and be happy and leave him, walk away. 
Except it always did happen again, he was never sorry and he knew very well that the thought of being without him was unbearable for me.

I'm a tiny build anyway but I went to under six stone while I was with him. I never ate because I was always feeling guilty and if I wasn't feeling guilty I had no hunger at all, no strength in me to physically want to eat and of course the other thing was, if I was slim then he'd love me. That my weight may have been it, even though I was far from fat I felt so unattractive, I felt ugly. 

That maybe if I lost weight, that would be the key. 

If I stopped wearing certain clothes then that would make him happy for good.

If I stopped wearing the perfume I loved and he hated that maybe that's where the secret lay.

If I stopped wearing heeled boots because they looked like 'slag boots' then I'd finally gain his approval.

If I stopped wearing the makeup he hated then he'd love me for good.

If I didn't return smiles to men who smiled at me then that would make him see how much I loved him.

If I remembered to call him exactly when I said I would then he'd see how much he meant to me.

If I replied to his texts straight away then he'd see how hard I was trying.


None of it worked, none of it stopped me craving the high of his 'love' and his affection. None of it.

Obviously, I walked away, eventually. It was that or end up a complete shell of myself but it was still the hardest thing I've ever done. The sheer pain of walking away from somebody who, at the time, I was convinced I loved. 

There is a difference between physical abuse and mental abuse, with the physical you live in fear, you still crave the 'good man' but you live in fear.
With the mental abuse, you live in self-hatred, you hate yourself for not being good enough. For not being who he wants you to be, for never making the mark, for never gaining the glory. Because you hate yourself, you believe what you are told, the things that are said about you, to your face. You believe it all and you promise yourself you will be a better person so the need will no longer be there for it to be said. 

The problem is, the drug is always there and for as long as the drug is handing out the highs, there you'll be, waiting for every 'hit' that makes it all worthwhile.
Nothing ever changes, no matter how much he promises it won't happen again, no matter how much you promise to be better for him. It never changes.

It's never a case of 'just walking away'.

I never got punches, or slaps, bruises or broken bones. I never got so much as a scratch to show from him. He left his mark in other ways and as hard as I try to shake it all off, still bits remain. The self-doubt, the lack of self-confidence, the need for approval, to know I have done okay and to know that my best is good enough. To feel content that I am loved for who I am and that really, it is fine, I am fine and I am good enough. 

I swing from needing constant approval to not giving a damn and flicking two fingers and my heels as I pretend I don't care. As hard as I try to be 'normal', to not have the baggage, it always comes back. 

That was my 'snapshot' for today. 

It's the most honest post I think I have ever done on this blog and I was going to say that it was terrible timing doing it on Valentine's Day but it isn't, not really. 
Not everyone is going to have a dozen red roses and undying love declared today so appreciate it if you're one of the lucky ones.








20 January 2013

Truths.



I love this purely because it is so very true. 

At 19 I felt like an ugly duckling. If only I'd appreciated then what I do now when I look at photos, that actually there really wasn't that much wrong with me. Not nearly as much as I considered.

I worry but only to an extent, it changes nothing.

I've had people be very reckless with my heart so I always endeavour to look after others.

I try to forget insults but it rarely works.

I do miss my knees. The bionic ones are no comparison.

My one sister is my closest friend. She is my carbon copy personality wise, despite the fact she looks like a supermodel, I love her to pieces. When we fall out, we do it in spectacular style but we don't hold a grudge. We'll fall out, say our piece and then go back to normal conversation ten minutes later. She knows things about me I'd never trust anyone else with and likewise with her. She's my best friend.

Some of my very best friends are spread all over the UK. One in Northern Ireland, two in Scotland, one in Brighton and one in Hertfordshire. Those are my 'I'm really up shit creek, help me' friends. The kind I know I could call night or day and know they'd be there, whatever the problem. 

The words are very true. It's worth listening to.




18 January 2013

Kind Offer....



When I'm down visiting my parents, I make the most of the time to go and see a lot of my horse and get in some riding. Because of where my parents live and where my horse is kept, it means me getting the train and then getting a bus from the train station to the yard so it requires a bit of planning and making sure I've got times right.

The other day I'd forgotten to draw cash out for my bus fare so had to stop at the cash point. Just because I needed to get on, there was of course a queue at the cash point. It wasn't worth me walking on to the next one as by the time I'd have got there, the queue would have been gone at the cash point I was at so I decided to wait. I'd been waiting a minute or so for the two ladies in front when I became aware of somebody behind me. Now, as I was on my way to the yard I was in my riding gear. It's nothing special and truth be told, carries the lingering odour of horse. I always get told by my boyfriend when he picks me up from the yard that I ''stink'' so like I say, nothing special. 
I turned slightly because the person behind me was stood quite close so I moved forward. By this point the two ladies in front had finished so I moved forward to sort out my card etc. I'd just finished drawing my cash out when the man behind me said "Nice day for riding. You can ride me anytime you like sweetheart".

Now I'm not being funny but that's completely inappropriate. I can take a joke and equally, I can give it back out but I don't take kindly to crude comments from people I don't know and have never seen before. 
I looked up and frowned slightly and he had a really leery grin on his face and that was it, a retort flashed in to my mind and I probably shouldn't have said it but then, why should I be spoken to like that and intimidated? So I flashed a smile back and replied with "Kind offer but the last thing I want between my legs is a weedy and under-muscled gelding. Bye." 
It did not go down well at all and I got called a bitch for my efforts. The fact I just smiled and walked off didn't go down too well either I don't think.

Did he honestly expect that I'd take kindly to that sort of comment? 

I'm quite pleased I had a flash of inspiration and managed a cutting reply rather than just walking off and letting him think he'd embarrassed me or intimidated me. 
Idiot!

9 January 2013

Green Eyed Monsters.



Ahhhh what is it with some people? All I do lately is moan on here but it's better to do it here than it is to bend my poor friend's ears. 

A couple of weeks ago I was down South and I'd had a couple of texts from somebody I'd call a 'mate'. Somebody I get on with and like but not somebody I'd consider a close friend. Anyway, he had text a couple of times asking how things were, how I was etc and said that when I was next down South, he might have some spare time so would I like to meet up for coffee for a catch-up. I said that yes, if his spare time coincided with mine then we could do that but to let me know what was going on as when I head South, I tend to have stuff loosely planned.
He text me on the Tuesday to say about coffee but by Friday, he hadn't confirmed whether that Saturday or Sunday would be free so I just assumed that he wasn't free and I'd hear from him in due course. I text him on the Friday afternoon to say I was around that weekend but not the whole weekend so to let me know. 
By Saturday I hadn't heard anything so assumed he was busy and carried on with my plans of horses, riding, family etc. I was at the yard on the Saturday mid-day and got a text from him asking if I was free that afternoon for coffee. I replied that sorry, I wasn't because I'd made plans to ride, be at the stables and catch up by going out riding with some friends.

The reply from him? "Oh, okay. Well I guess that's it then, if you'd rather spend time with a horse than me then it's c'est la vie I suppose. Good luck and fair well xx"

Seriously? What planet is he on? I haven't heard from him since and in case you're thinking this is some 16 year old boy, it's not. He is a 33 year old man (supposedly!). I know 4 year olds that would act more mature than that!

I could understand it if I'd cancelled on him at the last second or not replied to any texts or if he was a close friend but it was none of those things. It's been a few weeks now and I'm still quite flabbergasted by his reaction. 

Whoever heard such a thing, a supposedly mature man getting jealous of a horse! After my initial 'what on earth is he playing at?' reaction, I did find it quite amusing!

Music-wise, I really am liking this lady's voice right now :-).


1 December 2012

Opinions.


They don't always need to be made public and they don't always need to be aired to the person you're focusing on. An evening this week was one of those occasions.

I love my dog dearly but some days he can be a real pain in the backside. He is not like normal dogs, he chases his tail regularly, he licks your feet for attention, he sits and fixes you with a stare until you take notice of him and if you're reading a book, do it with him out of the room because he will sit between your legs and push his nose up under the bottom of the book and flip the book out of your hands with his nose. He falls over when cleaning himself regularly, gets up and promptly does it again. He's just a little bit special in the head. 

I'm down South visiting family at the moment and the weather is horrendous, we have had rain upon rain upon rain upon more rain so my poor dog didn't get to go out for four days this week, by the fifth day he was jumping out of his skin and it was time to brave the elements. This is a dog who gets at least an hour off the lead in open space every day, usually two or three hours. He really was feeling itchy feet from being cooped up so I wrapped up, put his coat on and we set out down to the town and the park. As he hadn't been out for four days it was like he'd been pumped up with speed. He was a nightmare, not very very bad but when he is full of energy he behaves (I'm not joking here) like a horse, he sort of jogs and is on his toes and his attention and head is on everything but me. This is not a good thing and I have to work really hard to keep his attention on me so he sits and waits at roadsides and doesn't randomly walk out when he decides he's had enough of waiting, he is prone to do that so I have to watch him and keep my senses on him. I have to think of it before he does and be ready, there's times he's jumped a mile high from a loud noise and yanked my arm back with his nerves and fright. He's a very good boy but he is also highly strung, mainly because he is not your typical docile dog but because his breed are notorious for being a bit touched in the head.

I'd finally got him going well and listening to me when we stopped in town and I commanded him to sit and wait while we waited for the road to become clear. All of a sudden he jumped in the air and went to leap forward as two dogs had come round the corner and gone mad at the sight of him. It wasn't his fault at all but when it is dark, rainy and he's only in a small hi-viz coat and me in a pale coloured coat, it doesn't give you much confidence that any motorist will A. See you both and B. Stop in time on wet and slimy roads.

He is a strong, young and big dog. I am 4'11, he comes up to the middle of my thigh when stood on four legs, when stood on his hindlegs he is near to 5'6 or so at full stretch. That's a lot of body to go out of control and flip and that's a lot to control when it's a bundle of muscle on the end of lead living on it's nerves. 99% of the time he will walk with me on a loose lead and sit and behave but there are times he is over-excited and gets too big for his boots. He can be a horror and I refuse to have him rule me or put us both at risk by roadsides or be a general pest. He will come to call, he will sit and wait for his dinner until told he can have it (as in he waits until I've finished dishing up before he dives for it), he will sit and wait until told to go when his clip on his lead is taken off (I don't want to end up with a broken finger/wrist/arm or be dragged halfway across the park because he's made the choice of when he'll take off at the speed of light) and other mannerly behaviours, either because they make life more pleasant or safer for the both of us. One thing I won't tolerate in any form is him spinning about on the end of his lead barking and sniffing all over other people. I wouldn't let any child of mine grab somebody I didn't know so why would I let my dog bark and sniff them all over just because I pass them in the street?

I was hard with him and had to get his attention in a split-second so raised my voice at him to sit and then put my hand on his head to reassure him. All the while these horrible dogs behind him are snarling and straining at their leads. 
Both me and my dog managed to cross the road when suddenly I hear a voice behind me say "You there, with the dog! What do you think you're doing abusing that animal when all he is doing is behaving like a dog? You don't deserve animals, how dare you shout at him! You disgust me, people like you make me sick. We don't own animals, they are ours to borrow while on this earth, that poor animal deserves better!".

Obviously, you only have my word I didn't beat him black and blue and didn't scream blue murder at him but trust me, if ever there was a dog who loved human company then it is him. He would get in my bed if he could and whines if I have the cheek to go out of his sight!

For a split-second I was struck dumb by this tirade and then decided that no, I wasn't going to just stand there and take it. Particularly not as this woman's dogs were still straining and snarling at their leads all the time she is letting her mouth off at me.

For a second or two I stood and listened and then my response formulated and I managed to get it all out in one coherent (ish) statement.

"Excuse me? I do not wish to have any kind of interaction with you but as you're so keen on it, I'll explain why I'm 'abusing' my dog. I have had my dog for three years, for three years I've been sole handler pretty much. I know him inside out and back to front, I know how he is likely to react to a situation and I was right earlier on when he tried to launch himself in to space thanks to your two dogs bad and unsociable behaviour. Would you prefer it if I'd simply let him flip himself in to the road and let him take me with him? Would that have satisfied your hippy and liberalist views on animal discipline and love? I love my dog but not at the cost of our lives. One minute in his life of me raising my voice at him is not abuse, it's discipline for the safety of both of us. You are now taking valuable time from his walk so would you kindly keep your opinions to yourself and look at how your own dogs have behaved in these last few minutes compared to how mine has behaved? Goodbye"

I see her regularly round here when I'm down, I cannot wait for the next time to see if she dares to try and belittle me again because next time I will just walk away and she will be left looking the fool.

How dare she judge how I treat my dog on just a snapshot in time, a five second clip of his life with me when I had to get his attention quickly. How dare she accuse me of not loving him, of not deserving him and taking my bad temper out on him. Anyone who knows me and him know he is my dog purely because of how he behaves with me, he's my shadow and if allowed to, will sleep outside my bedroom door and not move until I've come out of the room, he'll run round like a lunatic on walks but will come straight back to me on walks when I call him (well, 99% of the time he will!).

So how dare somebody who doesn't know me at all except by sight on occasions make such a judgement, during her airing of views, my dog stuck to me like glue and had his hackles up but apparently, that was because he was frightened of me.

Even when I'd walked away she still decided to let her mouth off and shout at me. I won't search trouble out but I also won't be intimidated and walked over, particularly not by somebody who has no idea of who I am.

On the upside, I went to see friends in Bath last week and my dog is so well behaved and so good with me that he stuck out a two hour train journey, a walk round the streets and one dog-friendly park in the middle of Bath, a visit to the doorstep of a coffee shop (coffee for me, biscuit for him) sat at a road crossing while I had coffee in one hand and him in the other and then walked like a gent when the time came to cross, Besides all that he behaved like a complete gentleman on the station platform, through a change and crowds of people at Bristol Temple Meads and on to the next train. In seven hours of leaving the house he did not let me down once and I had compliments from complete strangers on what a lovely and well-behaved dog he is and also, how lovely it was to see a dog not only so well behaved but also so trusting and loving of the person with it. 

I have nothing to prove but I did need a rant here ;-).

On a completely different note, I love this track this week :-). 


This is the complete studio version and the lyrics below I hold dear for reasons I don't need to explain right now :-). 

Your eyes they tie me down so hard
I'll never learn to put up a guard
So keep my love, my candle bright
Learn me hard, oh learn me right

This ain't no sham

I am what I am

Though I may speak some tongue of old

Or even spit out some holy word
I have no strength from which to speak
When you sit me down, and see I'm weak
And I was broke, I was on my knees

And you said yes as I said please
Do not let my fickle flesh go to waste
As it keeps my heart and soul in its place
And I will love with urgency but not with haste 






26 October 2012

Soft soft soft!




I think I am slightly soft. My horse costs me the best part of £300 per month to keep in the Winter, that's quite a large chunk of a monthly wage. Anyway, due to some health issues and various other things (moving etc) I've not been riding recently, not for a while so a girl at the yard has been riding and looking after my horse for me for the past year. That's all fine but I was paying for everything while somebody else got almost sole use of my horse.

It got to the point earlier this month where I just couldn't do it anymore so I advertised my horse for loan. I retain ownership but the 'borrower' pays for all upkeep and costs. It's a kind of rent agreement really.
I drafted the add up, told S (girl who rides my horse) that I was no longer able to do it and that was that. Or at least I thought it was until I went up to the yard with the first set of people who were interested and S disappeared from site only to be found in tears behind the stable block....

Still I tried to harden my heart and carry on and then had four lots of people come out this week. S had hardened herself and showed my horse off to her best ability, she made her look fabulous. When S was questioned by the one lot of people about my horse's habits she could very easily have made my horse's excitable moments sound quite frightening but she didn't, she made her sound lovely but told the truth.

She really helped me show her off wonderfully. S is 14, I think her behaviour showed a massive amount of maturity and sense. Despite knowing her actions in showing my horse off would possibly lead to my horse being moved to a new home and S no longer being able to ride or see her. For a 14 year old girl that is some act of maturity.

The end result of that was I came home feeling as guilty as sin at wrenching my horse away from her, the horse who comes thundering up the field when she see's S enter the yard and who follows her about like a dog.
I battled with my conscience, looked at the reality at me no longer being able to afford to keep my horse for somebody else to get enjoyment from but still couldn't face breaking a girl's heart. Apparently she'd been in tears quite a bit recently over Sunny and then when she said to me, as a passing comment in a 'she's a lovely horse' tone rather than 'I'm going to guilt trip you' tone, "my day isn't complete until I've been to the yard, it's like something is missing from my day", that really stuck in my head.

Sooooo, the end result was me phoning her father and outlining the fact I genuinely could not afford to keep a horse for somebody else to get enjoyment from. Her father has agreed to pay the liver and contribute towards feed while I pay insurance and other running costs. I'm happy with that, she's my horse and I'd never sell her but at the same time, I'm not going to throw money away paying for her upkeep for somebody else to completely enjoy.

I just could not face being the one the completely break a girl's heart so damn my soft side but it's the right thing to do and I feel happy with the solution. I know without doubt S adores my horse and worships the ground she walks.
The fact I had S on the phone last night saying thank you, almost in tears, tells me I've done the right thing. Thank goodness her father agreed to pay the livery though as it's meant a happy arrangement can continue :-).

7 October 2012

Success!


I am a big Mumford & Sons fan, I think they're brilliant. I hate the churned out samey pop acts and always have done really and Mumford & Sons are the solar opposite of those manufactured acts.

Anyway, I knew that they'd be touring this year to coincide with the release of their new album, Babel. I really wanted tickets but knew that there was a high chance of them selling out so last week, once it was announced they were on sale, I was sat at my laptop feverishly hoping I'd get a ticket and I did! So on the 10th December I'll be going to see them perform in Manchester. I cannot wait! I don't very often get excited about a band but I can't wait to see them :-).

I love this track, it is my favourite by far and for reasons I won't go in to now, very relevant. I'm in a happy place at the moment and I'm made happier that I have one of the golden tickets to go and see them perform. After seeing the prices they're up for on Ebay I'm very glad I got a ticket! 


4 October 2012

One Of Those Weeks....


It's been one of those weeks. Last week was a nightmare, I am certain somebody cursed me and I should have realised it was going to be bad when I went out on the Saturday and was texting a friend to say I'd be on my way when I somehow walked smack bang in to a lamp post. I don't mean just graze it, I mean smack my face in to it so my nose got a bit of a beating.

Two days later I managed to somehow get myself locked in the local shopping centre.... I thought the shopping centre near my parents closed at 7.30. Turns out it doesn't, it closes at 7pm so when I got up to leave at 7.15, all the shutters were down and I started to feel a little bit panicked and very much like a caged animal at the zoo.
I knocked on the security door, no answer. I phoned the number on the CCTV sign, no answer. In desperation as there was nothing else I could do, I had to phone the local police non-emergency number and sheepishly admit I was stuck and unable to get out anywhere. The lady on the phone actually laughed and to be honest, I couldn't blame her. I sound young on the phone, I frequently get mistaken for my 14 year old sister when I answer the phone at my parents so when the call taker on the other end of the phone asked how old I was and I replied that I was 27, I think she possibly was a bit taken aback....

After 30 minutes of waiting and being told that if they couldn't get hold of the security guard then they'd have to look at getting me out some other way, they finally managed to track him down on his mobile phone and he turned up to let me out. 
He looked a bit red, as he might do considering he told me he'd checked the place before he locked up. Clearly he didn't as I was sat on a bench inside the shopping centre waiting for my sister (who text to say she'd stopped at her friend's place so it was all in vain anyway!) so if he had checked, he would have seen me. 

Three days after that little escapade I almost fell down the stairs. I came very close to toppling from the top of the stairs all the way down after somehow tripping over my own feet. Turns out that even size 2 feet are a liability when they want to be and bannisters really can save lives or at least broken bones anyway.

Finally, as if that wasn't enough I got locked in my horse's stable at the yard. The doors are really high, I'm not tall enough to reach over an unbolt the door if it's helpfully been bolted from the outside. So, I had to phone the yard owner to come and rescue me.

It's really not been a good week!


9 August 2012

Wonderful.




Well how bloody wonderful to find out your ex good friend is not far off being a complete sexual deviant, not to mention complete pervert and user as well as preying on vulnerable situations and people.

I'm not going to post details because I really don't want to but I feel sick at the knowledge of what a front he has put on and sick at the thought that he is so convincing and so 'normal'. How the fuck did somebody like that get in to my life? Let alone manage to stay in it for a couple of years and be a trusted friend. I consider myself to be a good judge of character but feel massively knocked right now as I never even had the slightest hint of suspicion about this person.

I wish I'd let things lay and I wish I'd never uncovered what I have but if I'd not stood up to him, this would have carried on.
It's nothing to do with kids and sexual stuff but it's close to the bone and his behaviour is a tick list of predatory behaviour and I was too blind to see it happening. It's only speaking to somebody trusted that is in the police that's made me realise it isn't me over-reacting, it's not me being paranoid and it's not me seeing more than there is to see but when six other women hear what's gone on between me and this friend on the social grapevine and each come to you saying he's done something to them that they weren't happy with but that wasn't really non-consensual, what do you say?
Okay, so he's not chasing children but he is grooming vulnerable women and girls. I've seen the messages and it is grooming, a gradual drip drip drip of compliments and gaining of trust and confidence before he swoops in and takes advantage.

I'm not going to turn my back because to be quite honest, I'd be livid if my sister ended up in the situation these girls have ended up in.

It's okay to have casual relationships but it's not okay to do what he's done and the fact he's a 34 year old man that's got tangled up with a 16 year old and also got tangled up with a very vulnerable girl on the horsey scene who was raped a couple of years ago and not only used her to sleep with but also turned round and said "you know, the only way you're going to get over your rape is to re-enact it with me and create your own memories of it but I should be the one to do it." That actually makes me feel sick to the pit of my stomach.

 Every girl who's come to me has been or is vulnrable either emotionally, mentally or just not in a good place. Not one of them are a strong or indepenent woman, not one of them.

His tried and tested method is to be a 'shoulder' to cry on, then start with the compliments and the 'you're such a  lovely person' type stuff, then weedle his way in to their knickers and tell them how beautiful etc they are, then say 'you're really low on confidence, how about I take some photos of you to show you how lovely you are?' and when I say photos, I mean photos you wouldn't have in the family album.
When girls decide they don't want anything to do with him, he makes mention that he has these photos or if they remember him taking them. I don't agree with the naked/semi-naked photo thing myself but I do realise that lots of people do it and lots of people fall in to the trap of trusting somebody to take photos like that.

Every single girl has had the same method used and every single girl, he has photos of. Sorry, I don't consider that normal. Not at all, what normal man wants photos of EVERY girl he sees and more to the point, keeps them?

The issue with it is, he's only insinuated rather than outright threatened. I cannot believe I considered somebody like that a friend, I cannot believe he came across as so nice and normal and I cannot believe I didn't see a hint of this behaviour. So many times I went out for a drink with him and didn't mind being alone with him because I trusted him and now I wonder if he could hide that much, what else is he hiding? 

It's not the bed hopping that genuinely concerns me and it's not quite so much the fact he isn't upfront about the fact he is shagging others (that's morally wrong but not more than that). What worries me is that he only goes for vulnerable/messed up girls and clearly isn't immune to going for young girls either. I know myself that younger girls can end up in good relationships with an older man but I don't know of any other 34 year old man who goes after not only one 16 year old but others around the same age range. Maybe I'm being old fashioned but I don't consider it normal for a man of that age to go for a girl that young.

All he has relied on is that these women won't speak to each other or anyone else about him out of fear. The irony of it is, it's only all burst out in to the open because he accused me of being a bully and I refused to have any more to do with him, these girls came to me, asked why and then slowly but surely it all started to come out.

In his mind, or so I've been told, it's all my fault and he has had somebody pass all of my FB posts back to him for him to keep 'for his records'. This has lead to me paring my FB account right back to people I really really trust, not posting on any horse groups I used to post on and keeping my FB settings locked down as much as possible (always have kept them locked down to private and thank goodness!). A friend said "go to the police about that!" 
What? Waste time for a trivial thing and bore some poor sod with the dreaded F word and yet another fall out where social networking has a part to play? No, sorry, I'd be embarrassed to walk in and 'report' something like that.

He is a bastard and I hope one day very soon it all catches up with him. I don't think I could feel any more repulsed if I tried :-(.




23 July 2012

Domestic Goddess.


All of a sudden I've taken up baking and I love it. I've always liked it but having the time to do it and the space have been two things preventing me but now I'm back in to baking in a big way.

The problem is, I don't really eat much cake unless I have an attack of craving sweet things so I'm doing this baking and it's being eaten by only a couple of people because I don't really want to eat a lot of it. 

First try was a carrot cake which apparently was a huge success. My mum didn't believe that I'd baked it because it was really light and fluffy but all the nuts and bits and pieces were evenly distributed which considering I had to do the mix in two batches due to not having a mxing bowl large enough for the cake mix, was quite a miracle!



Then I was asked to do brownies which were okay but which I wouldn't really class as a success :-(. The tray I had was thinner than the recipe called for and so the brownies were thinner but I forgot to adjust the temperature of the oven accordingly so they burned slightly on the edges.



Brownie mix before going in the oven.



Brownie mis after coming out of the oven.



 Brownies served up. They look really burned here but they weren't! :-O :-D.



Please ignore my bitten fingernails and my swollen finger (after getting caught in the dog's lead and the dog deciding he'd like to attempt to break it for me :-/ ). This was a first attempt at Honeycomb Ice Cream. I don't think I like it, the recipe called for a pint of double cream as the base mix but I think it needs to be either half full fat milk and half double cream or just single cream because it's a bit too rich. This ice cream is actually pretty small and I think it's just the right amount considering how rich the mix is.
I'm going to try rum and raisin ice cream next :-).

 

 Tray of honeycomb ice cream. Only half of it has gone so far as you only need a single scoop of it really, it's nice but definitely something to have in small doses.





First attempt at millionaires shortbread. This was before the chocolate went on and it is the toffee/caramel mid-layer. The little brown specks are actually bits of toffee that formed in the pan despite me having it on as low a heat as possible and constantly stirring the mix. Thankfully, they're not noticeable now but it was a little thing that annoyed me :-).




 After chocolate had been poured on and had set. That corner that's missing? That wasn't me, that was a 'helper' that decided to 'taste test' while my back was turned!




Ready to eat. I need a pizza cutter to slice it next time because for some reason it crumbled up a bit.




Crumbly biscuit base which I think happened because it needed a little more butter. I followed the recipe to the letter but it's not quite like I expected it to be. However, somebody tested some for me and came out with the phrase "oh my God, it's like my mouth is having an orgasm!" which made me laugh and blush to be honest! I guess that means they're tasty :-).

I'm actually quite proud of how far I've come from my microwave exploding, pasty burning days.... ;-) :-D.
Next on the list is a banana loaf. Wish me luck! :-O.