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.

11 July 2012

Mad Dogs & Englishmen.


This is why I love my dog. He is handsome, full of character but as soft as butter. I've recently got in to the habit of having both him and my rabbit in the garden together and I think they have a little love affair going on :-D. The rabbit grooms his feathers for him and my dog licks her ears and nose for her :-D.

Some photos taken a few days ago and posted just because they make me smile :-).








No other dog I know or have known would be as soft as he is with a prey animal such as a rabbit. I love him for his character and personality (he answers me back when I tell him off!), his loyalty (he sleeps outside my bedroom door and will stay within my sight on walks) his soft character (the only thing he does with my rabbit is lick her nose) and his sheer loveliness with children, adults and other animals :-). He's a special dog :-).




4 July 2012

Pastures New.


Wow. It's been far too long since I last posted! Gosh, where to begin.... There have been a lot of changes in my life recently. It sounds incredibly cliched but I honestly feel like I am at a crossroads in my life. The question is, do I carry on beating the same path or do I change route completely and discover new things? Well, after much thinking and the weighing up of pros and cons, I'm going for the latter and moving to Manchester.

In the last four months since I posted, an awful lot has happened. I gave up the flat I was living in due to the cost and moved in with parents temporarily. I had originally intended on moving further in to the countryside here but prices are prohibitive and that is where Manchester comes in.... I have a friend in Lancs and one or two more people I know up North so why not? The price of property up there is shockingly cheap, I do not stand a cat in hell's chance of getting anything more than a tiny tiny box of a flat here for my budget. Up there I could get a 2 bedroom flat or a 1 - 2 bedroom house and actually have a chance of buying if I wanted to. It's utter madness.

I recently had a falling out with my mum which lead to us not speaking for almost a week. It must have been bad because I'm quite a peace loving person until my limit is hit. Unfortunately my mum managed to hit my limit and this time I didn't just lay back and take it....

A friend I considered a 'once in a lifetime' friend went from being fine chatting online last week to accusing me of being a bully and a liar and not only needing to grow up but also have a reality check. 
He then proceeded to blank me completely for three days and when he did finally reply via text, it was to say "you only need to know what my problem is so you can invent another excuse. Grow up, apologise and behave like an adult." 
Rather ironic considering his behaviour and considering I was rational, didn't swear, insult him or anything else but merely tried to get to the root of a problem. 
He wanted me to apologise for something I'd done and according to him, I knew what I'd done but wasn't admitting it. Hmmm, no I genuinely had no idea what my supposed crime was and refused to apologise as in my opinion, apologies should be meant and heartfelt, not said 'just because'.

The end result of his arrogance, childish behaviour and disgusting attitude was me deleting any contact details I had of him and blocking him on my email, MSN etc. 
Somebody who I thought genuinely was a friend and genuinely cared for me as I did them, then decided to text me and say  "I'd like to be wishing you good luck for your move North and reassuring you that you could rely on me in case of emergency but clearly it's easier for you to ignore me. All you needed to do was own up, apologise and change your behaviour towards them. I will remember you as someone unwilling to treat others in the same way that they expect to be treated; an immature bully and liar. Among other things."

That from somebody I've known well for three years. My reply was very restrained and mature, unlike what I felt like saying (which was extremely unladylike!). My reply went like this - "If you think that badly of me, thank goodness I've found out now before I waste any more time on a pretence of a friendship. I genuinely have no idea what or who you are on about so unless the person you speak about, or you, want to actually tell me what on earth the problem is then there is nothing I can do. Whatever happens, after completely ignoring me as you did, even when I was trying to sort things out, our 'friendship' would never have been the same for me because you have single-handedly killed what was once there. I wish you well in whatever you do but I'm not going to be made to be in tears or be so upset by you any further. It's a shame it's ended as it has but that's life. I'm not the one doing the ignoring. I just won't be made to feel so awful by you a second time (remember the first time you did this? I warned you I wouldn't take it again). For the last time, I have no idea what or who you are on about. I tried to sort things out and you refused. I'm not going to keep trying. I won't apologise when I don't know what it is I am apologising for. Apologies should be meant and heartfelt, not said just to get somebody off your back. Unless you wish to tell me exactly what your issue is, that is how it will remain. I have been thoughtless in my treatment of one or two people before but they were adult enough to tell me their problem and I apologised to them because of their ability to behave like an adult. I've never been purposely spiteful to somebody, with words or actions, and I never will be which is rather lucky for you considering all you've told me about yourself. After the things you've said to me over the past two days, I don't need your good wishes or your help. What on earth makes you think I would? I'll remember a good friendship while it lasted but I am crying no more tears over it or you. Please do not contact me again. Goodbye J."

In truth I don't wish him well, I wish for his true spiteful and vindictive colours to be shown to everyone but give it time and I am sure they will be. The irony of it is, if I was such a terrible bully I could create hell for him and his life but my conscience won't allow me to do it. He's spilled forth every secret to me he has, I know things and have proof of conversations we've had online where if I took a screenshot, it would fuck his professional and personal life up beyond repair. Putting it bluntly, he's well in to BDSM which isn't my thing but each to their own. He's scared witless of it getting out and if I really was such a horrible person, as I say, I could fuck things up for him badly but like I say, my conscience won't let me so his secrets will go to my grave with me. As much as my vengeful side wants to blurt forth everything, the fair side of me is saying 'you promised you wouldn't tell a soul. You have to keep that promise.'
It's a real bastard to have such a strong conscience in times like this you know! Yes, he has things on me that I wouldn't choose to be made public but the difference is, I'm not ashamed of my past. I was young and silly, I made mistakes and I learned from them. 

He is leading a double life and he is petrified of the two merging. The problem is, when they do merge, he'll be one friend down and I may not be good at much but I know I make a bloody good friend. I am loyal to the end, I will keep confidences and I am there in any capacity possible when a friend needs me.
One day he will find out that I really was telling the truth when I told him I had no idea what he was on about and I hope when that day comes, he feels as much regret at the realisation as I felt hurt at his spiteful and vindictive words.

The strange thing is, I have been debating moving North for a little while now and the only things holding me here were my friends and my parents. I've decided distance is needed between my mum and I because otherwise we will end up not speaking for a lot longer than a week. The fall out with my one friend has made me see that friends who are worth it will stick in your life no matter what and those that are fairweather friends will somehow drift out of your life.

My lovely Irish friend (more on her at a later date) said to me last week "You know what pet? This is that magical self-filter in action. It's clearing the crap out of your life, cutting you free of ties and sending you on your way North in to a new chapter." Although I am not one for hippy thoughts, it really does feel like that. Things have worked in mysterious ways and there really is not much holding me here right now. I'm not saying I'll never come back, if it doesn't work out in Manchester then there is nothing to stop me coming back but if it does work out, what have I really lost? Nothing. I'll still be able to see my family and have an improved relationship with my mum, my friends can come and see me and I can see them. My dog and rabbit are coming with me but my horse is sadly staying behind with a friend of mine. She (horse, not friend!) is nearing retirement age and it's not fair to cart her that far when she is settled here.

So, I'm veering off the beaten path that has bored me, tied me down and suffocated me at varying points over the past year and moving on to pastures new and I am excited to see what the future holds.

The girl will cope with Manchester but will Manchester cope with the girl? ;-).


I'll sign off with this. It holds a special place in my heart and reminds of someone I love to be reminded of. I also love Mumford & Sons so that has a little bit to do with it as well :-).



19 March 2012

When Irish Eyes Are Smiling.





Well, I'm Ireland-bound in April. I have a dear friend who lives there and one or two other lovely friends and very handily, they're all in the same area.


Things have been stressful lately with one thing and another. I haven't blogged about it as I'm not really in to constant whingeing and besides that, my lovely friend who is one of the very nicest and kind-hearted people you could wish to meet, has had a terribly tough time lately and it doesn't feel right for me to be moaning about things that are relatively small when she has had some real tough times since October. Bad luck seems to follow her but very recently she lost one of her best friends in a horrible car accident and there have been a multitude of other things. As the saying goes, it never rains but it pours.

Anyway, she's getting through it. She's never once gone down the woe-is-me route and never once ever not asked me how I am or how my life is, no matter what mess she is struggling with she has always been concerned with how I am.
She is one of the very few people in this world I'd drop everything for if she needed me to. There've been a couple of nights lately where she hasn't slept and has has been in pieces so this has led to long chats in the early hours of the morning with me trying to act as comforter, counsellor and a shoulder to cry on because the poor girl has been at her wits end with various things. A lesser person would either be terribly bitter by now or would have given up on life completely.

We've both decided we deserve a holiday but we are both fairly broke. I have access to cheap flights and she has a spare room so that's that, I'm flying over in April and I just know we're going to have a ball :-).

She is a very good musician and well known in certain circles and deservedly so as she has grafted her way up the ranks. However, Irish musicians and drink generally go hand-in-hand. Having said that, Irish and drink generally go hand-in-hand never mind the musician bit! ;-).

My family on my paternal and maternal side are of Irish descent so it will be nice to maybe find out a bit more about both sides of the family too as I'll be over there for a good week or more.

I suspect the days will be filled with a couple of touristy things, horses and chat. The nights? Well I've no doubt that judging from past experiences with P that they'll be spent full of drink, music and laughter about anything and everything :-).

It sounds very cliched and very strange but we're sort of on a different level to most of the people our age. She is six weeks younger than me and we've known each other for a couple of years but when we did get to chatting and getting to know each other we found we had quite an astonishing amount in common. We've both had (for very different reasons) tougher than average childhoods and young adult lives. Mine through health and family, hers through circumstance and family. We have an incredible amount in common with likes and dislikes and have ridiculously managed to finish each others sentences or say the same thing at the same time on a topic.
We both of us are convinced that in a previous life we must have been sisters! Both her sister and my one sister have been terrible bitches and we often joke that if we could, we'd trade our respective bitch sisters for each other. As I said, she is one of the very few people in this world I'd drop everything for and do my utmost to be there for her if she needed me to be and she says (and has done) the same for me.
She is one of a very select list of people that I know I could phone day or night with a problem and she'd do her best to help me with it. It's a very true friendship we have and I'm very thankful it exists. We're both strong characters, we're both very outspoken and both are very 'down the line' when it comes to justice etc but despite all that, we've never fallen out which when you are two strong characters, takes some doing at times but I've never had need to fall out with her and (so far) she has not felt the need to fall out with me. If she has she's kept it very quiet :-P.

I am very much looking forward to this jaunt away, if only to be there to give her the much needed boost of support.
I've a feeling my liver may cuss me for inflicting the Irish way of life on it during a couple of nights though ;-).

3 March 2012

Careful What You Say....


I should take heed of this. I really really should!
I'm one of those people who will offer help and only think about what it has cost me after I've offered or after I've done the deed. In general, I do think it is a good thing, if I can help somebody I will but it has meant I've been royally taken the P out of before now so I'm careful who I help and careful to not be taken advantage of.

My mouth does run away with me though and a throwaway remark has lead to me being co-organiser of a charity calendar. This could either go swimmingly well or it could go awfully and catastrophically wrong. I'm terrible at organising myself but good at organising other people and delegating. What brought about this charity calendar idea? Well, it was prompted by a photo on Facebook (Facebook is always to blame!). The photo is the one below;



A 'helpful' friend of mine posted it and another friend commented on that post saying "This reminds me of GND. Have you shown her?!" to which the friend who had originally posted the photo replied with "That's exactly why I posted it. It reminded me of her the second I saw it!". This friend then proceeded to tag me in this post and I fell in love with the image, I think it's gorgeous and the owner of the image has albums and albums on Facebook of various themed photographs with horses and riders, from a damsel in distress and her knight in shining armour to the slightly dark image above.

Some bright spark (it may have been me....) commented that it would make a fab series of photographs for a calendar. Somebody else then piped up that I had the corsets, the boots, the top hat, the tailcoats and so on, I had the horse and I knew lots of other people that had horses so why not do a charity calendar? According to a lot of people who then commented, this apparently would be a wonderful idea and something different to the old-hat of nude calendars.
By this point a reliable friend had commented and messaged me to say that they would help with the organising and would be up for it if I was....

That's that, all of a sudden I'm the boss of the organising, have somehow managed to post in a private horsey group I am a member of to get a rough idea of numbers and have so far had over two dozen people put their name down. I fully expect half of these (at least) to drop out at the last minute but at last count there were 31 who had put their name down, even accounting for last second dropouts that's still enough for 12 images.

I've had somebody come forward to provide camera skills (qualified so high quality images) a couple of other people have donated appropriate clothing to be borrowed by those who don't have the adequate clothing to wear for the shots (I've even said I'll loan my treasured possesions out providing I'm either there or my things are looked after!), others have donated the use of quiet horses to pose on, others have come forward saying they won't pose but they're happy to act as runarounds should anyone need a spare pair of hands during posing, somebody else has volunteered hair styling, other people have offered to be grooms on the day and I'm doing makeup (it's a qualification of mine that has fallen by the wayside. I'm qualified to do film and catwalk makeup and have done work for one or two TV programmes as a student/dogsbody but it is a very competetive area of work, basically you work for free until you've built a name for yourself which I cannot afford to do).

All of a sudden, in the space of a couple of days, this throwaway remark has taken on a life of it's own. If it comes together it would be amazing, if it doesn't, well that would be less amazing!

Everyone has come forward with worthy charities, the only way to do it fairly is see which ones have the most suggestions and then set up a poll on Facebook to see which one or two have the most votes and are therefore the nominated charities to benefit from this motley crew, their horses and a lone photographer's skill.

The theme of the calendar will be something along the lines of fairytales with a twist. I suspect the eventual calendar (if it happens) will be slightly gothic themed. We shall see, I'll be delighted if it comes to fruition but I can see it taking some bloody hard organising and collating of people, horses, costumes, locations, the costing of it, not to mention the eventual printing, binding and persuading local saddleries, agricultural merchants etc to sell copies like there is no tomorrow!

If it's going to be done then it needs to start being organised now for completion around October time ready to hit the Christmas market and be a 2013 calendar.

Wish me luck, I've a feeling I'll need it! :-D.





22 February 2012

Running Scared.


Well, Christmas was okay and New Year was okay. They were only okay because while the boyfriend was away I started having doubts about 'us' for no other reason than 'something' is missing for me with 'us' but I don't know what it is or if it even exists.

I spoke to him when he got back and through the slightly raised voices, me coming up with no other excuse than "I don't know" for how I feel (let's face it, in anyone's book that is infuriatingly poor as far as excuses go), tears, guilt on my part (for how I feel, nothing that I have done) and various other emotions we have come to a mutual decision of a parting of ways. I don't know if this is the right thing, I don't know really what to think anymore or even if my thoughts are worth listening to. During the talks we had he did say he thought I was running scared; ending things while I had the chance to end them rather than have things ended and not have a say in the matter. He asked why I felt like something was wrong and all I could say was the 'spark' wasn't there for me but is that something that needs to be there for a good relationship to flourish? It's been there before and got me a one-way ticket to being shit on from a great height so I don't know.
I know if I stayed where I am I wouldn't ever have to worry about being cheated on, or worry about money or being supported or being stood by but I feel I am doing him a serious disservice by feeling like I am 'going with the flow'. He's all about reality and the roots of what matter, I'm all about what's in the heart and rarely listen to my head which is why I've ended up where I have before.
He has told me I am emotionally cold to some extent and I agree with that. I do put up walls and barriers and take a jokey 'yeah yeah whatever' stance until I feel like it's okay to let myself be vulnerable, more in this past eighteen months than ever before. It's not selfishness, it's self-preservation from being giving, giving, giving and still left wanting when I find me giving and trying hasn't been enough.

Maybe I am focusing on the tiny details and making them in to problems so I feel like I have a valid reason for walking away from, in som ways, the nicest man I've ever had the fortune to be with.

I feel like giving myself a good hard slap and telling myself to grow up. When he is here, I don't always want him to be. When he isn't here, I don't always want him to be away. I sound like a petulant child!

I don't know. I'm fed-up of thinking, of trying to reason things out and stressing about it to the point of not eating while he was away overseas. I didn't feel it was right or fair to tell him about my thoughts and feelings until he was back on home soil and the pressure of playing happy families so to speak meant I ended up (of my own making) very stressed and tired.

There is no bad blood or ill feeling or thoughts between us. If anything we're behaving like best friends and able to discusss the 'what ifs' as adults (which we obviously both are) and aren't laying blame, making snipes or anything like that. He has reason to considering the news I greeted him with on his return home. I couldn't hide it, my tone of voice said it all despite my attempts to pretend otherwise.

I just don't know what to make of how I feel. I'd like it very much if feelings and emotions came in little boxes you could select according to how you want to feel about a situation. Something to work on for the Dragons Den team maybe!

Neither of us are perfect.
There have been some comments made on both sides that have made me stop and think. I'm not going in to detail as that wouldn't be fair considering he knows this blog exists and playing dirty isn't my style.
I think I've made the right decision, I just feel sad about it.


15 February 2012

Sex Pest.


I have a lovely friend, she is one of those who has become my friend through somebody else. She has a heart of gold, hasn't had that easy a life at all but ploughs on regardless, never moans but has one fault and that is that is that if she were male she'd probably have been locked up by now!

As I say, S is a lovely girl but doesn't get the term 'too much information'. It was a girl's night out on Saturday night and whilst we were getting ready at M's (mutual friend's flat), S was saying how she was feeling like a born-again virgin so M and I were trying to be helpful and suggest maybe her man was feeling stressed with work or something. I should point out here that although S is in no way 'easy' she (as she puts it) "has needs". I think this guy she is seeing is probably concerned for his male welfare being as she's cornered him in the shower before now as well as tried to jump his bones first thing in the morning :-D.

We thought the conversation was drawing to a close when S came out with possibly one of the top five things she's ever come out with and that was "FFS, I made a romantic meal and everything the other night, I even smuggled some Horny Goat Weed in to his drink and even that didn't work!"

*slightly stunned silence from M and I*

GND: "You spiked his drink?"

S: "No! It's not spiking, it was herbal! I'm pretty sure it was anyway."

M: "Herbal or not that's bordering on date rape! It must be illegal in some way to do that. It has to be!"

S: "It would have been if it had actually worked."

GND: "S, do you think maybe it would help if you acted like a sexual woman instead of an oversexed rabbit or wannabe sex pest?"

S: "I'm just trying to be persuasive, encouraging. Nice things!"

It then comes out that she has tried sexy underwear and that's failed too. She is as tiny as me, same tiny size 2 feet as me and we both look much younger than mid-late 20s so no wonder the poor Street Pastors we passed in the highstreet looked actually quite concerned for their bodies when she was asking me about corsets and said "well he loves corsets and French knickers so if that doesn't work then I need to start looking at supplements or something because I don't know what else to do".

As was discussed during hangover talk on Sunday morning, my words were that she is a female version of Quagmire from Family Guy and M's boyfriend came out with the words "no wonder the poor bastard is running scared. She's probably drained him dry and sapped him of all reserves and energy. It's probably as much as he can do to get out of the bed in the morning!"

I should point out that none of this is said disparagingly and she knows about all of it and just laughs but honestly, I think men see her, find her little and cute and sweet and behind closed doors I think she leaves them running scared half the time.

Life's never boring with her around but I do have some sympathy for the poor guy :-D.




27 January 2012

One To Watch.

Emeli Sande is one to watch. It's not often I'm blown away by a voice or get a skip of the heartbeat at an artist's music or voice but with this lady's, I have.

This version of this song is going to be the song I have my first dance to at my wedding. I'm not getting married anytime soon, I'm not even considering it but when I do this is the song I will have my first dance to because it's exactly how I want to feel about the man I marry.

Link
She has a beautiful depth to her voice and a terrifically soulful quality. To have a good voice is one thing, to have soul and feeling in a voice is another thing entirely. She has been nominated for the Breakthrough Artist Award at The Brits. I sincerely hope she wins it.

This is the original version of the song above. Much more upbeat and an anthem almost, the version above is pared back completely and very much the bare bones of the song.

Both are beautiful versions, just in very different ways.

This is a cover she has done of Coldplay's 'Every Teardrop Is A Waterfall' which again is pure excellence. It's familiar and yet unfamiliar because she has completely spun it to suit her :-).

Her album is out on the 13/02/2012 and is called 'Our Version Of Events'. I have already preordered it and I really can't wait to hear the whole album.