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.