Saturday, 7 March 2015

Where now?

Now feels like a time for conscious decisions, for making deliberate choices, for acknowledging the relative freedom I have to carve out my future into what I want it to be.  For bringing the past with me, or the bits of it I choose to in the way I elect to.

There are a lot of choices.  I don't have convention or tradition or peer pressure pushing or pulling me at this point in my life.  I can simply choose to be who I am, who I want to be, and where I want to go.  I don't want to drift any more.

No more "If I could choose the life I please" because there is no if about it.  I am a freewoman.

Tuesday, 13 January 2015

Eight years old

Eight year old self

So, would my eight year old self be proud of me?  I don't know. She was a bit dreamy and vague, that eight year old.  A lot of activity went on inside her head, but she didn't really share a lot of it, or perhaps she wasn't able to make herself heard so communications, ideas and opinions were lost on others.  Her mother couldn't tell what things were important to her and what weren't.  Her somewhat distracted mother, I suspect.

She lived in a bit of an imaginary world.  In that world, the garden was an adventure.  Things in it weren't what they seemed.  Mud could be turned into almost every substance possible.  Trees became extraordinary buildings, toys became walking talking characters, and catkins held many many possibilities.  These things were enough.  Adults didn't really play much of a role, and I don't think my 8 year old self had a particular adult she'd have looked up at and said wow.  I think it would have taken quite a bit to impress her.

She liked adults who talked, who smiled, laughed, and who listened enough to understand what of themselves to give back to an imaginative but quiet eight year old.  She was impressed with the loud adventuresses, in that sense that they were a breed apart, something quite out of the ordinary.  I don't think she wanted to be one though, she just liked that they existed and that they were women who did stuff, who made stuff happen.

I think my eight year old self would have been happy to stay that way, stay eight.  She'd have been impressed at me moving to London all on my own, and she'd have been sad about my husband dying.  She had an empathy for life's tragedies.  She'd  have listened avidly to tales of New Zealand travels too, and she'd have enjoyed the camper van with everything in miniature.  This is the child that tried to create homes in the back garden bushes and flower beds.  She'd have wanted me to be with my prince charming.

Tuesday, 30 December 2014


So, nearly there, at the end of another year.  I feel like I limped through the whole of the second half of the year.  I'm avoiding truly reviewing in my mind what were the successes, what goals I achieved because I'm afraid the conclusion does not look good.

Tuesday, 16 December 2014

Killer Hamsters

If the zombies don't get you, the hamsters will.  Or at least, that's the message I'm taking from my recent dream.  All dreams these days seem to involve me chasing or being chased.  Mostly I seem to be fruitlessly trying to capture or chase away something which just ain't happening.

The hamster would not be caught.  Or in fact, it occasionally let me catch it but then it wriggled and slipped away out of my clutches leaving me desperate and hopeless.  Time and time again I nearly caught it or had hold of it briefly before it zoomed away into a new hidey hole. It was just me and the hamster shut up together in a room, and morning only came in the final moments when I tracked the wriggling scuffling beast down in my bed.  Lunged for it, and then woke up.

I'm not entirely happy about the killer hamsters.

Monday, 8 December 2014

Killer Zombies

I had a horrid dream.  One of those where you wake up whimpering and anyone fortunate enough to be sharing the bed with you gets woken up before you eventually wake up shaking.

It was a zombie dream.  I'm quite proud of that.  Proper classy.  The zombies were looking for territory, and I was having to defend my space from them.  I'm not sure what would have happened, in honesty, if they'd won but somehow it was important in the dream, where of course you don't get choices in such matters, to defend it, with my life if necessary. I was somewhere underground, with dark, dank tunnels, convoluted spaces, sometimes claustrophobic and sometimes with wider spaces.  There was a chasm too.

The zombies weren't communicative, and fortunately they weren't particularly strong, what with being dead bodies with a loss of muscle tone.  They were, however, persistent and they kept on coming, in ones, twos and threes, but never ending procession of bodies to fight off.  I had no weapons, there was no furniture, no convenient rocks, swords or the stuff you find in movies.  All I could do was to get them off balance and push them into the chasm.  There were so many of them.  They kept on coming.  Then the chasm started to fill up, and zombies I had previously pushed down it started to climb back up again.  They wouldn't go away and they kept on mounting up.

They were all genders, dressed in grey and brown ragged clothing, with dreadlocked hair greasy and dishevelled.  And relentless in their arrival.

It was pointed out to me that this is how I seem to be seeing life right now, many minor issues, all resolvable, all defeatable but in such a volume that they seem unmanageable.  As soon as I slay one zombie others pop up or the slain one seems to return and I start to drown.

I'm now seeing every new thing that pops up and needs dealing with as a new zombie.  Equally, every thing I do manage to do is a zombie slain.  Maybe one day I'll redress the balance of new zombies and dead zombies.

Thursday, 30 October 2014

Going home

It's not easy, this going home business.  For 14 years I had a regular journey, Clayton Manchester to Eccles and I knew it. I knew many variants, I had favourites, I had routes suitable for different weather conditions, for different times of day, for different whims and fancies.  Now I don't.

I have many many options, and I'm trying to avoid driving to work so I don't learn the cycling routes by repeating a driving commute to work.  The train just doesn't offer the same ability to explore where roads go.  So I'm trying really hard to become happy with my cycle routes, despite the fact I seem to have started trying to learn them and explore while it's a bit wintery and the nights and mornings are dark.

I've ridden in behind a friend twice. I didn't enjoy the A6, although admittedly I couldn't get lost on that route either.  I've meandered home following the bike computer's "Surprise Me" route, and it was rather wonderful and glorious, but it did take two hours.

Today though, I have boldly dared to use cyclestreets, a website thingy specialising in cycling journeys.  You put in your start and end post code and it gives you three routes, the quickest, a balanced and the quietest.  I have to say it works.  It actually works.  It doesn't take you to stupid places unless you chose the quietest route in which case you only have yourself to blame.  The quickest route this morning was free from trauma.  Completely free.

The quietest route, though, this evening involved quite a bit of unlit off road, and even with lights, good lights, if you don't know quite where you are, or where you're going it's a bit unnerving.  I did, however, attract a Welsh guy also commuting who escorted me effectively along rutted muddy winding woodland single track, and all was indeed rather good.

Friday, 3 October 2014

Moving Times

I moved house.  Left the old house, which somehow wasn't overladen with memories by the time I left it.  The hoovering put paid to that, it was that thorough.

The new house is, well, not just mine but most definitely not Dave & mine.  It feels kind of big and has an old and solid feel to it, at the same time as feeling bright and spacey.  It's suitably kind of shabby too, with occasional glimpses of quality.  Permanence.  The whole thing feels permanent, it's a thing of its own in space and time, and probably will be long after I've gone. Reassuringly solid.

I realise it has four storeys.  A normal two bedroom house but with a loft conversion and a cellar.  It seems to me that everything which the removal men put in the cellar is destined for the loft which means there are a lot of trips up three sets of stairs.  It properly feels four storey during these early settling in days.

It's helping me to realise an ambition too.  Trying to find a way to not have to drive to work.  I have a train and I have a bike.  Even train journey days count as exercise twice a day, with nearly 4 miles in walking to be done either end of the journey, outwards and return.  I suspect fitness may find me.

There's a firm ground to put my feet on, hopefully I'll get them to stay put sometime for long enough for that to happen.