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.

Monday, 1 September 2014

Another goodbye

I don't know if this is a first goodbye or a last goodbye or simply another goodbye.

I buried my pet this evening.  Poppy, the last guinea pig.  She's buried next to the first, Phyllis.  Phyllis was a big ginger pig.  She moved in with me in 2000 along with her blind cage mate, Rosie.  Two beautiful girls passed to me by a work colleague who didn't want to part with them but had to.  Phyllis was 8 years old when she died in 2005.  She was, for me, the guinea pig who kind of represents the others.  I still dream about her.  There's not one guinea pig related dream which Phyllis doesn't appear in. The guardian angel of all those who came after her.

Poppy too lived a long life, possibly seven years old in the end.  For nearly two years she lived alone because, for me, she was the last pig.  She lived much longer than I expected, her cage mates were the same age.  She was the opposite of Phyllis.  I hardly heard her squeak and she was timid not bold, black and white, not ginger, smooth haired, not Abyssinian.  I did my best for her, other than find her a friend for those lonely years.  Spent more on vet treatment than it would cost to acquire three more guinea pigs this year alone.

So, the last pig is buried in the garden.  It's the last goodbye.

The garden which I will be leaving in the next month as I move house.  It's a spot I don't think she'll be disturbed in, regardless of whatever work is done, whether it's paved over or reshaped.  I think she'll rest in peace.  And somehow it's the first of the goodbyes to this house.  It signifies change in a way nothing else has, not the re-painting in neutral colours, not the sold sign, not the half packed boxes in the spare bedroom, not the relentless clearing out of stuff.  This truly is change because the guinea pigs have gone.  It's the first goodbye.

But this house has seen a lot of goodbyes, and there are more to come, and I just hope I can do those properly, do them meaningfully and finally with dignity and respect.  There have been too many goodbyes said here, and this is another in the one too many stakes.  I shall miss the feeling of having life in the house, the constant tiny movements and noises and the company.  Goodbye Poppy, you're already missed.

Tuesday, 22 July 2014

Being her

House buying and selling is turning me into a stress bound monster I don't like very much.  I cannot believe what I've given it permission to do to me.  That has to stop.  I want to become the person I want to be, and trust me, this mental case is not she.

So trying to chuck it all to one side, and let be what it'll be, realising that there's some things I just can't do anything about.  Other people for the most part.

What I'd like to be is a fit, healthy, laughing person who giggles with her friends, is kind and warm and good company.  I'm always a work in progress ...

Friday, 20 June 2014

Something stupid

Oddly as I get older I find it easier to confess I like Robbie Williams.  I never had a problem admitting my liking for Gary Barlow, but Robbie?  Come on, Robbie?  But the lilting sound of Something Stupid melts my heart.

You know, I'm a fortunate woman.  Opportunities offer themselves to me.  I got to marry the love of my life, and I got to do the most important thing in the world for him, be next to him for 9 months while he approached death.  I got to love him until death did us part.  That's pretty amazing, he was pretty amazing, and for a while, I was pretty amazing too.

I got to work in a job people would have given their eye teeth for.  I know this.  Some told me.  And now I'm in another job which again is the quiet envy of a few particularly weird obsessive people.  And I'll take that.

I get to live in a place which people want to be in, and I can't fault it.  Except it isn't somewhere good to ride my bike, so I'm moving to somewhere that is.  I'm doing the thing where if I feel scared, I'm substituting the word with "excited".  I've already tried that one on my mum.  She bit.