A busy weekend

My day off begins with sunshine, warmth and a smile. Today, I am going to find birthday presents for two people. One, a very close friend and two, my husband. I am not really a lover of shopping. I like to know what I am going for, find it after having a massive trying on session in one shop, buy it and come home, unless it’s clothes for me. Then I like to go to one shop, find it, try it on, pay for it and come home. There is nothing more tedious than traipsing around a myriad of shops in search of something that fits or looks right. I sound like a dream shopper for the man in tow, but believe me I’m not, because invariably I end up going everywhere to find one thing. I am so fussy about my clothes and if I buy something I don’t feel comfortable in, it stays in the wardrobe. Hence the tedious traipsing.

Today though, I have people to buy for and I know which shops I am hitting. The ideas for gifts aren’t definite. I am trying to remain open minded so it could all change by the end of the day.

The weekend was busy with gigs. I had a Valentine’s dinner dance on Friday and as usual, it was a night for romantic slushy songs. It’s the only night of the year I can sing so many slow songs and get away with it. Asking for requests usually brings “lady in red”, irrelevant that I am a woman singing about another woman. No one cares as long as it’s heard and danced to. Saturday though, made a Valentine’s change. Another friend has her birthday the day after her husbands, so they had a joint birthday party and asked me to sing. Very few slow songs that night. Instead they partied, ate, drank and danced the night away, culminating in my friends favourite song, “Raining men.” image

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They loved my mic stand and pretended to be either lead or backing singers. It made me smile. A great night had by all and Happy birthday guys. Hope the heads weren’t too sore the next day.

Unfortunately, my hubby and I couldn’t celebrate Valentine’s this year. Usually we go out the day before or after, but the day before I was working and the day after was a collapse day. That’s what happens when you work all day and most of the night for 48 hours. Oh well, next year it is.

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Fasting again

For a day off, yesterday proved to be a really busy day. The vampires were out in the morning drawing blood for a cholesterol test. I spent too much money on new clothes and then I played taxi service for my hubby before joining him in the evening for dinner and raising money for charity. It was a good night with good friends and lots of laughter. The whole theme of the evening was Ye Olde English Night, with lots of old songs with changed lyrics to suit the occasion. There was a fining system where people had to pay fines for various misdemeanours or sometimes for being too good. Anyone who snitched on someone else also got fined and it became quite loud and hilarious.

Mondays, however, have been designated as fasting days and after a disastrous weekend, where I put on almost a Kilo in 2 days, I was quite desperate to get back to it. With a dinner booked for the evening, there was little point though, so today is the day. Being a vegan means that my two meals can be low calorie as long as I miss out the carbs, so I intend to make a huge batch of chilli today and can’t wait to scoff it.

Chilli made with different beans is one of my favourite dishes. It took me a long time to develope the taste for this Mexican dish. While a meat eater I always found it on the hot side and because there is no sweetness to it, I was not a great lover. Enter my husband, who loves chilli and it was necessary to like it. Thus over time I was converted and when I decided to become a vegan, I had to find a good substitute to the carnivore variety.

I really like this 5:2 fasting diet, because I don’t feel deprived. I do get tired and with gigs this week and working day and night, I am a little worried about how I will cope. Also because Of missing my fast day yesterday, I have to do my 2 fast days close together. Only one eating day between them, which could spell trouble. My poor hubby might be in for a rough time. I will try desperately not to snap his head off, whilst in the throws of tiredness, but can’t promise I will be completely sane. Bless him. Duck love, duck!!

Music and Memories

Oh my goodness. What a mare. I managed to log myself out of my blog and having never done that before, I couldn’t remember my login details. It’s taken me three days to sort it out, because getting back in is not obvious at all. Anyway, here I am once again.

Today is Saturday and the day for my radio show. It’s a chat show, where I invite local people to come and talk about themselves, their businesses and interests. I have featured authors, charities, complimentary health practitioners, singers, artists and many more interesting people. They each choose 3 songs that they love and it’s a fantastic way to learn about people.

One of the best things, is the varied choices of music. We had a large glut of the song “Happy” by Pharrell Williams, but mostly it shows just how wide our tastes are. Even in the pop field, there are so many genres and no two people have chosen the same 3 songs. Young people can choose old songs and older people choose new ones. Each tune carries a memory and the ones that stick are associated with happy times.

Although we have our favourite sad songs, it seems the ones that define our lives are the ones that call to mind our happiest memories. Teenage years feature really high, as does the “our song”, when we have met our life partner.

I truly love my show on a Saturday and meeting such an eclectic group of people and I love their differing tastes in music, because people’s choices fascinate me. Today I will be playing Stairway to Heaven by Led Zeppelin, which apart from being an all time great, is a personal favourite. It reminds me of my teenage years living in a huge farmhouse with my family. My brother would belt this out as loud as he could from his bedroom at the back and the house was so big, that no one in the front could hear it. Good memories of my brother in his Led Zeppelin phase. He even got a perm to look like Robert Plant and I liked it. I was young and always impressed by my big brother.

Good music equals happy memories.

Life’s rich tapestry

Once again, it’s been ages since I wrote anything.  It seems I have to be in the right place to write.  When life becomes too busy or difficult, it seems that I cannot put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.  I am now trying to remember why I started to write a blog and to reinstate the feelings that writing gave me.  I felt that this year was going to be the year for upward movement, but here I am at the beginning of February and nothing has progressed.  In order not to loose momentum, I am forcing myself to type up my book and edit where I think it needs it.  I thought, in my infinite wisdom, that if I wrote my book on my iPad, I could take it everywhere with me and add to it as I pleased.  The fun part about that decision is that I was writing it in a format that cannot be transferred to word on my laptop, hence, re typing the last 15 chapters. Luckily, I am a fast typer so it shouldn’t take too long.  Whilst doing this though, the story is not progressing and that makes me a little frustrated.

I have come to the conclusion that the reason I cannot find time to write, is there is not enough time in the day.  Even over the Christmas period when I had time off, the days still flew past with nothing achieved apart from cooking, cleaning and the laundry, so I am going to have a word with him upstairs and ask him to add a few hours. Do you think it will work?

So here I am again, making a deal with myself to write every day.  I may not be on a blog, but this or my book is going to be an added priority.  Surprising how cathartic just writing these few words has already been.

I must not loose my connection to myself.  I must follow my dream of finishing this book and getting it published.  The sequel is all in my head waiting to be let out.  I need to push forward and not let anything get in my way.  Is that easier said than done, I wonder?

 

Summer break

Two months have flown by without posting a blog.  Why? I hear you cry.  My crazy life, is the answer.

My summer was a chaotic one. My husband flew out to Germany and my daughter flew in to keep me company for most of the month.  In tow, were my granddaughter and grandson.  Oh my goodness,  I have definitely forgotten what it’s like to have children around.  I spent most of the time up to my ankles in the debris they dropped behind them wherever they went.  The TV was constantly on with mind bendingly worrying violent kids programs.  We lost wall lights, car keys, bowls and plates.  We found holes in walls, expensive digital cameras used as toys and leftover food everywhere as well as lovely pen drawings all over my cream leather sofas.  I also now have a challenging laptop which has developed Alzheimer’s after being dropped on the floor from the dining table, because it was in the way of the TV.

I still love them deeply, but I was very relieved when I deposited them through the departures gates at the airport.

The following day I flew out to Germany to join my husband for a few days.  I was genuinely exhausted before going and having spent 3 days sightseeing in the wonderful city of Dresden, came home needing a months sleep.

I discovered during this time that, not only do I need peace and quiet to write, I also need calm and to be in a happy place.   My brain needs space to think.  Ideas and words need to whirl around and assemble on a blank screen.  The needs of others dominate my thought patterns and the rule of once a mum, always a mum, resurfaces.  I cannot help but care for the people around me when they need it, and my creativity, thought processes and ideas are stifled until they are silent.   Sleep is also pretty essential.

Writing makes me incredibly happy, but instead of finishing my novel over the summer, as I had planned, I feel frustrated that it remains incomplete and that frustration has led me to delay getting back to it.  I now know there are going to be times when writing is impossible because life gets in the way.  Time does not allow me to do everything I want and quite often there is little enough of it, to do the things I need.

Nevertheless, here I am again.  Today is the first day of the rest of my life and I have sat down and written something.  It may be short, it may be waffle and written in a few minutes when I have a break, but it is here and just writing these few word is a cathartic exercise.  Onwards and upwards and watch this space.

 

Relaxing holidays

It seems ages since I last wrote my blog, but I don’t suppose it has been.  It’s been a very busy few days and finally today, Sunday, is quiet and tranquil.  I have spent all day sitting around the pool, writing my book. I know it’s work but the story is in full flow and I want to get in down in black and white while I can.  It has become more of a passion than a chore of late, and when I look back on previous chapters, I know I am going to do lots of  editing to get it to the standard of the writing I am producing now.

I have joined a couple of writers sites and finding  truth in the words, the more you write, the faster you become and the easier it flows.  It’s true.

This evening we have decided to look at our holiday.  Originally, we were going to go to Venice.  My husband likes to look at all the options, so a short holiday there became a cruise from Venice, going to Greece and surrounding islands, Dubrovnik and many more destinations.  Growing tired of waiting for replies from companies that don’t seem to want the business, we decided to stay in mainland Spain and visit Cordoba, Seville, Granada and then onto Portugal.  Having looked at those options, my husband has decided that 3 cities and sightseeing is a bit too much as he wants to spend some time relaxing, but doesn’t feel cities are conducive to that state.  I agree with him so now we have reverted to the cruise.

Maybe that is the best option for us because then we won’t have to spend hours and heated discussions about which hotels to stay in.  We will have a hotel on the sea, daytime trips as we want them but we can’t relax around the pool because it will be November.  No, scratch that, I want warmth. I want to go in September but there’s nothing available in September.  Ok back to the drawing board.

How difficult can this really be.  What happened to walking into a travel agent, flicking through some magazines and saying, “we want to stay there.”  The internet has made choosing you holiday so much more interactive and, dare I say, difficult.  The choices are vast and more varied and you can’t possibly stay in any resort until you have checked out the reviews on Trip Advisor.  Whereas we used to rely on the recommendations of a travel company, now we read with interest the opinions of the people who can be bothered to report their findings.

I can’t help but feel a little distrustful of those.  The people who complain bitterly seem to do so for insignificant reasons.  Obviously, there things that go wrong, but the main problems seem small in the great scheme of things.  Then there are the amazing reviews, which I find equally worrying.  I have stayed at some amazing places in my time, but never yet found one that is perfect.  Perhaps we just have people who are on the opposite ends of the optimist/pessimist scale.

Whichever it it is, our holidays remain stressful to book, always more expensive than we plan for, but once we get there, it is our attitude that makes it.  I ignore the niggles,  chose to have a great time, become culturally more educated and return home enriched.

Oh yes, where did we choose?  We’re touring.  Cordoba, Portugal and Granada.   Happy vacation everyone.

Night owl or Lark

It’s a couple of days since my last blog and it’s taken me most of the day to summon up the right amount of enthusiasm to write one.

Everyone suffers when they have too little sleep or are just weary.  Atthe beginning of Gretchen Rubin’s Happiness Project, she decides to try and get the right amount of sleep instead of watching an extra TV programme.  I did not make this rule for myself, however, I did think that I would just go to bed when tired instead of denying that’s how I felt.  Interestingly  I found myself going to bed earlier and earlier, and waking earlier and earlier.  Nothing wrong with this,  I hear you say.  Actually, for me there is.

It goes against my long built up sleep patterns.  As an entertainer I work late and it’s impossible to suddenly switch it around to being a morning person.  I have long held the belief that I am, in fact, allergic to mornings.  My favourite way to wake up is quietly.  Alarms grate on every nerve and make me feel annoyed.  Once I am conscious, I still need quiet.

My ex-husband was a morning person.  He would wake up with a happy and loud “Good morning!”  and insist on holding conversations even though the only response I gave was an “ugh!”, which translated into any language means “be quiet and leave me alone.”  Having never learnt my morning tongue, we usually ended up having a huge argument as I got more and more wound up.  This was not the reason we divorced but if there is anything positive about that institution, it was the return to quiet mornings.

Luckily for me, my now husband is also an entertainer and a night owl.  Mornings for him are not the best time of day, so we gently wake up over the course of an hour in silence.  Sixteen years later we are still together so it works for us.

Going to bed early is a no no.  We need to be ready to entertain until the wee small hours.  In fact we can spend day feeling exhausted and only become compos mantis just as most people would be retiring.  The difficulty though is when we have a few nights of going to bed after 2am.  In my youth, it seemed easier but now….oh dear.  Age has caught up and I need my 8 hours, but it only works if I am in bed before 2.  I blame the scientists for figuring out our body clocks, Rem sleep patterns and educating us.

Maybe, if work had made me feel so exhausted, I would feel rewarded.  However, on my previous post I blogged about visitors.  So I have concluded that perhaps being in the Jacuzzi till 2am when you have visitors has the same effect as working till that time and is the least conducive to writing.

My resolution therefore, is to sleep earlier and write more.  It’s just today you will have to excuse my ramblings!!

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