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!!

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?

 

Trials of separation.

Today is the last day before my husband disappears off to Germany for a month.  We have always been pretty insular in our relationship.  We have fantastic friends but we love to be in each other’s company the most.  I know of many marriages where people make excuses to spend time away from each other and if that works for them, then fine.  It doesn’t work for us.

During our 16 years, we have always worked together and so can often be in each other’s company for 24 hours a day, but apart from the odd bicker; because we don’t row; we are happy with that scenario.  A month apart therefore, is very difficult to cope with.

The last time he went, I must confess, I had a great time.  I was busy with work so I couldn’t mope around and I had lots in invitations from friends to join them for dinner.  I arranged a girly night and had some girlfriends round for a Big Girls Pyjama Party.  It was brilliant, just like being a kid again but with alcohol.  We had facials, manicures, pedicures, music, and giggles.  In fact, when my hubby cane home, I was quite put out at having to stop the constant socialising.  I had fun.

This time, my daughter has decided to spend most of the month with me.  She is bringing my granddaughter and grandson and has informed me that I am going to teach them to swim while they are here.  Apparently I taught her and her sister but Wierdly, I have no recollection of that, but, if being Nana is teaching them to swim, that’s a good job done.  We will have fun and it will be great to spend more time together than we have been able to in years.  We are still going to have a girly afternoon or two though, where the girls of the pyjama party persuasion will be invited.  I think maybe the Big Girls BBQ.

I will fill my time with fun stuff and enjoy my grandchildren, but I hate this last day.  Tomorrow’s trip to the airport and the goodbye for a month is looming at me.  The thought of coming home to an empty house is horrible and so are all the extra jobs I have to take on because they are usually his.

I know the dogs will be unsettled because a pack member has gone and I will have to change their routine so that they sleep in my room.  That’s not because they won’t stay in their own bed, but because I keep hearing odd noises when I am on my own.  If the dogs bark, I have something to worry about.  If they don’t, I know all is well.  Unless I have deaf dogs.   Since we met, my husband and I have had a phrase.  “I know I can live without you, but I don’t want to.” and after all our years together, that is still the case. Mushy? Maybe, but true.

The time nears and the packing starts.  Maybe one day when I am making money through writing, either he won’t have to go or I can go with him.  Who knows, but for now, we have to go through this ritual and I live in awe of the people who do this on a regular basis.  We are pack and separation is unnatural.

A stressy day.

Ok, so it hasn’t been a particularly stressful day but irksome would probably be more accurate.  I had many plans, but for some reason I don’t feel like I have achieved much.  I have started making a check list every day.  It’s mainly for one reason and that is to make sure jobs get done, so that I have enough time to write.

I read a blog this morning which issued a challenge and I decided to take it up.  For the next 30 days, I am going to make sure I swim for 30 minutes.  I do have this procrastinating attitude to exercise and although I promise myself faithfully that I will stick to my regime, I can be found convincing myself that 3 times a week is enough and I’ve done them already.  By swimming first thing when I get up, it gets it out of the way and I can concentrate on other things.  In theory anyway.

That done, I then turn to phone calls and annoyingly having to sort out something that I thought had been organised yesterday, but no, apparently it’s too difficult to give me the correct number when I first ring in.  I have to waste time, my frustration and phone calls to get someone to answer the question.  Nothing too bad, just a little irritating.

Then shopping.  Food shopping is one of my least favourite things to do without my hubby on hand.  It’s always way too heavy for me to lift inside in one go and invariably one of the bags breaks.  Then there’s finding a home for it all.  Boring!  Never mind though, it has to be done, so off I go.  I notice that the door lock spins a couple of times before locking, but it’s done it before, so I wasn’t too bothered.

I bought a box.  It’s a collapsible plastic thing.  Perfect, I think.  I can get quite a lot of shopping in there.  It will fit in the boot of the car and stuff won’t roll around.  Pleased with myself for my organising head, I pack all the fruit, veggies and bottles in it, wheel the trolley to the car and… Find the boot of the car full of equipment. Husbands car! No other box is going to fit in there.

There is is a law here in Spain, that prohibits “stuff” being put on the seats and it’s a hefty fine if you are caught.  Ok, I can’t put it there then. I know, I’ll put it in the front footwell.  So I pick it up and realise it’s really heavy.  In fact, it’s so heavy that the box suddenly seems a bit flimsy.  Add to the fact that the temperature has soared into  the 30’s and I am struggling in full sunshine to manoeuvre this box that weighs a ton, between 2 parked cars to open the passenger door and deposit said box.  I wheeze and sweat and manage to get it in, only to find it’s about 2 cm too big and the door won’t close.  Oh joy.

The box ends up, with some not too gentle persuasion, balanced precariously on top of the stuff in the boot.  I drive home, praying that it won’t fall and break the eggs.  Luckily the eggs did survive, but yes, it fell.

I had to make a couple of trips to get things upstairs to my front door and the sun was not letting up.  I arrived there, overheated and in need of a drink, with my hands full and a bag of rapidly melting ice cream that I had, kindly,  bought for my husband, only to find that I couldn’t get in.  The front door key was just spinning and spinning I the lock.  Wonderful, thinks me and I ring my husband.

Suffice it to say that I eventually got in.  My head was pounding with the sun, my shoulders feel like I’ve just done 10 rounds with Lennox Lewis and it’s now much later than I expected.  Lunch, that’s what I need. So I start to prepare something and plan what I need to do next.  I have an hour of ironing, then cleaning for guests that are arriving on Thursday, I want to do some writing and I also need an hour practicing the piano.  I also have a gig tonight and looking at how many hours I don’t have left, I realise something is not going to get done.  Then the phone rings.

Its the owner of the bar that I am working at on Saturday.  Cancelling!  Great!!  No work, no money and little chance now of getting another gig at such short notice.  So my day has been irksome.  It is a day designed to take away pleasure.

This is now a decision for me to make.  Do I remain irked or shall I change it.  Well, first thing now is to take some pain killers to get rid of the tension headache, to have a quick jacuzzi to wind down and then enjoy my night.  I chose, you see, to change it.  Tonight I get to sing to some fabulous people in a fabulous place that has a view to die for.  The breeze will be in my hair and the music will flow.  Life doesn’t get much better than that!!

 

Tiredness versus Blogging

The idea of my blog is for me to write everyday but, yesterday was impossible.  So I ask myself, is it really possible to commit to this everyday?  Even today I have the perfect excuse not to bother and that excuse is exhaustion.    It is a very content exhaustion that stems from work well done but nevertheless it’s hard to write when all I want to do is switch off my brain and sleep.  It is however, only 6.30 and I am sure, most will agree, that’s it’s too early.

As someone that has hereditary high cholesterol, despite being a vegan and not eating much fat at all, I have decided to up my exercise level in order to try and reduce this potentially dangerous substance in my body.  Reassured by my instructor that Zumba would be beneficial to my weak, held together with titanium rods back, I enrolled in her class.  The first week was great.  I kept the intensity low as I was a little worried and was pleasantly surprised that I was not at all stiff or aching the next morning.

Feeling that I was onto a winner, I boldly attended another class on Thursday night and, having been lulled into a false sense of security by my previous success, entered into it with more verve.  Mistake!! Two thirds of the class later and I was in pain.  My back hurt and the pain shot down my leg and into my foot.  Perfect indicators that a I am not as strong as I would like to be and time to tone it down a bit.  Lesson learnt.  Zumba needs to remain low impact.

Once home the pain travelled upwards and I went to bed wincing with a migraine.  I awoke on Friday to find my shoulders had elevated to my ears with tension and my brain was groggy.  My eyes felt cloudy and I struggled to get out of bed.  After a tedious lunchtime meeting that went on far too long and then teaching a vocal session, I tried to prepare for my evening gig.  On taking my brand new dress out of the washing machine, I found splashes of blue dye all over the light pink material.  The conclusion is that dyeing other clothes in the machine to give them extra life, has in fact cost me more.  So gutted about my dress,  I hurriedly hunted for something else to wear.

Time was of the essence, as I had a long drive ahead, so I threw things into bags, chose clothes that would do, although not perfect, and shoved my gear into the car.  Feeling that the day had gone from bad to worse and dreading the drive ahead, I called my husband on my hands free.  Even that wasn’t working properly and I hung up, unable to have my little moan and feeling very frustrated.

Working day and night is difficult for anyone and it often seems to be a case of feast or famine. It’s either sit around all day and earn nothing or run around like crazy and earn well.  If only there was something in the middle.

It was at this point that I decided I needed to calm down and be grateful instead of harassed and stressed.  So I sang and warmed up my voice, gave thanks for the beautiful countryside and the fantastic gig I was going to and guess what?  It worked.

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i arrived at my destination easily, met some fantastic people, giggled with friends and enjoyed the fabulous singers that were also on the show.   My first set was a little gentle, starting with Dock of a bay and ending with the classical Nella Fantasia, but the final set was a blast.  There was no way I was letting those people sit down.  I played and sang one dance tune after another until, not only they were breathless, but so was I.  They called for more as I tried to leave and I gave them a rendition of All that Jazz from Chicago.  They even danced to that.

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There are times in a performers life when you wish you had stayed at home.  The audience is surly and doesn’t  want to know you, and nothing you do is right. These are the worst times because an act is only as good as their audience.  It can be demoralising, frustrating and kick your self esteem from under you.  Many people think we do the job because we are confident and want the acclaim. Some of us do, I suppose, but I do it because music is my passion, my voice is my gift and I am lucky enough to be able to earn a living from it.  It has kept my family fed and clothed and taken me to some wonderful places.

In truth, performers put themselves up for more ridicule and criticism than any other career.  Our spirits can take a nose dive with every negative comment because our talent is so personal to us.  However, even if no one makes a comment, you always know when it’s a good gig and the feeling of warmth that emanates from a crowd that is enjoying your show, is second to none.  Last night was one of those.

I drove the long journey home on a high, knowing I had done my job.  The adrenalin gave me enough energy to make it and even though it was really late, it still took me a long time to wind down enough to sleep.

Today, I hosted my radio show and had a great time, but now, there is no adrenalin.  Tomorrow is a day off,  my body is going into relax or relapse mode and my brain is shutting down all functions apart from the necessary.

Is is it possible to blog when exhausted?  Yes.  My feelings of gratefulness abound and I am so happy that being grateful turned a disaster of a day into a night that I will remember for a long time.

Get rich quick

We have always had a phrase within our family, that there is no such thing as a free lunch.  If something looks too good to be true, then is usually is.

 

I had someone contact me through my blog and I have just spent the entire afternoon listening to high sales pitches from various videos about how to make money and change my life for $25 per month.  My head is ringing and many a time my finger hovered over the buy now button.  Yes, I want to change my life. Yes, I would like to earn a little more money.  So many testimonials, so much pressure.  In fact, I did press the buy now button but I didn’t fill out any of the forms.  If I had done, $25 per month would disappear from my bank account for time immemorial.  And the product they were selling? A viral blog selling high value goods.

 

it all sounded fantastic but I remember coming across something like this a few years ago.  Another get rich scheme, but the guy in charge of that set up actually admitted to being ruthless and selling online self help books to people who were too “stupid”  (his words not mine) to realise they were just get rich schemes for the sellers and he actually stated he didn’t care if the books didn’t help.  He was preying on the vulnerable in order to own a big house and top of the range sports car.  What’s scary is that I see his style of blog page and the “download the book” button on so many pages.

 

While eventually I would like to sell my own book via my blog and I don’t want to decry anyone else doing it, I can’t help but worry about the culture that makes you pay for a little common sense.  I want to gain knowledge about building a better site and I want gain information about how to do it, but I can’t help feeling these things are all too good to be true.  They seem to be based on the old pyramid selling schemes, where the only people really making money are the guys at the top.  Is it crazy that I want to learn how to build and improve my blog from scratch and more importantly, that I want to do the work??

Maybe the old cynical side of me is rearing it’s head again.   I don’t know for sure, but there are certain things I have learned.  If I ask the question, I get the answer.  So I will wait for now.  I started this blog just to write, to pursue my desire, get feedback from others and that is what I have done.  Today logic dictated that I stick to my guns.  Keep my $25 in my bank, keep writing learning and carry on with this wonderful happy feeling I get every time I post.