Friday, 29 June 2012

Absence makes the heart grow fonder...hopefully

I have been off the radar for a long time now, I know that.  A lot of things came up, all at once and I let this blog lapse, as a result of changing priorities.  I apologise for the terrible gap this must have left in your life.  But it's ok, you can stop crying now.  I'm back and I'm going to try my best to stay. 

So I'll try and fill in the gaps over the next few weeks, starting with the ten days I spent in the South of France with my mum and her partner, helping my aunt and her partner re-build a house.  By helping, I mean that for the most part I ensured that I didn't get in the way while they got on and re-built the house.  Nothing worse than having someone under your feet while you're trying to re-build a house, right?  I'm very considerate that way.

The house is in the middle of nowhere.  Literally.  It's a ten minute drive to the nearest post box.  I didn't really know what I was getting into when I signed up for going.  I was kinda sold it as a free holiday in the South of France, with a little light labour thrown in.  "Cool," I thought.  Sounds good. 

Then I found out that the house was in slightly worse nick that I'd been led to believe.  As in, there were no rooms that were habitable for us to stay in.  Ok, maybe there was one in the loft but, BUT, they did have this small problem of a loir infestation in that room.  'But that's ok!  Really!  Yes, they are small and mouse-like, and yes, they do make a hell of a nocturnal, squeaky racket and yes, they do have a tendency to run across your face in the middle of the night!  But they're quite cute really.  Really.'

Errrrrrrrrrrr......... Right.

So, yay.  I was going to stay in a shack for ten days, with small mouse-like squirrels trying to eat my eyes out in the middle of the night.  Oh, and did I mention that apparently there was no internal plumbing.  As in NO TOILET.   Oh hells bells.  I should be receiving payment for signing up for this.  THIS IS SO NOT WHAT I WAS LED TO BELIEVE IT WOULD BE.  Crap.

 Nevertheless, let it never be said that I am not fearless and intrepid, or willing to turn down a free holiday, and so off we set to experience what could be the worst holiday of my life.  At least it would be sunny.  It was late April after all.  It would be sunny, right?

Hahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!!!!!

Nope. 

It was not. 

It rained for the entire ten days.  Actually, come to think of it, it hasn't really stopped raining since.

However, on the upside, when we got there, it turned out that the glass was missing from the window in the upstairs loft room.  You may be confused as to why this was an upside.  Well, please try to keep up, you're holding up the whole class.  Obviously it is an upside because it meant that a barn owl had flown through the window and eaten all the loirs!  Yesssssssss!  My eyes were safe. They were grateful. 

But the loft room was still way too dingy for me.  I wasn't sleeping up there.  There was only one place in the whole house I was willing to stay and that was on the cosy sofa in the living room, next to the fire.  Does that mean that I'm in everyone's way in the morning?  Oh well.  Sorry folks.  Life isn't always fair.  Mum and her bloke ended up sleeping in the loft room.  I mean, yes, the roof leaked, but that was ok because they pitched a tent inside the room and screwed the guy ropes straight into the floor!  Did I mention it was a bit rustic?!

Still, it was very pretty and french looking on the outside (taken by dashing outside in a rare moment of dry weather):


You can see the missing window!

It was not as charming inside.  You'll experience the joy of that in the next installment.  It's worth the wait.  Trust me!

firefly
xxx








Wednesday, 4 April 2012

Ha ha ha ha!!

Let me start by saying this:  You know those lovely blogs where the interesting writing is cleverly interspersed with beautiful photos that make you want the life of the person posting them?  Yeah?  Well this blog isn't like that.   Not remotely.  Sorry.  I am who I am!  You have been warned.  :)

So, with that out of the way, you remember that I promised you that I would publish my photos from my Holga, as and when I had them developed?  Well, folks, the time has come. 

I would like to make the point that I never promised they would be good!

What follows is a collection that I have giving the inspired title of:

"Blurry Spring"






And now for your viewing pleasure, I introduce a stunning collection I have called:

"Snow.  With Alpaca Overtones."

(Which also shows just how long it has taken for me to get these photos developed!)





And now, for the finale, my favourite photo of them all.

So special in fact, that it gets its own title. 

Allow me to introduce:

'KIPPER.  The Dog God.'

(Also known as 'The Shepherd and her Flock')

(Also known as 'I Clearly Forgot to Wind the Film On')




And that, folks, is what happens when a completely incompetent photographer is given a camera that requires some form of basic skill to operate.  More practise needed, me thinks.  :) 

firefly x

Wednesday, 28 March 2012

I suck at this

Once again I have to apologise for my long unexplained absence.  I'm a bad blogger!  But, in my defence, my to-do list has been rather jam packed recently.  Here, in no particular order, is a small excerpt:

- Make GP's appointment for pre-op tests.
- Find out whether I can claim incapacity benefit during my operation recovery period.
- Re-list ebay items that didn't sell.
- Learn how to build a bio-diesel processor (have you SEEN the price petrol is now?! This is MM's new project.)
- Learn how to build a house (Long story.  No, I'm not kidding.  More on that another time.)
- Pack for holiday in three weeks in South of France. (First holiday in years! Yay!) Weather could be anything, so must pack for all eventualities.  I'm going to help my Aunt build a house there.  This, believe it or not, is not at all connected to the point above.
- Develop Holga film.  Poor neglected little camera.
- Find out where to safely dispose of needles. For the meds I need to take after my op.  Not because my to-do list has driven me to drugs.  Although at times it's a close fought battle.  I joke, I joke.  Just say no, kids. 
- Stop downloading and reading the Hunger Game books on my Kindle so I can get some SLEEP!
- And last, but by no means least, wage un-holy war on Santander.

Oh Santander.  Everyone knows how appalling your customer service is, so I shouldn't be disappointed, shocked or totally OUTRAGED at how you're behaving.  I shouldn't.  But I am. 

I had my mortgage with Santander.  I sold the house on the 14th Feb 2012 (thanks to my magic rug!).  For whatever reason, Santander had failed to let my solicitors know the amount I needed to pay to pay off my mortgage so, on the day, in desperation, I rang Santander myself to find out.

Here is where it is important to point out that I am NOT a bank.  I do NOT have a computer in front of me giving me all the figures.  I am NOT to know whether I am given the right figure.  I have to trust Santander to give me the correct information.  The lesson here folks? DON'T trust Santander to give you the correct information.  Because they didn't.

Turns out I didn't pay enough back to clear the mortgage, because they told me the wrong amount.  Did they let me know this?  Hahahahahahaha.  No, of course not!!!

So, several weeks later in the middle of March, I suddenly find I have run out of money.  Where the hell has it all gone?  I'm not a particularly careless spender.  So I investigate.  Oh.  Hi Santander.  You're still taking mortgage payments by Direct Debit.  WTF?

I rang.  I politely asked them what the hell they thought they were doing?  It was now over a month since I had paid off the mortgage.  And it is only at this point that I find out that there is a shortfall.  Excuse me?  Why would that be?  Oh, right, because you screwed up.  And you now want me to pay?!  How the hell is that fair? 

Santander, I asked you specifically for a redemption amount.  And you gave me what you said was a redemption figure to pay.  I PAID IT!  I've done my bit.  Now hands off my dosh.  And you can give back the money you've taken as well.  I need it for luxuries like RENT!!

To cut a painfully long story short, as it stands, I don't have my money back.  Oh, and they want more now.  You know, coz they cocked up and so I should pay.  Isn't that how the world works?

To be fair, they did offer to make a gesture of goodwill.  I was listening... 

Santander: "We'll give you back the money we took from your account." 

Me: "Oh, well.  Thank you, that's very ki..."

Santander: "But." 

Me: "But?"

Santander: "But that money will still be owed on your mortgage account, so your solicitors will still have to pay off the full amount before we can sign off your mortgage.  So....we're not sure how you want to sort that out."

Me - something along the lines of:  "What fricking planet are you on?  Who do you think is going to have to pay my solicitors that money?!  The fricking fairies from the magical land of 'Delusional'??  No, funnily enough.  It's me.  So you want to give the money back to me "as a gesture of goodwill" so that I can pay it to my solicitors, so that they can pay it back to you?  In what cocking universe is that a "gesture of goodwill"?" 

I believe I then went on to use the word "farcical" and said that in no way did I accept their ridiculous 'gesture of goodwill' because it wasn't actually a gesture.  It was a joke. 

Because I was speaking to the complaints department by this point, my outrage was met with many soothing comments along the lines of, "I totally understand, madam" and "I can of course see your point, madam" and then they said they would escalate my complaint.  And I would receive a letter. 

Hopefully this time it will be sent to the address where I actually now live, and not to the house they know I sold months ago.  Which is where they sent all my other letters apparently.  Because, of course, that's the best way to reach me. Duh.

murderously yours,

firefly xxx

Thursday, 22 March 2012

Inappropriate content probably not suitable for my mother

There.  Now she can't say she wasn't warned.

So, I am a girl.  And, as a girl, I have from time to time, over the years, engaged in so called "girl talk."

And, as everyone knows, the scientific formula for girl talk is 10% gossip, 5% bitching and 80% sex talk.  What about the other 5%, you say?  Oh, that's alcohol.  This percentage can often be much much higher.

So it is merely inevitable that, over time, I have amassed an impressive collection of truly horrifying, hilarious and sometimes downright wrong sex stories.  And it seems a royal shame for all of these stories to be stuck inside my head (actually, at times it can be rather disturbing).  So I thought, "Hey Internet, time to share!"

Here's one of my favourites:

My uni housemate goes out to a party and meets a guy.  She thinks he's tall and cute, and they dance and drink the night away.

I imagine she then shyly invited him back for coffee, or used some other handy euphemism. (Actually, knowing her, she probably didn't bother with the euphemism!)  I can vouch for the tall and cute, because he had to run the gauntlet of my living room past a bunch of gawking, giggly girls (including me), as my housemate attempted to drag him to her room as quickly as possible. 

So next morning, noting the lack of cute, tall guys haunting our kitchen, we obviously enquired as to how her night went.  And here's where it gets good (or bad, depending who you are in this story!).

Firstly, it apparently turns out that being tall is no indication of anything else being in proportion.  Now, no judgement, but when you have deliberately chosen a tall guy with an end result in mind, it can be disappointing, I imagine, to discover that vital inches are missing.  So, considering that this guy was apparently almost inversely proportionate to his height in that area, their night of passion was already off to a bad start.

But then it sank to a whole new level.  He failed to rise to the occasion.  Strike number 2.  It's not looking good.  But maybe we can cut him some slack here (hehehe, bad pun), after all he had been drinking all night.  But then he put the nail in the coffin with this classic line:

"I'm sorry.  This doesn't usually happen to me.  But then I mostly sleep with guys."

Love it.

firefly xxx

Tuesday, 20 March 2012

Inevitability is...

...your friend asking you to pick up two chocolate flake bars for her, and devouring one before even arriving at her house.

Whoops.

firefly xx

Wednesday, 14 March 2012

Angry

I went to yoga yesterday (some of you may remember that this is part of my brilliant "lying down" exercise plan).

I was struggling to do one of the positions, which often happens as my DDH (developmental dysplasia of the hips) causes problems and means I can't move in certain ways.

My yoga teacher told me that I was holding on to some emotion, most likely to do with my upcoming operation, and that it was seizing me up.  She's very good at this.  As someone pretty sceptical about spiritual aspects, I still can't help being impressed at how she has this incredible ability to poke and prod various bits of your body, and then tell you exactly what is going on in your head.

So later, I decided to have a think about it.  Explore my emotions surrounding my operation, so to speak. 

Up until then, if you'd asked me how I felt about my upcoming operation (17th May - make a note people) I guess I would have said I felt scared.  And since that's not a helpful emotion to me, my coping strategy has generally been just not to think about it. 

But I faced up and I thought about it, and thought about how I feel about everything I'm going to go through, and I realised that actually I was really angry about it all.  Really, REALLY angry! Which was unexpected. 

I was 'who the hell decided that I should have to go through all of this crap, anyway?' kind of angry.

When I talked to MM later that evening, I was still angry.  I was aware that there was no logical reason to be angry, or indeed anyone really to be angry at, but boy, oh boy, was I mad.

I know that there are people in this world with problems that make mine pale in comparison.  And actually, on most days, I appreciate that I am incredibly lucky just to be able to walk.  If I had been born maybe 50 years earlier, I could possibly have been in a wheelchair my whole life.

But yesterday, I didn't want to hear that.  MM tried to point this all out to me, and got an earful.  "WHO THE HELL DO THEY THINK THEY ARE TO DO THIS TO ME?!" I yelled.  "I wasn't even given a bloody CHOICE!"  "I didn't ask for this STUPID BROKEN body, and I don't want it.  I bloody don't.  I don't want to have to be dealing with any of this crap.  I'm out.  I choose NOT to have stupid, CRAPPY, broken hips.  I am DONE with this shit."   

Incidentally, in case the above is not clear, I was not angry with the doctors, or with my parents, or myself.  No, no.  I was angry with the UNIVERSE.  I have no idea who the "they" are that I was angry at, but boy I wanted to pound them into the ground.  Who chose to put me through this, huh? HUH?  Yeah, well they'd be sorry when I got my hands on them. 

"And, AND" I continued to MM, "They didn't even have the decency to make me 6 foot tall, did they?  Noooooo.  They take away my ability to wear high heels, like EVERY. OTHER. normal 26 year old girl gets to do, and just for FUN, they also made me 5 foot pissing 1!!  So I look 12 years old and completely stupid wearing flat shoes.  THAT'S JUST TAKING THE PISS, THAT IS!  Jeez!"

All this time, there had been silence on the other end of the phone.  MM was clearly a little stumped as to how to respond to this rant against the universe. 

But then, when I finally paused for breath, he said quietly, "But if you had been made 6 foot tall, I wouldn't be going out with you, would I?"

That shut me up.

It's all about perspective people. 

So thank you, universe, for not making me 6 foot tall, and thank you for MM.  I stand by all my other points though, ok?  OK???  Good.

firefly xx

Tuesday, 13 March 2012

Stupidity

Hmmph.  Just got home to discover that I left the lights on in my bedroom all day.

Some bloody eco-warrior I am, eh?  Muppet.

firefly x

Frustration

Hmmm.  So, I'm still on my green living plan.  So far this has involved little more than turning lights and appliances off where possible.  This is because when I do something, I like to do it right.  Which means research.  Which, in this case, means complete and total confusion!!

My feelings towards being eco friendly are pretty straightforward.  I appreciate that the impact that I can have as an individual is practically non-existent.  However, if every individual did their bit, then the impact could be monumental.  So I choose to start with me.  Also, I accept who I am as a person.  And this person does not embrace the idea of a life of deprivation or dirt.  So I will not move to a mud hut, or give up washing or, indeed, give up my television!  However, if there are changes I can make to be more environmentally friendly, without having a seriously negative impact on my lifestyle, then I'm game.  I think that a lot of people would be more open to the idea of saving the environment if it was approached this way.  I also appreciate that serious environmentalists will consider this approach pathetic and useless.  But they can all hush up.  Because at least it's something.  At least I'm TRYING!  Believe me, if you'd met me 2 years ago, you'd be amazed that I am even open to the concept.  That's called progress, people. 

So there are a couple of things I decided straight away.  For instance, no more brand new clothes, unless eco friendly.  But preferably none at all.  This suits me fine.  HELLOOOOO charity shops.  Ebay.  Gumtree and Freecycle.  You name it.  :)  It's fun, I can feel good about it and it's also cheap.  Replacing light bulbs with long life ones is also a no brainer, although, admittedly I am waiting for the old ones to give out first.  And this is where things get tricky. There's a lot of mixed info out there.  Should I be throwing out the old light bulbs straight away (landfill issues there) and replacing?  But, as they are still working, that seems wasteful, which is another environmental no-no.  What about cleaning products?  As has conclusively been established on this blog already, I am no neat freak!  So I am happy to consider and try eco-friendly cleaning products as, even if they don't work as well (which is often their criticism), no doubt they will work well enough for me.  But two issues here, firstly being: how eco friendly is eco friendly enough? 

I have this issue with a lot of the stuff I'm coming across.  Take bamboo clothes for instance.  On the surface this is marketed as a eco friendly genius plan.  Bamboo is an incredibly sustainable source, with none of the issues that the cotton industry has.  It's soft and durable.  Yay!  Bamboo clothes get a tick.  But wait.  Do they though?  Look into it for more than 5 mins (I have. It was dull.) and you find that the production techniques and chemicals used to turn bamboo fibres into something that can be woven, are far FAR from ecologically friendly, nine times out of ten.  Bugger.  So you're back to square one.  

So applying this issue to the cleaning product thing again:  When a product SAYS it's eco friendly, I can't be sure whether it actually is, or whether it's a marketing tool to make me buy it and feel good.  And, unless I drastically develop my scientific knowledge to actually know the impact of all those long words on the back, I just can't know!  I am not a scientist.  I am a normal, conscientious person who would like to make the right choice.  Someone just tell me what it is!!!

My second issue on the cleaning product front is similar to the light bulb thing:  I now know that the cleaning products I use are doing massive harm to our environment and water systems.  Male fish are turning into female fish due to the mix of chemicals and hormones (probably from the pill) now washing around in our waterways.  It's true.  Google it!  Given that this is also our drinking water source, I find this insanely scary.  Can I fix it?  No.  But I would like to try and reduce the contribution that I am making towards it getting worse.  Especially since there are alternatives.  SO - no more nasty chemicals.  OK.  But what do I do with all the products I have left?  Use them up?  Seems to go against the new clean living plan, doesn't it?  Do I throw them away?  So they also end up in landfill and are still causing contamination.  Man, it's hard. 

So the whole thing is proving harder than I thought.  There is a serious dearth of true environmentally friendly alternatives out there.  Especially toiletries.  Environmentally friendly toothpaste anyone?!  Jeez.  Yes, they exist but frankly they look disgusting and I have serious doubts over whether some of them would work.  Plus, I can only get them over the Internet.  Which, again, is hardly the best way to buy toothpaste.  It's like it having its own personal chauffeur, when I can walk to Boots in my lunch break! (Side note: Toothpaste chauffeur = interesting new career idea.)

I think the moral of this story is that, currently, there is no perfect solution.  I can try my best but there will always be a compromise until more, truly eco friendly options, are made available on the high street and in mainstream stores. 

However, in an attempt not to add to the questions, but to try and provide some answers, I will let you know the best solutions I have found to my above problems.  I'm nothing if not helpful!

Clothes, towels, sheets etc:  Organic cotton currently seems to be the best choice.  That is, until bamboo starts being manufactured in a more environmentally friendly fashion.

Cleaning products:  A lot can be done with some baking soda/bicarbonate of soda and vinegar.  There are recipes ALL OVER the Internet on how to make your own cleaning products but I have not tried any yet.  I intend to, and I will let you know how it goes.  If you haven't all died of boredom by then, that is.  Failing that, I believe Ecover products are popular and widely available.  I have neither tried nor particularly researched them, but they are definitely better than your standard chemical brands, and seem an easy switch to make.  Also, I today came across a possible solution for my "use up or throw out" problem for chemical products.  Someone on a forum suggested giving them away to a cleaning company, on the basis that they will be using and buying them anyway.  Not a perfect solution, but at least something I guess.  I'm still considering which way to go.  I guess I just need to get over the hurdle of having wasted a load of money on all this stuff. Grrr.

And as for toothpaste, etc.:  Well, I'm putting together a mish-mash really.  I'm buying Aveeno moisturisers, which are naturally sourced and also make an effort as a company to be eco friendly and ethical in their manufacturing.  I believe Origins are also good.  I have also, today, discovered the haven that is Holland and Barrett!  Never having been particularly health conscious, I have never had the need to step foot in there before.  But guess what they sell?  Environmentally friendly toothpaste!  Or at least as environmentally friendly as I am likely to get.  Yay!  They also sell eco friendly shampoos, conditioners and face products.  I have to confess that I AM going to wait until my current products run out before experimenting with these.  I'm not made of money after all.  But I believe that I may have found some things I can introduce into our household without MM hitting the roof and acting like I'm making him wear a hair shirt.  Oh, and I bought a Mooncup.  It's a sanitary product and I'm not gonna be graphic about it.  Women, if you're interested, google it.  I am sceptical and unsure, but had to give it a go.  Especially when you find out that our beaches are strewn with washed up, used, sanitary products.  It's enough to make a girl go right off her organic cornflakes!!

carbon-neutrally yours,

firefly xx

P.S.  Organic cornflakes are DISGUSTING.  I am NOT recommending them in any way, shape or form.  Ick. 



Wednesday, 7 March 2012

I have the best friends

One of my best friends gave me this a little while ago:


"I baked something for you honey" she said.

Because I am a kind and appreciatiatve person, I replied, "But sweetie, your baking is crap!  Why, dear god why, would you give me something you've baked?!"

"I used ready made gingerbread dough" she said.  And I smiled.

This is what she made me:


They were really pretty.  And really yummy.

I love my friend dearly.  She makes me baked goods that don't taste like feet.  She rocks. :)

firefly x

Monday, 5 March 2012

Whoops

Hey there little bloggie people of blog land.  I'm so sorry I abandoned you for so long.

I don't really know what happened, I just got all busy and that, and then MM came home and hogged the computer all weekend, so my poor little blog world got neglected.  I suck, I know.  I'll write loads now to make up for it and bore the pants off you.  You'll be longing for the days of silence. 

So anyway, what did you all get up to over the weekend?  Mine was quite busy, at least by my standards.

On Friday I went out to dinner with some friends (who aren't really friendly friendly friends, but more an extended group of people that I know by name, you know?  No?  Oh well, just me then).  I had a surprisingly good time, given I didn't really know any of them particularly well.  We went to Prezzo and boy were we LOUD!!! Luckily we were in a private room, but seriously, the moment we sat down, it seemed like a contest for who could shout the loudest.  My ears were ringing by the end.  Oh, and I won the contest ultimately.   Of course.  I always do.  If in doubt...shout! :)

I was also rocking my new(ish) dress I had bought from a local charity shop for £4.50.  If there's one thing I love about this recession (and let's be honest, there's not much) it's the fact that it is now a point of pride amongst girls as to how cheap you can buy a decent outfit.  I'll take your new flowery jumpsuit from Primark for £11.99 and raise you one second hand, but totally looks new, H&M dress from CancerResearch for £4.50!  Hell yeah, bitch.  (I don't speak like that by the way, before you all send hate mail.  But my fingers certainly type that way, and they do the talking on here. So 'ave it.  Punks.)

So, awesome dress, awesome food and funny people (at least from what I could make out of the conversation amongst all the shouting) = decent Friday night.  They were also really sweet and didn't make me chip in for the alcohol portion of the bill.  I wouldn't have minded, as I did have a glass of wine (just one as I was driving) but they wouldn't let me and 'bought me out' at the last minute.  I was strangely touched.  Generosity is surprisingly rare, especially amongst people you aren't that close to.

So....then Saturday.  I gardened.  If you read this and you know me, you just fell over from shock.  I'll wait while you collect yourself.  OK now?  Good. 

Yeah, I'm kinda on this healthy eating, saving money and (more recently) saving the planet kick.  It won't last long I'm sure.  My fads rarely do.  But in the meantime, I may do something horrific like blog about bamboo socks or some-such nonsense.  I ask that you bear with me during this difficult time.

So, given I live on a farm like property (read: lots and lots of outdoor space) with my mother who LOVES gardening, and since I resent giving my hard earned cash to the massive corporations who frankly need it less than me, I decided to have a stab at growing my own veg.  Actually, I decided this sometime last year.  Probably about the same time I decided to clear my desk.

[Quick update: my desk currently looks like this:

Yes, that's a robot at the front there.  What's your point?]

So, I finally had the motivation to garden and it happily coincided with a lovely sunny day.  After it had stopped raining of course.  So I went outside and whined at my mother to teach me to grow bountiful goodness, until she stopped what she was doing and showed me.  Then I asked how to garden without getting dirt under my fingernails and she gave me a look that suggested I may have been swapped at birth with another baby, and where, oh dear god where, was her real daughter.  Because my mum is the kind of gardener who thinks you're a sissy if you wear gloves, let alone worry about dirt under your fingernails.

So we got over that little speed bump and I started gardening.  I will now demonstrate the important steps to an enjoyable gardening experience:

1.  Watch Gok on Channel 4 until the rain stops.  Learn how to "Look Good Naked". 

2. Whine at experienced gardener that you don't know what you are doing or how to set anything up, until they give in and practically do everything for you.  Works best on a parent or close relative.

3.  Ensure that you have spent at least three-six months threatening to garden and demanding space from your poor mother/experienced gardener so that they have already done the hard work, and made you beautiful, well fertilised planting beds.  You then say, "Oh, you shouldn't have.  I would have done that.  Thank you".  Really, it's only polite, people.

4.  Put the kettle on the gas hob to boil. 

5.  Arrange yourself in a suitably sunny spot, and have seed trays and seeds nearby (brought to you by your mother, so you don't have to get up).

6.  Remember you have left the kettle boiling and dash inside.  Curse inwardly as other members of the family demand a brew and you realise you will need to refill the kettle with more water.  Put the refilled kettle back on the hob to boil.

7.  Plant seeds thinly in seed trays filled with suitable compost.  Wet compost first.  Do not forget Every. Single. Time. to do this. 


8.  Suddenly remember kettle is boiling and dash inside again.  Make cuppa's for all demanding and unreasonable family members, and one for yourself.

9.  Reposition yourself in the sun.  Slowly drink tea and wonder why you have never gardened before.  It's fabulous.


So that was my Saturday folks.

And on Sunday?  Well on Sunday it snowed.  WTF right?! So MM and I did nothing and chilled out.  Lovely jubbly.

green-fingeredly(?) yours,

firefly xxx

Tuesday, 28 February 2012

Weird

Why is it that I cry Every. Single. Time. when watching One Born Every Minute?

I'm strangely in love with this programme at the moment.  Don't ask me why.  Makes no sense, least of all to me.

firefly x

Wednesday, 22 February 2012

Random thought

Can you be both a cynic and a romantic?

Because I think I am.  For instance, I like the idea of Valentine's day.  A day devoted to love and special people in your life = Romantic, right?  However, I deeply object to the commercial aspect of Valentine's day where every card shop, restaurant and florist whacks up their prices to cash in on this one particular day and peddles the idea that if you DON'T buy your significant other a bunch of extortionately priced flowers that are going to die within a week, then you are a BAD BAD person = Cynic.  But, you have to admit, it's hard to be otherwise when adverts appear on the radio promoting special Valentine's deals for CAR DEALERSHIPS!  I mean, really.

MM and I have worked round this particular obstacle by postponing Valentine's day for a month.  Yup, we're going to go out, have a lovely meal and exchange gifts on March 14th.  And save a bunch of cash in the process.  I say, win win. 

However, my issues with Valentine's day are merely the tip of the iceberg.  My personal dichotomy between romance and cynicism runs much deeper.  (Yup, I said dichotomy.  A tutor once said it in a lecture and I thought he sounded like a pretentious knobhead.  So it's ok if you now think the same about me. I just wanted to sound smart.)  See, I am in love and happy.  And, if I'm honest, that's all I've ever kinda wanted from my life.  I've been in long term relationships pretty much constantly since 16 and I'm now fairly certain that I'm settled.  Yes, I am working extremely hard to set up a successful career for myself and I certainly have a sense of satisfaction as to how well I am getting on so far and I enjoy it.  But I don't dream of being Managing Director or anything.  I am in direct contrast to my sister in this regard, by the way.  She is set to take over the world and simply doesn't have time for relationships.  They hold you back, man.

So I class myself as a romantic.  However, I'm the type of romantic that turns round to MM and says things like, "I can't wait for the day when we get to buy a house and start a proper life together forever" and then in the next breath follows it up with, "I'll look into what kind of paperwork we should put in place so that if things do fall apart, we're both protected."  Seriously, what kind of romantic says that??  Some would say it's wise.  Others, that I'm bitter.  (Yes, I'm a child of divorce.  No, I don't think that's the entire reasoning behind all this, although I'm sure it plays its part). 

It has its down sides, this 'oh so sensible' side of me.  It means that when one of my best friends told me she was engaged and buying a house with a guy she'd been with for six months, I didn't do what I was supposed to, which was give her a massive hug and say how excited I was for her (and possibly squeal a bit).  At least, I didn't do that until after I'd looked at her with panic and concern and said, "Well that's awfully quick.  Do you know what you're doing?  Put EVERYTHING in writing."  Which, apparently, isn't the socially acceptable reaction, according to another mutual friend of ours.  Ooops.  Fortunately my friend didn't hold it against me.  And I didn't hold it against her that she ignored me entirely.  :)

Unfortunately, that tends to be my 'go to' reaction when I hear about a couple moving incredibly quickly.  And its not necessarily the way I would like to approach these things.  I would love to hear about a couple that has moved extremely fast and not think, "that doesn't sound wise".    I would also love not to be right quite as often as I am.   

The irony of all this?  I moved very very quickly with MM.  At least by my standards.  We've only been together a year and a half and he had moved in with me at my mum's within 3-4 months.  But I was more sure that he was the right person for me within 6 months, than I was in the entire 4 and a half years I spent with the ex.  And I have yet to doubt that decision. 

However, I don't think I will ever be able to stop the little voice inside my head that says, 'what if?'.  Some might feel that this indicates that I have not met the right person yet.  I don't agree.  I can see MM and I being happy for the rest of our lives together.  He ticks all the boxes.  And I am definitely aware of how it feels to be with the WRONG person, so I am as certain as I can be.  I just think that you can never know what life is going to throw at you.  I can't predict the future, and I am also not arrogant enough to think that I am right when every other couple who breaks up 15 years down the line just got it wrong.  So I will always plan for the worst case scenario.  Maybe that's just what I need to do so that I can go back and enjoy my rose-tinted romance in the secure knowledge that we are both protected should things go wrong.  Does that makes me sensible or just plain weird?  I leave the debate open for you to consider because, frankly, I don't really know the answer.  :)

firefly xx

Tuesday, 21 February 2012

I haven't forgotten you...

It's just that MM has a week off and, because I couldn't get any time off work, I'm spending all my free time making pancakes and watching crappy TV with him.  This means that I can't spend my free time playing around on the internet instead.

So I am afraid, little blog, that you will have to do without me for a few more days. 

But I promise I will be back soon.  :)

firefly x

Friday, 17 February 2012

You win some, you lose some

Hmm, so I won the lottery.  Happy days!  But then found out that my phone bill for last month is £103!!  Ouch!

It's MM's fault.  If only I didn't acutally want to talk to the guy so damn much.  Grrrr. He makes me go over my minutes. 

I think I need to learn how to stop money slipping through my fingers.  It's a skill I have yet to master. 

Despairingly yours,

firefly x

Tuesday, 14 February 2012

THAT'S what I'm talking about!

A while ago my mother pointed out to me that spending my hard earned monies on national lottery tickets was foolish. MM and I had resorted to desperate measures to try and put a house deposit together.  I know, I know.  The fund raising plan of the insane. 

Anyway, she suggested to me that perhaps, if I was really going to go down the wishful thinking route, I should enter the local charity lottery instead.  I was unimpressed.  Sure, there was a better chance of winning something, but I was hardly going to become a millionaire overnight.  But after a while I figured I had little to lose and the ticket money was at least going to charity.  So I sent off my cheque for £13 which gained me entry into the draw for 13 weeks.  And promptly forgot about it.

Soooooooooooooooooooo anyway there was a letter waiting for me when I got home today.  I've only won one FRICKING thousand pounds!  Oh HELL yes!!  Happy happy days.

Cheers for the idea ma!

Newly rich-bitch,

firefly xxx

Happy Valentine's Day!

Hope everyone has a lovely valentine's day! 

firefly xxxxxxx

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Sunday evenings

I hate Sunday evenings.  It's when MM has to go back to work.  I swear it's getting harder to say goodbye.  I miss him the moment he leaves. 

MM come back.  

Oh.  And pick Kipper up on the way.  I miss our walks!

 
firefly x

Friday, 10 February 2012

Pilates and magic rugs


In addition to weekly yoga, I have also started taking a pilates class to strengthen my core, which is also supposed to be really helpful for me when trying to recover from my hip operation.  Also, it is yet another form of exercise that requires a lot of lying down.  Sensing a theme here? 

Anyway, yesterday I didn't make it to my pilates class.  It starts right after work, which means that on Thursdays I have to be pretty sharp about leaving work on the dot in order to make it on time.  Last night I was held up and didn't make it.  The reason for this hold up?  An apparently 'magic' rug.  Yup.  You heard.

See, I am selling my house.  I bought it a while back to do up and live in but, for various reasons, things didn't quite pan out the way I expected (always annoying when life doesn't play ball) and now I am selling it.  And I am due to exchange contracts today.  Exciting stuff!

Which is why it came as something of a shock to receive a message from my estate agent right at the end of yesterday's working day asking me to confirm that the rug in the living room is included in the sale.  My reply?  "Um, no.  It's not.  Thanks."  The rug belongs to my mum and she lent it to me for the photos and viewings.  I figured that that was that.  Strange request, but now cleared up and I prepared to leave for pilates. 

But wait!  The rug saga continued.  Apparently the woman buying the property rang my agent, insisting she must have the rug.  It was an fabulous rug and, (wait for it!) it was only because of the RUG that they had put an offer in on the house.  WHAT??!  Not the new kitchen, or bathroom I had put in.  Nor the lovely new carpet.  No, no.  It was the rug! And apparently now the whole sale was hanging on whether or not she got the damn rug.  Seriously?

I don't like being blackmailed.  I certainly don't like being blackmailed over a rug.  Who does, I ask you?!  I politely suggested to the agent that she may want to rethink her strategy.  And her attachment to the rug.  Ok, ok, I wasn't that polite.  But the point was made.  In addition I pointed out that, if this rug was indeed so special as to sell houses in an instant, I CERTAINLY wasn't giving it up.  It's clearly a magic rug and I may need its powers in the future!   There aren't many magic rugs out there you know?  I mean, this is the first I have ever come across.

By the time this discussion had taken place, I had missed pilates.  All for a magic rug. 

I will let you know how the fight for the rug pans out today.  :)

firefly x

Update:  Sold the house and kept the rug! :)  Don't mess with me, people.  Seriously, don't mess. lol

Wednesday, 8 February 2012

Yoga and flat shoes

I went to yoga last night.  I didn't want to.  It's cold and dark (and snowy!) outside and I was super tired after work.  However, I went. This is due to a variety of factors.  One is that MM is a qualified personal trainer.  He works out FOR FUN!!  Now, I know that this isn't that unusual but it is a totally alien mindset to me.  I do NOT work out for fun.  In fact, I do NOT work out at all!  I can barely climb a set of stairs without collapsing.  I'm probably letting the side down.

This state of affairs has suited me just fine however.  I figured that as long as I still fit in my skinny jeans, that was the only thing I needed to know. 

But the jeans are starting to feel a little tight recently. Ooops. I don't tend to worry about my weight.  It's not in my psyche.  But I'm aware that if I don't start some kind of fitness routine in my twenties then by my forties I may be in trouble.  Especially considering just how much I love eating pizza.  I refuse to stop eating pizza. Ever. 

So...yoga. Path of least resistance towards exercise!  I figured a while back if I have to do something healthy, I may as well pick something that includes lying down at the end of it. 

I have, actually, been going to a yoga class, off and on, for years.  I know it's not going to magically transform me into a toned goddess but it is good for me, not least because I have pretty major problems with my hips (which I was born with) and I imagine maintaining some flexibility is going to keep me going longer than I otherwise would. 

These hips of mine cause me multiple issues.  While I can usually ignore these and carry on with my life, recently I have had to face up to them.  Perhaps a bit more reality that I really wish to deal with. 

See, I was born with DDH.  Also know has Developmental Dysplasia of the Hips (or Hip Dysplasia).  It was overlooked at the hospital when I was born and not picked up until I was two years old.  Obviously I was walking by then (in a fashion) and it became decidedly trickier to fix.  My parents tracked down the best surgeon they could and I spent the next two years in and out of surgery, and in and out of full body plaster casts.

I remember little or nothing of this, thankfully.  Ultimately, it was a success and I ended up with some pretty cool scars to show for it (and yes, I have told people they are as a result of a shark attack in Australia more than once.  Don't judge!). 


Unfortunately, the procedures I had as a child were never going to be a cure and I always knew that one day - in the future - I would need more work done.  However, this always seemed a long way off.  Until 2009.  When I suddenly realised that the pain I had always experienced (and therefore counted as normal) was getting decidedly worse in my left hip.  So I spent some time, tracked down the best surgeon once again, and discovered that actually, apparently, the pain was arthritis and it was only going to get worse.  No-one likes to hear that they have arthritis at 24.  I wasn't thrilled.  Believe me.


Fortunately I was told that I had an option other than a hip replacement.  This being something called a femoral osteotomy.  Rolls off the tongue doesn't it?  (Trust me, the medical jargon only gets worse. Sorry!).  This super fun procedure involved cutting through the bone at the top of my leg and re-jigging everything around so that the hip joint worked better and would last longer without causing me any or as much pain.


I had few choices really.  If I left it much longer, the arthritis was likely to get so bad that the procedure wouldn't actually work and I would be left with a hip replacement as my only option.  If I wasn't over-the-moon about having arthritis at 24, you can appreciate how I felt at the thought of a hip replacement.


So femoral osteotomy it was.  Oh boy, was I naive about the fun that would entail.  I was told I would need to be on crutches for three months, as I couldn't put weight on the operated leg.  "No worries," I thought.  "Plenty I can do on crutches.  Hell, my flat even has a lift.  I might even manage on my own."


Hahahahahahahaha!  No, no, no, no, hell no!  Fortunately my mum persuaded me to move back home, give up my flat and let her look after me.  And even then it was tough! 


The operation was OK, in the scheme of things, but the recovery was harder than I'd thought.  I just wasn't prepared for how tired and 'not myself' I would feel.  If I took a 10 minute shower, I had to take a break half way through because I was so exhausted!
But I bounced back (maybe not literally), got back on my feet (ok, that one's literal) and moved on.  Done and dusted. 


Except.  Apparently I am super rare. Yay!  Only 1 in 1000 people are born with DDH.  And only 20% of them have it in both hips.  See where I'm going with this?  Oh yes.  The time has come to have the other one done.  And I'm terrified!  I know what I'm going into this time.  The operation is slightly different in that this one is a periacetabular osteotomy - PAO -(told you the jargon got worse!) which, for those of you who like the gory details, means they break my pelvis in three places around the hip joint and do that re-jigging thing again that I mentioned above.  Oh the joy. I mean it should stop it hurting as much, postpone the need for a hip replacement and generally leave me in a much better position than I am currently, but still...*gulp*.  It's also making me consider just how much of this sort of thing I am going to have endure over my lifetime, and whether MM really REALLY knows just what he's let himself in for.  He wasn't in my life when I had the last one done and my ex-boyfriend (I believe I may have mentioned him before) simply wasn't equipped to handle the situation.  Or me.  Or the prospect of going through this with me over the many years to come.  It's a fairly major reason as to why I realised he might not be "THE ONE".   So, yeah.  Reality is dishing up some hard doses at the moment.

But all of that is not nearly as devastating as realising that I may have to give up these in the near future: 



And these:









And instead be reduced to wearing these:


They're cute, yes.  But just not the same.  :'(  So my point is: please, PLEASE, someone tell me where I can buy beautiful flat shoes? I'm in desperate need.

firefly x

Wednesday, 1 February 2012

Sooooooooo coooooooold

STILL no heating in the office.  Brrrrr.


What is it like to have sensation in your toes?  Someone remind me.


I may never be warm again. 


shiveringly yours,


firefly x


P.S. Welcome to February everyone! :) 

Tuesday, 31 January 2012

So sad

Hmmm.  Not loving today. 

Kipper went home last night.  Was so so sad to see her go.  She's the most awesome little dog and I miss her so much. 

And the heating is broken at the office today.  And it's snowing outside.  My toes are numb and I'm typing this wearing mittens.  Seriously.  I didn't even think it would be possible to type in mittens.  But necessity is the mother of experimentation.  Or something along those lines... 

So.  To recap.  No dog.  No heating.  Today sucks. 

That is all.

miserably yours,

firefly x

Wednesday, 25 January 2012

Kipper

Allow me to introduce you to possibly the most soppy dog in existence. 

She's staying with me for a week while MM's mum is on holiday and we're having a blast.  Admittedly she's dragged three tons of dirt into the house and she smells (sssh, not too loud, it'll hurt her feelings) but I love every second we spend together. 

Meet Kipper:



This is her a while ago when she was a little more sleek.  This is her today:




Straggly and adorable.  More adorable.  No, actually, probably more straggly.  Actually, it's a pretty even race.  Straggly and adorable.  Kinda how I like to think of myself first thing in the morning when I'm staggering around with my bed-head.  Although, I'm almost definitely more straggly than adorable.  Ah well. 

I have never met a dog that gives more love.  But she's completely indiscriminate.  When we go for a walk, she'll run up to people, like a lot of dogs do.  But she doesn't jump up.  She doesn't bark at them.  No, she runs up to them and then curls round their feet, begging for a tummy rub.  I've had to lift her up and carry her away before, because she refuses to get up.  Silly animal.  It's embarrassing!  People must think I give her no tummy rubs at home.  Trust me, she gets plenty!   She's very persuasive.

On my less sleek and shiny days (which are few and far between, obviously) MM calls me "Kipper-ish!  Which I'm not sure is intended as a compliment.  But when she's as cute as this:

...how can "Kipper-ish" be a bad thing? Hmm?  

firefly x




Thursday, 19 January 2012

Where's all the drama?

Seriously.  I mean it.

MM and I are currently negotiating a long distance relationship.  He started a new job and they stole him for a year to live in a different part of the country (without even consulting me!). 

Admittedly he's only about an hour away, so it could be much worse, but it was quite a shift in dynamic given that we were used to being in each other's pockets.  When I realised that a long distance relationship was going to be inevitable for a while I, true to form, panicked.  What if it changed us?  How would we cope?  Was this the END??  MM, true to form, shrugged and said, "I'm sure it'll be fine".  The man is incapable of drama. 

This, to me, is incredible.  I thought that the Drama (that's right, I gave it a capital) was an absolute necessity in a relationship and I have previously had two very long term relationships, that were based on little else.  Take my most recent relationship before MM.  There was screaming, crying, throwing of things and by both parties to boot.  And we did this to each other for four and a half exhausting and heart rendering years. 

Then MM.  And suddenly there was peace.  I would cry and panic and wail, "How will we cope?"  "Where is this going?" and all the usual, dignified cliches that intelligent, independent women are never supposed to say.  And he would shrug and say, "I don't know but I'm sure it will be fine."

At first I was a bit stumped and (I kid you not) I didn't know how to deal with the lack of Drama.  I was well versed in relationship Drama.  I could storm out of a room with the best of them.  I could do a great rendition of, "You've ruined my life!"  Oscar worthy performances, trust me.  And then, with MM, I was suddenly without this.  For a while (and I can't believe this is true) I thought there was something wrong!!  Yup, a relationship without angst and heartache and, well let's face it, misery, just couldn't be real could it?  Clearly we were wrong for each other. 

But, fortunately, I realised that maybe, just maybe, the lack of crying, and misery and heartache might, someday, produce something along the lines of happiness.  I decided to risk it!  As an example of how drama free my life now is, I give you last night's telephone conversation.  I had nothing to say.   My day had been dull and uneventful.  As had his.  So we hung up and left it at that.  Pre-MM, the next few hours would have been spent disecting why conversation hadn't flowed.  How, clearly the distance was impacting our closeness.  God help us, we were drifting apart and it was all going wrong before my very eyes!  And then I would have text my significant other, apologising profusely for being such a terrible conversationalist and all round rubbish girlfriend. 

Instead, I text MM this:  "We're rubbish aren't we."

MM:  "Yup." 

And that was that.  No drama.  It happens sometimes and today we talked for ages about nothing at all really. 

But I wanted to take a moment and just be grateful for all the angst this incredible man saves me, simply because he doesn't do drama.  I recommend it, throughly. 

Peacefully yours,

firefly xx

Sunday, 15 January 2012

Time to share

Should you ever be in any doubt as to the true meaning of irony, allow me to shed some light here folks.

Remember the photo I posted last time, where I possibly gave you a little too much insight into my housekeeping skills?  You know the one I mean.  THIS one:


 (I'm gonna sort this space out in the next few weeks, I swear! Ooo, look, another New Year's resolution.  They're just popping up everywhere.)  
 
So now I've refreshed your memory of the sheer horror that is my desk, please now allow me to share a moment of beautiful irony in my life:  See the arrow in the picture below?


Got it?  Can you just about see a very small amount of green and red writing buried under that postcard that someone sent me 2 years ago?  Yes?  Good.  It happens to be a book.  There is a book, in fact, buried under all that clutter.  Interesting?  No, not really.  But, and here's the good bit, the title of that book just so happens to be "No More Clutter".  

I kid you not. Irony, my friends.  It's a beautiful thing.  

firefly x





Saturday, 14 January 2012

And her name is Holga...

So, having "blogged" for the first time yesterday, I was super proud of myself.  Of course, no one will be reading but I'm out there!  Hi Internet! 


I asked MM (my other half) if he would care to make up 100% of my readership.  His response went something along the lines of, "I listen to you babble on constantly in person, why on earth would I wish to read the rubbish that runs through your mind as well?!".  Fair point I suppose.  I offered to let him choose his own moniker for the blog in trade for him actually reading it.  However, because he is a man and therefore is,  and always will be, a child, he chose a ridiculously rude nickname, which took me ages to get. Duh.  Along the lines of I. P. Freely.  Only worse.  So MM he is, and he won't be part of my vast readership.  Such is compromise in a long term relationship! 




So, as I said, I had ventured into the large and scary void that is the Internet.  Then I spent all of today wondering how often I should blog.  Should I just blog on weekdays when I'm bored at work (sssshh, no, I would never do that) or should I only blog every other day for fear of running out of things to say. Then I laughed out loud.  Run out of things to say???!  Me?  Nope.  Hasn't happened yet and I'm fairly sure that several members of my family are praying everyday that it happens soon.  Please, God, shut her up.  In fact, it's been said to my face on more than one occasion.  And yet, here I am, sharing the joy with the whole world now.  Enjoy Internet.  It's gonna be special. 


Here I am then, blogging away.  I shouldn't be blogging.  I should be dealing with this:




That should be my desk.  Should.  And I should be clearing it.  Should.  But blogging is more fun.  


I had a point for this post, believe it or not. Holga.  You see, I got the most awesome present from MM this year. (Yes, he has redeeming features.  Many.  It's just a mature sense of humour isn't one.)  It's a camera.  I asked for it, but he picked the colour and he picked my favourite so it's just damn perfect.  This is my baby:






Yup, she's plastic.  Yup, she's blue!  I think she's beautiful.  And I don't care whether you judge me for calling a camera "she".  Her name is Holga (although I didn't name her).  Now, she is really quite special.  A bit of 'cult' camera, if such a thing exists.  I came across her on RockstarDiaries (I love that blog).  She takes amazingly special, dreamy pictures.  You actually have to use film!  Anyone remember what film is?  She's an old school version that doesn't even take regular film, so I have to buy it special, like.  As I loaded the film on Christmas Day, my sister looked at me like I was performing surgery!  Being six years younger than me, she has never loaded a film in her life.  And then MM's little sister later asked me how she could see the photos I had just taken of her.  Bless her.  She's five though, so I'll let her off. 


Anyway, here's the problem.  I am no photographer (as can probably, ironically, be seen from the photo I have taken of the camera!).  And I am definitely no Holga photographer.  She is capable of taking beautiful photos like this: http://microsites.lomography.com/holga/galleries.  Gorgeous huh?  However, I couldn't even work out when I was on the first frame.  So I took 5 or 6 photos, barely winding it on each time, terrified I was going to run out of film.  Then....I got to the first frame!  Ooops.  So the first photos I took into my foray in the world of Holga photography are all on top of one another.  Nice one! Haha!  I will share the results with you when I have developed them.  Good or bad, you will get to see my efforts.  Lucky you, eh? I know you just can't wait. 


Laters,
firefly



Friday, 13 January 2012

2012 here goes...

Well... a New Year! Sort of.  As long as it's January, I can still say that right?  Right.  Good.

So:  a New Year, a new start, a new blog.  Wonder how long this will last!  It's the latest of my "really good ideas".  Ha!  

Friday 13th.  An inauspicious day to start a blog.  I learnt something today.  I learnt that I don't have "friggatriskaidekaphobia".  Handy huh?  (Actually, since I just had to Google this, I clearly didn't learn it after all.  Ah well.) 

10 points to anyone who knows what this is.  Without Googling it, like me. 

Any clues?  No?  Apparently it's a phobia of Friday the 13th.  A real thing ladies and gents.  Who knew?!

And, as I said, I don't have it!  Yay.  *Pause while you all cheer.  Hello...anyone there...?* 

Anyway, I do, however, have a massive phobia of heights.  It's the only thing I can really class as a phobia.  There's lots of things I don't LIKE.  I don't like spiders (my mum bought me an awesome spider catcher years ago.  It's saved my life.  Literally.  Ok, ok, not literally), I hate earwigs - seriously, why do they exist?  Ugh.  And I'm not crazy about flying.  It's the whole, "potentially crashing to my death thing", I have issues with.  But they don't paralyse me with fear. 

Heights, however.  Oh boy.  I forget how to breathe!  And just when I need to feel solid and stable, my legs turn to jelly and I shake.  A lot. Oh and I cry.  It's fun! I recommend it.  Not!

But this is the year that I've decided enough is enough.  Last year, I freaked out on Brighton Pier after my sister helpfully pointed out, "Oh look.  You can see the water through the cracks in the floorboards!".  Cue me clinging to the metal poles in the middle, trying to remember how to walk.  Or breathe.  Or stop crying.  Logical?  No.  Dignified? Hell no.  So it has to be addressed.  And my genius plan is this:  www.goape.co.uk/

Fun huh?  I feel sick looking at it.  However, my other half (we'll call him MM) would LOVE this.  And in theory I think it looks like a great time.  If I can get over the fact that it's in the tree tops. *Gulp*.  But I'm determined will power will win through and maybe I'll crack my fear of heights once and for all.  It's closed for January so I have a stay of execution, but this year, I swear, IT WILL BE DONE!  Oh.  Look at that, a New Year resolution.  And I thought I didn't have any!

Well that's it for now.  I do tend to ramble.  So now I should probably stop! 

Laters, 
firefly