working towards perfection (and failing)

Category: Personal (Page 2 of 15)


Dear 2014,

I hate you. You suck.  You are my very own ‘annus horribilis’.

I trust that you are happy with yourself, that you sleep soundly after rubbing your hands together in glee at the frightful mess you made of my life.

I know that you’ve been whispering in the ear of 2015, making silly suggestions about how best to fuck up the next twelve months, but it won’t work. 2015 thinks you’re petty and vindictive.  2015 craves my love and wants me to be happy. In the battle of the years 2015 will always beat you, of that I’m sure.

I’m really sorry that you failed in your quest to make me SO miserable and SO frightfully sad that I’d cave in to my emotions. I am obviously far stronger than you gave me credit for.

I do wish you well, 2014. You taught me to hold my head up high, to trust my instincts and to love unconditionally. For that, I salute you. You showed me wickedness, but couldn’t make me crumble. For that, I salute myself.

Here’s hoping that 2015 is happy and humble, innocent and beautiful. I raise a glass to you, 2014, and banish you to The Past, for ever.


worst. year. ever.

broken h

An Extreme Tale

“It was the best of times, it was the worst of times.” — Charles Dickens, A Tale of Two Cities.

When was the last time that sentence accurately described my life?

That sentence could have described my life at many different ages: Childhood, when my Father walked out, but I loved school {I was a nerdy five year old}; teenagehood, when I liked boys, but struggled with hormones; university days, when I blossomed and excelled at being three hundred miles from home, but longed for Mummy’s cuddles when drunk; being in love, yet getting beaten up … so many times this could have accurately described my life.

But most recently, is probably now. This year. Today. Tomorrow. 2014 has been a truly horrid year, and 2015 will no doubt be nearly as horrid. But I am still in love, I’m looking forward to spending time with family at Christmas, I’ll be able to get all broody when Husband’s niece makes an appearance and I still thoroughly enjoy my job.

I’m the girl with a smile on her face which hides a multitude of ‘stuff going on in the background which nobody knows about’.

And I’m okay with that.


my ideal job


I am completely and utterly in love with {most aspects of} my job. However, if I was given the option of having any job in the whole wide world, regardless of qualifications and experience, I would choose to be a bus timetabler.

Unfortunately for the local populace, I do lack the qualifications and skill set to actually be a bus timetabler. This is a pity because I think I would be most excellent at it.

Reasons why:

1. I like to listen to suggestions and take other people’s ideas into account. The average bus timetabler must spent his day with earplugs in his pretty little ears. He doesn’t want to listen to the folk who use the bus daily. He’s just interested in getting paid at the end of the month, and doesn’t care that his wages come predominantly from those whose journeys he makes as awkward as possible.

2. I actually use the bus. I believe a requirement of having a position as bus timetabler is that one must have never even seen a bus, let alone been on one.

3. I possess a little something that goes by the name of ‘common sense’. To be a successful bus timetabler one must have no common sense. It is not important to understand the concept of rush hour or rural villages. One does not need to make a distinction between people who work and people who don’t work.

And finally, 4. I would rebel against uttering the mantra by which all bus tImetablers must live: ‘Power to the car!’

{this post is inspired by the rumour that my local bus company may be removing a much needed evening bus; it may or may not be found elsewhere on the internet too}


the halloween humbug


Dear Halloween,

I hate you.

I don’t hate many things; it’s an exhausting feeling to have and tends to compound issues rather than solve them. But you, dear Halloween, I’m prepared to make an exception for.

I don’t understand you. When I was a child the only people in merry old England who ‘celebrated’ you were those who simply wanted to cause trouble, teenagers who didn’t want treats and were far more interested in the tricking aspect. Recently the Halloween phenomena has become big business here as we try desperately to catch up with our American cousins and outdo the neighbours in terms of who has the biggest, scariest pumpkin and the better sweets.

For someone like me it’s horrid. I await knocks on the door with trepidation, even on a normal day, even when I’m expecting someone round. I live in a quiet {but built up} area and the most noise we get on a normal day is a bunch of screeching kids going past on their bikes. Two seconds of mayhem. You cause hours of mayhem.

But perhaps the most terrible thing about you, dear Halloween, is the worry. Should we stay in or go out? If we stay in and don’t answer the door will the car get egged? Do we embrace our staying in with the lights blazing or do we toddle off to bed at 4PM and stay there shaking till we’re sure everybody else is safely tucked up in bed too?

If there was a campaign to delete the 31st October from the world’s calendars I would be its president.

I think I need a chill pill.



the littering cat


Recently in the virtual world people have been posting photos of their real cats sitting in virtual boxes, created by taping a shape to the floor. We thought it was such a nifty idea we’d have a go.

Did our two babies want to play?! Um, nope.

We taped two shapes to the floor. Dora completely ignored them. Qyzen had a look and actually walked around them intentionally. This was a tad disappointing because both of them generally love getting into things they shouldn’t. We left the shapes taped to the floor and went to bed.

Fast forward to this morning and one of our very clever cats {Qyzen} had used the virtual box. Yes, he’d USED the virtual box. He’d sat in the virtual box at some point during the night and left a big steaming pile of poo in it, right in the middle of the living room.


Still, at least he knows to go in a box, even if it is the wrong box.

And it doesn’t exist.

Bless him.


when imaginary friends grow up


I’ve told Loyal Lone Reader about my imaginary friends before. There was Geoffrey, there was a dog whom I took for imaginary walks with an imaginary lead and there was the fabulous Katy Finger. I’ve been thinking about them today.

I don’t know if all children are {lucky enough to be} blessed with imaginary friends. I do know that many folk will claim they didn’t have one, but many people also claim that they don’t dream and we all know they’re big fat fibbers … everybody dreams, some just don’t remember.

None of my imaginary friends lasted for long. I only know about the dog because my Mumsy told me, and likewise with Geoffrey. He helped me adjust to the bewilderment caused by going from spoilt baby of the family, to big sister at the age of not-quite two. Katy is someone whom I vaguely remember. She had very dark hair and wrote her name in all my books.

It’s occurred to me that maybe my imaginary friend was also your imaginary friend. Perhaps Geoffrey travelled around England helping toddlers cope with change, appearing to children in a way that they felt comfortable with. My Geoffrey may have been your Daisy. Or, was Geoffrey a real person? Is there a Geoffrey somewhere in the world who had an imaginary friend named KatieF briefly in 1976?

If Geoffrey existed today he’d be a good and decent bloke. I don’t think I can say the same about Katy. I imagine that the grown up Katy is a bit of a slapper. At school she was probably naughty, smoking her fags and snogging the boys behind the bike sheds. She rarely did her homework and would mouth off at little old ladies in the street. Her intelligence got her to university and she slept her way through the male student population, seeking her elusive Mr Right. She never did find him. Now she has a demanding job in the city, drives an expensive little sports car and is sleeping her way through the male population of London Town, most of whom she meets in posh little cocktail bars. Her very dark hair is very shiny.

I think she was a bit of a bully when we were little.


an hour with you


My {wicked} stepmother posted this on her Fb timeline. She had what I would consider to be really boring responses; most folk would seemingly choose to sit with their {sadly deceased} parents. I understand the need/desire to want to reconnect with a loved one but my initial response was further from home.

I would choose to sit with my great great grandmother, Annie Elizabeth. Her story both saddens and fascinates me. She was born in Hampshire in 1849, the daughter of a blacksmith in a tiny village. Official records suggest that she lost a few siblings, possibly to cholera but I have yet to obtain death certificates and verify that. Somehow she ended up in London, where she gave birth to a daughter, Maud, in 1873.

Family legend suggested that Annie was a parlour maid who ran off with the man of the house. Indeed, when I began my research it seemed this was founded in truth. I’m unable to find Annie in the 1871 census, but I have found my great great grandfather, Charles. He was working as a jeweller and living with his wife, Barbara, and her six year old niece in London.  They had a maid, but her details don’t tie in with Annie’s. What is clear is that by 1881 Charles and Annie were living together with a handful of children. I have never found a marriage record and don’t believe they were ever legally husband and wife. His wife Barbara later married someone else, but I’m not even sure she and Charles were ever divorced.

I love the shenanigans of ordinary folk in the nineteenth century.

So, why would I like to spend an hour with Annie?

I feel so incredibly sad for her. I have visions of a beautiful, young, innocent village lass travelling to London to work and play. I imagine that she wanted to find love, start a family and be happy. Instead she fell for a married man who did leave his wife for her, but who lost his money {his daddy was a rich land owner in the Midlands and Charles was written out of the will} because of her and became a Hackney Carriage conductor/driver. She had no fairy-tale wedding. She gave birth to thirteen children in east London,  but lost a few of them as infants and small children. Census records show that the family moved often {as an aside, at one point they were living in the same street as some of my Monster’s ancestors}. I know it wasn’t a happy life for her. I wonder if she missed her family and if she wished she’d stayed in Hampshire. My great grandmother Daisy {1886} married at the age of eighteen purely because she wanted to get away from home; Annie was an alcoholic and I expect that life wasn’t ideal for the children.

At the time of her death in 1924 Annie was so large that they had to remove her body from the house through a window. A ‘comfort eater’ perhaps. She was blessed to be living with one of her daughter’s {Helena} so at least she didn’t become lonely and forgotten in her old age.

I would ask her how she felt. I don’t suppose anyone ever asked her that. I’d also thank her for giving life to – and raising – a daughter, who would raise her own beautiful daughter, who would raise my mummy, who would raise me. I’d let her know that everything she went through, everything we all go through,  can be worth it.

It’s just unfortunate we don’t always know how much worth our lives have.


stranger in town


I have lived in this little corner of England for nearly ten years now and I’m still the stranger in town.

It’s an odd little place; very flat, very rural, very insular. Allegedly the folk who can trace their roots here for hundreds of generations are hiding webbed feet. Whether this is referring to the squidgy dampness of the area (we’re below sea level) or the fact that once upon a time it was likely you’d have married your brother (who was also your uncle, your cousin and your nephew) I have yet to fully ascertain.

They (the experts) claim that in about one hundred years my town will be underwater, nature will have reclaimed the land and the eels will be able to swim freely again. I think my house is safe; we intentionally chose one which is on the natural island of old. I shall just have to buy a boat if the sea begins to rise.

As you drive towards my historic – it’s one of the hundreds of places in which Boadicea is said to have died, and we once had an abbey – market town you’ll be amazed by the fact that you can see for miles across the flatlands. There are farms and scattered houses, fields of rapeseed and potatoes. It’s alleged that nearly all the carrots in Britain come through here.  The scattered houses were once the domain of naughty boys, sent from afar in the knowledge that they wouldn’t survive in the wilderness of rural nothingness if they escaped.

If you’re hoping for a haircut, followed by a browse around the charity shops and a dirty -but amazing – takeaway, you’re in luck. We have four hairdressers, three charity shops and about eight takeaways. Fancy a drink? Be wary of the locals in the pub. Need a new dress? You’ll need to travel miles for that. My most humble apologies.

We had a riot here once. There’s also a ‘tiger’ lurking nearby, a song was written about us and apparently TB is rather rampant here.



bubble baths and books


My life as Little Miss Worrier tends to be slightly bizarre:

OMG! I can hear the house creaking! It’s going to fall down!

Sh!t, America has Ebola? We’re all doomed!

Why is that woman (the checkout girl) talking to me? She’s going to expect me to reply and I’ll get all twisty tongue-tied, my cheeks will glow scarlet and I’ll spit in her face!

That lorry is really close. That lorry is frighteningly close. Oh my goodness, that lorry is going to kill me. (It’s just overtaking.)

It’s raining. What will my poor pussies do? They’re going to die!

The little things panic me. My head is a constant mess of ‘what ifs’ and ‘oh my gods’.

However, give me something HUGE to worry about and I’ll just sit back and let it all wash over me. I’m not sure if that’s because I can genuinely cope with the big stuff, or because my head pretends it isn’t happening; my own personal little internal bodyguard. Bless.

I barely remember the day where I stopped being a Miss and became a possession Mrs. I have vague recollections of being a little perturbed, but I was so happy to be getting hitched (who’d have thought that someone would ever want me) that I spent the lead up to – and the day itself – in a little bubble of pure optimism. Likewise, when I donated my cute little left kidney to Blokey there was no hint of worry. I knew that bad things could happen and instead of worrying, I embraced the thoughts and prepared for the worst. I stressed out about the little things instead, the enemas and the catheters (which, it transpired, were the least troubling parts of the whole process.)

This year has been rather like a ‘big day ahead‘; it’s been … faulty. The knot in my chubby little belly has failed in its attempts to uncurl and the tension in my neck is slowly killing me. To relax I’ve taken to lounging around. I’m particularly partial to lying in a bubble bath, reading books aimed at young adults. If I’m alone I’ll sing songs very loudly. I haven’t done this very much recently. I need to rectify that. Oddly, I also clean and tidy, somewhat manically. And I move things around. It soothes my mind.

I’d like this year to be over now. I’m unsure what the next three months will bring and if I could wake up tomorrow and find that it’s January the first, my happiness would probably be akin to the joy felt by toddlers as they jump in muddy puddles on wet days.

Or, at the very least, I’d like access to a time machine so that I can return to my teenagehood and stomp around moaning about life being unfair and exams being too hard. Because honey, you have no idea just how tough your life is going to get!


she will be named abigail


I’m writing this blog post from the comfort of my own bed, because I can.

When I returned to work following my amazingly short seven weeks off, I discovered that a perk of spending all day with arrogantly ridiculous young people comes in the form of an iPad.  I am not an Apple nerd.  I have owned several iPods during my lifetime, and indeed, I have an iTunes account. But anything else? No, sir. No thank you.

I’m quite enjoying having an iPad to do work-y stuff on, but unlike my friends I’m loathe to make use of it for personal gratification. After all, I am the gal who’s only been on Facebook twice in the nearly three years of working there and I get desperately paranoid that my every move (literally, in games) will be scrutinised by the IT bods.

So, I returned home last Monday and declared that I wanted to own a tablet on which I could do all the stuff I do on the desktop. Yesterday I bought one as an extravagant present to myself. It isn’t an iPad. Fuck that. It’s a Samsung Galaxy Tab Pro and it’s a gorgeous little piece of fun. I’ve been playing with it all afternoon whilst Blokey indulges in Star Wars games online. I even managed to find a fabulous Kurt Vonnegut wallpaper for it and I think I’ll probably blog more, if I can find some lost oompf.

*contented sigh*

My weekend of money spending didn’t end with the tablet though.  I also had my eyes tested for the first time in ten years and very soon I’ll be the proud mummy of TWO pairs of glasses (bogof). I like wearing specs; they make me feel intelligent, but I only really need them for being able to see the distant world, and the tellybox.

I need a shower.



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