Friday, 29 February 2008

Earthquakes and interviews

You've all heard about the Lincolnshire earthquake this week, right?

So, 5.2 is nothing big compared to some of the quakes elsewhere in the world, but for England this is massive. It's caused quite a commotion and mostly because it is so rare most people spent most of the time it was happening trying to work on what on earth was going on!!

I don't think it helped that most people were woken from their sleep so were a bit disorientated to start with, and quakes in Britain (although very common) are usually unfelt or just a quick judder, so quick you wonder if you actually felt it...

I had been suffering from really bad indigestion and had been laying in bed trying to sleep for almost 2 hours and debating whether I needed to toilet badly enough to get out of bed for at least half an hour when the earthquake hit. I had actually just got out of bed and was walking across my floor when I stood on something as I heard a rumbling sound. I honestly thought "OH NO I've knocked something and everyone's gonna be annoyed with me for waking them up!" lol. But then when the floor started vibrating and then jerking right under my feet I suddenly realised that I hadn't done anything, but it still took me a couple of seconds, as the strength of it grew, to realise what was actually happening. It just amuses me the timing, that I'd just got out of bed and at first thought I'd done something - like I could cause the floor to move like that tee hee!!

All in all, although this was a major earthquake for Britain, very little damage was done thankfully. I first thought there must have been a major quake somewhere else and we were feeling the outer edges of it, so I got a huge shock the next morning when I found out the epicentre was about 12 miles away from me and that we actually experience about 200 quakes a year here in the UK... seriously, it's a shock to hear we have quite that many when we probably feel a very minor jolt once every two years 'cos usually they are often but tiny!

Anyway, on to other news...

I've been starting to apply for new jobs, as the academic term here draws near to completion and I will soon be out of a job. T and I are planning on moving in together, and I would much rather walk straight into a new job than be unemployed for whoever knows how long, because I hate being unemployed - I'd much rather be busy!

I started applying to nurseries in the Cambridge area because I do have such a passion for childcare provision and can see myself happily working in the industry for pretty much most of my life. My parents think I'm mad, because I was so ill last time I worked with babies - let's be fair in a nursery with 140 kids aged 3 months to 4 years you're bound to be ill a lot because at least one child has an illness at any one point in time! However, I cannot feel confident about any other career, yet the thought of working with kids or in a child-centred environment fills my heart with so much joy...

So I started sending emails to adverts for nursery vacancies, asking if my lack of specific qualifications would be too much of a disadvantage (as I cannot afford to live on the basic pay again!) My parents were slightly horrified I think that I was considering this again, so my dad sat down with me and helped me look for other types of jobs. I felt so downhearted, I just can't picture myself in anything else... but I applied anyway...

Then suddenly on Tuesday I received an email asking me to an interview next Wednesday or Thursday. I never even officially applied but simply sent an email, explaining that although I had no childcare qualifications I had experience and a degree and would that be ok for applying for the position of helping to run the new creche in the shopping centre. I also sent a further email saying if not could she send me an application form for the role of unqualified nursery assistant, as I would just love to get back into childcare so any position is welcome. But I think I am being interviewed for the position of helping run the creche as this was the email (the first one I sent) that was replied to... I hope it is... because it feels so much like the universe/God saying to me that I CAN have it all (by that I mean a happy relationship, a good job, the chance to move back to Cambridge) because that is where I'm meant to be. Truly I have always felt I should move to Cambridge and when I did I met T... then I have always felt I should be in childcare and I keep coming back to it... I just think everything before, the years of finding out who I am and who I'm not, being miserable and lonely, have all been given to me to allow me to get things out of my system so that I can be who I want to be so badly because I want it so badly because it is what I am meant to be doing... does that make sense?

So, anyway, my interview is next Wednesday at 10am, so I am travelling down Tuesday after work and coming back Wednesday afternoon ready for work again on Thursday. Could you please hold me in your thoughts and/or prayers because I truly feel so positive and joyful at the thought of such an opportunity and it would mean the world to me to have a job I will be excited and passionate about plus the chance to walk straight into it after I finish at the uni.

Thank you xx

Tuesday, 26 February 2008

And finally...

First of all I'd like to thank each and eery one of you who took the time to participate in this, to those of you who have read my answers and especially to those who offered such beautiful words of support and encouragement to my last post. It all means more to me than I can say!

And so without further ado, here are the final answers.

Lie #5

2. I am terrified of dogs after having been bitten by one as a child. Seriously, even seeing a dog on the tv makes me stomach squirm.

I adore dogs! Actually I adore all animals and whilst it is true that if a dog is extra large and energetic and likely to jump up me and knock me down I get a bit nervous, I am more than happy to go up to random dogs and say hello. I even once had a hug with a Golden Retriever in the sea - he just came bounding right to to where I was sitting enjoying the shallow waves and sat right in front of me waiting for a hug lol.

I used to be quite scared of big dogs as a child, and was chased home by one who thought I wanted to play when I started running to try and get away from him. Man did I scream, my dad came running out to see what all the fuss was about and explained to me that the dog had meant me no harm and all he'd wanted was to play. After that I began to learn that animals often act how they feel and if a dog ran after me barking it was more likely it wanted to play than attack me hehe.

Lie #6

5. I once starred in a local tv production about the history of our town. I was 8 years old and absolutely loved dressing up in all the costumes and playing old fashioned games whilst the cameras rolled.

Nope, never happened. We get the odd thing filmed in Lincoln nowadays, since the Cathedral was used for part of The Da Vinci Code, but when I was younger I can't ever remember seeing cameras around. I'm also not sure I'd have wanted to be in a production, even at 8. Although my Grandad and dad used to film us as kids, so I am pretty used to being filmed, I was a shy child and never liked doing new things like that. I was asked once if I wanted to go and sit on stage during the panto at our local theatre and I said yes but when they came to fetch me I refused to go and my sister went instead hehe.

Lie # 2 (yes - whooops I went straight from 1 to 3 in my first post)

6. I am a keen gardener and can name pretty much any plant we come across at the local garden centre. Even my parents come to me for advice about which plants to buy for their own garden - I'm a bit of a geek when it comes to facts!

I would like to be a good gardener but I'm not... yet. My parents let my sister and I have our own patch of garden when we were children and even bought us our own plants and my grandad made us each a garden gnome but unfortunately I was too scared of worms and spiders to ever get my hands dirty lol.

In recent years I have helped my dad to plant the vegetable seeds and various other seeds but then my life takes over and I forget - I'm not quite there with the whole seeing it through to the end yet. One day I hope I might be, especially as I grew up always having a garden to enjoy, but for now I am pretty useless! I can name some of the more common plants but that's about it.

I'm hoping one day, maybe when I have kids, to grow my own vegetables so maybe then I'll have more of an incentive to actually keep it up because otherwise my kids might starve!!!

And so that leaves the final truth, which is...

Truth # 2

8. I was totally accident-prone as a child and my x-ray file is so large I'm sure I should glow by now. Somehow, though, I never managed to break anything.

Seriously... if I ever have a child like me I might actually cry!! The stress I must have put my parents through is quite awful. In two years at school I'd had two major head injuries. The first was concussion from a chair falling on my head. I was 7 years old and we'd all put our chairs on the desk for the end of the day and I bent down to get my exercise book from the little tray under the desk and the chair fell off and smacked me right on top of my head. I tried not to cry but it sure did hurt. About 4 hours later I refused to go shopping with my parents saying I knew I would be sick if I got in the car - and lo and behold I spent the next I don't know how many hours puking and was taken into hospital for a couple of days with concussion!

The second injury, just a year and a half later, happened when I was playing tag with my friends. The school wall was our "safe space" and I was running towards it when I tripped, flew, and collided head first with the wall. I knocked myself out and ended up having to go to the hospital the day after to get my wounds cleaned out cos I had grit in a graze on my knee. I can tell you that being prodded and having my scabs scrubbed off with cleansing fluid and iodine sprayed on my knee (thankfully not my head) was not pleasant. My mum sat in the corner of the room looking faint, my dad held my hand so tight it hurt and I tried my hardest to be brave but once the nurse moved onto my head (which the doctor had not asked her to do so I wasn't expecting) I gave up and cried.

I also pulled a cabinet full of wine glasses down when I was about 5 or 6. I have no idea how it happened nor how I managed to avoid being either trapped underneath the cabinet or cut to pieces by the broken glass. All I remember is opening the door to get some toys out of the bottom of the cabinet and the next minute my parents running in and realising I was sat on the floor halfway up the living room, next to the fallen cabinet, with broken glass all around me and wondering what was going on. I had a few scratches on my back but that was it. I think someone was watching over me that day!

These are just a few of the wonderful things I put my parents through *blushes* it's no wonder my dad said he was constantly worried the social services would come and take me away. I had bruises all over, and for several years I was terribly underweight due to an eating disorder of sorts. I looked like I might break and seemed to be bent on breaking myself. I was labelled "clumsy" and it was only through investigations into why I had painful joints at 15 that they realised I had a condition which means my joints are too flexible and often move in and out of position, meaning sometimes I would fall over nothing because a hip or a knee would pop out and I would lose my balance. No wonder I always fell over when I tried to run!!

This hypermobility of the joints was and is both a blessing and a curse. It was likely the reason behind a lot of my accidents but also the reason why I managed to never break anything. Seriously, when you hurtle at speed towards a brick wall with your arms outstretched you expect to break or dislocate something like a wrist or a shoulder. I had sprained wrists which were so painful I couldn't hold anything for a few days, but they escaped anything more serious, most likely due to the fact that the joint probably moved out of position and back in of its own accord.

So there you have it - my lies and my truths for all to see. And if you haven't already guessed, the winner is Chas - I have just about sorted out your prize so it will be winging its way to you in the next few days.

Thanks again to all who took part - it's been fun!

Thursday, 21 February 2008

Another lie

I was gonna leave this lie 'til last because there's a big story behind it... but as I am feeling quite rotten at the moment (I even took a day off work) I thought I'd crack right on with it and get it out the way. Be warned it is a very long post but hopefully it is fairly interesting!

So the next lie is #4 I have been a Buddhist for 5 years now and always make time to meditate each morning and night. I even get up at 5:30am 3 days a week to enable me to practise yoga before going to work too.

I'm not a Buddhist - I don't even know that much about Buddhism to be quite honest with you. I do meditate but very rarely and the only time I have ever gotten up at 5:30 regularly was when I was working at the nursery and had to... although I have to say I do like getting up early and seeing the world whilst those around me are still sleeping - it's like my own special time.

I chose to include this lie though because it opened the door for me to talk a little about what I believe in because my beliefs are a major part of my life but I never really talk about them on here. I choose not to because a) I don't want to sound like I'm preaching b) I don't want to offend anybody and c) I don't want to end up having to try and justify my beliefs on my blog because I've been there before and I wanted my blog to be quite light-hearted. That being said, my beliefs are a major part of my life and I don't feel like holding them back so tightly anymore.

I've added random images through this post to break up the masses of text. They don't really match the text but they are all special to me and my beliefs!

So let's begin at the beginning... my childhood. I grew up in a non-religious, non-spiritual family and my introduction to God came from my school and the occasional compulsory church service when I was a Brownie and later a Girl Guide. I knew God was in Heaven and his son Jesus was born at Christmas and I could pray to him but that was pretty much it. I had no idea what or where Heaven was nor who Jesus really was. All I knew was that before I ate at school I had to say Grace and that God was watching over me. I had an interesting dream sometime during my childhood (but I can't remember how old I was - I was pretty young I'm sure!). I dreamt that God told me I could go and live with him and I was so excited. I ran around my house looking for my parents to tell them but I couldn't find them and had to ask someone to tell them goodbye for me. Then suddenly I was *WHOOSHING* up into the air, through the stars so fast I could hardly breathe and then just as suddenly I stopped. This "Heaven" was not the cloud-filled place I'd heard talk of but just a place in the stars and it was beautiful. But I missed my friends and I asked God if I could go see them and he told me sometimes I could but not right then. I was so sad and that's when he gave me a choice - I either stayed and lived with him or I went back to earth to see my friends but I couldn't have both. I chose to come back and next thing I knew I was in my school playground. Pretty cool dream - and one I remember to this very day!

I had other thoughts and feelings as a child, including lying in bed wondering what I would do with my life and I remember often thinking that it didn't matter what I did (career and family wise) this time round because what I didn't manage this time I could do next time. I'd never even heard of reincarnation but I somehow had the concept in my mind at a very young age. I remember it brought me both comfort and concern in equal measure. One day, whilst at the local swimming pool, I started drilling my dad on what happened when we died and how long we stayed in Heaven before we came back to Earth. I can't remember his answers but I do remember him asking me why I was asking. I never did tell him it was because I was terrified that by the time I died he and my grandparents might have come back to Earth and I wouldn't see them again. It's funny what we think as kids isn't it? I also remember worrying how I would cope being in Heaven without all my books to read lol

When I was 9 my Grandad died after many months of terrible suffering. Around that time my Grandma was going to visit a medium. However she became ill and had to go into hospital herself so my mum and dad went to her appointment instead. That was when our family first started believing in the afterlife. At 9 years old I was quite happy to fit this into my belief system, especially as I should have been a twin and I found great comfort in knowing that someone I had shared the womb with was watching over me as well as God.

At this point my knowledge of Christianity was very poor and I longed to become a Christian and go to church because I believed it would only strengthen and deepen my connection to God. So when my friend asked me to join her church choir when I was 17 I jumped at the chance. The church I joined was Anglican and very formal. The choir members wore cassocks and surplices and we sang all the responses from the Book of Common Worship. Incidentally, my cassock was far too long and when we walked down the aisle singing the first hymn someone always stood on it and many a time did I almost fall flat on my face. For some reason I never thought to lift the hem. I also now own a copy of the Book of Common Prayer which my Great-Grandfather was given "for conduct and attendance" in 1899!

Anyway, I felt very out of my league at that church - I knew nothing about Christianity and I always worried I'd do something wrong, like forget to bow to the altar or something. I also felt so shy I couldn't sing and spent 7 months feeling like a failure and a fraud. I almost left on many occasions, but in a year when I was severely depressed (hey even my grades went from straight As to fails!!) sitting there, each Sunday, feeling closer to God kept me going. But eventually my depression and fear won out and I left in shame one Sunday between the morning and evening services and lost touch with those of the church because a) I felt bad for how I had acted and b) when I went to uni and joined the Christian Union I decided I didn't want to be a Christian at all.

Yeah, the Christian Union kinda spoiled it for me completely. I remember going to meetings and being so excited about renewing my connection with God, especially as I was so scared of going away from home and struggling to settle in. The majority of my time at University was a very dark time and I tottered on the brink of depression more than once. If it hadn't been for finding my faith I don't know how I would have coped. The summer between finishing school and starting university has been a hard one - I had fallen out with my best friend (who had persuaded me to join the church), I had failed my exams and I was going to University which was something I had never planned on doing and which terrified me more than anything. But that summer my Aunty had also taken me under her wing and introduced me to Angels. That had meant so much to me and so when I found myself sat in a CU meeting with the speaker ridiculing those who believed that Angels were friendly and helpful when the Bible states that those who saw Angels were afraid and so should we be I was shocked. It was a wake up call... the more time I spent there the more I realised I didn't like these people who treated others with such disrespect. It wasn't the fact that their belief was different but the way in which they acted.
Now, I know now that this is not the way that all Christians act... I know I met a few very pushy people and that was unfortunate because it sent me into a whole spiritual crisis from which I thought I might never emerge. For years I couldn't use the word God for what I had come to know as God because it felt like blasphemy. I also hid my beliefs from those I knew - I told them I wasn't a Christian but I never told them what I actually believed in for fear of rejection and ridicule. It seemed to me at that time that having no beliefs was more acceptable than having differing beliefs.

So I began searching in other areas and found that I already had very strong beliefs and there were even other people out there who had similar beliefs so I began reading books by like-minded people and my faith grew until I was able to begin to accept that it was ok for me to be a little different. However I still had issues with Christianity - BIG ones. To me it was this awful religion that condemned those who didn't follow the same path and led through fear because this was the only concrete example I had been given.

That's when I was lucky enough to spend 3 months working and living with the Salvation Army in Germany. I don't think my experience could have been any different even if I had tried looking for all my life. The people I lived and worked with knew from the word go that I wasn't a Christian but that I really wanted to spend my time in Germany (a compulsory part of my degree) making a difference rather than sitting in an office somewhere all day long. And they were ok with that - they took me in, invited me to meetings and bible study groups without ever once making me feel like I should go. They cared for me and helped my confidence to grow by giving me tasks such as helping the therapist in the care home carry out activities with the residents, and taking part in the daily activities at the Corps. I even led one of the "women's groups" my final week there because the Officer hadn't had time to prepare and she had a busy morning so she left me with her Bible and her study pack and let me work through it ready for the afternoon's group meeting. I began to see how welcome and wonderful it was to be part of such a community and I still miss that to this day. I felt like a part of something and wished more than anything that I could become a Christian and be a soldier and really make a difference (I was even told by some it was a shame I wasn't a Christian because I would have made a great officer!).

But unfortunately there are still things that I feel within my heart and my soul are true which just do not coincide with Christianity. Sometimes that makes me sad as I truly do miss my time with the army. They were my family for 3 months and are very dear to me, as is their work. But I know it would be a lie and very restricting to deny parts of meyselfto try and be something I'm not. But my time in Germany really opened my eyes and started my healing process towards religion, and Christianity in particular. I lost a lot of my bitterness and began to see the strength and beauty within it.

I realise that I still haven't actually told you what it is I believe, and that is because it is so hard to define - there is no name that describes who I am as I don't follow a set religion. I also know this post is extremely long, but it was all important, to me at least, and shaped who I am today in terms of my beliefs. I suppose the nearest thing you can get to describing me is "New Age" but I hate that term because a) it's a new age as opposed to what old age? b) it is so broad nobody knows what it actually means - it's like putting everybody who doesn't fit into any other category into this one and c) people often have a very stereotypical idea of people who pick and choose what they want to believe and have no real grounding for it.

I have drifted a lot and tried to make things fit with my life, it is true. But through everything I have come to realise that the only thing I can believe is what lies in my heart - what makes sense to me on a soul level rather than a logical/mind level. Whenever I hear something I always try and weigh it against my heart and see whether it makes my heart swell or shrink in fear. For me God is Love and anything that makes me feel love is God-based and anything that makes me fear is human-based.

So I guess now is the time to come clean - what do I actually believe? I've been writing for ages and still haven't told you so let me try and give you a quick overview, just for ease:

I believe in God. I believe God is everything and in everything - so you, me, the sun, the sky, everything is God. I believe that there is a plan, always has been and always will be. I believe we are a part of this plan and all the good and bad things that happen are part of it. I believe we have free will and choose to take whichever path through life but that all eventually lead to God - I do not believe in one true religion or one truth as everything to me is blessed and from God so how can anything be untrue? This means I truly believe all religions are based on truth but have human interpretations placed upon them as this is all we know as humans. So choosing one religion over another is a life-choice, for me, and not one which decides whether you make it to Heaven or not. I believe that we are all connected and so spiritual healing is possible by any living being for any living being (including the earth). I also believe the Angels, and other spiritual beings such as deceased loved ones help and guide us to reach our potential and do what we came here to do. I believe that we can choose to reincarnate if we so wish. I believe there is a reason for everything - even the seemingly bad and evil things in our life and that the murderer (for example) is as much a part of God as the vicar, healer or child. I believe that in essence everything comes from the Light and Love of God but for us to better understand this we choose to live life experiencing lack of Love and Light also - but that the fear, evil and darkness are all created by God so are all to be thanked for their lessons. I also believe that I have only just scratched the surface and will continue to learn throughout my life and beyond.

Ok that was a really condensed overview and I hope it makes sense. I didn't want to waffle on forever about my beliefs because it would take me forever and a day and I don't want to push my beliefs onto anybody else. The point of this post was to see how I had come to the point where I am now - a person with strong beliefs but who doesn't follow any religion. Hopefully this post makes some sense and might explain some of the things I say and some of the things I do too (i.e. Reiki).

Another reason it is important for me to do this is I do not want to be deceitful by holding back my beliefs. I want to be able to say to people "I am praying for you" and know that they know I am praying in my own way. And lastly, I have stopped myself from setting up my business venture of selling my own handmade books and cards because most of my work is spiritual based and it meant showing that part of my life that I have kept closely guarded for many years. Now I feel ready to take that step. I had been planning on doing a post like this for a while and the lies game just made me do it now rather than putting it off indefinately.

If you've made it this far thank you for reading and I do hope it has made sense and not offended anyone - the last thing I want to do is cause a riot! And if you have any questions, ask away...

Monday, 18 February 2008

And the truth will out...

Thanks to all those who took part - I've had a wide variety of responses (I don't think anybody guessed the same as anybody else lol) and many who chose not to play 'cos they just couldn't tell... I guess I'm just so good at lying *blushes*

I do have a winner though who got it spot on but I shall keep the winner's identity secret for now!

So let me share with you the first of my truths and lies...

Truth #1

3. I adore sci-fi and was even a member of the sci-fi society at university - I have the hoodie to prove it.

Yep, that's me, a true sci-fi fan! Actually I'm not as true a fan as a lot of people I know - I don't know the ins and outs of the shows, their characters, the actors... I've never been to a convention and I don't speak Klingon...

BUT I do adore watching and reading sci-fi and I was indeed a member of the sci-fi society and my hoodie has the great slogan "Warning: explodes on contact with reality" plastered across the back of it hehe

I'm pretty much one of those people who knows that certain things (like LARP - live action role play, RPG - role playing games, and Munchkin - a card game) exist but haven't the slightest what it's all about (even having witnessed the first and tried the latter!) I appreciate sci-fi but I'm not a true fan... I'm sure many of my friends must shake their head and tut at my lack of knowledge lol

Lie #1

7. I started drinking alcohol at a young age and would probably have been an alcoholic by now if it weren't for a life-changing experience.

I'm glad to see no one thought that this was a truth... like most kids I tried a sip of my dad's beer and wine as a child but never actually drank more than the odd drop at Christmas. When I got into my latter teens my friends started drinking and by the time I got to university it was pretty much expected that I would drink. Too bad I hate alcohol!

That's right, I hate it! I have tried to like it, I have tried to be sociable, I have drunk the various drinks that people have given me in the vain hope that they will be the ones to find a drink that I actually enjoy and prove to me that alcohol isn't that bad... but it just doesn't work.

I dislike the taste for starters... I think the only alcohol I've ever been able to really enjoy has been various cocktails where the taste is disguised and the odd sip of a stiff drink where the sensation of the burn on the throat overpowers the taste in my mouth. But I don't see the point of drinking cocktails which disguise the taste because why not just drink fruit drinks which have the same taste and don't make me a) sleepy and b) sick. And as for the stiff drinks - yeah I quite like the burn on a cold day or when I have a sore throat but I mean a single unit would last me about 4 hours... that's how little of it I can stomach... so why bother?

I don't have an issue with other people drinking alcohol (except for when they get so drunk I end up cleaning up the sick afterwards lol). I just choose not to drink it myself, I don't see the point - when you don't like the taste or the effects there really is no point.

Needless to say, in a family that loves their drink and surrounded by students who live by their drink I was always a bit of a black sheep... that's another thing, I hate nightclubs too - lots of drunken people thrashing around to music I don't like... well you can imagine how often I went on a night out at uni can't you? lol

Lie # 3

1. I always dreamt of being an air hostess since flying for the first time as a child. The uniform, lifestyle and idea of helping people just seemed so perfect. Unfortunately I am 2 inches too short to be accepted onto any training programme.

I have to say I do think that being an air hostess would be a cool job - but I have never dreamt of being one myself. I get travel sick, you see... and although I rarely feel sick whilst travelling by rail or road anymore, I do feel incredibly dizzy and nauseous when I fly. When you have no joy as the passenger then you can pretty much guarantee that you'll have no joy working on a plane!
I did a few times consider a job in tourism, as a holiday rep or something, because of my love of travelling, languages and different cultures... but air hostess was never really an option for me.

Tune in later in the week for more lies and my final truth... and of course the name of the winner!

Tuesday, 12 February 2008


Having seen this little game (Six Lies and Two Truths) dotted around the blogging world I decided I just had to join in. If you haven't already come across it the concept is simple - I post 8 things about me - two will be truths and six will be absolute lies! You can then email me at dreamslastforever{at}hotmail{dot}com with your guess as to which two are the truth about me. Simple!

I feel quite bad about lying to you lol... but I do find the whole idea of people guessing which are true quite fascinating. I can't wait to see how people actually view me because your guesses must say a lot about that! Also, I'm hoping that the offer of prize for the first person to email me with the correct guesses might encourage some of your lurkers to post (and yes since finally setting up a stat meter for my site I now know that I *do* have lurkers - yay me!)

Oh one last thing... if you know me in real life you can't play - sorry. Not that many people I know in real life read this.

So, without further ado, here goes...

1. I always dreamt of being an air hostess since flying for the first time as a child. The uniform, lifestyle and idea of helping people just seemed so perfect. Unfortunately I am 2 inches too short to be accepted onto any training programme.

2. I am terrified of dogs after having been bitten by one as a child. Seriously, even seeing a dog on the tv makes me stomach squirm.

3. I adore sci-fi and was even a member of the sci-fi society at university - I have the hoodie to prove it.

4. I have been a Buddhist for 5 years now and always make time to meditate each morning and night. I even get up at 5:30am 3 days a week to enable me to practise yoga before going to work too.

5. I once starred in a local tv production about the history of our town. I was 8 years old and absolutely loved dressing up in all the costumes and playing old fashioned games whilst the cameras rolled.

6. I am a keen gardener and can name pretty much any plant we come across at the local garden centre. Even my parents come to me for advice about which plants to buy for their own garden - I'm a bit of a geek when it comes to facts!

7. I started drinking alcohol at a young age and would probably have been an alcoholic by now if it weren't for a life-changing experience.

8. I was totally accident-prone as a child and my x-ray file is so large I'm sure I should glow by now. Somehow, though, I never managed to break anything.

That's it - place your bets and sit tight for the results. I'm quite excited by this because even my lies have stories behind them (but they ARE lies I promise I didn't cheat!) I haven't quite decided what the prize will be yet but I'm sure I can rustle something good up.

Sunday, 10 February 2008

Sacred Life Sunday - week 3 - Life From Both Sides

It's a glorious day here in Lincoln with the sun shining and white clouds drifting along in the sky. In fact it has been a glorious week and I can't help but notice just how much more uplifted I feel when the sun shines and the blue sky seems to go on for miles above and around me. I was just talking to T this weekend about how it feels like I am waking up to Spring just like all the birds and animals. I know we don't hibernate physically but sometimes it feels like during the cold, dark winter months my soul goes into hibernation and only when the sun is warm enough does my heart open up to feel once more. I feel almost like I have been living on auto-pilot these past few months and now I am ready to wake up and live my life once more.

This cycle of sleeping and waking has happened throughout my life too and this is something I am very thankful for. I've seen and experienced life from both the good and the bad, the secure and the terrified places and there have been times when life has felt worth living and other times when covering my head with my duvet and quite literally hibernating for the unforeseeable future has been the thing I have most wanted to do. And yet I am thankful also for those times when the tears have racked my body because feeling anything is far more soothing than feeling nothing at all - that I have experienced too!

So life has been seen from both sides and the more I grow and experience the more I realise what a beautiful blessing this is. I know pure pleasure and happiness and am able to know that this is what I am feeling purely because I have experienced their opposites - I have qualifying emotions and experiences - I can say "today is the best day of my life!" only because I have experienced the worst.

And so today I am thankful for the experiences I have been given, the changing of the seasons and the clouds rolling by in the sky that have reminded me of how good I feel and how much the following song means to me.

Both Sides, Now (originally by Joni Mitchell - but my favourite version is by Lucinda Drayton).

Rows and floes of angel hair
And ice cream castles in the air
And feather canyons everywhere
I've looked at clouds that way
But now they only block the sun
They rain and snow on everyone
So many things I would have done
But clouds got in my way
I've looked at clouds from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It's cloud's illusions I recall
I really dont know clouds at all
Moons and junes and ferris wheels
The dizzy dancing way you feel
As every fairy tale comes real
I've looked at love that way
But now it's just another show
You leave 'em laughing when you go
And if you care, dont let them know
Dont give yourself away
I've looked at love from both sides now
From give and take, and still somehow
It's love's illusions I recall
I really dont know love at all
Tears and fears and feeling proud
To say I love you right out loud
Dreams and schemes and circus crowds
I've looked at life that way
But now old friends are acting strange
They shake their heads, they say I've changed
Well somethings lost, but somethings gained
In living every day
I've looked at life from both sides now
From win and lose and still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall
I really dont know life at all
I've looked at life from both sides now
From up and down, and still somehow
It's life's illusions I recall
I really dont know life at all

Thursday, 7 February 2008

Oh how time flies!

Wow I can't believe how long it has been since I posted (not a record by any means but still quite a while). It's not like I have a ood reason for not being around... I have many little ones ;o)

Since posting last I have been run off my feet with various projects and activities that have just meant that finding the time to post has been nigh impossible. First there's work - nothing new there but it does kinda get in the way of blogging tee hee. Then there's the fact that I was in Cambridge with T last weekend! As it takes me about 3 hours by train I really have to go straight after work on a Friday and come back before work on a Monday to give me the most time possible with him. Of course all this travelling and changing makes for a tiring weekend and this week was made even harder by the fact that one of my trains was delayed by half an hour and I almost missed my connection (which would have meant I would have been late for the lecture I needed to be back for). So I stressed about that and then when I did finally get to the lecture was so exhausted I struggled to stay awake lol. On top of all that I had to carry my weekend bag all the way up Steep Hill and then back down again *phew* then come home and type up the notes I had taken. So you see, last week's preparation for going away (which included managing to type up notes, tidy my room, pack and talk to Tim all in the space of about 3 hours!) and this week's recovery have made it quite difficult to do anything other than the most pressing things...

And right now the most pressing thing for me is research for a new business venture - I KNOW, I KNOW I have been thinking and dreaming of having my own business for absolutely ages now and you must all be sick to the teeth of hearing about it :op but this time it's different... this time T suggested it, this time T has reassured me that I CAN do it and not only that, he wants to be involved with it too. Every time I have come this route I have shied away because it was just not financially possible - now that it is I am way, way excited and throwing myself full blast into the research. Every moment I am not working, talking to T or spending time with my family I am on here trying to study the market and work out what we need to do and note down all our ideas.

So I'm sure you'll excuse me if I am a tiny bit absent at times - I will be back once things calm down a little, I promise!