If ever there was a song that sound like sunshine, this is it!
If ever there was a song that sound like sunshine, this is it!
I’ve been on online dating site for about a year now. I had one site recommended to me by a friend who had met her husband through it. I’ve not had any luck with it, perhaps because of its matching procedure – people’s answers to questions are sometimes prescribed and sound really tired and annoying. It might be because I’m picky or because I don’t put myself across well online, who knows?
So I’ve signed up to another site which I got quite excited by initially – so many attractive men nearby – hooray! (I’m also reading their profiles, not just focusing on looks) I’ve sent out a good number of messages to people, a couple have replied, so that’s nice. I’ve also had a number of messages from guys I’ve not replied to yet. I feel a bit bad about that, but I don’t want to lead people on, nor send a message that basically says ‘Yeah, not so much thanks…’ because that seems harsh. Perhaps that’s better than not doing anything, I’ll have a think.
The worst message I’ve received so far is ‘Hey babes, I’d let you domm me anytime.’
Firstly, we’re going with a pet name, a plural at that and secondly, no small talk? No light hearted chatting to get to no someone? Straight into a rubbishy come on. He’s been blocked.
I’ve decided to revive my highly unsuccessful ‘Song of the Week’ posting because this song has been in my head all the time and it’s lovely. So I thought I’d share the Jazz Hobbit, Jamie Cullum.
As a person who grew up in a reasonably small market town, I love being in a city. There are so many more things to see and do, places to explore than there were back home. But, I grew up with Summer holidays spent searching for bullhead fish and sticklebacks in the river, climbing the ruins of the viaduct before I knew what a viaduct was, playing on a broken down, abandoned digger in a field, sitting on fences watching the sun start to set, heading out on scavenger hunts for rose hips and different grasses.
So much as I love twisting, turning streets, brick and steel buildings, roads filled with buses, trams and terrible drivers, sometimes I just need some grass, trees, leaves and flowers.
I’ve now lived in Sheffield for a year and I’ve barely explored its magnificent green spaces. I have made a concerted effort to get out and about a bit more.
A couple of months ago, I packed a bottle of water, a scotch egg, a penguin biscuit and some crisps, got on the 85 bus heading out of town from Hillsborough to go exploring. I was headed for Wheata Woods, in search of bluebells.
I’ve been a bit quiet again recently, sorry! But I’ve been making stuff for my brother’s wedding, dying my hair and working a bit too.
Have a look at what the weekend brought here:
More updates soon I promise!
This year I have officially joined the WI. Having dabbled in finding a suitable group for a few years, I am now apart of Steel Belles WI in Sheffield, a very new group full of great ladies.
2015 is the centenary of the formation of the WI and as we are entering the week of the centenary celebrations I’ve been thinking about the women who inspire me and why they do. So here’s a top 4 women (in no particular order) that I think are awesome. They are all people I’d like to be when I grow up please, or at least steal aspects from…
I bought ‘Bossy Pants’, Tina Fey’s autobiography and it’s hilarious. I’ve read a huge number of funny books, but I’ve rarely laughed aloud to one as often as I did with this. In my eyes, Tina Fey can rarely do any wrong – she wrote Mean Girls, she wrote 30 Rock, created ‘The Unbreakable Kimmy Schmidt’, she turns up in all sorts of things and is a breath of fresh air; I even really like Baby Momma and Date Night, I know I’m somewhat in the minority with the last two.
Ah, the world of internet dating.
Every so often I begin to think it’s a really good idea, that I can get to know people, communicate with them and see where things go from there. These are normally times when I get a general feeling that I could really do with a boyfriend, as I find myself eating a large amount of toast and watching Grey’s Anatomy from the beginning again.
Speaking of Grey’s Anatomy, I’ve been re-watching a fair bit (as I am prone to) and this little quote from new doctor, Maggie Pearce, jumped out at me:
Maggie: There’s a gap. Between me and most people. There’s just always has been. I used to think I was younger in school but even after school. The gap, it just got bigger. And more impossible. I wasn’t too young, I was just too different. So I know what it looks like when I say yes to Ethan. It’s fun and we’re happy for a while until it’s not. Things always get awkward and weird so I over correct and he misinterprets and then we’re not on the same page anymore cause we were always miles and miles apart with this gap between us, pretending it wasn’t there. I don’t wanna pretend. I came here to work and just stay focused on that, and I’m fine on my side of the gap. I’m a little lonely but fine. There’s just no point to me saying yes.
Now this is not entirely me, but there are some aspects that made me just think ‘Yep! That’s it!’, specifically thinking there’s a gap and me over stressing an interest in something the other person likes that I’m not so bothered about. For example, a couple of months ago I meet a man who was stupidly beautiful and as I got chatting to him I found he was into comics. I like comics, I’ve seen a fair few film adaptations but I’m by no means an expert, but I could get away with a shallow level discussion about them. But why would that be a good idea? Feigning an interest in something to get someone to like me? That’s not a good way to go ahead. I’ve done that lots with men and perhaps that’s why I’m still single. Because I wasn’t being me.
But, every so often I think ‘Come on, you’re a grown up, it shouldn’t be this hard.’
So I sign up to a site. I start off quite eager, sending off messages to people I think I’d get on with and getting excited when I get the email through saying I’ve got a new message or something. Then my enthusiasm sags as they admit to enjoying hunting with dogs or that their mum is their best friend and they do really enjoy going on holiday with her twice a year or that their favourite band is U2.
“This band behind me’ll tell you that that trophy means more to me than owt else in the whole world. But they’d be wrong! Truth is, I THOUGHT it mattered. I thought that MUSIC mattered. But does it bollocks? Not compared to how people matter. Us winning this trophy won’t mean bugger-all to most people. But us refusing it – like what we’re going to do now – well, then it becomes news, doesn’t it? [flurry of press camera shutters] You see what I mean. That way, I’ll not just be talking to myself, will I? Because over the last ten years, this bloody government has systematically destroyed an entire industry. OUR industry. And not just our industry – our communities, our homes, our lives. All in the name of “progress”. And for a few lousy bob. I’ll tell you something else you might not know, as well. A fortnight ago, this band’s pit were closed – another thousand men lost their jobs. And that’s not all they lost. Most of them lost the will to win a while ago. A few of them even lost the will to fight. But when it comes to losing the will to live, to breathe, the point is – if this lot were seals or whales, you’d all be up in bloody arms. But they’re not, are they, no, no they’re not. They’re just ordinary common-or-garden honest, decent human beings. And not one of them with an ounce of bloody hope left. Oh aye, they can knock out a bloody good tune. But what the fuck does that matter?” Click on the quote for Pete Postlethwaite in his full glory.
Well, it’s been quite a week hasn’t it?
I can’t say I was particularly confident of a major shift towards something that I would have seen as more positive than the last government, but, as I believe was the case for many of my friends, the last thing I was expecting was a Conservative majority. I am saddened, I am disappointed, I am angry, I am frustrated, I am filled with dread with what is to come.
I have mixed feelings about my national identity. I am both English and British. I was born in a cottage in Buckinghamshire. I have one Scottish grandfather who died 10 years before I was born and one Irish great grandfather who died 75 years before I was born. We’ve traced branches of our family tree back over a thousand years and, as with many English people, our family has come from all over Europe – France, Belgium, Luxembourg, Denmark, Italy, Spain, Norway, Germany, Turkey, Hungary – and that’s just the people we have records for. When I was abroad I think I ended up saying either depending upon how I felt on the day. I haven’t visited Europe recently so I’m not sure how we are currently being perceived over there.
I have real struggles with national pride and nationalism. I can see why people want to have a sense of pride of where they come from. People can be house proud, proud of their hamlet, village, town or city, their county, their region, their country, that’s fine if it brings them some happiness. What I really hate is when that is then used as an excuse to say “I’m this, so I’m better than you!” Just because you were born in this time and place doesn’t make you better than anyone who wasn’t. Perhaps you are a better person than someone else, but that has nothing to do with an accident of birth, that’s to do with how you speak to people, your actions and your intentions.
In the last few years I’ve had help and support from a number of different people. My younger* brother, Richard, and his girlfriend, Liz, let me live in their attic when I came back from Tanzania. My sister, Alex, and her family let me live with them for a few weeks when I came back from travelling. My poor niece was put out of her room and I don’t think she complained. Well, if she did then they didn’t tell me and she’s so ridiculously cute she’d get away with it. I’m very grateful to them for helping me out when my world was slowly disintegrating and we had all lost a father.
When I was in Fiji, with about £30 left to my name I was really panicking. I think I knew I was a bit depressed again, I was annoyed with myself because I didn’t have enough to get across America and was having to face the fact that I was going to have to go back early. I really couldn’t face going to live back in Northamptonshire.
Now I want to clarify, my home town is lovely place. It’s relatively small, it’s got good schools, it’s a short walk to the countryside. It’s pretty safe to bring up a family in, but for me it’s suffocating. I can’t be there at this stage of my life, and actually, I don’t know if I can ever go back permanently. When I’ve been back to my old school to talk to the 6th form I ask them to put their hands up if they want to stay there for all their lives. I then ask who thinks that their soul would be sapped away, second by second, if they stayed there forever. I’ll let you guess which option is voted for the most often. Obviously it’s a bit of a joke, but I feel trapped there, partially by my own inability to drive.
So sitting by the beach in Fiji last May I was talking to my friend Ruby about how I could manage to move to Sheffield in my self-imposed impoverished state. She suggested contacting musicians to see if they happened to need a house sitter or babysitter over the summer. Which is how I messaged Nancy Kerr and James Fagan and ended up living in their attic for 6 months or so. (Or, as their infinitely wise eldest son said ‘You live in the whole house, not just in the attic!)**
As regular readers may know, at the moment I am looking for work. I’m doing volunteering and applying for loads of jobs but no luck yet. It’s only a matter of time.
What this does mean, however, is that I have to regularly go to the job centre so they can see how I’m getting on and I can get a small amount of money to live on.
About a month ago I had an interview at Sheffield Uni and then had to go in later than usual to the job centre. Everyone was on their lunch, but I had to go and pick up a little boy I was babysitting, so the supervisor agreed to see me and was lovely and very helpful. She was going to head downstairs with me to find some extra forms that might be useful for me, but just had to deal with something else, so asked me to wait a second.
Now since I had been to the interview, I was a little dressed up – a 1930s style green dress, cardi, heels and even had foundation and mascara on. I got up from my seat, started putting on my coat and one of the security guards came over to keep an eye on one of the other visitors and started talking to me. He said I looked nice, I said thanks, I’ve been to an interview. He didn’t ask how it went but asked me if I had a boyfriend.
The sun has been shining, I’ve been filing in applications and getting some bunting made, so what better to do than make some biscuits? Recently I’ve been baking chocolate cookies, but I’m a bit bored of them, so had a little trawl through the cupboard and decided to get going with some oats and golden syrup.
I got a bit hooked on Chai Latte in Australia last year and have been looking for some over here for ages. I managed to get Chai tea bags in M&S but have just found the latte powder in Sainsburys – it’s the Drink Me Chai.
Well I like to experiment with my cooking and so I thought I’d adapt a cake recipe to add it in.
When I was younger, maybe 8 or 9, I loved anything on TV that involved Tony Robinson – obviously Blackadder, Maid Marion and her Merry Men and Time Team but he also did a fantastic show based on Bible stories called ‘Blood and Honey’. I would go every week to the library and borrow the cassette of ‘Odysseus the greatest hero of them all’ that was written by Robinson and Richard Curtis, read by Robinson. I’m not sure if anyone else got to borrow it much because I always had it. I’m not sure how it survived so many listens. I loved the way Robinson read it, doing all the voices and putting in all the drama, just like he did on the telly.
Mum and Dad must have been sick of listening to it over and over, because for Christmas that year they got me two new story tapes – The Light Fantastic and Equal Rites. Of course, they were read by Tony Robinson, and so in a round about way I was introduced to the brilliant world of Terry Pratchett. I’m not sure that my parents knew what they’d introduced me to.
These days it seems that every day is national this or international day of that, so why should we take notice of this? Why should we care about today and celebrate it?
Yes, it’s back, not particularly through popular demand, but because I’ve been listening to music again and like to share. So here you go.
Over the past week here in Sheffield I have been battered by wind, rain, sleet, hail, snow and today the clouds parted long enough for me to get warmed by the strengthening Spring light, so much so that for the first time that I can remember I felt almost uncomfortably warm in my winter coat and cardigan.
I’ve been pulling myself out of my depressive slump with the help of a great doctor, medication, good friends and who knows what else. This week I’ve been accepted for volunteering roles, I’ve explored the city a bit more and found some awesome places that I’ll be visiting and spending more time in. I’ve caught up with a chum that I’ve not seen for years, is marvelous and very kindly bought me wine and dinner (Hey Masoom!) and had a job interview. So even if I don’t get it, at least I’m back in the swing of things a bit.
I’ve picked this song because it’s been in my head and hasn’t shifted. When I first heard it, I wasn’t that keen on it, I’m not sure why, perhaps it’s because the lyrics don’t quite scan in the way I’m used to but it has been a real grower and I love this stripped down version below.
‘Remember that life is not meant to be wasted, we can always be chasing the sun.’
What do you think?