Getting to know you, getting to know all about you…

I wasn’t sure about these meme’s and therefore it has taken me a little time to complete this one. I’m just a bit grumpy about these things, like a chain letter or in the modern world those texts that you are supposed to forward to friends. I don’t like the pressure under which they put you, a guilt that if you don’t take part you are letting the side down. Anyway grump over I thought about it and actually realised it might be a little bit of fun. All I will say to those I tag, please don’t feel you need to do this but maybe in a moment when you’re thin on material or time, it might be a relief to have these prompts and it may also be good for your fellow bloggers to get to know you. So here goes…

Here are the rules:

  1. Post 5 random facts about yourself
  2. Choose 5 other deserving blogs with less than 200 subscribers to nominate and link their blogs in your post
  3. Tell your nominees you have chosen them for this award by leaving a comment on their blogs
  4. Answer the 5 questions the tagger has asked you and ask your own 5 questions to the people you nominate
  5. No tag backs (I think I have already failed this one)

The bloggers I nominate, because I enjoy their blogs and they are very kind to comment on my own offerings, are F.A.B at Forty, 39 and counting, The Oliver’s Madhouse, 92three30 and Corporate Housekeeping. I’m sorry if you’ve already had this meme.

Here are my five random facts….

  1. I was born in South Africa.
  2. I was once in a youth production of Romeo and Juliet which toured around Tuscany, yes the one in Italy.
  3. I spent most of my teenage summer holidays on the island of Gozo, yes the one off Malta.
  4. I am a quarter Italian, my hair and nose is definitely part of that quarter.
  5. I love the song “You are the Wind Beneath My Wings” sung by Bet Midler oh and the film Beaches it comes from, cue tears.

Here are the five questions and my answers…..

Where do you see yourself in ten years time?

My first thought is how old will the kids be? 18 & 19, where will they be?  At home probably. I can’t project myself that far forward without thinking of them. Hopefully my job of bringing them up will be a glowing story of success and they will require minimum input from parents. For me I wish for little, other than to be happy and financially secure enough to live with few worries, not great wealth just stress free. I wish to be able to fill my days with work or activities that I take pleasure in and things that have me wanting to leave my bed in the morning. I would like to fall into bed at night fulfilled and tired from a day well spent. Also I’d like to be free of depression or to at least have gained a greater understanding of the workings of my mind so as to create an impenetrable defence against my foe. To share all the best and worst moments with my wonderful husband who although wonderful now will be completely wonderful in 10 years time because he will have mellowed.

When you were little what did you want to be when you grew up?

From about 9 years old I wanted to be a fashion designer. I would spend hours drawing outfits and models. I still have a book full of these funny little characters clothed in my avant-garde creations. This remained my dream into my teens. Even now I’d still quite like to be a fashion designer.

What is your favourite alcoholic drink?

Since I am currently taking a year off drinking alcohol, which I have blogged about here and here I abstain from answering this question.

How long have you been blogging for? and why did you start one?

I have been blogging 5 months. I started reading peoples blogs about adoption when I joined twitter. I thought I’d like to have a go and the rest as they say is history.

Do you still live where you grew up or have you moved to a new location?

I don’t live where I was born and lived for the first 8 years of my life, South Africa. I live about 10 miles from the area where my husband and I schooled and grew up. We live in the hills away from the hustle and bustle but we are not remote. I love the community we are now bringing our children up in. It is full of some wonderful people, we’ve made friends and being involved in a community gives you a true sense of belonging. It’s important for me that my adopted children grow up somewhere they can truly feel they belong.

These are the questions I’d like my tags to answer.

1. What is your favourite childhood memory?

2. What would be your last meal?

3. If you could live anywhere in the world where would it be and why?

4. What are your favourite past times other than blogging?

5. Do you have any regrets and if so what are they?

#Healing4Kerry

This is for a mum I don’t know, have never met and know very little about. What I do know is that she is seriously ill in hospital after she suffered a brain hemorrhage following a ruptured aneurysm three months ago. She has three beautiful children and a loving husband who desperate want her home. Her name is Kerry and she was a keen blogger at Multiply Mummy before she fell ill, and her husband is currently holding the fort for her. Today he has posted some beautiful pictures of her, take a look here.

In support and in a hope to channel some positive and healing energy for Kerry bloggers are coming together to think about her today and provide support for her family. I have lit this candle as my small contribution.

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Red Red Wine

I sniffed a bottle of red wine. Not in a passing it under my nose in order to assess its musky aroma way, no. I plugged it to my nasal passages and inhaled deeply as if I was taking in the memory of a lost loved one. Warmth prickled under my arms whilst my mouth flooded with saliva and my heart palpitated rapidly. Briefly I’m left feeling a little bit wobbly from the surge of this yearning desire. For a single moment there was the “what if?” Quickly however I move on, evolution made, I poured the luscious cherry liquid over the 600 grams of cubed beef, raw onions, garlic and diced celery and popped it in the oven. Cork in wine for husband to enjoy later.

“Are you still not drinking?”, “What’s it like not drinking?”

“Yes” and “its fine, I don’t really think about it”

But I do think about it, I think about it a lot.

There’s a going out night, let’s say a party with a bar; I’ve managed a couple so far. My initial thoughts are what am I going to drink at the party? I’ve come to the conclusion that when surrounded by people drinking alcohol I at least like to give the illusion I’m partaking, fooling myself more than others.  So non- alcoholic beer suites me best, a Becks Blue if they have it, which they probably don’t in my experience. So I hope for a ginger beer and at the very least a lime and soda. Being surrounded by alcohol at a party is actually easier than sitting across the table from a friend nursing a goldfish bowl of Chablis. I’ve discovered that parties have many distractions, numerous guests, sometimes food and often dancing. But an intimate chat with a friend and their wine, no I’m not really comfortable with that, add food and I’m good to go. Come round for a cup of tea, even better.

At home there are beers, with and without alcohol content, in the fridge and an occasional bottle of wine, for drinking and more recently for cooking. There is half a bottle sat on the kitchen side now but it’s not calling me and it has not crossed my mind to engage with it, even though my husband is away! Six months ago the scenario would have been very different. My longing to envelop myself in the fuggy and forgetful world of alcohol has somewhat dwindled and instead a sudden moment of lust, sparked by something on the television, or a memory just passing through is more likely to leave me with a brief pang for the past.

But this is not me thinking about it a lot. The panic of whether I will be able to enjoy social engagement has subsided and as for what to do in an evening, a weekend, why blogging, twittering, crocheting and other hobbies and activities have easily allayed that worry, oh and there is always a family to interact with. No I think about it more first thing in the morning. I wake from my slumber with no regrets, no shuddering gut wrenching loathing, no digging deeper into the duvet hoping the outside world will disappear and forget about me and there are no more derisory thoughts of “oh you didn’t, not again” “You idiot”. Honestly I am extremely thankful every morning that I didn’t drink the night before.

Every day I think about not drinking alcohol, because not drinking alcohol has seriously started to change my life. Not in an I’ve won the lottery sort of overnight changed my life, more a slow and considered reveal. Peeling back the layers, pulling back the dead and dirty leaves to unearth the soft sweet goodness within, the tired years of alcohol dependency shed, leaving a person I have started to recognise again, it’s me.

The person I’ve met is what I remember of myself, glanced occasionally but sadly often absent. Last at her best in her late teens, yes I feel seventeen again. Those days of creative passion a desire for the world and a refutable belief that the universe could be conquered are returning. Add to her some years of worldly experience, emotional development and an increasing understanding of responsibility and this baby is damn near a pretty amazing grown up. Drum roll please, finally I feel that it may be possible to be the person that I’ve always wanted to be.

So whilst I explore all the possibilities that a hangover free life seems to be offering me, thinking about alcohol and how it’s absence is improving my existence tenfold.  I bask in my own sensibility which in turn is fertilising my growing self esteem and occasionally  I wonder if I should celebrate my brilliance with a glass of red wine, what do you think?………I agree, considering the sniffing incident, not ready yet.

Mini Rules

In passing, definitely in passing, I heard something on morning television the other day which well, really annoyed me. Normally the vacuous content of Lorraine washes over me as I down my second cup of tea, first one is had in bed. On this morning however my arm hairs were prickled and a small gasp was released as her diminutive fashion “expert” made a statement. As if it were a law that all understood and should abide to he said. “Of course you shouldn’t wear a mini skirt if you are over forty”. I’m forty and I still wear miniskirts.

Now before you jump to conclusions I am not a heel tottering lady who with fake tanned legs struts about wine bars in a short skirt at the weekend, although if that is someone else’s choice then that is fine. No, I am in fact completely the opposite. For me the mini skirt is one of the few perks that winter brings, worn with thick woolly tights it’s a pleasant alternative to my skinny jeans. Yes I wear those too. I feel that even at forty my legs, although not long are in good shape and therefore a short skirt worn with thick tights is not only acceptable but looks pretty good.

All this got me thinking again, because these thoughts have occupied my mind before, why is it that a number, an age, should dictate what it is acceptable for you to wear? Why does a small man on the telly have the right to make these grand statements? Why am I so cross about this?

I think the rattling of my cage has occurred as said “fashion advisor” has hit a sensitive spot. A vulnerable spot which is all about the “I don’t want to look silly”. Yes I want to keep feeling young and stylish but I don’t want people sniggering behind my back, laughing at my attempts to be “on trend”. I really don’t want to dress like a teenager but I don’t want to dress like I’m middle aged and frumpy either. So I am also annoyed that most likely, in his opinion, a woman over forty should dress like Lorraine. Bless her, I have no problems with the lovely Lorraine’s matchy matchy, hyper groomed style, but it is not me.

I have long been a believer in dressing for myself in a style which suites me and my personality. However I would say that it is only in later years that I have had the conviction to truly apply this belief. Fashion has long been an animal I love to pursue but I have hardly ever been its slave, I may have slipped up on the odd occasion, but I have always rebuffed the need to look like all those around me. I often made clothes for myself as a teenager wanting to have something unique and all mine to wear. I also had an early love for second hand clothes, now fashionably known as “vintage”, and would trawl charity shops, markets and the Mecca which was Manchester’s Affleck’s Palace. I have never been a highly groomed intensely manicured type, opting instead for a more bohemian/unique/alternative/thrown together but chic or just plain “me” look. It might sound funny but clothes mean a lot to me. For me, making the effort to select an outfit and present myself as I would like the world to see me can truly lift my spirits and start the day on a positive footing. I always say beware the days I’m at the school gates in jogging bottoms, then I really am mentally not in a good way.

That is me, and I know that is not everyone so I would like to add that each person should dress for them self and if you’re not that into clothes then you’re probably into something else. That’s the way of the world, I get it. I also understand that the TV experts are there to guide us, especially in those moments of doubt over a new trend. Is it right for my shape, age, bank balance? Here however I would say “It is not the law and do not be dictated to”. If something makes you happy and feel good go with it. If you’re not sure trust the word of the people around you, friends and family, hopefully they will be honest enough to tell you when you look ridiculous.

I suppose the fashion man offended me, I felt he was criticising me personally. Now even writing that statement I know I don’t care at all what he thinks. I care what my friends and family think and if I ever became outrageously embarrassing I hope that someone will give me a quite nudge. I doubt however that this will happen because actually one of the great things that comes with age is confidence in your ability to making the right decisions and I am confident that it is still ok for me to wear a miniskirt.

Other over forty fashion rules I think I must be breaking…Who cares..