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Wednesday, 29 December 2010

Now where was I?? ... Oh yes, Christmas....

Some of you will have read my previous post (if not, then stop here & read “Christmas Misery”) and will know that for some years the whole experience of the holiday season has not been particularly joyful for me. With both arduous family commitments and a lot of singing involved, it has proven to be far from the “joyous” festive season, one would wish it to be, indeed, it has been nothing but hard work, seriously un-rewarding & a constant battle to try and feel good about the gifts I buy my children. Not that they are particularly demanding, they aren’t, I am proud to say that I have brought them up without the “Brand” ethos, or “Next New Thing” Christmas list... It’s just that having been out of work for most of my adult life, and indeed, with neither my OH or I working at all since 2003, Christmas gifts have been so tightly budgeted for as to seem miserly, even to Scrooge!
That has just added to the stress of each Christmas day morning, especially when I knew that a number of their relatives would routinely spend the next opportunity they had (normally later that day or boxing day) rubbing it in just how much they had received for Christmas from “Santa” ....
So OK, this year, I have the far better start on the situation by having a good job, having been able to plan my Christmas shopping over a period of time & ask my children to write a list of what they would like and possibly get them something off that list!
So, Christmas Eve arrives, I have a few last minute things to get, Panto to go to, and the usual (but I’m afraid no less painful & tiring) Midnight Mass, to sing at. Then it’s the ritual early morning wrapping, depositing of the Santa sack by the bedside of the sleeping ones & finally bed for me.
Christmas morning, and my youngest awakes to her sack & each item pulled from it draws a little “yay” as she does so... unfortunately, her older siblings are either already downstairs on the Xbox (having walked straight past the sack by their bed) or still asleep, and have to be woken in order to get ready for church once more, and so we lose just a little more of the pleasure of the day.
After Church, we come home & they get to open the rest of their presents, at which point I get to see some genuine joy, until my youngest son opens his new PSP and announces that he wishes he could sell the games it came with & get a different one as these are boring! ...

So ends my attempt to enjoy Christmas...

Monday, 13 December 2010

Christmas Misery

Christmas is supposed to be a time for families to come together, share time, work at being happy together, and just co-exist peacefully.  So why do so many of us find that we experience the complete opposite at the festive season?
There can be so much stress and disappointment, so much ill feeling and regret which comes from the holiday period; it really does leave me wondering why some families bother getting together at all.   
I have very mixed memories of my family get-togethers – some good, especially when I was younger – but some less happy. I didn’t appreciate being dragged to spend time with people who made fun of the fact that my immediate family (Mum, Brother & I) attended church a lot during Christmas because we were in the choir, and in fact thought it was very funny to take the p**s out of us. I also am not very secure in my height, and this was also a source of amusement for family members, especially as my sibling was taller than me.
Anyway,
I can’t be alone in feeling that these once-a-year excuses for  large alcohol consumption, were nothing more than a playground for all those pent up sour grapes? A place for tantrums, tears and throw away criticism.
Surely it would be far easier if they kept their distances, fine, send a card, made the call on Christmas Day and send the soon-forgotten-gifts, but just do each other a favour, and stay away from each other! That way you might find that you will all have one less miserable memory of a Christmas time to try and forget.

Monday, 29 November 2010

A definition of friendship...


Are you really being my friend…


Is your definition of friendship?
Are you someone who never begins a conversation only responds when I do?
Someone who thinks that they don’t have to get anything meaningful out of their relationship with me?
Someone who, because they think they’re doing the best for me, never asks what what need?
Someone who knows that I never have a “good weekend” but says it all the same…
Someone who used to just put their arm around me, or hold my hand. But not now…

If it isn’t, then let me know, because at the moment it sure feels like it.

Saturday, 27 November 2010

No longer straight forward...

Once upon a time life was really rather straight forward. I knew who I was, everyone treated me the same, and called me the same, either “mummy”, or “so-and-so’s mum” or “Mrs Turton”.... if I was lucky.
Things were predictable, to a certain extent, in as much as I knew I had school runs to do at certain times, there would be food shopping needed on particular days, choir practice on Friday evening etc etc..
Even the “unexpectedness” which having children brings was to some degree, routine, as each of my children in turn would make the same mistake, learn the same lessons and develop the same life skills. Not that it wasn’t exiting watching them learning to speak, or walk or ride a bike, but once you have done it once, or twice, somehow it is just not quite as “unpredictable” as it was the previous occasions. It is a little sad to think about it in a way.

Anyway,
All this has changed. And I’m not completely convinced that the change is entirely for the good.
It’s not that I don’t like variety, in fact I do! I really enjoy having a change of perspective and colour to things, it just that what happened in this case has destroyed any certainty I might have had in my sense of self.
I don’t who I am any more... I’m not sure who to be. I’m not sure what’s expected of me, and I am so unsure where I’m going it us beginning to really frustrate me. I want to scream sometimes and it is just not like me.
I’m sure it’s not helping my children either, especially, especially my eldest, who is just getting to the point in her life where she needs certainty and someone near her who can be a source of constancy, and this is just another reason to be frustrated.

However,

One thing I’m not going to do is to worry myself to the point of making myself ill over it. I am going to have to find a way to get through this. I don’t know how yet, and I don’t know how long it will take, but I am sure it will happen.  I also don’t know whether I’ll find the answers by myself or with someone else’s guidance, but I’m prepared to wait and find out.

Another of life’s challenges and part of the journey.





Tuesday, 23 November 2010

So much lost...

I know they say a picture says a thousand word, but I seem to able to manage to say enough just using good ol' fashioned English.
Having told someone exactly what I felt recently, it was the hardest thing I have ever done, and I found it incredibly hard to do. It took several hours to pull together exactly what I wanted to say, and even then I was still not completely happy with what I saw.

What I'm realising now is that, despite my best attempts with words, nothing can say what you truly mean. There is still so much of what I had to say that I've lost the opportunity to. I'll regret it forever.

No, pictures,
No Words,

Nothing can say what really needs to be said.

Only actions.

Monday, 15 November 2010

I've Changed my mind..

I have so much I need to say to the people who have had the most impact on my life, that if I was to start now it would probably take me until the new century dawns to finish...I don't have that long!

Sadly some of those I have met in my relatively short life, have done nothing but leave pain and angst behind them, and unfortunately this is their legacy.

But this is not about these people!

This is about the others who meanwhile, whether they have stayed for just a few hours, weeks, months, or even years, have been the most positive influences on what I have become and will become in the future.

I have decided that it is my duty, nay, honour, to thank you all from the bottom of my heart...

From the friend I had at junior school (whose brother worked for Pratt's Bananas - funny the things you remember) but who only stayed for one term....

To the one person in this world who means absolutely everything to me.. you know who you are!


You have all left something of yourselves with me, which I treasure and will hold dear. Whatever memories I have of the time we shared, will be used to remember what it was I learned from you & just how much you helped me grow.


So,

I need to shout out a huge "THANK YOU" to you all.....You have no idea just how much you all mean to me.

Tuesday, 12 October 2010

Is it just me or...

Did someone forget to install of the "thoughtfulness" buttons included on previous models of the male versions of our kind?
Now wait before you all throw your hands in the air and say, "but my husband/boyfriend/significant other is very thoughtful".....
I absolutely DO NOT mean EVERY one of them...just those that seem to be in my company ...

And indeed even that isn't fair to the one or two who I know who I can actually say ARE kind, generous & thoughtful, but they are SO in the minority it seems that they are horribly out-numbered by at least 5 to 1, if not 10 to 1....

It's not that I expect the door to be held open for me, or flowers bought, or even my birthday remembered etc. But what would be nice is for them to remember that they are capable of holding a conversation which does not begin with "in my opinion" or "if you ask me" or worse still "If it was me ...." and indeed that I am able to respond to conversations on topics such as technology, politics, science, media.....without getting all "Girly" and resorting to so-called celebrities (whom I personally dislike to the point of ignoring)

Where is the gentle, pleasant, laughter generating conversation? Where have the occasional texts gone saying "hi there, just thought I'd say hope you're OK"?......


Are these so-called friendships really worth the effort and do I keep trying or are they just hangers-on doing nothing for my self-esteem and confidence?

Monday, 16 August 2010

Summer Holidays..

Did anyone say that the summer holidays were fun, relaxing & to be shared with friends & family?

Not likely....

Well maybe the friends bit, having joined a small band of entrepid, stout-hearted (and stout shoe'd) walkers last weekend I was very pleased to have spent several days in adult company despite the added burden of having to walk from Rochester to Canterbury - in the footsteps as it were of Chaucers Pilgrims.....
I'll do it all again if it means another few days away from the stress of school holidays & madness back home ;)

Now, however its back to work..although with many businesses experiencing staff off on their holidays also it is pretty quiet here too! Even the number of phone calls is down to a bare minimum... Never mind, we can always find something to do! Even with the bosses on their annual vacation somewhere on a ship in the med....

Adieu...

Monday, 7 June 2010

Its been a while

Its been a while since I managed to write anything on here simply because I have been hugely fortunate enough to find that 'perfect' job, and have been working for a really delightful company for the past 5 months (roughly).... add to that my journey times, choir & everything else has just taken a back seat. Sorry!

Anyway, since starting my new role I have learned more in the short time I have been with the company than I ever thought possible.  Not only about the industry I am now involved in, but about working with other people (instead of being on my own so much)  building relationships with our customers & suppliers (networking), but also expanding on my vague knowledge of the internet, SEO, using Google properly etc
Add to this a massive amount of self discovery & it all adds up to a completely different person who now stands in front of you.......someone who not all that long ago was to be found sat on her bed watching iPlayer all day, and now gets up (virtually with the sun) goes to work & enjoys even the bus journey there!! (I genuinely can't believe I am saying that - you only have to ask my friends & family what my opinions on work would have been even 8 months ago and then consider my previous statement)

Now, I have several people to thank for this......

Andy, for being 'permanent babysitter' :)

Niki & Rob, for constantly telling me how proud you both are of me...

Lizzie, AJ, Mathew & Holly for being constant reminders of why I go to work ;)

and Andrew & Clare Rayner, for giving me the chance, hope & support I needed to prove to myself I am a better person than who I thought I was......

That's it for now......
Back soon, I promise, at which point I'll tell you more about the company I'm working for & what I do here.

Clare.

Sunday, 17 January 2010

Evergreen digital scrapbook mini kit

UPDATE!!
Nearly a whole year later & I finally got around to uploading this for you to download! 
Please use and enjoy as you will... It was my first attempt after all :)



http://www.4shared.com/dir/tHSL2uEn/Evergreen_Elements.html
http://www.4shared.com/dir/GyX3f6cH/Evergreen_papers.html