Wednesday, 15 June 2011

Controlling myself GBE 2


I’m trying to control myself over these next couple of days. Whilst my fiancé Dave is away from me for the first time since we’ve been together I now have to control everything.

It’s kind of strange for me to be feeling this way as a woman but it’s not like I don’t have control over nothing. However this is a slightly different feeling for me. I feel lost sitting in an empty flat & to me it feels colder & quiet…no matter how loud the TV might go. But I’m finding myself wandering around feeling a little lost. So I’m taking control.

This means amongst other things I have to remember not to forget my keys when I go outside for my naughty habit of smoking, making sure I turn all the sockets off before leaving or going to bed & the obvious of making sure all the windows are closed & locked!

I’m not saying I don’t normally check these things but when there’s two of you doing the checking & calling out to the other “have you locked the windows?” or “don’t forget your keys on the worktop.” It makes life easier. Calling out to an empty room doesn’t have the same impact as for 1. It can’t answer back or shout “your keys…your keys” as you’re walking out the door & 2. I’ll be mad if I actually talked to an empty room!

I also have to control the thought of spending the night alone in an empty bed. Do I stay on my side? Do I move over to his side? Do I sleep in the middle & create a starfish shape? Do I just relax & let my body sneak over to his side…we all know his side is the best after all.

Then there’s the thought of should I stay awake all night listening to the creaks & strange noises a flat can make? Shall I lock all the windows while I sleep & melt all night? Or should I leave them open as usual believing nothing will happen?

I think the biggest problem is knowing I won’t be stealing the duvet & snuggling myself deep in the bed whilst he is asleep beside me & giving me the rhythm to drift off into my own dreamland. Instead I’ll have control of the whole duvet & shall find myself probably not knowing how to sleep.

It sounds kind of strange I know but it’s not until your other half is away for a couple of days that you realise how much control you have as a couple over one another in a good way. How one can make the other feel safe. How you can both laugh at the tiniest silly thing or a joke, yet on your own it sounds weird. That you know someone else is there when you go out & come back & that at least one of you will double check the whole flat before sleeping or going out.

So my control over the next couple of days will be to stay sane whilst I wander on my own around an empty flat, controlling when I choose to do the washing up or the fact that I suddenly don’t need control to tuck into the stash of chocolate in the cupboard…after all everyone needs a chocolate fix once in a while (even if I end up sitting here thinking I’d better not eat this last square as I need to try my dress on again soon!)…sod it control or no control, I’ll let the empty wrapper decide! 

Thursday, 9 June 2011

GBE 2 'Loosing myself.'

I actually found this topic difficult to think about. It’s probably one of the first times I have been stumped as to what to write about, I don’t think I even found it tough to write about things when given a random topic on my writing course.

I thought the usual thing with this one though: what have I lost & then perhaps found…an odd coin at the bottom of my bag that would go straight into the money jar, an old button that I have no idea which piece of clothing it now belongs too, an odd sock that has been swallowed up by the washing machine sock fairy…yes that drives me nuts too. But nope. I felt none of these ‘ideas’ fitted with what I wanted to say.

Hence the stumped feeling. Should I go for something funny? Something sad? Should I do a picture write up of things many have lost & found? Then I got to think some more…discovering that my brain was beginning to hurt from too much thinking…when I thought about the time I lost myself.

I found myself in a dark, painful place. Not knowing what I was doing day in and day out. Walking along in a strange bubble where the voices around me were a muffled mess.

This was the time I was lost in a dark cloud of depression.

When I was told I had depression I remember actually laughing. A big LOL. Me & depression didn’t go together. I was just feeling odd that’s all. I had been through a lot, but I was a hard worker with a constant smile (faked & real) plastered on my face. I wasn’t someone who suffered with this disease.

Then as I got talking to the doctor the tears came & came & came. I couldn’t stop them, no matter how hard I tried, and even cursing in my mind wouldn’t stop them. In fact it made them worse as I began to think “great I’m now talking to myself. I must be nuts!”

I walked away from my doctor thinking “that’s it I’m doomed.” The tiniest thing would set me off. A death in a soap, burning a slice of bread, spilling a drink etc. I thought I’d never be normal again.

That’s the trouble with depression. It’s always there, it’s a constant panic, it can creep up on you again at any given moment even when you think you are fine. Mine seemed to be year’s worth of crap stored in my mind weighing down on me before it finally all snapped. That’s what my counsellor thought & by talking to her over a long period of time I began to shred the crap. I discarded it bit by bit on to a person trained to deal with this kind of problem. How they separate work from life amazes me…hats of to them!

So as the years have slowly crept pass me I have felt myself grow again. I have found the ‘me’ before this all hit. The strong smiley person. Yes I still get the occasional flutter. The slight anxiety when entering a new situation but on the whole I have found myself again.

Does it still panic me that at any time I could loose myself to that grim place? Of course but I know that now more than ever I have a strong supportive network of family around me especially the one I love. If depression creeps up on me & knocks me for six then I know I will cope. Why? Because my mind & heart is filled with love that will kick the depression’s butt once & for all.

Purring History

I thought I’d start a bit of feline writing. This shall be a slight history lesson for the cat lovers out there as to what our beloved felines went through before becoming a true household pet. Now let’s go back in time…

Delving into some cat history takes us back to the Egyptian times when they were considered sacred & if anyone was caught killing these special felines then the punishment was death. If however a cat was to die naturally then the whole household had to go into mourning. Before burial the felines were embalmed & a full ceremony was given where they were bound in cloth of different colours & a wooden mask was placed on its face.

Bast (where the cat goddess ‘Bastet’ comes from meaning She-of-Bast) was the city in which the main feline temple was situated & where millions flocked for the sacred festival every spring. It not only provided a place for thousands of mummified cats to be buried but also showed how special & worshipped cats were to ancient Egypt.

The Egyptians prohibited their export yet that didn’t stop attempts to smuggle them out of the county. Due to their appreciation & devotion to felines they actually classified them as high-status that in turn made them a much sought after household pet. Catnapping became a challenge & soon high priced felines were being shipped to the rich in other countries. Because of the high status felines held around the Mediterranean & Europe they became precious & were well treated.

Unfortunately during the Middle Ages the beloved feline experienced torture, torment & death by Christians who believed cats were evil & linked to Satan & witches. People were urged to inflict pain & suffering upon felines as they were classed as enemies of Christ.

Its obviously a long drawn out battle of history surrounding felines but to see how they have survived through the centuries must mean that luck & care were definitely on their side.

Perhaps this is where superstitions come into play towards the black cat & its connection with luck. However this luck can change depending on where you are & what country you are in. For example in Britain it signifies good luck yet in America & continental Europe it can usually mean bad luck.

Felines now though are back again as a much loved & well cared for household pet. They have devotion put upon them instead of torment & torture. They may no longer be worshipped & sacred but they are still much sought after & are widely bred by pedigree breeders so that owners can now regularly ‘show them off’ at cat shows.

Even though the world may be full of a huge variety of breeds, our felines are still cats at the end of the day with their ancient inheritance deeply rooted within their bloodline & characteristics, which of course makes them very special & unique to the individual owners.

Lets celebrate the magic of the felines who through a difficult & turbulent history survived & came back fighting for human affection & attention. We should therefore bow down to their loving demands…

Tuesday, 7 June 2011

Writer OCD

I seem to have a new impulsive side to me. Recently I have been going a bit OCD with scissors, staplers & my writing magazines.

Every interesting article, website address, writers information, publishing houses & competitions I come across, I find myself grabbing a pair of scissors & begin chopping away at the lovely glossy magazine that the postman kindly delivers each month…thankfully I’m not actually standing on the doorstep waiting for the delivery with the scissors firmly clasped in my hands! But I might as well be.

The minute I start reading it I start cutting it to shreds. The recycle bin loves me. My new notepad however hates me. The nice crisp pages are being destroyed each month as I go staple mad placing each snippet in the note pad in some kind of order…well what I thought was some kind of order. Looking back through the recent months of my cuttings collection I realised I just squeezed each article into the spaces provided! At least it makes interesting – if not long winded – reading when in fact I’m just trying to find the competition deadline for this month!

So although I love my new equipment friends – Mr Scissors & Mrs Stapler – my magazines & notepads scream as I open them up & proceed to harm them! Yes this is slightly OCD but at the same time I can’t store year’s worth of magazines. So this is my writerly way of (trying) to be organised.

My fiancé keeps telling me to put the deadlines in my diary, but for someone who rarely looks at their diary – we currently have 3 dotted around the flat! – I feel it is a slight waste of time for me. I think instead I need a calendar that can actually hang above my workspace that is obviously visual to me & one that is big enough to staple all the deadlines to – I wouldn’t give up the trusted stapler just yet – or I could continue as I am & then each month I can re-read the whole notepad & think “ooh yeah I was meant to look at said website/article/competition, when I was writing such & such.”

I suppose it adds a new dimension to writers block though….the ‘where did I see that competition?’ & then wasting lots of time searching numerous notepads (when you are meant to be doing ‘proper’ writing) & coming across the article you needed last month!! could though also be called a forgetful mind!

Now where did I put that stapler…?

Sunday, 5 June 2011


I’ve now become a friendly observer of visiting felines into the (overgrown) garden. Having moved from a first floor flat into a ground floor one complete with own garden, I forgot how often cats visit other peoples gardens when living down a quiet street. I don’t mind this, having been a cat owner & when the time is right my fiancé & I shall own cats, yet I love watching these felines creep into the long grass for a good lie down in the shade.

So far I seem to have invited one very fluffy cat – dread to think what the owner’s house is like when it moults – who although was very nervous when it first appeared & I tried to approach it, now seems to have accepted that I am a friendly human being that when approached will stroke this fluffy cat. So I have now set a hobby for this poor cat that if I am standing outside & its out & about it will come over & start rubbing against my legs wanting attention!

However there is one cat that appears to have adopted a certain spot in the garden. That’s all fine until you go out & it decides ‘nope I’m not hanging around here’ & darts off some place else. It’s obviously petrified of humans but it’s happy to have made a little afternoon home in our garden & potter about of its own free will.

I don’t mind these different moggies popping by for a little visit, I just hope they become friendly enough so that when I finally go & attack the garden with my shears to keep it in some respectable order they won’t then 1. Really hate me & 2. Never visit again….perhaps I should leave them one little hiding place in the corner.

To Read or Not To Read

As someone who loves to write & read I have been thinking quite a bit about books vs. technology. Having recently started to subscribe to a writer’s magazine there’s been a lot of topics & debates surrounding this certain topic.

Will technology take over the need for us to buy & own books? Will we become a society addicted to reading e-books rather than physically browsing, buying and then opening up a good book? What will it mean for authors if all novels become digital instead of witnessing their words on a page being thumbed over for many years to come even when it’s falling to bits? Surely that is a sign of good book!

I can see the viewpoint though of the digital era. It makes sense when say for example you’re bedridden or before you go to sleep to pick up an e-reader & read ‘a book’ on one screen instead of trying to balance a book while finding the right position to lie in, it makes life easier.

But surely that could also equal laziness? Just staring at a screen instead of handling a book & shifting around, to me sounds lazy. Then of course you have the argument of every health expert telling us that in order to sleep soundly means not watching TV in bed or not being on a laptop in bed…basically don’t touch/view/access anything that is digital based in bed as it will disturb your sleep…therefore staring into the depths of an e-book reader theoretically wouldn’t help you sleep (let alone damage your eyes….well it would to mine when I want to read for a solid 2-3 hours)!

The big point though for me is the idea of losing the book format. The way that when you pick a new book up, it smells & feels new, the pages are crisp & fresh or with an old book its like you can smell the years on it. The sound a book makes as you turn the page or as you slide your hand down the inside of the binding…you can’t sense/feel/smell any of that on an e-reader!!

So for me I’m sticking to the traditional way of reading, by picking up that new or old book, opening the cover, finding that first page & reading till the last page, placing it neatly on my bookcase & enjoying the look of it in amongst some well read books. No matter how many books I have & collect I shall never get tired of twisting & turning trying to find a comfy position to lie in while balancing a recently purchased enjoyable book in my hands!


“Queen” has become one of my new nicknames. Not because I… 

1. Look like the queen. 2. Have a palace like hers. 3. Or have her money. 4. Have the unique wave she has – although this could be practiced.

No this nickname has come about mainly & used more when discussing cats because of my likeness to a Queen cat (I shall thank my fiancé for this nickname for the rest of my life).

I seem to have a natural way with cats that has also given me the nickname ‘cat whisper’. So I thought I’d integrate my love of felines & the feline world into this blog. I shall also write about Indie, the newest member of my sister-in-law-to-be family, he is a Russian blue rescue cat & I must say as Queen…gorgeous!

The writer in me will no doubt go off on tangents, hopefully providing a witty insight into the feline world, but I shall also include knowledge that I have picked up along the way. Hopefully these insights will provide laughs a plenty, advice, support & above a place for feline lovers to enjoy.

Indie will feature in almost every post I place on here & as he becomes all the more famous he shall become 'King' of my posts…..& as a small birdy has told me he may well have to have his own unique crown to wear, so he can show off to all his new feline friends! (Now that I will have to get a picture of!)

So lets keep those whisker’s twitching….   

Saturday, 4 June 2011

GBE 2 "Success"

Success comes to us all in many different ways. It could be getting your first car, passing exams, completely a degree, getting your dream home, finding your feet in a new job, even getting that first job or ones after that, perhaps for some just being able to get up & out of bed in the morning is a success.

Success can take many different shapes and for some it might not even be welcomed into their lives. For others though success can mean a great deal, for instance take Shakespeare: a man no one really knows anything about, he grew up in a world surrounded by illness & disease & yet that didn’t stop him doing what he loved best….acting & becoming a playwright. Now his success is one of greatness really, producing a huge amount of work that is studied again & again, writing by hand each word, line, sonnet, script & not using his ‘celebrity’ status to take over his life, hence no one really knows much about the ‘mystery man’. Amazing!

But if you look at today’s celebrities you see them flaunting their success with their big houses, yachts, designer clothes & jewellery, lavish lifestyles & the big red carpet events. Why has society changed so much from a time gone by when celebrities didn’t really exist & success wasn’t taken for granted?

Success for writers seems to be appreciated. It’s a humbling experience to get your first poem, short story, novel or play published. Writers are mainly hit with shock & then joy, plus realisation that they can add something they have been longing to add to their CV’s. For me I still haven’t added that I am a published poet to my CV…why? Because to be honest I keep forgetting about it. This is the problem you see, writers are considered outsiders, they are meant to be lonely people hidden away from the world. Writers are not particularly recognised in the ‘celebrity’ world. We are not considered ‘great’ even if some have had published too many books/poems/plays to list here. So for us success feels like something we can only celebrate inside, instead of showing off to the world.

Success for me though is being able to wake each morning & tune in to my buzzing fingertips & let them write. Even if I don’t win competitions or get anything published the fact that I tried is good enough for me & even if my star sign for next month tells me ‘A new day is dawning, connected to one of the following: study, travel, publishing, adventure or teaching. If you want to make a change or ‘shine’ in one of those areas, you have the stars on your side.’ I might still not choose to believe that I can actually achieve anything & hide away in my own writers world….or I could get ahead of myself & believe I can achieve success in something I have a passion for…I’ll let the stars decide I think.

Thursday, 2 June 2011

Back in the saddle.

It has been a while since I have put my writing ‘out there’ for people to see. But when I received an email inviting me to get writing again I jumped at the chance. I had already been planning a way for me to write & it was going to be based on my love of felines, but when this opportunity came about I decided to combine the two passions of mine together!

So I shall be writing about felines & admiring the cat companion as well as writing on set topics/themes each week for the new GBE 2. I shall also aim to write about topics that bug me, make me happy or want to provoke a debate within my mind.

I’m quite excited about this new found writing buzz in my fingertips & shall enjoy the challenges ahead of me, especially the deadlines for posting for the GBE 2. It’s definitely one way to keep us writers on our toes!

So as the good old saying goes….. ‘it’s show time’.