No Words

23 Apr

Yes, I’ve been quiet. Not quiet in a bad way. Nothing brewing, no upheaval, just a quiet ongoing steady sort of Living.

Which means that my blog has become somewhat sparse. (I have started a separate blog for Adam and his day to day life, and have been spending time there, fleshing it out. Which leaves this blog with even less fodder).

I don’t write about DIY, I don’t cook, I don’t decorate, I don’t have tech wisdom to share, I am not on the cutting edge of anything and I think my day-to-day activities are anything but interesting to anyone but me. What I am trying to say, is that there is very little to feed this blog. [Be patient, I am working towards a conclusion here].

I write my emotion. I use words and sometimes lyrics to express what is important to me. Over the years this blog has been used to chronicle my life. Quotes that I post have reflected my life and learning in some way. For the last three, almost four years, my life has seen tremendous changes. I have experienced deep pain, hurt and betrayal. I have been sad. I have been angry. I have also worked through all of that and know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I have healed. That I am stronger and happier than I have ever been. I have no regrets and I am learning to be very clear about how people treat me. I don’t tolerate drama. I avoid pessimism and nastiness. Having said that, I try not to judge, so while I tend to avoid the negative, I still love and treasure those people.

Things I have learnt:

  • People rarely change, expecting anyone to change is futile and a waste of your precious energy. Accept them and love them for who they are.
  • Forgiveness sets you free. Anything else is perpetuating the pain and allowing the person who hurt you to continue to hurt you.
  • You will heal. And when you are healed, you will know it as a truth deep inside you. It will be unshakeable.
  • Never regret anything that has made you who you are today.
  • Learn from your mistakes. When you know better, you do better (Oprah, I think) and there is no excuse for going back to old patterns of behaviour and expecting them to have different outcomes.
  • Work hard to find the truth of a situation and, when you find it, behind the wall of your ego, things will start to make sense.
  • What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger. Wiser. More Powerful. More Beautiful.
  • Decide what matters most to you and live by those values. When you do, you will stop explaining yourself to others and you will stop seeking external approval. Those who mind don’t matter, and those who matter don’t mind (Dr. Seuss, I think).
  • The quality I value most in my friends is their ability to make me laugh. The quality I admire most is their strength through the toughest of circumstances. Make me laugh, and be one tough, courageous chick, at the same time and I will love you forever.

Which brings me towards the conclusion I am pretty sure is out there somewhere. Stay with me.

I’m not sure why I keep this blog going. Between twitter, pinterest and bbm, I pretty much say what needs to be said. But every now and then I need to get it all out. I need this blog. I write this blog “for” people. Every blog post is usually about someone. To find closure. To motivate a friend. To inspire someone who needs inspiring. Sometimes they will get a message, mail or bbm to say the blog is for them. Sometimes it is anonymous. But, more often than not, my posts are directed at someone.

Today my blog is for my friend who makes me laugh. Today I need to write because life has dimmed the smile in her eyes. And it makes me unbearably sad and angry.

And so we get back to the title. No Words. Because today I have no words for you. I want to give you something… hope, courage, faith. But I simply can’t find the perfect words. My heart hurts too much for you. And words seem woefully inadequate and cliched. And so I have resorted to telling part of my story so that you know that it is possible to find your way to the other side and come out stronger and wiser and happier.

I want you to know that you are strong. You are facing hurt and sadness and helplessness but you have the strength to face anything and make it through. I know that I can’t possibly know what you are really going through, but I know it seems daunting and frightening and impossible. And so, this blog is for you.

Because I don’t know what else to do. Because, for you, my emotions  are raw. And I write my emotions.

I hate that life has dimmed the smile in your eyes.


A Girl Who Reads

21 Apr

I have loved books for as long as I can remember. They were always my escape and my refuge. Many of my readers are also “Girls Who Read”, so this may be familiar to many of you.

When you read, when words swirl around you and create an alternate reality, you become changed in a subtle, magical way. I see it in my friends who love to read. I see it in my son who is discovering the magic of Hogwarts with me. I have come to realise that my love of words and fiction and plot and fantasy is an integral part of who I am. It is so important to me that I know that I could never fall in love with someone who doesn’t understand that side of me. I know, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that I could never love a man who doesn’t read. With that in mind, here are two poems I would like to share with my fellow readers out there.

The first in some writing by Charles Warnke called “Don’t Date a Girl Who Reads” you can read the whole thing here. And I encourage you to read it from the beginning because this quote will make more sense if you do:

Don’t date a girl who reads because girls who read are the storytellers. … You there in the library, on the platform of the metro, you in the corner of the café, you in the window of your room. You, who make my life so god damned difficult. The girl who reads has spun out the account of her life and it is bursting with meaning. She insists that her narratives are rich, her supporting cast colorful, and her typeface bold. You, the girl who reads, make me want to be everything that I am not. But I am weak and I will fail you, because you have dreamed, properly, of someone who is better than I am. You will not accept the life that I told of at the beginning of this piece. You will accept nothing less than passion, and perfection, and a life worthy of being storied. So out with you, girl who reads. Take the next southbound train and take your Hemingway with you.

In response to this (I think, beautiful essay) Rosemarie Urquico wrote “Date a Girl Who Reads” which is also lovely:

Date a girl who reads. Date a girl who spends her money on books instead of clothes. She has problems with closet space because she has too many books. Date a girl who has a list of books she wants to read, who has had a library card since she was twelve.

Find a girl who reads. You’ll know that she does because she will always have an unread book in her bag.She’s the one lovingly looking over the shelves in the bookstore, the one who quietly cries out when she finds the book she wants. You see the weird chick sniffing the pages of an old book in a second hand book shop? That’s the reader. They can never resist smelling the pages, especially when they are yellow.

She’s the girl reading while waiting in that coffee shop down the street. If you take a peek at her mug, the non-dairy creamer is floating on top because she’s kind of engrossed already. Lost in a world of the author’s making. Sit down. She might give you a glare, as most girls who read do not like to be interrupted. Ask her if she likes the book.

Buy her another cup of coffee.

Let her know what you really think of Murakami. See if she got through the first chapter of Fellowship. Understand that if she says she understood James Joyce’s Ulysses she’s just saying that to sound intelligent. Ask her if she loves Alice or she would like to be Alice.

It’s easy to date a girl who reads. Give her books for her birthday, for Christmas and for anniversaries. Give her the gift of words, in poetry, in song. Give her Neruda, Pound, Sexton, Cummings. Let her know that you understand that words are love. Understand that she knows the difference between books and reality but by god, she’s going to try to make her life a little like her favorite book. It will never be your fault if she does.

She has to give it a shot somehow.

Lie to her. If she understands syntax, she will understand your need to lie. Behind words are other things: motivation, value, nuance, dialogue. It will not be the end of the world.

Fail her. Because a girl who reads knows that failure always leads up to the climax. Because girls who understand that all things will come to end. That you can always write a sequel. That you can begin again and again and still be the hero. That life is meant to have a villain or two.

Why be frightened of everything that you are not? Girls who read understand that people, like characters, develop. Except in the Twilightseries.

If you find a girl who reads, keep her close. When you find her up at 2 AM clutching a book to her chest and weeping, make her a cup of tea and hold her. You may lose her for a couple of hours but she will always come back to you. She’ll talk as if the characters in the book are real, because for a while, they always are.

You will propose on a hot air balloon. Or during a rock concert. Or very casually next time she’s sick. Over Skype.

You will smile so hard you will wonder why your heart hasn’t burst and bled out all over your chest yet. You will write the story of your lives, have kids with strange names and even stranger tastes. She will introduce your children to the Cat in the Hat and Aslan, maybe in the same day. You will walk the winters of your old age together and she will recite Keats under her breath while you shake the snow off your boots.

Date a girl who reads because you deserve it. You deserve a girl who can give you the most colorful life imaginable. If you can only give her monotony, and stale hours and half-baked proposals, then you’re better off alone. If you want the world and the worlds beyond it, date a girl who reads.

Or better yet, date a girl who writes.

I am a girl who reads. I insist that my “narratives are rich, my supporting cast colorful, and my typeface bold”.And I will “not accept anything less than passion, and perfection, and a life worthy of being storied”.


23 Mar

Today was the last day of the first term ((holy crap!!)) and, being the start of the holidays, I always like to do something fun with Adam to celebrate. He has been begging me to take him to the movies for the last month, so I thought today was an ideal opportunity to indulge him. I quick look at the schedule showed ‘The Lorax’ as being the only suitable movie for my munchkin. I’m not going to lie… my heart plummeted a little bit. Okay, a whole lot.

I love Dr Seuss. Straight up LOVE the books. As does Adam. But I sat through the movie for “The cat in the Hat” and a little bit of my life force drained away in the process. So, I was not thrilled about another Dr Seuss movie. Unfortunately it was the only one suitable and it was Adam’s treat, so I fortified my resolve, gritted my teeth and booked the tickets.

It turned out to be one of those unexpected delights that are so much more wonderful because they are totally unexpected. I thought the movie was enchanting.

Of course, it helps that the save-the-trees theme was beautifully translated. I am a sucker for anything green/clean/reduce/reuse/protect/nurture so this was right up my garden path.

Grab your kids, take them to see the movie, be enchanted and then have a chat about the most powerful line in the whole book: “Unless someone like you cares a whole awful lot, nothing is going to get better. It’s not.” We could all do with that little reminder.

I think I need to get myself a little stone like this for the front door:

Hunger Games

21 Mar

I have a bent towards the obsessive side. Just ever so slightly [insert heavy self-depreciating sarcasm]. When something grabs me, truly grabs me, I am sucked into a self-absorbed cyclone of obsessive behaviour from which there is no escape.

Usually I have no idea the fall is coming, until I look up and realise that the real world is still turning and that I have lost a significant chunk of time. For me books have the strongest pull towards the vortex and always tempt me towards the edge. Happily, a book that completely absorbs me is few and far between so there is little danger of going over to my dark-side on a regular basis.

I am a notoriously fast reader and can flatten a good book within a few days. Every now and then I stumble across a book that is quite literally un-put-downable. Harry Potter got me good and sound. I remember reading The Philosopher’s Stone in a single sitting. Twilight did the same – 24 hours. There have been others –  some of them less juvenile more sophisticated (The Language of Flowers springs to mind – two days). But I am a sucker for the magic and drama aimed primarily at the youth.

This last few weeks I have been aware of a lot of chatter about something called the “Hunger Games” all my social network feeds have been buzzing with speculation about the movie about to open. And where there is buzz, I need to know what the noise is all about. So I did what all enquiring minds do – I wiki’d it. And now I can’t figure out what rock I’ve been hiding under that I missed this.

The “Hunger Games” is based on a trilogy series of books by Suzanne Collins. Some are predicting that the movie will break Twilight records and even possibly Harry Potter records (although the true Potterheads obviously dismiss this as ridiculous). Of course, based on what I have just explained, I immediately started salivating at the idea that this movie-based-on-a-book could be better than the movies based on two of my most un-put-downable books ever. I HAD to read the book…

And read it I did – in less than 20 hours. And a rather good un-put-downable yarn it was. Now I understand the hype about the movie – and I can’t wait!!

The Festival of Patrick

16 Mar

Tour 2012

10 Mar

We did our annual pilgrimage to Youngsfield Military Base for the Argus Pick ‘n Pay Junior Cycle Tour. Last year I forgot my camera. This year, I more than made up for it…

Guess who had to carry the bike to the start of the race… and push it around afterwards. Clue: I ain’t no sucker…

That last photo above is just as the race finished… he is looking for Mommy in the crowd at the finish line…. and I’ve been spotted!! Doesn’t that proud, happy little face melt your heart?

After the race it was on to more important things… like trains…

A white knuckle ride.

A sky high slide…

A carousel ride (note the change in editing… yes, I got bored…).

Air balloon sword fights.

A candyfloss and popcorn encrusted face – proof of a fabulously fun morning.

I blinked….

10 Mar

and they went from this…

to this…

this year was their third Tricycle Tour together.

… I need to go and sob now…

more photos to follow when my heart stops aching.

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