Archive for August, 2012

Songs that remind me of stuff

Mariah Carey – Heartbreaker album
I was big into Mariah when I was younger. I’d sit warbling away to My All or Always Be My Baby, imagining a life where I was christened The Voice and asked to sing for the Queen and made people get a little teary with my beautiful singing. In my late teens, I still listened to anything and everything she sung but kept it a little quiet and pretended I was listening to Destiny’s Child. When I started learning to drive, my instructor was a slightly older gentleman who was a bit of a pushover. I wasn’t supposed to have any music on but knew he would let me, so made a mixtape of all my favourite Mariah hits, mostly from the Heartbreaker album and would listen to it on my driving lessons. There’s an area of Liverpool called Garston, that we drove through a lot so I always think of Garston when I hear that album.

Leaving on a Jet Plane by Peter, Paul and Mary (or Bjork)
When the gap year organisation that I went away with did the training session I was on, there were a few country groups being trained together. Us Namibia volunteers had been put with the two Mozambique volunteers, the two Bolivia volunteers and the really huge China group. There were about thirty of them going to different projects. Two of these volunteers, a boy called Joe and a girl called Robyn became my new favourite people. We were glued together most of the time, finding everything ridiculously funny and just generally having fun. Somehow, a discussion of our favourite songs came up and Joe and I had the sane favourite song – Leaving on a Jet Plane. And we all were about to leave in jet planes for our gap years! I loved the original by Peter, Paul and Mary. He loved the cover by Bjork. So this confirmed it. We were destined to be best friends forever. In case you were wondering, Robyn and Joe and I are still good friends. It must have been the mutual song-love.

Dispatch – The General
When I was on my gap year, my friend Lucy used to listen to this song all the time. This reminds me of foolish nights out when we had first arrived and didn’t quite know what we were doing and had a load of friends over, post-pub, talking nonsense for hours, despite the fact that we would be teaching a few hours later.

Lauryn Hill and Bob Marley – Turn Your Lights Down Low
We were on the longest bus journey in the world, my friend and I, travelling from Ho Chi Minh City to Phnom Penh. It was Cambodian New Year so the traffic on the roads was horrendous. Instead of taking six hours, it took twelve. My friend had a combination of things wrong, an ear infection, really bad bites, vomiting. It was really worrying but there was nothing we could do except wait to get to Phnom Penh. Being the non-doctor I am, I had diagnosed possible malaria. It was all quite scary. He was sleepy so I leaned awkwardly and lay his head on my chest and stroked his arm in an attempt to comfort him. After an hour or two, I had extreme backache, sideache, neckache, shoulderache and everything else but couldn’t move as Chennour was finally sleeping. I gingerly leaned around him and got his iPod and plugged myself in, hoping to tune out from the pain for a bit. Somehow, Lauryn Hill and Bob Marley had been set to repeat and I couldn’t figure out how to stop it. So I spent the last few hours of that journey extremely uncomfortable and listening to Turn Your Lights Down Low on repeat. Painful/humorous memories.

Faith Hill
This is another Namibia memory. We were trying to get to Cape Town for our Christmas holidays. We had bought bus tickets and needed to switch buses in a town called Keetmanshoop (pronounced Keet-mans-hoop, not Keet-man-shoop, which we did for an embarrassingly long time until someone corrected us). We got off the first bus and waited for the second bus. And waited. And waited. Two hours late, the bus arrived, everyone else got on, Lucy and I, ever the Brits, queued politely at the edge of the crowd and were last to get on. There was only one seat left, we were told. We got ready to fume, we had been sold tickets, we demanded to be allowed on! Not to worry, we were told, there’s one a few minutes behind. Ok, that’s fine then. We sat down and waited. We looked up and down the road, we took turns falling asleep on our bags, we ate everything we had brought for the journey, shops closed for the night then opened for the morning again, 9pm turned into 7am. We were two 18 years olds, in a town in the middle of nowhere, with bus tickets we couldn’t use and no other mode of transport available. Then a man approached. Your typical prematurely-balding, pale, wide-eyed, plays-the-psychotic-murderer-in-a-film type. And offered us a lift. We jumped at it. Bags were grabbed, common sense was left behind, and we jumped into the car with this potential torturer. He asked if we wanted any music on. The silence was a bit awkward. All I could find was a Faith Hill album, so I put it on and played it all the way through. Then pressed play when it ended, to keep the silence at bay. And pressed play again. And again. For the entire seven hour journey…..

Damien Rice
I’ve forgotten what his first album was called. I got it in first year at Glasgow Uni and would listen to it every night to try and block out the booming noises from the floor above. I don’t know whether the banging upstairs was music, I could only hear extremely loud thuds, like someone bashing the floor with a hammer. Awful. I hated them. Every time I hear a Damien Rice song, I can still feel the annoyance of the bangs from upstairs but also see the view of the park out of my window, which was nice.

Gwen Stefani – Cool. And James Blunt – Goodbye My Lover
These were both out around the time I was in China climbing the Great Wall. When I’d finished, I stayed with my friend Joe (same one as before) in Beijing for a bit. He was living there, studying. These two songs became about the distant nature of our friendship. We’d spent so little time together but still had an amazing time whenever we did see each other. These songs always remind me of those early days of our friendship, when we had to travel the world to see each other. Nowadays we just have to travel across London. Much easier.

Search terms 2

I’ve had a few interesting search terms recently so thought I’d do a second part to my previous Search Terms post. The last search term in this list worries me a bit, although I am pleased that people are stopping here to learn about social etiquette….

baobob
highgate bookshop roof
book maze festival hall lego
my first bikram
wealthymatters
london eye chairoplane
“unspoken rules if social etiquette”
first bikram class
yoga “notify me”
first hot yoga class
i ve made my first wedding cake
cows for brides
evil peppa pig
lasy son resit university
portmanteau words sandwich
gary barlow neighbour
smiking
bikram tickling legs
i can be a worst manager
is big mag cow or pig
all embracing naked photos on olympics
yggdrasil afghan for sale
preschool watermelon temple
renegade squats
sun glasses one direction in eygpt
national estimayed costs bird droppings
the emptiest swimming pool in sf
sexy peppa pig

As a P.S., I’ve tried checking whether big mag is a cow or a pig but the truth is, I may never know….

Welcome to Blognor Regis

I spent quite a while thinking up the witty title to this post, which is going to be about my day at the seaside, in a little town called Bognor Regis…. Writing about Bognor…. In my blog…. Blog… Bognor…. BLOGNOR! Blognor Regis. I was quite impressed with myself for thinking this up so just humour me, ok?

Spending a day in Bognor Regis was rather a spare of the moment thing. Had I forward-planned, I probably wouldn’t have chosen to go there. It doesn’t sound particularly attractive, does it? Bognor. I’d heard good things though so took the plunge and decided to go for the first time.

The first thing I did was marvel at this cutesy little food stall.

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Cockles and whelks! Amazing! I doubled checked that I was still in 2012 and had not accidentally stepped back in time to the 1950s. I was indeed still in the present but the town itself was pleasantly somewhere back in the 1900s.

The next thing I reached was crazy golf. I obviously had to have a go. Obviously. I love a bit of crazy golf. It’s one of those things that I’m very rubbish at but insist on playing anyway (same with table tennis).

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The euphoria of a round of crazy golf reached new heights when I spotted the amusements on the other side of the road. Omygoodness! 2p machines! I hadn’t played on a 2p machine in years. I was VERY excited. If you’re not sure what a 2p machine is, I will explain briefly. There are slots for you to put your 2p into. They slide down onto a drawer full of coins, which is moving back and forth. If you’re lucky, your 2p will push a coin or two off the drawer and onto the section below which has loads more coins on it and, should any coins fall from this section, they come out into a little tray and are your winnings.

Clutching my pound coin, I found a change machine and got me fifty 2 pence coins. Inevitably, I pumped all the coins into one machine, the logic being that the more I put in, the more would come out. This logic failed me, as it always had. My pound disappeared rapidly, plus any winnings, which I put straight back in.

While leaving, though, I heard a sound that made the coolness factor of my day increase by 200%. I heard the unmistakable song of a dance mat machine! Now I don’t mean to boast, but I have dancematted in Asia against a local dancematting expert and won. Considering Asia is the part of the world which is thought of as the dancematting home, I’m still quite proud of this fact. I spent most of my first year at university with blisters on my toes and legs that were constantly sore in my mission to be good at dance mat.

So of course, when I heard the dance mat machine, I was right there, pound coin in hand, selecting my favourite tune. I started out by getting an A on my first go. Of course I got an A. Second song, another A. Last song, I made a foolish choice and came out with a miserable E. I had chosen one which was much too fast.

Defeated, I left the amusements and went and sat on the beach. I had a really great magazine with me full of really great facts about stuff and sat marvelling. For example, Christopher Columbus was a Knight of Christ, an organisation which was the reincarnation of the Knights Templar after they were destroyed and a few escaped to Portugal. Also, dragonflies can see 175 images per second (humans can see 16).

After my being-amazed session, the sea was calling…

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…so I had me a little (freezing cold) swim. I could hear loud splashes every so often and couldn’t work out what it was. It was like the sound of people hitting water at speed. Intrigued, I went exploring and found a group of teenagers hurling themselves off the end of the pier!

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One girl had a cut on one foot and after jumping they would all climb up the rusty poles underneath to get back on top and jump again and it all seemed a little bit dangerous. They were having fun though and it was nice to see proof that young people still know how to have fun outside. I’ve never doubted it but there are a lot of grumpy people, who like moaning, who talk about how ‘kids these days’ don’t know how to have fun anymore and they just stay inside on Facebook all the time.

Next, I went to have a look round the town. There was a lovely little market, which consisted of clothes aimed at 60+ ladies, sunglasses stalls and sticks of Bognor Regis rock. Past this market there was a lovely old cinema which has been there for over 50 years. The sign outside let me know that ‘We Ar Emore Than Justa Cinema’ and I wondered if the person proofreading the signs had been there the same amount of time. ‘Yeh, there are loads of mistakes but I’m so bored, I don’t care….’

While walking back to the beach, I saw a bowling green and had to have a game. This is bowls, as opposed to bowling, which is played inside, in a lane, with skittle things that you knock down. Bowls is played on a green and you first roll a little white ball until it stops then try to get as close to it as possible with your four balls. Here’s a picture of me taking the game really seriously and concentrating hard.

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After bowls, evening was setting in and there was only one thing for it – fish and chips on the beach. The sky changed from clear blue, to yellowy orange to pale pink and grey until most of the colour had faded and it was hometime.

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The time we defrosted a freezer

I was 18. I was living in Africa. I wasn’t that good at being a grown up but I was good at convincing myself I was.

One time my friend Lucy and I had noticed that we couldn’t fit stuff in our freezer anymore because it was full of ice. We thought we should defrost it but just made a vague guess about how exactly you did this. We had a fridge freezer thing so left the door open for a while but in the stifling heat of the coast town where we lived, all our milk and butter was having a bad reaction. We sat and puzzled for a bit about how to go about defrosting in a shorter time.

Then Lucy had an idea. Lovely Lucy, one of those people in life who you want to be like, who’s so easy to love. Lovely Lucy. She picked up a hammer and approached the fridge freezer. I stood by, a little uncertain about what she was going to do with it…..

Then Lovely Lucy used the hammer to smash all the ice to bits and get it out off the freezer. Mid-smashing session, me hovering nervously around, there was a noise. A hissing sound. Ssssssssssssssssss….

On. And on. And on. Went the hissing noise. Until, eventually, it stopped.

We didn’t know what it was but I had the distinct impression that my being-an-adult attempt had failed miserably.

There was a funny gas smell and we giggled nervously as I ran off to email my Dad about what we should do. That’s right. I was in Africa, holding my own as a teacher in a classroom, running the local town newspaper, making my living as an editor/journalist, and at the first hint of something electronic that I couldn’t figure out, I was running off to email my Dad.

The return email essentially said, “GET THAT THING OUT OF YOUR HOUSE NOW!”

Obediently, we unplugged it and got it into the garden and consumed everything which had been in the fridge, to save it going off, not because we’re greedy. Honest.

And there it sat for a few days while we pondered what to do. In those few days, the maggots found it. That’s right. The maggots. We opener the door one day to see if it still smelled gassy, and there they were! Whoops! We quickly shut the door, pretended we hadn’t seen anything and called a friend to ask him if we could put the fridge freezer in his car to take it to the repair shop. He said he’d come the next day.

That evening, something happened. Something which only happened three times the entire year we lived there. Something that pretty much never happens in a desert so you wouldn’t even think about it happening (we were basically living on the edge of a desert). Something that when it did happen, was so much worse for only happening a few times a year.

It rained.

The most torrential rain we’d seen since arriving. The wind and rain whipped the fridge door about furiously. It banged and crashed all evening. The rainwater got into every nook and cranny on that fridge. Inside, in the back, into the plug. Everywhere.

The plus side of this rainstorm was that the gassy smell and maggots had disappeared. Yehhhhh!

The down side, however, was that the fridge was SMASHED TO PEICES. Noooooooo…..

Our friend, George, arrived the next day and looked at it in shock. We pretended all was fine and piled it into the car and off we went to the repair shop. He also looked at it in shock and we just smiled a bit and convinced him to try and fix it.

A week or so later, Lovely hammer-wielding Lucy was passing by the repair shop with another teacher from the school and mentioned that they’d had our fridge for a week and we hadn’t heard anything from them.

“O yeh,” said the other teacher, knowingly. “They’ve had my dishwasher for about four years now.”

We spent the rest of the year without a fridge or freezer.

I’ve been published in an e-magazine. Pretty exciting!

B-book Magazine

I hope you are enjoying the second volume of BBOOKS.

Please vote for the article you liked most.

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Wedding goats and dog training

Ok. It’s time to revisit everyone’s favourite magazine again. That’s right. Chat. The best magazine in the world. I shall now prove this by sharing some of the amazing titbits I found inside this week’s offering.

Firstly, I had to buy it when I saw it because in the top left hand corner were the words ‘You’ve goat to be kidding me.’ I just knew it was going to be amazing. Sure enough, when you flip to the back page, there’s a picture of a lady in a wedding dress with some goats on leads and the words ‘Me and the kids.’ The goat puns don’t stop there though. There’s a picture of the bride with her bridesmaids and goats, with the caption ‘Say (goat’s) cheese everyone!’

The story is about a woman who works at an animal rescue centre and loves the goats. The way she talks about them in the article is hilarious. She says to her fiance one day, ‘I met a wonderful goat at the centre today.’

She met a goat? She met it? Really? As though she was at her local, having a pint, and she saw someone also alone, so sidled over and gave it her best chat-up line. Then came home and said she’d met a wonderful goat.

Anyway, fiance proposes, they’re planning the wedding. By this point she’s ‘met’ another really great goat called Geoff. She says to fiance she wants the goats involved in the wedding – ‘I want Geoff to be ringbearer and Fuschia to be maid of honour – no butts!’ She then tells us about getting big gold satin bows for the goats and little thingys for their hooves and finishes off by saying, ‘Yes, it’s an odd love story, mine and Martin’s. But you know what? I bleatin’ love it that way!’ Fabulous.

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Ok, another great story is a little short one at the end. The basic outline goes like this – my daughter is 14, I like her hair long so she’s never ever had it cut, she decided the other day to get it all cut off, look, here it is her cut-off hair. Fascinating stuff.

One of the letters written in to the problem page is pretty good. It’s about something really serious. A real problem that is unable to be resolved through any other channels. Good job Chat is here to help people who have real emergencies…. ‘I’ve got two cats. My partner has a dog. We’ve just moved in together but his dog hates one of my cats. He snarls and chases her whenever he sees her. How do we resolve this?’

And the advice? Tell the dog ‘No!’ when he starts chasing the cat.

Phew! Thanks, Chat! They’re so helpful. If it weren’t for them, how would Frances, 40, have ever worked out what to do when the dog is chasing the cat around. I imagine her sitting on the sofa, blankly staring at the dog chasing the cat around the front room and thinking, in despair, ‘I’m sure there’s something I should be doing here to prevent this from happening. I just can’t think what it is. I know, I’ll write to Chat.’ She buys Chat the following week, eagerly flips to the letters page and there it is, the answer to all her problems! At last! She can hear the dog growling and chasing the cat in the back garden and she runs out there, Chat in hand, a light switch has gone on in her world. She sees the dog and the cat and yells ‘NO! NO!’ The dog looks up, surprised. What is this word he’s never heard before? Something tells him he’s being shouted at. He slopes off to hide somewhere and the cat potters away, free from the constant torture, happy at last. Frances’ world is transformed. Chat has saved her. Thank god for Chat.

Another letter is the ‘Facebook photo of the week’ which is just of a little boy in swimming trunks. He’s just standing there in his trunks, smiling. Nothing to merit being photo of the week. His name, we are told, is Noah-Freddie. Poor child.

Ok, one last bit of amazingness for you. A top tip. Are you ready? This could really help you at home actually, transform your life even. Ok. Here goes.

Use a peice of dry bread to clean your lampshades.

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Walking into history

It’s Wednesday again and time for Rambler5319, my guest blogger, to take over….

Last week’s pics from my holiday were really mostly about signs. I did take some others (and a few more signs). These are from the walks I did in an area which is steeped in history. Parts of it go back to the time of the Romans and beyond.
As you approach the village from one direction, you see this magnificent hand-crafted sign. (It took over 8 months to make.)
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Each element in the sign has some local significance and I was curious to find out what they all represented. Local village history gave me the answer:
The cross-keys representing St Peter’s Church (now ruined).
The white cross (blue background) represents the existing St Andrew’s Church.
The beige area represents the main cereal crop – barley.
The green area represents the other main crop – sugar beet.
The white pathway between them represents an old footpath called Peddars Way which passes through the village.
The black symbols on the left middle represent churches & chapel. To the right middle, the tree is Queen Victoria’s Golden Jubilee Tree and the windmill is also local to the area. A lot of thought definitely went into this impressive creation.
As you approach from another side of the village you are greeted by this one
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They definitely like you to feel welcome.
I found this next structure in a garden in the main street of the village. Talk about plush multi-storey avian apartments!! Ever seen one of these before?
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WALK NO.1
This was about 6 miles round, mostly on paths away from the roads. The route I travelled, to the next village (Sedgeford), is a small part of what is a much longer (46 miles!) ancient path called Peddars Way. Some believe its existence actually pre-dates the Romans and that they just extended and improved it. So here I was walking on a path that Roman soldiers probably marched along almost 2,000 years ago! I’m glad I wasn’t wearing armour and carrying a heavy shield as the sun was very warm and my brow was wiped many times on this walk. Here’s a section of it but can you tell which direction my compass needle was pointing if I tell you it was about 11.00am?

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I came across this notice just half a mile along the path.
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In case text in pic too small to read, at the bottom it says: “This roadside verge is being positively managed to conserve wild plants and animals in a joint project between Norfolk County Council and Norfolk Wildlife Trust. Note it’s just the “verge”; it was only a metre or so wide.
Just before joining the main road, leading into Sedgeford, the path emerged from its agrarian setting into a narrow road called Magazine Lane; also nearby were Magazine Farm & Magazine Wood. Seemed to me like an odd name to find out in the countryside. The mystery was solved a bit further along when I found this building
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It is called Magazine Cottage and is believed to have been used as a store for gunpowder during the Civil War. It was built by the LeStrange family who we will find out more about next week. As I walked past the village pub (King William IV), and down a side road, I saw a sign for a local archaeological project:
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I was intrigued. I decided to visit. As well as the actual dig site there were a number of displays and talks about the finds and other general info about life in Anglo Saxon times. Volunteer diggers camp in the next field to the excavation site:
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And some site facilities are what might be termed primitive. Note, in the pic below, only one tap can be used for drinking water:
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Here are some of the displays, starting with the skulls:
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And here are three Action Men but each item they are wearing has been hand made by a guy who is very interested in the period. He’d also made models of some of the “machines” (e.g. boulder launching catapults) the Romans used in sieges and attacks in battle.
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Next was a display of what they believe may have been types of food from Anglo Saxon times. The front page of the booklet to the right of pic (sorry chopped off due to trying to get all the food dishes in) says “Dishes made on the day course – Cooking up an Anglo-Saxon feast”:
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I also attended one of the 20 minute talks in a side tent. Time to put thinking cap on! Amongst other things, I learnt that an analysis of the chemicals in bones can suggest an area of the country where the individual lived. How? This is because the mix of certain elements in the water in different parts of the country can be quite specific to that area. Apparently, if you live in an area for 10 years or more, your bones will have levels of certain chemicals that have been absorbed from drinking the water in that area that will be the same as the water itself. The archaeologists compare the levels of two particular chemicals, strontium & oxygen, in the water, with the levels in the bones they find. They can then tell whether the people had lived in that area for about 10 years before their death or had moved to it from another part of the country.
Soon it was off to retrace the 3 miles back to the cottage and give my brain, as well as my legs, a rest; it had been a fascinating and very instructive time at the site. As I made my way across the field behind the site, to begin the trek home, I came across this unusual sight:
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Starting with the standing white horse look left to the brown standing horse and then to, what seems to be, a brown “blob” on the floor. This “blob” really was a horse lying on its side. Every so often its tail would flick up and down but it remained in this position the whole time I was crossing the field. Was it tired or maybe sunbathing? Do horses lie down if they’re tired? Do horses sunbathe?
The following day I did a short walk, along the sea front, in the nearby town of Hunstanton. Apparently it is the only resort on the East Coast of England which actually faces west! (You’d have to look at a map to see why.) The town motto (in Latin of course) is Alios delectare iuvat, which translates to “It is our pleasure to please”. I was pleased after my visit so I suppose they succeeded. I sat down on a bench for a quick sandwich and drink. I found it was one of those which had been erected in memory of someone who’d died. Here’s the plaque:
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Paul Richard Moore was not famous; I, you and lots of other people, will have never heard of him but clearly he was, and still is, VERY special to those who’d put the bench there in his memory. We don’t know how he died but look at his age – just under 30 years old. Now pause for a moment and think about that. Perhaps many readers of this post are younger or just coming up to it or some maybe past that age. Imagine if that was to be all time you would have. It’s always a great sadness when parents outlive their children as it’s one of those things, like this lad’s parents, you just don’t expect to happen. I spent a few minutes in quiet reflection: each moment we’re alive we’re making withdrawals from “The Bank of Time” but without knowing the balance left in our account! Of course, no deposits are possible and you can’t be overdrawn – but your account will be closed at some point! How we “spend” our time is important.
Walking just a short distance from the bench, I saw this. It was time to put that thinking cap on again.
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Closer inspection of the info board revealed some interesting stuff.
The wall in the pic is what is left of a chapel built in 1272AD in memory of King Edmund. Apparently he’d landed, from Germany, in 855AD and, a few years later, was crowned King of East Anglia whilst still only a boy. There was peace for a while but then invaders came from Denmark. The king was captured and, when pressed, refused to give up his Christian faith. He was tied to a tree and shot by Danish archers in 870AD aged about 29. He was interred at a place called Beodericsworth which later became known as St Edmunds Bury and finally the town we know today as Bury St Edmunds. He became the first patron saint of England and remained so for about 400 years. The current patron saint (George) was not adopted until the end of the 14th cent. Not a lot of people know that!
I came across this (Latin) motto: Alis Aptar Scientis. It means “Ready for the wings of knowing”. Well are you?

A girl I once lived with

I once lived with a girl who was puzzling, to say the least. I got to know her because she worked near a place where I worked. She seemed really great and friendly. She was moving out of her room in a house in an area quite far away and looking for something closer to work. Someone in the flat I lived in was moving out. It seemed perfect. She moved in and it was going to be great fun.

That’s when I noticed some things which had seemed fairly minor before. The main one was that she didn’t know how to communicate unless the conversation was a) about her or b) something she could turn around so it was about her.

To have a conversation that was about something else, something apart from her immediate situation, for example, about the current situation in the Middle East, or which political party is in power, or how the recession has affected the country, was alien to her. She froze. She’d join in while it was at the stage where she could still offer something about herself but as it drifted further and further away from her and became about something else, she’d freeze. She’d sit there, looking at each of us, panic in her eyes and eventually just slope off to her bedroom.

Occasionally, she’d make a desperate last ditch attempt to bring the conversation back to the earlier subject of herself. The result was as follows….

“So do you think they’ll make a coalition then?”
“Yeh, maybe. But who will they go with, Conservative or Labour?”
“I think Labour. Isn’t it funny how they have the power now because….”
“I’M GOING TO MAKE LEMON CUPCAKES TOMORROW!”

Silence….

Awkwardness….

“Um yeh, it’s funny about how the LibDems have the power to decide now, who they want to team up with…. Um…”
“…Yeh.”

If myself or any of the other flatmates had friends over, she’d come in the room, because she obviously wanted to join in but didn’t know how. So she’d just sit silently watching everyone, trying to figure out how to join in. It was close to impossible to include her in a conversation (unless it was about herself or she could make it about herself) so attempts to help her into things were wasted. She’d just watch for a while, then leave.

Eventually she started coming in from work and running straight from the front door to her room. She refused to speak to me at home for weeks, yet would speak to me at work like nothing was wrong! I’d go in her shop or she’d come and get a tea at the coffee shop where I worked and she wouldn’t mention the fact that she wouldn’t speak to me at home.

If I had stuff to ask her about the flat, I’d ask her at work, money for bills etc.

She once shouted at me because I mentioned something about cleaning, which she seemed allergic to. Instead of responding to my suggestion of making a rota for cleaning to make sure everyone was doing some (she never did), she said: “I’M JEALOUS OF YOU AND ALL YOUR FRIENDS!”

How do you respond to that? You suggest a cleaning rota. She says she’s annoyed with you because you have friends and she’s jealous.

It got to the point where she hated having to be around us so much that she just ordered take away, rather than come in the kitchen for even a second to get food. There’d be a knock, a scurry of feet, the smell of pizza and a scurry of feet back to her room. She also never brought the leftovers to put in the fridge. She’d just keep it in her room, all nice and warm, and dig in the next day.

I feel like I might be making it up because it sounds so odd, but honestly, it’s a true story.

Sunglasses, longboats and One Direction…. Just another day in my mind…

I had quite a wierd dream last night. It was kind of a mishmash of stuff from the closing ceremony.

One Direction featured heavily, not sure why. My brother was doing something at the Olympics, like he was volunteering there or organising something. So I was going to see him or sneak in the park with him or something. But you got there by boat. So I was on a longboat in my sunglasses.

I know why I was in my sunglasses. Last night, a friend was dancing in the closing ceremony so I was keeping an eye out for her but I haven’t got very good eyes and didn’t have energy to go and look for my proper glasses. But my prescription sunglasses were just next to me. So I was sitting watching the TV, in a darkened room, at 9pm, with my sunglasses on, yelling and whooping every time I thought someone looked slightly like her.

I also think the longboat must have been the Annie Lennox bit of the closing ceremony.

So I’m in a longboat, wearing sunglasses going down a river to the Olympic Park. And One Direction were in the longboat too, sitting near me. And they were looking over at me and saying something to each other, as though I were a famous celebrity they were too shy to say hi to… (My true desires come out in my dreams apparently! Or maybe I just feel that’s the level of reverence with which people should be struck when I am around them.)

The next bit I remember clearly. It must be because when I was watching them in closing ceremony I was thinking about how young they looked.

Anyway, they were still looking at each other and then me. I think they were trying to work out whether I was looking at them as they couldn’t tell because of my sunglasses. I, cool as a cucumber, dropped my sunglasses down to the end of my nose so that they could see my eyes and said to them, “Guys, I’m 27.”

Shockingly, they all kind of went, “O! O really?…” And mumbled apologies, embarrassed. They then got on with looking at the view of the park from the boat and forgot I existed. One of them, though, the youngest looking one with the blond hair, kept looking back. But I didn’t drop my sunglasses down again.

And that was my slightly mental post-closing-ceremony dream.

I have concluded a few things:
1. Deep down inside, I obviously feel that I deserve celebrity status, or at the very least, for people to admire me more.
2. At the grand old age of 27, I already feel that ‘younguns’ will think I’m old.
3. I need to find my proper glasses.