GET IN MY POD…(please)

Hey there, ‘podders!

This is going to be a very short post, more of a cybernet wave to all of you out there to let you know I AM STILL HERE.

Having a whale of a time at the moment – (not that I’m entirely sure what a whale fills its time with or why it’s relevant right now) – but unfortunately that means I have no time to sit down and take the space to blog.

So I’m going to rapid-shoot news of my life at you all and hope that satiates your elspod-y thirst until I come back!

Weekend news:

Wonderful time, glorious time, memorable time! We jumped in the car first thing saturday morning a whizzed down to the beach in the glorious summer weather. Spent the day burning my thighs, they now look like two giant hams…but then, who doesn’t like ham? Or the vegetarian equivalent? Ham is good.

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Can anyone tell where the man ends and the sand begins?

Can anyone tell where the man ends and the sand begins?

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A grumpy burnt little sister

A grumpy burnt little sister

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The Sunday we spent (foolishly in my overheated opinion) trekking up a gorge. The views were breathtaking at the top, and the whole thing was that little bit more worth it when we were treated to a delectable picnic back at the car.

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Not just that, but I then only went and GOT MYSELF A JOB that very same day.

I know, I am a superstar.

It’s a placement with a five day week, long hours and is in a place buzzing with tourists and young children getting overexcited on their summer holiday. (So already, I love it there!)

I started three days ago and my ankles haven’t stopped throbbing, I have said the words ‘chenny pain’ instead of ‘penny change’ more times than I can count, and have discovered how to gently refuse a young child all the money out of the till even when he’s waving a plastic gun at you.

Week time news:

The NYPG is still up and running but I haven’t DARED step on the scales. I keep telling my tutting reflection that it’s because I naturally put on weight in the heat. I soak in all the sun’s rays. And there’s not a chance I’ll have lost any body mass when I’m full of burning star.

*Cough*

Otherwise, my life has been a whirlwind of work, meeting new staff and finding my place in the maintenance of the Zap Zone (which yes, is as fun as it sounds).

I thought I would leave you with a video of me that le man’s younger brother made. It’s a selection of funny clips of me trying and failing to play a game called Minecraft. (I am fully aware I most likely lost a lot of my audience by typing those words.) I won’t bore you with the details.

Shockingly, as with many games, the baddies are the monsters – you should avoid them, or at least be a true gamer and try to kill them. I make no pretences however…

…this is a thorough demonstration of how NOT to kill them.

I hope you’re all having a smashingly good week. It’s my sister’s eighteenth birthday this Friday (eee, I’m feeling old), so I’m off to bake her a cake. No doubt you’ll hear from me before the week is out.

Have a sunny smiley week, everyone.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=0ax9vaFg4lg&feature=c4-overview&list=UUj95UGf4OTcCNM2AZujKFhw

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Picnic Perfect Plastic Gem

Some days are like those little plastic gems you had as a child – the ones that used to end up glued to your mother’s shoes by some inexplicable trick of fate.

Today was a plastic gem day. It was beautiful and sticky and grubby and perfect. It was plucking at grass blades and barking back at dogs. It was all the mess of childhood with all the sincerity of maturity.

Me and le man couldn’t stand one more day of being shut up inside. We haven’t found it easy to face the heat these past few days, finding it easier to cuddle up next to the open fridge and scowl at any sign of the sun’s rays filtering through the window. But today was different. We slung the picnic rug under our arm and made our way to the local park, stopping along the way for some food supplies.

Our pitiful food supplies

Our pitiful food supplies

Way back in the day, we went on a romantic break away to Paris, pretty much penniless, and avoided starvation from one day to the next with a store bought picnic of an evening. Today, we felt it was time to rekindle the romance with a mimic array of foods, and so we sat on the grass with: a crusty baguette; polony; a selection of hams; brie; yogurt; and some (not so posh) crisps for that added crunch.

How delightfully posh we felt, surrounded by rejoicing school children having just broken up for summer, in our little plastic gem with all our grown up food.

We spent the whole afternoon there, lounging about in the shade of the trees, dozing in each other’s arms, lazily leafing through books. Le man pointed heavenwards and joked about watching the clouds in what was a clear blue sky; I shoved him playfully and directed his gaze to the trees overhead, each leaf haloed in sunlight. We chatted, too, incessantly, flitting from one topic to the next with childish excitement. Listening to music, we sang along to classics from our past and giggled when people turned around to stare in wonder at the strangely noisy couple in the corner. 

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Today was picnic perfect.

Today was my little plastic gem, where old met with new and love met with laughter.

A Fatboy Slim Inspired Word with the World

Most of the time when I come to write a blog, I find ideas spring to mind. If not eventually, then at the utterance of a word, or someone around me thinking out loud. Something funny will happen between me and my Ma, or I’ll come to a revelation in regards to me and le man. 

But today I have found it particularly difficult to even get started. Sometimes I find it hard to separate myself from my writing, especially on this blog. Although I tend to write quite personal pieces, they are often written several hours or days later, when the events are no longer a part of my present. They can adopt a life of their own then, because I feel they have had time to breathe and take on a new lease of life.

However, this day has brought with it a whole heap of turbulent roller-coasters in regards to my emotions and it formed a bit of a block in terms of me getting started. Which elspod was I supposed to present?

* * *

I was woken up in the early hours of this morning by a phone call. After a few moments of blurry blinking and confused fumbling for the phone, I managed to answer it and bumble through the conversation. Good news! I’d been offered an interview for a job on Sunday!

Let the dancing in pyjamas commence!

A lazy start to the day with le man followed, sweltering in the heat and taking shelter inside by watching a bit of Breaking Bad. (Which, for those who watch it, I’m sure will agree is an emotional ride all by itself!)

But time passed all too quickly, as it always does, and no sooner was I settled in his arms than he was plucked away, chasing down the dusty road to catch a bus home for an evening with his family.

I spent the next few hours rattling around a very empty house, like a lonely dice on a monopoly board.

Suddenly, it was as if the world knew I was at a loose end and I started receiving phone calls and texts and messages. Emails were sending my phone into a frenzy and a dog started barking outside the door, yapping at it’s approaching owner. I was the recipient of bad news and news that made me angry and support that made me smile.

And at the end of it all, an tired younger sister arrived home expecting tea.

I was exhausted. I was shaking from residual anger, and trying to process things that were said as I pottered away making spaghetti bolognese, banging pots and pans around and burning mince onto the hob. Everything had gone from so perfect to so stressful in such a quick turn-around of events that I hardly knew what to do with myself.

Which is why, as I sat down to put fingers to keyboard and attempt to make contact with the wider world in the vague hopes that someone would hear me…that I paused. I didn’t know what to say.

* * *

Ultimately, my problem was that I didn’t know where my head was at. Mid-rant to my sister, I worried that I didn’t feel comfortable writing something that wasn’t real to me in that moment. I didn’t feel I could re-blog an old post or present a few paragraphs on hope or happiness that I wasn’t truly channeling. So she simply said to me:

‘Then don’t. Write whatever.’

Wise words from a youngling.

It’s something so many of us struggle with. It’s not realistic to think that whenever I sit down to write, then what I pen will be true, that simply not how it works. It’s just that sometimes, I need it to be true.

When deadlines are approaching or pressures are on, there are those occasions when you feel unable to produce anything worth reading. I’m pretty sure this wasn’t worth a read, but then again, at least what I’ve presented to you is true, at least for right now. I chose to present to you the only elspod I know how to be in this moment.

And this moment, right now, well…it’s all we have isn’t it?

Baring my teeth and flicking my tail at passersby. Grr.

Today, I experienced that feeling of uncontrollable rage. Every nerve and every feeling I had shot to my belly, my limbs were shaking, and I was scowling at the room, muttering in incomprehensible dark syllables.

I know. Terrifying. You’re probably quaking in your socks right now.

You may have picked up from recent posts, that in the past few months le man and I have been going through some particularly difficult times. We have gone through periods of loneliness, hurt, resentment, loss – and it has, on occasion, been hard to remember the love we share.

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Right now, however, we are BACK. We are laughing again, and going out for walks at sunset, and staying up until the early hours of the morning talking with a bottle of red wine. I feel more in love with him than I ever have, which I know is a result of our survival through the tough times. We have been faced with adversity and have lived up to the fairy-tale:

We have conquered the evil.

…In all our green-skinned, mud bath glory.

Understandably though, as a result of this, I am that slightly bit (ok, incredibly) more sensitive when it comes to people commenting on our relationship. I cannot stand opinions or assumptions being put on us or our actions, especially when people don’t understand them. And this is what happened today: more than one person commented on an act of kindness le man had performed, criticising it as a guilty apology, and labeling it as cheap.

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Immediately, my blood began to boil and I leapt straight into defense mode, typing out retorts and responses, and stamping my little child feet in an extremely attractive temper tantrum.

…Though now I see I perhaps acted a bit prematurely.

Well, I’ve already said it, haven’t I? No one else is in this relationship, no one else out there knows what we’ve been going through. Which means no one else would understand that those comments might possibly hit a nerve. 

These people weren’t acting out of malice or spite. And I can see where they’re coming from because I understand as well as the next person what ‘banter’ is…but I also think there is a time and a place for it. I just can’t expect people to know when I’m going to declare that it is or is not acceptable.

…Feeling a bit silly now.

We all have things that we are easily wound up or offended by. We have all put our foot in our mouths and said something that has unintentionally hurt someone else. We are all guilty of reacting before we’ve had a chance to cool down and really think about it.

So next time, I’m going to give it a while before I respond, if I even respond at all. And I’m sorry if I’ve offended anyone. We should all make it clear what we find acceptable and what we don’t, or we’ll just end up getting hurt unnecessarily.

I need to make it clear that me and le man ARE back – but we’re fragile and worn out. It’s been a long few months! I won’t apologise for defending what I love, because I think anyone else would do the same. I simply want to say that for the time being, I feel I should warn you:

It’s nothing personal, I’m just a bit of a lioness when it comes to my relationship.

Hear me roar!

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One Thousand Pearl Drops

Pluck me from this world and drop me in to another. One with silence and peace and air and light.

Pick me up by my collar, between finger and thumb, and lay me down in opulent bubbles of pink.

Make me tiny and minuscule. Mould me into a bouncy bread crumb rolling in the palm of your hand.

More.

Stretch me out to be giant and infinite and tall and broad. Promote me to conductor and choreographer and wizard and god.

Yes.

Breathe fire into me – ignite me as the sun, and moon, and earth, and sea. Crush me into a billion stars –

– throw me into space and see where I land.

And then…

…shake me up, pour me as glitter onto a card made by a tiny human, grubby hands passing me along to her father on his birthday.

Pluck me from this world and lay me down in another. One with silence and peace and air and light.

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A weight off my mind and back on my belly

…That’s right, people. The NYPG hasn’t quite gone to plan in the past few weeks. I’ve been to parties, and enjoyed family barbecues, and sat eating ice lollies in an attempt to cool down in this beautiful, soul melting heat we’re experiencing in England at the moment.

It's too hot!!

It’s too hot!!

Don’t get me wrong, I’ve not been doing too badly, everything considered. I have only put on half a pound in the past two weeks – but STILL.

Sulk.

My diet topic today therefore is stamina. Where do we find it? How do we cope when we suddenly realise this is going to be a much longer journey than we originally bargained for? Is it ok when you think you have none at all?

Let me start off by saying that without motivation, you can have no stamina. Whether that motivation be a simple ‘I want to lose that belly bulge’ or a rather dramatic ‘I must feel like a SUPERSTAR by the time I go to New York’, it is the key to you reaching your goal.

The thing is, once you’ve pondered over that goal and gone through that original burst of inspiration and determination, you’re left with a long, bleak road without chocolate and with many a weighing-scale set back.

*Enter Stamina, Center Stage*

Stamina is the driving force behind marathon runners, charity walkers, even Sunday strollers. It gets you through the tough times with fierce grit and a set jaw. It picks you up when you fall down and shoves you onwards, no protestations accepted.

It sits heavily on the weighing scales and propels you forward even when all you want to do is sit and mope.

And eat a bowl full of icing.

Stamina is something that doesn’t necessarily come naturally to us all. It comes from within, from our own determination, and I won’t lie, not everyone is cut out for it, at least not when it comes to food. I most definitely had no stamina when it came to not eating in between meals.

But that doesn’t mean all hope is lost. I conquered that by putting myself in a position where it wouldn’t be possible to snack. I planned my meals for the week and bought only the bare essentials for those meals. My budget couldn’t then physically cover for snacks and so, over time, I taught myself stamina. You know yourself better than anyone. If you know the food is there, will you eat it? If so, remove the food. It’s not an impossible mountain to climb.

At least, it’s not an impossible mountain to climb most of the time. Sometimes, like I experienced today, we have zero stamina, no matter how much we are screaming at ourselves to ‘NOT PICK UP THAT CHEESE SLICE.’ The world is just begging to be eaten and you have no choice but to oblige.

But you know what? That’s ok.

Because that’s the beauty with stamina: it means that however often you fail, you find the will to pick yourself back up and try again.

So, maybe just today, don’t allow yourself to feel so guilty. Let the weight that accompanies calorie counting lift from your mind. Go out and enjoy that burger from the grill. Delight in the sweet sensation of chocolate sliding down your throat in all it’s creamy goodness. Go to an all-you-can-eat buffet with foods from around the world. Tell yourself you’re being adventurous.

And then try like hell to do better tomorrow.

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I’ll let you know how my stamina holds up next week!

Whip me, baby

I’ve been posting a little bit less recently, but largely because I’ve been struggling with a comment that me and le man received from someone we thought well of.

This person turned to the man I love, and accused him of being with me purely for the physical benefits of a relationship (…well, not in so many words. I deserve some kind of medal for the polite phrasing I morphed that disgusting comment into), ultimately saying he is ‘whipped.’

Now, I don’t know about you, but I didn’t understand what this slang meant at first. The internet as ever, provides some useful definitions, though many of them in rather colourful language. Here’s one definition:

Whipped: When a man is controlled by his girlfriend…almost entirely. To the point of embarrassment when his friends tell him that his girlfriend has got him whipped.’

Eurgh. Vile. I didn’t even know how to handle this. The first thing I felt was repulsion – I was appalled by the insinuation that our relationship wasn’t worth anything, that after so much time together, it was not love holding us together, but sex. This person doesn’t know us as well as they seem to think, they are not in this relationship and so have no authority on the subject. It’s a betrayal to accuse someone of this kind of relationship, because it implies so much vulgarity in the accused’s character.

It took a while to work through this. It took a while to not be angry at le man for him not standing up for us – but as he said, a response to a thing like that is difficult to muster on the spot. It’s not so easy to have a smart, defensive retort when you’re busy seeing red.

It took a while because that person threw an ugly light onto something I see as so perfect and fragile. The physical side of any relationship is a private matter, one that exists only within that bubble. Having it commented on outside of the bubble is unsettling and enraging – it’s an infringement on that privacy and a belittlement of what you share.

It taken a while, yes, but now I’m ok. Because I’ve decided I couldn’t care less about what that person thinks of us. The way I see it, being ‘whipped’ is not a bad thing. It can get ugly if a relationship is unbalanced, yes, but that is an entirely different argument. This person is a fool to think that it is only le man who is ‘whipped.’

I am whipped, never mind about le man. I am the most ‘whipped’ person I’ve known in a relationship. And you know what? That is exactly what I want to be.

Because if I understand it correctly, it essentially means you’re willing to do anything and everything for the person you love, even if it means compromising the public image of yourself. As far as I understand, it means that you are loyal and devoted and would go to the ends of the earth for love. As far as I understand it, those who accuse others of being ‘whipped’ are people whose own lives are devoid of that kind of love. They have never experienced that love and will never open themselves up to the possibility of experiencing it. They themselves will never be ‘whipped’.

And gosh, I think that is the saddest thing in the whole world.

Because in being so ‘whipped’, I have never been happier.

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