Friday, September 30, 2005

Irony

After all that complaining about looking too young,

today, Friday,

September 30th 2005

at 0925 hours (GMT+1)




I found my first grey hair!!!

Thursday, September 29, 2005

Rocks of strength mounted in ever-increasing life



"You live you learn - You love you learn - You cry you learn - You lose you learn - You bleed you learn - You scream you learn - You grieve you learn - You choke you learn - You laugh you learn - You choose you learn - You pray you learn - You ask you learn - You live you learn"

- Alanis Morissette

New post coming to a blog near you soon.....

:-)








-
Anything to get that other post off the top of the page.
-

Monday, September 26, 2005

Apparently...

"Men See Me As Understated"

"You are an intriguing mix of girl and woman." Well, that would explain why I keep getting mistaken for someone much younger!

"You're feminine, quiet, and a total mystery to most men." Like the first bit and the last bit, and the middle bit is probably the most true.

"Yet they often feel the urge to protect you, even if they don't know you." Hmm...not sure how I feel about that.

"You *are* a flirt, but you usually only flirt with those you know well." Abso-f***ing-lutely!

How Do Men See You? Take This Quiz :-)

Sunday, September 25, 2005

For the early risers












It is all about the grinding!

Lone parenting

- has to be harder than whether or not two people can agree on how to raise their children.

In my case, I make all the decisions alone, therefore the responsibility of making the right ones fall on my shoulders as do the consequences, should I make a wrong one.

There is genius in her, as there is in everyone.
"I'm gorgeous!" :-)













One of the decisions, I am dubious about is deciding not to have her skip a school year. I'm just not sure, if I have made the right decision by keeping her where she is. On the one hand, she is mature in many ways, and she certainly has a lot of spirit and confidence - she is afraid of nothing and no-one. On the other, she plays/socializes best with children of her own age and is small in stature. I worry greatly, she will be bored and thereby lose her inate and developed curiosity. She is year 2, but academically on par with at least year 4. Thankfully, her teachers in this new school are willing to give her extra work at this level (which she devoures).

The decisions are mine alone, I am however not alone in influence. The world at large, how she perceives it and processes it is largely out of my hands. Additionally, schools (all aspects) and its teachers are sitting on a weighty portion. We have been having hefty discussions of late, Maria and I, about God, racial and religious distinctions and such like (yes, she is only 7).

My parents have differing backgrounds, race and religion. I grew up in inner-city London, where every street and school boasts a wonderfully eclectic mix of people. Both of these facts were (in all likelihood) paramount to my own appreciation and complete respect for variety.

People were people and differences didn't register.

The Danes are still relatively insular (to use the forbidden practice of generalization - yikes, unchartered territory). My siblings and I have encountered much adversity here from ignorant comments that just evoke pity on their behalf, through derogatory verbal attacks and onto death threats and actual physical violence.

Maria has the right views - she knows all people are equal regardless of gender or race, but she does make an upfront distinction, as Danes generally do. Describing someone known to her and not me, colour is the first trait she mentions. This may be perfectly normal, I don't know, since the visual is the first means of impression, thus I may be placing too much significance upon it.

99% of Danes are Church of Denmark, which is a Lutheran branch of Christianity (both Maria and I were christened here). Her favourite subject is Religious Education, she loves the stories from the bible. This is well and good(!), however some of the ideas she is expressing worry me. She seems to be being taught, Christianity is the only real religion and everyone else is misguided. Once again, yes, she is only seven, but her views are adamant and she does in 7-year-old manner preach about how Christians are superior and hopefully everyone else will learn to understand this and convert. The hefty discussions come about, when I try to convince her, she needs to think about this some more.

Who would have thought, we at this stage would be discussing anything other than how pretty her painting is or how many sweets she should have. Not me!

So the question is, what can I really do about reality as she perceives it (J :-)?), do I have the right to and although I would have to say yes in this case, what gives me the right to think, my ideas are better or more valid than hers?

In any case, I see a discussion with her teachers in the near future.
A little info about me: I'm the type of parent, teachers groan about in the privacy of the staffroom. Next topic: Some of the literature, she is bringing home. There is one book in particular about the animals of Africa, which has beautiful illustrations of scenary, wildlife and white people, but depicts black people as deformed with monsterous features. That really gets my back up. These new teachers don't know me yet, but they will :-)

Dunroamin' in yesteryear

I seem to have lost my blog theme!
Note: if you happen to find it, I don't want it back.

Saturday, September 24, 2005

Try this.....

Believe it or not you can read it .


-----
"I cdnuolt blveiee taht I cluod aulaclty uesdnatnrd waht I was rdanieg The phaonmneal pweor of the hmuan mnid Aoccdrnig to a rscheearch at Cmabrigde Uinervtisy, it deosn't mttaer inwaht oredr the ltteers in a wrod are, the olny iprmoatnt tihng is taht the frist and lsat ltteer be in the rghit pclae. The rset can be a taotl mses and you can sitll raed it wouthit a porbelm. Tihs is bcuseae the huamn mnid deos not raed ervey lteter by istlef, but the wrod as a wlohe. Amzanig huh? yaeh and I awlyas thought slpeling was ipmorantt..!!"
-----

Friday, September 23, 2005

The bare necessity


"Do what you can, for who you can,

with what you have, and where you are."


Thursday, September 22, 2005

The Shakespearean influence

I'm re-reading "The Story of English" and having a great love of Shakespeare, the following part makes me smile wide every time. It is British journalist Bernard Levin being quoted within the book, as he says;

"If you cannot understand my argument, and declare 'It's Greek to me', you are quoting Shakespeare; if you claim to be more sinned against than sinning, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you recall your salad days, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you act more in sorrow than in anger, if your wish is father to the thought, if your lost property has vanished into thin air, you are quoting Shakespeare; if you have ever refused to budge an inch or suffered from green-eyed jealousy, if you have played fast and loose, if you have been tongue-tied, a tower of strength, hoodwinked or in a pickle, if you have knitted your brows, made a virtue of necessity, insisted on fair play, slept not a wink, stood on ceremony, danced attendance (on your lord and master), laughed yourself into stitches, had short shrift, cold comfort or too much of a good thing, if you have seen better days or lived in a fool's paradise - why, be that as it may, the more fool you, for it is a foregone conclusion that you are (as good luck would have it) quoting Shakespeare; if you think it is early days and clear out bag and baggage, if you think it is high time and that that is the long and short of it, if you believe that the game is up and that truth will out even if it involves your own flesh and blood, if you lie low till the crack of doon because you suspect foul play, if you have your teeth set on edge (at one fell swoop) without rhyme or reason, then - to give the Devil his due - if the truth were known (for surely, you have a tongue in your head) you are quoting Shakespeare; even if you bid me good riddance and send me packing, if you wish I was dead as a doornail, if you think I am an eyesore, a laughing-stock, the Devil incarnate, a stony-hearted villain, bloody-minded or a blinking idiot, then - by Jove! Oh Lord! Tut, tut! For goodness sake! What the dickens! But me no buts - it is all one to me, for you are quoting Shakespeare. "

;-)

I've just realized, I suffer from

  • Altophobia
  • Ailurophobia
  • Apeirophobia
  • Apiphobia
  • Batrachophobia
  • Claustrophobia
  • Katagalophobia
  • Laliophobia
  • Musophobia
  • Spheksophobia
  • Tachophobia
Please visit:
http://thefountainpen.net/2005/09/20/calling-all-bloggers-and-lurkers/

Wednesday, September 21, 2005

STOP!

It happened again and it is so not funny!

http://eternally29.blogspot.com/2005/05/compliment.html

This time it was assumed I was buying a child's ticket for the train - that is so not funny!
I have to console myself with the fact, the person behind the counter must be in dire need of glasses or a pill, because to travel on a child's ticket, I would have to be under 16.

I'm going to have to dig up (or have taken) a close-up and let you guys be the judge, because...

This is so not funny!

:o)

Talk to me

Sometimes I think, I must have written on my forehead the words "Talk to me" in ink that is invisible to me, but all others can clearly see. That statement is not to be misunderstood as one of annoyance, but one of wonder - especially on days like yesterday, where it feels as if, I constantly am being approached by strangers wanting to confide.


On the train: A woman sat down next to me and began telling me of her mother's incurable disease and how she might be lost to them at any time.

Having lunch: A young man joined me and began telling me about his medical history - of how he had been travelling around South America, phoned his mother to tell her about the voices in his head, was requested to come home and forcibly admitted to a phychological ward, where he spent the next 2 years of his life.

Shopping for children's clothes: A woman approached me and began telling me about the state of her marriage and the problems, she is having with her unruly teenagers.

Gift shop: The woman behind the counter whisperingly asked me, if she looked old and haggard. I replied in the negative, which pleased her, she said, since the past year had been really tough.

Typical of many a day. Very strange!

Tuesday, September 20, 2005

When problems are mounting up, remember this:

Mountains are climbed the same way as hills...
one step at a time.

But...

I'm not in love

But loved

I have not the home I desire

But a secure roof over my head

Family members are not always easy

But they are good people

I do not shop at Prada and D&G

But my closet is overflowing

I get into arguments on occasion

But my surroundings are at peace

I may not be at my ideal weight

But I do not go hungry

I do not like all that I read

But I am able to do so

I haven't had the life I had hoped

But still I have and enjoy it

I have one or two enermies

But friends by far outweigh them

I sometimes groan at the alarm clock

But I have a purpose for each day

I'm not the smartest person on this earth

But I have the ability and opportunity to learn

The years do hold some unhappy memories

But this is just a small part of their consistency

My dreams for the future may not come true

But at least my path is forward

(Revised)

Saturday, September 17, 2005

Crackerjack

I believe in making the most of opportunities and doing your best to reach full potential.
I also believe in expressing my opinion. When I feel strongly, it becomes a compulsion.
At times I find myself in the strangest of situations. Situations, that when I think back on them, I cannot believe I had the gall to speak. I feel this way, when it is a something, I have not personally experienced. Other times, it may be because the person has been around for much longer than I. In the moment, however, none of this matters.
If I did not say, what was on my mind, I would forever think of it thereafter. Besides, one can quickly tell, whether or not what is being said has some validity and is kindly received. If it is not, I hush up without delay.
In the case of my cousin, I have never and will never be invited (by my aunt and uncle) to continue speaking.
Due to complications at birth, his intellectual age is much lower than his physical age. He has a life, and were he happy within it, I would be happy for him. But he isn't, and so neither am I.

Just yesterday, I received reliable information in confidence. Information which causes me to want to side-step his parents. I won't, because I do not have the right to, but that is my honest desire.

When things are swept under the carpet regularly, it will start to bulge and give the game away. His parents asked me to talk to him not long ago, but they did not provide me with this important piece of the puzzle - although knowing it now, lends great transparency to their reasons for picking me. In this case, it is a situation I have had more than enough experience with. In other words, if I had been briefed in full, I could have helped in full. Instead, I now see, I provided only a tiny band-aid upon a great big open bleeding wound.

I will never be able to rage about this in the real world, and it frustrates me no end. This poor boy is falling between the cracks, because it is the easiest thing for him to do.

He has learning difficulties, granted. His brain processes information in an atypical fashion, granted. But instead of giving him the time he needs to learn, he is being robbed of the very opportunity. I don't like to judge, truly I don't, though this post suggests otherwise, but sometimes evidence is so clear, one has no other choice.

I've followed him for all of his life. Watched his ups and downs, his triumps and his disappointments, and through it all I have loved and admired him like almost no other. He is the dearest person, openly honest and loving, and incredibly smart in his own way.

I do understand his parents. They are perfectionists. They have the jobs they wanted, the house they wanted, the furniture they wanted, the friends they wanted, almost everything they have ever wanted. They have 4 children, of which 3 openly and with great enthusiasm are their pride and joy. They are smart, ambitious, attractive, caring, generous kids. And they do love their eldest very much, I know. He just isn't as perfect as the others.

They will be the first to admit, it took them almost 20 years to finally accept he was "different". They realize now the mistakes they made with him then. For months and years they would allow him to fall behind in an activity, he should for his age be able to master, and then it was as if they suddenly became frustrated and would want him to know it yesterday. I recall one occasion, when he was 10 years old. He had not learnt to tie his laces, and his father became angry one day about this matter. The same thing happened at age 13, when he did not know still how to tell time. These are two specific examples that I recall witnessing in person, though I know there have been many others. I felt desperately sorry for him on these occasions - to be left and then to suddenly have demands. The thing is, as I said, he is perfectly able to learn and these things were overdue even at his "level". As I was there at the time, I took these two teaching roles: tying of shoelaces 45 minutes, telling of clock 1 1/2 hours. That it! The boy was smart.

At school, he was given extra lessons, and kept a year behind only twice. He did really well, and was constantly improving. By the age of 15, he had a reading level of 7-8. He could do simple math, he was exceedingly talented at woodwork - he showed a great deal of potential in a great number of fields.

His parents have realized the mistakes of yesteryear, but not the ones they currently seem to be making. What he should have had then and now is steady encouragement. They realized their then outbursts of anger and sudden demands had damaged him and are now over-compensating by not demanding anything at all of him.
He is now 24.
He is unable to read a single word.
He has a job that poses no challenge, and he will likely keep this job or one similar until retirement.
He has the body of a 50 year old, who has never taken the slightest bit of care.
He is an alcoholic.
He has other secrets that I have just found out about.
He is depressed.

He has so much potential, were he only to be given the opportunity to prove himself.
It is infinitely sad to see, he is instead spiralling downwards.

Some people


Some people, they long for each other
They love to talk, holding the other ones' hand
They always understand
Some people cry, some people know why

Hear the word unspoken with a voice unheard
When a thought is broken by a tender word
When a heart is moved, when a heart is known
The silence tells you you're not alone

- by Sir Cliff Richard

Friday, September 16, 2005

Is it coincidence that makes the world go around?

On the train this morning, I read an article about a woman, who had been but a millimeter from death. A millimeter to the left or a millimeter to the right would have resulted in a very different outcome. Who knows what tomorrow will bring and what would have happened today had one been travelling on a parallel path.
One moment, a millimeter in time, is all it takes to completely alter the course of a life.
A coincidence, a turn of fortune, a twist of fate or whatever one wants to call it.
I've often wondered, what would happen, if we took a wrong turn somewhere along the road. Could our real life pass us by like the face of a stranger, let what should have been simply ours be lost without rhyme or reason. Would there ever be anyway back to the correct path, the correct fate, to what is meant to be.
How does one decide which is the best direction to go in at any given time other than by trial and error. All one can do is simply to hope for the best and trust instinct. Is everything then, just a question of blind luck. Does it all come down to being in the right place at the right time.
Is it really as simple as that.
Turn a different corner. A millimeter to the left or a millimeter to the right. A constant circle of choice, where every direction is available and each opens up an entirely different set of possibilities.
There are no promises in life and we have no right to expect riches as we travel through it, however the benefits we had as children moulded the dreams we have for adulthood.
Our blessings expand our dreams.
Coincidence instills a need to make sense, though the answers will forever be elusive.

Ladies that lunch

I don't miss a great many things from my previous hometown, but I am missing the ladies.

Once a week, us four girls would meet at my place for lunch. We would drink pots of coffee, indulge in a proper scandinavian smorgesbord with everything from pickled herring to meatballs and succumb to decadent Danish pastries laden with nuts and chocolate. And boy, could these ladies play cards. I never won, not once!

But really, these lunches were about companionship and conversation. We would talk about everything from past to future, between heaven and earth, the menial to the all-encompassing. We shared our funny stories like when Ellen, whilst working in the garden in a shortish skirt, was asked to cover up by a neighbour whose two teenage sons had been caught spying through the hedge. Our sad stories, like when Else's son (aged 2 at the time) drowned after falling headfirst into a bucket of water.

Edith was the quiet one, but I felt as though it was always on the tip of her tougue to tell us of why there was such sadness in her eyes. Perhaps one day she will, but I will probably not be there to hear it.

Such wonderful women.

These last two years have built eternal ties, solid friendships.
Each has now become the others' favourite companion, and each has become "Oldemor" (Great-grandmother) to the others' great-grandchildren, a league of blessed youngsters in which my daughter was been awarded an honorary membership :-).

Thursday, September 15, 2005

Thoughts of our Starfish



Love and Luck

Friday, Florida, 1pm - in thought as promised.

Tuesday, September 13, 2005

Humdrum sevens

By request - for Linny and Tiffany

7 things to do before I die:

1. See the world
2. Extend my family
3. Take drawing, photography, kickboxing, ballroom dancing, saxophone, piano, singing, sailing, sculpture, pilates, painting and Italien classes, amongst others
4. Learn as much as possible
5. Build my dream home by the ocean
6. Make sure everyone I feel responsible for is taken care of
7. Experience as much as possible

7 things I can do:

1. Grow plants
2. Attract confession
3. Finish a book in one sitting
4. Memorize
5. Empathize
6. Drink one cup of coffee after another and still sleep soundly
7. Do step aerobics for hours on end

7 things I can't do:

1. Keep quiet, when I have a definite opinion
2. Give up chocolate
3. Parachuting, bungee-jumping etc - fear of heights
4. Get my head around the concept of infinity
5. Give up on a task once undertaken
6. Tolerate selfishness
7. Stop talking to myself as I write

7 things that attract me to a man:

1. Respectfulness
2. Wit
3. The ability to make me giggle
4. Infectious smile, nice legs, strong chin, firm bottom, sexy eyes (green a bonus)
5. Compassion
6. Confidence
7. Energy

7 things I say most often:

1. Bugger!/Bloody hell!
2. Maria./Maria?/Maria!
3. Wow!
4. Why?
5. Pardon? (Must get my hearing checked)
6. Thank you.
7. Okay.

7 celebrity crushes:

1. Oliver Reed
2. Robert Downey Jr.
3. Dennis Quaid
4. John Corbett
5. Robbie Williams
6. Jeff Richards
7. Gary Dourdan

People to be tagged:

Anyone who wishes to be :o)

Mid-life crisis?

The concept seemed a little humorous to me, images of mutton dressed as lamb, driving pricy red convertibles and adopting a complete new vocabulary interwoven with most modern slang. It made my cousin, Jon and I giggle at the thought, he would be a prime candidate, given his entire youth was devoted to securing the future and he stuck with the first girl he dated. I had not been touched by it in any way - I was ignorant to the ramifications, the great gaping hole of pain left behind, the desolation and the utterly intolerable confusion.
Two long marriages have ended. In the first case, it is a man, in the second, a woman.
Two people who seeimingly have undergone a metamorphosis of personality. I don't believe it is possible, not without a life-altering reason and these two are devoid of this as far as anyone knows.
This will reek of pretentiousness, but I saw in them deceit and dishonesty, despite never having been crossed in any way. I didn't trust them past the surface, but kept the unfounded judgement secret, ashamed. I'm going to start trusting this instinctive reaction - these two people are the last in a list of examples that corroborate my gut.
For unknown reasons, each of those left behind chose to relay their current thoughts and feelings to me, and it is perhaps due to my very pretentiousness and penchant for presumption of other people's thought processes, when I speak with what essentially is nothing but a deceptive appearance of authority, they listen. My private judgement remains still hidden, never to be revealed, and uncannily still I feel myself personally mourning the absentees' somewhat fleeting appearances in my life and the character I was never convinced of .
I've wiped untold tears and watched the crack in the hearts of those left behind grow wider with each passing day - their stories break my heart. The abandoning spouses wreak callous, cruel and totally irrational treatment on their former loved ones. I'm spending a lot of time with the man as he is close to me in distance, since my recent move. I do believe he has gone crazy and I cannot fault him for this loss of mind - I think, I would too given the same situation.
They have been married for almost 40 years, have reared 4 beautiful sons each of whom is settled in life (more or less) and they have 4 grandchildren. She was a doting mother and until recently their marriage seemed made in heaven to those surrounding and to her husband. She was not ill-treated in any way and was to be blatantly obvious quite spoiled, or at least very taken care of in the old-fashioned sense (someone is bound to misunderstand that statement :-). Suddenly he finds, she has been planning this move for 4 years. She has been siphoning off hundreds of thousands of kroners (Danish currency) and indulging in an incestuous (albeit by marriage) relationship with her nephew. She has vanished and cut even telephonic contact to almost every member of her immediate family.
He had a heart attack and she returned home briefly at the request of her children, but then only to tell him how much he disgusted her now. He believes she has a brain tumour or some other mentally altering illness - how else can he justify the actions of the woman he has adored for almost 4 decades. Certainly something has snapped within her for her to be delierately cruel to a man in such ill health, a man with whom she has shared a life.
I listen to his raging, his melancholy and try to help him overcome. There is so much to live for, I tell him, children, grandchildren, friends, the world and all it's promise and opportunity, the beauty of life in general, but he is as good as gone. He has made his decisions and I am fearful, he will leave us soon. By way of the law or by way of death. From infinite sadness has come the greatest anger and the all-consuming desire to avenge the "shitting on my head!".
Sometimes one has little choice but to watch events as they unfold, fore unfold, unravel they will regardless of any action any of us surrounding him take and it is scaring the living daylights out of me.

Sunday, September 11, 2005

Picture Perfect





















Disaster occured, victims reaped

Lovely Jubbly

Gosh, but I missed having the blogsphere at my fingertips :-)
Back earlier than anticipated...lovely jubbly!!!

Now to get caught up with posts written....

...then onto posting.

Thursday, September 01, 2005

Temporary limited internet access means I will likely not be updating my blog until the middle of September.

I will however be doing my best to keep up with my reading of other blogs!

Miss me! :-)