That’s sound advice that is!

All through your life people will offer you advice. Some will be asked for and some unwanted. Some will be good and some will be unbelievably terrible and often times catastrophic if followed. But at the end of the day, we choose the paths we take throughout our lifetime. I’ve cocked up many times and have no one to blame but myself. However not all the advice I refused to listen to had life changing effects. Here are some of my more memorable / funny ones.

  • Will you slow down, this is not a race car and you’re only learning.” This was said by my Dad approximately 5 minutes before I crashed his Massey Ferguson tractor into a concrete post which was the only thing stopping it falling down a steepish embankment. We had a long slow walk back to the house to get the digger to rescue it with. There were a lot of apologies on my part and a lot of silence on my Dad’s which meant he was less than pleased.
  • You’re going to end up getting hurt” – Again said by my Dad. When we were younger my sister and I used to share a room which had two single beds. One night when there was a strong possibility I was pretending to be Dracula or some other mythical creature with fangs, I can’t quite remember, I placed two straws in my mouth and decided to hop back and forth between the two beds. I was going great guns and having the time of my life until I fell against the bed and jammed the top of the straws into the roof of my mouth. I ended up with my head hanging over the side of the bath spitting blood and my Dad probably saying “I told you so.”
  • “Don’t play with that, you’ll break it.” I’m not 100% sure if this is what my Sister said or not, but it was probably something along those lines, and it was in reference to the Sindy horse she received from Santa. I of course did not listen and proceeded to gallop said Sindy horse all over the house by holding onto it’s tail. Tail and horse seperated and I hid behind the freezer hoping no one would find out…or me for that matter me. There is another vicious rumour I fed her pippa dolls to the dog, but hey innocent until proven guilty!
  • “Pull the brakes slowly, they are not working to well” – Said  my friends father as I whizzed down the hill past his house on her bike. Of course I panicked, jammed on the brakes and flew Superwoman style over the handlebars putting my two front teeth through my bottom lip.
  • Never fall in love with a Scottish Dude” – It took me 3 failed attempts to realise the wisdom behind my friends words. What can I say, I’m a sucker for the accent!
  • “You really do need to study for your exams. Stop looking at me like that, I’m serious, you really do, I wish I had listened to the person who told me” – Oh the arrogance of youth. I didn’t study very hard despite hearing this sentence repeatedly from various sources. I failed most of my exams and had to go back the following year and do them all again. See I wasn’t lying when I said I was not the brightest pixie in the forest :) Many times I have passed on the knowledge in this sentence to others who are sitting exams only to receive the same look that I probably gave. Emphatic pleas and hand gestures follow, usually to no avail.

I’m sure there were many more pearls of wisdom and nuggets of knowledge passed along to me, but being old and not having a very good memory, I cannot recall them at present.

If only I’d seen this 20 or so years ago:

Before you act, listen. Before you react, think. Before you spend, earn. Before you criticize, wait. Before you pray, forgive. Before you quit, try.
— Ernest Hemingway

New World Coming – FFF38

For this weeks Flash Fiction Foray  Matt over at The Book Blogger very kindly used my music suggestion. Considering I had put it forward you would have thought I would have had a clue what to write, but no, it’s going to be as much of a surprise for me as it is for you.

If you would like to join in, clicking the link at the start of this paragraph will take you to this weeks challenge, or clicking HERE will take you to all the relevant information you require.  It’s only 100 little words :)

Here is my entry.

Music filled the forest as the mist crept ever closer, it’s cold fingers reaching from the sky to the very blades of grass beneath Polly’s feet.

‘I don’t like this’ said Teddy. ‘We’ll only go a little further.’

‘It has to be around here somewhere’ said an exasperated Polly.

And it was, it was just around the bend, a little door at the foot of an old and withering tree, with pebbles for a path.

‘Are you ready Teddy,  because once we go through, we can never come back?’

‘I’m ready, there’s a new world coming and it’s not good.’

 


I’d a couple of ideas for this one, I may or may not do another one. In the end though I chose my preferred characters, Polly and Teddy who I have had adventures with before. 

It’s not as easy as it first appears this malarky, but after much thought and editing as far as I know I came in right on the 100 words!

Once Upon a Dream – Flash Fiction

The song played low on the radio, it had an almost tinny quality like it was being piped through a loud speaker.

Unconsciously Leah started to sway to the music as she cleaned the old beans from the coffee machine. She was a girl easily lost to daydreams and the familiarity of things remembered from her  subconscious.

The bell above the door rang and turning around almost as if in slow motion she noticed him for the first time, his face unknown yet familiar at the same time.

‘Hey’ he said, ‘Don’t I know you?’

She smiled. A perk of the job.


This post was written for The Book Bloggers Flash Fiction Foray Challenge.

I love this song, it’s one of my favourites so I could not pass up the chance to participate.

If you would like to have a go too, click on the link above which will provide all the detail you need :)

Irritating Idiots!

 

I’ve got balls in GTA!

Right time to vent!!

I’m a gamer, granted not a serious one, but a gamer none the less. Motion sickness makes first person shooters a non starter for me, so I miss out on all the good games like Battlefield, Call of Duty and the Bioshock series to name but a few. It meant I had to look for alternatives and no one was more surprised than I when I fell in love with Grand Theft Auto 5 after being coerced into buying it by that group of eejits I call friends, you all know who you are!

I was a late starter to the game, it had already been out for a while before I purchased it for the 360, eventually moving my character and all her associated baggage over to the One when I changed console. I’m level 300 online, not because I am good, but because I have put in many hours of play and have also managed to complete the Criminal Mastermind Challenge which netted me brownie points and a cool $10 millions dollars. I am a fan of this open world game and so far it has yet to lose it’s appeal. The one biggest drawback however would be the connection issues, that said, no game of that size and playability is going to be without flaws.

By and large being a female gamer I have been spared the onslaught of chauvinistic males, mainly because I was lucky enough to meet a really great bunch of guys and I tend to stay within that social circle. I do love a good war of words though, especially when someone thinks they might gain the upper hand simply because I am female. I have worked in predominantly male environments all my life, believe me, I can hold my own.

Reaching level 300 was my goal and after I achieved it I figured I might tweak a character and start again, jumping from mission to mission or into heists, something to pass the time until the whole group were on. My main reason in doing so, is that when you are playing solo online and you’re a high level, people either want to constantly hunt you down or recruit you into their teams. I wanted hassle free so being a low level cuts out all the tripe. I can still hold my own because I know the missions like the back of my hand despite the fact that my strength levels are that of a beginner.

Having time to kill the other night and seeing that everyone else was tied up in other games I jumped on for an hour to try and do a bit more levelling up. I started up a mission and quickly got the required four players. Things were progressing well, but just as we were nearing the end of the mission it told me the other three players had left. In GTA this usually signals that I, rather than they had been disconnected. I ended the mission and collected my RP and winnings, noting that I was on a par or slightly higher than the other three with regards to number of kills. Connection continued to be a bit sketchy so after filling up on snacks and body armour I decided to leave it for the night.

Imaging my surprise the next night when I go in to watch TV and find this message waiting for me:

“You’re a noob at GTA……..fuck offffffffffffff”

I was trying to remember the name of the person and think where I had met them, but to be honest when skipping from mission to mission there are so many you forget. So being the polite person I am I replied:

‘What brought that on?’

I then decided to check out his profile and was not surprised to find that he was branded by Microsoft as ‘Reputation needs work’. No shit Sherlock.

I was quite excited to see when I got home what the next exciting instalment would be, and it was to be honest quite disappointing. You can see the full conversation below. I have for obvious reasons blanked out his name.

 

I think my reply is polite and to the point. I refrained from swearing, even though I wanted to, like really really wanted to! Dry your f*cking eyes would have have given me much more satisfaction. I have no doubt this will not be the end of it, but that’s what the big block button is for. In the grand scheme of things neither his message or mine is that bad, but I mean come on was there any need for it. If I sent a message to everyone who had pissed me off I would never have any time to play the game in the first place. Apart from that, I may be a noob in levels terms, but I had more feckin kills that he did….

Rant over :)

 

 

Regarding Life

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Image by Unspash

I love people watching, is that weird?

It’s amazing how many different people we can pass in just one day. Some we will remember and others we won’t. I tend to remember those who smile.

There are many missed opportunities in a day to converse with people, it’s weird I should write this considering I am an introvert and shy away from people I am not familiar with. Today I helped a lady and her little wheeled shopper off the train, she thanked me, but she held tightly onto the shopper that I lifted down for her. It made me sad, because this is the world we live in now, one where people are unsure and perhaps mistrust those around them. I can’t blame her because I often experience the same feelings myself.

As I stood on the train watching the world whizz past outside I took stock of my surroundings. So many people on their way to somewhere. I noted that I was standing, simply because I was reluctant to encroach on someone else’s space, happier instead to wait until a whole two seater became available.

Don’t get me wrong, I will speak when spoken to, but I rarely initiate a conversation. I am not however like others, who are so against having someone sit beside them that they fill the seat beside with bags, coats and any other barrier they can find.

Sometimes I miss the old days, when there was no WiFi and I used to actually converse with my friends. These days I look around and see the reflections of various websites flicker across faces as everyone becomes lost in the wonder that is modern technology.

I am more often than not immersed in it myself.

 

Think Before You Speak, Before a Beautician

Image by World Skills Team Uk

So I need to tell you a story, I’m just not exactly sure how I am going to manage it, because I know it’s going to sound way better when told than written, but bear with me and I will do the best I can.

I’ve never been a girly girl, in fact when I was younger I was a downright tomboy. I can count on one hand the number of times I’ve worn a dress (childhood excluded, I had no choice!!) and when I was forced into my new job as a personal secretary I was distraught at the thought I might have to wear a skirt everyday. Thankfully I have very understanding bosses who were content with me continuing to wear jeans as long as the top half looked semi presentable.

I rarely wear make up, but I can assure you I do shower everyday just in case any of you are thinking I am a total lost cause. Anyway, there is a point to all this, I promise. Sometimes where beauty is concerned a tomboy like myself will require external help, or if things are really bad perhaps divine intervention. Take for example my eyebrows, when they start to affect my vision then I know that it is time for a visit to the beautician. So I asked my friend could I tag along next time she was going and because she loves me, or is an eejit, she said I could.

Now you have to understand I know the beautician, albeit that I had not seen her for a very long time. She’s the daughter of the lady who cuts my hair and who also came to cut Mum’s every week before she passed away. So on arrival there are the usual pleasantries, haven’t seen you in ages and that kind of thing and we wait until it is our time to be seen.

Our time arrives and my friend and I go into the little room and at this point I’m feeling particularly brave, so I go first. First up is the dying of the eyelashes, piece of cake, next comes the waxing of the eyebrows, holy feck I think I’m going to die. This girl is good at her job, I mean really good, and I thought I had a good tolerance for pain, but clearly it doesn’t extend to above my neck. You’d need a face made of leather to not feel that shit! The pain is worth it though when she holds the mirror up and through your tears you catch sight of the perfectly poised brows that have replaced the caterpillars that used to reside there.

Next it’s my friends turn and clearly she has a face made of leather cos it does not fizz on her at all.

So while all this is going on I am sitting in the corner secretly distraught at the fact that I’ve made an arse of myself , being such a wimp where the old waxing was concerned. Anyway the front door opens and shuts and this girl walks up the corridor and I am convinced it’s one of my cousins, of which there are four sisters. So I said to the beautician is that Caroline (the name of one of my cousins) and she says no, that’s Christine (which is also a name of one of the four cousins) and I said, oh Christine Smith and she said yes. So thinking I’m being really funny I shout at the top of my voice ‘Oi Christine’ and there is silence, so I shout it again, only louder this time and from the other room comes this wee voice saying ‘Who me? and I shouts ‘Yes you, get your arse in here, NOW!’ extremely gruffly.

So here I am in the corner sniggering away and this girl puts her heard through the door and I look at her kinda stupid looking and she looks at me kinda WTF looking and then she looks at the beautician and then she looks at my friend and no one says a word. Eventually my friend breaks the silence, because what feels like 3 hours has passed and no one has said anything and directing her question at me my friend asks ‘Do you know this girl?’

It was one of those moments where I wished the ground would open up and swallow me because I had to say, now rather sheepishly might I add, ‘Actually, I don’t’. At that point everyone, including the girl who although she had the same name, was clearly not my cousin started to laugh. The problem was, they were not laughing with me, they were laughing at me and now my whole face matched the belisha beacon red of my previously tortured eyebrows.

Thankfully everyone saw the funny side of the whole incident and I was fine too, once the anxiety attack passed.

I get the distinct impression though that my friend will never let me tag along again!

~

Please note, for the purpose of this post the names of my cousins were changed to protect their identity. I have a feeling that they wouldn’t want to be associated with me either.
In my defence though, through my half opened, tear stained eyes, the doppelgänger as well as having the same name did look quite similar to my cousin.

 

I am Four!

It was pretty amazing for me when I made it to the end of one year of blogging, even more amazing that I managed to survive another couple of years despite what was going on in my life. Now, I am four, who would have thought, certainly not me!

While I might not have written my very first post until the 31st March 2013, I had registered the name, which at that time was ‘The Geeky G4mer’. Even in that very first post, I made excuses which paved the way for me more than likely giving up on this new fad, but I didn’t, I am still here.

The last four years have been pretty rough, some of it will be documented on this blog and some of it on others, where I shared my experiences of being a carer for someone with Dementia. Writing from the heart wasn’t always pretty, hence my decision to keep those posts away from here. It didn’t really matter where I wrote, as long as I did, because on many days that was my saving grace, the thing that kept me going.

Had life not intervened the way it did I may have been a blogging superstar by now, these days there are people in the same position as me who have been blogging for only six months, or perhaps even less. I’m quite content to not be a superstar, it’s hard enough being me sometimes. That fame malarky is definitely not the road for an introvert to travel.

I am not, nor will I ever be a magnificent writer, I simply want to entertain and write about life, which can be hard sometimes, because it’s far from perfect despite what some people would have us believe. The difference is the way that people deal with the cards that they have been dealt and every day here, I see examples of people who despite what they hide still manage to put a smile on their faces and carry on regardless with the intention of putting a smile on ours.

Stepping into both blogging and the WordPress community can be daunting at first, but for those of you who are new, my advice would be never give up. Hold on to what you believe in and most importantly never lose sight of why you started your blog. Write for yourself and no one else, the rest will come with time. Open yourself up to this amazing community, there is nowhere else that you will find such a diverse bunch of people who probably shouldn’t work but do. There is always someone to help, comfort, teach and guide, you just have to interact and ask, never be afraid, we have all been where you are now.

In the last four years I have written 500 posts, quite fitting that this should be number 501. I have 1,220 followers, my page has seen 21, 069 visitors with 43, 941 views. There have been 9, 312 comments, with some still pending. That’s amazing, and I am extremely grateful for every follow, like and person who has stopped by whether they commented or not. But for me, what is more important are the people I have met, the friends I have made and the posts I have read that have made me smile, laugh, cry and remember that I am not alone in this world. More importantly it has reminded me I am loved and despite the fact that I am not a magnificent writer, I have things to say that people want to read.

I am four, but only because you all helped me. Thank you, words can never express how grateful I am to have had you all at my side.

Here’s to another 365 days of blogging! Happy blog anniversary to us.

Getting to know me

I’ve seen the ‘Get to know me’ type challenge doing the rounds for a while now, but never really paid much attention. I’m not usually a fan of tag type prompts / awards, mainly because way back when I first started I had a few issues with Akismet thinking I was a pain in the arse robot or something else sinister. If you’re interested you can read why I choose to be an Award free blog here.

It’s interesting that I should choose to pick this up and complete it now, but after the last four years I too am trying to get to know myself. So I thought I would share.

There are a set list of questions which I will answer, however I have left out the part where you are supposed to tag others. It’s an interesting little exercise so if you think you might like to join in, please feel free to do so.

1. Who are you named after?

No one is the short answer. I used to be miffed because most of the ladies in my immediate family had ‘Elizabeth’ in their name and I didn’t, I’m just some randomer. I did ask the Fathership once if he knew why I was named Julie, but even he can’t remember. Shall we just go with the I’m unique line?

2. Do you like your handwriting?

Sometimes. Others say they like it and would class me as a very neat writer, I think it’s a bit all over the place. I can easily waste three or four pages in a book writing and re-writing until I am happy with the final result.

3. What is your favourite lunch meat?

Hmmm, that’s tricky and I’m not sure I could narrow it down to just one, so lets go for chicken, with a salad, or bacon with toast and a poached egg! Vegetarians please look away, but I do like Ox tongue too with salad, which everyone else thinks is gross!

4. Longest relationship?

That’s a hard one to answer when it was on and off over a large number of years. Condensed it probably wasn’t that long.

Without doubt the most difficult relationship I have had is the one with myself, that one I am still working on.

5. Do you still have your tonsils?

Why yes, yes I do

6. Would you bungee jump?

Hell no. Let me be more specific as to the reasons why. The main reason is black eyes from the potential bounce back from the boo……you get the idea. Secondly, my dodgy knees would probably just come apart, now wouldn’t that be a shock for those left on the platform, my DM boots hitting them in the kisser.

7. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?

Generally yes, as I tend to wear boots a lot. Converse and the like probably not so much, those just get prised off with the toe to heel manoeuvre.

8. Favourite Ice Cream?

Chocolate, with Malteasers pushed down into the middle of it. Chop Pop if we’re going for the lolly variety :)

9. What is the first thing you notice about people?

Generally their footwear, being an introvert anything above the ankle is usually out of bounds if I don’t know then. Other than that, it would be if they wear a smile.

10. Football or baseball?

Neither. If you were forcing me to watch a sport it would most likely be rugby, there is something quite appealing about that game, or at least the men that play it ;)

11. What colour pants are you wearing?

Now is this UK ‘pants’ or American ‘pants’ because believe me they are two very different things. I’m going to guess that you’re not being rude and do in fact mean trousers. They are grey and black with Animal from The Muppets all over then. Don’t judge, it’s is a Sunday, the day for lounge wear.

12. Last thing you ate?

Please refer to question 8, it was a Chop Pop. Don’t tell my Doctor though, I’m supposed to be cutting down!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

13. If you were a crayon, what colour would you be?

Oh black all the way. That’s just the kinda girl I am.

14. Favourite smell?

It’s not my bottom burps that’s for sure. Let’s go for freshly cut grass or clean linen.

15. Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone?

I prefer texting! But it was probably the Fathership.

16. Hair colour?

Strawberry Blond / light brown / gingerishly going grey probably.

17. Eye Colour?

Blue, but this week people tried to tell me they were green. So many in fact that I was starting to think I had been wrong all my life. But no, I checked, they are blue!

18. Favourite foods to eat?

At the minute Spring rolls from my local take away, oh they are sooooo good. That said, you just can’t beat a chicken dinner with all the trimmings.

19. Scary movie or happy endings?

Happy endings. Scary movies do bad things to my blood pressure and sleep pattern. I’m of a certain age now though that even happy endings usually require tissues on standby.

20. Last movie you watched?

Miss Perigrine’s Home for Peculiar Children. It wasn’t as good as I thought it would be, but I still loved it.

21. Favourite holiday?

I haven’t had one in the last 20 years so I don’t know. My memory is shocking. Edinburgh was always one of my favourite places to go, so I shall say that. The Fathership and I are hoping to go for a weekend at some point this year.

22. Beer or Wine?

Neither, I’m not a drinker. Coffee or water are my two main drinks these days.

23. Night owl or early bird?

Night owl, although the older I get there is less of a gap between the two. Sometimes I want to go back to bed about 10 minutes after waking up :)

24. Favourite day of the week?

Probably Sunday. Saturday is reserved for housework, Sunday is the day I actually try and not have to do very much at all, even though that rarely happens.

Did I cover everything? If not and there is still something you would like to know, then please ask? Within reason though, not even I can tell you next weeks winning lottery numbers.

 


If you would like to participate yourself, here is a list of the questions that you can copy and paste.

1. Who are you named after?
2. Do you like your handwriting?
3. What is your favourite lunch meat?
4. Longest relationship?
5. Do you still have your tonsils?
6. Would you bungee jump?
7. Do you untie your shoes when you take them off?
8. Favorite ice cream?
9. What is the first thing you notice about people?
10. Football or baseball?
11. What color pants are you wearing?
12. Last thing you ate?
13. If you were a crayon what color would you be?
14. Favorite smell?
15. Who was the last person you spoke to on the phone?
16. Hair color?
17. Eye color?
18. Favorite foods to eat?
19. Scary movies or happy endings?
20. Last movie you watched?
21. Favorite holiday?
22. Beer or wine?
23. Night owl or early bird?
24. Favourite day of the week?

Whiteout Wednesday #7

The blossoms of love form a mist.

Romantic.

The flowers white and star-shape; prolong the charm, producing a certain plumpness that was fashionable in plants

Katherine’s flower has stuck throughout the centuries.

~~~~~

I have no clue if I have done the Whiteout challenge correctly, but for my good friend who runs it I at least thought I would try :) Michael and his 10ft celery also piqued my interest. 

If you are interested too, please check here for all the details required to join in! 

Whiteout Wednesday 

Concerning life

Image result for things to do quotes
Image from Quotes Gram

I have romantic notions about how I should be living my life. Curling up in front of an open fire with my laptop after having had a shower, all calm and chilled and wasting a little time before heading to bed at 10.30pm every night meaning I am well rested for work.

Reality: Hot fecking mess, that’s what it is! and without the open fire.

I stupidly thought that perhaps life was returning to some kind of normality and that maybe I was too. You see I’m trying to get everything done, get the house sorted, get me sorted, and then life will be good right!? Wrong…it’s still a bloody disaster.

I had a couple of days off this week, another chance to de clutter and finally move from one bedroom to the other, as my current one needs redecorated thanks to the mouldy 20 odd year old wallpaper. Day one progressed not too bad, I got things done. That said every time I opened a cupboard there was just more ‘stuff’. I mean there is stuff on top of stuff, covered with stuff that’s hiding even more stuff. Trust me, it’s depressing stuff! Thanks Mothership, your legacy lives on. That said, there were tears throughout the day too  as I came across a variety of photographs that brought back memories, some happy and some sad.

I ended day one feeling hopeful. Hopeful that there was one cupboard cleared, under the bed in the guest room had been de gunked and that I might finally have finished this mammoth task by 2018. In order to make that time scale however I might have to call in reinforcements in the form of the Sistership, I think this is too big a task for a one man band.

Day Two. I woke up. My head hurt. Another fecking migraine. You have got to be kidding me. I never left the sofa all day, anything I tried to eat returned with a vengeance and I didn’t even make it out to vote. Illness has followed me like a lovesick puppy since my Mum died, I have never been sick so often in my entire life. Colds, flu like symptoms, crippling migraines, has no one told my body I am supposed to be under less stress now ffs. I’m still not feeling great and that was 3 days ago.

Since the start of the year I have tried to be better to myself. Instead it’s left me feeling worse and yes before you say it I know, this is probably just a phase and things will get better. You all think my body is trying to catch up on the last four years and you’re probably right, but I am mightily sick of being sick!

I’m 65 days, 11 hours, 53 minutes and 14s smoke free as I type this. Don’t worry, I’m not that anal that I can count the days in my head, I’m not that good at maths  either. I have an App for that. I’ve made changes to my diet, I keep an eye on my blood pressure and I’ve substituted crisps (I miss you so much little crisps, never forget me) for nuts, which are apparently good fats and not the bad ones. All this, and still I feel like shit. Seems kinda unfair right!? Yeah I think so too.

Sensible me knows that change doesn’t happen overnight and I have four years to make up for, so I am determined to soldier on. I need to remind myself that everything does not have to be done all at once. I need to stop beating myself up when I let other people down due to being sick, I can’t help being sick and worrying about it only increases the stress. For the last four years I lived off a schedule where everything had to be done there and then and I am finding it hard to break that habit.

Things will be done when they are done. If not today, then there is always tomorrow. I just need to drum that into my thick skull!