Friday, September 19, 2014

Meka Moo


For the first time in 4 years the rat cage lies empty. Meka was the last. My little champion and warrior. I had her put down yesterday because she was growing lumps everywhere and it was only a matter of time before the cancer would have caused her suffering. The reason she is my little warrior is because she survived several things in her short life. She survived major surgery when she had a lump on her chest. She also survived the death of her sister Polly. Rocky had to cope with the loss of his sister, Pepe, but he was never the same rat after and he died a year later. Meka, on the other hand, missed the company of her sister but continued to take pleasure out of life. It wasn't too long before Ziggy came along to keep Meka company and she accepted him just like he was a giant rat. She let him into her cage, she groomed him, she tolerated his rough playfulness. In the earlier days she would get up on her hind legs and look him square in the eye. Ziggy always backed down.

She was the sweetest little rat. When we first got her she was nervous and stuck close to Rocky. Her sister Polly was always the brave one, adventuring and escaping. But Meka was curious, and always much more active than Polly. After she had her surgery Meka became much braver and more interested in humans, not just me. My bond with her grew then because I sensed that she knew I had done a good thing for her by getting the lump removed and she seemed to trust humans in general. It such a nice feeling when a small animal places their trust in you. Meka, as a youngster, was super cute and she liked to crawl around my head and neck and sniff in my ears and up my nose. She also liked to play with my wet hair after I'd had a shower. She was a greedy minx and when food was put into the bowl she would grab all the best bits and hoard it at the bottom of the cage. She continued this habit even when she didn't have other rats to contend with.

So here's to Meka, and Pepe, Rocky and Polly too. I hope some day to have rats again but, for now, I'd like to save a space in my heart in case a stray dog happens to stumble on my path :)

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Every Little T'ing's Gonna Be Alriiight

I was off work on Thursday so I had a lazy morning with Ziggy on the sofa. Then we went for our walk. It was a beautiful, hazy sunny day and Ziggy and I were both in fine form. I then went up the town to get stationary and folders for my course starting on Monday. It had been ages since I'd been up the town. It had been ages since I spent any money. I came back home and N called round and we took Ziggy to Portglenone forest. I wanted to find a log to sit on so we followed a pixie trail that led us to the perfect log. We sat for a while, chatting and enjoying the serenity of the forest.

Later that evening I went out for hot chocolate and ice cream with a few girls from work. They are all at least 7 years younger than me but I didn't really notice until they started talking about all the hot actors they fancied and as they showed me pictures of these dudes on their phones I realised that I had never heard tell of them. Also, they weren't that hot. But I am always complaining that I don't get to hang out with girls enough so it was nice to do something with them.

On Friday, after work, I went for a session of reiki. I paid £20 for an hour of bliss. It really was so relaxing. I lay down on the bed and he placed crystals on the 7 points of my body that represented the 7 chakras. Then he placed his hands on the crown of my head. I have always liked being touched on the head but when he placed his hands on me I felt like I was being cocooned in the most comforting way imaginable. He then alternated placing his hands between my head and shoulders. At one point I became aware that I wanted him to place his hands on my forehead and, without saying anything, he did. I also felt that I needed the sides of my face, my ears and cheeks, to be touched and again, he instinctively knew to place his hands there. He worked down through the body and when he touched my feet it also felt strangley comforting and relaxing and I also noticed the heat of his hands more. But, without a doubt, my head seemed to benefit the most from it.

Afterwards he was able to tell me the things he picked up on. He too had noticed that there was a lot of healing taking place around my head. He could sesne that I was a deep thinker and my mind was like a washing machine. He asked me if I had any trouble with my ears. I mentioned in a blog post a while ago that I had bought ear drops. They helped for a bit but I had ongoing problems with my ear and had been to the doctor's three times. The last doctor noticed a perforation on my ear drum (probably caused by myself when I was poking cotton buds into it). I am currently on the waiting list to see a specialist. The reiki man said, however, that even though he felt it a lot around my ears he beleived that it was actually my sinuses that was causing the difficulty. I have always been prone to sinus infections and every time I take a cold that's where I feel it most.

He then went on to tell me that he felt a lot around my stomach and he asked me if I was a fussy eater. He said that this part of the body also represents confidence issues and he believed that I struggled with being sure of myself. This is true, even after I had made a conscious decision to work on my confidence it is still an issue I battle with. He said he also felt a lot of healing around my feet, in particular my left ankle. I told him that I sprained my ankle twice when I was younger but I couldn't remember if it was the left or the right foot. I have been trying to visualise my First Holy Communion pictures as that was one of the times I had sprained my ankle. It won't be hard to find out if he was right. And I think he is.

So my overall verdict is that it was deeply relaxing, soothing and insightful. I would reccommend it to anyone but I do believe that people will get varying results. For me, it was something that I was ready to embrace. I felt open to the healing that was being offered and I also felt very comfortable with the guy that was performing it. I had met him once before in different circumstances and I had sensed a nice vibe from him then as well. I felt throughout the session that we were in tune with each other and that helped me to get the most out if it that I possibly could. The main feeling I got was one of protection. As soon as his hands touched my head I felt safe. I will be seeing him again, for sure.

Today I am headed for unknown territory. An adventure, if you will. Gus resides in a far off land and we're jamming there for a change. I do believe that it is in the wilds of the countryside and there is a forest and feral cats for Ziggy to play with. I'm bringing my camera, my geetar and a head full of zen and humour. That's all you need sure.

Thursday, September 11, 2014

Maybe Tomorrow....

My youngest niece and I like to have indepth conversations in a made up language. She is very good at it and makes all the right facial expressions even though she is saying "Agombi kyian shupapa fallella". And then I nod my head and say "Fee fee, caranya asloo borodia sleven". It ocurrs to me that these converstaions are just as meaningful, if not more, than a lot of the converstaions I have with adults. I am coming to the conclusion that we are all just talking gibberish.

Sometimes we have to take a long hard look at ourselves to realise why we have come to a certain point in life. I have known for a long time that I am the sort of person that cares deeply about things. Things matter to me. A lot. I get so excited and hopeful and full of promise. And, when things don't go to to plan the disappointment I feel can knock the wind out of me. I was wondering why I'm like this. I came to the conclusion it's because I haven't actually grown up yet. I get excited about life like a child gets excited about going to the park. When something doesn't work out for me I feel the same sadness that my 4 year old niece feels when we leave the house without remembering her all important box of fairies that is actually really a pencil sharpener. I don't experience these emotions over the trivial things but, when something matters to me I pour all my heart and soul into it. The more I invest of myself the more disappointed I feel. And that's the problem. I can't invest less. I just can't do it. I wear my heart on my sleeve.

So is it time to grow up? Will I fare better in a world that favours adults? Shall I start building a wall up around myself and taking all my advice from the sage of cynicsm? Shall I take this crown of naievity from my head and put on the crown of judgement? I'm not so sure. Think I might just bide my time and see where this playful, childlike way of being might take me. I'm not ready to join the adults yet. Maybe tomorrow I'll wanna settle down.

Friday, September 05, 2014

Spider Bites

It's a wonder I managed to get anywhere in the world with my lack of organisational skills. Then again, there's something about 'winging it' that makes the whole experience unique. I was reminded today of my sister's wedding in Norfolk. I had been to Madrid with Jakers. It was his first holiday and we had a wonderful time. We flew out together from Dublin although we nearly missed our flight. I'll never forget the look on Jakers' face when he said "Does this mean we're not going on holiday?" But we made it just in time and to calm our nerves we decided to have a drink on the plane. I suggested whiskey (of course) and Jakers looked at the picture in the menu and said "I dunno. I dunno if I fancy powdered whiskey." Yes, the whiskey did come in sachets but we were on a plane, not a spaceship, and the whiskey was not powdered.

I had booked our room in a hostel and given some random time of arrival. When we got there we were fours hours late and the hostel owner, who looked like a member from ZZ Top, told us he had given our room to someone else but we could stay in a shared room for a couple of days and have the private room for the last few days. We made a deal with ZZ Top and shared a room with several people. It just meant that we appreciated our own room when we finally got it.

Jakers and I flew back separately. He went back to Ireland and I flew to London to meet Dirt Bird so we could travel to Norfolk together. I was meant to arrange accomodation for us with one of my two aunts but I left everything to the last minute when I was in Madrid and everything fell to an arse so Dirt Bird's friend, a roadie, said he could put us up for the night. I met Dirt Bird and we met the roadie and he told us that it was his sister's house he had been offering up to us and shit had hit the fan and it was no longer an option but we could stay the night at this recording studio. So we did. When we got there we went to 'the bar'. There were a few others but they soon left. The barman was a black guy who appeared to speak in riddles most of the night but who also made a lot of sense. Needless to say Dirt Bird and I were not wise and drank the night away. The drunker I got the more the barman made sense. When the sun came up we went up to the roof and then we went out for breakfast. This is what happens when accomodation is left up to me.

A spider crawled around the floor this morning. This time last year I would have been feared but I am trying to overcome my disliking of spiders. It's not rational when I can let a wasp climb through my hair and feed it sugar and water but freak out when I see a spider. The flatmate and I both noticed Ziggy licking at his hind leg today and he didn't want to put any weight on it. I couldn't see any obvious cuts and he didn't yelp when I investigated him. Then I saw him sniff at something on the floor that made him flinch. It was the spider, dead. I think Ziggy might have been bitten by the spider. It's still annoying him and he won't walk on it properly but it's clearly more discomfort rather than pain that he's feeling. He has been eating bits of sausages so I assmue he's otherwise ok.

Thursday, September 04, 2014

Sleeping In The Tree House

This morning I had my driving test. I failed. And I knew I had failed but it's ok. I was a little bit disheartened but I never really expected to get it first time anyway. At least I know what to expect now and, really, the most annoying thing about it is having to pay for it again but sure, I'll never go hungry. I might not be able to get the Littlest Hobo t.shirt I want just yet but that can wait!

Besides, the universe had to balance my happiness out in some way because life has been so sweet this past week or so I was getting kinda spoilt with happiness. I went to a party on Saturday night armed with a guitar and half bottle of Jamesons. I met some fantastic people and we laughed the night away and sang songs. Gus came round for music on Tuesday and we actually kinda wrote a song, though the more I play it the more I think that the song might have already been written before. I don't know, it doesn't matter because I'm having such a good time laughing and singing and bouncing ideas off people that everything else is irrelevant. After the party on Saturday night we took a walk through the forest. I noticed a build up of mud by a small stream and I had the urge to poke it with a stick. The mud was harder than I thought, the stick snapped and I fell into the stream.

I slept in the treehouse the weekend before that. Bert informed me that it was the coldest night of the year so far. I lit the stove and some candles and took my sleeping bag up and settled down. The sky was so clear so I went out to the porch to look at the stars. It was brilliant. My body and mind knew that it was sleeping outdoors, amongst the trees. I felt like an Ewok! I woke up around half four shivering in my sleeping bag because the fire had gone out. If I had rammed it full of logs before going to sleep it would have lasted longer but I'll know for next time. It didn't even occur to me that I could just go into the house and go back to sleep. I put on my jeans and coat and got back into my sleeping bag and willed myself to get warm. I fell back asleep, when the sun was coming up and an hour or so later I heard small feet climbing up the stairs. My niece had remembered I was sleeping in the treehouse and come up to tell me that she needed a bowl for her breakfast.

My course starts in a couple of weeks so that'll be another thing to keep me learning and growing. The driving will come eventually. Ziggy will be sailed around the country at his leisure. I will ask him "Where do ya wanna go today Ziggy?" and I'll know just by looking into his eyes, 'cos I'm teaching him that trick. And then I'll pick the camera back up and remember that I have other hobbies as well as music and I'll also remember that I want to find someone to illustrate my book so that I can read it to my nieces when they're still children. It's nice remembering what I want to do with my life :)

Thursday, August 28, 2014

Shake It Out

It is very true that, if we want, and if we persist and if we choose to see the silver lining, a positive will arise from every negative situation. Last week when I was feeling down I spent the afternoon walking in the forest with dogs and mum. When I cam home I picked up my guitar and played a song I wrote. Despite the sadness that flowed through my veins I sang as best I could. I then sang it again while recording myself with my camera. Y'see, I can do things like that now because I have a smart phone! I played it back and was heartened that it didn't sound diabolical. Days went by and my mood lifted. Monday came and I was feeling like I needed to give myself a good shake, not for any other reason than we should always give ourselves a good shake once in a while. So I shook myself in to being brave enough to post my video on facebook for all my friends, family, work colleagues and randomers that I picked up on my travels to see.

I do not think I am the most amazing singer in the world. I am alright. I am most certainly not the best guitar player in the world but I wrote that tune. All by myself. And, well, the lyrics are just a real basic poem I wrote years ago but I wrote them for a reason and that reason was to remind myself that I am here to experience as much of life as I possibly can. All that aside, I wrote a song and I was proud of myself and I wanted to encourage other people. So many of us are held back and crippled with fears, worries, insecurities and feelings of inferiority. There are so many people in the world, so much talent, and it is easy to feel jaded that your own slice of talent doesn't cut the mustard. I was glad that I was brave and people were so supportive. And this has encouraged me greatly, to do all the things that I love to do and to share it with as many people as possible.

So Gus (obviously not his real name but, well, I like to give my friends some privacy) has been round for a few practice sessions and I have been chatting to N about collaborating with us too. My dreams of bringing everyone together in some kind of collective creative community are coming to fruition. This makes me SO happy! If I could only get Ziggy to be more creative and less destructive then I would be surrounded by a big bubble of peace.

Friday, August 22, 2014

Dead Bird Season Revisited

Yesterday I got out of dodge. I was starting to feel stagnant seeing the same scenery. So I took a visit to the town where there be a lot of chefs and I had a very pleasant stroll in a forest. It was a rather convoluted journey. If I was driving it would have taken me an hour to get there but I was relying on Norn Iron's transport system which operates a system that dates back to sometime in the 1940's. But why would this bother me? Being on public transport means your going somewhere! I took the train to Belfast and the bus for the rest of the journey. While on the bus I thought back to my travels in Ecuador. There was something about the lush, green, sloping fields that reminded me of home. And the traditional Ecuadorian Women who reminded me of Pearlie.

I hated public transport when I was younger. I hated making journeys on my own and I have been caught out a couple of times and stranded in places I didn't want to be. The doors once didn't open at the Cullybackey stop (I swear it must've been a technical fault but over the years I have come to doubt this and wonder did I maybe not press the button to open the doors - who knows?) and I had to get off at the next stop which was miles away. I also jumped on the wrong train after getting home from Amsterdam so late at night that I'd missed the last train to Stoke and had to sleep on a bench. I was listening to music and didn't hear where the train was going and it took me a while to realise that I was going in completely the opposite direction of Stoke. I am sure there was also some kind of incident when I was about 13 involving me getting on the wrong train back from Dublin but the details are a little hazy.

I have become very accustomed to public transport now and I enjoy the random meetings of individuals who each have a little story to tell. I once took a coach in Thailand from Bangkok to Krabi. I wanted to travel in comfort but I got a bit confused between first class and buisness class and I went for buisness. The majority of passengers on the bus were Thai buisness men. It was a memorable journey though and at 2 O'Clock in the morning the coach stopped at a massive night time food market. All the men jumped out and had great big feeds that would have choked a donkey. I just smoked.

I took my camera with me yesterday but I was in good company so I didn't take a lot of snaps even though the whole place was very photogenic. Although, on the way back we noticed a dead magpie at the bottom of a tree. This was just at the start of the walk and we hadn't noticed it before. Forever the detective I touched the bird to see if it was long dead. It was kind of cold but rigor mortis had not set in. This made me think of dead bird season when I kept seeing dead birds. I just checked out the significance behind it today. A dead bird is often seen as an ominous sign. Since a bird represents freedom a dead one can signify the loss of freedom. But for every negative spin on a happening there are the positive spins and one site claims it to be a sign of the end of a something negative and the beginning of a positive phase in your life. The other spin on it is that death is the biggest part of life and creatures die all the time and it really means nothing other that what that dude Elton John sang about. It was probably just as well it was dead for had it been injured I would have been compelled to take it home and nurse it back to health. And, of course, I don't really rate Elton John and it doesn't seem logical to me that a dead bird should equate a loss of freedom or anything negative and that leaves the only other spin, which is a dead bird is a symbol of good times to come :)