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Saturday, March 28, 2015

I Am The Hedge!

My bestest chum Mel and I used to chat about people being "infested with Christmas spirit". That makes sense to me now cause I'm all bah humbug. It's not that I don't like Christmas, it's just that it's cold and dark and far too stressful for something that just seems to happen every frickin' week. As a child I would start the countdown in September. Back in those days you had to wait another few months before the shops started getting all christmassy. Now they do it in September and it really kills the buzz.

I was thinking about our pretend band, the GCDC's. It's not that we suck, it's just that we're not very good. But I like the idea of it all and I continue to enjoy it. It occurs to me that I have a lot of stuff I meddle in but nothing that I am really good at. I can take a decent photo but I wouldn't recommend booking me for your wedding day. I can play a bit of guitar but I wouldn't book me for your wedding band. I can write words that rhyme but unless I find someone to draw pictures that will only take me so far. And I have these really loooong fingers that I'm pretty sure I should be doing something with but I'm not quite sure what. Oh, and I'm good at finding things.

Last weekend I visited some friends who became first time parents to a couple of baby rats. I forgot how much I love rats. I also had a small bird perch on my head like I was a tree. This only happened for a millisecond but it was a millisecond I'll cherish for it's not often that birds trust us enough to land on our heads. It kinda reminds me of the time a bat flew into my hair (I have many bat stories). The bat flew into my hair because it was trapped in the house, flying around the room in circles and I was holding up a wastepaper bin in the hope that it would fly into it. Little did I know that bats aren't stupid and it was NOT going to fly into my trap. It did disorientate it, however, and it's little winghooks got tangled in my hair. In reference to my last blog post, I'd rather have the kind of hair that attracts wild animals than the kind of hair that makes me pass my driving test!

Tuesday, March 17, 2015

How To Fail Your Driving Test

Happy St.Patrick's Day! It seems like every other day is some kind of holiday but maybe that's because I work in retail.

So, I mentioned that I failed my test again last week. I always knew that driving wasn't something that would come easy to me. When I was a teenager I preferred the idea of riding a motorbike to driving a car. It seemed like a smaller hunk of machinery to take control of and I assumed it would be easier. It is. Kind of. My only real experience of riding a bike was in Thailand and I didn't do it that often because it was scary. Riding the bike wasn't scary but negotiating the crazy Thai traffic (no rules at roundabouts!) was. A car is, however, much more practical for carrying passengers, although it doesn't stop them in Thailand from fitting a whole family and their dog on one bike.

My instructor said something to me the day before the test and, while I know she was only trying to help, it completely knocked my confidence (which wasn't really there to begin with) and it's been playing on my mind. Years ago, when I was a teenager, a girl told me that I should wear make up. That I would be pretty if I wore make up. I have experimented over the years but never felt entirely comfortable wearing it. Also, I'm lazy. Also, I don't care for 'dolling' myself up. Not so long ago a guy in the pub told me I'd be beautiful if I put on 12 lbs. At the time I wasn't particularly happy with being so underweight and I agreed with him but afterwards it made me wonder why people think it's ok to put conditions of worth on me. My driving instructor said to me the day before my test "Hannah, I want you to come out tomorrow looking like I have never seen you before. Put on your nicest clothes, wear make up and do your hair". I knew she meant well by it. I knew she was thinking that if I looked good, I'd feel good and my confidence would be better. I knew all this but it still had a detrimental effect.

The day of the test I walked out feeling like I had already failed. I looked no different than any other day despite trying to 'make something of myself'. I don't have any nice clothes. I wore a different coat. I faffed around with my hair but it just looked as limp and lank as always. I felt that I had made no effort but I had made all the effort I possibly could. I did not look good and I did not feel good. Like I say, I walked out of the house feeling like already I wasn't worthy enough.

It was after I failed that the words stung. I should have been true to myself and not let the instructor's suggestions put me off. I was already nervous enough without worrying about my goddamn hair. None of those things matter to me and I am sick of being judged on my appearance. But mostly, I'm annoyed that I let myself be affected by what she said and I, once again, let doubt take over. I can't put it all down to that one thing though.

On the plus side, it has given me food for thought with regards to my course. The relationship between the instructor and I had grown fractious because I knew what I needed to help me learn to drive and she refused to listen to my needs. It took me a while to learn to tell her what I needed but she was so set in her ways it didn't matter. While she may have got hundreds of others through their test she couldn't adapt her teaching style to fit with me. And I am not like hundreds of other people.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

Jobby On A Stick

Today I took Ziggy for a different walk. There is a Motte and Bailey in Ballymena and it had been years since I climbed it so Ziggy and I conquered the small hill. It was windy at the top and I had a lovely view of the place where I work. I also had a view of the road that I performed a particularly disastrous 7-point-turn that caused me to fail my driving test back in September last year. I was taking stock. In between the two hilly mounds, a strange object caught my eye. It is pictured above. I was curious and poked it with my foot. It was solid yet jellylike. It was textured. I didn't think it was a dead animal but it had the look of something that was biodegradable. I was tempted to find a stick to poke it with but I was on a time schedule and so I hurried on.

Later in the day I took my test again and I failed. I was disappointed but not surprised. I know I am capable of passing the test but I also know that I lack a lot of confidence and that is my downfall. I also think it's time to change my instructor because, although I like my current one, I realise that her teaching technique does not suit my learning style. She took me on a lesson before the test and did my head in so much I actually said to her "I can feel myself starting to shut down". I didn't shut down though and I did my best and even though I still failed there were less faults than the last time.

I came home and Gus consoled me and made me laugh. Then I told him that I was so mentally drained that my brain felt like mush. That's when I remembered about the mysterious semi solid wobbly object I had stumbled upon. I told Gus and he was intrigued. He asked several questions about it's composition. He asked if it was organic. I believed it was though I didn't think it was an animal of any description. I told him it was like something that had come from the sea. It was gelatinous but more solid and textured than a jelly fish would be. The closest think I could really liken it to was a rain saturated cauliflower. Gus expressed interest in going to investigate it and I knew I wouldn't be able to sleep at night if I didn't go back and prod it with a stick. An adveture was declared. Warm clothes were adorned. Ziggy was our trusty mascot and we departed on a quest to interact with a wibbly wobbly brain jobby. We found suitable sticks for jibby-jabbing the squishy organic mass and concluded that it was either a rain saturated cauliflower or some kind of funghi that had fallen off a tree.

So, even though it was sad to fail my test the day ended on a positive. And not because I got to poke something with a stick but because I'm the kind of person who can be cheered up by poking something with a stick. I also had a wee play in the park and went so high on the swings Gus was worried for my safety. Here's to simplicity and the sweet joy of laughing with a friend!

Saturday, March 07, 2015

A Week Off

*Sigh* That's a contented sigh because I've been off work this week. Monday I had class so it wasn't exactly a day off but it was nice to come home and wind down in my own time without the pressure of the alarm clock going off at stupid o'clock. Both Monday and Tuesday were stinker days weather wise. On Tuesday mum brought Ziggy home and we went for coffee. I bought daffodils because that's what lady adults do in the springtime. I really have very little recollection of what else happened on Tuesday. Probably nothing.

Being a natural born procrastinator I have learnt to cope with my reluctance to do things by giving myself ridiculous amounts of praise for all the things I do manage to achieve on a daily basis. Like taking a shower. And eating food. This week I also had a driving lesson, studied and got my hair cut. Extra brownie points! Mum and I went to Belfast on Friday and I bought a book called The Games People Play by Eric Berne. It is less a book about rounders and badminton and more a book about the mind games people play. Both mum and I found it to be a little dated but interesting all the same.

Gus and I continue to be silly. He was complaining about all the cuts and burns on his hands and I suggested he chop them off and replace them with various kitchen utensils. Yes, it would be sad that he could no longer play guitar, or scratch himself without risk of injury but how useful he would be with corkscrews, tin openers and spatulas for fingers! Today is Saturday and I have another chica friend visiting tonight. I haven't seen her in ages so it'll be nice to catch up. Monday is back to reality for me but, hey ho, these driving lessons do not pay for themselves.

Tuesday, March 03, 2015

Write On

I am completely unsure about what to write about. Do I write to make pople laugh, 'cause that's what I like to do? Do I bare my heart and soul because I want to show the world who I truly am and encourage others to be who they truly are? Do I write about Ziggy because he is the closest thing I have to a baby and I'm so proud of him? Do I write about my hopes and dreams because I like to remind myself that I have hopes and dreams? Do I write about my shortcomings because I have those too? Do I write about love because I know it so well? Or do I write about the lack of love because the world's fucked up? Do I write a poem about sticky glue and cherry scones? Or do I write a story about a worm crawling up a cheese hole and dancing in a summer frock? Do I write because I want to? Or because I need to? Or because I'm scared if I don't I'll forget who I am? I don't know. I just write. I write when I'm happy, when I'm sad, when I'm lost and confused. I write when my heart leaps with joy and when it sinks to the pit of my stomach. I write when I'm sure and when I'm not so sure. I write to feel ok, to gain clarity, to release and to empower. I write for freedom and strength and to digest my thoughts. I write for comfort, and solace and peace within myself. I write to connect, with myself and with others. I write because the words hold me up when I feel like falling down.

Sunday, March 01, 2015

Better Ways To Die

I found this article about depression and thought it was worth linking up to. And I was reminded of a line from the Little Prince "Well, I must endure the presence of one or two caterpillars if I wish to become acquainted with the butterflies"

Yesterday was a pleasing day because I got to see two of my girlfriends. Although most of my male friends aren't the typical sports watching, ball scratchin' kind I still miss the company of ladies and the female energy they bring. To be honest though,I'm not overly fussy about the company I keep. As long as there's peace and plenty of laughter.

I watched a film last week about four people whose boat sunk and they had to swim in shark infested waters. I'm not a big fan of the ocean, mostly because there's things in it that will eat you alive. The movie wasn't overly scary at the time but a few days later I gave myself the heebie jeebies thinking about it. Those people were eaten, alive, by sharks. I can't think of a more horrific way to die. I can think of ten other ways I would rather die. Like being boiled alive. Being struck by lightning. Being eaten alive by a crocodile. Starvation. Falling from a great height. Suffocation. Basically, any way you can possibly die would be preferable to being eaten ALIVE by a shark.

I am off work for a whole week. This means I can drink as much coffee as I like and stay up past 9 O'Clock. Tonight I have popcorn and we're gonna watch a Japanese movie called Infection. There's only one thing that scares me more than sharks and that's catching some horrific contagious disease that makes green pus ooze from every orifice.