In Praise of Ordinary

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I was at a BBQ on Sunday chatting to a woman who suddenly got her phone out her bag and smiled at me apologetically as she said “sorry ‘bout this just got to upload to Insta”.

Strange I thought, but whatever blows your hair back “a photo of this BBQ?” I asked  “God no” she replied “this is so bloody dull, it’s a photo from my holiday about 3 months ago, but nobody will know that” and so an amazing sunset photo (not unlike the one above) got uploaded and her countless – I’m guessing here –  Instagram followers were none the wiser.

Not only fake news, but now fake lives.

Which made me think; firstly if she was that bored why didn’t make her excuses and go home but also surely her true friends (read that bit carefully) would know she wasn’t away gazing at some heaven sent sunset in a different time zone and that she was firmly planted in the UK for the bank holiday weekend.  And then, that made me think ‘so what is wrong with ordinary?’  Why can’t we have normal hum-drum lives anymore?  Why should we try to convince others and I suspect therefore ourselves that we live a life of non-stop international travel, fine wine and fabulous sunsets.  Why should we be embarrassed to admit we neither aspire to, or can afford that type of lifestyle.

Ordinary is not bad, ordinary allows us to set our pace, our external metronome which helps us plan out our weeks and months.  Routine gives many people a sense of comfort and a feeling of stability and belonging so why try to hide from it or worse still deride it.

We appear to be living in a world where the pervasive aroma is one of entitlement, people believing they deserve to be happy every day and I think it stinks!

After surviving the Second World War do you think our grandparents demanded skiing holidays, dinner disguised as works of art and en-suite bathrooms redecorated every 2 years?  Of course not, they loved the ordinary, welcomed the back to normal and who wouldn’t after having Hitler bomb the crap out of you for 6 years.

When we get to experience the extra-ordinary it is in its very essence why it becomes so special because it’s EXTRA-ORDINARY.  If we had rainbows, beach side cocktails and waterfalls every day would we appreciate them as much, I doubt it.  And it couldn’t be more apparent that even beautiful can wear thin, where in the movie White Mischief Alice de Janze throws open the shutters and laments “Oh God, not another fucking beautiful day.”

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Viva the ordinary, viva routine now where did I leave my knitting?

 

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Sunset photo by Azrul Aziz on Unsplash
Rainbow and waterfall photo by Dylan Gialanella on Unsplash
Knitting photo Photo by MabelAmber® on Unsplash

 

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What rhymes with orange?

ABSOLUTELY NOTHING!

Several months ago I wrote about the trials of 30+ years of hair colouring and the various catastrophes that have occurred.  I also wrote about being a little concerned that I was morphing into Mrs Slocombe but I can put that all behind me now, as it’s got much much worse.

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I can only dream to look like Mrs Slocombe

Coming home from work on another rainy August day I felt like I needed colour to brighten up this miserable summer and quite obviously being dressed in pink Capri pants and a lime green top didn’t seem to be enough, so I had the great idea that I would revert to being a red head.

But not any old red head, the box said Scandalous Scarlet. Never mind scandalous, the result was f***ing outrageous.  There appears to be a lot more grey covering my head than previously thought and  those melanin deficient strands vaulted straight past red altogether and have become right orange!  At first glance it looks as though I’ve taken tips from Donald Trump’s beautician.

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Orange is such a happy colour

And if it was lairy when flat, with the added lift provided by obligatory hair styling product I look like a gonk!

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Seriously …

Although I defy anyone to try and sit me on top their computer screen!

 

Festival Fever

And why I’m so glad I haven’t contracted it

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It seems you can’t turn sideways these days without bumping into a festival.  They are no longer the preserve of the music industry and appear to celebrate a wide variety of hobbies and interests including yoga, fishing, comedy and knitting!  Every day events are jumping on the festival wagon by using ‘Fest’ as a suffix or prefix to make their event sound more chic and presumably attract  greater attendance figures.

Some of my friends have taken a turn of middle age hysteria by embracing all things festival and extol the virtues of leaving societal norms behind, opening up to new experiences and a different way of thinking.  I can only envisage the experience I would have sharing a field with a lot of pissed people and I don’t think it would make me particularly happy or free thinking, but it does have visions of me shouting for silence.

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Imagine trying to explain to a refugee that you leave the sanctity and safety of your house with electricity and running water to spend several days either wallowing in mud or baking under the glaring sun, sleeping in a tent, queuing for food and having to share a latrine with hundreds if not thousands of strangers.  And then add that you do this for fun and pay highly for the privilege, they would quite rightly think you had completely lost your mind.

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It seemed like a good idea at the time

But that’s what millions of Brits do each summer.  Having been struck with festival fever they move from one to another with reckless abandon and then come back and to evangelise to non-believers, which let’s be honest is a little bit patronising.  I can’t understand why they deride me for not wanting to experience this modern day rally, I studied to be a field guide and was more than  happy to sleep under the stars without any canvas but the festival I experienced there was the festival of nature and sounds of the bush which I believe are the most beautiful and melodic of all.

So all the time I have breath in my body I will not be attending any festival, but I’ll race you to the Kruger Park –  last one to kiss a hippo is a sissy!

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Best Foot Forward

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What I look like in my head

There a lot of ladies in my area who run, all times of the day and night I come across them.

As I sedately walk my girls some pass me by at speed, cutting through the air like a barracuda through water, sleek in their lycra attire with a steely look of determination on their face.  Others trot past in small groups gasping for air and attempting conversation, neither very successfully.

Having seen this I decided it was time I too started to run, the benefits are numerous and best of all it is free.   My Dad was a runner, every day pounding the pavement mile after mile,  he even ran marathons #bigrespect, so maybe I had inherited his running gene, I mean it’s possible right?  I was feeling upbeat about this running malarkey.   Husband plotted me out a mile route, yes that’s right one whole mile, I plugged in the ipod and off I went.

I only had to stop 4 times, throughout the maiden run; once to throw up, then to surreptitiously empty the massive build up of saliva that had started frothing in my mouth giving me the appearance of a rabies sufferer,  stoppage time for skidding in dog poop and when my ear-phone cables became entangled with an unruly privet hedge nearly garrotting me.

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What I actually look like

Staggering through the door, husband commented that my face had turned purple and asked if I had gone round twice due to the amount of time I was out the house.  At this point I was beyond speech so had to retaliate with a v-sign, very mature.

Do some people have an innate ability to run like I have to drink white wine?  How do these ladies make it look so easy, the amazing and funny AGMA – check her out runs marathons, that’s plenty more than one mile, that’s like loads of miles, that’s 26 miles, that’s forever and in my case it also means 26 vomits, spits, piles of poop and near death experiences – on second thoughts I’ll have a nice sit down I wouldn’t want to risk it …

Photo credit : FitMash

Oh Theresa What Have You Done …

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Husband on Friday morning

Is what husband has been saying since waking up on Friday morning to hear the election results.  His mournful tone is that of a 14-year-old boy who has found out his girlfriend was seen snogging somebody at the local disco.  Theresa is now snogging Arlene Foster which makes the whole thing sound a bit creepy and I’ll stop right there.

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Theresa on Friday morning

It appears that it is not just our household who are living through the aftershock of this election.  On Friday night I had a phone call from my Mum

“Hello darling, any plans for the weekend?”

“No none, all very quiet”

“Oooohhh I am glad, delighted in fact”

“Why?”

“Because if your Father mentions this bloody election one more time I am coming down to spend the weekend with you and I’m bringing the dog.”

She must have been cross if she was using the dog as a hostage.  However it’s true that if she left the house he may have noticed that food was a bit thin on the ground, but without the dog he would be truly bereft and she knew it – street fighting tactics.

I did warn her that the atmosphere here was not much better with husband holding head in hands and repeating ‘How could this happen?’ whilst attacking radio and television political reporters with ferocity usually reserved for a losing South African rugby team.

Let’s be honest it has been a total cock-up, who’s to blame I have no idea and don’t really care to fathom an answer, because we need to get on and live with it.  I don’t think Corbyn was liked it is just that May was disliked more, pretty much as per Trump & Clinton.

Theresa must be in pieces, after thinking she was the prettiest, most popular girl at school and she’s been spectacularly upstaged by a CND hippie who neither courts popular opinion or is swayed by the trappings of consumerism – that’s got to hurt.  All that shoe shopping in vain.

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Theresa leaving Downing Street … forever? Wherever you go, make sure you go in style

And whilst we laughed our heads off at America, we now need to eat a big  slice of humble pie since becoming the laughing-stock of, if not the world then most definitely Europe.  As for Ms Merkel’s chirp that her office is happy to proceed with Brexit talks on Monday – it’s a low blow Angie, in case you hadn’t noticed we’re doing a bit of housekeeping over here.

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Ms Merkel will see you now

We too are ready for Brexit talks on Monday but who walks through her door and what the hell they are going to say is a totally different matter.

The Age Inappropriate Pants

Black sequins

Clothes shopping had become such a drag, as I dare say had I.  Wondering from store to store, looking enviously at outfits I will never be able to wear, or rolling my eyes and saying those words that make me look around for my Mum,  ‘oh I remember that the first time around, everything comes back eventually’.  It had all become a bit blah.

But salvation has been found … shopping last week I was seduced by the siren’s song of the sequined pants!  Slim and black and covered from ankle to waistband in flat back sequins which winked at me as I walked past and I could swear tiny little bells tinkled as the sequins glittered with their unearthly  glow.  Absolutely spectacular, for a woman half my age!  I wish I could have said that I saw sense and carried on walking but I couldn’t, the allure was too much for me to refuse.  Into the changing room I charged clutching my precious cargo to my not inconsiderable chest!  Slipped into them, almost hoping they would be too small ensuring my dignity remained in tact.  Dignity schmignity, they fitted like a glove, well almost apart from the little tiny bit of muffin – OK,  Victoria Sponge – top that flopped over the waistband in a somewhat unflattering manner.

Would that stop this middle aged peri-menopausal maniac?  Not a chance.  I was off to that cash till like a racehorse with diarrhea and handed over my £10 with gusto.  Yes that’s right £10, reduced from £45, how could I resist.  I WILL BE IN THESE PANTS BEFORE SUMMER IS OUT!

On the plus side, all I need to go with these pants is a tailored white shirt, the heels I already have.  I WILL be that saucy glamour-puss or a bad Suzie Quatro look-a-like, not quite sure which!

I am now gluten, dairy, carb and fun-free in order to fit into this glittering gorgeousness.  I will find a  suitably classy venue for husband to take me so I can stand around all night looking interesting and vampish, just standing, standing, standing – the sequin layer has enough stretch to allow walking but makes it absolutely impossible to sit!

 

Thanks for the ovary

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Almost every morning 3 schoolboys who attend the local primary school walk past my house just as I’m getting in the car for work.  I listen in on their conversations as they chat about what they had for tea last night, favourite lessons,  annoying siblings and reviews of the latest PS4 games.  It’s pretty mundane walk to school chat, nothing out of the ordinary which made yesterday’s conversation so totally shocking I cannot begin to imagine what sparked it.

The tallest of the three boys was talking to his two mates and I heard ‘when a woman gets to 50 her ovaries stop working’, ‘oh yeah’ says the smallest boy ‘why’s that then?’  ‘Coz they’re too old, they don’t need them anymore’ he replied.

The slimmest of the three chirps up ‘My mum’s ovaries still work’.

‘How do you know?’ one of them asks

He turns to face his two mates, nods his head slowly up and down, lets out a long sigh and says in a voice belying his age ‘Oh I just know alright’ and carries on nodding as he walks down the road with the two friends following in silent admiration at his intimate knowledge of the female anatomy.

Light headed with shock I was reeling, had they seen me, were they being cruel or had husband had put them up to this wickedness?  I charged back into the house expecting to find him doubled up behind the front door.  But no, he was diligently beavering away in his home office somewhat bemused as to my strident return and threats of homicide.

The timing of their words couldn’t be worse with the much dreaded 50 year birthday making its appearance in less than 24 hours.  Already plagued with anxiety about the arrival of middle age I now have 11-year-old strangers announcing to the world that my ovaries are redundant and I’m no longer  of any use.

And so I will see in my 50th Birthday knowing that my once plump ovaries are becoming wizen and shrivelled like two old raisins and for this knowledge I didn’t even have to see a gynae, I got told by the schoolboy down the road.