It’s A Big World Out There!

To say I have had a lucky childhood would be a lie.

But, I have been to countries all over the world and I am going to list them;

America
Austria
Belgium
China (Macao)
Egypt
France
Hong Kong
Italy
Gibralter
Germany
Greece
India
Luxembourg
Malaysia
Malta (currently home)
Netherlands
Spain
Switzerland
Thailand
Turkey
Tunisia
Yugoslavia

Some places I have lived in and some I have been on holiday to. Yugoslavia was an accident, blame my mother and her map reading. Complete with rather large caravan in tow, she managed to steer my father down a road which lead to a border crossing, yeah those funny things that stop people crossing illegally. Thankfully, the guards saw the funny side and allowed us to turn the whole lot around and go back the way we came.

Why talk about the places I have been, because someone who was once part of my family called me conceited about the places I had been, told me it made me sound big headed. So my question is, should I be ashamed of all the places I have been because others aren’t as fortunate or should I share my experiences with others who are unable to see the world due to restrictions, whatever they may be?

I have friends who don’t have passports, have never set foot outside if the UK, a dear friend of mine, until she was 34 had never been out of the county she was born in. Once we got her passport sorted, off she went and came back buzzing about the people, the place, the museums, the cafés, the culture, and her visit to Paris was deemed a success. Her next adventure was Benidorm, not exactly a place of culture and cafés, more Brits abroad and booze. Considering she was with a bunch of others who out for a Hen Weekend, it was an appropriate place to go. I suppose the outcome of this is that once she started to travel she didn’t stop.

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Should The Past Stay Where It Is?

I ask this to find out your view ?

If you knew a family secret, would you allow it to be shared years later, when there is nothing that can be done to change the outcome.?

In your current relationship, would you mention something from your past, that could jeopardise your relationship, just to get if off your chest, not having any secrets?

Do you keep things close to your heart, so that it doesn’t get broken, over and over again?

We miss people from our past, grandparents, parents and sometimes friends, although not from death, they disappear out of your life …. The past defines us, the past is where we came from but it’s not where we are going …. Do we tend to pick out the best bits, leaving the nasty memories as possible, never happened, events, buried deep in the recess of time.

I don’t remember a lot of my past, moved around a lot, made friends and walked away, with the packing of every box, every new house that was moved into had different memories. Some good, some horrible and some down right nasty that no child should endure. But some so funny that recalling them today, would have you smiling and wondering how the hell!!

Boarding school, now there is a past that I want to forget and it would appear that I have forgotten a lot of it, not sure if it’s by choice or old age creeping in. Names pop up and I am sat scratching my head as to who were they! Probably they are doing the same.

Would I go back and change anything, more than likely not, possibly not have said something’s to certain people – they didn’t deserve my wrath, my anger – and to those people I apologise.

I don’t regret my past, without it I wouldn’t be who I am today or where I am, it doesn’t stop me wondering “what if”, but that’s something I have no control over, my future I do!

Depression …. I Live With It, I Don’t Suffer From It.

For many years I was prescribed Prozac! yep that lovely little green and yellow pill of happiness all squished into a capsule, taken on a daily basis! all to keep your spirits up.

20 years and about ten stone heavier, apparently a side effect is the inability to digest carbs, and we all know that every lovely tasting food is full of carbs, I took the decision to stop, cold turkey, overnight just stopped taking those little tablets of sunshine. To be brutally honest I had told everyone that I was doing it, so it was no shock to my friends who noticed that I disappeared from life for a while, I went into hibernation mode, or in other words, I stuck two fingers up to the world and did what I wanted and hang the consequences … Obviously popping my head out every now and again to check that everyone else was ok.

We moved to Egypt, which you have read about, what an eye opener that was. I would like to add that I left a good friend behind and warned her that the place would break her spirit, as much as I hate to do the “told you so” dance, another pair of rose tinted glasses were taken off and firmly stood on, broken into tiny pieces and thrown away. On the plus side, she and her other half are going traveling and won’t be returning in the near future, good luck babes, you deserve it xx.

Our travels took us to somewhere neither one of us had ever been to …… Never even contemplated in our list of places to go on holiday … We had heard of the place, it was in Europe, but a tiny little island 314 square kilometres, smaller than most towns in the UK. And now we call it home. We have a beach within 5 minutes walk, it’s free and only locals know about the beach, tourists can only gaze from their boat trips as their boats come 1/2 kilometer from the beach, bliss.

Our apartment is huge, 3 bedrooms, two balconies, two bathrooms, fitted kitchen and fully furnished and the best bit ….. The view. I open my balcony doors in the morning and I have the Mediterranean Sea right there, in front of me, I stand in the back balcony and have views towards churches, rooftops, the main city with all the history and gorgeous architecture, right there ….

The weekend we moved in there was a firework competition, I stood on the front balcony and cried, stupidity enough I am crying now, the feeling of happiness, bubbles of years of stress just melting away, I actually felt like I was home. Not back considering we had been in a hotel room for two weeks and then moved to the other side of the island to a small village with no English people, no moaning expats, no second home owners whinging about why they can’t afford to make the move permanent – the atmosphere in the village is stunning.

We have been here for 8 months, to be fair it’s been the best 8 months I have had for a long time, other than a slight hiccup with a family member who I no longer speak to, my life is pretty much sorted. I know I have been lucky, I know that some people think that I am conceited, big headed, loud, hell I am all of those things, if that is the way that you see me, that’s your problem not mine.

Depression is an illness, stepping out of your comfort zone and doing something that scares the shit out of you, might just be what you need to reset your levels …. A bit like doing control, alt, delete on your computer and reboot! It worked for me, but then we all deal with depression in different ways, I don’t let it control my life, I accept that it is part of my life. I don’t fight with my inner demons, we battle on a daily basis …. Some days it wins …. Other days I win.

As long as I stay relaxed, the battles are getting fewer and fewer, on the plus side, I have that awesome view …. For as long as my landlord decides that he doesn’t want us to move …….

Relaxed, Happy and Still Laughing

My husband is my life, my best friend and the person that I tend to spend 24 hours a day with, 7 days a week. I have girl friends but they have their own lives and I had to cut the apron strings, me, I did it, it was hard and believe me when I say it hurt like hell. Through it all I have my husband.

We have a brilliant relationship, we are best friends, call each other mate and accept that there are times when we need our own space. Luckily our apartment is huge, so we can actually get away from each other, although it doesn’t happen very often, the needing to be apart. Which is really lucky as although we have been here for a couple of months, experience has taught me to avoid people like the plague and that is exactly what we have done.

Don’t get me wrong, we speak to people but we have no new “couple” friends, we don’t do the whole double dating crap, honestly I don’t think people would get our sense of humour. We take the Mickey out of people all the time, laugh at the most inopportune moment and have that connection where we don’t need to speak, just the eye movement, a smile and then the giggles start. Not a word spoken, just that “look”.

We discuss fashion, or lack of it, in both males and females. Women who wear clothes, just not quite big enough to cover ample skin and boys, said loosely, who have their trousers hanging around their arses. Not a good look, but funny enough my hubby does agree with me on this. I think parents need to teach their children how to dress before they go out the door, or at least tell them the origins of how they are wearing their clothes. Tah Dah ! A world full of boys who pull their trousers up. Simple really.

We discuss politics, football, which becomes a very contentious subject, and since moving here, religion. A few weeks ago we sat outside our local in the village, watching minibus after minibus turn up and unload women and children who walked into the church. My husband, without skipping a beat, stated that they were gathering for my exorcism, cheers mate. After an hour or so and we are still sat watching people walking out, he turns to me and says “obviously didn’t have a full house, must have been missing a couple of people to make it work, you are still here”.

Spitting out my beer, laughing, I watch a nun walk over towards me and on that note, I get up and walk towards the bathroom located at the back of the pub. I was Nun Blocked, she put her hand on my shoulder and smiled, as if to say, you got away this time love, but we will get you. Glancing over at hubby, he mouths “check your skin for burn marks” – git!

We tend to keep ourselves to ourselves, we meet those people who have nothing better to do but sail around the world and don’t need to work, other than pulling ropes and making a sail boat go in the right direction. When they ask us why we are here, we just reply, the weather and leave it at that. People don’t need to know how we live, that’s our business and so it shall stay.

My husband makes a point of making me laugh, everyday, whether I am under a dark cloud or not, a silly dance, a random comment, not being able to get a sentence out properly, for that reason along with many others that we work. He is the ying to my yang, I am fiery and he is calm, unless he is watching his football team, to cap it all and don’t laugh but we have started going out walking and end up wearing nearly matching outfits, grey tee shirt and blue shorts, both of us giggling that the next step would be matching shell suits, so if that does happen someone please shoot us, or at least put us infront of a mirror.

Friends Are The Family That You Choose

The last couple of weeks have been stressful for me. I thought I was there for someone and it turns out that all they wanted to do was insult me and deflect their insecurities in my direction, blaming me for their mistakes.

Not to delve too deeply, I am no longer speaking to this person, having removed them from my life and moving on, with the help of my friends. They have listened when I wanted someone to tell me that I wasn’t all these disgusting names, that this person was calling me. I needed reassurance as to who I really was.

Do we choose our friends on our own or are we predisposed to veer towards like minded people? People who have been through similar experiences, same personality traits, matching likes and dislikes?

This last year has shown me a thing or two, the people that I was always there for, or thought I was, don’t appear to appreciate how much I value a friendship. Initially I was hurt, as previously written in a different post. But time is a great healer, picking myself up and licking my wounds has made me not rely on friendship quite so much.

I could honestly say that the experience has made me learn a lot about myself, some people go their whole lives not having the brilliant friends that I can call on.

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To the rest of you, who drained me of my energy, but never seemed to be there when I needed a shoulder to cry on, I will not delete you from my life but don’t expect me to be at your beck and call next time the world revolves around you.

I appreciate that lives overlap and different time zones make things difficult in trying to communicate, but hey, there is always email. A girlfriend and I communicate like it as she refuses to have a Facebook account and the honest I don’t blame her. I might even go back to writing letters, the old fashioned way. Less hassle and drama free.

Don’t Let Anyone Burst Your Bubble

We all have them, they are part of us …….. Families! But when do you decide that helping someone who is a family member, becomes a battle of wills and you find yourself getting angrier and angrier at the complete stupidity of your family member.

A girlfriend of mine has a very distant relationship with a member of her family, in recent years the rift was getting smaller, but events in the last couple of months has made her realise that she doesn’t actually like him that much.

They had different relationships with their parents. She went to boarding school and he stayed at home with the parents, he went on the family holidays, she just came home three times a year. He was there all the time and she wasn’t, the age difference between them didn’t help either.

She recently felt sorry for him, his marriage of 3 years had broken down and he was in need of a big sister hug, or so she thought.

She went off to the airport to collect him, his flight was nearly an hour late, so that didn’t go down well and when he finally turned up, she was on the verge of a migraine due to the lights inside the airport.

They had the cordial hug and got into a taxi for the 10 minute drive back to her flat. On entering the flat, he put his stuff into the bedroom at the end of the corridor and out they went down to the pub. Probably not the best thing to do, but still they went.

He had come to get his head sorted out, to have a heart to heart and chat about where he was going to go. She had already spoken to her soon to be ex sister in law and she knew that there was no going back for him, the love and trust had gone.

The longer he was there the more she realized that she didn’t like him. He was full of bullshit stories, his black cat was bigger than yours, he had been there and done it, badly obviously, and he didn’t have the decency to tell the person on the end of the phone that he was having a break with his sister and he would phone back. He wanted his ego stroked, and she was not the person to do it!

On nights when she didn’t want to go to the pub, he would go on his own and bring alcohol back to the house. Not a day went by, where he didn’t have a drink.

Breaking point came when a conversation turned to him not submitting self assessment tax forms, he had failed to do this for 5 years, each year culminating in a penalty of £1600.00 per year. His attitude was one of, I don’t have to do anything I don’t want to. She flipped, picking up her pint of beer, she threw it over him and walked home, leaving him sat there with her husband.

She refused to talk to him the next day and screamed at him that he was not a child, he has responsibilities and he needs to grow up. He grabbed his stuff and walked out of the flat, she never saw him again after that.

Then all the insults started to come out, she was to blame for the way he had turned out, she was the reason he was untrusting, a failure, blah, blah, blah. She replied that she was not to going to be responsible for his failures as a human being and that as far as she was concerned, he was dead to her.

She left it a few days and when he started “poking” her, she wrote a message to him saying did he want to talk. He replied that he always wanted to talk and then it started AGAIN! The insults came thick and fast. She was doing an excellent impersonation of her deceased mother, her life was pretentious and she should stop telling people where she had lived before as it made her sound conceited. She was selfish and her attitude towards others made her think she was better than everyone else.

She stupidly began to retaliate, telling him some home truths, all the while making her self madder and madder for letting him get to her. You see, she gets on very well with her soon to be ex, sister in law, knowing both sides of the story. And one of the main reasons that her sister in law had asked him to leave was his lack of respect, communication and his lashing out with words.

A quick conversation with a few good friends who knew her, very well, made her come to her senses and accept that he wasn’t only lambasting her, he was deflecting. All the nasty comments aimed at her, were actually him finally, but without accepting, that he was describing himself.

The damage had been done, she was prepared to accept an apology for his outburst, initially. After all he had put a small hole in her bubble and as time is a great healer, the hole had healed itself, unlike her feelings, or lack of them, for him. There was no going back as far as she was concerned.

I know she has shut herself off from people, rebuilding the walls and making sure that her bubble has a double lining and re evaluating who she allows to get close.

It’s a sad fact of life that people tend to be jealous of others, but rather than just admit it, they will write bitchy comments on a forum, send snide comments on Facebook or, if they have your number, text insults.

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What Doesn’t Kill You…….. Better Be Running

How many of us have friends on that social networking site that we have never met? Personally, I think about 10. I will admit that I am one of those people who doesn’t need to have thousands of friends. I heard on a American program the other day the following ….. 1356 friends, wow I am popular, oh how sad you only have 38, not so popular. Is that what we have become, a world of competition to see who can get the most friends? Well, if that is the case, the. Count me out. What I can say is that the people who I haven’t yet met are friends of friends, and I either have their phone numbers or a Skype connection – so not virtual friends, just people I have a connection with but haven’t hooked up with, but that time will come.

A close friend of mine is organising a school reunion, for ages he has been asking me to go. With a skip in my step and a big fat no thank you, I would rather stick pins in my eyes than set foot in a place that I went to for 4 years and couldn’t wait to see the back of, I replied that due to the distance and the cost, I wouldn’t be able to go. Turns out I am not the only one.

A few of us were discussing going, but the upshot was that only one of us could afford to bail all of us out of jail, as there would be people going who we really disliked at school, and we didn’t think that 30+ years of not seeing them would change the situation. One of my girl friends retorted that she would never set foot in the town where the school is, let alone the school, as she has issues with her mother. Actually that is a bit of a white lie, we all have issues with her mother, even her brother. The family reunion would have been with open arms, just to show that no weapons were being carried. However this would lead to concealed weapons and plenty of bloodshed, so we decided that it was not listed as an option.

There are people who are traveling from the far reaches of the earth to be there! Not sure why, as in my case I have gained a lot of weight, I haven’t done anything to put me in with a chance of winning the Nobel Peace Prize and my life is one of walking about enjoying the sights and charms of a country with so much history, that I get lost in the heritage of it all and I don’t work, by choice. I am what they call retired, very young and very lucky and I have no interest in sharing that with people who I haven’t been in contact with for, well since I left school.

Which brings me back to the need to be popular. Chatting to my girl friend, who is currently in hospital, having knackered her back, get well soon Curly, who recently decided to have a major clear out of those people, who she described as “hangers on”, you know the ones, only want to have you as a friend to track your every move. Turns out that one of the girls, who she recently removed, I couldn’t stand at school, my other girl friend who has mother issues, also hates this person, so it appears that it’s not us, it must be her. Before she dropped her, we had a quick look on her page and yep she hasn’t changed a bit from school, still has that smug look and the whole, ” I am so gorgeous” aura, oozing out of her. Which just made us all realise why we don’t like her, because she is who she is, it’s one of those, can’t put my finger on it situations, she is marmite, either like it or hate it. For us, we dislike, yet she is one of those people who is first in line to go to the reunion, just so she can look down her nose at those of us, who haven’t stayed the same since leaving school.

I joined the site for the reunion and after having requests from old male school friends, decided that it was a bad idea, so I promptly left and ignored any requests. Why would you want to know what I am doing, oh yeah! You are interested in what I am doing with my life, as you haven’t actually left the town where you were born, raised, went to school, got a job, now live and are married raising your own children and all of this, quite possibly without a passport!! Your life is that boring. A female who was in the same year as me, now owns the shop where she worked as a Saturday girl……. What is that all about? for the love of all things sacred, move away, see the world. Seems recently she moved 50 miles away, wow. When I move, it’s normally to a different continent, thousands of miles, with as much planned as can be!

I like my friends, no that is a lie, I would lay down my life for my friends, because I know they would do the same for me, or at least I hope they would. My friends consist of Managers, Company Owners, Housewives, Teaching Assistants, Nurses, some I have no idea what they do, it doesn’t bother me. I don’t do one up man ship (think that should be one word, but iPad knows better) I treat people like I like to be treated, usually with a warped sense of humour and a wicked wit, normally mistaken for sarcasm, which tends to see people drop by the wayside who can’t keep up.

Friends live all over the world, from Scotland, Spain, Egypt, Australia and America oops and England, ha ha , have a lot of friends in England, after all it’s where I came from ….. Initially! But it’s a big wide world out there and some people, mainly those who don’t have passports, need to go and apply for one and use the bloody thing and get out of their small mindedness and away from the village boundaries and experience life and living, instead of adding people from school who have far more interesting lives than you !!!