Friday, 8 March 2013

You never know what's coming for you...

I really enjoy my job, I like writing and I like that I get to do different things every day- I never know where I will be, who I will meet or what I will cover.

But sometimes, when working as a reporter you have to get too close to tragedy- and it is weeks like this I wish I could curl up in a room and keep the world out.

This week has been one of those weeks. A toddler was hit by a car and killed in one of the areas we cover. It is the kind of story that comes in and your heart drops. I find it really hard writing an article filled with such tragedy.

It is hard. And it makes you think. All that kept going through my head this week was that when that family woke up on the morning of the accident it was just a normal day. They will have had breakfast and gone their separate ways. Not knowing that by dinner time their lives will have been changed forever. You never know what's coming for you.

It has made me realise that every time you finish your day and get to see the people you love is a blessing. Regardless of how grumpy or frustrated you are always tell your loved ones that they are that- loved. Take time out of your day to laugh, even if you feel like you are too busy. Because life is precious and short- and you will never have another day like today.

This week has been hard at work. But it is nothing compared to what the family of the little girl have gone through- or the driver who was involved in the tragic accident, what I have had to report on this week has been horrific. For some things there are no words.

So that has been my week- it has been a little sad. But also in amongst this sadness there has been good news. My spectacular grandpa had a successful operation and he is doing well in hospital- get well soon Grandpa!

And you'll all be pleased to hear that I received a beautiful bouquet of flowers, some perfume, a card and was treated to a chinese and the Notebook for Craig and I's five year anniversary- so the week hasn't been all bad. But I find myself hoping that next week is better and there is some good news. I might try and get the front of the paper to be about bunnys or rainbows...... 


Tuesday, 5 March 2013

Ch ch ch changes

As I write this Blog I am watching the Manchester United Real Madrid match on the telly, fresh from a 700 mile round trip at the weekend to watch Manchester United play Norwich in the Theatre of Dreams.

I know what you are thinking- has she gone football crazy, football mad- has football taken away the little bit of sense she had?

No, do not panic dear reader, I do not eat, drink and sleep football (however on earth you do that) but five years ago I started going out with a boy who is football crazy and as a result, five years later can often be found screaming "where is the ref" and jumping up and down like I understand the game...

This for me is a big change- there was a time you couldn't pay me to watch football, unless Scotland were playing and I could get on the beers. But now I can quite often be found watching a match- this for me is a big change. Life is full of changes.

This weekend we celebrated our flanniversary (that's flat anniversary if you're unfamiliar with the term). Yes, that's right Craig and I have now been living together for one year- can you believe it?! Now living together is a big change!

The flat has changed since we moved in a year age. The other day we were looking at the pictures from when we bought the flat and I can't believe the difference. We have really turned it into a home and I love living here.

Living together also means big changes in your relationship, and after our first year of living together I have realised a few things.

1- no matter how often you tell them, shout at them, throw the towel at them and use bad words- Men still insist on leaving their wet towels on the bed (I apologise for the generalisation here, maybe not all men but certainly my man does)
2- if one of you likes margarine and the other one likes butter it is an issue that will never be resolved
3- it's never ok to pee with the toilet door open
4- sometimes you have to let things go
5- you will both always have things the other person does that drives you nuts (see number 1)

That aside, living together is a big change and adjustment- even the most level headed couples can lose the plot. Our first big fight in the flat was over craig not believing I could paint a roof. This resulted in me screaming at him and storming off to the toilet where I locked myself for a good 15 minutes. Not my most dramatic exit...

So yes, living together is an adjustment and it can be hard but it is worth it. I love knowing that whatever we are doing that day we will go to bed together every night and in the morning we will wake up together and I love that this flat is the start of our lives together. Now if I can just sort out that towel issue it will all be hunky dorey.

This week we also celebrate our five year anniversary, yes Craig and I started going out when I was still the tender age of 18.

I am hoping for a romantic breakfast in bed to celebrate the event- but considering Craig forgot Valentine's Day I am not holding my breath.

Let's just hope it goes better for us than the match tonight did for Man Utd...

Sunday, 20 January 2013

Who's afraid of the big bad wolf?

Fear is a funny thing. When I was younger I was fearless, I was always at the top of the tree or flying down hills on my roller blades. Don't get me wrong I hurt myself many times, but that never seemed to stop me. I just got back up and carried on. But I have realised recently that as I get older I find myself quite often experiencing fear.

I don't know how it happened but when I was a teenager I was on holiday with my mum when we went to go into some caves. Now mum doesn't like caves so she was going to stay in the car while my step-dad, brother Murray and myself went down to see the crystals in the cave (My oldest brother Ian was too old by this point for family holidays and was probably at home trying desperately to scrape a piece of wallpaper off the wall where his friend had vomited on it- but that's a story for a different time). Anyway,  I still remember this vividly, I was going down the stairs which were cut into the rocks and suddenly I panicked. I couldn't do it. I burst into tears and had to pretty much be carried out by my step-dad. Ever since this day I have been claustrophobic. I cant even watch tv programmes where there are tight spaces. It is the strangest thing, I have no idea what triggered the fear but I have never got over it. 

Then there is my irrational fear of bones. Seriously, they freak me out! I can barely talk to people with broken bones and if there is a bit on television where someone has a bone related injury I have been known to conk out. Similarly to the claustrophobia this didn't effect me until recently and it is something I cant seem to get past.

Then there are fears which I have always had. Bugs for one, I cannot stand them, particularly spiders. Not just big spiders, any spiders. I find this a particularly frustrating fear cause I know it is ridiculous but the minute I see one I have a nervous breakdown, have been known to cry and was once trapped hysterical in a sink for a good twenty minutes when a very large specimen took up residence on the bathroom wall. But every time I throw a hissy fit  I think to myself "Look at yourself fi, it is tiny and you are so big" but still I cant get to grips with our eight legged friends (saying that- one good thing that has come of it is that Craig is pretty much over his fear of spiders and has been forced to "man up" so he can save me from them) .

Another fear I have had since childhood (I can't believe I am about to admit this) is a fear of the dark. now admittedly it is not as bad as it used to be, but I really don't like the pitch dark. Or windows at night- in case there is a face. I also cannot sleep with the cupboard door opened (in case the monster gets out), I can't sleep with my feet over the edge of the bed (in case something bites off my toes), I didn't go into the attic at my mums for 6 years in case there was a dinosaur up there (this particular fear was thanks to Jurassic park and the lovely Ian) and sometimes I am scared to look in the bathroom mirror in case someone appears behind me (bloody mary, bloody mary, bloody mary anyone?!).

Other fears include; the dentist, china dolls, horror films and aliens. So do you get the picture? I am a scaredy cat. This is not something I am praticuarly proud of. I mean, I am a grown-up for goodness sake and I should know there is no monster in the cupboard and nothing is going to bite my toes in the middle of the night- yet I still sometimes lie awake wondering. Fear is a powerful thing, and many fears can be funny, but I think it is important not to let them rule your life.

I was due to be in London two days after the July 7 bombings. I was going with my dad for our annual daddy daughter London week where we went to see shows, visited Hamleys and just had fun the two of us. We did it for years and had booked months in advance. But this year, two days before we were due to go, the bombings happened. After some discussion we decided to cancel our trip. Dad didn't want to spend the trip worrying about something happening and thought that London wouldn't be a nice place to be and I was frightened. I was scared of what might happen or what I might see, scared of the airports on high alerts and was absolutely terrified of getting on a tube (admittedly I didn't like tubes before due to earlier mentioned claustrophobia, but I always managed on them). So we didn't go. And you know what? I wish we had. Looking back I am annoyed that I let the people who carried out the bombings win. there were a lot of people far more courageous than me who carried on their lives after that day. But I let fear dictate mine.

I am not big on regrets- I think they are a waste of time. But after that I try not to let fear make decisions for me. So yes I can laugh at my silly little fears like spiders and dentists, but they do not stop me doing things. Because fear is just a feeling, it cannot hurt you. And there are always times in life when you don't know what is going to happen and fear steps in. But you could spend your whole life not taking the chance just in case something bad happens.

So this year I want to be braver so that I don't have to look back and wish i had done something. It is ok to be scared sometimes but you can't let the fear of things going wrong stop you from living your life. But I need to scoot cause a large spider has just appeared and I am going to go and lock myself in the bathroom where it cant get me until Craig comes home.... maybe I will be fearless tomorrow.

Sunday, 13 January 2013

You couldn't make this stuff up

Recently I have been compared to a character in a popular BBC1 comedy programme. I won't say who but suffice to say that to begin with, I was not amused.

Now when the comparison was first made I ignored it, I had never seen the show and, like a massive child, I just sulked. However eventually I gave into peer pressure (I try not to give into peer pressure too much not since the night I drank six shots of tequila in a row...) and watched the show and well to be honest, I thought it was hilarious. And I have to admit (grudgingly) that I can see similarities. We are both tall ladies with chests and I admit that I too can sometimes be a little clumsy.

Actually not really a little clumsy a big bit clumsy and recently this is getting out of control. In fact I am not even sure it can be defined as clumsy anymore. I would say I am a magnet for cosmic cock-ups (ok, a little dramatic, but really if something silly is going to happen to anyone it will happen to me).  

For example- a glass will be smashed and hours spent cleaning it up, I will then manage to stand on the one piece of glass that escaped (yes this did happen and resulted in my foot meeting a scalpel without any numbing- ouch!) If there is an open drawer I will walk into it and if I am under a table (best not to ask why) I will bang my head. I have come to terms with this fact. But recently I feel it has reached a whole new level.

It all started when it was icy. I kept slipping (we all slip i hear you say) but seriously, every time I went out I ended up flat on my back (snigger snigger- yes hooray you have a dirty mind!) in the space of one week I fell three times and I scraped my hands and knees every time which really hurts! This has caused a slight fear of walking- when it is slippy I now walk like I am 104 or have had a little accident and even then I still slip. In fact, I was recently out and it wasn't even that cold and I found the only piece of ice and slipped on it. It's getting embarrassing and I worry that the people who stay around my home and office have now seen my underwear too many times as I slip in skirts and dresses.

And it is not just when I am walking, oh no. I am getting a new boss at work and when I first met him I sat on a chair opposite him for a getting to know you chat. It was a computer chair and it collapsed leaving me flailing on the floor. This is not a good first impression..... (And no it did not collapse under my weight it had a faulty lever- honestly it did.) 

I also end up in the strangest situations, just this week I came home to the flat and needed the loo. In a rush I did not take off my jacket (is it normal to go to the loo in outdoor clothing? I do not know- but there you go I admit it I did it). Anyway, due to my many layers after going to the toilet I got tangled and somehow managed to tuck the toilet paper into my leggings. I then walked through the flat trailing toilet paper and only noticed when I tried to turn the corner and got stuck. Let me tell you though that toilet roll was strong (I am thinking about offering this as a way to test the strength of toilet paper if anyone from a loo roll company is reading- get in touch) Anyway, after realising I was tangled I shouted to my ever supportive boyfriend for help, he took one look at me and said "You're a classy bird!" He then untangled me and we re-rolled the toilet paper but have you ever noticed that after being unrolled toilet paper never looks the same again? 

See, it's cute when he does it!

Anyway, I am now worried that my clumsiness is rubbing off on other things. Like my car. My poor little pudsy car had a basketball net fall on his nose in December. Yes, I know this sounds amusing but actually it was very expensive. Poor Car! 

So basically, I admit it I am clumsy and there are some similarities to that tv programme I mentioned at the start. But it is exciting being this clumsy. You know how they say do something that scares you every day? Trying to walk without falling over scares me- so all in all I lead a pretty exciting and daredevil life. 

Wednesday, 9 January 2013

Happy New Year

Happy New Year my blog friends!
I know what you are thinking, blog friends? Don't call us your friends, you haven't spoken to us in months. I know and I am sorry. So if any of you are still reading this I thank-you for your patience. I know I somewhat neglected the Blog at the end of last year, but to be honest, I didn't really have much to say (depressing I know).
But it is 2013 and I am back with you.

2012 was a funny year. Some of it was really good, like Craig and I getting our first home together and some of it was really bad, gangrenous appendix anyone?
However, looking back on the year, I think I learned alot. I moved out for the first time. Don't get me wrong, I love living with the lovely Craig, but moving out is scary and, for me, involved alot of tears. You see, I loved living with my mum and at first, with Craig working most of the time, I found the move quite tough. When Craig was in the flat I loved it. But then there were long weeks and weekends where I was by myself and to be honest, it was lonely. I think anything is an adjustment though and very quickly I got used to our new routine, and I loved knowing we would go to bed together every night and wake up together every morning. Not to mention the fact that I am blessed to be surrounded by all of my amazing friends, so once I got used to it I realised that actually I wasn't lonely at all.

But then, as I got used to things Craig got a new job. Did I tell you about that? No, sorry let me say that again CRAIG GOT A NEW (Monday to Friday working normal hours) JOB! And for the first time in our five (ish) year relationship we have heaps of time off together and I love it!
Don't get me wrong it has takes some adjustment. I no longer just improvise dinner every night cooking for one (poached egg on toast anyone) instead Craig and I cook together (or rather I cook and Craig comes and tells me how to do it better and I threaten to kill him).

 I have had to try and find that balance between seeing my boyfriend and my friends, trust me this can be very tricky. You see, I love them all and wish I could be with them all the time, but that's not possible  So I have had to learn to say no some times. This has been a learning curve, But three months in to Craig working "normal" hours it's going really well and I am very happy. So, I love that we got our first home and I cannot believe we will have been in it for a year at the start of March. The time has flown by. Now, if anyone would like to bring us a new kitchen I would greatly appreciate it.

Then, there was my appendix. I know I have mentioned this to you all before and it is now six months ago since I lost the little bugger but looking back, I think the experience has taught me a few things. Most of all it taught me that sometimes it is ok to not be ok. I was so focused on getting better so i could get back to work etc, that i think i didn't let myself fully recover and as a result I made things worse. I didn't feel myself for months afterwards and I think alot of that is because I felt guilty about being ill and felt I had to get better so I wasn't such a worry to everyone. This is a mistake I will not be making again. It also showed me how fortunate I am in my friends and family- they were all brilliant and took such good care of me. You know who you are, thank-you so much for everything. You guys are the best.

Last year also brought the arrival of the fabulous James, and what an amazing wee guy he is. Seeing the first of my friends have a baby has really filled me with pride and love. And with another of my friends expecting later this year it's just set to get better, I cant wait to see what the future brings for wee james and to meet little bean when he or she comes.

There were lots of other highlights of 2012, which I will not bore you with. But it has been a year of ups and downs but now that it is over I am looking to this year and i feel pretty good about it. I don't know what's going to happen, none of us do. I guess that's the thing about life, it is unpredictable and it's a pretty exciting mystery if you ask me. But whatever happens I hope that  2013 brings you everything you hope for and more.

Wednesday, 29 August 2012

Don't come a knockin' cause I'm being Moroccan

So, two weeks after getting rid of my appendix Craig and I jetted off to Morocco. Now I feel I should confess something now- my geography is bad, really bad. When we booked a holiday to Marrakesh in Morocco, I thought it was part of Spain.... It's not .
Morocco is in North Africa. I discovered this quite quickly and was very excited, we were off on an African adventure.

A friendly stork- there are hundreds of them in Marrakesh.
Didn't see any carrying babies though- very disappointed.

Marrakesh is beautiful, it's a mad City. It's loud, busy, dusty and just generally an assault on the senses. But most of all it was hot.
Over 50 degrees hot. I was melting.

This is the main square where you can see the night market 
just getting set up- this was it quiet!

My smarty pants lives in a kitchen chef boyfriend was fine. He was used to the heat and assured me I would get used to the heat too. I didn't. It took 6 litres of water to get me to walk down a road.

But despite this, I loved Marrakesh. The people were lovely and the Souks (Markets) were incredible. You could literally get lost in them for hours (Craig on the other hand hated this, he likes to know where he is, I on the other hand am constantly lost so very much enjoyed it!)

I wont bore you with all the details of the holiday but here are a few of the highlights;

-The man who threw a snake over Craig's neck shouting picture. sadly, I couldn't see Craig's face cause I was running away!
-The night the power went out and (despite the near death experience of getting home in the dark past mopeds) we had a candle lit swim in the pool
- The Riad we stayed in, it was phenomenal!

This was our hotel- it was perfect.

- The food, tagine, cous cous and kebabs- those Moroccans can eat!
-The cascades of Ozoud, beautiful waterfalls, although the climb up from them almost killed me.
The cascades of Ozoud- totally worth the climb.

Marrakesh is an incredible place, I would love to go back maybe later in the year and not when I still felt a bit rubbish after surgery (I spent a-lot of my holiday napping I am afraid!).

I would suggest a visit to Marrakesh for anyone, it really is an incredible place. But just one work of advice- watch out for smelly camel leather.
Are you talking about me?

While I was there I bought a beautiful camel leather handbag (Yes, poor camel) it is beautiful, hand stitched with a gorgeous design. But when I got it home, I was wearing it and Craig was like: "What's that smell?" I could smell it too- but I didn't know what it was. Soon, I realised the smell was following me around. Then it clicked- it was my handbag. My camel handbag stinks. I mean proper stinks. I can't wear it. I Googled "smelly camel handbag" and guess what? This is quite a common thing. So I followed some advice from Google and have tried to make it less smelly. But so far I have been unsuccessful.

So my advice s if you are going to buy a beautiful Moroccan handbag- give it a sniff first.


Wednesday, 22 August 2012

You won't like me when I'm angry

I am generally quite a calm person. Yes, I have my opinions and will tell you them if you ask, but generally I just get on with things. However, this week two men have said things which have made me very angry. And now I am going to have a rant at them because frankly, they have disgusted me.

First let me tell you what they did- t there was American Senate candidate Todd Akin who, with all the sensitivity and intelligence of a toilet brush, said that women could not get pregnant through "legitimate rape."
THEN MP George Galloway said that having sex with a woman while she is asleep, without a condom is not rape, it is merely bad sexual etiquette because she had agreed to sex the night before.

Wow, I mean wow. Now not only are these men extremely insensitive but also extremely uninformed. Dear Mr Akin, you can get pregnant through rape and yes I mean "legitimate rape" as opposed to "illegitimate rape" whatever the hell you think that is. In fact, in the US last year over 200,000 women fell pregnant as the result of rape. To be honest (and I do not condone violence) I hope if any of these women ever walk past you on the street they kick you between the legs.
Don't worry  Mr Akin said he "misspoke" now, I have no idea what that means and it doesn't sound like an apology to me, more a panic of "oh dear I will never get elected now everyone knows what a pig I am..."

So my suggestion to Mr Akin is that he withdraws his candidacy for the senate, donates any of his campaign money left (that is if anyone is still sponsoring him) to a rape support charity and then crawls back into whatever hole he came from so we never have to hear from this insensitive, ill-informed man again.

And then we have Mr Galloway, dear dear man. One thing your statement has made me wonder is about your sexual experiences. Do you often wake to find your partner having sex with you in your sleep? If so, I think you need to talk to someone. Does he think that any woman he has slept with before he can do it again because permission was given once?

After realising that what he said was upsetting a few people (I imagine at least half of planet earth if not many, many more) he clarified what he said: "No never means yes and non-consensual sex is rape. There's no doubt about it and that has always been my position."

So there you go, he is still saying non-consensual sex is not rape, he just seems unsure about how long consensus lasts for. And there is the whole no condom issue- surely if consensus was with protection then that is still in place if consensus does continue- which it does not.

Now, as you can see these two men have upset me. Not because I am a woman, I don't want to hear about how this is a feminist thing, rape is not a feminism thing. This upsets me because I am a human being and rape is a horrific thing which happens to people and the mere fact that these two are so ill-informed and absolutely incapable of considering the feelings of victims genuinely terrifies me.

They are both politicians, one elected and the other trying to get elected. They are suppose to run our countries. Yet they genuinely believe things like this. It's disgusting and has this week, made me very very mad.

Anyway, I feel better now that is off my chest.