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Why It Doesn't Feel Like Christmas

Let me first wish you all Happy Holidays - whatever you might be celebrating - and a Happy New Year.

I will definitely not be updating until the second week of January.

I am spending a week in the south of England with D's grandparents for a traditional English Christmas - crackers and all.

Then, us "jetsetters" fly off to Tunisia, Africa for an all inclusive week long holiday and to celebrate the New Year in the desert.

Let me leave you, though, with the thoughts that floated around in my head as I tried to find something interesting to leave you with for the next few weeks.

Why It Doesn't Feel Like Christmas...

1 - Because there is no snow. And in place of snow there is not even real rain but the misty pissy kind that hardly justifies an umbrella but gets you wet just the same.

2 - I have not bought my family any presents specifically because my favourite part of Christmas is watching them open up that perfect gift that I have found for them. That and shipping them…

What's that number again?

When dialling any number over here, you usually have to remember city codes, country codes and international codes.

I think North Americans forget that all they have to enter is "1" and then they can dial the number anywhere in the big wide land mass that is North America.

I was chatting to my mom on Sunday - our usual gab fest that usually includes what's new with me, what's new with her, what's new with our jobs, what's new with the rest of the fam, what is the plan for chatting next week?

I was giving her the number to D's grandma's - where we're going for Christmas - and was explaining that she needed to put the international code in front and drop the regular '0' that you would usually have when you dialled the number.

Then, I proceeded to explain various scenarios where the numbers are different, such as calling the republic of Ireland is like calling another country however if you are calling from the republic to the north of Irelan…

Old Scars

No matter where I go, no matter what I do, I don't think I will ever forget him.

No matter how well things are going in the here and now, I will always think of him.

I can't figure out if this is a good or bad thing.

Hard to Believe

It's hard to believe I have neglected this for over two weeks. What is the world coming to?

Things I have thought I want to write about:

Christmas shopping

Highshool nostalgia

Being a patient

Awaiting holiday

Happiness

I hope to have time to write more this week at home so I can actually post them during the day.

Hope all your houses are happy during the holiday season.

All I Want for American Thanksgiving

Not being American, I suppose I shouldn't be asking for something for this holiday however since I have relatives that live in the States and are celebrating, I figured I could state a few things I'm thankful for and a few things I would be REALLY thankful for.

I am thankful for my health, for my little flat, for my accent - whichever it may be, for the adventures I've had across Europe, for the adventures I'm having in the publishing world, for the Sunday afternoon chats with my mom, sisters and friends.

Most importantly for my super duper extra wonderfully talented D who without, I would not eat, have clean dishes, laugh on a daily basis or sleep slumberly.

And I would be very VERY thankful, Internet World, if you could all cross fingers, toes, arms, legs, eyes and anything else you can cross for a big break for the guy. It's close enough we can taste it, but it's not quite tasting as good as Thanksgiving turkey yet.

Reasons Why Bridget Jones is a REAL Love Story

1. Because the movie men don't cover up her zits.

2. Because yes, she does show her stomach 'pudge' which we all have and all try and hide and pretend not to have because in most movies the heroine DOES NOT HAVE PUDGE.

3. Because she makes the same mistakes I do - ladies, who hasn't been running late and put make up on in the car?

4. Because I can't stop getting giddy every time dreamy Darcy or dirty Dan says something romantic to frumpy Bridget

5. Because I love that she also has trouble picking outfits, not of which actually look like a designer.

6. Because in the end, with all her faults, she still gets her man.

**********

In honour of love, I got some fantastic news the other day.

A very special congrats to another truly wonderful person, my highschool-Bark-Lake-student-council-cottage friend TLO and her dreamy boy K who got engaged over the weekend on the beach at sunset.

When I was in highschool, I had this running joke where I said I had no tear ducts becaus…

Way to Go

You get about 10 minutes after a successful 'thing' to appreciate the success of it.

Then, you're bombarded with 10 questions about the success of the other things.

The amount of effort you put into each thing is about 100 times more then the amount of time left to enjoy their successes.

Whinge. Whinge. Whinge.

Another Reason to Go to Work

I went for a walk by the sea today.

I heard the gulls calling each other, watched the long grass swaying in the seaside breeze, stop to view the magnificent Cave Hill from across the water, listened to the waves lap against the shore.

I breathed in the fresh air. I briskly walked along the path. I stopped to see the glorious view of houses, water and mountain terrain.

On my lunch break.

Who's That Girl?

I have wore eyewear since the age of 3.

My mother tells stories of her heart breaking when we would go to the eye doctor and he would put the "fuzzy drops" in my eyes.

The eye doctor said this helped him to see my pupils better. I think that's just something they make up in eye school so that they can get a chuckle out of people having fuzzy vision for 4 hours.

At 3 or 4, I didn't understand what was happening. I would grab my mom's arm, cuddle my face into her arm, while clutching at her elbow with my little hands. I would look up at her, clearly trying to focus but unable to, and then mash my face back into her arms in the hopes that when I surfaced again, things would stop being fuzzy.

Four hours later, it would be over, but to hear my mom tell it, it sounds like it was an eternity. Now that I'm older she laughs at it but I'm sure going through it, she remembers feeling like I thought she was torturing me.

I just remember the ice cream.

I also remember…

This Sucks

Listen Fair-and-Equal Gods, I need your help.

It is a travesty that I, being so picky and precise, have found my dream job when D, who is open to any industry, is having such difficulty finding something.

The irony, I suppose, makes you chuckle in your Fair-and-Equal homes in the sky.

I need you to sprinkle some of your vibes down on the owners of establishements in Belfast. He is a smart, dedicated, extremely fast worker who deserves a break - any break - here in this fine city.

I will have trouble singing its praises much longer if all the doors that seem open to him continue to close.

It is very hard, Fair-and-Equal-Gods, to watch someone you love put themselves out there only to be disappointed again and again.

It hurts my heart to see him struggle, especially when he has come so far and done so much since the moment I met him.

Find it in your heart of hearts to help him figure something out.

I know you Gods help those who help themselves and considering the effort he is putting i…

Belfast Bits

There is a tower clock by the waterfront that has stood for years and years. It was built by Queen Victoria for her husband Prince Albert (I think). It is Belfast's leaning tower. Built on what used to be underwater, the soil is not very good for a large tower like statue. They spent millions of dollars to fix it. It will no longer sink into the ocean. But it still leans.

Craic (crack) has nothing to do with white powedery stuff and I partake in good craic quite frequently. A Belfast boy we met learned a hard lesson when visiting Canada when he asked a Canadian policeman "What's the craic?" sadly, in front of an actual crack house. Thrown against a wall and searched, he was able to mumble out the meaning. And learned the lesson "When in Rome..."

The sky may be gray to the left and it will be pissing on you but you can see blue sky to your right and the sun peaking out.

If you are a lad it's not cool to bring a brolly. Many many soaked rats wandering the…

It's a Canadian Thing, Eh?

My mind was wandering this morning as I was cleaning the house. Partly procrastinating, partly disinfecting a much needed rat hole which had not been cleaned in...well..I confess I've turned into a neat freak and it probably could have gone a couple more weeks my old standards but this morning, well, it was just driving me nuts.

I'm not sure whether it was a train of thought that started with me thinking of D out with Australian friends - because he was today and I have found LOADS of things to keep me busy, many of which involved talking to myself but this, you see, is really nothing new.

Or, it could have simply been a train of thought of holiday because housework makes my mind wander and the first thing I'd rather be doing is probably being on holiday.

But I was suddenly thinking again of an extrodinary week that would not have been had it not been for one simple decision.

To be honest, it was pure laziness. We had arrived in Faro, Portugal, around 9 pm, after sitting o…

Calling all Boys

Girls: Please do not be offended. I am a girl and know how I can takes things too much to heart, misinterpret people's meanings, go a little overboard on my reactions. But please please don't. Just hear me out.

Boys: If you're out there, use this to open your minds.

For most of my adult, independent, from-university-until-now life I have had either male friendships or female ones that felt like male ones.

I would usually get together one on one with my female friends, frequently discussing how we would fix the world if we were elected president. That or how many countries we would travel to and what type of things would be the best to pack.

I have not ventured out in big groups for girlie nights, discussing shoes and jewelry and lip balm. I have never been one to dress up and take 3 hours to get ready and go dancing.

So, realistically, I shouldn't expect to go out with the above company and a) have anything to talk about or b) have a good time.

I like conversation. The…

Little Mr. D - Letter to the Kid #2

(readers: do not be confused. not MY D but E's D)
Well mister, aren't you cute? Your mom sent me the second picture I've seen of you today. Pretty sharp looking.

It was a bit surreal when your dad jumped out at the page. I kinda wondered who I would think you looked like when I first saw a picture of but your birth-day picture just didn't show either of them.

This one - you're definitely your father's son. Oh dear. I knew it - you are totally NEVER getting in trouble! Just give a smile and a wink and she'll melt...for sure...

It's a good thing your dad practised telling me to "Go to your room" and "Get a job" when I stayed with them. He'll be all set to tell himself where to go.

You were even smiling a little bit in the second picture. Was that because of all the fun fresh air you get up at the cottage? You know, I love the cottage too. Your mom and I sat for a couple of days planning my Europe trip, talking about life, dreaming …

Rage

The people that have known you the longest can make you rage more then you ever imagined possible.

Perhaps intentionally. Perhaps unintentionally.

But it is so hard not to react. Especially when you know what's coming.

And you are helpless to stop the actions. And you're helpless to stop the way you are going to react.

At least I am. But sitting with this rage is much better then expressing it because the outcome will end up worse then the one I have right now.

It's still annoying. The control some people can actually have over your emotions.

Nothing a glass of merlot can't fix.

Perspective

The internet cafe I frequent happens also to have a shop in the front.

I never really pay attention to what kind of stuff is sold but most of it is electronics hence, the internet cafe theme.

I noticed a couple of weeks ago that, yes, they also sell guns. I assumed they were BB guns. Not being American, I am not used to seeing guns in my local Wal-Mart.

You see, I have never actually held a gun. I have never seen someone hold a gun, except on TV and in movies but that doesn't count because it's on a little box and not live, not real.

Today, as I was tapping away on the machine I'm sitting at, I heard this clicking.

I turned to see a kid - probably in his late teens - sqinting his eye, looking down the barrel, straightening his arm and shooting a gun. No bullets in the gun but shooting it none the less.

Right. At. Me.

Pointing it right at my face, about 15 yards away, testing his 'piece'.

In. My. Face.

I didn't do anything but I think my face said it all. That d…

Writing

I have written three separate long winded blog entries in the last week but have not posted any of them.

I get these ideas for short, quirky, mild interesting thoughts to share and suddenly they turn into the War and Peace of the electronic diary world.

As much as I always complain about being hormonal, I find that much of my soul searching words are written during a period (no pun intended) of pure reflection.

I need to perhaps go back to words and do a bit of editing.

I like having the option of simply writing at home. What's even better is that I'm not scrambling in an internet cafe to post something that is completely out to lunch.

Of course, that seems to be what I'm doing now. And so, this is short. And not at all inspired. And really, more just procrastinating.

Because there are other things I need to be doing at home today.

Off I go. Losing more and more readers by the minute, I know I know.

Be patient. I'll get back into my groove.

I promise.

Fantastic

This is a whole new world I am so excited about.

This week has been zoomy and exhausting, exhilarating and uplifiting, neat and fun.

I will write more later but I just wanted you all to know, my head space is in cloud 9.

Employed Blogger

So how does this work? I have never been an "outted" blogging employee, especially one that works in the writing industry.

I have learned many a lesson from Dooce and am not really looking to get myself canned over my words.

I guess this really will become a place where I share my outside-of-work stories.

I just don't want to start self-censoring because I'm worried what my boss will think if he reads that I'm PMSing.

Do we live in a society that separates personal from work life?

Perhaps my boss will enjoy my insighfulness at this page. Perhaps it will give him a little too much information into who I really am.

Because who are you really at work? Are you really you? Do you really show everything about yourself? Your dreams? Your hopes? Your fears? Your frustrations?

I know I don't.

So tell me, HOW DOES THIS WORK?

The only bloggers I read are pretty much self employed and so I don't really have any concrete examples of how it works.

I just picture in an …

How Do I Write This?

Since Thursday, I have been trying to figure out the best way to write this entry.
I have spent the last 3 days calling all the important people, drinking copious amounts of alcohol and sleeping away the stress.

I have come up with various scenarios, cute jokesy blog entries, long sappy ones, metaphorical far-too-deep ones, even short and sweet ones.

It seems I have been trying to think about it for so long that I have thought my way out of actually writing anything clever.

What I can say is: Be picky. Don't settle. Follow the little voice in your head. Go with your gut. Really believe it. Believe in yourself.

About a year ago, I decided I wanted to work in the book industry. I didn't care in what capacity. Writer. Marketer. Editor. Event Admin Assistant.

If I had been given them all on a platter and asked to choose, it would have been marketing because then I could have the best of both worlds. Continue doing the marketing tasks I enjoy - event planning, web content, social n…

Water Cooler Chats

It feels like it's been a very long time that I have been self conscious when I first speak to people at work.

It feels much longer then almost 2 years.

In Canada, I was the friendly communications girl, who doubled as an HR person when new people arrived in the building. I was always the one who would be super-smiley, starting up a conversation with anyone who happened to be in my vicinity.

I always tried to remember something about everyone, so that when I saw them again in the staff kitchen I had a "topic of conversation" to spark up with them.

I can't do that here.

I couldn't do that in Leeds.

It's not because I'm now aware that the American-Canadian "way" comes off as a bit fake to the dry-wit Brits. I am not afraid to continue being me. There's no reason to change my personality just because I've changed my postal code - er postcode.

And yes, I still make sure every person who serves me, opens the door for me, takes my bus fare, ev…

Quiet

I have been quite silent I realize.

And as usual, quite cryptic.

My "one shot" went really really well on Thursday, so well that as much as my heart will explode with joy if it continues to go well, I am really really satisfied and feel that there is nothing more I can do to make this one happen.

Entertaining my university roomate from home on the weekend. It's been fantastic. I love being a tourist in my own city. And I love dishing with a girl that I don't feel uncomfortable around.

I hope to have more words next week but my fuzzy party brain is simply concentrating on getting through my Monday.

One Shot

"You better move yourself in the music you...you better never let it go. You've only got one shot do not miss your chance to blow cause opportunity comes once in a lifetime" - Eminem (sorta - to be honest, these are the words I hear in my head, they may note be EXACT but today, they motivate me)

Today is a day of opportunity. It feels like a one shot day. Bull by the horns. Caution to the wind. Cliche day.

Fingers crossed and fulled speed ahead.

*******

If you want to read something a bit less cryptic, our SelfAcceptance issue of Mosaic Minds has gone live! Lots of good pieces put together by busy people who were working over holidays:)


NOT a slacker

I've been quiet because there are some exciting things going on here and I just want to wait until their all settled.

It's hard to simply write as though nothing spectacular is happening so I'd rather just be fairly silent until at least I get through til the end of the week.

I know I know, I have the laptop. Couldn't I simply spend 10 minutes coming up with something?

Perhaps since my Olympic flame has been extinguished for another 2 years.

But then again, they've just started showing the new episodes of the O.C. here...

It Actually Worked

To my surprise, when I got home from work yesterday, there was a message on my answering machine.

I panicked for about 7 mintutes while I tried to remember my password because I never check it because no one actually ever seems to leave us messages.

But somehow I just knew.

When I finally got through, I squealed at the sound of the voice. It was E's mom, letting me know I was one of the first people she called.

Mr. T.H. was born around 7:00 EST Tuesday morning, August 24, 2004.

The same time I was writing him his letter - 12:00 GMT.

What a weird cosmic vibe it was that flew from my fingertips, across the ocean and into the hospital delivery room.

Welcome to the world, tiger.

Letter #1 to the Kid

Kiddo:

It's time. It's really really time.

It does seem like yesterday I had this phone conversation with your mom, E, my very best friend from high school:

Your mom: "Well, I have something to tell you."

Me aka Aunt A: Oh. My. God.

Your mom:

Me: Oh. My. God. Oh. My God.

Your mom: "I'm pregnant"

AHHHHH. In that one sentence, our entire friendship flashed before my eyes. I suddenly realized that we were onto the next level. We were becoming, eh-em, the OLDER generation.

My excitement was more then I could contain. I was screaming with delight. She was laughing on the other line, saying she couldn't wait to tell me because she knew my reaction would be the best.

I wanted to run to her house. Give her a hug and make her some broccolli. You will like broccolli won't you? Because it's quite good for you. All that folic acid and stuff.

(And if you don't like red wine, well don't blame me! I tried to tell her it was good for you but...)

I&#…

Perfect Creativity?

I used to relish methodical work of updating content on web pages. Zoning into the screen. Clicking, almost rhythmically from program to program, Ctrl C, Ctrl V, watching it all fit into place.

It was just text. Simple text in notepad or the text module of the content manager. Just letters, 26 different ones mixed up in millions of different configurations, to make up what looked like a screen of a foreign language.

I could work for hours, just highlighting...copying...switch programs...pasting, getting lost in the monotony but taking great care.

Because anyone who has worked on code knows that one little character in the wrong place and it will all go haywire.

But it could be a hidden mistake, one that you wouldn't notice until you were brave enough to take a look at the graphical masterpiece the letters had created...you had created.

Preview...launch browser...voila.

And there it was, suddenly, all the letters made a beautiful piece of work, that came alive with colour and textu…

Love of the Laptop

For the first time in a few months, D headed to bed before me. We tend to make it a habit to always go to bed together at the same time. And, while he wasn't impressed that I was not following our cute routine, I had to confess that I was having an affair.

I needed to stay up with my beloved laptop. The machine that allows me to write away, organize files, schedule tasks.

It even allowed me to write a blog entry. Of course, when I read it this morning, it seemed a little too much for the blog. I think perhaps I'll keep my thoughts of body image, fad diets and healthy lifestyles to myself. (It didn't seem controversial at 11 at night however, the morning has brought some clarity)

Ideas are racing through my head and now I have an outlet. I am so happy. So so happy. I am so ecstatic that it's only a little thing like having a new love in my life can turn my productivity around.

My long term goals don't seem that far away any more because I have the power of the keybo…

Very Very Bad

I now have a laptop. I have no excuse. Except, perhaps my Olympic Fever.

I promise to stop making excuses about writing and just write....

But I'll just watch these Gymnastic trials and then...

Olympic Fever

It is quite odd to be watching the UK footage of the Olympics.

For as long as I can remember, I have watched from the Canadian perspective, including interviews with Canadian athletes, stories of their triumphs and struggles, pictures of them suited in the red and white maple leaf attire.

This year, I have no idea who is actually competing for my country.

For the first time in a long time, I watched the Opening Ceremony from start to finish. I just wanted to make sure I saw the Canadian team and all the flags in the stands.

I have been pouring over the TV guide, making sure I know what time the events are on so I can make the most of the Olympic Games.

This is also the first year that I have actually been to the venue. Athens, a city that I did not have much to write home about, really does seem transformed. Although most of the wide shots are of the Acropolis, you can tell the visitors are impressed. I, like many who have been to Athens pre-Olympics, was so skeptical as to how they w…

Words to Live By

Having an amazing break. Seeing family get excited about a place you feel at home in is such a liberating experience. You don't need their approval but it helps to let you know that you did make such a fantastic decision.

I'm saving my writing for the next issue of Mosaic Minds, which we're busy writing away on, but I just wanted to share this post because that Alex the Girl always makes heaps of sense.

I'm with ya sister

Something else I've been thinking about: Don't be afraid to change your plans. Life really is the journey and not the destination.

Maxxing, Relaxxing and Leaping

I'll be away from blogging for the next week as we're having our SECOND VISITORS to Belfast! D's parents will be staying for the week and I'm more excited then I can share. It's so wonderful to be able to show your life to the people you care about.

Plus, could use another break for the brain. I seem to be needing a lot of those lately. Just want to keep my motivation up.

And I can't think of a more fitting post to be on the site while I'm away for a week.

I read this on a blog today (Sunday August 01 entry).

"A ship in a harbor is safe, but that's not what ships are built for"

Way to go Penelope. No matter what happens, you will never regret this.

I'll never stop loving leaping stories. Brings a smile to my face, a tear to my eye and a hug on my heart to hear people "living it".

No Word

I haven't heard back yet.

I'm just waiting.

I'm too chicken to call and find anything out.

Especially since D's parents are coming for a visit this weekend!

The last thing I need is to be feeling rejected when they're around.

Still feeling positive about things, although it's a bit scary how September looms and we don't seem to be any closer to the "place" we wanted to be here in Belfast.

Once the summer is over, we will have no excuse. Perhaps then it will be scarier.

Not as scary, though, as the fact that my current contract will probably run out in October. I can't believe I might have to start up another temp job, put all the effort into understanding a business and the people in it for a temporary period.

A sudden change of plans, perhaps somewhere in the Medeterrainean might be in the cards.

Yum. Greek food for eternity.

Holy Guacamole

Is it possible there are angels or beings or aliens above that have decided to wind me up?

Is it possible that on Friday I saw a job advertised that was the job I said I wanted last year while working in Leeds?

The actual OLD THING that I was originally excited about having but then felt like it was weighing me down and now that I maybe am okay with the OLD THING not happening the powers that be decide to dangle it right there in front of me?

AM I DREAMING???

I hate to not post it - because it really is killing me that I haven't been able to make public my other two gems - but I think this route seems to be bringing me the opportunities that I keep dreaming up in my head.

What the freak is going on???!!!???

Could someone please pinch me or smack me or throw water all over me just so I know this is actualy happening???

I'm really nervous and excited and scared and shocked. How is it that the universe has dropped yet another golden egg in my lap and said, "Here you go, here…

Happy Wedding Day

One of my oldest friends, K, is getting married to her dreamy boy R today.

I have known him as her beau for many years (I think we're even talking over 10) and I could not picture a more perfect guy for her to be marrying.

If I was at the wedding - which I desperately wish I was - I would want to say this:

Today is a dream realized from years past
The white dress, the wedding cake, the promise of a love that lasts

Today is the beginning of a journey the two of you now share
The vow to love, honor, and cherish now seen in the rings you wear

But tomorrow, tomorrow you will wake as husband and wife
Where the person next to you is yours for life

And so my wish to you both is that when you wake each day
You will turn to each other with the same look you share today

I wish I could say I wrote this but I didn't. I just thought it was so lovely and sweet.

To another friend, taking the leap, towards eternal happiness.

ANYTHING Else

Raspberries remind me of picking them in my grandmother's backyard when I was small. She would ask me to help her gather them and the intention was to make jam. If I didn't eat all of the raspberries, we would occasionally get a jar or two and then we'd eat it all up over the two weeks I was visiting her in the summer.

Buying berry fruits reminds me of being an adult. The independance to go to the grocery store and stock up on treat items like strawberries and blueberries and raspberries and blackberries and the non berry fruit melon and not have to worry about how much I'm spending on them because I won't have enough for staples like milk and bread.

Fall reminds me of piling into the family vehicle - either the station wagon or the van - and venturing out with everyone to the apple orchard to pick apples, swing in the trees and ride on the old style horse wagon. At the end we'd gather in the converted bar for some warm hot cider and apple pie, made fresh from …

Yay for Evening Primrose

EDITOR'S NOTE: Girls will probably appreciate more. Boys will either go "ick" or "huh?" but it's just something I wanted to share.

****

After 10 plus years of dealing with hormones, I think I have finally figured mine out.

As teenagers, we have them raging through our bodies. When we become adults, they tend to settle a little however there always seems to be a certain time of the month when they bring on ... well... let's just say "different" emotions.

I've also been quite verbal about my "crazy week" as I like to call it and no, it's not the "friend has arrived" week, it is the "friend will be here next week" week.

I always get very melancholy, introspective, melodramatic, mopey, irrational and moody. I cry often. Once I cried at a milk commercial that had high school football players in it because I thought their wholesomeness was just so cute.

Over the years, I have begun to spot the week. Sometime…

Gulp

I am very afraid of failure. I realize this is stating the obvious. Who isn't afraid of failure?It's just, I feel that I haven't really failed for a long time. And I don't mean that in a conceited arrogant way. I just mean I feel as though I'm putting myself out there right now more then I have in a really long time.

I am truly pushing my own boundaries and I'm afraid of falling flat on my face.

I just had a little panic flicker that went, "what are you doing?"

Feisty does this great bit about Fear stalking her and how she's always tried to push him into the closet so Confidence can stay for awhile.

I am missing my Lady Luck.

I have always been someone who believes that most of the things that happen to you, happen to you because you worked hard.

But then again, some of the best things that have happened to me is because of Lady Luck.
The most obvious being meeting D - he was never supposed to live in the same residence I did and happened by a wei…

By the Sea

I know I live by the sea because of the seagulls.

They float around in the sky, swooping up and down past the clouds.

I see them outside my balcony window.

I know I live by the sea because I can hear them. Groaning and moaning. Screeching. Wooo-ahhhing at each other.

The screaming children I see being dragged about from shop to shop must have learned how to squawk from these seagulls because it's hard to tell the difference.

So many times, I stop, mid-sentence, mid-walk-in-the-bedroom, mid-making-tea, thinking someone is torturing a child outside.

I hear them when I'm in that slumbery place right before dawn breaks.

And I start to dream about fighting people, screaming children, angry angry birds.

In Leeds, the traffic outside my bedroom window sounded like the ocean. Sometimes I would imagine that if I lifted the cutains, there would be this magical landscape of rock face, foliage, sand and sea. The beaming sun would peek out from the clouds in an almost blue sky.

I …

When it Rains...It Pours

Ooooooooo - another twist in the plot.

I got a letter today from a place I applied to awhile ago.

It's not exactly part of the new thing. It's actually completely new altogether.

Hmmm.

Be careful what you wish for.

If it's clear as mud to you well then we're definitely in the same boat.

My mind still spinning a bit.

A step towards a success. So many opportunities.

So cryptic. But I'm enjoying this secret to myself right now.

The Tea Fairy

Every night before I go to bed, I set out a tea mug with an Earl Grey tea bag in it, a cereal bowl, a large cereal spoon, mulivitamin jar and the cod liver oil jar.

I am usually quite comotose in the morning, so these small tasks make it easier to cope with waking up. I don't have to fiddle with the cupboards - I simply have to click on the kettle.

And so, in my morning state, I did what I do every morning. Go and turn the kettle on before I get in the shower. Then, when I get out of the shower, I can go and fill my mug and let the tea stew while I get dressed.

By the time I dressed, the tea is usually done and then I can remove the tea bag, add the milk - or the soya milk that I'm attempting to like but it is so difficult - and eat my cereal - which I don't really like but I know is good for me and therefore will eat.

But this morning, for some reason, I was too asleep and forgot to turn the kettle on. I was dressed before I even made it into the kitchen.

And so, I t…

CH-CH-CH-CH-CHANGES

It's happened. It took a whole year but it has finally happened.

It's something I was quite worried about. I wasn't expecting to feel fine about the whole thing if it happened. I was expecting to feel more like a failure.

I was proud that something had stuck in my head for so long, that I had been focussed on one goal. That I was beginning to "find myself" and know exactly what it was that I wanted to be. Really be

And yet, there is an enthsusiasm, mixed with calm, mixed with relief. But there is definitely a wind of change.

I hate to be cryptic but I'm just not quite ready to announce my new "thing" to the world yet. It's simply that I am excited that it is a NEW THING. It's not even that anything has moved forward with it. It's simply that it's a NEW-THING in my head.

Something else to try. A modification due to circumstances out of my control. A "seen the light" kind of moment, because if my Belfast life had worked ou…

Two Days

For the past two days, I have been letting my brain re-energize.

I chatted with so many friends and relatives over the weekend.

I did a lot of thinking.

I watched the entire first part of the Anne of Green Gables triolgy - three and a half hours - in my pjs, with tea and popcorn. All that before noon.

I realized that the only days I want to sleep in are the days that I have to go to work.

I tried very hard to put my life into perspective.

And I realized, I need "change my mind" as the song goes (and I really wish I could remember who wrote it)

I am not impatient. I am ambitious.

I need to rework the way I am used to working.

And so, I will be putting in place a new schedule for myself. I'm sick of coming off as a complainer and not a do-er.

Give me a schedule and I'll stick to it.

Wish me luck.

A Break

I will have two full days off next week. To myself. Dreamy D is stuck at work and I am privelaged enough to be given the July 12th and 13th as a public holiday.

Next week will be SO SLOW in the office as I think I am the only person NOT going away somewhere.

Well, I do exaggerate. There will be 3 of us in our department.

I just hope I'm not bored.

But then again, I could always write.

And I think I will see enough excitement this Monday to give me the inspiration.

There will be lots of bands and parades out in the city. It will be interesting to see. Everything kicks off with a huge bonfire as well. I'm not sure, though, that going too close to the fire party will end up being such a grand idea.

My first July 12th in Northern Ireland. It should be interesting.

Thinking

Never compare yourself to someone else's success, not matter how
much your competitive spirit wants to get the best of you.

Everyone is in a different place, a different phase, at a different time.

This is not school, where activities tend to correspond to ages.

This the big real world.

You cannot live to be someone else. You must always simply live to be yourself. It takes you long enough to figure out who that is, you might as well stick with it.

And most of all, be happy for those around you who are finding
happiness. Don't let your fears and anxieties take away from the joy they are feeling. Experience it with them.

On Hiatus

Not sure I will be able to post as regularly anymore. Seems as though Big Brother is alive and well within the tech team at my work.

And so, back to pen and paper at home.

I will try to update at least 3 times a week.

For now, enjoy your summer holidays

And of course:

HAPPY CANADA DAY!!!!

Could I Be More Boring?

Apologies. I have written about it again. I don't really know why I feel the need to"alert the media" every time I'm feeling down in the dumps.

This blog is supposed to be about what I'm experiencing. I suppose for some reason, I feel the need to post at least once every couple weeks how depressed and sad I feel and then quickly blame it on "the hormones".

Then, I come back in the next day, shake my head in mild frustration and roll my eyes at my melancholy "oh-woe-is-me" posts.

This post is also meant to be about my creative journey. How VERY creative of me. Write about being angry and depressed.

D was sweet. He took me on a mini-date last night. And I felt a lot better. I always do. It always just turns itself around.

I don't like feeling sorry for myself because I don't feel I have anything to feel sorry about. I need to start getting into perspective everything I have been honoured to be able to do and not focus on all the things I…

My Many Curses

I am a perfectionist who thinks and analyzes too much and has greater expectations than the world can seem to provide.

I am also a hormonal woman who tries very hard not to blame EVERYTHING on hormones however when the case of the blues hits out of nowhere, I can only conclude it must be because of some force beyond my control.

This could be my own coping mechanism, however, for rationalizing away why I am upset.

I really don't want to get into a philosophical converstation about my feelings I would simply like to stop feeling down, put out, hard done by, like I haven't accomplished anything and I suck and everything I touch sucks and I might as well just go lock myself in a room and watch Big Brother all day as at least their lives have some meaning - well, for now.

Or perhaps, as usual, I'm having a case of the MUndays.

As my wise wee sister would say: Oh gweat.

As the Years Go By

I'm not sure what is more disturbing.

The fact that I'm now 28 or that today, my baby brother turns 20.

The little buddy me and my sisters used to force to be part of our girl games, dancing around in the living room, twisting and turning him every which way.

The small dude who grew up being bossed by four mothers.

The little tyke who was always trying to grab at the camera for "his turn" instead of being in front of it. It's not surprise he's in film

The young lad who was mortified when he was dropped off on one of his first dates by all three of his big sisters and not only did they beam like proud parents, he could hear them "awwwwwwing" from the car as he walked his date to the door.

For me, he will always be 8 years old, which works out well because that would make me 16 and that wouldn't be a bad age to be right now.

Happy Birthday Ronens.

Canadian Connections

Last week, I was out with this German lady I have befriended, watching the first Germany match of Euro 2004.

Football Fever has hit the continent, you see, although I'm actually not a big fan of "soccer", I can't help myself when it comes to championships.

So, I was sitting there, trying to look really passionate about the game when all I could really keep my eyes on were the people in the bar (who were they cheering for? why did she choose that top? I wonder where they're from? did that guy just really spill his pint all over himself? what is the deal with the loud voice? oh right. football) when suddenly, I caught a glimpse of something red and white on a girl's purse.

She was a redhead - quite a full-head-of-hair redhead - and I thought she couldn't be anywhere but from Ireland.

But there it was, glaring up at me, all the points stretching up as high as they could as though to say "see me see me I am distinct"

It was a Canadian flag pin. On h…

What If

The latest Mosaic Minds theme must be buzzing my head because I had a bit of a day-sleep-dream - for lack of a better word - this morning that had me thinking What If?

What If I moved back to my small town or the medium-sized city near it?

I had images of living in a nice little two story house, with a bulldog or golden retriever - (it depends, you see, on who wins the Type-of-Dog war - me or D).

I would wake up in the morning to see D off to his interesting and exciting marketing job, perhaps at Labatts or Kellogs. I would make him an egg white omlete or at least put out his vitamin in the morning before curling up back into bed for another half hour or so.

Or perhaps, I would stay awake, reading the paper and enjoying a good cup of Earl Grey tea in the sun room, watching out the back window into my well manicured garden - filled with sunflowers and gerbia daisies.

After I had fully woken up, I would head to the office upstairs, to begin my day. I would have a couple of stories on th…

Day to Day Love

I love the routine with D. It's like we're a tag team taking on the world. Sharing chores, planning strategies, working as a unit.

With all my frustrations and anxieties, I think I would be a miserable person if I didn't have him to share it with.

It's not simply the lovey dovey romantic stuff, although we are sometimes quite like high school teens.

It's more then that. It's a sharing of life.

Every Friday, there is a food and goods market that opens up near our house. Since D's work is 5 minutes from our house, it is also near his work.

In the morning he emails me to "send my order" to him of what I want. Salmon. Cod. Tomatoes. Chicken. Spinach. Brocolli. Cauliflower. Mushrooms. Peppers. Steaks.

On his lunch break, he walks to the market and gets our meats and fresh veg for the week. It's become one of the "things" he does around the house.

Every Friday, I go across the road to the huge Sainsbury's. They also have a large off-li…

I Want to Go Home

When I was in Grade 12, I was elected to student council as the Minister of Publicity.

At my school, it was a good thing to participate. I have had many discussions over the years with people about the "status" of people who took part. At other schools, they seemed to be considered the geeks. At my school, if you weren't participating - in drama, yearbook, sports clubs, spirit clubs, the Audio-Visual club, the fencing team, pretty much anythign extra-cirricular - you were the geek.

It was to become an interesting year as not only was every single member of the council in Grade 12 but we were all female and we were all friends.

There is a classic picture of us in the Grade 12 yearbook, in a hallway peering out through a railing, like caged animals, laughing and making funny faces as our staff advisor stood above raising a gavel over our heads, as if that could tame us. I remember when it was printed looking forward to looking back at it as one of the best moments of my l…