I think I just rambled, Life, Story Time

[Story Time] repercussions of daydreaming

When I was a youngling, I daydreamed excessively; in my dreams I was extremely clever and I had secrets – world-changing, mind-blowing secrets. I could give the best, most convincing comebacks, break into sudden ninja skillz, and do daring deeds that would leave grown men gaping in my wake.

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I’d do all of this without repercussions. One doesn’t really think of real world consequences when you’re in a delicious daydream, fixing a tragic moment of fallibility in your life.

Par example, when my family was introduced to a new church; instead of retreating into my blue coat when the microphone was shoved in my face and whispering my name …

… it would go a little differently. The pastor would ask my name. I’d stand straight and tall. ‘You want my name?’ my attitude would say. ‘THIS IS MY NAME!!!’ and at the end of the aisle, the church doors would slam open, and in would pour an entire troop of animals enough to make a zookeeper weep.

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like this. but with lions. and giraffes. and maybe an elephant?

It’s important to note that my daydream was conspicuously absent of:

  1. animal droppings
  2. outraged animal rights activists.
  3. the screams of horror from churchgoers who just wanted to hear some preaching (was that too much to ask?!!)

When you’ve spent half your life with your nose in a book and your head in the clouds, your sense of proportion, social settings, and – alas, to my cost – brain-to-mouth filter sometimes malfunctions.

Take my last, most monumental gaffe, for instance. I’ll share it here. You can probably feel the echoes of my disbelief from where you’re sitting.


I can’t remember the mood I was in when I turned up to my driving test, but it must have been quite something.

My examiner reminded me of a TV character and I really quite liked him – he sort of set you at ease. I didn’t do quite the same service to him.

He introduced himself pleasantly with a ‘My name is N—, what can I call you?’

Usually, I would have said my name and included a nice and pleasant: ‘nice to meet you.” Usually, I managed to function as an adult. That day, I did not.

I didn’t say my name. I didn’t plead for a pass. Oh no. My brain saw OPPORTUNITY written across the sky in big, multicoloured letters.

It saw opportunity. It took that opportunity. I opened my mouth:

You may call me Lord and Supreme Dictator of the Universe

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Nowadays, I try to rein myself in a little; try to fix the ol’brain-to-mouth filter. Be a little mature. Realise you can’t just blurt anything out – even if you think it’s the pinnacle of humour. This works sometimes. But now and again, every so often, if a customer asks how my day has gone, I find myself answering:

“Well … the zombie apocalypse hasn’t happened yet, so it’s been pretty good, thank you.”

(They often seem bemused. I, on the other hand, am always enormously impressed that I – a bookworm – can pronounce ‘apocalypse’ correctly.)

Life, Story Time

Skiing and Bruises [Story Time]

I’ve just come back from skiing in Switzerland. It was amazing. And by ‘it’ I refer to Switzerland and the postcard-like prettiness of the snow-clad chalets, and the breath-taking wonder of the mountains. But my skiing? Ah. Well. Let me put it in really bad poetry for you:

you’d never guess but i became

a speed demon on twin instruments of pain

it was hard to turn so i did not

and skied straight down ’till i stopped


i might have bumped my noggin

i might have bruised my hip

i might have lost a camara

when on those slopes i slipped


it didn’t happen all at once

and i thought i wasn’t bad

but down the red i did speed

and on the blue i flew


soon, anon, i’d find myself

spread-eagled on the ground

and all my dignity and all my pride

were nowhere to be found


i’d be left with laughter

and a little bit of pain

but i’d say it was worth it

and was jolly glad i’d came

(When you’ve fallen, you can’t be afraid of falling, BECAUSE you’ve already fallen. So you’re actually really quite safe.)

Forgive me for this butchering of poetry; I’m sure Poe would groan and invoke a raven.

Have a great weekend : )

Books, I think I just rambled, Life, Story Time

// home again

I brought forty-six books home with me. And a pair of glorious heels and five packs of sweets, but … forty-six books … I feel like a proper bookworm.

a properly penniless bookworm, that is

The check-in luggage weight limit was 23kg. I made it 22.8kg. I high-fived the check-in bloke and did not gush about Travel Panic, The Lift My Friends Gave Me and how so very thankful and relieved I was that the bag and my carry-on case had scraped by their weight limits.

I would never do something that undignified.

So incredibly tired and rambling a mile a minute, I arrived home at the obscene hour of eight in the morning without a wink of sleep from the night before. (I don’t sleep on planes. I do, however, talk to Grandfatherly Russians and accidently slap seatmates in the face with my jacket.)

It was an amazing six weeks across the pond, but don’t worry – I shan’t bore you with stories, though I am rather proud of fist-bumping Mickey Mouse and singing (magnificently off key, of course) ‘Country Roads’ as we went through the Blue Ridge Mountains and West Virginia.

Also – Cup Cake Wars. ’nuff said

Oh! And I visited my happiest place on earth, and no – that’s not Disneyworld (which was fun but my word did the queues never end, did the heat never cease, and was Tinker Bell always so. astoundingly. perky?). It masquerades as ‘The Book Barn’. It is both a graveyard of trees and a magical world of endless stories. Also, it has free donuts.

do not trust the donuts.

It’s been an epic second trip across the pond; apart from mammal riding (donkey, camel, horse, whale) I think I’ve used every form of transport there is. Oh, and guess what? My cab driver wasn’t a killer robot. And yes, I caught that first train. But the second one? To go the airport? To come home?

Ah. Yes. That one.

They had to replace the engine.

how have you been?

I think I just rambled, Life, Story Time

ear piercing adventures [Story Time]

It’s partially the fault of Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries and my liking of magnetic earrings as a youngling, but recently I decided to have my ears pierced.

I mean – lots of people have had their ears pierced, haven’t they? It’s no big deal, right?


You see, though I like dangling earrings, I cannot bear piercings. I cannot compute. What if someone yanks your ear and the hole tears?!!!

Sometimes I was very happy at the idea. Self, I’d say, it would look so good. That bit of jaw would be made to look SO elegant. But then I’d look at pictures of piercings and feel ill. Self, I’d say, maybe another time.

And thus it would go on. Until, of course, one day when I took the plunge. ‘It’s a just a prick’ they said. ‘It will hardly hurt at all’ they said.

They lied.

It felt as if it had started as a prick and ended up as a hole punch. My ear was brutally hole-punched. THERE WERE ALIEN OBJECTS IN MY EARS!

I reacted very well.

According to those present (sister, niece, and bearer of torture device), I was rather pale. I felt ill. Faint. Everything grew distant. I told the lady who did the brutal deed that though I was sure she was nice, I didn’t like her very much at that moment.

I hung my head like an ashamed dog and tried not to think about ears. Or piercings. Or MY SKIN – MY OWN FLESH, THE FLESH THAT WAS MY OWN AND PURE AND WHOLE – BREACHED BY CALLOUS METAL.

The Beautician – a lovely lady who did a splendid job (though I wasn’t inclined to think so at the time) – brought me cold water, a cold pack for my neck and turned the air conditioning on. I didn’t faint, but by golly, I wasn’t at my finest.

So far there’s been no infection, I don’t feel so ill when I have clean (or worse – turn) the foreign objects in my ear lobes, and I will have the experience of Ear Piercing for any future writing projects.

Was it worth it, you ask?

It will be.

Life, Story Time

I’ve Returned. (Oh, And This Is How You Don’t Catch a Bus.)

fromcitadelGuess who has returned, life and sanity (possibly) intact? Yep! That would be me.

I’ve learned quite a bit – how to survive beneath a boiling sun (lots of water, suncream and shade hopping), catch a foreign bus and a host of other Very Important Things.

Oh, do you want to know how to catch a bus? Let me aid you in this by telling you what not to do.

How To Catch A Bus:

Don’t be polite and wait for the man to clamber down the steps and dismount from the front of the bus.
Don’t stare at the doors as they shut.
Don’t proceed to the middle doors and be extremely puzzled when these close too.
Don’t be astonished when the bus moves off, the last set of doors closing whilst it does so.
Don’t stare in bemused incredibility as you realise that there are people sitting in the bus and you aren’t one of them.
Do listen to the man speaking beside you. Do learn his language before you listen. He’s saying important things – [rough, paraphrased translation, minus hand waving] – “Get in the back of the bus, you dim-witted loon.”

readingI’ve walked castle walls, roasted my skin, climbed steps (steps are wonderful things in small, manageable doses. A thousand or so in one go is not a small, manageable dose), eaten strange food, made friends and swum in clear waters.

And now I’ve returned home. And home, my dear friends, is a beautiful, beautiful thing.

England may not always have the most blue skies, its weather may not often reach the thirties (for this I am fervently thankful), it may not have clear seas or terribly exotic fauna.

But it is green, I consider it pleasant and it is the land I call home.

Hello Again!