Life · Randomness

Scars

To me, scars are a sign of a life well lived. Much like tattoos they are a statement of who that person is and was. Some people shy away from scars and actively avoid others who have visible scars as if the visible proof that they have endured pain and suffering is too much to handle, although everyone has them, large or small. When I see someone with visible scars I want to know what happened for them to have them. I have scars, lots of scars from childhood accidents, and adventures, from life and from medical operations. I’m proud of all of them, even the one I have no idea how I got. 

When I was four years old, I walked towards a moving swing, and was thrown backwards, unconscious with a rip in my top lip, that bled profusely. The man who had been pushing the swing was devastated. He thought I’d been killed, and was screaming for help when someone rang for an ambulance. Luckily, I only incurred a split top lip and a concussion. I have a scar on my lip from the split.

The following year, I was sat on the kerb close to my home, with a group of older kids, when the spiked pedal of someone’s bicycle scraped across my lower back, ripping a 2 inch gash across my spine. Someone raced to get my Dad, who came out and carefully lifted me up, keeping me in the same position, and took me home. When the ambulance came out, the paramedics strapped me to a board in the same position, and took me to the hospital. Thankfully, no major damage was done and I was given 10 tiny stitches in the gash in my back, although I couldn’t walk for 3 weeks. To this day I have a small hole in my lower back between two vertebra and a pale white scar just above it.

A year after that I misjudged a jump over spiked iron railings whilst climbing a wall with my friends. I made it to the top of the wall, and was hanging on to the spikes as I slipped my legs over, but as I got ready to jump, I sat down, hard. I was far more concerned about the holes in my jeans, and the blood seeping into the fabric than about the four huge holes in the backs of my thighs. I had 24 stitches to repair the damage, and have scars the size of 10 cent coins.

I have scars on my legs from falling out of a tree when I was eight. Luckily my legs took the brunt of the sharp branches, and I landed in a heap, relatively unscathed, well, other than the huge rent of skin that was torn off the front of my right shin. 🙂 I have chicken pox scars from when I was nine, and caught it from a kid at school. Acne scars across my chest from a very unlucky few years, before my doctor prescribed a heavy duty antibiotic. Scars on my hands and arms from scalding oil, when my then boyfriend tried to teach me to fry eggs. To this day, I have no idea why I ever married that man.

I once punched the hell out of a tree in a rage, the tree hadn’t actually offended me, but I figured it was better than punching a person. The tree fought back, and I have a long white scar from the top of the first knuckle across the back of my left hand from where my hand split open. When I had my children, I had 22 internal stitches, and 4 external. Now they’re scars even I don’t want to see.! They felt painful enough. When I was sterilised in 1997, I had keyhole surgery, at the same time I had an operation on both feet to deal with ingrowing toenails. I ended up with 5 stitches in my navel, and 10 in both feet. Scars from both operations are still clearly visible. 

Over the years I’ve gained scars from working as a griddle chef, and as a barmaid. My hands are covered in scars from burns and  glass cuts. In 2012 I underwent an elective hysterectomy, and what was supposed to be a 6 inch cut turned into a ten inch cut. While it healed fairly well, I have a huge scar across my lower abdomen that’s knotty and pink in places. Rather that than the three tumours that were hidden away inside me.

In 2015 I shaved my head on a whim, and discovered a short, jagged scar across the top of my head. I have no memory of how it got there, and surprisingly neither do my parents.! They don’t recall an injury to my head, amongst all the other injuries I inflicted on myself. My eldest son thinks my mother must have dropped me on my head; it would certainly explain a lot… 😉 

 

 

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Adult & Freaky · Randomness

Crazy Dreams

A white horse stands in a stable stall, tethered by a rope around it’s neck, and a thinner rope tied around it’s left knee. The other end of the thinner rope is attached to a man of eastern European descent, sat sleeping on the hay covered stall floor, next to the horse. I untie the rope around the horse’s knee and then undo the rope tether, and stroking the horse, whispering quietly to him, gently guide him backwards out of the stall and away from the stable. I take him up a wooden ramp to a wide open space where there are lots of horses, and take him to a corner of the huge room, where he can sit and lie down, and eat and drink water, and socialise if he wants to, but I keep tight hold of the tether around his neck, as I don’t want him to escape. He seems to know this, and tries to nip my fingers, trying to make me drop the rope, but even though he bites me, I don’t let it go.

Later, walking in a city I don’t know the name of, I see the horse, which has turned into a white faced clown with bright red hair, dressed in a rainbow coloured outfit balanced on one hand on the handrail of a very, very tall bridge. I try to rush over to him, but my legs won’t move quick enough. He falls, with a big smile on his face. I climb over the rail and watch as he falls like a bullet, and then swoops along the water, and flies back up into the air. He does loops and swallow dives, and swoops like a crazy bird, and is having a great time. While I am now trapped on a tiny little rock buttress, surrounded by metal bars, that is the top of a column under which is a 4 lane motorway. I’m sat on the edge, with my arms clamped around the chest high bars. I’m frozen in terror, unable to move as I hate heights. My mouth is dry, my fingers are cramped and weak, and my arms ache.

Then a young woman with curly dark hair, and dark glasses, climbs up the metal steps on the side of the huge bridge, she has a black umbrella and is wearing an outfit usually worn in the 1880’s, complete with jaunty hat. She smiles at me, and continues climbing up the ladder, undoing a black gate at the top and moves safely onto the pavement of the bridge. She tells me that I need to get down off the edge of the buttress, and step across to the gate and safety, but I don’t want to move, as I’m petrified of falling. I don’t know if I managed to move, don’t know if I was able to step across the gap to the gate, and to safety, as I woke up shaking, my heart beating crazily, dry mouthed with a feeling of terror. 

This is not the first crazy dream I’ve ever had, but it’s the first I’ve had in a long time. I had one years and years ago, while under the influence of Temazepam, that involved me swimming in a public swimming pool, filled with naked dead men. I blame the drug for that one. I’ve had dreams where I’m being chased by someone I know, but I also know they’re going to hurt me if I stop, so I keep running, and others where I’m driving along a road or motorway, and just steer the car into on-coming traffic, or into a concrete column that’s supporting a bridge. My mind is a freaky little fount of very disturbing thoughts. 

What kind of dreams do you have.?

Life · Randomness

F**king Bureaucracy

On May 12th of this year, I began a journey. A journey that will hopefully conclude with a new UK passport. I call it a journey because I could have travelled around the world in the time it’s taken the UK Passport Office to pull it’s head out of it’s ass and be of some use to me. British Bureaucracy is unlike anything I have ever experienced before, and I used to live near a farm, I’ve seen plenty of horse shit.!

When I first set out on this journey, I needed to renew my old, now-expired UK passport, change my name and address details, and provide new photos as my old passport was 10 years old, and I look nothing like I did back then. I read all the way through the passport application information pack I had, which should have told me all I would need to know in applying for a new passport. That was the first ‘nope’. I thought going online to the official website, applying for a new passport, armed with my old one, photos, change of address etc. etc. was all that was needed. That was the second ‘nope’. I waited until the 23rd of May for a friend to get back from his holiday in France, so that he could confirm that the new photos I’d had taken were of me, sign and date them, and provide a copy of his own ID. Sorted, or so I thought.

I looked back through all the information that comes with the paper application form, and went through the lists of documentation needed, and checked all the right boxes that were relevant to someone who was renewing a passport, making changes to personal information and providing photos, and who now lived outside the UK. With all that within reach, I applied online, as I was supposed to, for a new UK passport, paying £121.- (€134.37, $160.35) for it. All went well until I got to the printouts. In applying online, the UK Passport Office send you an email with details of your application and payment, and a list of necessary documentation which you are supposed to print out and send with the documentation. I read the printout, only to see that I had to provide proof that my name was officially listed at my address, either through utility bills, tax letters, electoral letters or a letter from an official Dutch institution, and I had 6 weeks to provide it.! WTF.?!!

I don’t pay the bills, the big guy does. I don’t work, so I don’t pay taxes. I can’t vote in the national elections, only the local provincial elections, because I’m not Dutch, so my name’s not on the National Electoral Roll. I was completely buggered.! I am listed as living at this address, but not in an official capacity. So I emailed the UK Passport Office, to ask why that wasn’t part of the documentation requirements in their information pack.? Only to be told that all required documentation is listed in their information pack. Being the kind of person who takes even subtle hints of being called stupid badly, I went back through said information pack, and NOWHERE did it say I was required to prove my name was listed in official registers at my address. So I sent them copies of their required documentation lists, and a copy of the printout with the proof of name requirement listed on it.

I heard nothing back after a week. So I phoned them. When I finally got through, I explained that I had no idea I would have to prove my name because it wasn’t in the information pack, and I felt it very unfair to be charged for a passport when I did not have the right information to enable me to have the necessary documentation available. I was told point blank that most things can be sorted within six weeks, and there was no refund. Without a valid passport, I can’t identify myself in the Netherlands, because everything is linked to your passport. If I can’t identify myself, I’m in BIG trouble, so I have to have a passport either way.

Panicking, because not only was I going to be stuck in the Netherlands without a valid form of ID, I wouldn’t be able to see my children, who live in England, the big guy and I went to the local Town Hall for help on May 30th. We explained my predicament at length, and had to wait while the lady we’d spoken to had to explain it to her manager, who in turn had to make phone calls to some local government hierarchy, which on July 3rd, resulted in them saying they could ‘possibly’ help, and did I have a short list of documentation available.? And if so, was any of it apostilled.? Well, no, obviously nothing was apostilled, because I had never needed to go down that road before, neither had I had to prove who my parents were, so while the Town Hall lady was dealing with my predicament from her end, I had to get hold of a copy of my parents wedding certificate, (which took two weeks) and together with my birth certificate, decree absolute and change of name deed poll, send it all to Milton Keynes to get apostilled.

An apostille is an inkless stamp with the British Foreign And Commonwealth Office’s coat of arms on it, which confirms that all the documents provided are genuine and not fakes. Each document is stamped, and a certificate of authenticity attached to the back of the document, signed by the British Foreign and Commonwealth Officer. These things cost £30.- (€33.32, $39.76) each and you have to pay postage which amounted to £27.50.! £147.50 (€163.82, $195.50) in all… and also took two weeks. By this time the money I’d paid back in May when I first applied for a passport was lost. I was furious.!!

The Town Hall had to follow their bureaucratic procedures, and go to a lawyer to find out if it was possible to re-register me as officially living in the Netherlands. Thank God I had an English solicitor-signed deed poll, as it was the only thing that would allow that to happen. If I’d bought it in England, but had it confirmed in the Netherlands, I would have been screwed, but because we went back to England last October and got it signed by an officially registered solicitor, it was good to go. That took another month.

Once all the documents were back, checked and handed in, and copies had been made. I was told it would take about a week for them to get back to me, as to whether it was even possible to register me, and then they’d get on to actually registering me as officially living in the Netherlands, at the address I’ve been living at for the past 5 years. Yesterday, the big guy got the call saying that I could be registered officially, and that they were now starting the process of actually doing it.! This will take three weeks. At which time I will have the necessary documentation to apply again for a new UK passport.

What made me laugh, possibly a tad maniacally, was that on August 30th I received an email from the UK Passport Office confirming that the necessity for a British Citizen living outside the UK, to have official proof of their name and address was NOT part of the information pack they provide, but it would be when the new guidelines were produced as part of the EU exit. I still would not be granted a refund though. Bastards.! They also provided a list of the necessary documents I would need before making an online application for a new Overseas British Subject UK passport. *sigh*

What worries me now is that a new Passport is going to take 4-6 weeks, if everything goes as smoothly as it damn well wants to, after all the hassle I’ve been through, which brings me to late-October, when everything is going to cost a fortune to arrange, because only then can I start reserving hotels, ferry crossings, the bloody Dartford Crossing toll charge, which caught me unawares two years ago, which could prove far more costly than it would have been had I been able to do all that months ago, as I usually would have. I also need to make an appointment with my parents, and ensure they’re happy to wait around until we turn up. Yes, I did say make an appointment., My parents are very busy people, apparently, and don’t like unexpected visitors, even if it’s one of their kids. 🙂

All in, this new passport will have cost almost £412.- (€460.86, $541.71). Bureaucracy is apparently, a necessary evil, but why does it have to be such a major pain in the ass and cost a small fortune.?! Had I lived in England it would have cost only £75.50 (€83.80, $100.26).

UPDATE: After three weeks I received a registration certificate from the local town hall, which cost 16.50 (£14.75, $19.39), I had to download new Passport Application paperwork, because the paperwork I filled out in May was no longer valid, so would not be accepted. This also meant I had to get my counter-signatory to re-fill out all his details.  The day after we arranged a meeting, he was in an accident, and in recovery for two weeks. When we eventually met up, he re-filled out all his details and I applied for a new UK Passport that evening, armed with all the necessary documentation listed on the official UK Passport Office’s list. I paid and waited for the necessary download, that I had to print out, only to find the new paperwork was different from that which I had downloaded and printed in May, and I would need my counter-signatory to re-do his details AGAIN on the new paperwork.! Unbelievable.!!! 

 

 

 

Life · Randomness

Sport Physiotherapy

It looks like I’m going to be seeing the muscle-bound, uber fit dictator again. *sigh* The last time he got his hands on me, I was in agony and subjected to all kinds of weird and wonderful ‘treatments’. I’ve been suffering with my hips and back again for over a month, and finally decided to see the doctor about it, as I’m in pain before I even get up in the morning… she prodded and poked and pulled me into all sorts of strange positions and told me a physiotherapist would be my best bet. Oh gawd.! Really.? Hence the muscle-bound, uber fit dictator visits.

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I guess he’s not that bad… as far as Sports Physiotherapists go, he doesn’t look like Arnie, although all his muscles are defined and he’s pretty intimidating, and very strict. Last year he took the bursitis in my right shoulder to task, and had me swinging my arm, and pushing my shoulder into door frames and using resistance tape to strengthen the muscles. Which worked for all of five months, until my whole arm seized up for a week, and hasn’t been the same since. I’m not sure I want him messing with my hips. Although the thought of strengthening my core muscles sounds like it could be good, depending on whether I actually have any 😉 and how agonisingly painful it’s going to be to drag them out of bed amidst promises of coffee and cake, and strengthened and back in use again.

It will be nice to walk more than 300 metres without being in pain, and be able to walk up a flight of stairs without having to stop and wait out the back pain. Maybe I’ll dance again… hahahaha.! 😀 Maybe not.

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Life · Randomness

Disrespectful.?

My 25 year old nephew dumped his girlfriend of three years, two weeks ago, with whom he has a 21 month old daughter. Today his Facebook status says he’s in a relationship with someone new. Wow.! I find that not only offensive, but disrespectful. She’s been with him for three years, they’ve lived together for two, and he jumps into a new relationship barely two weeks after dumping her.?

When my husband and I split, after 18 years of marriage and two children, it took him six weeks to bed another woman. I didn’t care at the time, as for me the marriage had been over for years, and I was grateful just to be away from him. But when I think back, six weeks is nothing after 18 years of marriage. It made me realise just how little I must have meant to him for him to be sleeping with someone new so soon. Had I realised just how little he cared, I’d have left the bugger far sooner than I did, and not gone through all the hell I did.

When my eldest son and his girlfriend of 14 months split, he was devastated, while she started a new relationship 10 days later.

Do people not mourn lost relationships anymore.? I mourned for over six months before finally starting to feel more like myself again. I’ve mourned other broken relationships for ages, and yet find that others just swap one partner for another like they’re on a production line, with no thought of trying to re-ignite their previous relationship or get over the loss of their previous partner.

 

Adult & Freaky · Happiness · Randomness

International Beer Day

One of my favourite things in life is beer. In the past seven years I have come to learn about European beers, and the process that results in them. The different hops, herbs, spices and fruits that go into giving each a distinctive flavour, and I’ve also learnt to recognise a beer from it’s flavour. Of course there are thousands of different beers brewed in Europe, pilsners as well as craft beers, and some of you may know a lot more about them than me. I think craft beers are a thing of beauty and I thought I’d share a few of my favourites with you.

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Bosteels Brewery

Named after an 18th-century brewer, Pauwel Kwak is made by the Bosteels Brewery in Buggenhout, Belgium. It’s made with barley malts, mineral water, wheat, hops and white candy sugar. It’s 8.4% ABV, and is a deep amber colour. It tastes of warm caramel and liquorice, with a herby, bitter aftertaste. You might taste red fruits and yeast as well, and maybe a little sour banana. It very much depends on your taste perceptions, and flavour recognition abilities. I like this one for it’s warmth and depth of flavour. The colour is lovely, a deep transparent toffee apple amber that leaves very little residue on the bulb.

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The Half Moon Brewery

Brugse Zot translated means Brugge’s Fool, or Bruges’ Fool (depending on whether you’re English or not). Bruges Zot is made by the family owned The Half Moon brewery in Bruges, Belgium, and is one of only two beers brewed in Bruges, the other being Straffe Hendrik (below). My partner and I went to visit the brewery a few years ago when we spent a cultural weekend in Bruges. It was fascinating, and so interesting to see how and where the beer is made. Brugse Zot is made with four different varieties of malt, and two aromatic kinds of hop. It’s 6% ABV and tastes of citrus and herbs, it’s very refreshing on a hot day.

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Straffe Hendrik comes as a Tripel, which is light in colour and the much darker quadrupel. The Quadrupel is 11%ABV and has a full bodied taste of rich, ripe dark and red fruits. This is definitely a great Christmassy beer.

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Also brewed by Bosteels Brewery in Belgium, this tripel beer is made with barley, wheat and oats and a little Styrian hop, which is what gives it the creamy white head. It is brewed from a recipe that dates back to 1679. It’s an 8.4% ABV and tastes of spiced lemons and vanilla.

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Anders Brewery (in Dutch)

Brother Jacob comes in a number of varieties. My favourite is the Double Espresso, a strong coffee flavoured ale made by the Anders Brewery in Wezemaal, Belgium. It’s 7.7% ABV and made with Guatemalan coffee beans and cacao. It’s the only beer to be brewed with real coffee.

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Brasserie Caulier

This beer was brewed at the Abbey of Paix Dieu, and only brewed on a full moon. It is still only brewed when the moon is full, but now by Brasserie Caulier in Tournai, Belgium. Because it is only brewed once a month, each bottle has it’s own vintage. This beer is brewed using traditional artisan methods, thus is free from filtration and pasteurisation, giving it a spiced fruit and hops aroma and taste.

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Castle Brewery Van Honsebrouck

This has to be the very best cherry beer in the world. It’s made from Kasteel’s darker beer and cherry liquer. It’s rich and luxurious and a real treat. I used to drink Lindeman’s cherry kriek, which is basically alcoholic cherry juice, until I found this, and I’m never going back. It’s quite strong at 8% ABV, and the darker beer it’s based on comes through with slight peppery and chocolatey tones within the sweet fruity flavour. This is bliss in a glass.

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St. Remy Abbey, Rochefort (French)

This beer is to die for, but don’t because it’s made by monks. No really, it is. The Abbey at St. Remy, near Rochefort, France makes a 6 and an 8 beer, but the 10 is my favourite, and is considered the best beer in the world. It’s made from Pilsner and caramel malts, sugar syrups, styrian hops and coriander, giving it an intensely complex fruit, spice, caramel malty flavour that disguises the 11.3% ABV. This is a slowly drunk, comtemplative beer to be enjoyed and warmed slowly in the hands. It’s smooth and warming and like being wrapped in a fluffy comforter in front of a roaring log fire in mid winter. Perfection.

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Chimay Brewery

The very first beer I ever had in the Netherlands, and my all-time favourite dubbel beer. It too is made in a monastery, and is one of a series of Chimay beers. It is a Grande Reserve 9% ABV strong dark ale, and has a strong caramel flavour, enhanced with spices, and a malty finish. Considered one of the best dark ales, and a perfect accompaniment to beef, and cheese.

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Yes, I’m saving the best until last. The Barista chocolate quadrupel by Kasteel. OMG.! If you like chocolate and beer, it’s perfection in a bottle. The only chocolate beer worth considering. I love this 11% ABV beer. As with all Kasteel beers it’s made by Castle Brewery Van Honsebrouck, in Emelgem, West Flanders, Belgium. The Barista is made with three different roasted malts, four different hops, water, yeast, candy sugar, coffee and chocolate. It’s smooth, velvety soft, luxurious, but not too sweet. My all-time favourite chocolate beer.

Randomness

A True Gemini.?

This post has been inspired by a very funny lady, whose blog I’ve been following for some time. When I read this post Is My Star Sign A True Reflection Of Me of hers, I started to wonder if I was anything like the description given for my zodiac sign. Not that I take these things seriously, but I was curious to know how close it came, so I followed her link to The Psychic Guild.

Your element: Air
Your ruling planets: Mercury
Symbol: The Twins
Your stone: Aquamarine
Life Pursuit: To explore a little bit of everything.
Vibration: Intense mental energy
Gemini’s Secret Desire: To be ahead of the crowd
A good start. Air apparently means I’m an abstract thinker. Mercury means I am good at expression and communication. I do have a lot of mental energy, I am very curious and like to know about things that aren’t of general interest, making me a fount of completely useless knowledge. 
In ancient Greek mythology, Gemini’s ruler – Mercury, was the light-footed messenger of the gods who darted back and forth across the heavens delivering news – which might explain why those born under the sign of the ‘Twins’ are always on the move; thirsty for knowledge and new experiences. Terminally curious and sometimes even mischievous, Geminis are multi-faceted souls who enjoy knowing a little bit of everything but generally not too much about one particular subject. It’s just that variety is the spice of their lives! And no one is better at multi-tasking than the quixotic Gemini.
This speaks volumes. ‘Always on the move’, I’ve moved 20 times in my lifetime. ‘Thirsty for knowledge and new experiences’, ‘terminally curious’, ‘mischievous’, ‘variety is the spice of life’. I see a lot of myself in those words. Oh dear… this means I’m not unique. 
Geminis have also gained the reputation of being the incessant talkers of the zodiac. Those Twins that don’t have the ‘gift of the gab’ are usually talented writers or have a special interest in foreign languages. In love, they look for a partner who can keep up with them mentally and physically! And, to quote Oscar Wilde, “there’s one thing worse than people talking about you, that’s people not talking about you.” Whether Geminis like it or not, people are usually “talking about them”. Together with Scorpio and Virgos, they are a sign that is often discussed, dissected and sometimes even put down by the other signs of the zodiac. Sometimes this is a subtle form of jealousy by others, because Geminis do lead very unique and unusual lives. The Gemini personality can appear mysterious or detached to others and therefore they are often misunderstood and unappreciated for the talents they offer to the world at large. 
I wouldn’t call myself an incessant talker, but I do have a gift for entertaining and making people laugh, and helping them feel better about themselves. I do love to write, and I do have a love of foreign languages. Weird huh.? My partner keeps up with me mentally… one out of two isn’t bad. 😉 I do like to keep people guessing. There’s nothing more satisfying than watching people who think they know me realise they don’t have the first clue, the more I shock them, the more my name will be on their lips, and I do love to shock.! 
Another reason Geminis evoke so much interest is many born under this sign are multi-dimensionally talented. In money matters, some Geminis are very adept and quick at making it… and spending it too. Many Geminis are involved in international financial wheeling and dealing. They love the adventure and game playing involved in out-thinking other people. Gemini’s can be very haphazard about their financial affairs too, with many of them ending up in divorce courts mainly because their partners have become tired of living on the edge of a financial precipice.
Hmm.! I’m actually pretty good with money, and I spend it only on what is necessary. I don’t spend it as soon as I have it, and I can stick to a budget, and save money. ‘They love the adventure and game playing involved in out-thinking other people’… Oh yes.! 😀 Definitely. It helps having all that mental energy. 
So that’s me. Weirdly accurate in some aspects, a little off in others. Now I wonder if other Gemini’s can relate to this description, and how accurate it is for them. I’m very interested in knowing how other people relate to the descriptions of their zodiac signs.
What sign are you.?
Happiness · Life

Life’s Light

Seven years ago today, I met a man on Facebook who I thought had a great sense of humour. Little did I know he was about to change my life.

I was in a very dark place at the time, and he became my light. My faith in humanity was almost gone, and he gave me something to believe in, and when I couldn’t face the nightmare I felt my life had become, he gave me strength and offered me everything he had. Despite having no job, no home and no car of his own, he drove nearly 600km to save me, and bring me home.

In the past seven years he has come to mean everything to me. He gives far more than he takes, and has ensured that I never feel the desolation and despair that I did before meeting him. He truly is the most amazing person I’ve ever known.

Life · Randomness

Ancient Half-Wit

Why do kids always think we adults need to have jokes explained to us, or feel a need to check Google before believing a thing we tell them.? We’ve been around since before dinosaurs roamed the earth, as far as they’re concerned, but apparently in all that time… we’ve learned NOTHING.! Adults are ancient half-wits with no sense of humour. We’re their dumb relatives.

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My 11-year-old unofficial step-son (his Dad and I are not married) tells me the current thunderstorm raging outside is like McDonald’s, because he’s ‘lovin’ it’, then he sings the jingle, and says to me ‘get it.?’ *sarcastically* No, I don’t get it. I’m 44 years old, I’ve been in more McDonald’s’ than he’s had hot dinners, I have to listen to that increasingly more infuriating jingle every damn time there’s an advert on TV, and to the stupid catch phrase. So why, having suffered through all of that, would I not get a lame joke.?

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Sometimes I wonder if it’s because I’m female, English or he really thinks I’m as dumb as a post. He tells me about the latest new song he likes, Jonas Blue’s pop version of ‘Fast Car’, and looks at me like I’ve lost my mind when I tell him it’s an old song, and Tracy Chapman did it first (and better). So then he checks it on Google, to make sure I’m telling him the truth. As if I’d bother winding him up about a song, when there’s so much more I can wind him up about. He likes to explain games like Sonic the Hedgehog and Donkey Kong to me, despite knowing I have two sons who used to play (and explain to me) the exact same games when they were younger. I once explained to him that I was playing both games when I was 18, on a Sega Mega Drive. He had to look up what a Sega Mega Drive was, then turned to me and said “Wow.! You’re really old.!”

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Life · Randomness

Anxiety

Two days ago, I walked into town on my own to go to the hair salon. It’s taken me these past two days to get over it.

My partner’s children are staying with us for two weeks, over the summer holidays and for the first time in seven years are not up at the crack of dawn playing on their handheld game consoles. So when I asked my partner if he minded me getting my hair done, he said of course he didn’t, and I could go there by myself, couldn’t I, as it was an early appointment, and the kids would likely not be up yet.?

Of course I could, couldn’t I.? I spent the rest of the day before the appointment worrying about it. It’s not like I haven’t walked into town before on my own, I have, but always to meet him, knowing he’ll either be waiting for me, or will be there within 5 minutes of me getting to our arranged meeting place. This time I was going somewhere alone, and he wouldn’t be waiting for me, or be arriving there soon afterwards. I would be on my own. I got very anxious about it. I don’t like being around a lot of people, I feel suffocated, and struggle to breathe, I get claustrophobic and jittery, and feel trapped. I don’t like the feeling of being alone around people I don’t know, and while I know the stylist at the salon, she is still an unpredictable presence, and that worries me.

I barely slept the night before, worrying about having to be alone, and was up just after 6.30 a.m. three hours before I had to be there. I know the route, I know the neighbourhood, but it didn’t stop me feeling anxious. Leaving home to go into town was difficult, because I was alone, and walking down towards the town centre, I made sure I knew where the people around me were, and made sure to keep distance between them and me. Not that I think they’ll do anything, I just didn’t like their proximity.

I got to the salon, and waited a few minutes for her to finish with a previous client, and then sat and had my hair washed, and styled. Everything was fine. She was chatty, and funny, and as friendly as she always was, she made coffee, and I felt safe and happy there. I walked back home, perfectly fine, and feeling a little better about having gone out alone, but was mentally exhausted. I couldn’t function properly because I could think of nothing but being alone in town, and I got very upset about it. It’s taken me two days of being around the house, of doing normal everyday things with my partner, and the children, and trying not to think about it, to get past it.