Near and Far

Near to where we live in Inverness is the Caledonian Canal – it’s about a five minute walk heading west from our front door. Alternatively, a ten minute walk heading east brings me to the River Ness. A pleasant half-hour walk heading north along the canal takes me to the Beauly Firth, while a half-hour walk heading south along either the canal or the river to the edge of town brings me to a narrow strip of land where I can easily see both the canal on one side of me and the river on the other. So luckily for me, in whichever direction I choose to walk when leaving our house, at least one body of water is never far away 🙂

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Near/ Far

The Attention-Seeking Invisible Woman

Clothes and me have bit of a weird, love/hate relationship.

What I wear each day matters a lot to me, but not at all in a dedicated-follower-of-fashion sense. I’m not now, and never have been, fashionable in my style of dress. But for some deep-seated psychological reason I always need my daily choice of clothes to suit my specific mood at that time or I find I just feel uncomfortably ‘wrong’ and out-of-sorts all day, even if I’m wearing an outfit that worked perfectly well the week before and will no doubt work perfectly well next week, too. When it comes to choosing clothes, I really do wear my heart on my sleeve every day.

Some days I’m in a no-nonsense Plain-Jane jeans-and-hoodie mood, but on other days I maybe want to wear a feminine floaty dress, or feel drawn to wearing cropped stretch leggings with an eye-catching tunic top or… well, whatever other creative style my mood dictates on the day. And I find it’s not just the style of clothes that matters, it’s the combination of colours, too. Some days I feel bright and beautiful and reasonably flamboyant with an artistic flair for adding multiple splashes of colour yet on other days I deliberately hide in comfort-blanket layers of dull, dowdy, unnoticeable obscurity. Most days, though, I probably balance tentatively on the brink of both, inhabiting fully neither one look nor the other, blending the two together in a unique way that’s just ‘me’.

I suppose subconsciously I’m dressing externally for how I want the world to react to me (and interact with me) internally on any given day – do I feel like appearing visible or invisible to others as I walk along the street, from seen to unseen on a continuum of clothing choice, and to what extent do I take that choice and run with it? Because sometimes on my most ‘invisible’ days when I’m being full-on Mrs A. N. Other frumpy middle-aged nobody I feel like screaming inside because no-one even notices me pass on by, not even giving a cursory glance in my direction. It’s as if I’ve taken the wallflower look one step too far and my blending into the background has rendered me completely invisible even to myself?

It feels quite a contradiction to be such an apparent attention-seeking invisible woman. I imagine on most days my sense of dress must give off quite confusing ‘look at me/ don’t look at me’ messages to passers by. Does anyone else have a similar relationship to ongoing clothes-wearing or is this just me flying my freak flag high?

Come on, do tell… I can’t be the only clothes weirdo out there, surely? 🙂

Fandango’s One Word Challenge: Combination

Weekly Smile: 13 September 2021

Things that have made me smile this week include:

Celebrating our wedding anniversary with a lovely home-cooked meal and a glass (or two) of fizz;

Enjoying our new Egyptian cotton bedding set and new duvet fill – Ooh, right now it feels like sleeping under a soft fluffy cloud, cosy and comfortable – sheer bliss;

Having our new washing machine and tumble drier delivered – yes I know it’s very housewifely of me to be so pleased about household gadgets but seriously, it makes life so much easier to have practical items in the home that work efficiently and effectively behind the scenes;

Finally feeling like I’m really settling in properly to my new job, one month in. There’s always something uncomfortably unsettling about feeling like the new girl, unsure of the specific processes and procedures of that particular environment, but inevitably it always takes a little time to become truly proficient in any new role 🙂

Weekly Smile

Share Your World: 13 September 2021

When it’s all said and done, will you have said more than you’ve done?

When it comes to doing stuff involving others I try really hard not to be someone who over-promises and under-delivers, who talks the talk but doesn’t walk the walk, all mouth and no trousers, all fur coat and no kickers, all hat and no cattle. So if I say I’ll do something, I do try to follow through and won’t ever promise something I have no intention of keeping to. But when it comes to making promises to myself I’m forever telling the whole world I’m going to lose weight, eat healthily and do more yoga and yet here I am, even more overweight, comfort-eating for Scotland, and even less supple than ever before… Sigh!

What does the world need less of?

Let’s just go with pride, greed, lust, envy, gluttony, wrath, and sloth…

Do you feel older or younger than your age?

Right now, older… For the longest time I felt younger than my age, but since hitting menopause a few years ago I’ve really started to feel my real age. And then since catching Covid in January, and still not quite being over it yet (Long Covid is so exhausting to deal with) I feel the whole experience has really aged me – I suppose because the combination of such prolonged deep-seated tiredness and shortness of breath and aching limbs and headaches leaves me feeling more than a bit down, and drained, and old before my time.

What is a cause you’ll always passionately support?

Feminism… We’ve come a long way – well, some of us have, although sadly some are steadily going backwards – but too many people only pay lip service to the idea of gender equality without it ever meaning anything. In my experience in far too many places it’s still a man’s world at source, where man is the entitled norm and woman the faithful side-kick, the after-thought, the spare rib to be indulged or controlled as necessary… It bothers me that so many (usually insecure) men complain of emasculation by women when all that is being asked is the removal of the invisible male privilege inherent in society. In my mind if anyone’s sense of self-importance is dependent only on the subtle (or not so subtle) subjugation of someone else then it’s no more than a puffed-up illusion in the first place. I understand that the wholesale removal of that beneficial-to-half-the-population illusion of gender superiority is perceived by many men to be a threat to their lived experience to date, but that perception doesn’t alter the reality of fact. Being born with a penis doesn’t make you a better person straight out of the womb than someone without, it’s just culture that creates that belief. And it’s clear that religion – including Christianity, look at Adam and Eve – definitely helps create and perpetuate that cultural belief in a male-dominated system. (A similar argument could probably be made for racism, of course, but being a white woman that’s not my personal experience – and yes, I’m very aware that’s my white privilege talking…)

What is your personal affirmation (if you have one)?

‘Something will turn up’… Whatever happens in life, whenever the chips are down I reassure myself that something will turn up to move things forward again, and so far I must be right because I’m still here…

Share Your World