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…

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Share Your World: 9th August 2021

Restrictions are being lifted all over the world. Do you feel it’s safe to go out and mingle in crowds in light of the pandemic?

Here in Scotland the last of the restrictions on social distancing and numbers meeting up together were only removed on Monday, although we are all still required legally to wear masks in indoor public places.

I must admit after all this time I’m finding it a bit odd to have strangers standing so close to me again while waiting in line at the supermarket, but so far that’s the only place I’ve been this week other than at home, in the garden, or out for a walk. And to be honest I’m not the world’s greatest mixer in large groups at the best of times, so I’m still remaining decidedly cautious about public social interactions with strangers.

Happy to be able to meet up more easily with family and friends though, that’s going to be nice… 🙂

What are some things that are OK to do occasionally, but definitely not OK to do every day?

Drink too much alcohol, eat too much fast food/ junk food/ cakes and sweets, stay in bed all day… Spoil-sport! 😦

Would you relocate for love (romantic or otherwise)?

Yes, already have done, both for romantic reasons and for family reasons ❤

Do you believe in any conspiracy theories (no judgement)?

Not really, although I suppose it depends on where you come from as to how realistic covert government intervention may be seen as a reason for certain individuals being suspicious about stuff they don’t like…

For example with some so-called ‘conspiracy theories’ currently circulating in the USA it’s seriously hard for all of us on the outside looking in not to be at least a little bit judgemental about what are clearly, to the rest of us, such decidedly dubious claims. I mean, off the top of my head, as far as I can see the Covid 19 pandemic is not a politically-biased hoax invented by the Democrats, none of the Covid 19 vaccinations implant any microchips under your skin or make you infertile, Trump definitely did not win the 2020 election, and the Capitol insurrection by revved-up Republican rioters on January 6th was a very real event, like it or not – across the world we watched it happen live on TV, moment by inglorious moment…

But on the other hand if you live in one of the old Eastern Bloc countries and you’ve spoken out about social injustice and you believe your government is out to get you, well… potentially that could be a different story altogether…

Gratitude: Please share something sweet

Jaffa donut to enjoy with my coffee… plain donut base with gooey orange jelly injected into the middle and coated in chocolate – yum! 😛

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Share Your World: 2nd August 2021

If you could be anywhere else right now, where would you be?

Sitting in the sun on my garden bench with a lovely cup of tea! 🙂

What wastes the most time in your day to day life?

Worry, guilt, fear… and then a little bit more worry just to make sure…

How would you describe your greatest enemy?

Excessive worry, guilt, and fear means my greatest enemy is usually myself…

If you were a bird, what kind of bird would you be?

A phoenix rising from the ashes…

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Share Your World: 12th July 2021

What would be much better if you could just change the colour of it?

An orange… that would mess things up a bit. It would still be called an orange but no longer be an orange-coloured fruit – so would that mean a change of name for the colour too?

Do you think cats have any regrets?

Nope, I imagine all nine of their lives are purrfect just as they are 🙂

Do you ever count your steps when you walk?

Not usually, unless a treasure map is involved and X marks the spot…

Is there a supreme power?

I think gravity is a pretty supreme power – well done holding on so tight to that one, Planet Earth! 🙂

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Share Your World: 3rd May 2021

Would you rather be a super nice person and be depressed all your life, or be happy and a total ass-hole?

Hmm…That’s a bit of a simplistic, stark, black and white, either-or choice for me – surely real life falls more on a complex continuum of grey? I’ve already been depressed all my life but am definitely not super nice, and I don’t necessarily see the connection between happiness and ass-holery… In my experience the biggest ass-holes tend to have the biggest inferiority complexes, so they’re definitely not happy, they’re miserable and compensate for that misery by belittling other people to feel better about themselves…

Have you ever made someone cry?

Going for a positive, happy answer for this one – I first got married at 18, and the day my mum and I brought my wedding dress and veil home from the dress shop I tried it all on to show my dad how I looked as a bride… He took one look at me and turned on his heels and left the room, to wipe away tears… It’s the first time I ever saw my dad cry ❤

Are you a dreamer or a go-getter?

Dreamer, definitely, and I wouldn’t ever have it any other way… Dream on, girl… If you can dream it, you can do it!

If you were in a band, what instrument would you play?

If I were in a band I wouldn’t play an instrument, I’d be one of the backing singers, dressed in black and playing my part, but safely standing in the background 🙂

Do you feel gratitude is necessary?

Yes, because feeling grateful for something means we are aware that we are not automatically entitled to health or happiness or whatever it is. Gratitude helps keep us considerate of others, and that’s got to be a good thing… ❤

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Share Your World: 15 March 2021

How well do you know your next door neighbours? Do you like them?

We’ve only lived here for 18 months, and for 12 months of that we have mostly been under Covid restrictions and so not allowed to visit other people’s houses. We have a corner property so we know the guy who lives next door in the adjoining garden, we know the family who live across the road in front of us, and we know the family who live across the road on the side of us – at least we know all of them well enough to have a decent conversation with at a safe distance outdoors, and that’s probably the best it can get for now. Maybe once Covid slings its hook we’ll get to know everyone a bit better…

Do you have a full length mirror?

Yes, we have two – one set in to the wardrobe in our bedroom, and one free-standing cheval mirror in the spare bedroom…

How long do you spend putting on make-up in the morning?

On a work day, maybe five to ten minutes max, but on a home day zero time at all – I’m not really a make-up kind of girl…

How many items of clothing are in your bedroom but not hung up?

Currently one full stack of clean neatly folded laundry (assorted items) sitting patiently on the bed from earlier today but not yet put away, and a pair of jeans, a cardigan, a hoodie and three random scarves that have all been worn already but can easily be worn again, all slung not-so-neatly folded on a bedroom chair… And some stuff in the laundry basket not yet washed – does that count?

Do you have a happy place?

Right now my happy place is pretty much anywhere I don’t have to wear a face mask… 🙂

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Share Your World: 15 Feb 2021

Do you feel you ask enough questions, or do you settle for what you know?

Ooh, I love learning new things, so am always going to be a questioning kind of girl. When I was studying for my degree as a mature student I was always asking questions for clarification, or to aid exploring new ideas, or going off at a tangent out of inquisitive curiosity! But I’m not into just asking random questions for the sake of it, I usually bide my time to wait for an explanation to be forthcoming before I ask, and listen carefully to whatever answer I get.

When did you fail to speak up when you feel you should have?

Hmmm… When it’s important or if I’m asked directly I’ll always try to speak up, but otherwise in general if it really doesn’t matter too much I’m possibly likely to not want to rock the boat so may just keep quiet. There are enough opinions out there in the world without me adding my tuppence worth!

When was the last time you felt lucky?

When I caught Covid at the beginning of the year but didn’t get it bad enough to have to go to hospital or worse. I’m still not fully recovered six weeks on but thankfully I’m getting there slowly but surely… Still resting lots though.

What is a boulder?

Not sand, not a pebble like these, not the size of a rock you’d have in a garden rockery, but far bigger than that – something big enough to drop impressively on Wile E Coyote while he’s trying to drop it on Roadrunner 🙂

What are you grateful for this week?

That my elderly parents and parents-in-law have all had their first Covid vaccine, and that my 30-something eldest daughter (who has type 1 diabetes) was also given her first dose yesterday! 🙂

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Share Your World: 28 December 2020

Pick three words to describe this past year…

Unsettled, uncertain, unknown

What were the best books you read this year? Or the best movie you saw?

Sadly books have been taking a backseat for me for a while, not just for 2020, but I’ve certainly watched a lot of TV movies over the past few months. Old movies, modern movies, old favourites, new favourites, family movies, chick-flicks, murder mysteries, thrillers, science fiction, superhero movies, coming-of-age movies… You name it, I’ve probably watched it at some point during 2020.

Because there was lots of time for looking inwards, what is one big personal lesson you learned this year?

This year I’ve learned that I’m a lot stronger emotionally than I think. In spite of this global pandemic in all honesty my overall mental health this year has been not much different than usual – in general being at home a lot is not a problem for me, not socialising a lot is not a problem for me, so in some ways this has actually all been relatively easy for me compared to some. It seems that being a depressive means I’m pretty much made for pandemics – insular, introverted, insignificant. Blending quietly into the background and sitting tight for the duration surprisingly suits my DNA.

Do you think Covid has strengthened or weakened societal bonds?

Strengthened, here in the UK anyway. On the whole we’ve followed more than fought what is asked of us restriction-wise, most of us have sacrificed and suffered and shared what we have and social distanced as best we can. There are always going to be doubters and nay-sayers amongst a population, but we haven’t quite had the extreme political bifurcation of believers vs deriders that seems to be so prevalent in the USA. Having said that, our infection rates and death rates are still sky-high, but we still keep on doing whatever we’re supposed to, trying to do our bit.

What is a New Year’s wish you would like to share with the world?

What I’d like for 2021 is for a new world order where humanity as a species remembers that the planet does not belong to us – we belong to the planet. We have to look after our environment, stop destroying the climate, the oceans, the atmosphere. We are not supreme beings, nature is still in charge. We destroy nature through our grasping greed, and ultimately we destroy ourselves. Learn the long-term lesson Covid is teaching us. Be grateful we still have time to repair what we have broken, before it’s too late.

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Share Your World: 14 December 2020

What news event do you vividly remember hearing about as a child, and where were you?

‘That’s one small step for man, one giant leap for mankind’

Neil Armstrong, July 1969

I was five and a half when man first walked on the moon, and I remember mum calling me through to the living room to watch the live footage on our standard black and white TV. The thing is, I had absolutely no idea of the enormity of what was going on, or that it was reality not just fantasy – it was just a grown-up TV programme that didn’t interest me at all. The picture was too fuzzy and I thought it was a really rubbish-looking spaceman, not nearly as good as some others I’d seen on TV. So I remember it most clearly from a perspective of childhood bewilderment – it’s only in retrospect I can truly appreciate exactly what I saw happening in front of my eyes 🙂

What is a Christmas song that makes you cringe?

When it comes to modern popular songs, all of them and none of them – at any other time of year they all sound naff, but there’s something about listening to them all at Chistmas time that makes them sound OK, giving me the warm and fuzzies. Traditionally, even though I’m not religious at all, I love hearing all the old Christmas carols and can happily sing along with the best of them – and yes, I can still remember the words 🙂

What is one place you shop(ped) prior to Covid that might have surprised people?

Um… not sure… can’t really think of anywhere… But as a non-religious person I really love spending time in old churches, which some people may find odd. I love the impressive architecture, and the hushed feeling of height and space and peace and calm. And I love the amazing accoustics when hearing all those old hymns sung a cappella – see above answer 🙂

What is your least favourite holiday side dish?

Brussels sprouts… Yuk! 😦

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Junk Food, Thank You Very Much

What would you enjoy if you could do so without someone getting annoyed with you for enjoying it? It MUST be something you aren’t supposed to enjoy because it is ‘bad for you’…

Junk food, I would be happy to openly enjoy junk food… McDonald’s, Burger King, KFC, Pizza, Chinese, Indian… you name it I LOVE it! Mmmm… I do know it’s bad for my health – full of fat, sugar, salt, a veritable heart-attack-on-a-plate (or perferably eaten out of its own throwaway wrappings, no plate required). So I only eat it occasionally, indulging almost furtively and shamefully because my husband with familial heart problems and a healthy diet does NOT approve, but I know it’s only cos he loves me ❤

Is it OK for men to wear the colour pink?

As long as it suits their skin/ hair colouring, I like men in pink as much as any other colour – for example my husband has a couple of lovely pink shirts 🙂

Can you curl your tongue?

Yes! Woo-hoo!

What, in your opinion, is the best room to put a fireplace?

Living room, but that’s probably cos I’ve always known fireplaces to be in living rooms…

How do you show your gratitude?

In person I smile, I say thanks, I give a hug, or a kiss – or I’ll write a thank you note if that’s more appropriate. And online I’ll ‘like’ something, or comment, or if I’ve bought something and had good service maybe even give a Google review 🙂

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