Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Instructions

Ruth’s never-fail instructions for being verbally tactless, particulary useful in all potentially embarrassing public situations where nervousness ensures the ability to say the wrong thing out loud for everyone to hear is voiced only too naturally…

Step 1: Open mouth

Step 2: Insert foot.

The end… 🙂

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Instructions


Something to Chew Over…

Actions to do with eating and digesting seem to occur quite often as metaphors in the English language. We swallow down our disappointments, get our teeth into difficult tasks, find we can’t stomach distasteful things, are sick of other things, digest information and are accused of having verbal diarrhoea if we talk too much. Something to chew over on a Saturday morning… 🙂

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Chew/ Choo

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: For/ Fore/ Four

For the longest time I’ve wanted to be able to take particular pictures of specific people, not just general photographs that happen to have people in them. It’s just something I tend to feel really uncomfortable about, the whole idea of taking pictures of members of the public, and it’s a topic I’ve posted about before, here and here

Today I was walking past a row of Victorian terraced houses not far from home and saw a workman inside tidying up around the edges of an empty window frame in a front bay window. I had my camera in my hand so was brave enough to take a shot, and then another…

And then he saw me, so I smiled at him and asked him to give me a smile for the camera, which he did… ta-da!

So this is my second deliberate environmental portrait of someone at work – the first was this young lad cooking paella at Borough Market a few weeks ago…

Although I did once accidentally manage to catch someone in their everyday work environment smiling for my camera – he just happened to look up and smile and wave as I clicked to take the shot of the whole scene, so that doesn’t really count as a proactive one-to-one encounter for me, as I didn’t actually have to interact with him to capture the shot. Here’s the aforementioned wave from a friendly shoe repair guy anyway…

OK, so maybe I’ll be nice to myself and allow it to count as three in total, as I did actually take the shot instead of mumbling an apology of sorts and running away in embarrasment… now to work up to finding a suitable subject for environmental portrait number four! 🙂

Stream of consciousness Saturday

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Rhymes with Rosy

I was born along the North East coast of Scotland, in a world where the Doric dialect was spoken. My mum went to a posh school in Aberdeen so always spoke ‘proper’ English, but my dad went to an ordinary secondary school and spoke mainly Doric – in fact, at 83, he still speaks Doric with family and fellow Aberdonians, but has since tempered his everyday accent to be better understood in the Inverness area he has lived in for the last 50 years or so.

Anyway, the point of the little family history lesson is that I mainly associate hearing an abundance of beautifully descriptive Doric with my early childhood memories, and oh, the wonderful words I miss these days! Because as well as the accent affecting how many easily distinguishable English words are spoken, at times Doric seems to have a completely different vocabulary all of its own. For example, I remember very rounded old ladies always wanting to give you a ‘bosie’ – the kind of cuddle that hugs you tight to their bosom (which presumably is where the word originated).

Other great Doric words I remember from childhood include ‘oxters’ for armpits, and all the Doric men I knew would be wearing a ‘sark’ and a ‘semmit’ – a shirt and a vest – and of course their work trousers would all be held up with ‘galluses’ – braces (suspenders). To be ‘drookit’ is to be soaked through and ‘clarty’ is dirty (I was a real tomboy, and if there was water or mud nearby I’d inevitably fall in, so remember hearing those particular words with regularity).

To ‘birl’ (rhymes with girl) is to spin around really fast (usually until you get dizzy) and to ‘dirl’ is to vibrate – like when you get a ‘skelp’ across the ‘lug’ (a smack on the ear) it gives you a ‘right dirl’. Not to be confused with the love-it-or-hate-it ‘skirl’ of the bagpipes though! If you’re ‘scunnered’ you’re fed up, and if you ‘canna thole’ something you can’t tolerate it, and to be ‘fair tricket’ is to be delighted. Hmmm… Probably best to stop there before I get myself into a right ‘bourach’ (or mess!).

So there we are, that was my random, rambling Stream of Consciousness Saturday post brought to you today by ‘bosie’, my slightly off-the-wall word that rhymes beautifully with rosy 🙂

Circles and Squares and Good Timing!

Luckily, I’d just finished colouring in a circular ocean design on a square page when Nancy thoughtfully posted her Photo A Week Challenge with the topic of Circles and Squares – woo-hoo, immediately sorted for that one! And amazingly, just as I was busily preparing my post Linda helpfully posted her Friday Prompt for our Stream of Consciousness Saturday post on the topic of adverbs – so I quickly decided I could easily adapt my post to sneakily accommodate a few adverbs within the body of my text, and hey presto, here we are! Impressively for me, I’m even posting early – but I guess surely it’s already got to be Saturday somewhere in the world? 🙂

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Strain

As well as my undergraduate degree (BA Hons in Psychosocial Studies – a deliberately cross-disciplined blend of psycholgy and sociology) I have also achieved a post-graduate certificate in Applied Positive Psychology. It was actually supposed to be a Masters Degree, but for varying reasons at that time I found studying a real strain so decided to knock it on the head only a third of the way through. The parts of the course I had already passed gave me enough credits to be to be awarded the PG Cert, so here we are.

The thing is, I was both working full time and studying part time (working Monday to Friday with weekend lectures), and after my 92-year-old grandmother died followed a couple of months later by my best friend’s husband (early 50s, cancer), my head was so full of new and unresolved stuff I just couldn’t concentrate properly, so initially took a break for a semester, and simply never went back to my studies. To be honest, I think had the course truly fulfilled the need I had for finding answers in my own life, I would probably have found a way to keep going, but as it was, I gave up.

In diametrical opposition to the intention of me studying Applied Positive Psychology, the whole experience left me feeling completely out of step with most of my classmates. Where they readily embraced many of the ideas fully and with a genuine enthusiasm, I felt resistant to many of the assumptions that were made as they simply didn’t resonate with my own life experience. I felt like the Eeyore of the group, an unintentional grey misery of negativity. The realities of my own disfunctions become glaringly obvious to me and I could see I was becoming depressed again, so withdrawing from the course seemed the best option for me at that time.

And I have no regrets – neither in relation to beginning the course nor ending it when I did. It did for me what I needed it to do, but not quite in the way I’d intended. I learned that I still had a long way to go to heal the psychological hurts of the past, and that Applied Positive Psychology was not going to be the way forward for me in this aim after all. But I still keep on looking for answers, and keep on keeping on – and I’m still here, plugging away at life, so I must be doing something right, mustn’t I? 🙂

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Strain

Stream of Consciousness Saturday: Orient Express

I used to have this particular poster up on my wall – oh, it all seemed so glamourous to me, the luxury of travelling across Europe on the Orient Express. How I loved the whole idea, dressing up for a posh dinner and eating in the extravagantly decorated restaurant car and sleeping soundly in a traditional wagon-lit cabin on the train and silently crossing borders in the night – going to sleep in one country and waking up comfortably in another, how romantic it all seemed!

I understand some of the original Orient Express carriages have now been renovated to give modern-day passengers a real taste of luxury 1920s travel, although without the romance of a steam engine – but at a shuddering £3500 for a single ticket from Venice to London I don’t see me booking a trip for myself anytime soon. Especially with still only one toilet to share with everyone else in the carriage, a small private sink to wash in and no showers available at all – it may well have been the height of luxury in the 1920s but doesn’t necessarily translate too well to our daily hygiene needs in the 21st Century.

Instead I make do with regular trips up and down the country on the Caledonian Sleeper, travelling between London and Inverness – I do the eating (courtesy of the buffet car) and sleeping (in a tiny bunk-bed cabin) on the train, crossing the border between England and Scotland silently in the night. Nothing romantic or extravagant about the purely functional 1970s rolling stock here – similarities to the Orient Express include one toilet shared with everyone else in the carriage, practical hand sinks in each room and no showers. However the Caledonian Sleeper service is due for a long-awaited upgrade this summer, but for now the old trains remain in use.

I’m not complaining about travelling on the Caledonian Sleeper though – it really is quite fun sleeping on the train, it reminds me a bit of camping, or caravaning, or youth hostelling. And anyway who needs a fancy posh restaurant and fancy formal clothes on a train – to be honest eating a tasty sandwich in my comfortable jeans and sweatshirt then snuggling down for the night under a warm duvet on my narrow bunk bed does me just fine 🙂

My cosy little bunk bed in my tiny little cabin on the Caledonian Sleeper

Stream of Consciousness Saturday