A Public Menace

So this morning, when the inspiration for this post hit, I had 100s of ideas. In fact the post pretty much route itself as I was (trying) to do lengths at my public swimming pool. But since then the words are fading, I got distracted by lunch! But I can still see her, still see the image of her stupid floppy arms and annoying grey hair… and it still gets me really really angry.

I am a keen swimmer. Have been ever since I was a kid. In fact when I was at Primary School, final year, I announced to my parents I wanted to become an Olympic swimmer. The problem was my epiphany came far too late and I was beyond gutted when my parents pointed out that to become and Olympic swimmer I should have already been in training for years.

So I contented myself with winning races at my local swim team, and accepted the swimming would always be a hobby.

However over the years, I have found I can’t go for a swim without coming out of the pool a little bit, let’s say less happy than when I entered the water. You see there is one thing that really gets my goat when I go swimming and that is the complete lack of consideration some people in our society have when in a swimming pool.

Lets say, hyperthetically (of course ;0) that a young (ish) woman goes for her morning swim before work. She has goggles on (indicating this is a proper swim) and on entering the pool laps 4 people while doing her warm up.

Now to me this would indicate, “hey, this person is here for a serious swim. I will keep out their way” but not to the dear old lady who was.. doing an impression of a drowning butterfly..slowly… a very slow moving drowning butterfly… up and down the pool. She was in her own little world and regardless of the stroke I was swimming (yep, even with my head down going full tilt at front crawl) she did not get out of the way.

Now I know that some people will argue that she was there first. Good point, well made. But the pool was rammed and there was no where else to go.

The bit that annoys me, is that with a tiny bit of consideration the situation could have been quickly resolved. You see there wasn’t just one old lady splashing about in her own little world, there were 6 of them. All spread across the pool, and somehow they managed to form a sort of diagonal line running the entire length of the pool which prevent anyone from maneuvering round them.

All they had to do was double up in space, crowd together a bit and then stagger their takes off (so one starts when the other is a third of the way down the pool) and there would have been a enough room for everyone. But no, there was no thought at all.

The other thing that gets me is if it was a load of kids splashing about, getting in an older swimmers way they would have parents appologising, moving them along, telling them to watch out. It all shouts double standards to me.

This has been my bug bare for over 20 years. (Wow, now I feel old!) Ever since I was able to swim properly, people fannying about in Public swimming pools has annoyed me.

But I have a secret weapon. You see the stroke I used to race was butterfly, a couple of lengths of that and usually get you a little bit of space, and when my sister and I used to race each other to try and clear some space… well let’s just say it used to clear a good half a pool!

I know we all have to share. I know we are all making the best out of the situation. But is it really too much to ask that we all, regardless of our age, have a little consideration and thought for those around us?

This is not good enough!

The general election hits the UK in May, and for the first time I am really very worried about the out-come. In all previous elections I have voted Lib Dems, I thought they were the best option for the ‘every man’. They weren’t out to look after their rich buddies or take us into an illegal war…. I was excited to see them take a place in the coalition; I thought this would be their chance to show their skills and that after a successful 4 years the country would see them walk the elections in 2015 – wow I couldn’t have been more wrong!!

So for the first time since I started to vote I don’t know who I will vote for. I may vote for one of the smaller parties, I may spoil my vote as I did in the last elections. I am still undecided however one thing I know for certain is I will vote.

I will put my pen to paper and make my voice heard. If we are not careful apathy will be the winner in the next election, the ruling party will not be there because they deserve to be, but because no one could be bothered to turn out and tell them that they shouldn’t be there.

To be completely honest MPs are taking the piss, I am aware I am generalising but.. well just look at the below.

 

not good enough

 

This is not acceptable.

Making a speech in the house of commons on animal welfare and looking to see how many times a  joke ‘joke words’ or friends names can be slipped into that speech is not acceptable. (true story!)

Our MPs seem to be on a cushy little number and I for one have had enough. So I will be taking to the polls and casting my vote and I beg and of you who can to make a stand and have your voice heard. If you don’t vote they assume you don’t care, if you vote for a smaller party or spoil your vote then I hope they will finally learn that you do care and they need to do a hell of a lot better!

If you would like to register to vote please visit

I understand… (warning this contains bad language!)

I tell you what if he claims to ‘understand’ one more time I swear to God I’m going to hit him. He doesn’t understand, he has no f*cking idea. Every time I have been upset, or dared to be ‘arsey’ with him he has threatened with taking BD from me, so he has had a low stress, very civil break up while I have had my heart ripped out my chest and am still reeling  from the blow.

He lied.

He never existed.

It was bollocks.

He promised he wouldn’t date anyone after me; “If I can’t make it work with you, I am better off alone” and although I didn’t want him to be alone I wanted him to wait more than 3 f*cking months before moving someone else into my bed. (ok, I don’t know the exact time scale but in theory it could have been that close he won’t tell me exactly how long which suggests this wasn’t last week)

When I found out he had moved on I felt like the world should stop spinning. I didn’t know what to do or where to go. I threw some clothes into a bag and just walked out my front door. I had to get away. I cried uncontrollably for 2 days. I couldn’t sleep; I didn’t want to eat. I just felt numb. The last few months he had been so chatty, turning up at my house, hanging around at his to see me when there was no need – I couldn’t help buy hope…

All that time he was with her.

He called me ‘dear’ or ‘love’ (I can’t remember which but had asked him not to refer to me as either) in a phone call after BD had been attacked – while he was with her!!!! F*cker

He doesn’t have a f*cking clue. I still miss him. I still love him. I don’t want to, I know he doesn’t deserve it and I know I deserve so much better yet every evening for over a year I have wanted him to turn up on my doorstep, to beg me to take him back. Every time my phone goes, I long for it to be a message from him.

I don’t want to feel like this. I am still in counselling to try and stop me feeling like this… yet I still want him back.

So today I realised I have to find a way to cut him out of my life, but still (if at all possible) still hang on to BD, so I suggested a simple routine:

  • He feeds BD on a morning unless he is unable to in which case he tells me the night before.

Now to me that seems pretty simple. However, suddenly he is arguing that he still needs to contact me once a week to discuss the ‘evening routine’. The evening routine has been the same since we split up, but suddenly now he needs to discuss this with me on a weekly basis. WTF?

I pointed out to him I was trying to come up with a way that I didn’t have to talk to him on a weekly basis and he said he “understood” but that he feels he needs to text me at least once a week to discuss the evening plan….

F*cker

They voted no

I can’t help but feel that a ‘no’ vote is a bit of an anti climax. I know deep down it’s for the best but it would have been brilliant to find out what would have happened, how things would have changed had they voted yes. I will admit a little part of me was excited to see what our new flag would look like, and what would we be called. A brilliant joke I heard doing the rounds would be that the United Kingdom would have to be known as the Former United Kingdom or FUK!

Following on from yesterdays post when I was feeling all empowered and certain that if we all stuck together we could make a change. This morning, I feel slightly disappointed. There was so much buzz about what would happen, and now I worry that nothing is going to change.

Scotland walking away would have certainly forced the politicians to sit up and take note.

I worry now that the powers in West Minister will congratulate themselves on a job well done and then slowly forget the promises they have made. That nothing will change. I can’t help but feel at the moment the UK is on a bit of a downwards spiral…..

 

Scottish Independence #VoteYes #VoteNo?

I can’t help but watch the unfolding story of Scotland as ‘they’ vote for their independence….or not. I don’t know which way the vote will go. I think it’s too close to call. Part of me hopes they will vote ‘Yes’ but that’s mainly because I would love to see what would happen if the ‘Yes’ vote  won. What would it mean for Scotland, what would it mean for the rest of us?

I have followed the twitter feeds as people voice the reason as to why they are voting yes. As one tweeter pointed out there appears to be no corresponding #nobecause stream trending, however part of me wonders if that is because of the scare tactics that people are talking about with people too afraid to admit that they may be voting no?

But I’m not here to focus on that. I am a firm believer of if you hear two sides of a story if you look somewhere down the middle you are likely to get the true-est version of events. I don’t think either side can claim to be ‘whiter than white’.

Reading the twitter streams it was filled with people who are voting ‘yes’ because they are pissed off with our rubbish government and the politicians who govern. I can’t say I blame them. The last time I voted I will admit to ‘ruining my vote’ as not one of the names on that piece of paper was worthy of my vote and I told them that; wrote it across my ballot sheet in black pen. I don’t know if the message will have reached those in power (I sincerely doubt it) but I felt proud. I had exercised my right to vote but had indicated my displeasure at the ‘parties’ on offer.

How many people know that you can spoil a vote?

Russell Brand was very vocal about encouraging people not to turn out to vote at the last election; to show your displeasure. However, I think a low turn up can be mistaken for people just not caring, I think you are much better to turn up and spoil your vote, tell them they aren’t good enough. Could you imagine turning on the news to hear that 100% of voters had turned out yet 90% had spoilt their vote as they felt the political parties weren’t good enough? I bet it would hit home a lot more than “this year only 20% of the population turned up to vote”.

Reading through the reasons to vote Yes I couldn’t help but sit there thinking “but that’s how we all feel” or at least that’s how I feel. Peoples need for a food bank – appalling; the growing privatisation of the NHS – shocking; our education system – failing; Nick Cleggs broken promises, over paid politicians, illegal wars, the expenses scandal, lack sentences for criminals……

But I couldn’t help but feel the way to fight this is together, not apart.

Do people of Scotland really believe that their politicians will be any better behaved than the ones currently in the Houses of Parliament? Do they not think that promises will be broken? Bad decisions made? Surely the way to do this is to stand up together, as a nation and force our politicians to do more; to be better.

Before looking at the reasons people voted, I was hoping that Scotland voted Yes. I wanted to see the fall out, watch the fireworks, I was a once in a life time event and I was wanted to be around to witness it, have a story to tell my grandkids. Hell, I’d even figured it all out – Northern Ireland wants to be British, Scotland doesn’t so let’s just do a bit of a swop. Northern Ireland gets Scotland, Scotland gets Northern Ireland Bobs your Uncle and everyone is happy.

I will even admit to agreeing with a tweet saying that if Scotland votes no the rest of the UK should then be given a vote to see if we want them back.

But now I am keeping everything crossed for a no vote. Because I can’t help but feel united we stand, divided….. well you know the rest!

I don’t want to sounds ungrateful but…..

The next few days are going to be a little manic. Good manic but manic. I have a spa day booked with a friend that has been in the diary for well over 6 months and I am really looking forward to it. The only problem is that when the spa day was being planned I did not know that it would fall on the weekend after I had taken out my kitchen, the weekend before I have a family member coming to stay for a few days and that when the day finally arrived I would still be in the middle of DIY.

The original plan was a nice relaxing day at the Spa, followed by an overnight stop with my friend for a catch up (and a glass of wine or 3) and then a lazy morning before heading home. However as details started to come together I realised we need to be at the Spa at 9am in the morning, and stopping the night before is not an option. So to make sure I am at the Spa on time I am looking at a 6am start, on my day off and have I mentioned I am not a morning person?!  Want me to stay up until 6am no problem, ask me to set my alarm for that time and I feel dread in the pit of my stomach.

So the new plan was set an alarm for 6, snooze it a few times leave the house stressed at 6.30am sit in traffic for a few hours. I haven’t yet told you but the journey to the Spa is going to take me through a couple of big cities….. (at rush hour!) Google says the journey should take 1hr 30 mins. I am going to give myself at least 2 hours and part of me thinks I should probably give myself even longer!! Not ideal, but it’s fine, it will be worth it.

Saturday, I am now having my sisters boyfriends dad coming to help me fit the work surface (I feel I have already told you this!) and the original plan was they would rock up about 11am and meet my dad. This would give me time to have a relaxed morning with my friend and get back to mine about an hour or so after they started work. However I have just received a text and in a change of plans everyone is now meeting at mine at 9am. Everyone but me that is.

I don’t want to have to set an alarm on Saturday. I don’t want to have to rush of from my friends house. But this new 9am start time has me worried that I’m going to walk back into a finished kitchen and I can’t even begin to tell you how much that is going to piss me off.

I know everyone wants to help. I know I need to get the DIY finished but I feel I am so close to having it done myself. Plus my sisters boyfriends mum is coming up as well and so I had already accepted that she was going to spend half the day doing final bits of painting that I would really like to do but need to relinquish control of because they are coming up to help.

I know I am being ungrateful. I know that I was bitching last night about wanting my house finished. But I really wish the plans hadn’t been changed without even asking me.

Now I feel I either rush of from my friends or miss out on key stages of my house. Normally rushing off from a friend wouldn’t be a huge deal but the people I don’t see very often and its not the most simple of relationships. You see it’s the brother and sister in law of my ex. I get on so well with them I would have hated to lose them as well as my relationship (between you and me I had started to consider them as family). Although not voicing it I know that my parents aren’t fully supportive of this friendship (which is a shame). I can’t help but suspect that part of the reason they want me to rush back is due to this.

I don’t want to be ungrateful, but why did they have to change the plan. I know feel that instead of relaxing, packing and shaving various areas that need shaving when you are getting up close and personal with a masseuse that I have to paint all the part of the house and do all the odd jobs that I don’t want anyone else to do.

So much for my early night!!!

Some bugger has sold on my information and I am not happy.

I’ve just been called by an idiot wanting to ‘discuss the most cost effective energy tariff for me’. It was not a long conversation as after the chaos I have gone through trying to switch from EDF (who are crap) to British Gas (who currently I would only rate marginally better) I told him where he could stick his call.

However as I hit the ‘end call’ button my mind started to whirl as the gentleman hadn’t asked to speak to ‘me me’ he had asked to speak to ‘blog me’.

To being with I was more aware of getting him off the phone as I was at work and hate taking calls while sat in the office – I think it harks back to the bullying when my every move was listened to and analysed. But now I have hung up I want to know where he got my details from. I protect my personal details so carefully, it’s one of the reasons I have a ‘blog me’ and I have begun to use ‘blog me’ when I enter competitions.

But now a company has sold on my details and this does not make for a happy Lauranne. This company has obtained my ‘blog name’, house address and mobile telephone number (something which I very rarely give out). I feel I should be able to do something. I have an urge to write a letter of complaint to someone, but I don’t know who has been so careless with my information.

Passing on my details is not ok. Passing on anyone’s details is not ok. I have had friends ask me for phone numbers of mutual friends and even in that situation I will get approval from the friend who’s details I am handing across before I give anything out.

I now want the idiot to call me back so that I can grill him as to how he has obtained my details. I have considered calling back the number he rang on, but I don’t want to make further contact with them.

I am tempted to contact every company I have reviewed for and ask if it was they who cared so little about my privacy (luckily there isn’t many!) but I don’t know what good that would do. So I am just going to Grrr at you and add a disclaimer on my emails that my personal details are not to be passed on and if I find out they have I will not only name and shame but wish them a slow painful death – too much??

Why do weddings cost so much?

I have reached that age where everyone I know seems to be getting married, engaged and having babies. My three Uni friends all managed to tie the knot within 12 months of each other and a few months after I broke up with the ex another one of my friends announced her engagement. And while I am over the moon that for each and everyone of these amazing ladies, honored that I have made it onto the guest list for the special day (slightly gutted I have apparently always ‘just missed’ being the bridesmaid but that’s another days rant) and so happy to see them start their ‘happily, ever after’.

But with every wedding invite card I receive and hen do I enthusiastically gush about when we meet up for a drink, there is a part of me that dreads the whole process. The problem is I don’t know if I can afford to be a part of their special day as it all costs so bloody much.

For starters we have the ‘hen-do’. This one is going to be an action packed weekend in a lovely large country house. When the initial invite came round it was going to be a quiet weekend in the middle of the country (so no one would have to travel particularly far) and would just be very low key.

However….

The place we are staying looks amazing, but now we are having activities. The current price tag for this weekend stands at £200 (with a nasty rumor going round it’s going up) and although it was supposed to be local to everyone, it isn’t. I did a quick search for train tickets and I am looking at £120 to get there. I can’t afford that and so I will be driving. However to drive there will take 5 hours (if traffic is light) and so to arrive on time I am having to take the day off work. I keep telling myself to think of it as a mini break (just with people I wouldn’t chose to spend time with) but there is a small part of me that resents the people planning it. Clearly there has been no thought from them about people who live farther away and if I get one more email telling me how train tickets for everyone should be £20 I may scream!

The bride is my oldest friend, not going isn’t an option but I when I know she is having a small, low key, cheap wedding I can’t help but wish that this weekend was fitting in with that theme.

Of course the whole point of the hen-do is to get ready for the wedding. As we grew up together I always held out hope that for her wedding day my friend would return to her routes and get married here. She isn’t and has decided to get married where she now lives – London – which I understand. But that means another long train journey for me, the cost of a hotel for 2 nights, taxis from the hotel to the venue, food and drink on the none wedding days (unless I take a MASSIVE picnic) drinks on the wedding day… then there’s the gift where they have signed up for a wedding list at a top boutique.

Luckily I have found some very cheap, advanced tickets and so I have only had to pay £40 return. But to get that price I am traveling at very strange times. Had I taken ‘sensible’ timed trains I would have been looking at £131 one way.

I can’t help but feel the cost for this wedding is only going to increase and I’m worried if it does I am going to be priced out of enjoying my friends special day. The one we have planned, discussed and dreamed about since we were 11 years old!

What is 58 Minutes?

What is 58 minutes?

Obviously I can calculate it’s 3480 seconds and according to Google is it also 1358 in Military time (don’t ask me to explain, I still don’t full understand what Military time is!) a book, a song, co-ordinates and for some reason if you type in 58 minutes it also shows up 58 minutes pour vivre which if you follow the links takes you to information about Die Hard 2?! (You can have that useless bit of knowledge for free!)

However more worryingly 28 minutes is also the amount of time I spent walking yesterday. Not on one walk……. in total. I didn’t even spend 1 hour walking around in the entire 15(ish) hours I was awake.

Is it just me that finds this horrifying?

The worse part is it isn’t fully my fault. My job ties me to a desk, the only chance I get away from it is when I walk to the loo or make a round of coffees for the office. Yesterday, I came in and didn’t just sit down and slob. The evening involved a little DIY, I watered my garden (using a watering can, so multiple trips) and I took Mity for a half hour walk.

I know I don’t get up every morning and go for a run, I know I need to get back on my bike and stop using my car, but having a house to DIY is such a good, get out of excercise excuse! However forgetting the ‘intentional excercise’ of running or cycling. I didn’t think my normal day to day life was quite so lazy.

I like to think I am healthy. I enjoy being outside. I love swimming, cycling, walking the dogs. I eat well; salad for lunch most days, significantly smaller portions since I started living alone and I am even upping my fruit intake. I don’t have sugar in tea. I only occasionally eat chocolate, in fact I discovered that if I have a sweet something, usually a ‘gooey’ biscuit, after my tea that does my craving for the evening. I don’t particularly like crisps…….don’t have sweets in the house…..hardly snack between meals and if I do it is nuts or fruit. Ok, I do drink now and then, but hey no one’s perfect right?! I do have bad days but on the whole I think I am doing ok.

I have always struggled with my weight. I only need to look at a chocolate bar and I seem to gain the extra calories but I have always wondered why. In fact I had a very honest conversation with the ex where he admitted he doesn’t know why I am the weight I am. We lived together so he knew what I ate, how much I exercised. It was reassuring to hear someone else confirm what I was thinking.

I always put it down to faulty genes, assumed I was just unlucky, but now I can’t help but wonder if it is tied to something else.

We (and yes I am aware I am vastly stereo-typing the entire human race) spend an awful lot of our time sat on our asses. As we work longer hours, eat lunch at our desks, drive everywhere is it any surprise that we are heavier than we have ever been? Add into that a generation of people who don’t know how to cook (I know of one girl that didn’t know she had to peel an onion before chopping it!) so turn to fast food, take outs, frozen tv dinners. All high calorie,all low nutritional values (assumption again!).

I think there has always been an assumption, you see a fat person and assume they spend their days sitting glugging coke and eating nothing but chocolate, crips and goose fat. Yet it could be that they are just living a normal, hectic life, ferrying kids to different classes, racing to the shops in the car to pick up a missing ingredient before they cook tea.

The world is facing an obesity epidemic. People are getting fatter and fast food doesn’t help. But I am starting to think that just our every day life style is also playing a major role and that’s possibly even more scary.