Monday, 29 March 2010

Mermaid or whale?

This story was sent to me and I thought I would share it with you.

Recently, in a large city in Australia, a poster featuring a young, thin and tan woman appeared in the window of a gym.

It said, "This summer, do you want to be a mermaid or a whale?"

A middle-aged woman, whose physical characteristics did not match those of the woman on the poster, responded publicly to the question posed by the gym.

To Whom It May Concern,

Whales are always surrounded by friends (dolphins, sea lions, curious humans.)

They have an active sex life, get pregnant and have adorable baby whales.

They have a wonderful time with dolphins stuffing themselves with shrimp.

They play and swim in the seas, seeing wonderful places like Patagonia, the Bering Sea and the coral reefs of Polynesia .

Whales are wonderful singers and have even recorded CDs.

They are incredible creatures and have virtually no predators other than humans.

They are loved, protected and admired by almost everyone in the world.

Mermaids don't exist.

If they did exist, they would be lining up outside the offices of psychoanalysts due to identity crisis. Fish or human?

They don't have a sex life because they kill men who get close to them. Not to mention, how could they have sex? Just look at them ... where is IT?

Therefore, they don't have kids either. Plus, who wants to get close to a girl who smells like a fish store?

The choice is perfectly clear to me:

I want to be a whale.

P..S. We are in an age when media puts into our heads the idea that only skinny people are beautiful, but I prefer to enjoy an ice cream with my kids, a good dinner with a man who makes me shiver, and a piece of chocolate with my friends.

With time, we gain weight because we accumulate so much information and wisdom in our heads that when there is no more room, it distributes out to the rest of our bodies.

So we aren't heavy. We are enormously cultured, educated and happy.

Beginning today, when I look at my butt in the mirror I will think, ¨Good grief, look how smart I am!¨

Monday, 22 March 2010

You've been warned!

If I Had My Time To Live Over

by Erma Bombeck

(written after she found out she was dying from cancer).

I would have gone to bed when I was sick instead of pretending the earth would go into a holding pattern if I weren't there for the day.

I would have burned the pink candle sculpted like a rose before it melted in storage.

I would have talked less and listened more.

I would have invited friends over to dinner even if the carpet was stained, or the sofa faded.

I would have eaten the popcorn in the 'good' living room and worried much less about the dirt when someone wanted to light a fire in the fireplace.

I would have taken the time to listen to my grandfather ramble about his youth.

I would have shared more of the responsibility carried by my husband.

I would never have insisted the car windows be rolled up on a summer day because my hair had just been teased and sprayed.

I would have sat on the lawn with my grass stains.

I would have cried and laughed less while watching television and more while watching life.

I would never have bought anything just because it was practical, wouldn't show soil, or was guaranteed to last a lifetime.

Instead of wishing away nine months of pregnancy, I'd have cherished every moment and realized that the wonderment growing inside me was the only chance in life to assist God in a miracle.

When my kids kissed me impetuously, I would never have said, 'Later. Now go get washed up for dinner.' There would have been more 'I love you's' More 'I'm sorry's.'

But mostly, given another shot at life, I would seize every minute. look at it and really see it . live it and never give it back.


Don't worry about who doesn't like you, who has more, or who's doing what.

Instead, let's cherish the relationships we have with those who do love us.

Go on - you know you want to!

To friends



Ooh, Matron!

Wednesday, 17 March 2010

In the beginning...

God created the Earth and then he rested.

Then God created man and rested.

Then God created woman.

Since then, neither God nor man has rested.


I first wrote this on my facebook page in February...

"I'm in a reflective mood today. Friends are coming up for the big 5 0 and I'm not far behind them. We don't feel 50. We feel the same as when we were galloping our horses over the fields at the age of 11, sharing a student flat at 18, or still partying hard in our 30's. Time means nothing. We look into each other's eyes and we share history. Today is my celebration of friendship. To my friends, old and new....."

Today I have a new BFF and we met through blogging. The nice thing is that, having got to know each other through our blogs, when we finally met, we felt as if we'd been friends forever because we already knew so much about each other.

I first contacted Sharon (Bookish Blonde ) when I was getting stuck with the layout of my blog and my web designer gave me her contact details to see if she could help.

She kindly responded to my pleas, but it was only after we started reading each other's blogs that we realised how much we had in common.

We live a couple of hours away from each other but we always knew we would meet up one day, and finally we did just that. And I can now proudly say this wonderful and inspirational woman has joined the ranks of 'people I most like to spend time with'.

They say that some people come into your life for a reason, and others for only a season. Some friends have come, served their purpose and moved on. Others are sticking it out for the duration. But whether friends are new or old, life is much better with them around!

To friendship!

I love blogging!

I started my blog as a business aide. My web designer told me I should have a blog linked to my site to encourage the search engines to find me. I'm not normally terribly fond of spiders but I can handle virtual ones who crawl over my sites picking up relevant terminology.

So I started blogging. I wrote my profile and I started to write a couple of articles about hypnotherapy. And then slowly, as I continued to write, a proliferation of thoughts and emotions started to take over my waking hours. Sometimes about things I saw in the headlines. Perhaps about a book I was reading or a film I had watched. Often about events that had happened in my past.

I would be sitting on a bus and a title would come to me, quickly followed by prose that I felt compelled to write down there and then.

Or I would wake at three in the morning and have to write down the words that were swirling around my head.

I took to carrying a notebook and pen at all times. And I soon found myself writing about things that were pretty personal, which, surprisingly enough, proved to be the most satisfying and cathartic articles to write. Are they a bit too personal at times? You tell me. But once my friends started taking me aside and telling me how a particular blog had uplifted them or changed their thinking that day, I decided to carry on weaving my personal experiences into my stories.

I now have a notebook full of ideas for blog articles. Some of them are only titles, some are quotes I've heard, many are notes jotted down at random.

For a long time I have harboured the desire to write a book. One day I may well look back and see that blogging was my apprenticeship to becoming an author.

For now, I'm off to the cafe in downtown Edinburgh where J K Rowling used to write her books (actually I hear she has now moved on to the OneSpa at the Balmoral Hotel, but the cakes are better in the caf and the sauna would only make my paper soggy!)

Thursday, 4 March 2010


Time is priceless
yet it costs us nothing.
You can do anything you want with it,
but you can't own it.
You can spend it,
but you can't keep it.
And once you've lost it
there's no getting it back.
It's just gone.

The immortal words of Hannah Montana, adapted from the original by Harvey Mackay.

March madness

The saying goes "March comes in like a lion and goes out like a lamb".

True to its word, this is only 4th March and already I have been to the ballet on Tuesday and a book signing on Wednesday. More stuff that I wouldn't normally do!

When I was nine, I was going to be a ballet dancer. I went to see Coppelia with my ballet class and sat enthralled in the front row, gazing up at the sylph-like ballerinas in their beautiful costumes.

Mind you, I was also going to be a Black & White Minstrel. My parents took me to see the show in London and I was delighted to see that the lead dancer Margaret Savage had sticky out shoulder blades just like me. I was in the club! Nothing was going to stop me now.

In hindsight, with the advent of political correctness, the Black & White Minstrel show would not have been a good career move!

Anyway the years passed and ballet gave way to horses, and boys and college and I forgot all about my dream of being a ballerina.

Until last week, when I was clearing out some clothes in the loft and I found my old ballet tutus in a suitcase. Still in perfect condition, the sequins sewn on by hand by my extremely patient mother still dancing and dazzling in the light.

Giselle by The Russian State Ballet of Siberia

And later that day, I heard that the ballet was coming to town. I booked my ticket and on Tuesday evening I sat enthralled, in the fourth row, gazing up at the sylph-like ballerinas in their beautiful costumes. And as I watched them dance, I could feel the muscles in my body reliving each and every movement with the ease and grace of my younger years. And it felt good!

Sometimes it's good to remind yourself of past dreams.

Creating Moments

You can create moments in your life or you can hope they show up once in a while - Tony Robbins

I made the decision in February to do something different and give myself a new experience every month. To seize the day, as it were.

I was prompted to do this when I attended the opening of my sister-in-law's exhibition at the Talbot Rice Gallery in Edinburgh. The exhibition had attracted a lot of media attention because the main star of the attraction was the bronze cast of a "flayed man" which has been used by Edinburgh College of Art as an anatomical teaching tool. After twenty years of drawing this unidentified man both as a student and a lecturer, Joan got together with an anthropologist and a photographer and set about discovering his true identity. The full story can be read in the
Scotsman article The Art Of Anatomy
but to cut a long story short, the man was a highwayman hung for robbing gentry in 1776, and because he had been a soldier and was a fine specimen of a man, his body was flayed and a cast made to be used in teaching anatomy.

The exhibition was fascinating and I noticed in the programme that Joan was holding an art class the following Saturday for people who wished to understand more about anatomy and the art of drawing the human body.

Now, I am useless at drawing. Not just bad, but useless. At school, people laughed at my efforts and I quickly took on the label of "I'm not creative".

Actually, many years later, I decided that I am creative. I can sing and dance, I speak four languages, I can put promotional material together and I can write (to a certain extent). But I can't draw.

So I gaily recruited a friend (who can draw) to go along with me and we turned up at the gallery raring to go. Joan told us the background of the cast, and talked us through the anatomy, pointing out the different textures and directions of the muscles, the tendons, the facial characteristics.

We sat on our stools and got drawing. And it was fantastic. Peaceful. Joyful. Creative. And Liberating. Because, whilst my effort was more Hooch than Turner, my attempt wasn't half bad.

I finally shook off my 'I can't draw' label that I have been carrying around for the best part of forty years. And I enjoyed it so much that I returned in the school holiday week with two friends and our four children, ranging in ages from 7 to 13, and we all spent a focused couple of hours totally lost in the moment. Just drawing.

Click on photos to enlarge
It was unanimously voted as the best activity we had done that week.
So February's new experience was drawing. Now I have to set my sights on March.