While exploring the blogosphere I came across this lovely, inspirational quote from Mark Twain.
"Twenty years from now you will be more disappointed by the things that you didn't do than by the ones you did do. So throw off the bowlines. Sail away from the safe harbor. Catch the trade winds in your sails. Explore. Dream. Discover."
1. Peas Peas are perfectly round and sweet and green. You can eat them in curries, you can make them into soup. You can pretend to kids that they are little sweets to encourage them to eat their veg. I have some seeds sprouting on my kitchen windowsill at the moment, so I will have an unlimited supply of organic, home-grown peas this summer. And let’s face it, with all the fighting and bad stuff in the world, we all hope for world peas – like John Lennon said, we really should give peas a chance.
2. Frogs Last weekend, I went for a walk here and had some frog encounters. There were oodles of frogs hopping across the paths – it was hard not to step on them as they were quite camouflaged. I bent down to have a closer look and saw that they weren’t individual frogs, but pairs of frogs on top of each other.
“Aw look,” I said, “it’s mother frogs taking their babies to a safe place.” Mr Meep raised an eyebrow and had a look of despair, “Er, that is two frogs bonking.”
Euw, I felt like a voyeur, crouching down to watch them ‘at it’. I love frogs, but I am not some kind of froggy perve.
If anyone ever wants to buy me a present, I have been coveting one of these for ages.
3. My eyes I pretty much hate everything about my appearance – mingy face, flabby arms, too tall, wobbly stomach, dreadful hair, blah, blah, blah. However, I have green eyes, which I quite like. They don’t work very well (I am sooo short sighted), but they are a nice colour.
4. Green tea Oooo, it’s fab. Slightly bitter but very refreshing and feels like it’s doing you loads of good. Apparently, it makes you thin, keeps you young and fights lots of cancer-causing nasties. I like the proper stuff from Japan but my budget doesn’t often stretch to that. Well go on, get the kettle on.
5. Trees Well, what can I say about trees – they are fab for so many reasons. I think this calls for a sub-list:
You can hug them
There are squillions of different types
They provide oxygen
You find them in forests, in cities, at the beach, in the desert
6. Avocados I used to eat an avocado every day and my skin was so soft. Don’t believe all the rubbish about it being fattening – it’s good fat and all the goodies in the avocado far outweigh the calories. My favourite way to eat it is to mash it up and spread it on seeded toast with a little bit of marmite. For breakfast. Controversial I know, but it totally sorts you out for the day.
7. My green coat I have a coat which makes me feel happy whenever I put it on. I’ve pinned a big purple flower corsage to it for added happy value. Sadly, I saw quite a frumpy woman wearing it last weekend, which put me off it a bit.
8. Green cake Yes, green cake. I have only had this when I’ve been to IKEA – they have little green cakes in the cafeteria and they are lush. I think all cakes are pretty fantastic (except maybe for the pointless non-cake, the iced bun), but especially if they are green. The next cake I make is going to be a green one. Watch this space.
9. Caterpillars They’re sometimes furry, often green, have loads of legs and they turn into butterflies. What’s not to like?
10. Greenpeace My favourite charity. Can you imagine the kind of beardy mumpets that work there? They would be sipping green tea, munching avocado sandwiches and green cakes, stroking caterpillars, and hugging trees and each other all day long. Bless.
I’m running out of ideas for Friday lists – any suggestions?
Mr Meep has a Muslim friend from Sudan who was asking him what Easter was all about the other day. Mr M told him the story of the Baby Cheeses going on the cross on Friday, then coming back in time to get his chocolate eggs on Sunday. As a humanist-type person, I would have said that Easter for me is a celebration of new beginnings. The sun is starting to put in an appearance, things are being born, plants are beginning to shoot from the ground. It's a good time to evaluate things, have a little think about your life and start things afresh if you feel the need to. (Maybe I'm going into Pagan territory here, but hey, I'm a big fan of Mother Nature.)
Is it just me or has Easter become the new christmas? This year it's gone from a pleasant enough chill-out bank holiday weekend to a social frenzy.
Thursday: gig and beers Friday: Mrs Jones' Good Friday Luncheon (my friend Sara likes a festive gathering - she also does Mrs Jones' Festive Soiree) Saturday: Spring flower show and Easter meal out with friends (oh, and managed to find a few hours in between to become obsessed with compost) Sunday: Easter lunch at parents; Easter party around another mate's house (that's what the cakes above are for)
I need a break! Luckily, Mr Meep and I are off to beautiful Brighton tomorrow. Am going to stay here, eat here, go and drool and be jealous of the talented peeps here, and generally womble about having tea and cakes and nice beers.
Note to self, must not repeat behaviour of every previous visit and look at houses and/or jobs while I am there and create fantasy world of living exciting bohemian lifestyle in Brighton.
I made a mistake last night. I got pissed. This generally isn't a good idea due to the appearance of the black dog on my shoulder the next day. The combination of the hangover blues, waking up at ridiculous AM because of boozing, plus the whole 'one step away from my dream job' malarkey did not make for a pleasant Good Friday state of mind.
After a few hours moping about the house, my inner life coach kicked in. I thought, I can either choose to spend the day moping around feeling sorry for myself. Or I can make the most of having a Friday off work on the first warm day of 2006. I chose the latter, got my notebook out and a 'to-do' list was born.
Things I've done from the list so far...
Make a chocolate simnel cake to take to friend's house for lunch
Drink tea and make veggie sausage sandwiches
Take the dog for a nice long walk in the park
Go for lovely long lunch at friend's house with lots of other friends
Put washing away and do some more washing
Things I'm going to do next...
Clean the house
Do a beauty session in the bath
Iron nice green coat, sew buttons on spotty coat
Read some Maya Angelou (bought four books off E-bay for a fiver!) in the garden
Cook a lovely pasta/fresh pesto dish for tea
Watch a lovely film
Go to bed early with trashy magazines and a cuppa
Hurrah. Normal Meep service is resumed.
*Last night was actually a lovely evening with lots of my favourite people. Went to see my friend Al's band and Al took up my challenge of getting some 'meeps' into the songs.
Sometimes, life really is a bit shit So imagine you'd decided to leave a job that made you really unhappy. Then a couple of days later, you stumbled accross an advert for a dream job. The kind of job that really doesn't come up very often at all.
You read the job description - it describes you down to a tee. You send in an application and have an anxious few days wondering if you'll get an interview. Then you get the call. They want to see you in a week's time.
You spend the whole of that week having anxious dreams and sleepless nights. You spend your waking hours researching and writing notes and preparing and preparing and preparing a bit more.
The day of the interview comes. You love the people straight away. You fly through the interview, no hesitation at any questions. You even make them laugh. They say they'll let you know tomorrow. By lunchtime.
Another sleepless night. You wake at 3am and can't get back to sleep. The morning is the longest of your life. Checking the mobile phone, watching the clock. You feel sick with hunger but you can't eat.
1pm passes. No call. Then 2pm. Then 3pm. Still nothing. At 3.30pm, the number flashes up on the mobile. It's them. Your heart is racing.
But it's bad news. You didn't get the job. It was between you and one other person, but you were pipped at the post. You want to cry, but keep your cool. The nice man says he can't fault you in any way. Your interview was excellent. Your writing was fab. You had all the experience they needed. They've spent the whole day weighing up you versus her. Her versus you.
The Meep household, Sunday morning When we got Zebedee, our big grumpy cat, he wouldn't come anywhere near us. He was terrified and hid behind the sofa for about a week. Even when he eventually settled down, he would never sit on either of us. I'd be at one end of the sofa, and he'd be at the other end with his back to me. How rude!
Then we got Blod and things got worse. Zeb spent most of his time upstairs to avoid being chased by the mad puppy that had turned his cosy little cat world upside down. We thought they'd never get on. Mr Meep had dreams that he'd come downstairs in the morning to find the pets cwtched up together having a little sleep. We didn't think that would ever come true.
Six months later, the pets live in harmony. They chase each other around a bit, but they generally live in harmony. Yesterday... this happened!
Five minutes later both pets were asleep on me. A picture of furry Sunday morning bliss.
(Apologies for me looking so minging - it was very early and I had no make-up on. I don't normally look like this. Honest.)
When I'm freaking out with the "Oh my god, what am I thinking. I'm crap at writing, no-one will give me job. We'll starve. The bank will take our house away, blah, blah, blah..." I will read this post.
The following is an e-mail that was sent to everyone in my department yesterday.
We seem to have lost a number of the whiteboard pens, which are kept on top of the fridge. Out of a full set of 6 white board pens, there is only 1 remaining, the others seem to have gone missing in the last week or so. If anyone knows where the others might be please can you let me know, before I have to buy a new set.
As you do at funerals, I started thinking about life, death and what it’s all about. It made me think about how precious time is and about how family and friends and love are so much more important than anything else.
I spend a lot of time thinking about the future. Will I ever find a job I like? Will I have children? When will I be able to get a bigger house? Have I got enough money saved up for retirement? Why can’t I afford a bigger house/more clothes/nice haircuts/faraway holidays?
But in the big scheme of things, this kind of stuff really doesn’t matter. Not a sausage. It’s all about enjoying the now, seizing the day and all that malarkey.
Is anyone going to get to 80 and think, ‘Wow, I earned loads of money and had some fantastic shoes”? Will I be rocking in my chair reminiscing about how I had four bedrooms in my house and it was always super-clean?
If I die tomorrow, will the last day of my life have been a happy one?
I’ve been writing some daily mantras in my notebook over the last few weeks – I read them on the train every morning to make sure I have a mumpety sort of day.
Embrace my curves
Feel lucky for what I have
Practice random acts of kindness
Tell friends and family how fab they are
Talk to strangers
Eat food that makes me feel good
Chase my dreams
Have experiences, live big
That's my little bit of handbag philosophy for every day.
Sofa cinema We tried to go to the flicks today to watch V For Vendetta. I looked up the time of the film on t' world wide web this morning. It started at 3.45pm, so we timed the rest of the day's activities around it. Took Blod out on her walk quite early, got home and I cooked lunch while Mr Meep did his weekly Sunday bread-making session.
By 3.30pm, we were ready to leave. We stopped off at the Co-op for a couple of bars of their yummy fair trade dark chocolate, and I was really looking forward to cosying up in the dark, munching on chocolate and drinking coffee (I like to wait until the drink's cooled down a bit, pop a square of choc in my cakehole, then take a swig of coffee so the chocolate melts on the roof of my mouth - it's an almost religious experience).
We thought we'd have a nightmare trying to park the Meepmobile because of some horrid sporting event at the stadium, but the parking goddess was on our side and we sailed straight into a spot just outside the cinema.
There are usually lots of scary 'nagers at the cinema on the weekends, but today was fairly quiet. There wasn't even a queue for tickets. Got to the counter, looked at the screen showing the times - V for Vendetta had started 45 minutes ago. At 3pm. Bugger.
Mr Meep really wanted to see this film, so we went outside and called the other cinemas in town to see if it was on anywhere else. UCI didn't have a showing until 6pm. Vue didn't start 'til 5.45. Double bugger.
So, a change of plan. I quite fancied TransAmerica and that was starting in the original cinema in about 5 minutes. Perfect.
But when we got to the desk and asked for tickets, ticket chick was very apologetic. "Sorry, it's not actually on - there's a mistake with the timings."
Grrrr. I was cross. There we were, armed with our choc and ready to be entertained, and we couldn't actually get in to see any films. We trudged back to the car feeling dejected.
All the way home, I huffed and puffed and swore a lot. I like having a plan for the day, and I don't like it when the plans mess up. I got home and sat on the sofa staring at the ceiling and wondering what to do next.
Then it came to me. If we can't go to the cinema, the cinema can come to us. I closed the curtains, rearranged the furniture in the lounge so the chairs were in rows, made us a cuppa, got the chocolate out, and we watched Ripley's Game on DVD. Mr Meep hitched it all up to the stereo so we got cinema-style sound.
Cinema tickets and coffees would have cost us about £15. Closed curtains, rearranged furniture, mugs of tea and a DVD was free. And I got to enjoy the experience with a dog at my feet and a cat on my lap.