Guest Blogger/s Required

Is it really only Day 19 of the Blogging University Course?  It feels like I’ve been doing this  course for ages. For Day 19 the task was to interview or have a Guest Blogger write on my page. I was supposed to invite guests/bloggers on Day 9 in preparation but I forgot to do that – oops!

For the Guest Post, I thought it would be fun for my guest to write a ‘How To’ blog. I have followers who are rich in knowledge and it would be fascinating to read what sort of things they could teach myself and other readers. I will be writing some ‘How To’ blogs on Human Resources and Parenting issues, but there is so much I don’t know that you do !

Who is interested in posting on my page? You could write about anything (within reason): Recipes; DIY; Relationships; Writing/Blogging Tips; Pets; Feelings…. I’m open to any suggestions.  The only requisite is that it should be no more than 1000 words.

What’s in it for you? Hmm. I could tell you I have 431 followers, and if you’re new you’ll therefore get greater readership.  Really though, you’d have to discount all of the Twitter Followers I have because only one of them has ever read my blog. The same goes for Facebook.  I do have 366 WordPress Followers. Fairly impressive!  I’m not sure exactly how many actually read the blog, but the number could be as high as 50 😉

If you’ve read this far and still fancy it, then please do contact me below. In the comments section you can tell me what your ‘how to’ would focus on. I will try to feature everyone on my blog if I get a few responses. On the other hand, if I get no  responses I’ll interview my myself 🙂

Just Us at Christmas

It’s Day 18 of the Blogging University Course – but I feel like it’s been going on forever to be honest!  The task today was to tell a story through a series of anecdotes: short scenes that are variations on the same theme.

This task was a conundrum to me; what could I write about that had a recurring theme? I figured most people will be getting bored with recent blog posts all being about me, so I’ve chosen to write a Christmas poem. It’s not particularly cheerful and the subject matter is rather controversial (in my family at least)!

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Just us lot at Christmas.

Just the way we like it.

Just us and the kids.

Just for today.

Today’s a special day.

 

Just the same this year.

Just like every year.

Just us and the kids.

Just for today.

Today’s a special day.

 

Just us lot at the table.

Just a bit different.

Just us and them and partners too!

Just for today.

Today’s a special day.

 

Just us at the table.

Just different again.

Just us, one kid + partner.

Just for today.

Today’s a special day.

 

Just us at the table.

Just us.

Just us and no one else.

Just not wanted.

Today’s meant to be special.

 

They say today’s special.

Just them and their kids.

Just the way they like it.

We’re just not special enough

for them to spend it with us.

A Walk Down Memory Lane

For Day 17 of the Blogging University I had to use a map as my muse. I decided to revisit the West End of Glasgow, where I lived in a shared flat for five years.  I love the West End of Glasgow with it’s eclectic mix of people – anything goes. This is where I had my first taste of being an adult.  I lived away from home for the first time and met my future husband. Myself and husband are going to Glasgow next week for a day/night out. This has encouraged me to visit our old haunts. If any readers ever plan on coming to Glasgow, please do visit the West End. It’s easy to get to – you just pop on the circular Subway (Clockwork Orange) to Hillhead. Drop me an email if you need any tips; I’d be happy to offer advice.

Click on the Top Right of the Map to see the bigger version.

 

 

 

Non-Conformist

Day 16 of the Blogging University course and the task today is to Mine from my own work. That is, find something that I’ve written previously and take something from this to create another Blog Post. I’ve decided to write a poem related to my blog yesterday and also tie it in with the Daily Prompt word ‘abide‘.

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Yesterday I wrote about me, and I’ve been thinking now that it really has been all over the place. In the end, I’ve followed the traditional route in life. None of us follow a guide book and yet there are expectations on us to achieve similar things in order to be a ‘success’ (certainly in my location). The career; the partner; the children (two preferred); the mortgage; car and so on. Perhaps this is why so many people are unhappy? They secretly believe they’ve failed because they’ve not conformed to the expected? I decided to write about someone who doesn’t bother with the ‘Guidebook of Life’ and does as she pleases:

Non-Conformist

No guide

No rules

How to abide

when she’s no clue?

What’s she meant to do?

Which one

School, Work?

Can she pick none?

They’re all assigned.

She’s here – left behind?

They’re grown

Paired up

She sits alone

She got to catch?

If she finds a match?

They breed

Two’s best

And still she’ll bleed

Broody she’s not

But told that she ought

They buy

Homes, cars

She’d rather fly,

Move around – flit

than have to commit.

No guide

No rules

Options are wide

Follow your heart

It sets you apart

 

The Ever Changing Me

Day 15 of the Blogging University Course and for today I have to pick a suggestion from a reader and take it from there. Previously I had asked readers to comment or email me with ideas for possible future posts. I received many replies – thank you! Gradually I’ll write blog posts for all suggestions.

I’ve picked the first email suggestion I received. This came in from Scott over at ‘Scott’s Place – Fact and Fiction’. I’ve been following Scott for a couple of weeks and I’m impressed by the variety in his writing. He is a talented writer and published author and covers poetry, factual stories and fiction (as his Blog name suggests).  Please do pay him a visit – you won’t be disappointed. Here is the email suggestion I received from Scott:

 

Comment: Things to write about: Pick up a book, any book. Turn to page 15. Go to the second paragraph and pick the third word. Now get a black sheet of paper and a pencil and start writing everything you know about that word. Before you reach the bottom of the page you will probably have an idea what you want to say.

The Book I picked is ‘Eats, Shoots & Leaves by Lynne Truss. The book is about punctuation, but has come under some criticism in the past. The word I have to write about is ‘me’. Now, this is the easiest word in the world for me to discuss. Nobody knows me better than myself and me is the thing I know most about.

So, Who Am I?

Since turning 40 last year, I’ve put much thought into this.  Who am I? From the ages of 17-28 I believe I was finding out who I was. Well, I thought I was finding out – now I wonder if I was being more ‘me’ than I’ll ever be again. After that, responsibilities take some of the ‘you’ out of self, and you spend time helping others be themselves. Thus, your ‘me’ gets forgotten. You come last.

 

Who I Was

Age 17-28

I was someone who loved to learn new things and challenge myself. I completed two college courses and gained entry into a final year University Degree

Study:   National Certificate Administration (with Medical Terminology); Higher National Diploma Communications;  BA Business Majoring in Marketing (Degree)

I was a person who never settled for work I didn’t like and therefore had quite a few jobs! I loved temping because I got to try out new places of employment and often got permanent offers (I usually declined).

Employment: Mushroom Picker; Nightclub Glass Collector; Bakery Assistant (twice); Supermarket cashier; Insurance Broker; Deli Assistant; Purchase Ledger Clerk; Receptionist; Marketing Assistant; Marketing Strategist; Audio Transcriber; Personal Assistant. Various Temporary positions – too many to recall.

Some would say I lacked direction. I like to say I enjoyed variety 🙂

Boyfriends: 11 until I met my husband at 23. You may think I was a slut, but I didn’t sleep with most of them.         

Living Situation: Lived with my parents until I was 23. I then shared a flat in Glasgow until I was 28. Boyfriend (now husband) lived there for four years too. We shared with an eclectic mix of people from around the world. 13 other people passed through the doors when we lived there. Oh, the stories I could tell!

Life Outlook: Try out as many things as you can. Learn, work and live. Do what you like when you like. Spend all of your money on clothes and makeup and drink and food. Party and holiday. If you don’t like it, change it.

 

Ages 28-33

 

 

Study: Postgraduate Degree in Human Resource Management

Work: Worked remotely for a University. Couple of temp jobs.

Personal Assistant to Director. Recruitment Co-ordinator; Human Resources Manager (all same company).

Husband: Married long term boyfriend.

Living Situation: Gave up job and flat to follow my boyfriend (now husband) to a new city. Rented for a while then bought our first one bed flat and got married. Moved after a year to a three-bed detached in the Suburbs.

Life Outlook: Sometimes you have to give up what you love for the person you love. In this case, it was the city and job I loved; and moving further away from family and friends. It was then that I got my head down and ‘stuck in’ to a decent career I enjoyed.  I studied part-time in order to progress in the profession. We got our first mortgage. We were well-off and had plenty of holidays, trips and luxuries. Then at 33, we realised how quickly life can change. A terminal diagnosis for my father-in-law meant our care-free selfish existence was no more. More weekends travelling to see in-laws. I felt like an adult for the first time.

 

Ages 33-40

Study: None

Work: Stay at home mum. Self-employed childminder (home based).

Husband: Same one.

Living Situation: Moved back to my home town when husband quit his oil job and I was heavily pregnant. Bought large Victorian 4 bed detached. It constantly needs things doing to it. Took a massive cut in household income.

Life Outlook: Busy raising a young boy and running a business from home. Husband works away a lot, so needed a job where I could still be around for son.  Father-in-law death. Mother-in-law terminal diagnosis. Many weekends visiting sick relatives. Couple of great holidays abroad, but more recently nearby in order to be around for sick relative.

Do you see what happened? I went from doing what I liked and it being about ‘me’, to doing what everyone else needs me to do and being selfless. I felt I’d lost my voice – actually I felt like I was invisible. 10 inches off hair and no one batted an eyelid.  Lost 30 pounds and it was barely mentioned.  The ironing fairy put it all in the cupboards again but of course, they noticed that the dinner was tasteless. I began to feel like I was providing a service and not a very good service at that.

 Now

After I turned 40 I decided that things needed to change. I wanted to put myself first sometimes.  2016 has been about taking baby steps in order to feel more like ‘me’ again:

  • My husband was (understandably) depressed, didn’t want to talk, and was tied to being here – so I holidayed with friends and my mum. I spent my summer wages on little holidays, days away and a hot tub instead of getting house repairs done. Life is short; I could be gone any time so I’m making the most of it.
  • Enrolled in college again, with the view to progressing my career in childcare in two years’ time.
  • I got the courage to start writing and my Blog was born in August.
  • Cut down on my working hours.
  • This week I (nervously) took on my first freelance writing job. I was terrified I’d underperform but this was my review:

***** Brilliant Service, Excellent Knowledge in childcare and recruitment. Beth exceeded my expectations.

See the difference?  The list is all about me! I know I’m a mother; wife; daughter; daughter-in-law; childminder; friend; sister and so on.  I try to be great at all of those things and by nature I’m a selfless, people pleasing type of person.   Although I still try to be good at all of those things, there is more to me than that.  Slowly I’m getting a bit of me back and I like it. If people are put out or don’t like the me I’m becoming then they’ll just have to get used to it!

The Final Day

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It’s Day Fourteen of the Blogging University Course and for this I had to recreate a single day in any format. This can be a snapshot of the day or a complete day. I wrote a poem to describe parts of someone’s day:

Getting up on time

Gaping wounds filled with grime

Got to hide them from all

Keep on putting up a wall

 

Bus is late again

Bruised and battered by the rain

Black fog all around her

and she’s fading to a blur

 

Work’s the same old crap

Wanda worries that she’ll snap

Will any of this change?

Could she ever rearrange?

 

Hometime’s just as bad

Husband always getting mad

Hard to go on like this

When they all take the piss.

 

Not got any friends

No support through twisty bends

Numb and useless… blunt

Sees her bus – and jumps in front.

 

Don’t struggle alone. Please seek out some help if you feel like this. The Samaritans Telephone: 116 123 are always on hand. Please do a web search for your local helpline if outside the UK.

100 Word Fiction

Day 13 of the Blogging University and for this I had to play around with word count and challenge myself. As I don’t often write small amounts (unless it’s poetry) I decided to limit myself to 100 words. 100 word stories are called ‘drabble’. I didn’t know that an hour ago.  I also don’t write short stories so this is another challenge! You’ll now see why I don’t 🙂

I apologise for not coming on to WordPress to read my favourite Bloggers. I’ve been busy with work, college and also got a paid writing job!  I realise that they might now read this comment and worry that they’ve commissioned an amateur.

I’ve written two stories, although one is dialogue:

 

LOVE CONVERSATION

“I love you.”

“Thanks.”

“That it?”

“Don’t know. Really like you.”

“Ok.”

“It’s early days. Y’know?”

“But I know my feelings for you already.”

“Look, I care deeply for you.”

“But don’t know if love me yet?”

“Don’t know. More than ‘like’.  It’s elevated.”

“How can you not know?”

“I might love you.”

“This isn’t a game. You’re playing me.”

“Now I’m thinking of it. Think I’m in love with you.”

“Really? You can turn love on like that?”

“Yes…no. I mean I do. I do love you.”

“What sort of person does this? I don’t even like you now.”

 


 

THE THIEF

Every lunchtime myself and Lucy go there. Only place she settles.  First day the woman stopped, she said she loved babies. Recalled hers being small. That look in her eyes when she peered into the pram. She wants Lucy, I know. Day two, I stop at a bench to feed Lucy as usual. Woman nearby, staring. Planning? Day three she approaches – we move. Don’t trust her. Day four, the woman rushes towards us. I’m afraid for us and scream! Police are nearby and run to help. Relief!

“What’s wrong Miss? Is baby ok? This woman bothering…? oh… it’s a doll.”