Thursday, 29 March 2012

To one side please madam . . .

On occasion I have to travel as part of my J. O. B. (a topic that has never featured on this blog, I do have to work for a living unfortunately- still working on my money trees idea though).

An early morning flight to Birmingham International airport leaves me shattered by the time I get back about 10pm that night. But regardless of the time of day, lack of sleep and longing for my nice warm bed, a little bit of my brain doesn't ever switch off.

It's what I think is responsible for my ability to laugh at the ridiculous.

It is also responsible for activating my mouth without ever engaging my brain until my ears have heard what has been said out loud and then it can be a case of serious back peddling.

Back to the airport, and this particular journey in February 2012.

I inevitability get pulled to the side and asked to remove shoes, belt, jacket etc. As if I am somehow as a result of the long wait going to end it all with my accessories. Like technology when it fails the sight of a long security queue can take me to the edge of reason.

Unfortunately I still somehow manage to set the alarms off. So off to one side I go and ready to assume the scarecrow position for the hand held metal detector. On my way though the burly security guard raises one eyebrow and looks pointedly at my feet with a "Oh dear, could have made more of an effort"

He would have been referring to my odd socks. I was pre caffeine and had been up since 4.30am at this stage and literally had to bite my tongue from saying something quite rude and sarcastic; my brain engaging just slightly faster than my tongue.

The female security guard them approached with her scanner and started her sweep as I assumed the position. On her knees scanning the odd socks she asked my what I did for a living. An innocent enough question but the way it was delivered surprised me and left me thinking that they were taking the security screening processes to new levels.

I responded with a very vague, slow response incase it was clearly going to get me into trouble, it was something like "I work for a bank".  I was pretty satisfied with a safe and truthful response. Terrified of what could follow. Depending on the institution was I about to be taken out to a private room and strip searched I had no idea. This woman was taking her job very seriously, next time I fly I'm going to have to pack a CV just to get to Birmingham.

Might take the train the next time.

She then seemed to relaxed and followed up with "I'm always just a bit curious about the jobs people do that see them flying so early on a Friday morning"

With that I breathed I disappointed sigh of relief.

Not disappointed that I wasn't going to be take to The Other Room for further interogation. But that I didn't let my mouth run away with me and say that I was something more interesting.

An international taxidermist on my way to a photo shoot in Paris. . .

The possibilities were endless.

P.S. As a remedy to my previous blog I am officially booked into The Scotsman with a friend for a mid week act of truancy.

Monday, 26 March 2012

I need something and I am not sure where to find it . . .

In a big giant batch of brownies?

In a 40 minute run up and down hills?

In a climbing session?

In my work?

In a cathartic blog?

A note on friendship

Friendship is a funny thing.

Or maybe I am a funny thing.

I once had a friend who was a close friend for a long time but she had a very bad habit.

She would pick me up and put me down when it suited her. For years it was like this and I would quietly put up with it.

She was a lot of fun, but not very loyal. Ironically though she once invited me out as an "example" of what a good friend looked like to someone who had picked her up and put her down a couple of times. She actually told me this, as if I should be happy and pleased. That I had been picked up again.

This I think says more about me. What it says about me I am not sure. Yet.

I put her down and haven't been in touch with her since we went for lunch and she suggested that my unhappiness was being caused by my then boyfriend.

Not recognising that she was criticising my shield.

The man protecting me from the source of the pain, teaching me how to stand up for myself, teaching me to believe in myself and teaching me to respect myself. None of that was to do with my relationship with her for the record.

So I stood up for myself and I walked away.

My friends know they hold a special place in my heart and I wont pick them up or put them down as and when it suits me.

I think relationships do change, some you need more than others. Life changes and circumstances change that make your friends either stand up to be counted or quietly blend into the background and disappear at the hardest parts in your life.

I think that's normal and I think its natural.

I am pleased that we were friends for such a long time. I just wish I had learned to stand up for myself earlier though.

Sunday, 18 March 2012

Bikes + Cass = Disaster

I'd saw we were a fairly active family.

One day Husband and visiting brother in law N. took their respective wives out for a bike ride to Glen Tress.

This is a story of how myself and sister in law V. let the adventuring family side down in style.

I should point out that V. is a very fit and active person and has cycled across China and Mexico raising money for charity so she is not unfamiliar with the movement and balance required on a bike. Be that mountain, road or hybrid. 

I however to this point have my expertise areas in being able to put one foot in front of the other without falling over. Some people call this jogging, I like to think of it more as sprinting or running if I am going to be negotiated down closer to the truth!!

Anyway back to my story.

Husband and N. went venturing around Glen Tress to find a route or area that they could comfortably take their lady wives out on. Lady wives were effectively left at the children's "playground"- fine for practising our mountain biking skills.  We were getting pretty good and when the men folk came back convinced them that we were ready for the big boy bike ride routes.

Perhaps our confidence was misplaced.

We cycled up our first hill with the boys in front showing the way. At the top I said to V. " On you go, I'm going to take a bit longer to come down" The truth is I was nervous of having anyone behind me and being responsible for their coming off because I was going too slowly. 

Half way down I hear Vicky V. wail "Oh NO!" and look up, just as I am pushing off, to see her veer off the path and into a bush where she landed in a graceful heap.

I get no more than 3 feet further before shouting "forget it!" and steering the bike back up hill and jumping off- insisting that I am fine to walk down the hill.

There was a shared look of desperation between the men.

We hadn't got more than 500 yards from the children's practice area!!

We've not been back to Glen Tress since. 

Wednesday, 7 March 2012

Introducing your lobster sir

I might have mentioned this once or twice but I like food.

A lot.

You might remember reading such incidents as the skirt splitting discussion: motivator

It has resulted in some drastic steps:



and other various running related incidents, I'll let you plunder your way through this little blog space of mine for them if you can be bothered.

Anyway this love for food I have has introduced us to some delicious restaurants. One in particular is in the fabulous West Coast village in Scotland called Oban. It's sea food based, a fantastically simple set up and highly, highly recommended.

The owner has a small boat and a smokery. He catches and smokes all his own catch and serves it very simply and deliciously.

We dove in feet first and went for the seafood platter, which started with an introduction.

I should probably do a better job of setting the scene. The restaurant is small, very small, taking 2 sittings on a Friday and Saturday night only during the week. Each sitting takes 12 covers.

As I said it's small but perfectly formed with an unassuming front and glass back overlooking the coast and islands.

You can see and hear the chefs and the solitary waitress can just about turn around the tables serving without interrupting your meal.

So when the introduction to our first ever lobster happened I was fractionally more ready for it than either the lobster, which was blatantly trying to look inconspicuous on an unforgiving very reflective silver platter by trying to hide behind his bound claws, or Husband.

Whose first sight of it was eye ball to eye ball as it tried to desperately curl its legs under it and crawl away to the far corner of the platter.

He got half way through a loud exclamation that would have had mothers covering their small children's ears and certainly got the waitress to step backwards as the two assessed each other (the lobster and the Husband that is).

When we next met Larry he was pink and he tasted amazing.

Sorry if this story has upset any vegetarians who have stumbled across this but I cannot apologise because he tasted delicious I am just sorry you might have been upset by it!

(It's called The Seafood Temple)