Wednesday, 22 September 2010

Six impossible things before breakfast

I’ve never really been one to plan my life. Life, until now, has just kind of happened to me.
I’m brilliant at making plans to see friends, to experience old and new bars and restaurants, to visit places of interest where I can wrap myself in history and record the adventure on my SLR screen.
But as for all the other bits, the important bits you could say, I’ve been a firm believer of living in the moment and I've not thought or planned too far ahead.
I’ve always known there were countries I wanted to visit, and I’m lucky enough to have ventured to my wish list – Mauritius, Maldives, Singapore, Las Vegas, California, San Fransisco, Thailand. My curiosity was killed (no I’m not a cat, merely an expression) and I’ve had some amazing times.
I’ve always known I’ve wanted to work hard and do well in the publishing industry. Again I’ve been fortunate enough to have been employed by some very powerful and interesting companies.
And I’ve always known I’ve wanted to find true love and start a family of my own one day.
Other than that, well, ahem, I’ve just enjoyed myself and tried not to stress too much about life and its outcomes.
Then suddenly I’m 36. (Nearly 37.)
How the heck did that occur?
What happened to my teens, twenties and my early thirties?
Oh hang on, it’s all coming back to me, I was too busy having fun!
Not a bad thing, I know, there are worse things you could be doing with your life.
But where has it got me? A bunch of hilarious memories, a stack of amusing photographs, and a few outrageous stories to tell the grandchildren. That’s where it’s got me. Is that enough? For the first time in my life, I’m worrying. I’m conscious of my age and my place in society.
It's time to plan ahead!
It's time to make plans for the future!
It's time to become ruler of my own destiny!
It’s rather alien to me but I’m rather warming to the idea.
Lovely boyfriend and I are going to live together. I’ve issued my notice to my flat mate. Boyfriend and I have registered with estate agents and together we are stepping onto the property ladder. Farewell renting, it was nice for a while, but I am a grown up now and I am embracing this owning your own property lark. Okay I admit, I'm a tiny bit scared about this commitment thing. Not with lovely boyfriend, he doesn’t scare me at all, far from it, he makes me feel the happiest girl alive and I have no doubts about our relationship and our future. It’s the mortgage I find a tad frightening. But hey, welcome to the real world Nikki. It’s only a small scary percentage, the rest of me can’t wait to own my own home.
So we are planning the area we want to live in, the size house we would be comfortable with, and the amount we can afford to spend on our home. I am also writing lists of items we will need for our home and each month purchases are made.
I don’t think it would surprise you to learn (pink vintage) wine glasses were my first order. I hope my clumsy side does not smash them before we move, they were delicately expensive. I now have boxes in my present loft conversion filled with black and white coffee cups and tea cups, chunky glass pasta jars and retro storage tins. I’ve even bought a vacuum cleaner (it’s pink too, I am so girly sometimes) and a silver gravy boat. And next pay day more items from our list will be crossed off.
We’re also planning our future together. As a couple. A sapphire engagement ring has been discussed, anniversary nights have been planned, a wedding venue has been admired (the castle was not cost effective, you have to be practical too), and children’s names have been chosen.
Websites have been researched and I've enrolled in a course at The Photography Institute, to earn a diploma and hopefully branch out into a hobby turned career, one I could possibly manage around a family.
Phew, who would have predicted that I could make so many plans!
I am making things happen.
I feel like a fully fledged adult.
I know where I’m going and who it’s with.
There’s so much to think about and time spans to be aware of.
But I am relishing in it.
The seemingly impossible has become magnificently possible.
And maybe I'm more prone to planning than I realised?

Thursday, 16 September 2010

Dear George (Part two)

My significant other thinks I am grafting away at my photography course work. He’s watching Arsenal (they’re winning, so he’s happy) but I’m easily distracted (one day I’ll be a professional photographer, so I’ll be happy too) and spherical aberration isn’t doing it for me tonight.
And why the distraction, you may well ask? Well to put it bluntly, the words ‘8 weeks sentence’ are bouncing around in that brain of mine. Lord only knows what it must be like for you.
Allow me to introduce myself, sorry where are my manners? My name is Nikki. I am 36 years old (37 in 6 weeks and 2 days, but who’s counting) and I am a cheese and George Michael fan. No don’t worry, I am not Heather from Eastenders, although my friends love to point out the similarities with the cheese adoration and the musical passion.
Erm, are you still there? I hope you don’t think ‘oh here we go again, another nutter who watches Eastenders and thinks she knows me.’
You would be right though (not about the nutter bit, I hasten to add) I don’t know you. I know that I love listening to Freedom, Everything She Wants, Waiting For The Day, I Knew You Were Waiting For Me, Amazing, etc (just a few of my favourites). I know my house is a happy house when George is singing on my CD player. I know one of my most cherished memories is when my dear late brother took me to my first George Michael concert. And I know that I have watched and read interviews where I have praised your sense of humour and admired your intelligent views and ideas.
I must confess, I have been mocked and congratulated for my George loyalty, and yes I was at your latest (electrifying, if I do say so myself) concert where you thanked your loyal fans (hey, it’s always nice to be appreciated!). I do hope now at a time like this you are taking some kind of comfort from your fans. Although I am sure Kenny and your family and friends support and love would be top of your list right now.
We aren’t given a rule book, are we? We are not born into this world and handed a leather bound book and told, ‘here you are, just consult this book every time you are not sure which path to take or how to behave and cope with certain situations.’ We muddle along, making decisions, sometimes thinking we know best only to find out that perhaps we know diddly squat.
They say it’s all a lesson, a learning curb, it will all make sense one day. I hope it does anyway! I would love it to all fall into place one day.
They say our greatest glory is not in never falling but in rising every time we fall (Confucius) and I am inclined to agree with that one.
We all have the power within us to turn our life around, to fight our demons and become a better person. Of course I realise this is harder for some people than others.
I am not here to judge anyone, to look down on anyone or take the moral high ground and scorn anyone. How could I? I’ve pulled some corkers in my time but I like to think I’ve learnt from them. And I would like to think I could comfort and put a smile on someone’s face if they needed it. Particularly yours. At a time like this.
Take care of yourself George. Be kind to yourself and those who care about you.

PS If you ever feel the urge to write back, my address is at the top of this page. I promise not to be one of these seedy people who contact those dirty newspapers. I would be enormously honoured and you would make this girl immensely happy. Oh well, you can’t blame a girl for trying!

Wednesday, 1 September 2010

Riding the roller coaster

Do you ever feel as if you’re riding a roller coaster? A real life, life sized, roller coaster. A journey of thrill seeking highs, deep plunging lows, and twists which have the ability to turn your world upside down.
Sometimes you trundle along nicely but you know it can’t last, you’re questioning what waits ahead of you. You could be faced with something to make you laugh and scream with excitement, you could witness something which makes you shake and gasp in fear.
And you’re painfully aware of the situation, while you're riding high and having the time of your life, someone else could be experiencing an all time low.
Yes it’s the roller coaster of life. It’s full of twists and turns, quiet passengers and loud passengers, tears and laughter.
You may be thinking at one point that you’ve had enough and you want to get off, or you could be thinking you never want it to end.
It’s a life sized roller coaster. And you don’t have to visit the fairground to witness the unpredictable route, the dizzy highs and the unexpected lows.
I’ve been lucky recently, I’ve been high as a kite and enjoying every second. Of course I’ve watched my friends around me and realised some of them have not been so happy, they’ve had a few abrupt stops to deal with. I hope their journey is moving upwards now.
As for me, I’m sorry to say, I’ve been brought down to earth with an enormous, ungracious, bump. I knew it was around the corner, I knew it would happen soon, but it still hurt. Really, really hurt.
My dear nan passed away last Monday. My dear, sweet, kind, frail little nan. Her journey is over.
I will miss her so much but I think she’s in a better and pain free place. It would be selfish to want her to hold on when I know how much she was suffering. She needed her journey to end.
I hope she’s now riding high on that roller coaster in the sky. I hope she's on a far nicer and brighter and comfortable ride. Maybe she’s watching over us? Maybe she's shining brightly over me?
Well if she is, she will surely know how very much she was loved and how sorely she will be missed.
God bless you, my dear sweet little nan.