Wednesday, 24 November 2010

Another Royal wedding

"Can you remember watching Lady Di and Prince Charles's Wedding?" I asked my work colleague.
"I wasn't even born then," said my work colleague.
I laughed.
I sighed.
I must remember how old I am these days. I am no longer considered to be the youngster in the office.
There was a time, when I worked at my first London based publishing house, when I was continually called the youngster and continually bribed with chocolate.
"Oy youngster," the sales manager would cry, "if you go to the shops I'll buy you a Kit Kat." Being too young and greedy to say no, I would often traipse to the shops to purchase my free Kit Kat, and for food supplies for the sales manager and the rest of the office.
If anyone was to say that to me now, I would point out that I am not a youngster and I am far too busy and important to do shop runs. In other words, buzz off and do it yourself you lazy so and so! I'm allowed to say that now I am a curvy, cynical, 37 year old and no longer a skinny, naive, 20 year old. (Although I am not sure how I remained skinny with all those Kit Kats I used to eat.)
But back to the point. And the 1981 Royal Wedding.
"Was the dress really awful then, or was it the awful 80's fashion?" work colleague asked.
"Hmm," I pondered. "The 80's was the decade that fashion forgot, but I don't remember thinking it was terrible. I do remember my mother commenting for all the money the wedding cost, and for all the money the Royal family had access to, she could have chosen a dress where the fabric didn't crease."
Yes, Lady Diana Spencer, soon to be the Princess of Wales, wore a very, very long dress and when she stepped away from her carriage, it was very, very creased. That's what I remember from this 1981 Royal wedding, the most important day of one particular young ladies life.
And to celebrate this wedding my local neighbourhood held a street party. There is a photograph of myself in the family photo album, running excitedly in a blue and white ruffled dress (remember, it was the 80's and blue and white ruffled dresses were all the rage!). It was a good day. There were games, and red, white and blue flags, and cake, and a strong sense of patriotism. Traffic was not allowed to enter the small side street. And it seemed Great Britain was obsessed with the Royal Family and collecting the memorabilia coins and mugs, with the happy faces and names of the happy couple.
They were happy days. Until everyone realised, Diana especially, that her husband was in love with someone else and there were 3 people in their marriage. Even unhappier days were ahead when she tragically lost her life in a car crash in Paris, after being chased and hounded by the paparazzi.
My mother once remarked that people will always remember where they were when they heard Elvis Presley was dead. Incidentally I am not that old (ha, ha), I don't remember hearing Elvis was dead, but there is another picture of me in the family photo album, smiling, and wearing a white hat, and sitting in a caravan site on this fateful day. So that's where I was when it was announced the King of Rock 'n' Roll had died on the toilet.
I do, however (and this is said to be another poingant time in history), recall exactly where I was when I heard Princess Diana was dead. I was in bed, it had been a late night the night before, talking rubbish and drinking wine at a friend's house (I know, this could be any night!). I turned on the television set next to my bed and heard the words, "Diana's body will be flown back from Paris."
I then ran down the stairs screaming,"Princess Di has been killed!"
I'm sure on her wedding day she couldn't possibly have imagined how her life, and what once seemed a fairy tale, would end. Who could have predicted that?
I sincerely wish and hope her son's marriage to be be far happier and successful. And longer.
Her son, the future King of England, has proposed to his girlfriend of nine years. Naturally comparisons have been made with regards to his parent's marriage and this forthcoming occasion. Particularly as Kate, the future Queen of England, is wearing the late Princess Diana's Sapphire and Diamond engagement ring.
Of course life and marriage do not come with guarantees, but it does seem they are happier and more comfortable with each other. And perhaps, in my opinion, far better suited to each other and without the presence of a third party to interrupt, confuse and shatter two people's commitment to each other.
So Royal Wedding fever is sweeping the nation once again.
The newspapers and the television are full of constant wedding speculation and predictions. What will her dress be like? Which V.I.P's will be invited?
And, perhaps more importantly to certain individuals, will it be a public holiday?
The answer to the last question is yes, an official public holiday has been confirmed.
"Brilliant, we get a day off!" I have heard from various reactions.
Congratulation William and Kate.
And thank you for the bank holiday.
I'm looking forward to it already.
I think it's going to another good day.

Friday, 12 November 2010

Guilty as charged

Do you suffer from a frequent guilty conscience? Do you often think, “Oh what the heck, I’ll do it!” and promptly feel guilty for doing so?
If you are admitting to feeling this way - welcome to my world!
Actually, apparently, we are not alone in our guilt ridden world. There are others. I was reading about them in Stylist magazine during my long journey home from the office, and trying to ignore the guilty voice reminding me I should be concentrating on my photography course work, not lusting over red sparkly party dresses which I couldn't afford.
According to Stylist, and very much according to my brain, we now live in a guilt zone community, and we have no one to blame but our guilty selves.
There are victims of spending too much time in the office, women who have more career opportunities than ever before, men trying to provide for their family or produce the work of ten men in these difficult financial times. We want to prove ourselves and prevent our businesses from crumbling, but we also feel guilty for not being at home with our loved ones.
We have created a cyber world where we love to Blog, Twitter, Facebook, shop on line and bid on eBay, but feel guilty in the process for not spending enough time in the real world.
Our mobile phones, our Blackberries and iPhones, are glued to our hands and ears, not wanting to miss that important client telephone call or the important friendly text from a friend. If we were to miss the important client telephone call or the important friendly text, how guilty we would feel for not being available twenty four hours a day, seven days a week. Even if the permanently-glued-to-our-hands-and ears mobile meant it was interrupting and sacrificing the time we should be doing other things, maybe more constructive things.
Even food is creeping into our guilty calorie counting lives. We have the knowledge of super foods and the fright of diabetes and heart disease. Yet still we indulge in chocolate cake and escape in reality cooking programmes, packed full of sugar and laden with fat.
So thank you Stylist and thank you memory for reminding me of all the guilty pleasures and pains in my life. I was already trying my hardest to ignore my guilty pangs. It's not easy sometimes. I must confess to struggling with this issue.
When I first met lovely boyfriend he couldn't believe what little time I had to myself. "You're never at home, you're always rushing everywhere and seeing everyone, no wonder you're always tired and running out of money."
He had a valid point. But if I didn't constantly arrange and agree to meet friends I would feel guilty for not seeing them or being there for them. On the other hand, arranging and agreeing to constantly go out was exhausting, physically and mentally, not to mention avoiding checking my bank balance to see how much my socialising was costing.
I'm not saying I don't thoroughly enjoy myself amongst friends, that's what makes it so tough, I love being with them. But I knew he was right, I should be going out less, so the next day would not be one big yawn, and I could spend time doing things that needed doing, such as housework and washing and card making and exercising on my cross trainer. The cross trainer I invested in when I cancelled my gym membership. The gym membership I always had good intentions to use but would feel guilty for not using.
Can you see the guilty mine field I am faced with? The guilty battles I torture myself with?
And guess what, all this time I spend with guilt is making me feel guilty for worrying so much and not focusing all this energy towards something else. Something perhaps more positive and worthwhile.
Oh I'm hopeless, aren't I.
I'm guilty as charged.
And don't even get me started on the chips I am about to tuck into, the chips I couldn't resist agreeing to but know I shouldn't be eating as I finally weighed myself today.
In my next life, please can I not feel so guilty.
Or at least make me thin.

Wednesday, 10 November 2010

'Tis a pity she's a whoare verses a day in the death of Joe Egg

Vile creatures and incestuous monsters.
Blood stained, guilty hands.
Tragically stolen and ripped heart.
Mother’s desperation, father’s abandonment.
Dysfunctional body and a childhood lost.
Love sick fool with a poisoned mind.
Trauma swallows laughter.
The bitter sweet taste of life.
Harsh words and destructible emotions.
The final act, the curtain falls.