Saturday, 23 June 2012

And the winner is...

“On that note, I’m going to bed.”
The publishing director, editor-in-chief, and the freelance journalist looked at me through their Baileys and brandy haze, sweetly oblivious that they had actually witnessed a small miracle.
For I had uttered the three mortal words, “No thank you!” when asked if I would like another drink and I was not the very last person stumbling to bed.
I was feeling pretty pleased with myself.
I finally had will power!
At last my voice had formed no thank you sounds. And I was not wobbling from the bar in an undignified fashion, leaving behind a trail of lost or broken bag/purse/camera/mobile/keys.
So this is how it feels to be sensible, I thought smugly to myself, thinking about the hotel bed waiting for me with biscuits and bottled water.
I whistled a little tune as I pressed number 4 inside the lift, triumphant in the knowledge I still had my hotel key, I could remember where my room was situated, and I was not suffering a massive panic attack as I had only just noticed the time and worked out what little sleep I would be faced with.
Oh it felt good to breeze along the hotel corridors with a fairly clear head, realising the unfamiliar feeling was a full memory of the night’s events.
I could remember I’d eaten sea bass, followed by duck and vegetables, and an ice cream and banana dessert.
I could count on one hand how many drinks I had sipped not guzzled.
I could recall the comedian who had introduced the awards evening, the gags he’d told, and the nominations and categories the magazine industry had voted for.
I even remembered admiring the sparkly dresses worn by the ladies, and talking to the rep at our mailing house who was wearing a fetching kilt.
Yep, myself, my belongings, and my memory were in tact.
I was not cringing when I replayed a conversation, or a body action.
I was not full to the brim of dread for the next day, the sleepy, painful head.
I even praised myself for remembering to order breakfast room service and arrange to work from our swish London offices the day after, the offices which were an approximate 3 minute walk from the hotel.
I was glad I did not have another embarrassing story to add to my endless list. A list which had been partly exposed to the designer on the train journey and in the taxi ride to the function. Oh how we laughed as we swapped stories of disastrous award ceremonies and office parties. I admitted to him there was a time my colleague jumped towards me, expecting me to catch her, but I failed to and we both fell tumbling on the dance floor, arms and legs all over the place and causing quite a kafuffle. He confessed to being so tipsy one evening that every taxi which passed him refused to take him home and he had to walk the whole distance. I was nearly crippled with fear when I thought about this possibility, and prayed that I would never ever allow this to happen to myself.
I opened the door to my hotel room, smiling merrily, and not because of the Pinot Grigio, kicked off my shoes, and carefully removed my make up.
A girl could get used to this sensible life.
It had been a successful night.
Okay, so we didn’t win a single award, after being nominated for four.
But you can’t have everything in this life, can you.

Sunday, 17 June 2012

Back to Cornwall

Another family holiday in Cornwall, with lots of pictures!



















































































Saturday, 2 June 2012

I cried for you when the sky cried for you

Pardon me for saying, but sometimes I find newspapers and news bulletins depressing.
Yes I know they are the facts of our lives, the world outside our window, and I regularly feel ignorant if I don’t know and see the bigger picture. Yet sometimes I find it all too much.
And here's another brutal, bare fact - I have an over sensitive soul.
I am the first to admit my glass is almost always half full. Most days I love life. And friends have applauded my positive nature.
But even the happiest of hearts can have a sad story to tell.
When I read a dramatic headline, or listen to a news flash covering a fragile, traumatic tale, I am often immediately transported to my seventeen year old self.
I hated being seventeen.
Over twenty years have passed since my seventeenth broken year, but when you’ve experienced the cruel consequences of life, it’s impossible to shrug it off completely.
If I read or hear about a fatal accident, a car crash, a loss of a beloved life, I feel that uncomfortable tightness of my throat and my eyes sting with bitter tears.
It could be as innocent as watching Coronation Street (top soap opera in the UK) and boyfriend will look at me, despairing of me and say, “You’re not crying are you Nikki?”
“Of course not!” is nearly always my reply, followed by sniffing or wiping my eyes.
It could be something more realistic such as The News At Ten, a news reporter detailing a pitiful family's situation, and the tightness and stinging begin and I think, “Oh God I get this, I know what this family is going through.”
Okay, you can never completely understand another person's unfortunate plight. I would never have the audacity to think I can imagine every pain and suffering every person may be experiencing.
But loosing a loved one, your life and your family torn into a million unlucky pieces?
I get that.
I don’t talk about my brother very much. Maybe I should. Maybe I shouldn’t. Maybe I prefer it this way. Maybe I wish I did keep his memory alive by talking about him more.
My world, our family’s world, our mother, our father, his fiancée, our aunts and uncles and cousins, his friend's world, was turned upside down on the 6th July 1991. I honestly never thought I, our mother, our father, his fiancée, our aunts, uncles and cousins, his friends, would ever get over it.
We still haven’t got over it. It’s not that simple. Death is not a cold which will pass in a week or so. Death is final.
We’ve just learnt to live with it.
Some days I miss him so much it physically hurts. An aching empty chasm of pure wretched loss.
Some days I will think about him and laugh fondly at his memories. I will feel comforted by remembering his fierce protectiveness of me, and his wonderful, kind, caring, decent nature.
Some days I feel a huge sense of injustice in this world and all we have to learn.
He was only 23 for goodness sake.
He had so much to give and look forward to.
No I do not often talk about him. I still have acquaintances and colleagues who have no idea he ever existed. I feel terribly guilty for this. But I can’t bear to talk about him, his endearing attitude and his bags of charisma, to people who might feel uncomfortable or wish I had never mentioned him.
Sometimes I think how dare I write a blog with insignificant careless things and not write about him? In my darkest days I am riddled with this guilt.
He deserves to be written about. It’s the very least I can do.
So I have.
Sorry, it’s all kind of over spilt. I guess I’m not always as guarded as I thought.
You can probably understand now why I find newspapers and bulletins often depressing. And why I can admit to having an over sensitive soul.
So would you excuse me if I read a light hearted magazine or a Harry Potter book, if one day I find a certain newspaper article too much to bear?
I think, I hope, I’m sure, my dear brother would understand.
God bless you Lee.
I sure do miss you big bruv. x