Sunday, 19 September 2010

I almost died once.

Standing on the edge of a cliff in Mallorca, it was windy and a little drizzly. We were looking at how the waves and sea had eroded the land. I was about two feet from the edge, with my back to the ocean. I took a tiny step backwards and lost my footing. I was on my way back over the edge when my pal grabbed my arm and pulled me towards him. If I'd fallen in, it was about 50 metres down and we were right above a wave cut platform. I'd have hit the cliff face with a huge force. When I realised what had almost happened, I felt giddy with exhileration, what had almost happened. The dolphins were released and I was shaking with fear and disbelief, extatic that I wasn't in the sea. Glad to feel the cool breeze on my face. Only the people who were right there, at that very moment knew it was a close shave. People thought I'd exaggerated the story for dramatic effect. I haven't.
Last Sunday, I faced something even scarier. I had signed up for the bigfoot, previous posts will give you an idea of how much of a struggle it would be. I was expecting pure hell, and I got it. The morning started badly. We were looking for a big museum, not a terrace and google maps took us all round Armagh so ended up a tiny bit late. Then the mega queue for the bathroom meant they started without us. After a few panicked moments we worked out where to go and saw yellow high viz vests up ahead. We walked through Armagh to Benburb, all I could think the whole time was 'the bear went over the mountain', a ridiculous song a guy called Tom Sweeney used to sing at school every xmas. We walked by lots of families who'd came outside for a nosy. One man offered fresh apples from his orchard, another family were singing! Then 2miles from Benburb we had a lovely lady offering to let us use her bathroom!
We had lunch and the second half was hard. Really hard. I had to keep stopping to stretch out my leg muscles. It was a pleasure pain thing- stopping was nice, but getting going again was so hard. I don't remember much of the second half, except seeing the sign for Moygashel, seeing the finishing point so, so far away on the horizion, having Stephen drive by every now and again checking on us, deep freezing my legs and running out of conversation with Laura. Seeing her mum at Dungannon Park helped her lots, she ran at one stage. Seeing her spirits lifted helped me. Walking into Dungannon was a pleasure/pain thing. I HATE Dungannon, I worked just outside it for a while, and it's a kip. A hilly kip. The finish line was at the very top of the town. It almost killed us getting there, but we made it. Sore, crying, wanting to die, hungry and tired but alive. We had walked 18 miles, defied the odds, Laura hadn't complained once even though she was so ill the week before, Laura had the biggest knee i've ever seen and both of us struggled to move our legs. I never did get the endolphins like I did on that cliff, I never felt that buzz of facing a challenge and kicking it's ass. Defying the odds and making it through. But I did discover a love for walking with Laura.
I owe huge thank you's to everyone who sponsored me, Stephen and Eugene, Rachel at Active Health (for without you I'd be unable to walk now, even if you did cause me extreme pain at the time!) and to everyone who tweeted while we were out. We read every tweet out, laughed at you all, and at some stages sighed in disbelief that your rubbish jokes Rob ;)
I also owe a mega thanks to Laura. Irrelevant of which one of us is to blame for the whole thing- I wouldn't have got through it without you. I wouldn't have even signed up. You're a wee legend but no to the Inca Trail...

Wednesday, 8 September 2010

This Week is a biggie.

This week is a big'un for wee Flops. First off, I've moved house. Stay in touch for your invite for the guided tour and the imminent housewarming. I've lived with big bro for 4years now and it was time to fly the coop!

Next is a mad week in work. I *think* I have two full days out of the office. I am really busy and don't have time to train but it has to be done so I'll suck it up!

This week is also the anniversary of my dads death. The emotions that surround it baffle me. 18 years is a long time, and I'm completely adapted. My momma did a friggin brill job of raising us and I don't miss him as such. I do have all the crazy feelings of anger and resentment but then the reality of how desperate he must have been comes back to me and I feel sorreh for him. One of my training days is mental health first aid and there will be sections on suicide which I'll struggle with but I need to know all I can about it to help understand him.

Finally, I'm walking 18miles for charidee. I'm petrified. Scared I won't finish, scared I'll hurt myself (more), scared I'll let Laura (and everyone who sponsored me) down. But I'm gonna give it everything. My charity is Aware and even if I didn't work for them, they would have got it.

18 miles doesn't seem that long when you say it quickly, but it is FAR! I struggle most with aches and pains. I hurt my knees when I was growing up- the groove my kneecap sits in isn't deep enough so my kneecaps are very mobile. It means the can slide out of the groove a little (not full dislocation, called Subluxing patellas- it's quicker and less painful than full dislocation and it pops back into place itself!) and it's given me gip for ages. I also have muscle imbalances in my left side. My knee turns inwards, there is a muscle that’s really tight and a muscle in my butt that's not strong enough, so all combined, when I walk around 9 miles I start to fatigue and muscles get inflamed as they rub over each other. The more tired I get, the more my pelvis drops making the pain worse. Trying to think 'I have to walk with great posture' is ok when you're not mentally or physically drained, it gets hard after a few hours. Another thing is talking to Laura for upwards of 5 hours. I'm a chatterbox and I'm a nightmare to shut up, but we've been walking now for 7 weeks, at least three times a week and for 2 hours at a time. We see each other a lot. Therefore we're running out of conversation. Who'd a thunk that talking is something I'd struggle with. When we don't talk, it's much harder. Every step is a challenge.

This week we taper. Two short walks of 2 miles. And carb loading. I love carbs, this makes me so happy! :D

Friday, 27 August 2010

More walkies

Training update-

I've managed pretty well this week, one 6 mile walk and a 7 mile one last night, all around the carriageway near Holywood. I was feeling amazing coming in from the 6 miles on Tuesday, all doubts had been lifted and we both felt great! Last night got a bit tougher. My hip was starting to hurt and the compeed just don't alleviate all the pain from Mega Blister. I'm going to try and get to a physio and have a gait analysis done before the walk, although I've only got two weeks and now is not the time to break in new shoes! Unless they're the fabulous velvet platforms from River Island!

This weekend is Lap the Lough, my buddy Lisa is doing it to raise money for Aware, so we're going to try and work our 12 mile weekend walk into the route for their 87 (!!!) mile cycle and try and get some pictures of Lisa! She's done so well, and you can sponsor her here- (just find Lisa Millar).

Until Sunday, i'm going to rest my feets and hip. Wish us luck!

Monday, 23 August 2010

Walk in the park

Sorry this is also off topic. Deal wiv it, alreet.

A few weeks ago, I started work with Aware. A few weeks later, somehow I said I'd do the Bigfoot walk. I still don't remember the conversation where my arm was twisted into doing it, clearly I was drugged and forced to sign up. That's my story and I'm sticking to it.
Anyone who knows me will know that I'm a lazysaurus. I walk. Around topshop, or to the kettle. Occasionally I have been known to walk to the shop. So why i'd sign up to do 18 miles is beyond me. To give you some context, 18 miles is Belfast to Lurgan, Coleraine to Ballycastle or in my case, it'll be Armagh to Dungannon.

I've been doing some training, the five milers are easy enough now, I finish feeling ok and last week I did eight miles, with only one stop for a brownie and some milk in St. Georges. Returning home with a tummy full of chocolate, I felt goooood. Exhausted and I spent the day asleep; but so good!

I did ten miles yesterday. I never thought I'd ever walk to Tesco Newtownbreda. But I did. And walked past it. And past Forestside. And into town. And home again. About two miles in, I started to feel it. I wasn't in a great frame of mind; like a plank, i'd managed to sleep in. I had breakkie and got myself sorted, but I wasn't rearing to go. So I struggled from the off. It's hard walking a route you usually drive, and know how far it is in a car. Combine that with the tell tale rubbing of shoes and a HUGE blister, made the first five miles hell. Over compensating for my sore foot (the co-op sticky plasters just weren't good enough) made my hips ache to the point where I was sure I was going to dislocate one. It's not natural to feel that much pain. I knew Laura was struggling too, we couldn't even talk to each other, except to shout profanitites which wasn't making it any easier for either of us.

The walk down the Ormeau road was easier, downhill and straight into a rest stop. We knew what was waiting for us. Still felt like a million miles. On the way home, I had to do a last minute detour down the Donegall Rd. I just felt I couldn't face the walk along the Lisburn Road to my house, knowing how far away we were. The detour added some distance but helped my santy. I'm no fittie, but it doesn't take it out of me too much physically to walk long distances- I do plenty of eating to make sure i've the energy for it. I've had problems with my knees for years and that makes it tough, the mental thing I didn't think I'd struggle so badly with and the general aches and pains when you walk so far just get worse and worse. I'm glad we're getting medical backup on Walk Day.

We made it home and I collapsed outside the house, unable to move. I took my shoes off and lay and cried for a while. The realisation that if it had been 'race day' I wouldn't have made it really knocked me for six. Knowing that i've already been sponsored lots is going to help me on the day. Laura is good- I don't want to let her down, but I really don't want to blog after the event and say I didn't make it. It's knowing I can't back out of it that really reminds me why i'm doing this. It's for the one in four who experience depression, and for the families of the people left behind after suicide, and to stop those people on the brink of suicide. Depression is implicated in 75% of all suicides, it really does kill people. In 2010, this shouldn't be happening.
Please sponsor me if you can. Everything helps me meet my target.

Tuesday, 13 July 2010


So I've passed my blogging anniversary, and guess what folks? I'm still single. I know it's a cliche, but I honestly couldn't be any less bothered. I have loads of other things to occupy myself, namely my first big persons, real life job, where I get my very own laptop, desk and lots and lots of changes I'm going to get to make. Nice an all as it is covering a maternity leave, I always felt like I had big shoes to fill and had to roll with the flow and not change anything. Now I can say that I want to do something, and suggest changes and because I am young and not taking over from someone, it all seems to go down a treat. Another lovely thing is our CEO. I've been so used to either having completely unapproachable bosses, where walking into their office feeling like you're entering the lions cage (and the lions are hungry and I have an open wound and they can smell the blood), or supervisors who think it's OK to quiz me about my sex life, or the people who I think are normal and could have a chat to, but everyone else in the office has them on a pedestal of unapproachableness that it's such a nice change to work in an environment where there is no hierarchy.
The other things that have been happening with me recently have been boring as ever. Going out and getting ridiculously drunk, shopping, drinking waaay too much coffee, thoroughly enjoying having the house to myself for a week, thinking about how to take over the world and sleeping far too much.
I also got my second tattoo recently. I don't believe in horoscopes, for the simple reason that they are cleverly written and open to interpretation. How can one short phrase be the same for one twelfth of the entire global population? Starsigns and name meanings are a different thing for me entirely. I'm a Pisces and I think the characteristics match my personality - 'The intuition of the Pisces-born is highly evolved. Many people associate Pisces with dreams and secrets, and it's a fair association, since those born under this sign feel comfortable in an illusory world'. Because of this, and the fact that I have a thing about dreams I wanted a tattoo about dreaming. I rarely dream when i'm asleep (or rarely remember them) but I do spend an awful lot of time daydreaming. It took a while, but I found a quote from Amelie, Les temps sont durs pour les reveurs that I fell in love with and struck a nerve with me. So I had it tattooed across my ribs. And it fucking hurt. A lot. But I would go and get it done again.

This is another ranty post about nothing, I keep saying 'oooh, i need to blog about that' but always forget what the post is about when I sit down with my lappy.

Friday, 28 May 2010

There's a package for you Miss Jugalot.

This is what Ollie (housemate) sent in a text to me today. First thought, was wtf is with Miss Jugalot. Second thought, what have I ordered? Has someone gifted me a Mulberry Alexa? Have I ordered something in my sleep with my buddies credit card? (Joys of sorting tickets for people means I often have several sets of card details*). Got home and found a rather large envelope with my full name written on the front in a child's handwriting. It could only mean one thing. The Ex.

I've briefly mentioned him on this blog. Twat number 4. Basically, we met in first year of Uni. We did the same course but he was repeating. We randomly bumped into each other several times throughout the years but it was only when I cut my hair off did he stop and pay attention. Within a few months, we had nicknames for each other, our own silly language, constant private jokes and all the other things couples do. About 8 months into the relationship, I went out with my BFF David. The boyf's pals were all out too, at the same place. David and I get on like dicks sometimes and this particular night, I was celebrating that I'd missed the deadline for my dissertation- silly to go and get drunk, I know, but I handed it in a week late. All good. (Anyone want to know about how the quality of river sediment changes as it flows through an urban environment- I'm yer gal.) So back to the night in question- basically the boyf's pals all thought I was gonna make out with Mitch. Much as I love him, that'd be a little too incestuous for me. But that didn't stop these pals of him telling ma boyf I was making out with another dude. In fact, one of these pals (a chick) of his then went to another of my friends and said I'd tried it on with her. Erm luv, if I was gonna go all lezzer, I'd pick a hawt bird, not someone who looks like Dobby the house Elf.
Dave (the boy) didn't mention anything, came to my house hammered a few nights later. Said he was ditching me coz I cheated on him. I said his friends were wanks and so was he for believing them and promptly chased him out of my house, like a woman possessed. Then I collapsed in a crying, wailing mess and scared the fuck out of Paul.
The ex eventually realised he was a dick and we got back together. All was peachy for another few months till he stopped calling round coz he was at the gym. Or with his pals. Or had to be home by 7 to see his mammy and have dinner (and if he was 5 mins late the world would end). Or he had a new CD to rip onto iTunes. Or he had to dust his skirting boards. So I'd only see him when I went to his house. Which never had any heating. You'd see your breath when you were in bed. Oh, but he was toasty, coz he was surgically attached to a sleeping bag. At all times. Including when we were eating dinner.
I eventually had a moment of clarity when he was buggering off skiing for xmas and not once told me he was gonna miss me. He wasn't even bothered that he wasn't going to see me the entire festive season (like from mid December to the 2nd week of January). He refused to spend NYE with me because I mentioned I *might* be going out for a while with David. So I kicked him to the kerb. Didn't hear anything until my birthday two months later. Cue crying phone call. 'I've been a dick, blah blah. Delayed reaction blah, miss you blah, do anything you want blah blah.' And here's me. Nah pal. You were a wile dick. Too late. Stop calling me. I'm trying to get drunk. Quit ruining my birthday celebrations with your whingeing.

Didn't hear from him again until today. When he sent me this. Closeup of letter page one and page two. I'm glad to get my Planet Earth dvd's back. Almost bought the box set again on many occasions. Jeff, I have a few copies of, but this is the disk from the special edition so it will be returned to it's rightful place asap. I wrote a letter back. I wish him well. He was a dick to me, but he will find some bird who's happy to be low on his list of priorities. Or he'll cut the apron strings and man up. Either way, the letter was funny.

Phew, long post. Sorry for the rant folks. Tried cutting sections of the story out but couldn't do it.

*Please don't try and rob me for the card deets.

Thursday, 29 April 2010

It's oh so quiet...

Apparently my blog has been to quiet of late. This is simply because I have nothing to tell. Nothing to see here folks, move along. My reason for blogging was originally peer pressure (wind/wind?!) but the little lightning bolt has struck today and writing is going to be a nice way to clear my head.

Past few weeks have been rather good. After Twestival, Laura and I kept in touch and there are other projects in the pipeline. (Just had deja vu- even to the point where I remember having to go check the spelling of deja vu- brain tumor? Let's hope not). My days have consisted of the occasional box office shift, where generally I leave feeling pretty damn rubbish (office politics when there are so many people coming and going are hard to keep track of) but it funds my nights out and occasional shoe shopping trips. I'm still living in hope that someone will buy me a Mulberry Alexa. 

I spend my days popping out for lunch, coffee, occasional trips to Vicky Square to drool over Alexa and looking for new jobs. If I was getting paid to be a bum- I would have found my dream job. My house has miraculously stayed tidier than I've seen it in a long time, there are always fresh flowers in the kitchen (purple freesia's this week), I come and go as I please, I've started working out again (if you can call 30 mins x-training working out) and I love it. 

There have even been a few boys since I last blogged. Don't get excited. I took my lovely pal Rebecca to Omagh for the weekend. We had planned to do it for my birthday but with both our grandparents passing away in the same week in Feb, her modelling (!!), me working and other nights out planned it took us until April to get it sorted. So we hit the road, in true Thelma and Louise style. Complete with huge sunnies, leather trousers and high heels and headed to Omagh (via Dungannon Tesco- most stressful Tesco i've ever been in).

Night out started well, met my bitches, Ross and David in a bar (both of whom are now completely smitten with Rebecca), had a drink and a natter. I was soon approached by a "gentleman" I went to school with who told me he added me on Facebook because of my boobs. Then after throwing his drunk self across the back of Rebecca's chair, he proceeded to tell me he had won something at a rugby match and asked if I would be so kind as to let him motorboat me (accompanied by an example of how he'd do it). I can honestly say, I have never left a bar so quickly in all my life. I ran for the hills and learnt a valuable lesson. Country boys are idiots. 

After the disaster in Bar 10, Rebecca was understandably freaked out. Until she was being chatted up by a guy in a club who told her that he liked to go sheep tipping. We then found the only hot boys in Omagh in the third place we went to- unfortunately they also turned out to be wanks and spent the whole night making eyes at us before pulling some skanks. Story of ma life. Lopsi see boy, boy see Lopsi, boy makes out with skank. Bad craic. Anyways, thats a bit of a rant about what to expect when you go out in Omagh. 

We made up for a rubbishy night by watching Pineapple Dance Studios and having our faith restored in men by Louie Spence then spending the day having big lolz driving round the KFC drivethru twice, basking in the sun by the river and having my car washed.

Ranty post done. Least there was some man drama in there for y'all.