Tag Archives: random thoughts


28 May

When you go to school, they tell you that you will probably only remain friends with 3 people by the time you are 30. You look around you at all the faces of the people you deem to be your BEST FRIENDS EVER and you vow that the teacher is old, not very nice and doesn’t know what she’s talking about.

But how many friends that you went to school with do you still see? Regularly enough to class them as a friend, rather than an acquaintance? I look at my close friends, and think about where they came from. Mostly from work, if I’m honest, some friends of friends from school that I made friends with, but on the whole only 2 very close friends from my school days. And weirdly, my infant school days.


The concept of friendship is done to death, isn’t it? you have friends, in some cases you have enemies, you have frenemies (you know the ones, the people who you meet at parties and then sneak a jellyfish into the conversation and sting you with some off the hand comment) and these friendships strengthen and weaken depending on external factors in your life and theirs, depending on your location, and oftentimes, what you partner thinks of them.

But what happens when you get unfriended? It sounds like playground nonsense, but it happens more often that you think, and there is absolutely nothing you can do about it. sometimes you notice and shrug it off, thinking that you probably would have done the same eventually, and sometimes it really hurts. The worst is when you can’t work out why


I’ve had a couple of them in the past, and one really bloody hurt. I was in my early twenties, and I went out with a couple of my close friends for some drinks. One of the girls, who I deemed one of my closest friends, was there,and pretty hammered. And so was her boyfriend, who kept being pretty inappropriate. In the end I left early as I wasn’t sure what to do, but I went to say goodbye to her first. She screamed me out in the middle of the bar and accused me of coming onto her boyfriend. I went home (totally sober and driving) figuring it was probably best to talk to her in the morning when she wasn’t drunk. We never spoke again. I called sporadically for 6 months or so, and then just gave up. The worst thing was that the other friend then sent me a text to say we had grown apart and she didn’t think we should see each other either.

It sounds like a sketch from Mean Girls, doesn’t it? But it hurt. Especially as these were the girls I had gone to school with and thought I would be friends with for life. And I questioned it for the longest time, wondering what I could have done differently in the situation and what I had actually done wrong, before finally accepting that I handled myself just fine, and this was just one of those casualties of life.

I firmly believe you have to shed to grow, and we are all guilty of unfriending now and then (although possibly not quite so harsh as my one!)

Have you ever been CTRL+ALT+DELETED from someones life?

Reach for the Moon – Even if You Miss You Land Among the Stars.

14 Nov

I read a post that Jules wrote this week that said thank you to the people she was grateful for and it inspired me to do the same. There is something to be said about giving thanks to the people who make you and shape you, and although I give you some information on who made me me on ‘The Cast’ page, I sometimes need to take the time to talk about the people I need to give thanks to.

I think sometimes about how time flies and how I suddenly find myself at twenty five, still not having a clue what I’m doing, but ageing all the same. And as my life dances by like it’s on fast forward, so do the lives of the people around me which often causes me concern. As I reach thirty my grandparents will be reaching eighty, and the thought flits through my mind more and more regularly that they aren’t as robust as they used to be, and they won’t live forever. But this post isn’t supposed to be miserable or maudlin, but more to celebrate one of the most influential people in my life, and give me a chance to say thank you to someone that is quite possibly not aware of the impact he has had on my life.

“Grandparents make the world…a little softer, a little kinder, a little warmer.” Unknown

As a little girl, my paternal grandfather used to rub me up the wrong way all the time.  To a volatile teenager he was the most irritating person I knew, commenting on whether I had put on weight, or why I didn’t have a boyfriend, or just generally being full of glee as he wound me up. I was pretty tightly coiled, and one little thing could send me off in a huff. I remember one Christmas him making some comment designed to annoy and me flouncing off in a huff, slamming the lounge room door. The problem was that I have never been the most elegant, and I got the long string of my cardigan caught in the door, so ruined my dramatic exit somewhat by having to open said door, extract cardi and slouch off to my room.

“If wrinkles must be written upon our brow, let them not be written upon the heart; the spirit should never grow old.”James Garfield

But as I grow, I find him more and more fascinating and he has become one of the strongest male figures in my life. My Daddy is there on a day to day basis to impart his wisdom and even just listen if I need someone level headed, but I often find myself thinking about the advice my grandfather would give me should I ask him.

My grandfather is the cleverest person I know. He designed his own website at the ripe old age of seventy-ish (something that most twenty somethings would have an issue with) and when my sister had an issue with her maths he made her an excel spread sheet that would calculate all the problems for her, making her life a lot easier. He is fluent in a few languages and recently taught himself Portuguese to GCSE, just because he wanted to. His capacity to learn astounds me and he always has a twinkle in his eye when he tells a story (mainly because he doesn’t let the truth get in the way of a good tale, although we have now figured out his ‘tell’: he rubs his hands together when lying). He has traced both his and my grandmother’s family trees back for generations, and he is the best cook that I know. If it wasn’t for his staunch belief in me and my ability I may not have pursued half of my dreams; he has always given me self-confidence and the ability to be able to reach for the stars. He would do anything for his four granddaughters, and he truly is one of the most interesting people I know.

(My Granddad, a man who gave me my love of cooking and wine, (see above :)) and also my mental eyebrows)

So Granddad, it might not be your birthday, or a special day, but I want to say thank you for everything you have encouraged me to be.

“Do it flower, I think you’re super” My Granddad.

Night Nurse

6 Nov

There is nothing worse than a morning where you took too much night nurse the night before. As you might have read previously, I have real trouble sleeping so every now and again, if I am feeling really under the weather and the lack of sleep isn’t helping me, I take a dose of night nurse. It knocks me out like a round in the ring with Tyson, and I catch up on my sleep to leave me rested in the morning. Or so I think.

But the problem is that I am small in stature, and it’s an exact science. So one capful for a normal sized person will lull them to sleep and ease the symptoms of their cold or flu, leaving them calm and rested in the morning, ready to face the day with a new vigour.

Doesn’t work like that for me.

I have to take it as I walk in the door from work, otherwise the effects last long into the next morning and I am drugged and disorientated. And this isn’t a joke.

The alarm goes off. I am yanked from slumber like someone has hit me in the face with a frying pan, and my day doesn’t get any better from there. I get dressed and leave for work, marvelling at how organised that was and how I don’t even feel rubbish at all anymore! I sit in traffic on the way to work and somewhere along the journey realise that my leggings are on inside out and that the seam is sticking out down my leg for all to see, not to mention when I get out the car the label will be fairly obvious and flap in the wind. If this hasn’t happened I sit smugly in the car patting down my hair which has taken on a life of its own and is threatening to blind me and wondering why I don’t have the energy to even sing along to the radio. I get to work, go to the loo and realise there was a casualty; I have my pants on inside out. Or back to front. Or in some cases, both.

In the summer I don’t need to take anything to help me sleep. I often don’t mind being awake when it is light and the rest of the world still sleeps, and have been known to get up, go for a walk in my pjs and then get back into bed as sleep washes over me. Admittedly, it’s not that great in the summer when I have left the window open all night (I find it easier to sleep with the breeze running over my skin) and the birds wake me up having a sing off on the fence post, but mostly I can cope with less sleep in the summer months.

But the winter is a totally different matter. I honestly think that in a former life I was a hibernating animal, and November through February you can find me in my bed for most of my free time. Either reading, writing, watching TV or, for the majority of the time, sleeping! And if I can’t sleep I get teary, thinking about the fact that I am on a different time zone to everyone on the same continent as me, and worrying how I will even make it through till lunch time on four minutes sleep in the last forty eight hours. If you know me you will know it’s true that I don’t function well without sleep, and am the most akin to a zombie as you will ever see.

So I take a bit of night nurse in the hope it will let me drift off with ease. It does. There have been some hilarious casualties to my reputation from night nurse induced situations. It doesn’t actually knock you out per se, just makes it far easier to drift off. For this reason I have had a couple of text messages which have woken me up and I have responded to. Cue confused message the next day from the recipient asking me to turn off predictive text/explain my point/enquiring if I had had a stroke.

Maybe I should go cold turkey….

Related Posts:

Conciousness: That Annoying Time Between Naps
The Early Bird Doesn’t Always Catch The Worm


5 Nov

per•cep•tion/pərˈsepSHən/ the ability to see, hear or become aware of something through senses. The state of being or process of being aware of something.

A couple of people I know had an argument a few weeks ago, and it’s got me thinking about perception and the way we perceive other people’s behaviour and words. As normal, it had taken something very small to plant a seed of thought in my mind, and now I am going off on a tangent.

So I thought I would enlist Emmy to take part in a bit of a game with me. I asked her to think of three words to describe me, and then three words to describe herself. Before she responded, so I wouldn’t be influenced by what she said, I did the same thing. Three about me, three about her.

As a teenager I was very different to the person I am now, and my family might give you three different words, but this girl lives with me and has been a massive part of my life for the best part of ten years. We are like chalk and cheese; she is blonde and calm and a party girl, I am brunette, my emotions bubble really close to the surface and I am a lot more likely to favour dinner out with the girls to a rave. I have mellowed out and although I still have a bit of a short fuse, I’m not troubled like I used to be. The trail or gunpowder has got a lot longer and I feel that I have developed the ability to be able to look at a situation from both perspectives rather than just throwing my opinion around. Don’t get me wrong, I have a long way to go, but I think my feet are firmly on the ladder of this one.

So I thought about the words that I would use to describe me to someone, and I came up with these. Honest. Fiery. Impulsive. It is totally possible to be all three, and it’s a really interesting mix. I hate liars with a passion as I don’t think it is necessary and I feel it is far more stressful that telling the truth, I blow up and cool down with a lightning speed making me very clearly fiery, and if asked to do something my answer is normally “sure, why not?” as long as I’m not putting myself in any danger.

The ones I used to describe her were measured, dippy and loyal. She is all three of these in equal measures. She is the calmest person I know and the most level. If I am the fire element then she is water, and I think that’s why we live together so harmoniously and rarely fall out over insignificant things. She is dippy (as you will know from my Life According To Emma posts) and she is a really loyal friend. I think a lot of the time it’s because she thinks like a boy, and therefore doesn’t get bitchy or unpleasant.

She obviously didn’t take it seriously the first time and came back with “Me= Massive. Slut. Bag. You = Big. Boob. Face. Oooh, I like this game!”

The three words she came back with eventually for me were confident, organised and caring. Her justifications were that I am very sure of myself, good at holding my own and speaking my mind. I’m organised as I am always organising her/reminding her of stuff and caring as when someone is ill, having family or boyfriend trouble I’m always there to listen and pick them up.

The three words she came back for herself were awkward, funny and emotional. She felt that she is awkward as she is always putting her foot in it, funny as she always has a story to tell and emotional because she stresses herself out over silly things.

Isn’t it funny how different people perceive you? The three words I used to describe myself were a far cry from the ones that Emma used, and of the words she chose, only one of ours matched up (dippy/funny). I found it really interesting that the ones she chose for herself were slightly negative (emotional and awkward) whereas the two others I selected for her were far more positive. I think its human nature to talk yourself down, but the question is which ones are the most accurate, and can you be all of the ones that people describe you as?

So I thought I would take it a step further and ask someone who sees a different side of me. I asked LouLouBelle to play the same game with me. She sees me at my most emotional, but also my most serious when I am playing with the rugrats and helping her out. She has also worked with me, so she has seen my no nonsense, get the job done side too, and is lucky enough to not live with me, so doesn’t see the tension and irritation of all the things that come up when sharing a house. As for her, she is the most selfless person I know. She would give you her last fiver if she thought you needed it, and she is one of the kindest and most loving people around.

The three she came back for me were loveable, amazing, and best friend. This just goes to show what I mean about Lou; she is the sweetest person I know!

The words I had written to describe her were selfless, dependable and calm. Sometimes when she tells me she was up all night with the baby I don’t know how she is still so level and cheery and I’m always amazed by how good she is with the girls.

The adjectives she came back with for herself were loving, kind and trustworthy, all are which are true.

This baffled me a bit; Lou was pretty much bang on the money with her description of herself, whereas my and Emma’s responses were totally different about ourselves than how other people saw us. So what affects how we see ourselves in comparison to how others see us?

All in all it was a fun game, and I think that all the adjectives used to describe me and my two friends are accurate. I think that we can be a ball of differing things depending on when you catch us. I guess it’s like all the faces of a diamond; catch us in one light and we might twinkle dimly, but see us in a ray of sun and we sparkle like the brightest of stars.

What three words would you use to describe yourself?

Fancy Dress for the Love of Choppy

3 Oct

Fancy dress. You either love it or hate it, don’t you? But whether you fall into the former or the latter, the chances are that at one point in your life you will love someone enough to don the outfit and go out for the night looking like a prat. I’m the sort of person that always forgets to sort anything out, and ends up with a half hearted fancy dress outfit. But you cant be committed with Chop around, so this year I was determined to put in the effort….

I love my friend Choppy enough to do this. A few years ago the theme was cowboys and Indians, and this year the theme was uniforms. So in true all aboard the birthday bus tradition, we donned out outfits and hit the town. I had intended to go as an airhostess, and had duly gone and purchased the outfit. Obviously the cheapest place was Ann Summers, so hilariously the very short dress came with a pair of pants that said ‘shagging crew’. Totally necessary. It also came with a hat too small for my head, so in true idiot fashion I spent the night before we went out (once the boys had gone home from our takeaway night, obviously) dancing round the house in my pjs singing “robin hood robin hood riding through the glen” while galloping on my pretend noble steed, to my housemate who found the whole thing hilarious and agreed that there was no need for a hat so small and no I did not have a freakishly large head.

The next day my other housemate came home with her nurses outfit, and we concluded that she looked better in red, I looked better in white (angelic) and we should swap. So Emmie and I went as nurses, complete with stethoscopes which I gather isn’t totally correct, and Mel went as an airhostess. She declined to wear the rather attractive pants though.

What is it about girls in fancy dress that turns men into jabbering wrecks? We went to the pub of doom (please do go back and read my post dedicated to this glorious place, it’s worth it) where some man pointed to my boobs and informed them they were boobs (well done!! Quelle surprise!) and we all felt suitably uncomfortable. I had a few texts from male friends at our expense “you and Emma are dressed as what? I wish I was in the area tonight. I hope no one asks you for medical advice. God help them!” and “are you guys still dressed up? We are definitely coming. Stay dressed up. ARE THERE PHOTOS?”

(Chop, Me, Mel and Emma)

The town centre was far more amusing. My dear friend Choppy had gone as a police officer and she had a plastic truncheon to complete the look. The more she had to drink, the more she (and we) found it more amusing as she beat passers-by. When you hit someone with it, it squeaked. The problem was you had to hit said person fairly hard to produce a noise, so I’m sure there were a ton of people waking up on Sunday with unexplainable bruises all over them. Luckily it was mainly men she was attacking and they all seemed quite game. My right bum cheek is particularly sore where she caught me by surprise a fair few times.

My favourite exchange with drunk man was when we had got to the sweaty club of choice, complete with cheese smell and a man came over to me and asked if I was a medical professional. “No” I replied “I don’t think medical professionals are actually allowed to go out dressed up in their uniforms. I think it’s inappropriate.” “Oh” he said “can you try my heartbeat anyway?” absolutely not. Someone pass me the tequila and get me out of here!

We all went home pretty early, putting the birthday girl to bed with water and a duvet, and woke up the next morning to pour over the photos. Which were basically a whole load of terrible shots with the odd image of a load of people who we had never met before. Standard.

I went home, showered and got back into bed for a few hours, waking up to hear my housemate calling from the door “look who I found in the garden!” and two seconds later being bundled by a friend or ours. A hazy half asleep memory from that morning was recalled, he had phoned and asked what we were doing that day, I had replied with a sleepy “having a picnic”…. Three hours later and they were on our doorstep. Nothing like a surprise visit, or as he put it, a ‘struggle snuggle’.

So twelve months will go by and we will remember with fondness that time we dressed up uniforms, and embrace it again next year for Charlotte’s birthday, because we love her. If she doesn’t talk us into Halloween or Santa’s at Christmas that is…..

Are You OK???

3 Oct

Are you OK is a phrase that is kind of bandied about there, and a lot of time it has no real meaning. Like when you burst into tears and someone asks you “are you ok?” for the most of the time they want you to just say yes, you have something in your eye.
I’m not very good at reading these signals (as I’m not very good at reading a lot of signals!!) so I normally just say “yesthankyou I am FINE!” in a far too chipper kind of way, and pretend that actually some wind/dust got in my eye and there is nothing to concern yourself with.

Even after a fairly stressful and sad weekend after working myself up so much that I was sick, when I came out of the bathroom to my closest friends sitting in the lounge peering at me in a concerned way, my standard response was “yes thankyou, fine. Just over tired”. No one believed that clanger. But they all looked at me in a concerned way and went back to distract-Laura-with-camping-plans talk, as if nothing had happened. And that’s why they’re are my nearest and dearest.

I am not a person that shows many other emotions than not particularly bothered, or slightly bothered and a bit interested, or understanding to someone else feeling rubbish. Anything that involves me being teary is normally done in the comfort of my own solitude because I believe that what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, and like a phoenix from the flames, I don’t really relish people seeing the not killing but making stronger stage.  Because normally it just makes you feel a little on the dead side for a while. As a kindred spirit from across the world tweeted this weekend “I’m mature enough to forgive you, but I’m not dumb enough to trust you again” which is something we should all adopt when sad. But when someone dies there is a different kind of sadness, a regret that you didn’t or weren’t able to do more. In my case this time it’s not just the loss of the person but more the inability to be able to make my Mum any less sad. Dealing with that is a pain that never goes away, just lessens.

But my friends, knowing how much I hate camping distracted me, and we reached a happy medium with me advising that if it rained/was cold I would moan, and them assuring me that they were prepared for this and would do their best to ensure I was housed in the comfort I required. Hahaha. And then we went off for Wagamama’s.

But sincerity and honesty are really interesting emotions, aren’t they? A lot of people feel socially compelled to ask you things, like how your day went, or how you actually are, but I bet you can count on one hand the amount of people who actually listen to the answer and aren’t just waiting for you to pause speaking so they can start again. Words are thrown about like snowballs in a storm, and it’s very rare that people actually listen to you, or watch your eyes to make sure that the words and the emotions really match up.

When you find people who are honestly watching you and doing the maths, hold onto them. People like this are few and far between, and if their interest in what you are feeling is real then they are worth grabbing with both hands. Most people feel awkward around emotion and therefore feel uncomfortable letting you tell them really how your day was. I find it better to just pretend life is marvellous at all times and that my days are tinged with glitter and sparkles.

On a positive note, look forward to an amusing post about more camping issues in the next few weeks. As disastrous as my camping career is, im sure there will be something unfortunate that happens!

“You’re in the arms of an Angel; may you find some comfort here”

On This Occasion You Have Not Been Successful

28 Sep

We have a lot going on in our office at the moment and so in true interview style, you often bump into a nervous looking individual on the way to the kettle/loo/ to pass a message to someone. They always look as if they are resisting something, like the feeling of laughter at a funeral or farting in a lift; that uncomfortable looking ‘ohgodican’t’ face.

It made me think back to interviews I have had in the past. My common issue when interviewing is actually getting the interview. You see, I am a sparkling talent; fresh and driven and incredibly hard-working (if I don’t say so myself), but on paper I have one failure. I do not have a degree. I didn’t go to university, partly because I ended up in hospital during my A levels and didn’t get the grades I aspired for, and partly due to other things (according to my dad, who is, often, right). It’s funny because should I actually get in front of someone, they always seem surprised and a comment I have heard more than once is “We weren’t going to see you, as you don’t have a degree!” Nope. I don’t. But I can type faster than you can run, I have a slightly left of the middle eccentric brain which comes up with all sorts of unusual ideas and when working in sales in the past I have been a top seller, simply because I can talk the hind legs off a donkey. I can as easily sell an expensive face cream as I can a house. I am also far more intelligent and capable than someone who did travel and tourism or one of the other degrees that my grandfather refers to as ‘mickey mouse’. I have life experience by  the bucket load. So there. (rant over, steps, no, falls, off soapbox).

When I was young, the thing that failed me at interview was my never-ending ability to fill a gap with words. People have told me recently that I still do this in a conversational way with friends  (Ollie  “stop talking!! Just for the tunnel! Its only ninety seconds!!!” Cheers dude) but I have learnt to rein it in professionally. Yet I still, on occasion, get awkward in silent situations. I think over what I just said. I think a bit more. Then I add something that I feel is necessary to clarify my previous point, that actually needed no further clarification. Then I pause. Then I look awkward.

I often feel for the people interviewing too. There have been some really amusing answers to questions posed in interviews, and I feel an affinity for these people. There is nothing worse than your brain not engaging before your mouth speaks, and sometimes its like watching your life in slow mo. Why did I say that? Ouch.

Have you ever said anything really embarrassing in an interview? Or heard an amusing answer? Answers on a postcard people!

Bit of shameless promoting…. Don’t forget to follow on Facebook and Twitter (right hand side… obvious prompts. Cannot get massive neon arrow. I apologise!) for teeny tiny bits of wisdom random from moi. (This one is for you Mrs O! 🙂 )

Oh Ryan, how did you sneak in there? Ah the microphone. Ryan Reynolds doing my interview. Certified verbal word vomit.

12 Things That Movies Have Taught Me About Life… (via Sarah Smiles Awhile)

15 Sep

Every now and then you read a blog post that you really wish you had written yourself! And this is one of them.
Read and enjoy!
‘Belle x

12 Things That Movies Have Taught Me About Life... Everything I've Learned About Life, I've Learned From Movies… 1.)  Jerry Maguire from Jerry Maguire taught me how to deal with stressful work sitch's when he said:  "Don't worry, I'm not gonna do what you all think I'm gonna do, which is, you know, FLIP OUT!" 2.)  Llyod Dobler from Say Anything taught me what kind of guy I should hold out for when he said:  "What I really want to do with my life – what I want to do for a living – is I want to b … Read More

via Sarah Smiles Awhile

What Goes Down Must Come Up ~ Or Is It The Other Way??

24 Aug

Sometimes the most haunting or memorable words come from the darkest of places. I mean one of my most popular posts was the one about the aftermath of watching ‘Yes Man’ and meeting up with my first boyfriend for a drink (if you think this is a bad idea then you wouldn’t be the only one, and yes, it was a horrible idea. It’s not really Jim Carrey’s fault either. Its mine. And yes, you would also be right in thinking that sometimes I am a sucker for punishment, and you are watching a train wreck about to happen, over and over).

It seems that when I am at my most fragile and tempestuous, I write the best stuff. Whether that’s because I am channelling my inner Victor Meldrew or because discontent is behind the words I don’t know, but what I do know is you guys are suckers for applauding a girl when she’s down! My posts have been a little lacklustre recently, but I have been in a good place thanks to the introduction to my world of a larger than life personality with a sense for the amusing and a rare and unusual temperament, a caring soul who I would have done anything for. Not like me, I hear you cry! Well, quite.

And as they say, people come into your life for a reason, a season or a lifetime. I’m not sure where this one fits in but like every season the leaves must change, and for whatever reason they have fallen. They go through those beautiful colours; the oranges and reds of the autumn, until they fall to the ground, dead and done with. Part of me thinks that Mother Nature was a woman scorned, and she punishes us with the dark days and cold nights of winter, to prove to us that you can have the glorious and hazy summer days, but then they must be ripped for you like a plaster off a wound, so you can fully appreciate it when the buds push up through the earth signalling the arrival of spring.

Simple. Sim – puhl, meaning not elaborate, artificial, unaffected, unassuming. Not complicated.

Apparently not. Nothing in my life is ever simple, and I think that times are often sent to test us, to make us prove that we are stronger than we think. Don’t get me wrong, on a scale of mass murder and organised crime there is nothing terrible going on in my life, but I have that feeling that I need to get moving and forget my ideals and thought processes. It seems to me that in a time when you never get something for nothing, wanting a life that is simple is never going to happen. I just want things to go without a hitch for one time. Just one! But I often get the feeling that what I want isn’t the path I have been given, so I need to stitch up the holes, patch the battle wounds and get back up again. I feel a bit like a zombie in a computer game; destined to always get back up with a groan and get on with it but to look a little worse for wear and like I need a good rest. It feels a little like recently; although I am still bouncing back a bit of the spring has gone, and like a tired old mattress, if you jump on me you might feel the floor rather than springing off to the ceiling.

I’m going to play the lottery tonight. And then I’m going to go home and channel all my energy into wishing upon a star, and maybe one day soon the pieces of the puzzle might just fall into place. But I lucked out on puzzle delivery; when some other people stood in line and received the My Little Pony one, I got the magic eye. You know the one where all the pieces look the same and you can’t work out what goes where? Well that’s just me all over!

(you wouldn’t want to look at that with a hangover now would you?!)

So when you see me on the news holding the massive paper cheque, being all smug at my win be pleased for me. I promise I will buy a house somewhere fantastic and let you all stay in it for free. After all, the catharsis of the written word and the pleasure I get from the support you people give will not go unnoticed, sometimes when you feel the worst people who cannot put a face to your name lift your spirits the most and turn the light back on in the darkness of a foul mood.

Or the helpful comments of a friend who is always there to pick me up at my most miserable.

“Don’t worry Tink. You might feel bad, but at least you aren’t stationed in Germany eating sausage and singing folk tunes.”

There is always that.