Thursday, 28 July 2011


Is sometimes one of the hardest things to do. I have been struggling to accept this one thing since the day I turned 24. I have no idea why I've turned out this way. I wish it was so, but there you go. It is what it is as they say.

This morning, I was looking in the mirror while applying my makeup getting ready for work and was looking at all the grey in my hair and thinking it was due for another colour, when my thoughts drifted to a conversation I had had last night with an old school friend of mine. – No emphasis on the word old please!- and I was thinking of her asking me how I felt that I was on the cusp of experiencing empty nest syndrome. Now, while the idea of having the house to myself is intriguing, the thought that my children are almost old enough to actually be leaving the house is terrifying. You don’t understand, it is literally terrifying.

When they say time races by, they are not kidding. I remember my daughter being a little baby in my arms and truly, it feels like only a year ago or so now. The truth is, its 17 years ago and I have no idea where the time went. In that time, my son has been born, I've gone through the toddler stage, teething stage, just starting school phase and boyfriends and girlfriend stage. Ive seen my daughter finish school and start college and watched my son grow taller than me. This has literally all happened in a blink of an eye. I cannot sit here and reminisce about it but its almost like it didn’t happen. One minute they were babies, the next I’m discussing empty next syndrome with my friend.

Oh My God, how did this happen?
And more importantly, WHY does the idea of my children growing up freak me out?

I remember back when I was something like 10 years old and my mom was telling me about this friend of theirs who was age phobic. She said something along the lines of him not been able to accept that he was ‘getting old’ and sometimes acted like a child and she insinuated that this was indeed a terribly sad thing. I am just like him now.

I'll be turning 41 this year. Yet, the average age of my friends is around 30. The ethic in my office is a young one, where I guess, the average age is 27 and I am the 2nd eldest there, yet I am the first one going out after work for a quick drink. Or the one texting my husband saying that I'm meeting up with friends after work and am going clubbing. I have no idea what my younger mates must think of this, nor do I want to know, but I am not going to suddenly become old and graceful. No, I don’t think so!

I am the one telling my daughter that I look forward to her turning 18 so that her and I can go clubbing. What is up with that? Worse, is she actually seems to be looking forward to it? I guess, this is a good thing, but I can imagine my horror if my mother had said the same thing to me 20 years ago. Perhaps my daughter is just humouring me. Goodness knows what she says about me behind my back.

So, why am I blogging about this? Because it is a real issue for me. If I could just start acting my age, grabbing the slippers and the knitting and forget about hanging out with my younger friends then all would be well in the world. If I could join my husband, who I am sure I must irritate a great deal with me ‘Lets go out!’ or ‘Do you mind if I go out tonight’ and be content with spending my evenings in front of the television and not downloading the latest hits to my ipod then I’m sure he would be very pleased. But the sight of grey hairs on my head, saggy skin and wrinkles which I am sure will be arriving soon, actually freaks me out. Imagine how I am going to be when menopause hits? I don’t even want to contemplate it!

They say 40 is the new 30. I can live with that, but I'm not sure if my 20 something behaviour is all that cool? It’s probably not, but I cannot help it. I'm not about to go lay down and get old. If I could freeze time then I would.

No, I'm not one of those parents that looks forward to her grandchildren arriving. I’m not one of those people who look forward to retirement. Well, the part where I don’t have to go work sounds good to me, but I don’t want to fall into the OAP category. Id rather someone took me outside and shot me before I got there.

You think I'm kidding? I'm not. My close friends who know me will have probably heard me say this before. If I came into a lot of money, id be booking my appointment with the plastic surgeon for a bit of nip and tucks and scheduling the botox. I'm not quite ready for a facelift yet thank you very much!

But Ohhhhh to be able to age gracefully would save me so much time, money and energy.

Are there pills out there I can buy for me to accept that I'm not 26 anymore? Would I even buy them if there was? Probably not.

Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Red tape and London

I've booked a holiday ...yay me...and its all very exciting, coz we are off to a SUNNY (hopefully) Greek Island.  I've been dreaming about going on holiday to a Greek Island (seriously, it has had to be a Greek Island) for a good while now, so imagine my excitement when I came out of the travel agency last Friday with a booked itinerary in my hands.  Oh I just couldn't wait to get home and google all kinds of tropical Mediterranean beaches and get satellite images of the hotel where we are going to stay.

There was just this little issue that I needed sorting though, before I would allow myself to get overly excited and that was to sort out the visa's for the kids.  Lucky for me, I already have one from my previous trip to Chamonix in February so I knew I was all sorted.

Imagine my disappointment then, when I read that Greece wasn't as accommodating as France and that it required a visit to the Greek embassy in London - this after a semi panic of hearing that the earliest appointment I could get is September 2nd! (false alarm).  We would have been back from our holiday by almost 2 weeks by then!  Luckily, being family members, we get to skip the 'make an appointment part' and come straight on in, and therefore we are all off to London tomorrow to try and get ourselves some visa's.

I am not looking forward to it.  I remember what it was like when I applied for my first extension visa in the UK (the one that you apply for after you marry, where you get 1 years further grace to live here).  I think it was called a spouse visa, but I'm not so sure now.  Sitting there, waiting to see somebody, reminds me a bit like an A&E only with 5 times the amount of people.  Mostly, everyone is speaking a foreign language (I guess they will all be speaking Greek tomorrow) and you feel a little bit like cattle or sheep being herded from one stall to another.  And then you play the waiting game.  I will be taking my book along, there is about 100 pages left to read, but its a good thing Ive got a kindle too coz once I finish that book, I can just download another. 
Well, I say that as if I'm hoping to be waiting around for something.  The best case scenario is I leave tomorrow with 2 x new schengen visa's in my hands.  (That would be the payoff for the sitting around waiting.) Worst case, is I wont have them before August 5th when we leave because a) they don't somehow see me tomorrow or b) they do but the visa's don't get here in time.  So, as far as I'm concerned, just having them, anytime between tomorrow and August 5th is a result. 

I really hate all the red tape and bureaucratic drama involved whenever you deal with a government department like that.  I know I should seriously start considering looking into citizenship and getting that all behind me, but that's another nightmare I always prefer not to deal with yet always comes around to haunt me in times like this. 

So, wish me luck tomorrow.  Ill let you know how it went.


Saturday, 16 July 2011

I'm not morbid, I promise

So I'm sat here tonight wondering what to write about? I was sat here last night, fingers hovering over the keys on my keyboard, wondering the same thing, when my facebook chat thingie beeped and it was a friend asking me how my blogging was going. I said it was going great (coz it is and I love it) but that I was a little stuck for what to write about. I asked him how his book was going, and he said he was suffering from lack of motivation. So we chatted, and the chat somehow turned onto the subject of serial killers.

This is the part where I try to convince you I'm not morbid. (or weird, though after my chat with my friend last night, he may not agree)

Ever had a fascination in something that when you told people about it, they look at you funny? I tend to get that from time to time when I get all excited on the topic of serial killers. A few years back, I announced to my office colleagues that I was very excited because I was stopping off at 25 Cromwell Street in Gloucester on my way down south to Cornwall. Some gave me rather blank looks, but some looked at me in horror like I had just announced I was going to dye my hair blond or cut off my leg. The truth is, I was really excited to go there. Mostly because I had read so much about it and I wanted to be able to say I'd been there, I'd seen it for myself.

I don't know where my fascination in serial killings started. I think it was round about the time my fascination in World War two Nazi extermination camps started (you freaked out yet?). This is about 10 years ago.
What happened was, I had moved back home to my parents house in order to get myself ready to emigrate to the UK. I didn't have too much to do with my time other than sit around and sunbathe (oh the pain of it!) while I waited for my visa's to come through. My grandfather had been a soldier in World War 2 and had fought up in north Africa and my mom showed me his diaries that he had kept while fighting. I kept a website then too, and I offered to have them typed up and put on the web for whoever to read them. It took me a few weeks but I did eventually get them all typed up. What happened though, is that I got engrossed in his story and I started googling information on world war 2 and one thing led to another and I got to read all about the various death camps around Germany and Poland....and my fascination in that was born. (Click here for the link to my grandfathers diaries).
I remember somehow happening on a site about murderers - it was something about a true story being converted into a movie called 'Paradise Lost' and me getting engrossed in that.  That led to me ending up on a site called Crime Library and it just took off from there.

I had never thought much about it before.  To be fair, thinking about killers and how they think was something that never crossed my mind.  But once I started reading about all the different serial killers in the world (and there are SO MANY) I become totally engrossed and completely fascinated.

Its not because I love the idea of killing.  Don't misunderstand me!  Its the fact that I wonder what goes through their minds. What makes some people different that they can kill, and get a thrill from it?  If you asked me to pick somebody random in the street and kill them, I would bulk and would never even consider such a thing, so why are there people out there that hunt and kill others and enjoy it.  Its this part that fascinates me.

Ive done a lot of reading on the subject.  I've gathered a lot of facts and assumptions of why some people kill and why others don't.  But I don't think anybody will ever really know the answer for sure.  In some cases, not even the killers themselves know. But, to be sat, in front of somebody that is considered a serial killer would be incredible to me.  What would I say? What questions would I ask? I don't know, but to get just a small insight into their minds, to understand just a little of what makes them tick, would be absolutely amazing.

So there, I did get a little motivation from my conversation last night.  I was walking to the office this morning, thinking about that conversation and thought, I could blog about this.  Try and explain how I feel about this.

I do hope I haven't freaked you out too much.  I promise I have no murderous tendencies. And although my fascinations on some things may be slightly on the morbid side, as a person, I am anything but morbid :)

Till next time.


Saturday, 9 July 2011

Second Life

There is a lot to be said for Virtual Reality you know.  A lot of you who will read this post, will probably think I'm just a little bit sad.  That's OK, I totally get that.  I know I probably would have thought the same if I had not spent the best part of the last 3 years of my life in a Virtual Reality environment.  I would like to tell you a little bit about that.  About my Second Life and what it meant to me.

Some of you may have already heard of 'Second Life'  Some may have spent some time there.  But for those of you who haven't, there is a Virtual Reality community that I happened on totally by accident one day.  I remember sitting in front of my computer and thinking to myself, I wonder what all this virtual reality is about?  I typed it in Google and Second Life was the top link and the rest, as they say is history.

I don't want to bore you with all the little details. Ill just tell you how it was for me.

There was nothing I enjoyed more, than logging on to Second Life (SL) and seeing my 'avatar' appear on the screen.  Unlike traditional chat rooms, my avatar was a hot sexy female who wore some very sexy clothing and got quite a lot of wolf whistles in her time there.  That's the thing about Second Life you see.  You can be anyone or anything you want to be.  If you want to be a gorgeous girlie, then you can.  If you want to be a kitty cat, then you can.  There is almost no limits.  The vampire scene is huge..and there are so many different communities for you to join that no matter what you are into, you will probably find it there.  As for me though, I was human and female (I like to stick to what i know...) and I found SL my escape from my real life.

No, I didn't mean for it to sound as bad as that.  Its just that, logging onto Second Life was the place I went to escape into another world.  A world where I was gorgeous and, as time went on, popular.  I got involved in the online London community and eventually got involved in my own sim.  Myself, and 5 other close online friends created our own little world, where we had people come and visit us, party in our clubs and rent our shops.  It was the pinnacle of my Second Life experience and I truly don't know where I can ever go from there, other than back to Miss Anonymous.

What makes it so good, for me anyway, is that fact that there are no limits.  Imagine a world where you can own a private island and live in a glass mansion, fly short distance and teleport long distance.  Talk to people from all over the world and dance for 5 straight hours without having to sit down and rest.  Imagine a world that is filled with beautiful people, dragons, cats and neko's.  Imagine having your wardrobe with you wherever you are and being able to change from your bikini into your jeans into your ballgown from one minute to the next without breaking out into a sweat.  Imagine logging on every night and having your screen light up with messages from all your friends from all over the world asking you how your day was, inviting you to a new club, getting a wedding invitation or just someone saying hello and they missed you.  This was my world.  And I kid you not, I loved it.

Then there was the drama!  Oh my, the drama.  Once you get fully embroiled in Second Life and make a few friends you cannot help but run into drama.  And I had my fair share of that.  Ive lost track of the amount of nights I have sat there spending hours typing to people about some particular issue or another.  She said that or he did this.  Did you hear so and so quit that or have you heard that so and so have split up ...again!  Even this, made my Second Life the total enjoying experience it was for me.

For a long time I was a greeter, and that entailed helping new born avatars understand 'the game' and get them acquainted with Second Life.  Ive attended weddings - yes, that happens there too - some of which have lasted and some of which didn't last for more than a week.  Ive known people who have died and have visited their memorial sim and placed my candles.  I have visited sex sims...these are truly the best for a good laugh and I have hosted in nightclubs (and in one case co-run one). I have been to fashion shows  and being in outer space.  I have visited Australia, Paris, New York, St Petersburg, Dublin, Cape Town, London to mention just a few, and in all these, I did so with my avatar walking (or flying) around, taking in the scenery and marveling at the imagination of the creators of these sims.  Yes, it is all just pixels on a screen, but its the best online escape I have found and I have been online for a long time now.

But, regardless of everything Ive said so far, the best part of Second Life, for me, is the people. Like most online chat sites, Second Life too is filled with nutters and liars and idiots.  Ive come across many of those there.  Some you spot instantly, some you learn the hard way.  I have been burned a few times, I wont lie.  But on the flip side, I have met the most amazing people.  I have friends now that I would not have had in any other circumstances.  I have got to know people and come to care for them. There are people who I have come to know intimately, I may never have seen their faces but I know their deepest secrets. I have spent hours laughing so much that my sides hurt.  I have come to care for people in Second Life as if they were sisters and brothers that I never had.  Some, I have met up with in real life and we have had as much fun in real as we do online, though dancing for 5 hours straight has proven to be somewhat more difficult.  Its the people that make it what it is, and I thank Second Life for that.

But, for now, I'm giving it a bit of a rest.  I had started to spend too much time in my Second Life.  So much so that my First Life was suffering. It became far easier to log onto SL at night and immerse myself in my little online world than the deal with my real life issues.  Thankfully, I finally saw that and I've put things into perspective now.  This blog has also helped.

Second Life has got a lot of bad press, and in many cases I can understand it.  It has caused marriages to break up and it has put people together who would otherwise never have known each other.  I can understand why the marriages break up.  Its the perfect world, as I said before, everyone and everything is perfect.  Romances blossom around every corner in Second Life and it is very easy to get carried away.  You need to have a strong mind not to get carried away by all of that.  But bad press aside, I would never say anything bad about it.  I truly loved it and still do.  And ultimately Second Life is what you make of it.  I will miss it while I take a much needed break, but its good to remember that I do have a real life too, and that I can make that as enjoyable and fun as I made my Second Life.  Or atleast I can try to!

This has been my longest post ever.  I have meant to blog about this for a while, and as I said in the beginning, I know there will be those out there reading this who will not understand why I am so passionate about this.  But unless you have spent some time inworld, you wont understand the addiction, the pull of it.  The fun and the joy it can give you.  The highs and the lows.  The intensity. That is only something residents of Second Life (or other similar virtual reality sites) will understand.

Ive probably bored you to death, so I will stop now.  Its been fun typing this and I would love to hear your opinion on this, if you have any.

Until later then, take care and Ill blog again soon

B x

Wednesday, 6 July 2011


The other day, I briefly mentioned reading amazing books by an author that I had just discovered.  I really like that...I like it when I find a new artist that I've not heard before, or a new author that I fall in love with and have loads and loads of either Cd's to get or books to read.  I was like that about Muse and Snow Patrol to mention the first two names of music groups that come to mind, and I was like that with Shaun Hutson and...many years ago, Stephen King and Dean Koontz.  I feel a little bit like that about James Patterson....he isn't the most brilliant author I've ever read, but for quick, fun reads, he is pretty good.  Anyway, my point is, about 2 weeks ago, I saw a huge banner at Victoria station in Manchester advertising a writer I had not heard of before.  I'll be honest, in this case, I really did judge the book by its cover.  It was fresh and caught my eye and as I stood waiting for the Met to come along, I strained to read the writing that was on the book.  What I saw, looked interesting, but I had never heard of the author before. Her name is Rosamund Lupton.  Luckily, the invention of the Kindle is now behind us and doubly lucky for me, I have one, so, I quickly went and downloaded a sample of her first novel, 'Sister' and got to reading.  The rest, as they say is history.

Rosamund Lupton has written only two books that I could find. Her first one 'Sister' delves into the relationship between two sisters and follows the story of one sister, Beatrice who is desperately trying to find her missing sister Tess.  The story is fast paced, with twist after twist after unbelievable twist. I totally loved it and recommended it to a friend who has since told me she cannot stop reading it either.

Next, I read 'Afterwards', her second novel which also deals with relationships, this time between a mother (Grace) and teenage daughter (Jenny).  The story is about a fire that breaks out in a school where the daughter is trapped inside and the mother, whose viewpoint the story is written, runs inside to save her...and what happens afterwards.  I could sit here and tell you all about it, but that would spoil things.  All I can say, is as much as I loved 'Sister', I loved 'Afterwards' more.  As much as 'Sister' gave me goosebumps on the last page, 'Afterwards' made me want to cry.

I can highly recommend these books, and truly, if you want to treat yourself, do download to your kindle or whatever ebook reader you have, or purchase a copy of the book.  Its absolutely amazing. The only thing that I am sad about, is that there isn't more of them!  I wish she had started writing 10 years ago so that there was another one just waiting for me to read. I am definitely looking forward to the next one.

There...look at me with my book review!  I'm so ganna post this link on Rosamund Lupton's fan page...or attempt to :)


ps...I never intended to do a book review on my blog, but I was sat here thinking about what I could write and that's what popped into my head :p