I like. I don’t. I am. Me. Who?

I like the morning. I dislike the afternoon.  I like to wake up early in the mornings, even on weekends.

I like sleeping with the curtains open so I can see outside when I wake up. I like the first full body stretch of the day. I dislike lights on in the house in the daytime. I like the moon and a clear night sky.

I like afternoon naps. I like being so tired that I can’t keep my eyes open. As long as it’s at a time when sleep is appropriate. And not dangerous.

I like running in the rain. I like pushing myself further each time. I like the dull ache of my muscles in the days after exercise. I like showers. Not baths.

I like it when my cats purr, and the little “brrrrt” noise they make when I’ve disturbed them from their sleep.

I like whisky. Neat. Always neat. Single Malt. I like red wine over white. I like it when I go to the bar of a pub and my drink is poured without the need to ask for it. That’s familiarity.

I like it when friends know how I take my coffee without needing to ask me. That’s also familiarity. I know that I make this awkward for my friends because I alternate between black coffee, and white coffee. Sometimes with sugar, sometimes without.

I like black tea, but I’ll only ever drink tea with milk in if I’m ill. Then I like sweet weak tea. Not milky. Weak. There’s a difference.

I like it when friends text me for no other reason than just to say hello, or how are you?. I like that they’re thinking of me when they don’t have to. I dislike it when I don’t get replies to texts I’ve sent. Especially if I’ve asked a question. Although I know I’m guilty of that myself.

I like a plan as long as it’s not a definite plan.  I like last-minute decisions. Usually made by someone else. I don’t make bad decisions, but I’m not good at making any decisions. I can’t make lists, but I admire people who can. I can be on time when I need to be, but more often than not, I’m late. Sometimes through choice. Maybe always through choice.

I like that I still have strong friendships from school in my adult life. I now understand the depth of childhood friendships. I know I didn’t appreciate that when they were formed all those years ago.

I like mashed parsnip. Ridiculous considering I loathe potatoes cooked that way. I detest them so much, that I can’t bring myself to write the words together. I like that people who know this about me avoid saying it. The thought of it repulses me. Maybe it’s a phobia. Either way it’s weird.

One of my favourite childhood books is ‘The Clown of God’. Truly amazing book, but clowns now unnerve me. The film ‘IT’ is to blame for that. Or rather Pennywise is to blame for that. Ultimately Stephen King is to blame for that.

I like black & white films. Especially ‘Goodbye Mr Chips’. I dislike horror films. I still re-read all my Roald Dahl books. I like reading books I read as a child. I like reading new books.

I like the smell of petrol but I dislike putting petrol in my car. I like the smell of a pipe and the noise of a drink being poured. I like the noise of gravel crunching. I dislike whistling and the noise of metal scraping against metal. I like open fires especially when they crack and pop.

I like playing with the magnetic poetry words my friends have on their fridge in their house. I like that those friends feel like my family.

I like Thursday night tea with my parents, and Sunday dinners at their house when everyone is there. Especially in the summer. I like playing in the garden afterwards with my niece and nephew. I like watching them grow up. I dislike the speed at which that is happening.

I like coincidences. I like serendipity. I like things I can’t explain. I dislike not being able to explain them. If only to myself. I like instinct. Gut instinct. I’m learning to trust mine more.

I like it when I solve a problem I had, or someone else’s for them. I like learning something new. I like trying something new. I like creating. I like creating memories and then cherishing them.

I like history. I like looking at really old photos of my family despite not knowing who most of them are. I like hearing stories about them. I like trying to imagine the world they lived in, and what they’d think of mine.

I like that I can usually acknowledge my faults. But I dislike them. All of them. I dislike that I don’t always see my strengths. I like the fact that those close to me can see them when I can’t.

Advertisements

There are some days in your life you’ll never forget

Sometimes, there are days you don’t ever want to forget. Days so perfect that if you could paint a picture of how you wanted it to look, it would look like that. If you could write the script for that day, it would be as you’d have written. Days you’ll want to preserve from every test and trick that time has. Sometimes these are days of great significance, sometimes these are just normal days. Either way, if a thief came into your mind trying to steal your memories, these are the ones you’d gather up behind you to protect with all your strength.

The weekend just gone was one of these occasions. The weekend celebrated an important event. The Christening of my beautiful Goddaughter.

Rewind about 8 years or so….

I was walking to my car from work one Friday evening with the intention of going to the gym. It was a summer’s evening with a clear blue sky. The perfect beer garden weather. Whilst walking past a pub, there was a lady from work sitting outside. We’d exchanged pleasantries in work, had the odd polite chat, but we didn’t know each other. This lady asked if I wanted to join her for a drink. (I feel I must add, that she wasn’t drinking alone in the pub, she was with a group of colleagues!). I accepted…… Fate must have been late clocking off from work that day, because accepting that drink has led to accepting a life long friendship.

You know how sometimes you’re describing people or telling a story and you’ll say “My friend’s mother or husband or sister” etc etc… I don’t do that when I’m describing these people. I don’t do that because I describe them as “my friend”. Because they are. A friendship struck over a beer with one person has led to a friendship struck over a lot of beer with an entire family.

I think a test of a good friendship is when you feel comfortable enough just to sit in their company. Like you do with your own family. You don’t have to speak, you can just sit… I can do that with these friends. I can just sit. I enjoy their company, I love their stories, I appreciate how dear each of them is to me.

Fast forward to present day…. When my friends gave birth to their 2nd child in September, they asked me to be Godmother.

Now, you can never underestimate what an honour this is. When a parent asks you to be a Godparent, what they are saying is “We trust you”… “We trust you with the most precious item God has given us.. Our child”..

As part of my christening gift, I wrote my Goddaughter a poem and had it made into a book. I wanted something she could have for life to remind her that I will always protect her and guide her. The message I wanted to convey was that being a Godmother is more than just a title, and lasts longer than just the christening day. It lasts a lifetime. I’ve spoken in earlier posts about passion, well.. passion helped me write that poem. I’m passionate about being the best Godmother I can. I’m passionate about doing the best I can for my godchildren.

I had two copies made, one for me, and one for her.

What I didn’t expect was for my friend to read it out at the church before the service. My friend said that they had wanted to respect the time and effort I had taken to write it and wanted to share it with everyone… That’s the kind of people they are.

It’s actually quite difficult for me to put into words how that made me feel. I sat in the church with my Goddaughter on my lap hearing the words I’d written to her spoken aloud for the first time by her mother.. My friend. I don’t think I’ve ever felt so humbled and yet so proud at the same time. It was perfect.

Every word we speak creates a vibration, which is why we should always choose our words carefully. It’s like when you throw a pebble in a still pond. The water level in the pond rises, and changes because you have added to it, and the ripples created continue far beyond the point of impact.

That’s what happened Saturday. Part of the world’s vibration rose and changed, caused by my words, my dedication to a beautiful little girl. They exist now.  They were spoken, with perfect emotion and perfect emphasis. Somewhere in the universe, their existence is causing ripples. Good ones I hope..

As for my friend, I didn’t think I could have any more respect and admiration for her than I did already… A truly remarkable, strong, beautiful, wonderful person.

Usually the tide of time brings waves that crash over you so quickly, you wish you could stem the flow to make sure your savour and enjoy every moment. On Saturday, time was very kind to us. It dripped slowly and carefully. If you could look inside every droplet, you would find smiling faces and warm-hearted emotions from wonderfully good people. If you could hear every droplet fall, you would hear the echoes of laughter, the chatter of good conversation and spoken words of affection.

Saturday I became a Godmother for the fourth time, so the following is dedicated to my three Godson’s and my new Goddaughter….

I found a fairy in a jar.

When I opened it and set her free, I asked her to do something for me in return. Find you. Follow the path that connects me to you. A path where our footprints will be forever found.

I asked her to sprinkle fairy dust on your soul, so you may always have spirit in your heart and magic in your thoughts. I asked her to splash a fairy teardrop on you, so you may always feel your emotions. I asked her to whisper words of affection and encouragement into your ears so you may always hear the good echoing inside you.
I asked her to catch your wishes in a net and put them by the side of your bed in a jar, so as you grow older you’ll never forget them.
I asked her to light the paths in front of you with fireflies so you will always know the right one to take.
Finally I asked her to take a piece of my heart and drop it in your pocket. It is now yours. This way you will know that you are protected and loved by me. Always…

I did this so you know, fairies and Godmothers always go hand in hand together”

Monster hunting, fast cars and jungle trekking

Wednesday evening I found myself chasing monsters, driving fast cars and trekking through a jungle.

With my trusted sidekick beside me, we hunted the monsters out and stunned them with a Buzz Lightyear gun. There were lots of them. They were on top of cars. On the dangerous road. Down drains. On top of buildings. They were everywhere… There’s one!.. Bzzzz… Stunned him with Buzz’s gun… There’s another one!…. Bzzzzz….

Then we drove cars. Really fast. Performed death-defying stunts. Jumped over other cars. Flipped onto our sides then back again. Wheel spun. Skidded. Dangerous stuff, but we were never in danger.

Then we lived in a jungle and spoke to elephants, lions, giraffes and hippos. We grazed on leaves from tall trees, We sat on rocks. We drank from the river…….

Wednesday, I spent the evening playing with my friend’s 3-year-old little boy.

Play is such an important part of a child’s development, but have us adults forgotten it’s importance? Has adulthood with all it’s pressures, responsibilities and worries stifled the pure enjoyment we used to get from just playing.

I’ll put my hand up right now, and admit that I still enjoy playing. I enjoyed stunning monsters, I enjoyed racing cars and I enjoyed living in the jungle.

I enjoy entering a land of endless creativity. Boundless imagination. Limitless fun. For a short while, its pure escapism. Maybe that’s why I enjoy it?

I’m a normal responsible adult. I do normal responsible adult things.

But….. I do like to daydream.

Maybe that’s why I’ll quite happily sit cross-legged on the floor and play with my niece & nephew, and my friend’s children….. Maybe that’s what has earned me the very honourable title of Godmother to four very beautiful Godchildren.

A lot of my friends now have children. I don’t, but I’m not one of these friends who feels duty bound to interact with their friend’s children. Neither am I one of these friends who has slowly distanced themselves from their friends with children and just surrounds themselves with similar circumstanced friends.

I’m one of these friends who understands that when you are spending time with your friend’s children, you are in the company of the most precious item on Earth to your friend. You are in the presence of something that your friend, the parent, has such natural, immeasurable and sometimes inexplicable love for. Love, stronger than any diamond and worth so much more too.

If you love your friends. You’ll love their children too. And I do.

I take an interest in the lives of my niece and nephew. I’ve never missed a school concert, or a birthday party, and I don’t ever intend to. I help with homework, I babysit, I play shop, I play house, I play board games, I read books, I do jig-saws. I colour in, I cut-out, I play football in the street, I play cricket in the summer, and I’m a legend on Cooking Mama on the Nintendo DS.

My niece and nephew have their own brilliant, wonderful, unique, quirky personalities, but sometimes I catch a glimpse of something familiar. A certain look, a little mannerism, a smile, a frown. It reminds me that something beating inside of them, beats inside of me too…

How do you define a ‘friend’?

I got this topic from The Daily Post at WordPress.com. I signed up for the postaweek2011 challenge. This was yesterday’s topic, but, worthy of writing about on any day.

Inspired by all of the wonderful people I’m lucky enough to call friends, this is my answer…

Imagine a room. Imagine standing outside a window to that room on a bright, sunny day. All you can see is your reflection. You can’t see through the window, but you know the room beyond exists.

That’s as far as some people get. They stand outside your window and all they can see is themselves. Despite knowing the room beyond exists, despite seeing shadows moving in the room, they don’t quite understand what’s in there.

Others will be intrigued to know what exists in that room. So they go up close, they cup their hands around their face, peer through and knock on the window to show they are there. The room starts to take shape, shadows start to take form. They gain an understanding of the owner, and what’s beyond the window.

What’s beyond the window, what’s kept in that room, is the spirit and soul of a person. The room is full of energy, emotions, vulnerabilities and insecurities. The room is full of strength, knowledge, experience, wisdom and love. Riches so delicately precious and unique to it’s owner. Everything that makes a person the distinct person they are. They are the shapes and shadows that you see taking form when you peer in. They are what you become part of when you enter into that room yourself.

Guaranteed not everything in there will be to your taste, but you accept that. You accept it, because you know good friends will do the same when they look through your window too.

The only intentions are to handle the contents in the room with honesty, care and affection. To add to the treasures that already exist. The only request is that you do the same.

That’s how I’d define a good friend. They don’t stand back just to admire themselves in the reflection of your window, they move up close so they can see you too.