101 things IN

and other things thrown in between

101 Things in 1001 Days: August 2006

Thursday, August 31, 2006

Money and Me

As my husband opened his wallet I joked ‘Are you about to give me some money?’ ‘No,’ he replied ‘I don’t like giving you money because you don’t like taking it from me.’ It’s true. I never, physically, take money from him. It embarrasses me. Put it on the table, I‘d say - or withdraw into indifference. Growing up, when my parents gave me money it mostly had a string attached – I hated that. In adulthood, that’s manifested itself into a difficulty accepting money graciously. I don’t want to feel indebted to anyone, husband included. Is that a bad thing?

(100 Words)


Wednesday, August 30, 2006

Faces of Humanity

This is the shortest ever description I have had to give of my family. It’s so difficult to cram over 50 years (and many more) of history into 3 lines!!

A mixed bag of race
Three continents in one home
Out of many one

For: One Deep Breath


Comfort Zone

Everything about my job represents pain at the moment. The telephone calls, emails and letters are all pain. I have little interest in or motivation for the tasks I have to perform. Sometimes admin work is so mundane and uninspiring. I want to scream ‘I am more that this!! I have far more potential!!’ Yet, I do nothing and it’s certainly not because of the money. More a comfort zone thing? Probably. I want to give up my job and focus on my small handbag business but my fear is that it may not be enough to financially sustain me.

(100 Words)


Tuesday, August 29, 2006

Trying Something New

My husband is a big believer in change. He often says to me to try something new – to deviate from my normal routine; take a new route to work, use a new spice. ‘It’ll stimulate your brain’ he claims. So today, instead of going to my normal supermarket, ASDA, I went to Sainsbury’s. And guess what? He is right! It excited me to be in a different environment, then I spent an extra 15 minutes trying to locate the groceries I needed because I wasn’t used to shops layout. By the time I was done, my brain WAS incredibly alert.

(100 Words)


Monday, August 28, 2006

Have a Great Day

I had to call up a couple of companies in the States today to place orders for some hard-to-get-in-the-UK stuff and it was such a pleasure. The sales people were friendly, warm and helpful. Which is more than I can say for the treatment I get at some stores over here. I cannot count the number of times I have had to walk out of a place because no one would give me the time of day. A warm smile, helpful manner and a ‘have a great day’ goes a long way. It works for me every time like magic!

(100 Words)


Sunday, August 27, 2006

Unconscious Mutterings: Week 186

1. Visit :: home
2. Cake :: cheese
3. Period :: stop
4. Triumphant :: sound
5. Screen :: wide
6. Neglect :: grubby
7. Guitar :: strings
8. Loathe :: hate
9. Sugar :: sweet
10. Montage :: Picture


Exploring Nature

I went to the botanical gardens today with my daughter for a few hours. There’s something very peaceful and serene about wide open green spaces filled with delicate flowers and winding paths leading to secret places. The fresh air energizes me. We city dwellers spend too many hours holed up inside our little houses and office cubicles letting nature and all it has to offer pass us by. Take the time tomorrow to spend some quality time outdoors. Turn off your PC, leave your iPod at home and switch off your mobile phone. Step outside, breathe deeply and explore nature.

(100 Words)


Saturday, August 26, 2006

The Monster...

The monster I share very close quarters with can’t be seen nor felt; nonetheless it is very real indeed. It would sink its teeth into my best laid plans on an almost daily basis if I let it and when it grabs me in its jaws it takes all of my strength to prise them open and jump out to safety.

Sometimes my monster steps in, especially on the days I am feeling particularly rebellious, at just the right time and I welcome it in with open arms even allowing it hang around with me for a day or two. It always out stays its welcome though and I end up having to forcibly kick it out. It doesn’t seem to mind my rude ways though as it keeps coming back!

It’s an annoying distraction this monster of mine. After each visit, it leaves in its wake a litter of never begun or half completed tasks. It never helps me clear up the mess and it always, ALWAYS leaves me feel guilty- especially on the days I grudgingly give it room to flex its muscles.

But I wonder sometimes if I really ever want to be rid of it. It’s kind of like an old acquaintance now – you know, one you’d love to hate. I certainly would not class it as a friend though inspite of our knowledge of each other spanning many years. Besides, if I had known way back then what it was really like, I wouldn’t even have allowed it its present status of acquaintance. But over the years, we have learned to tolerate each other and that works just fine for us.

Although, I get the sneaky feeling you already know this monster acquaintance of mine, some of you even having unwittingly entertained it on occasions (did I happen to mention that he is also very cunning? He sometimes pretends he’s doing you a favour when in fact, he is ruining your life) I’ll introduce you to it anyway …

Hi, I would like you to meet my monster and it's called … PROCRASTINATION.


Little Gems

There is something deliciously challenging about trying to get a message across in just 100 words. It is giving me a heightened awareness of words and the way I put them to use. I carefully pick and choose, mapping out short cuts which will tell the full story but with minimum fuss and frills; a sort of literal separation of wheat from chaff. We are often wasteful with words. Our conversations dotted with unnecessary gap fillers- easing over embarrassing silences with awkward or mindless statements. Now, words are becoming like priceless little gems – to be discovered, guarded jealously, used sparingly.

(100 Words)


Friday, August 25, 2006

What time will you be back?

There is something about this question that I find very restrictive. Something about it that takes away my sense of freedom – real or imagined. It reminds me of my teenage years when I always had to give my parents a return time. As an adult, I don’t want that. I want to be able to go out and not have to be bound by time, frantically checking my watch because I promised to be back at a certain time. I want to walk at snails pace peering into shop windows, browsing the books in Waterstones and enjoying the moment... unhurried.

(100 Words)


Thursday, August 24, 2006

Before my Time

There is a little boy in my daughters’ nursery whose face hunts me. I saw him for the first time yesterday being cradled in the arms of the nursery manager, tears streaming down his face. ‘He joined us on Monday,’ she tells me, ‘he is two years old. He lost his mum two months ago. Yesterday he called me Mummy.’ I could feel the tears pricking the backs of my eyes when she told me that. I think of my daughter and how she will cope should I ever be snatched away before ‘my time’. This thought is unbearable. Unbearable.

(100 Words)


Wednesday, August 23, 2006

Growing Collection!

WHSmith is having a fantastic sale at the moment and I couldn't resist going in and picking up yet more journals and notebooks to add to my ever growing collection!

My favourite is the A5 journal with it's pink suede cover and songbirds on the front.


101 in 1001 - an update

Learn the Art of Haiku – Done!

Can this really be a Done task? Probably not but I consider it done as I posted to One Deep Breath today – meaning I am confident enough now to share my Haiku offering(s).

Learn how to download pictures from the digital camera onto my PC – Done!

Silly me! Why did I think this was so difficult?? It’s a breeze.

Save £25 a month – done and ongoing

This can never be a done task but an ongoing one. However, I class this as ‘done’ because I have set up a standing order to transfer £25 to my secret savings account on the 1st of each month.

Learn how to apply make up from a professional – Done!

Visited the Dior counter in Selfridges a couple of weeks ago and the lovely sales assistant showed me what to do – plus I got a lovely free gift as well!

Sell Old Pram – Done!

Tried to flog this item in every possible manner – bargain pages, Tesco’s notice board, by word of mouth – but with no success at all! Seems people prefer to buy spanking new prams or ‘travel systems’ as they are known these days. So I gave it away to the refugee shelter instead. And you know what? I felt better for giving it away for free.

Read 12 books a year – Work- in- progress 2 down 10 more to go

This year I have read 26a by Diana Evans and I am currently reading Half of a Yellow Sun by Chimamanda Adichie

Renew Library Membership – Done!

Amazing! I didn’t realise just how many tasks I had completed until I made this list.


The Sound of Music

I don’t listen to nearly as much music as I would like to – all I get is a few stolen moments in the car on my way to work or to the park. Here’s my first contribution to One Deep Breath.

The sound of music

A bash on the drums
A piercing scream from the lungs
Naomi’s music

(Naomi is my daughter)


100 Words

Spurred on by this post and this theme, I have decided to take up the challenge of writing 100 words each day, no more, no less for the next one month starting today until the 22nd of September. I will be posting to this blog and not the site. This does not restrict me to just one post a day however, but will work alongside other any other posts I may have. I am hoping that this challenge will become a habit; eventually growing into a lifelong daily writing practice for me. Interested? Then why not join me.

(Word Count: 100)


Sunday, August 20, 2006

Unconscious Mutterings: Week 185

Cruel :: mean
Jive :: talk
Weak :: ill
Understand :: grasp
Bum :: big
Stairs :: up
Tone :: deaf
Quickly :: fast
Moment :: now
Beating :: stick


Friday, August 18, 2006

The Inner Life of Pets

I have often wondered about this, as you do :-) , and what strikes me is how boring a pets life must be. Probably not for a cat or a dog for at least these two are free to come and go as they please, They are hugged and cuddled and taken for walks (at least a dog is and a cat tends to walk itself, hence the cat flap), they are part of the family- sleeping in our beds, hopping up on our laps to settle down and watch TV, they nibble off our plates (go on you know you’ve allowed this once or twice) at dinner time and they make great feet warmers on cold winter nights.

But imagine yourself as a bird. Locked in a cage, your freedom taken away from you. Your wings clipped so even when you are let out of your cage, you still can’t fly. I have never liked the idea of having a bird as a pet for this very reason. I will admit though that when I was growing up, we had a pet parrot and for the 6 or more years that we had her, she was kept in her cage and although she was let out everyday her wings had been clipped so all she could do was waddle her way up and down our arms or the branch of the tree she was sat on. And then one morning we woke up and Coco was gone. All that was left of her were a few feathers and her feet! To this day, we never found out what happened to her – was she eaten by a snake who found the feet to unpalatable and so regurgitated them? Or did she morph into a fairy and fly away? I prefer the latter, but we’ll never know.

Musing over what sort of thoughts may be going through a birds mind, I wrote up this little sketch called ‘A Day in the Life of a Disgruntled Pet Parrot’

6:00 am- ‘Where’s everybody? Can’t they see the sun’s risen? Do I have to screech at the top of my lungs EVERY MORNING to get them to take the covers of this damn cage??’

7:00 am- ‘Sunflower seeds… again??? How about a change of diet here? Never heard of variety being the spice of life, eh? The next human who sticks his finger in my cage ….’

7:15 am- ‘Hee hee – yum that tasted good! Teach you to stick your finger in my cage next time! Hmmm, I could develop a taste for steak tartare here.’

10:00 am- ‘I’ve preened, I’ve cleaned, I’ve nibbled, I’ve pooped, I’ve stood on one leg, I’ve whistled … what next?’

10:05 am- ‘Lets face it. I’m bored. I am so bored I can rip all my feathers out. I used to do that, but the humans thought I had caught some sort of bird disease and carted me off to the vet. Nasty experience so I don't do that anymore.'

11:00 am- 'What I wouldn’t give to be out there with my mates, flying through the skies, feeling the wind beneath my wings. *Sigh*. Life sucks. I think I’m going to have a nap now. Not much else to do, is there?’

1:00 pm- ‘I can’t believe that for the last 45mins I have had a human pressing his face up against my cage trying to get me to say ‘Who’s a pretty Polly then?’. Now why in heavens name would I want to learn how to say that??? Of what use is it except to delight the humans who stand around clapping like I have just given a rendition of Beethoven’s Concerto. Sorry sods! Nothing better to do with their time. Coming to think of it I’ve got nothing better to do with mine either.’

1:30pm- ‘Polly! Why Polly? My name is Roger! And I am not pretty!!’

2:30pm- ‘What a life! There must be more to it than this. When am I going to be let outta here??!!’

5:00pm- ‘Yay! I was let out!! I was put on the branch of the apple tree and left to my own devices. My wings are clipped you see, so no danger of my flying off. Had lots of my mates come to visit. Maggie the Magpie, Sam the Swallow and Richard the Robin, all full of tales of their airborne adventures. I didn’t have much to contribute. I mean who is interested in my life boring as it is stuck in a cage? *sigh* It was good to see them all though, brightened up my day it did. I had tears in my eyes – oh, didn’t you know parrots could cry? – when the humans came and fetched me in again.’

7:00pm- ‘It’s bedtime now. The maroon coloured velvet cage cover has been thrown on – so it’s lights out whether I like it or not. Goodnight!’


Thursday, August 17, 2006

My Twins

I bought myself the cutest pair of shoes last Thursday (nothing like a cute new pair of shoes to cheer you up, huh ladies?). I had been eyeing them for a long while but couldn’t justify the price tag that came with them. So when I saw them on sale I leapt on them.

I tried on the left foot (like I hadn’t tried it on a million times already!) and it fit like a glove so I took it up to the sales assistant and asked for the second one. In a few minutes she brought it out. I took a look and then did a double take and before I could help myself I blurted out ‘Those shoes don’t match!’ Oh she reassures me, that’s how they are meant to be, they are called Twins. I tried them on, looked at my feet in the shop mirror and made up my mind. I took them back to the counter. ‘I’m sorry’, I said with genuine sadness as I handed them over, 'I won’t be taking these after all. It’s a look I just can’t get used to’. I couldn’t imagine myself walking around with a mismatched pair of shoes.

But for the next one week, those shoes hunted my every waking hour (I do have a bit of a shoe fetish). I just couldn’t get them off my mind. By Thursday I was back at the shop handing over the plastic! Don't you just love them?

My Twins!

Thursday Afternoon Haiku

Fat drops pelting down
Dry earth eagerly drinking
Summer waves goodbye

One Big Headache

Has your relationship found itself in a place of sexual drought since the kids came along? Then please read the following article. It was a Godsend for me to know that I am not alone!

Feeling Richer for Sunday Scribblings

Sunday is the richest day of my week. Not because, as a Christian, it’s the day I go to church to worship and replenish my flagging Spirit, but because it’s the day I connect with bloggers the world over – reading about their thoughts, hopes, aspirations, experiences and general take on life. I am of course, talking about the Sunday Scribblings ‘project’. Is project the right word for it? For me it’s become sort of weekly therapy.

From Thursday morning I keep clicking on the SS link that I have on my blog and I hold my breath as it downloads the page, wondering if the weeks prompt is up. And when I do find it up, my (mostly) immediate response is ‘I don’t have clue what to write about!’. But slowly, a thought drops in and becomes an idea, and my mind begins to flesh it out – gradually filling in the gaps. Some thoughts are dismissed almost as soon as they introduce themselves - either because they are too raw and I am not ready to share them or because I am just not feeling the idea I have in my head. That’s something I have come to learn about myself. If I am not feeling it then my writing becomes shallow and a bit of a struggle – a hurriedly put together affair.

Through the weekly prompts I have been forced to dig deep within myself and discover things about myself I never knew were there. Or perhaps I did but just never gave them much thought. Some prompts have provoked only a light hearted response from me but some of them have caused me to explore dark areas of my life which I have pushed deep down inside and glossed over shabbily with a thin coat of perceived strength. These are areas I now know require only the right nudge (or prompt in this case) to bring them all bubbling up to the surface again.

But what has surprised me the most is that I have stuck with it from the very beginning – missing only one prompt ‘Thief’ (the idea still lurks - like an alien waiting to burst out of my belly its been gnawing away at me so I know I cannot ignore it). I didn’t think I would stick with it for this long. I thought it would end up like one of the many projects I start (or join in with) only to discard a few weeks/months down the line. SS has become an old friend now, one I look forward to meeting up with for a cup of coffee and a chat once a week and one I would be loathe to stand up.

Monday, August 14, 2006


This month hasn’t exactly been a barrel of laughs for me. It’s strange that a month I approached with such positive vibes and super resolutions has turned out to be…well, not so great after all. It seems that everything that could go wrong in a month has. Now each day is approached with a ‘what now?’ air of expectancy.

To top it off, on the home front things have been quite frosty as well – a classic case of a lack of communication, mixed with a dash of mis-communication resulting in a broth of stony silences. Oh, how I hate it when that happens. The ice will eventually melt, I know that, but it’s the thawing process that gnaws away at me. As much as I try to tell myself that I am not bothered about it and that I will carry on with my day as though I am a singleton, every fibre of my being is screaming out for some sort of human contact and connection even if it’s only for the opportunity to vent my frustrations!

Ah, August how full of promise you were when I ushered you in through my front door. Now I am marking off the days on my calendar as though I were a prisoner whose time of incarceration is almost up. I am walking through you with a hurried pace, impatient for you to leave. I shall slam the door on you when you do. And laugh!

For: Mamasaysom

Unconscious Mutterings: Week 184

Kim :: Possible
Designate :: (*nothing comes to mind for this one!)
Liner :: bin
Weed :: smoke
Infusion :: tea
Nutritious :: fruits
Favorites :: folder
Transform :: change
42 :: things
Sunday afternoon :: lazy


Friday, August 11, 2006

Who else can I still be?

I am not sure that I really want to be anyone else (if pushed though Oprah does spring to mind *smile. Sigh*). Seriously though, I think wanting to be someone else means that I am not satisfied or that I am unhappy with who I am, and I am neither one of those things. I love like my life – with all its imperfections and pot holes. However there is always room for improvement, n’est pas?

There are things I would change about my past if I had a choice…

1. The type of men, people I allowed into my life.

2. Not pursuing my dream of doing something along the creative lines earlier (but like it’s said, better late than never, huh?)

3. If I had known back then what I know now, I would never have started shaving my legs!

Then there are things I would love to learn to be….

1. More forgiving

2. Patient

3. Less critical

4. Calmer – especially when my 3 year old has me pulling my hair out by the roots!

5. More laid back – it doesn’t matter if that pile of laundry doesn’t get done.

6. Disciplined – not letting myself be distracted by things going on around me while the stuff I need to be giving my attention to suffers.

7. Less reactive – I have a habit of drawing conclusions before the whole story has been played out.

8. More adventurous – in the risks I take (I am definitely risk adverse at the moment), the clothes I wear, the places I go, and the boundaries I cross.

There are areas of me I want to explore and develop…

1. Writing – not anything as complicated as writing a book but simple stuff: like keeping a journal, poetry or writing a letter to my daughter each month, so that when she grows up I can make a gift of them to her.

2. Accepting myself for who I am and really understanding what I am about.

3. My faith, my beliefs and how I am living them out. Am I really being true to them? Do I implement them in my everyday doings? Do I allow them kick in only when I am backed into a corner? Am I embarrassed by them? If so, why? Why am I sometimes so quiet about them especially when I find myself in a group of people who are saying things contrary to what I believe? Hard questions.

4. My own sense of style – the colours that suit me, a signature scent, a cute haircut.

Then there are things I would like to learn NOT to be….

1. Worried about the future.
2. Concerned about what ‘other people’ would say, think, feel.
3. Affected by other peoples opinions of me.
4. Restricted by (mostly) self imposed glass ceilings – I tend to think in negatives first and the positives almost always have to be pointed out to me.
5. Feeling like my problems should pale into insignificance when I hear/read/see other peoples problems. Why should I feel this way? My problems are just as important as anybody else’s.

And for the future? I'd like to ...

1. Live abroad somewhere - preferably in sunnier climes, by the beach somewhere.
2. Have another child and then close shop.
3. Be a fantastic Wife and Mother
4. Grow my business into a global entity (and truly believe that I can)
5. Discover the secret of true happiness.


Sunday, August 06, 2006

Unconscious Mutterings: Week 183

1. Affair :: Love
2. Package :: postman
3. Warner :: Brothers
4. Drop :: kick
5. Balance :: scales
6. Shore :: line
7. Confirmation :: slip
8. Nose :: smell
9. Talking :: heads
10. Bend :: knees


Saturday, August 05, 2006

Who else might I have been?

I was excited when I saw the prompt for this week because not a day goes by where I don’t lapse – however fleetingly- into a day dream of ‘who else might I have been if only…’.

The prompt also reminded me of a movie which came out in 1998 called Sliding Doors featuring Gwyneth Paltrow and John Hannah where a London womans love life and career both hinge, unknown to her, on whether or not she catches a train.

Which one of us hasn’t wondered what our lives would have turned out to be had we, or had we not, caught our own ‘trains’.

As a child of 8 up until the age of 15/16 my passion was for creating things – clothes, beadwork, jewellery – but my greatest love was for sewing. Once I had a piece of fabric in my hands and a pattern to work on I would sit at my sewing machine for hours, many times forgetting to eat, until that dress, or skirt, or blouse had been completed. I could get lost in my work. I dreamt of becoming a fashion designer – I just KNEW this was what I was going to do with my life. There was absolutely no doubt in my mind.

Determined to achieve my dream, I took Clothing and Textiles for my O’levels, getting an A grade without even trying. Then I found and applied to a fashion school in Germany - I was on my way. But, there always is a ‘but’ isn’t there – as it turned out, I was not to catch that particular train.

Being a 16 year old with no money in the bank to speak of, I had to rely on my mother for sponsorship. Sponsorship which she refused to give and to this day I have never understood why. I cried buckets, my heart was broken, I got angry eventually I conceded defeat and let the dream draw its last breath before letting it die. The relationship with my mother suffered tremendously after this but now, I forgive her. Wow, this is the first time I have ever written this down. I forgive you Mum.

Instead, I ended up studying for a degree in Business Administration – still trying one year into the course to switch to a degree in Textile design but university rules didn’t allow me to. But the dream never really died and the passion certainly didn’t go away. Through out my university days and in the first few years of my career I made all my own clothes. I still got a great buzz from turning a simple piece of fabric into a stunning (and sometimes not so stunning) creation.

Over the years I have wondered how my life would have turned out had I gone to fashion school, as I so desperately wanted to. Would I have been world famous – my brand/label recognised at first glance or a struggling fashion assistant? Would I have had my own shop or become a prêt-a-porter seamstress? So many questions I will never know the answer to.

I still sew but I don’t make clothes anymore. Living over here has spoilt me – it’s so much easier to walk into a shop and buy something off the shelf. Instead, I now make handbags and with each bag I make I feel the fire of my passion being stoked again. Nothing compares to looking at a finished product I have made from scratch with my own hands and I never seize to be amazed when people are willing to pay me for my work. I fee strange charging (and being paid) for what I love to do.

Looking back, perhaps my mother did a good thing by not funding my dream of fashion school. Just think had I caught that particular train, I wouldn’t have met my wonderful husband or had my beautiful daughter who makes me laugh each day with her cheeky antics and I probably would not have been sitting here blogging about who else I might have been.


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Seeing the Good

As part of my attempt at frugal living this month, I pulled my bread maker out of the cupboard where it has been comfortably nestled for the past two years and made some bread which turned out to be quite nice. So this morning, I made a lettuce and smoked ham sandwich to bring into work with me. By so doing, I have saved myself the £2 (approx US$4) which I would have spent in the chip shop round the corner from my office getting lunch. Yay! I must confess though that I am not much of a ‘sandwich-for-lunch’ type of gal as I prefer my meals to be hot and filling but one must make sacrifices to make savings. My new motto.

I also wrote my first entry into my gratitude journal last night and let me tell you it was so HARD to think of things I was grateful for. It’s funny that I can think of loads of negative stuff during the day at a snap but to think of one thing to be grateful for… The usual stuff came to mind – I am grateful for my husband, daughter, health blah, blah, blah – but deeper, not-immediately-visible-to-the-naked-eye (soul) type of stuff just didn’t spring to mind. Does this mean that as human beings we are wired to be automatically negative and so have a hard time identifying the good stuff? I am no psychologist but this is what I think it boils down to. We have to LEARN to see good in the things, people and environment surrounding us and enjoy even the bad things – in a round about way.

But I shall press on with my quest to make an entry into my gratitude journal each day. I think it will make me more aware, more in tune, more alert and more observant of the universe and it’s offerings.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006

Hello August

H E L L O A - train at Travel Town The 1cm cube G \"Lave-Auto à la main\" The big S T

Isn't this just so cool?