Bowery Mural

Worry... worry, worry, worry, worry. Worry just will not seem to leave my mind... alone

Tuesday, 27 January 2009

Those that know me will know that I'm a bit of a worrier... and that's a big bit not a wee bit of a worrier. I have to say that until today i wasn't overly worried about my docs appointment tomorrow but on reflection I am now scared that it'll be bad news. Probably just thinking too much?

In opposition to my worrying, there are some rather sad events that have taken place recently that have once again brought home the realisation that life is too short not to be lived in a full and rewarding way. Isn't it strange how this happens and you're all set to make some changes and promises to yourself and it works - for a little while, then you somehow end up slipping back into your normal way of thinking until the next time. A cycle, a repetition an endless succession of promising yourself that you 'must try harder'.

Oh in addition to being a worrier I am also really tough on myself, way too tough I feel. Playing down my achievements and even my goals, not taking a few moments to pat myself on the back enough, generally being a bit too hard on myself for one thing or another. I mean I am fairly successful, I have a great family, a pretty decent bunch of friends, and I'm currently mid way through a period in my life that is taking me on an incredible journey in so many ways (not just to Base Camp either!). All in all it's pretty good but i feel a few more risks - is that the right word?, maybe chances or opportunities is what I mean, anyway these need to be taken. I need to push myself more, be more assertive in all aspects of my life. I do try, i have conversations in my head but the words just don't seem to come out. Rather they don't come out they way I want them. Now these conversations in my head aren't in the wacko, I'm hearing voices type of way but I'll explain. Example - environment: work, desk piled high with papers, students at the desk wanting questions answered, someone comes in and wants something (not that important) done in the next few minutes, what do you do?? My heads saying 'yes I'll do it but will the next hour do?' and my mouth says 'give it here and I'll do it just now'. What's that all about?!?! That is just one example but by no means one that concerns me the most. I just need to say NO more but on the other hand I could be doing with saying YES a lot more. Which leads me nicely onto this...

I was having a mental block as far as going to the gym was going. Couldn't get motivated at all last week, partly because of recent events but partly because i just couldn't face it. I saw Stephen Fry on Jonathan Ross talking about how he's out walking more and takes audio books out with him. Time and distance flies by he says. So i downloaded Yes Man by Danny Wallace on iTunes. The movie based on the book is out just now starring Jim Carrey. Anyway I hit the gym tonight with my Yes Man fully loaded and started listening to it. I quite like Danny Wallace on telly and he seems pretty funny but after a few minutes i must have looked like a loon smiling and chuckling to myself on the cross trainer. Anyway I digress, the point of my story and his was that he'd gotten himself into a rut and met a guy on a bus who told him to 'say YES more'..... That was it. He goes on to say that the man had told him 'the people without passion are the ones who always say no... but the happiest people are the ones who understand that good things occur when one allows them to..' So if anyone asked him anything he said yes to it. I'm only 45 minutes into a 5 hour audio book and i like it already. Seems like it could be easy doesn't it. So my plan is not quite as drastic as his but i will try to say YES to more things, situations, questions, opportunities.

Ask me a question and i'll say yes, maybe... depends how brave i am really eh - eek!! I will try though, so fire away with the questions.

And finally.. to keep up a recurring theme of getting song lyrics/quotes into my blog posts, quite simply -
'I'll get by with a little help from my friends'.

Ange x

Hills, Rain, Work Boredom & Leonardo DiCaprio - Rantings of a bored me sitting wondering if anyone even actually reads this

Friday, 16 January 2009

I'm sitting here all alone in the office on a wet, rainy Friday afternoon and quite frankly it's way too dark outside. Linda's probably sunning herself on a beach in Mexico, I'm very jealous and can't remember the last time I saw real proper summer sunshine!! Brigitte works part-time so I am rather bored and lonely here on my own. The whole department is rather quiet and the tumbleweeds could be rolling down the corridor (Some academics seem to call it 'working form home'!). I have been doing work but it's quiet just now so a few minutes down-time to surf the web was needed, along with a much needed cup of tea. I indulged in too much at lunch time and feel very.... bleurgh.

Edith Bowman on Radio 1 is currently keeping me entertained with her chat and music. She has the movie talk on Fridays and I've watched a few good films recently - mostly Christmas presents (from this year and last). I sat down and watched Blood Diamond which i received last year as a present and always fell asleep not far into it. This time I made myself watch it. It's the one about diamond mining in Africa and with Leonardo DiCaprio in it. Anyway it turned out to be a good movie and i found myself with a few tears rolling don my cheek at the end. I realised that this happens when i watch films with Leo in them. More recently The Departed. Now that is a brilliant movie. Again i had a few attempts at a viewing and one night eventually seen it form start to finish. I don't particularly like Leo, or I thought I didn't... well I mean I don't think he's that good looking. No, that's the wrong thing to say cos is he quiet handsome in his own way, let's just say he's not my taste, but I think he's a really good actor - in certain movies. I HATE Titanic and still haven't seen it all the way through..... Anyway yeah in some movies I've seen of him he's a really good actor and draws you in. His characters are believable like in The Departed, Blood Diamond (although the South African accent was a bit crap), and in The Beach. I was only reminded of this movie today as Edith was talking about it earlier on. I liked that movie too. I suppose what i'm trying to say is that when a movie opens with Leonardo DiCaprio in it that is not the thing that will draw me to it but i have been pleasantly surprised by his performances. Oooo sounds very high-brow!

So... I feel I need to get out more in the hills but I am stuck in a situation of not having any winter gear of my own. My boots are good but not really for the snow, I don't have crampons or ice/walking axe, and I thought an 'arrest in the snow' was when the polis chase a guy down the street and jump on him and it just happens to be snowing! I kid.... Yeah so I'm not really geared up for winter walking. I know it isn't snowing here just now but further north there will be some sort of snow and I'd rather be prepared for all situations that may arise if I were out walking one day. It's now just under 11 weeks till I depart and I am becoming more nervous and anxious as the days go down. At the same time I am well excited at the prospect of being away for the first time ever on my own, at the magnificent views I will see, at the amazing people I hope to meet, at the country and culture so far removed from my own it makes me feel a bit sick, and at the most amazing experience I will have. I cannot wait!! I've been thinking too that when I get back I am going to start to plan my next step in the journey of my life in the great outdoors - watch this space!

So it's still raining, it's even darker outside and it's Friday - the weekend. Have a good one whatever you get up to.
Ange x

New Year, New Dawn, New Life

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Hey everyone

It's been quite a few days since my last posting but not much has happened apart from work, work and work. Went for a little new year's jaunt up Dumyat to get some quiet time and turns out it was more busy than a town centre on Boxing Day sales!! Not quite but there were a lot of folks there. I soldiered on nonetheless to get some air in my lungs and it was a good few hours on the hills. It was a gorgeous day, a bit chilly if you stood still but the sky was blue and there was no wind.

On the hill there were families, teenagers, oldies, little kids and even a couple of babies thrown in for good measure (strapped to the daddy's in those harness things mind you). There was even a guy who'd parked his Lamborghini in the car park and I'm not sure he climbed the hill but where did he put the muddy boots??!

It was good to be out walking by myself as I've not done hat yet - not really brave enough, but I have trodden the grounds of Dumyat a few times now and you can't really get lost. Anyway I had my new all singing all dancing watch on, altimeter and compass included, so surely i couldn't have got lost!

I set off at about 1pm and made my way through the masses with their various mountain attire!! The was the teenager with the brand spanking new white trainers (obviously a Christmas present!); the old lady with her skirt, coat and wee flatties on (her feet must have been sore); a wee boy who was diving in the icy puddles and ended up in one up the his knees with the mucky water flowing over the top of his wellies - funny; the couples with the girls who had their new suede boots! on complete with no jacket and a scarf! - amazes me why people dress like this? and then there was the seasoned hill walkers with the waterproofs and rucksacks.

Anyway I was back at home eating home made vegetable soup with a hunk of bread by 4pm. Grand Day Out! for a New Years Day.

More pics can be viewed here:

It all got me thinking - yes again! My trek is becoming ever more a reality as the days tick by. I think it's something like 81 days now. Final preparations are under way, got my dental appointment soon, visa application is being sent in the next few weeks, doctor appointment for vaccinations is upcoming. In addition I only need another £150 to meet the fundraising target of £3250 which is amazing.

Over Christmas period I was watching the Wainwright Walks series with Julia Bradbury on BBC2 and i came to really like the little quotes that were read on the programmes. It mostly referred to hills and landscapes of the Lake District but a few could be applied to life in general, here's another of my favourites:

Mountain climbing is an epitomy of life. You start at the bottom, the weaklings and the resolute drop out, the determined reach the top. Life is like that.
Alfred Wainwright
bye for now
Ange x