A - Z Challenge 2017

F is for flirt – #AtoZChallenge

flirt

[flurt]
verb (used without object)

1.

to court triflingly or act amorously without serious intentions; play at love; coquet.

2.

to trifle or toy, as with an idea:

She flirted with the notion of buying a sports car.

3.

to move with a jerk or jerks; dart about:

butterflies flirting from flower to flower.
verb (used with object)

4.

to give a sudden or brisk motion to; wave smartly, as a fan.

5.

to throw or propel with a toss or jerk; fling suddenly.
noun

6.

Also, flirter. a person who is given to flirting.

7.

a quick throw or toss; sudden jerk or darting motion.
And as I am so far behind I have reduced the timer to twenty minutes in the hope I can focus better so lets get started.
I confess I am a natural flirt, to me it has never been a problem, I know I am not serious, the way I flirt I have never had issues with others taking me too seriously either but I have had problems with partners not liking it. For me flirting is not always about forming a relationship with the other person it s about making people feel good, and honestly I think the world would be a better place if the world had a little more flirtation. don’t get me wrong there will always be people who will read more into things but that is because they want to, they are also the same people who would read something into nothing, they would claim saying thank you to someone serving you is ‘flirting’ that smiling at someone is ‘flirting’ the issue is generally always theirs because if you are secure with a partner then you should know that no matter how many people they thank or smile at nothing will ever come of it. for me flirting is a little like flattery, it is commenting on someone looking good, doing something noteworthy, it is just a word or two that makes someone feel a little better about themselves, and maybe it puts them in a good mood and they go out and pay it forward.
I admit that some of the other definitions are not ones I would have thought of to me butterflies flit rather than flirt, I would not have ever considered the idea of flinging as part of flirting unless it possibly involved a man in a kilt, which  I could tell you a story about that from when I went to the Challenge Cup Final at Twickenham one year and there may have been a little flirting involved before I found out he really did have nothing on under his kilt lol I may have actually blushed that day.
The timer has bleeped so tell me to flirt or not to flirt? Do you see it as an issue or harmless feel good fun?
A - Z Challenge 2017

E is for espionage – #AtoZChallenge

espionage

[es-pee-uh-nahzh, -nij, es-pee-uhnahzh]
noun

1.

the act or practice of spying.

2.

the use of spies by a government to discover the military and political secrets of other nations.

3.

the use of spies by a corporation or the like to acquire the plans, technical knowledge, etc., of a competitor:

industrial espionage.
I am afraid you will definitely be getting a couple of days for the next few weeks until I catch up on my blog posts so without further ado lets start the timer…
When I think of a spy I automatically think James Bond, technically when you think about it he is rather crap as a spy, everyone knows who he is. The idea of the spy is that he is supposed to perform covert operations not walk in announcing his presence with a calling card, but then again the bad guys may as well be walking round with flashing arrows above their heads advertising walking evil. That does not mean I don’t love watching Bond films for all their failings, I love the gadgets as well the pens that double as hypodermic needles, briefcases where the blade sticks out if you push one lock one way but gases everyone if the push the other.  I love the film the Kingsman for similar reasons though that has the added advantage of Colin Firth.
Now Colin Firth’s character is easier to see as a spy in some ways charming, a quintessential English eccentric who it would be impossible to believe actually capable of fooling anyone. Another E word there eccentric, it always seems to be linked to English or British people, usually of a certain class, but why is it the we Brits affectionately label our stranger countrymen as eccentric rather than freaks or weirdo’s? do other countries have eccentrics or are they more damning? Is it the potential for harming others that turn the eccentric into a threat and therefore something more sinister?
When you think of the films that portray what it is to be British over the last few decades they tend to be grimy violent films filled with drugs and violence or filled with middle and upper class ‘characters’ usually loveable failures, think Bridget Jones, Notting Hill, Four Weddings and a Funeral, and one of my favourites, which brings us back to Colin Firth again, Love Actually. I was going to post a link here but had to come back and alter it when I realised I couldn’t find one. I love the fact that mainly they were happy endings to the stories but can’t help wondering if the Emma Thompson/Alan Rickman story would have had a happy ending, because in my head at the end of the first film they didn’t, they were the one couple who did not make it and the sad passing of Rickman left a gap that could not be filled. Any way time is more or less up mainly as I got distracted once again, in comments tell me do you think the Thompson/Rickman Love Actually marriage could have had a happy ending in the sequel?
A - Z Challenge 2017

D is for discotheque – #AtoZChallenge

discotheque

or discothèque

[dis-kuh-tek, dis-kuhtek]
noun

1.

a nightclub for dancing to live or recorded music and often featuring sophisticated sound systems, elaborate lighting, and other effects.
And the timer is go…
When I think of discos I have to confess I am transported back in time, these days we have clubs, places that are about being seen and looking good, somewhere in the late eighties disco’s turned into clubs where ravers met to dance the night away that morphed into the clubs we have now, more about drinking and looking good than the actual dancing.
For me disco means dancing, not just John Travolta in a white suit but school disco’s where we all copied the dance moves from the videos that were just starting to appear, copying the moves from Top of the pops dancers or the set routines for songs such as the Time Warp, Wigwam Bam and the Locomotion. The boys would go mad at Adam Ant, girls fled the dance floor as they leapt and whirled slapping their thighs in their best highwayman impression.  Of course looking back, although I claim it was not about being seen we all know the fashions, well let’s just say the neon colours did not really flatter anyone neither did Ra-Ra skirts, and the less said about the lyrca well enough said. I recently remarked to a friend that I was so glad that smart phones did not exist when I was younger, as a teen in the 80’s your camera was generally to clunky to carry round, and the fact you only had twelve or twenty four exposures meant that you didn’t take a lot of photos, most of those well orchestrated group shots as you attempted to feature as many people in one picture as possible. I am so glad no evidence exists of the fishtail skirt I made especially to match my bright yellow jacket and the silk shirt that trailed down behind my knees at the back, actually I take that back I would happily have one in that style today, just not a white one with luminous yellow velvet tiger style stripes on it. I have to confess I thought I looked cool but then we all did.
The other miracle of surviving the 80’s is of course that more of us did not do a Michael Jackson and have our hair go up in flames do the the amount of hair stray we used during the attempts to make our hair bigger and more voluminous that anyone else’s, Even before I ever put the first dye on my hair I hate to think of the damage inflicted by the hair-drying, back-combing then the blasting with a can of Insette, a hairspray that was so powerful nothing could move your hair once you had fixed it but that you had to hold your breath while spraying. If someone had wanted to blow up the High School all the would have needed to do was throw a couple of lit matches onto the dance floor at the Youth Club Disco. Ah the Youth club, discos, table tennis and trampolines but that will have to wait for another day the timer has just gone…
A - Z Challenge 2017

C is for Cloak – #AtoZChallenge

Cloak

noun

1.

a loose outer garment, as a cape or coat.

2.

something that covers or conceals; disguise; pretense:

He conducts his affairs under a cloak of secrecy.
verb (used with object)

3.

to cover with or as if with a cloak:

She arrived at the opera cloaked in green velvet.

4.

to hide; conceal:

The mission was cloaked in mystery.
And let the timer commence…
When I think of cloaks I think of the big dramatic types ones, fur lined and trimmed, heavy duty, to protect against the coldest winds. If truth be told I would love one, I like the idea of it trailing in my wake, blowing out behind me as I hurry through storms, of course the reality is it would be covered in all kinds of shit very quickly and have to go be dry cleaned after every wearing. I do have a cloak, a think black satin job, bought cheap for dressing up at Halloween, and I have a cape/coat, well it is somewhere between the two a cape with armholes if you like, and that has a fur collar but sadly no hood, but is at least of a length that you don’t have to worry what it trails through.
I guess historically cloaks go back to the days when you had no washing machines and the idea was they covered up the more expensive outfits underneath, or when they doubled as an extra blanket or bedding to swaddle yourself in while travelling. And more than that there is of course the mystery, what is hidden beneath that huge hood, only when they chose to lift their head and slide it back a little do they reveal themselves to you, which I guess also appeals to me in terms of my love of horror. You sometimes hear Death referred to as a cloaked figure, though personally I think his are more like hooded robes than a cloak, as quite often they depict him with sleeves, and for me a cloak doesn’t have sleeves.
There is also something quite romantic to me about the idea of the cloak, the figure sweeping across the drive throwing back the hood to reveal Austen-esque, hair and gown, all heads turning to admire the newcomer Cinderella style, I guess Disney still rubs off on the subconscious of even the darkest of minds, though of course there is nothing to say that gorgeous vision may not be a vampire ready to drain the blood of a dozen other ball goers.
I guess that ties in with the other use as well, the cloaked missions, hidden agenda’s and concealment. You never know what lies beneath the surface, it is one of the reasons I like people watching, imagining that person and what their life could be both realistically and outrageously. Think of the film Mr & Mrs smith, or True Lies, films where what seems like boring mundane couples lead secret double lives, I imagine that for the people I watch sometimes. I don’t imagine them all to be spies but there may be a vampire or banshee amongst them, a killer prowling for victims, and always so many victims, so many who put themselves in harms way without a second thought. Yes my mind works in sick and twisted ways at times! The man trying to sign people up for a charity, well he could of course be a fraud, or he might have two lists, one for the genuine subscriptions and one for potential victims that willing hand over their details to save the cute puppies and he is patient he has a nice long list, he can afford to wait months before he visits, it doesn’t matter if one or two have moved and escape, there are plenty more on the list. I joke about how much trouble I would be in if someone based their opinion of me on my google search history, or the books on my books shelf. I love the idea of the hidden self, the alter ego, for good or for bad, the imagination knows no bounds other than the limits of a person creativity.
Okay I am a couple of letters behind and do have other posts I need to to as well so for the next week or so you may find me in your inbox twice a day but I promise no more, and once I am caught up on the A – Z will not let it happen each day lol
A - Z Challenge 2017

B is for bobsleigh – #AtoZChallenge

Bobsleigh or bobsled is a winter sport in which teams of two or four teammates make timed runs down narrow, twisting, banked, iced tracks in a gravity-powered sled.

Just want to point out I am using a 30 minute timer and doing stream of conciousness but I do have a child and pets in the house and I am correcting glaring spelling mistakes etc so it might be possible for me to write more within the thirsty minutes but honestly, you don’t need to me go over a thousand words, I want you to stay awake to the end lol.

That said let’s start the timer…

You wouldn’t think it looking at me now but when I was younger I was quite sporty, I did athletics, liked playing tennis, doing trampolining, swimming. What I don’t like is the cold, so I have to be honest and say Winter sports never appealed, plus I have never broken a bone and would prefer to keep it that way. I do like watching the Winter Olympics, which let’s face it other than ‘Ski Sunday’ was more or less the only time we saw these sports. I like watching skiing but being the type of person I am I it is because I like watching them crash, which they do in a most spectacular manner normally, I am not evil enough to want them to be actually hurt, just to see them complete a couple of somersaults. But I always though if I had to do a Winter sport it would be bobsleigh.

I would want to be the second seat in a four man or in my case woman sled, that way you don’t have to be responsible for being at the front and I assume steering and you don’t have to be the ones who push longest and have the biggest risk of falling over before you even get going. It have to say I know they practise for hours and hours but I am surprised that more sleighs don’t set off down the course minus a member or with him clinging on to the back. The other reason I would go for bobsleigh is I understand the rules of gravitational pull which keep it in the tube, curve, run, you know what I mean the track thingy, also being in the middle you can’t really do much damage I shouldn’t imagine, the compact nature of proximity would stop you leaning the wrong way at the wrong time, unless you all do it of course.

What I don’t understand is the lunatics who choose to get rid of the sleigh bit which would give them a little protect if they crash an decide that it is a great idea to fly down as quickly as possible on a glorified tea tray. I know they have different names but I am not going to go look them up, one is the Luge and one is something else, and I can’t decide if the person going feet first, or the one going head first, is the more mentally unstable. Don’t get me wrong I find it fascinating to watch but I do wonder how many of their spouses can bear to watch, it really is a sport where a wipeout could easily be fatal, do their loved ones spend hours trying to persuade them to take up something safer like curling. I confess I like curling as well how many other sports does the ability you wield a Vileda Supermop qualify you for an Olympic sport, although does any one actually know what they are shouting at each other, it is like a cross between a secret language and listening to a farmer shout at a sheepdog herding sheep. The other thing I wonder while watching curling is what happens if one of the sweepers slips and slides into the target area, do they start again or does she sit their while stones a hurled at her in the hope of knocking her out of the way?

 

Fact Vs Fiction

A is for air letter – #AtoZChallenge

air letter
noun
noun: air letter; plural noun: air letters
  1. a sheet of light paper folded and sealed to form a letter for sending by airmail.
    Set the timer and let 30 minutes commence…

I like writing letters, even today in the digital age there is something so much more personal in sitting with a pen and paper, and letting the words, flow from the heart. I have written letters I have never sent, cathartic, vitriol filled rants at those who have done me wrong, well in my eyes anyway but I have written just as many love letters filled with words I cannot say, that I could never allow to spill from my lips.

As a child I used to write to my grandma once she moved away, I have some of those now, returned to me before the dementia took hold, such innocent lines of nothing but they had meant enough for her to have kept them for over 25 years. I think of the letters I wish I could write now, that it is too late for, to give her news of my books, my first grand child impending, so much more information than those lines she saved on the floral notelets that you unfolded to give you more writing space. I need to write to my great uncle, I have not been in touch with him for a while, at one point we rung every week but then my grandma passed away and the contact got less, not from a desire to lose contact but laziness, he probably feels I do not want to hear from him and I know he struggles with the phone so writing is better for him but I put it off so often. My great aunt is on Facebook so I keep in touch there with a series of likes, comments and tags, but my great uncle is not as tech savvy and I know he had trouble accessing the emails I sent him with stuff about the family tree.  U have photos of him and my great aunt as children, I know in theory the idea of digital albums people tagged and shared should mean they last forever but you have to wonder whether with the accidental hit of the delete button will entire sections of history disappear.  there is of course another reason the letter is so much more personal, the writing. In the family tree research we came across an uncle of my grandma’s repatriated to Australia after the first world war, in this cache of records there was a letter, scanned into the computer but a request for his army records, it seems so silly, the least personal type of letter you could imagine but as I sat staring at the screen I thought about the fact this man, dead before I was born, on the other side of the world had written those words. It had an address and though I am pretty sure the area had chanced I could put it in Google Maps and look at the address he had written that letter from, the street he would have walked down to post it. I love the idea that history is passed on in something tangible, that you can smell perfume on the letters, just the faintest smell of what the writer might have been wearing, that you can look at their choice of paper, pen and even in my case wax seal to tell you even more about them, I love the idea of something that though it will not last forever will, if passed on tell far more than an email ever could.

A - Z Challenge 2017

A – Z Challenge 2017 – Theme Reveal

So in the past I have done places, animals, artists and I was hoping to come up with a really cool theme for this year but it just has not happened. You may have noticed there was no vlog or Lazy Sunday this last week, well the truth is our week was thrown into turmoil with the passing of one of our little furries, Buddy age 6 (a good age for a guinea pig) was dead when we got up on Thursday morning and although I hid the fact from Monster until after school there were lots of tears and as you can imagine we have been busy trying to ease his upset, which to be honest is not helped by ,the remaining piggie, making lots of noise in his distress at now being a lone piggie.

Anyhow back on subject A – Z theme, I have been racking my brain this morning but it was not really complying and I kept wondering off on strange trains of thought. The it came to me, that will be my ‘theme’ stream of conciousness! I am going to open the dictionary at random for each letter and and stick my finger on the word and that will be the starting point for that day. I will give the word and the definition first, then from there I shall allow my mind to wander wherever it so desires for 500 – 1000 words.

Now you all know me, so you can’t hold me responsible for any rabbit holes we may journey into, they may be fun and frivolous, or, dark and dangerous. I have no idea how well this will work but I think it will be fun finding out lol