Monday, 15 January 2018

In Grandma's handbag

KitKats, two or three
strawberry Chewits for the grandkids,
half a packet each
one knife, plastic
for my mcchicken sandwich, see
sugar sachets and stirrers from when we had tea
you never know what you might need

I wrote this poem a few months after my Grandma passed awayIt's short but it contains a lot of memories.  One that always makes me giggle is the time she declared for all to hear on the bus that she had a knife in her bag, only to pull out a plastic one and inform me that it was to cut up her McChicken sandwich later 😂

She collected sugar sachets and things from everywhere and always had some in her bag, not to mention the ones stuffed in kitchen drawers.  I don't know if she ever even used them but she was prepared at least!

Grandma was so wonderfully stubborn and an absolute sass-master.  There are so many examples but one story I love is about when me and my sister were little, we'd gone to a park with dad and Grandma and a lady came over asking 'how old are the twins?' Grandma straight away replied '7 and 4.'  Absolutely deadpan.  Never afraid to say what she thought, our Joan!  She was hilarious, though not always on purpose - usually she made us laugh the most when she was being grumpy! 

Some of my favourite memories are the Sunday afternoons we spent watching the planes at the runway lookout.  One of the last times we went it was a beautiful sunny day and we could get out of the car to see properly; whenever a plane took off she would clap and cheer and she was making everyone else there smile.  She thought it was magic that my sister could tell her where they were going to/coming from using an app on her phone. 'Ooh, smashing!'

Today she would have turned 88.  Happy birthday Grandma, we miss you 💗

Tuesday, 9 January 2018

Hello 2018

Hi, I'm Holly.  You might remember me from... well, you might not remember me.

In September last year I started this new little space of mine full of good intentions.  I've never been very good at posting consistently but I did think I'd manage more than 8 posts before letting it slide again!  I like having a blog, but I sometimes struggle with what to write about.  I'm still quite a private person, and I yo-yo all the time between wanting my blog to be noticed and actually not being sure I even want people to read it 😂 I know, make your mind up Holl!  I've lost count of the number of times I've thought of a post, something I'd probably love to read on someone else's blog, only to dismiss it as too personal; typed something out and never posted it because 'what if so-and-so from school or work reads it?' 

Because of this most of my posts tend to be 'what we did today' style accounts.  Not very revealing or vulnerable.  They're lovely to write and look back on, but I'd like to write about some of the not so shiny sides of life too.  I just worry about giving away too much to both strangers and to people who, for whatever reason, aren't close enough to me in person to know everything already.  I'm quiet in real life and don't give much away, so I even get a bit squirmy thinking about my close friends reading my blog!

But by not writing more candidly, am I not authentic enough to have any readers?  The blogs that I love to read are written by very open people who share a lot of their family lives.

Do I care if I have any readers?  But if no one is reading, is there a point to this - should I stick to journalling instead?

So you see by the time I've gone round the loop a few times, I talk myself out of posting most things before I've even written them.  And I'm not sure I care enough about blogging to really work on improving - maybe I just need to embrace it as a casual hobby, and leave it at that.

 Anyway... that's actually not what I wanted to write about today!

I wanted to talk about my outlook for 2018.  I think the turn of the new year inspires reflection in everyone, but I'm trying not to put too much emphasis on the whole 'new year, new me' thing.  It sometimes brings some pressure with it, and things don't magically change with the beginning of January.

At the start of 2017, I wrote this post on an old blog.  I was feeling positive then, so I'm sad to say that as the year went on I took some steps back in that respect.  There are things in my life that are out of my control but which affect me greatly.  Tackling those is going to take a bit more than some new years resolutions.

Frustrating as those aspects of my life are, I'm trying to concentrate more on the positive things about where I am now that I've brought with me from 2017; my relationship, finally settling in a job, my strong friendships and family bonds.  I made progress last year in other areas - I managed a whole year of going to the gym for classes three times a week and my fitness has improved a lot.  I'm more active in general and my attitude to exercise is so much more positive.  I drink lots more water and eat healthier.  I'm not where I want to be yet, but I'm on the right track and I have people helping me to figure it out along the way.

So 2018 is less about change for me and more about keeping up the good work (when I can afford to renew my gym membership!) and doing what I need to do to look after myself.  Hopefully the things affecting my confidence will get better as a result 😊

Coming up soon: December book haul, and my 2017 in books.

Holly x