Wednesday, 26 January 2011

Children - The Gallery - Week 43

This weeks theme for Tara Cain's The Gallery is "Children," which of course creates a huge scope.  So I thought I would share this beautiful photo of when I was a ten year old.  This was my recorder club, where for some reason I am posing with my clarinet.  (I am the Asian one with the Linda McCartney mullet.)

I think we were an incredibly stylish bunch.  I was wearing a blue jumper dress with my Mum's blouse for added pizazz and a hot emerald green socks and pointy blue shoes combo.  Of course the winner in this photo is the curtains which take away the limelight from all of us.

If you click on the photo of the camera lens coffee mug above, it will take you to the Sticky Fingers blog where you can learn all about The Gallery, where hundreds of bloggers take part in sharing a themed photo from their collection.

Enjoy everyone else's photos, comment and follow new blogs.  If you like my blog - then please follow mine too, then let me know and I'll follow you back if I am not already doing so.  Have fun!

Sunday, 23 January 2011

Stir Crazy - Silent Sunday, 23rd January 2011

If you would like to take part in Silent Sunday, one picture, no words.  Then click on the button below to see Mocha Beanie Mummy's blog.  Here you can also take a look at all the other brilliant pictures without words, leave comments and follow new blogs.  Ssssh.

Silent Sunday

Check out one of my other blog entries here:

Sunday, 16 January 2011

Fun At Granny's house - Silent Sunday 16th January 2011

If you would like to take part in Silent Sunday, one picture, no words.  Then click on the button below to see Mocha Beanie Mummy's blog.  Here you can also take a look at all the other brilliant pictures without words, leave comments and follow new blogs.  Ssssh.

Silent Sunday

Creativity and A Tortured Mind - In Response To: Are All Bloggers Mentally Ill?

Inspired by Imperfect Pages' Musings on Creativity I am writing a blog post that rounds up a few of the thoughts I have been having recently.  When I say a few, I mean just that, they are only a few of the thoughts I am sharing with you, because my mind has not shut up at all, it has been on overdrive and I've been Tweeting like a maniac to reflect this usually whilst doing a gazillion other things at the same time.  I thought I was going to get away without having the January blues, then a bloody great nasty soul migraine kicked in rendering me useless to even finish this post that I started two weeks ago.

Thoughts about creativity were initially sparked off by The A Residence when she wrote a post about the  great community that has been found within Twitter and blogging.  I am continuously amazed at how supportive and talented people are within this community. Another post by the brilliant From Marketing to Milk - "Are All Bloggers Mentally Ill?"  hit a familiar note with me as I keep seeing depression, tumbling out onto the pages of the most entertaining, sharp witted and hilarious voices, time and time again when I read blogs.  I have written before on a similar topic Echoes of Talent in Art and War - Is Talent Genetic?  The  more blogs I read though, the more sadness and turmoil can be found simmering beneath the surfaces of the people that in turn create the best words and photography who's pages are full of adroitness.  All my most creative real life friends are held back at times by crippling depression, huge doses of procrastination or just really bad days where they just can't seem to get anything done.  I'm not just talking about a bit of PMT pissy mood time here.  I see it in men and women, I see a lot of booze consumed in order to self medicate,  I see a lot of prescriptions being handed out.  I get a lot of phone calls with nothing but a sniffling sound coming out from the other end.  Some of us are better at hiding it than others and some of us are able to share it in such a way that it is almost funny.

One of my friends and I used to really be into the Taoism and the Barefoot Doctor he suggests such meditations as "Scooping the loop,"  but if we were having a bad day, we'd look at each other or send a text just saying, "I'm scooping the poop."  It just summed everything up, including a complete inability to even scoop the loop.  There's a lot of people feeling the poo right now.  It's January, it's miserable, it's dark out, we're skint and over indulged.  January is usually my most creative month.  Most of my poetry is written in January, granted it's all a bit Sylvia Plath.  It's tortured, it's painful it reflects my inner being and not the happy go lucky person that I usually am. It does not make for light reading, but there's enough of it to make a book.  Most people who have read it don't like it very much, it's uncomfortable and probably not very good. When I read it sometimes I feel the same, but there is a place out there for everything and the book is out there.

Sometimes, a soul migraine just takes over, it takes over your everything your very being and you can't remember feeling any other way or imagine feeling any other way. The creativity is hampered, it grinds to a halt, the bed, the sofa, sometimes the floor becomes where it's at.  Distress and all those painful experiences we've buried so well bubble up to the surface and just don't want to go away.  I think the most creative people are often the most sensitive people.  I love people with multi-faceted personalities, they are the most interesting.  I don't want to read a blog where every day was the most "perfect" day ever.  Where the sun is always shining, where the children are always well behaved, where the writer has a fabulous wardrobe and a doting husband.  Yawn.  Life is just not like that.  It's all the ups and downs we go through that makes us who we are.  It's what makes us human beings able to share, nurture and amuse which is why I believe some of the best blogs out there are nourished by creative but tortured minds.

Wednesday, 12 January 2011

Body Parts - My Tummy, I loathe it, I love It - The Gallery Week 41

If you click on the photo of the camera lens coffee mug above, it will take you to the Sticky Fingers blog where you can learn all about The Gallery, where hundreds of bloggers take part in sharing a themed photo from their collection. The last theme was "love" you can view my post here. This week, it's a tricky one, body parts.  I am sharing with you one of those shots that should never be shared, a joke shot, an embarrassment so I hope you appreciate this Tara Cain! One of those daft pics that are taken on holiday, that you quickly edit from the photo album before you post your pictures on Facebook.

I have a really beautiful shot of my toddler breast feeding, which I wish I was brave enough to share with the world.  There aren't enough shots of breast feeding toddlers out there, showing breasts in action, doing what they are supposed to do.  Unfortunately because of the taboo inflicted by Western society, I don't feel it fair on my husband to share a shot of my breast with the world.

I would like to talk about my stomach.  There's a lot of stomach hate going on at the moment, a lot of us are trying to reduce our tummies after the seasonal overload.  I am that's for sure. I would have liked to have posted a shot of my tummy in it's current state, but taking a self portrait isn't very easy and I am sure my husband would think I was a complete loon if I asked him to take a picture of my tummy to share on the internet.  So, here is one he took three years ago on Barcelona beach.

I don't like my tummy right now, it hangs at the sides and protrudes further out than my no-longer-breastfeeding breasts. Dizzy grabbed it the other day and went yuk, a fine opinion coming from a toddler, "From the mouths of babes as they say."

But really, my stomach is not something to be despised. it is something to be celebrated. It may be covered in stretch marks and has a line of nigra that's been there for fourteen years since baby number one.  When I look at these marks that show up as imperfections, they really are a reminder of what perfection can be.  They are the reminders of the beauty of life, which I nurtured and grew within.

I  have new marks on my belly, scars from the removal of a fallopian tube that took place two weeks after this, which granted was keyhole surgery and scars from my appendix being removed.  Now, that was keyhole as well, but as they couldn't go through the same spot again, I now have an extra large Frankenstein style belly button. My stomach really has let me down on occasions.

I will probably not ever wear a bikini again.  But I will not lament. I will celebrate the wonderful people it has created by sharing this shot, for the human body is an amazing thing.  I am fascinated by it as I have said before and will always take surreptitious glances at other people's bodies if I think I can get away with it, so I am loving the chance to sneak a peak at everyone else's posts and body parts over at the Sticky Fingers Blog.  Thank you Tara!

Sunday, 9 January 2011

Silent Sunday - 9th January - Happy 12th Birthday Sonny Boy!

If you would like to take part in Silent Sunday, one picture, no words.  Then click on the button below to see Mocah Beanie Mummy's blog.  Here you can also take a look at all the other brilliant pictures without words.  Ssssh.

Silent Sunday

Tuesday, 4 January 2011

New Year New Body - Losing that last six pounds

Lots of people have made it their aim to get a new body this year.  This has been my quest all year round for the last twenty years. I go up and down like a yo-yo.  Whenever Oprah is pictured looking a bit squidgy round the edges, I empathise. When she is pictured looking lean and mean, I know how she is feeling then as well. I have had a rock hard six pack and I have been four stone overweight with a billowing belly.

July 2009 Big and 37 weeks pregnant
I am a trained fitness instructor, I used to work at the Taro Gym in Petersfield and I used to teach Spinning Classes. I did a personal trainer course with Future Fit. Although I haven't worked in the industry for the passed ten years there isn't much that I don't know about nutrition. I have had pretty much every diet/fad book on my bookshelf at one point or another because I like to learn all the latest theories. Or tut at the same diet ideas repackaged.  I am fascinated about how the human body works, how it looks, how it can be trained and what foods do to your body. I used to have an iron will.

August 2009 - In-between - Dizzy was 9 days old when this picture was taken - our 2nd day out of hospital - notice the tartiness can't disguise the eyes wide shut knackeredness 
But somewhere along the way I developed a fault and my guarantee seems to have run out because I can't exchange my body for a new one it seems.  Somewhere along the way, my subconscious mind began over riding my conscious mind and even though I had made a decision to eat healthily, I would get to the end of the day and realise I had rammed a ton of unwanted crap into my mouth all day long. How could that be?  I used to have an iron will!  but everyday, the same thing kept happening.  I'd make a decision to eat healthily. Then I wouldn't be healthy at all.  I downloaded hypnotherapy CDs to retrain my thinking and they used to work too. But now, I put one on and pass out within the first 30 seconds due to the relaxation hypnosis.  Somehow, my unconscious mind has over-ridden my conscious and my subconscious mind!

Dec 2009 - Skinny Again
Because I am determined to be really determined about this healthy eating malarkey I am going back to basics.  In order to really start thinking about what I am eating and to over ride my sub-conscience I am going to make a record of everything I eat.  I have written bout this before on my fitness blog here.  Now, there isn't a lot of time in the day, I have three children and businesses to run.  Writing things down is time consuming and tedious but it is very effective, because you start to make better choices about what you eat just by analysing your eating habits.  So, I am going to photograph everything I eat before I put it in my mouth.  I am not going to go on a diet I will just eat as I please and photograph things.  Of course, I am pretty sure that I will start eating more carefully because I won't want to photograph my grosser eating habits such as drinking spoonfuls of last night's gravy straight from the jug as I was serving dinner or snaffling that stray square of toast that the toddler threw on the sofa from his high-chair.  I will picture everything.  Everything for a week or two!  I will record it all here: as it will make for a very boring feed on the Rare Designer's Facebook page where this blog appears automatically.

Dec 2010 - half a stone heavier
I know I don't look much different, but I have a wardrobe full of clothes that do not fit properly, I'd like to lose six pounds so that I can sit on the sofa wearing my jeans  without cutting the circulation being cut off to my entire lower body.  I was expecting to have to do this.  I ate and I drank like a loon for the whole of December, I've been walking less and I haven't been to the gym for a month.

To get things started though, you can see what I have consumed so far today.  You're not yawning are you?  No?  Hmm, okay.  Here goes.

Macchiato latte
I have drunk three of these.  What is it?  It's a Tassimo macchiato which I added Starbucks toffee nut syrup to.  Total calorie count, um.  About 339 cals on coffee, plus about 35 cals per teaspoon of syrup.  So that's 444 cals wasted already on three little drinks.  Brilliant, I can see where things are going wrong already!

I am five foot nothing and in order to maintain my weight I only need about 1700 cals a day.  Any more than that and I will put weight on.  In order to lose weight I need to eat about 1200-1400 cals a day, but I am also quite active so all movement counts towards that calorie goal.  I plan to burn an extra 200 cals at least through activity.

Cinnamon and raisin bagels
For breakfast I had one and a half cinnamon bagels with butter.  See how my subconscious mind took over while I was getting ready to photograph them?  I took a bite already.  Hopeless! These total to: 540 cals plus the butter: an extra 36 cals.  I tapped them into "My Plate" on The Livestrong website which records and tallies everything up for you.  In fact it's even better today since I last used it.  Very fast and everything I searched for was stored on there, although I cheated and used an American brand of bagel, but they are roughly the same.

So, it's 11.45 and this morning I have already consumed 1040 cals!  Brilliant.  It tells me I can eat a further 413 cals to stay within my limit today.  Oh dear, I still have lunch and tea to go.  I will continue to eat as I please and chronicle it, but I am certainly thinking about and realising where I am going wrong.