Where creative writing and general rambling go hand in hand :)

Saturday, 28 January 2012

you'll regret it when you're old !!!

Yesterday I had my 6th tattoo done. My first 5 are all fairly small and were quite quick to do so when I booked my appointment for this one and was told it would be an hour and a half's worth of work I was a little nervous. I had my first tattoo done just after I turned 18 and the other 4 were all within a few years which means its been about 10 years since my last one. With the help of a couple of friends I got a design I liked and decided to have it on my foot and going up my leg. I imagined the top of my foot being an extremely painful place to have it and arrived for my appointment fairly nervous, no need it seems. The most painful part was on my leg near the top of the design and even that wasn't anywhere near as bad as I expected. so the final result -

I absolutely love it :)

There are people who like tattoos (but don't have any themselves) that like to admire others tattoos, there are people who don't like tattoos at all but don't hold it against you for having them and then there are those that repeat the line - you'll regret it when you're older, I've heard it many times and each time I reply with no I won't !! All of my tattoo's are easily hidden when and if neccesary and if I didn't do something now just in case I regret it when I'm old then there is alot that I wouldn't be doing.

Don't regret the things you have done but don't live to regret the things you didn't do when you had the chance, take a risk it might just be worth it :)

You'll regret it when you're old !!?? Not a chance :) 

Monday, 23 January 2012

Fundraising

This week I have registered for the 5k Race for life along with my mum, aunty and my best mate :) I have now also registered for a half marathon (power walking NOT running). The walking I know I can cope with as training will start soon though I am slightly nervous about walking for 13 miles in a decorated bra !!!
If you would like to sponsor myself or my mum for the half marathon which is raising money for breast cancer you can do so by following this link :)
http://www.walkthewalkfundraising.org/me_n_mum

Or if you would prefer to sponsor the race for life which raises money for cancer research then follow this link :)

http://www.raceforlifesponsorme.org/sharleenerawlings

Thank you in advance for your generosity :) xxx

Wednesday, 18 January 2012

Creative Writing TMA 2

This is my 2nd TMA for Creative Writing. It scored lower than the first but I received some fairly good comments :) 
(the layout has gone haywire sorry ) 

Always by your side

It’s a beautiful July morning, the sun is streaming through the gap in the curtains and in about thirty seconds our daughter is going to burst into our bedroom. She has been awake since 6.30am but her mum told her she wasn’t allowed to be out of her room until at least 7am.
‘It’s my birthday’ she cries excitedly. Well it was less than thirty seconds but who’s counting? 
          Ellie is a gorgeous little girl (obviously as her father I am biased) she has the biggest blue eyes, the sort that can make you forgive anything when she aims her puppy dog look at you. Her hair is jet black and comes down just past her shoulders; the colour is identical to her mother’s hair but the bouncy curls she inherited from me (though she pulls off the curls much better than I ever have). Her skin is quite pale and we used to say if she had straight hair she could easily play Snow White; of course from a father’s point of view the thought of her sharing a house with seven men never really appealed to me.
          Today is Ellie’s eighth birthday, she is an only child and my wife Sarah and I would never deny that she has been totally spoiled since the day she was born. Eight years may have passed but I still remember that day vividly. Sarah went into labour three weeks early while out shopping with her sister Jac, when my phone rang I was driving so I ignored it at first thinking whoever it was would ring back if it was important. I was right Jac rang back again and again, in fact I had fifteen missed calls by the time I got chance to pull over and answer. I managed to gather what had happened from Jac’s panicky cries down the phone and told her I would meet them at the hospital; as soon as I hung up I went into panic mode. For the entire twenty minute journey I talked to myself out loud. ‘Three weeks early? That’s ok though right? They’ll both be okay won’t they? Of course they will, don’t be silly it’s all going to be fine’ I tried hard to convince myself it would all be okay and for a little while it worked, then my hands started to sweat and my heart began to race. As I pulled into a parking space at the hospital it suddenly dawned on me, ‘oh my god, I’m going to be a dad!’ I sat gripping the steering wheel and staring into space, my knuckles were turning white when Jac knocked on the window.
          ‘Come on Dave you don’t wanna miss it do you?’ of course I didn’t, this was our little miracle about to be born. 
           Sarah and I had been married for fifteen years we were childhood sweethearts, soul mates. We started trying for a baby as soon as we were married but after five miscarriages we decided we couldn’t carry on doing it to ourselves; it obviously wasn’t meant to be. We put being parents to the back of our minds and tried not to think about it, years passed and we had resigned ourselves to the fact that we would never have children. In the early part of May Sarah had been unwell for a few days with back pain and sickness so she went to see the doctor, she was still in shock when I returned from work. Staring right through me as I walked in the door Sarah said, ‘I’m pregnant, we’re pregnant, we’re having a baby!’, I didn’t even have chance to reply when she said, ‘In three months, the baby’s due in three months.’ with that she walked off in to the kitchen and started making dinner. I stood in the hall for a good ten minutes before I dropped my bag and followed her into the kitchen. She hadn’t even mentioned that she’d missed her periods, she said she just put it down to stress at work. So the danger period had passed without us even knowing and now we had three months to prepare for becoming parents, or two months and one week as it turned out.
          As far as birthing partners go me and Jac were rubbish, we’re both born worriers and at one point were told off by the midwife because we were stressing Sarah out. For Sarah though this was a breeze, it didn’t faze her that the baby was early, her labour was fairly quick and within four hours of Jac’s phone call we had a beautiful baby girl and, although I say it was a breeze for Sarah, I also had a rather bruised hand to prove otherwise. We hadn’t got round to choosing names by this point so for two days she was just baby Macey. In the end we settled on Eleanor or Ellie for short, it was the name of Sarah’s great granny who amazingly lived until the grand age of 103, she was actually guest of honour at our wedding which took place on her 100th birthday. 
          So eight years have passed and here we are celebrating our little girl’s birthday, while Sarah and I sing happy birthday to her, Ellie makes herself comfy on the bed beaming from ear to ear its clear to see her excitement. Her grin gets even bigger when Sarah reveals a big bag full of presents which has been hiding under the bed, each gift is wrapped with such care and attention and Ellie gives each one her full attention when unwrapping them. She is one of those children that does everything neatly so the wrapping paper is never ripped, she takes such care that the whole present giving process takes longer than with most kids but she shows her appreciation for every gift. As Sarah hands over the first gift I see a tear fall on to her cheek, Ellie is oblivious as she reads the gift tag out loud. 
          ‘To our darling daughter Ellie happy eighth birthday, love forever and always mummy and daddy’ her smile slowly vanishes and she puts the gift aside as she moves over to hug her mother ‘I miss him so much mummy’
          ‘Me too honey, me too’ as Sarah wraps our little Snow White in her arms I feel like I’ve been punched in the stomach. The realisation hits that I will never again be able to comfort my beautiful little girl when she’s sad or share in her happiness; I won’t be around to scare off any worthless boyfriends or walk her down the aisle when she meets the one man that deserves her. Never again will I share a bed with my gorgeous wife or walk hand in hand along the beach at Christmas, our monthly date nights now non-existent. I can’t help the tears from rolling down my cheeks at the thought that they can’t hear me when I say ‘I love you both so much, I miss you more than you will ever know but I’m right here I can’t leave you’ I decide to leave them alone for a while and even though I know they can’t hear me I can’t stop myself from saying; ‘bye, I’ll be back in a while’ those were my last words to my family, in fact apart from singing to the Westlife CD in the car (it belonged to Ellie) those were my last ever words. 
          It happened just over two months ago on May 12th, we were celebrating the anniversary of the day we found out we were pregnant as we had done every year since. We had enjoyed a lovely family day out at the zoo, the monkeys were always my favourite but Ellie loved to spend what felt like hours watching the giant tortoises, it probably felt like hours because they don’t really do a lot but for some reason she was fascinated with them. We bought her a cuddly toy one for her birthday but gave it to her that day; she has hardly let it go since. We had been out for most of the day and when we got home decided that a takeaway was called for. Because we could never agree on which takeaway to have then for the fourth year running we chose which one by using our tried and tested method of putting our choices on bits of paper screwing it up and letting the cat choose. Whichever piece of paper she played with first was the one we chose so this year it was Ellie’s choice of pizza hut that won and, once we decided what we were having, I went off to buy it telling my gorgeous girls that I would be back in a while. I wish I’d known that I wouldn’t be back. Ever. I wish I had told them both that I love them before I left. I wish I hadn’t left. 
          I didn’t make it to pizza hut; I only made it ten minutes away from home before I was killed. It was an accident there is nobody to blame although that doesn’t make it any easier. A milk tanker on the opposite side of the road lost control when his tyre had a puncture. There wasn’t much he could do, he tried to gain control but the tanker jack knifed directly in front of me and my car crashed straight into the side of it. From this point it’s a bit hazy, I don’t really know whether my memories are from when I was alive or from after I died. I heard sirens, I heard voices mostly asking me if I was okay, I heard my phone ringing and that was the point I knew for definite that I was dead. I looked at the phone screen which was flashing with the word ‘Home’ then I realised I was stood outside on the passenger side of the car, I looked up and saw my body in the driver’s seat surrounded by paramedics. I wanted to shout and scream at them to work harder, bring me back my family are waiting for me but deep down I knew it was too late. I moved over to the front of the lorry and watched as the police tried to talk to the driver, he wasn’t responding to them; he was alive but deep in shock. His face stared straight ahead and when I looked at his hands they were gripping the steering wheel tightly turning his knuckles white. It made me think of me on the day Ellie was born, two men in shock reacting in the same way; one in shock at the miracle of birth and one at the cruelness of death.
          Since then I haven’t left my family, I went to my own funeral even though it tore me apart to see them hurting so much. I accompanied Ellie on her first day back at school two weeks later and I sat in the doctor’s waiting room when Sarah went to get sleeping tablets. I’m not leaving them ever, I can’t move on. I know they need me.            
          When I return to our room my girls are sat together under the duvet looking at Ellie’s last gift, this one was just from Sarah the rest we had bought a week before the accident and Sarah had gift wrapped them as soon as we got home mainly because Ellie is a bit of a snooper. I watch as Ellie unwraps her gift delicately, this one has different paper to the others it’s wrapped in blue paper (my favourite colour) and has silver ribbon tied around it. I notice when I look at Sarah that she is wearing my jumper, it’s a really old jumper and I’m trying to think why she chose that one. It all becomes clear though when Ellie reveals a silver double picture frame, in one side there is a picture of me and her at the zoo, our last day together and in the other side is a picture of me with her just minutes after she was born, our first day together, the jumper is what I’m wearing In that photo. On the back of the frame there is an envelope which Ellie opens to reveal a locket with identical photo’s inside ‘now daddy will always be with you sweetheart, even if he can’t be here in person’
          ‘I’ll always be here in spirit,’ I whisper. Sarah turns and looks directly at me and starts to cry. She can see me I know she can, as I mouth the words I love you to her she hugs Ellie and mouths the same words back at me before closing her eyes. I close my tear filled eyes knowing that they’re gone now, that’s all I needed, just to know that she knew I was there. I wish I had got the chance to tell her how proud Eleanor is that we named our little miracle after her.


Friday, 13 January 2012

January Blues

January is, as always the start of the new year and most people start the year off wishing for great things to happen. For those who had a crappy year previously the wish is simply that the new one is better than the last, for those lucky enough to have a great year previously their wish may be to improve on it or to just simply equal it.

January seems to bring with it a lot of new year blues, people break their new years resolutions and get angry at themselves; credit card bills come through following the christmas spending spree resulting in money worries; returning to work after several days/a week or two off (for the lucky ones).January seems to also bring with it some of the worst news imaginable, whether its any worse than any other month I don't know, but it seems that when things happen at the beginning of the year it appears to all happen at once.

January has brought with it bad news for several of my friends with the loss of loved ones both this year and last. I often wonder if the fact that you still have a further 11 months to get through makes it seem worse, not that losing someone at any time of the year is not awful.

We all start the year hoping for a healthy and happy one but in reality whether its us or someone close to us we are all likely to be faced with health issues at some point during the year. All we can hope for is that those issues that can be resolved are and for those that can't that they have a loving supportive family around them to make things as easy as possible.

My thoughts are with all those currently going through health problems or taking care of family that are, also with those who have recently lost a loved one and also those who have made it through the past year without their loved ones.

Life is tough and throws things at us that we never asked for but it is possible to get through it providing you have friends and family that care :)

Thursday, 5 January 2012

When I grow up !

When I was younger I went through several different options of what I wanted to 'be' when I grew up.
My first choice was to be a teacher, I was dead set on this idea and nothing was going to change my mind, for a few years nothing did.
I changed my mind when my sister was in hospital, it was then that I decided I wanted to be a nurse, she was in a children's ward and all of the staff were so friendly I decided I wanted in. I also justified this decision with the fact that a lot of nurses were big and bubbly and therefore so could I be, this ideal was ruined of course when I visited the following day and all the nurses were slim Jim's :). I stuck with this plan all through secondary school and began 6th form studying a GNVQ in Health and social care which I failed to complete. I loved what I was learning and the course enabled us to have a wonderful week spent in The Gambia, however I fell behind due to various reasons, I repeated a year but felt my heart wasn't in it so I left and began working full time in a bingo hall.
I never saw this as permanent, I don't know anyone who thinks 'when I grow up I want to call bingo'. I loved this job though and stayed with the company for just over 4 years, I also returned for another year after flitting between various retail jobs (most of which never lasted longer than 12 months).
When I moved into my flat I was working in a betting shop, previously I worked in a pet shop, a ladies clothes shop, a motorway service station, a factory and some agency jobs including a whole day as a chambermaid (never again). All of these jobs were temporary in my eyes until I found what I really wanted to do, I get bored easily and always wanted to move on to the next job hoping it would be better. In Nov 2006 I started work at my current job working in a supermarket part time and in the following March I began full time, this means I have now been there for over 5 years (officially the longest time I have been employed by one company).
This is not what I want to do for the rest of my life.
Throughout the teacher and nurse choices I have always known I wanted to be a writer, though this choice flits between writing for children, writing chick lit, magazines, radio etc. My ultimate dream would be to have a novel published (let me have my dream, everyone starts somewhere) and this is what started my decision to study with The Open University.
So I combined wanting to do the Creative Writing courses with my lack of qualifications higher than G.C.S.E's and signed up for a degree, this way if I'm not a rich and famous published author (dreams are good for you) by the time I graduate then at least I have the option to work towards my first choice of career as a teacher.
I may well change my mind again before that, after all it's a woman's prerogative :)

Sunday, 1 January 2012

New year, New me ???

The New year brings with it new years resolutions. I visited Wikipedia for a list of most popular ones this year:


Be financially-savvy
Read at least one book per month
Eat properly
Get enough sleep
Keep a journal of awesome moments

I don't recall ever making a resolution myself, certainly not at new year anyway. But with regards to the most popular ones here is where I stand:

I sorted out my finances from June 2008 and am now in a much better financial position than before
I read quite often usually, although the last few books have been study related
I started with slimming world in Nov 2009 and apart from the odd day (or xmas week) I eat fairly healthily
I love my bed and my pyjama's, there are days I get too much sleep and days I don't feel I get enough
I often write in notebooks/diaries/my blog etc when anything interesting or life altering happens

So with that in mind I feel there is only one resolution I can make and that is to continue being me :)

Although there are things I am constantly changing about myself, including my weight loss and studying which will continue to result in more confidence, I can honestly say that I am happy with my life. Obviously I wouldn't deny myself more happiness by not changing things if other opportunities arose but for now I am content with my lot.

New year, New me ??? No thanks I'm happy as I am :) xxx