Would your botty have been good enough for this ‘throne’?

This post was inspired by Debbie Dog Lady in Toronto who recently wrote: A John By Any Other Name. Read it (after this! 😬) – it has a hilarious video with it.

THIS Game of Thrones was played in Orford Castle in Norman times.

I don’t know who Norman was because the day we (well, they) learned about him at school, I wasn’t listening – as usual.

But Orford Castle, a 20 mile car ride away from me in the UK, is a jolly nice place to visit, it’s run by English Heritage – so, thank you Norman whoever you were.

And I must say, I love the big guns outside! But by the size of them, I’m guessing you had some enemies.

I’m just kidding! See me after school if you want the low down on the Normans or better still click here.

Oooh er – what a big gun you had M’Lord.

Anyway, back to Norman’s Game of Thrones.

First off, I have to say, if you are going to Orford Castle expecting to see a throne, please lower your expectations.

The ‘Thrones’ you are about to see do not require you to wear a crown when sitting on them. Although I suppose you could, if you had one and felt the need to wear it while having a *crap.

I’ll be out in a minute!

I’m going to come back to that *naughty little word in another post, in which Thomas Crapper will make an appearance.

Ok – so – Orford castle and its Game of Thrones. What was it all about?

Well, I’ll start with what it wasn’t. It wasn’t so ‘exciting’ as the Game of Thrones.

You know, the Game of Thrones where everyone was arguing over a f*****g chair that ended up being burnt to a cinder, disappointing the crap out of everyone who’d been watching it for the last 25 years.

You know, the Game of Thrones where everyone was arguing over a f*****g chair that ended up being burnt to a cinder, disappointing the crap out of everyone who’d been watching it for the last 25 years. Click To Tweet

Oh, it wasn’t 25 years? I do beg your pardon. Having a husband and 900 friends who wouldn’t shut up about Game of Thrones, it made it feel that way.

Me halfway through GoT series.
Me when GoT was over

Back to Orford Castle – again 🙄.

The game of thrones of which I speak was basically about who got to use which throne (toilet) according to their importance within the castle. But unfortunately, my memory of the toilet hierarchy is somewhat blurred by the trauma of being in such an ancient, atmospheric place which, I just know is haunted.

When I visited there recently, specifically to get pictures of the toilets, I was shown round by English Heritage workers Jane and Gaynor.

Jane told my husband about the history of Orford Castle while Gaynor took me to view the toilets, or Garderobes, as castle toilets are called.

And although I was chatting away as if I was totally ok being surrounded by freaky ‘vibes’ – every hair on my body was standing on end as invisible people passed through me – probably.

Ok – so I have no evidence of that and maybe I am just another Nut Job – however – I am not like this in all old buildings or spaces.

Magnificent Orford Castle – the atmosphere inside is electric.

In some historic places I feel nothing out of the ordinary. In others I feel a sense of peace and in some, it feels as if I have been plugged into the National Grid and the entire electricity supply for the UK is flowing through me.

At Orford Castle, the atmosphere I sense is, electric for me. It really is like a non-stop low level electric current running through my core and, the tiny hairs on my arms and back of my neck bristle.

So imagine the voltage when I went into this passage in search of the medieval toilets hidden around the deep curves – it was fer-REAKY!

Yikes – look behind you!😱
The Chaplain’s Throne (Toilet)…I think.

The above right is one of the ‘thrones’ that I saw, inside the castle.

I’m pretty sure it is the toilet, or Garderobe, reserved for the Chaplain because we had just come out of the chapel room when I was taken in here, with my hair standing on end.

And I’m not even exaggerating.

I’d already seen the double ‘thrones’ – just off the kitchen.

You can see there was once a dividing wall separating the thrones – were they his and her’s?

Once upon a time, these were accessed via an opening in the wall from the kitchen. Oh yuk! Did Medieval Health and Safety intervene?

And speaking of Health & Safety – this is where the contents of these toilets exited the castle. Lovely.

The exit shutes for the castle toilets – not a good place for peasants to stand around unless you enjoyed shit showers..

And then there is the urinal set into the wall leading into a room set aside for the castle Constable.

5 Star luxury of the day. Well it beats being a peasant and getting ‘rained’ on.
Triangular shaped urinal set into the wall – complete with medieval ‘stains’. 👀 I wonder if one could harvest some DNA and clone the castle Constable.

So there you have it – a very different game of thrones with no dragons and no burnt chairs.

There is light at the end of a very long, and no doubt smelly, tunnel. What long toilet brushes thet must have had!

There is a least one more throne/toilet, I believe, in the cellar but I didn’t go down there. Oh no! I wasn’t invited and I definitely didn’t ask.

All joking aside – these are excellent examples of medieval castle toilets. And the urinal, complete with a stained wall beneath, is a rare example of such a facility.

I can highly recommend visiting this castle – it’s great for children – my boys used to love playing war games in the undulating earthworks around the castle.

Orford Castle – a magical place for children.

It’s not so good for people with mobility issues for the simple reason it was built to keep people out so there are lots of steps both inside and outside.
Outer steps.
One of the stair cases in the castle.

Thank you Debbie for prompting me to write about medieval toilets.

This wasn’t the post I was intending to write since 2014 – that is coming next.

More about toilets on the way you lucky people!

Where do you stand on the real Game of Thrones – did you love it, hate it or couldn’t be bothered to get worked up about a chair – let me know in the comments!

There isn’t too much that makes me angry. Ok well, yes there is but I don’t usually let stuff get to me.

But when it comes to the arrogant bastards who want ram their opinions up everyone else’s life – I get Maaaaaad!

And you don’t want to be making me cross – especially if your ‘opinion’ is one of the insidious, dangerous, intrusive sort that cause young people to take their own lives.

Hate Speech takes many forms and the one that has riled me up was in written form on a friend’s blog.

My friend Karen has a blog and it recently attracted the attention of a self professed ‘opinionated’ Canadian who clearly believes it is her job to rid the world of homosexuality.

‘Opinions’ like this are driving our young people to self-harm.

Well, of course, she’s a Christian and according to her, the bible says homosexuality is a sin. So naturally, she feels compelled to get herself ‘out there’ and verbally abuse anyone who supports ‘wrong sexual choices.’

By getting herself ‘out there’, I mean she makes nasty comments online while hiding behind the name ‘Sandi’ (yes, as Joe C says, Sandi with a fucking i!)

So she’s not ‘out there’ at all. Or so she thinks. But with a very tiny amount of research, I found her full name, address and phone number.

I have passed them on to Karen who had to suffer the intrusion of this woman’s ugly opinions and thoughts – all in the name of God, of course.

And as ‘Sandi’ feels compelled to spread her homophobic, religious ranting:

I wonder where she stands on this from Leviticus:

Leviticus 19:27 “Ye shall not round the corners of your heads.”

Is she waging a campaign against people with short hair too?

And what about covering our heads up? Where does Sandi stand on the following I wonder?

1 Corinthians 11:2–16

 Now I commend you because you remember me in everything and maintain the traditions even as I delivered them to you.  But I want you to understand that the head of every man is Christ, the head of a wife is her husband, and fthe head of Christ is God.

Every man who prays or prophesies with his head covered dishonors his head, but every wife who prays or prophesies with her head uncovered dishonors her head, since it is the same as if her head were shaven.

 For if a wife will not cover her head, then she should cut her hair short. But since it is disgraceful for a wife to cut off her hair or shave her head, let her cover her head.  For a man ought not to cover his head, since he is the image and glory of God, but woman is the glory of man.  For man was not made from woman, but woman from man.

 Neither was man created for woman, but woman for man. That is why a wife ought to have a symbol of authority on her head, because of the angels. Nevertheless, in the Lord woman is not independent of man nor man of woman; for as woman was made from man, so man is now born of woman. And all things are from God.

Are the Christian busy-bodies out there sorting out women with short hair? Because, according to the bible, women with short hair are a disgrace and their heads need to be covered.

So, are you out there, Sandi-with-an-i, ridding the world of disgraceful short haired women?

Or does leaving abusive comments about homosexuality on people’s blogs take up most of your time?

And Sandi – me old mate – do you eat, or have you ever eaten:

  • Prawns?
  • Shrimps?
  • Crabs?
  • Lobsters?

Because:

Leviticus 11:10 “And all that have not fins and scales in the seas, and in the rivers, of all that move in the waters, and of any living thing which is in the waters, they shall be an abomination unto you.”

How, may I ask, are you tackling the widespread practice of Godless humans consuming all of the above on a regular basis, in posh restaurants all over the world?

Or, as I said earlier, are you so busy focusing on the sexual activities of other people (which I find a little creepy if I’m honest) that you don’t have time to nip down to your local Red Lobster Restaurant to tell them how to run their business in accordance with your biblical bollocks?

I’m sure you are fully aware they would tell you to Fuck. Off.

But if you want to give it a go, they are at 6575 Tecumseh Rd E, Windsor, ON N8T 1E7, Canada

But you may find it easier to stick to terrorising people online, from the comfort of your sofa, anonymously (or so you thought).

Because that is what bigots and bullies do.

They attack those who can’t fight back.

They spread their intrusive opinions the coward’s way – online.

But Sandi – Hate Speech is a crime in your country – did you know that?

You are of course entitled to your grubby little opinions but what you are not enitled to do is force them on others in the name of Christianity. You may be able to get away with that shit in the USA, at the moment, but not in Canada – where you happen to live.

Canadian Human Rights Act. Section 3 of the Canadian Human Rights Act prohibits discrimination based on “race, national or ethnic origin, colour, religion, age, sex, sexual orientation, marital status, family status, disability and conviction for which a pardon has been granted.”

And this from the Canadian Criminal Code:

Criminal Code Provisions Targeting Hate

3.1  Hate Propaganda

Section 319(2) makes it an offence to communicate, except in private conversation, statements that wilfully promote hatred against an “identifiable group” (which has the same meaning as in section 318). As with offences under section 318, no prosecution under section 319(2) can be instituted without the consent of the Attorney General.

And who knows what the Attorney General would think of your opinions, expressed very forcefully on someone else’s blog.

Yes, that’s right, it’s 2019 and we still have people in our midst who believe that sexuality is a ‘lifestyle choice’ and that those who make that choice need to be ‘saved’

Do us a favour Sandi – take your bigoted, tiny mind and use it to sort yourself out.

Your Hate Speech is not wanted by the decent human beings who care about the welfare of the marginalised groups you target.

Young people take their own lives because of pressure from people like you – how does that sit with God eh? You think Jesus would have been happy to watch young people get bullied to death by ‘opinionated’ people?

I think not. Hate speech needs to be STOPPED NOW.

(Hope all the videos will play in whatever country you are in.)

7 Rules For a Happy Life

Rule No.1

Don’t Ever Leave the Cake Out In The Rain

Why? Because it took so long to bake it and you’ll never have that recipe again.

Right? 

Think about it. Is your cake outside right now? Are there clouds overhead? Do you care about your metaphorical cake?

Then protect it. Nurture it. Mend broken bridges. Make the first move. Say sorry and get that person or those people back in your life today.

I chose this version of MacArthur Park because Donna Summer adds a redemption verse and this post is about being happy.

Rule No.2

Don’t embark on your 19th Nervous Breakdown without questioning why you’ve already had 18.

Really shoulda been asking by the third one at most!

As your 19th Nervous Breakdown approaches:

Take it as a warning that you are the problem in your life.

What do you need to change?

People who keep on doing the same thing in the same way while expecting different results are, if you’ll forgive my bluntness, just plain stupid.

Don’t be that. Just don’t.

If your 19th Nervous Breakdown is coming at you like a speeding train – Jump. Off. The. Track. Now!

Take control of your mind, go somewhere different with it.

Changing your thinking will change your life.

No more blue pills. Ok?

The Stones – sigh 😍

Rule No.3

 Are You Lonesome Tonight? Don’t be.

Maybe it’s because you left the cake out in the rain at some point.

Stop feeling sorry for yourself and go take a look outside at the cake.

Has it completely collapsed? Are there rivulets of sweet green icing flowing down the drain like sugary neon tears?

Then scrape that mess up, put it in the garbage can and move on.

Do it now before the world loses patience with you.

If you’re sitting there thinking, Only The Lonely Know The Way I feel Tonight (yes, this rule merits TWO song mentions), then get out and find some happy people. 

Oh Elvis…. MASSIVE sigh…there are no words for this man.
And Roy Orbison – identifying with the lonely 😥

Rule No.4

Don’t ever worry about not being a Cornflake Girl

(Or guy – just to keep this politically correct 🙄)

Raisin girls/guys are sweeter, more unique and stand out against the cornflakes by a million miles.

I know Tori Amos’s inspiration for her song had its roots in a whole other, darker area of female betrayal but the lyrics also helped me to process the betrayals that go on in day to day life.

Cornflake girls  stick together and raisin girls get stuck in their sludge – if they aren’t careful.

When you find yourself, metaphorically, in a box of cornflakes, don’t waste time wailing because the cornflakes don’t like you or exclude you from their cliques.

Instead, put your energy into finding the other raisins and enjoy their loyalty, openness, acceptance and authenticity – those traits are pure gold – they are not the dull yellow colour of cornflakes.

And remember this, when someone stamps on a cornflake, it disintegrates into flaky dust. But when someone stamps on a raisin, it goes flat but, it stays whole. A brief spell in warm water brings flattened raisins back into shape. 

Be thankful if you are a raisin. Rock it.

Cornflake Girl by Tori Amos – clearly a Raisin girl.

Rule No.5

Don’t worry about not being flower – Take a lesson from the weeds or Wildflowers

Why? Because they grow very easily despite limiting conditions.

Don’t believe me?

We put down a membrane against weeds before we put laid our patio, which, rarely gets sun.

But the weeds are constantly pushing up through membrane and grouting, fighting for their right to flourish. 

Be a weed. Flowers are pretty but they depend on nurture and the right conditions to grow. I mean who in the hell gets that in this life?

And what is the definition of a weed? It’s a plant that grows where it is not wanted. And in human terms, that’s quite often amongst the Cornflake Girls (I know! I know! And guys, FFS!)

Weeds and wildflowers are tenacious, self-nurturing, determined plants that do not rely on the approval of others to flourish.

Be a Wildflower and love yourself even when the neat and tidy flower beds of life shun you.

Tom Petty – Wildflowers – hope that’s where you are now, among the Wildflowers still making music.

Rule No.6

Are you a Poor Poor Pitiful Me?Well stop it.

Woe is me will never cut it.

The best 5 minutes of therapy you will ever have.

It’s true what they say: Smile and the world smiles with you, cry and you piss everyone off.

Attention seekers love an audience for their control dramas.

They will bang on for hours about every shitty thing that’s ever happened to them since first grade.

Survivors, on the other hand, use each shitty thing like the fertiliser of life – they grow from adversity and move forward.

Poor Poor Pitiful People stay stuck where they are, droning on and on about how unfair life is.

It’s boring. Get over yourself. STOP! IT!

Jackson Browne in the studio – I love this version.

Rule No.7

Don’t soak up Dirty Laundry – Quit reading ‘newspapers’ and watching the ‘news’. 

The daily ‘news’, however it is delivered, causes Cancer of the soul and it will destroy yours in the end if you don’t watch what you soak up.

The daily ‘news’ is designed to control, manipulate, and frighten us into submission. It makes us into compliant Sheeple.

Fight back by refusing to watch, read or listen to the ‘news’. Don’t let its darkness destroy the light in your soul.

Remember, for every story about death, destruction, misery, murder, crime and corruption there are a billion more that would inspire  love, laughter, happiness, hope, truth and trust in this life.

But we only get to hear the bad stuff.  

The ‘news’ is the place where you will find every bad thing that happened in the world each day,  all concentrated in one ghastly, ugly lump. 

It distorts reality in the minds of the masses who lap it up.

It is a deliberate betrayal all the good things that are happening in this world.

Frightened people are easier to control. Don’t play the game. Switch it off. Be happy.

“I wanna dedicate this song to Mr Rupert Murdoch” – Brilliant 😂

I know I said 7 Rules For a Happy Life but here is a bonus one for getting this far.

Rule No.8

Be Yourself

Because, as the song says, being yourself ‘is all that you can do’.

So do it well.

And if you are a raisin girl (or guy 🙄), don’t EVER let the actions or attitudes of Cornflakes Girls stop your from being yourself.

Cornflake girls form cliques, they gossip about others and complain when others gossip about them, they tell tales when it suits them, they ostracise, ignore and dislike raisins.

Some cornflakes get along with raisins when there are no other cornflakes around but will quickly conform to type when more crispy little flakes show up.

But no matter. Revel in your sweet, strong raisin-ness and Be Yourself – always.

And forever sing this song. This has been my power song in life for years. 

Like most other fans, I was knocked sideways when Chris Cornell died and I couldn’t listen to this for awhile but, despite his apparent suicide – his message lives on in this song and remains sound advice.

The problem for many people comes when they don’t believe being themselves is good enough.

But it is. It always is. We are all born good people and that’s who we have to get back to be happy.

We have to shake off the layers of crap heaped on us from our upbringing, conditioning and education to find our own true selves.

Audioslave – Be Yourself – the best advice anyone could hear. Chris Cornell – what a massive loss.

So that’s my 7 Rules For a Happy Life (well ok – eight).

If you wrote down 7 rules for a happy life, what would your number one rule be – my number eight here is actually my real number one – Be Yourself – now off you go and be happy!

Disclaimer – No offence is intended with this post about the arrival of US President Donald Trump in the UK yesterday – it contains very bad language and pokes fun at the Brits, the Yanks, the Queen, Churchill, Hitler and the man who chased someone’s hat along the runway after DT landed. If you are easily offended, go find a food blog – they are usually pretty safe and I don’t want to fall out with you.

I know nothing of politics and have no idea if Donald Trump is the new Messiah or the Devil incarnate.

I only know the press makes shit up and so, the only thing I know for sure about anything is that I know nothing, apart from what the media tells us and of course, what Donald Trump Tweets.

Well, he was hardly off the plane at Stanstead Airport yesterday and Donald Trump was moaning at Foreign Secretary Jeremy Kunt – I do beg your pardon – the K and the H are only one key apart and – well, clumsy old me! Thankfully the C is on the line below.

Anyway, as I was saying, Donald Trump was barely down the steps of Air Farce One when he started bending Jeremy Hunt’s ear about being bullied by the Mayor of London, Sadiq Kahn.

Gosh what terribe things he is saying! Or to put it another way, gosh, what terrible things is he saying?

It’s made me realise that online bullying has got really serious now and it needs to stop before someone pushes the red button in a fit of temper gets hurt.

It isn’t clear how Jeremy Hunt replied but there have been rumours he advised Donald Trump to stay away from Sadiq in the playground or tell a teacher if it happens again.

Thankfully, Donald seemed unpeturbed by the perfectly reasonable points made by rantings of Mr Kahn and came back at him with a volley of abuse just as the plane was landing.

Oh come on Donald! Half his height? That was a low blow (no pun intended – honestly).

Chin up Sadiq. Sticks and stones and all that. Not sure what this will do for the war against online bullying for children when such a powerful man can call the Mayor of London a short ass on Twitter and still get invited for dinner at Buck Palace the same night.

Not sure what this will do for the war on online bullying for children when such a powerful man can call the Mayor of London a short ass on Twitter and still get invited for dinner at Buck Palace the same night. Click To Tweet

The irony of it is, I bumped into Wills when I passed by his end of the table on the way to the loo at the State Banquet last night and I said “Oi, William! Wotcha think about Donald’s Tweet calling Mr Kahn a short ass then?”

Because as we all know, William and all the young royals have been very vocal about cyber bullying lately.

As I was wrestled out in handcuffs by palace guards, I yelled “I was just sayin’!”

Those Tweets of Donald Trump got me thinking – what if we’d had Twitter in WWll?

As I sat outside the palace gates, feeling like a peasant and rubbing my wrists were the handcuffs had dug in – I wondered what kind of Tweets Churchhill would have put on Twitter aimed at Hitler back in the day.

Can you imagine? World leaders back then, carrying on like they do today? Well I can and it goes like this:

I’m not sure that Churchill would have used the word ‘ass’ though.

Probably would have said, “I look forward to licking your bottom”, as is the way of the British upper classes, especially those who went to boarding school.

I'm not sure that Churchill would have used the word 'ass' though. Probably would have said, "I look forward to licking your bottom", as is the way of the British upper classes, especially those who went to boarding school. Click To Tweet

So I’m left wondering what the Queen thought of it all.

But she was in a difficult position really. I mean, all those cars of his, parked in her back yard!

After a servant said, “oh, I think Donald is here Ma’am’, she went to the window (I’m told by by contact at the palace) and watched for his car.

Her Majesty, I am reliably informed, after watching 12 cars drive up the front garden with no end in sight, said “FFS! Who the hell are all these people and did we get enough Tea bags in?

“And which car is he in anyway?”

“He’s in the helicopter now landing on the Begonias out the back Ma’am”, was the reply.

The Queen, allegedly expressed her surprise at this by uttering:

“A helicopter? A fucking HELICOPTER with all these fucking cars? What is this world coming to Camilla?”

A very good question Liz.

And of course there are about a gazillion Secret Service people swarming around the palace.

But my hero in all this so far is the man who has probably done years and years of training to be able to do what any bodyguard hopes they will never have to do – and that is chase someone’s hat down the runway just as the president is stepping off the plane and the whole world is watching. (See clip that starts at 0:57 seconds).

There are rumours that the runaway hat-catcher has been signed to play for Spurs in goal next season in the hopes that maybe next year they can actually win the European Champion’s League.

This has been my look at Donald Trump at the start of his visit to the UK – what is your take on DT and his travelling circus?

I’ll find my way home is a wonderful song written by Jon and Vangelis.

It has helped me get through a very difficult week which saw the 19th anniversary of my former husband’s death, alongside the death of my relationship with my former web hosting provider.

Sadly, the death of loved ones cannot be fixed and this puts everything in perspective with everything else that can be fixed.

Sadly, the death of loved ones cannot be fixed and this puts everything in perspective with everything else that can be fixed. Click To Tweet

Nothing is really that much of a big deal apart from human loss.

I wasn’t the only one feeling the pain this week. Mimi, my heart went out to you when I read your words. And there really are No Words.

Normal service has been resumed for my websites thanks to a genius called Gavin who worked flat out over two days to fix the fixable.

If only we could do the same for people who break and take their own lives.

And as Gavin fixed my online life, I sat listening to I’ll Find My Way Home while remembering the happy times with Phil.

We had divorced before he died and my life was back on track – we were also 3,000 miles apart living different lives.

So the trauma the children and I suffered was vastly different to someone who comes home to find their loved one has gone – I cannot imagine how anyone ever gets over that.

In the beginning – clowning around in the Ontario woods when we first met – 1978

Phil felt worthless. He was anything but that.

He lives on in his sons and, in our five grandchildren he never saw.

I hope this YouTube video will play for everyone watching in other countries – sometimes US videos won’t play over here – so I hope this one plays for you. It is a truly beautiful song and I will put the lyrics below.

I get great comfort from this song and the breathtaking images that are on the video.

Here it is – I’ll Find My Way Home performed by Gregorian:

And here are the lyrics:

I’ll Find My Way Home

You ask me where to begin
Am I so lost in my sin
You ask me where did I fall
I’ll say I can’t tell you when
But if my spirit is lost
How will I find what is near
Don’t question I’m not alone
Somehow I’ll find my way home
My sun shall rise in the east
So shall my heart be at peace
And if you’re asking me when
I’ll say it starts at the end
You know your will to be free
Is matched with love secretly
And talk will alter your prayer
Somehow you’ll find you are there.
Your friend is close by your side

At the CNE ground Toronto in 1978 – happy times.

And speaks in far ancient tongue
A seasons wish will come true
All seasons begin with you
One world we all come from
One world we melt into one
Just hold my hand and we’re there
Somehow we’re going somewhere
Somehow we’re going somewhere
You ask me where to begin

Am I so lost in my sin
You ask me where did I fall
I’ll say I can’t tell you when
But if my spirit is strong
I know it can’t be long
No questions I’m not alone
Somehow I’ll find my way home
Somehow I’ll find my way home
Somehow I’ll find my way home
Somehow I’ll find my way home

Songwriters: Evangelos Papathanassiou / Jon Anderson
I’ll Find My Way Home lyrics © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc

What are the songs or words you turn to for comfort when you feel sad?

Drop me a comment below and let me know how you cope with loss.

A happy weekend to everyone – hug your loved ones as much as they will let you before they start wondering if you know something they don’t! 😍

And if you are missing someone – listen to I’ll Find My Way Home or read the words – because we are all going home in the end – make the journey a happy one. 😘

blogging anxiety
When the little man in the garden taunts you too…

Mmmm….when it comes to blogging anxiety, it’s several things really…

Not even a week into our collective comeback and I’ve got blogging anxiety again. And I’m hearing voices. Well, one voice really. Mine.🙄

Ever get that nagging feeling?

And it taunts me with these neurotic questions which, I answer one by one further down: (The voice is thin and whiny but my answers are very shouty because I’VE HAD ENOUGH OF MY OWN VOICE WHINING AT ME!

  • “What if you don’t have time to blog every day, week, month, year, decade, century?”
  • “What if you don’t have time to read every blog in the known universe and, what if new universes are discovered and they have blogging there?
  • “What if you miss someone’s post and they think you’re ignoring them and they hate you forever.”
  • “What if you miss a comment held in moderation and people think you are ignoring them and they hate you forever.

What about that then? Eh? Eh? (I used to speak Canadian, can you tell?)

Blogging Anxiety -What if you miss someone's post and they think you're ignoring them and they hate you forever. @GillyMaddison Click To Tweet

Blogging anxiety is such a thing for me I did write about it once before. when I got blogging block.

See, I’m neuwritetic (a bit like neurotic only worse).

No, no, I am – don’t try to make me feel better, I can turn absolutely any situation into one of high anxiety.

I’m not doing blogging anxiety ever again, therefore, I’ve set me some ground rules so I can stop babbling in my own ear and driving myself nuts.

So here’s what I’m telling that voice.

Q: What if I don’t have time to blog every century?
A: For a start voice – quit whining in my ear. You’re driving me to drink and what a shame to destroy 29 years of living on carrot juice. I’ll blog when I have time. Maybe every century is a tad unrealistic, but, we’ll see.

What if I don't have time to blog every century? #blogging anxiety #bloggersgroups Click To Tweet

Seriously, I’m not going to go quiet on my blog again now that Mimi has fired us all up. But I know I can’t write every day and sometimes every week might be hard. I have a 91 year old mum to care for and a business to run so time is tight – as it is for all of us.

And I also spend an inordinate amount of time in the summer sitting on the garden swing in a trance, staring at ants because they fascinate me.

And, I don’t suppose anyone will care if I am not popping up every five minutes with a new post – so it’s all good.

Q: What if you don’t have time to read every blog in the known universe and, what if new universes are discovered and they have blogging there?

A: For heaven’s sake voice, what do you want from me? What with gluing bits of card to other bits of card and filming it, repeating everything to my mum 20 times on the phone (her hearing aid is 10 years old and the NHS isn’t in a hurry to replace it) and, with all the ant staring, how much time do you think is left for reading?

Seriously, this issue cropped up for me a lot back at the start when it was all a big race for stats (or some of us believed it was). Some people will relate to this I’m sure.

You’d join a group and everyone would be jolly hockey sticks about interacting and it worked for awhile.

Eventually, it became apparent when a narcissistic blogger was in my midst. They were the ones who would lap up your comments like a thirsty dog in a puddle but just didn’t reciprocate. (While complaining bitterly on forums when others were not liking or commenting on theirs.)

For awhile, I continued to do my bit regardless of whether a blogger was supporting me (or not!) Afterall, if I’d enjoyed a post, did it matter if the writer wasn’t ecstatic about mine?

Unfortunately, in the end, it did matter. Why? Because there are only so many hours in the day and I found I was letting good people down because I ran out of time every day.

And then people would post again before I’d caught up and every night, I was up until the small hours bashing away at the keyboard while my husband wondered if I was avoiding sex him.

And I’m not one to write things like “Great post!” – I never hit and run. I like to actually read the post and connect with the writer – so it all became a bit crazy for me.

In the end, with needy parents taking up lots of my time, I lost track of everyone, even the good guys and I just stopped reading anyone.

On an Elderly People Crossing road sign. And now, my dad has crossed the heavenly road 😥

This time round I’m going to be a lot more organised 😂😂😂 It’s three strikes and ‘no shows’ are out. No messing. I will gladly read and comment on anyone’s posts – if we are supporting each other. Hell, I’ll stay up all night when we are all helping each other.

But if a blogger I am supporting isn’t supporting me, I will assume they don’t like what they find here and I will focus on those who do – no matter how much I like their posts because, well, I’m not a doormat anymore.

That may sound harsh but last time around, I remember how crazy it got with late nights trying to catch up with everything. And I’m not doing that again for bloggers with narcisstic personality disorder. 😂🤣😂

Lets communicate! If we are too busy to keep up with each other – lets talk about it in the group instead of just ignoring the issue.

Lets communicate! If we are too busy to keep up with each other – lets talk about it in the group instead of just ignoring the issue. Click To Tweet

Q: What if you miss someone’s post and they think you’re ignoring them and they hate you forever.”

This is not me. It was posed by a model.

Oh. My. GOD voice! What is wrong with you? Your paranoia is reaching new heights! You need climbing ropes and spiky boots for this one!

Seriously, if I usually show up and then I miss a post or haven’t responded to a comment or just appear to have disappeared – it will not be deliberate (unless there’s been three strikes😂).

There were times last year when my dad was dying when I almost forgot who my husband was, so the blogging world never stood a chance!

We all have stuff to deal with and the beauty of our group is that we can prod each other and say – hey – WTF are you – you missed my post!

I probably won’t do that myself, (because of my own personality disorder which no one talks about and hasn’t been named yet🤪) BUT I’m happy for people to remind me if I haven’t shown up yet when I normally do. There are times when I am AWOL from my own life because of some elder crisis or another and we all know – it’s hard to do everything.

Q: “What if you miss a comment held in moderation and people think you are ignoring them and they hate you forever.

Here we go again voice – get the spiky boots and ropes out again! No one cares that much. Get over your damn self woman!

Seriously, I catch up with everything in the end. It might take a few days, but I don’t ever really forget what I need to do because I keep a bullet journal with the most detailed tasks of stuff to do. It’s not so much a Bu Jo, more of an OCD Jo.

If you feel as if I’m not playing fair – tell me – when I realise I’ve missed something I’ll be mortified – I can say sorry for England. I’m a contender for the Saying Sorry OlympicEvent and I’ll probably get a gold medal in the next Olympic Games. 🥇

So, that’s it – my blogging anxiety all laid bare.

I’m going outside to stare at ants because it is a beautiful sunny day and I’m allowed because I’m the boss around here (and the only employee which is why I talk to myself so much.)

How about you – do you get blogging anxiety or do you just not give a f*&k? – talk to me and tell me if I’m mad – I only need three more yes’s for an official diagnoses.

Blogging Without a Niche – Magical Mystical MiMi Saves The Day

Blogging without a niche is also called blogging for fun. For fun ? What’s that? It’s what Magical Mystical MiMi does and it’s made me think I should be less MeMe and more MiMi!

If you don’t know who MiMi is, click here to go to her blog which will explain itself better than I can.

This is SO exciting! A new Facebook page for bloggers who blog about random stuff.

This is SO exciting! A new Facebook page for bloggers who blog about random stuff. Click To Tweet

And there was me starving my own blog of content because it is nicheless (I just made that word up).

Blogging without a niche, in a world where blogging gurus will tell you that niche matters, has been lonely.

Blogging without a niche, in a world where blogging gurus will tell you that niche matters, has been lonely. Click To Tweet

At times, I’ve sat watching the tumbleweed blow through my blog, feeling as if I’d let it down for not being more specific.

But the big mistake I made was listening to other people who set themselves up as experts on blogging.

Back in the olden days (2014) I allowed myself to be lead down a path that took me away from the fun of simply writing as  I was pointed towards the chore of getting followers, comments and likes.

It was, it seemed, all about your stats.

Back in the olden days (2014) I allowed myself to be lead down a path that took me away from the fun of simply writing as I was pointed towards the chore of getting followers, comments and likes.It was, it seemed, all about your… Click To Tweet

Well in the words of Pink Floyd’s Not Now John

– f*%k all that!

blogging without a niche

Well yes maybe she did👀 – you can blame MiMi – she gave me the courage to be MeMe!

Do I cuss (or swear if you are British) in real life? Yes I do – like a soldier – which is fine because MiMi says she cusses like a sailor

So why not on here? Who knows (shrugs shoulders).

And I’ve always loved MiMi’s posts because she uses cuss words so eloquently as she tells it like it is.

There is even a message on her blog that warns people it contains opinions that may offend – but I have never been offended by anything I’ve read – just amused to the point of hysterics at times.

She clearly never was seduced by the notion of keeping readers happy to get followers.

Unlike MiMi, my best blogs have never been written because I didn’t want to offend anyone – I played it pretty safe and kept the real me in check.

And gradually, I wandered away from my nicheless blog to create www.funcraftstodoathome.com

and my YouTube channel Rainbow Lane both firmly in the craft niche.

And so my days of blogging without a niche were over.

I came back here occasionally, like visiting an old friend that I liked but who I neglected.

My last post was connected to my other blog in an effort to stop this one feeling left out (yes really 🙄)

And then came the invitation to The Old School Bloggers – The Originals and I saw the light!

I should never in a million years been swayed by the niche promoters.

Looking back, it was ironic,  that many of the blogging gurus had niches that were in…blogging.

So lots of what they were saying was probably completely true…if you were blogging about blogging – you could get thousands of followers quite easily by having that as your niche.

Us newbie bloggers would lap up anything written by ‘experts’ because we had no idea, really, what we were doing.

blogging without a niche

So someone who was a few months ahead of you in their blogging journey seemed like an expert.

And they probably were, in blogging about blogging.

So naturally, they would say you needed a niche because they had become successful having a niche.

Don’t get me wrong – I love my craft website and YouTube channel.

They are my real work and connected to all the ways I make my living now. It’s been much easier to get followers on my YouTube channel than any other platform and it’s been easier to make money on there too.

So today when I heard from MiMi about the new Old School blogging group – it hit me like a ton of bricks – this can be where I write exactly what I want – cussin’ ‘n all if I feel like it!

It always was just that. It was the place where I learned how to create a blog and everything that went with it so I could go on to create a niche blog elsewhere.

This blog is my old friend – the place where I can unwind, be real and say what I like.

Thank you so much MiMi for reminding me where we all started out.

I love you!

Blogging without a niche is OK – and I'm not the only one who thinks so – see me back here next time for a more irreverent look at my world. Click To Tweet

Blogging without a niche is OK – and I’m not the only one who thinks so – check out this blog and see me back here next time for a more irreverent look at my world.

Free craft printables are available to download over on my other website which is dedicated to crafts and creativity. 

Are you a crafter? If you are then you may want to pop over the my other website www.funcraftstodoathome.com

craft printable

If you are following me here on anythingexcepthousework and you happen to be into crafting, I’d love you to hop on over to my YouTube channel and follow me there too.

As a thank you to my 8.6k YouTube viewers for following my tutorials over the last couple of years, I have just started giving away the designs I use in some of my craft tutorials.

So far there are two 6×4 digital downloads available for you to print and use in your crafts and these are available as a thank you to new subscribers too.

 

Craft
Free craft printables for making tiny earrings and small pendants or, card toppers and dangles etc.
Free craft printables for making 1 inch bottle cap necklaces, card toppers, dangles and scrapbook embellishments.

And there will be many more free craft printables coming up.

I am currently designing some colorful decorative alphabet letters that I will be giving away as free craft downloads this summer.

So if you want to keep up with the designs I give away over the next few months, all you need to do is subscribe to my YouTube channel to see the tutorials I post and also, subscribe to my craft blog.

And you are very welcome to subscribe to this blog too as I will be keeping you up to date with what’s happening in the Fun Crafts studio on here too.

Although my fun crafts blog is dedicated to crafts – this one is where I write random posts about anything (except housework!) 😃

So if you do subscribe here too, be aware that you will see other posts – not just craft based posts.

 

If you aren’t sure how you use craft printables, you can get some ideas to start you off, in my tutorials on YouTube.

craft printables

With the first design I gave away, I made a cute little set of earrings with matching pendant  (see above).

This set is very inexpensive to make as I show you how to utilise scrap cereal box card to use as a very durable base material.

craft printables

With the second free printables design, I made some bigger pendants (see left).

I also made earrings which you can see further down the page.

But you could use these 1inch circular designs in many other crafts such as making dangles for your journals or incorporating them into scrapbook layouts.

You can use these glass domes over the designs to turn them into something special.

craft printables

The ones you see in my hand above are the teeny little 1.7mm glass domes I use over the designs on my earrings.

But I also use 1″ glass domes on my pendant designs because they really enhance the images with a beautiful domed shine.

The domes also add weight to the pendant and protection for the printed design.

If you want to use the I” designs to make earrings and you want the domed shine without the weight of glass domes, you can do as I do and use I” clear resin stickers.

craft printables
craft printables
craft printables
1″ Clear Resin stickers to add shine and protection to craft designs.
The earrings I made using the 1″clear resin stickers over the design.
One of my pendant designs with a 1″ glass dome attached to add weight and shine.

Seasoned crafters usually know exactly where to get their resources.

How many of us pop into Hobbycraft or Hobby Lobby, just for some glue and come out $50 poorer with a ton of ‘stuff’ we forgot we ‘needed’

However, depending on where you live, it can be hard to find craft supplies that go slightly beyond what is sold in mainstream craft stores.

So for the people who can’t get out or don’t have a craft store near them, I opened two Amazon stores selling craft supplies.

And here they are:

https://www.amazon.com/shop/rainbowlane

https://www.amazon.co.uk/shop/rainbowlane

Below, you can see the kind of items you may have trouble finding where you live.

craft printables
craft printables

Right – Glass Domes
Above – 1″ Circle punch.

craft printables

Above – clear resin stickers to use when domes are too heavy.

Buying online is fine BUT if you have a local independent craft shop, I would urge you to support the owner by using it for as many of your craft needs as you can.

Although I do make commission on anything I sell from my Amazon shops (see my Amazon statement here), it is only a very tiny amount, certainly not enough for it to be anything more than a resource I have developed to help people find what they need if they can’t get it locally. Therefore I urge you all to try and get your stuff from actual high street shops while you can.

That’s it for today – any questions?

Drop me a comment below, pop over to my YouTube channel and introduce yourself in the comments and make sure you subscribe to it (and my other blog if you want to know when more freebies are added!)

Don’t forget to grab your free craft printables and let me know what you make with them – see you next time. 😘

how to have fun decluttering your house

How To Have Fun Decluttering your house 

When I'm not busy singing with Pop Chorus or making films for my YouTube channel - I spend my days racing against time to get my house decluttered ready to have it altered so my mum can come and live comfortably with us.

I'm really not good at decluttering though! I'm terrible because I get so sidetracked by every tiny thing and so stuff goes backwards and forwards between the keep or get rid of boxes about a million times!

So I wrote this after my first real day of decluttering when I spent so long messing around with stuff I was finding, I really didn't get very far. I wonder how many people can relate!

I'd love you to tell me but no matter what I do, I can't get my comment section to work since I disabled it when I didn't have time to deal with comments.

I'll try again - but if it doesn't work, you can always contact me via the contact form and I'll try to find a way to publish your comments. Yay - it works!

I hadn't checked the discussion box at the top of the page!

Shout out to Melinda of Purple Slob In Recovery who is the Queen of Clean and Jen at The Hidden Hoarder who also knows the decluttering struggle really well!

Fun Tip No 1

  • Even though you are on a mission to get rid of junk - make sure you find small insignificant things, such as those miniature screw drivers you bought in a charity shop 15 years ago (because they would 'come in handy'), but never used and spend an hour obsessing over whether you should keep them for another 15 years...or not. Make a game of it! Keep moving them from the 'Keep' box to the 'Charity' box while singing the chorus of the Hokey Cokey - not forgetting to 'shake it all about' at the appropriate moment.

    How to have fun decluttering your house. Click To Tweet

Continue reading

Poems about the moon have been written in vast quantities for centuries.

If you Google 'poems about the moon' there about 235,000,000 results - so I am under no illusions that in writing my short poems about the moon, I am blazing any kind of a trail!

My teeny little poems about the moon are purely a way of expressing my thoughts about it.

I have always loved the moon and see it as a link to every single person who has come before me.

When it is full, I often stand under it, gazing up and feeling content knowing that all those people I have loved and lost have stood under the same moon.

The sky, with all its wonders, has covered us all since the dawn of time - and I love the fact that whatever changes around us, all we have to do to see something all our ancestors saw is simply look up.

I have written before on how much I love solitude and when the moon is full, I feel that solitude when looking up at it, even in a crowded place.

Poems about the moon

 

I wrote these two poems about the moon in December 2018 and January 2019.

The second moon picture was taken early in the morning of Jan 22nd, just over 24 hours after the eclipse (which I missed!).

 

poems about the moon

Hope you enjoyed my poems about the moon.

That second one was inspired by what I saw when I opened my eyes this morning. It was about 27 hours since the eclipse we'd had on Monday morning and I awoke to find this beautiful perfect moon just hanging there in the early morning sky.

It was icy cold as I stood shivering in my night clothes by the open window trying to get a photo of the moon in completely clear inky blue sky.

Then the words just came tumbling out of my brain.

What does the night sky mean to you?

Has it ever inspired you to write poems about the moon?