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Monday, 26 October 2015

Why do we like to be scared?

Dear readers

Tonight I just have a thoughtful post.  I was considering the other day why we like to be scared.  

I tend to watch a lot of scary things even though I spend most of my time behind a cushion, terrified. 

So why do I like to be scared?

Well, for a start it is a type of escapism, however, it would be really wrong to just say that and not consider anything else.  

For a start, I think the scare factor sometimes makes our adrenaline pump, and maybe it even makes us feel happy about our own lives because that is not happening to us - maybe it makes us feel lucky and thankful.  

Usually, we can describe whatever type of killer we meet as a monster.  As discussed in my list yesterday, Hannibal Lecter is a serial killer and cannibal, yet he is capable of appearing as an upstanding citizen.  This could be an expression of the unknown - do we really know our neighbour or our friend? It's possible to open the newspaper and find that your neighbour or family or friend has committed a crime - maybe an unthinkable crime, and we feel like we don't really know the person because we didn't imagine they are capable of the crime.  There is a lot on the news at the moment about people being caught with indecent images of children - which is despicable in my eyes and I would be distraught to find out I was their friend or neighbour.  Maybe this type of monster shows our social anxieties of the unknown.  

I link to Hannibal Lecter in particular as I have just sat and watched Hannibal Rising on BBC3.  It covers Hannibal's childhood and what had happened to him that made him turn into the person he is during Silence of the Lambs.  The film was terrifying and brutal, yet how his experience during the war must have affected him, and finding out he had been fed his own little sister in a stew was unthinkable - I found myself thinking 'wow, no wonder he was driven mad and wanted revenge.'  Yes, it was only a story, thankfully.  

So, being scared can signify society and what we are afraid of, maybe it's even a way of accepting that sometimes bad things happen in society too! 

Do you like scary films?  Why do you think people like to be scared?  Do you think it represents society?

Let me know what you think!

Laters, Janet 

Saturday, 24 October 2015

My Top Ten All Time Monsters!

Dear Readers  

In a weeks time it will be Halloween, and I don't know about you but my children have been having several discussions around what character they would like to be this year.  As usual I have obscure requests from my daughter, whereas the boys are always happy to be something simple. 

This got me thinking...

Who are my favourite monsters?  

As you all are probably aware (especially if you follow my blog) I love The Gothic - so halloween and monsters in general are on my wavelength.  

I decided to do a list of my top ten monsters and I will briefly explain why.  

  1. Carmilla - a female vampire written by Joseph Sheridan Le Fanu.  She is powerful, and is able to fool families into believing she is helpless when she is in fact, preying on their good nature and usually devouring a neighbour or family member.  
  2. Dracula - Bram Stoker's original first vampire Vlad, that comes over to Britain to be accepted and attempts to corrupt women.  All he wants is to fit into society! 
  3. Whitefell from the Werewolf by Clemence Houseman.  A charismatic and beautiful lady by day and yet a free (and still charismatic and beautiful) wolf by night.  
  4. Dorian Gray's portrait - Oscar Wilde's character who will do anything to ensure self-preservation of youth. 
  5. Hyde - a product of science and a part of his creator, Henry Jekyll. A true representation of Jekyll's repressed side - science pushed too far and gone wrong. 
  6. Frankenstein's Monster - Mary Shelley's abandoned monster is probably the most misunderstood monstre of all time.  If science hadn't been pushed to his limits, if society had not been cruel and judgemental, then things might have been different for this monster.  He craves acceptance but the treatment he is subjected to is what actually turns him into the monster. 
  7. Ayesha - from Ryder Haggard's She (she who must be obeyed).  A powerful leader that the men in the tribe will do actually anything for.  Her control and stature, is captivating and probably makes me a little envious, lol.  
  8. Hannibal Lecter - Thomas Harris's serial killer is intelligent, yet disturbing.  Probably the most dangerous type of man around - accepted by society with a career or high standing.  Yet scary!
  9. Evil Witch Willow in Buffy the Vampire Slayer - The loss of a loved one can turn anyone a little crazy, but when little mouse-like Willow turns into a scary, black-haired, black-eyed, floating figure - she goes from one extreme to the other and almost destroys the whole world.  
  10. A Zombie (like in Dawn of the Dead, or World War Z) - these quick, biting, creatures that seem to come in their thousands and never stop or back down unless their head is removed are relentless - and scary.  I certainly wouldn't like a zombie to be knocking on my door on Halloween! 

So here we have vampires, zombies, serial killers, werewolves, demons, witches, supernatural beings, and scientific creation which can all be equally terrifying figures.  Of course there are also ghosts, banshees, spectres and likes of too!  

Who are your favourite all time monsters - TV, Films, or books are fine?  I really wanted to include Voldermort here too but  I did limit myself to ten, lol.   Who frightens you the most? 

Thanks for reading, stop by soon!

Laters, Janet :) 

Friday, 23 October 2015

5 tips on Surviving Football Training by a Newby Football-Mum

I can proclaim that over the last five weeks, I have became a football Mum.  For years I've enjoyed watching my sister freeze her butt off watching her son, and I never once imagined myself stood on the sidelines.  

I'm not a fan of football and neither is my OH.  We've always loved rugby, we don't even mind watching wrestling, or Olympic games, but football is something we just don't watch!  I do know the rules, as I used to go out with a boy who played when I was in my late teens - but I felt it was cool then and enjoyed going to the pub after with his dad who had good banter.  I understood the concepts and rules but I just didn't enjoy it.  

My enjoyment of the sport has now changed... Don't get my wrong I don't suddenly love football, but I love my boys, and I love watching THEM play football.  You see, the enjoyment they get, the way they are growing and developing their skills - if I simply didn't watch them and dropped them off then I would be the one missing out because I wouldn't see this happening.  It's something - that learning, improving, and developing each week is something I could never get back.  

My little one doesn't play in matches as he is only 4, but my 8 year old does, and you know what?  It's exciting!  The team is a new team and has a lot of work to do but the improvement is noticeable every week - and myself, along with a group of other parents support them each week.  My husband and I originally planned to take turns but when he was ill, I found myself at 4 hours worth of training and a match each week.  On Sunday, my hubby was feeling better so we all went to the game and supported the team.  The Sunday before we played an away game, and as we don't have our own car and I couldn't use the one I usually do from my Mum, a kind parent offered us a lift so my son could get there.  This meant we all couldn't go but it still meant I could go with my son.  

Joining a sports club has meant friendship for both of my children and me, because some of the other parents also go and watch each training session and match.  Sure it can be cold, and yes - I now freeze MY but off like my sister, but it's supporting my boys in something they clearly love that keeps them fit and that's enough for me - that is what makes it enjoyable!  

So... here are my five top tips on surviving the training. 
  1. Wear layers so you are warm.
  2. Ensure YOU pack the bag of boots/equipment etc... because your child is likely to forget something and it's embarrassing.
  3. Take drinks!  
  4. It's a good idea to take snacks if you have children at training at different times - for instance my little one does training for an hour, then my eldests training follows that - so I do two hours which means snacks are required!
  5. Make friends with other parents and endeavour to form a caring community - help out other parents were possible and they will help you out when you need it too .
If you have a car then don't feel bad about taking chairs, covers, and flasks of coffee for yourself too!  

Do you watch your child play sports, or even your OH?  How do you survive?  

Laters, Janet 

Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Return of the Motivation

Hi readers

Good news!  I think I have finally got my motivation back...

With several personal issues happening over the past few weeks it's certainly been on a long vacation, and I am pleased it's returned.

After still losing 1lb in weight on Monday, I have managed a session at both the gym and swimming this week.  I am surprised that I have continued to lose in all honesty.

I have had a thoughtful few weeks really and I have really been thinking about where I want to go and what I want to do in life.  Last week I returned to Uni and I've missed it so much, and this helped me decide that want to go further with my education once my MA is complete.  I dream of doing a PhD and have been really thinking about what would be a useful thesis but I have an MA dissertation due in September so maybe I should concentrate on that first - let's not get ahead of ourselves.

I mention dreams here because my dreams for the future really drive my motivation...

I dream to be thin - I lost a 1lb - I feel motivated.
I dream of doing a PhD - I feel I learnt at my MA session - I am one step closer to doing a PhD (something I never imagined I might be capable of) and this makes me feel motivated.

So what do you dream of? What keeps you motivated? How do you feel when you take that 1 step closer to fulfilling your dreams?  

If this is important then so are the reasons that make me feel demotivated.  Why did I become demotivated in the first place?

I suppose that's simple - in our family we are all links in a bracelet.  Me and my hubby are the fasteners.  Once the fasteners are undone, the bracelet isn't as strong - we are stronger together.  Basically, my husband being ill for such a period of time meant that there was just one link to support the others, which became very stressed, tired, and worried.  This is demotivating!  Once the he was well, balance was restored as there were once more, two links, holding and supporting the others.

I think my point here is that balance is needed in order to feel motivated.  You might want to do things and feel motivated but as soon as you start taking on too much - making you stressed and taking away the balance, you become demotivated.

Having a balance is key for me and so is making sure I have enough ME time - I don't ask for much: a Thursday coffee with the girls, the occasional night out, a bit of shopping with the mother once or twice per month, and a Sunday bath and pamper for an hour.

Uni is also for me - I love it and in the long run it's for my family but I go because I adore it.  The good thing about my degree is that a lot of the modules have been Gothic based and this is my choice area of study.

What is a key factor of keeping you motivated?  If you attend Uni or College, what motivated you to attend?  Please, share comments of how you are motivated.

Let's hope for more motivation and success in the future for all of us!

Laters, Janet :)

Wednesday, 14 October 2015

** An update from me **

Hi everyone

I haven't posted in almost 2 weeks as they have been absolutely mental and the family seems to be having a medically challenging time.  

I know most, if not all, will understand how circumstances can affect how often you post.  Due to my husband being ill (he had a UTI that spread to the bladder and caused urinary retention - he couldn't wee) - he ended up in hospital and my Mum ended up for him paying to have tests done privately to find out what the issue was.  He is on the mend now but is extremely tired and he only started to make improvements yesterday evening.  You can only imagine how much pressure this put on me as I had to do all of the dancing clubs, swimming, football, karate with the children, as well as running my husband back and forth from a hospital out of town - about 12 miles away.  

On top of this my son became ill with a sickness bug, and then with a cough and a cold, and I also felt ill with a migraine - I get them when stressed which means I haven't been able to open my computer for a few days.

I also took on some extra work too - we all need money live and Christmas is on the horizon so... 

as you can see ....

things are mental!  

I'm back at Uni tomorrow and will have to work tirelessly on Friday, I'm afraid.  

I will be back next week (and by this point I will have had two weeks away from posting) so watch out for my post - hopefully I'll be fresh as a daisy and full of plans for the rest of the month's post!  

Oh, and good news - I still managed to lose 1lb each week even though I did not partake in my usual gym or swimming which was amazing!  I was so pleased I didn't gain, although surprised, lol.  

Thanks for being patient and continuing to read!

Laters, Janet 

Friday, 2 October 2015

Funny Family Friday - Week 5 - (lost) Dog Day!

Hi readers 

Welcome to week 5 of Funny Family Friday and if you are linking up to Funny Family Friday, or you are a returning link up - thank you so much in advance! If your just here to read, feel free to make a comment in the comments section and share your thought.  

Please link up to either a funny story/post, or a family based post, or even a post about your family pet - it doesn't necessarily have to be funny!  I am not precious about what we link up to as long as it as long as it's not totally inappropriate so come on, let's generate some traffic!

For the rules of Funny Family Friday click here! 

Feel free to grab my badge below and don't forget to link up at the bottom of the page!  

I've decided to talk about the day Charlie, our much loved family pet who went missing for one day, almost four years ago.  He is a very important part of our family, and deserves his spot on #funnyfamilyfriday even though the event wasn't funny at the time! 

The day arrived and my new drawers arrived for my bedroom, and I decided to have a furniture shuffle.  I moved the bed in front of the feature wall that had just been wallpapered and the bed was a king-size so it took a while to move it and it had to be moved in sections and then the wood had to be laid and screwed in across the bed. I left the under-the-bed drawers on top of the bed so I could put in some of my month old baby's clothes in sorting out what I needed for him.  About 5pm, we moved the old drawers outside and put the new drawers up.  We had been up and down all day, and finally I was ready to put the four drawers back into my bed, and make the bed.  

I cooked our dinner and then about six O'clock I shouted the dog, and he didn't come.  I checked the back garden and shouted him, but he didn't come.  I asked my husband when he had last seen Charlie 'about half 4' he said.  A feeling of dread came over me, I looked in the front garden and the gates were shut - but still no Charlie.  

'He must have gotten out when we put the drawers outside!' I told my husband.  We searched every room and at the time, my husband was driving so he went out, in the dark to look for him.  Charlie was a loyal dog - but he was only 6 months old, still a pup, with no road sense! 

I posted pictures of him on Facebook, sent text messages to all my family and friends.  A few neighbours even had a look around the neighbourhood.  I phoned the police, the dog warden, and the RSPCA as instructed by the police.  I didn't know what else to do!

The children went to bed upset and I couldn't sleep, I was tossing and turning.  

The next day, the kids were heart-broken that we hadn't found our beloved pet and we went out looking.  My baby boy was sick and soaked his sleep suit, so about 11am I went upstairs and opened one of the drawers under my bed and grabbed some baby socks.  As I closed the drawer, I heard a faint whimper.  I pulled out the drawer and looked under the bed, and out ran Charlie.  I scooped him up and ran down stairs, squealing. 'I've found Charlie!' he was so excited but desperate for the toilet.  We let him outside.

He had been under the bed the whole time, without making a sound!  We had spent all day decorating and putting up furniture and he hadn't murmured, and he hadn't had an accident either - but he had managed to get some baby socks and a vest out of the drawer to snuggle into.  He had even made a sound when we had slept on the bed overnight!  

We made him a big drink, and checked him over.  He was absolutely fine and must have gone under the bed when the drawers were out and stayed under when we put the drawers in.  He's only a tiny dog and we hadn't noticed as the bed was so big and he was in the middle.  I was so relieved, but felt so guilty for him being under the bed for such a long period of time.  But I am so pleased he was OK.
Our Charlie <3 

I didn't go public with what had happened as I was embarrassed.  I told close family and friends, but other than that, all I said is we now have Charlie back.  One person asked how I got him back, but I just said he turned up back at the house.  I wasn't totally lying - but there was no way I could admit the real story!  

The thing about our much loved family pet is that he is no bother at all and he likes to sleep.  With it being dark he must have assumed it was night time - but he never barked, whimpered or scampered around or made a noise, as we would have heard him.  I'm just so pleased we found him - and totally embarrassed that I caused a full-scale search, and concern for family and friends.  

Moral of the story: To save trauma, if you lose a pet - make sure you check EVERYWHERE - any open space that they could possibly fit into to!  

Remember that Funny Family Friday is a linky and can be linked up to any family post or any funny post - it doesn't necessarily have to be a funny family story, that's just what I choose to write about! 

I would love it if you could link up, so don't forget to link up with Inlinkz below! 

Laters, Janet