Under Pressure

I have been going through a period of self-diagnosing, simply because I am not ill-ill, but I am pushing on with work and life despite a lingering headache.

Headaches are normal to me. Since I was bashed over the head by a stranger (sorry, I should not be so flippant about it), headaches are fairly normal to me. But this headache came on Friday afternoon and bullied me at work, and then has lingered ever since then. Not my normal headache routine.

I was rather sniffley and gunky the other day. I think I have realized that it is a sinus related headache. I am not ill-ill, I have lots of energy and my immune system is clearly fighting whatever it is that is clogging up my sinuses, but I think that is why I am so head-achey.

So…do I self-medicate? Should I nip into a Pharmacy and pick up some decongestants? That seems like the obvious next step. My original plan and ignoring it and hoping it would go away is leaving me with this annoying headache. So…rather than suffering like this…maybe I just need to turn to something that will help clear all of those little tubes out properly.

He Is The Most Complete Person I Know

I upset Jack a little bit on Friday evening. I am not going to detail everything that happened here, it was more to do with me being a bit overly matter-of-fact in stating I would not be able to go to the wedding of some friends because I was working. Unwittingly, I touched a raw nerve. It is complicated…and frankly, I don’t want to share all the details here.

It is ok…Jack and I are just fine. We are just fine. I went to work on Saturday thinking he was upset with me. I came back to my little nest to find him ready to welcome me into his arms and tell me not to worry about the situation that had caused some cross words.

Jack is simply lovely. He is so lovable. He is so so lovable. He is lovely to the core. He likes to be lovely to other people, and that is wonderful, just wonderful. I love Jack for these reasons and a million other reasons. He is completely lovely. I know that he has gone above and beyond for family, friends and others many, many times.

I think that perhaps I have had to accept my limitations over the years – after I was attacked…well, since then, I have not been behind the wheel of a car because of my head injuries and the fainting spells and blackouts. So, I had to think in terms of getting about by public transport. That has meant that I might not be able to fit quite as much into a day as if I was a driver.

In the past…I know I used to do crazy things like waking up at 4am, driving to Bristol, working all day, driving up to Sheffield for a wedding, sleeping on the floor at in the front room of someone I had only just met, driving down to Reading, working all day, driving to Essex to pick up a friend, drive up to Manchester to drop her off, before going back to Liverpool, sleeping for a few hours, before getting up and going to work. But I cannot do that anymore. I have a different set of limitations.

Sometimes…people expect me to operate in the way I used to at the age of twenty. But I have had to slow down. Jack…he still manages to pack a lot in…a lot more than I do. He drives. He also knows how important it is to people to have half an hour of his presence. He does wonderful things. People love him for that. I love him for that.

Aaaah….I am blessed. I am truly blessed and honoured. This man is just so lovely!

You Know It Knocks Me Right Down

Jim Adams aka Newepicauthor, the creator of A Unique Title For Me, is hosting SONG-LYRIC-SUNDAY and this week he has chosen the theme: BLUES

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I remember my Music teacher at school teaching us a bit about the blues. I don’t remember a lot of what she said except for the association of blues music with specific chords and notes and grooves. I remember thinking that lots of blues songs or tracks sounded the same. Do I like Blues music? I really like the sound I associate with Blues. I don’t know a lot about the genre, but I know there is one track that always comes to mind…”Boom Boom”. Here is John Lee Hooker capturing the distinctive iconic sound that feels so good!

Boom, boom, boom, boom.
I'm gonna shoot you right down,
Knock you off of your feet,
And take you home with me.
Put you in my house.
Boom, boom, boom, boom.

Boom, boom, boom, boom.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
I love to see you strut
When you're walking to me.
When you're talking to me,
That knocks me out.

Boom, boom, boom, boom.
You know I like it like that,
With your baby-talk,
Oh and the way that you walk.
You know it knocks me right down,
Knocks me off of my feet.

Boom, boom, boom, boom.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Oh, oh, oh, oh.
How, how, how, how.
Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah.
Now, now, now, now.

The Courts By Which We Are Tried

I am being a little careful and cautious on how to introduce the subject on my mind. I have observed from a distance (usually glancing over a BBC report) some odd judicial dilemmas in recent years. Court cases seem to have drawn in millions and have spread out onto social media. There is a new phenomenon – the court of social media opinion – which may be contrary to actual legal judicial courts, but can spell disaster for a person convicted by popular opinion rather than wise, discerning and experienced judges.

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In the past I fell victim to the damage social media can inflict. My crime – being acquainted with Jack. The crime which infuriated a mass of complete strangers – Jack moving into the apartment I lived in and becoming one of my flatmates. Strangers on social media can be unimaginably cruel and vicious. They tear you to shreds – and the pain inflicted can be worse than if they actually physically tore your flesh apart.

If you live in the UK, it may have been hard to not notice a story surrounding a television presenter has received a large amount of coverage. I am not going to go into detail in explaining this…there is enough out there in the public domain already. I understand that there is going to be a government inquiry looking at certain particulars – the nature of workplace investigations etc. I think many do understand there is a grave concern about certain ethics, a particular area of ethics that are extremely sensitive – that of a young person being taken advantage of, or manipulated, or groomed. The details of concern in this instance relating to one party being only fifteen when he met the television presenter, some contact through Twitter, the television presenter encouraging the young person’s aspirations to work in television and eventually helping him to obtain a job on the television show he worked on, and at a later date (when the other individual was twenty years of age) sexual contact commencing.

I am going to hold back from commenting on those investigations and inquires. There are many reasons why some of these particulars are concerning. I know that workplace behaviours are an area that need a lot more improvement. I have had numerous experiences of male colleagues looking at me inappropriately, saying highly inappropriate things, touching me in an way that made me feel very uncomfortable (which I firmly rebuked them for there and then), not to mention many other concerning habits in some offices – including malicious gossip, offensive language, casual talk about drunkenness, excessive gambling, breaking the speed limit while driving, mocking a casual sexual partner in front of colleagues – all pretty obnoxious stuff which results in the spread of ugly behaviours and attitudes. It also means there are many people out there who wish they could work from home and avoid the disgusting conversations they are subjected to hearing in their office. Anything we can do to improve workplace behaviour standards is a good thing.

However…currently, my thoughts are on a very different matter.

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On Thursday evening, BBC reporter Lucy Williamson interviewed another man. I know next to nothing about the man she interviewed. I know I had a boss who used to listen to this man’s podcasts at work, in the office. I did not understand the significance of that at the time, because his name meant nothing to me. Since then, I have learnt that this man is actually rather notorious, and was recently arrested on allegations of rape, human trafficking and exploiting women. The interview was one of the most uncomfortable situations I ever caught one minute and fifty-eight seconds of. That was more than enough. Whether he meant to or not, this man gave the impression he was arrogant, self-righteous, haughty, unapologetic, without any remorse, insensitive, callous, without conscience – blaming others, accusing others, claiming to be super-wonderful, claiming to preach noble standards. In essence – he came across as revolting – on many levels. Yet, the BBC reports that there are millions of young men who look up to this repellent man and aspire to be like him. Frightening!

This morning, I woke to find the BBC sharing brief clips of another interview, this time between Amol Rajan and the television presenter at the heart of a story that has provoked concern, but also unleashed a wave of people who think they can say anything they want in the most malicious of terms before every detail of this story has been combed over. My instinctive reaction is to think how awful it would be to be the center of this much and this type of critical attention. Nonetheless, there are valid concerns about certain particulars of the story and they are being investigated. I can see why that is necessary. However, what a vast difference between the interview with this man and the man I had seen interviewed the night before. This television presenter came across as broken-hearted, crushed, distraught, despairing, remorseful, deeply disturbed and ashamed and horrified and exhausted and desperately caught out by being confronted with what he admits was wrong, but at the time he did not realize was wrong.

I think I may be an unusual onlooker simply because the last time I watched this particular presenter was when I was a very little girl. He used to present children’s television. I have not watched any of his work in recent years. But I am aware of his popularity and have seen him involved in lots of adverts – everything from second hand cars to gin clubs.

I could not help but ponder – two different men, two different stories, two different interviews – but what struck me was the vast difference in the attitudes each displayed. The first man – I feel no sympathy for at all. He comes across as callous and without conscience. The second man – he looks as if he is tortured by his decisions.

This is often the nature of mistakes…errors…sins…whatever you prefer to term them – at the time, we follow our heart, we go with our gut, we act on impulse, we are carried along with the emotion…sometimes it is later that the realization of what we have done confronts us. Our conscience can apparently be dissolved in alcohol, or desensitized by entertainment (what we read and what we watch), and can fail us at the point when we make a decision, only waking up later when others thrust the issues in front of us and we realize how foolish we have been.

Even at that point, some do not feel their conscience – it is hardened, callous. They react haughtily, with self-justification, blaming and accusing others. Whereas, for others their conscience awakens and they know pain on a level they may have never known before.

These two men reminded me of something that it is so important to remember when it comes to justice, judgement, repentance, forgiveness, conscience, peace of mind and having a real hope for the future:

It is not what we have done….but how we feel about it that determines our future.

– Wise Old Owl

I do not know either of the two men who were interviewed. I am a very very distant observer. But whereas there is one that I don’t think I could be in the same room with…the other – well, he has provoked my sympathy. He has a rough road ahead. The investigations into what happened will take place, and it will take time for the story to quiet down. But I saw something in him today – there are signs that this man has a working conscience, and a hope, a future…it may take time, but this man can recover and he may be surprised at how much admiration and respect he may glean from others if he is guided by his conscience in doing everything he can to right the wrong, and be open and honest and true.

I Have Been Offered Another New Job

I have to meet with a lot of groups and essentially teach them. Only…it is a varied role – most of the time these groups are not really forewarned that they are essentially the students and I am the teacher. Usually, they are invited to a presentation. I don’t just present though, I teach. I invite the audience to use their minds and think and contribute and discuss and develop their comments and ask leading questions, and suggest practical activities. I teach. There is a wide gulf between telling and teaching.

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Anyway…one of the organizations I attended to conduct a presentation (which actually was a teaching session) were extremely warm to me at the time, and subsequently in their phone-calls and emails. It turns out their CEO remembers me from way back. So…his PA sent me an email to say he would like to arrange a call so he could thank me personally and discuss some specific aspects of the policies that they are currently revising.

I enjoyed that phone-call, part of which was quite personal, him asking me lots of questions, most of which I was comfortable with answering, a few I deflected. Towards the end of the call, he started waffling on about two of his colleagues and some challenges they have faced and how their legal team are waded down with tribunals. I had stopped listening by now…it was all sounding like corporate melodrama type nonsense. But when he sprang a question about whether one of his colleagues could contact me and tap my experience, I said yes, not really understanding what I was saying yes to.

A few weeks ago when I was at work on a Saturday, this other colleague called my landline. I was not in of course. Jack was in. He took the call and explained I was not available. Jack asked if he could pass on a message (lol – Jack my PA hey!) and this chap said something along the lines of…”we want to offer her a job”.

Jack told me when I was home. I said I did not need a new job (I started a new job last November and I like the job sufficiently and I like my colleagues enormously providing me with plenty of impetus to stay). But Jack told me that the chap who had called was talking about a job that pays a frightful amount more than I earn right now. He had joked to the caller that I was only interested if it was a part-time role (which is not a joke), and the caller had responded that I could name the terms.

Well…its been a few weeks since then. As requested, I called them back. I felt like a bit of a lemon, but he did say things that were of interest to me – policy shaping, executive capacity, educating the business from senior managers right through every level. There were moments when I wanted to say I think there was some confusion and they were speaking to the wrong person, only he kept on referring to work I know I have been responsible for. lol – my fame proceeds me!

Weeks have passed. I have now received a formal offer in writing. Jack wants me to accept it. I don’t feel I should. I don’t feel that now is the time to take on another new role. Oooh la la! Sometimes the timing is just not right. In this case…the timing is terrible.

I’m A Slow Burner

Jack said something to me recently…and I know why he is saying it…and I agree in many ways…but I suppose there are a lot of reasons why others might not necessarily agree. I am not here to start a debate. I am here to speak about the situation confronting me. So…let me start with what Jack said to me:

You need to get your legs out!

– Jack

Why did he say this? Because my legs are incredibly pale right now. They are so pale, that the following day when I went into work wearing a dress and bare legs (no tights), one of my colleagues asked me if I am anemic. Yes – which is when I realized just how right Jack was.

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In the near future, I will have to don a white dress in order to express my vows and hear Jack’s vows. Right now…there is not a lot much difference between the colour of my wedding dress and the colour of my legs. So…at Jack’s behest, I am trying to expose my legs to some sunshine. My face and arms do pretty well at catching the little sunshine we have and I have a healthy glow about me. But my legs…they are a whole other story.

Mandy sent me some fake tan. But that it is not a good idea. It just makes me look ridiculous. A friend of mine suggested tanning drops. Apparently, you can mix them in with your regular moisturizer, thereby making your fake tanning process incremental.

It is all a bit of a palaver to me. In my opinion there is one thing worse than white legs…and that is orange legs. I am not a fake tan fan at all. So….I am doing my very best to dress so that my legs are bare and therefore absorbing a little of this weak English sunshine. If I could just be a little bit less white than my wedding dress…I am hoping that will be an improvement!

It is silliness really – isn’t it! The most important thing is not burning my lovely luscious skin. But truthfully…I don’t catch enough of the sun to be in danger of that.

What Did I See?

When I was a child, I know I saw things I wish I had not seen. At the time, I did not understand exactly what I was seeing. But it left me feeling odd inside, uncomfortable, frightened.

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As an adult, the recollections of what you witnessed as a child sometimes come back and involuntarily attempt to decipher the mystery behind those sinister scenes.

The details are vague – when? where? who? why? All I know is what I saw.

Splinters Of Broken Glass

I think I am a hazard to myself sometimes. I was washing some dishes the other evening (at around half past eleven at night), and just slightly knocked a wine glass, which toppled over onto the sideboard and just smashed to smithereens – what kind of quality is that? That wine glass is at least seven years old, so it has done fairly well.

Anyway…I was tired…part of me had decided to go to bed and leave the dishes until the following morning, but the part of me that knows leaving dishes is never a good idea decided to push on and wash wash wash. When the wine glass smashed, I was so tired that I did something really stupid. I reached out my hand and started scooping the glass towards the bin cupboard.

Soon, there was not just glass to clear up but blood as well. I know! I started to wash my hands and grabbed some plasters I keep in the kitchen drawer and wrapped up my fingers and hand in Elastoplast. Then I went about clearing up the glass on the side in a more rational manner. Only…I was so tired, I don’t think I did as thorough job as I ought to.

The next morning, I was making coffee and rushing to get ready to work and I put my hand down on the side…and another shard of glass stuck in me. Ouch!!

It is broken glass. Just broken glass. I will heal up soon enough and get over it. However…it feels like a reminder. A reminder that this time of year is going to be tough for me. If you are not sure why…have a peek at some of my older posts.



I love summer…but this is when my brain starts playing games – aching memories, haunting recollections, triggers to a trauma I wish I could hide in a capsule and launch into outer-space in the direction of a black hole or a supernova that would obliterate it into a zillion unrecoverable pieces.

I started a new job back in November. I don’t know whether I should mention to my colleagues that this time of year I seem to face a wave of flashbacks and triggers to trauma that make my pulse race and cause unusual erratic panic in me. Would it help to talk about it? Or would they ask me a baggage of questions I don’t want to answer? Tough decision to make.

If You Can’t Groove To This Then You Probably Are Dead

Jim Adams aka Newepicauthor, the creator of A Unique Title For Me, is hosting SONG-LYRIC-SUNDAY and this week he has chosen the theme: HIP HOP RAP

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There are two tracks that I was torn between for today. I think most of us think of The Sugarhill Gang’s “Rappers Delight”…and what a phenomenal track it is. But I have gone for another HUGE hit!

This track brings back memories of one of my bosses dancing whenever she did something clever at work and achieved results. The ultimate track for boasting in a comidic manner. This is the one and only MC Hammer with”U Can’t Touch This”.

My, my, my, my music hits me so hard
Makes me say, "Oh my Lord,
Thank you for blessing me
With a mind to rhyme and two hype feet."
It feels good, when you know you're down
A super dope homeboy from the Oaktown
And I'm known as such
And this is a beat, uh, you can't touch

I told you homeboy (You can't touch this)
Yeah, that's how we living and you know (You can't touch this)
Look in my eyes, man (You can't touch this)
Yo, let me bust the funky lyrics (You can't touch this)

Fresh new kicks, and pants
You gotta like that, now you know you wanna dance
So move, outta your seat
And get a fly girl and catch this beat
While it's rolling, hold on
Pump a little bit and let 'em know it's going on
Like that, like that
Cold on a mission so fall on back
Let 'em know, that you're too much
And this is a beat, uh, they can't touch

Yo, I told you (You can't touch this)
Why you standing there, man? (You can't touch this)
Yo, sound the bell, school is in, sucker (You can't touch this)

Give me a song, or rhythm
Make 'em sweat, that's what I'm giving 'em now,
They know
You talking about the Hammer you talking about a show
That's hyped, and tight
Singers are sweating so pass them a wipe
Or a tape, to learn
What's it gonna take in the 90s to burn
The charts? Legit
Either work hard or you might as well quit

That's word because you know...

You can't touch this

Break it down!

Stop! Hammer time!

Go with the flow, it is said
If you can't groove to this then you probably are dead
So wave your hands in the air
Bust a few moves, run your fingers through your hair
This is it, for a winner
Dance to this and you're gonna get thinner
Move, slide your rump
Just for a minute let's all do the bump, bump, bump, bump

Yeah... (You can't touch this)
Look, man (You can't touch this)
You better get hype, boy, because you know you can't (You can't touch this)
Ring the bell, school's back in

Break it down!

Stop! Hammer time!

You can't touch this

Break it down!

Stop! Hammer time!

Every time you see me
The Hammer's just so hype
I'm dope on the floor and I'm magic on the mic
Now why would I ever stop doing this?
With others making records that just don't hit
I've toured around the world, from London to the Bay
It's "Hammer, go Hammer, MC Hammer, yo Hammer"
And the rest can go and play

You can't touch this

(Yeah) You can't touch this
(I told you) You can't touch this
(Too hype) Can't touch this
(Yeah, we outta here) Can't touch this

Written by: Rick James, Alonzo Miller, and Stanley Kirk Burrell

Learner at Love

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