Riding The Storm

My Mumma and Dadda used to prepare us in advance for challenges…and I am glad they did.  Even now we all have “grab-bags” with everything we may need for an emergency.  They made sure we knew life would not be all plain sailing, and we could not be sure what to expect from one day to the next, one year to the next.

It was prolonged times of adversity they warned us might come at any stage. They said unexpected events can occur at any stage and they asked us what would we do if there was an accident or illness that meant we were on our own at any stage.  If tragedy took our parents away, who would we trust?  where would we go? how would we behave? That might sound a bit morbid, but it has certainly helped us to be stable when tragedy has struck at various times over the years.

ship-1366926_640

https://pixabay.com/en/users/Comfreak-51581/

At the same time they made sure we developed a sunny hopeful disposition so that we were never overcome by challenges.  They said let hope be like an anchor that keeps you stable when you face a storm.  They said sometimes you just have to cling tight to all that you know is good and right and trust that the storm will ease off at some point.  When the storm clouds roll away and the boisterous sea settles down…that was the time to unfurl your sails and let the changing winds impel you forward.  Then you could continue your voyage through life full of joy and satisfaction that you have weathered a storm and are ready for what life may throw at you.  Perhaps with a little bit of storm damage but your integrity intact.

Today’s picture prompt from  The Haunted Wordsmith  The Haunted Wordsmith instantly reminded me of their sage advice.  For ships way back in the day, an anchor would have been a powerful safety device, indispensable for holding a ship in place and preventing it from drifting. No mariner would venture out of port without an anchor.  For centuries, ships had no engine to enable the captain to maneuver as he wished. Except for oar-driven warships, vessels depended primarily on the wind for movement. If their ship was in danger of being driven onto rocks, a captain’s only recourse was to drop anchor and ride out the storm, trusting that the anchor would not lose its grip on the seabed.

But then storm over…anchors up…up the sails…and we are off…impelled by the force that drives us humans along, eager for life and happy times ahead!

I think one or two readers who have read isolated posts I have published, have not been sure what this site is really about.  One reader thought I was just writing about a teenage crush I had on someone once.  I don’t like to spell out what happened too graphically as this is a child-friendly site.  But in case you missed it, here is a little synopsis:

Protaganist: Caramel

Brought up by wonderful parents and taught invaluable lessons for life.

Chooses an incredible career as an international volunteer and is involved with amazing projects.

cyberbullyAnother volunteer (who is also a celebrity) crosses Caramel’s path leading to two years of emotional turmoil, and a challenge she has not weathered before, intense interest from friends, co-workers and the fans of the celebrity – gossip and social media rumours.

Caramel decides she needs to remove herself from the close proximity of sharing a flat with him.  He turns nasty.  A campaign seems to be launched to blacken Caramel’s name.

AmbulanceCaramel goes to a park one evening when she is feeling overwhelmed by the challenges she is dealing with and there falls victim to a serious crime.  She is found the next day by a security guard who calls an ambulance immediately.

Caramel…is rebuilding her life and preparing herself to go back to her chosen career and life.  But she has to be patient.  She has many blessings though including the very lovely Goldfinch.

That is the basic outline…some may have picked up on what the crime was, and some of the other isolated incidents that interweave within this basic outline.  But, I assure you, this situation was a storm unlike any I have ever faced…it was not at all simple to deal with.  A bit of storm damage, but I clung on with all my might to what I knew was good, and right and true and I can hold my head up because I did not retaliate.  I have the blessing of knowing I conducted myself honourably.

Lots more to come…and perhaps at some stage I will rearrange the posts so that they appear in a more logical order.  But for now…it is sails up and away…we are catching the fresh breezes and voyaging ever onwards through an ocean of uncertainty…but keeping our eyes set on the glorious destination ahead!

______________

Seems like a great excuse to attach a song that I have been singing since primary school (goodness I have to tell you about our wonderful Headmaster who played the guitar and taught us all sorts of songs – that is another one for the drafts folder).

 

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/08/09/worth-a-thousand-words-24/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/08/09/your-daily-word-prompt-expect-august-9th-2018/

How To Use Flower Power

Have you felt it?  Especially when they are unexpected, the gift of a bouquet of flowers can resolve little misunderstandings, warm hearts that are frozen by pain, and elicit an array of unexpected emotions.  I have to admit I have more than once been beguiled by flower power when it caught me off my guard.

I have compiled a few friendly examples of flower power in use, which if you care to read you will find listed below:

copy-space-2518265_640

https://pixabay.com/en/users/rawpixel-4283981/

I will first of all confess, that after reading “Villette” by Charlotte Bronte I went through a phase of claiming I would not want to receive flowers as a gift, all because I loved it when Lucy Snowe said: “I like to see flowers growing, but when they are gathered, they cease to please. I look on them as things rootless and perishable; their likeness to life makes me sad. I never offer flowers to those I love; I never wish to receive them from hands dear to me.”

Then I realized I was being obnoxiously profound and I should be heartily grateful for any flowers that came my way!  I mean…if someone chooses to send you a bouquet of flowers it surely is because they like you a lot!  It is a very lovely thing to do…why would I want to be ungrateful and spoilt by trying to be overly philosophical about something that is is simply a gesture of affection.

I have now come to a stage in life when I am not going to be picky about who they come from or even the reason they were given.  I will worry about that later.  I will just celebrate the moment and let the fragrance of the flowers intoxicate me!

I am a shameless fan of movies with Tom Hanks and Meg Ryan…mainly because they are safe and normally cheery.  I never tire of watching them on screen.  One of my favourites is “You’ve Got Mail”.  Kathleen Kelly (Meg Ryan) is so annoyed when Joe Fox, (Tom Hanks) after turning up on her doorstep when she is ill with a stinking cold, brings along with him a bunch of her favourite flowers after putting her beloved book store out of business.

Joe knows how to use flower power to try to fix a huge rift between and the woman he is realizing he is in love with. Kathleen has no idea that it is Joe she has been corresponding with for months, so he knows well her favourite flower after she told him she thinks daisies are the friendliest flower.  I quite agree, I think they are the friendliest flower beyond doubt!

Growing up, I used to have a massive thing for sunflowers – except that they can become such giant monstrosities can’t they!

wild flower bouquetThe most romantic and poetic choice for a bouquet has to be wildflowers.  I have been given roses…and yes they are beautiful, only they are a tiny bit intimidating…unless they are yellow.  But big red lush roses – that sends out a message that could make you feel very uncomfortable if they come from the wrong man.  But still…I would enjoy them.  It happened a while back…a male acquaintance who was suggestive in a rather crude way…thought a big bunch of red roses was the way to apologise.  Just made me want to make the message even clearer…”NO!”

In other circumstances flowers are a wonderful way to convey an apology.  Although don’t get cocky about flower power, there are some sins that a bunch of flowers are never going to atone for!!

A wonderful way to tell someone you are worried about that you care.  Goodness I have given them to some of my female friends who I was deeply anxious about.  One of my friends had chopped all of her hair off and was refusing to eat, refusing to speak to her house-mates or go to work (because her boyfriend had split up with her) I tried to ring her, text her, e-mail her as well as going round to her home and knocking on the door so hard I thought the neighbours were going to call the police.  All I had left was flower power.  I spent £50 on a huge bouquet and wrote a message in a card and left it on her doorstep.  I am glad to say…she responded, and step by step she let her heart heal. She is so much better and happier today.

On occasions flower power has touched my own heart and made me much more disposed to a bloke I had thought of as a bit awkward and odd.  I admit I have fallen prey to flower power.  Because it is a very lovely thing for someone to send flowers to you.

The message here…use flower power wisely…unless you are absolutely sure that they are not going to cause alarm, avoid the big flashy red roses.  If you know her favourite flower, choose them, unless you have just put her out of business! If in any doubt, send friendly flowers – daisies…or if you do want to be romantic, wildflowers.

 

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/08/08/worth-a-thousand-words-23/

FOWC with Fandango — Below

 

 

All I Need In The Whole Wide World

I met two girls when I was around sixteen years of age.  Sadie and Sonia.  They were sisters and best friends to each other.  Their father, Reginald, was a talented architect. He worked on some of the projects I was involved in including some incredible restorations of listed buildings. Over the years I worked with Sadie, Sonia and their dad many times and became very fond of their family.

Reg had a special project – all of his own, although he did involve his family.  When the family showed me, I was really touched by what he had been doing in his spare time for more than thirty years.  Ronald had been drawing the blueprints for their dream house.  Each member of the family had expressed the features they would love to be included. He had thought about everything – as an architect can.  It was not a vague misty idea, it was all there in intricate detail on paper.

home-1353389_640

https://pixabay.com/en/users/image4you-2459255/

I have often wondered if I have a dream house in my mind.  I have asked many of my friends also if they have a dream home, that they would love to live in if money was no object and if they could design their home themselves.  Although noone  else has detailed blueprints like Reg, a lot of them do have a vague idea of their dream home.

My friend Nina who has bought houses and renovated them and sold them on for a profit.  She has lived in some incredible houses but has never been emotionally attached to them.  It has just been a business to her.  Buying and selling properties, always thinking about the next one.  She says all she really wants is a simple country cottage covered with ivy and fragrant honey-suckle and her own orchard and vegetable patch.  She would like some land to be able to have some goats and chickens and perhaps a pony.

Some of my other friends have described their dream house to me in much more grandiose terms.  One friend Dan described his dream house as a huge mansion where he could have lavish balls.  He and his wife Joanne would dress up and appear at the top of a grand staircase and make an entry in front of all their guests, and there would be waltzing all night.  Joanne disagrees with him.  She would prefer something simpler and she challenges Dan by saying she is not going to spend all day cleaning a mansion.  To which Dan claims he is going to have a team of servants!  Joanne is not impressed by that at all!

Then I have friends who don’t really mind what kind of house they live in, it’s more about a dream location to them.  Steven and Jasmine want a house near the beach.  They love the water and they love boats.  Gerald and Tina would like to live somewhere that reminds them of an Alpine terrain, but near a lake.  My friend Laura would love acity.png swanky pad in the middle of London or any city she says.  She just loves the buzz and excitement of the city.

My dream home…well I just can’t envision it to be honest.  I don’t have a specific building in mind or a specific location.  For as long as I can remember I have wanted to avoid being tied to one site and having the responsibility of maintaining it.  I loathe the idea of being shackled, trapped – without the freedom to leave and go and travel for years on end. I have a definite gypsy streak that runs me.  I want the simplest little box, that can be together.pngdismantled and packed allowing me to move on and travel. I will unpack my little flat-packed home and erect it somewhere while I get to know a new area and make new friends and learn about their culture and cuisine and help out with any work they need help with.  Then after a while I will dismantle my flat-packed home and move on again.  Not because of boredom…just an insatiable desire to explore.

I just think…I would like someone to be with me on my travels.  That’s all I need in the whole wide world!

 

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/08/07/worth-a-thousand-words-22/

via Loath — Word of the Day Challenge

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/08/07/loath/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/08/06/fragrant-tuesday-photo-prompt/

 

An Eggstremely Belated Apology

I was in bed when I heard a noise as if something was being pushed under my door. Sure enough, once I had turned the lamp on, I saw an envelope had been pushed under my door.

Intrigued though I was, I was so exhausted I did not stir to go and look at it.  I just left it there and drifted off back to sleep.

cafe-3537801_640

https://pixabay.com/en/users/analogicus-8164369/

The next thing I knew my mobile phone was making a low buzzing noise.  I ignored it.  It was Sunday morning…my morning for a sleepy start to the day.  But my mobile phone kept on buzzing away and out of a half open eye I saw it was gradually crawling across the table next to my bed.  Remind me not to leave it on discreet mode, but just to turn it off overnight.phone on table

Out of annoyance I grabbed my phone and saw there were several missed calls and a few text messages in my inbox.

All the messages were from the same person.  Ugh!  What could he possibly want now?  I could not make sense of some of his messages and then it dawned on me that they must be referring to something he had written in what ever was inside the envelope, the envelope that had been pushed under my door the night before.

I picked up the envelope and opened it and cast my eyes over the note inside.  Aaaah, he wanted to meet me for breakfast at Maison St Cassion.  I felt a mix of dread, elation and curiosity.  Only he could have that effect on me.  Only he could insult me and then make me agree to meet him for breakfast the next day.

I texted him immediately and explained I was running late but would meet him for a late breakfast.

blue dressI jumped into the shower and threw on a summery dress I could feel relaxed in and sandals.  I was determined not to make too much effort for him, so I clipped my hair up untidily.  I found myself rushing even though I wanted to keep him waiting.  I was hurt by last night, but so excited I would be with him again.  No make-up I decided.  Yet just before I stepped inside the brasserie he had chosen for us to have breakfast together I doused myself with perfume.

I was annoyed with myself at the way I smiled when I saw him…I was more annoyed with him that he smiled at me when he laid eyes on me.  I kept on reminding myself that I should not make this easy for him. He had been totally out of order the night before.

breakfastAs I sat down at the table opposite him I asked him what it was he wanted to talk about.  But before he had chance to begin his answer a waiter appeared with various small dishes.  “I ordered for us” he grinned.  I laughed inside.  This was him all over.  I can just imagine how hungry he must have been waiting for me to arrive.  He had ordered what I would describe as a Turkish or perhaps Lebonese feast for breakfast.

Then he did something else that was very typically him.  He took out his phone and started taking photos of our breakfast, which I was sure he would be posting onto Instagram.

There was a tiny part of me that felt an irritated impatience with him…but for the most part I loved it.  Isn’t it funny how when you are in love with someone, even little annoying habits can become incredibly endearing and adorable to you?

I let him finish and then when he finally put his phone back in his pocket, I looked at him squarely in the eyes and asked him “Why am I here?”

I think I owe you an apology Mel“.

I was surprised but delighted.  Of course he owed me an apology.  I just could not believe he was about to offer me one, when normally he seemed so thoughtless and ignorant.

Do you mean because of last night?

His brow creased into a puzzled expression, “Last night?  Didn’t you enjoy the party?  I thought it was super.  Mel…I own you an apology because I stole all your eggs.”

My eggs?“…I was baffled!

Well, yeah, Ella (one of our flatmates) told me when I asked her why you had not baked any cake for us this week, that you could not make one because I had stolen all your eggs.  I thought the least I could do was treat you to breakfast to say sorry.”

You are apologising for taking my eggs.  But you have been taking my eggs, my tea-bags, my milk, my coffee…pretty much anything I have not nailed to the inside of my kitchen cupboard for months and months, ever since you moved into the flat.

He threw back his head and started guffawing.  “Too true, too true…noone knows me better than you do Mel!”

So, you regret taking my eggs because I did not make a cake last week?”  My tone must have been rather stern because the grin on his face suddenly vanished.

Mel…” and quite suddenly he shot his hand out across the table and grabbed my hand.  I could not look up, I felt a few tears hovering on my eye-lids.  I wondered if he had any idea how hurt I had been the night before.  Probably not?  But somehow feeling his hand wrapped around mine, nothing mattered any more.  Nothing mattered except that he never let go of my hand.

That was the last time I went a week without making any cake for him.  I would do anything for him, even though his words hurt me, the way he mocked me in front of his friends and colleagues.  There was nothing I would not do for him…to feel his love.

 

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/08/06/worth-a-thousand-words-21/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/08/06/your-daily-word-prompt-belated-august-6th-2018/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/10/02/your-daily-word-prompt-belated-october-2-2018/

I Am Not Embarrassed To Admit I Owned A Baby-Doll

baby doll (2)I suppose I am rather embarrassed to admit that I had not been able to bring myself to let go of her at the age of twenty-four!

Worse still is the story of what happened when my future brother-in-law and one of his best friends found my baby doll (they were nineteen) and what they did to it.

It is totally normal for a little girl to be given a baby-doll by her parents.  Mine came as a hand-me-down from one of my Dad’s customers.  I named her Tanya.  She had a reversible dress that made her either poor little Cinders, or like a princess as the stunning Cinderella.

Like any other little girl, I loved my baby-doll Tanya and she was my companion on lots of days out with my family and friends when I was growing up.  I used to wash and style her hair and  her clothes and iron her little dress.  I was proud of punch of feeling like a mum to my own little baby.

I was also very much the tom-boy. climbing trees, playing football, riding my bike…climbing all over the scaffolding on abandoned construction sites, coming home covered with mud and scratches.  Yet…I still loved my baby-doll Tanya.  I am not ashamed of that!

Have you seen the movie “Toy Story 2“?  It really tapped into my sentiments of not wanting to let go of my childhood toys.  I just did not have it in me to part with Tanya as I grew older.  Once I started high school Tanya became just an ornament, high up on the top shelf.  But I could see her from my bed.  She stayed up there for years, in a way neglected, but at least she was there and I had not discarded her.

Now Mum, Milly, Mandy and I were away one weekend – I think we had gone to Belgium for the weekend.  Dad invited my brother-in-law who had been courting my sister for about six months to stay over for the weekend so he could get to know him better.  He brought a great friend of his whom he had grown up with.

The two boys stayed in the bedroom that Milly and I shared.  And those cheeky boys – do you know what they did?!!!  They rooted through our belongings!  They found my baby-doll Tanya.

And do you know what those two boys did when the found Tanya???  I mean can you imagine two nineteen year old boys with my baby-doll?  I can’t talk about it!

When I came home with Milly and we found Tanya…I was half in hysterics laughing and half shocked they could be so cruel!  We told everyone what they did…the rascals!

Poor Tanya…I should have hidden her when I knew they were going to be staying in our room.  I guess that will teach me for still having a baby-doll at the age of twenty-four!

Now my brother-in-law has a gorgeous daughter of his own, and as is totally normal, he has given her a little baby doll which she adores…I hope he feels ashamed at what he and his friend did to my Tanya!

doll-626790_640

https://pixabay.com/en/users/Desertrose7-752536/

When I saw the above picture prompt from  The Haunted Wordsmith  The Haunted Wordsmith I was not sure what to write…but it certainly did prompt a memory!

 

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/08/05/worth-a-thousand-words-20/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/08/05/your-daily-word-prompt-reversible-august-5th-2018/

Uncomplicated Love

I remember walking with him hand in hand, sauntering at a gentle pace through the woods down near where I live, just a week or so after I met him.  I think I was at risk of frightening him after that first weekend by throwing a few too many curve-ball questions at him.  I was just eager to get to know him.  I think I already knew beholding this fine specimen of a male of the species in all his splendour, there was a huge possibility I was going to fall very much in love.

I have mentioned in other posts that Goldfinch will be leaving England in less than four months time.  I have known since I met him in October last year that he was only here on a temporary basis.  I probably didn’t need to launch to many intrusive questions at him so early on.

uncomplicated
https://pixabay.com/en/users/congerdesign-509903/

 

He was very good with me.  He told me a lot more than I had any right to ask so early on. But he did remind me that he would only be in England for a short time.  I remember telling him sweetly I knew…and not to worry, I was still eager to make the most of the time he was here.  He looked unconvinced.  I kissed his hand serenely and said “You and I – it’s not complicated, it’s not going to be complicated, it’s going to be lovely.”

love birds.jpgI hope that’s what it has been for him…I only want the next four months to be that for him.  Much as I would be bowled over and flattered beyond belief if he gave the slightest inkling that he would stay here in England longer for my sake, it’s not going to happen and I would not dream of pressuring him.  His parents and siblings are on the other side of the planet, his house is there, his closest friends are there.  It is his home.  I am nothing compared to what he is going back to.

I am grateful to  The Haunted Wordsmith  The Haunted Wordsmith for a picture prompt that gives me yet another excuse to write about my beloved Goldfinch.

He texted me this evening before I left to go and meet some friends for drinks by the river.  Next weekend he will take me to Bath!  Yippee!  Just in case you did not know…Bath is a stunning city in the south-west of England.  Plenty of Jane Austin links…and therefore the BBC and other production companies have filmed at various sites of Bath.  It is a world famous historical site also.

He has not been (I have been and love the city – in fact I have several good friends who live there) and he is keen to see the city.  He had suggested it a couple of weeks ago but we didn’t have time to drive there and back that day.  I think it is a very interesting and romantic place to visit.  I have only been there with my family and with friends…I would love to stroll at a leisurely pace around such a beautiful city with a man I am in love with as much as Goldfinch.  I would love to have as many beautiful weekends with Goldfinch as possible before he heads off to the other side of the planet.

It will be a wonderful way to spend a weekend with him.  I am just googling as much information as possible about restaurants and tours of Bath and how much it costs to get into the Roman Baths and the Pump Room and other famous sites of the city.

To be honest…it doesn’t matter where we go.  We go wherever Goldfinch wants to go.  Much as I love Bath and am very excited about visiting the city with the very lovely Goldfinch…I could be anywhere with him and be happy. Come December…Bath will still be there for me to visit any time I wish…Goldfinch won’t be.

It’s not complicated – just love!

 

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/08/04/worth-a-thousand-words-19/

via SERENELY — Word of the Day Challenge

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/08/04/serenely/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/08/04/your-daily-word-prompt-splendor-august-4th-2018/

FOWC with Fandango — Pace

Eleven Years Old And Painfully Awkward

The first party I was invited to when I started high school was awful…mainly because I was so awkward and shy!  It was so weird…I still remember how embarrassed I was throughout every moment.  What did not help…is that I didn’t even know I was going to be at a party, it was a surprise to me and to my friend.

bowling-237905_640

https://pixabay.com/en/users/sharonang-99559/

Secondary school (aged 11-16 years of age) was so very different from primary school (aged 4-11).  Painfully different.  I was one of three children from my primary school who moved on to a high school that was in another town because, apparently, it was ahigh school “better” school.

I dreaded moving on up to the big school.  I did not want to be a teenager.  I didn’t understand the change in attitude and behaviour.  I didn’t know many people.  The two boys from my primary school were assigned to different forms than me, in the other half of the year, which meant we didn’t see much of each other at all.  I was all on my own with a class of complete strangers.  The level of shyness I felt was almost debilitating.

However, on my second day at school, a girl at the front of the queue on the way into our form room turned around and counted, “one, two, three, four, five, six…we are going to be friends.  We are all going to sit together and we will be gang.”  There we go….it was as easy as that apparently.  From then on I was attached to the other five girls throughout my entire school life.

vanilla cupcakeMy first day in Year Seven was a Thursday, early on in the September.  I was at school for two days and then…at the weekend, Milly, who must have been six years of age, came from a party with some left-over cupcakes.  My Dad and I ate a cupcake and then both of us were unable to keep any food down for a whole week. The worst food poisoning I have ever experienced.  Debilitated by a cupcake!

So, I missed the following week at school.   When I was back at school, my five new little friends were very sweet and all said they had missed me.  Three of them had come from six friendsthe same primary school as each other, which was in the village I had been born in. They were all talented musicians and could drawer and had the most beautiful hand-writing. The other two came from a primary school that was very close to the high school we now attended.  They were very good at sports.  All six of us were generally cheery and fun-loving and friendly.  For some reason they seemed very fond of me.

I am sure it helped me to have been adopted into a little group of friends so early on. After about three or four weeks, one of the girls came up to me early in the morning just after I had arrived and told me that one of the other girls had a question she wanted to ask me but was a bit nervous.  I asked what was the question.  Her answer surprised me, “she wants to know if you will be her best friend.”  I was amazed really.  And that was that…I had a best friend throughout the rest of high school.  She was a great best friend…so creative and imaginative and full of ideas.  She gave me a confidence I didn’t have before.  I would support her and help her carry out all her plans.

It was around November when my best friend invited me over to her family’s home for tea (that’s what we called dinner) after school one night.  She said I could sleep-over too but I was so shy that I asked my parents if they could pick me up instead.

rose leggingsMy best friend told me to take some clothes to change into when I arrived at her home.  I asked her what kind of clothes.  I wore green shorts and a scruffy red T-shirt or, denim shorts and a sweater that said “I love California” on the front…but all my play clothes has tears and holes in.  I winged at my parents that I needed new clothes if I was going to go to my friend’s home.  I ended up with the most hideous pair of leggings with a rose pattern on them.  My friend thought they were so odd she teased me about them for the rest of our school years.

I remember the evening that we finally went to her home after school and her mum told us that she had arranged a surprise and she was actually taking us bowling…American ten-pin bowling.  My new best friend was delighted.  I was scared.  This was a new experience for me and I didn’t like new experiences without one of my family with me.  When we arrived, there were a group of her friends, who were all strangers to me, waiting for us to arrive.  I lingered in the background shyly whilst these faces I had never seen were giving wrapped up packages to my best friend.  I was terrified.  I had never been bowling before.  It was quite noisy inside and there were lots of people cheering and laughing.  I had no idea that we had to exchangebowling shoes our shoes for bowling shoes…how I wish I had taken some socks.  Bear feet into communal shoes – eeeuw!

I was so nervous…I didn’t know what to do…I could not believe how heavy the bowling balls were.  My first turn was disastrous and just went straight into the gully…or whatever it is called.  I did not know what to say to all these other eleven year old kids I had only just met.  I felt so awkward, so embarrassed and so self-conscious in those ridiculous leggings that everyone was teasing me about.

bowling cake.pngMy best friend’s parents had arranged for drinks and snacks for all of us and then from nowhere a cake appeared.  It was a pretty fantastic cake.  Because I was vegetarian, I had missed out on the beef burgers everyone else was tucking into, so as soon as I noticed the cake had arrived, I wandered over to it and began hacking into it with a plastic knife and helped myself to a large slice.

A moment later my best friend’s mum appeared with a cake knife and stared at the cake in horror.  She immediately spotted me munching away, and gave me an angry frown.  She showed the other adults and they whispered about it, and I could see them trying to tidy up the mess I had made of the cake.  Moments later they picked the cake up and started walking toward my friend and singing “Happy Birthday”.  I had no idea it was my best friends’s birthday.  I bolted…there I was with cake all over my hands and face…I could not believe what I had done!

Honestly….I wanted the earth to open up and swallow me up.  I was so deeply embarrassed.  When my parents came to pick me up later I told them I never ever wanted to go to a school friend’s house for tea after school ever again.

Goodness….that first year of high school at eleven years of age was so painfully awkward…I kept on making a fool of myself because I was with a bunch of kids I did not know, who were introducing me to new experiences that I had never known before. Still, for some reason my friends loved me.

There were other bowling nights…I became quite a dab hand at bowling and always remembered to take socks.  I never let my parents buy any clothes for me again…the rose leggings were abandoned.  I am kind of glad I survived eleven…even though I learnt that my face had the potential to turn every shade of crimson.

Thank you to  The Haunted Wordsmith  The Haunted Wordsmith for a picture prompt that brought back high school memories.

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/08/03/worth-a-thousand-words-18/

via Debilitate — Word of the Day Challenge

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/08/03/debilitate/