Stuff out of my head.

All posts in the Stuff out of my head. category

The Cowardly Lion

Published April 17, 2013 by KalamityK

Why is it so hard to step out of your comfort zone? I tried this week and failed, and not for the first time. I gave it a go and spent the whole time panicking internally about what I was going to say to this stranger who decided to pick me for a partner. If I’d focused that nervous energy on what I was supposed to be doing instead of how much I didn’t want to do it, I possibly wouldn’t have looked like an idiot and wouldn’t have felt like I was letting this stranger down. I hated the feeling so much that I didn’t go back for day two. I retreated to the safety of my comfort zone and went to work instead.

But I’m gonna try again!

I’m starting an evening class next week that’s going to take me well out of my comfort zone and this time I’ve actually paid for the experience. I think I might be slightly bonkers.anxiety-girl-header2

I hate people seeing me get things wrong. I hate being in new situations without a friendly face that loves me no matter what and I hate looking like a fool… unless of course I’m choosing to be one.

Role play makes you look like a fool. There’s no getting around it. I won’t know what I’m doing and they’ll make me try it anyway, in front of other people. UGH. I know it won’t kill me or hurt me. I know everyone will be in the same situation but what my logical brain knows makes no difference to how my body reacts.

I’ve never been THAT person. You know, the one who bathes in attention. Don’t get me wrong, I like attention, just not while I’m under the spotlight. We should do away with spotlights so I wouldn’t have to keep trying to avoid them. I’m happy to stand in the background while my more outgoing friends get on with being all loud and noticeable. I’m usually the one happily tagging along behind.

When that tutor tells me I have to leave my beloved comfort zone I’m going to get anxious. My heart rate will hit the roof, my hands will get clammy, my tummy will do somersaults, my knees will literally shake and my brain will tell me to flee. It’s stage fright. It’s someone scared of heights standing on the top of that bridge, thinking of doing a bungee jump. Panic sets in.


But I’ve spent over a hundred quid on this course so I won’t be able to just not go (like I did on the free taster course).  If I want to change things in my own life and make a difference in someone else’s then I’m going to need the skills they’re teaching in order to put my plans into practice.  But it’s OH SO VERY BLOODY SCARY!


I’d like to be one of those people who aren’t afraid to just give things a go and that don’t mind if they look silly in the process, but I’m not. I never have been. I used to look at those people with envy. I guess I still do.  It’s why I’ve never taken singing lessons even though I think I might have quite a nice voice just waiting to be released … If I only went and learnt some techniques to improve what I have. But I never had the courage. I’m the cowardly lion.

The Cowardly Lion4

So how am I going to get over the anxiety? I don’t know but I have to. Anyone got any coping mechanisms you find useful when you’re feeling completely out of your depth?  

Kill ‘em or Cuddle ‘em?

Published February 10, 2013 by KalamityK

This parenting malarkey is just a bundle of conflicting emotions isn’t it? You love your kids but there are moments when you could quite happily batter them at the same time.

I’ve just spent the afternoon blitzing the manchilds bedroom. He’s moved out so it’s not technically his anymore and I need the room for friends coming to stay but his stuff is still here and as he’s unable to sort it all out himself at the moment, I did it.

As I sort through his things, I find a piece of paper from the local pawn shop. Now, I already knew that the manchild was not a stranger to this establishment and that that’s where my fold–up bike had gone but being reminded of the fact made me a little cross. Those bikes are not  just expensive, they are SUPER expensive… as in hundreds and hundreds of pounds. I got mine second hand and dirt cheap, in fact I didn’t even pay for it, my mum did, but that’s not the point. And neither is the fact that I only ever used it twice. The grand sum he got for it? £100? £50 maybe? Nope. £10! The reminder itself made me grumpy but I hadn’t realised how little he got for it. That made me even more like a bear with a sore head. 

So I’m sorting and clearing and grumbling to myself when the phone rings. It’s the manchild… and instantly I forget being grumpy with him and am just happy to hear his voice. The pawnshop slip didn’t seem important anymore, especially as we’d already had ‘The Discussion‘ about it when it happened. It was much more important to find out how his week has been and to just talk with each other; because despite his faults and our occasional frustrations with each other, I’m lucky to have him. He’s the only kid I’ve got and he’s irreplaceable.  Besides, he’s not going to be a dumb pawnbroker-using teenager for ever.

He has dragged me onto this rollercoaster but the highs more than make up for the lows. I reckon I’ll keep the pawn-slip as a reminder to myself of this daft teenager of mine who’s making growing up such a memorable event! I’ll tuck it away somewhere safe and find it again in a decade or two, when he’s all grown up finally. And the next time I see it, instead of making me grumble, it’ll remind me of how he’s grown and how far he’s come and it’ll make me smile. 

bike lady

You did WHAT???

Published December 22, 2012 by KalamityK

I’ve not blogged for a while because although I’ve had a lot on my mind, it was nothing I was ready to write about. Now I’m ready and I’m gonna share with you something really personal. Ten weeks ago I did something really drastic…

I had weight loss surgery.

When I told people I was going to have it done the most common reaction was that they thought I was mental. They said I wasn’t big enough. Surely that’s only a last resort for huge people… Why didn’t I try diet and exercise? Why didn’t I go to weight watchers? Why not join a gym again? Was I really sure? Oh, and I’m bonkers to let them take most of a perfectly good organ out of me.

Well, I might be bonkers but yes I was sure. That organ, my stomach, was working too well! I knew I was on a downhill ride to serious obesity and couldn’t stop myself without help. I’d given up smoking and the manchild had moved back home with all his accompanying baggage, I split up with my ex and life just generally got hard. I didn’t have cigarettes to fall back on and so I turned to comfort eating more than ever to get me through and the weight piled back on. If I was able to diet and exercise and succeed permanently I would have done it already and so would every other fat person wanting to lose weight. Diet and exercise is a physical fix that just doesn’t work on a permanent level when the reason people get fat is an emotional one. You can lose the weight but it just comes back.

Every time I walked out that front door, I wanted to be invisible. I never made eye contact with anyone while I was outside. I wanted a star trek transporter to get to work so nobody would have to look at me. Even though I wasn’t massive, I was ashamed of how big I’d let myself get. I stopped going out unless I had to. If I got invited to social events I found reasons not to go. The real reason was that I was embarrassed to be seen in public because I felt ugly and I felt like I was being judged.  In my head I knew that nobody was judging me except me but I still felt ashamed. It’s hurtful when your friends, who in reality have lovely figures,  go on about how fat they are. I’m double your size and you’re disgusted by your own tiny bit of fat? How gross do I feel now?! Is it any wonder I felt judged? It just increased how crappy I felt about myself.

Not everyone is capable of understanding how it feels to hate the way you look so much that you’d rather sit indoors with the tv than spend time with other people. It sounds like vanity but it’s much deeper than that. It’s soul destroying. 


So last year I talked to my doctor who agreed that my BMI was far too high and agreed to refer me. The next step was an appointment at a London hospital to talk to the surgeon. He said I was a perfect candidate for it and agreed to let me have it done on the NHS. I had no co-morbidities and I was young enough for the effects to make a real difference to the rest of my life. (Nice to be perfect for something! Ha!)

Some of you who know me and are finding out about this right now will possibly also think I wasn’t big enough to need it but I was 8 stone overweight. That’s a lot of extra weight to carry around when you’re only 5 ft 3 n a half inches tall. My bones started to hurt. Walking from the train station to my flat takes 7 minutes and none of it is uphill apart from the stairs in my building… but before I even reached home I would be limping from a sore ankle and having to rub DeepHeat ointment on my back when I got home just so I could move around. Getting off the sofa was getting harder. I couldn’t breathe when I leant over to tie my laces. I felt like a beach ball. I was miserable.

So I did it! I had a vertical sleeve gastrectomy (VSG) which means that the surgeon removed about 90% of my stomach. I haven’t told everybody because it’s not exactly a ‘shout from the rooftops’ kinda thing and it’s a very personal decision but I’m also not ashamed of having it done and I’m happy to talk about it. It really has been life changing already.

It hasn’t been easy though. For anyone thinking I took the easy option, that is so not the case. This is possibly the hardest thing I’ve ever done. The mental journey you go on when you do something like this is a roller coaster. There have been a few times over the past few weeks where it’s been really hard and I’ve asked myself if I did the right thing? Was it really that bad that I had to resort to major surgery? Yes is the short answer.

Most of the difficult times are about head hunger. I miss eating a normal dinner. You still crave the stuff you used to love and you have to learn that it’s not your stomach that’s hungry; it’s your head, your memories. I’m still learning what’s what and how to combat it effectively.

I still have to watch what I eat, more so now than ever. I could eat chocolate and all the things that I ate before and I’d lose nothing despite having the surgery because it’s not a quick fix. It’s a tool and I can use it or not. The weight doesn’t just fall off unless I make it happen with the tool I’ve been given. I don’t deprive myself of every little thing but I’m much more aware of what my body needs to keep me going. When you only have a tiny space for food, what goes into it is really important. I have to get enough protein in before anything else. If I use up my space on crap all the time, I’ll end up malnourished and sick. Christmas dinner will be a challenge but it’s nothing I can’t manage. I’ll just have to pick out the best bits and leave the rest! 

I wasn’t sure whether to tell people or not because everyone has opinions about weight loss surgery and who’s deserving of NHS funds and I didn’t want to justify myself to anyone, plus I know that every time I put a biscuit near my face or pick up a chocolate, I’ll have the food police commenting on it… but I just thought sod it. Anyone who wants to judge me can go right ahead. The money I would have eventually cost the NHS as an overweight woman and all the problems that come with that would have far exceeded what the surgery cost. They’ve saved tens of thousands, probably more. The NHS knows that. 

I did what was right for me and it’s working. I’ve lost weight already and I’m starting to feel more like myself again! I’ve still got a long way to go on this roller coaster journey but I’m joining the gym again in a few days and I’m looking forward to meeting the new healthier, slimmer, happier me next year. 


Save the Earth. It’s the only planet with chocolate!!!

Published September 21, 2012 by KalamityK

What is it with hormones? How do they have the power to turn me from a patient, caring, happy woman into a short tempered, snappy, sarcastic slice of hell on legs with a chocolate addiction? I like to think I’m in control of my pms and, up to a point, I am. I do snap at people, mainly my colleagues because they’re the ones I’m with day in, day out… and they might not believe it but I really am biting my tongue. I know that if I just let go and stopped being in control then everyone within a 50 feet radius would be in a flood of tears and in desperate need of a cup of tea by the time I’d finished, including me! I can never let go completely (I did once and it ended with a  6ft5” giant of a man in tears. I’m 5ft 3 n a half). It would be the verbal equivalent of a holocaust. I’d be utterly alone so I can’t give in to the madness. 

I read this on FB the other day…

“ I’m pretty sure it’s called PMS because that’s easier to say than oestrogen induced manic depressive bi-polar disorder prone to fits of psychopathic rage.”  This resonated with me. 

I’ve never been very good at keeping track of my dates (numbers not men) but I usually know when it’s leading up to ‘that’ time because there are one or two people at work with whom my patience levels drop rapidly when my hormones kick in. The influx of hormones into my system renders my immunity to other people’s stupidity, idiocy and general lack of common sense useless for a few days.

These people will just chatter chatter chatter; talking about inane, unimportant things like what to have for dinner (the same conversation every single day) or have the most ridiculous opinions, i.e. the colleague who thinks the folks who blew up the twin towers didn’t mean to kill lots of people… they just wanted to teach that naughty USA a lesson….but she doesn’t think mass murder was their real intent… yeah, ok. Whatever.  (There’s no point getting into a discussion with this person about anything despite the temptation to want to smack the stupid right out of her). On a normal day I will hear stuff like that and I can dismiss it as stupidity and get on with my day. On a hormonal day that same stuff will drive me to the verge of wanting to rip someone’s arm off and beat them about the head with the soggy end. I get SO irate with things I consider stupid or pointless. (As if everything I say or do makes sense…I don’t think so). I just cannot hold my tongue 100% even though I know I should.  I know it’s really not worth getting annoyed over but it’s like I’m taken over. I hate being angry and I really don’t want to offend anybody but I fear it’s getting worse and sooner or later I’m going to put my foot in it, bigtime.

That’s not the end of it though. Oh no. After a day at work trying not to completely alienate my entire department, I go home, grab some dinner, put on my latest recorded series of The Biggest Loser and spend the next hour crying into my potatoes. WHAT. THE. ACTUAL F…flip? It doesn’t even matter what’s on! I can be watching a comedy and if there’s a few seconds of someone being upset, I’ll get a lump in my throat and tears will well up but not quite spill over which means I have to wipe my eyes which gets make-up in my eyes which means red, watery, half crying eyes and a sore throat and the rest of the evening is a total right-off and please don’t phone cos I won’t answer.  ~sniffle~ Someone feed me chocolate and hand me tissues quick!

Maybe I need to go shopping. Payday soon! 

Hormones, who needs ‘em?!  

Oh, that dangerous internet dating! What if you get killed?!

Published September 15, 2012 by KalamityK

I went on a date the other day. Overall it wasn’t too bad. I met a bloke after work for a drink. He originally messaged me on a dating app I’d installed on my phone. I don’t know why I installed it to be honest. (Probably cos it was free). I’m not even that fussed about dating right now. He was quite chatty in his messages even though he’s not my cup of tea in the looks department, but I try not to go by that all the time. A great personality can make someone a lot more attractive so occasionally, you’ve gotta give a guy a chance.  (Sometimes though, you just know don’t you?)  So anyway, after consulting with my fb friends and getting their varied opinions, I decided to bite the bullet and give him a chance. He was a little bit shy, lacking in confidence and not very good at eye contact. He bought my drink without hesitation which was a plus.. There were some awkward silences but we managed to keep them mostly at bay. I saw glimpses of his sense of humour, which had veered into ‘inappropriate’ territory when texting but he was fine face to face. I figured it was more down to him trying to be funny via the written word and failing dismally than anything sinister or blatantly rude. We can’t all be grammar gods! If we meet up again though, it won’t be in the romantic sense.

I once got invited out by a fella I met in a pub. Let’s call him Bert. Bert told me to meet him outside this club as there was a reggae night and he wanted to take me for a dance. When I got there he was nowhere to be seen so I texted him.  He replied saying he was already inside and I should go in and find him. It cost me £10 to get in! Ok I thought, not a great start but maybe I’d misunderstood. I’ll find him and he can buy me a drink. Did he heck! I found Bert, drink in hand, dancing with some girl. When I interrupted him after watching for a couple of minutes and asked him if he was gonna buy me a drink, he pointed me in the direction of the bar and proceeded to ignore me for the rest of the night. I bought myself a drink and found a gorgeous young guy to chat to. Later, when Bert realised I’d ditched him in favour of the gorgeous toyboy who was apparently smitten with me, he had the nerve to drag me away from Mr Gorgeous and have a go at me in front of everyone!  Not to worry, Bert left feeling a lot more embarrassed than I did after I gave him a piece of my mind.

                     This has happened to me before—>

I’ve been on a lot of dates in the past 10 years. Some good, some not so much. One guy was on and off for a few years but really, none were long lasting. The majority of blokes I’ve dated have been from the internet. It’s a fabulous way to meet fellas… if you’re not that fussy.  Unfortunately, I am indeed extremely fussy. I talk myself into going on dates with men I’m not attracted to because there might be a slim chance that he turns out to be so much more than I think and because going on dates with men I DO find attractive hasn’t worked out for me. So I say to myself, try something different.  There’s a saying my mum said to me years ago that sticks in my head.

“If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got.”

Or something like that. Maybe it didn’t stick that well actually. But you get my drift. So, having dated men I fancied and it not working out, I tried dating men I wouldn’t normally go for and unsurprisingly, that hasn’t worked either.

My colleague said to me the other day ‘You can’t judge someone from a picture’. Maybe not, but you can judge whether you find them attractive. That’s how dating sites work. They all show pages and pages of photos, not pages and pages of profiles.  The photo is your first impression. It’s the deciding factor on whether or not you look at their profile. Guys, you need to realise this or you will NEVER get a date! There are FAR too many photos on these sites that resemble a day at a funeral! Smile dammit!  

There’s still a lot of concern about internet dating.. mainly by people who’ve never done it. Some of my friends get worried that I’m gonna get attacked or kidnapped or murdered on a date instigated from a website.  I’ll take this opportunity to put their minds at ease. This is me on the inside when I go on a first date. Ready for anything. 

I have enough common sense to talk to a man a few times to get a feel of his personality before I agree to meet him. I make him come to my hometown where I know every street, every nook, cranny and twitten in town for a quick escape if necessary. Not that I’ve ever needed to use that knowledge in a lifesaving scenario!  I also only meet and have dates in very public, usually busy places. I never get picked up or dropped off at home. There will also be a record of him in my chat history. So, if anything, I’m safer on one of these dates than I am on a date with a fella I met in a pub or anywhere else, that I have zero info on. I know people lie on the sites but people in pubs lie too! Besides all that, I’m a total cynic and rarely take anything they tell me at face value. I’m far from gullible. I’ve chatted with enough men over enough years and listened to enough lies to get an inkling of when they might be dishing out balony. As for those conmen who wheedle their way into women’s lives for the money, I’m skint with no chance of getting a loan so trust me when I tell you I’m not a target! 

The risks are no more or less than a regular date with someone you don’t know. The biggest risk I face when going on a date with some bloke off t’interweb is death by boredom! If I get any more messages that say nothing more than ‘hi’, I’m liable to drown myself in my own sink! 

Bad hair day?

Published August 28, 2012 by KalamityK

My hair doesn’t suit me. It’s past shoulder length right now but there’s just not enough of it. I want curls! I want volume! I want to be tousled dammit!This isn’t me or my hair.

People with thick or curly hair moan that they can’t control it but I still want it. Everyone girl wants what they haven’t got in the world of hair and I’m no different. I want uncontrollable hair! I want hair that you can twist and pin up and it’s a lovely big messy updo with escaping straggly bits that frame your face. My face usually looks quite nice with a frame. If I pin up mine, it looks like I’ve given myself a Croydon facelift but that’s the only way it goes up. I can’t even get big hair if I back-comb it. It’s so damn fine (and not in the good way) that any back-combing just unknots itself and falls out within half an hour.  

To start with, as a baby it took me AGES to grow any hair. Then when I did finally acquire some hair worth mentioning, it was dead straight. No need for straighteners even if they had existed back then. Nowadays it has a slight unstraightness to it but it’s certainly not enough to be classed as ‘wavy’. I dye it to make it more interesting to look at in the mirror. In real life my hair is dark brown. You couldn’t get a more boring hair colour if you tried.


Blondes have an automatic reputation as having loads of fun, even if it is entirely  undeserved and in reality they’re manic depressives. Ok, so the downside to being blonde is the reputation for not being especially bright but who cares if you’re a bundle of fun!

Redheads have a reputation as being fiery and vibrant. To be honest, most of the redheads I know definitely have a hint of fiery. Two of my closest friends are redheads. This rep is not entirely undeserved.


If you talk about black hair, people instantly think ‘Goth’ or ‘Ethnic’.

What birthright do brown haired folk automatically inherit? None! Nothing. Brown is average. It feels like someone invented the word ‘Brunette‘ to make themselves feel better about not being blonde. 

I don’t really mind being brunette though, to be honest, because I can always dye it. So I always dye it! I’ve done a lot of different colours over the years and I’m currently ginger but I’ve never gone as bright as I’d really like to, partly because dark brown hair doesn’t dye easily without bleaching. Constant bleaching ruins your hair. Next time I’m thinking of bleaching and going pink. Or purple. The problem is that I’m no good at maintenance. I just can’t be bothered to colour in the roots every two or three weeks and it ends up looking messy. I’d have to be dedicated to touching up my roots on a regular basis and I’m just not that conscientious. Can you imagine upkeeping this? 

All I want is thicker, curlier hair. I’ve permed my hair so many times but it just falls out within a couple of days so I end up looking more like a used mop than Barbra Streisand did in the early 80’s. 

I won’t give up though. One day something will come up and I’ll get my tousled head of curls.  

Or maybe I’ll just buy them on Ebay. 

A Typical British Summer

Published August 25, 2012 by KalamityK

It was just another average British summer’s day as I was walking up the high street with my parents in a random but lovely little Sussex town, eating lemon flavoured ice cream… in the rain.  By the way, lemon flavoured ice cream is AWESOME! 

Anyhoo, it got me thinking about a favourite British summer holiday. CAMPING! It was the rain that made me nostalgic. It ALWAYS rains when you go camping in the UK. Every year for probably 90% of my childhood we went camping. This wasn’t ordinary camping though. Oh no. This was Bible Week Camping! And I LOVED it.

In the Beginning, there was Dales Bible Week (aka Gales Bible Week).

This was the year it didn’t just rain, but it poured…. And poured and poured and poured. I think I know how Noah felt. The ‘rents had gone to an evening meeting leaving my big brother in charge, although as he was only about 8yrs old at the time I’m sure there was an adult around to keep an eye on us. Well, that’s all well and good but when the heavens opened and the winds started up, it got pretty scary! The adults in the meeting hadn’t realised how bad it was but tents were being unpegged by the wind and blown away like paper as the rain lashed down around us. The designated adult was busy trying to save tents and no doubt see to other kids and no matter how loud we cried and yelled for help no one came. It was all we could to hold on to our A frame tent for dear life! A lot of people had to sleep in a barn that night. Luckily big bro and me were absolutely fabulous and managed to keep hold of our tent. No stinky old cow barn for us!

After Dales was Downs Bible Week.

For many years we went to Downs Bible Week. It was a lot closer to home, being held on the Sussex Downs. Downs was the scene for many an adventure, particularly with the crowd from Hastings when we met up each year, but  I won’t go into those stories cos it wouldn’t be fair to traumatise the ‘rents so many years after the events!

In the early days there weren’t too many rules and this resulted in more than a few tents being accidently razed to the ground. They were too close together so a rule was introduced with a minimum amount of space between each tent. This helped not only lower the tent burning incidents but also the tripping over guy rope incidents. One kid ended up in hospital because she fell over one guy rope, landed on another and split her chin open. If you forgot your torch, you took your life in your hands trying to get back to your tent. It was like an assault course. Survival of the fittest!

By this time us kids went to our own meetings which were much more fun but still the weather was an issue. Every year it rained. Even if it was just one or two days, it rained but sometimes it just didn’t stop and someone always got flooded out. I don’t remember too many actual disasters at Downs although I’m sure there were some. The worst year weather-wise is now only ever referred to as Drowns by anyone who was there. Ok, it wasn’t as bad as this pic… but it was pretty bad! I’m sure there was a year where tents got blown away here too. 

I didn’t really mind the rain too much, being a kid an’ all. I just walked around barefoot, squelching my toes in the mud, quite happy to look like I’d been dragged up in a mudpuddle. The adults weren’t so keen to walk around in bare feet so boards and hay were strewn around in a vain attempt to make certain areas walkable. It was a bit of a pain when you never had any dry clothes but seeing as we only lived a few miles down the road it wasn’t too bad. If it looked like there was no end in sight for the rain, one of the ‘rents would take our clothes home, wash and dry them and then come back. Sorted!

After Downs was Stoneleigh Bible Week

By this time I was an adult. The manchild was just a baby, one year old. He was walking already so to stop him wandering off I bought an extendable dog leads. I attached one end to his reigns and staked the other end in the ground in the middle of the surrounding tents. Who needs a playpen?! Job done.

We had a variety of interesting summers there. The following year it was so unbearably hot that I would go into the shower fully clothed to cool down and literally within 5 minutes I was bone dry again. It was the hottest week EVER. . Walking inside a tent was akin to putting a pork joint in a preheated oven. Your skin started to crackle!

Another year almost everyone onsite was getting flooded. It reached a point where everyone was moved into the onsite buildings for safety. It was a squeeze but if there’s one thing us Brits are good at, it’s pulling together and making do. My sis in law was running around barefoot trying to help organise people and provisions. She’s good at that. As she hurried around the corner there was no carpet and where her feet had gotten wet they slipped on the tiles, flew out from under her straight up in the air which threw her whole body backwards. She landed on the back of her head with such a thud, knocked herself out completely sparko! She wouldn’t wake up for ages and had to be taken to hospital. Still, somehow she managed not to drop the walkie talkies so that was good! (She was fine in the end but we did have to keep an eye on her for the remainder of the week as she wasn’t entirely sure whether she was coming or going for a while.) 

The final straw for the ‘rents was the year mum had a teensy bit of an accident involving a gas lamp and their trailer tent….

There’d been a strong gas smell lingering and suspecting it might be the camping fridge, mum took it outside, cleaned the pipes, brought it back in and relit the pilot light…  WHOMP!

A flame erupted and shot up her trouser leg! It wasn’t the fridge. It was a leaky gas lamp in the little closet area next to the fridge. When she lit the pilot, it ignited the ball of gas that had been trapped. She quickly tried to put out the flames and I ran outside, tried to soak a towel and ran back in with it but it was barely wet and did nothing. Instead of running out of the tent, we kept trying to put out the fire. A neighbour ran in and grabbed up the little manchild who had only just been put to bed, and whisked him out of harms way. We just had to leave the tent to burn. There’s something rather silly about watching your underwear drying  on a clotheshorse, through the sides of a burning tent. But guess what? Although it was a little breezy and some sparks floated off towards nearby tents, no other tents burnt down! That minimum space rule really works. And something unexplainable happened that day too. Almost everything in the tent got damaged by the heat or flames; everything except the bibles. There must have been at least 4 or 5 bibles in the tent all in different places and not one was burnt. They were wet from the fire brigade hoses and smelled a bit smokey but mum separated all the pages with tissue paper and they dried out  absolutely fine.

 Mum wasn’t really keen to ever go camping again. As for me, I woke up the next morning with tonsillitis from all the stress but I still love camping. 

After Stoneleigh there was nothing for a while. Now they do bible week for the kids. 

5,000+ teens all meet each year for NewDay and it’s a fantastic atmosphere. I’ve gone a few times as a volunteer, helping to feed a churchload of hungry teens and workers. The pink tent was mine. Cos I’m cool!

Although it has rained at Newday most years, I don’t know of any major disasters… unless you count 2008 when the manchild got kicked out and sent home for breaking all the rules! I know I smoked at camp when I was a teen but never INSIDE the tent anywhere near the grown ups, you dozy boy! I think he got it mixed up with Glastonbury.

Left on the shelf? No, I like it here!

Published August 10, 2012 by KalamityK

I’m 40 and still single. Didn’t find the right guy. If you did, you’re lucky and this post isn’t referring to you. But feel free to carry on reading!

Considering my dating life for the last 10 years has mainly involved internet dating, it’s not exactly a surprise that I’m still single.

What IS surprising is that a part of me likes it. If I’m being honest, I expected to be married at this point in my life but I didn’t have a script to show me how to get to that ending and this is where I find myself. 

I don’t know what people see when they look at me. I think people who don’t know me very well see a slightly sarcastic unmarried fat woman who sometimes lacks confidence. They’re right. I am a slightly sarcastic unmarried fat woman who sometimes lacks confidence. But that’s not the sum total of me. I’m occasionally funny, a bit complex and sometimes moody. I’m also strong; mentally and physically, and occasionally I’m wise, like an owl. 

I’ve got used to living on my own. Why on earth would I want to give up my space, fight over the tv remote, faff around trying to share a duvet, get all hot and bothered by a fella who thinks I’m his perfect pillow and then have him snoring his head off stopping me sleeping?  Nuh-uh! No thanx! I’m not doing that unless I’m completely smitten.

*Married woman = shared bedroom

Me = double room to myself and STILL not enough room for all my junk. There’s no space for anyone else’s stuff!

Over the decades I watched friends and family marry for a variety of reasons. Not always for love, even if they told themselves it was. Some are now divorced. Some are still married. Some are ‘surprisingly’ still married!

I’ve lived with 3 boyfriends in my lifetime. The last one was the manchilds’ dad 19 years ago. Since then it’s been just me and the kid. I’ve had other relationships but they haven’t worked out because it turns out I’m attracted to bad boys and idiots. I figured this out years ago but still couldn’t manage to change it. The reason I’m not married isn’t because no-one ever wanted me. It’s because I didn’t want to marry the men who asked. If the right fella came along then great but he’s not arrived  yet and I’m not settling. 

I came quite close recently to getting married but as it happens, he was an idiot too. I’m not saying I’m perfect… far from it. I’m just more perfect than them 😉 

Despite it being 2012, there is still an inbuilt fear for women of being left on the    shelf. Seriously. That’s so sad. Girls,  change the way you think. Don’t see it as a negative.  Enjoy your singleness while you have it. There will be times you’ll miss it once it’s gone. Yeah it’s nice to be in love but if it aint happenin’ then why not enjoy where you’re at? 

You know what? Leave me on the shelf. Please! All those other women who jumped off too soon for fear of being left behind have left me loads of room. This shelf is nice and comfy now and it has books.

It’ll take some super special man to entice me off it. 

Earlier today I was making a list of attributes that would make the perfect man for me. I decided that as I like it here on my shelf, I’d order exactly what I want or I’m staying put;

  1. Tall, dark and handsome with smiley eyes and a nice bum. He doesn’t have to be perfect, just perfect for me. 
  2. Solvent with a good job
  3. Hard working but not a workaholic
  4. Likes camping/picnics/walks on the beach
  5. Is good at DIY
  6. Likes a cuddly woman, preferably me.
  7. Enjoys cooking (I hate it).
  8. A non-smoker who isn’t tee total (last fella was tee total and it’s BORING!)
  9. Likes to be tactile but does NOT  want to snuggle all night (I’m a fidget until the coma hits). In fact, wants to live in separate houses (next door?) or at least have separate bedrooms
  10. Can SING like Andrea Bocelli  (I’ve never had a fella who could sing and if I’m ordering, I want a singer)
  11. A driver who likes motorbikes and will buy me one  for Christmas
  12. I can’t write this one out loud cos my mum n dad read this but … yanno!… A man’s gotta have skills! Know what I’m sayin?! 😉
  13. Ideally, he’ll be a bit of a romantic soul
  14. Should be funny but not too sarcastic
  15. Into Sci~Fi and gadgets
  16. MUST BE SINGLE (you’d be surprised how many blokes on dating sites don’t understand that concept)

Is that too much to ask for?!!!! Anyone know him? No?……. Then excuse me whilst I make myself a lil more comfy up here on my shelf! 

*For married, read also – living with a partner. For you lot who might need clarification.  

Virgin, you SUCK at customer care.

Published August 7, 2012 by KalamityK

As this is my place to rant, I’m gonna rant right now….. before my internet provider cuts me off, which is probably just hours away from happening. I imagine I’ll be cut off by morning. They’ve already restricted my landline. 

I’m late paying my bill. I’m always late paying my bill and it’s on principle. I’ve been a customer with Virgin for at least 15 years, probably longer. When I moved home two years ago, I stayed with Virgin. What happened was that they changed me over from Virgin Media to Virgin National. I didn’t get a choice. Since then their customer service has been shockingly bad. I don’t give a stuff which department takes my money. As far as I’m concerned as a customer, it’s all Virgin. The bonus goes to Richard Branson, end of.

The problem with Virgin National is that they claim they are trying to be a paperless company, so they don’t send out bills. I always got one with Virgin Media. I want a bill! I could go online to view the bill but I ALWAYS have problems signing in on their crappy website so now I’ve given up trying. It’s too much aggro. I’d even accept a bill via email but despite being adamant that they DO send me an email with the bill every month, I’ve yet to receive one. They do however, send out a reminder letter every month telling me that I haven’t paid my bill and telling me how much I owe, plus I get  junkmail every bloody month without fail from them. Virgin, don’t go on about being paperless all the time you insist on sending crap I don’t want through my letterbox. If they can send out a letter and junkmail EVERY month then they are NOT paperless, so why not just send a bloody bill?  It doesn’t make sense! When I get that letter with the amount on it, I then phone up and pay my bill. Every month. Without fail. For the last two years.

The letter didn’t come this month. Now I’m screwed.  I pay my bills with cash or I use my top up credit card to pay over the phone or online. It’s perfect for me.  Now they’re telling me that my services are getting cut off and won’t be reinstated until I set up a direct debit. I haven’t paid anything by direct debit for over 5 years. I don’t use the kind of account that I can do that. I tried to pay my bill today but they sent out the next bill yesterday (except they don’t send out bills) so my outstanding balance is now over 100 quid. I don’t have the funds to pay two bills at once so I’m screwed. I’ll soon have no services, am in debt to the tune of over £115 and will continue to get NO services until I set up a direct debit, EVEN if I pay what I owe. They’re telling me to set up a DD via a family or friends’ account and then cancel it two days later. That’s absolutely stupid. Why should I have to involve other people who are nothing to do with it? Just change the damn system. You managed to sort it in order to keep me as a customer two years ago Virgin so why not now?

The thing is, everything they’re telling me is in the terms and conditions so I haven’t got a leg to stand on. I just think they should take better care of their customers. There should be more than one option to get people reinstated, particularly taking into account the  amount of time I’ve been a loyal customer and the fact that I’ve paid my bill every month and never missed a payment. It just  feels like they don’t give a f*%&. Let’s face it, they don’t. I’ve just realised I can probably set up a direct debit on my top up credit card. It runs out next month and becomes null and void so good luck trying to take an actual payment from it. Looks like I have no option. But I still can’t pay them what they want for another two weeks. 

Shame on you Virgin!  As soon as I’ve paid them off, I’m leaving. They can kiss my derrière if they think they’re getting another penny out of me. It’s just a shame my pathetic few £s each month isn’t gonna put a dent in anyone’s bonus. They won’t even notice it’s gone.   

On top of all that, that bloody manchild has drunk my last bottle of cider! Is it too much to ask that my one treat is where I left it when I get home from work? You want cider, go out and buy your own! Grrrrrrr. It’s not even Monday. 

Spare any change luv?

Published July 26, 2012 by KalamityK

Last month at the hospital as I was leaving work, a troubled young woman stopped me and asked me if I could help her out. She gave me a fairly plausible story about just getting out of hospital and having no petrol for her car and needing a helping hand. To be honest, she looked like she’d just got out of hospital. She asked if I could spare £8. I wasn’t sure if she was legit or not but I decided to give her the benefit of the doubt. I had just been paid for the month so I gave her the £10 I had in my purse. It felt good to help out someone in need. I’m not a mug and I don’t have gullible written all over my forehead. I just have compassion for people worse off than me. I used to be worse off than me and I know how it feels. Sometimes all you need to make a real difference is for someone to notice and show a little compassion.  Sometimes all it takes is a helping hand for a life to be changed forever. 


I’ve just seen the same young woman outside the supermarket near my home. She came up to me and as soon as she started talking I remembered her. She gave me the EXACT same story and asked for money again. I didn’t tell her I recognised her. I didn’t tell her she’d already scammed me because it wouldn’t have stopped her. She would have carried on once I’d gone. I’m now 99% certain she’s a junkie and when junkies need a fix, they have no conscience. She’s playing on the compassion of other people to get her next fix. Me pointing it out to her won’t stop her.  She doesn’t look any better than she did last month. If anything, she looked worse and her face was all scabby.  The sneaky mare! The thing is she DOES need help. She DOES need compassion. But what she doesn’t need is money for drugs. 

I don’t mind helping out someone who’s really in need. If I can I will. The real shame of it is that now, because of her, I don’t know how I’ll react the next time someone asks me for help. I think maybe I still have to follow my gut instinct and do what I feel is right at the time.  So as I’ve been writing this, the more I think about, the more I don’t regret my decision that day, even though she proved me wrong. Because it’s not about who she is as a drug user and a liar. It’s about who I am as a caring person. I won’t make the right call every time  and people will think I’m stupid. My friends on facebook are already cracking jokes and implying I’m a push over. That’s fine, I’d expect no less…. but if just one of my decisions does one day make a real difference to someone’s crappy day then it’ll be worth all the wrong ones. I’d rather do that than ever be a person with no compassion at all. My life was once changed by someone giving me £1.50 to buy a bus ticket.

£1.50. It makes you think twice. 





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