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One chance to get it right!

Published November 26, 2013 by KalamityK

So. I’ve recycled myself a fella. I’ve known him for nearly a decade and we’ve been a couple quite a few times over that period. This time though, we’ve both come at this relationship from a very different place to any other time and it seems to be working. So much so that he keeps referring to me as his Mrs-to-be. We’ll see.

Anyway, in all of those years I’ve somehow, unintentionally, avoided Christmas and all except one birthday so buying gifts for each other is just something we’ve never really done.Christmas-Present-2

As it’s nearly Christmas I asked him what he’d like for a present. His first reply was “Whatever you want to buy me”. Yeah, that’s helpful. So I asked again and he eventually replied “Work clothes”. WHAT?! Bear in mind, sensible and comfortable is where it’s at with this man. Don’t even think of buying anything trendy… he’s not 20, you know! (He has, thankfully, toned down how often he wears trackie bottoms when I’m around.) Ok, so he’s closer to 50 than 40 but that doesn’t mean he can’t be trendy. We also live about 70 miles apart so I really don’t get to see what he wears to work as we only visit on weekends. I just have a vague idea of what he MIGHT deem acceptable.

I would love to take this man shopping and show him that trendy does not equate to wearing your jeans below your bum cheeks, (not that he’d actually ever wear jeans. He’s so very set in his ways).

jeans too low

No tight fitting ANYTHING (tighty whitey’s are out then), very specific sizing. No chest size, just shoulder to shoulder. Who measures like that?! I’ve been informed that I’ll need a tape measure to buy him a shirt. Do I look like a tailor? Stubborn, much?!



I can’t condemn him entirely for the way he is with regards to his togs. We may be more similar than I originally realised. When he suggested buying me a short dress, I felt a moment of terror and insisted I’d need to be 100% happy with the outcome before venturing out in public wearing it. If I dare to wear a dress it has to be ankle length or with leggings underneath. He is of the opinion that if HE finds it attractive on me then I should just put it on and wear it regardless. Oh, how I laughed! I haven’t failed to notice those rules do not go both ways. His opinion of my legs is far better than mine but then, that’s why I asked him for my favourite perfume and not clothes. I certainly don’t have the legs to pull off a dress as short as this one, which I think is what he has in mind.

What have I let myself in for? This is such a minefield. I have the opportunity to buy this man some great clothes, make him look a bit trendier and show him that I’ve got fabulous taste, thereby opening the gates for me to buy him clothes in the future without him freaking out that I’m trying to make him look an overgrown teenager and relegating said clothes to the charity shop. I’m feeling the responsibility to get it right or I’ll lose my say on his wardrobe forever. And that just isn’t an option if I’m considering marrying the bloke!

Why couldn’t he just ask for a nice simple Black & Decker drill? Oh, the pressure!!!

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?  

Is it bedtime yet?

Published June 24, 2012 by KalamityK

Gosh. You know sometimes, you just have ‘one of those days’. Yup, well, today was ‘one of those days’. I went to bed last night determined to get up fresh, whack some music on full blast and get on with the housework.

Because I work during the week, I resent doing housework in the evenings. Once 6pm comes around, no housework gets done. As far as I’m concerned evenings are for relaxing and winding down. So the mess builds up and then the weekend happens. At least one of these days is set aside to blitz the flat. 

Well today started off not great the second I woke up. This was due to discovering that the ATM machine I was standing in front of, that was spitting money at me, wasn’t actually real. It was just a dream, brought on by too many discussions last night about money with the manchild and an article online about a generous cashpoint giving out £20’s instead of £10’s. Dammit. 

The morning improved slightly when the manchild offered to cook breakfast. Yum. He’s a pretty good cook. Bacon, egg, sausage, beans…. That almost made up for the dream not being real.

So we had a slow start to the day. Definitely no loud music, just the tv and clips of epic fails on youtube, while we had brekkie. Eventually, I got up to get started.

I couldn’t put it off any longer. I got the lounge done while manchild started on his room.  Within a few minutes of hitting the kitchen mess, I hear my name being called from the hallway. It’s the manchild. He’s put the washing machine on and for some  reason it’s started spewing water everywhere! Fantastic! A waterfall was gushing out of the powder drawer, rushing down the front of the machine in great torrents, totally flooding all the laminate flooring. Marvellous!

So rather than doing the housework that was already there waiting patiently for my attention, we had to find towels, sheets, mops, anything and everything big enough and thirsty enough to soak up the h2o now gracing my hallway. (The washing machine lives in a cupboard in the hallway rather than being noisy and obnoxious in the open plan kitchen). 

I can’t get at all the water because it’s gone underneath the laminate. That’ll have to come up. But not yet. It’s all sticky under there so I can’t pull it up until I have something to replace it. One day! For now though, it’ll just have to dry out over the next few days. 

By the time that was more or less cleaned up, it was time to go and collect the bedbase that a friend was giving me. I had to throw mine out cos I broke it whilst trying to move it. From then on it squeaked. As if merely looking at it caused it pain. You only had to shift your bum a smidge to get more comfy and the bloody thing started squeaking like you were doing acrobatic karma sutra moves on it! I wouldn’t have minded but it just reminded me of how single I am!

So dad came and got me and then we went and got the bed. We took it back to mine and dad went off to do dad stuff. I proceeded to put the pieces of the puzzle together. It wasn’t too difficult. I’m pretty good at flatpack furniture. (IKEA, I heart you!) There were a couple of screws to be put in awkward places and no amount of effort or perseverence on my part would get the flipping allan key into the tiny space given to turn these screws, so they are still looser than I’d like. Fingers crossed I won’t find myself at some point in a crumpled heap at the bottom of a collapsed bed! Should that happen though, you’ll be the first to know!

It took me about 40 minutes to finish the puzzle that is now my bed. I’ve rolled all over it. Thrown myself this way and that, bounced up and down on it… and still no squeak!  The proof of the squeaking is in the sleeping, but I’m hoping for good things. Anything has to be an improvement on the last couple of months involving me, the floor and a mattress. 

All that’s left to do now is all the housework I didn’t get around to doing this morning!

Now, where did I put those marigolds?! 

25 random things about me… if you’ve nothing else to read.

Published June 9, 2012 by KalamityK

Try doing your own. It’s not as easy as you’d think.

If nothing else, it passes the time. 

1. I nearly always think before I act…sometimes too much… if I don’t, I always seem to make the wrong choice. 

2. I can be extremely indecisive. I hate being the one to make a decision. ‘No I don’t know which film to watch. What do YOU wanna watch? I’m not fussed, what do YOU wanna watch?’ Arghhhh! It’s like being stuck on a loop.

3. I hate having to apologise to anyone, so most of the time I hold my tongue rather than say what is on the tip of it!  

4. I have an addictive personality, hence the daily dose of chocolate, carbs and facebook! (and until the newness wears off, blogging) yep, sometimes all at once. 

5. I really enjoy my own company. 

6. My knees turn to jelly & my stomach does somersaults at the thought of talking in front of groups of people. Doesn’t matter if it’s 5 people or 50. Jellysaults!

7. I have worked for the NHS for almost 16 years. 

8. I love photography and wish I’d known it 20 years ago so I could have learnt to do it as a career. 
Mind you, I also needed to know back then that I actually WANTED a career. All I wanted growing up was to get married and have tons of babies.  

9. I am a bookworm. I quite like the idea of being a librarian and have even investigated the possibility, partly because of the instant access to so many books (because I hate paying shop prices for them). Approx 80% of my books are from charity/second-hand bookshops. It’s crap money though and there isn’t the need for librarians that there once was, plus nowhere in my county does the right uni course and I’m not motivated or self disciplined enough to do distance learning.

10. My parents and my son are the most important people in my life. If I need to be wise, I pretend to be my mum and then think about what she might do or say. It’s come in handy for those times I’ve had to fake it. 

11. I’d love to be in love but I honestly do enjoy being single. I’m quite set in my ways…plus maybe I haven’t met the right man to entice me to share the remote control.

12. I never learnt to drive. If it does ever happen, I want a Robin Reliant or a pink/purple moped. Most likely a moped. 

13. I own a (pink) flute although can’t remember how to play it (apart from a couple of simple crimbo carols). 

14. I love shoes and own many many pairs but I only buy the bargains. High heels are just divine but I just can’t walk in the damn things on these bumpy, uneven pavements.

15. My bestest friend uploaded me off the internet. My other bestest friend found me at a bus stop.

16. I hate having cold feet cos it stops the rest of me warming up. I hate having hot feet cos it makes the rest of me overheat.  

17. I am a nightowl and think mornings should be banned. 

18. Hello, my name is Kalamity and I’m a hoarder. (Professional help needed) Don’t throw that out… it might come in handy!

19. I can’t/won’t leave home without putting on my lipstick, even just to pop to the shop downstairs. Forget the rest of the slap, it’s all about the lippy.  

20. I’m convinced sprouts are the work of the devil. 

21. I don’t like coffee. Tea for me please….squeeze the teabag, plenty of milk & 1 sweetener, Ta. 

22. I always have the telly on when I’m indoors whether I’m watching it or not. 

23. I cannot bear those eating sounds people make when they have bad table manners and if you eat an apple anywhere near me, it’s likely to end up out the window. I regularly resist the urge to tell people how gross it is that I can hear them eat when they don’t shut their mouths. Seriously, I don’t want to see your food swilling around your gob, neither do I want to hear it. Plus, sorry but if you chew gum it make you look like a cow chewing the cud. Maybe I’m a snob but it just looks common.  

24. I’m a gadget girl. If I had the cash, I’d buy every gadget made. 

25. I bought my son a pet snake when he was about ten or eleven. He gave it back the following year because it didn’t grow big enough to eat people. He said it was boring. 

Family tree

Published June 6, 2012 by KalamityK

I spent the day with my mum today. I love spending time with her. She’s pretty awesome and full to the brim with

English: Lady Godiva statue at Broadgate, Cove...

English: Lady Godiva statue at Broadgate, Coventry in October 2011. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

wisdom. She listens to all my moans and groans and rarely tells me off for it, even though I can sometimes see that she thinks I’m bonkers. Occasionally I see the corners of her mouth twitch but she manages to give me advice without making me feel like an idiot. That’s a special skill, that is. We have fun together going out for lunch, digging around in old book shops and wandering around Superdrug deciding which hair-dye to buy to cover the sprouting roots and which magical potions will actually make our faces smoother! Today we got our ears pierced again just ‘cos we could. I love her to the moon and back.  I can’t imagine life without her or my dad. For the record and so no-one gets confused, he’s my stepdad. He chose the role of dad when he married mum and took me and my brother on too and that’s who he’s been ever since I was knee-high to a grasshopper so as far as I’m concerned he’s earned the name DAD a gazillion times over. If I ever refer here to my actual father, I shall call him Bio…. as in biological :), so as not to confuddle the two. 

I recently got into researching my family tree. It’s quite addictive. I joined ancestry.co.uk and within the two week free trial I’d got back to 257AD. WhatTheFlip? I know! Crazy isn’t it? I had to join up for reals.

It got exciting when I got back to the 1600’s and started noticing an Earl here and a Duchess there. Then it got even more exciting when I came across Lady Godiva. According to the info collected from records and other trees on the site, she’s my 26th great grandmother. For those of you who don’t know, she’s the one who rode naked on the back of a horse through Coventry because her husband agreed to lower the taxes for the people if she did it. So she did! What a woman!  

I watched my tree quickly branch out and find royalty. Ha! I bloody knew it. I always said there was blue blood in our veins. 

Britain only started keeping official records in the 1500’s so unless your tree veers off into nobility, it’s gonna be tricky to go back further. It was during King Henry VIII’s reign that his Vicar General, Thomas Cromwell declared that all marriages, baptisms and burials must be recorded. That was in 1538. Having said that, I did manage to get my dad’s tree back to the early 1300’s and he doesn’t appear to have any nobility in his tree. 

So as I followed my tree back, we veered off into France then Denmark and Norway. Once you hit nobility or royalty, it’s not too hard to find the ancestry because they kept a who’s who and a who’s the daddy! (and mummy). I got such a buzz when I found that the line had someone called Hroar Hraerek Beowolf Halfdansson Elfhere Denmark born 526. Hello? Beowolf? Didn’t they make a film about him? Why yes! Yes they did. They made a film based on the epic poem (look up the Nowell Codex) written about a bloke called Beowulf (There were no hard and fast rules for spelling back then. It was a case of spell it how you think it sounds) who, apparently, just happens to be my 46th great grandfather. Come again?! Obviously the poem held a lot of artistic license because as much as I like dragons and monsters, it’s probably a safe bet to say that he didn’t ACTUALLY slay an evil monster called Grendel and then it’s mother and then 50 years later slay a dragon. I’d love it if he did though. That would be AWESOME! He was a real person so who knows what he really did do to inspire some bloke, sometime in the 3 to 6 centuries after his death, to write a 3182  lines long poem? What stories there must have been about him! The things you do when there’s no telly!

When I go and check out the branch that stems backwards from Beowolfs’ daughter-in-law Princess Hildis, she was from the Vandals of Africa. The Vandals were a family to be reckoned with. They did a lot of  invading and I imagine a fair bit of raping and pillaging and it’s where the word ‘vandalise’ comes from. It seems they spread far and wide. When I follow the line back it goes as far as the Roman Empire in Constantinople, Turkey. I think once you find one lot of royals, it makes sense that you’d find more because obviously they’d marry other royals or nobles. So imagine my glee when I found that I have at least 3 Roman Emperors and a couple of Empresses AND 2 Saints to call family! Kiss me feet, peasants! Hahaha Nuts!

The thing is, those are all fun discoveries and definitely have bragging rights… but it’s finding out about the closer relatives that feels really good. There’s something about knowing where your roots are that’s comforting. I discovered that I’m a 16th generation Sussex girl and a 13th generation hometown girl. It’s in my blood. I belong here. That’s why I could never leave home to move to another part of the country. I’d leave it to go and live somewhere hot and sunny but you’ll not catch me moving north! 

Mum and I went grave hunting over the Easter bank holiday. We  found my mums’ grandparents grave very close to where my parents live. We’re going to go and dig up the weeds and plant something nice, tart it up a bit, make it look a bit loved. I think Ada and George would like that. The other nice fact we found from the census records is that mums’ grandma lived in a house where mums church is now situated. The houses were torn down at some point and warehouses were built on that site. One was eventually turned into the church building and it’s right on the spot where her grandma lived. It’s sad that the house is no longer there for us to see but it’s pretty cool that the church is there instead. God is up there having a chuckle methinks. 

Kalamity K 🙂


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