Gift Giving and Receiving.

With Christmas time just around the corner, I’m starting to think about gifts.   I find both the giving and receiving a challenge.

You wouldn’t think the receiving should be a problem, but it is for me.   I received something from my significant other recently, and although I could see that there had been some thought put in, it just really wasn’t right.   So that just makes me feel disappointing and ungrateful and rather churlish.  Really not what you are suppose to feel when you receive a gift.

I think it embarrasses me to receive, I don’t know why.   My self-esteem is in good working order.    I often think its in too good of order, I think sometimes I could be called smug, certainly morally superior and often a little challenged with those less intelligent than I.

Thank goodness for the anonymity of a blog, I sound like a right COW, promise I ‘m not really, I just think too much.   So maybe its just the stress I get when I try to find the perfect gift for someone, maybe I just don’t want anyone else to go through that for me, although I think I may be kidding myself that others try as hard as I do.

So there is the thinking about what to get, and often there are some brilliant thoughts, some not practical or in budget.   Then there is the wandering around the Mall aimlessly, I HATE MALLS.   I intensely dislike shopping, I don’t mind buying.

I think I like to shop like man. Go. Buy. Get Out.

Gift card seem the answer but they feel like cheating.  Well I have done the first aimless wander today, so it’s a start.  Brought socks as a stocking stuff for my 18 year old, so not much of a start.  How many weeks to go.

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The curse of the Fitbit.

I both LOVE and HATE my Fitbit.

Love because I can keep track of how many steps I do, so I can have a bench mark for my fitness level.   Now don’t prejudge me in anyway.   I am 53, and fond of cake and chocolate and red wine and I am on Thyroid medication.   So needless to say I am never going to be model thin, or anything even approaching that. (nor do I want to).   But over the last few years I have seemed to get my weight to a point where I am if not exactly happy, maybe content.   I was very excited when I moved from the OBESE to OVERWEIGHT category in the BMI chart!!!   Not much has changed since then, but Christmas is coming and food and drink are a very big part of that.   So maybe I should be doing more.   Can I be bothered?

Now the HATE!    Those numbers. Wow they can just nag and nag you, which I guess that is what they are suppose to do.   Well I have that mental goal of 10,000 steps every day.   Over the 6 months of last Summer I did at least 10000 steps everyday.   No exceptions.   Winter of course is s little more of a challenge, some days there isn’t enough daylight hours.   I find I have to give myself permission not to do those steps in a day (I can be very dogmatic sometimes).   So it’s not just 9865 that gets to me, it’s any number that is just 200…..300…..even 400 steps off.   So I find myself at 10.00 pm walking around the house or even worse spinning!   So imagine this… 53 year old woman, often half undressed, taking her make up off or cleaning teeth and spinning!   Like some whirling dervish.   Just so a little number can flip over on her fitbit.   Good grief it is ridiculous really but still it’s going to happen.

The good news tonight is that it’s 10.00 pm and I have 12,165. which means I don’t have to do anything.   There  are no nagging voices saying anything.

Tradition of Our Christmas Cake.

Every family has traditions, some things we do we don’t even recognize as such.   My family has a few, but the one I have been concerned with today is the making of a Christmas Cake (well three to be exact).   One to keep and share and two to give away to family.   Its a task I have taken over from my mother in recent years, and something I quite enjoy doing.   It is something that does require little planning and preparation (after a trip to the bottle store this morning to buy Brandy).  Also its preferably to have a cooler day, which can be a challenge as we are coming into summer here in New Zealand.   We have another tradition of everyone in the house (and visitors) taking a turn at mixing the cake for good luck.  With 3 kg of dried fruit and 10 eggs there is quite a lot of muscle power going into the mixing and i am grateful for all help. This year I managed to get my husband, daughter, father and mother to take a turn, some years its just been me!   I think we must be in for lots of good luck!

But today was the day, and we now have the most glorious smell in our home and three beautiful cakes cooling on the kitchen table waiting to be anointed with some more Brandy tomorrow, before I wrap them and hide them from myself and others.

Why do I do this?

  1. Tradition, I think coming from a country with only 150 years of white settlement, tradition and history is something we lack, so I’m holding on to this one.
  2. Love or the pleasure I get from giving two of these cakes away.   I think I may need to make more, I usually do, we will see.
  3. I really like Christmas Cake.   Like Red Wine, Olives and Blue Cheese, its something I came to in my late 20’s ( I’m pretty sure the Red Wine may have been a few years earlier)

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The Spoken Word Sonnet 29.

The sound of someones voice can transport you to a different place or bring you joy and or peace.  It can melt you heart or send you into raptures and if you are me, sent you to a state of blubbering mush .   I have had the opportunity to listen to some music in the last few days (on some very nice headphones which were a revelation to me), really listen to it.   Normally for me music is just something that happens in the background, not something that I actually tune in to or actively cognitively take in.   I have made a deliberate effort to do so, and although I don’t think it would be something I will ever do naturally, I am now certainly more aware of the depth of feeling and insight that can be found in a song.

I do think that Poetry that is read is a special love for me, I find when reading poetry myself I prefer to read it out loud, for me it seems to help to penetrate my aging grey cells. Sonnet 29.  Beautiful words, beautiful meaning and of course his beautiful voice.

I find once I have noticed someones voice its very hard to ignore it. Matthew Macfadyens voice is like that for me.

Things that have made me Happy.

 

  • New books, of course old books work for me as well, (if they are new to me).
  • My hat, I was told recently that I looked like I had just stepped off the beach at Goa.   This made me ridiculously happy.
  • Mutabilis Rose.   The Butterfly Rose.   One of my favorites, fabulous, unusual, gorgeous and spectacular.
  • New lingerie.  First bra fitting ever!   14D.    Both of the those figures surprised me, ……..a lot.

Lady Chatterley’s Lover.

forget me nots

This book has consumed my conscience for the last 6 weeks.   I have listened to it on audio book twice, different narrators each time.

I wanted to like it, I wanted to love it, but I just didn’t.   That is probably not quite fair, I did enjoy listening to it, just not as much as I expected to.   Essentially its the classic story of class, and how the classes cross at certain points and the lines can become blurred.   Mellors being able to move up via the army, Connie through marriage, but poignantly neither of these things happen in the end, so can we really escape our place in society.

The challenge I had was with the characters, I want to like them, but they aren’t very likable.  Lady Chatterley herself I found the most frustrating.   Shes a pale insipid thing with no sense of herself wandering through life, thrown for one man to the next dependant on each of them in their turn for her own fulfillment.(Cinderella Complex)  I keep reminding myself its written in the 1920’s by a man and I must take all that into consideration.

The sex scenes for which the book was banned, although tame looked at from now, I’m sure were shocking beyond belief when written.  I will never be able to look at forget-me-notch without thinking of Lady C.  Lawrence must have been a complex man, one minute I think Wow that is insightful, which is soon over taken by Good God he really hates woman.   I have since read a little more about him, and yes it seems like he really didn’t like woman, especially his wife.

Clifford and Ivy Bolton relationship I find the most disturbing, in the later part of the book it becomes quite abusive with poor Mrs Bolton who life has thrown her some unpleasent situations, keeps on doing so.   Again the dominance over woman and the class situation coming to the fore.

 

Ross or Jamie ? My middle aged crush.

It’s question I have pondered on for sometime.

  • Both historical fictional characters
  • Set in similar times about 40 years apart.

The telling difference for me is the depth of character.   So I think that makes the decision  for me, because  Jamie has more soul.   Perhaps because he is written by a woman?   Or even more likely because I have read the books and no matter how well done a TV series or Movie is it will never come close to the power of a book.   Boy those Outlander series of books have some power!

What do you think?