Monday, January 18, 2016

The Man Who Sold the World

This past week has been emotional and quite a surprise to myself after hearing the news of David Bowie's passing. I spent the better part the week glued to the radio and internet for the stories and music of the beautiful chameleon that was Bowie, and shedding more than a few tears along the way. His Music and style touched so many lives it has been quite a eye opening experience, beautiful and heartbreaking in equal measure to watch so many people world wide unite in this quite spectacular human being.

Apologies if I've told this story before but under the circumstances it felt apt:
Many years ago when I first lived in The Netherlands, I had tickets for Crossing Border Festival 2011 in Amsterdam. I was very excited because not only was Douglas Coupland and Dave Eggers scheduled but so was The Dave Matthews Band, however when we arrived for Douglas's set, he informed us that his good friend Dave Eggers had canceled as had many of the US acts because of 911. Such a shame!

Anyway Douglas was as ever lovely, and charming. He decided to talk bout the topic of Music and Words and how they can effect you.  He proceeded to tell a story that brought every single person in the room, including himself to tears.

Back in the early 90's when he was in New York visiting his publisher, they invited him to a MTV Unplugged session. He was also invited to sit in the front row "with the cool kids". Anyway the band was Nirvana. Aside from a brilliant set he said, it was when they played The Man Who Sold the World, he felt as if he was removing his upper torso skin inside out like a tee-shirt. The experience was so emotional for him and for those of us listening to the story being told. How deep music and words can touch our beings, our souls and our deep subconcious. I realise it is a somewhat tenuous link to Bowie, but I love how his Music transcended so many levels.
I'm not sure if there will ever be another person who will touch so many lives over so many generations.
 Rest in Peace Starman. Xx

Saturday, May 16, 2015

Mis-conception on Miscarriage

I've been mulling this over for a few days now as my mind and body have been going through a rollercoaster of emotions and thoughts on the fallout from a miscarriage that has just 'happened' this week. My 2nd in three years.
Someone I know posted on facebook an article from the brilliant Scary Mommy Blog: it rang true with lots of my own thoughts and feelings. So, excuse the rambling nature of the post, it is just my own therapy and trying to break down some walls.
Why is miscarriage such a taboo to talk about? Why are women and men taught to keep their feelings to themselves when this happens? 
Statistics show that 1 in 3 pregnancies end in miscarriage, many before the 12 week 'safe'  mark, many before the mother might even know it's happened. I know so many people who have suffered through one or more miscarriage in their lives. In fact, without getting into too much details, I'd say that more of the women I know than not, have had one or more miscarriage in their lives. Sadly I also have a few friends who have had to say goodbye to their little angels at the 5+ and even 9 month mark. I can't even imagine their anguish.
For myself the first miscarriage happened 3 years ago when I fell pregnant, days after knee surgery. I was so focused on my bruised and battered leg that it took me 7 weeks to figure out my clothes weren't fitting and not because I had been on crutches for weeks without exercise, but because I was carrying another life. After the initial shock I was excited and a bit apprehensive about the pregnancy but happy as my husband and I had planned on trying for a second child and had put the plans on hold for the knee surgery.
The weekend before my 12 week scan, we were camping and I started to bleed. It wasn't heavy and dramatic as some people have described, but I knew in my heart of hearts it was not a good sign. We went along to the scan as scheduled and it showed an empty womb, the nurse confirmed what I already knew and said that judging by the size I had lost the baby around 9.5 weeks. As we were leaving for holiday less than 10 days later they agreed to a D&C to clean up my womb as they did not want to risk me hemorrhaging on a intercontinental flight. 
I'll be honest, after the initial shock and sadness I just got on with life and spoke about it to anyone and especially with those who asked if we were "having any more". It wasn't until over a year later that I started grieving. Maybe because my Son was starting school and many of the other mommies around me had a baby in tow, or maybe it was my time to grieve. Either way, I felt like a failure and that my body had let me down. Especially after my first experience with the ultra quick conception and easy pregnancy. It took quite a while to forgive myself for not having that second baby as I had always imagined in my life. And although my husband and I had not used contraception since that first  loss, nothing had happened.
Imagine my surprise when a week after returning from a wonderful family reunion/holiday we found out I was pregnant again!  What?! For over 3 years nothing! Months and years of disappointment and worry. I even had sold the cot bed, buggy and given loads of the baby stuff away thinking it's not meant to be.
I shared with a couple of friends my news, made the appropriate appointments and settled in to the changes that were happening to my body. Being thankful (again) for the lack of sickness and nausea many of my friends experienced in their pregnancies. I started to imagine who this little person might be, how his/her brother and stepsister would react to them. Pink or Blue....
I had just passed the 8 week mark and was out for a mother's day lunch with the family when on a visit to the toilet a horrible reality set in. I was bleeding again and I knew that was it.
I'm a pragmatic person, I know that nature has its reasons and that there was most likely something wrong, but to be able to conceive at 43 and to have no physical problems (in fact I was full of energy and in a positive frame of mind) it seemed like nothing could go wrong. I hate being this statistic, twice. I want to stamp my feet and scream "it's not fair!". 
This may be it, I may just pack it in now and not 'try' anymore, statistically it is unlikely to stick even if it happens again. But I am blessed with a beautiful 5 year old boy, who was conceived within days of trying, a near perfect pregnancy without heartburn or sickness. And although he was delivered through an emergency caesarian, it was a pretty easy natural labour (thank you Yoga!). I also have a beautiful and clever 10 year old stepdaughter who is a wonderful sister to her little brother. I am blessed with my children.
However, I also have friends who have tried every method known to man to conceive with no luck, my heart breaks for them as well. Every time to go in with such hope, and live on the edge of their seats for weeks to so often be so disappointed.
I guess what I am trying to say is that I think this should not be a taboo, this should be something that can be discussed openly without making people feel uncomfortable. Yes it is difficult, yes there is nothing you or anyone else can do to change natures plans, but we should not have to hide in the shadows while our hearts break and mend over our losses. It's OK to say, "I'm really sorry and sad for your loss".
I'll be fine. Mostly because I have a wonderful and supportive family and friends network and I was raised to talk about my feelings and thoughts. I may pause now and then a think of the children who might have been and perhaps even shed a tear to never have known them. 
The next time someone you know miscarries or has a failed fertility treatment, let them know you are there to support them and that they can talk about it or have a shoulder to cry on. Its not contagious, it's just a sad fact of nature. 
Take a Deep Breath and move forward. Blessings.

Saturday, March 03, 2012

goodbye Friend

This comes after learning of an old friend who took his own life a week ago after finding himself having made some poor choices in life. The latest having taken the life of not one but most likely two human beings. The news reports are still sketchy.
My initial feelings when I found this out was not shock but deep sadness for my old friend and his family and friends left behind.
I cannot and do not know what transpired in the last days or years of my friends' life but from what I understand it had to do with a previous relationship of love and trust and the other person was not someone who was good at either.
My friend and I grew up in the same small country town, brought up by loving parents and surrounded by opportunities & friends.
He was always generous, kind, loving and would give you the shirt off his back if he could. He was my friend, a true friend, through and through.
I can recall much good advice and many good times in his company; While I am not sure when we lost touch over the years exactly ( has it really been 20since we last spoke?) I was thrilled when a few months ago he found me via that social networking site.
He was still the same person as far as I could tell, perhaps too much so. Kind , open and generous to the point where others took advantage.
I will never know the final details or decisions of my friends' life because he is gone to another place; I hope a kinder, happier place because that is what my friend deserves.

You were loved JFL, may you rest in peace.

Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Riots Man

Madness to think that mere miles away there have been riots raging in and out of control across Tottenham and parts of London for the past 3 nights. While I have no doubt that people are generally angry about the shooting of the 29 year old Mr.Duggan; who incidentally was carrying a replica handgun capable of firing live rounds. My guy feeling is that this is an excuse for a certain age and demographic to loot and cause havoc, very much like the riots in Vancouver after the the final playoff game. disgusting and pitiful are words which leap to mind when I think of the people who think this might be "a bit of a laugh".
But nice to see that already there are sites set up to clean up after these cretins. and various other social media outlets are being used to spearhead clean-ups across London. Good for all you folks who do the right thing, if only all that energy used to cause mayhem was used for good deeds...

Sunday, June 19, 2011

Litter Bugs

...God how I hate them! Cockroaches being a close second.
Out for a walk this week I noticed a extraordinary amount of litter along the footpath near our house, understand I live in an extremely rural area with a small industrial estate near-by and some houses. How is it that there is so much litter along a stretch of road that is no more than 50 meters long next to a cow field in the south East of England? Disgusting!
I happen to have a plastic bag in the stroller and promptly filled it, and then went back later and filled another. That was only one side of the street as there is no footpath on the other and therefore dangerous with a stroller.
Conclusion is that some lazy-ass workers can't carry their lunch trash another 20 meters and put it in a bin in their offices. And I know for a fact that also to blame are the Chav-tastic people who live at number 1 on our street who's rubbish bin is always late, over flowing and spilling out onto the road.
This weeks contribution was Styrofoam from some kind of packaging that did not get picked up by the rubbish men cause the fool left it in the recycling box for tin and paper and then it promptly blew down the road with the wind and as he and his wife were coming back from their mutual tanning appointments drove over it as they turned onto the road not once thinking it might be associated with the latest gadget they have bought for their over indulged and spoilt rotten brat who has not yet mastered the chore of putting out the trash properly, (please note there is some of my own imagination used here but the part about being Chav's, having fake tans and having a stupid and spoilt child are all true).
He, the owner of the always late and overflowing bin did not even blink as he went past me on his bike and I was picking the bits of Styrofoam from the hedgerow at the end of the drive. Idiot!
What to do? I have followed people down train platforms in Holland and handed their trash to them asking if they had perhaps dropped something, hopefully shaming them into walking another 2 meters to use a bin or perhaps thinking twice before doing it again. What boggles the mind is how have these folks been raised? Do they think there is a magical trash fairy, did their folks forget to mention littering is bad? I just don't get it. I for one hope that the next time that someone from the offices nearby or the idiot at number 1 go down our little stretch of country road and see it is green and not strewn with garbage perhaps they too will think twice and that a mystical being has been to visit.

Saturday, June 18, 2011

Thomas (the Tank Engine) and friends

Well a pretty exciting year in hockey. I happened to be home in Canada for the majority of the Play off season and came home to some nerve racking games where sadly it ended Wednesday with the Vancouver Canucks losing on home ice to the better, faster and stronger team, The Boston Bruins. With Tim Thomas in net it was painful to watch as Vancouver tried time and time again to get a puck past him, he was very impressive.
Well as the Stanley Cup is being paraded down the streets in Boston I hope the boys at home are proud none-the-less of their achievements from the past season, they were great and over came some pretty big injuries and odds, I hope they manage to make it next year take it to the end with a winning result.
As I live in Europe I do not often get to watch NHL hockey and the last time I happen to see the Canucks in the final rounds was my first year backpacking way back in 1994. I happen to be in Prague for the first time, had befriended some Aussies and was up watching the first half of the play-off against the NY Islanders, it was intense and at 2am fuelled by Czech beer, new friends it was even more exciting as I had not seen in my lifetime the Nucks take it that far. 2 months later as I was boarding my plane to go home it occurred to me that I did not know the end result of the play-offs and asked a guy standing in line in Schiphol Airport. He said well there were riots and everything, my first thought was in NY no kidding.. but it was indeed in Vancouver which I could not for the life of me imagine.
On Thursday morning at 3:50am as I was leaving my friends house where I had been watching the game, (she has ESPN sports)I remember saying to her congratulations (she being from Boston and a mega Fan) and that I hoped there would not be a repeat of riots and mayhem as it was back in 1994. Boy was I wrong.
I awoke after 4 hours sleep to read and see the news that hundreds of folks had torched cars, broke windows, looted stores and beat up bystanders for no other reason than to cause destruction.
Seriously what is wrong with the world today. I won't harp on about it because the police are working on arresting the idiots and total morons stupid enough to pose for pictures in front of burning cars, broken windows and post them on their friend face profiles, they deserve to be punished. But I could not be happier to read and see then of all the good folk who stood their ground and did not let that window be broken or put out a fire and the thousands who also volunteered to clean up the next day, kudos to you good folk, it is good to know there are decent people in the city I love.
What possesses people to do such things? It boggles the mind. I only hope they can arrest and charge the complete fools who thought that might be a good idea, and sorry booze or marijuana is not an excuse for behaving like fools.
I have had very strong emotions regarding the destruction after the game and have read countless articles, bad apples and all that stuff, sadly it just takes a few yahoos to get the sheep to follow. Lets hope they get their dues.
2012 Vancouver lets see it happen!

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Eric Stoltz

Do you ever have one of those times where you keep seeing the same names pop up again and again? Well this past week it has been Eric Stoltz.

It began when I decided to have a fix of a high school favourite John Hughes and watched Some Kind of Wonderful, not his best I'll admit but having somewhat recently watched Pretty in Pink I needed a change. Besides the fact I have always felt Eric was far cuter than Andrew McCarthy (and something about Andrew's lips make me want to deck him), although what teenage boy in their right mind would spend his life savings on a pair of diamond earrings when he was not guaranteed some action?! But anyway back to the story.
Then I was on to watching the new spin off from the superb BSG, Caprica. And low and behold Eric Stoltz was there again as Dr. Daniel Greystone. That and of course it is always nice to see Vancouver in it's glory. I only managed 5 episodes so far but was thinking it was pretty decent TV although perhaps not as slick and well done as BSG.
Then late one night while trying to convince the child it was bed time, I was watching one of my secret pleasures, Glee and low and behold who had directed the episode I had just watched? That's right Mr. Stoltz!
Just thought it was a interesting coincidence, or perhaps I have way too much time on my hands to be watching all his tv late at night.
Oh and on another teenage note, I also was obsessed with S.E. Hinton book and movie The Outsiders when I was in Jr High and had a thing for C. Thomas Howell, My brother used to harass me as he was the least talented of the cast, or I should say did not go as far as his other fellow actors which included Cruise, Swayze, Dillion, Lowe, Macchio, Estevez, Lane; just to name a few. I picked up recently the cop drama Southside recently on Channel 4 on Demand and who should pop up after years and years but C. Thomas Howell as the drunk and corrupt cop Dewey.
Just a little flash back to my youth and to their I guess as well.