Saturday, 23 August 2014

Things I Think About...

It is no secret that I suffer from a lack of self-confidence and low self-esteem. I don't really know the difference between those two but it definitely sounds more dramatic to be afflicted with both rather than just one or the other.

Anyway, my biggest problem is that I fear that people are judging me, talking about me and laughing at me. Rationally, I know that they don't care it's just I have a debilitating fear of being mocked.

Assuming that other people suffer from this same issue, I wondered if perhaps I am the person that I fear. Do I judge, mock and laugh at other people? Even if they never know it - I needed to know whether I was the reason for my worries. Was I vicious to others like I assumed they were to me?

I decided to find out.

I had occasion to have a couple of hours to kill on my own (or more accurately, with Tilly) in Paisley last week. I decided for the two hours, I would make note of my thoughts regarding myself and other people to see what I could find out.

Had to be told how to open a toilet door in the local dentist (Against nature, it turned to the left rather than the right):  
Do they think I'm some random person from the street? I'm allowed to be here - dunce or no!

On a walk:
I wonder if people think I live here and that I know where I'm going.

Picking up Tilly's deposits:
I wonder if they see I wouldn't leave my dog's dirt on the ground outside their houses. Oh no - older poo! I hope they don't think it's mine. (To clarify - 'mine' meaning Tilly's not 'mine' meaning mine.)

Still on a walk:
Don't look at him. Keep walking. You'll end up on an episode of Crimes that Shook Britain if you look.

Later on my walk:
I wonder if people have realised that I don't live here and that I'm lost.

Yet later:
Just keep walking. If you have to ask someone directions, you have to ask someone. I'm sure they won't think I'm a wally!

Man in shop makes funny comment and I laugh:
Was he flirting with me? 
Oh don't be ridiculous. 
Do you think he thought I thought he was flirting with me? 
Go eat your chocolate and shut up!

In the car, people watching:

That man's wearing joggers. He looks suspicious. I wonder if he's worried because I'm watching him. 
(He grabs at a tree as he walks past a garden) Don't touch that tree sonny boy - it's not yours! 
(He walks out of sight) Could I describe his outfit to Crimewatch if required? Yes, probably.

That man looks like Crocodile Dundee. Cool.

That old lady just said 'Oh Jesus!' really loudly. I'm shocked!

That other old lady has her ear pierced at the top. Nice!

Tilly's getting warm sitting in the sun. I hope she doesn't cook.

There's another man wearing joggers. I wonder if he...wait! Is that a gift bag? What's in it? Who's it for? Where are you going? 

That man had a dog a minute ago. Where did it go?

And just like that, the two hours were up. It may not have seemed like many thoughts in a two hour period but I was lost on the walk for a fair amount of time and the worry about asking for directions was repeated many a time until I found my way.

So, what did I learn from this experiment?

1. I am slightly strange.
2. I should stop watching crime programmes.
3. I definitely worry about what people think of me. Most of the time for no good reason.
4. I barely have time to think nasty thoughts of others that I assume they think of me because I'm too worried about myself (and crime, apparently!). I suspect everyone is the same.
5. Don't go walking in strange places without a map.

Moral of the tale is not to worry about what people think of you because they probably aren't.

Wednesday, 6 August 2014

Well, ow! (Or a lesson in why a simple task may go ridiculously wrong!)

Let's set the scene:

Last night I was having a rough time of it with my UC. I don't really like to be around people when I'm feeling so shitty (no pun intended but funny and apt all the same!) but I have to take Tilly for a walk and thought I could cope. Possibly a mistake but that's neither here nor there for my story.

This evening, feeling infinitely better, myself, Tilly and my Dad went on a walk in our local park. The weather had been a mix of glorious sunshine and downpours all day meaning that Tilly hadn't been out for any exercise and was feeling a bit, well, excited! I was also excited about how much better I felt and that I had no ailments this eve.

We set off across the grass and into the woods, Dad and I keeping a sedate pace while Tilly darted around and possibly broke the sound barrier on many an occasion.

We got to the path to the beach and Tilly disappeared into the scrub trying to chase the bugs, squirrels, birds, deer, pterodactyls...

And then we came upon a stunning sight of the sea, as clear as glass yet mottled by the near setting sun blinking through the trees. Then, to give it a tiny bit of something more, a rainbow appeared on the land at the horizon.

Dad: Oh! Would you look at that view? I wonder if I could take a picture? *Starts fiddling with his phone.*

Tilly: *Bounding from the undergrowth* Look at me! Look at me! I found some giant pieces of spiky plant seed that are now stuck to my legs! Wait - I don't like them! Get them off! Get them off!

Me: Silly Tilly. Come and I'll get them off for you! *Picks them from her legs and notices a wasp in her tail.* Oooh, oooh, Dad, help!

Dad: *Mumbling* Pretty view. Cameras. Golf. iPhones. Jaffa Cakes.

Me: Help me!!

Dad: Oh! Sorry, I wasn't listening. Did you see the lovely... no, right - what can I do?

Me: Could you take that stick and try to flick the wasp from her tail while I hold her still, please? *Indicates stick to be used*

Dad: Ready? Steady? Go! *Flicks stick at Tilly's tail with an enthusiasm that was inappropriate to the situation.*

That's when time slowed down. I should have known something was up when everything started moving suspiciously like it was moving through treacle.

So, let's slow our story down too, for a quick lesson in sense. If you are flicking something off something else, where do you direct the flicking thing?

That's right - away from anything or anyone else!

Dad flicked the wasp right onto my leg.

Did I mention that I wear cut off joggers for walking in the summer? Because I do. A fact that Dad knows good and well.

Me: *Loud high pitched scream* It's on my leg, it's on my leg!

Wasp: Ha ha! Bare legs. *Stings*

Me: *Jumping around like a moron* It got me! It got me! I'm stung! Tell everyone I love them...

Dad: Cyclist coming.

Cyclist: *Whizzes down the hill while we all pretend that we're normal people in normal situations.*

Cyclist disappears.

Me: Owwwwwwww!

Dad: *Sheepishly/Grumpily* I didn't mean to flick it on your leg.

Me: *Very grumpily* That's neither here nor there. I must get to the sea. *Hobbles off towards the sea to wash my leg in salt water.*

After washing my leg in the sea, I hobbled back up the beach to where Dad was standing looking out to sea all Captain Sparrow like.

Dad: It is beautiful out there, isn't it?

Me: *Evil glare*

We walk back up the beach. Oh wait, Dad walks while I limp. Tilly bounds after some ravens.

Dad: Perhaps I just hit you with the stick? Or flicked you with my finger?

Me: *Unsubtle glare* Excuse me?

Dad: I mean, perhaps it wasn't the wasp. Perhaps it's just a scratch from the stick. *The poor thing doesn't even see the dangerous path down which he walks.*

Me: *Turning into the hulk* I can tell you by the pain that I. Have. Been. Stung.

Dad: Hmmmm.

Me: This is my first wasp sting - if I die, I'm coming back to haunt you! *Stomps hops away*

The walk continued and I managed to make it to the park gates without much pain (although I did keep getting sharp stabbing pain every now and then - should I be worried?).

As we reached the gates this happened:

Dad: Perhaps you did get stung - it does look quite red.

Me: Oh good - thank you! I'm sorry that my pain wasn't enough proof for you! *I don't even need to point out that this was sarcasm!*

Dad: Wasps can just land on you without stinging you, you know. *Nods sagely*

Me: *Through gritted teeth* Really?

So here I sit, my leg/ankle thing a little bit swollen, feeling a bit crap and about to go and put wasp stings into WebMD. If you don't hear from me for a while, I have fashioned a leg amputation device using flint and dods of wood and am now in the hospital. Whether that's the normal hospital or a mental health facility remains to be seen.

Tuesday, 5 August 2014

Lest we forget...

Last night it was 100 years since the start of World War 1.

In remembrance, The British Legion asked people to switch off their lights, leaving only a candle burning between the hours of 10pm and 11pm.

Then, at 11pm, the time when war was declared, the candles were blown out...

“The lamps are going out all over Europe, we shall not see them lit again in our lifetime.”
 Sir Edward Grey

I am so glad that I showed my respect in this way. It was a strangely peaceful evening with just a candle for light.

But when you thought of what people were going through 100 years ago, it was so very sad. As I took my candle through to my bedroom and tucked myself into bed, I realised I was lucky that when I woke up in the morning things would be the same. 100 years ago, life was never going to be the same ever again.