Archive for April, 2011

A Little Slice of Life, travel…..

I blog to get people to donate to kid’s charities. I don’t want money, I want you to donate direct to a children’s charity then write to me by commenting on the blog. Please read the ‘About Lesley’ section of the blog to find out why I do this; the Comments and Running Totals pages to see how far we have come….

I was travelling home from the US to Belfast a few days ago. I travel a few times a year to the US on business so am quite used to long-haul travel. My trip home meant 2 flights so I had to spend almost 4 hours in Newark airport. Airports are weird, fact. They are filled with excited holidaymakers, harrassed workers and people like me, trying not to count all the minutes that must past until they reach home again. You see smiles, grimaces and those who go within themselves to cope with the utter boredom.

I had already spent 3 hours on a plane when I reached Newark and with the thoughts of a 7 hour flight to follow I took a wander. I ended up in a bookshop as usual, this is always a good way for me to while away some time. I bought a couple of books simply because they caught my eye. If they are good they may be new authors for me, if not at least I tried a couple of new authors.

I then went back to the wandering. Knowing you will be stuck in a seat for hours will make you want to stretch your legs. However, this does get wearying when you are carrying two laptops in your bag. I take two laptops so that I have my personal and work machines, heavy but worth it when I can Skype home to see how all are faring without me. I am glad to say they do very well without me, they are well used to it now.

So, back to the airport routine. I found a bar and had my one small glass of wine. A gripe at this point, it was a very small glass of wine and it cost me nine dollars, what a rip-off! I took a seat, pulled out my book, not one of the new ones, this was the book in progress. This part of the routine allowed me to pass another 30 minutes of the wait. Once that was done, I took another dander around the concourse. You see so many faces that seem like mirrors when you do this. On holiday you are normally with loved ones and full of anticipation for the trip to come or happy memories of the trip just finished. When alone, all you notice are the weary faces with their laptops and blackberries and they all have the one face, the ‘are we there yet’ face.

Next was food. I hate airport food and have often wondered if the chefs are sent on special courses to make the food as dull as the wait. I knew it had been hours since I had eaten and hours before I would get ‘beef or chicken’ on the plane so I knew I should eat. I picked a diner at random as it looked reasonably busy without blasting sports or music at loud volumes. Looking back on it I wish I had gone elsewhere as this was one of the most depressing places I have ever been. I got a table and ordered a burger, this is always a safe(-ish) choice when in the US.

My burger and coke came and it was fine but I was distracted by one waitress. She was older than the rest of the staff and the short-skirt and tight blouse combo they all wore did not look comfortable. She looked so sad that it quite took my breath away. I saw her wipe the counter and place little sachets of mustard into dishes for the tables and then she took a short break. She came around the counter and sat on the end stool. I say sat but I mean slumped, her whole body looked both shattered and defeated. I don’t think I have ever seen anyone look so bereft. Thinking of it now makes me want to cry, she looked tired of it all, tired of life. I hope I am wrong in my reading of this woman. I hope that she has a happy and wonderful life and that only her work caused this visage. I never want to be that tired of life, I want to grasp it by the scruff and I hope you do too.

My travel did end eventually, I did get back to my lovely home. The jet lag is gone now too but that woman’s face still lingers in my mind. There will always be times when we are tired and sad but I hope that we will have memories of all good times to lift us and that is what I hope for the sad lady in the diner.

I close with my normal request to you:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice. It is easy to do – online, collection boxes, Give as You Earn. Any amount is important and I am delighted for one pound, dollar, euro, yen to reach a charity. Donate a present to a family or child that will not have the holiday season that you might expect and plan for.
  • Visit this blog and comment anywhere with the charity, amount including currency and please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I love the stories of childish ambitions.

I will then:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • All comments will be stored on the comments page so that you can see what charities people are interested in and also what a variety of 8-year-old ambitions we have already. I am looking forward to way more surprises from you all.

The steps are simple. Again, if you like the idea please tell others so that they will come and tell me their stories.

Take care of you and yours.

Lesley

April 25, 2011 at 9:39 pm Leave a comment

Lesley Does Random…..

I blog to get people to donate to kid’s charities. I don’t want money, I want you to donate direct to a children’s charity then write to me by commenting on the blog. Please read the ‘About Lesley’ section of the blog to find out why I do this; the Comments and Running Totals pages to see how far we have come….

I like to think, some would even say I overthink. Like everyone else my thoughts are sometimes dark, sometimes on the daft side and sometimes just random. I like random thoughts, they often come unbidden and keep me occupied for seconds. They are often prompted by people-watching. I won’t believe anyone who says they don’t people-watch, we all do that. Travelling gives you people-watching options by the bucket-load. Strangers and scraps of passing conversation will always give you plenty to mull and invent. Perhaps it is a female thing but do you ever invent personas for people you see in passing?

As I sit in airports when I travel I see families and couples. Children are a great source for my imaginings. I see the elder sister ‘herding’ her younger siblings and the style employed will have me pondering her future career. The child who smiles and persuades, perhaps she will be a teacher or psychologist? The child who orders and lines up the siblings, perhaps she will take a supervisory postition? Then there is the child who does both, persuades but ensures that everything is orderly, perhaps a Manager in the making?

I have other thoughts too. There are things I see that are normal to most but bring out my more bonkers side. When driving about and I see a jogger, particularly one who looks a bit tired, don’t you get the urge to stop and offer them a lift? This may be influenced by my convinction that jogging just isn’t natural but I am always tempted to stop and say ‘Have a wee rest love, you need to catch your breath’.

Then there are supermarkets. For a woman who loves cooking as much as I do, wouldn’t you think that the process of picking the raw ingredients would be something I love to do? I watch cooking programmes, you see the chefs looking through the ‘produce’ and extolling the virtues of the green and leafy ingredients, waxing lyrical about the taste and endless possibilities. Ha! I hate shopping. I get around the supermarket as quickly as I can. I don’t throw items in at random, I  have a list in my head but I always go in with that secret wish to break the land speed record with a trolley. I shopped tonight, spending more money than I see as reasonable to get one trolley of food to keep my family for a week ( just don’t start me on the prices). As I left, I met a woman going in. She looked as cheerful as I had been going in. It was all I could do to stop myself saying ‘Don’t do it, it is hell in there!’. I wonder if this is normal behaviour for a grown-up or is it just me? Please tell me that I am not the only one who feels like this? When I mention this to friends they ask me why I don’t shop online. Don’t start me. Just because I can sit on my sofa while shopping is no compensation for having to trawl through online lists that take forever to refresh. Then you can’t find the one thing you are looking for on the online selection, hmph! It takes longer for me to do a shop online that it does to traipse through the supermarket so no, I don’t do online grocery shopping. If someone can tell me how to make it not a chore then perhaps I will try again but until then.

My last musing for tonight? There are two reasons you have children, at least that is what I tell mine. They have a couple of useful functions. When I come back from the dreaded supermarket I have had my fill of bags and tins and vegetables and meat. All I want to do is sit down, kick my shoes off and have a cup of tea. So, when I arrive home from the supermarket, I walk in the door, sit down and demand tea. Strangely enough, this is one of the few times when my children kick into action without any nagging. The bags are taken in, unpacked and, with only a few queries about what goes where, everything is put away and a cup of tea miraculously appears by my side. Just goes to prove that Lesley’s random thoughts (and demands) sometimes succeed. Bliss……..

I close with my normal request to you:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice. It is easy to do – online, collection boxes, Give as You Earn. Any amount is important and I am delighted for one pound, dollar, euro, yen to reach a charity. Donate a present to a family or child that will not have the holiday season that you might expect and plan for.
  • Visit this blog and comment anywhere with the charity, amount including currency and please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I love the stories of childish ambitions.

I will then:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • All comments will be stored on the comments page so that you can see what charities people are interested in and also what a variety of 8-year-old ambitions we have already. I am looking forward to way more surprises from you all.

The steps are simple. Again, if you like the idea please tell others so that they will come and tell me their stories.

Take care of you and yours.

Lesley

April 14, 2011 at 11:06 pm Leave a comment

Chortles!

I blog to get people to donate to kid’s charities. I don’t want money, I want you to donate direct to a children’s charity then write to me by commenting on the blog. Please read the ‘About Lesley’ section of the blog to find out why I do this; the Comments and Running Totals pages to see how far we have come….

My posts of late have been very serious so I thought it was time to do daft again. People need to laugh and smile, it is important for us all to laugh. They say that laughter is good for you; this I agree with, life would be very dull without laughter. I like to laugh, those who have met me know this is true. Laughter for me is one of the best medicines. With this in mind I am going to share a couple of ‘Oirish’ jokes recently told to me as they made me laugh. As I am from Norn Iron this gives me license to tell ‘Paddy’ jokes. We know how to laugh at ourselves in Norn Iron, we prefer to be laughed with than laughed at. So, please read and enjoy. If they don’t make you laugh I am sorry but they made me giggle!

Paddy and Mick driving through the country. Mick says to Paddy, ‘Look at the size of that flock of cows Paddy’. Paddy says, ‘Herd of cows Mick’. Mick responds, ‘Of course I’ve heard of cows Mick, there’s a flock of them over there!’.

Paddy walks into a bar and orders 3 pints of Guinness. The barman pours the pints and Paddy takes them to a quiet table. He takes a sip from each pint in turn until they are finished. He repeats the order again and sips from each of the three pints in turn until they are done. He goes back up to the barman who says, ‘Paddy, you know that Guinness doesn’t stand too well. Are you sure you don’t want me to pour you one pint at a time, it would be much better’. Paddy replies, ‘Ah no, I do this for my brothers. I have two brothers, one in Australia and one in America. Before they left home we promised each other that we would always drink our Guinness this way so that we would remember each other’. Then one day Paddy came into the bar and ordered two pints of Guinness. He sat at the table and sipped from each pint in turn until they were done. He went up to the bar and again ordered two pints. The barman said, ‘Paddy, I can only assume something has happened to one of your  brothers. Let me say how sorry I am’. Paddy replies, ‘Ah no, sure I’m off the drink for Lent’.

I can only apologise for this post but I do hope it makes you smile, if only a little?

I close with my normal request to you:-

  • Donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice. It is easy to do – online, collection boxes, Give as You Earn. Any amount is important and I am delighted for one pound, dollar, euro, yen to reach a charity. Donate a present to a family or child that will not have the holiday season that you might expect and plan for.
  • Visit this blog and comment anywhere with the charity, amount including currency and please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I love the stories of childish ambitions.

I will then:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • All comments will be stored on the comments page so that you can see what charities people are interested in and also what a variety of 8-year-old ambitions we have already. I am looking forward to way more surprises from you all.

The steps are simple. Again, if you like the idea please tell others so that they will come and tell me their stories.

Take care of you and yours.

Lesley

April 10, 2011 at 10:03 pm 2 comments


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