Monday, 31 March 2014

Unleashing My Inner Child

A little while back, a musician friend of mine (yes, I have one of those. You don't get to be this cool and bohemian without a musician friend, darlings) made a sweet blog post about what childhood him would think about current day him.  You can read it hyar (but only after you read what I have to say first.  Me me me!):

The conclusion was that remembering his inner child helped him stay true to his creative goals, which is lovely.  Inspirational.  So inspirational that I wanted to do a post just like it.  A spot of nostalgia and good humored whimsy about how creative, adorable and determined I was as a child and how it affects me to this very day.

And then I remembered that child-Becky had the capacity to be a fricking moron. 

I think I got through primary school without being institutionalized because the teachers thought I was intelligent.  More fool them.  Deceptively posh-voiced and quiet doesn't a genius make.  Some examples of said moronish...ness...

I took Disney movies literally:  Mini Becky used to truly believe that if she stuck her arm out for long enough at a time, a bird or squirrel would eventually clamber onto it and come for a stroll with her.  Little did she know that an insane, wild-haired, wide-eyed munchkin with day-glo white skin running around a park wasn't the most inviting perch for any of nature's critters.  

I believed EVERYTHING: Gullible with a capital duh.  I once scampered over to my parents at a trip to the beach, proud as punch that I'd found a fossil. A real life fossil (I was REALLY into dinosaurs.  Unhealthily so).  My stepdad's stepdad (I so modern!) had informed me that it was a special kind of dinosaur egg with a special name and I should handle the grey, powdery thing very carefully.  "Mum, mum!  I found a fossil!! Uncle Keith says it's called a turd!" [presents dried, flaky old dog poop to disgusted guardian like it's the secret to life itself].

Feathers over family:  I once ignored my grandad for an entire day for having the sheer audacity to yank me out of the path of an oncoming car and tell me off for being in its path.  He failed to understand that I was this close to catching a really good pigeon feather.  Goddammit!

If in doubt, piss your pants:  Didn't feel like being in school? Easy.  Pissed my pants.  Bored at creche? Piece of piss!  Had a piss!  Wanted to go home because mummy's friend's house was so incredibly fucking dull (who doesn't have pets to play with?! Who??) and mummy'd so far ignored all attempts at reasoning with her? Sit quietly and wait to go home.

Only joking!  Pissed my pants!  I only stopped the stealth weeing when my mum literally started to pay me a penny every time I successfully spent one at an appropriate time.  I displayed a level of manipulation that was literally taking the piss.

Suspect ambition:  I always knew that when I grew up, I wanted to be a dinosaur.  A really freaking majestic one, like a T-Rex.  But I eventually figured out in a feat of surprising logic (if my behaviour up until that point was anything to go by) that this would be impossible.  So, instead, I opted to be the world's most superest author superstar.  Until I realised that you had to actually write the words that went with the pictures.

I genuinely believed I could sing like Ariel off of The Little Mermaid Cue weeks upon weeks of "serenading" the family with my "haunting" melody of Ahhh-ah-AAAAAAAH-ah-ah-AAAAAAGH!!! from the bathtub.

See? Hard to muster up the desire to impress a turd handling squirrel botherer with what I've achieved so far.  

On a soppier note, despite the special behaviours I displayed growing up (and those few were just the tip of the iceburg), I'd like to think now-me and kid-me would get along pretty well.

  • I've retained my passion - I can't simply like something.  If I get my claws into something that really interests me, I won't let it go - be it a hobby, an idea or an especially fluffy animal.  
  • I still maintain a sense that if it's not fun, there's no point in killing yourself over it. I relish silliness. 
And if I really don't want to do something, I am safe in the knowledge that I can always just piss my pants.  

Thanks, mini-me!

Me, Rach and Dad.  I'm the grinning, chubby-faced one who looks like she's being restrained.

Thursday, 20 March 2014

10 Reasons (to buy 10 Things)

Okay, so I may have been distracted by something shiny after I said I'd report back once my eBook was ready. So, several days down the line....

Holy shit, it's ready, you guys!!


10 Things is a collection of 10 ([gasp]) topics/lists and bits of waffle about the stuff that preoccupies my fragile little mind every day.  You may have noticed that most of my blog posts feature a list somewhere withiin them.  This is because I have an incredibly poor attention span and often forget how to communicate in paragraphs halfway through a post. This book is basically just a longer, sillier, more drawn out version of this here blog.

So if you like this here blog, then please do me the kindness of clicking on my super subtle link at the top of the page, and feed my need for attention by reading.  Because, reader, you are so very, very good at reading.  You might even get a medal after doing so for being such a stellar reader.

Disclaimer:  You won't get a medal.  Sorry.

If a total lack of medal isn't enough to get you interested, then fear not!  I also have a list of why you should buy my book of lists, so you won't be able to resist (ha, rhymes)!  I even put in pictures to make it super accessible.  One aims to please.

1.  Reading makes you smart.  This lady reads all the time, and look how smart she is:

So smart.

2.  You obviously have a problem and a burning need to read lists.  Otherwise, why would you be reading a list about a bunch of lists?

3.  10 Things is a paltry 77p.  Less than most Greggs pasties, so you shan't go hungry, my corned beef loving compadres!

4.  It's an eBook, so no one will see that you bought a book off of a girl with validation issues who lives on the internet.  Simply flick on your Kindle, and if anyone asks, you can tell them you're reading A Brief History of Time or similar.  Because you so smart (see above example of smartness).

5.  You can read the whole thing in under an hour.  Not because I wrote the whole first draft in a single day and had to stop because of a mild case of hurty fingers.  Honest.

6.  I will keep nagging you until you do read it.  You may even wake up one day to this:

 "Hey, friend. You reading my book yet??"

7.  In the books' ePages, you may uncover the meaning of life.

8.  Clue:  It's cake. 

9.  If you don't have a Kindle, you could download the Kindle App for free...or... use this book as an excuse to purchase a Kindle and buy it lots of fabbylous covers and jackets, like you're Paris Hilton and the Kindle is a chihuahua.  Albeit one that doesn't shit in your purse.

10.  If I save up enough 77ps, maybe I can finally pay someone to teach this poor sod how to dance:

Have a heart.  Buy 10 Things today.

Sunday, 16 March 2014

A Book! An eBook!!

Because I obviously don't get enough time to prattle on about myself on here an a weekly(ish) basis, I decided to write a little eBook.

It's currently cooking in Amazon's publishing oven, and no doubt, I will make a follow up post when I hear it go ping, to let you know when it's good and ready.

Ready as it'll ever be anyway.

The book'll be a longer version of the kind of guff I put up on here.  Rambly, listy things.  10 of them to be exact.  That's why I called it 10 Things.

So if you like rambly, listy things and then number 10, then you, my friend are SO in luck! 

Thursday, 6 March 2014

Laugh And A Half

Not told you yet, have I?

Last Sunday, I gone and done an 'alf. The Llanelli 'alf to be precise.  My second ever half marathon.  And seeing as I didn't post much more than "yaaay, shiny medal!" (Picture of shiny medal to follow, though. It is shiny. And BIG!) following the popping of my half marathon cherry in Cardiff last year, I though I'd write up an actual account of the day itself this time. No longer a virgin, quaking in my too-clean-to-have-been-used-enough running trainers, I'm glad I have prior experience to compare this weekend to.

As you know by now, I can only seem to communicate in lists.  I would think of so e reasons for this, but that would be another list waiting to happen.

So, behold a list of what the differences were between my first and second half marathons (I can't believe I've come far enough to have done TWO half marathons!! *squee!!!* XD)

1. Company

In Cardiff, I tagged along with an actual bus load of proper runners from a proper running club.  In Llanelli, I ran as a proper runner with a proper running club.  This is true - I have a membership card to prove   it, honest!  I have to be proper if I have a card.  Cards make things proper.  I might get them to give me a badge too, just incase people don't believe me.

The support Run 4 All mustered up was awesome.  They put up flags and some non participating runners clapped and cheered the rest of the pack on from the sidelines.  I also heard there was cake at some point too. I was either too slow to get cake, or it was all a just cruel joke to get everyone to Llanelli at 9am on a Sunday morning.

As a runner who likes to sit comfortably at the "jogging like you're crossing the road" end of the speed spectrum, I was doubly blessed because as all the faster Run 4 Allers doubled back round, I had lots of people to wave and grin at.  I was so excited that I totally missed the irony in the fact that their "well done"s were being aimed at someone who hadn't even got to where they were some half an hour ago yet.

I've said it before.  Probably:

 If you run, or want to run, no matter how slow you are,
JOIN A RUNNING CLUB, FOOL! You're missing out on loads of motivation and support if you don't!

As well as the club, I had a James, who, in running his first marathon, displayed every single bout of anger and hopelessness (followed by ecstatic elation) that I'd felt in Cardiff, and on exactly the same mile markers at which I'd felt those ways.  Both bizzarre and entertaining.  Favourite moments include:

"Three miles already! This is going to be okay!"

"Are we half way yet?"

"Why the FUCK aren't we at mile 10 yet?!"


"I'm NEVER running again."


"That was quite good, wasn't it?"  

Running with The Incredible Hulk made time pass quite nicely.  Didn't know my friend had so much fury to tap into under that calm and friendly surface.  Distance running brings out new sides to everyone.  If the event photos are anything to go by, my persona for the day must've been "overjoyed to be on day release".  Thumbs and grins everywhere. I don't think I blinked for five miles.


Cardiff:  sunshiny sunshine in the city.

Llanelli: pretty coastal path, icy wind and sideways rain.  Spent twenty minutes or so (I wish I was exaggerating) trying to slap and drag my jacket zip up my body to close it because my thumbs refused to work in such conditions.

You'll be pleased to know. I did manage to close it.

Just as the rain stopped.

3. Sprint start, Sprint Finish

Anyone who's run a distance in any race is familiar with the weird burst of energy you get when approaching the finish line, even if one of your legs have fallen off and you're dragging your arse along the floor just to keep moving so the Hell can be over with sooner.  After thirteen miles of gentle but eventually painful plodding, James and I galloped our way to victory along with everyone else crossing the finish line.

More unusually, we also galloped to the start line.  In a world turning upside down kind of event, James ended up in a half hour long men's room queue, while I had enough time to complete two whole panic wees.  

I'd already watched several men leg it out of the loos, and helped zip a smurf into a blue morph suit when James was eventually freed, and we managed to sprint to the start line just in time to tag on the the back as it moved forward.  

Fully believe I need an extra medal for the extra little bit we ran.  I'd be happy with just a small one. I could put it on the cat.

4.  =)

My goal for Cardiff was to just get round, preferably without walking. I got round, but at mile 9, I had to walk.  My body wouldn't accept any argument.    And then I had to walk intermittently til the end.  I'd underestimated how much that distance would grind on my joints and on my mental energy.  For five miles, my brain tantrummed, screamed and bawled until it was over.   I looked to so tired at about mile 11 that a nice, probably psychic lady made me eat some of her Haribo because "you look like you need it."

I loved the experience, but sweet baby Jeebus, did it take a lot out of me.

Llanelli's goal? Slow down and enjoy.  And I did. I knew I'd get around.  I knew that if I slowed down to a pace that even a tortoise on ketamine would call leisurely, I could get more comfortable and happy mileage out of my brain and legs.  It worked! I did the whole thing in 2hrs35 mins and 18secs.... Not the speed of champions, BUT, I was three whole minutes faster that Cardiff, and didn't need to stop to walk. Not even once! And I did it all with a big, fat smile on my chops!

Running is my hobby.  Why kill myself over a race I'm never going to win?  Might as well enjoy and just accept that the mile markers will come in their own time. All I had to do was keep moving.

It also helped that for most of the race, I was behind two women dressed as the Mario Brothers.  How can you not keep bouncing along with that theme song in your head?

Do. Do. Do.

Do do do do. 

do do do DO do do do do do do...



Also HAT!!

Ooh, I love free goodies!!!