Royal Norfolk Show

On this free writing day, remember the words of author Anne Lamott: “I don’t think you have time to waste not writing because you are afraid you won’t be good at it.”

As part of work I was at the Royal Norfolk Show on Thursday, it was a crazy day and reminded me of the Borough shows my hometown used to do during the summer when I was a kid. I didn’t really know what to expect, I wasn’t expecting it to be a big as it was even though it’s held at the Showground. There was literally everything there, from buying your upgrades  for your combine harvester to dog shows and funfair rides.

During my lunchbreaks was when the fun started, I got to explore!

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I always assumed Alpacas sounded like horses, they made such weird noises it was really amusing to watch them eat. I’d seen some when walking along Skeyton, but never up close and personal.

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Then there was the sheep who had the same curly hair, as myself which I thought was cool. I had never seen so many sheep in my life, let alone that many sheep all under one tent. I did find it funny how each sheep had their own pen, but did they want their own food? No they preferred to eat their neighbours, guess the grass is greener on the other side for all mammals!

 

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These two were soooooooo cute! I wanted one each, especially the goats.

 

 

IMG_0002But not everything was cute, although the funfair rides were great landmarks to work out where I was in the showground as I didn’t have a map or guide. Everytime I saw this monster my stomach felt like running away. I’m not great with rollercoaster, or things that go upside down, or heights. Don’t take me to theme parks, past the intensity of Chessington please.

 

IMG_0010Now to leave this post on a bright note, talk about going out with a bang? There’s a freaking dragon on the bonnet! Although I had the nerve to take a photo, I didn’t really want to waltz up to them and ask them the price for a hearse like that. Like I said, there was all sorts at this event.

 

Will I ever attend again? Probably, it’d be nice to do it from a spectators perspective and not a work one. Plus it wouldn’t be a ridiculously long day.
I have no idea whether any of those photos are lined up.

Annmarie xoxo 

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Poor Mrs Pauley

‘The neighbourhood has seen better days, but Mrs. Pauley has lived there since before anyone can remember. She raised a family of six boys, who’ve all grown up and moved away. Since Mr. Pauley died three months ago, she’d had no income. She’s fallen behind in the rent. The landlord, accompanied by the police, have come to evict Mrs. Pauley from the house she’s lived in for forty years.

Today’s prompt: write this story in first person, told by the twelve-year-old sitting on the stoop across the street.’

My first question is what an earth is a stoop?! *Googles and is now enlightened that the stairs she used to play on outside her flat is called a stoop*

 

Mum kicked us out before dinner, saying we needed fresh air. Why doesn’t she understand that I was so close to levelling up and finishing my game? There’s more important things than fresh air! I get enough of it when I’m at school in P.E.. Plus it would be more interesting if she let me go out on my bike, but she wants to be able to see me from the kitchen window. I took Meg our Border Collie out with me, if I’m forced outside then so is she. Except she loved it wagging her tail as she followed me. I was playing fetch on the grass outside when I saw a police car stop outside our house. Another car pulled up behind it, what was going on? I looked at mum, who was staring back at me. Was I in trouble?

They get out of their cars and cross the road, walking towards Mrs Pauley’s house. Maybe they’re her sons, and it was a party? She mentioned she had six sons, who she rarely saw except for birthdays and Christmases. I don’t understand why they wouldn’t visit more, Mrs Pauley was cool, even though I was old enough and didn’t really need a babysitter (mums!) Mrs Pauley always let me do what I want. She also gave me all her chocolates she got during Easter, because she didn’t want them.

They banged on the door, asking Mrs Pauley to let them in. Why didn’t they call her mum? I could hear her shouting, but couldn’t make out the words. The policeman looked to his colleague and he forced the door open, it dawned on me that they weren’t her sons. Meg started barking, I ran over. Mrs Pauley was screaming ‘You can’t do this, I’ve lived here for forty years.’ I asked her what was wrong. She broke down into tears and hugged me. I’d never seen her so sad. She explained everything to me, she couldn’t pay her rent and they were going to take her house away. These two men were dragging her sofas outside, the same ones I had sat on for many years that she had read stories to me on.

‘You could stay with us, mum won’t mind.’ I say, Meg rests her head on Mrs Pauley’s leg, she agrees too.

Annmarie xoxo

 

fear.

‘What are you scared of? Address one of your worst fears. If you’re up for a twist, write this post in a style that’s different from your own.’

What are you scared of? She laughs, what isn’t she scared of she thinks. Her fears keep her up at night, what would she give for just one night of sound sleep? To not have to pop pills to shut up her head. To not have this evil monkey that sits on her shoulder and stops her living fully. That’s how she sees it, a little monkey that drags her back. She sees all of the people she went to school with growing up and making a difference to the world, whilst she has yet to find the motivation to evict said monkey. To say she fears she’s not good enough is an understatement, she believes it and it consumes every thought process, every action. She’s getting better, realising how to stave the monkey. Changing her thoughts, stepping out of her comfort zone. But still wishes the monkey was never there in the first place.

Annmarie xoxo

You’ve changed

‘Today, imagine you work in a place where you manage lost or forgotten items. What might you find in the pile? For those participating in our serial challenge, reflect on the theme of “lost and found,” too.’

Welcome to the tour of my workplace – the brain. As you can see it has been established for 21 years, apologies for the dust in the corner.  Watch out for that slippery floor over there, that’s where things get forgotten such as dates, anything academic which would be of use during assessments, or words…in general.  Now I know what you’re thinking, why aren’t we using the beautiful fingerposts during this tour to get to the next place? Well they’re of no use, because in this workplace we don’t know where we are or where we’re going!

To grow you have to depart with some of your old ways of thinking, be it about certain people who are just not good for you, the way you see yourself, or as simple as finding the correct solution.  It’s funny because to grow, it often means changing something which leads to people saying ‘you’ve changed’.

But why does that statement always have negative connotations? Why do people tend to fear when people change? Most of the time that change is good for that person. I guess in some cases it means that person no longer has a doormat they can step all over. But it’s completely natural to change overtime. Different experiences challenge you and make you into the person you are.

Or you have an epiphany and realise you’re fed up of being treated as the sidekick and want to be the person in control of your own life.

I do wonder if time travel was possible, what 14 year old me would think of 21 year old me? Would she like what she saw?

I mean in some ways I haven’t changed, and I’m still the same person. But I’ve seen that light at the other end of the tunnel (basically finishing school!) and realised half of the worries I had are over, that I’ve been unfair on myself. Would she see myself as a fighter/intelligent/and yet still socially inept? Or would she still be so negative that she would just reflect on the worst and see no changes? I guess until they’ve invented time travel or I’m the Doctor’s companion we’ll never know!

 

side note – how do you create a blog about yourself, without it not being narcissistic?

Annmarie xoxo

 

London 2012

‘You’re told that an event that’s dear to your heart — an annual fair, festival, or conference — will be cancelled forever (or taken over by an evil organization). Write about it. For your twist, read your piece aloud, multiple times. Hone that voice of yours!’

I’ve spent quite a while thinking about this so called event. This is the part where I admit I’m boring and do not have an annual event that I go to asides from birthdays. Darn us all getting older! But the words ‘life-changing’ got me thinking – London 2012!

For two weeks I was a Games Maker at Wimbledon during the 2012 Olympics. I know many Brits will groan if you mentioned those two words, but I was so excited. I remember on the 6th July 2005 when we found out that London was going to host the Olympics, we were sat in Food Tech, the teacher announced it and we were all celebrating. She then made us think what would be doing at that time when we were 19. Then there was the awful day that followed when those bastards attacked our beautiful city.

I remember applying to be a Games Maker, thinking I would never get in, to the point where I applied and submitted my application at 23:58:53 just before the deadline. Talk about cutting it short! I then remember getting an email from them just as I had started Uni asking me to come back to London for an interview…an interview! I couldn’t believe it, I was so nervous before I had even reached East London, then when I saw I was the youngest by at least 10 years I had a sinking feeling that was going to be my last stop. When I had my Orientation at Wembley I nearly thought my journey was over when I had just gotten back to London and there was heavy snow. But fortunately I was able to go to one later in the day as the snow started to melt. Luckily the rest of my training went very smoothly!  The fact that I was given Wimbledon as my venue was the icing on the cake. I was a local, and although it disrupted my journey to school for two weeks a year I loved watching it and imagined being there one day watching a game.

But what if this never happened?

I would have never worked with an amazing group of people who I met up with after the games, who also shared a passion for Wimbledon. I would have never met some of the tennis players who I have idolised for years. I wouldn’t have been with my team standing on Murry Mount on our last day cheering him on and seeing him win Gold against Federer. I wouldn’t have had the ability to say that I, yes little old me, was part of the Olympics in my hometown, the place where I grew up and played sports for my borough. Especially as the Olympics may never come back to London. Or to say that I was part of the Games Makers army that helped changed the way people saw volunteering.

Even now thinking about how amazing that summer was, I can’t help but get a little teary eyed. It was honestly the best summer I had, I learnt so much and grew as a person. It hard to imagine what would have happened if London suddenly lost the Olympics. As had I not been a Games Makers I still would have participated somehow.

Annmarie xoxo

Dear Facebook

‘Pick up the nearest book and flip to page 29. What jumps out at you? Start there, and try a twist: write in the form of a letter.’

Dear Facebook,

I’m very sorry that you have become the subject of this letter. I’m currently reading The Accident by C. L. Taylor and the line just below yourself has 🙂 ♥ so I’m afraid my eyes were drawn straight up to you. Now although I have known about you since 2007? I did try and avoid you for a while, I was more of a fan of MySpace. Maybe you should have allowed me to customise my profile and change the music that would automatically start when reaching my profile. Then you may have attracted my 14 year old self.

Seven years on (now I feel old, that’s nearly a decade ago thanks Facebook), I have to say I’m still not really a fan. If I’m honest I don’t even know why we’re friends. Maybe you should write back convincing me to like you. Good luck though, I’m sure you’ve met my better friend Twitter?

p.s. has it always been a rule for you to encourage my ‘friends’ to use you as an outlet to write statuses subtly aimed at someone else, or constantly post stuff that no one gives a shit about? Because I solely blame you for this, not me, for having not deleted these people yet.

Yours sincerely that’s a lie, I’m just trying to be polite 🙂

Annmarie xoxo

Finding your voice

‘Earlier in the course, you wrote about losing something. Today, write about finding something. For your twist, view day four’s post and today’s post as installments in a series.’

Previously I tackled the first instalment of this series by talking about lost opportunities out of fear. Something that I am trying to tackle, to prevent me having less regrets over time. Which I found to be the key reason I have had an amazing year so far.

I’ve decided now to focus on finding your voice, in a way the literal sense of speaking, but more having the confidence to use your voice. During school I was never one to voluntarily answer questions, it would only happen when a teacher would directly ask me the question. Cue deer in the headlights moment, your brain shuts down and verbal diarrhoea entails, or just a string of urm and I don’t know. I hated debates, or discussions, performances or presentations. Anything that required putting me in the spotlight, ignoring the fact that I rarely paid attention when most people were doing the above, so the chances were when I was doing the same they weren’t either. However, fear and anxiety make you believe everyone is staring, laughing internally and realising how bad you are.

Over the last few years I have been trying to improve my confidence. Which is what most of this comes down to, believing in what you’re saying or thinking. I mean the four above still are my personal hells, so they will take a while to conquer. One of the bigger things was asking for help. You know when you’re stuck or don’t understand something, instead of asking you then sit there afraid to say anything in case the question is stupid. However there is no such thing as a stupid question, I’ve finally learnt that. Education wise teachers actually prefer it as it shows you’re willing to learn. In other situations, if they don’t help, then well at least you gave asking a go.

I’ve also found my voice when giving opinions or ideas,  realising how much better it looks. You are actually engaging in the situation instead of a spectator. Of course there’s always the keeping your opinions to yourself if they are negative and aren’t constructive. Because being an opinionated douchebag is just that – being a douchebag.

I still have a long way to finding my voice in certain situations, but Rome wasn’t built in a day and it all just takes practise.

Annmarie xoxo