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Monthly Archives: December 2011

Inspired by a fellow blogger, I’ve decided to share a list not so much of resolutions but of things I want to achieve if not next year (and it wont be feasibly possible to do them all) then at some point over the next few years.

The reason for this is that resolutions themselves can feel pretty stifling…’by the end of this year I must have done x, y and x…’…and it’s just not always realistic to always accomplish something in a year…most resolutions really are more long-term goals that tend to fall by the wayside due to the resolutions tag. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves when we give ourselves a time limit and a start date but with no real build up. Its like asking someone to run a marathon on the ‘bang’ of January 1st without so much as a hamstring stretch.

So I’ve decided instead to share a few dreams and desires of mine that I wish to pursue over the next year and beyond, things I’ve always dreamed of doing with no hesitations and no limitations, and the great thing about this list is that it doesn’t matter how crazy, inane or impossible those things may be, because at the end of the day it’s just a list and I think you can learn a lot about people from the lists they make and the answers they give to certain questions that expose more about who they really are and what they really want.

So jabbering aside, here is a list of things I hope to achieve or experience in 2012 and onwards!

1) Camp America – Note to self: at least consider applying. I’ve always had this dream of a great American road trip, hindered only by the fact that I can’t drive and have a worse sense of direction that a blind battery hen. Plus, I have a bit of an obsession with all things American.

2) Go on that All American Road Trip – This is the logical progression of my Camp America Trip. Drive around or be in the car of a licensed driver, and see all the sights that the US of A has to offer.

3) Communicate with a gorilla using sign language – This one might sound more random and essentially it is. Ever since I saw Koko the gorilla watch a movie and express herself using sign language, I really wanted to have the opportunity to communicate with a gorilla myself in this way. I am so obsessed with animals I should probably be one (and arguably I am) but gorillas hold a special place in my heart. I’d love to just wander through a forest ‘chatting’ with an ape…holding onto the faint fear that it may decide to rip my head off at any moment and eat my remains.

4) Finish at least one novel – Another one of my life long loves is writing which was of course my main motivation for starting a blog. I always have a bazillion and one ideas for stories and then struggle to flesh them out and make them real, and then the middle kind of collapses in on itself and I have no idea how to dig myself out of the hole I’ve created. I’d love to complete a novel so that even if it was never published I could read it to any potential kids or grandkids I may have. Never know – it might rake in some money when I’m dead!

5) See the pyramids! – I’ve kind of romanticised my notion of Egypt to an unhealthy extent. Just like Americans travelling to England expecting to see Mary Poppins and Oliver Twist running around, I half expect Tutankhamun to greet me at the airport himself. As such I can only be dissapointed, but I just really want to see the pyramids!

6) Learn piano – I’m quite envious of people who can play an instrument and play it well. Past all the technical, fiddly hours of frustration, I think it’s an amazing way to unwind and relax. I chose piano because I love the sound and the simplicity compared to other instruments. I’d love to play the Violin but I don’t think I have the patience for that!

7) Win a writing competition – I’ve entered a few competitions and though I’ve always received positive feedback, I’ve never grasped the coveted position of first place. I would just love the recognition (and the prize money).

8) Learn to cook – As in, really cook! COOK WELL. I can cook but just a lot of basics. I’d like to be able to pull off some more complicated and exotic recipes. God knows when I’ll find the time in between learning all that sign language and piano!

9) Start meditating – I’ve tried a few times but I get bored and get up. There’s something about sitting still, closing your eyes and emptying your mind that is surprisingly hard to do. I think it would be good for me though…it would teach me to let go, stop being a clock watcher and be more patient.

10) Learn to drive – eventually. To be honest this isn’t high on my priority list but it’s still something I’d like to be able to do. But I’m only learning automatic. I can’t be arsed with manual.

11) Keep in touch with family – It’s so easy to get so stuck in your own schedule that you take for granted the people that you value the most (this also applies to friends). I hope I will make more effort with the people I care about even if countries and time zones separate us.

12) Declutter – Like my grandmother before me I have a real aversion to throwing anything away which I believe is a genetically inherited tendency. It’s all there somewhere, my year 1 maths book, that key ring I bought in Florida, birthday cards I’ll never look at again…I don’t want to throw away anything but if I don’t need it and I don’t want it, I really gotta learn to let it go.

If you want to check out the blog that inspired my post please visit http://sportsjim81.wordpress.com/

I hope you enjoy making and not breaking your resolutions for this year!

Yum yum, wolfy wants to eat!

Yum yum, wolfy wants my meat!

His eyes grow large, he starts to growl.

He imagines me falling, bruising, saying ‘ow!’

I pull my cloak above my head.

The wolfy is picturing me dead.

But not before he gets me in grandmas bed.

If I had a gun, i’d pump him with lead!

My heart it starts to skip a beat,

I’m skipping down a country street.

The flowers they all fall away,

It’s a pretty summers day.

The wolfy looks a friendly sort,

in clothes he clearly hasn’t brought.

But suddenly i’m suprised to see,

its not a wolfy staring at me.

Looking at me is my biggest fan.

Why looking at me is a man!

Christmas is so close you can practically see Santa already at your mantelpiece gobbling down mince pies fresh out of the chimney but there is still time to harness some of the ever-evasive Christmas spirit. If my last ten film suggestions didn’t do it for you, here are ten more which might just do the trick:

1. Toy Story

Pixar never fail to capture the essence of childhood by presenting us with sheer magic, wonderment, exhilaration and adventure. This is the story of Woody who harbours a not altogether unfounded fear that he is to be replaced as the object of owner Andy’s affections by new birthday present Buzz who seems to believe he is a real astronaut and not just an action figure.  The only glimpse of Christmas occurs right at the films climax as the toys gather in anticipation for what new arrivals are to crash-land this year but the journey of friendship, togetherness and teamwork will most likely kindle a warm Christmassy fire in your otherwise frostbitten heart.

2. Monty Python’s Meaning of Life

It’s a question we’ve all pondered many a time but the more the years pass; the less likely we are to reach a definitive answer. The Monty Python boys do a bloody good job of trying to ease us through a succession of skits that might just help us discover why we are all here and what the point of it all is. After edging us through the magic of procreation, over eaters and finicky waiters who have located their own purpose and are eager to share, we are presented with what life is all about (but don’t get your hopes up). So what does this have to do with Christmas you might say? Well apparently in heaven, it’s Christmas every day…yes that’s right…every single day. So get yourself a little piece of heaven on earth and get into the festive mood!

3. Eyes Wide Shut

Along with my prior two suggestions, this is not traditional Christmas fare. This is the Christmas film for the more surrealist, abstract viewer who enjoys a little mystery. Tom Cruise and Nicole Kidman are Bill and Alice Harford, who on the face of it have it all. When Alice confesses that she only narrowly avoided temptation and very nearly cheated on Bill he embarks on a night-time adventure of bizarre erotic and sexual encounters. This all occurs around the Christmas period and reveals how our own desires and fantasies have become just as commercialised as Christmas itself.

4. About A Boy

No man is an island but eternal bachelor Nick Hornby would like to be. Christmas is traditionally a time for family and friends to come together, exchange gifts and celebrate. Not so for Nick, who would rather pass the day watching horror movies and smoking ungodly amounts of weed. Unfortunately for him, his opportunist attempts to get into the pants of London’s single mother scene cause him to crash-land into a very unique mother and son combination that slowly draw out his sense of family and unity (of course).

5. Edward Scissorhands

Christmas will never be the same for the Boggs family when they find themselves taking in Edward, the unfinished creation of an inventor, who is humanlike in his entirety except for his scissor hands. His skill with his scissors makes him a novelty in his new neighbourhood as a hedge-cutter and hair dresser although some take an instant dislike to him. He upsets the balance when he falls in love with Kim – a human girl who is already taken. This melancholy, gentle film celebrates the spirit of compassion and love and presents us with a world with a great influx of snow caused by Edwards ice sculptures as he witters away the time alone, set adrift from small minded suburbia.

6. The Harry Potter Series

I cannot select one film from the franchise so I’ve plumped for the series as a whole. Although a lot could have been tweaked and corrected to guarantee absolute perfection, this is the perfect story for children and inner children alike as Harry Potter is spirited away from a life of Cinderella servitude and informed that he is a wizard, but not just any wizard, the only wizard capable of defeating Lord Voldemort. The Christmas scenes add pleasant relief to the mounting evils that threaten to consume Hogwarts.

7. Bad Santa

The Coen brothers return with this black comedy where Santa is cynically cast as nothing more than a conniving conman. Whilst working as Santa in a mall, Willie (bad boy Billy Bob Thornton) alongside his friend Marcus disables the alarms every Christmas Eve and takes everything he can. This theft enables Willie to fuel his life of depraved debauch. This is the more sinister foil of ‘About a Boy’ as Willie confronts his demons when he develops a friendship with ‘the Kid’ and new flame Sue. Not all comedies include suicide, alcoholism and murder and for that reason alone, this film should be perfect for all Christmas scrooges.

8. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

In war torn England, the four Pevensie children discover a world within a wardrobe, in which they find a landscape cursed with perpetual winter for over a hundred years but with no sight of Christmas. Most children and adults alike will be familiar with the Narnia Chronicles and the children’s attempt to expel the witch and return Christmas to the land. The blankets of snow and the triumph of the siblings over the cruel Jadis make welcome Christmas viewing.

9. Christmas with the Kranks

Luther and Nora’s daughter is AWOL for the holidays serving in Peru on a Peace Corps assignment. The couple then find themselves blighted with empty nest syndrome just in time for the holidays, finding no reason to celebrate without their daughters’ presence in the home. Their choice to simply ignore Christmas and instead use their savings to embark on a luxury cruise ostracises them from their community, who eagerly try to lure them back in with some Yuletide spirit. The Kranks soon find that it isn’t so easy to bow out gracefully from the festivities.

 10. Lady and the Tramp

Disney sprinkles magic over every story it tells and this classic is no different. On Christmas morning, Jim Dear presents his wife Darling with a beautiful cocker spaniel named Lady. Lady endures the usual trials and tribulations that a cartoon dog finds herself faced with; unrequited love for an adventurous dog named Tramp, run-ins with exotic felines and the threat of replacement when a baby is due, but by the following Christmas everything turns around for Lady who finds herself with a family of her own.

Gobble, gobble! Yum, yum, yum!

Don’t tell Daddy! Don’t tell Mum!

I’m the daughter, you’re the son!

What we do is full of fun!

Open wide and take it down!

We are all smiles, not a frown!

I’ve got some sugar on my gown!

The chocolate is an amber brown!

Lick our lips, we’re wanting more!

Sugar pimp and candy whore!

Witch is standing at the door!

With liquorice making up her floor!

Alice flits about in her baby-blue dress,

The caterpillar blows smoke at her face,

She is very obviously distressed,

Wonderland is an overwhelming place!

“I saw him running to and fro!

Why, where did the white rabbit go?”

The Mad Hatter pours her a cup of tea.

The March Hares face is filled with insane glee.

The dormouse in her teacup is quite sleepy

Alice feels herself getting quite weepy.

“I saw him running to and fro!

Why, where did the white rabbit go?”

The Cheshire cat, in the tree, starts to grin.

She did not quite like the look on his face.

He seemed to lure her towards such bad things.

She thought of the rabbit she had to chase.

“I saw him running to and fro!

Why, where did the white rabbit go?”

The Queen of hearts wanted her roses red.

Anything less and they’d all end up dead.

Alice felt herself filled with such quaint dread.

The stout queen shouted out ‘off with her head!’

“I saw him running to and fro!

Why, where did the white rabbit go?”