Life’s what you make it. ( Reader discretion advised, scenes of debauchery and mild dribbling )

Before we get started I’d like to take the opportunity to slap Daily Prompt’s hand for recycling one of this week’s prompts from over on Plinky. Not only is this downright lazy, but it means that I’ll have to come up with a lengthier WordPress alternative, and I’m just not a 2 ideas kinda gal. I’m more of a half-an-idea and a whole lot of padding sort of gal. Anything above and beyond will take a lot more processing time, so I’ll pop it on the back-burner and come back to it should anything arise. And hopefully by then it won’t have been so long that I’ve burnt a hole in the bottom of the pan. Nothing worse than charred blog post scrapings.

So on to today’s prompt:
“Take a line from a song that you love or connect with. Turn that line into the title of your post.”

When I first read this something popped into my mind that I haven’t thought about for a long, long time.
Imagine a 20 something yr old me. I’m at a party, and we’re all pretty much enjoying the whole no mortgage, no kids, no limit on the amount of alcohol we can consume thing. After a rather lengthy mutual booze-a-thon by most concerned we hit Introspective O’Clock. Probably somewhere around 2 or 3am. And we’re the sort of friends who like to sit around and talk about life. Like art or philosophy… the usual pretentious waffle that 20 something’s spout so well.
One of our group is very. very. VERY. drunk, and he’s reached that stage where he’s putting ‘meaningful’ tracks on the stereo and singing along loudly to his captive audience. Some songs we’re all singing along to, some of the more obscure ones we’re just nodding at in some kind of “I’d really like to go home now, but I have no idea where I live” stupor.
Then he suddenly grabs a bottle of whisky, says “This track is for YOU Winona Ryder”, takes a huge swig, and puts on “Wayne County & The Electric Chairs – F*** Off (1978)”. There’s a long awkward silence as he sings along to the words ” If you don’t wanna f*** me baby, Baby, f*** off.” And he’s rocking like a wino with a full bladder. And pouting. It was gut-twistingly awful.
Once the track had finished, including the floor show of him waving the bottle around and sneering, we all felt it was our duty to empathise with his pain of rejection by falling about laughing and mocking him for half an hour.
He sulked and went to bed. On the carpet, as it turns out, because the long haul up to his bedroom one flight of stairs up was frankly more than he was capable of.

I was with that guy for 8 years.

Says a lot for my taste in men, huh?

But anyway… back to the prompt.
I’m one of those people who’s always hearing a song and instantly identifying with it. I re-suffered terrible teen angst in my 30s back when Linkin Park first started releasing singles. Break-up songs? They totally *get* me! So I have a huge spread of musical tastes to cover my many varied emotional needs, and none are more me than any other.
But I have to choose.

So I have chosen this… because life really *is* what you make it.
It was released in the mid 80’s, which was a time of huge emotional upheaval for me. Not only was puberty kicking my arse, but my parent’s marriage was winding down, and I was starting to make the common mistake of dating people I didn’t like that much because of my growing fear of abandonment. I was lost.
I didn’t see the merits of the song’s message back then, the young usually don’t, because they’re in the war zone and often  shell-shocked and confused. But I do now. I hope to pass this message on to my children, but I fear they are doomed to learn it the hard way… the same as the rest of us.
My life isn’t perfect for having learned this lesson, but I know the truth of it and that’s a step in the right direction. One day I will have the courage to take my life by the lapels and shake it until it’s good and fabulous… but until then there’s always the little victories. It’s all good. Eventually. If you make it so.

Oooh, ooh, ooooh! And as for the previous prompt:
“What change, big or small, would you like your blog to make in the world?”
I’d like to think that at some point during this blog you smiled. For some, a smile is a small victory… for others it’s a huge mountain of wonderfulness. Either way,Yay!. If life is what you make it, then I just made yours a little bit better. How brilliant is that ?


Desert Island Disc ( Clue : Probably not “I’ve Got A Lovely Bunch Of Coconuts” )

When today’s writing prompt popped up it was like a little cartoon lightbulb suddenly blinked into being above my head, I was *that* certain of the album I would pick. Ordinarily I’m a bit of an indecisive sorta gal with a tendency to over-analyse. In fact, I’m still trying to compile a list of my top 5 films from when someone asked me back in 1989 ( which, now I’ve brought it up I’ll be adding to the top of the already precariously teetering pile of things I obsess about ). Books are the same… out of the thousands I’ve read how can I single just a handful out for their excellence? That would be like having to choose between my children ( though it’s 9.30pm and right now whichever one goes to sleep first would get my coveted “Most Adored Offspring” award ).
But one single album? Easy.

Let me give you a bit of background…
I’m 22 and after a few years of jumping between jobs ( not all have been abandoned because I attempted to saw off a digit I hasten to add ), I settle down in lovely new job as a veterinary nurse in a busy London vet hospital. And it’s brilliant! Sure, some of the people suck, but you can pretty much take that as read in any job that someone’s going to get your goat at some point. I’m training, I’m learning, I’m performing minor surgery, I’m analysing x-rays ( I’m also occasionally snogging one of the ambulance drivers in the x-ray room when no-one else is around, but that’s just between us, yeah? 😉 ) but mostly I’m making sick animals better for people who can’t afford the extortionate private vet fees… so I’m like a little chubby saint in a tight green uniform and an over-starched apron. I’m loving it.

Then, to add icing and a cherry to the Cake Of Fabulous Situations, they offer me a room at the nursing home next door to the hospital! So to recap : a) Great Job… and now b) I get to move out of my parent’s house! c) No more travelling! d) I only have to get up 10 minutes before my shift starts and I’m home 10 minutes after it ends !! and e) Lots and lots of overtime when the nurses next door are asked to come in at the last minute to cover illness… Win win win all round.

Ok, lovely… but where does the album come in…?
It’s my first weekend after I’ve moved in and the horrific price of groceries has hit me. I’ve been living off pasta for 5 days, and the noise from the dogs barking next door is like some sort of bizarre canine-influenced metronome that marks the passing of every minute. I’ve been allocated the smallest room at the end of a narrow corridor next to the downstairs loo, and one of the other nurses has a dog that free roams the place and piddles on the communal sofa.
I’m totally adoring every second.

That Saturday evening I’m lying on my little bed. It’s Summer, but there’s a slight breeze and a light cooling drizzle.. so I have the window open so I can hear the raindrops fall upon the leaves directly outside. I’m propped up on pillows, eating my pasta by the last light of the day, and this is playing :

For me, Seal sounds like freedom, and every single time I listen to that first album I can feel the breeze upon my face. It’s potential, possibilities, free-falling into the future with total reassurance that everything will be ok.

Stuff & nonsense. But mostly nonsense.

“Share something that makes you smile”

I’ve actually re-written this post 5 times with personally smile-worthy somethings such as:

“Despite having 3 children I can still run for the bus without having to change my underwear at my destination. My final destination that is, not the bus. Even in The Netherlands they frown on that sort of behaviour.”

or the slightly more succinct :

“I have nearly all my own teeth.”

Then there’s :

Stationery ( oh sweet Lord, how I do love you pens, pencils, notebooks & glue )
Furry handbags
UK teabags
Chocolate covered nuts
Pretending to be asleep and getting away with it
Snails & frogs
DVD box sets
Music aimed at kids half my age played through headphones at a high enough volume to rupture my eardrums

… but I could go on forever, you know how I do so love to ramble. So I narrowed it down to the single thing most likely to get a smile out of me when the rest of the world is getting the “I have chopsticks in the kitchen. You have a pair of eyes. Go on, just keep pushing…” look. And it’s this :

Nicky and Mina

Yes, we do love you. But we *will* crap in your slippers on a whim if it amuses us.

My cats, Nicky and Mina. They’re only 6 months old but they’ve had me wrapped around their little claws since they the first moment I caught sight of them in all their small , warm & purry glory. I’m totally smitten. I can forgive Mina for tipping the bin over. I can let the fact Nicky wakes me up in the morning by sinking her teeth into the end of my nose slide. ‘Cos that’s what true love is.. not minding that you’ve got a stiff neck because the cats are stretched out in the middle of the bed and you’ve spent the night gripping the bed frame for dear life rather than disturb them.

“Stupidity..” you say?? Pah, you’re just jealous because you don’t get to tread in stray poop nuggets at 6.30am when you’re half asleep and groping for the light switch.
Which reminds me… I’d best go change their tray. Again.