Saturday, 29 October 2011

Jim didn't fix it (with lyrics)

Like most children of my age, I wrote to Jimmy Savile to see if he could fix it for me.
I didn’t think there was anything strange about a man in a gold lame shell suit smoking a fat cigar and giving out medals to kids. I just knew he made A-Maze-Zing things happen.

I wrote to ask him if I could be in the Martini advert on my roller skates. If you can’t remember what I’m talking about (or you’re far too young), here’s a clip.
Needless to say, Sir Jimmy didn’t fulfil my request to star in a advert for an alcoholic beverage, wearing a skirt no bigger than a belt and probably shown long after I should have been in bed.
I wrote to him again to meet my all-time hero, Bryan Robson. No response there either. But I did eventually meet him outside Barcelona Airport before the ‘99 Champions League final against Bayern Munich. What a day to meet him, had my photo taken and everything.
Unfortunately I got so drunk that I lost the camera. How’s about that then.
RIP Sir Jimmy 1926-2011
Your letter was only the start of it,
One letter and now you're a part of it,
Now you've done it, Jim has fixed for it you, and you and you.

There must be something that you always want to do,
The one thing that you always wanted to,
Now you've done it, Jim has fixed it for you, and you and you and you



Jim has fixed it for you, and you and yound you-ou-ou

Saturday, 15 October 2011

On being Welsh

I was born and bred in Wales and I’m intensely proud. I grew up singing in Eisteddfods, writing poetry and prose and performing choral recitals at the Urdd. I cry every time I hear the national anthem. I am Welsh and I am proud.

My children are English and will be brought up here. Yet somehow I think they’ll never feel pride for their country, in the same way that I feel so overwhelmed to be part of mine. In England you don’t teach your kids to be proud of their heritage. You don’t teach them about your culture and why you are who you are. But you should. And I will.

They say that to be born Welsh is to be born with music in your heart and poetry in your soul. If you ever wondered where that came from, here’s the full poem. On today of all days – when Wales showed what a proud nation they are in the Rugby World Cup – this will probably make you cry.

In Passing by Brian Harris

To be born in Wales,
Not with a silver spoon in your mouth,
But, with music in your blood
And with poetry in your soul,
Is a privilege indeed.

Your inheritance is a land of Legend,
Of love and contrast.
A land of beauty so bright it burns the eyes.
Of ugliness that scars the Spirit
As the Earth.

Wales is an old land with wounds
That weep in hills.
They wept before in the bodies of men
And in the hearts of women
And time will never heal them.

The stigmata of sorrow,
Of pain and poverty,
Of lonely crucifixion in the dark,
Remain our lives to feed.

This Land of our Fathers was built on coal.
Its rivers of mingled blood and sweat
Have forever darkened it,
Relieved only by death.

We are a sad people.
Our sadness being wrapped in harps and music
And praise to God,
For the lovely, yearning light
That feeds the Spirit as well as the eyes.

Wednesday, 12 October 2011

The Gallery - Inspirational People

A tough subject this week on The Gallery from the inspiring (see what I did there?) Sticky Fingers blog……it’s Inspirational People.
It’s tough because I’ve already written about Nanna Peg, already told you about my very strong and slightly mad Big Sister and her beautiful and brave son. My mad welsh family with their positive outlook and crazy happy zest for life, could inspire anyone. My husband, kids, his family.....the list is endless.
Meningitis Trust Staff
I’ve worked in some great places and none more inspiring than the Meningitis Trust, a charity led by one of the most inspiring women I have ever met. In just 4 years there I met the most incredible characters. People who’ve been through the horror of meningitis. Some survived, some suffered huge loss, but all amazing.

But wherever I work, wherever I live, whoever is in my life at any given time, there is a group of people who never fail to inspire me. They are always on my mind and I miss being with them, every single day. It’s a strange collective, made up of school, sixth form and university friends, but now all bound together in one hilarious, beautiful, amazing, loving group. Some are mums, some career women, some both. Some are creative, some are tough, some sporty, some great at fashion. All are very good at bossing me around – and I love it.
Inspirational People - My very best friends

There are many inspirational people you will meet in life. But the ones who inspire me most are the ones who know me the best. I look at the way they live their lives, the different opportunities and challenges they’ve all faced and I’m inspired. Just an emali, phonecall or skype chat with any one of them, brings a huge fat smile to my face and makes me feel like I can achieve anything.
My best friends. Inspirational People.

Sunday, 9 October 2011

He wasn’t on my list

Single ladies, do you have a mental check list?
I’ve just marked the 11th anniversary of my first date with my husband and started thinking about when I was single. Then I remembered my checklist.
I used to have a mental checklist for Mr Right. Not mental as in mad, although I think I was slightly mad. Mental as in I knew it well, but never wrote it down. I kept it to myself, hidden away in my brain, to be used against every man I met.
After splitting from my first long-term boyfriend, I went through that awful phase where every male friend is a potential date. Surely we’ve all done it? You get on with someone really well and you’re so desperate to live happily ever after that you start convincing yourself they’re the perfect man.
I did this with a few people, much to the amusement of my friends, as I dated a random collection of oddballs either cos they knew someone I knew, or worse still, because I liked their family. I blame my sister and loved-up friends for most of this phase as they were usually the ‘ugly friend’ on the double date – yep we’ve all been left with one of those. Well I’d not only be left with them, but I’d convince myself to date them again SOBER and find myself having afternoon tea with the whole family before I knew it.
So after some failed and pretty horrific dates  I came up with my mental checklist and started sifting.
The list was made up of qualities that were really important to my 20 something self and my circle of friends. How he should look, what he’d wear, what he’d listen to, his family, his friends, the sports he’d play, the teams he’d support, the kind of night out he liked. It was all about fitting in.
Then I met my future husband. He didn’t meet the requirements but I couldn't resist him. He wasn’t a checklist match but I didn’t care..........checklist? what checklist?

I didn’t care what anyone else thought. And that’s when you know you’re really in love.
My advice would be, dump the mental checklist. It’s either based on what your friends would find acceptable or like mine, was simply based on the last man who made you happy. We’re worth more than that.