Football Conundrums

I readily confess to being a diehard Liverpool Football Club fan.  As per my mother’s request, I took diction lessons to lose the Scouse accent.  This is ironic, because she was a Geordie.  Anyway, the Scouser in me remains loyal to the Reds, which puts me in a bit of a conundrum, as I can’t keep up with the matches well from all the way over here in America.

Does anyone know of a source that broadcasts LFC matches available in the US?  I tried Radio 5 online, but I don’t think they broadcast the actual match.  The Premier League open between Liverpool and Sunderland ended in a 1-1 draw.  I can get reports like that, but I’d love to see the action, even if it’s in replay.

Suggestions for a far-flung ‘Pud anyone?


A Toast to Old Friends

Cé go bhfuil mé i Meiriceá anois, beidh mo chroí i gcónaí a bhaineann glas na cnoic i bhfad ar shiúl. Mo chuid fola beidh sé ar siúl i gcónaí leis na cathanna throid fada ó shin. Beidh mo aigne cuimhneamh ar an streachailt agus misneach. Agus beidh mo chroí at gcónaí le mórtas d’Éirinn, i Sasana, don bhaile.

Beannacht Lá Fhéile Pádraig

Happy St Patrick’s Day!

To everyone who doesn’t understand Irish well enough to translate the blessing from the previous post. While I grew up in England, my family has strong ties to Ireland and St Pat’s is my favourite holiday. I always enjoyed visiting Ireland as a child, and learning the language made me feel even more connected. The countryside is every bit as beautiful as the pictures in travel guides. The uplands are a dream, and the people I’ve met in the uplands are ever so nice. Dublin and the other urban areas are beautiful in their own right, and of course seeing the touristy areas is nice. Still, I’ll take a trip to rural Ireland any day.

Luck and love to everyone, today and always!

Pride in Tradition

I just watched the film ‘The Queen’ starring Helen Mirren, and it made me proud, once again, to be British.  Ours is a nation steeped in tradition and strengthened by the face of our Monarchy.

I remember being in the crowd at Buckingham Palace not long after the death of Princess Diana.  My sister and I, like so many others, came to pay our respects and leave flowers to honour this lovely woman who served our country so well.  Like many others, we also wondered why the Monarchy had not addressed the people. Still, I’ll admit to being a bit of a Conservative about many issues in my homeland.  I think the thing we all forgot during that tumultuous time is that the Monarchy were also dealing with a loss.

The treatment Diana received, both during her marriage to the Prince of Wales and after their divorce, was appalling.  She deserved respect and should have been allowed the dignity that came so naturally to her.  Diana was the People’s Princess, as she was dubbed all those years ago.  The Monarchy would have done well to pay their respects sooner after her death.  Still, I agree with the stance taken up in the film– the Monarchy had to tend to their own first.  Regardless of public opinion towards them, they are a family.  They have private lives and private emotions, and they, too, needed space.

The revolutionist climate at that time scared me, and it still does.  I think that tearing down the traditions of the British society would mean tearing down the very thing that makes our nation great.  I’m an ex-pat, but I still consider myself British.  It’s where I was born, where I grew up, and the place I’ll always consider home.  There is no greater society.  Our Queen is the figurehead of our history, and for better or worse, her lineage is our future.  In my humble opinion, that commands respect.

Those who know me personally will likely be a bit shocked by this post, especially given my background, but it’s something I feel strongly about.  It’s a bit contradictory to some of my beliefs, but I truly do love the traditions of my heritage and the symbolic representations of my country.  The Royal protocol, ceremonies involved in government and societal affairs, and cultural traditions that make Britain the honourable nation it is must be held up in order to keep our society strong.  No matter the distance or the time I’ve been away, I will *always* be proud to be British.

British Products in the US

Being a displaced Brit, there are certain products that I really miss.  I’ve been able to find replacements for most, but I’d really like to find a store and/or online shop that sells The Weary Gardener’s Restoring Muscle and Joint Rub.  I was fortunate enough to find a bottle at the World Market a year ago, but I can’t even find it there now.  Argh.  Anyway, it’s made by The Master Herbalist Limited.  I bought the 60g size, but it comes in others.  It is, in my opinion, the absolute best product on the market for muscle and joint pain.  I’ve never been able to find better, on either side of the Atlantic.

If you know where to find this product in the US, or if you are in England and know a vendor who will sell the product internationally, please email me with the information.  Include the website to the seller, please, so that I know the information is legitimate.


The Baby Steps Week So Far

There’s a progressive pattern that most children follow– they learn to crawl, then pull up, then stand on their own, and then take their first wobbly steps.  Why shouldn’t those of us with internal children take those same steps in healing?  I get frustrated and try to push things along at a higher rate of speed than I’m ready for at the moment.  Regardless of the issue I’m dealing with, and regardless of its genesis, I want to have it already worked through.  Now.  That isn’t too much to ask, is it?  🙂

In fact, everything seems to go in baby steps.  I’ve slowly made progress through my school programme and slowly made progress towards working out my financial issues.  Sometimes the speed at which things developed made me panic.  I began to worry that by the time I worked through some of the larger issues, my chance at actual life would be over.  Those thoughts only served to make me feel resigned, beaten before I’d started.  It’s only been through fighting my self(ves) constantly that I’ve started pushing past that.  Sometimes it’s really quite funny– a few days ago, when the panic started, I said aloud ‘How is this helping me?’.

Departing from my own issues and entering the larger world, I just read that Swindon is scraping some of the fixed-point speed cameras.  I’m not certain yet if that’s progress or simply a change the area, and the country at large, isn’t quite prepared for yet.  In any event, I wish them success and safety.

The Great Motivator

I wrote about the difficulty of expressing anger in another post.  It does, however, have its positive side.  Anger is a great motivator.  I’ve volunteered at shelters for abused women and children in England and here in the US, and I’ve heard that phrase used loads of times.  It wasn’t until a couple of days ago that I actually understood it.

As of lately, the focus of this blog has been on moving away from abusive relationships, as I am in the process of doing that.  I’m sort of chronicling that process in hopes that someone else might stumble upon this and get some help, or at least some inspiration, from it.  Almost eight years ago I thought I was completely free from the cult.  Two years later I came to the realisation that they were still in my life.  I trusted my father’s assertions that he had left and let him back into my life and my mother’s life.  Not long after that it became obvious that he was still very much involved in his old role.  While I am absolutely *not* playing the role I was supposed to take, the cult members are still very much a presence in my life and still have alot of control over me if only though my fear of them.  Consequently, I’ve spent the past six years trying to break free completely.

But back to anger.  I’ve been making solid plans as much as possible, the largest of which has been working out my financial situation and searching for jobs.  Soon I will be spending a few days in the place I’ll be moving to and will do some in-person job and apartment hunting, solidifying things even further.  For me, this is important.  I need to know that I’m not leaving chaos to enter even more chaos.  I’ve done what I can to build even loose connections from here so that I can make my short time there as productive as possible.  The book entitled ‘It’s My Life Now: Starting Over After an Abusive Relationship or Domestic Violence’ by Meg Kennedy Dugan and Roger R Hock is an excellent source of ideas and a great way to keep your thoughts together about such an enormous undertaking.  Even if the relationship you’re leaving isn’t one of a romantic nature (mine certainly isn’t) the book can be helpful.  It’s available through Amazon’s private booksellers, and I’m sure it can be found many other places as well.

Yesterday I sent an email to a dear friend of mine telling him the next steps I’ll be taking towards getting away from here.  It was only in writing that email that I realised how angry I am with the people who have hurt me and at myself for staying in this environment.  Until now, fear has played a large part in keeping me here.  Now, I’ve accepted the fact that I might always have little ‘visits’ from these lovely people, and that they’ll always be a bit of a presence in my life if only because they’ve had such a great part in shaping me.  For years I’ve been telling my best friend that I’m tired of running, and tired of always looking over my shoulder.  So I stopped.  I’m not running from these people any more.  I’m moving out in plain sight.

Because of them I’ve lost my entire family.  I’ve experienced and seen horrific acts, and I’ve come out of every bit of it alive and at least functioning.  I know the tricks.  What more can they do?  There’s a somewhat trite cliché that applies here– hope for the best, but prepare for the worst.  I know that if I absolutely *have* to make it in my current situation, I can.  However, in thinking about all the things these supposed people have done to me and my family, I can *feel* the anger I’ve been ignoring for so long now.  For the first time ever, I truly feel human and can state out loud that these things shouldn’t have happened, even to me.  I owe it to myself to build a better life, and I’ve learned the hard way that it’s ok for me to focus my energy on myself for a bit.

That’s the first step– realising you’re *not* some horrible excuse for a person who deserves to be abused forever.  You’ve got to allow yourself better times.  Life outside feels good, and spending as much time as possible outside your situation while trying to break free completely will help you keep that in perspective.

It’s Definite

I am homesick. I’ve been complaining of this for quite some time now, but today some of my internal people took up the cause. Recently, Mairead complained that she was tired of having to read and write words that were f*ck*ng spelled wrong. I got a laugh out of that. That isn’t a big issue for me, as it was essential for me to learn and use American spellings because of my career field. Adjusting my writing style based on that wasn’t difficult. Lily frequently complains that people here sound funny when they talk and she wants to go back home. That isn’t good for a laugh, though. I feel the same way.

Driving home this afternoon I was thinking of how the hills in this area remind me of the Yorkshire Dales, and the quality of the sky looked like London just before rain. Have I mentioned I’m homesick? I feel a bit stuck in the middle, though– too English for the Americans and too American for the English. New national identity– AmerEnglish. 🙂

Perhaps I will return to the Sceptred Isle soon, if only for a visit. The placement service I recently registered with has contacts on both sides of the pond. There are definitely things about America that I would miss, and leaving behind those I love here would certainly be difficult. That’s the thought that holds me here. The thought that keeps pushing me forward is that I want to feel like I belong again, like I understand and fit in with the culture surrounding me. And no matter which side of the Atlantic I end up on, I can always visit the other. We live in a small world.

Definitely not a decision to take lightly.