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A little bit of this and that

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Internal Monologue

28 June 2014
Life is a funny little thing. It takes some of the best of us and all of a sudden chews us up to a pulp and spits us back out without reason or cause.

I've never been a believer in the saying that 'what doesn't kill you makes you stronger' - what doesn't kill you internally weakens you, not the opposite. It eats you up inside and when it's finished with you, sits back in the corner of your mind somewhere, ready to reappear at any point and dampen your spirits. I don't believe in trying to take strength from something that is draining you to the core; forcing yourself to put on a smile isn't strengthening you, it's only aiding the weakening cause.

Sometimes life is all too much and we all just need to take a step back and reenergise - take some time to smell the flowers. It's much easier said than done, I know; life is unpredictable in that way.

Life is all about strength of character, not luck or fate; it's the moments that challenge us the most, where life in itself seems almost unbearable that our true strength of character is displayed. Watching somebody close to you go through such challenges, as I am currently, is a roller coaster in itself.

Life is unpredictable - sometimes it makes us so happy we could dance, other times it makes us cry for a little while, and sometimes it tries to bring us down to the point that we shut ourselves away from the world. We like to tell ourselves that life is in our control, that it sits in the palm of our hands but the reality is that so many things are out of our control that we just have to sit back and hope that our strength in character is enough to keep us away from the blow and it's aftermath. Sometimes it's not, but that's ok - we just find a way to get ourselves back on our feet again. In the end, we're all the same; like dandelions in a breeze, just floating along, waiting to see where life takes us.

Until next time,

Pandas and Polaroids

22 June 2014
So this week, the UK got what can only be described as our 'one week of summer' - famously known as the week where the sun shines and temperatures push 20 degrees, swiftly followed by a week of continuous rain - classic. It would be a waste not to make the most of the weather, so this week I headed on out on with my trusty factor 50 by my side (my transparent complexion is no friend of the sun) and ventured forth to enjoy our 7 day long summer.

Monday saw a trip into the city with some friends where we lunched like the classy ladies that we are, by visiting the Hard Rock Cafe. Now I'm no food critic but let me tell you, that there club sandwich was quite simply, excellent. However, us classy ladies weren't willing to spend £10 on ice cream; a short drive and £2 later, we all had ice lollies - dessert problem solved. Also take note of the man walking a tightrope, playing a violin and singing all at the same time - his multitasking levels are through the roof.

Tuesday was by far my favourite day of the week. Drew and I got up at a ridiculously early hour of the day and hopped on a train to Edinburgh for a long awaited trip to the zoo. For those of you that don't know, pandas have been my favourite animal for as long as I remember and Edinburgh zoo happens to be the only place in the UK that you can see such animals - I was excited to say the least. If you take a look up in that top right corner you'll see one sleepy panda; downright adorable, I know. My excitement couldn't be contained, even 3 hours later when we stopped off at Krispy Kreme before we headed on the train home. Doughnuts and pandas all in one day is just a little much for Caitlin to handle.

Wednesday came around and involved a drive with some of my best friends from school for a picnic in the countryside. Naturally, with my ghost like skin, I had managed to get burnt during the 10 minutes that I was driving for - factor 50 and that big old oak tree were my best friends that day. My little polaroid camera also came with us for the first time and was a source of great amusement - definitely my most favourite recent purchase.

By the time Thursday and Friday arrived, I was pretty exhausted to say the least, so lying around in the garden doing absolutely nothing but eat my body weight in ice lollies and fruit was essential. Luckily I had Drew to keep me company. Both days consisted of applying suncream religiously before proceeding to take shelter in the shade - the transparent life is hard, I'm telling you.

But now it's Sunday and the temperatures are already dropping back into the teens; our week of summer is coming to an end. Sad faces all around. But hey, I hope that wherever you are and whatever it is that you are doing, that the weather is lovely and whatever you're up to is even lovelier.

Until next time!

Retail Food for Thought

9 June 2014
This post is brought to you by the piece of glass that has lodged itself under the skin of my hand - oh the joys of working in a supermarket! I've had this post planned for a wee while now but have had absolutely no time to sit down and just focus on writing it; now however, with my new glass-shaped friend in my hand I feel like I have an excuse to just sit down and try relax before I start trying to ply out the little sucker.

I work in retail part time between my studies - a fact many of you will be aware of by now. I've dealt with everything from 2 year olds who have lost their mum in amongst the chaos of the aisles, husbands who have lost their wives somewhere between the freezers and the cereal, runaway dogs, trolley fights over cider, drunks looking for beans and people who are high as a kite, looking for munchies. Then there is everybody else, those who just pop in for anything from bread and milk to Saturday night munchies.

No matter who I come across or what they're looking for, the thing that I've learnt is that the customers I come to respect are those with some form of manners - those who show some sign of gratitude and treat me as an equal. Because lets be realistic - in a dream world there is not a chance in hell that you would find me stacking shelves on a Saturday night; it's not something that I would choose to do and most certainly isn't a job that I enjoy; having somebody appreciate your help makes it a little more bearable.

I'll put it into context for you; the other day a woman smashed her trolley into me whilst I was crouching down filling a shelf. She then proceeded to completely bypass me, acting as if nothing had happened (even though I was pretty much lying in her way, across the aisle, as if I had been hit by a truck...kinda). At this point, I was ready to flykick this woman in the face and send her packing - an apology would have sufficed but clearly this was too much of a challenge. The exact same thing happened when a woman dropped a tin of carrots on my head once; no apology, but hey, who needs an apology when you're suffering from slight concussion and aren't even sure where you are anymore?

I guess the point I'm trying to make here is that gratitude is important. Treating people like your equal is probably even more important. There really is no excuse for anything else. No matter who they are, where they are, or even where you are, a little gratitude goes a long way - trust me. Make this gal happy and throw in a thanks the next time I show you where the microwave popcorn is, you'll make my job a whole lot more bearable and it costs absolutely nothing, yay! The same applies to the real world - gratitude is free and I'm pretty sure the world will go round a whole lot smoother with a little bit more of it.

Until next time!