Archive for March, 2011

My bizarre dreams

This is freaky, I had just decided to finally get round to writing a post about dreams, and then I happened to check the prompt for today, only to find it’s about dreams!

The prompt asks what would be in my dream if I could control it. Well, really I prefer to just see what happens, although I would certainly prefer one of the entertaining ones to the terrifyingly tedious ones I get if I am focussed too much on learning something and not putting fun ingredients into the brain for it to play with. I suppose it can’t create a good dream out of Norwegian verb tables…

During my first 3 weeks in Norway, when I was on the intensive language course and had no TV and only one novel, which I finished in a few days, my dreams were mostly about learning Norwegian. That was kind of annoying! I spent all day doing that, I hoped for some time off at night! And it’s not as if I wasn’t doing fun stuff which you’d think it could have turned into fun dreams, forests, lakes, museums, a new city to explore.

I suppose it’s the intense focus I have, where if I have a new thing to learn, it gets in my dreams. This year I have had dreams about blogging and about crochet…

But my preferred sort of dream has flying, running through strange landscapes, interesting people, weird things happening, it’s hard to describe as they evaporate rather on waking up. I wrote a poem about that once, I might dig it out and post it some time.

Things I really don’t want in my dreams include anything horrible scary and nightmarish; lifts; needing the toilet; packing infinite things into a bag; excess teeth; not being able to find what I’m looking for; etc etc.

The lifts are bad. They are very very high and fast, they are just a small platform with no walls to the cubicle, the platform is a metre or more from the wall and I have to jump across. If I do so, I end up crouched on the floor clutching it in such terror that when I get to the top there is no way I am moving as I’d only have to get down again somehow. Then it never gets back to the bottom because someone always summons it to another floor. These other people never seem to mind the scary lifts!

The stupid thing is, in my dreams I can fly! So why do I need the lift at all? And why would I be scared at jumping across the gap?

Hunting for the toilet happens if I start to need a wee, which I usually avoid by not drinking too close to bedtime. But if I do, then I find toilets which are in the middle of an auditorium, or otherwise just far too public, or they are actually not really toilets but I’m weeing into an armchair or something! That is scary as it surely leads to bedwetting… (NOT something which has happened I assure you!)

That led to one of the weirdest bits I have dreamt ever. I was in a huge place with stalls selling stuff and I asked someone where the nearest loo was. This was his reply, I kid you not. ‘The closest toilet is if you wake up and use the one in your house.’ He honest to God really said that in my dream! So I woke up and used it.

Well, this post is quite long enough now and I haven’t even got to the earliest dreams I remember, which were from when I must have been about 5 years old.

Go on, share some weird dream anecdote – you know you want to!


March 31, 2011 at 9:00 PM 1 comment

Weekly Photo Challenge: Ocean

I haven’t been to the seaside for a while, although the last time I did I took loads of photos of the sea, which was in a very photogenic mood. Unfortunately, I had my old camera and looking at them now they seem less sharp than they could be. Never mind, here are a few of the better shots from that trip.

The ocean in Wales, near Aberystwyth.

Ducks at the seaside.

Aberaeron harbour, looking out to sea.

I love the different colours and moods, even over just a weekend trip. That is a very small selection of nearly 600 photos I took! Not all of the sea, but most of them. I love digital! And one benefit of my old camera is how much faster those were to upload…

March 30, 2011 at 10:58 PM 3 comments

Some books need a warning!

Films have age categorisation and sometimes a system of stars to warn of bad language, sex or violence. But there is no such system for books, and there ought to be. Especially if the thing in question is a surprise and not what you expect for the genre. But for certain things there always ought to be a warning.

I won’t read horror. I am very careful about what I put in my head as I have very vivid dreams and can get bad nightmares if I’m not careful.

I do read stuff which can get a bit close to the line at times. I enjoy the mystery solving part of murder mysteries, but not the murder part, especially if it’s gruesome. I sometimes enjoy exciting books like thrillers, although I have to be in the right mood. Also historical novels can contain nasty bits, because history had nasty bits, just as now does. But I neither need nor want those thrust down my throat!

It’s not that I’m denial about them existing, but I don’t find them entertaining.

The main thing which upsets me is torture. I seriously do not want to read detailed descriptions of this or of its results. It is sick and disgusting. That humans can do stuff like that to each other or to helpless animals revolts me.

So what I would like is a warning on novels which have torture or animal cruelty so I can avoid them.

Especially to cats. That will make me throw the book across the room and not want to even touch it again. That’s what triggered this post today. If you are the same then don’t read the girl with the dragon tattoo. I wasn’t going to read it myself, because of the sexual abuse, but my mother said I should and that it wasn’t too bad. Hmm, not trusting her opinion again. This is not even the first book she said was OK which wasn’t!

I got through the abuse bits and I agree they weren’t actually handled too badly. But then there started to be bits of animal cruelty and descriptions of murders which had involved torture. They were brief, so I pressed on. I shouldn’t have! I’m not going to finish it. I felt uneasy when a cat turned up in it. There are certain authors you just can’t trust.

Also, don’t read the Gaudi key if you’re like me. Another of my mother’s lends! I thought it was going to be a puzzle solving thriller, a bit like Dan Brown, but with Gaudi, whose architecture I like. There was violence in it, more than I prefer, but then there was a horrific and very detailed torturing to death of a fairly main female character, which I felt was gratuitously long and almost lovingly described. It made me seriously question what sort of person would write this stuff!

I even emailed the publisher to complain about that one, but I never got a response.

Although I would prefer if such stuff as torture and cruelty did not even exist, the fact that it does means someone will write about it and I’m not suggesting censorship, just a warning so squeamish people like me know to avoid it!

What do you think? Have you ever been upset by something you read or watched? Do you think a warning system could work? Should it be done?

Maybe a website listing books with certain problems would help. For all I know, such a thing exists. If you know about one, please let me know! Especially one which warns against books where bad things happen to cats…

March 29, 2011 at 5:42 PM 2 comments

Crochet has improved my arthritic hands!

Great news! Since taking up crochet about a month ago my hands are now stronger and less painful, they move better, with an increased range of movement! This is amazing and fantastic!! 😀 😀 😀

Maybe the hand exercises prescribed by physiotherapists would have been just as effective, or more so for all I know, but I’m just not someone who can sit and repeat tedious exercises day in day out. Even for a good reason. This is a flaw in my character, but at last I have found an alternative!

OK so crochet can be repetitive, a bit, but you get the pleasure of creating something, you can see it grow. And if you get bored of one project, you switch to another, then go back to it. I usually work on two or three different projects in a day, some small, tight and fiddly, others loose and fast.

I have made 3 and a half hats, 3 and a half scarves, a couple of little flowers and other twiddles, and the stuff I posted on already.

Watch out family and friends – if I keep going at this rate I shall have to be making gifts 😉 Tim will not be a happy bunny if I fill the house up with crocheted goods and yarn!

And to think I was a bit concerned it might make my hands worse. My OT warned me against taking up knitting because of the potential for repetitive strain. I didn’t consult anyone about the crochet and I did wonder if it would be similar. So either crochet is better for you than knitting, or they were wrong about the knitting and my hands could have been better ages ago… Hmm, I wonder. Medics don’t know everything.

I get a lot of pleasure from learning new skills. I learned two new stitches today in the course of trying out a pattern for a daffodil 🙂 and there is plenty more to learn. Even if I were to keep going at this rate, I’m sure there would still be more to learn in a year or more, but I shall have to go back to the thesis as soon as I am better. But I shall always have crochet as a hobby I am sure.

Wahay!!! 😀 Happy happy 😀 I love crochet!

March 28, 2011 at 10:32 PM 6 comments

Why Church?

Church. What does that say to you? A pretty building? Somewhere to go for special occasions? A boring place you were dragged to as a child and vowed to avoid as far as humanly possible? The house of God? A special place? Somewhere you love to go and would spend all your time there if you could?

We have just one word, where they used to have two. We tend to think of the building, or perhaps the Sunday service. But the dominant meaning when the Bible talks about church was the people.

A lot of people are put off by church. And no wonder, as it can be dull if you have no special relationship with the Person who is the focus of the whole thing, God. But even if you do, that doesn’t seem to mean that church is the most fun place to be.

It ought to, right?

If it doesn’t seem to hit the spot, whose fault is that? Is it mine, for failing to have the right attitude? The people in charge of the church for failing to engage with me? The devil?

When I was a child and a teenager, I went to church because I had to, because my parents went. It was compulsory, like school. It was not so bad, I had friends who went with me. It didn’t start quite as early as school. But it was always a duty.

I still went for the first year I went to uni, unless there was something else I really wanted to go to on the Sunday, but the church I picked was not friendly and welcoming. I’d go in, sit and listen, then leave. I think the pastor would shake hands with people on their way out, but that was it. I did go to the C.U. meetings, which were better. But this post is about church.

In my second year I started to get ill and was skipping class, so I must have also skipped church. And I was too ill to go much when I had to go home and live back with my parents. I was quite glad to not bother. And not just because I was too constantly tired to do anything anyway.

Over a decade later, when I came to love God, for various reasons I couldn’t become a regular attender at a local church and a few months later I was living in Norway for the second half of the year.

When I returned to England, I moved into a flat by myself and was free to find a church to join. The first local church I tried was very welcoming, and I have been going there ever since. I had been expecting it to be a chore, a duty, but to my surprise I found I loved it!

It wasn’t so different from the church I grew up in; it was me which had changed.

But then, not long after getting married and moving even closer to the church, it had a massive rupture and almost all the leadership left! As part of the Loyal Remnant, we threw ourselves into doing whatever was needed to keep it going. But through that first year I lost my joy at attending. I guess it got gradually eroded by a sense of responsibility or something, I don’t really know what or why.

People would say that always happens, that new convert fervour wearing off. But I’m not sure that is either what it is or that such a thing is right! But it hasn’t come back, even though we got a pastor. Things are still difficult and the church is not growing, maybe that is the reason, I don’t know. Or it might be me. I have been struggling with my energy levels lately.

It has made me consider why church is important, even whether it is. There is an internet church, maybe I could join that. But I still think there a lot to be learned from church. It is my family in Christ. I feel it is a commitment, like marriage, but one based on love, again like marriage.

There are many reasons to stick with it, which I have run out of room to discuss today! Maybe some other Sunday.

But finally, I was glad I went today. Not to the morning service – the clocks changed and it would be even earlier! But I went to the evening Bible study. There were only four of us, but that didn’t matter. We worshipped God and looked into His word about how we are His adopted children, which is mind-blowingly wonderful! Not slaves, not servants, not just worshippers, but His children. I look forward to when I can live with Him in heaven!

I felt tired and not keen to go when I set off. But I was so glad I went.

What are your thoughts on church?

March 27, 2011 at 11:30 PM 2 comments

I have nothing to say today

So shall I just say nothing? Or shall I whiffle on about nothing of any import. I wonder how many words words I can write about this non-subject? Probably enough to bore both you and me, but I think I shall run out of steam before it gets very much worse.

It’s not been a bad day and I don’t feel too tired or ill, which is nice. So I don’t have a good excuse. I don’t mean to let you down by forcing you to read this drivel, but this is a somewhat inevitable consequence of blogging every day, or trying to.

Today I did some crochet, and some more crochet. Yesterday I went to the yarn shop, actually, to two yarn shops… but that would be more interesting if I had photos of the yarn I bought. I could take the photos, but I don’t feel like it. Sorry. Or maybe it’s a relief if you are not as excited by yarn as I am…

I seem to have developed a yarn addiction to add to my bibliophilia. What would that be called? Yarnophilia? And is there a word for cat cuddle addiction? Pebble, my tabby cat, is very cuddly.

Well, I seem to have blethered on for 200+ words, which is more than enough.

Please feel free to insult me in the comments for my pathetic inexcusable wasting of your time. But if you do, please try to use imaginative and different words instead of swear words 😉

March 26, 2011 at 9:04 PM 1 comment

Words and Censorship

A blog I subscribe to (The Hack Novelist) raised an interesting issue today, debating the removal of the n words from Mark Twain’s stories about Huck Finn.

I’m not going to get into that particular debate here, but the wider issues it made me think about.

Censorship first. As with so many things, neither extreme is attractive, little kiddies being exposed to violence and swearing, or the Big Brother state with Newspeak mind control. I feel that we have had too much censorship in the past, but that we have now swung too far the other way in response.

Swearing for example. OK so people swear and it is unrealistic to write dialogue which doesn’t represent their way of speaking. But if our minds are bombarded with blankets of bad words, they stop registering as being so bad. When that happens, we need new, worse words to express our extreme feelings!

I was brought up to not swear and I didn’t as a child. I also didn’t use bad language as a teenager! That was a conscious decision which took work to maintain, as I was certainly exposed to bad words. My reasons for rejecting that were mostly my faith, reinforced by my contrary preference for being different 🙂

When I went to uni, I began using bad language. I’m not sure why really. Maybe I am only immune to the peer pressure of people I have no desire to fit in with, and I fitted better at uni than I ever did at school.

Also I stopped going to church and no longer felt I had to fit that mould.

Then when I found my faith a few years ago the habit of using bad language had become quite ingrained and it is hard to shed! I am not one of those blessed believers who find they just don’t swear since their conversion. It is well known that it is easier to shift a habit if not exposed to the thing, like alcoholics not going to pubs. But the lack of swearing in my church friends is hardly enough to counter that which I am exposed to on a daily basis by watching TV etc.

So I would prefer if it simply was less prevalent.

Also I’m sure that if there was less on TV, we might eventually see that trickling down into society. Art may reflect life, but life reflects art right back at it, like when you put two mirrors opposite each other!

(A pic here would be cool, but I haven’t got one and I’m paranoid about copyright issues using one from the web, but I’m sure you know what I mean. You can always google parallel mirrors or infinity mirror and look at the images. But be careful! I was just browsing for a link to include and clicked on a weird virus thing and had to use ctrl alt del to shut down my browser.)

Words get in your head.

It’s only natural, that’s where they live 🙂

But I would like some control over which words get in there.

Not that I object if my friends swear, it doesn’t bother me the way it bothers some people. But I would prefer to have less of it on TV. I lived in Norway for 6 months and didn’t pick up any Scandinavian swear words, although I was aware of them. But I have watched nearly every episode of Wallander and there the words go, burrowing into my brain 😮

But some swear words are so satisfying! Why is that? I think it must be a combination of the sound and meaning.

Also, what even counts as swearing? I won’t blaspheme and my language was never all that bad. Hardly ever anything worse than the f word.

Actually, it’s funny how different cultures are with swearing. The Scandinavian swear words all seem to relate to devils and hell. Most English ones are bodily functions or blasphemy.

I reckon toilet words are borderline acceptable, although my mother disagrees. She even thinks it is bad to say crap! I think that is so mild it’s laughable to object 😀

What do you think? Is swearing even bad? Where is your line of what is acceptable (please respect my line when posting a comment or I will edit it!) Do you cringe if you witness a five year old use the f word? Or is it simply inevitable language change and shifting societal standards? Is there any point objecting?

March 25, 2011 at 11:51 PM 2 comments

Older Posts

March 2011
« Feb   Apr »

Recent Posts