Posts Tagged ‘fear’

Wednesday Write-In #81: Spring Fever

Thursday, March 6th, 2014

This is my second attempt at Cake.ShortandSweet Wednesday Write-In. This week’s words were: drawn; sitting comfortably; sag; hiss; Ship-shape. I was instantly drawn to the word ‘hiss’ for reasons you will soon discover if you choose to read on.

Spring Fever (Or When Geese Attack)

Even the most pessimistic Mancunians can’t deny the approach of spring in the city. “It has been the wettest winter on record,” they complain. “Last summer was the best we’ve had in years. That won’t happen again.”

Perhaps it is thanks to the endless winter drizzle and the increasing hours of sunshine that is exciting the daffodils, plum trees and cherry blossom. Crocus flowers are being drawn up from their muddy winter hideaways to add splatterings of lilac to dormant parks and roadside garden beds. Those browny-green twigs you have ignored during the winter months are suddenly bursting into joyful colour – electric green leaf shoots and look-at-me flowers. Nature is coming to life again and it wants to show off.

The birds are back in town, too. Petit sparrows, wagtails and tits dart about claiming territories and socialising. The larger breeds fly in with their heads in the air, cruising down the ship canal and sitting comfortably like bored teenagers by the water’s edge. With each movement they call to their friends – “I’m going over here now.” “Hey guys, I’m bored.” “Sweet, that kid’s got bread!”

Everyone is feeling good about the change of seasons and the approaching warmer weather. However, while sunshine and pretty flowers are good for the soul and breaking the communal SAD (Seasonal Affective Disorder), no one thinks about what the arrival of peak spring really means.

Canada Geese. One of the most temperamental creatures in existence, I once saw them described as ‘friendly’ in an Illustrated Guide to Birds (the cutesie drawing of the goose even had it smiling.). Dear Author, clearly you have never encountered these malicious fiends in the middle of their mating season. It is obvious you have never had to walk along narrow canal-side pathways with water on one side and a Canadian Goose on the other. They see you coming with nowhere to escape. They move into action, positioning themselves directly in your desired pathway, calling to their friends to come and join in the fun. You reduce speed to a slow but steady pace, not wanting to appear threatening but hoping your larger body mass and intellectual superiority will encourage them to leave you alone.

No chance. Get within a foot of these beasts and they’re off – craning their necks like pissed-off cobras, puffing out their wings and stamping about in circles. You’re in their zone and they’re letting you know. But the worst part is still to come – now they are beginning to hiss. Opening up those supposedly smiling beaks into a ferocious snarl, the sound of a thousand poisonous snakes hits your ears and you know it is on. They attack, stabbing and jabbing and aiming for your knees with their knife-blade mandibles. Don’t put out your hand to stop them or they snap your fingers off. Just run. Your only option to escape this death trap is to get up on your tip-toes, flail your arms in the air and squeal like a small child, running as far and as quickly as possible. Do not look back. Do not make eye contact. Just get the hell out.

And when you can finally stop and catch your breath, your heart pumping with the adrenaline of primal fear, you will be hit with the realisation that someone may have seen that. It is guaranteed that someone probably did and you may feel ashamed about appearing inferior to a goose. But sleep easy knowing that one day that person laughing at your misfortune will experience this torture themselves and will scream an even girly-er scream than you.

Spring has sprung, my friends. The geese are coming.

Oh Goodness Gracious Me.

Friday, March 29th, 2013

I have become extremely aware in the past few days that in one week and two days I will be running in the Paris Marathon. I am completely willing to admit that I am really, really, really, really scared. Beyond scared really – I am terrified. I am not sure what of, exactly – perhaps my legs falling off or just not being able to run further than 10 kilometres. I know these are both not going to happen and I accidentally ran 10 kilometres the other morning by getting lost in Manchester, but my brain works in mysterious ways. I feel very under-prepared as moving countries, packing boxes, and getting gastro and then a cold have all meant that I haven’t been able to do as many long runs as I would have liked. But then I wonder if it really would have made any difference and I can quite genuinely say that I doubt it. I’ll either be able to do it or I won’t and I’ll try my best and see what happens. But if anyone is free on Sunday 7 April and feels like standing at various points along the route and cheering for me and telling me that I’m not dying and that my legs are still attached and that I really can make it to the end then I would really, really, really, REALLY appreciate it. Thank you kindly.

Oh and a little note for my sponsors who are paying for me to do this fantastic event – I currently don’t like you very much. Just kidding! I will just be a very, very happy girl when it is over. Then I might start training for the Manchester Marathon…

Growing Up

Tuesday, August 28th, 2012

As a kid, I suffered from terrible growing pains. The backs of my knees would ache and throb and at the time it seemed like the worst possible pain to have to endure. As a result, I have very long legs, but I have also come to realise that maybe my thirteen-year-old-self had it good. It turns out growing up also involves sharp stabbing pains in the heart, brain, back, stomach, etc etc…

In four days’ time it will be my birthday and I will move even further away from being “in my early 20s”. I think I will continue to claim “mid-20s” for another year but after that it is definitely “late”. Those of you who know me well will be aware of my obsession with my birthday. I live for this day, and every year as it comes along I become increasingly more and more excited as I count down towards the BIG DAY. I always try and make the day as special and cake-filled as possible; I am allowed to do whatever I want and, more importantly, eat whatever I want on my birthday. And the same rules apply for everyone else in the world on their birthday. It is the one day of the year where you can feel important and alive enough to drown yourself in chocolate cake. Hoorah!

This year, however, my birthday has managed to sneak up on me and I am currently experiencing a sensation that I have never felt before. I am not looking forward to it. Sure, I am pleased that my parents will be in town (especially seeing as ALL of my friends are leaving and going on holidays) and my mum’s cousin will be in Paris from Holland on the day, but it just doesn’t seem right. I always say that as long as there is good cake I am happy, but this year I am questioning this logic.

I think it boils down to the fact that I am scared about next year. I have been doing a lot of ‘thinking’ about ‘stuff’ lately and my plans for the future have played a significant role. Bad, bad move considering I have no idea what I am doing on a daily basis, let alone in a year’s time. So maybe it is time to stop worrying about what I am going to be doing then and focus on what I am doing now.

In four days time, I will turn 27 as a single, relatively young, Australian living in a 13th-century ex-convent building in the middle of Paris. I have great friends and a wonderful family. I am the fittest and slimmest I have ever been in my entire life and my thighs are no longer thunder-esque, they’re more just sturdy posts. I am working on creating myself a life that I love, rather than one that pays the bills and is satisfactory. I was in Italy last week, I am going to England and Poland in October and who knows where I’m going to be for Christmas. Today I am having lunch with 0ne friend and dinner with another. Last night I finally cooked myself a real dinner after three months of living on vegetable quinoa.

I wouldn’t normally spill these sorts of beans in such a public forum but I felt that I needed and wanted to. While I might be getting older, my internal wisdom says that that doesn’t mean I need to ‘become serious’ and ‘settle down’ and ‘get a real job’ because that will just reverse everything that I have done and achieved in the past few years. Instead it is about moving forward and continuing on this journey and seeing where it takes me. And I wanted a bit of an emotional rollercoaster so that when I eventually write my “My Life in Paris” book it is actually interesting. This is turning into a best seller.