Somebody told me today about this website. I have joined, and have arranged to go to two social evenings already over the next couple of weeks - I also have arranged to meet another lady for a dog walk and a cup of coffee at the weekend. How cool is that?
In my last post I talked about Liz. I have other friends - and all of them - to a man (or woman) have been fantastic over the last few weeks as I have been going through many, many changes in my little old life. They have listened, and helped and cheered me on and cheered me up. Since I came back to Sheffield last week - every single one of my old friends - who have been kind of neglected over the last few years since I ran away to London - have all been in touch - and welcomed me back with open arms. So here's a list of people who love me, care for me, have supported me recently and who I would like to publicly thank......Lisa, Alex, Moya, Helen and Andrew, Pete Le Gite, Deepak, Garry, Sheldon, Fifi la Trix and Sean, Jacqui, Patsy, Jopa, Su, Cressie, Jim and Marina, Christian and Victoria, Darling Dan, Helen and Ernie, Dennis Carr (Superstar) Nicola and Trish. I haven't had to spend one evening alone so far - and have spent many happy hours in the company with those who I love - or spent many hours gassing on the phone with others. (no, really? you don't say!)
My Mum - bless her heart - has taken me in and made me welcome, fed me, and looked after me and Millie. My Auntie Mimi has phoned me every single morning to tell me how wonderful I am - and how I can do anything that I want - and how special she thinks I am.
I have many people in my life who have known me for what seems like for ever, and who (for some unexplained reason) love me to bits. I will never stop counting the blessings that are my dear dear friends. I am surrounded by love and care and am never, ever alone xx
This is me and one of my dearest, oldest friends, Pete, all dressed up on Saturday night. I was Dusty Springfield, and he was Frank Sinatra. Actually I was me and he was him - but you know what I mean.....A good night was had by all, lots to drink, great company, many many laughs, and a late night (early morning) made all the later because the clocks went forward!
I have about three tons of eyeliner on and the biggest false eyelashes I had ever seen. It was fab x
I have a special friend called Liz. That wasn't her name when I first met her - but that's a whole other story. I met her via somebody else - and the first time we met I got quite drunk and broke a wine glass. Funnily enough this must have struck a chord with her - because from that moment on we got on like a house on fire. She likes a drink or two does Liz!!! We had a day Christmas shopping together last November (2008)- which was a blast - and from that day on we've been really good pals.
Anyway I am writing about her because she said to me today that I hadn't ever written anything about her. I explained that I don't often mention people by name on here - because it's a sensitive thing - people might not want stuff about them splashed all over t'internet for any random Joe somewhere in the world to read (clearly I don't mind that!) But she said that she would actually like to get a mention.
I have a lot of pals - as you may know - and over the last few weeks they have all been brilliant - supportive, caring, and there for me. But Liz - well Liz has been amazing. She has called me every day without fail since the 6th January. (Actually she called me nearly every day for a full year before that too). She has offered support, ideas, a shoulder to cry on - and have given me a stern word or two when I have needed it. She has never wavered in her support and care - and I wanted to take this opportunity to thank her for all she has done and how she has been.
She is also quite mad - and very very funny. Every time I talk to her she makes me laugh out loud - usually more than once - and even in my darkest moments she has managed to cheer me up, and made me see sense.
So Liz I salute you, and I thank you from the bottom of my heart.xx
Dusty Springfield has to go and start getting ready in a minute. There is hair to backcomb, false eyelashes to adhere, and a lot of black eyeliner to apply. I've just had a call from Frank Sinatra, and he's picking me up at 7!!
I've been invited to a party on Saturday. It's a fancy dress, and the invite said something about singing stars.I'm going as Dusty (...Don't know just what to do with myself...), my friend is going as Amy 'Whine'House. I hope there's a karaoke :)
Yesterday I purchased false eyelashes - you just know it's all going to go horribly wrong... don't you?
I have been to see the tenants in my little house today. I had to ask them to move out, because I want to move back in. Apparently Belvoir - who manage the letting on my behalf - haven't been passing messages on. AND - when the tenant moved in they took six months rent up front from them!...and they told the tenant that I insisted on that as a condition of them moving in! Bloody Cheek.
I am now dealing with the tenant directly and they have agreed to pay the rent in cash!!! (yippee) - directly to me. They have agreed to move out - and although I have to give them 2 month's notice - they have agreed to look for somewhere straight away. The tenants and I are now firm friends and tomorrow morning I am calling in at Belvoir's offices to give them a huge big f**k off tablet which I hope they swallow without water! My goodness, I am going to raise the roof :)
I have just spent forty five minutes on the phone with someone that I care about very much giving them relationship advice - (like I am qualified to do that....NOT)....and then I actually started to listen to what I was saying. How mad is that?... I actually feel so much better!! I didn't realise that I spoke so much sense :) Isn't it bizarre that we can identify and offer solutions to other people's woes so easily, and yet we cannot do that for ourselves? Everything I said to this person was what I should have been listening to myself for the last few weeks...but did I know it when dealing with my own troubles? Did I chuff:)
I've just been away as I said in my previous post. Whilst away I met the most incredible person. It's so bizarre how the Universe conspires to introduce you to interesting and fascinating folk. When I arrived in Gozo late on Thursday I went to my friend Julian's apartment. He has people who visit the dive school staying there, divemaster trainees and people taking other courses etc. On Friday morning I was up early drinking coffee in the living room when this guy walked in wearing just his shreddies (underpants)...he looked rather the worse for wear and spoke with a pronounced scally-scouse accent. He had a shaved head and to be quite frank - resembled a burglar. Not being one to pre-judge I bid him a cheery 'good morning' and was grunted at in reply.!
He then disappeared into the bathroom, and Julian and I set off for the dive shop. A couple of hours later - this same guy strolled into the dive shop (by now he was fully clothed). Julian introduced him as Simon, and a few minutes later I went two doors down to get us all some coffee. He had arrived to help Julian train a couple of technical divers on a very difficult course.
Through the next three days I got to know Simon, and spent a lot of time with him, talking and picking his brains, and on one occasion when we were doing a cave dive and I started to panic a little bit - he immediately spotted the problem and gently guided me out of the cave and then stayed with me to make sure I was okay.
It turned out that his name is Simon Townsend, and he is one of the world's best technical scuba divers. He holds world records for deep dives and long dives. Within the dive community his name is synonymous with skill and experience. And there I am - little old 'flipper' me being able to eat with and talk to this chap for three evenings on the trot. Most divers would kill for that opportunity. He is a really lovely guy, totally willing to help and and advise novice divers like me, and spend time talking and coaching them. I leant more in three days than I have in all the courses I have done.
Me, Simon and Julian
Simon is a pioneer in diving, one of those people who researches things and pushes the boundaries of what is accepted and what is safe - so that mere mortals like me can do more...safely. It was a complete honour to meet him.
I've just had a few days away. In Gozo. Where's that?, near Malta - that's where. You fly into Malta and then hop on the ferry, 25 minutes later...you are in Gozo! I went to dive with my old pal Julian who I've known for nigh on sixteen years. He went away a long time ago....a few months ago found him on facebook (as you do) and discovered he was a diving instructor. This is a picture of him struggling to get into a dry suit that was a wee bit too small :) There are more photographs here. He works here and clearly diving is what they do. I have the opportunity to go back for the summer to qualify firstly as a divemaster, and then as an Assistant Instructor. I've had a brilliant time, and met some really great people (nice people these divers), but am still a tad undecided as to if I should go or not. The weather was pants!!! It rained every day and was very chilly...mind you the water was a lot warmer than at Stoney Cove......