Apparently I Need Help…….

This may not come as a shock to those of you who know me and I do wonder myself some days but I was quite surprised to be told that I need help by a journalist. The fact that it wasn’t just me she was addressing but all ‘women over 50’ didn’t make me feel any better! So, what now? Another bit of me is going to dry up or drop off? A scientist has decided that I should stop going to the gym because my skeleton is busy crumbling to dust inside my wrinkled skin?

This may not come as a shock to those of you who know me and I do wonder myself some days but I was quite surprised to be told that I need help by a journalist. The fact that it wasn’t just me she was addressing but all ‘women over 50’ didn’t make me feel any better! So, what now? Another bit of me is going to dry up or drop off? A scientist has decided that I should stop going to the gym because my skeleton is busy crumbling to dust inside my wrinkled skin?

Nope, none of the above. Apparently I need help to find a swimming costume (WTF? I hear you say, as well you may). It seems that, as a result of my advancing years, I will develop a phobia of 20 something girls in bikinis and, every time I go swimming, I’ll need to tread water for days at a time in case one of the young lovelies sees me and mocks my aging body. Apparently, for me, bikinis are no longer an option because my ‘jiggly belly’ will be exposed and my boobs have plunged.

1920 swimming costumeThe journalist advocated that, to avoid all this trauma, I should spend £140 on a swimming costume which is the aquatic version of Spanx; apparently the low cut leg and wide straps should make me feel less ‘self-conscious’. What is the thinking behind this I wonder? Does the journalist assume that an over 50 lady garden will have run riot to the point that a high cut leg will be unable to contain the expanding hedgerow? Maybe she’s thinking of the back view, perhaps 50 year old arses cannot be trusted to remain contained in anything other than reinforced long drawers? Will the wide straps ensure that my boobs won’t try to make a bid for freedom and swipe someone round the back of the knees?

I’m not really sure what I’m more insulted about to be honest:

  • The fact that my advancing years mean that I no longer have the mental capacity to  buy a swimsuit without ‘help’
  • The fact that it’s been suggested that anyone over 50 shouldn’t be wearing a bikini
  • The fact that, allegedly, reaching your 50th birthday comes with a free gift of paranoia and a fear of what 20 something’s might think

All of the above I think. I bought 2 bikinis this summer, all by myself. They are both halterneck and high leg and, to my knowledge nothing escaped (well except that time when I went diving and one boob fell out but, what the hell, I was under water and managed to pop it back in before anyone noticed).

micro bikiniWhilst I am ready to admit I have a certain degree of envy when I look at the perky little 20 something’s in their dental floss bikinis I certainly don’t imagine that they have any thoughts about me at all. All they seem to be thinking about are the 20 something hunks, flashing their abs and their perfect white teeth which is just as it should be!

At the end of this journalistic master piece the author asked “Is it just me”? Yes love, it’s just you; I’m not giving up my bikini any time soon for you or anyone else……

What do you think? Should older women be more ‘discreet’ in what they wear or should we be free to let it all hang out and have fun? Let me know, I’d love to hear from you.

Lisa x

Tough Decisions…..

Morning chaps, how are we all today? If you’ve got a minute I could really use your advice with something because I just cannot decide what to do. To explain, I’ve been living alone for more than 4 years now and, to be honest, I feel pretty lonely some of the time. Yesterday, a friend came up with a solution that would also involve helping others at the same time. Should be easy to say ‘yes’ shouldn’t it but…….

Morning chaps, how are we all today? If you’ve got a minute I could really use your advice with something because I just cannot decide what to do. To explain, I’ve been living alone for more than 4 years now and, to be honest, I feel pretty lonely some of the time. Yesterday, a friend came up with a solution that would also involve helping others at the same time. Should be easy to say ‘yes’ shouldn’t it but…….

Her idea was for me to take on the training of a guide dog puppy, you know, those adorable bundles of fluff that eat your furniture and capture your heart? As soon as she said it I broke into the biggest smile and my instant answer was ‘yes!!!!! I want a puppy!!!’ As she’s not one to let the grass grow under her feet, she whisked me off to the local Guide Dog Centre and we had a long chat with the lady in charge. She was lovely and explained everything to me; they would pay for the food and vets bills and the dog would live with me in my apartment. Once a month we would attend training classes at the centre and I would be expected to walk the dog twice a day, instill discipline and give  it bucket loads of affection….

This is where things started to get tricky because I know myself well. The affection would be no problem as I am desperate to have something to love; I have friends and family of course but no real outlet for the love that just seems to sit inside my chest in a huge leaden lump. Relationships with people are tricky and complex but animals love unconditionally and I crave that simplicity of feeling.

The exercise would certainly be easy as I am happy to walk for miles and I can’t help thinking that a puppy would be more fun than my i-phone which is what I usually have for company. The other upside of training a guide dog is that, unlike other dogs, they can go anywhere with you so, basically, we could do everything together….

The problem would definitely be the discipline side of things – saying no when the little tyke wants to sleep on the bed with me (not allowed) or curl up on the sofa next to me in the evening (not allowed) or wants to pick the choicest tidbits from my plate (definitely not allowed). I would have to concentrate on the dog’s training because, after all, he would be doing a job and that won’t be possible if I allow him to do whatever he feels like.

These thoughts were all hurtling through my mind at a rate of knots when, all of a sudden, they all crashed to a standstill to make room for a new one which entered the arena with all guns blazing…….

“you’re going to have to say goodbye”

Although, it had been mentioned a few minutes before I hadn’t really cottoned on to the significance of something the boss lady had said: ‘the training is for one year’. So, after living with, walking, training, playing and loving an animal for one year it would be taken away to live with someone else. That someone would need this dog, would be reliant on it, would deserve it……

 

I would love to be able to help someone in that way, this is such a very good cause! I love dogs and would just adore to have one around, even though I know it could chew its way through most of my possessions BUT I don’t know that I could say goodbye. I’ve done that too many times in the last few years and I don’t know that I could cope with it again.

So, here’s my question: Is the love that I’ll share for one year worth the pain of saying goodbye? I honestly don’t know so I’d really appreciate any advice that you have to offer

Lisa

x

 

Friends

No, not the awesomely brilliant TV series, you. Are you one of those that has an abundance of friends? Do you walk into bars and everybody knows your name, are you hailed by 20 people as you walk half a mile down the street? Perhaps you’re a loner or you don’t like opening up to others and therefore only have a select few but very close friends?

No, not the awesomely brilliant TV series, you. Are you one of those that has an abundance of friends? Do you walk into bars and everybody knows your name, are you hailed by 20 people as you walk half a mile down the street? Perhaps you’re a loner or you don’t like opening up to others and therefore only have a select few but very close friends?

I fall into the second category simply because I really, really don’t like meeting new people (brain empties itself and all saliva disappears simultaneously) and because it takes me a very long time to share anything ‘real’ about myself. However, yesterday I understood the benefits of being a friend to everyone.

IMG_6123I was with my best friend and we’d gone over to Saint Jean Cap-Ferrat for lunch and then had a lovely walk along the shore, took some photos, I fell over my flip flops once or twice; a not untypical day. Anyway, after half and hour or so of strolling around we decided to go back to the car (actually it was more a case that I was sweating so much I feared I would dissolve and demanded that we go back to the tiny air-conditioned sanctuary that is my car).

My face close enough to the vents to get my eyelashes sucked in, I turned the key in the ignition and……nothing other than a slightly embarrassed coughing noise. My car was poorly! Fortunately, my best friend knows everyone and within 10 minutes a lovely young guy arrived with a set of jump leads. Not only that, after another brief conversation in high speed French (there isn’t really any other kind to be honest) with another friend, an appointment had been made and we were on our way to the nearest Fiat dealership.

An hour later I was back at home with my car restored to full health. Had I been alone it would have been a very different story. While I have learned enough French to have a reasonable conversation, my knowledge does not extend to explaining that my car is telling me to check something and refusing to start. I don’t know what I was supposed to be checking but there was an exclamation mark so I assume it was important. Added to that I have virtually zero sense of direction so there would have been a very slim chance that I could have guided someone to me who did have said knowledge.

So, what would I have done? Panicked, lost every atom of moisture in my body while waiting for someone to rescue me (it was really warm yesterday), berated myself for learning the French words for shoes and boots but not engine and gearbox? No, I’d have called my best friend of course :O)

Whether you have 100’s or just one or two, value your friends because you never know when you’ll need them. Thanks Will :O)

What do you love most about your best friend? I’d love to hear from you.

Lisa x

How Can I Help You….?

Have you ever been in a situation where someone was trying to help you but all they actually succeeded in doing was to take you to levels of frustration that made you want to rip off your own arm so you could knock yourself unconscious just to avoid being subject to their assistance for a single second longer?

Have you ever been in a situation where someone was trying to help you but all they actually succeeded in doing was to take you to levels of frustration that made you want to rip off your own arm so you could knock yourself unconscious just to avoid being subject to their assistance for a single second longer?

“Thank you for calling Bonkey’s Bank, your call is very important to us, please hold the line”

You call is important to us9 interminable minutes pass during which I am subjected to the same 12 bars of Greensleeves over and over again (surely this is musical torture?) whilst being repeatedly assured that I am very important and, when I finally get to speak to someone, they will be delighted to help me.

“Thank you for your patience, how may we help you today?”

Finally, right……

“If you would like to give us some more of your hard earned cash press 1”

“If you would like to buy some crappy insurance product that won’t ever pay out even if you’re rear ended by Donald Trump, please press 2”

“If you’d like to know how much of your money we have stashed away press 3”

“For anything else press 4”

“Thank you for your patience”

You’re welcome, look can………

“Please explain in a few words how we can help you today, for example ‘What is my current balance'”

“My card does not work”

“You have a problem with your card? Correct?”

YES!

“Please hold”

screamsIt’s at this point that I’m glad phones no longer have cords as I’d be gnawing my way through it by now..

“We will shortly put you through to one of our advisors but first please answer the following security questions:

“Please say the 19th and 42nd characters of your security password”

Ummm….hang on……..

“Do you need me to repeat the question?”

No, just wait, you’re putting me off

“Please say the 19th and 42nd characters of your security password”

N and !

“N and !?”

Yes

“Thank you”

“Please confirm the time of your birth for example ’04h 32m'”

Are you fucking kidding me with this??

“Would you like me to repeat the question”

No, no, wait…..it was…….19h 47m

“I’m afraid this does not match the answer that we have in our records, please hold…”

A further 8 minutes of white noise interspersed with “please hold”; apparently my call is no longer important…….

“Good morning my name is Brian, how may I help you?”

Are you real?

“Yes Madam, how may I help you today”

Great! Look, I’ve tried to use my card this morning but it’s not working”

“Ok, no problem I can help you with that, we just need to go through some security questions”

But I’ve just done that and I can’t remember the exact moment of my birth, I mean I was there obviously but…….

“OK, calm down Madame, I’ll find some other questions for you to answer”

Calm? I’m calm! God I need a coffee!

“Can you please give me the 14th and 33rd characters from  your password”

I’ve already done that one!!!

“There’s no need to shout Madame, were you asked exactly that question?”

Well no but it was still about my password and….oh forget it, hang on

Mental acrobats and a desire for 34 fingers ensues……

Hello, are you still there?……Hello….

“Yes Madame”

Right it’s G and *

“Correct, thank you”

Waves of relief roll off me….and then a slight sense of urgency….I really need to go to the loo

“Can you give me the date and amount of 1 direct debit on your account please”

Well not off the top of my head no

“………”

Oh bloody hell, wait a minute, I’ll need to log on to my account”

“Hello, yes right, I’m in! the 2nd of each month, £10 to Battersea Dog’s home”

“I know, did you see Crispin with that muffin yesterday, it was hysterical!”

Hello!!!! Excuse me Brian are you there?

“Yes Madame, I do apologise. That was correct and you have passed security, now how I can I help you today”

Finally! Yes, it’s about my card, it’s not working

“Ok, I’ll look into that for you now, please hold”

5 minutes of silence from Brian; I think I can hear Crispin in the background explaining the muffin situation but I’m not 100% sure………

“Hello Madame are you still there”

Just……“.

“Right, well it seems as though there was a suspected fraudulent transaction on your account yesterday and your card has been blocked”

Oh bloody hell!! How much did I lose?”

“99p”

Excuse me?

“99p but obviously you understand we have to take matters of security very seriously indeed”

Yes, I get that but I can live with losing 99p, can you please just unblock my card for me, I need it

“I can’t I’m afraid Madame, I need to put you through to our fraud investigation department, please hold”

No, no….. wait…….. don’t you dare………oh sod it!

Not again.jpg11 minutes later, during which I assumed that Brian was discussing my 99p and Crispin’s muffin….

“Good morning Madame, my name is Tanya, how can I help you today”

You’ve blocked my card and I need it

“Ok no problem, I can help you with that; I just need to take you through some security questions”

WT actual F!! I’ve just been through all that……twice!”

“Madame, if you use that kind of language again I will terminate this call”

Right, OK, sorry, not your fault I know, give me the question..”

“Can you give me the 7th and 29th characters from your password please”

Fast forward 4 intensely frustrating minutes during which I was eventually proved to be myself…

“Ok, I’ve found that transaction, it was for iTunes”

Well that’s not fraud, I did download something yesterday

Small lap of honour around the living room (as much to take my mind off my aching bladder as anything else; I should not have had that coffee while I was on hold and I certainly should not have had the second one!)

“OK, Madame, well thank you for confirming that for us, we should have your new card with you within the next 3 working days”

WT…..sorry? New card?

“Well yes Madame, your card was blocked so we need to send you a new one”

Can’t you just unblock it?

“No I’m afraid not, it’s a question of security”

Bangs head repeatedly on door frame…….nope still conscious!

“Right OK, just send a new card then please. You do know I live in France right?”

“Um, oh yes, OK then that will be around 10 working days”

Need for a wee overides any desire to verbally flay robot person on the other end of the phone.

“Right. Ok. Thanks”

“Thank you Madame, is there anything else I can help you with today?”

Hysterical laughter and mad dash for the bathroom ensues………

Have a great day everyone :O)

Lisa x