Total Pageviews

Thursday, 4 June 2015

I have super powers!

A conversation went off track the other day when I announced that I could float on water. The reaction I received was far from what I expected. 'How can you do that?' 'That is not possible!' etc.
The thing is I thought everyone could float on the surface of a lake or river without moving their arms and legs and be completely fine. Better than fine, they would feel very relaxed as the water carried them to an unknown destination.
Question: Did I have a skill unknown to me that nobody else could do?

So I googled my answer and found a few others who could do the same and even a 'wiki how' to teach those who could not perform this miracle. I came to the assumption that this was not infact a weird capability that only I could. I was not one of a kind (in this case) but just dubbed a lazy swimmer. To float completely still on the surface of any body of water is not unbelievable just a case of not swimming and lying on the watery mattress and letting it take you wherever it likes.

Relax and Swim explains it like this:
"As you float, your weight presses down into the water; the water presses back, pushing you up.
When you get into the pool, your body displaces a volume of water (the "hole" in the water that your body fits into). As long as the water your body displaces weighs more than you do, you float.
This is basically Archimedes' Law.

You weigh less than the water you're in, because your lungs are full of air, like a balloon, and like a balloon, the air in your lungs lifts you to the surface naturally."

Another factor is how relaxed you are can effect how you float...if you tense your muscles you will float alot lower than if you relax. 
"Did you ever play the “thinking heavy” game as a kid? You'd be harder to pick up if you imagined yourself to be as heavy as a piano, easier to pick up if you pretended to be a balloon."

So maybe I am just very relaxed, like a balloon in a swimming pool! and I do like balloons!
Atleast I won't drown! Probably the reason I like going on boats so much!

N.B. DO NOT Try this if you cannot swim, a swimmer will be able to swim out of a drowning situation... if you cannot swim and you don't are a witch! Joking! you may drown and I don't want to be blamed for that! 


Thursday, 21 May 2015

In Your Dreams Kid!

I looked down and were my arms should have been, there were these manly, fuzzy arms. I had a mans had the arms of a guy who sits near me at work... HOW DID I HAVE HIS ARMS? "Don't worry, I can help with those," a strange voice swam into my right ear. How? How could anyone help? Then he got out his tweezers.

The rest was a blur because lone behold it was a dream. A very weird dream and the concept was foreign to me on why I had just experienced the swapping of arms with a guy from work. Sure I have had dreams before but this one particularly haunted me and made me contemplate a hot wax! Why do we dream the things we do? I did a little research and came to the conclusion that the process of dreaming occurs 3 to 7 times a night for periods of 5 to 20 minutes a time and during this time we undergo Rapid Eye Movements or REM. But enough about the sciencey guff...I also read that a psychoanalysis of dreams says that they are based on our desires, thoughts and motivations. WELL...the guy who came up with that has clearly never been inside my head...

I have never had an underlying desire to trade arms...nor have I ever willed and wished the hair on my own to grow any more than it has (tried shaving them once as an insecure teenager) I have never thought, "hmmm, what would happen if I had hairy man arms," either. And never have I ever lived my life with the motivation of knowing my end goal will be to have that guy from my office's arms! So no, you can take your psychoanalysis and stick it were the sun don't shine because quite frankly I ain't buying it. I maintain the fact that if someone had my dreams as a hallucinogenic side effect of a drug then that would be a much more fitting place for them...not in my head at night!

"Dare I sleep tonight? What will happen to my other limbs?"

Friday, 15 May 2015

Open top?

So tonight I rode home behind an audi TT. It was very smart, black sleek bodywork, gorgeous shine and convertible. The soft top roof was down allowing me to stare at the back of a blonde womans head, whose hair was flying wildly around her sunglasses. As I stared, my eyes burning into her crown  (of course concentrating on the road) I couldn't help but wonder where was her shield? Her shield to the mishaps of the outside world. A bird poos and what has she got to protect her from the horror that is? A leaf blows right onto her face and lone behold...she can't see! A cat jumps in from a wall at the traffic does she return it before the green light hits and HOW just how does she navigate that roof when the British hailstone rains down and the heavens open! This lady is highly confident in her surroundings and her ability to act fast in an emergency. Or maybe she hasn't thought about these freak accidents and eventualities...Maybe she doesn't know.... I should have caught her up and warned her! Right now she has bird poo in her hair, a cat in her passenger seat and leaves all over her face steering wildly down the main road! What a picture eh?

"I have had stranger thoughts!"

Monday, 4 May 2015

No offence to Insomniacs ♡

"I love sleep so much, I want to be conscious while doing it."
My mother has a point...It is almost as if we are cheated out of one of the most fulfilling and enjoyable activities because when we are asleep...we are asleep. That whole feeling of snuggling up, getting lost in the squishy duvet world, enveloping your head in feathery pillows and relaxing every muscle is better than a day in a spa...yet we don't get to live out each moment...instead our eyes shut and then they open again in what feels like seconds and it is morning...time to get up! That hurts because... I LOVE SLEEP SO MUCH! My bed is my favourite place and sleep is just the best thing, combine the two and you have nirvana waiting for you at 10pm. I just wish I could remember every turn under the covers, every flip of my pillow so my cheek rests on the cool side and every star shaped stretch to the tips of my toes doing their own mexican wave! These are the moments of pure relaxation and freedom...because we are not at all self concious of doing them...or conscious at all for that matter. I just want to bottle the feeling so I can keep it with me...then on a bad day I can feel that sense of release my bed gives me and the calmness it brings and it will make everything okay again...until I wake.

Goodnight all...let me remember this in the morning!

Sunday, 3 May 2015

Winner at the Whitworth

I was upstairs on the loo when this screaming erupted from downstairs...
Concerned that something awful had happened I struggled down stairs half in my leggings and was faced with my mother, completely speechless and unable to control the muscles in her face.
"Art....your Art....The News!"
Unable to make sense of the string of words she had put together I looked at the television screen where she was pointing. And there it was...The BBC North West news report on The BBC'S little painting challenge, a postcard painting competition that I had entered in April.

And there my postcard was on the telly.

I was overwhelmed with happiness and pride... out of 29000 entries, 1000 had been shortlisted to be part of an exhibition in Manchester's Whitworth Art Gallery... and 3 were shown behind the newsreaders on the BBC, and mine was one of them!

I was struggling to fit my oversized head through any doors let alone on a train to go and see it. I arrived with my friend in tow, who honestly believed she was in the presence of a celebrity. We reached the front desk only to be told about the very wonderful exhibition that we had gone to see. My friend blurted "yes, she has two entries in it!" Pointing to me, grinning. I was congratulated by the guide who showed us to the doors of the grand hall saying well done repeatedly to me. The exhibition was glorious...There were so many beautiful entries and I was astounded that mine had made it here at all. The different interpretations of the design brief, "design a postcard," where numerous and the high level of artistry and illustrative skill present were enough to feed an artists inspiration and mood board for years. Looking at each design and discussing it's merits with my friend was a joy but not as great as the happiness that imploded inside me when I saw my entry, mounted on clean white card and hung with the others on the wire washing line.  We talked to others who had also entered, one of which had travelled all the way from London to see his piece. We got back ache from poising ourselves in front of the huge screen which was showing each postcard, ready to snap a picture of it and another of me in front of it.

To have had 2 pieces in an exhibition was a wonderful moment for me as a artist and a real boost to my love of the subject. I am now finding paintings and ideas pouring out of me and I am unable to stop painting. It will not stop here though, I am already on the hunt for the next competition I can enter and I assure you it will not be long before Rachel Oliver's work explodes across the media.

Grab life by the paint brush and interpret it your way!

Thursday, 23 April 2015

Tomato Soup

Contrary to my recent health kick I decided to treat myself to some none fat free tomato soup for lunch whilst at work. The salmon coloured powder went in my cup and hot water over the top then I mixed it to perfection! I sat down ate my sandwich, occasionally dipping it into the bubbling lava of soup for a taste sensation. I then proceeded to drink my soup whilst relaxing on pinterest. Now the day had been quite long and tiresome and whether I was shattered from too much typing or boggled by all the screen staring the wrist of my hand that was holding my soup cup flopped and poured scalding hot soup all over my lap...

The pain was unreal....

So bothered about picking up the cup to save the last remnants of soup I bashed my elbow on the radiator that was splattered with red tomato stains as though a murder had just taken place. The slosh sounds coming from my skirt as I ran through to the bathroom to clean up were gross and I still hear them to this very day! I dropped my skirt in the sink whilst still in it and streamed a jet of cold tap water all over it. By this point my thigh was on fire and was also covered in the soup that had soaked through my tights.

I then had to dry my skirt under the hand drier only to find whilst lifting it high that I hadnt locked the door and a woman came bursting in! Such commotion ensued and left me giving up the toilet so that she could use the facility meanwhile I was half dry with a burning thigh.

I cleaned up the mess I had made with a damp tea towel only to find that the radiator splattered with red was the only radiator on in that building and the droplets had dried out, cracked and latched on to the white surface making them near impossible to remove.

It is safe to say I haven't had soup since and my mum now refers to the Great Soup Spill of 2015 as the incident that stopped me having soup.

Dear eccentrics, watch your tricky wrists...they could let you down at any second!

"Maybe chicken soup will have pity on me!"

Friday, 10 April 2015

Afternoon Tea For Two

A surprise day out of the adult world of paper pushing and typing led me to being able to share a glorious sunny afternoon with my Aunty in the Barton Grange gardens. My Aunty had been gifted a voucher for an afternoon tea for 2 in the Willows Restaurant for her birthday and today we would claim our reward. We were seated on the decking outside the restaurant in the sunshine and ordered our drinks. 1 filter coffee and a Rose Petal tea for myself. Some may say, "Rose Petal tea? How pretentious!" but they would be the ones to miss out on a beautifully cleansing flavour. The tea was slightly perfumed to smell but tasted sweet ... A very good choice indeed! I already thought with the tea, the sun, the lovely view and fabulous company that I was being spoilt but then......This arrived.....

...WOW WOW WOW!!!! I was speechless!!! How wonderful it was!! The little cakes, the triangle sandwiches, the scones with fresh cream! We couldn't wait to tuck in. We began with the sandwiches. Salmon and watercress was my favourite with a lovely fresh flavour. In second place was the Honey roasted ham and green pesto mayonnaise whose flavour packed  punch! And then the strong Lancashire cheese and sweet chutney which was very rich. We then moved on to the freshly baked blueberry scones. The blueberries where sweet and moist, the strawberry jam was thick and delectable and the cream will be appearing in my dreams weeks from now I imagine. 

Sipping on my rose tea and admiring the view I was completely blissed. Such a wonderful treat and to be able to spend it with family I love made it all the better. We talked at length, sipping with our little fingers poised. We nibbled on our scones, fig bakewell tarts , tiramasu shot desserts and caramel and buttercream cakes. We laughed over how we felt like VIPs sat on the roped off decking away from the rabble emerging from the cafe across the other side. We felt exclusive, sophisticated and very...very posh. The overall experience was so decadent and I will never forget such a joyful afternoon which we continued with a garden exploration, brilliant photos (below) and many memories that we made.  Massive thank you to the best Aunty...A lovely lovely person and my close friend! 

Rach x

Friday, 3 April 2015

Paris review

So recently myself and my good friend Fox braved the borders of this small Isle and travelled overseas to the capital of France- Paris! With bags packed, shades on and work left behind us for 4 days we set off to Manchester Airport.

The flight there...
We strapped in for our first flight since we were at high school and braced ourselves for the ascent.  The excitement amix with our pre flight nerves woke up our butterflies in our tummies. We were treated to some crackers to snack on and we squashed our faces up to the plane windows agog at the beautiful views as we left the city behind us. The patchwork fields, the monoply sized houses and the ribbons of roads and rivers started to disappear as we floated above the cloud layer. A stunning way to start what would be one of my greatest adventures.

First sights of the Latin Quarter and our new home...
We emerged from the RER station to our first picturesque view of the Latin Quarter... The grand architectural marvel of The Notre Dame Cathedral. The tall rainbow glass windows, the sturdy wooden and wrought iron swirled doors, the gargoyles sat along the roof, guarding the buildings grand empowering stature.  We wandered the streets along the River Sein towards the outskirts of town. We passed small wooden souvenier stalls set into the rivers walls and beautiful French locals. We then realised on looking at our map that we were headed in the complete wrong direction to our hotel...
1 hour later... we finally found our little French abode. We were exhausted and tired but thankfully the front desk attendee spoke perfect english. We trundled upstairs in a 2 person lift with our luggage and found the loveliest, quaint twin room ever. We unpacked, made a mess and absolutely ravenous from all our wandering we ventured out nervously armed with bad french language and euros that we didnt understand. So it was only rational thinking to enter a english speaking Kebab shop, get a takeaway doner feast and fries and sneak it back up to our hotel room to watch Aristocats on Netflix.
So cultured!

A rather touristy Day 1

The eiffel tower...
Once we found this beaut we were very excited.  After walking past rabbits on a wall (dont ask) we stared up at the stunning architecture of this grand Parisian icon. The vastness of the sturdy tower legs made me feel so small almost as though I was a borrower. We hunted down the queue for our speedy flight to the top! Looking down on Paris from level 3 was rather emotional. The view although hugged in a layer of fog was outstanding. We saw a game of football from up above and tiny toy cars traveling routes that made sense to them. There were people, stopping occasionally as they went about their daily lives and were just being.
The lift clunked its way down and carried us from the dream land which was the top! We wandered the streets and had our first french crepes... Fox had cheese and ham and I opted for the sweetness of caramel sauce.  Licking our lips and fingers we mooched towards the nearest metro station for part 2 of our day as tourists.

The louvre museum...
We wandered the court yard and admired the glass pyramids that rose out of the ground as though they had exploded from the underlying catacombs which held art of all eras. We queued in the midday heat for what seemed like a decade and finally made it through the largest pyramid doors. We went down into the heart of the gallery and then followed the dozens of signs towards the mona lisa. We proceeded to make friends with all the statues and took some rather humorous photos and a smattering of selfies with these marble figurines. I like to think that we would have made the artists of these pieces smile if they could have seen us appreciating their craft in our own way. There were people looking at the art, not smiling, staring intently at the little plaques paired with each piece but not enjoying the beauty that the louvre had to offer. I think we did it proud.

That night...
We braved the robust language barrier and went to dine at a beautiful cozy Italian restaurant on the corner nextdoor to wear we were staying. French pleasantries were exchanged with the French waiter and we sat in the lit window like mannequins in a shop display. The pizza we devoured after our long day on foot was exquisite and hit the spot it needed too. I ordered a martini spritzer followed by a full bodied red wine served in a small stone jug. I didnt leave a single drop and we talked well into the night.

Day 2- well it would be rude not to shop

So the plan was to visit the Paris flea markets which were allegedly world renowned... however on emerging from the metro station we found that the town in which they were in was not the most friendliest part of Paris. We were not reassured by the alarms that sounded through the thick smog or by the crashed car it appeared one of the stall holders was driving minus a door and front bumper. We vowed right there and then to do one lap of the stalls and if it wasnt living up to the expectations of vintage treasures and sifting through trinkets like magpies then we would get the first metro out of there. One lap was all it took for us to see we had made a dreadful mistake. The fluorescent tutu stall didnt make my heart flutter and the pvc lingerie a few stalls down certainly didnt fill me with the need to part with any we left and I am so glad we did. The moment we got on the metro I was awash with relief and happiness. I felt safe even on a metal carriage racing at 100mph under ground.

Chanel, Gucci, Prada...Can I live here?
We found the shopping centre in which dreams are fulfilled and wishes are granted. I must have spent the majority of my money in that one day because I was surrounded by more designers than I could count. I floated around on a cloud of chanel perfume and desire to own everything in the building. I purchased a eiffel tower pandora charm and my first Red Chanel lipstick which encompassed the satisfying click that all posh lipstick lids have. We admired the art of shoes and handbags and stood agog at the queues to get into prada and the operation of a one in one out procedure. The cream carpets in shops and chandeliers were enough to make a girl go dizzy and the glorious stained glass domed cieling almost pushed me over the edge.

The best hot chocolate in the world...ever!
Fox recommended that we paid a visit to Angelinas, a famous French cafe and provider of fine cakes and delicate food. We were seated and wisely ordered their famous hot chocolate which is apparently the best in the world. It came to the table in a bright white jug, with a square dish of cream, 2 cups and saucers and a vase of water and glasses. I dont usually remember tastes but I will never forget that hot chocolate. We spooned the soft cream into the bottom of our cups and lathered it with the hot liquid desire which bubbled and frothed. The hot chocolate was thick melted chocolate and warmed my soul. Every sip filled me until I could drink no more. The taste was so rich and luxurious and lingered on your tongue until you could reach nirvana at the end of a cup. Words cannot describe the taste has to be experienced.

A quiet night in...
Exhausted from shopping and armed with snacks, wine, our posh designer bags from all our shopping and beautiful rainbow macaroons from Laduree we went back to the hotel to chill. We ordered pizza to take away and ate it in bed. I ran myself a bath and was about to pour a glass of red wine only to realise that it was a corked bottle...with no corkscrew at hand I aimed to break into the bottle some how and tried a few items our hotel room had to offer...a fork, a pen and a key all to no avail. The frustration resorted in me digging away at the cork with a pair of Fox's first aid scissors,  allowing bits of cork to hailstone across the duvet and sprinkle into the wine. But that didnt stop me filtering each glass through the thigh on a pair of tights to get rid of the invading bits. 1 bottle, some cold leftover pizza, a bubble bath and back to back episodes of Gossip Girl is one way to make the most of a hotel room.

Last day and a service at Notre Dame
All packed and ready to depart we stored our luggage at the hotel and set off to the International Sunday church service at Notre Dame Cathedral. Never have I had to queue to attend mass but anything goes in Paris. Once we were in I was astounded by the size of the building. The echos of whispered conversation travelled right to the rafters of that magnificent place. It was a place of calm awash with sacredness.  The service was a privilege to attend and be part of and we looked round afterwards. The aged walls smelt of incense that is burned throughout service and the stainglass windows shone rainbows through their artistic patterns and imagery. The curvature of the columns and the arced ceiling embodied so much worth and so much faith. I will never forget how whole I felt in that place and how at peace I was with my own sense of being.

After Notre Dame we wandered the streets of the Latin Quarter until it was time to catch our train. We ate more crepes, made replies of bonjour to the locals, I bought a burgandy hat and we soaked in the culture of the beautiful city. Every street smelled glorious of international foods and decadent dishes. We even stood in the metro waiting our change over to the airport, not talking but breathing in the wonderful earthy diesel smell of the metro station. The warmth of the tiled underground platform as carriages raced past perfuming the space in which we waited.

Paris was and will always be the greatest journey of my life and this post only described a few snippets of this glorious, mind opening trip. If you have always wanted to go but not yet made that leap just do it... life is to short not to have such experiences and if you have been, go again... and make new memories and have new experiences. Life is about ceasing opportunities and making the most of every day and Paris although short was some of the best days I have lived. I want to be the grandparent who has so many tales to tell of the travels they have been on and the countries they have seen. I want to be that old interesting lady who has a story to share for every occasion. Paris was only the beginning to a life worth living... and I am sure it is only going to get better from here.

An aspiring traveller

Thursday, 2 April 2015

A rebirth...

Well hello... So I finally figured out how to get writing again since I had lost all power over my ramblings (a technical hitch). But luckily thanks to an old phone that needed CPR to start up, enabled me to get a brand spanking new phone which in turned helped me GET MY LIFE BACK! I finally worked out how to get back in touch with you!!! So as I sit devouring a caramel egg (training myself for Easter Sunday) I remember the good times we had... the laughs, the tears and of course the eccentricity which naturally came with being a blogger. This of course gets me pumped up to blog my heart out and even entertain the regular musing I have had of writing a book...
All my favourite posts in print... now would this be an idea... am I on to something here??? I hope this musing I have will grow into something idea to be nurtured and developed.

Til this evening dear ones.


Friday, 27 March 2015

Frankie says relax...

When I plan days out, meals out or arrange a social event with my friends there is one thing I should do differently. As I have a eager personality I can end up turning up early to such events. Not just 5 minutes or 10 minutes, which is acceptable but sometimes 15 or 20 minutes. I should know by now that my friends always run 10 minutes late which collectively is 20 minutes and I have one friend who can even turn up 2 hours after the suggested meet time. So why then...with this knowledge in my head, do I persistently turn up ahead of schedule...THERE IS NO SCHEDULE. Even work for example, I start at 9am, the commute is 15 minutes yet I am out of the door at 8.30am.... there is no reasoning for this and no need.

Take for example a get together with friends, where it has been mooted that we meet at 7pm. I will start getting ready at about 5pm to allow for makeup mistakes and wardrobe malfunctions. I would then end up ready to go at about 6pm, so I wander round the house for a bit, maybe watch some T.V until I can wait no longer. Excited to see my friends I would set off to a close by destination around 6.20pm. I would then arrive promptly at 6.40pm. I would find something to entertain myself as the time passes by until our meet time of 7pm and then as always my phone would bleep at 6.55pm...

Friend 1: "running late, be there about quarter past!"
Friend 2: "On my way but really bad traffic!"

7.15pm comes and goes with no sign of any company... I have now been waiting for 35 minutes....

Friend 1: "Just leaving home now, be there in 20 minutes."

Bugger, well at least Friend 2 won't be long...

Friend 2: "Just getting petrol, be there soon!"

By this time it is 7.35pm and 7.40pm when they both arrive. So if I know this and can predict that tis will happen then why don't I set off much much later....why, every single time do I persist on being early. It is not my friends fault either but mine for being so eager to be on time and alot of the time I don't even realize I am doing it. It is almost as though I have a unconscious feeling that something might happen, like bad traffic or engine problems that may make me late...Not that I know what lateness feels like...BECAUSE I HAVE NEVER BEEN LATE IN MY ENTIRE LIFE!!!

Well, only a minute!

So the lesson here is to relax, take your time and be tardy if you so wish...because everyone else is!

"The early bird catches the worm, but the late worm survives!"