Zombie Anthology and annoying lumps

So in recent news, authors for the Zombie Anthology are coming in, I can’t believe that this project is finally off the ground. I am so nervous and excited, confident and slightly scared. This has been a week of such mixed emotions, in-between my other blog, reediting my novella since I said it was coming out at the end of October, and now that is two months away, and as if life wasn’t enough drama a week ago I found a lump under my arm.

This is something, which some people out there have advised me not to discuss, as if the mention of it suddenly becomes a hushed whisper and speculation of what it could be, because people naturally perceive the worst news imaginable.  As if saying it out loud could affect my future. “Well hello everyone, my name is Jodie Portugal. I’m 5’6, I have a scar on my forehead that now one knows how I got, and at the age of 34 found a lump under my arm”. If knowing this about me, adjusts your perception of me, well then that is not my problem.

As soon as I found it, naturally I made an appointment and was seen straight away due to my family history, and if there was an understatement of the year…I think I’ve found it. Any fear I had was calmed, but I was fast-tracked to an appointment that happened on Wednesday.  In the in-between, it was the Bank Holiday, and since I had the entire three days off. Boyfriend MT and I went to Brighton, which was fantastic. He treated me to Doctor Who: Deep Breath at the Cinema, which is brilliant as I’ve never seen Who on the big screen, and Peter Capaldi is already going to be a brilliant Doctor. I also openly maintain that children’s TV has been lacking somewhat since the sad end of The Sarah Jane Adventures (Elizabeth Sladen RIP) and a spin-off about The Paternoster Gang in which we watch the tales of a lizard woman from the dawn of time, her human wife, and Sontaran nurse set in Victorian times, would be fantastic. It would cause complaints because people can be so uptight. You can already imagine the cries of the “Children are being corrupted.” Whilst said children, and everyone else into decent TV just thinking “Marvellous.”

But back to lump news, now the procedures I’m going to discuss as for those out there who may need this in the future, since I’m going to be totally honest.

After waking up at an ungodly hour since I’m in the habit of waking up late when I’m not at work, I was accompanied to the hospital by my mum, for moral support and was seen pretty quickly. Having worked in hospitals for so many years, certain wards acquire an atmosphere. In The Royal Hampshire County Hospital, the ECT (Electroconvulsive Therapy) room had sadness drenched on every surface, the Special Care Baby Unit, was full of hope. This felt cold, professional but also cold, as if every person there had the question hanging over their heads, and there were copious issues of Take a Break Magazine, affectionately known as the “We hate men, weekly.”

After my initial discussion, how long had it been there? (I have no idea). What’s my family history? (How much time do you have?) After the Doctor had felt said lump, I was given a gown that opened at the front (very attractive) and I was booked in for a mammogram.

Even after all those years of working in a hospital, this was an area I never ventured into so I had no idea what to expect, of course I could have just looked it up in advance, but for some reason I didn’t.

A mammogram is a low-level x-ray of the breast which is achieved by pressing what god, and genetics gave you between two plates of glass for their moment in the spotlight. Now anyone who’s seen pictures of me on this blog, can imagine this took a while. Standing there didn’t bother me, but the fact that I’m getting over a cold and was resisting the urge to sneeze was playing on my mind, but with the moment done it was done, and after joining mum in the waiting room less than 10 minutes later I was going for my ultrasound.

Now this is something I have had experience with, but not in this area and not like this and since the ward was warm, and the ultrasound gel isn’t, yeah you can imagine. As he glided the Linear array transducer (yes I looked it up) over the area, I saw what the sound waves were producing. I have no idea what I was looking at, obviously they did, but at the same time it was sort of fascinating to see all this. This didn’t take long, and once again was playing the waiting game in the waiting room with my mother. We had expected to be there for hours and instead this had taken less than two.

Going back into the Consultant, who was there with the breast nurse, I was informed that there were no traces of Cancer, the dreaded C-word, which was a relief but it was a benign tumour and due to the size of the damn thing they were going to take it out under a general anaesthetic. Which for once didn’t faze me one bit since this will now mean I’ve had three operations in one year. My surgery has been booked for a few weeks’ time and before that I’ve got a pre-op to get through next week, but I’m actually not that worried. It’s been less than a year since the accident, which entailed me to have to learn to walk on my right foot all over again, something that is still affecting me day by day, which hopefully will not last forever. I’m not exactly typing this thinking “Oh smite me, almighty smiter.” But on some level, bad things happen in threes, and I think I’m done. I also spent the rest of the day, taking my 9-year-old niece Summer to see How to Train Your Dragon 2, since it was Orange Wednesday and its still awesome the second time around.

Can I just stress that this doesn’t affect the Zombie Anthology in any way, everything is still on track, and this doesn’t change anything about the plan.

At the same time though I am starting to rethink my life and what could have caused this and I pulled this from http://www.webmd.boots.com/cancer/benign-tumours

Causes of benign tumours

What causes a benign tumour to form? Often the cause is unknown, but the growth of a benign tumour might be linked to:

Environmental toxins such as exposure to radiation

Genetics

Diet

Stress

Local trauma or injury

Inflammation or infection

So with this in mind, from this moment I’m trying not to get too stressed, and to change my diet, from now on more berries in my diet, more green tea and ok I’m going to try to quit smoking. Not saying this is going to be successful, since I’ve tried and failed in the past. But I’m going to try.

Thanks for reading xxx

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Who wants to be in a Charity Zombie Anthology?

Hi all, regular readers of my blog, may remember that a short while back, I mentioned that I entered the SFX Magazine Zombie Anthology Competition.

After it was done, and even though I didn’t win, I was proud of my story the same way I imagine a lot of us are when we try something new.

So I got to thinking how about we bring all these stories together, and do something good with them

After contacting SFX Magazine, to explain the idea, which they were fully supportive of, even though this had no connection to them in any way.

The Charity Zombie Anthology has been launched, along with its own blog.

http://charityzombieanthology.wordpress.com/

But these are the details

The idea is 50 to 100 Writers, depending on who is interested in joining this endeavour, for the ebook, which is so far titled the “Zombie Anthology”, a title that is subject to change in the future. Aside from the cut Amazon take, every penny raised to go to a charity. The charity itself is undecided, I would like to donate to the Teenage Cancer Trust, but this will be decided with discussion, and everyone who is accepted will get the opportunity to suggest a preferred charity.

 

Listed below are the salient points

Stories must be 1500 words or less; including the stories sent originally sent to SFX. The word count is final in lieu of fairness and equality.

There is no barrier to location; stories can be submitted from all over the world.

Age is no barrier, and all age groups are openly encouraged

Stories must be submitted in a Microsoft Word attachment.

 

Stories must be in submitted in British English; any sent with American English will not be accepted.

Stories must be grammatically correct; they are your responsibility as well as being proof ready.

All stories must be accompanied by an Author Bio, somewhere from 200-300 words.

Authors will retain copyright of their story and will be able to use their story in other publications.

Issues like the cover art, the price of the book does need to be discussed, and for this I do need people to assist with this. This is the first time I have ever attempted anything this on a large scale, and I openly admit, that I need help. Everyone who wants to be involved does have a say in this, from the cover art, to the charity. I want us to consider this an equal platform for all.

 

Stories to be submitted by the 1st October 2014. That gives us over a month to get them all in.

Once again

Stories in British English

Sent on a word format

Please place the name of the story, as well as your name in the title and email it too.

zombieanthology@hotmail.com

And above all, good luck, I have a feeling that this is going to be an amazing adventure.

 

So, who out there would like to have a place in this adventure?

Please think about it, tell your friends and get the word out

 

Love Jodie xx

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Mine’s a pint of the Red Stuff!

So writing news I’ll get too later, but finally with  all the drama going on in my life, which alas I can’t talk about right now…Jodie has a secret, what could it be?

I have finally completed another off the Geek List, and that is to give blood, aka the list I made when I was off my head on painkillers and just wanted to feel normal again.

First of all giving blood is not a new occurrence for me, it’s actually my 14th, since I have an unofficial competition going with my sister R who is three years older than me, but on her 15th and I’m determined to get to the sacred 25 Donations before she does, which was a target both my parents reached. Also, I had an operation when I was 5 and received blood, and ever since then I was determined to give it, or else I’ll be a “Blood Thief.” This is what I openly consider anyone who does the above, end of the day if someone out there donates blood that saves your life and you do not return the favour, then you are a blood thief. Of course, if you cannot donate due to health reasons, or religious reasons then fine, but everyone can donate even those of other religions, here’s some light reading

http://www.muslimsgiveblood.co.uk/

http://islamqa.info/en/129113

http://www.sikhnation.net/blooddonation.html

http://inyourhands.org/tissue/religious.html

Which was given to me by my friend Naveed since both his parents work in the medical profession, he’s a devout Muslim and a blood donor.

However, it had been over a year since my last donation, since the accident and of course my tattoo, which I did on the 14th August, straight after Physio (Which is going brilliantly) in Uxbridge Civic Centre. Since I didn’t book an appointment, I was expecting to be there for hours, so at least I had “About a Girl” by Lindsey Kelk to finish, which I ended up giving to a young woman (after I did finish it) whom I noticed didn’t have a book, not that I didn’t enjoy it, I really did. But since I own over 1000 books, I never have the space to keep them, and I live under the “Do good things for others mentality.” Also I had just brought “One Night in Italy” by Lucy Diamond, which is not her real name, but if my last name wasn’t the awesome “Portugal.” And I wanted a different one to write with, “Diamond” would be the type of thing I would go with.

So it was quite nice to be seen in less than half an hour even though my pinprick test, which for the unknown is when they take a small sample of your blood to test it for the haemoglobin (iron) levels. But because my life is a drama mine was a bit low that day, so they had to take a little more. Because if it was too low it could mean I was anaemic again…the last thing I wanted since I spent the first 11 years of my life anaemic, and well it sucks royally!

Thankfully the second test was fine, and five minutes later I was in the chair…and on cue the heavens opened and the rain fell…how ominous! What happens next is so simple, they sterilise the arm, put the needle in, tape it said right arm as they have to go through the arm I write with as the veins on my left are too deep! You clench and unclench your hands, to get the blood flow going, and five minutes later it’s done, and that is it, now how scary does that sound in the great scheme of things?

I look like crap, but I really don't care

I look like crap, but I really don’t care

Also the blood I gave can save the life of nine premature babies, and can help 3 adults…in perspective, it’s not hard. And my blood is always needed, since I have a blood type that only 7% of the population has.

Me in liquid form. Isn't is pretty?

Me in liquid form. Isn’t is pretty?

Here’s more light reading

http://www.blood.co.uk/about-blood/blood-group-basics/

It is interesting however different blood types affect different cultures, for example; my beloved Japan have this proven untrue but still prevalent in the culture that a person’s blood type (ketsuekigata) indicates personality traits.

http://www.japantoday.com/category/lifestyle/view/the-importance-of-blood-type-in-japanese-culture

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Blood_types_in_Japanese_culture

 I’ve read enough Manga and seen enough Anime to know it’s not uncommon for a character to have their blood type listed in their bio, or to have a personality in accordance to that blood type to the point that Korea even brought out a film about it. http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/My_Boyfriend_Is_Type_B 

I’ve never seen it, but you get the gist of where this is going.

End of the day, giving blood was important to me, because it finally felt I was doing something normal, doing something good. Also, it annoys the hell out of me that there are people in this world that have a certain smugness that they do not give blood, or they use the excuse that they are scared of needles…it takes five minutes of your life to save a life.  So what are you waiting for?

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50 Shades of Grey: The Inner Goddess Conundrum

Fully admitting I am jumping on the bandwagon with this one, the trailer for 50 Shades of Grey came out this week, sparking the usual conversations about the book and who will see it. I for one will see it on DVD with my sisters whilst drinking copious amounts of booze.

Now about the book, I only made it up to chapter 14 of the first one, since the moment Christian breaks into Ana’s place, ties her up and pretty much rapes her into submission, that is the moment you call it a day. One thing I hate about the book, is that the author knows jack about the BDSM Subculture, since any self-respecting Dominant would never produce a contract with their own terms and conditions and expect their Sub to sign it.

The Contract is based on mutual understanding and discussion, the Sub is the one who is giving over their power to said Dom, the rules have to be decided in advance, and the moment said Sub declares the safe words or changes to the contract, these are obeyed. And these are just the basics, what’s presented in this book is a narcissistic control freak who wants to abuse women. This is where we meet the Bella Swan expy of Anastasia Steele, who is so insecure of herself, she is perfect to become his prey. Since Christian is the type of asshole at the moment he finds out that Ana is a virgin, decides to blame her for being one. And this is the man that some woman cannot get enough of!

However since the book is seen from Ana’s perspective, she is joined psychologically by her “Inner Goddess”. Now thanks to wiki I have an understanding of what the hell this is.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anita_Revel

“Inner goddess is a concept used in popular psychology and women’s circles to denote the feminine aspect of a woman’s psyche. When a woman is able to transcend inhibitive social expectations or perceived behavioural requirements and instead act in a way that is right for her, she is said be honouring her inner goddess. Anita defines the inner goddess as “… the beautiful, sassy, intuitive, lovable, sacred and authentic Self that we were born to be.”

Ok, right now my personal “Inner Goddess” has a cigarette in her left hand and a Jaffa cake in the right!

However, courtesy of http://neomam.com/fifty-shades-of-grey-infographic/

The phrase Inner Goddess is mentioned 53 times, normally dropping such pearls of wisdom as

“My inner goddess looks like someone snatched her ice cream.”

“My inner goddess sits in the lotus position looking serene except for the sly, self-congratulatory smile on her face.”

With all this being mentioned since the Inner Goddess seems to have more character than Ana, it seems strange that it’s not an actual character in the film.

In the final season of the Flintstones, a character came in called the Great Gazoo, an alien that crashed on earth that only Fred and Barney can see. Hilarity I imagined ensured, as this little green alien dropped profound quotes on the life of the modern stone age family, or life in an apocalyptic future, depending on how you look at it…I’m in the latter category if anyone is interested.

So to make 50 Shades, more entertaining the Inner Goddess should have been a character, someone on the fringes that pops in occasionally to make little comments on the situation, and perhaps “Doing the dance of the seven veils”. Just imagine this scene.

Ana: Please Mr Grey (she calls him that) oh please spank me Sir (yes, she calls him that too).

Christian: I’m going to beat your ass into oblivion (I have no idea if that is actual dialogue, but I think it is)

The Inner Goddess magically appears looks at the proceedings; looks at the camera, totally breaking the fourth wall and says “This is so messed up” and occasionally appearing reading a comic or smoking a cigarette whilst rolling its eyes at the audience.

So who should play this imaginary character, which is mentioned so many times?

It took a moment of thinking, but the only person I could think of was Tom Hiddleston .

It would break box office records!

It would break box office records!

Wouldn’t that be fantastic? A Geek Lord playing the Inner Goddess! Just imagine that beautiful succulent voice, calling Ana out on her stupidity and hopefully calling her a “Mewling Quim”

So this is my opinion of 50 Shades and the only way I can see to make it better.

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The Perfect Weekend

When you’re a shift worker, weekends lose their meanings; oh this is not a whinge that I work shifts, because I love working shifts. It’s awesome having days off in the week. But when you get a few days off, they become your weekend, and this Friday and Saturday (25th and 26th) have been fantastic. This is not in the right order, but let me first tell you all of a secret part of London that I found on Friday. Madd Hatters, which I only found because I got a Wowcher for a divine Ice Cream, Brownie and Drink Set for 2. The other half in these shenanigans was my nephew Callum, since I had finally taken him out. Something we both realised hadn’t happened since last year which was our outing to Madame Tussauds, since you know that whole learning to walk all over again issue!

It’s based in Great Newport Street, and we originally walked past it, because it’s also the location of the Theatre for Ghost Stories, another London play I have never seen, and really should because having these two places together seems to work in the organised chaos that makes up the fabric of London. The place is just brilliantly put together, warm, open and just has a relaxed atmosphere about it.

And the food is just fantastic, with the brownies being gluten free are just delicious and the flavours of the ice cream are different from what you would expect from most ice cream houses. Instead of the more generic flavours, we had green tea (a personal favourite of mine) combined with mango, combined with chocolate, which was in the centre of the ice cream, so it was like peeling back layers of taste.

The drinks we had were passion fruit and mango and were perfect for the hot day, and unlike some places in London where they just want to feed you, and get you out of the door with Madd Hatters, there is a very relaxed easy atmosphere, and they also offer take away service since we didn’t finish our brownies…they were that rich and moist. Also we both noticed how quiet it was, now Leicester Square being you know Leicester Square, as in one of the most busy and chaotic parts of London was only a stone’s throw away and it was so quiet you wouldn’t think it.

At the till I also got to chatting with the Manager Hove, and coincidently he’s also from Middlesex and makes the commute each day, and if he is reading this, as I did say to him I would be mentioning this on my blog, he is lovely. Kind, professional and I salute him for his business ethic since this place is only about 2 months old and not really on the London radar yet…and it should be.

So all I can say is, go to Madd Hatters, and here is the link and please order the brownies.

http://wearemadd.com/

Now starting off this adventure, prior to this Callum and I went to Hyper Japan at Earls Court 1, something I was initially wary of since I was having flashbacks to the failed Comic Con from the other week. Thankfully we were in the building in less than an hour and it was good, since it was Earls Court 1 I was expecting more there, but everything was on the lower level, there was enough food stalls and there was a nice relaxed atmosphere. I didn’t really buy anything, but I was nice to see the two countries coming together and showing some aspects of Japanese culture, even though it was a reminder deep down of what I’m missing, but the cosplayers were fantastic and I posed for a picture with a CG Character!

Me and the Mario Bros.

Me and the Mario Bros.

After this was Madd Hatters, and then we saw How to Train Your Dragon 2, and I will put my hand up and admit that I wanted to see it, because I love the first and think it’s one of the best films that DreamWorks have ever released, (well everything’s better then Shark Tale, and this one had no “ink suit actors” in it, there are similarities especially with the facial expressions, but that’s pretty much it) this was on the same level and unlike the first which took a while to build momentum, this just started straight in the action and I won’t spoiler anything but it’s brilliant, and just give it an Oscar next year. Here’s the trailer…enjoy.

Saturday

Naturally a day of brilliance, has to have consequences so as expected because I forgot the Deep Freeze and my foot was in pain, but the time I got home, combined with the heat led to a sleepless night and I missed the Liesel Schwarz signing at Waterstones Uxbridge. After I had finally dragged myself out of bed I headed down there to see if they had any copy of the books  only to get the last of the book set, only there was an awesome young woman there before me who had been looking for exactly the same reason.

Needless to say I felt like crap, because of course I wanted the books, but she was there before me so of course I tried to give them to her, but she turned them down which made me feel worse. As I got chatting to her I learned that she was a writer, so to make up for the fact that I felt so bad, I promised her there and then the moment I got home I would buy her book. And this is a promise I kept, so brand new on my Kindle, this is the book

I will confess that I haven’t started it yet, but it looks fantastic, and once again I’m really sorry…but I hope the cupcake was delicious xxx

It was lovely

It was lovely

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I Hate Summer!

There I have said it, those terrible three words. Right now its scorching hot weather and I’ve just born witness to a summer storm as if Thor had realised Loki was more awesome than him and was throwing a major tantrum…or Nero had come back in time!

All my life I have hated Summer, and if anyone is wondering I do not have SAD, (Seasonal affective disorder). I just openly hate it, when I still at Primary school I was in a play about Persephone and her kidnapping by Hades, and because she ate 6 pomegranate seeds she had to spend 6 months of the year with the guy, which is why we have Autumn and Winter…I so wish the little Demi-God would have eaten the whole thing. I played Demeter by the way, I was 7…and I was awesome!

So let me explain why I truly hate Summer

Summer brings Bees and Wasps, and guess who allergic to both the little buggers? Oh yeah me, not enough to kill me, just enough to bring the pain if I get stung, and don’t get me started on the other insects.

I’m photosensitive and heat sensitive, yes my eyes are painful to the sun…it’s not uncommon for me to wear my sunglasses all day, until the Sun finally sets and all I want to do is find shade or leap into a tank of liquid nitrogen, because if I get too hot nothing will cool me down.
Because I inherited nada from my South American side, (apart from the hair) my pasty white Viking skin burns…easily. Thank god for factor 50.

Even though I have fantastic people in my life, they all seem to love the Sun bearing down on them as they suddenly think sitting in the garden is the best thing ever, whilst I react like a Vampire, and by that I mean an awesome Vampire, not that sparkly thing in Twilight.

I do not mind that my beloved London is surrounded by Tourists; I like Tourists since they want to come to our city and to love it, like we do. I just hate the Tube in Summer, full of sweltering heat, straight out of Dante’s Inferno.  Also, I always seem to be stuck next to the smelly sod who had never heard of deodorant. Also anyone who wears Flip-flops on public transport, you’re idiots of course someone is going to step on your feet…because you’re wearing flip-flops!

The simple fact that everything you wear, sticks to you like glue, so at the end of the day you’re practically peeling off your clothes.

No matter how much water you drink, you eventually get to the point that jumping into the River Thames suddenly desirable because you are constantly dehydrated.

Let’s face it; Summer seems to bring out the idiots amongst the general population from the stupid fights in the street to the loud music, which you can’t get rid off, because if you close your window, you run the risk of dying in bed courtesy of heat stroke.

The simple fact that I cannot sleep because of the heat, no more words need to be said.

Men and the Barbeques, oh we all know this one don’t we, you go to a friend’s place and behind the barbeque there is a man, because a BBQ is a man’s job. A friend of mine who works in a four-star restaurant is regulated to the kitchen to make the salads whilst her husband burns the meat and act triumphant about it. We understand that you’re tapping into the evolutionary genes, back when we were hunting mammoths that he, who controlled the fire, controlled the world.

Heaven forbid a woman stepping picking up the tongs to turn the burgers. Hint: it’s not rocket science to cook meat, and witness the surprised looks that someone with XX chromosomes can step into the sacred cooking space and cook said meat. I’ve done it, and it’s made people nervous, because I’m not to be trusted invading the sphere of MAN.  As memory serves, I can vote, own a business, have my own income, and do pretty much what I want, but the BBQ is the domain of the XY’s. Evolution is an amazing thing isn’t it?*

So this is why I hate Summer, anyone else out there who feels the same?

 

*PS, nothing against men in general, I think you’re all awesome x

 

 

 

 

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Successful Abseil and Failed Comic-Cons

So here we are playing catch up, but on the 12th July I finally completed number 1 on my “Geek List” which was to do a Charity Abseil, and by some strange twist of fate it was the same location as the London Film and Comic Con at Earls Court. Sadly though I didn’t realise this in time to book tickets online, but came to the conclusion that I would be able to get a ticket there. Famous last words, by the way.

That morning, I got up later than I would have liked, packed my costume, since I said if I got my total I would be doing it dressed up, which was made up of things from my wardrobes since I never throw away anything. I decided to go as a Witch, drawing the line at green face paint, because even if it wanted to invoke Elphaba from Wicked, I had a feeling I would come across like Grotbags! And quickly praying to both God and Ganesh (an Agnostic, also worships a deity of the Hindu faith, more on that in the end)

Getting down there at 10:30 I met up with one of my best friends Peter and my boyfriend MT, and we started the process of queuing…which never ended. Now we British are celebrated for this, and it’s never too bad in a Comic Con Queue, since some of the best friends I have ever met have been in the queues, but it was the hottest day of the year, and it was torture, especially since I’m photosensitive. In the end Peter managed to get a ticket off someone, whose friend never showed up and at 13:30, and I was still in the queue, I gave up and went to the abseil.

Me with Skeletor at Comic-Con

Me with Skeletor at Comic-Con

The people who had been in there, were telling us that it was a shambles and it wasn’t worth it, there was no organisation, which was obvious as there was 10’000 people there. As always the autographs were too expensive, and since there was no one I had an overwhelming desire to meet anyone, I conceded defeat and went to Earls Court 1. And it was exactly at this moment that my foot, after standing around for several hours began to ache. Now I had the choice which was to take Tramadol, which was the only painkiller I had with me and hope my eyeballs didn’t melt, and make me lose my balance which has happened in the past. In truth the only reason I keep them is for when the pain is intense, which is often enough. Thankfully I also had my Deep Freeze, which managed to numb it, before I headed up, and found that the patchwork purple skirt I decided to wear wasn’t suitable, so thank god I was also wearing legging!

So here we all were the 14:00 slots, and it was a nice mixed group of very awesome people as I was suited up in my harness and we were escorted up, and then it was when I decided to get nervous. When I originally thought up my Geek List, admittedly I was feeling sorry for myself, with my foot propped up and was on painkillers.  Now the challenge is to make everything a reality, and I wasn’t sure if I was scared of heights or not. The only time I ever experienced fear was when I was in Holland back in 2011 and I visited the Nieuwe Kerk in Delft, and there is nothing more terrifying then standing next to a direct 100 foot drop and the only thing protecting you is an iron grill that only came up to your waist. So the moment we all got up to the very top of Earls Court, most of the team began to look over the edge to see the view of Kensington…I didn’t.

When it came to my moment I was that strange combination of scared, but also very Zen about it, and then came the lean over. I have abseiled in the past, but the last time was when I was 14 and in the Girl Guides, so 20 years ago. So I was on the platform, 70 feet below me was the ground and decided to look down, I knew I couldn’t quit since I had already been told that no one had done so that day, and no way in hell was I going to be the first.

I got my instructions, the way to hold the rope, to walk with the tips of my toes and then came the lean back, this is the scariest part of any abseil, the moment you step back against the wall take those steps and there is no going back, and because it’s me and everything in my life has drama attached to it, I took the step off, and my foot gave out. I am 70 foot in the air, and I’m dangling…thankfully I managed to right myself, and headed down, and it was awesome, and very strange crossing over the red bricks of the building.

20140712_152752    20140712_16175120140712_16182420140712_16184820140712_162219

I think it took my about two minutes, but I’m not too sure as it was over in seconds and I was back on the ground again, and feeling fantastic, ok I am paying for it right now since my foot decided to bugger up again and as of writing this I’m sitting with an ice pack on my foot, a little gift of a Lion from the ZSL but was it all worth it…oh hell yes.

The thing about Ganesh.

Several years ago, I was with a friend in Southall who had some business with the Hindu Mandir there, which is lovely and welcoming building. Whist they were concluding their business I was talking to one of the Associates of the building, and confessing my ignorance of the Deities of Hinduisms. On a table there were dozens of pictures of the Deities, I was told to walk towards it, and find the one I felt the strongest towards and my hand fell on Ganesh. I was informed that he is the God of Protection and success and by choosing him, he was choosing to protect me. So at times when I feel like I need some help, even as an Agnostic…I ask Ganesh to give me guidance.

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