Mum’s The Issue

Well, sort of.

I just feel like I need to get this off my chest, because I am annoyed and it feels like I am about to boil over, so what better to do for therapy than writing a blog post. Ha!

Does anyone else have parents that seem incapable of giving positive praise? With mine it seems to usually be either criticism, or apathy, and at the moment it really bothers me.

Don’t get me wrong, I love and respect my parents and I have a good relationship with them, but just sometimes I wish they would show that they respect me as well; that it is not just a one-way street.

Today was a prime example. I cleared a whole lot of garden from nettles and their evil roots and I was mighty proud of myself, because it was looking so tidy. So I said to my ¬†mum that it took me quite some work, but that I was really happy that it was looking so tidy. All she said was: “Well, I did it last year and you let it grow wild again.”

That is a typical reaction. Nothing can ever be just positive. A negative always follows whatever comes out of her mouth and I find it so hard. Am I really such a failure in her eyes?

I have heard from other people how proud my parents are that I (we) managed to do this gorgeous barn conversion. I have even heard them hint at that to other people, just never to me personally. As if giving a compliment to me directly is too much to ask.

It hurts every time it happens. I just don’t understand. I have a daughter now myself and I know I give her praise in a way my parents never gave me. I believe wholeheartedly in positive reinforcement and I can see how my daughter responds so well to it.

I do not need my parents to tell me they love me. I know they do, even if they have never said it, but just a compliment or a ‘well done’ would mean the world to me…

Therapy session over…

Thanks for listening/reading… xx


Cultural Memories

I could not sleep last night. It happens sometimes. But for some reason I started to think about the things that shape us. The music we listen to, the TV and movies we watch… Those sort of things.

My husband was watching something on YouTube yesterday. It was about the new Star Wars movie, but it also talked about how the whole idea of Star Wars had become integrated in culture and even society. It is true, who has not heard of The Force or Luke Skywalker, even if you have never seen the movies. I tried to remember when I first watched Star Wars. I have to say that I cannot remember. Strangely enough, my mum was really into that kind of thing when I was young. Star Wars, Star Trek, she loved all that stuff. Whereas I never understood the appeal of Star Trek (too sterile for my taste I suppose), I quickly learned to love Star Wars. In fact, I think that Luke Skywalker probably was the first guy I ever had a crush on. ūüôā

I started to think about other movies or bits of music that had made an early impression on me and probably shaped my cultural awareness¬†in one way or another. I was born in 1979, so the my first proper memories would probably be from the early 1980s. But awareness of culture comes a little later, I think. Movies I consider as cultural references to my¬†youth are probably the obvious ones: the original Star Wars trilogy, the Back To The Future trilogy, The Karate Kid, Gremlins, The Black Stallion (planted the seed for my love of horses and racing), Indiana Jones and E.T. They are the movies I remember loving and watching every time they were on TV. I remember other things, like Police Academy (God forbid), Beverly Hills Cop, the Rocky movies and stuff like that, but I don’t think they were as relevant to me personally.

Phrases like ‘Bright light, bright light’ (Gremlins) and ‘Wax on, wax off'(The Karate Kid) are simply things of beauty that still make me smile to this day. And whenever I see Michael J Fox on TV now, he is still Marty McFly to me and I guess he will always be.

As for music. The first artists I remember hearing are the stuff my parents used to listen to (mostly my dad): The Rolling Stones, Marianne Faithfull, Queen, Jimi Hendrix, Dire Straits… I distinctly remember watching Live Aid on television. I was six at the time and my parents thought it was a big deal!

In the late 1980s I just remember all the children my age liking Michael Jackson and Madonna… My first foray into music for myself rather than the stuff my parents liked, probably did not come until the early 90s. My girlfriends started to be into boybands and it’s easy to get swapped along in that. I remember New Kids On The Block (do you??) and later Take That, but soon I started to drift away from that. I found it hard to really love anything around at the time. Nirvana, Guns N’ Roses, Metallica and Pearl Jam weren’t really doing it for me, but they made an impression for sure. I swear my mum had a crush on Axl Rose at the time, ha! Everyone seemed to love Guns N’ Roses at that time. Then there was the mid nineties Britpop – that was more up my street (some of it anyway)…

I just realised I have not even talked about TV-shows. Man, things like the A-Team and Dukes Of Hazzard were a staple in my youth!

Anyway, I really have to go and do something useful and step away from this incoherent piece of rambling.

Have a good day people and don’t forget to let your mind wander into the realms of childhood memories of culture.

Songs On A First Name Basis

After I made my Daily Anthem ‘Annabel’ by Goldfrapp today, I started thinking of other songs that simply had a name as the title. These were the ones I could think of:

  • ‘Allison’ – Pixies
  • ‘Angie’¬†–¬†The Rolling Stones
  • ‘Annabel’ – Goldfrapp
  • ‘Arabella’ – Arctic Monkeys
  • ‘Ben’ – Michael Jackson
  • ‘Billy Jean’ – Michael Jackson
  • ‘Candy’ – Ash
  • ‘Daniel’ – Bat For Lashes
  • ‘Delilah’ – Tom Jones
  • ‘Denis’ – Blondie
  • ‘Emilie’ – The Charlatans
  • ‘Emily’ – Emmy The Great
  • ‘Fernando’ – ABBA
  • ‘Henrietta’ – The Fratellis
  • ‘Iris’ – Goo Goo Dolls
  • ‘Isobel’ – Bjork
  • ‘Jeremy’ – Pearl Jam
  • ‘Jolene’ – Dolly Parton
  • ‘Laura’ – Bat For Lashes
  • ‘Lola’ – The Kinks
  • ‘Lyla’ – Oasis
  • ‘Maggie May’ – Rod Stewart
  • ‘Maria’ – Blondie
  • ‘Michael’ – Franz Ferdinand
  • ‘Michelle’ – The Beatles
  • ‘Polly’ – Nirvana
  • ‘Raoul’ – The Automatic
  • ‘Rosalyn’ – Bon Iver
  • ‘Roxanne’ – The Police
  • ‘Ruby’ – Kaiser Chiefs
  • ‘Stan’ – Eminem
  • ‘Susanne’ – Weezer
  • ‘Valerie’ – The Zutons / Amy Winehouse

That’s all I could think of out of the top of my head! Do you know any more?

So Danny Boyle is doing it…

He has announced that he is filming a sequel to Trainspotting next year.

Now, I am not quite sure how to feel about this. When they mentioned that Trainspotting was almost 20 years old, I almost fell of my chair (well, I would have if I was not sitting on the sofa like the lazy slob I am). Is 1996 really that long ago? Fuuuuuuuck! But it does beg the question, does anyone want a sequel to a 20-year-old movie, no matter how good it was?

And I loved Trainspotting, with a passion, and I have seen it many times over the course of my late teens and early twenties. I watched it for the first time in a long long while a couple of months ago and yep, it still worked for me. It stood the test of time pretty well. So, on one hand if there was a sequel, I will definitely go and watch it, but I would probably be apprehensive to say the least. Would Renton, Sick Boy, Spud and Begbie still work when they are twenty years older?

And what if it doesn’t? Would it ruin the first one for me? I like the open ending and I don’t feel I need a sequel… at all!

By the way, I have not read Porno either and I don’t feel the need to. I read Trainspotting, but the movie is not quite so dark and I prefer it! ¬†Is it sacrilege¬†for preferring the movie? It probably is… ¬†ūüėČ

On the other hand, you can never quite have enough Ewan McGregor in your life, right?!

The Year Music Changed… Two Songs From 1994

Musically, I think 1994 was an eye-opening year for me. I was fifteen and still knee deep in boy bands, like so many of my friends. 1994 was the year that started changing.

I started watching a lot of MTV and probably the first band I started taking notice of was Blur. ‘Girls & Boys’ was being a played a lot (or so it seems now) and I really liked it. These guys had guitars and amps and drums! That was a bit different for me and I was fascinated by it. But then, Damon and Alex were quite dishy at the time, so maybe the transition from boybands to Blur was not so big…

The most significant musical epiphany came when I first heard ‘Live Forever’ by Oasis. It got stuck in my head right away and I absolutely loved it! No sliver of boybandism¬†here, just a band playing a tune that blew my mind. There was something about ‘Live Forever’. There still is. The hope, the optimism. We see things they’ll never see…¬†It just rung true to me, I suppose.

I still love both songs. They mean so much to me as they paved the way to all the music I know and love today.

One of those days…

I am not usually one to use my blog as an emotional outlet, but  today I have just had it.

No one can play a guilt trip on you like your own family, can they? It left me so drained that I do not even have the energy to talk to my husband about it (it was not him by the way – he does not do guilt trips). I just can’t be bothered and that is a horrible feeling to have.

Worst thing is, the whole thing is based on a misunderstanding. I tried to explain, but probably did not quite explain clearly enough. Anyway, I will let the dust settle and see how it goes next time we see each other. It does mean ¬†that in the meantime I have this horrible feeling in the pit of my stomach I can’t get rid off and is ruining my weekend! Am I selfish? A little bit maybe. Is the other person selfish? Yeah, a little bit, like me, I suppose. Aren’t we all? How would we get through life if we were not all a little bit selfish? And yet, I thought about her feelings and tried to accommodate and understand them, without the favour being returned. Just the way it is, I suppose. C’est la vie, it seems.

Anyway, I will go and find a happy song to cheer me up while I let my daughter watch a Winnie The Pooh movie… Any suggestions?

Moving and Shaking

There is a lot going on in real life at the moment, so there is little time for blogs or any other such frivolities. Our first lot of building work has been completed and now it is up to us to put the final touches on our little farm house before we move in just under two weeks’ time.

This does mean I am doing a lot of painting (and on-site babysitting while the husband is painting) and am pretty tired when I get home!

Apart from that, my creative juices are flowing so when I am at my computer I tend to be writing, which is nice for me personally, but not so useful for Habitually Amused! At the moment I have to force myself to stop when it gets to close to midnight, so any blog writing has been put on the backburner.

I want to change my earworm feature. I want to change it to Song of the Day, because although I often have songs stuck in my head, they are not always very interesting. And some songs I love are simply not catchy enough to get in my head in that way. I will try to get that going from 1 August, because hopefully we will have moved by then and it seems like a nice date.

Of course if I have any interesting to say in the meantime or I happen to write some poetry, I will post it!

Stick with me – I will get there!