The Faded, but not Faded Woman

via Daily Prompt: Faded

She could have easily faded away.

Fifty was approaching fast.  Her waistline was growing fast.  Another fifty something. Settling on the comfort of an elastic waistband and a flowing top to hide a multitude of sins. Stick with the brunette turning to grey. Best fade into the shadows…

But as the elastic stretched as far as it could go, she knew she was not going to fade away like that, there are good ways to fade away, but not fade away.  She ‘got on it’… eating well, cutting the ‘I need this’ glass of wine, thinking about what she chucked inside her body.  And she started to fade away in a good way. Gathering up that wardrobe full of extra dress sizes she had been collecting and ceremoniously dropping them.

The more she faded away, the less she faded away. Confidence grew.

As she faded further she discovered she could run. Pounding the pavements, rain and shine. Enjoying the sweat, the buzz, the breathless energy.

Then her knee faded.  Inside, slow deterioration. Fading meniscus, fading bone. Osteoarthritis.  She felt defeated. Fitter than she had ever been, but kicked in the teeth by age.

But no fading for her… she held her nerve, kept hold of that confidence. She went into that place she swore she would never enter, the gym. She kept on it. No pounding now though. She was not going to fade this far and go back to becoming faded.

She was determined…

… the faded away, but so not faded away woman.

She struggles. She’s not superwoman. Crisps and cakes and wine tempt her. Sometimes she submits to their charms. Others not.  Dragging herself to the gym is a struggle some days. Sometimes she can’t be arsed, other days she gets her arse down there. Some days she simply jumps around the front room.

But struggles are good.  She needs something to fight against. And she keeps fighting.

And fifty… well that didn’t matter, nor did the next three years. Nor will the next twenty.

One thing is for sure that old girl didn’t fade away, she’s brighter, fitter, shinier than she has ever been.

All that is faded now is the pink in her hair after a few washes, but hey that’s an easy fix…


What’s in a name?

Why… Don’t Touch The Pen?

In the age of the keyboard and touchscreen, we hardly need to touch a pen?  The world is at our fingertips. Reaching  out to people at the touch of a button, the swipe of a finger or a tap.

So actually there is no need to touch the pen, a pen. Why did I not call my site… No Need For The Pen or The Keyboard Over The Pen.

For me those just don’t work.  That statement is important. My site name has meaning and I mean it… trust me I’m serious folks – DON’T TOUCH THE PEN!

Sorry I didn’t mean to make you jump!

Although you may back away, when you read on… okay how do I put this without sounding unhinged?

I will no doubt write in the future about my love of a certain band.  My obsession with that band. But that’s for another time.

Back in February 2013, 19th February 2013 to be exact; I was in a state of euphoria at being one of the privileged few to attend the London premiere of a documentary made by the front man of that band. The premiere being followed by a Q&A with the man himself. MY HERO!  I was a nervous wreck. He was so close. Right there in front of me. I was shaking. 

Anyway, before leaving, and with crossed fingers, I popped photograph into my bag, one I’d taken of him at a gig a couple of years before and a Sharpie I found in the drawer.  Just in case…

…And just in case happened. Somehow I managed to get a scribbled autograph, on that photo, with THAT pen, just as security dragged him away and out of the door.  I was lucky, very lucky… we also wish we’d been rude and gone to the loo during the film… but I can’t go into that misery… lets just say we were too polite to leave the showing despite needing to pee and it’s one of the biggest regrets of our lives!

So there I was. I had an autograph. I’d touched his hand (I was tempted never to wash it again… but I had to be practical). However, I had a pen HE had touched.  What was I to do? I had to treat it with reverence… I mean there’s DNA on it!  I could clone myself my own hero!

Only one thing to do… go home put it in a snappy bag and seal the bag and put it safely away.

So in a drawer, no I’m not telling you which one, I have a Sharpie pen in a snappy bag. No one is allowed to touch the pen. Not even me. I get the bag out sometimes and look at it. I sigh, then put it back in the drawer safely.

And that is my inspiration for my site name.  It has meaning and works.

Yes, I am slightly bonkers, but in a cute way… that’s also why I’m known as the Crazy Pen Lady… maybe I should change my blogging name too?




Coffee, friends and… me


Getting nowhere fast. It’s one of my few talents. And today, I excelled. The washing hasn’t been done, the cat is crying for food, the dishwasher needs emptying and reloading, and as for tea… well the takeaway menus are in the bottom drawer.

Actually no, today I multi-tasked (well I am a woman!), today I got somewhere, albeit slowly. I am here and you are with me. I have written my first blog. Much of my day has been consumed pondering this, typing this, editing this and questioning my own sanity as to what the hell I’m doing.

So at this point in the day I have a blog that I am pretty chuffed with, even if I do say so myself, set against a backdrop of washing, a shrinking cat, a starving family and dirty dishes. If I get any earache for this situation, I will adopt a childish whining tone and cry… “It wasn’t me, it’s not my fault”.

So, who’s to blame?  Someone, something has to take the blame surely?  We live in a blame culture these days, so I need to blame someone or something for the messy house, the laundry piles, the starving family and cat.  And, trust me, I have no qualms in calling to the dock the guilty parties for this current state of affairs…

Coffee.  Without question it’s the devil’s work.  Don’t give me that stuff about gin being a mother’s ruin. Coffee – thick dark, bitter and laden with the evil called caffeine… that stuff takes control and makes you excitable, gives you ideas, makes you want to write a blog.  Trust me I’ve never wanted to write a blog after a few gin and tonics.

Weekday mornings, I opt for an Americano (cue a burst of Holly Johnson… ok that was Americanos – humour me people)… and water down my daily Italian roast espresso. But this morning was different, I opted for the hard core, bring it on, full strength between the eyes caffeine hit. Hardly half a cup through and my mind was taken over… a voice… my own voice asking me, nay telling me “You want to write a blog H. Don’t you?” I should have moved on to tea right there and then. But no! There was more coffee in the pot. I couldn’t just chuck it, there are starving children in Africa who’d kill for a strong Italian roast espresso.

So after two cups of toe curling Italian roast this morning, I found myself with a WordPress account, dipping my stubby little toes into the waters of the blogging world. I can only blame it on the coffee. No other explanation. OK there is also another possible explanation…

Friends. My closest friends with whom I have weekly group intercourse (stop sniggering) … verbal, typed intercourse… via email… *rolls eyes* … where was I?  Ah, yes, … in the midst of an email flurry as we call it, one of my girls might say, “I love your emails our Nells, they always make me smile.” Often followed by six words.  .. “you really should write a blog”. In my head I’d say those famous, and probably paraphrased, words of Travis Bickle “You talkin to me?” … then continue reading said email and reply without comment.

… so as stated… here I sit logged into WordPress and dipping my stubby little toes into the waters of the blogging world. I can only blame it on my best friends, whose words activated the caffeine which affected my brain.  It’s their fault. No other explanation. OK there is also another possible explanation…

Me. I love the written word; it’s simplicity, it’s complexity. I admire writers, authors who conceive worlds, lives, characters and can evoke  emotions, by the infinite arrangements of 26 letters formed into a myriad of woven words. Through their words I build my version of their creation, visualise that world, give faces to their characters  and claim them as my own. I have never wanted to be a writer, an author; I possess neither the skill nor imagination. I am happy to consume the end product. But I do love to spew my thoughts now and then… in emails to friends, the occasional tweet, a random Facebook status, in messaging and texts.

… AND sometimes I have said to myself “You should write a blog H.” In mind that it  could be cathartic, a simple brain dump, a way to articulate my thoughts via a different medium, find my own voice and simply communicate.

… so as stated… here I sit logged into WordPress and dipping my stubby little toes into the waters of the blogging world. And… well I can only blame it on myself really. No other explanation. I am going to have a go at blogging simply because I want to.

The coffee?  Well that’s kept me going all day whilst doing this. My friends, well, their occasional “you really should…” has turned in to “I have…”; because they know me well and knew I would quite like to put pen to paper, or, as we are in the 21st century – fingertips to keyboard. So girls you had better read this or I will go all stiff!

Right, here I go… it’s a start and practice makes perfect!

My second blog is in note form and leaping around between my synapses. So another will be posted soon.  It looks like getting nowhere fast will continue, so lets see how many dishes I can pile up, how skinny the cat will get and how high a laundry pile I can build…