05084 - Rowena driving-scaled

As I was driving home the other day I saw my very first car going past on the other side of the road. This is the second time I’ve seen it this year, and part of me felt a bit sad again that I no longer own it. I sold it about 5 years ago now, but there is still a small part of me that remembers the fun adventures I had with my little Fiat Punto. I know there are many things that I don’t miss about that car (very small engine, all the silly things that went wrong with it etc) but it was my car. It was at a time in my life when that car was the only personal space I had, and I kept it incredibly clean. With the current car that Kieran and I own, that is not possible. We park it under a tree and it doesn’t stay clean. That’s life really, and I don’t have the time (or the height) to wash it as much as I would like.

My little Punto represented a kind of freedom to me. There were all sorts of random road trips with friends, or I could just escape by myself somewhere. Now the car I drive is sensible, and as much as I love how easy to drive it is I still miss the personality of my old Punto. Part of me was pleased to see that it was an older lady driving it very carefully on the other side of the road, and after all this time it still looked pristine. When I think critically about it, I know I’d get very annoyed trying to drive something so small after all this time in a bigger car.

The reason I had to sell my Punto was because Kieran hated it. It had too much personality (it was difficult to drive). You had to balance the clutch and accelerator exactly right or it would stall. In fairness if you looked at it funny it would stall. In some ways I had to let go of that car. It would always have been my car, and never Kieran’s. There are many sacrifices I have made for Kieran, and I don’t regret any of them. Giving up my car was a way of moving on from the past and all that was represented by it. When I look back, I realise how far I have come from the young girl who first started driving. In some ways I find it kinda scary how much time has passed. In other ways I am proud of myself and Kieran with all that we have come through together.

Who knows how many cars we will have owned when we look back again. Part of me would love to own a nice fast car, but I will always be content with what we have.




So it’s pretty late at night on Friday night, 12:30 to be exact so I guess it’s early morning on Saturday in fact.  This was a blog I kind of wanted to write around Wednesday, but the last few days I’ve not felt great, and doing something as cliché and well…common as writing a blog about the World Cup is totally not hipster enough for me, and I just didn’t have the passion, or creative energy to do it.

So why now? Well as I’m typing I’m watching the last twenty minutes of the Spain v Holland game, for the more observant of you who are wondering why I’m watching the last few minutes some two or so hours after it finished, I was being a good husband and making a sacrifice, instead of watching the football all evening, I was killing nether beasts with my wife, and thus recorded it.

And it was a sacrifice, I am English to my very depths. I even call myself English instead of British whenever I can, and while I would love my country to do well, doing well is very much getting out of our group as I see it.  However my second team, in international stakes, has always been Holland.  I still remember watching the ’95 Champions League final…although it was probably called the European Cup still at that point…and just being utterly mesmerised by the Ajax team.  As a twelve year old, still really searching for my identity as a football fan, there was something about, not just their style of play, but the energy, youth and skill of the team, triggered something in me.  I am a Derby County fan, and a proud one, yet when you support a team like Derby, a team that epitomises the highs and lows of following a football team, you sometimes need a second team that can (usually) put a smile on your face, and that, since that evening in ’95 has been Ajax

So as Ajax was my second club team, the Netherlands became my second international team, a team that usually, even when England went out early, still gave me someone to root for, and watch football not as a neutral, but as someone invested. A team that I could complain about when they picked PSV players instead of Ajax players.  And as I type this they’ve just scored their fifth against Spain.  Which just makes it even sweeter, the sight of Sergio Busquets looking happy, just lights a little fire of happiness in me, I’m just surprised he didn’t fall over, and cry holding his ankle.   I feel a little odd as I’m sitting in my Derby Shirt watching this, but I know my wife won’t be too appreciative if I sneak into the bedroom just to grab my Ajax shirt!

I would love England to win the World Cup, and I actually think there is potential for them to do well, I like the squad, I actually like Roy Hodgson as an international manager, and I like the complete lack of expectation there is.  But if England go home early, I am desperately hoping the Dutch do well.

Now a few other World Cup related thoughts…

The officiating so far has been awful.  I’ve seen the entirety of the Brazil v Croatia game, and am about five minutes from finishing watching the Dutch win.  I didn’t watch the Mexico v Cameroon game, but I’ve not heard good things about it.  Usually you expect the first few games to be a bit rough and ready, but this has been awful.  Enough has been said and written about the Japanese referee from the Brazil game, but as far as I’m concerned if anyone else had looked at Luka Modric, then thrust their forearm into his throat, would have been sent off.  Neymar should never have been on the pitch to score, and that’s even before you comment on the penalty.  Luckily for Croatia I’m pretty sure they should have enough to beat both Mexico and Cameroon.  The referee tonight hasn’t been great, a few dodgy yellow cards, and I’m still not certain about the penalty that Diego Costa won.

The highlight of the Brazil v Croatia match, however was no doubt the incredibly effective, and worthwhile use of Goal-line technology.  Croatia score, the ball bulging the back of the net, and then, ten minutes later as my brother pointed out to me on Twitter, they show that yes indeed, the ball did cross the line, thank-you FIFA, it’s OK to be proud, but you don’t need to show off.

Now seeing as I’m effectively criticised Fifa twice in two paragraph, I expect Sepp Blatter will be accusing me of racism soon…what?  Too soon?

Everyone seems to be picking the Belgians as their dark horse, which as someone I was reading pointed out this week, they can’t be dark horses if everyone’s picking them.  I think the Belgians have an abundance of talent, right through their team, as well as easily the best centre back in world football at the moment in Vincent Kompany, but my dark horse would be Japan.  They’ve got some incredibly skilled players, with a good mix of youth and experience, and I think they could surprise a few people.  Guarantee now that they lose all three games, and I look like an idiot.

The final whistle has blown, Holland has beaten Spain, and as far as I’m concerned NOW the World Cup has started, bring on the Italians!

Pun Fun

Snow Reflection
Snow Reflection


If you want to just muck about a bit and amuse yourself without harm, follow my fun example. Puns are awesome. Kieran doesn’t agree, but the thing is it gives me something to do in those moments when some light relief is needed. Many people just groan, but it does make me smile when I’ve managed to draw someone in, and then drop a pun on them at the last moment. It is just a way to get the mind working in a creative way, honestly. I never used to be someone who found puns funny, but now I see them all the time. Sometimes I’ll smirk and try to not say the pun, and someone will ask ‘what’s funny?’. That is not my fault!

Many puns are situational, dependent on your environment. A tent is perfect for ‘intent’ puns, a fence is also good to not cause offence. I can hear people laughing already. Ok, so I know they aren’t always that funny, but they are a good way to relieve tension.

In the past my sense of humour had become somewhat dry and sarcastic. It sometimes had even been at the expense of others. I guess it has been a process worked out in me through others, and by God’s hand to see this as something that is not only damaging to others, but to me as well. I used to be able to watch horror films and find them funny. I used to point out in a descriptive way to friends ways they had got the gore wrong. There was one point when I was at the cinema, and I was the only one laughing…. awkward. All the while being nudged in the ribs to shut up. This was a long time before I met Kieran thankfully.

I realise I have been on this journey, with even the little things like my sense of humour. My attitude to those I would generally shy away from has changed dramatically. The people who bugged me the most when I first met them, I made an effort and they became my closest friends. I’ve also got better at sharing the world the way I see it with people better. I’m a very visual person, and not many people understand that if they describe something to me that my mind will create a picture of it. (This is dangerous me sharing this I realise, so be nice.) I guess that’s how a lot of the puns come about, and my humour, because I actually see it. This also happens when I listen to music, though I have no idea how to describe it. I don’t just hear music, I get a picture painted. This is where some of the sarcastic humour has stemmed from, because I see an imperfection, and it used to be out of my mouth before I could stop it. If you ever go clothes shopping with me, you’ll understand – that’s one place I don’t have to hold it back.

Words have great power, and once they are out of your mouth, or on your status bar – you can’t take them back. Even if you try to delete them, try to change them, someone will have heard them. There is a responsibility for every person to be in control of their words. My sense of humour no matter what it is, is fine, as long as it doesn’t hurt others. I think back on some of the jokes I’ve been at the receiving end of, and even though I know they aren’t true, they stay with me. So give me harmless pun any day.