I've been on a family holiday this week so unless I'm going to go into such inspiration as my three year old stepson telling my six year old stepson (who had just thrown up all over the car) not to eat the sick, I need to look to literature for my guest. I'm a big fan of Sarah Dunant and loved this extract from a book of hers that I devoured in a single day.
Extract from Mapping the Edge
by Sarah Dunant
'So you don't think of him now?'
'Hardly ever. It's funny, I'm not sure I can remember him very well. It's so long ago, as if I was another person.'
'Sounds like you came out the victor in the end.'
'You think so? I don't see it as a battle any more.'
'That's how you know you've won.'
 
Today's guest is my friend Samantha. We've known each other about four and a half years and she was the only friend to survive my marriage. Nobody messes with Samantha who is disturbingly intelligent in the way that makes even cats grudgingly respect her. While my ex always claimed to like her, I think perhaps he knew better than to take her on. It's a short entry, taken as it is from an email but it's so brilliant and so kind that nothing else would do for this week.
Superwoman
by Samantha
Even if you have a Superwoman costume in the wardrobe, you don't have to wear it all the time.
Picture
 
Today I had a couple of guests that showed up quite unexpected and I'm delighted to welcome them to my home. I doubt they'll stay long as I have big plans for ripping them open at the neck and devouring their contents but for now their presence pleases me.
Unexpected Guests
courtesy of Gridlock Magazine
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There are many things that make me happy. I like the fridge magnet that reads "I take life with a pinch of salt... a wedge of lemon and a shot of tequila. I like that I don't buy such fridge magnets and instead have an integrated fridge/freezer (although I aspire to a Smeg). But high on my list of happy things are writing (and being encouraged to do so) and free stuff.

So imagine my joy when my next door neighbour turned up bearing parcels delivered while I was out (I was making the acquaintance of my rather lovely new Irish optician who reads my eyes like a crystal ball and predicts great misfortune unless I take an iron supplement). Parcels that I did not order!

Parcels are another big happy source. Sometimes I shop online just so I can receive parcels. The amount of dresses that come from Joe Browns owe as much to this love as to comfy pretty clothes. 

But mysterious parcels are rare.

I tore into them full of eagerness. Which was a bit embarrassing since at the time I was in the middle of a quotation for a loft conversion, but the salesman shared my enthusiasm so that was ok (this is a big tick for the company!) to reveal wine.

Free wine?

Yaaaaaaaaay!!!

Logic interceded and suggested that this related to my new role as the food and drink writer for Gridlock magazine. But readers, my little mind was near to bursting. I am to be given free things and not only do I get to write about them but my writing will be in a magazine!

They are not to be guzzled in preparation for falling over due to winification but instead are ornamenting the dresser (not for the wine cupboard these special guests) until I've a few more details about the piece I'm to write.

Oh and since I've piqued your interest, here is my wine cupboard.
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RSVPs and nobody at the party. Not that I can really pout too much but I've two people saying they're writing for this page and one touched but seemingly doing nothing about it. So no specific guest but hey, why let that stop me? Especially now the fiance and I have the internet again (it was down for 24 hours, we nearly died!). Anyway, there's a song that helped me move on from my ex by a band I think are just fabulous and so here's another Life Lesson blog (written as I'm sure you appreciate from a what not to do perspective).
Salesmen, cheats and liars
by my ex
The world is not a nice place and people are not on your side. Do not be complacent for man is selfish and ultimately there is nobody who would not sacrifice you in order to achieve their own goals. Even when things are going good be sure to hold something back and avoid being vulnerable. Some might say you are running with the self-fulfilling prophecy but don't buy it!

I know the only feeling you have is rage 
And I know that I'd feel the same as you, but 
I think you'd better take a good look around you 'cause 
You're so pissed you can't even find your drink 


Those that claim they're trying to help are merely projecting their own ideas onto you. Just because they've had their share of pain doesn't mean they won't inflict it as soon as you let them. Empathy is simply opportunism or loneliness that breeds desire for company at the bottom. Either way they'll drag you down.

Sometimes it's wise 
To know which way the gun is pointing 
Before you yell, "I see the whites of their eyes." 
Sometimes you'll find your senses all disjointed by 
The lines and wires of salesmen, cheats and liars 


If you let your guard down even one iota then people will trash all over you. You can think yourself in love even but you will either have your heart broken or settle for small scale casual cruelty. Set your strength from the beginning and keep them in their place. They are out to hurt you so subdue them. But even then, they'll leave you for the sake of causing pain.


Well she left, without one word of tenderness 
And noone saw you cry but me 
Your friends heard you say, "Good riddance, I'm better without her." but 
'Fess up, you thought about diving into the Don 


Trust in yourself. Hold your values and views. Adapting to experience is simply giving up and didn't you say all along people were out to screw you over. It's not pessimism, it's realism to assume the worst. You may get the rare positive that surprises you but you are never disappointed by life, simply prepared.

Sometimes it's wise 
To know which way the car is going 
Before you put your pedal down to the floor 
Sometimes you'll find your senses all disjointed by 
The lines and wires of salesmen, cheats and liars

    The Monday Guest

    The Thursday Column has become an institution; mostly just for me but there are a few people whose feedback suggests that my desire to publish something near the end of the week has resulted in a product that fills a pre-weekend Thursday muse or a Friday morning coffee break. Well, I'd like to start each week in a similar way and have asked my many brilliant friends to support this goal. If you would like to contribute, please contact me.

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