Pre-birthday excitement!

By panda_eyed
I'm bursting with excitement today! I'm sooo looking forward to this weekend! I received the first birthday cards (and a parcel from the lovely Diva and Nags, yay!) through the post this morning. I am saving them to open on Saturday, although I am so excited that I might have popped before then!

My weekend starts tomorrow - after a half day of work, I'll be having a long and yummy lunch with my best friend, then shopping for a birthday outfit on Oxford Street, and then we shall be heading over to the London Studios to watch the filming of an episode of Stephen Fry's Q.I.! Woot!

Saturday will be spent sleeping in, then leisurely getting ready to meet some fabulous friends (including the lovely Olivia) to eat at the Bang! sausage bar and grill (check out their menu, it is amazing!), before heading here for some yummy scrummy cocktails. Squee!! If only today would hurry up and end already! Hehe! :D

We had a few of days of glorious sunshine this week, but the sun seems to have disappeared again. The weather forecast says it won't appear for very long this weekend, but that doesn't even dampen my mood today, because I get to have cake and cocktails this weekend! :)

What will you lovely lot be up to?

I'll leave you with some photos I took when the sun was shining:

A birdy stretching out in the sun -it summed up exactly what I wanted to be doing at that point in time!

And this cheeky little squirrel found an ingenious way to steal the seeds out of the bird-feeder:

Hope you have a nice, relaxing bank-holiday weekend!



Panda's guide to etiquette on the London Underground

Category: , , , By panda_eyed
Having had a number of annoying and bizarre experiences on the underground, I thought I'd write my own guide to etiquette. Please follow diligently!

  • If you're reading a newspaper or a magazine, don't get all huffy if I read over your shoulder - it doesn't cost you anything.
  • Similarly, don't offer to share your paper - that's just creepy.
  • Don't sit on the edge of the bench - I don't want to have to climb over you to get to the free seat.
  • Luggage - unless you bought that Samsonite a ticket, keep it off the seats and out of my leg space.
  • Men, it won't compromise your reproductive health to sit with your legs less than half a mile apart.
  • Ladies, sitting with your legs crossed over is fine, but get your damn shoe off my knee!
  • Don't play your music over the loudspeaker. You don't look cool, and just exposes your crappy taste in music. Same with earphones - turn that shit down.
  • If you attempt to talk to me and I don't immediately engage you in sparkling, animated conversation - it's because I want you to LEAVE ME THE HELL ALONE, jackass. Honestly. I'm not just playing hard to get.
  • If you must talk on the phone, do it quietly. I don't need to hear about what Wendy said to Eileen or what time your leg wax is.
  • If you have halitosis, keep your damn mouth shut! Don't be yawning or sighing loudly.
  • When I fall asleep, don't wake me up asking if I want to rest my head on your shoulder.
  • When I decline, don't then start speculating out loud about what I could have been up to last night to cause this tiredness. Freak.
  • Keep tissues handy. Especially if you have a cold. I'd buy a dog if I wanted to hear constant sniffing. The same goes for coughers/sneezers - I don't need to catch that shit.
  • Don't pretend to be asleep, then sneak a hand over and grope my shirt-potatoes. I have breasts, but I'm not stupid.
  • Don't start getting out of your seat before the train stops. You'll only fall heavily into my lap when it brakes. And I happen to like the fragile little bones in my feet.
  • Don't stare continuously and unblinkingly, and in particular, don't say "You have blowjob lips!", get up off the train, and run around the platform screaming it. No one ever won the hand of fair maiden that way.
  • Don't eat. I don't need you dropping crumbs all over my lap, no do I need to sit on your old banana skin or apple core. If you must eat, keep your damn mouth closed.
  • Women applying make up/nail varnish on the train - go right ahead, we could all use the amusement when the train suddenly brakes or goes over a bump.
  • Give a lady some goddamn personal space, goddammit! Organs need room to function.
  • Don't be rubbing your leg up on me either, lest you reeeally want my stilletto down your oesophagus.
  • Keep your wet umbrellas AWAY from my legs. A 'sorry' ain't gonna get the water out of my trousers.
  • Public displays of affection - a peck on the lips is fine, but save the rest for your bedroom. If I wanted soft porn, I'd download it.
  • Eager beavers jostling to get on the carriage first. Ngh. Just, ngh.
  • People with body odour - if you're not going to wash, don't strap-hang. Keep elbows below shoulder height and armpits AWAY from my face.
  • Farting. Goes without saying - the hazardous gases of your colon; confined space. Doesn't take a genius. If you can hold it in, please do.

Does anyone have anything else to add?


From half-empty to half-full. Ish.

Category: By panda_eyed
I used to be a pessimist. I used to dwell on every bad thing that did, or could, happen and obsess about it continuously. I would get angry over every little thing, and I had a very short and very bad temper. God forbid if you crossed me! Only in the last couple of years have I begun to learn to let things go, to be more optimistic and say 'This, too, shall pass'. I do smile more now, I'm more upbeat, I have more patience, and I'm sure it's made me a nicer person; but, whilst these things come naturally to some people, I have had to force myself to be and do these things, to make that change, because I hated being that moody, irritable cow that I was before.

Over time, it's become so much easier to be 'sunny', and it does come more naturally now. I don't have to force myself to see the bright side, because I already can see it; don't have to remind myself to smile, because I'm already smiling; don't have to make myself be cheerful - well, you get the picture. I have become a whole other person without knowing it, and I like this girl, I finally like being me.

I couldn't have coped with being diagnosed with ME/CFS a few years ago, and even though I have my days when there seems to be a black cloud not only hanging over me, but also chucking down rain, thunder, lightning and hale, I have surprised myself by not being steam-rollered by this (In my head, it's a bit like the cartoon characters popping back into 3-d again after being flattened :). I'm not saying it's always easy. Little things may not get me down anymore, but every now and then I have a lapse, and then that ugly, angry person comes out again. Hormones play a big part in this*.

Last week, I purposely went a whole week without blogging. We had the bad news that I was dreading but, yet, knew was coming; it depressed me a whole bunch, and I didn't want to write yet another depressing entry. I tried to blog about other things, but I didn't really have it in me, and, still, don't. Sometimes, a girl does need a little help in being cheerful.

Can anyone help..?

*A tip - a high-calcium, low-fat diet does wonders for PMT-related mood-swings!

Happy 1st birthday, blog!

Category: By panda_eyed
Dear blog,

You are 1-year old today!

Through you, I have met many wonderful people and made many new friends. You are there when I'm happy, when I'm sad, when I'm pensive, and when I was diagnosed with ME/CFS. For that I'm very grateful indeed.

Happy 1st birthday, dear friend, and many happy returns!

Lots of love,

Your Pandy

xx xx xx xx and xx xx xx xx

Is there any justice in this world?

By panda_eyed
Yesterday I found out several things that disturbed and angered me more than anything in a long while.

I've spoken of my grandmother before, of how she is blind and now frail, weak and extremely forgetful. She's had an in-home carer for more than 5 years, but as she refuses to get on with any of them, the decision was made that she would spend her final years here in the UK with her sons and daughters. For the last few months, she has been moving between their homes, none of them wanting to accept full responsibility for her, causing a blind old lady much instability and insecurity. She had never wanted to leave her home of 80 years in Hong Kong, and has constantly expressed her wish to return, but now that she is almost completely reliant on a carer (albeit not wanting to have one), this is a hard wish to fulfil.

A few weeks ago, some of my uncles and aunts (6 of my mum's siblings) decided that it would be more convenient for them to ship her off to a nursing home back in Hong Kong. This, although it saddens me hugely, did not surprise me, for my uncles and aunts have never really been hugely compassionate or showed that much concern for my grandmother (unless they wanted something from her). The thing that has angered me is my uncle and his wife (who I shall call uncleP & auntZ) borrowing a substantial amount of money from my grandma (that her husband left her to ensure she lived comfortably when he died), and are now refusing to return it, first saying that they shouldn't have to return it, and now saying that they DID return it, but that my grandma is senile and doesn't remember. My grandma, despite knowing full well that they haven't returned the money, doesn't want to cause friction between her children and so back-tracked a bit, saying that maybe she really doesn't remember after all, which begs the question - where would my gran be keeping £20,000? Under a pillow?

My mum, being the only one brave enough to stand up to them, is now the victim of vicious rumours spread by uncleP and auntZ, who say my mum probably stole the money from my gran and lost it on stocks and shares or bought a flat with it (??!!). Anyone who knows my mother will know these lies are the equivalent of me trying to convince you that I am the almighty god. However, despite all the hostility from P&Z towards my grandma, she was determined not to let things get in the way of their relationship, and a couple of weeks ago, went to stay with their family for a week. Just last week, she went to visit another relative, where she confessed to being in a lot pain. On being pressed, she revealed that my cousin, (P&Z's son, Ro), had severely beat and strangled her until she almost suffocated.

This makes me so angry that I could drive right over there and, with one strike, knock the block off the kid. How dare he?! Where has the respect gone? How could ANYONE attack a frail, blind, helpless old lady who’s only misguided mistake was to love you and show you affection? To make it worse, this is not the first time this sort of thing has happened. Previous carer’s have reported that he has bullied his grandma in the past, taking pleasure in her distress when he pushed, poked her, pulled her hair, and then blaming it on his baby brother.

What saddens me is that nobody knows how many times this has happened before, how many times he might have bullied and physically attacked my gran, because, in trying to protect him, she has never mentioned it to anyone until now. What angers me even more is the fact that Ro will probably never face any repercussions because his parents are so twisted that they will never believe anyone who tries to sully the name of their son, especially following the recent family feud. They would just assume that we were spreading rumours, just as they have done with my mum.

In the wake of the recent mass-shooting in Virginia, it makes me wonder just what kind of people are out there, and where this type of hatred and disregard for the feelings and lives of others springs from. I know Ro’s parents aren’t exactly what you could call ‘good-hearted’ people, but can such evil really be passed on from the parents? Everything I have seen so far suggests yes.

I will be going to visit my multiple aunts and uncles this weekend, to say goodbye to my grandmother before she leaves for her new ‘home’ in Hong Kong. More than anything, I want to corner Ro and hurt him like he hurt my grandma so that he fears for his life and knows what it feels like to feel so helpless and at the mercy of others. I’d like to tell him that if I ever hear of him even saying a bad word to my gran again, let alone touch her, that I will knock him the fk out, but what I don’t want to do is to make things worse for my grandma – I can’t be sure that if approached about it, Ro (and even his parents) won’t harass/attack my grandma even more for telling people about it. I’m so frustrated!

One last thing - that in turns makes me angry, sad and fearful is that after my gran complained of being in pain caused by Ro, my auntie examined her for wounds and broken bones, and in the process, discovered a substantial lump on my gran’s breast. I don’t want to be pessimistic, but at her age, it doesn’t really look good.

This world is so unfair.