Mr Klempsey was probably the most frightening man you would ever want to meet. He would peer at whoever entered his tiny shop through a little space in the counter. He would serve every customer through this space if he could, but the sweet shop was on one side and was more open, and the tobacconist was in this dark little booth.
There was a sinister air that surrounded the shop outside. Inside the sinister feel was oppressive. It was so heavy it was dense. It could be touched.
Mr Klempsey had a serious distrust of children. When I was little, I’d walk into the shop after my Mum and Dad and he’d be there, glaring at me through the square. The door to the shop had one of those bells at the top when the door was opened, but Mr Klempsey didn’t need it. He knew when anyone was approaching the shop. I think he used the bell just to let his victims – I mean customers – know they were in his shop.
He’d never say please when asking for your money. He’d never say thank you when you’d hand it to him. And woe betide you if you dared to take any bottles back to claim back the deposit on them.
(For the benefit of any younger readers, we used to be able to get some money back when we returned bottles to where we bought them – or anywhere that sold that particular brand. I don’t know if this practice continues to this day, if it does you’d probably know all about what I’ve just explained. Never mind. I’ll make myself sound even older anyway… I’m five hundred and one now, you know!)
One fateful afternoon, I was asked to take some bottles back. It must have been a Thursday, as it was always half day closing on a Thursday, but Mr Klempsey never closed. Needless to say, he was the only shop open for what seemed miles around. Why I had to take the bottles back that particular afternoon, I have no idea, but I was given the task to do, so I did it.
I walked the longest way round to get to the shop. The weight of the bottles dragging me down – I had about ten to carry. Glass can get heavy, you know… especially after a twelve mile walk up and down the avenues and alleyways with them.
Resigned, I wearily arrived at the shop door. The bottles weighed even more now due to the feeling of oppression that came from the shop. I juggled the carrier bags about a little, so I could turn the handle on the door – and opened it.
The bell above jingled and clanked.
Mr Klempsey was sat behind the other counter – not in the little hideaway. I shuffled over to the counter, and placed each glass bottle on the counter in turn from the carrier bags. As quietly as a mouse, I asked if I could have the money back on them.
Mr Klempsey counted the number of bottles, opened his till – I can remember it having a wind up handle on the side, and the figures used to pop up on top. It was always old money, so I never knew the price of anything. I can’t remember what the figures were on this day’s display. He gave me £1.50 – I think it was 15p a returned bottle.
I said “Thank you” to him, still very quiet like, and he smiled. He said “There you go. Don’t spend it all at once”
Mr Klempsey had been nice. He was very pleasant toward me after that day. It was as though he’d been replaced by a different model.
I think I saw a different side to him, other than the grumpy old person staring out from behind a desk. I don’t think he had changed at all though. I think my perception of him had changed, I’d allowed myself to see the person who he really was, rather than my idea of him.
Not long after this, the shop closed. Mr Klempsey had died.
Writing this now has made me wonder if other people had seen the real Mr Klempsey… whether Mr Klempsey had allowed others to see him; and whether others had allowed themselves to see him too.
I don’t know what made me think of this memory tonight, but I’m glad I did. Maybe I need to allow myself to see more of other people I know, and not let my pre-conceptions cloud what it is I actually see of them.
If you’re reading this, Mr Klempsey, thank you. It may be thirty years or so late, but better late than never.
I sit upon the cliff top and look far out to sea,
The Moon’s quite bright on this cloudy night, but that’s OK for me.
Hidden behind the foliage in shade and speckled light
I see the ships come sailing in; it’s still a marvellous sight.
One behind another, they head toward the shore
No sound is made from man on board, nor ripples from the oars.
They’re used to travelling in this way, it’s a life they’ve always known,
And tricks to miss the rocks like this show the skills they’ve grown.
Some people call them criminals, thieves, privateers, or worse,
But to them it’s just a way of life, though the sea can be a curse.
They need to collect their gold and gems and rum and other things,
They look like scruffy vagabonds, but need to live like kings.
I sit upon the cliff top and watch as they unload,
And then set sail once again, to fulfil their Pirate’s Code.
…But not doing such a great job of it!
I’m waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay behind with my blog visiting and reading, and I have even more blogs to visit now as well. I will get there, I’m pleased to say, only when is the greatest question of all time right now. Shortly followed by why? And then how? Apologies to those I visit, I am still here, but a few days ago, that’s all.
So, that means I’d better get flexing my time travelling muscles, and get myself right up-to-date again. But, oh, that means exercise. I’ve just been reminded of a post I wrote back in March last year, which I’ll repost today. It’s a time thing (and a repeat – sorry about that!). It’s about exercise and me…
I’m not what you would call an ideal candidate to appear on a TV show, if there actually is one, called ‘The World’s Greatest Exercise Role Model’. When you think of such a show you would imagine it featuring perfectly toned people with fantastic bodies, clothes, hair and smiles, together with a collection of ‘before’ photos.
I have plenty of ‘before’ photos. I think some of my recent photos are now ‘before’ photos too. In fact, every photo is a before photo if it makes you want to change something about yourself.
My body is constantly changing. I’m constantly changing for that matter. Every day is a new day, and I think I’d get pretty bored trying to keep myself in the WGERM body state to ensure that I stay on the show. And to be honest, I couldn’t do it. I may have the body of a Greek God, but my hair has a mind all of it’s own, and it decides on how good it wants me to look.
And some days, I don’t have the body of a Greek God.
Being part of the super-hero community, you’d think that a toned, muscular physique with a rippling six-pack and bulging sinews would be easy to maintain, but believe you me, it is hard work. As I’m not of the exercising mind-set, it is very easy to notice the odd stone or two creep on you when you least expect it. And once the extra weight is on, it takes a while to lose it without exercise.
I may not be of the exercising mind-set, but, when needs must, I have to do it. I visualise my body looking better for the exercise I am doing. I imagine my clothes fitting as they should, and not looking as though everything has shrunk in the wash. And I see people in my mind’s eye congratulating me on how great I look once I have lost that couple of pounds (…).
However, me and exercise are like arch-enemies. I try not to ‘do’ arch-enemies, and I try not to do exercise either. So already I’m competing with myself before I even begin. Do I want to stay the same, or do I want to look good?
After this tennis match has gone on for a while, I win and start exercising. I lose the weight. I look good. I get congratulated. My clothes fit perfectly. My hair behaves (it always does when you know you look good). And my muscles do their muscly thing.
It can be done if you put in the work; however this post isn’t about the exercises needed to look good, it is about the downfalls to avoid when exercising. They don’t tell you about these things when you see that ‘must buy’ product on the shopping channels to help you lose pounds in five days, or whatever. Oh no. And I’ve tried a few things over the years.
I don’t know if these items are still available, but they probably are. I call them ‘electrocution pads’ and that really is what they are. Little pads that you strap on to certain parts of your body, and you then run an electrical current through them. This current stimulates the muscles in your stomach, chest, arms, legs or wherever else you use them, so that they contract and relax. It feels as though they are doing something, especially if you have the power on too strong, but be careful using them. I had placed them too close together on my stomach and the contracting muscles caused my skin to pinch, and I was in agony. Also, I think the pads burned me because the power was too high. And I fell asleep wearing them. Needless to say I could hardly move the next day. Luckily they come with an automatic switch off after an hour or so, otherwise I don’t know how I’d have looked the next day. Use them if you must, but be warned… I don’t think I lost weight using these. The only pounds I lost were of the spending kind.
I bought myself one of those high-tension bending bars to build up my arms, shoulders and chest, because I thought that if they looked bigger, my stomach and waist would look smaller. No, that isn’t true. I thought that I would look like the man in the shorts in the photos on the poorly translated A4 exercise manual that came with the bendy bar. I followed the instructions to the letter. I was determined that by bending this bar, my waist size would be reduced by half of it’s size by the following week (Well, I’m a dreamer!). I finished work at 2.30 in the morning, dashed home, and started a-bending. Everyone else in the house were asleep, so I had to keep all of my breathing and grunting to an absolute minimum. I also had to stifle my scream as the bar slipped out of my left hand, whacked me under the chin as it careered across the room and smashed into my wardrobe. In my numbed state, I fell backwards, and knocked my TV set off it’s stand – but luckily, I managed to catch it before it fell – just as the bendy bar came back at me like a boomerang and clobbered me in the leg. Nobody heard a thing. I never used the bendy bar again afterwards. Well, never without wearing a pair of woollen gloves… nobody was ever going to see me doing that particular exercise.
I went to a gym a few times. I couldn’t use the equipment properly as I didn’t know exactly what I was doing, but tried my best. I went to this gym with my cousin, so we could encourage each other along. Usually we just laughed at each other. You pull some funny faces when weight training! One day, I was using a device for strengthening the legs. I knew the position I had to get into for this exercise. I lay on my back, and brought my feet up onto a bar above me. I had to hold the weight with my feet, and then push the weight upwards again, and repeat for three lots of twenty pushes. I couldn’t do one push. The weight was too heavy, which resulted in my knees resting on either side of my head. Luckily, the weight machine was supported, so it wouldn’t have come completely down on me, but I was still stuck. Eventually I was helped out of the machine. I used it without weights after that. Well, once more anyway…
I joined a boxing gym as well when I was younger. I was too old to actually start boxing, but the exercise is good to help with losing weight. Only I was a bit overweight for the circuit training that was involved. And being in a hot, steamy gym with a whole host of boxers all running around the place, I was soon out of breath. I couldn’t keep up. In order to continue with that exercise, I needed to lose weight before I actually began! Still, I persevered, and felt some benefits.
The best exercise I find that helps me to lose weight is swimming. I love swimming, I love water. The weight literally drops off me as I really push myself when I go. I think that if you really enjoy doing something it isn’t a chore, and you can do it all the more.
It’s a pity that I don’t find losing weight as enjoyable during the process. The end result is fantastic. The compliments are a great boost to the ego. And the money you have to spend on thin clothes isn’t going to be mentioned. Not in this post anyway. But feeling good after it all is well worth it.
However, I’d really like to try to avoid the bruises and things… should I ever do it again, that is…
I haven’t got a great amount of time this evening, and my ‘pre-prepared posts’ aren’t exactly finished and ready for posting yet. I want to add a post today, but don’t want to rush one, so that leaves me with only one option: to repost a post previously posted. Another repeat! Sorry about that, but at least it allows me to revisit some of the posts that I enjoyed back in my ‘early days’ of blogging.
In January 2011, I posted ‘Legends, mysteries and me’, and this is the post I have chosen to repost today:
I’ve been interested in – no! fascinated by – legends, mysteries and the unknown or unexplained for as long as I can remember. I remember when I was very little first hearing about the Bermuda Triangle, and although I couldn’t understand why it was a mystery, I was fascinated by this triangle in the middle of the Bermuda Sea. That is how I thought of it. I also couldn’t understand how it was in the air as well, and thought for a time there must be two triangles – one for boats and one for planes. As my mind looked further into things, I began to realise that the triangle must be quite big. And as time went on, I realised the triangle was referring to an area of sea and air, where various ships disappeared. I think this was where I first heard about the concept of different dimensions, but back then, I thought a different dimension was kind of like stepping into a mirror – Alice through the looking glass stylee. Now, I take the concept far more grander, with notions of parallel universes, different times, and different levels of existence.
The Loch Ness Monster is another legend that I loved to hear about when I was young. Tales of monsters living in a little lake in Scotland filled me with awe. I’ve never been to Loch Ness, but I would love to go one day. I believe it isn’t little either, but when I was young I thought it was. I always imagined (and still do now to this day) that the monster isn’t on it’s own there – it can’t be. There is a whole colony of them (I wonder what the collective term for a group of monsters is? A growl sounds good, or a roar). So when people spot the monster, they aren’t necessarily spotting the same one. Whenever I hear the term ‘loch’ I immediately picture a very misty place with shapes and shadows within the mist, tree-lined shores that have gentle waves washing in (Do lochs have waves? They do in my imagination!) and there is always a small wooden boat bobbing about by the shore. Never any people appear in this imaginary landscape, but neither does the monster. I’ll probably get to see it in reality when I go!
Ancient civilisations fascinate me too. I mean ancient Egyptians building the pyramids, and the Mayans, or Babylon. These people must have been far advanced for their time. Egypt is still here, but the other two are now ruins and legends that I have only read about. How can whole civilisations vanish, especially ‘advanced’ civilisations? I have only seen TV documentaries about the theories as to why they have gone, but I don’t know. As convincing as the documentaries are I always think that we weren’t there, so it is all speculation. Maybe I’ll travel there when I have my next Lucid Dream and find out. That would be interesting! I’ve visited Egypt, and the Pyramids just outside of Cairo and was awestruck by them. People were sitting on top of the bottom stones. How on earth they managed to get the others above them is beyond me… and the lines were perfect too! Simply amazing!
And then, there is the mystery of me. Legendary me! No… I mean how I am here. Not how I am here, I know that bit – the biology bit, but the ‘energy’ bit… the thoughts, the movements, the natural aging process. My thoughts are part of me, but not at the same time. How I can see everything, yet be focussed on one thing at the same time? The way how I can do two or more things at once should be confusing, but it isn’t. The biggest mystery of all though, to me, is how come I managed to appear in this body at this time? The spiritual side of me. The observer. Not my feelings, body or mind, but the other side of me, the side that makes me complete, the side that holds all of me together. How did that get here? Where did it come from? My mind really wants to know this answer, my spirit really knows the answer, and a thought has just come to me when I wrote that. I’m here because I am. Simply that. I am.
So, I can be a legend. I can be a mystery. And I can be me.
I’m having to resort to an old post for today’s post. Yesterday’s post was a fill-in post too, due to time constraints, but that one was an original. Tonight’s, unfortunately, is a repeat. First posted on May 22 2010, just over a week after I had started this blog. I had no idea where I was going with it, where it would take me, and what I would get out of it. I must say I have enjoyed blogging (and still do!), but I still have no clue where I’m going with it. A lot of my posts tend to be about me – not the normal everyday me, but the many different sides and aspects of me. This post, entitled Multiple Bodies at Separate Times, was about the different stages of me. I’ve reposted it in professional blue, just in case the question crops up in some kind of end of year quiz or something…
Up to now, I’ve had five different bodies in my lifetime. No – make that six – I’ve just remembered another one.
Those bodies are, in no particular order: Fat, baby, muscular, thin, child and blond.
I’m in my fat body now. Before that I was in my thin body. Fat again before that, and muscular (and toned) before that. Blond twice before that. Fat before that. Thin before that. Child before that. And baby before that.
I’ve been me all the way through those different bodies, but have been completely different depending on what body I was wearing at the time. Yes, I’ve always been quiet. Yes, I’ve always liked to keep myself to myself. (Can’t really comment on my baby body, but I’m presuming I was similar). But my thoughts have always been my own throughout time. Well, I hope they have, anyhow.
I’ve looked so different with each body.
Looking at some older photos of me, even I don’t recognise myself. How weird is that?
I’ve classed blond as a separate body; as I looked different during one of my thin to muscular stages, and wanted to keep it separate. I don’t have any photos of my blond stage unfortunately. There must be some somewhere, though – I’ll send a cosmic order for some to turn up (but only nice ones – if there’s any of me in questionable situations I don’t want to see them!!!)
Thinking back, I’ve actually felt different in each body. I had more confidence in my thin and muscular bodies, less confidence in my fat body. I was of the highest confidence level ever in my blond body. I had more energy in my child body. And just a warm memory from my baby body.
There’s a part in The Secret that mentions the cells of the body are constantly being replaced, and over time we can have a brand new body. I don’t think it was referring to my example above, but I quite like my take on it. I did feel differently within each different stage of my life, and my body was completely different. All I need to do is remember the aspects of each particular stage of my life that I liked, and bring them forward into my life now. I can clearly remember how my life was at each stage (well, apart from baby, but that was a nice memory), as everything I experienced then was part of my life. If I like it, I’ll have it again, thank you very much.
I won’t have the rocker bleached blond look again. I really did love that look, but I was at the right age at the time (in my opinion) although it was a bit of a shock to others when they first saw me. The look on their faces was hilarious, but they got to like it too, in the end. Besides, my crown is a bit bigger nowadays, so my hair may look a bit orange around the middle! I’ll have to try to bring forward the part of my body that had a full crown. When I get that back, I may just go blond for one more time! Only joking!!!
I keep saying I can have the life that I want. I just have to know what I want, and do what I need to, to ensure that I can get closer to actually achieving what I want. Some things will come to me without me having to do much work; others, I’ll have to do a bit more. I am entitled to have my life as I want to have it, so I might as well have it in the body I want to have too!
I’ll have the perfect body. I’ll have the perfect personality. I’ll wear the perfect clothes for me. I’ll be the perfect person. I’ll have my perfect life. I’ll be able to help others to achieve their perfect lives too.
Writing this blog has made me seem to be very selfish, and self-centred. Well, the blog certainly is self-centered. It’s my blog, and it’s about me. It’s about me getting to know myself better. I’ve decided to publish it, rather than keeping a journal, as it is a different way of expressing my self.
I don’t think I’m selfish, however, although a certain level of selfishness is perfectly acceptable. What good would we be to anyone, if we spent all of our time for other people, leaving none for ourselves?
If any of my posts make you smile, or think just a bit differently, then that is a bonus. I’m doing this blog to get to know me better. And do you know what? It is working already!
As an update, I’m now in yet a different body; the toned Adonis one. I know it’s probably hard to believe, but what can I say? I think my sense of humour has improved as well, or maybe I’m thinking of my dress sense. I always get those two mixed up. And I still don’t think I’m selfish… the things you write in a private journal…