Twilight: My mind wanders further

I’ve had a very quiet day today. Busy in work as usual, but no meetings to attend, and no office buildings exploding in any unexplained fashion, which is always a good thing. In fact, I haven’t had time to daydream about anything today, which is saying something. Still, the working day is over, and I am now resting. Resting, writing, and thinking!

I’m still thinking about that ‘Twilight’ incense I thought I saw the other day (well, more so the vampires and werewolves behind it, rather than the incense itself). I think it would be good if any of these companies that produce these various methods to create aromas in our homes could create something like this, if only to stimulate our imaginations. My imagination, more to the point (although, there are times when my imagination is stimulated just enough!) And then the personal grooming companies could join in too, and create body sprays and hair styling products that had a similar smell. I wouldn’t suggest it to the toothpaste manufacturers though, as I don’t think Breath of Vampire or Werewolf’s Smile would be particularly good sellers. They may sound good on the cover of a book, but don’t have the same effect on a tube of toothpaste.

I can see it now. I get in after a very long day at the office, and decide to have a shave to freshen up a little. In my bathroom cabinet (it’s more like a little room in one of the hidden wings of Aquatom Mansion, but I’ll use the word cabinet to keep things simple) I reach for my Twilight: Stealth Shaving Gel. The label reads: ‘Luxuriously smooth, Stealth lathers with the slightest drop of water, so is environmentally friendly, and equally covers the required area in seconds, so is time effective – ideal if one is in a hurry. With it’s invigorating mix of musky, spicy and rainforest extracts each shave is a unique sensation in itself. Best to be used with a sharp razor, as blunt ones tend to nullify the time element, the experience is not one to be sniffed at. The top secret blend of ingredients has a skin tightening element too, that makes any jawline appear chiselled and defined, and the long-lasting fresh smell after the shave serves as a reminder as to just how good an experience the shave was. For those who want to smell more musky, or more spicy, or more like a rainforest, use our additional Twilight: Howl aftershave balm to enhance the particular element of your choice. Or use all three, if you really want to over-power everyone else. That is the flexibility of Twilight.’ I find it amazing as to what can fit on labels nowadays. I shave and cut my neck with my blunt blade. I should have paid more attention to the label.

I stop the bleeding, but the cut on my neck looks kind of cool where it is, so I leave it for  a while, although I place a small piece of toilet tissue over it in case the bleeding starts again. My hair is looking a little dishevelled after being in the office all day, so I go back to my ‘cabinet’ and retrieve my Twilight: Moonglow styling gum. I can’t resist these labels: ‘For the look that holds wherever you go, hold your head up high with Moonglow!” This gum is in a little round tub with a screw top lid. I remove the lid, and scoop a small amount of this luminous green gunk into the palm of my hand. I gently rub my palms together, which warms the gum and releases the fresh smell of ‘aquatic essence’. There is another fragrance called ‘midnight zest’ but this latter smell clashes with the spicy smell of the shaving gel. I massage the gum into my hair, and in a second my hair is set in place. Like cement. There is no way that will move tonight!

Not that I’m actually going anywhere, but sometimes I just like to try new products. I throw my shirt back on, and make myself a cup of hot green tea with vanilla, and the head to the lounge to chill for the evening. I light a couple of Twilight: Essence scented candles, and three Twilight: Infusion incense sticks. The smell of me and these scents quickly fill the lounge.

I’m feeling very refreshed and relaxed. But also energised and raring to go. Only it is a work night, and I need to go to bed soon, so I can get up early for work in the morning. It’s all well and good getting and using these products, but I won’t smell this good in the morning. And there is absolutely no point going to work smelling like that. I mean to say, I have an image to project.

A message I needed to hear…

I witnessed an event in a parallel universe today. One so shocking, and so vivid, I couldn’t believe that I was actually seeing it unfold in front of my eyes. I was in a meeting in work, when suddenly, the building across the car park exploded in a huge fireball. The building opposite that one, to the right of where I was looking, then exploded a couple of seconds later. And then smaller explosions occurred on the car parks themselves. And then, the windows of the meeting room I was in shook, then cracked, and then splintered, and then I saw the building around me start to explode as well.

I’m not saying that the meeting was boring or anything (OK, yes, I am saying that…), but I could not remember one word of what any of the attendees had said. I was concerned as to what was going on outside, but nobody else in the meeting room was bothered; obviously because they couldn’t see what I could.

I had to bring myself back into this universe, and into this meeting. The quarterly planning meeting to decide what projects needed to be carried forward into the next quarter, and what essentials needed to be brought forward into this one. I’m only invited to these meetings for information only, so that I know what is going on, and so that I am ready for when they pass all of the work over to me to try to break. I think I’m expected to contribute something, but I’m the only non-manager level person in the meeting, and the others are paid to thrash things out. I’m only paid to do what they tell me to do, so do my best at doing that.

This vision I saw un-nerved me. I felt the explosion around me. I heard the glass breaking. I saw the flames and the brightness, yet strangely felt very calm. I couldn’t move, but also didn’t want to move.

Did I see one of my doppelgängers in a parallel universe at the moment that life ended? I don’t know. Possibly. But I couldn’t help thinking that, out of every possible way to leave this life, being caught up in an almighty explosion in the middle of one of the most tedious meetings in the history of mankind would not have been the first thought to come to mind. I also felt quite sad after the experience, but couldn’t dwell on it as I had to pick up the threads of the meeting.

My mind does have a tendency to wander, especially in work. I usually imagine myself on a beach with waves gently lapping up to the shore, the rustle of the trees nearby, the seagulls cawing overhead, and the warm sun shining down upon me. Or, I’m in my Place of Peace and Tranquility, and really enjoying the freshness. Occasionally, I’m imagining fantastic places to explore that are just beyond the trees on the horizon, or hidden roads that lead to magical lands behind the factory that occupies the land next to the office. I’m very often miles away from where I am, and I’m very often very happy there. All of these places feel good. They are very comfortable and leave me with a very warm feeling inside when I come back into myself.

The vision today was something new. Frightening. Frighteningly real. And frighteningly surreal how everyone around me were not the slightest bit bothered. They were just doing what they had to do, and everything around them was exploding apart. I’d like to hope that, in the extremely unlikely event of this ever happening in this universe, they would be bothered. I’d also like to hope that I would be able to move myself.

Have I received a Message from the Universe? Have I been told that these people around me are only interested in themselves? I hope not. I hope that the people I work with are not like that. I don’t really know the people I work with very well, and although I have a very cool reaction (and that is cool as in unfriendly, not cool as in hip!) from the majority of them whenever I am around them, I’m hoping this is only due to the fact that we don’t know each other very well. Although when I have seen some of the people outside of work they have deliberately walked the other way to avoid me, or completely ignored me when I have been stood right next to them. I suppose in some cases I should make the first effort and say something, but when someone looks me in the eye and then turns away, that tells me they do not want to speak. It may be me. It may be Bernard (my nagging inner voice). But I don’t think so.

In writing this, I think I have worked out what the Universe has told me. I must move. I have to act, otherwise people will just do their own thing around me. I have to be the one to make the first effort. Nobody will do that for me. If they don’t like me, they still won’t like me, so it doesn’t matter. They may want to ignore me, but I don’t need to ignore them as well. I should say a quick “Hi!” and then walk off so they don’t feel pressured to say anything back.

Janet Street-PorterJanet Street-Porter once said something along the lines of ‘It doesn’t really matter what anybody thinks. A third of the people will like you regardless of what you do, say or become. A third of the people may be uncertain about you, but may change their way to like you eventually. And a third of the people will never like you”. So, thinking that way, I’m going to say “Hi!” to a lot more people and have fun doing it. And if they don’t like me for doing that, tough! I’ll say it again the next time I see them anyway! I’ll give it a month and see what happens. I quite like listening to Janet Street-Porter, and even though I haven’t met her, I like her. I think we’d be good friends if we ever did meet.

Janet also said “Blogs are for anoraks who couldn’t get published any other way.” She may be onto something with the third of the people thing…

I’m hot, but I’ve been hotter!

My mind is on holiday today, so the rest of me has had to carry on regardless. I had to go to work, all day, and work. Luckily, I was doing something that I didn’t need to think about. Well, I don’t think I needed to think anyway – you can’t really tell when the thing that you use to think has gone off for the day. It should be back any time soon, but until then my auto pilot is still directing me. You should see this typing! Luckily for the blog my auto pilot has been programmed to correct any spelling error instantaneously when they are detected. Due to this auto-correction routine, the post itself is taking quite a bit longer to complete… it’s a case of type a word, backspace, type it again, for nearly every other word. It will be completed, however. The auto pilot has been programmed to do that too.

What the auto pilot has not been programmed to do, and which would be really useful on other occasions too, not only this one, is to think of something to add to the blog for this Post A Day challenge. When the ideas are not springing to mind as soon as fingertips touch keyboard, this would be an ideal opportunity for auto pilot to take over, and randomly generate ideas.

Write about that blue car from this morning. Or that cat that looked at you suspiciously. Or the misty start to the day. I have a feeling that my auto pilot is trying, but none of these ideas are forcing me to type away uncontrollably, in both directions, to complete my post for today.

Sorry, auto pilot. Manual drive has now been re-established. Auto pilot has been sent away for reprogramming, so more storage can be available to be filled with ideas for the next time. So that now means no mind and no auto pilot. Only one thing for it… look at the Daily Post suggestion, and write about that…

“What’s the most on fire you have ever been?” is the topic I have selected. It’s yesterday’s topic, but never mind. Today’s is about my name and I’ve written about that already in my ‘About’ page – well, Aquatom’s name anyway – so I don’t want to write about that again for a while yet!  

I don’t think I have ever actually been on fire, although I may have come extremely close to spontaneously combusting once. I may have sizzled once or twice in the past when sunbathing, and became a shade of red known as ‘sore’ afterwards. This is a pleasant shade after a while, but when you first see it you notice how much it clashes with virtually everything else around it. It does blend in, like I say, and then becomes a sort of burnt terracotta colour. Anyway, about the time I nearly combusted:

A few years ago, I visited the Six Flags theme park in New Jersey. It may still be called that now, I’m not one hundred per cent sure, but it was when I went in the early nineties. The day was breezy, sunny but overcast. My friends and I walked around the park for about eight hours, enjoying the rides, enjoying the day. I wore a vest top and shorts, and didn’t notice that my skin colour had changed to sore. In the car on the way back to the house where I was staying, I knew then that it was sore. Oh, did I! Everybody else in the car was cold. Freezing cold. I was like a portable furnace. Everyone had their hands on a piece of my body that was exposed so they could warm themselves up and cool me down at the same time. It didn’t work for me. The others warmed up perfectly fine, but I was so hot nothing would cool me. I even started to shiver, but was still hot, the shivering didn’t help. Eventually, we got back to the house in Connecticut, I went to bed, and slept all night in the same position. I woke up the next day. My temperature had cooled considerably, and my skin, although still red, was starting to turn a more pleasant shade. I was just a tad achy. A mere twinge here and there where my clothes brushed against my skin when I walked, but I was fine.

Lately, I don’t tend to feel the heat. I am cold all of the time. In work, I have to wear my jacket constantly. Sometimes it is due to the jet stream from the evil air conditioning system that is pointed directly at my desk, and other times it is due to the gale force winds blowing in through the windows.

This week, I have been warm. My power to feel heat has been restored! Nothing like the intense feeling of warmth I got from Six Flags, but a nice, comfortable warmth. I have to take my jacket off, and joke to my colleagues that I am hot.

Little do they know that I have been known to be hotter… and I can’t have them knowing that I’m hot stuff – they may turn the air conditioning up a touch, and shivering when warm brings back some uncomfortable memories.

I’m sure it’s not just me, but…

I’m not saying that I need an eye test or anything. I’m not saying that I get things wrong on a very regular basis. And I’m not implying that odd things only happen to me, but whilst shopping yesterday I felt this was / these were very much the case.

I merrily drove to the local Sainsbury’s (other supermarkets are available) and had to park in the space next to my personal parking space. Somebody else was using my space, and as both cars wouldn’t fit into the same space, I had to go next door. It isn’t as though the space is reserved for me, I have to add, but I have been using it for about eighty years. You’d think the regular shoppers would know where we all park, so I’m guessing this must be someone trying the store out for the first time. I don’t mind anybody using my space, as I’m not at Sainsbury’s for that long a time, and it would be silly to have the space standing empty if it was needed, but I would like to think that the space is available for me when I go. Usually it is, but yesterday it wasn’t. I don’t go all diva-like and demand that the owner is removed from the store to move their car out of my space when it is being used, that wouldn’t project the kind of image I am after. I just drive into the next space. There are usually three spaces together that I class as mine anyway.

So, I parked my car. I looked in all of the mirrors before getting out of my car, as there is a small company in operation on the car park who clean your car while you are shopping, and I didn’t want mine cleaning. None of this cleaning crew were around, so it was safe for me to make my way to the shop. Stealthily I dashed to the main entrance so I could avoid other members of the cleaning crew. I was about to go inside the store when I realised I had to go to the cashpoint just outside. And there was a queue.

I stood in line, and the lady before me was one of the people who worked in the shop. There are two machines at the cashpoint beside each other. The one on the right was in use when the one on the left became free. The lady in front of me walked over to this one, and a few seconds later looked at me, and the lady behind (who was someone else who worked in the shop, coincidentally!) and pulled the facial expression which means ‘this cashpoint is working but it isn’t taking my card; the other one may do, so I’ll re-join the queue and try that one when it is free’ – I’m not the best when it comes to interpreting people’s faces, but this one was obvious, especially when she waited before me. I nodded to the machine when it became free, and thought that I would try my card in the left machine. At first, my card wouldn’t go in, but as I was about to give up and re-join the front of the queue, it went in. Hurrah! I obtained my cash, got my shopping trolley and walked into the store.

Usually, I get the shopping trolley with the wonky wheels, but this time I was in luck. I think I had selected a newer model shopping trolley – it felt smooth to the push. I was able to walk forwards without fighting with the trolley to stop it from veering to the left or right, and it glided along the floor, rather than feeling as though I was pushing it over a roadful of broken cobbles. Even when I put items into it, it remained smooth, so I’ll look for this model the next time I go.

Nothing much of interest happened whilst I was meandering up and down the aisles. Hair gel was on special offer, two-for-one, but since my haircut I didn’t need any – although it brought flashbacks to mind of the severe flick from the other week. Oh, and the strawberries were half price, so I paid full price and bought two punnets. I walked passed the special offer section on my way to the freezers, when something caught my eye. A ‘Twilight’ incense pack.

I dashed around the freezers, and filled my trolley with what was needed from there, ran back to the loo roll aisle because I had forgotten something from there, and then started back to this special offer section. In my mind, I was imagining what the incense would be like. I was trying to guess how the manufacturers would embody the essence of the vampires and werewolves and youthfulness of the movie into the smell from the incense sticks. I was imagining the smell being musky, spicy and invigorating, and I was looking forward to buying a couple of packs, as anything to do with vampires makes me want double.

I approached the special offer section, which was full of all sorts of different things. Long life milk, batteries, left over red noses, Easter Eggs, and this ‘Twilight’ merchandise. Only it wasn’t an incense pack. It was a pencil set. It came with a ruler, an eraser, and a pencil sharpener. I didn’t know whether to feel disappointed or laugh. A certain voice in my head said “Time to get your eyes tested!” At least I’d had the pleasure of imagining the smell, which I wouldn’t have done if I hadn’t mis-read the packaging. I didn’t buy the pencil set. I paid for my things, and left the shop. The cleaning crew leave you alone when you have a full trolley, so I walked confidently back to my car.

I know that it isn’t only me who gets things slightly wrong, but when I do, I do. I enjoy shopping – you never know what may happen!  


Losing an hour, gaining a bad back!

“Ooh me aching back!”

Not the best of starts to a positive post. Not the best of starts to the first day of good old British Summer Time either. Although the day itself didn’t actually start that way.

I had forgotten to un-set my alarm last night when I went to bed. I had an amazing sleep, after finally drifting off to sleep at around 2am – I had a dream where I had exceptionally long hair, which was down to my ankles (although I don’t know why I had hair on my mind as I have had most of it cut off last week) but I can not remember what I was doing in the dream, or what importance the hair was… maybe it needs washing or something. Anyway, I digress.

My alarm went off at 6am. I switched it off, and decided to get myself up and about and throw some clothes into my washing machine. I have a wall clock in the upper walkway of the vast entrance corridor of Aquatom Mansion, which is always one hour fast… only when I looked at it this morning it was the correct time. For some illogical reason, I was struck by shock as though I had been blasted by a bolt of lightning. I realised that I was living in the wrong time…

Yes, not only had I forgotten to un-set my alarm, I had also forgotten to move time forward one hour last night. Which was probably a good thing in hindsight, as my alarm would have woken me at 5am, and I don’t think I’m the most pleasant of grumps after three hour’s sleep. Although it may have been four (or two for that matter – I always get confused when the time changes – you should see me trying to explain whether it will be darker or lighter at 7am or 7pm after the time change!) However, all of this shock would have been avoided if I had un-set the alarm. I would have realised that I hadn’t altered the time, altered it, and 6am would have still been 6am, I would have still been asleep, and my washing would have been delayed slightly.

So, in a bizarre way, losing the hour seemed to save me some time. I’m living in a paradox again.

All of this confusion does not explain the ache I have in my back. It was perfectly fine when I woke up. I bounded out of bed like a lively little lamb, swooped up all of the things that needed to be cleaned, energetically ran all of the way to the laundry room on the South Side of the Mansion with sleeves, legs, arms and collars trailing behind me, filled the machine with clothes, detergent and softener, clicked the clicks and pressed the buttons, heard the hum of the start of the washing cycle and then sprinted back to the walkway to double check the time that I had spotted in the corner of my eye as I ran past the clock mere seconds earlier. It was then that I was struck my the metaphorical lightning.

It was also then that I realised that I had lost the hour, and for those few moments I had been actually living in the past. I knew the time change was due, because I knew a few days ago that the time needed adjusting this weekend. As usual, and this happens twice every year, I never altered the time the night before. I always leave it until the next morning – although in some cases it has been the next evening (or the following Tuesday!) when I get round to making the change. I didn’t not do it deliberately last night, I had forgotten; but if I hadn’t forgotten, I probably wouldn’t have done it anyway and left it until today all the same.

The missing hour suddenly made me feel very sleepy. Light-headed and dizzy, I lay down on top of my bed, and drifted back to sleep again where I lay. I woke up naturally about an hour and a half later, and felt as though I had had the most perfect sleep. Sometimes, I find that the second sleep in a morning more refreshing than the one from the night before, and this seemed to be no exception to the rule. Until I went to stand up. The first words spoken by me on the very first day of British Summer Time 2011 were those that I used to start this post.

Things aren’t as achy now. I’m over the missing hour. My laundry is drying. And my Sunday afternoon is about to begin. And to end on a positive note – this is a positive post after all – Here Comes The Summer!