Off balance

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I’m a Libra, but it’s very rare that I’m balanced, I’m either slightly high or feeling low. I’ve self confidence issues and anxieties that hold me back from everyday things. In January, fed up with myself, how I looked and felt I joined a local gym- Synergy – in Cavan.  I completed four weeks of a six week programme early the previous year, didn’t finish it out and of course I was furious with myself for not going back. I started a new 6 week block in January- in these programmes, everything is laid out for you, a clean eating plan and lots of help and support. They weigh and do your measurements at the beginning of each block. When I finished the first block, I was disappointed, I had only lost three pounds, I did lose inches but I couldn’t get over the mind set that the number on the scales means everything. I felt deflated, I know in my heart that I’m overweight, and that I need to lose weight and I tried really hard for teh first time in my life- actually committed to a programme tailored to me to lose weight and I failed. I started another block at the end March with a I have two personal training sessions per week as well as two classes. I chose  Piloxing, which is a cardio workout, pilates-boxing and dance. I was really enjoying myself this time round- got into the health kick, bought a blender, was making smoothies, was eating healthily and all of a sudden when my energy levels should have been at their highest they plummeted. Last week I was tired, this week I’m exhausted. I had my last piloxing class last Thursday evening and I could barely get through it.  Last Friday night/morning I was akwoken by an intense pain in my jaw, I couldn’t believe it woke me up. It came from nowhere. I found ibuprofen in the press knocked back two and thankfully drifted back to sleep. But it was there when I woke up again and has been there ever since. I’ve been freaking out thinking it’s an abscess (I got a deep filling on a tooth before- It chipped since and food always gets trapped there– even though I floss) So I was worried it was an abscess, but my teeth aren’t sore it’s my jaw bone really so then I’m thinking it’s wisdom teeth coming through. Anyway, mum gave me antibiotics for the suspected abscess and I’ve been on nurofen plus tablets for the pain since Sunday. So I haven’t been at the gym or at classes since last week and I feel so shit. I feel guilty and I feel like I’m sabotaging all the good work I’ve done since I joined. I’ve slipped back to eating my ‘vice’ foods of bread and crisps. It’s a vicious circle and I’m spiraling out of control and to make matters worse I think my trainers are disappointed in me or at the very least pissed off, an that makes me feel worse.

 

I always do this to myself, sabotage, I’m my own worst enemy.

Anyone have any suggestions?

HELP 😦

 

 

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Day Nine- Who would have thought

I would eat this.

That my friends is Galician Octopus. I had a blissful holiday in London last week. My boyfriend and I took a leisurely stroll around Camden Market, which to be honest wasn’t that great, but I did get a lovely dress! . I hadn’t eaten anything that day and was ravenous and on the hunt for food. Darren had given up searching the search and settled on a falafel which smelled delicious…he was less thrilled with his decision when we stumbled upon the food market; I however was delighted with all the freebies. I had pulled pork, fish and chips, paella, chocolate covered strawberries, chickpea curry and finally:

Galician Octopus.

Octopus

The Greek vendors urged us to try it. I didn’t want to, Darren didn’t want to. But they were so insistent. We eventually thought “It’s our first day in London-lets try something new”.

They lifted a tentacle……a tentacle and placed it in a nearby pot of boiling salted water for about 40 seconds..
Those scissors you see in the photo, were needed to cut the tentacle into bite size portions.

They struggled to cut the tentacle. Eventually handing us both a portion sprinkled with rock salt. Almost hyperventilating with fear Darren and I shove the tentacle in our mouths.

I chewed and chewed because it was too big to swallow in one go. I crunched a piece of rock salt ( I was convinced it was an eye—then remembered I was eating a leg(of sorts)) against the rubbery meat. It felt like I was chewing for a good five minutes, all the while nodding my head in agreement with the vendors cries of “See, it’s nice yes?”

With one final effort I swallowed the thing. There was a slightly fishy taste, quite like a prawn but stronger.

It wasn’t that bad….

But Darren swears his piece had a sucker on it.

Who would have thought!?

Post Octopus Glee

“I’m late! I’m late! For a very important date! No time to say hello, goodbye! I’m late! I’m late! I’m late!”

The title of this blog post comes from Alice in Wonderlands Mr.White Rabbit!

Why rabbits??

Why……

“White Rabbits!! White Rabbits!! its a brand new month!!”

This is a tradition in my family, my granda used to say it to us the first day of every month! We were told that it should be the first words you utter on the first day of a new month, maybe its lucky?

I know there is a saying
“A pinch and a punch for the first of the month”

I don’t know why granda chose rabbits… but i love its randomness, and it’s nicer than pinching or punching someone!

So it’s been a while since I blogged…I’m busy with trying to organize myself for college and moving out of my house in Dublin and various other half assed excuses!! Anyhow since I am otherwise occupied writing wise (dissertation–magazine—lazy) I am committing myself to a photo blog challenge for the month of February!

My little sister Edel who is currently living and teaching in South Korea has come up with an awesome list for photo ideas!!

Check out her blog and follow her travels here:
http://edelmcgovern2.wordpress.com/author/edelmcgovern2/

So here’s the list of photo challenges!! Away we go!!!

1: White Rabbits/White Rabbits

2. Best Friends

3. Food

4. Role Model

5. Favourite Song

6. Embarrassing

7. Jump

8. Here We Go

9. Who Would Have Thought?

10. I Promise

11. The Year Of the Snake

12. I Love You

13. Smile

14. Valentine

15. Fit & Healthy

16. School

17. Summer

18. Old

19. Home

20. I Miss You

21. Dance

22. Believe

23. Freedom

24. Everything’s Going to be Alright

25. 4Months

26. I Look to You

27.Living Young & Wild & Free

28. What Now?

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Jenny’s tip of the day

IMG_3255[1]I shit you not.

This is a photograph of the tips I received today.

Yes that is a 5 cent coin.

I worked in a restaurant for nine hours straight today. I served 40+ people today. I polished cutlery, made drinks, reset an entire restaurant…oh and I also took down the Christmas decorations.

Christening party of 36 people …. left no tip….

Various tables of four-five people left no tip….nada…zilch

I had to wait around until 7pm for a party of three people that the owner simply couldn’t handle on her own…(or with the help of her adult son who constantly lurks there). I smiled and served them and tended to their every need. Those lovely people “apparently” left me 5 cent.

 

Now I say apparently because….

There was one glorious day during the summer that I had the restaurant to myself. When I say “to myself” I mean the boss was not there alternating between sitting on her stool barking orders…or sitting at the customer’s table barking at them. I had control of the restaurant, I took people’s orders, I brought people their food, I politely asked if they needed anything else….I played lovely easy listening music — something jazzy and non offensive.  (The Boss likes to blare….I MEAN BLARE country music shite from The Three Amigos and Nathan Carter…I have come so close to deleting the albums off the iPod—but of course that would mean that I’d have to put them back on again for her because she is so technically challenged that she can’t even text EVEN THOUGH SHE HAS AN iPHONE 5 and an iPad 3!!!)

ANYWAY..

Yes easy listening music, a lovely ambiance, happy customers, happy Jenny…I also got to do up the bills for the tables, which nobody can ever do…

That day I made €55 in tips. Each table left me at least €5. I couldn’t believe it.

So you can understand my scepticism  that when the boss is around i’m lucky to get €5….

You can also understand why I tipped myself with a triple vodka at the end of today’s hell.

Rant over.

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The Devil’s Ceili

The Devil's Ceili

The Devil’s Ceili

 

So I don’t know if I’ve ever mentioned my crippling stage fright/nerves/anxiousness….. but yes i do suffer from a nervous disposition. I get stomach cramps watching somebody i know perform in front of people. I worry for them and all the things that could go wrong.

During the summer Darren was involved in an amazing play called The Devil’s Ceili- written by Philip Doherty and Kevin McGahern. In true Phil Doherty style it’s hilarious, strange and highly entertaining.

The play is set in a Ceili House in Ireland in the 1960s,  it centers around three characters, a cocky arrogant footballer( Darren), a womanizer and a power mad priest who are central respectable figures in the local community until a stranger  (American hippie ) turns up, spikes their drinks with LSD and we see the characters true nature. The Devil himself also makes an appearance. The addition of a live band, multimedia projections and clever lighting made this play a talking point of the summer. It ran during the Fleadh and was a huge success- sold out every night!

Here is a link to the original promo video….http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VQvNnAYGgBc
Yes it turned out almost as crazy.

I was helping out during the Fleadh, doing tickets, cleaning, general bits and bobs….meaning that I was there every night. I watched all of the rehearsals, saw people struggling and then shining. I knew the play inside out, I could have been a prompter if anyone had forgotten their lines……that thankfully didn’t happen. As I watched nervously from backstage every night, laughed with the audience and paced the floor when i sensed things weren’t going as planned I wished that I could be a part of it. I saw how elated everyone was after each performance, how the audience loved the show and I cursed my nerves and stage fright from holding me back.

Due to it’s success the play was to be held again over the Christmas break……….Eight nights!

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And this time I was to be a part of it……reluctantly.

When Phil said he had a small part for me I said…..”Really? Ah cool” no excitement, I didn’t think much of it I thought he’d forget. Then lovely Paula messaged me to see if i’d be at rehearsals….

Rehearsals? Sure that must mean i have an actual part….which i needed to rehearse.

Panic struck….. I immediately leapt to my own defence…

*Internal Monologue*

“No, no, I simply cannot do this.

Yes sure you’re in college until the 13th December, you have two presentations to prepare and essays to do… there will be no time to rehearse.

Exactly….if you miss the rehearsals then you won’t feel at ease you won’t be able to do the show without rehearsing.

Great I’ll just explain that I won’t be around and it would be better off to get someone more dependable.”

Breathe…….

So i told Phil I couldn’t do it….. but he answered me with

“It’s a small part you already know it and you will be able to make the dress rehearsal and we’ll go through it then. You’ll be brilliant.”

So that’s how I was roped in.

I turned up to rehearsals the day before the dress rehearsal. Here I was told that I would be playing the part of the “sexy nun”.

This involves donning a “sexy outfit” consisting of black shorts, suspender tights, a tight t-shirt, stilettos and of course a nuns habit.

Panic reared it’s ugly head.

I am not sexy….I can’t wear shorts, I can’t walk in high heels never mind stilettos- I don’t wear tight clothes. I actually felt physically sick at the thought of it.  Noelle Slacke who is an absolute angel helped me by telling me to wear what I felt comfortable in…..alas boots tights and a dress are not the style of a sexy nun. So we compromised with a black skirt-faux suspender tights , high-ish heels…and a black t shirt.

I knew what I had to do- walk across the stage carrying a sign….help the Virgin Mary castrate someone. Easy peasy compared to what everyone else had to do. I had no lines, why should I be worried?

On a high after a show

On a high after a show

Well a major, major factor in my worry is that I felt like i looked stupid. I am not sexy, I am overweight and I hated having to act sexy and slinky- i felt as though people were looking at me wondering “why the hell is she playing the sexy nun-surely they could have got someone sexier?”

Another factor was during the castration scene, which involved me bringing several items onstage to aid the Virgin Mary  in cutting the womanizers balls off… timing had to be perfect, and I was hyperventilating trying to make sure I came on at the right times. The castration itself involved me slicing into a huge bag of fake blood and bursting it into a bucket.This had to be performed in sync with the Virgin Mary’s moves. Now…. I wasn’t allowed to look at the bucket, I had to stare straight ahead…and let me tell you….it is scary slicing a sharp knife through the air into a bag of blood which bursts EVERYWHERE.

Following the blood bursting everywhere I then had to clean the floor to ensure that the dancers wouldn’t slip and kill themselves…..I had about a minute and a half to clean this blood  as best I could….(impossible to dry the lino floor) pick up the bucket, a table, a crucifix, a bottle and Holy Mary’s robes and exit the stage…..in high heels….whilst an audience stared….

So that was pretty stressful.

Here is me demonstrating that in fact the lino cannot be made unslippable

Here is me demonstrating that in fact the lino cannot be made unslippable

I always felt bad for worrying about my part…because it’s so small compared to the other cast members. Some nights I didn’t burst the bag right….it didn’t gush properly, or I left the crucifix onstage or the floor was slippery.  I felt like I let everyone down. There was one day I left the bottle on stage and it had to be kicked out of the way… that night I went home and bawled my eyes out. I was so annoyed and disgusted with myself. I hated how I looked, I hated that I couldn’t get this simple part right, I hated the fact that people probably thought that I thought I was sexy enough to be the sexy nun. I was convinced people thought I was awful and only got the part because I’m Darren’s girlfriend… It was a bad night…lots of tears, but Darren comforted me and I think it really helped because the show became more enjoyable after that, i suppose i just got over myself…. I wanted people to know that I wasn’t under any illusion that I was a good actress, or sexy or confident… but i suppose i acted as though i was and perhaps that was my best achievement in this play.

For the past three years or so I’ve watched my friends in the Gonzo from the audience and more recently from the sidelines, I’ve watched and wanted to be a part of the community not just a supporter. Being in The Devil’s Ceili allowed me to become an insider, with every  day spent in a freezing cold warehouse rehearsing, sipping mulled wine and every night drinking at gigs with the cast and crew you couldn’t help but feel warm and fuzzy.

I had to take two Xanax’s on opening night to stop myself from bolting out the door and by the time the final curtain came down on December 30th I was smiling and clapping with  the other cast.

Take a bow

Take a bow…….Note the “Sexy Nun” on the far right

Darren said to me before the play began

“I know you’re nervous now, but you will be so proud of yourself when it’s over. You can do this and we’re going to have great fun.”

He was right. With each reassuring pat on the back from Kevin,a “good job jenny” from Phil and a squeeze from Darren at the end of every show I began to feel like I deserved to be there and that is something that I will treasure and remember every time I start to feel like I’m not able to do something. What a great way to end 2012.

Ceili Couple

Ceili Couple