Can I have my cake and eat it too?

It’s my birthday on November 12 and DH offered to get me a PAIR of boots. I need them and with no income of my own right now, I don’t have £150 for the purchase so I planned on graciously accepting. Then I hear about Mumsnet BlogFest. As I’m really hoping to develop my embryonic blog, I feel attendance there could be the motivator I need. But tickets are £75.
There’s loose change in my redundancy payment but I can’t sanction that spend either. It’s earmarked for emergencies. So my husband gives me a choice, the boots or the Mumsnet ticket. When I point out the discrepancy in cost, the choice is amended to Mumsnet ticket and one boot versus the complete pair of tan leather boots. My web search for ‘Mumsnet BlogFest free ticket’ yields gold. For one lucky blogger at any rate. Give as you live is offering a ticket in return for being their person on the ground that day. I might be able to have my cake and eat it too.

Here’s my case….

The time has come for me to step away from the shadows and ‘out’ myself as a blogger. I’ve got a back catalogue of over thirty posts. I haven’t felt brave enough to compose my ‘About’ section yet and only recently made it searchable, safe in the knowledge that Mahoganysoup isn’t going to be something many (any) will trip across. In real life I am an extrovert and sociable with an open door policy to my home – I’d like to extend that reception to my virtual presence. Come visit my site. Drop in for a browse or a comment.

I’d like to meet fellow bloggers – many who I check in to regularly and who brighten my day. I know I’ll be inspired and encouraged. I’d love to hear Caitlin Moran, Natasha Walters, Jeanette Winterson and the others. I need tips on SEO and would welcome an audience with Social media experts.

Having just discovered Give as you live, I’d be proud of the association and would happily tweet and blog on their behalf.

And wouldn’t Altitude 360 be the perfect first outing for my new boots.

I chose MacMillan Cancer as my charity of choice. Nursing is truly a vocation and by giving to this charity I want to enable their nurses to continue to help people in their time of need.

My favourite retailer would probably be Boden and I was heartened to see that 2.5% of the purchase price goes to our chosen charities.

Deliverance

Maybe it’s because I’m not doing so well in the present that lately I find myself engaging with my past.
Last week I got a friend invite on Facebook from someone I picked apples with in orchards on the West Coast of Australia over 21 years ago. We were paid for what we picked. Megan could climb and strip a tree in a matter of minutes. She would fill five massive trailer carts with granny smith apples in the time it took me to load two. We’d work a 12 hour day on the apple farm before hitching back to our hostel to munch/bake/stew/barter the fruit of our labour. Apples were our currency. Looking back now, I see just how wealthy we really were. We stayed in touch for a while and I wasn’t surprised to hear that she had joined the fire service. She was amused to hear from me that I’m now allergic to apples (Oral allergy syndrome). She remembered me as someone I’d like to be again – fun, hopeful and energetic.

At least once a year I write to my best pal from my secondary school days when I remember her birthday in September. Yesterday I had a newsy response by email from her. I had berated myself for not being especially productive so there was little progress to report on sorting myself out. She consoled me with tales of her work sloth.

And then this…
When visiting my parents home a couple of years I found some cards and letters addressed to me in an old bag stored in the attic. Even without the stamp I would have recognised the hand-writing as that of my old university flatmate, Kit.

Kit was a couple of years older than us, her classmates, and to an innocent 18 year-old who grew up in the country, Kit was from another world, as well as a different continent. For starters she had a car. There were few if any undergraduates driving back then. The insurance costs made it prohibitive to any but the well-off. She was Canadian and talked about snow ploughs in winter and the freezing temperatures they endured. That in someway explained why Kit wore a full length fur coat to lectures. It was refrigerated for half the year. But even i wasn’t green enough to think all cold Canadians summoned their furs come winter. Kit was loud, brash, irreverent, fearless, and fun to be around.
She was like a mama to myself and our other flatmate. This letter was signed off from “Big Mother”.

The letter was written when Kit was 21 and in Canada recovering from a tonsilectomy and reading it now offers a glimpse at forgotten times. Who knows what my reply might have covered but well over two decades later I did send another letter to the address on the envelope. It was returned. The family no longer at that house. I had tried google and Facebook but with no success. Yesterday, when de-cluttering (as past of my clear house makes for a clear mind) I spotted the canary yellow envelope again. And I read it once more. So when I came across her line about a brother trying to set her up with a law student pal of his, I ran another search, this time on him.
Straightaway I found someone who practices family law, about the right age and his portrait shot reminded me of Kit. So I whizzed off a brief email to him and within minutes he outed himself as her brother promising to forward the email to his sister.
Minutes later again and I hear back from Kit herself! Excited at being found, she hurried her reply and promised pictures and updates later.

How do you account for 25 years.
I managed to bridge a decade in my missive to Megan. But this is different. A quarter of a century introspective. This is deliverance.