Yelly Writes

Sunday night thoughts

So tomorrow is another Monday, one that is likely to be manic.  I know I should make sure I look forward to things, and I am.  Honestly.  But I am also being realistic.

I am (very truly) thankful for each morning.  I am thankful for each workday because I can meet my step goal for the day.  I have a few things already on my to-do list but that’s okay.  Every morning is new and filled with exciting possibilities!

Waterloo mosaics to the trains

Yelly Writes

Surviving hump day!

It’s only Wednesday and I am completely shattered!

I told myself the fatigue was probably because I’ve allowed myself to go full throttle this week on the work front.  I have been taking it slightly easier than usual at work because I’ve been recovering from a nasty throat infection (which I ignored at first because I thought it was hayfever!).  Monday morning was my last dose of antibiotic and the prescription meds seem to have worked.  My tonsils don’t look so huge now (I did say at one point that my tonsils were so big they needed their own post code!) but every now and then I still feel a twinge of pain and I must admit, I am worried that I haven’t quite kicked the infection yet.  I must remember to book an appointment to see the doctor again, to just check.

I got home slightly late today because a teenager stupidly drove his motorbike through the railway.  Just as the train was passing through.  He wasn’t hurt but was obviously shaken.  I think he was thrown from his bike.  Because when I looked out the train window, his bike was lying VERY near the tracks and he was about 3 feet away from said motorbike.  He also looked very afraid.  Afraid enough to yell at the driver, in a very worried voice, “I’m sorry!”  Even through the closed windows and doors of the train, you could hear the tremor of fear in his voice.  He suddenly looked very young, ringing his hands and his face flushed bright red.  The poor thing.  It makes you shake your head really.  Why do kids do stupid things like run a motorbike through a railway track?

In other news, I have broken the unofficial baking embargo by baking tonight.  It will be coconut and jam slices.  I am excited!  I am baking again!

Yelly Writes

Train fares rise again

A public transport system that you can depend on can certainly make or break a country.  The public transport system in the Philippines is, sadly, almost non-existent because there doesn’t seem to be a system.  So when I moved to the UK, I was so glad that there was a public transport system you could depend on.  There were train schedules and you knew exactly how long your train journey was.  There were bus schedules on bus stops, and you had to know which stop to wait for a bus so that you would get on the right bus.  You could travel quickly around London by using the Tube and you knew, roughly, how long your journey from point A to point B would be.  The staff at the train stations and on the trains were very professional and were often very pleasant and very helpful.

But as with all things, there is a price to pay.  Since I moved to the UK, there’s been a fare hike for trains.  And for me, it’s gone up a minimum of 4% every year for the past nearly 5 years that I’ve been in this country.  In the beginning, I didn’t mind paying the fare but then I started noticing the cracks.  Trains servicing our line were old, smelly and sometimes filthy (there would often be coffee and an assortment of food stains on the upholstery and the carpeting and if you were really lucky, there would be signs of vomit on the windows!  Yuck, I know!  And you’re only reading this, I have to travel on these trains!).  The trains were delayed or there would be last minute cancellations.  The excuses were hilarious sometimes, depending on the season:  in winter, the usual excuse was that it was the wrong kind of snow to lay on the tracks; during the summer, I’ve heard them say that it was the wrong kind of heat!  Last year, there would always be some kind of delay, some sort of signalling problem somewhere delaying my train to or from work.  I didn’t mind so much the train ride home being late because it was the end of my day, but it would be such a hassle for the train service to be delayed in the mornings.

Now don’t get me wrong.  I have it better now that I have had in the Philippines.  The public transport system in the UK is far more organised.  I would love it if my countrymen would be blessed with a public transport system even half as good as what people in the UK are now experiencing.  Buses and bus companies that aren’t concerned with how many passengers they have on their buses, and focus more with following the speed rules and getting people from point A to point B safely but efficiently, traffic signs followed and not just put up for street decoration, proper bus stops and an MRT and LRT system that is even more efficient (although mind you, I have always enjoyed MRT rides, even when it was packed and I and my fellow commuters resembled sardines!  Truth!).

I am not exactly ranting about the fare hike.  I get it.  For the improvements tha we want, we have to pay for it, even if the government subsidises a huge chunk of the developments that have been proposed.  I get that developments cost and unfortunately, the government can’t foot the bill completely.  But there is a part of me that wishes that the developments were more tangible, starting with a cleaner carriage, maybe?  One that is less smelly?  One that is less packed?

I renewed my season ticket today, mindful of the fare hike that was announced.  January’s season ticket was £12.00 more expensive than last December’s season ticket, and I was pleasantly suprised that it wasn’t what I expected to be.  I don’t mind so much because I understand the realities.  But some part of me still wants to see a little bit more value for the money that I fork over to Greater Anglia each month.

As I get on the train each day to go to work, I’m hoping that I will notice the improvements.  Because I want to see my money making some sort of difference to the quality of my daily commute.

Fare hike

Yelly Writes

Musings on the train

On Friday, I was reading an email from Emerald Street about the Twitter folk that they follow.  One of the people they follow and they recommend their readers follow, apparently, tweets “witty and oh-so-true observations”.  So I followed the person and then read through the tweets that they had posted previously.

While reading the tweets, I sat there thinking, “Awww, I say these things too!  Why don’t I have two thousand odd followers?  I make witty-slash-pithy comments too.  Why don’t people find my comments funny and oh-so-true?”  A little voice replied to my mental whining and said, “Maybe it’s because you whine and don’t really say things matter-of-factly?”

I think I’m fairly normal and I have a fairly normal amount of self-confidence.  I like to think I have a realistic idea of how capable I am.  I think when I was younger, I used to think I was the bees’ knees.  I used to think I could do everything: sing, dance, write, speak properly publicly, perform on stage and be, generally, amazing.  I was raised to believe in myself and my abilities.  I was raised to know how to carry myself in public.  I think I was blessed to have parents who raised me in an environment that encouraged realistic self-confidence.  But there are days when I think back to when I was younger and wondered whether I thought I was better than I was?

I mean, if I was truly witty and funny (I was about two or three years old when I had a funny conversation with my grandfather.  I said to him “I love you Lolo!”–Lolo is grandfather in Filipino–to which he replied “I love you too!”  Apparently, to my grandfather’s delight, I replied “I love you three!”  He apparently thought that was very smart!), why don’t more people follow me on Twitter or follow my blog?  I made the same observations as that woman Emerald Street recommended their readers follow (albeit in a whiny and maybe annoying tone).  How come they didn’t notice me?

After this realisation, I’ve just realised that I do want attention, despite the protestations otherwise!  I love the attention I get on Twitter when people reply to or retweet my tweets.  My heart does a little dance when people follow me (and you cannot believe the crash when I realise that the person following me is a spam bot!).  I love it when people read my blog.  I smile when I see how many people follow my blog or like my blog post or even visit my blog.

I am still disappointed that not a lot of people post comments on my blog.  I sometimes still wonder why my blog doesn’t get more comments or visits?  Mind you, as soon as I start going down this narcissistic road, I tell myself, quite sternly that there are over 7 billion people in the world and there are tens of millions of bloggers out there.  I am only one drop in an ocean of bloggers and I write about the most common of blog topics: food, books and family.  I like to think I have an amazing writing style because I write like I talk and in my head I sound interesting.  But then again, that’s me, and I have a healthy sense of self appreciation (I think we should all have a healthy dose of self-respect and self-confidence, otherwise we’d all be wringing our hands pathetically all the time!).  The truth is, I may not really sound amazing or my writing style might really, really suck (oh dear!).

I think sometimes when a person is highly adaptable and seems to thrive in different environments, one forgets that adaptability doesn’t necessarily mean that when one adapts, one is amazing.  I sometimes forget that I’ve moved to England and while I speak English better than most people, I don’t necessarily converse in English in quite the same way!  I forget that my expressions aren’t necessarily British.  I may speak English but not necessarily British English, with the same nuances and the same colloquialisms.

I think I crave the attention because, like everyone else, I want validation.  Validation that my thoughts, my ideas and my values matter.  We all want that.  Validation that we matter.  I think that’s why social media has the effect that it does.  Humans want validation, however they get it.  People want to know that someone, somewhere in the world thinks the same way.

I think we forget that the people who give us the most validation are the people who love us, who care about us.  Because they listen to us, give us the time of day and even if they don’t agree with every single word that comes out of our mouths, they still respect us because what we say comes from who we are.  And they respect who we are.

I am thankful for the 229 followers that I have because somehow they provide validation (even if they might be bots or spammers anyway!) that I crave.  But the end of the day, what I appreciate the most are the people in my life who love me for me, my faults and my frailties.  They provide the validation that I need.  They make me feel that I matter.  A lot.