2.9.19

Five Things: Isle of Man TT 2019

I had booked my ferry journey for the Isle of Man last year and ended up selling it thinking I wouldn't go. I had a boyfriend who wasn't keen on going and we had plans to go to other places so I sacrificed what I loved for that. Having not gone last year and the state I was in due to that (seriously, the sport and island mean that much to me) I knew it probably wasn't the best idea to not go but I really thought it would be worth it.
I still had the TT week booked off work and with the relationship ending I instead planned to take the boys away on a caravan holiday in the UK. Except a month before I had an email from the ferry company saying there were still spaces to be able to get over to the Isle of Man for TT week. I checked and there was availability for half term week. 
Despite always saying it was "my" thing and that I wasn't sure I would take my boys I went ahead and booked. I booked camping for the three of us at the usual camp site. Then phoned them in tears of happiness and excitement to tell them. 
They were surprisingly excited too (Charles more than Harry) which really made me feel like I'd made the right choice.
The holiday there was going to cost less than a caravan in England, plus with the added bonus of them experiencing the sport and getting to visit my favourite island, it was the most sensible decision really. 
Here are five of my highlights from this years Isle of Man TT.


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25.5.19

Going Home

I didn't go to the Isle of Man last year. I had been to Fuerteventura and had plans to go to Cyprus which soon changed due to moving house and funds, and instead went camping in Scotland.
I didn't tell anyone just how broken I felt not going.
I went to my car in my lunch breaks at work to listen to the racing. I was constantly refreshing Twitter and Facebook looking at race updates. Looking at any Isle of Man and TT related hashtags on Instagram.
I don't really believe in regrets but I can't forgive myself for not going.

I was due to go this year, booked a ferry with 2 weeks between arrival and departure and due to a comment made by my ex-boyfriend ended up selling the crossing. I wasn't going to go. I thought I'd be fine. Then we split up and I knew that there was no way I would be able to cope not going to the island.
I had half term booked off and was going to take the boys away to a caravan in the UK. Surely that would be enough to take my mind off not going?

I just curiously looked at flights to see if it was an option but at over £1000 for the 3 of us one way I knew it wasn't possible....
Then I had an email one day stating there were ferry crossings available. I looked thinking it would just be for foot-passengers or bikes but no...half term week I could go in my car, with my boys, for around £350.
Quick maths of the ferry crossing plus the price of camping for those 5 days made me realise I could combine a holiday with the boys with my yearly dream trip.
I phoned them at their dads just to make sure they were happy to go....but in all honesty I knew that I had to go so if they said no I would have gone by myself and would have taken them away later in the year.
Which might sound selfish, but I knew that if I'd instead taken them on holiday to anywhere else in the UK I would not have had a good time and wouldn't have been the best mum I could be.

An hour later the ferry was booked and so was the campsite.
And the tears didn't stop.

Not only am I going to the Isle of Man, my children are too. And as nervous as this makes me because I like to focus on the racing and this is usually "my thing" I am SO excited for them to experience everything about the racing. For them to understand why I feel so passionately about it. But also for them to visit the place that I truly believe is my spiritual home.
For them to visit the place that made me who I am now.

The thing I am most anxious about, is how I cope with my emotions as we get to the island. How I cope with my emotions when we hear on the radio that the first bike is away. How I cope with my emotions when we are waiting for the first bike to come past. How I cope with my emotions when we walk around the paddock and I get to show them the racers if they are there.
How I cope with my emotions when Michael Dunlop rides past us. When I get to point and say to my boys "there he is!!!" or point out his bike and trailer at the paddock.

It's only 4 and a half days but I'm going home.
I'm going home and I am taking my babies with me and my heart, despite the anxious feeling, already feels so full and excited at the thought.
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8.4.19

Apostrophe



It was May last year I first discovered Imagine Dragons. Two of their songs were playing on the radio at work, one called Thunder which I LOVED instantly and another, which became my theme for the TT that year.

Whip, whip
Run me like a racehorse
Pull me like a ripcord
Break me down and build me up
I wanna be the slip, slip
Word upon your lip, lip
Letter that you rip, rip
Break me down and build me up
Whatever it takes
'Cause I love the adrenaline in my veins
I do whatever it takes
'Cause I love how it feels when I break the chains
Whatever it takes
You take me to the top I'm ready for
Whatever it takes
'Cause I love the adrenaline in my veins
I do what it takes

With lyrics that will always remind me of the TT because they fit so well and because the lyrics are just incredible in so many ways, this has become one of my most favourite songs, and is regularly played in my house and in the car.
As well as the lyrics above that all made sense and with with the TT, I realised that there were some other lyrics that stood out to me and almost felt louder whenever I listen/ed to the song.

I'm an apostrophe
I'm just a symbol to remind you that there's more to see

The more I listened to the song the more those words seemed so prominent and so fitting. And over time I just felt like I needed that part of my story added to me, as I have with other things.
And that feeling of getting it tattooed on me was so strong that within 4 days of completely making my mind up I was sat at my tattooists.
I had designed an apostrophe which also incorporated a yin yang. I wanted it small and actually wanted it somewhere where I could see it and be reminded, and not having it hidden within my sleeve. 

 The yin yang is simple: describing how seemingly opposite or contrary forces may actually be complementary, interconnected, and interdependent in the natural world, and how they may give rise to each other as they interrelate to one another. Two principles, one negative, dark, and feminine (yin) , and one positive, bright, and masculine (yang) , whose interaction influences the destinies of creatures and things.

The apostrophe, the little symbol to remind me of the words in the song. "I'm just a symbol to remind you that there's more to see", means a lot in terms of who I am and how I should be seen.

I've always felt, and in fact it's a fact...not just me overthinking, that people have this certain image of me. Mainly, I guess, because I can be a bit sassy, and because I am confident when it comes to certain things, open about talking about pretty much everything. Because I am quite comfortable talking about sex.
But soon you come that and nothing else.
Because you once said you enjoy sex then, as a single person, you must want it all the time with absolutely anyone and everyone.

But there is more to me than that, and sometimes people either just don't want to know, don't care enough, or just want to see what they want to see, or even worse, just don't believe it.
They've made their mind up and that's it. They'll say they care about you, have a soft spot for you, that you are an amazing person...and in the next breathe [or message] will immediately turn it round to something sexual "because we know what you are like".

It's not even that though. It's seeing past the being a mum, seeing past being divorced, seeing past the fact that I have put on weight, that my hair is now dark, that I have a lot more tattoos than I thought I would, that I don't have the particular accent you expected me to have....or that I own 4 cats...I
was never meant to own 4 cats!

That tattoo is a reminder to me, that no matter what anyone says or how anyone makes me feel there is more to me and it is absolutely their choice to not want to see that. But I can be there to remind them that I am better than what they may assume about me.
That not only is the symbol there as a point of reference when someone else is making me feel a certain way, but when I also doubt myself.
When I wonder who I am, what I am. When I am not my greatest fan. I can look down at that tattoo, at the peach tattoo on my other wrist, that "you can be the ripest, juicest peach but someone will always hate peaches" and to remind myself that there is more to me.
That no matter what people see or who people meet, there are these different sides and different layers.

That's the story of my apostrophe.


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