A friend asked me if I had heard Katy Perry's new song Firework, I said I had and they told me to go listen to it again but pay attention to the lyrics, it was my song. So here it is....

"So take a look outside yourself and tell me what you see, i cant believe that you wont see the change in me, give me strength to find the road thats lost in me give me time to heal and build myself a dream and give me eyes to see the world surrounding me give me strength to be only me" ~ Dido

I could write a hell of a lot about inner strength and how it's taken me a little while to achieve it but recent events including the shitty job situation, poor health and my poor uncle would normally have me spiralling into self destruct and some amazing people have helped me out immensely especially this past week. I've reconnected with old friends who I haven't seen for years, and they have helped instill a piece of me that I thought I had lost forever and I have made friendships with new amazing people who I am genuinely proud to have as friends. 

I thank those who saw in me something I couldn't see in myself and who showed me how to peel away the layers of doubt and worry and just be me. Theres nothing wrong with being me, some people may not want it but tough shit, for the first time in a long time I realise that I am important and that if I put myself 2nd best then everybody else always will too. 

Special thank you to Andy, my oncall shrink, friend and alarm clock. Cat for being the lovely lady she is who listens to my random bleats all the time and finally to G for reminding me who I was back then and who I can be xx

If I havent mentioned you it doesn't mean you don't count, but this isn't a Bafta speech it's just me and my music, letting my voice out.  x
Now perhaps this is a sweeping generalisation of sexism, but as a female I tend to add a 'kiss' to the end of everything. Be it a text message, a tweet or an email. In fact, on some occasions I even use it in the space of a full stop. My male friends however don't always do the 'kiss' thing. On the odd occasion they send a message with one or two, but I'm getting used to the lack of affection in some messages lol. Mind you, I'm the kind of girl who has to use all 140 characters on a tweet and fill every email and text with an essay, whilst many of my male friends are happy with a 2 letter reply like ok or no.

Am I the only person who does this? How do you know when to draw the line at a kiss or as a female is it ok to seal everything with a kiss?

Dani - once again being over analytical.
Well, tonights theme on the X factor was 'guilty pleasures'. A theme which didn't improve the show at all, and personally I thought it was pretty poor. Very few of the song choices could be classed as a guilty pleasure - boring. It did however get me thinking about what musically, is my guilty pleasure. For me there can only be one and it's Pat Benatar. I've posted lyrics from her songs before on here but I absolutely love her songs. 

Here are just a few snippets from my favourites:

Your love is like a tidal wave, spinning over my head
Drownin' me in your promises, better left unsaid
You're the right kind of sinner, to release my inner fantasy
The invincible winner, and you know that you were born to be
You're a Heartbreaker
Dream Maker, Love Taker
Don't you mess around with me

Hit Me with Your Best Shot 
Well you're the real tough cookie with the long history
Of breaking little hearts, like the one in me
That's O.K., lets see how you do it
Put up your dukes, lets get down to it!
You come on with a "come on", you don't fight fair
But that's O.K., see if I care!
Knock me down, it's all in vain
I'll get right back on my feet again!
Love Is a Battlefield
We are young
heartache to heartache we stand
No promises no demands
Love is a battlefield.

We are strong
no-one can tell us we're wrong
Searching our hearts for so long
Both of us knowing
Love is a battlefield.

You're begging me to go
then making me stay -
Why do you hurt me so bad?
It would help me to know
do I stand in your way
Or am I the best thing you've had?
Believe me
believe me
I can't tell you why

But I'm trapped by your love
and I'm chained to your side.
We are young
heartache to heartache we stand
no promises, no demands
love is a battlefield

We Belong
Many times I've tried to tell you
many times I've cried alone.
Always I'm surprised how well you cut my feelings to the bone.
Don't wanna leave you really
I've invested too much time.
To give you up that easy to the doubts
that complicate your mind.

So there you have it, a few guilty pleasures from the deluded and slightly strange mind of mine. The lyrics all sound rather depressing but the songs have the most powerful uplifting effect on me often leaving me in a state of hyperactivity. So what are your guilty pleasures? *musical only please

I have been to the cinema a few times of late, and whilst I have thoroughly enjoyed myself, the movie and spending time with my friend but I still keep thinking about the huge costs,

Now I know nothing about cinemas and how they work or what their overheads are but I find it fascinating. It's not just ticket prices but the high prices we pay for refreshments. We pay over £3 for a drink of coke when at the local supermarket you can buy a 2litre bottle for £1.69. So how do cinemas come up with these prices, or is it simply a case of we are silly enough to pay so they can charge as they please.

This got me thinking about when we recently saw The Social Network movie (a fab film by the way) the theatre sat 170 people plus 13 VIP seats. Now we went on a wednesday so Orange's 241 promotion was in play. Lets imagine all 170 seats sold at £6. That would leave, assuming all 170 people used the Orange Wednesday promo, that 85 people paid. A total of £510. Now assuming all 170 people bought a drink each too that's another £510 minimum. A total income of £1020 not taking into account popcorn, nacho's or the overpriced pick and mix. Or taking into account the cinema near us has a total of 9 screens!

Now I know not all screenings will have full capacity but I really find the potential amazing.

I have had a brilliant night and I readily look forward to my next cinematic experience x
Some of you will be aware I have recently been attending A4E Pathways in the hope of finding work. The organisation is brilliant and is specially formed to help people like myself who have been off work for a long period of time due to illness and disability. Unlike the jobcentre and other such agencies there is no rush and they concentrate on helping you to rebuild and rehabilitate at a speed of your choice. 

I have a fantastic advisor called Nick who helps me with everything he can. When I filled in a CV template for him one thing jumped out at him. My previous experience in a care giving role. Many people have said this kind of role would be perfect for me given my temperement and the fact that I do try my best to look after and help people as much as I can, however I had always brushed the role off as I thought you needed to be qualified to do the position and I wasn't.

Nick managed to enrol me on a 4 day course which acted as an introduction to the role as a Care Assistant giving me a basic understanding of the role as well as some first aid and other experience. I really enjoyed the course and it has helped me make my mind up that the role is definately for me. The agency which ran the course were very positive and upbeat, after passing my assessments they were definate that they would be employing me and I would be given a job. However, they said they would call yesterday to discuss which home I would be going in to and they never did, I thought nothing of it but after my appointment with Nick today it has become apparent that I will not be getting a position with their company. Not through any fault of my own but because despite the agency working with Pathways and knowing all about 'permitted work' they are not willing to be flexible on contracts and can therefore only offer me one of two choices - work 16 hours rather than the 15 permitted and lose over £100 a week income for the sake of £6.25 or work on a Chameleon basis which could mean I get no shifts for weeks on end and then 2 or 3 the next week. Neither of them are possibilities for me, I need structure and a fixed contract and they new so from the start. This left me rather upset and disappointed that they had made such empty promises that they couldn't fulfill. I am led to believe this is the norm for most recruitment agencies though, so after picking myself up, dusting myself off and having a very good chat with Nick we came up with a plan of action. 

I have emailed a lecturer from Leeds City College to see if despite the course having started 3 weeks ago I can enrol on a Level 1 Diploma in Health and Social Care. He has passed my details on to Anchor homes who deal with a lot of care homes in my local area and we also went through a few other vacancies which have also been applied for. Next up is to write a covering letter and attach my CV and send it to the local residential homes in the hope that one of them is looking for staff and likes what they read. 

Several months ago this 'rejection' and let down would have set me back a hell of a lot but thanks to friends, support and a new confidence I am now a Weeble and Weebles wobble but we don't fall down.
Excerpts from a Dog's Diary.....

8:00 am - Dog food! My favourite thing!

9:30 am - A car ride! My favourite thing!

9:40 am - A walk in the park! My favourite thing!

10:30 am - Got rubbed and petted! My favourite thing!

12:00 PM - Lunch! My favourite thing!

1:00 PM - Played in the yard! My favourite thing!

3:00 PM - Wagged my tail! My favourite thing!

5:00 PM - Milk Bones! My favourite thing!

7:00 PM - Got to play ball! My favourite thing!

8:00 PM - Wow! Watched TV with the people! My favourite thing!

11:00 PM - Sleeping on the bed! My favourite thing!

Excerpts from a Cat's Daily Diary...

Day 983 of my captivity....

My captors continue to taunt me with bizarre little dangling objects. They dine lavishly on fresh meat, while the other inmates and I are fed hash or some sort of dry nuggets.

Although I make my contempt for the rations perfectly clear, I nevertheless must eat something in order to keep up my strength. The only thing that keeps me going is my dream of escape. In an attempt to disgust them, I once again vomit on the carpet.

Today I decapitated a mouse and dropped its headless body at their feet. I had hoped this would strike fear into their hearts, since it clearly demonstrates what I am capable of. However, they merely made condescending comments about what a 'good little hunter' I am. B*st*rds.

There was some sort of assembly of their accomplices tonight. I was placed in solitary confinement for the duration of the event. However, I could hear the noises and smell the food. I overheard that my confinement was due to the power of 'allergies.' I must learn what this means and how to use it to my advantage.

Today I was almost successful in an attempt to assassinate one of my tormentors by weaving around his feet as he was walking. I must try this again tomorrow -- but at the top of the stairs.

I am convinced that the other prisoners here are flunkies and snitches The dog receives special privileges. He is regularly released - and seems to be more than willing to return. He is obviously retarded.

The bird has got to be an informant. I observe him communicating with the guards regularly. I am certain that he reports my every move. My captors have arranged protective custody for him in an elevated cell, so he is safe, for now....
As I cry myself to sleep tonight I shall dream of what ifs and maybes and hopes of what may be.