28 Jul 2010

Hestia survives Birmingham

Something that some of you might not know about me (and by telling you this I blow the ONE rather surprising thing that I could have revealed in the Beautiful Blogger post....which I *will* get round to sorting out Viv, I promise!).  I am a professional Tarotist.  Not only that, but the lovely people at the Tarot Association of The British Isles (TABI) made me their Goddess, I mean, Chairman.  Twice.

This does not mean that I am The Best.  It simply means I am a safe pair of hands and spend so much time staring at a computer screen that my eyes water and my wrist develops a shiny patch from resting on the keyboard.  No.  Honestly, that IS how I got that shiny patch......
One of my duties as Chair is to organise the annual shindig where we all get together for a weekend of workshops, get a bit drunk and weepy, and I FORCE people to buy raffle tickets for Tarot goodies that I have spent all year schmoozing from various artists and authors. This year we took the roadshow back to Birmingham, to Conference Aston.

I am a worrier.  I worried that I'd picked the wrong venue.  I worried that I'd picked the wrong speakers.  I worried that people wouldn't sign up.  I worried about the cost.  I worried about icelandic volcanoes.  I worried about driving to Brum.  I worried about the accommodation.  I worried about my US speaker getting a lift in to Brum from the airport.  I worried about Al Quaeda - who have been known to bugger up our Conferences in the past, let me tell you. I worried about worrying.  I worried about worrying about worrying.

Of course, it turned out that everyone who came along enjoyed themselves.  We discussed (and don't glaze over here you non-Tarotists!) Tarot and Hebrew, The Transparent Oracle and Transparent Tarot, how to use card counting to maximise the info gleaned from the Celtic Cross, The Fool's Journey and how to make your own spreads.

My lovely friends in TABI recognised what a stressful time I've had of late, too long and boring a story to go into now (but mercifully resolved) and gave me the most GORGEOUS bouquet of flowers, a reading cloth and a commemorative Tarot bag.  So I'd just like to take this opportunity to thank them for their kindness ;-)

I got weepy at the presentation, but I'm blaming that on Toy Story 3 which I saw at the Birmingham Imax.  No plot spoilers from me.  If you're going, take hankies.  Lots of them.  It also transpired that I was a bit hormonal which probably didn't help.

It was very warm in Brum and I spent much of the two nights in the hotel unable to sleep and became totally engrossed in One Day by David Nicholls.  It's a wonderful book.  I really felt that Dex and Em were close personal friends.  If you haven't read it, read it.  Especially if you left Uni in the 1980s.  Again, no plot spoiler - but don't read on a crowded ferry and end up having to wipe your eyes and nose surreptitiously on the back of your son's t-shirt like I did.  You can only blame 'hay fever' for so much and then folks start to get suspicious.  Especially on a FERRY where pollen isn't a big problem.

Anyhoo, as a result of being up all night (2 hours sleep one night, 4 hours the next night!) I started to resemble a puff pastry.  A puff pastry with bad hair. 

People have now put up their photos of the weekend on Facebook and I was appalled at how really middle-aged and flabby I look.  Sure, I *knew* that I was carrying a bit of extra weight but, to paraphrase Edna Mole in The Incredibles, my God, I HAVE gotten fat.  Sure, I could have helped things along by remembering to go and put some make up on - but I was always running about making sure everyone had what they needed and totally forgot that my natural corpse-pallor needs a bit of a pouffing up before I unleash myself on people in daylight.

I was, honestly, shocked by how I looked.  I'll never be Elle MacPherson, I'm not daft - but I really owe it to myself to be the best version of Hestia that I can be.

I resolved to Do Something About It ASAP.

But first I had to get back to my brother's house in Bromsgrove.  We had a full roast dinner and a fine bottle of Black Stump...or two.  And cheesecake.  Actually, 3 cheesecakes.  I tucked in.  The Condemned Man's last breakfast and all that.

Tomorrow, I decided, would be the day to Get Serious about weight loss, my appearance and my work/life balance.

And so now Tomorrow is today.  And have I got serious?  I did try.  Honestly.  I made chicken noodle soup.  I declined dessert.  Then one of my lovely website clients turned up with a MASSIVE chocolate and raspberry cake.  It would have been rude not to eat it.

Tomorrow, I have decided, will be the day to Get Serious........


  1. Haha...I have those "get serious" moments nearly every week then after a few days I feel so irritable and bad tempered that I think it's better to be fat and happy - until the next week!
    Seriously though, the conference was brilliant, fab people and great speakers. You and Xara worked so hard to bring this all together - thanks!

  2. LOL Alison, you need to re-watch Billy Connolly on the coloring of Scots people :-D

  3. Dear Ali, I have those get serious moments every week too... exercise (any at all would be good - seriously I am almost immobile), eat less (especially chocolate and crisps), drink less, go to bed before 4am... etc etc. They never last longer than a day or two usually. I do have my hair done and never leave the house without make-up. I even put lipstick and eyeliner on to go to the corner shop...

    I have ordered the book and will definitely go and see Toy Story 3 complete with bag full of tissues on your recommendation.

    The conference sounds fantastic. I love Tarot. You are so funny, I absolutely love reading your posts xx

  4. I can give everything up, except temptation.

    I'm wading through your old posts and enjoying every minute. Thanks

  5. On the whole, I find that not spending too much time in front of the mirror, avoiding being photographed and generally avoiding the reality of my appearance does the trick for me ;D

  6. Lori - it's the worry more than the work that I find so debilitating! Yes, we did work hard, but if I could have just stopped FRETTING it wouldn't nearly have been so stressful! Yes, without Xara God knows where I would have been. I'm so shit with money. I started off selling the raffle tix at a £ a strip and by the time I'd got half way round, I'd inexplicably started selling them for a fiver a strip. I blame the drink myself :-)

    Viv - BTW - Mary C won your soap and she was delighted with it. I need to order some more - don't let me forget.

    Christina - I experimented this morning and I can get a whole face of slap on in under 10 minutes. I have no excuse for looking like Ena Sharples any more :-)

    You will LOVE the book - I guarantee it.

    Legend - What is the point of temptation if you can't give in to it every once in a while? It is the yardstick by which we measure guilt, m'thinks. An integral part of the British psyche ;-) Hope you enjoy the posts!

    Ania - you have nothing that you need to avoid in the mirror, you blonde blue-eyed Polish bombshell, you! I try to avoid being photographed, but at the Conference every bugger has a phone with a camera!

  7. Sweetie, I'm far more overweight than you are, I haven't been blonde in two years (purple, remember) and I'm probably more bombsite than bombshell these days. Do I care? A bit, but not enough to punish and starve myself :D


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