These are my musings and observations on my daily life, loves and the laughter that are all a part of my experience of living now in the shires of England.

Saturday, 30 April 2011


How much of your life do you spend waiting? By that I mean waiting for things to start in your life. You’ve no doubt heard (or said) these phrases before ... “I’m just waiting for the right person,” “I’m waiting for the right job”, “I waiting for something to happen ...” or “I’m just waiting to see”.

What I have realised is that I mustn’t spend all my time waiting for something to happen in my life for me to get involved in proactive living - because my life has already “started” and it’s all about here and now.

It’s up to me to direct the next moment, it’s up to me to write my own life script.

I cannot wait for any external influence to create my present or future. That ability has been given to me. I must use it, and quit waiting.

Friday, 29 April 2011

Love is in the air ...

There’s something about a wedding that sets people thinking that all the (perceived) single people should be married. Then their plan is hatched and you are swept up in the rush of overpowering love (or something masquerading as love at least).
It’s at times of these heightened emotions that I have seen people act like they are the Henry Ford of love: ‘one domestic set-up suits all’ is their mantra. ‘It works for me so it must work for you as well’ is the well worn phrase that is thrust upon every unsuspecting singleton.
The only thing I have to say is ‘Why?’
Any disagreement to their proposals is met with a Shakespeare like zeal of ‘The lady doth protest too much, methinks’. But all I have to say to that is one size does not fit all in the love question.
Talking of proposals, I received a couple today. I really think love is in the air, but the tornados off the American coast must have misdirected the love aim. When I said, with genuine affection, to a friend that I hope to get an invite to his wedding he paused then replied, ‘Yeah, of course. But ... you know it should be you I’m marrying. If things were different ... I know how things stay, but it should be you I’m marrying.’ I wonder if he will tell his girlfriend about this conversation.

The other suggestion was more veiled and innuendoes littered the conversation like autumn leaves in a gale force wind. I’ll leave this bit to your imagination but I’ll just let you know that it had something to do with friends with benefits, and I’m not talking about the state distributed benefits either!
When I shared a filtered version of these points of amusement sometime in the early evening, I was questioned to laughing point because my son – incredibly interested in these mysterious suitors – only really wanted to know if I was being pursued by a ‘girl or a boy’. Now that would be telling! (Although now you have at least 50% of that question answered.)
M went to bed without his curiosity being satisfied. To use a phrase of currently popular vernacular both he and they were ‘denied’.

Thursday, 28 April 2011

Carrot skin

Have you ever noticed about what happens to a carrot if you peel it and leave it for a while? It starts to lose its strength – it’s as though the skin is Samson’s hair (although unlike Samson, if left to itself the carrot does not regain its form, rather it becomes deformed and inedible).

Sometimes I feel like a carrot that has been peeled. I imagine myself to be shrivelling under the exposure of whatever pressure is fresh before me. I just want to curl up and fade away to a more useless state in the bottom drawer of the fridge.

But precisely when I am feeling at my lowest I feel some kind soul applying a plaster to my wound. And before long I am on the road to recovery again.

I wonder what a carrot with a plaster would look like ... I don’t think it could regenerate its pre-cut state, but I know I have.

I am grateful that I have super carrot skin that plasters can heal ... and people and things in my life that are the best plasters money cannot buy!

Wednesday, 27 April 2011

Quick quiz

Are you more fascinated with

A – something you can’t have?


B – something within easy reach?

Do you find easily obtainable things

A – bore you?


B – excite you?

Do the answers to the previous question relate to people as well as things in your life?

A – yes


B - no

Answers on a postcard to the usual address.

Result will be published in due course at the usual place.

Tuesday, 26 April 2011

Speakers' Corner

If I had a message to share where would I go? Maybe I’d head to London ending up in Hyde Park in London which is renowned for its Speakers’ Corner. Many highly regarded (and some not so highly regarded) people have regularly used this location to exercise their right to free speech. It is synonymous with the ‘People's parliament’ and some of the notable speakers using this forum have included Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin, George Orwell, William Morris, C.L.R. James, Kwame Nkrumah and Marcus Garvey.

What would I say if I were really there? What would you talk about?

Do we have anything to say? Will people listen or just heckle us? Does that even matter?

It’s the right to free speech that is uttermost in my mind at the moment. We are allowed to disagree with each other - that’s only natural - as is holding different beliefs and opinions, because we are unique individuals.

Other British cities and also other countries have instituted their own Speakers’ Corner. I’ve also found one – it’s here, on the internet.

And what I want to say is this...

Sunday, 24 April 2011


Shame can paralyse you and steal your time.

When I feel a sense of shame I am usually alone in my experience. It’s just me and my shame trying to duck out of view for as long as possible.

Shame also generates other feelings of an equally negative nature.

On the odd occasions that I have been part of a group that feels collective shame - we may have been witnesses to circumstances that cause us to huddle together in our shared sense of regret, then I find we all try to distract ourselves by shifting focus from the source of the shame to some other, any other, banal fact. This is an automatic response, it is as though it has been pre-programmed, we just do it.

Whatever the means that occur to make me shame-filled – thinking something improper has occurred, then I have an associated painful feeling filtering throughout my entire body. I usually don’t know where to look or what to say, the sense of humiliation or embarrassment becomes the only feeling that I am aware of at that time.

If the event is caused by the actions of someone else then, sometimes, it is easier to transcend the shame – unless the person is closely related to me. If my own self-respect or pride has been injured then I may have increased difficulty in passing through the ‘shame time’ in my life because, in my opinion, part of the means over overcoming shame is to acknowledge the situation that caused it in the first place, to identify why it generates those feelings. This is a process of assessing my relationship with the events and the people concerned.

This practice has, in the past, proved a major stumbling block for me because of what I believed about myself and my place or ‘value’ in all relationships. You see, I have always been reluctant to share intimate details about myself (this blog is not an example of intimacy but it is an example of sharing parts of myself) for fear of ridicule and censure. Early experiences left strong memories that were hard to remove.

Now I can easily think of an example where I remember thinking that I had really let myself down by the things I did and said. When I examined the motivation behind my actions I felt deeply ashamed. And before backing out of that situation and facing the shame I carried on under the cover of my embarrassment – this is not a recommended course of action – it only made things a lot worse and the shame became more deeply entrenched in my being.

I know how bad it is to feel as if you are wrong, and also know that you could alter the situation but you become paralysed with fear because you know you have to go through the wall of shame first.

I have wasted many years (yes, that’s right – when I look back I know that it totals up to years) of living wrong, of knowing I had the means to start again but feeling afraid of the doubt that was building up in me as I procrastinated and delayed my decision. As time passed I gained companion feelings for my shame, so it was no longer lonely, I added doubts and resentments to the package.

But one day I did release the shackles and after the period of intense darkness I inhabited there came a different time that was a mixture of both sorrow and gladness.

Sorrow because I took so long to move into what was undoubtedly a better way of living for me, and gladness because the shame was eventually over.

I am glad that I have a slightly better understanding of the power of shame and I am so glad that I know it is possible to move past shame ... repeatedly. I still make mistakes where I hang my head in shame but I believe now that I can get past them.

Saturday, 23 April 2011

Belief precedes experience

When I happened upon that sentence in a book recently it really made me stop and think. And think ... and think!

If you believe this assertion then it logically follows that every single thing we experience is evaluated by what we already believe. This judgement can include ideas about yourself that you may or may not like. If we have been taught to believe something about our intrinsic being then all events that follow and impact on that are viewed through the belief system that we adhere to: belief really does precedes experience.

I look at some people and wonder how they can behave so differently (to me) in their lives and then I realise that the fundamental truth is that they hold a different set of beliefs to me, and their lives and experiences radiate from that central belief at their core – as does mine; we just exist on separate forks of the road which we have decided was best for us individually.

The more I thought about this statement the more I came to the same conclusion.

As an individual each one of us may have single-handedly created our own belief system or we may have plugged into another, wider set of beliefs, either way if our experiences are consistently causing us trauma and distress we need to either change our behaviour or our beliefs. I can’t see any other way.

If we choose to persist in a state of ‘resistance living’ then it is like we are permanently in a gym environment using the long-life high quality durable resistance bands (that are designed to exist perpetually) as we use our bodies to fight against the weights we have chosen to pull against. With resistance training and resistance living the tension is constant – and anyone can take part at any time. It’s all based on belief.

Our impressions of ourselves are informed by our beliefs.

Our experience of our existence is founded on our beliefs.

If the resistance living is causing too much distress we can choose to change the tools we use, we can change the belief systems that we live by. Thus doing will alter the impressions we have of ourselves and each other.

“Judgements are what cause experience to be painful.”

Harry Palmer

Friday, 22 April 2011

Fragile security

How safe and secure do you feel? This is a question I have asked myself. In my life one question often leads to another and the next question I had for me was ‘what makes you feel secure?’

Different things work for different people. It could be a series of locks on the door, your dog nearby, a partner, a mobile phone, a parent, a baseball bat close at hand, a prayer, a well built car, a spoken promise or ... absolutely anything.

What means everything to me may mean nothing to you.

If that security is shattered – because at most stages it is akin to a spun sugar dome over our hearts - then at that moment everything seems impossible to achieve.

A fragile sense of security is frequently linked to a fragile sense of self. Children of abusive parents know this all too well. The perceived sanctuary can be destroyed by one alcohol fuelled word or blow. It can also disintegrate under the withering eyes of a hate-filled look.

Without your own sense of security you live nervously, you live in a state of fear, or you live on a knife’s edge all the time. It is distressing to realise that you have become familiar with a sense of dread.

To reinforce personal security I have found that the best way is to journey inside – to find (or make) a safe haven – a place where you can believe in yourself as the one who will get you through any dread. What I have found is that when I’m faced with what seems like an impossible mountainous task I can follow the tendency to start my thinking process with, “I can’t do that ...” when, if I remember my past, I will find examples scattered like autumn leaves that tell me that I have already done the same or harder things.

That strengthens my resolve to keep going. Then I create a new normality for myself, one that is stronger than the fragile one of my recent past. I am erecting my own scaffolding.

In a way I am returning to an innocent child-like state when shyness and inhibitions at attaining my needs and desires were foreign behaviours. Having a strong sense of self is a natural expression of the young child that I was and I am attempting to emulate that confident nature that is still a part of me. When I succeed I feel as if I have built a castle around myself and nothing can harm me. Extreme emotional fragility is a thing of the past.

Thursday, 21 April 2011

Writing without regrets

I have often heard it said that many people view writers as spies in their lives and relationships. They exercise extreme caution around the writer because as time goes on and the relationships become more established they often fear that any shared thoughts and actions will end up in the public eye.

Because I blog about my life I often (anonymously in the main) mention people with who I come into contact. Some of them read this blog, some don’t. Nevertheless an equal proportion of people have often said to me, “Don’t write about me, please” or “I suppose you’re going to write about that now!”

There are certain things I will never write about, but those are because I choose not to discourse on that topic not because I have been cajoled or pleaded with.

When I write I do so without regret and worry. If I were to filter ‘my story’ then I wouldn’t be writing free, I wouldn’t be writing ... me.

Writing the way someone else wants you to express yourself is like using a typewriter and only being allowed to press one row of the keys to get your point across; it will never make sense to either me or anyone else.

So, I always write without regrets.

I therefore want to give due notice that in tomorrow’s blog I will be writing about ... you!

(not really)

Wednesday, 20 April 2011

There is no danger!

I have wondered how many times I have thought or said that phrase when I don’t really believe it?

When children are scared, especially at night, they close their eyes and then they believe the danger is no longer there.

Adults have been known to behave in the same way. What’s that you say? Have I done this recently? Well, that’d be telling ... but I will share this piece of wisdom that I learned through (personal) experience: children may well close their eyes to danger but I’ve been known to blindfold myself against the truth. How wise is that?

Don’t all answer at once!

Let’s pretend I know something is harmful to me yet despite that knowledge I turn my back on the truth and – for extra measure – I add a blindfold to fool myself that the danger does not exist. I don’t think I was wise when I told myself, like the children do, that because I couldn’t see it any more then it wasn’t real.

Although turning my back on this peril did bring temporary relief I still had to face it eventually. After all I couldn’t stay in darkness AND face the wrong way forever. Facing my fear has been better that the temporary (self induced) blindness because now the danger really is gone.

So at last that statement is true: there is no danger. And I have clear vision to confirm that.

Tuesday, 19 April 2011

Present to myself

It’s not my birthday, it’s not Christmas, it’s not ... anything special to celebrate – thus went my reasoning as I started to talk myself out of a gift. I have been waiting for a long while to but a certain item and it always gets postponed because something more important comes up.
Then I thought ... how important am I to myself? Do I deserve to get gifts?
I love to give gifts and I frequently do. However, I am not that great at receiving gifts from other or (as it turns out) from myself. But this has now all changed. Well, at least today it has.
Today I bought myself a big gift. Apart from the actual physical item I also gave myself the gift of acknowledgement that I am worth it. Today I have told myself that I am worth the time, I am worth the effort, I am worth the sacrifice, I am worth the choice of good things in life.
You see, usually I’ll chose to wait and let someone else have the present or I will take a less appropriate model as some form of self-sacrificing gesture. But – for a change – I said ‘yes’ to myself and I must say that it feels really good.
For a while after the purchase I was still beating myself up and thinking of more sensible ways to spend the money. This obviously means that it has been far too long since I indulged myself and far too long since all I have been is sensible. So what am I celebrating with this act of generosity? I am celebrating myself! I am choosing to value myself with the same high regard as I value others. I know they feel good, because they tell me so, and today I feel the same.
I trusted my instincts – even though I continually questioned them and at the end of this day I can say that I think I should give more presents to myself because this does feel so very good!

Sunday, 17 April 2011

Clutter free?

My personal 'how to de-clutter in easy steps' guide:
Decide to redecorate the space you want to clear out.
Move everything out into another area that you use.
Paint the room or area in question.
Look at the new space with fresh eyes.
Look at the piled up items with fresh eyes.
Put the essential items back into the room.
Donate or throw away the other things – because they are in a space that you use and now ruin the energy flow of that room.
When my brother was in the army he would de-clutter his home whenever he was on leave – he still uses the same system every year. His saying was that if you haven’t used it for three months then you don’t need it - I like this philosophy and I may well be using it in the near future (this does not of course apply to ANY of my books).
I keep reading articles about de-cluttering but the thing I remember most is how my brother used to clear out his home of excessive items. One thing that he said made me cringe – although it did prove a point – he said he used to give away items that his wife and children had stored in the loft when they had remained untouched for several months. His reasoning was that if it wasn’t used then it wasn’t needed – at least not by them.
Harsh? Maybe, but it seemed to work. He mentioned that only once did someone want something he had discarded and then he was quite willing to pay for a replacement for them. I’m wondering how my child will react if I take on this method of house clearance. Watch this space ...
That is a future concern but right now what I have found - as I am in the middle of this process - is that I am being confronted by things that in the past I said that I would use, deal with, sort or ... something else (meaning I didn’t want to throw it away at the time). Now I have redecorated and I realise that I have held on to things that I don’t particularly like or want. They were just there, and like a bad habit, I got used to them.
Now I am looking at things with fresh eyes, I can see that they do not fit in with my new point of view. Tonight I have a pile of things that I have to sort out in a fixed time frame or I will throw them away.
I like this de-cluttering. I hope it lasts.
I guess it will if I want it to, if I make it my new habit.

Saturday, 16 April 2011

Elizabeth Taylor – outdone

Rumour has it that Elizabeth Taylor liked to keep people waiting. There was even an edict to make sure that she was late to her own funeral. She was a legend in life and will – I’m sure - be a legend in her death. Although she will long be remembered one incident of outstanding lateness will outshine even Dame Elizabeth Taylor in my mind.

I don’t like being late to events where I’m invited but the traffic diversions and ensuing delays meant I was bound to arrive at a ceremony after it was due to start: I was beginning to feel mortified and called the family with my apologies as the hour was fast approaching.

I need not have worried; they still weren’t dressed and hadn’t left their accommodation yet. We arrived late (by our standards) but later – much later – I realised just how early I really was. After driving around 80 miles we waited in the car. And waited. Then, as a change of activity, we waited some more!

Nearly an hour after we’d arrived I called the hosts again. This time there was no answer. I thought they must be on their way. But this was not the case, after some – waiting, there was a ... no show.

I called again, this time I was told they were just leaving the house (something I’d be told when I was stuck in traffic a good while (and many miles) before.

While I waited I saw a few people arrive at the chosen location – they obviously knew something I did not. There was no sense of urgency about their arrival. Every guest had the same invitation but these people rolled in with a casual air. It was immediately obvious that nothing was going to happen for a long time yet. So I decided to go elsewhere for a while as nothing was happening at the celebration venue. When I returned about 45 minutes later I felt as if I had committed treason or at least some great breach of social etiquette.

But, again I sat and waited for the main celebrants to arrive.

When they did turn up (laden with excuses but not apologies for the delay) it was a full three hours after the party should have started. It was then that I thought that Elizabeth Taylor had been outdone!

Most of the guests turned up after this.

This led me to the conclusion that either I was not part of that social network that knew you had to add three plus hours to the official start time or I existed in a different time zone and held a distinct set of social standards. Incredulity remained with me for the rest of the evening.

So, this is an apology to the memory of Elizabeth Taylor who carefully nurtured her reputation over seventy years – and who even kept visitors to her own house waiting for her to enter a room – sorry, but you have been outdone.

Friday, 15 April 2011


Some resolutions are so easy to keep. And others ... well, they are the exact opposite. This second batch of promises is the most difficult things to be true to. I often wonder why. It is as though the projected vision is not personal to me, I haven’t owned it.

But back to the easy ones, the ones I have no trouble keeping - well, to be truthful I have some moments when I feel like I am on a fragile rope bridge crossing a huge chasm and I surmise that it would be easier just to step through the broken treads and fall rather than to hang on and scramble to the other side of the valley. But, I still hold on because I feel not only will I gain something at the end of this testing period but I will also have proved to myself that I am capable of different kinds of strength.

Mostly it is the thought of achieving a mental goal that drives me forwards. Many resolutions are won or lost in my mind before any action takes place. In fact, all of them are fought in my mind. It is only when I give in that I accede to my body. When I persevere I take a huge mental step forward – the physical acts come later and are much more pleasurable because of the delayed gratification.

I don’t make a habit of sharing my resolutions so there’s no point wondering precisely what I am talking about. Suffice it to say, each day that I adhere to my preordained plan of action I feel stronger and more able to continue along the same path.

As for the resolutions that are difficult to keep ... I believe they are hard to maintain because I lack belief in the end result. And if I don’t believe then I won’t achieve.

Thursday, 14 April 2011

Jigsaw perspectives

I have to make long-term decisions that I believe are the best for my family. These may include staying up until stupid-o’clock to finish painting walls so the next day can be focused on more family filled activities or I may decide that a certain desired purchase may have to be denied.
These two examples are not times of easy decisions but because I do have the advantage of seeing a larger picture I am able to make them with some confidence.
My son, however, cannot see the sense in some of the things that I decide – especially if he wants something right then (and additionally has told his friends about it as a guaranteed event). But, as I told him today, that is sometimes because he is looking at a single piece of the whole jigsaw while I am looking at the whole picture – more or less.

Wednesday, 13 April 2011

Electric Avenue

Where I was born in the country we had lots of trees. In fact, there was loads of everything green. You name it, bushes, hedges, copses – we had them all. The last street we lived in before moving from the county of my birth was called Avenue Road. Outside of our front gate was a huge tree, right in the road. So looking out of the front bedroom windows we saw greenery as the main focus of the street. We had apple and pear trees in our garden as well as our own allotment area.

Country living was part of my parents’ background and so they attempted to continue that in our English homes.

The trees that were an everyday part of our view were evenly spaced on both sides of the road - from the top to the bottom. The few cars that were owned then would be parked between the trees on the edge of the road. The trees, not the cars, were the main feature of the road.

Now, in the town where I live, when I walk on the streets the main thing I see is a plethora of black, grey and white satellite dishes – bearing the script of many languages.

It’s like living in Electric Avenue (and not the Eddie Grant version either!).

Tuesday, 12 April 2011

I approve of laughing!

Who doesn’t? You may well ask.

Laughing is the sound of approval and appreciation; it is an audible thumbs up.

I think it’s OK to laugh at yourself (not to denigrate – that’s not included here, this is healthy laughing) so that you acknowledge positive things that happen to you. When I laugh I feel pleasant, I am reflecting pleasure. Some moments of happiness are best expressed by that spontaneous explosion of feeling that is laughter.

It is said (in those reliable studies that we always read about) that children laugh, on average, about 400 times a day and adults laugh less than 20 times a day. Even with this great disparity I’m sure that some people will still find it difficult to get above 10 laughs in each day.

Why is this? Surely there must be more than 20 happy moments in any person’s day.

Have you laughed above the expected quota today?

As for me ... I’m not telling.

But only because I tried to number my laughter moments and happy emotional interludes for today but, wonderfully, I lost count because I had so many laughing moments!

Saturday, 9 April 2011

Hands Free

When I left home today I realised that I didn’t have my mobile phone with me. For a few seconds I thought about going back for it but then I just couldn’t be bothered. So I went on my way.

Quite soon after than I was so busy enjoying my day out that I forgot that I didn’t have the phone. When I was first aware that I didn’t have it I remembered that there was a time (way back in the 90’s!) when I used to go everywhere without a mobile phone.

I soon got used to a different way of being. I wasn’t checking my phone every few minutes – ostensibly for the time, but also for messages, and I was truly present in the day I was living. It was refreshing and I felt a strange kind of freedom as well.

This has all come back to me because I’ve only just remembered my phone now, after the whole day has passed away into oblivion. And I must say, it was really great to spend a day totally ‘hands free’.

Friday, 8 April 2011

Finished chapters

At some stage of life we all feel totally alone – and at those times we usually are: it may not bring you great comfort to hear that but I think it’s true.

This sense of utter isolation may last for ages or may be a fleeting experience. The truth that I know is that we all share this feeling of being alone. Isn’t that strange?

Everybody feels lonely so everybody knows what everybody else feels like at some point. Odd.

But it passes.

Better, more social, times usually come around. One chapter closes and another one opens.

I have had experiences that seemed to be IT, you know, as much as you can take or more likely more that you can take. At the time everything seemed too much to handle.

Then ... someone will enter my life or something will happen and that status quo experience is relegated to the past – things are never be the same again.

I look at this as a new miracle each time it occurs. The past is a finished chapter, it got me to where I am but I don’t need to go back to that experience.

That chapter is finished and nothing will ever be the same again: it’s a fantastic opportunity.

Thursday, 7 April 2011

Being present

Here’s a question I asked myself ... Do I think about and talk more to people who are physically distant from my life than I do about or with those who are present – actually here with me right now?

My answer is ... a secret. What’s your answer?

Actually my real answer is that sometimes I do find myself thinking my moments with people away because my mind has travelled elsewhere. However, I have learnt to pay attention to what is happening to me now, to be aware of what I am thinking, to be aware of what I am doing and who I am with at any given time.

This means that I am present in the present. And the more I do it the better I get at it. I have benefited from this practise. I’m sure those around me have also benefitted as well.

You see ... being present is a present to me.

Wednesday, 6 April 2011

Accessible caring

Caring is usually a close contact occupation. Long distance caring is harder to implement and maintain. But whatever the distance between the cared for and the care giver there has to be a means of access.

I was at a meeting that was important to me and I needed to retain some form of control and focus. I had notes with me and I concentrated hard throughout all the time I was there. When it was over I felt a sense of relief because it all went reasonably well. What I didn’t realise until later was that I was also showing signs of distress that I believed I had hidden well. Leaving the meeting I met up with some people and one of them looked at me – more than a glance – it was someone close to me, and she asked if I had been crying. I had not, but she rightly noticed that my eyes were red and watery (I didn’t know I had even got that emotional but evidently I had been closer to tears than I was willing to consciously acknowledge).

You see, I had allowed this person into my life and she was comfortable enough with our closeness to mention what she noticed and to inquire as to my well being. Without this close proximity it would have been like caring from the end of a pole vault, assisted by binoculars from across a paddy field – not the easiest situation to handle.

When somebody knows you, they recognise shifts in behaviour and can talk to you about them, touch you, comfort you or guide you to a safer place.

When this happened to me the other day I felt a sense of understanding and peace come from the care giver in my life at that moment. It made me reflect that sometimes I must lift up my anchor – that I have used to maroon myself on my private emotional island – and row closer to the bank that the care givers are standing on. It is when I begin to row that I notice that they are also pulling me in using the guide ropes attached to my bow.

I know I must be accessible to receive their care so I keep on moving towards them and we both come into each other’s view.

Tuesday, 5 April 2011

Let's pretend

I have been known to role play – and it has its place in my life. My son, as with many children, likes to pretend and frequently he draws me into the intricate world that he has created from his imagination. This is all good. It is appropriate behaviour for appropriate situations.
What if – now this will be so farfetched so you have to use your imagination here because I can never see you really being in a situation like this – what if you were with someone and you were feeling less that jovial and they asked you how you are. How would you respond?
I’m fine, thank you.”
“Great! Couldn’t be better.”
Would either of these responses be the truth or would you be giving them the impression that you are feeling wonderful when in fact you’re not? Would that be OK or would that be deception – in some circles known as pretending.
I have a few really close friends with who I never have to, or indeed want to, pretend.
I met with one of them recently.
She asked me how I was. I told her – really told her. She listened and ... understood.
I did not pretend with her. I felt free to say anything on my heart and mind without fear of censure. Talking with L works both ways. She said to me that she feels able to tell me anything, thoughts that she may not understand or be comfortable with but that are real to her. I listen to her as well. I understand her need to be fetter free.
Somehow we manage to put away all pretence when we meet and the joy of the experience makes us eager to spend time together again.
This friendship is based on trust and we have nurtured it throughout the years. After spending time with L I felt peaceful, balanced and light. I didn’t know pretence weighted so much!
It made me think about how many times I (consciously or unconsciously) play ‘let’s pretend’ each day. What about you?

Monday, 4 April 2011

If you forget me - Poetry by Pablo Neruda

If you forget me

I want you to know
one thing.

You know how this is:
if I look
at the crystal moon, at the red branch
of the slow autumn at my window,
if I touch
near the fire
the impalpable ash
or the wrinkled body of the log,
everything carries me to you,
as if everything that exists,
aromas, light, metals,
were little boats
that sail
toward those isles of yours that wait for me.

Well, now,
if little by little you stop loving me
I shall stop loving you little by little.

If suddenly
you forget me
do not look for me,
for I shall already have forgotten you.

If you think it long and mad,
the wind of banners
that passes through my life,
and you decide
to leave me at the shore
of the heart where I have roots,
that on that day,
at that hour,
I shall lift my arms
and my roots will set off
to seek another land.

if each day,
each hour,
you feel that you are destined for me
with implacable sweetness,
if each day a flower
climbs up to your lips to seek me,
ah my love, ah my own,
in me all that fire is repeated,
in me nothing is extinguished or forgotten,
my love feeds on your love, beloved,
and as long as you live it will be in your arms
without leaving mine.

Pablo Neruda

Memory loss

There comes the day when it is evident that people have forgotten you. It could be at Christmas time when you realise that you are no longer receive the regular greeting cards or when you are looking through your address book and a name on a page causes your heart to ache for an unconscious reason.

So what do you do then?

Do you try to jog their memories or do you begin to forget about them as well.

In traumatic situations people often say that they don’t remember what happened; they insist that they do try to remember but they have a complete loss of memory of the event. It is often believed that this is the body’s way of protecting itself.

Although trauma induces automatic recall failure there are times when I think it is important to simulate memory loss – to attain the same healthy result. Then you can move on to the new opportunities that are waiting for you and not be held back by dreams of ‘what if’, ‘maybe’ or ‘perhaps’.

So, the other day I was thinking about ... oh!

Who was that again?

I think I'm forgetting ...

"When one door of happiness closes, another opens; but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has opened for us."

Helen Keller (1880 - 1968)

Sunday, 3 April 2011

Designated love

When people go to pubs in groups they often have a designated driver: the one who will not drink alcohol for the evening and therefore drive everyone home safely. That one person is chosen to show caution in alcohol consumption for that evening – they are designated in control of order.

On every day in my young life my mother was my main designated giver of love. She controlled the order and growth of my life.

Today in the UK is Mothering Sunday when people recognise the mothers in their lives. People throughout the land have been focussing on this designated day to show their mothers love and appreciation for ... everything.

What I have noticed – maybe because I am getting older – is that many of my peers are saying that it’s great having this day but they no longer limit recognising the love from their mothers to one day. More and more people seem to want to celebrate the fact that a mother’s love is not restricted by one day, one occasion, or one gift and therefore neither should our thanks towards our mothers be thus limited.

Just because some things are designated by tradition does not mean that we should be similarly limited by tradition.

Love is not bound by dates, high days, holy days or any other celebrations.

I think every day is a perfect day for designated love to your mother.

Happy every day!

Saturday, 2 April 2011


Well it’s officially British Summer Time (BST) - we moved the clocks forward last week. And accordingly people in the neighbourhood have broken out their shorts (without checking the size from last year still fits comfortably), their sandals – or crocs (without bothering to moisturise their feet) and their short sleeve tops (without any thought to co-ordination of colours with the aforementioned shorts or footwear).

The sunglasses (mine included) have been out for a few weeks now, but since the official winter knell has been sounded we have all been subjected to an increased visibility of more pale and un-shapely bodily parts than you see on an oven ready chicken; it’s not natural or pleasing to the visual taste buds.

I think I may have to stay inside until the sun has worked its magic on the skin tone of the nation ... or they decide to buy copious bottles of moisturiser, because invariably the first few weeks of BST have a history of making me dry heave.

BST! Who wants it? Not me. I’d prefer to see (and feel) lots of hot sun then I really know that summer has arrived.

I think someone ought to inform Her Majesty’s Government that the summer does not start and end when they dictate it ... unfortunately for them the days of the empire are over and the sun independently rises and sets (and selects its own temperature dial).

Now, where did I put my jacket?

... Or should I be a good Brit and follow the local customs?


Friday, 1 April 2011

Running to a lie

Yesterday I wrote in my notebook that it was the end of another month. A quarter of the year has already gone into history. I am looking back into my history and I see repeated patterns of behaviour.

I have a long history of running away from things – there are many, many examples of this. In contrast I have a single history of running towards something – what does that tell me?

The running away is comfortable and easy; it is a familiar lie. The running towards was my truth. No matter what the future brings, that will always remain true.

Every relationship is reciprocal ... when you touch something it touches you."

Fringe, season 3, episode 11.

Thank YOU! Statistics rock ...

Thank YOU! Statistics rock ...

I write because ... it’s part of who I am. I do it for many reasons - sanity is way up there on the list. I write mainly for selfish reasons, because I have to. However, recently statistics have been telling me that YOU, yes that is meant specifically for YOU reading this right now, have been choosing to spend a portion of your day reading my thoughts and I appreciate that so I wanted to say a special thank you.

I am favoured with comments on this blog, on Facebook and I also receive Twitter feedback so I was aware that a few people occasionally stopped by. Now, thanks to the power of statistics I have seen that you come from various places in the world and I wanted to acknowledge you and show my gratitude for your time.

I hope you find your country listed here – if it is not then please forgive me and remember that statistics rock most of the time (when they tell you what you want to see, but often they are out of date and have facts missing) – so, if your country is not listed then feel free to let me know where you are from if you like.

So here are the countries these magical statistics have told me about– UK, US, Italy, Russia, Canada, Slovenia, France, Germany, India, Kenya, Denmark, Sweden, Finland, Trinidad & Tobago, China, Hungary, Ukraine, Philippines, Greece, Netherlands, United Arab Emirates, Serbia, Poland, Belarus, Australia, Indonesia, Oman, Luxembourg, and South Africa.

Whether you just visit this blog or ask morg, happy every day, or personal object lessons I just really wanted to say THANK YOU.

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