Monthly Archives: June 2017

Being British

Being reflective (as I often am) I couldn’t help my feelings of immense pride at being British this week. This is no new thing but it is something which was brought to the forefront of my mind after watching the horrific events unfold at Grenfell Tower. I’m sure, like me, you saw the first flushes of news and thought ‘how terrible’ and ‘poor families’ (I’m not being flippant just bear with) I don’t think any of us expected the tragedy which developed over the coming hours; after all, we live in the 21st century, not a Dickensian society.

Without going into the events of the whole terrible and unavoidable disaster, I want to focus on our nation and how we’ve dealt with yet more loss and devastation.

The respect and admiration I feel for my fellow human beings is felt in abundance and here’s why: we are amazing. To see all these people come together on the streets of a busy and faceless community is humbling and awe inspiring. People from all walks of life with open arms, giving up their homes, possessions and time to help all involved. No matter of race, colour or religion. No one cared who they were helping. As the bible says ‘love thy neighbour’ and they bloody did. People just wanted to help. Frustratingly, I wanted to help. Living 100 miles away it wasn’t possible.

As a nation I’m not sure how much more we can take. Seeing our Queen visiting the victims of our latest tragedy made me proud and love her even more. How heartbreaking for her? To continue with humanity and love. The English reserve firmly in place but filled with respect and support for all. She didn’t care they were black or white. She never commented if they were refugees. She never judges. How much compassion did you see her hold in her gaze? Tell me we don’t need a royal family. She proves that we undeniably do. I for one took so much comfort from knowing she was there.

Then I thought back to the three recent terror attacks and (like you all) feel we’ve lost so much as a nation lately. I reflected on my last visit to London: a multicultural world of vivacious colour and sound.

And I laughed.

I thought about those who were trying to poison young minds. Those who prayed on the vulnerable; like drug dealers, pushing their dangerous and damaging propaganda at lost souls wanting answers to life. Those of horrific views pedalled about: race, migrants, class and religion. Tiny narrow minds so tunnelled that they only believe in their superiority as in their own race. Fascists as bad as the terrorists. You know I don’t like lumping together but in this case I make an exception; worthless no marks whose whole belief system is based on making misery and disaster for the greater good. Well guess what? They’ve no effing chance. That’s why I laughed.

We are blinking amazing. The majority of us don’t give a fig about any of the labels that are attached to the inhabitants of our crazy and turbulent world; we just care. This is clearly evident when you look around you. The passion and power we exude as a collective is far greater than any of those war making mongerers. We don’t want unrest. We don’t want destroying. We don’t (as the election proved) want messing with. We want stability as a nation. We want to be! And what a bloody great bunch we are too!

And then I thought back to my earlier statement about the frustration of not being able to do anything…I can do something! I will thank my lucky stars everyday that I have a family, friends and a warm loving home. Life isn’t perfect, but it can be threatened in many ways. I am incredibly lucky. I will not take my good fortune for granted. And if I do I will remind myself of the two brothers from Syria…they thought they’d escaped the worst only to be let down by what appears to be penny pinching and dangerous cutting of corners. I will love my neighbour and endeavour to try and do the right thing as humanly possible. If I see someone in need I will down tools and offer my support. I’ve said it before and I’m shouting it again: ‘Be Kind’ and as a nation we can continue to smile and love in these adverse times.


Dream Catching

It’s not until you stop. Really stop. That you realise that your dreams can be caught. Dreams are something which shape us, build us up, motivate us. They’re the mood changing game changers.

What’s your dream?
I bet you have a list. I know I do. My list (won’t call it a bucket list as that makes it sound like I’m cramming my beautiful ideals into a plastic smelly round thing). Is full of bejewelled fantasies of intense joy and wonderment. Some attainable; some hard to reach like that scratch on my back. Why, you ask, am I rambling on about ‘My Life List of Dreams’? Well, it’s like this, I’ve had a bit of time on my hands and it got me thinking…

I’ll start with the ‘time on my hands’ part of the statement. Yesterday I went to a spa to luxuriate in all things sweet smelling and fluffy robed. Hours we spent in heavenly scented steam rooms (apart from one which smelt like a public toilet). An hour and a quarter was spent in an outdoor hot tub – it would have been rude not to. A jog at the gym whilst I waited for yoga to start ‘cos I could’. (Seriously, I’m still so relaxed I’m horizontal). And the products? My goodness, the place was packed with fabulous things to sample. Also (my favourite thing) was wall mounted moisturiser – it’s got to catch on!! As a queen connoisseur of luxury (if it’s not soft, beautifully fragrant, wonderfully radiating gorgeousness etc I’d say don’t bother) i revelled in the whole sumptuousness of the whole shebang. I loved that you could ask for new towels and robes from the front desk, whenever yours got slightly damp. As a result I want there to be a spa on my doorstep. I’d actually be willing to sell one of my children just so I could have platinum membership (well not child. Husband maybe). And although we had to share all these areas of relaxation with similar groups of women, I didn’t care. The fact they liked to listen intently and frown at our discussions, did not deter me from continuing (their lives obviously needed spice. Even the man, who I later discovered was a woman). However. It felt like the whole place seemed shrouded in money. Therefore, unlike the women who were hamming up their English to RP quality, I decided to lower the tone by telling the waitress that ‘I’m a lottery winner and would never normally be able to afford such opulence’.

By half past one, after already doing a circuit of the place, stuffing myself with a three course lunch plus a cheeky V and T, I was ready for a snooze. So, off i went to tuck myself into a little nest like pod thing in the ‘slumber room’. Now, as accustomed and excited as I am about napping in the day, this was another thing entirely. Wrapped in my white robe and sated from the food and drink, I drifted into a mindless state of relaxation and wonder. You see, there were no children lurking around the corner, no Disney channel infiltrating my dazed state and no doggy desperate for attention and walkies. This room had a nest. This room had no sound. This room was dark. And this room had no contact with the outside world. Bliss.

Whilst drifting in and out of consciousness, I started to let go of the worries which were crowding me. Such stuff consisting of house, work and children, I decided, was never going away, but easy to dismiss into the box ‘it’ll all come good’. This positive trend continued when I realised my worries were narrowing my vision and that I needed to get cracking on my new life list. After all when you’re approaching a certain age it’s time for reflection and adjustments.

This though is easier than you’d think. Now then, there’s lots of things I’ve never done such as: sky diving, swimming with sharks and that train journey through India. However, I am very lucky and have had some amazing and exhilarating adventures. Also, dreams have to be attainable to some degree (unless someone builds a spa locally that platinum membership will never happen). I’m a realist and don’t like the stomach lurching disappointment of stuff not coming off. So, it’s these facts that make it tricky. Goalposts, are what I set in these circumstances. I have to set a criteria and it consists of the following:

1. ALL DREAMS NEED TO BE BRAND NEW. Don’t repeat anything. Memories are to be treasured so don’t go back and be disappointed.
4. ALL DREAMS REQUIRE TRAVEL. I love to see new stuff. Dream job? Travel writer.

That is all.

So with criteria in mind and with yet another list to write, I felt ready to shape my life for the next five years.

But it’s not that easy…
In situations like this, it appears you have to consider those around you. Earlier today I expressed one of my considered items to someone who replied ‘well that’s rather self indulgent’. Does that mean I have to consider others in my dreams? Hmmm…I think I need another lay down in my nest.

Therefore, list pending.







The Ideal

I might cry in my bed,
Bitter tears of anger and dread.
How to tell my beauties of more evil in the world,
Or how to hide my horror that the monsters have once more hurled.

Tears falling readily, too readily…
Anxiety bubbling from the pit of my soul.
An ideology? What’s ideal about this?
All I can see, all of us together, it’s wrong…

That’s the thing, the knife twisting in.
The way we all: whoever we are, hold hands and smile.
Like we should. After all that’s what our lives are for
To grow together, intertwine and loving it. Wanting more.

So we fight on with words
Of strength. Coming together fighting these horrors.
Taking innocence but never our resolve.

Terror will never win, we are all too strong for that.
You, whoever you are,
We will unashamedly hold hands, stand side by side and fight this twisted and evil war.

The Fear

As it’s Ramadan and all that. And, as I’m not Muslim but totally get the spirituality of the whole shebang, I thought I’d ‘fast’ in a way where I’m purging myself of the Facebook. The unnecessary rubbish peddled daily, no hourly, lets me honest – by the second, on this great platform we now lump within the ‘socialising’ label,

Now, you know my feelings about this particular site, but I feel compelled to ‘share’ my latest discovery with you all. It’s no startling revelation and it certainly has not taught me anything new, but what it has done is provide me with a ‘joie de vivre’ and new focus for my day to day life.

Actually, this is mostly a big fat lie…the only bit of truth is that I’ve logged off (In fact I think I might have deactivated my Facebook).

Here’s why:

So, I’m going to set my stall out: ‘The Fear’ is taking a hold. Part of the nuclear fall out of this is that Facebook has had to be binned off. The following points will explain why.

1. Birthday looming
2. The mirror tells me that I’m no spring chicken
3. I wanted to go on a fabulous holiday and pretend it’s ALL not happening but I seem to keep buying bricks and skips with my money

Only three. However, three biggies.

The first point fills me with terror. I used to love my birthday as a child but with age came wisdom. I realised it wasn’t the Holy Grail of the year and that I’m not the ‘The Birthday Princess’ like I was when I was 7. You see I was spoilt. My lovely mum used to spoil me with surprises galore!!

For example:
– The airplane flyby which dropped a card for me fresh from the sky, when I was 6.
– The appearance of a treehouse in the corner of my garden on the afternoon of my birthday. We (kids spilling off school bus) legged it into my garden and scrambled up the ladder. Age 10.
– The time we all went to the local airfield and flew over all the places in Lincolnshire and Yorkshire we’d ever lived and stopped for dinner. Age 12

You see, it was never about the gifts for me but more about the fun and X factor of the day. My mum, was (and still is) the best person in the world to make you feel great on your special day. The flip side is that I peaked too soon. Nothing now can ever live up to being whisked away to watch the Northern ballet after school, with a smoked salmon and prawn car-picnic, on an evening (it was A Midsummer Night’s Dream and I met them all afterwards). Age 9?

Also, I have this embedded notion that people pretend to be nice to me because it’s my birthday. Quite frankly, I’d like people to be kind all year long! I find it all rather embarrassing and I’m not worthy of any attention ‘who does she think she is?’ And my paranoia makes me sense laughter and harsh words behind my back. Being the birthday girl just spotlights it. After all, my mum is allowed to spoil and indulge her little girl. I don’t ever expect to be treated that way by anyone else. It’s easier to just pretend it’s all not happening…

Number two. Now, it could be the new mirrors and the light being cast into my bedroom from a different angle (somehow I doubt it) but I’m looking rather old and ropey when I cast an eye. Gone is my youthful glow and instead I feel surrounded by a beige hue of old lady and saggy bloated limbs. To be quite honest I feel utterly rubbish and tearful about the whole thing. This was all magnified by the fact that Amanda Holden seems to have metamorphosed into a sleek, chic, ageless glamourpuss. This revelation has left me both mesmerised by her and turning off the tellybobs in equal measures. Every time she graces the BGT screen, I covert her whole look and spend my whole time working out how to obtain it rather watching the ‘acts’ (managed to watch the final though and got to say it but standards are definitely slipping – only two worthy winners, the rest you’d see at the holiday park as back up). To tell you the truth, my Amanda mini obsession/envy has resulted in me missing most of BGT this year and becoming more and more disgruntled that I’m going in the wrong direction…

Point three: well, what can I say? It’s very boring spending money on things which look neither pretty nor feel hot and sunny. My goodness, how I long for radiant 40 degree heat and the rich blue shimmer of the Aegean Sea. It’s what I crave, day in, day out for the other 350 days of the year (this is NO LIE and what gets me through the dark days). It’s no secret that me and Him want to move there permanently one day. To wake up every morning and take in the bluest waters and volcanic rocks which majestically stand above the sea. How many times have we walked along the shore or laid on a beach watching a golden sunset like no other in the world? Or how many times have we absorbed the beauty of the stars filtering through the curtain of night? All with the distinct feeling Pegasus is awaiting the other side of the craggy peaks. Yes poetic, but we’ve seen stuff too amazing to label. So, sorry, well not really sorry, as much as my house is looking good, my heart, mind and tired restless limbs ache for the feel of a rocky Greek beach beneath my feet. I long to wake up to the brilliant Bougainvillea framing my open shutters. I dream about the transparent waters cocooning my tired, old and worn body; reinvigorating me for another long year. As lovely as my home is looking, it’s not Greece. Ideally, we’d be island hopping for three weeks. Best Buy a Lotto ticket…

Therefore, to calm my mind and self, I have gone into ‘Survival Mode’. This has involved: leaving Facebook – no one can wish me happy birthday, won’t see pictures of people looking glam and young, won’t see hollibob pics. Praying and rubbing the Buddha constantly, making sure my elephants are aligned, putting a new eye to ward off evil at the front door. And finally as it has all infiltrated my dreams; making me feel rubbish, I am now meditating on an hourly basis.

However, this all comes with a disclaimer. I do realise (don’t ever think I don’t) how super lucky I am. I also realise that these are first world problems. I also understand that my past has spoilt me for my future. My problem is that when June hits I start to fall into a dark pit of despair. I secretly want to be excited and happy but I’m scared that it’ll not meet expectations. Falling into an abyss of despair because, for example: Him has forgotten my birthday (he did one year. Age 23) is not an option. So, ‘The Fear’ has struck.

So I can’t lie. I’m not fasting, I’m hiding. Like I say honesty is the best policy.

A final note. This blog was written before the awful events in London last night. I am running out of reassuring words for my children (and many more by tomorrow morning) as we increasingly find ourselves heartbroken and angry at the evil and cruelty in the world. Now more than ever we need to remember each other. We need to think about making each other smile. A few weeks ago I suggested we just ‘Be Kind’ (it seems someone had nicked my coinage and hashtagged it and Sir Richard Branson was spouting it on Twitter and Him thought I was trending – hmmm). Everyone we know is fighting a battle of some kind. Never assume that lives are perfect – no such thing. Life is too short to not live it by smiling. So I’m reiterating over and over my simple mantra ‘Be Kind’ as it helps even those living in the darkest of shadows sense light.