A day

This week has been a roller coaster. 

A level results day meant I found myself on a warm Thursday morning finishing my walk at 7am with Tes. Pooch runs through the gates of the church and bears left.   She knows her way to where I sometimes sit to hold the silver teddy bear inscribed with a T as I chat briefly to the open air.

Tears involuntarily appear but are kept at bay all day.  I couldn’t help but feel hard done by, deprived. Today I felt sorry for myself.  

With that I genuinely was excited for all her friends who were starting new journeys.  But I wanted her to be on that journey too. As I said. Today I felt sorry for me. 

A person can change all of that though.  It was an exchange of messages that day that also simply said …call over if you like. I declined saying I planned to spend the evening under a blanket.

However at about 9 I decided to wander over and found myself at a mini gathering of family and friends. We sat out, giggled a lot and of course consumed a few vinos. Children played. Adults laughed naughtily. Presents were opened. Dark chocolate brownies were consumed.   

Like that, one person changed my day. 

It made me think how we can change a persons day. We can even change a persons life. 

On the radio this week I heard about a guy who had been hospitalised for 5 years with huge mental health problems.  His life has completely recovered. What changed him? Understanding.  Listening. Believing.  Compassion. Love.

I reflected on my week and wondered had  I had made a positive change to someone’s day this week? 

I did catch a large spider for a receptionist that was about to faint!! I also made mum a filled burrito and we sat in the sunshine with a large pot of tea. Hopefully I made the new person at work feel comfortable and I’m trying to be a listening ear to a friend in need. 

The great thing about trying to make life a bit better for someone else, as cheesy as it sounds, is how much better we feel about ourselves. 

I can change someone’s day. You can change someone’s day. Imagine the world we could live in!!

Happy Sunday everyone X 

Which way?

I was walking early (again) this week.
The sun was just rising and its burnt orange body partly hid behind lit up grey clouds.  We passed the spaniel without problem but a gang of rebellious younger sheep were in the corner of the field looking quite mischievous. Their heads poked through the fence as far as they could stretch. They clearly felt that the grass was certainly greener on the other side. For pooch this gathering was too tempting and in order to protect me from these hungry animals she quickly gathered pace and began barking at them from her side of the fence. 

 She’s about 12 inches tall. She thinks she’s 112 inches tall.

The sheep for some reason are scared of tiny dog and run away. However one is a bit naughtier than the rest and I hadn’t realised this leader of the pack had managed to squeeze it’s woolly oversized body under the fence. Panic set in and rebellious sheep made a run for it down the narrow leafy road towards the village, followed by tiny pooch. After a promise of a treat pooch strolls back towards me and I get her pink lead out while we sort out this sheep situation. Pooch is far from impressed.
I walk towards the corner bearing left and see the sheep about 25 yds away, it has stopped and is staring at us trying to make out whether the threat still exists. I squash us into the hedges as I try to create as much distance as I can trying to pass but sheep decides we’re too close and makes a further dart. We’re now at the periphery of the village. I don’t have time to walk all the way back so I have to keep going, playing the game with the sheep.
Finally the sheep takes a right and decides to run into the drive of a bungalow. I quicken my step in the hope that I can get by and the sheep will feel safe. Just as I get to the house the sheep has got its timing wrong and started to come back to the gate. The sheep literally has a look of surprise (somehow) on its face and takes a quick step back to safety. Pooch and I pass without further crisis and sheep then makes a run for it all the way back to where we first met this morning.
As I walk on it made me think about decisions we make. Decisions we have to make on the spot or decisions we linger about. The fact being that quite often there are only a limited number of choices and that we either have the choice to face up and make a decision, to hide and hope the decision goes away or to let that decision be made for us.

I had a conversation with someone this week about the age old saying glass half full or glass half empty. I was questioned about my positivity. Why be positive, I was asked. It felt clear that based on what’s happened in our family this positivity wasn’t really understood. What’s do you get from making a decision not to be positive, I asked. 
These days there’s so much stuff about mindfulness and positivity that it can sometimes feel we’re being dictated to being a perfect  all practicing yoga eating kale and drinking green tea with the gaze of *smug* oozing from our perfect natural eyes. Rubbish! 

Positivity to me is making that choice to *try* to be positive.
Decisions can be tough. 

This week I walked across a park and saw a toddler with golden brown shoulder length curled hair. She held her mums hand tightly. Trusting. She looked just like Tes at that age. I was in the middle of a field and for some reason in that instant my whole body was in pain from grief. I stood and looked. I didn’t move and my brain was tempting me to stay put. I imagined briefly not going back to work and just sitting in the field until someone asked why. And then I would tell them why. Instead I decided to take one last look. Then I decided to walk back to work. 

Just like the sheep we have big and small decisions all the time. Making it as positive a one for you as it can be has to be the best option. 

May Sunday be very good to you!
Lots of love x Dwysan x

 

Village life

I’ve written about this quite a bit lately. Community. Being local. Being part of something. I think it’s the answer to so much of the sadness and problems currently facing our world. Simplistic, I know.

I’m also aware how lucky I am to live in this beautiful green village where the church stands proudly bearing over us.
A quick preamble to the following narrative about an hour in my life this week, I feel it’s right to say I am not continually  living an idyllic life of pink roses, aprons and home made bread. My week is full of hurdles like everyone else. For the luxury of living where I do I get up at six am to walk my pooch because I travel 2 hrs to work and back. I’m tired most days and you’ll see me often scraping some film from a plastic tub because I haven’t had time to cook something ‘proper’.
But… The following is my morning routine most days and I think it perfectly captures this rural life that I fell in love with very slowly over the last 40ish years.
6am.

The socket by my bed isn’t working and I haven’t had time to get the electrician out.  Therefore when the alarm clock goes off I spy it through one tired heavy eye while quickly understanding that as it’s plugged in ‘over there’ I’m actually going to have to get up to press snooze.

Three snoozes later I’m up. I take a look at the weather and though I see it ever day I look at the hills and trees taking up most of my bleary look and inside I think wow. It’s beautiful.
Beautiful.
I brush my teeth in my small colourful bathroom and find some light blue walking socks. Pooch starts to get very excited recognising this familiar routine. I put on my boots and pink weatherproof jacket while deciding which route to take. I end up taking the wrong one. We wander up the empty lanes apart from the sounds of the birds and cross over a field using the public footpath. Unfortunately a large black cow also has decided to share this path with me. We make eye contact and I don’t fancy my chances so I take a slight detour to the nearby fence. I throw pooch over and the attempt the barbed wire fence myself. Barbed wire 1. My old jeans O.
We carry on over a small bridge and I stop to look at the river which is rather noisy as it’s just started to rain. Hood up we carry on past the farmhouse where the brown and white spaniel stares as usual prowling, tail up with a protective snarl and the woman in the house smiles from the open door while reassuring said pooch. A man closes a gate and waves as he goes off to work. I see him often but I don’t know him.

A farmer on his quad bike races past and shouts hello as we make the final bend towards home. It’s only 7 but the shop is open and I hear customers chatting inside and the local farmer is delivering bottles of milk. Yes, bottles! A man I know parks his car after picking up his morning paper. I tell him his right brake light isn’t working. He doubts me so gets in while I stand and look. Yes I say. He thanks me.
I’m wondering about breakfast and whether I fancy the usual muesli with added cranberries, cashews and raisins when I pass the tiny egg shed. It’s a recent addition to the village. A duck blue cupboard full of fresh eggs, quail eggs and teacups with pretty fuchsia plants. There’s  no shopkeeper. Just an honesty box. Despite having no money I take a box of eggs and pay the £1.30 later as I drive to work.
When I get home I feed the hungry pooch and also the noisy birds who have also quickly got used to my morning routine. They shout until I’ve filled their feeder with colourful food  Breakfast is delicious as two very yellow yolks adorn my plate. I sit in my tiny conservatory and…..well I’m writing this! As I eat and drink perfumed earl grey tea, I watch the birds dance around their new seeds and in the background I hear sheep, the faint rumble of a tractor and the breeze sweeping through the trees.

And that’s all.
Rural life. What’s not to love?
Happy Sunday everyone X X X

Tes.

It’s an understatement to say I’m no royal family fan however this week it was hard to read how prince Harry hadn’t spoken about his grief of losing his mum until the last 3 years. I’m on holiday in Spain when I read his words and it pinches at my heart.
We’re on holiday. Without you. Again.

We laugh. We swim. I take pictures. I walk alone through graffiti walled narrow lanes. We play cards. We do the crosswords and we literally jump through (inflatable) hoops. We devour books. We sleep without covers and we sit on balconies. We find  new ice cream. We try different restaurants. We eat chocolate for breakfast. We get on trains. We take in the beautiful turquoise sea. We watch people. We drink coffee overlooking the beach. We buy a ball. We chat to strangers. We walk on the hot sand. 

None of this I do without thinking of you Tes. Yet it’s still hard to stamp on the guilt rising in my stomach. I read prince Harry’s words and I worry do we talk about you enough?  Sometimes I stop myself. I don’t want to hurt or saddened anyone but I’ve learnt people aren’t saddened or hurt or even if they are they’re glad to hear about you even if sometimes they don’t know what to say.
I was lifted to hear your nephew talk on holiday about how you were good at sucking up ice cubes from a cold drink and balancing it at the end of a straw! You come up in coversation a lot. Some of it doesn’t hurt. Some of it is painful and I find myself on the train wiping silent tears away as a memory catches in my throat. A young boy sees me and stares. I look out of the window.
It was a lovely week Tes. You’d have loved it. 

Whether you’re spoken about or not spoken about you’re in our hearts and minds all the time and always will be.
I love you darling 
Mum

x x x

Hola!!

I’m sitting on a cream narrow red tiled balcony in Calella, Spain. The road ahead is typically Catalonian with tall multi coloured flat roofed buildings. Birds fly from one balcony to another looking for scraps of croissants. Some palm like trees tower over the occasional pedestrian and the familiar European sound of a moped with an enviable looking women riding confidently in shorts, large sunglasses and a red helmet scurries by towards the beach. 

Yesterday we took a trip into Barcelona as my nephew wanted to visit his hero’s football stadium, Nou Camp. There were no seats on the hour long journey.  I stood next to a blonde couple with their blonde child and took in the view from the far left window.  I saw brave joggers; graffitied walls, confident nudist bathers,  paragliders, teenagers playing volleyball, families picnicking, young girls performing handstands, a woman nursing her tiny new baby, shopkeepers stocking up and happy filled restaurants.

Next on the metro and finally getting a seat I take in the vast mixture of cultures in just one carriage. A pale young woman with piercings, a man with green hair and a short skirt, a couple kissing and a young girl looking up to her dad feeling completely safe in his hands.

We stop for pizza and laugh as the waiter jokes about the fact my brother must be the elder of us two and he tells us he has a friend from Swansea. He looks at us expectantly as if we  must know him! 

We finally get to the stadium and my nephews and son stand proudly for pictures and sit in the stands.  There are trophies and golden boots and the roar of the recorded crowds as we walk through the enormous imposing building.  Photos are taken with the massive silver European cup and families punch the air as if they have won it themselves.  After some bartering my nephews persuade their dad to buy them two new football tops and can only wait a few minutes before they’re getting changed into them even before we get on the metro to return.  On the train the three boys play with their overpriced but totally worth it Barcelona playing cards. They laugh and giggle at their made up games and the younger ones magic tricks. 

We return to our hotel and the pool beckons. The six of us jump in and soak up the last remaining rays of the day.

The point to this narrative from my day?

As we set off to Spain we left the UK besieged every day by yet another tragedy in Europe. Another shooting.  Another trauma for another family.  And it worked. We were scared to some degree.  I was almost embarassed by that fact. They were winning. I’d already decided I probably wouldn’t come abroad again.  

However I have a new fight in me. I don’t give in to bullies in my day to day life and I refuse to be scared to live my life because of a minority because we do have a vibrant, kind, colourful  and beautiful world.

That’s it for today. I’m off to the pool!  

Keep living the life you want x 

Happy Sunday x x x  

I want it now!

Resting or doing nothing in my family is practically a swear word. I think that’s why so many of us completed our education late because learning was sold as a waste of time. We were brought up to be busy. To earn. To provide. Anything else was deemed a little bit middle class.  It’s probably the reason why most of my family don’t know how to sit down for a few minutes and do nothing! 
Consequently I seem to live life as if I’m strapped into a permanent roller coaster.

Moving house recently has meant I’ve had to re adjust. Temporarily.  Why? Mainly because horrors of horrors we’re left with no wifi. For two weeks!! The roller coaster of life has a temporary fault on the track. There’s just walls. Windows. A garden. Boxes. And stuff in those boxes. Lots  of stuff.

I initially grab this non virtual world with confidence.  I can do this. I don’t need to watch eBay for that floral chaise lounge. I don’t care that the Next sale is on. I’m not bothered about twits on Twitter.

I found myself buying physical newspapers. It felt grown up. No app. No sweep reading.  I sat in my conservatory looking over at the birds playing around their new feeder and I read the paper. With my glasses on, then off (age!) I’m even attempting the crossword and a bit of sudoku. 

I pick up one of the five books that I’ve started over the last 12 months and read it. I take extra long walks and I watch favourite films.  I have friends over most evenings and sometimes I just sit out in my pink garden chair under the primary coloured fairy lights and do nothing. For a few minutes! 

The most bizarre aspect of being away from the online word was the removal of instant happenings. I didn’t know that my friends son had won a singing competition or that I’d been invited to run with friends. I didn’t hear about Boris, May or the horrors of Nice until hours later on the radio. I’m out of touch with Corbyn and I can’t update my online group. I take a picture and I can’t share it with the world and when I want to google ‘how to put up a curtain pole’, I can’t. 

Within days I went from sitting confidently and smugly, drinking camomile, reading the broadsheets with my ‘who needs wifi’ look to shiftily hanging around the porch of a friend desperately trying to order a floppy hat for my hols. 

As I went to bed on Friday night I noticed the blue light. Not an orange ‘I’m not working’ light. A steady blue light. I grabbed my iPad excitedly. You’re connected it says. You’re wifi is connected!

Despite it being 1am I excitedly tell my son and I stay up until 3am catching up. It doesn’t take long for me to be somehow looking at a cute dog in a pink raincoat that belongs to the son of a friend of my mums friend or watching videos of dancing  baby goats.  I catch up with my emails and delete a thousand. I devour the local row about the circus and happily immerse myself in my online political lefty group. Feeling part of the world again!

I want it now. That’s the culture and times we live in. I certainly wouldn’t want to be without my online community but having a few minutes under a starry night alone letting thoughts wander will also play more of a part in my day from now on. 

Now… about that chaise lounge……
Happy Sunday to you all xxxx

Are you OK? 

5 minutes from my week.

We know each other but not that well.  We can never meet for just five minutes. There’s always too much to say. I’ve had a niggle about you for a while although our contact has only been through email and one meeting,  something was missing.  No light in your eyes.  A smile that wasn’t true. I’d ask if everything was alright and you quickly reply yes, referring to how work is busy and with that deflection put an end to my concern. 

We met again this week by chance. As usual you were scurrying from one place to another.  We chat with your smile firmly in place. You laugh at the right time and nod in the required places. But you’re not here.

I know by now without doubt that something wasn’t ok. That you were drowning in worry. That you were only just hanging on to your act. 

I gently put my hand on your arm. I look straight into your troubled, tired eyes. 

Are you OK?

You’re about to lie. 

Are you really ok?

I ask again.

Tears balance on the tips of your lids. You shake your head ever so softly. You walk away.

I follow feeling a little guilty.  I hadn’t wanted to upset you. You stop and we hug. You tell me briefly what’s actually going on behind your forced smiles. With that we arrange a social meet up and you text later to thank me for seeing through your performance.  For asking if you were ok. Really.

It can be difficult to be direct.  It’s a risk. What is there to lose? To be told another lie or to mind your own business. To gain you can be an outlet to someone in need, to give a voice to pain, to listen. To give time. To provide hope.  

They’re only 3 words but they could change someone’s day.

Happy Sunday everyone x x x

PS  apologies for lateness of blog I’ve just moved and am currently hanging around a house with WiFi trying to send it!!