Love wins! 

It’s been a bit of an odd week. Some disappointments. Some adjustments. Still no closer to knowing when my house is ready. Still no bed! The result was a tiny weep with mum as we drank an Americano at the park.

An arm around my shoulder from mum made it better. Then throughout the week I indulged in that love around me to pull myself out of feeling a bit sorry for myself.

The most thoughtful present from two young colleagues in work, a belated birthday present of a crafted work of my family. Made me cry again though! A family visit to watch my nephew play football. His proud face looking towards us after scoring a goal. A friend’s husband who ferries her over one evening so we can catch up over sauvignon  (and the friend of course!). An apology that makes it all ok again. Watching the ladies tennis final cuddled up on the sofa while the rain drizzled. Meeting the older nephew after school and devouring his freshly made chocolate brownies. Then having an early tea with him and my son at the local Italian.  A dash around the charity shop and finding a chunky mirror that I just ‘need.

 
So despite the low mood and the tears that started the week off there was so much else in it to make it good. It’s amazing writing it all down because sometimes you don’t see it all when things seem dark.

Love wins!

Happy Sunday everyone xxx

Hi Terry!

I am a woman of contradictions. This is true. I know the ‘right’ path but I often do a u turn. I’m kind and also annoying. Friendly and argumentative. A feminist yet avidly watch Love Island. Not least that I have something to talk to my 17 year old about.

I’m a daily walker of about 2 hrs but go in my jeans and trainers. This week I walked on the North York moors in completely inappropriate clothing (again) which meant while everyone else walked dry the inside of my blouse  (Yes A BLOUSE) became increasingly damp to soaking.  I tried to be brave but after a few miles I voiced my dampness and we turned back reluctantly. I turned back guiltily. And two hours later I was the brave owner of a proper waterproof walking jacket. So proud.

What I’ve (again) realised this week. Bar essentials, is what we can live without. At least three quarters of what I own is in storage and although my home is a little bare and my clothes are not on hangers and I have only ONE tv and still no fridge  I’m handling it ok. It makes me feel a bit …. What’s the word
…. yucky…. materialistic…. greedy .. that I think I need all those things in storage to make me happy.

No idea if this will change me. I’m still on the look out for bird patterned adorned lamps and was in the queue at the new home bargains yesterday eyeing up decorative metallic mugs that I don’t need but want.

 It is crazy what we think we need and what we actually need. With a pair of shorts and jeans a few tops I’ve still managed to walk up a mountain, climb forest walls, paddled in rivers, watched a festival of dance, enjoyed magic moments with those dearest to me, skipped over puddles, danced to new tunes and enjoyed the sun streaming on my face, enjoyed long strolls with the pooches, a beer at a pub whilst watching people kayaking and walking. Sat at the canal smiling at newbies paddle boarding and caught up with old faces.

Money is money. And I am a contradiction. I know I am. However all I can say is it’s a week to remind me that most things mean nothing. It’s experiences that mean everything. My stand out experience this week was a coincidental joining the Llangollen international street parade where I bumped into an old mate and found myself swinging my hips to the show freely in front of me.

And yes that is me shouting ‘hi Terry’ to *the* Terry Waite!!!

Happy Sunday everyone xx

Got the moves

This week I’ve realised you can live with only four pairs of shoes and ten items of clothing and you can survive without a fridge freezer and even without a bed (woes of old narrow curvy stairs and metal large double bed bases!).

I’m almost at my new home. Almost! Inbetween I have a temporary base in Llangollen.  So my move is 75% there and I can’t quite believe I’ve done it. This is the first time, bar some traveling, that I’ve ever lived in a town!!! I walk around and say to myself.. ooo there’s a florist and a hairdressers and a restaurant and a book shop and a cafe… like I’ve never been here before!!

It was a wrench leaving my lovely village but I’ve so many friends and family that I’ll be a happy frequent visitor. 

I’ve started my new morning’s walking along the beautiful singing  river Dee, spotting herons to the backdrop of the steam train or walks along the canal taking in the colourful boats that are homes calmly bobbing on the water.

Coincidentally it’s International Eisteddfod week and I was lucky to peek through on my early walk into the colouful field yet to be opened to the crowds.
Nearby I spotted this quote by Dylan Thomas and was quite blown away by it to be honest.

“Are you surprised that people can still dance and sing in a world on it’s head? The only surprising thing about miracles, however small, is that they sometimes happen”

Now more than ever it feels that we have to concentrate on what brings us together than what drives us apart. Singing and dancing might not heal the world entirely but it’s a good place to start. 

I find out through reading on my walk that the Eisteddod was brought about in 1947 for post ‘war weary’ people. To bring international communities together in one small town and show the ‘Welsh way’ .. that those communities can not only live side by side but they can also sing and dance and laugh and love.

Llangollen. We’re off to a good start.

Hope you’ve had a good week too.

Happy Sunday xx

My village.  Hwyl x 

I’ve emptied the shed. And the loft.  I’ve recycled everything that’s not coming with me so far, bar two bin bags. I’ve given away some stuff and sold a few things  (had a lovely meal at the local pub last night on that!). Only the rest of the house to pack up now!!

 
I’ve owned a house since I was 19 and now I find myself with no fixed abode!! The house I’m hoping to buy has gathered far less speed with the solicitors and I remain therefore a little bit homeless for a short while!! Of course I’m not homeless because of the generosity of those close to me and even those I hardly know offering rooms in their homes.

So another journey. Another chapter begins. I really wanted to say thank you to this village. And to indulge myself in a few memories.

Llandrillo. A village where I fell out with the shop keeper over a Yorkie bar!!  A village where I nervously set up a social night for mum’s over 10 years ago and that circle of friends still remain. A village where I’ve spent too many hours in the pub playing pool and darts and singing karaoke and eating massive portions of cannelloni with home cut chips. A village where we said thank you very much to the royal wedding enjoying a day of dressing up and celebrating with fizz.  A village of colourful carnivals and giggles at friends costumes. A village where my kids could play out for hours and they were safe.  Most probably my favourite thing. A village of magnificent walks of which I’ve walked thousands of miles. A village with my favourite view ever. Anywhere. A village where I set up a book club but never managed to read a whole book instead just enjoying the get together. And wine of course. A village where I put up a message on Facebook wondering if anyone fancied attempting a  9 week running course with me only to see 13 woman standing nervously as I opened my door. Some still run today and some even benefited in other most amazing ways. That’ll forever bring a smile to my face. A village of new friends that’ll always be friends. A village of new years eve parties and fireworks. A village of love. A village of weddings and school plays and car boots. A village of bbqs and bubbles.

I can’t gloss over the fact it’s also been a village of  loss and heartache in ways that I’m yet to find the words for. I am absolutely forever grateful to a village who stood still and held our hands at that most vicious time.

So why leave this place?! Simply it’s time for a fresh start while also holding on to all those memories and people. Some just travel with me in my heart and some will always be in my life, just a few miles away.

I had a lovely message the other day saying I will be missed. All I can say is ditto.

Llandrillo, you will be missed.

XXX

Happy birthday! 

You may have noticed it’s been my birthday this week! I’m  of no massively significant age but I make a fuss of my own birthday! I get excited about my own birthday. I love opening cards and receiving messages. I get merry at the idea of a family get together with cake. Like a giggling toddler I rip open up presents and I love the dancing pink balloons.
Why?

I ask myself this. Why do I love my birthday? I’m getting older and wrinklier and my hips hurt now and again! My hair is speckled with some ‘alternative highlights’ and if I haven’t got my reading glasses with me it’s a major catastrophe.

In addition to this obviously I have no Tes. This week was the fifth birthday without her and all day I felt it like a heavy small but significant weight inside my stomach. I visited ‘her’ but as usual I get little comfort from her purple flowered plot with teddies and letters. Who would? I kiss the silver teddy with the letter T as I do ever time and I say …I hate you not being here. Then I blow her a kiss. And I leave.

So why and how do I still enjoy my birthday? I think the main answer is because I can.

 Because I’m healthy and I have super friends and a  partner who makes me smile and an AMaZInG son, and even a fab ex husband and his lovely wife and their gorgeous son in my life. I have brothers who tower over me that make me so proud. I’ve a mum that I’ve driven mad at times who loves me nevertheless and a step dad who is gentle and inspiring. I have nephews and a sister in law and grandparents and cousins and uncles and aunts.. . ……. and of course my lovely dogs.

I’m surrounded by hills and mountains and rivers and lakes and empty beautiful beaches . And there’s theatre and markets and galleries to visit.  There’s writing and painting and cycling and piano playing and photos to take.

This whole blog may be me, yet again, justifying how I can have fun despite what has happened.   Maybe I have to justify it to myself whatever the reason. This is why I like birthdays because ……I CAN.

Have a beautiful Sunday xxx

Express yourself! 

As I walked through Manchester yesterday I saw this on the wall of a grey tunnel.
 I love it for all kinds of reasons.

Firstly someone bothered to write it.

I love the grammar because I’m assuming that means the author is young.

I love the fact someone young expressed themselves so vibrantly.

I even love the fact the person who wrote this has had an experience meaning they know …. the course of true love certainly doesn’t run smooth!!! 

In a week where the younger generation have had their voices heard and have provided what I think is a legacy that we can build on for the future. A voice for Decency.  Calm. Determination. Truth. Inclusiveness.  I’m basically writing a high five to you.

Nobody should be scared to express themselves.  It could be telling someone they make you happy or even telling someone they’re not. It could be giving your voice to a cause or writing down in a diary just for you.  It could be that you simply smile or say well done.  It can be through music or a painting. It could be through tears or laughter. It might be through love.
Whatever way it is.  

Express yourself!

Happy Sunday xx 

This is a moment

A few months ago in work my colleague Barbara said she ‘needed’ to go and see Robbie Williams! Barbara is 65 and 3 years ago lost her soul mate and husband of 40 years. Our losses created a bond of support and understanding. On occasion being able to share our darkest thoughts that we couldn’t otherwise. 3 years on she misses her husband absolutely but has also managed to build a life that I can only say is inspirational.  That is what many people do. We survive stuff and most of us get up and say.. hey life… you tried your best then to keep me in bed staring at the walls but you failed. 

So Barbara was going to see Robbie by herself! Again an amazing thing in itself to have that confidence. I’m not sure I would. Anyway of course I say I’ll come and off we went last night and we had a scream. We were both nervous after the awful Manchester attack but we both felt a sense of f*ck you to wherever is trying to steal our liberties away. 

This morning we awake to more devastation and carnage and loss and heartache. I don’t have the answers. What I wanted to say though that these events are a tiny part of an amazing world.  That’s not to minimise it. It’s horrendous. However I was with 51 thousand people last night. Couples dancing. Women in purple wigs. Thousands singing together. Strangers starting up conversations. Fabulous smiling faces. Friends holding hands.
 I looked out and thought this is who we are. This. Try as some people might we will not be defeated or kept indoors by a cowardly few.  
Barbara would certainly have something to say about that.  Be more Barbara!!