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!! 

Manchester 

I’ve had a beautiful weekend. Sun. Jacuzzi. Love. Dogs. Walks. Fizz. 

All the time though Manchester is not far from my heart.

It’s heart breaking to read the devastation of innocent lives.

Almost as difficult is to read the tirade of abuse towards one culture. 

What can we do? Words only can seem futile…. yet bombs, knives and guns…… just kill people.

I could go on a political rollercoaster but I won’t. 

Laugh at this or call me a do-gooder… we can only judge someone when we know them. We can only be responsible for how we behave. We can choose to be kind.  We can decide to bring our kids up to be compassionate. We can be accepting of people who are different. We can change. We can look out for our neighbour. We can smile and say hello to a stranger. We know better than to only look after ourselves. We can stop pointing the finger. We can stop spewing hate. We can be kind. We can.

Hate breeds hate.

Love breeds love. 

Too simple yes but it’s the only ammunition I’ve got.
Lots of love on this Sunday xxx 

Speak up! 

I’ve never really been one to be quiet. As a toddler I’d be organising who sat where at an imaginary tea party and as a teenager I’d  march up to anyone who dared to be horrible to my little brother. Teachers included. Mouthy some may have said. Protective and learnt  survival tactics l say.

 
When I took my A levels at 23 and the English literature lecturer asked if anyone would like to read a part… my hand was always first up. The young ones looked at me mostly with amusement and that look of ‘teachers pet’ as I got into the swings and throes of Pride and Prejudice.

This week I’ve noticed that lots of people think but don’t vocalise their thoughts. I was at a  meeting where the majority of the room felt it wasn’t productive (ie a complete waste of time) but everyone got up and said thanks. 

And left. 

Saying nothing. 

I said something. I couldn’t bare to see the waste of resources and time and not say anything. I had several emails and conversations with other attendees who were livid, angry, despondent.

Yet they said nothing.

Why is it so hard for so many to put their hand up, to ask a question, to give their opinion. Why do we sit quietly even if we  know the answer? Why don’t we risk asking a question even when it’s really important to us?

I think a lot of people are scared, lack confidence or are too self critical to speak up.

Frightened to get the answer wrong.

Silent.

Isn’t that worse than not saying anything at all?

Happy Sunday everyone xx

Invisible delights

I’ve spent quite a bit of time in Manchester lately and I noted yesterday as I waited at the traffic lights there’s one big difference, in my view. Anonymity. Being inconspicuous. An invisibility. 

Like anywhere, particularly I imagine in a busy city..what happens around us becomes an every day scenery of people and culture because we’re used to it.  Its the same for me in North Wales.  I now appreciate the hills and the streams and the pheasants and the lambs a whole lot more since seeing it through the eyes of my city living girlfriend. I’ve always been in awe of Wales but seeing it through new eyes and hearing  gasps at a view of a river that I’ve seen a thousand times is a reminder to me to really appreciate what’s around.

To my new eyes in Manchester, I’m seeing what’s around me with innocent eyes.  I’m no longer a day visitor or here to shop.  I’m now here at times driving to work or walking the dogs or just going out for bread.   In that time I’m overwhelmed with visions that I’m not used to and it fills my head. I know I’m not supposed to stare but I find myself staring. Secretly. 

Yesterday as I wait at the very busy traffic lights there’s so much to see.  A woman in a Ramones t-shirt, red jeans and clunky black boots busily walking under the bridge as the sun shines on her cheeks. A young man with dreadlocks carrying a guitar wearing large white headphones walking purposefully from the train station. I wonder where he’s going. Two men in their late 20s walking independently of each other but looking very much the same with their trendy beards, short hair and the beginning of a small pot belly. A woman in a colourful niqab with only her deep brown eyes on show trying to keep her playful children safe near the road. Some graffiti on the wall that I try to make sense of. A local market brimming with music and falafel. Kids playing cricket in the park, picking teams in a language I’m not familiar with and then speaking English without effort. Two golden pomeranians leading their owner on their walk. A  beautiful magnolia tree with petals dropping to the floor resembling confetti. 

It’s amazing what you can see in just a few minutes when you really look. 

Have a lovely Sunday everyone x 
Dwys x.