Doing nothing.

I received a message this week from a friend. She reminded me a few years ago she talked to me about a sensitive issue and after a long discussion I’d said. Do nothing. Be there, love them but do nothing. They will come to you when the times right.

Turns out she did nothing. For about 4 years. One day the person came to them. Grateful for the space and love waiting and thankful for the space given.

I do remember the conversation. What I felt when I got this message is I really need to start taking my own advice!! I am impatient. I want things to happen today. I hate waiting for things. Like everyone else I’m constantly learning and this small message from my friend has reminded me that this is one area of my life I need to work on. I get knots in my stomach when I’m waiting. Seconds can seem like days. Minutes like weeks.

We’re not used to waiting any more. Music can be bought in a second, films downloaded. Friends can be instantly contacted and we’ve all been there knowing that message has been opened but not received a reply!! We can order food to our door in minutes and read a book without even holding it.

With that we’ve lost so much.

I loved popping to HMV to pick out a CD as a teenager. It wasn’t just the shop but the buzz of the people, the posters, the physical feel of the headphones as you stood listening to your favourite artist. A downloaded film can never beat the experience of the cinema where the smell of popcorn and the inability to pause makes it wholly different. Talking on the phone or even better face to face over a glass of wine will always beat an instant message and taking time to cook a meal, play with spices and new recipes will always taste better than a take out.

Of course this is the society we live in now. Having everything in an instant is how it is but sometimes waiting for something can mean so much more….. we just have to learn to be patient!

Happy Sunday xx

What’s a family?

Friday night was special to me and epitomizes what family is.

Most of us are no longer part of the 2.4 white picket fence brigade and if you’ve ever been the one that stepped out of that comfort zone you’ll know it’s a tough journey. People aren’t generally sympathetic to decisions that mean comfortable normality has been broken.

Whispers about what this will do to the children and rolled eyes that last many years telling you without words you’ll be sorry bore into your back. Single parents still, I feel, are treated as somewhat second class when it comes to the ideal family.

It means you always have to try harder. It means when your children do something perfectly normal like have a toddler tantrum or get into trouble at school you’ll feel at fault because you did this, you’re the single parent. You feel judged. Always.

On Friday I popped in to see my son at his dads. It didn’t start off well as there was an unfortunate dog poo incident which found me saying sorry a lot and ended with me on my hands and knees with Ecover trying to get it out of the white rug.

Ex wasn’t best pleased. He went off to the park and his little one wanted me to come too. I adore that! This little unrelated person belonging to my ex loves me. After a chat with my son I followed on to the park where football, scooters and a chat with ex on the bench ensued then his lovely wife turns up and I have a second of thinking is this weird for her that she arrives from work to her husband with his ex sitting on the bench. But no. I know it isn’t.

Anyway one conversation led to another which basically meant we all spent Friday night together at mine with wine, cheese and chip wraps with garlic mayo (divine), angel cake, cider, long conversations, special one to ones, dogs chasing balls, cheering on Mo at the athletics, the occasional tear and lots of laughter.

What’s a family?

That’s it isn’t it. It can be any shape. The most important aspect is that your family…. be it with cats and dogs or a partner or with ten children or none…. is your comfort blanket. A warm place of imperfections and love.

Happy Sunday xxx

Where has Wonder Woman gone?

I’ve been deliberating whether to write about ‘this’ today because ‘this’ isn’t a happy subject. In fact that’s why most of us pretend ‘this’ isn’t going on because we don’t want to put ‘it’ on others.

So what is it?

There’s a few names I have for it… the black cloud, sadness, grief….my bad Tesni days seems to be the closest to how I properly describe it. It probably happens every 6 months or so. I think it’s a build up of what’s there that eventually has to surface.

It started Sunday night and it ended properly on Friday. It arrives with force. Tears. Lots of them. Wailing. Stomach hurting tears. Swollen eyes. Lack of interest in anything. Bed becomes the only place I want to be and I sleep. For the first time in months I sleep. Properly. Lots of sleep. I made myself work on Wednesday from home and Thursday I dragged myself back to work. I felt like I was walking around with water swimming in my head. Like I wasn’t really fully in the moment.

Not sure why I’m telling you this. I write about things in my life, what I see and feel. A lot of it is positive but I’d feel a fraud to not talk about the purely awful times too.

So how did it stop? Just like if I’d been physically ill I received a prescription. On that prescription were many things and eventually I got well again.

The first dose of medicine came from one of my oldest friends who happened to be back home. A hug. A chat. A glass of wine. It was a start. Secondly when I rang in sick I didn’t lie and say I had ‘a bug’ I told the truth. I was low and not coping. The reaction was just lovely. Almost every person I work with messaged me and when I got back I came in to flowers bought from the reception team and lots of hugs. My partner drove miles to see me in an already busy life even though I was no company. My dogs still insist I walk them and the rivers and trees distract me for a short time. I was taken out for lunch with mum and my boy. Despite being miserable they wanted to spend time with me. I saw my nephews for a short while and even though I couldn’t stay because I was going to cry I love seeing their faces. A phone call from my brother that I couldn’t answer. I knew he was thinking of me. Some photos put through the door from my sis in law which have made my temporary abode feel a bit more personal. Crazy friends who cycled 50 miles (yep!) to catch up. A text from someone I haven’t seen for too long to arrange lunch. A step dad who gives up his morning to help me and an uncle who swore a lot while doing it but got on with some diy at my house.

To be honest the list could go on. It made me realise that we can be very open about our mental health. In fact it was by being honest that I received so much help and although I’m rubbish at accepting help and am fiercely independent and determined to make every day a good one…. sometimes you just have to accept… as my lovely colleague Barbara said to me … for goodness sake Dwysan you’re not Wonder Woman!

The week has ended far more positively and there’s a couple of pieces of exciting news in terms of my house situation but I’ll have to keep some of that until next week… the biggest news is… I know the suspense is killing you.. …YES….. I have a BED!!!!! Hooray!

Bit of a ramble this week. Thanks as ever for reading. Have a lovely Sunday xx

Sauces and scrabble

Firstly. Still no bed. I’m trying to convince myself that I’m living in a Japanese themed bedroom and the mattress on the floor is all part of some unplanned feng shui phase.  Reality is I still have no date for my new house and I’m still mainly eating pizza or mostly going out to eat because I feel quite disasociated in my temporary home.  The house is fine but it is not my ‘home’.

It got me thinking what is a home. I’ve lived in a few houses through my life. 12 actually. Some of those houses I lived in for years and they never really felt like a home. Some for much shorter periods of time that became home.  What makes a place your ‘home’?.   You know that kind of home that even after a lovely holiday you’re excited and glad to step back into it.

For me.

The family inside, the pencil on the wall marking your children’s growth, a flower that miraculously grew from the seed you threw into the soil, the birds that visit regularly, the patch in the garden where the sun warms your skin, the ingredients in the cupboard waiting to be cooked, the postcard on the fridge and the scribbled note kept safely. The pooches playing with a new toy. The red nose that has been left on the wall from a home made Christmas party game. That tea set you had to buy. Heart decorations bought just for you. A box of collected memorabilia. The shells picked up from your favourite beach. A special photo that always makes you smile. Music that you have to dance to. A piece of furniture that you love. A charity shop bought jug full of your favourite flowers. A suitcase of letters from a time before Facebook.  The phone ringing with someone just checking in. A friend popping in for coffee (or wine!). Snuggling under a throw with your favourite film. A game of scrabble. Books.  Chats over dinnertime. Hugs on tap.  A notebook of dreams.  Pennies collecting in a jar.  Candles and fairy lights.   Pillows.  A box of crafts to be made into cards.  Recipes photocopied bearing food splashes.  A favourite mug filled with camomile tea.  The smell of home made tomato and basil sauce simmering. A piano waiting for you to finally learn that piece.  And of course. Most importantly…

Family (furry or not!).

Moments.

Memories.

Safety.

Security.

Love.

…….and also perhaps……..a  comfy bed!!!

I’m so excited to build all these memories again in my new home that will add to life’s memories of my last….

Join me next week for the next episode of…. ‘is Dwysan still sleeping on the floor?’ ….

Happy Sunday everyone xx 

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