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

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

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

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!! 

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.

Twists and turns

I can’t remember when it happened exactly. It wasn’t in my 20s because I remember spending every birthday at Alton Towers and saying an emphatic ‘yes’ to every rollercoaster. Even the ride that we had queued up for, when an employee took a hammer to the track just before we got on. We still looped the loop without a thought.

It might have started when I had Tes. All of the sudden there’s not just you to think about and for some reason over the years when I’m faced with a decision to take part in something that has a chance of physical injury my yes has turned into a non wavering no.

Non wavering that is until your nephew’s get involved. During our annual Center Parcs jaunt this week I’m faced with a slide that my younger younger bigger brother declared he ‘thought he was going to die’ as he got off.   Not the most persuasive argument to get me on said slide. As my nephew’s busily make their best chicken impression my head continues  to shake no. Nope. NO.

What’s it like I ask taller younger brother. Fun. He says. Will I get hurt? I say. No he assures me. Some people you trust in the world and he’s one of them. The nephew’s continue to dance around my feet with mischievous pleading eyes. And that’s when I find myself walking up the metal steps and somehow queuing up for …..The Tornado.

It didn’t do my nerves that much good when the waiting foursome ahead in the queue sat in the inflatable raft all smiles to then go out of sight for a few seconds with the excitable laughing still echoing upwards towards me only to be suddenly replaced with piercing screams akin to those victims of Freddy Kruger.  Then silence.

And then it was my turn. The nephew’s looked gleeful as I took my seat. I gripped the handles like my life depended on it. I think my life actually did depend on it! It swirls slowly at first twisting around the turquoise tube. Water splashes gently in our faces as it begins to sway harder and faster. And then it happens. The tube disappears. There is no slide. The raft and four people are now at the mercy of gravity and my stomach has left my body. My hands shake and I’ve lost most of the feeling in my legs. We are hurling vertically to oblivion with all our senses trying to make sense of how we can survive falling into thin air…..seconds feel like minutes when the raft finally makes contact with the slide again and after a few more rapid turns brings us to the bottom. To safety.

So I did it and I was glad I did it. Did I enjoy it? Not sure. What I have enjoyed is learning I need to say yes a bit more to things I might feel uncomfortable about. We’ve all got different things that scare us.. perhaps facing them head on is one way to at least be able to say, we’ve done it. We’ve faced our fears!

Happy Sunday everyone x Dwys x