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!!
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
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
So, I was walking with the dogs and something caught my eye. As usual instead of stopping and looking at said thing – I think it was a gorgeous red flower peeking out of the verge all by itself – I get my phone out, to take a picture! It’s 7am and I’m a bit bleary eyed, I’m keeping one eye on my two pooches who have developed an interest in small furry lambs (just to play with) – so in the process of getting said phone out it takes a somersault out of my hands and lands on the tarmac with a thump. The phone lived no more.
How did we live without phones?! 25 years ago I travelled to Australia for 12 months with no mobile phone and I still have a suitcase full of letters from those travels. I know it’s all nostalgic but I do miss a good letter. My poor family received a hurried phone call once a month if they were lucky. No texts. No Facebook. No WhatsApp. Just lots of stories upon our return.
Anyway back to the phone – so I have no phone for all of 48hrs because of course I can’t live without my phone so I immediately upgrade and order a new one!!!
In those 48hrs though – I HAVE NO PHONE!!! I’m having my haircut and I think – oo I’ll just google hairstyles, I have no phone. I wonder how much something weighs in lbs, I have no phone. I want to google creamy avocado pasta receipes – I have no phone!!! I want to get hold of my son in the evening while I’m out – I have no phone!!!! I want to speak to my other half driving to work as I normally do – I have no phone!!! I find myself also becoming a bit anxious – what if I break down or need something while I’m out walking! It was highly annoying and frankly it bothered me how dependent we are on our phones but mostly I just wanted my phone back!
On the second day as I was out walking I stood looking over at the most beautiful view in our village, my favourite spot – just hills and water and trees and houses and the odd car with sheep and horses wandering around, pheasants take an early morning ramble while they safely can and rabbits also enjoy a roam. I couldn’t get my phone out so I just stood there and looked. While I looked I heard these most amazing sounds – birds – but it was like I hadn’t heard before. It wasn’t just a tweet while I was doing something else, it was a song, a rhythm, a calling – it was so peaceful and really beautiful. I actually remember buying a ‘tape’ once years ago with these kind of sounds on it to help me relax! Seems a bit bonkers that we buy those kinds of sounds when errr… it’s actually all outside!!! So this is me and my blog just appreciating the outside a little more than I do already, I’m always going to stop and take a picture and so we should too but sometimes it’s amazing to sit there properly to listen and take in the amazing place we live in. Wales! I love you!
Happy Sunday everyone x Dwys x
I read an article this week that made me question myself. Can we be too positive? I like to think I’m a glass full kind of person and I’m not sure where I’d be right now if I didn’t believe in positivity, in people, in love, in good overriding bad. If I didn’t have faith that it will be ok in the end. The last few years would’ve been dramatically and I fear miserably difficult had I not clinged to a positive outcome.
But I understand what the writer meant. Sometimes you can’t simply ‘chin up’ or ‘pull yourself together’. Doesn’t matter how many mindfulness colouring books you’ve got on the go, some days are crap. It’s ok to say it. It’s ok to feel it. It’s probably healthier to share it. And that’s where we struggle. It a bit like when you bump into someone you know at the doctors. How are you, they ask. Fine, you reply. Lying.
I know many reasons why people don’t share the bad stuff. Some feel they should be grateful. Others don’t want to be viewed as being negative. Many don’t want to appear weak and vulnerable. Sometimes, speaking personally, I just don’t want to put my pain on someone else.
There’s nothing wrong with being positive in my view but honesty is just as important. Next time someone says hi, how are you? Maybe find a more honest answer than fine. You might be feeling fabulous or fragile. If you’re the one doing the asking and that person with something going on in their eyes replies they’re ok maybe ask again. Are you really ok?
I love reading an article that questions my existing thinking pattern. It’s a very positive experience!
On Friday I got up at 6am and yet still somehow only scraped myself with seconds to spare for my 8.45am meeting. A few things happened – I lost my Bourjois blusher, a real disaster. I saw the line up for Festival No. 6 on Instagram and noticed KATE TEMPEST is going to be there which distracted me. I then couldn’t find the nail clippers. Plus there was my hair. This week I had decided to go au natural. I imagine it’ll dry into light glossy bouncy curls. Despite spending an imaginary lottery win of money on non frizzy miraculous promising products, I still wake up as if I have been through a spin dryer.
Then there are my two favourite four legged friends Lolly and Lula. Neither like the car and today they were coming to work. Lolly decided to make herself the weight of a boulder and refused to get off the bed as I made my exit and Lula ran 3/4 mile up the road. I ended up shouting at them and they then gave me those puppy dog eyes then I nearly cried because I felt mean…. and it was only 7.15am!!!!!
So, my point is we’re all in a rush most of the time for various reasons. As I drive through the next village at 20mph I notice in the mirror a large vehicle almost on top of my poor Fiat 500. I can’t see the number plate. The driver is clearly frustrated with me for sticking to the speed limit. There are various reasons why I stick to the speed limit – firstly when you live basically an hour from a major supermarket and H&M you really don’t want to be losing your licence, secondly there are always kids around this particular road, thirdly it’s busy because of a large factory near by, fourthly my cousin was knocked over in this village many years ago and that sticks with me.
So the man in the big four wheel drive continues to try to edge me along, to go faster. As we leave the 20mph area and it increases to a whopping 30mph he overtakes me. Of course at the next set of traffic lights I catch him up.
I’m no angel in the car and have been known and probably will still get cross at times and forget my speed occasionally. After I lost Tes though I became a much calmer driver, I guess big events make you see the smaller things in life like getting to the next set of lights a few seconds before isn’t that important.
I keep trying to learn from what I see and as I saw this agitated angry man desperate for me to go faster it reinforced my want to rush less and experience more.
Happy *unrushed* Sunday!!
Valentines. A day of two conflictions for me. It’s just a materialistic nonsense, expensive flowers go up in prices kind of day. But also. It’s a day to remember about love. To show it. To feel it. To be it. Because lots of us forget over time to demonstrate our love to those closest to us. Or sometimes we forget there’s so much to love and that we’re loved. For that reason I’m tentatively ok with Valentines!
In this current climate of what feels like clouds of hate adorning the grey skies, where we seem to live in fear of our future. Love is what surely saves us.
Love can come from so many things. A dog, a car, a child, a partner. Family, friends. Even a job or the outside, a mountain or lake. A favourite book or place to take in the view. A destination or a walk. A favourite dish to cook or being part of a like minded circle. Drawing or just sitting still.
So Valentines. I may detest your commercialism but I love your underlying message. There is much to love. We just have to remember that now and again.
Lots of love to you!