Village life

I’ve written about this quite a bit lately. Community. Being local. Being part of something. I think it’s the answer to so much of the sadness and problems currently facing our world. Simplistic, I know.

I’m also aware how lucky I am to live in this beautiful green village where the church stands proudly bearing over us.
A quick preamble to the following narrative about an hour in my life this week, I feel it’s right to say I am not continually  living an idyllic life of pink roses, aprons and home made bread. My week is full of hurdles like everyone else. For the luxury of living where I do I get up at six am to walk my pooch because I travel 2 hrs to work and back. I’m tired most days and you’ll see me often scraping some film from a plastic tub because I haven’t had time to cook something ‘proper’.
But… The following is my morning routine most days and I think it perfectly captures this rural life that I fell in love with very slowly over the last 40ish years.

The socket by my bed isn’t working and I haven’t had time to get the electrician out.  Therefore when the alarm clock goes off I spy it through one tired heavy eye while quickly understanding that as it’s plugged in ‘over there’ I’m actually going to have to get up to press snooze.

Three snoozes later I’m up. I take a look at the weather and though I see it ever day I look at the hills and trees taking up most of my bleary look and inside I think wow. It’s beautiful.
I brush my teeth in my small colourful bathroom and find some light blue walking socks. Pooch starts to get very excited recognising this familiar routine. I put on my boots and pink weatherproof jacket while deciding which route to take. I end up taking the wrong one. We wander up the empty lanes apart from the sounds of the birds and cross over a field using the public footpath. Unfortunately a large black cow also has decided to share this path with me. We make eye contact and I don’t fancy my chances so I take a slight detour to the nearby fence. I throw pooch over and the attempt the barbed wire fence myself. Barbed wire 1. My old jeans O.
We carry on over a small bridge and I stop to look at the river which is rather noisy as it’s just started to rain. Hood up we carry on past the farmhouse where the brown and white spaniel stares as usual prowling, tail up with a protective snarl and the woman in the house smiles from the open door while reassuring said pooch. A man closes a gate and waves as he goes off to work. I see him often but I don’t know him.

A farmer on his quad bike races past and shouts hello as we make the final bend towards home. It’s only 7 but the shop is open and I hear customers chatting inside and the local farmer is delivering bottles of milk. Yes, bottles! A man I know parks his car after picking up his morning paper. I tell him his right brake light isn’t working. He doubts me so gets in while I stand and look. Yes I say. He thanks me.
I’m wondering about breakfast and whether I fancy the usual muesli with added cranberries, cashews and raisins when I pass the tiny egg shed. It’s a recent addition to the village. A duck blue cupboard full of fresh eggs, quail eggs and teacups with pretty fuchsia plants. There’s  no shopkeeper. Just an honesty box. Despite having no money I take a box of eggs and pay the £1.30 later as I drive to work.
When I get home I feed the hungry pooch and also the noisy birds who have also quickly got used to my morning routine. They shout until I’ve filled their feeder with colourful food  Breakfast is delicious as two very yellow yolks adorn my plate. I sit in my tiny conservatory and…..well I’m writing this! As I eat and drink perfumed earl grey tea, I watch the birds dance around their new seeds and in the background I hear sheep, the faint rumble of a tractor and the breeze sweeping through the trees.

And that’s all.
Rural life. What’s not to love?
Happy Sunday everyone X X X


You’re simply inspirational

This week I found out that I’d inspired someone without knowing it. It made me smile inside and out and made me think about how we perhaps all inspire people in different ways by just being us.

On this occasion I was particularly taken aback because the said person was my counsellor.  I’ve dipped in and out of counselling since I lost Tes and I’m probably coming to the end of this last stint because I’m feeling well again.  I actually enjoy going now.  The tiny yellow room with mint green sofas and trees waving outside the large window with the well used tissue box on the table has become my comforting friend.

There was a time when I barely got through the door without sobbing.  There were times when I just didn’t know what to say.  There are times when I just talk and talk and it’s time up.  There are times when i’d make excuses and not go. 

More recently though I have learnt to enjoy the experience and look forward to sharing my feelings with a person removed from my every day life.  I can say anything! ! She won’t cry. She won’t judge. She won’t say that you need to be thankful for this and that or how lucky I’ve been in one way. She doesn’t tell me what to think or pretend it hasn’t happened. That’s why I go because she’s trained to deal with these events. Not like the rest of us just desperately trying to say the right thing  (which  by the way I’m ever grateful for you even trying).

I digress again! !

During my session this week. My counsellor says she’d like to share something with me. What?? I say eagerly. 

I’m on week 4 she says with a shy grin.

I gently clap my hands with excitement.

During our talks I’ve often referred to the fact I’ve taken up running amd a few weeks back she asked how I got into it, I told her about the couch to 5k programme.  And there you go. This woman who is helping me has in turn been inspired to do something for herself.  And I didn’t even know I’d done it.

So I’d like to also thank you who have inspired me, you might not know it but you have. You inspired me to blog.  You inspired me to go for that job.  You inspired me to look after myself better.  You inspired me to run.  You inspired me to be more patient.  You inspired me to bake.  You inspired me to take photographs. You inspired me to slow down (occasionally!). You inspired me to listen. You inspired me to make difficult decisions. You inspired me to be brave.  You inspired me to keep going.

And more. 

Thank you.

I’d like to remind you how you inspire others by just being you. Its worth remembering how we influence others by what we do, how we behave and who we are.

Talking of running.  Time to get up and face the rain and wind. I’m off for a run.

Happy Sunday xx


Pre or post?

We went camping this weekend again. I tried to imagine if you’d have enjoyed it or not.  Like me, you didn’t exactly embrace leaky tents, carrying loo roll in your pocket, the frizzy hair look or the grass in your sleeping bag experiences.  However like me you loved the annual toasting of marshmallows,  the little ones amazing energy for life, the glorious Welsh sandy beaches and the brilliant kind loving fun friends we have.

As we walked the narrow grainy road to the exquisite beach on the Peninsula I had to ask myself if when we came here last time,  was this pre or post Tes? Life has become divided into pre and post Tes. We went to this beach last year and of course it was post Tes.

Maybe it just feels like you’re around always and that blurs the lines. 

Maybe I don’t want to believe it’s approaching 16 months, the time seems false, a lie.  It can’t be that long. The pain is so raw and I’m still trying to believe it.

I walked alone for a few minutes just to think about you. I stood facing the intense blue sea and watched the boats dance gently.  For a second I felt someone, you, to the left of me, a light shadow.  I dared not look as I thought you’d go away if I did and for a second I felt you were there. Just standing with me.

As a sceptic I still don’t know if I wish things so much that I make them real. As I put my shoe on later, a bright penny sits inside despite me wearing them a few minutes before and when I get home a shiny white feather waits proudly on the dining room table.

I like to think you are watching over us.  So if you did, thanks a million for the weather! !! The rain lashed as we slept and the sun shone during the day!

Someone’s watching over us. It might be you, it might be family and friends and it might be me.

Whatever it is I’m thankful.

Miss you my baby girl, mum xx


To me. Stop it.

I’ve turned into one of them. It has got worse yesterday and today. But it’s there quite a lot lately. I used to stifle a laugh about people that did it. Now I’m doing it. The weather. In particular, snow. I’m obsessed.

Posting Facebook pictures of my car with snow on it. A bench with snow on it. My dogs, in snow. A phone box, with snow around it. That last one was ‘arty’.

I’m discussing the drifts with neighbours. Talking to the shop keeper with interest about how this weather means he hadn’t had the papers delivered for the first time since he opened up. And how he had to keep the door shut. For the first time ever.

I visited the older family members, checked they’re ok. They wondered why I kept calling over and one ended up offering me whiskey. And a mint imperial.

I complained about the electric going off to anyone who’d listen and I obsessed about the freezer defrosting, I checked how much milk and bread I had on an hourly basis and began incessantly boiling water and buying fairly liquid to wash up. Despite having a dish washer. I took a blanket out with me on my car journey. It said to do this on the news. I suggested we took a flask too.

Everyone rolled their eyes.

In work, I manage. At home, I panic. The electric could be off for a week, I said. What will we eat, i said. How will Asda get here, i said. There a shop ten feet away, they said.

I look in the shed to see if I own a shovel. I do. I’m ecstatic.

The tv, Internet and phone have been replaced with candles, Cluedo, cheese, biscuits and Cabernet. All very nice – but what will we do tomorrow? It’ll continue to snow, they say and it’ll be cold they say. Then it’ll be icy. I’m panicked….as the forecast only got to Wednesday.

How on earth can I plan what I’m going to wear on Thursday??