7th May x 

It should’ve been my daughter Tes’s 19th birthday today.  My blog really took off when I lost her just over 4 years ago yet as I had an incessant need to write.  Over time my writing has moved away from the rawness of my grief and shock,  as anyone who follows it will see it mostly unintentionally focuses on a moment from my week, an observation, usually something hopefully encouraging.  


It is has been the oddest experience to feel unimaginable pain on a daily basis, to carry what feels like an immovable heavy stone in my heart and a permanent ache in the centre of my stomach but to also be overwhelmed with the desire to make the most of life.  

It’s just a little blog from me today.  I could write a thousand words about the awfulness of grief, birthdays are the hardest I feel – it’s a reminder of what isn’t here.  In Tes’s memory though I accept the utter hardship of it but I refuse for her memory to be about her end.  She had a great and fantastic life. One filled with love, books and passion. A life that made me proud and one that I remain grateful for.  It is hard to accept that was her life but that is…. life.  Unpredictable.  Not straight forward. Not as you expect it.  Which is why the urge within me to keep living and not just surviving is so strong.  

Tes had a poster on her bedroom wall – ‘make everyday beautiful’.  The meaning of that will be different to so many of us – be it getting under the duvet with a film, walking on the beach, reading your book, running through the woods, being silent, being loud, being alone, being with friends – whatever it is that might make our day beautiful, it’s worth trying to make it that day.

Have a beautiful Sunday xx 

Dancing in diversity

I’ve figured out the answer to world peace!!

On Friday night I was invited out to an all women’s ‘disco’. It’s actually called the ‘shit lesbian disco’… which comes apparently from the fact a lot of the those types of events historically have ….. well… been a bit shit!

This one certainly wasn’t.

800 women filled this alternative music bar and it was magical. From the second the friendly organiser ticked our name off her list and we were offered a free shot from a woman with the happiest smile that was impossible not to respond to enthusiastically.

Making my way to the cloak room the line of women did not sit silently. We chatted easily and the woman who took my jacket sat on the floor cross legged as she labelled it for my collection later.

The staff running the bar were oozing energy. There was no frustrations at queuing just an opportunity to dance gently whilst waiting to be served.

And so to the music. Three women. Two laptops.  One music deck  (no idea if that’s the correct description!). Two of the women alternately chose a track and every time just got it so right as the crowd responded whooping as they danced. Later the tracks stopped and made way to the most amazing wordsmith who’s narrative was mesmerising and it was impossible not to listen to every letter within every word. The band then took their place debuting their new EP filling the room with rap, drums and guitars that compelled the crowd to stay and move their bodies in appreciation. The music then returned and everyone just continued. To dance.

This room was brimming with culture, diversity and more importantly love and acceptance. From the sari wearing DJ to the traditional dress of the wordsmith, to the women in heels and those in trainers. Women with make up and those without. Women in dresses and women in jeans. Black women. Muslim women. White women. Chinese women. Women with red hair and those with pink. Women holding hands and women just there for the music.

And that’s world peace in one room.

Music. Love. Acceptance. Dance.

Simple.

Happy Sunday everyone 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

Phones and fauna 

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 

Simply sunshine!

I’m not complaining about our many frosty mornings or our many many drizzly days. In fact I love the rain and the storms and the fierce winds. No wonder we talk about the weather so much… it can alter the way we feel in an instant. However for me…sunshine unleashes a whole new swarm of emotions. Everything just seems so different.  So positive.

Because of the sunshine in the last week I’ve been able to visit my favourite beach and walk miles along the gentle curve of the wave disappearing at my feet. We’ve had picnics of avocado salad sandwiches while watching the dogs chase sticks.  There’s been walks to parks where swans sunbathed and geese preened and paddle. Toddlers run around in their new shorts and squishy knees.  Everyone seems to be eating ice cream. I play football and throw myself on the field in an attempt to humour my young opponent. Families roll down grassy slopes and the parks have come alive with laughter, picnic blankets and chat. Clouds have disappeared leaving a blanket of blue and the sunshine warms our bodies that until now have been hidden under wooly hats and winter coats.

Maybe that’s why we appreciate the sunshine so much because it’s certainly not something we always have!

It’s amazing how the weather can change your mood if you take the time to appreciate the power of the outdoors and the natural elements that can turn a bad day into a fantastic one.

It’s another gorgeous one today.. hope you’re all able to make the most of it!

Lots of love
Dwys x x 

Assumptions 

I should have known better!

I saw her walking towards me.  We don’t know each other that well but we say hello and sometimes exchange a few words about the weather.  That morning the wind made my cheeks burn a little but the sun also made a strong appearance meaning I could leave my hat at home for a change.

As she approached she made no eye contact. Like I wasn’t there. We passed each other and she barely saw me. She was gone again.  Weird, I thought.  Rude, I thought. Then of course I wondered what I could have possibly done to her. Because it had to be that.  Despite hardly knowing her.  I must’ve done something. 

It was two days later when I found out her mum is really poorly. 

We’re always learning things aren’t we and that was a reminder to me that sometimes I need to remember to simply ask, are you OK? Not walk on and chat to myself about how this is obviously my fault. Not helpful to anyone!

We make assumptions all the time. Sometimes we need to dig a little deeper and the next time a colleague is in a mood or that child next door is being ‘naughty’ or a friend is being distant.  We need to be brave and think what’s going on for them and if the chance comes up, ask. Are you OK?

Hope you’re all OK this morning and if you’re not that’s OK too xx

Dwys x

Mothers! 

To all the mums. To you who feels a failure for not making pureed food for your new baby while everyone else seems like super mum. To you who really hates making things out of plasticine but does it anyway. To you who has no mum anymore and misses her desperately.  To you who has a mum somewhere but also doesn’t have her in your life. To you the mum who juggles it all. To you the mum who feels guilty no matter how much effort you put in. To you the mum who is stressed.  To you the mum who can’t wait for bed time.  To you the mum who shouts sometimes.  To you the mum who’s protecting their child in the best way they can. To you the mum who has lost. To you the mum that it never happened for. To you the mums that will be. To you the mums that could’ve been,  that bravely decided it isn’t for you. To mums of dogs and cats.  To mums taking on the job of other mums that couldn’t be. And to you mums who seem to do it so effortlessly!

Mum’s.  We’re all different.  We’re not a perfect poster image in a magazine.  We get 17 minutes to ourselves apparently each day. 17 minutes! The rest of the time we’re devoting to kids, partners, animals, work, cooking, driving, ironing, cleaning, studying, making last minute costumes for school etc etc! .

So I think we all well deserve this one day to celebrate!

To mums everywhere! Have a lovely day xxxx