Saturday, 2 June 2012


2012 in the UK is planned as an epic historical year.

We host the Olympics and our Queens Golden Jubilee- 60 years of one lady doing her job.

In the town in which l have lived for over 20 years, there are a variety of events planned to celebrate these historic events.

Yet in my home l am the only one interested.  I am the only one who wants to be there when the Olympic torch arrives in our town and ignites the symbolic beacon.  ( The photo above was taken in our town after this was written.)  I am the only one who wants to be apart of this history. 

When my grandchild not yet born, gets taught about the Olympics and the Queen and gets told about this years events- in the year that they were born- their parent and aunts will say they weren't interested, they couldn't be bothered.  Which l feel is a bad attitude to have towards the town and country's future.

This year is already shaping up to be a year of boys births, when 2 years ago it was mostly girls named Maisy.

I would like to say l was there when the town in which my new grandchild was born celebrated these historic events.

Same as l was able to say when the late Princess Diana visited. 

These are free celebrations and joyous occasions in a year that will bring personal hardship and sacrifices because of one persons pleasure.

I want to be part of the celebrations as it is me that will face the hardship and me that will make yet more sacrifices.

Yet, l will celebrate alone, l feel, as l have no one else to share these events with.  No one else in my family is interested or can be bothered.

I seem to have bred off spring whose enthusiasm and interest in others is sadly lacking.  Off spring who respect no one other than themselves.  Who do not see outside of their own blinkered boxes.  As they are my off spring, is that my doing?  Or is it apart of their peerage? Is it part of society with whom history has no part, no place, where historical events mean nothing.  Where the only events that matter to them are personal ones, births, deaths and marriages.  Actually scrap the marriages in their lives marriage and solid family units don't exist anymore, for the most part 'the family' is a mum and child or a sperm donor.  This to them is the norm.  This lifestyle does not need history and monarchy and countrywide patriotism.

After all we are English we don't even celebrate our Saints day unlike the Irish.

As a child of a London born Mother, l was taken to see a variety of Royal events and visits.  I celebrated the Queens Silver Jubilee, l was taken to a variety of Royal establishments.  I cried at the demise of some Royals. I watched events on TV all 50 years of my life.

My off spring like alot of the town and country will enjoy the allocated extra days off work but not the reason for this time off. History and historic events are in the past, they are old. My off spring are not old so have no past and no history.

post script.Since  writing this article my pregnant daughter and l attended the Olympic Torch event and thoroughly enjoyed it..


I've had two and a half weeks Easter holiday time off work, which means no contact with the regular people l talk to, no walking, no work, no walking the dog, no routine.

Went back to work Monday - alone- couldn't do alot as maintenance men hadn't finished what they had to do.  Went for a brief chat with some of the girls. 

Have had a sore throat since previous Thursday which has developed into a cold.  Left work before lunchtime as there was nothing else l could do.  Saw my line manager who said he'd see me next Monday. Dept. boss away. Told line manager l'd be back in 2 days so other stuff could be done.

Since returning home cold has increased  and worsened, achy, coughing, lethargic, generally felt like crap, slept for 2 days.  Due back in tomorrow l week on from start of cold/ viral infection.!!

I have no voice, still coughing, not sleeping at night, drugs keep me awake, but make me feel OK-ish!!

Mental state, - questionable. Not feeling 100%, thought of going to work alone - scary.  Next week when every ones back in will be fine.  This week horrible.

Worried what people will think, don't think any ones even noticed I'm not in, have no contact at all, no ones text, or phoned to see if I'm OK or ask where l am. Obviously not missed.

Will go in Friday do what needs doing before Monday.  Need a bath and to change clothes I've been in for 3 days!!!!
Need to raise my confidence, need to push myself as no one else will.   Monday even if l feel rough can hide behind politeness and good manners.  Tuesday will be busy and back in the game of my working routine- 6 day weeks for next 5 weeks. From two and half weeks off- nigh on 3 and half weeks to 5 weeks on work routine, hustle and bustle of normality where there is no time for anxiety.


This was written a while ago.

I sit in bed alone, because a daughter sleeps in the living room of our tiny 2 up 2 down house.  In the other bedroom sleeps another daughter-pregnant.

We enter the world alone and we leave it alone. And some are blessed with life partners, a wife, a husband, a soul mate a friend with whom they share laughter, tears, words and thoughts.

Me, I'm alone, always have been, with the exception of a few years and a handful of friends with whom I've shared moments with.

There are 3 of us in this home, this house, but l am alone.

In youth we/ l obied my Mother, l wore what she said, l went where she said, l ate what she said l should eat.  Then we moved.

We belonged, we had friends, me and my brother, because he was my companion we were told to go everywhere together- stay together, we played up the 'rec'., at the 'Smiths' amazing house.

Then the teen years edged in and then l changed schools, l had 3 'besties' then- as girls tend to do.  One main one, - a  lone child with an older Dad and a tired Mother. But she was my buddy, my 'real friend'!

Then we moved.

Bullied, victimised, living above a shop as we always did, unhappy..

Then we moved.

High above another shop in a huge flat, scarred from previous experiences, my brother and l spent the summer in the park or swimming. We made friends.  I didn't have a girl- friend until we started back at school- then made 3!!

but they were army kids, so used to making and breaking friends and moving about. I was cautious- shy, nervous.

Then- they moved- l left school.

I worked in the shop, isolated, joined employment agencies - alone.  Travelled to a city alone.  Applied for the Navy- alone.  Landed a Junior post in the city, walked a mile to the station, commuted alone. Worked with bitchy women, met people whilst commuting, socialised, met men - married men- alone!   Commuted back and forth, walked home, stayed home with parents high above the shop.  Went to local 'disco' with my brother, met soldiers, got engaged, broke up. Met an old school mate, became inseparable, began a life, socialised together, went clubbing, got drunk, met more soldiers- squaddies.

Met P&A, became a foursome. They got engaged,so l got engaged. What they did, we did.  Lost jobs, New jobs.

Then we moved.

Same job, new house.  Pregnant, choices = abortion, adoption or marriage. No discussion, no chat, no support.  Left home, miscarried, taken back home, 'told' to stay away from fiance. No discussion, no chat, no support.

Then l moved.

Me and A- 1 room- bedsit-pregnant-married.

Then we moved.

Babies, seasonal friends. Divorce. Torrid affair. Betrayed.

Then l moved.

Mountain top, new country, 2 babies-alone.

Cried lots, no support, mates not friends. New man= another baby.

Then we moved.

A Home- another baby- real friends- Life, Love, betrayal, devastation, shock, tears, the nightmare.

Friends, support, discussion, strength, love, changes.

New man- no friends- alone.

Then we moved-moon light flit.

Year of hell, pit of despair, no friends, no family, no life, pain, beatings, abuse. Desperation, survival, fighting, scared, total desperation, evicted. Alone.

Survival, life check, humble pie, apologies, strength, escape.

Then we moved- my children and l .

Back to reality, friends, life, love, mega strength, stronger, loved, new friends- new life.

Then we moved.

Worked, socialised, life, work, children grew, children left, wedding, grand children, home, work.

No socialising, no love, breakdown, Alone.

Alone, Empty nest, work.

Then l moved.

Me, teenager, animals, work, no socialising, no love, work, home, work. Alone

No support, no discussion, no chat, no laughter.  Home alone with 2 adult children.

No partner, no companion, no one to share, no one to hug ALONE on my own.

Friday, 25 May 2012


Pull yourself together, ring me anytime, let it go over your head, that's the end of it now, talk to me.

These are all comments made to people who have 'a depressive episode'. Not just an off day, but real sunken, can't cope feelings. The depth of these feelings varies from person to person, from situation to situation. One persons low is not the same as anothers, but the desperate despair we feel probably is.

The isolated, lonely feeling- even though you are surrounded by people.

The tears from little trickles to monsoons which join forces with gut wrenching, heart breaking pain which leaves you puffy eyed and physically drained.

The IBS symptoms because some one has come to the door or phoned you.

The psychological reasons which make what you are feeling logical but you still feel them.  Feeling hurt, desperate, lonely, panicky etc doesn't stop you being intelligent enough to know you have a problem.  You know that group of people you're grieving over is irrational, but they represent a whole heap of things, its not them you're grieving over, its the memories they arouse, its the realisation that, that chapter in your life is going to end, it has to end to make way for the new exciting chapter that is about to start.  You know that. But you still feel stupid, like no one will under stand, no one will 'get it'.  Its not stupid, it doesn't make you stupid, the grief makes you feel stupid, which brings you down. Its OK to hurt, when something in your life that was/ is important to you, that you have a passion for, ends.

Everyone deals with these events differently, in their own way, there is no wrong or right way.

It all becomes a problem when it gets to much to handle alone. That's when the cry for help needs attention.

Very sadly, sometimes these cries go unheard, until it is to late.

You 'cant pull  yourself together' because you don't have the emotional strength, you don't know how, you don't know what to do.

You can't 'ring at anytime' because you feel you will disturb the helper, they didn't actually mean anytime, you don't want to put the helper out.

'Let it go over your head', stupid comments/ remarks that niggle at you, that play on your mind, when you are alone, that fester. You know they are pathetic, not important. But they're still there, they were still made.

'Thats the end of ot', you've had your tantrums, your tears, your alcohol infused hissy fit, 'get over it'.

Mentally when you're low, depressed, grieving etc you can not do any of these, you can not tell some one how low you feel, how you are hurting inside. You can hide in your home, or go away, or lose yourself to substances. But faced once more with reality you are back at square one.

You can not physically lift the phone to tell your boss you aren't coming in. Texting/ emailing helps, because you are not facing or hearing a real person. Just because you have no outward physical symptoms doesn't mean you are not ill, doesn't mean you are skiving off work.

At what point do you go and get help, do you venture into the outside in your unkempt puffy eyed state to face your GP or who ever helps you and say "l have a mental health  problem" ...HELP ME

Tuesday, 22 May 2012


What is the Freedom of Speech, according to Wikipedia, it is the concept of the inherent human right to voice one's opinion publicly without fear of censorship or punishment. "Speech" is not limited to public speaking and is generally taken to include other forms of expression. The right is preserved in the United Nations Universal Declaration of Human Rights and is granted formal recognition by the laws of most nations. ..............

So thats the official version. This is now MY version. I thought we in the UK have the right to our own opinions, to voice our own opinions, to tell 'it' how 'we' see it, in our own words.

Apparently, this is not the case.  If you sit on a public mode of transport, or in a local pub and bitch about the usual things work, the weather, what ever thats ok.  But if you write your joking opinion on a social networking site like Facebook with same friends you can get into trouble with your employers for making inapproriate comments.

Even though the anonymity of a complainent remains confidential, they have obviously discussed behind your back a situation in which your name has been mentioned and they have deemed offensive your comments. Thats ok, thats allowed.

Your privacy has been breached in order to investigate said allegations of offensive speech/ opinion, you have been topic of conversation, in derogatory terms no doubt, in order for a complaint to be made, but thats ok, thats allowed.

Even though you do not know the identity of the complainent or indeed their opinion of the situation in question, you can and will be reprimanded, because of what you wrote as a throw away, flippant remark- not a malicious, slanderous remark, no a sarcastic jovial remark.  Because you are on a public networking site most choose to be diploimatic when "chatting" they dont name names, they imply indirect comments, so between certain individuals can share things.

Yet again in my opinion, it is deemed that being an honest, open person will get you shit on from a great height, you will be told that your own honest opinions are wrong.

So l say in my own personal way why bother to be an honest, truthful, hardworking individual. Take on the attitude that will see you right, that of lying, cheating, blagging, bull shitting your way through life. Beg, steal, borrow to make an easy buck. Sit on your lazy arse, do nothing, live of others, milk the system, because all this appears to be the way to go these days.  And obviously people do not talk behind peoples backs, people do not discuss others away from them because that would be wrong- BULLSHIT!!

Most of us wont do this because we have a conscience, because we are honest, truthful, hardworking, genuine nice people, we are proud people, if asked something we anwser honestly. But is that wrong? Is that a common opinion?

Sunday, 6 May 2012


                                                 FRED & LILY

They say a picture speaks a thousand words and they're right- whoever 'they' are.

I became 'virtual friends' with fellow author and genealogist Smadar Belkind-Gerson  (author of Stored Treasures) when she 'posted' an article about her late relatives. What caught my eye was the photograph Smadar included with the article- it drew me in - to read it.  I was fascinated and always have been by old photography, particularly those of people from the past.

So when l received an out of the blue email from my cousin - son of my late Dads sister- l quickly opened it to reveal 2 'attachments'- photographs of my Grandad Fred - whom l met and have fond memories. And Fred's bride my Nan Lily- whom l have never met, and never ever seen until now. Lily is my Dads biological Mother who sadly died when he was just 7 - actually he was 6 as l have the burial records confirming that she died 5th July 1934, Dads birthday was 13th July.

The emailed pictures are of Fred & Lily on their wedding day October 1924, very smart and very happy.  Both are very, very nicely dressed so financially they were doing well, and had a good life back then. Fred looks so proud and tall. It is very sad to know that this happiness was short lived.  They went on to have by Dad in 1925 followed by my Aunt 2 years later.

The other photograph is a side shot of Lily again very smartly dressed- l see my Aunt in her and some of my Dads traits.

Smadar- said "New-old pictures are powerful" and boy was she right!  I was overwhelmed and emotional seeing these treasures.  'Meeting' Lily for the first time, there are no records in the family of her, my Aunt was just 5 and Dad nigh on 7 when they lost their Mother, my research and the little information l had found Lily  born in Calver, Derbys in 1896 in a very large family, which I've been able to trace back to 1841.  A side of Dads family and history l know nothing about.  Cousins I've never heard of nor met and l'm guessing there are alot of these still alive today.

I can't stop staring at these photos, studying them, particularly the wedding one.  Lily cradles a bouquet of chrysanthemums, so am guessing that they provided a splash of vibrant colour and perfume to her beautiful 1920's wedding dress.  Her long gloves, head dress and even the shoes are absolutely beautifully detailed.

Likewise Fred holds what looks like leather gloves and a bowler hat, his large hands crossed, posed for the picture - l remember those hands- large and strong like he was. I have those large knuckles. He looks so, so happy.

Its quite ironic that these photos should appear now - this week the week in which my youngest daughter found out that her unborn baby is a BOY and will be named Freddie after this happy proud man. It is a joy and confirmation that Freddie was meant to be. My daughter right from the early stages of pregnancy could not find suitable names other than Freddie- a family name. Lily was a possibility for the middle name of a girl.  Fred will be some one for the new Freddie to aspire to when he's 27 like his Great, Great Grandad is in the picture.

It feels like l have come full circle now, l have photos of both sets of Grand parents, any information beyond them is a bonus - and l do have a mass of information about their Grandparents, and their Grandparents back to 1538 in some cases. Especially on Freds side.  I 'know' who you all are now and that feels good.

Lily will never know how thrilled l am to have 'met' her.  I have loved her name and her choice of wedding flowers are among my favourites and actually she has my Dads familiar smile.  Her short loved life with the only Grandfather l ever met has inspired me to find her family- once again- the side of my Dads family we never knew, but had heard snippets of.

Lily- l feel your pictures will open up new chapters in my life and l hope if you're up there with Fred and Dad looking down on my life you would be proud and happy for me - your Grand-daughter, my 4 adult children and your 3.5  Great Great Grandchildren.  They like me would have loved you.

The emotions and feelings stirred up through my encounter, my epic meeting with the Grand-mother l have yearned to 'meet' for so many years are themselves indescribable.

A picture not only speaks a thousands words it creates the power of a thousand emotions.

Friday, 6 April 2012


Being a Mother, a Mum, is the most rewarding job in the world, its also the hardest, most painful, saddest job.

From conception, feeling sick, fat and an emotional wreck, to over whelming unconditional love at birth of a tiny bundle that you helped create.

Through the incessant crying, sleepless nights, milky puked stained clothes.  Through all of 'the stages', 2 year old tantrums, terrible 3's, playgroup, school, bullying, make-ups, fall outs.  Homework, plays, after school clubs, pre-school clubs.

  The dreaded teen years, where everything you say and do is wrong, where everything they say and do is wrong!!

The over sleeping, over active, lazy, can't be bothered, sulks, tantrums, hormones, tears, swearing, rule breaking, abuse stage that changes at a switch of love and relationships and grown up freedom.

Your hard earned freedom, when they leave the nest, to make their way, to make their own lives. Your tears and heartbreak. Your regret, your guilt at ever making them endure things they did not want to endure- doctors, vaccinations, dentist, holidays with horrid relatives, flying, sailing, reprimands.

You as a Mum, experience all of this and more and can not picture yourself as an old over weight, tired, ragged-ed woman with grown up adults that were once your little bundles of joy.

The same bundles of joy who now as grown adults and parents themselves, treat you with contempt, who blame you for all the bad things in their lives, who make you their life giver, feel worthless, hurt, powerless. You went through abuse in every shape and form, yet protected them,  made decisions to protect them, made sacrifices to benefit them - now thrown back in your face, because it was your fault.

You are their Mother, their Mum and yes it is your fault. Because you gave them LIFE.

Friday, 16 March 2012


Hiya, How you doing?

 I'm in abit of a lull at the moment.  And it got me thinking what motivates you? us? is it the weather? is it life in general?  is it a news subject - that winds you up? What inspires you? us?

I've cut my hours in order to pursue more of life's pleasures, more of my pleasures should l say. Writing, photography, genealogy, needlework, creativity.  Have l done any of them since reducing my working time..NO not really. Because I've lost something- the something that drives me to do something.  My enthusiasm- l lie- l am enthusiastic about finishing my books, about typing them up and there are currently 3 to type up. One to finish writing- which will then need to be transferred on to an up to date computer in order to edit it properly. I have the ideas in my head to produce Easter boxes for my gorgeous grand girlie's- but l haven't done them!!

We - the family- need to move some time soon to a bigger house for the imminent arrival of Spud, so l need to sort out junk and dump it, recycle it, pack it. Haven't done any of it.

I have half finished tapestry which has been on the go for years!!  I have ideas for making Spud clothes- need to re-do one mitten already!!

But just cant do any of it - and l don't know why.  Could be because recently where l live, we've had the lid pulled down over our town,which is nestled in a vale or bowl as l like to refer to it. Making each day the same dull non descript white colour. Yet on the world wide web people have reported glorious sunny days and spring time heat, even the news reports of temperatures in the 19 area- positively summer temps!! 

Maybe that's it- may be I'm secretly jealous of the sunny days brigade. Maybe l need to be in sunny climes to motivate me. After all the start of British Summer Time begins next weekend on my birthday - yes the clocks of the GMT area will Spring forward an hour to create gloriously long sunny days. And early mornings to die for- that make you glad to be alive- ( total contradiction there)!! .

I mean, l know in life there has to be ups and downs,  likes and dislikes, black and whites, wrongs and rights- life's balances, the ying and yang of life. But why for some of us are the dull bits hard to shift?   Why is it that in life there has to be sour faced people who work in the people industry- like our local council offices. They are there to serve us the council tax paying citizen, we pay their wages at the end of the month.  They in turn provide a service but why not always with a smile. If you have to serve others don't you have to be a people person - who smiles and greets you and thanks you for your custom. Not some sour faced old trout whom you wish you could slap.!!

The prime example of a people person would be a celebrity - I'm going to use Peter Andre as my prime specimen- great looking, great eye candy for us girlies and some guys l guess, - what ever floats your boat- and an all round great person- l think. He meets and greets all those who meet him with a welcoming, willing, smile, kiss and autograph.  Nothing appears to be to much trouble. Ok he's paid mega bucks to do some of this, but in his own time he still makes time for people. Why cant all people in the people industry be like that?

Do we have all these differences and opposites in order to create subjects on which to debate, discuss, chat about, moan about?  Do we have lulls in order to make the highs more exciting, to give us some thing to look forward to,  to make us produce our life's goals- our forward planning, our preparation for the next chapter in our lives.

  ~For me, l guess, may be closing the first of my 50 years is a calm down from last years celebrations.  Or is it the reality that actually life has and is about to begin good and proper now that l am approaching 51. So may be l just have to reach next weekend for this lull to lift, it will after all be the end of the school term for the month long Easter holidays, it will be the start of the British Summer Time, it will be the start of my 51st year of life, it will be the approaching start of 2 weeks of holiday time - no work just paid for pleasure time to do with what l want.

That is WHY!!

Sunday, 11 March 2012


Why don't they listen? Did we listen to what our parents told us? Did we take on the advice they gave us? Was the advice asked for or just told to us?

When l was a teenager l started my teen years in a Berkshire village, Dad was the local Butcher, Mum a primary school teacher.

I was 13-14 and developed a crush on a local lad Steve H "Bruno", medium height, dark hair, gorgeous brown eyes.  There was another lad in the village with the same name Steve H- he had a mop of blond hair- l did not fancy him.

Anyway, at some point, Mum got wind that l liked Bruno, but had heard something in the village involving one of the Steve H's.  One of them had been accused of rape.  I don't know who the victim was, nor if it was fact. I just know that in the ensuing row that followed this nightmare disclosure, l was 'told', l would not be 'allowed' a boyfriend until l was 17- by the mouth in our house - my Mother.

I don't remember, but l was probably distraught and devastated that my 'first love' had been stopped before it had even developed beyond its fantasy, dream stage.

Over the Summer, l think, we then moved to Dorset, where once again the hormones of a young fledgling, teenage girl were re-ignited by Vince W.  Another dark haired handsome lad, whose rich parents lived out of the small town  by the river beach area.  I had competition for Vinces'  affections though, in the form of spiteful, bitch Wendy J.  Wendy went onto bully me quite severely during our brief stay in Dorset- even had my only school fight with her.

I digress - my brother - 2 years my junior, became friendly with a girl and was going to 'go out' with her, which my Mother was OK about!  This obviously riled me and l bought up that l found it unfair that l was 'not allowed' to date until l was 17, yet here we were by brother merely 12 if that, was 'allowed' to go out with some one. How was that fair?  Of course, all knowledge of the ban, had miraculously been forgotten about and denied of its very existence.!!

Many years later when engaged l fell pregnant l was given 3 options- marry, adopt or abort.  I chose to marry, as there was no way l'd even consider the other 2 options.

I married and had another baby, before finally throwing in the towel after 4 years of unhappiness.  But l had taken on board that my Mother had said. I had done what l had been told. I was 21.

My Mother controlled our lives with a rod of iron. Her word was law. We didn't dare question her, argue with her.  We wouldn't dream of answering her back, or swearing at her - god forbid!!  We may have had our own opinions, likes and dislikes- we most certainly did not voice them.  I didn't know how to debate or argue with anyone until I'm guessing l was in my 30's. I didn't know l was allowed to.  If l messed up 'l had made my bed l had to lie in it'.  I had to 'put up and shut up'!  I was a married woman, l had to do my wifely duties- and I'm not talking about 'having to have sex'. I'm on about, it was my 'job' to be the sole home maker, have 'your husbands' dinner on the table, put up with a drunk husband.

When we divorced and l became a lone parent for the first time.  I didn't dare tell 'her' about the advances from delivery men or other unsavoury characters. At the time l was naively flattered by the attention from 'other  men'.  things that happen to single, lonely young mums, who live alone with their father-less children.

Now 30 years on, with a daughter young, unmarried and pregnant, l advice my daughter in order to support her and her predicament.  Its happened, - we deal with it as a family.  We - me - help and advice, to the best of my ability. Not because l want a last stab at being a surrogate mother to her baby, not because l want to control  and tell her what to do.  But because l care, and because I've been there.  I've experienced the highs and lows of being a lone parent, the loneliness, the sleep deprivation, the financial restrictions, the sexual assaults - because that's actually what they were-back then.  I know this all now I'm 50.

But back in the day, back then l did listen and acted on what my Mother said, because 'l had to', because that's what we did 'back then'.  I've learnt the hard way and it wasn't always a good way.  Now I'm genuinely giving advice because l do not want my daughter to have the hard time.  I don't want her to learn the hard way, l would like her to ease into it gently.  To ask for help, to accept help if offered. I would like and believe l am an approachable, easy going Mum, who doesn't command and demand. 

I would never ask for help, and it was rarely offered without conditions.  I never asked because l'd be 'told off' for not doing it right in the first place!!.  I was naive, l didn't know about life and no one told me l had rights.

I , however want happier, easier times for my daughter and her first born.  'She' does not have to be with the father if 'she' does not want to, 'she' does not have to do it all on her own. 

I do 'allow' her, her opinion, l do listen, l do put up with verbal abuse - not willingly l have to say. l do, do alot for her - because somethings are easier done myself - which l know has made her lazy and reliant on me. I have as a caring, Mum sacrificed alot for my children- but that's is what you do when you're a loving Mum isn't it?

So knowing I've been there, done that, got all the t-shirts won't 'she' listen?

Sunday, 4 March 2012

3 WEEKS TODAY................

Well 3 weeks from today l will be 51, so l am officially in the over 50's club- whats changed?  Has anything changed? Do l feel different? Do l think differently?

Alot, yes, no and yes to the above.

Alot has  changed I'm about to be a Nannie for the 4th time, in a year that sees the closure of my Westlife days- as one chapter closes and ends another begins.

I've changed my hours to accommodate my creative needs and to end the physical pain l endured working full time, in a job l wasn't totally appreciated in, with people l didn't totally  get on with.  So no more pain, no more bitch pit, more me, mine and pleasurable pursuits.

I don't  feel any different but l do totally think differently.  Is that the universal over 50's  way of thinking l wonder?   I am more relaxed and blaise about things, l don't worry if things go tits up.  I have always been a realist, an honest person, telling it as it is.  I am, l think,  more diplomatic - again think this is an age thing.

I am definitely calmer than l used to be.  I take my time with everything. It really doesn't matter if everything isn't done, there is always tomorrow, and if there isn't tomorrow then you probably aren't here to know about it - so it doesn't matter.

I think my hankering to go to Tuscany, is the way of life l seek and am now going to be living, relaxed, care free. Creatively fulfilled and content.

Does life begin at 50? do you know, l think it actually does.

Recommended reading "Possum Living How to live without a job and (almost no money) by Dolly Freed

Quote "Its easier to learn to do without some of the things that money can buy.  Than it is to earn the money to buy them".

Why spend 60 years of your life preparing for the last 20!!

Thursday, 1 March 2012


Hi everyone, apologies for neglecting you all. Am afraid am back on abit of a rant.  Have a bee in my bonnet re- local authorities rules and logic or rather lack of logic and common sense.  But they do say that common sense is not actually that common. Certainly here in Somerset this is the case.

The situation to which l refer is this, recently a local lad 22 lived with his Grandparents, worked full time and owns a moped. Said grandparents for some unknown reason threw local 22 year old out of their home- the unknown reason was not drink nor drug related.  Local 22 year old took solice with kind hearted, working friends in another near by town. Kind hearted friends had suffered a catalogue of medical problems, but nevertheless took in local 22 year old, told him to make himself at home.  He stayed 2 months, drank all of their alcohol, ate their food, spread his 'stuff'  everywhere. Did not par-take in many personal hygiene rituals. Paid only £40 contributions.

Now local 22 year old has landed well and truly on his feet by moving into a brand spanking new apartment, in a brand spanking new building, situated on a brand spanking new estate. Brand spanking new apartment was provided by local housing association. Local authorities will pay Full Rent and Council Tax and gave local 22 year old a grant to buy brand spanking new equipment  for the brand spanking new apartment. Whats more the local 22 year old is claiming Job seekers Allowance- because he is seeking employment which he gave up only a few months ago!!!! 

When offered help and advice to help him maintain his new lifestyle he turned his nose up, he scoffed at the very idea that others should actually want to help him and share their expertise. The very people, caring hard working, honest people who pay taxes, who in affect are paying for his new FREE lifestyle are themselves being penalised.

The kind hearted friends who have suffered physical pain, and in my mind medical neglect should be compensated for things that were out of their hands.  But they very probably will receive nothing.

The other kind hearted friends have also been sidelined by the authorities. This family is me and mine. And here's where l can not see the logic behind the local council thinking.   I raised my 4 children for 15 years single handedly, yes l was on benefits, but l did work, l did voluntary work, part time work, casual little jobs, then took advantage of the 'system' and went to college to improve my education. I studied and passed qualifications in Psychology and Sociology.  Then l went back to work part time, until all of my children were of an age where l could work full time- this was over 5 years ago.  Finally l was off benefits earning my own money, paying my  own way.  I even downsized my home, when no 3 of 4 moved out.

I downsized because l was rattling  around an empty house, that was costing me money. We - namely youngest of 4- and l were very lucky to get an exchange to a virtually new 2 bed house, which over the course of 2 years saved me £200  on fuel bills alone.  I pay full rent and council tax,  l request very few repairs from local landlord. I maintain the decor and garden. Then just before Christmas no. 3 of 4 came home, having lived away from home for about 3 years, now in severe debt and needing to be supported by her family. Turns out- had we never downsized she'd have returned ages ago.!!! Thus preventing spiral of debts.

We moved things about, packed and stored things in the loft space, juggled a few bits and pieces to willingly accommodate no. 3.  We had no set plan of action and were muddling along nicely, all 3 of us work full time so our newly cramped home has not been a problem. In fact its been quite fun. I even decided as my role of Mother and housekeeper returned to cut back on my working hours in order to have a life of my own. No longer would l have the burden of doing everything on my shoulders.  Then- yes there is more- youngest of 4 announced she was to have a baby!!  Well that's changed things- on top of which she split from the very controlling, father.  Baby was an accident, but is now very much wanted and will be kept and bought up by me Nannie, youngest Mummy and Auntie.  We as a family have pulled together, and turned a negative into a positive. However, out of necessity now, will need to go back to a bigger house in order to keep the family unit united, So that we can all raise Spud in a loving, supportive family.  We have obviously discussed the entire situation and decided that if we all stay together , we will all be able to still work and raise Spud. Thereby maintaining a reasonable lifestyle, that suits all family members. Youngest will not have to claim 100% benefits to live and raise her baby. She will be able to keep her existing job, albeit tweak the hours. She will maintain her independence and identity - so often lost when a woman becomes a Mother.  But, when we notified our landlord of our changing household he advised that the 'authorities' would re-house youngest with baby - on her own, which means they would then have to help her with the rent and council tax etc, they also said that at 'some point' she would 'have' to leave home!!!
Youngest is not ready to leave home, she has never had a baby, anyone having a first time baby struggles. All first time mums need help and support from family, ideally obviously the father would be on tap, but fathers are not always helpful in such situations. These days this is a rare occurrence. We know this.  Hence our thought through plan that 3 related adults would live together, to pay for and raise the baby.
The 'authorities' could even suggest that no 3 of 4  live alone in private rented accommodation as she now has 2 jobs, thus reaccumulating the diminishing debts.  The 'authorities' may even suggest that l be re-housed on my own as a woman over a certain age- l would then need financial help as l now work part time- so then it would be suggested that l return to the full time hard physical work that l would rather not do, as l would actually like to have a life that doesn't consist of just work.  And l would like to be able to physically enjoy some life free from pain caused from working full time!!

Local authorities however, maintain that we as a family unit in a 2 bed, 2 up 2 down house are adequately housed - therefore are in no real need of re-housing as a whole family unit with a baby. WHY  can we 3 working, adults not live together in a  local authority house and  pay full rent etc thereby saving the local authority money.  WHY - do my 'children' have to leave home at some point?  WHAT law says we can not stay together as a family to raise the baby together and pay for it ourselves?  WHY is our solid fool proof plan not acceptable? If we owned our own property no one would bat an eye lid. We could have our entire family live together under one roof like the Mediterraneans do , like the Indians do and no one would question that. We are not asking to scrounge, we are not asking for benefits, we would like to live together without benefits, we would like to pay our way. But that does not appear to be acceptable by the local authorities who are happy to give brand new FREE stuff to local 22 year old who does nothing!!!! WHERE IS THE LOGIC???   Rant over.

Thursday, 23 February 2012


Hi everyone, hope you are all ok. Was given this, l didnt write it and have no idea who did, which is a shame as would love to have acknowledged this lovely  man. But think its lovely so thought l would share it.


When an old man died in the geriatiric ward of a nursing home in North Platte, Nebraska, it was believed that he had nothing left of value.

Later, the nurses found this poem. Its quality and content so impressed the staff that copies were made and shared to every nurse in the hospital.

And this little old man, with nothing left to give to the world is now the author of this now "anonymous" poem winging across the WWW.


What are you thinking....when you're looking at me?
A crabby old man, ....not very wise,
Uncertain of habit...with faraway eyes?

Who dribbles his food .... and makes no reply.
When you say in a loud voice..."l so wish you'd try!"
Who seems not to notice ....the things that you do.
And forever is losing...a sock or shoe.?

Who, resisting or not... lets you do as you will
With bathing and feeding... the long day to fill?
Is that what you're thinking?   Is that what you see?
Then open your eyes, NURSE're not looking at me.

I'll tell you who l l sit here so still
As l do at your l eat at your will
I'm still a small child of 10...with a father and mother
Brothers and sisters... who love one another.

A young boy of 16 ...with wings on his feet
Dreaming that soon now ...a lover he'll meet
A groom soon at 20 heart gives a leap
Remembering the vows...that l promised to keep.

AT 25 now...l have young of my own
Who need me to guide ....and secure a happy home
A man of young now grown fast
Bound to each other...with ties that should last.

At 40, my young sons...have grown and are gone
But my womans beside see l dont mourn
At 50, once more babies play...round my knee
Again, we know loved one and me.

Dark days are upon wife is now dead
I look at the future...and shudder with dread.
For my young are all rearing...young of their own
And l think of the years...and the love that l've known.

I'm now an old man...and nature is cruel
Tis jest to make old age...look like a fool.
The body, it crumbles...grace and vigor depart
Ther is now a stone...where l once had a heart.

But inside this old carcass...a young guy still dwells
And now and battered heart swells
I remember the joys...I remember the pain
And l'm loving and over again.

I think of the years, all too few...gone too fast
And accept the stark fact... that nothing can last
So open your eyes, and see
Not a crabby old man...Look closer...see ME!!


Remember this poem when you next meet an older person who you might brush aside without looking at the young soul inside...we will all, one day, be there too!

The best and most beautiful things of this world can't be seen or touched. They are felt by the heart.

Tuesday, 21 February 2012


Isn't it strange how things pan out?

Its 1.10am on a morning where l should be sound asleep as l have work in 6 hours time.  I am wide awake with my head full of "stuff"!

Nearly 2 years ago my youngest turned 18 and as the clock struck midnight on the start of a new year, the sense of relief l had was a little over whelming.

Don't get me wrong, l adore and love my 4 children unconditionally, as any Mother does.  But l had through circumstance been a lone parent for much of my babies upbringing.  There had been highs, lows, tears, tantrums, laughter, love and chaos. In a house full of children.  Five differently connected people with five different ways of thinking, 5 different personalities, 5 sets of friends and lifetime goals.  Yet as head of this family l had now come to the near end of my job as a full time 24 hour 365 day Mother. 

My youngest turned 18 and there was just me to think about, be responsible for, there was time for me to think about me! 

There was no more chaos, there was actually a void, an empty nest as it were.  I began to think about my future life, now that l had this sense of relief and freedom.  I thought of how l would re-gain my confidence and "do stuff" that l wanted to do.

Then l felt alone and redundant, suddenly the end of the journey had arrived when l could off load the pressure and the burden of being a lone parent. Of being the only adult in our family house.  I downsized the house, continued to work with no ties or home time commitments.

  Yet 2 years on that is all about to change, big style!   We - yes the royal 'we'  will move back to a bigger house, l will continue to work as one must, but part time this time round, in order to maintain the frugal lifestyle in which l have  chosen to live.  I will however not be the lone adult, but will be joined once more by not one but 2 of my 'babies', grown up ones at that.  And 'we' will raise a new generation together as a united family unit - like the Mediterraneans do - one big happy family once more. 

I am older, wiser, content, frugal, with my whole year completely mapped out, thus starting a whole new chapter of my life.  I am, l can see, not destined to live my life completely alone, yet to be once more or is it continually a Mother and Grand mother.

Sunday, 19 February 2012


Was hoping to have posted this on valentines day but have been a busy girl, doing daughterly duties. A little piece of 'homework' from my creative writing course days, hope you enjoy it.


After checking my reflection once more.  I take a deep breath- a last look around the floral room and open the door.

My life is never going to be the same again.  Happy thoughts are tinged with sadness.

As l reach the top of the stairs my hands begin to sweat.  I can feel my heart pounding. A swarm of butterflies race around the pit of my stomach.  I feel like l am going to faint.  I descend the stairs nervously and enter the living room.  I am met with gasps.

My Mum comes over, tears trickling down her made up cheeks and hugs me.  My Dad also choked holds my hand "You look beautiful".  Al the fuss makes me beam and blush!  My aunt interrupts "the cars are here".  Everyone except Dad and l leave.

The butterflies are partying again, l feel cold and start to shake - nervous energy l guess.  My emotions are confused.  I am happy.  This is what  want to do.  But part of me- the child within wants to stay here.  Within the familiar four walls I've known and loved all my life.  The scents of my family, today mixed with perfume, after-shave and a faint aroma of sherry.  I gaze at the pictures and trinkets that compliment the cupboards and walls.  Remembering the Christmas and Birthdays from where they came.  I smile to myself.  Glance at the orderly positioned sofa and chairs - my mind takes photos while the brass clock reliable as ever ticks melodically from its place on the mantle piece.

I jump and gasp as Dad gently touches my elbow "its time love-we have to go".  Unable to speak our eyes lock.  I smile and nod.  Words are not needed at a moment like this.

I take a deep breath gently exhale and leave the house.  The sun like a huge spotlight illuminates the path to my chariot- a gleaming white limousine decorated with silver and blue ribbons that flutter in the warm breeze.

As Dad takes his seat next to me l take one last look at my child hood home- no longer a little a girl now a grown woman on her wedding day.

Sunday, 12 February 2012

Classics.....Uhm may be not!!!

 I promised you all some of my older stories, from way back when- l very obviously had an extremely vivid imagination, influenced by events, news and the interests l had at the time. These couple of articles are ancient,  from a folder titled "1974-1978 Books 1 & 2", l won't bore you with anymore from this era as they all seemed full of doom and gloom, my love of The Osmonds!! The Bay City Rollers!! and Rosetta Stone- who!! and the legendary James Hunt race car champion- showing my age now. Arghh -really!!.

The ones I've chosen are on par with my latest blogs about age and friends- how differently l think now.  And what can only be described as a Zombie story, very odd.  Enjoy, squirm and comment if you want to. And apologies to any one who thinks what the hell is she on, things have gotten better, l think.

FRIENDS- Feb.26th 1974

Friends are people whom you can trust, people to cheer you up, people to tell your secrets to, people who can tell your worries to, people who help you to get out of trouble, people to have fun with, people to repay when they've helped you.  I moved from a friend and l am still friends with her because l write to her.


GRANNIES- MODERN GRANNIES-       22nd Sept. 1975

The make up and wigs,
And platform shoes,
The fashionable dresses and skirts,
Modern grans never admit their ages,
They don't like to be called old,
Teenagers laugh,
If grannies dress up,
To try and be young is their aim,
They never succeed,
'Cos wrinkled faces,
Always give them away,
They use dyes to hide the grey,
But still they get caught.



Hobbling down roads,
And moaning about people,
Especially children who scream,
And shout and make a horrible racket,
Wrinkled faces,
And grey scraggly hair,
Walking sticks and shawls,
Not like modern day grans at all.


THE MISSING CHILD-  27th Nov. 1976

Saturday 4th November, it was sunny but cold and icy.  I was to be sent to my brothers for a week, while mum and dad went to a business holiday in Scotland.

I'm 14 and have never travelled for along distance on my own, what l mean is I've never been to Manchester, stopping and changing trains without mum.

I waved to mum and dad from the train window.  Then l closed the window and turned to make myself comfy, at least until l reached Solihull station, but that was miles away yet.  I sat staring out of the window for about half an hour, then l read a magazine, I'd brought, but l couldn't concentrate, so l looked and checked the list of instructions I'd been given by mum.

I reached Solihull and changed trains, feeling really grown up and confident, that l was travelling on my own for the first time, mu next change would be at Greenwick and that's where the trouble would start.

I changed trains and sat on my own, in a tiny 'cabin' for an hour, then l was accompanied by some old pensioners who l thought were just nice kind people going to town shopping- but no, l was wrong.  For as we passed Levers station we crossed lines and went passed Murley station, which as l'd thought wasn't listed on my instructions.  At first l was worried, then l thought perhaps the routes changed since we last came.  It was only when we passed three more stations  and the old people were glaring at me that l got scared.  I asked the lady opposite if l was on the right route to Manchester North, but she just sat glaring.  In the end l got up to go to the cafeteria to check and the old people started mumbling and growling, they, they startled me at first, then l just ignored them and walked passed towards the door.

As l walked passed the other 'cabins' l noticed no-one was in them, l got to the cafe- no-one, the train was empty except for the old people and myself.  I walked quickly back to the cabin; then l sat panicking.  I asked each of the old people if this was the right route- but nothing, just mumbles, growls and hard glares.  After another quarter of an hour, l grabbed the old lady opposite me by the shoulders and shook her violently shouting at her but nothing. I let her go and screamed "Why don't you speak?" they started mumbling again, and as l turned to sit down l felt two people grab me and drag me backwards, dragging me down the corridor, then one of them gave out a shrill scream and the old people ran at me screaming, glaring, pushing and tearing at me.  I screamed then cried, l was petrified.

Then the two old people who'd been dragging me flung the carriage door  open turned me towards it, then screamed  "Faster, faster" the rest of them joined in quietly at first then they screamed and l felt their hands let go, l fell on to the track, and felt the track vibrating as l pushed to get up.  I turned and saw a train coming, straight for me, and before l knew it l was laying , pressing myself against the track and the hard rails, but it was the wrong way.  It was to late to move - the pain of the metal wheels grinding through my head, across my body.

Next day in the paper, on television and on radio came the shock report of a train accident.



Saturday, 11 February 2012

50+-I'm Not Old!!!

50+ I'M NOT OLD!!

As an old friend- and by old l mean some one l have known as a friend for a long time - turns 50.  I am reminded that l myself turned this half century milestone just last year.  But l'm not old, l an not even mentally 50.

But physically thats another story, going from crouching on my knees to do something to standing, l have to push myself up to stooping, holding onto heavy objects preferably for leverance!!

I do not have the strength to unscrew jars, use a screwdriver to any benefit. I no longer have the energy to walk fast, nor the stamina to walk for hours on end or other such strenuous activities.  I do not have the patience nor understanding to deal with young children/ teenagers like l did when l raised my own four.

My memory lapses over minor things like thingy bobs name and  did you say tea or coffee, and was that 1 or 2 sugars.  Yet my genealogist brain remembrs my 100 times great grand parents with precision.

But l'm not old.

In fact l was most insulted when l read an email newsletter just the other day (  with 50 tips for the 50+ age group, how to save money, how to get financial help etc as "you are a 50+ person" and then it dawned on me that l - yes me was approaching my 51st birthday- oh buggar so l am a 50+ person.

Its official l am one of the "older generation"- heading towards being an "elderly" citizen and "OAP".!!

That can not be, l am a Westlife fan, l go to their concerts and scream and shout and wave my arms about. I'm not old.

I'm not dignified, conservative and proper.

Uhm- but l am 50+ maybe l'm just in denial, maybe its just the trunk of my body thats 50+, my brains not.  I mean l know "things" are going south but there are older things going north, like my discoloured, swollen ankles, my blue veins like maps travelling up my heavy thighs, up to the over hang that is the southerly part of my 50+ body to the merging breasts, once pert and voluptuous now an extension of the over hung buddha belly of the 50+ body!

The 50+ body even changes colour- from white, natural blonde hair to an old dull grey non descript colour which has to be diguised on a regular basis.  Then- yes theres more- large brown freckles appear over night on your hands known as -age spots!! 

When you're a teenager you have common and garden pussie red zits! - when you're 50+ you get 'age spots' and 'skin tags', that unlike said red inflamed spots, form brown permanent attachments to your hands, face and body.

And of course theres your eyes they get old and need 'help'- glasses and your ears, you dont quite hear those sarcy remarks from teenagers anymore- not that you ever did this of course- you need 'help' with 'hearing aids' which you can use selectively!!

You laugh at the programmes "Grumpy Old Women/ Men"  because actually you can so relate to everything they talk about- its not even taking the mickey - its fact and you 50+ you agree with it all, because thats how you now see life.

But l'm not old- perish the thought..........However  if l can get discount and help to live an easier life because l am 50+ then bring it on. Would be rude to refuse, wouldn't it?

Wednesday, 8 February 2012


This is the second instalment in the series of stories l wrote in my earlier days of writing. This piece l rather like, was written to enter into a local paper competition, using about 200 words!!!  Some of you may recognise where it is based. Hope you enjoy it.


A lonely figure watches from the icy shadows, as the town clock strikes midnight.  Church bells ring joyously, wishing all who can hear a Happy New Year.

As revellers sway, laugh and sing their way from the bustling taverns back to their warm homes, Isobel retreats to the safety of the High Street.

A smile briefly crosses her lips, as she encounters a loving couple, oblivious to her presence.  And a single tear trickles down her ashen face, as the memories of days past stir once again.

Isobel had known love, once, when she had lived down the alley that was Hunts Court, where the old lady stood selling apples and nuts as a welcome entrance to a narrow dingy part of town. When the only traffic was horse drawn carts and a King ruled the land.

Now, as one year ends and another begins Isobels ghost wanders sadly down the same alley, past the hidden parade of shops in an endless search for a lost love that is never found.

Tuesday, 7 February 2012


As l have decided to enter the world of blogging, l thought l would share with you all, some older pieces of writing. So over the next few days or so you'll be able read some of my earlier compositions. And when l say earlier some seriously older pieces.


Following my annual quest to see my gods who are Westlife- l was struck by the devastation we cause our landscape and surrounding habitat.

Travelling back from Cardiff to Taunton by train during 'the worst storms of the winter', observation passes the time, evidence of thousands of people in new, old, antiquated and historical  houses yet no sign of life as there are no people seen.

The track sides are formed by mile upon mile of over grown brambles, flooded fields, self formed ponds.  An unseen plague of rats must reside in rat luxury amongst debris which is human life- discarded furniture, mounds of wood, rubbish, scrap metal, neglected unused rails- gone are the rolling hills and lush fields of the 'Railway Children' era.  Replaced and buried history.  I have an unachievable urge to clear it all away and cheer the entire length of this journey up.  The odd artistic graffiti wall adds amusement but it is just a disguise for dull surroundings - created by greed and laziness, if its not needed, dump it, disgard it, un-love it.

Only the rats and unseen wildlife profit from our waste.

Fields of sheep, fields of gloom, where mothers produce cuddly cute lambs who will not live to see old age but are destined to end up on our dinner plates- sad, but a necessity, a fact of our lives.

Just an observation.

Sunday, 5 February 2012


I choose to life frugally by choice.  It wasn't always that way or was it. I'm a mother of 4 who has always had to be careful with money, and with 4 children in tow had to be organised. Then gradually as my off spring have grown up, l found life to be easier and easier, because financially l had the freedom following college as a 'mature' student to work for our living. We didn't lose out on luxuries not did l squander money on frivolous things for the children.  My children had special treats for birthdays, Easter and Christmas, with occasional rewards in between.

As they all entered education to the point where they were secure enough for me to work longer hours, thus earning more money we started having more days out. Living at the time next to the local railway station, gave us the door step facility to explore the area around us. So armed with a timetable l would ask the children where they wanted to go, anywhere on the timetable that didn't mean changing trains ie Penzance to London in a straight line. We usually ended up at the seaside, where the rules were - we would have chippy lunch, stay on the beach all day, then an ice cream before heading back home. No other money was spent. Even the rail ticket at the time was discounted as l benefited from the Lone Parent  travel scheme.

My children grew up and started fleeing the nest, yet the household income increased even more, through working more. Until my third child announced suddenly, unexpectedly that she was going to leave the security of home to house share.  Our income dropped a fair bit which was a shock- as l had become quite complacent that all this money was here to be used. I had of course been a stickler for paying bills, rent, heating, electric etc, they had and still are as organised as ever. However, we being just 2 of us now, with animals, were in a position where we could buy new, or very good second hand items, and we enjoyed life.  Before no.3 had left home we even went on our first ever  abroad holiday, 2 weeks in Crete and not just once either - but twice. We loved it.  Then we'd come home with post holiday blues, was life over here so dull, was our lifestyle so different to our Cretan way- yes it was!

The reality is we do not have the weather that Crete has, we do not have the fresh produce that Crete has, we do not have the mentality and relaxed way about us that the Cretans have.  Yet their way of life is extremely frugal and they are extremely happy, as we were when we were there. Was this the start of my frugal way of thinking, were those holidays the seeds in my brain- because we are talking about 6 years ago . Yet it was the events of just 2 years ago that stopped me in my tracks.

My youngest turned 18 and overnight my/ our finances crashed as she officially became an adult so was therefore no longer my responsibility- (these the words of officials!!!)  Oh - Ok ! What to do?, what to think? How to carry on living the complacent way we had . Wasn't going to happen anymore- or was it?

After the initial shock and blind panic of the situation, l became rather flippant about it. Then as l have always done, went to bed on a Sunday and woke up saying this is a new start, a new week so therefore l have to think with refreshed new thoughts. I quickly reverted to my earlier days, when l'd first become a lone parent- the same blind panic had set in then - oh my god l cant raise 4 children on my own.But l did it, it wasn't easy, but l like to think I've successfully raised 4 well balanced, happy children. And  here l was again,  back in a situation thinking -oh my god how are we going to live now.  But calmly  and surely l restored my earlier ways of thinking. Do everything regularly and methodically, be organised - be frugal out of necessity.  And it worked.

The final icing on the cake came just last Summer, my youngest and l went on a very, long coach trip up to the far flung edges of Scotland. We stayed with a very wise couple who are my Dads oldest friend and my God mother. They live an extremely happy frugal life in a self built bungalow overlooking the most amazing scenery, they experience on a regular basis extreme weather conditions, their food shop is a 4 hour round trip, they are now elderly yet they still do it. Those few days we had up there, we did not spend a single penny, as my wise old Aunt said "there are no shops dear, there is nothing to spend money on"!!  And we came away totally relaxed, refreshed, with a brain full of wise, brilliant tips on living a frugal life. We did not come home with post holiday blues, like we had from Crete. We did not experience the heat extremes of Crete, we did catch the sun, we had no rain at all - (which is rare up where we were), we came home with enthusiasm and excitement and a renewed sense of well being. We were going to live frugally and be extremely happy. We/ l have embraced this lifestyle so much so that l am about to cut my hours of working for little satisfaction to a life style of living my life my way. I  will write, create, photograph, research enjoy life the frugal way from now on in.

I do not need to be extravagant, l do not need loads of money, l do not need the stress of having lots of any thing taken away. If you don't have it you cant miss it - well actually it means you didn't need it in the first place.  I was meant to go out into town last night on a rare night of extravagance, but due to extreme weather conditions in some parts of the country my companion had to go home, so the night out didn't happen. I did, I'll be honest feel abit cheesed off as l was looking forward to it.  But in the cold light of this morning- actually sunny fresh light- l am more cross about having raised money l would've squandered on a night out where drunken rugby fans would've been rowdy and possibly violent. Now that money can go back in the bank and back to where it should've gone in the first place thereby eliminating the stress of not paying something minor.

What l am trying to say is if being extravagant, and wanton for things we don't 'need', makes you stressed - why do it ? why want it? Why put yourself in a position where you make yourself unhappy.? Being frugal you live life with what you have, you  make your own happiness and the result you become fulfilled and content and its FREE.

Friday, 3 February 2012


As another week draws to an end, and l await the arrival of a friends visit, l am sat pondering- what makes a friend?  what makes that one time stranger now a trusted confidante?  There is that saying "a strange is just a friend you havent met yet". But when does the transition happen? is it immediate or does it take years, time, patience, life time events to develop.

I know hundreds, thousands of people. As a mother of 4 l have over the space of 30 years of parenting met many, many other parents through my 4 children. Some briefly, some angrily -sometimes, some mutually at sports days, school plays, etc.  But were they or are they friends. Some to this day have become trusted friends, as we have shared not just our childrens friendships, but tears, laughter, school time experiences. We have grown together just as our children grew up together, we have joined together as our children celebrated birthdays, weddings, fun times, sad and tragic times together.

We know people with whom we share interests, hobbies, work, play, local amenties, local shops, local routes to work. But are they friends? When do aquaintences, neighbours, work collegues become trusted friends?

I personally, have a handful of really trusted, confidante friends with whom l tell, and share 'everything', who are there for me when ever, who don't judge me, who care for me, who share with me. We have over the months and years cried, laughed, lost and loved. We don't always see each other, we live miles apart from one another, we dont always talk, write or chat to one another, but we are "friends" not acquaintences. We can be relied upon by each other to help, talk, support, console, celebrate, care and love each other.

And we know all this just by looking, saying, writing, chatting, reading each other- we are 'on the same wave length'. The slightest sign and we know what the other is thinking, saying, feeling. How? l don't know. We just know because we are trusted, caring FRIENDS.

Thursday, 2 February 2012


Walking to work looking over the distant snow covered hills of Wellington, l was reminded of a visit there a few years ago. I called into a local charity shop not really looking for anything in particular, l came across an antique photo of 2 young children -am guessing victorian- sombre looking, like photos were back then. The photo housed in a gilt edged frame only 4x 4 was selling for a £1. I wondered at the time who they were, but not at the time- enough to buy this cute little piece of history.  To this day l have regretted not buying it, but remember it still.

The tiny photo of history  was bought  back to my  thoughts only a few weeks ago when l came across a genealogy tweet containing a link to a blog titled "A photo worth a thousand words"  by Smadar BelkindGerson in which there was a photo of an elderly couple, turns out they are Smadars' Great Great Grandparents. Smadar in her blogspot the-past-to-the-present, goes onto to tell the fascinating story behind the photo which she now holds in high esteem.

I so regret not having bought that photo l would love to have researched the history of it and the children, who they were, where they came from, what happened to them, instead l will settle for finding out my own families history, with my passion for genealogy. I do have in my family history file a photo of my Great Grandads Brother Thomas James Simmonds - or Thomas J as l like to fondly call him.
Here he is pictured with his wife and children, a hard working, kind looking man. Unlike the mystery photo of the children, l know the history of this family because it is my family. And like Smadar says about her picture, a photo really is worth a 1000 words.

Tuesday, 31 January 2012


Wow, here we go then folks, how you all doing?  New to all this but heyho give it a go eh?  I love to write, and if you like what you read you may be interested in knowing that l am currently in the process of writing childrens tales.  These tales are diaries from me to my grand daughters, turning our pet cats, dog and rats into characters. We have adventures, dramas, good times, bad times, happy and sad times. 

As l write, the first batch of tales are with E&S literary agents, with an artist who is illustrating my "stuff", cant actually believe l am about to have my writing turned into a "real" book- very exciting.

I am in essence a very creative person, l love photography and my work can be seen on Flickr, l have entered the Somerset Wildlife Photography comp.  l specialise in sun-sets which are usually taken from Through the window of the house on the hill - (title of my tales), as the sun sets over the Blackdown hills and Wellington monument- although in my photos this tends to look like Wellington stick!!

I create plaques, from recycled bits of wood etc retrieved from scrap bins at work!! I am a keen Genealogist spending hours researching elusive family members in the vastness of our now Family Forrest- the more elusive the more l like it.  I am l think a re-born detective.  I like rising to the challenges of finding lost members of my family, to cleaning up after un-ruly public school boys, to creating something from nothing. The sense of achievment is so rewarding- l love it.

I am about living life my way, l am a nice person, l dont harm any one or anything. I am not always understood, - are any of us!! And not everyone "gets" my thought processes. But its the little things that make me happy, its seeing things to take pictures of that others don't see, its writing down things that you can't tell others about, its life through my senses.

You'll either like it  or you won't - but thats ok -each to their own as they say.  ( who are "they"anyway?)  Its "stuff" l would like to share.