Inspiration, Laughter, real life, Uncategorized, Whatever

Dear Thumb

Dear thumb

I’m sorry I have treated you so very badly. I wouldn’t have done that for the world! You have been a very loyal thumb for many years, you have travelled with the rest of your digit chums through thick and thin, through warm and cold. And now look what I’ve done to you!

I caught you in a door, and not a glamorous door of a Maserati either. No, a humble toilet door. In fact a very very heavy, humble toilet door. The wind caught it….and slammed it on you, you poor little thing. Not so little now though. You’re turning the most glorious purple and black colour. Regal and chunky on the corner of my hand.

It’s not so easy to put socks on when you’re not helping. To do ones bra up, is impossible. And I thought I was right handed, but now I’ve realised I’m right handed, but with the support of you, my left thumb.

Get better soon, please.

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Inspiration, Laughter, Motivation, real life, social media, Uncategorized

Ideas of un-like minded people.

Is there such a word un-like? I mean those who have different backgrounds and upbringing, different cultures perhaps or education.

It works though, this collaboration of ideas. And turns into a fairground of games and thoughts, fun things leaning towards the educational and political.

http://www.tate.org.uk/whats-on/tate-modern/workshop/tate-exchange/fairground
Teaching others that politics is not just stuffy men and women making decisions for us. But how we work together to have a shared value and understanding.

A privilege to work for two days at the Tate modern. With a Welsh art group so far removed from the Political Theorists it’s  unbelievable. But 800+ visitors on day 2 couldn’t all be wrong! 

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Families, Family, Food, Inspiration, Laughter, real life, Uncategorized, women

Love is shown in many ways

Don’t raise your eyes to the sky in frustration

To the one who’s love is unconditional & everlasting!

For love is shown in many ways –

A warm hand on an arm for support,

A kiss of acknowledgment when you come from a journey.

The offer of food or drink as sustenance and love,

Or the sharing of good fortune and hard work

To make your burden a little lighter.

 

For until I give my last breath

And ever onwards

I will share my love with you

Whatever form it takes.

So learn to say ‘thanks’

And take the love to nurture it how you want.

 

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A lucky London dog, sleeping and living on a balcony. She looks well looked after, of sorts.

 

If she were mine, I’d want her to be with me in case someone decided she would much rather live with them and not with me. And her lovely home gets a regular update. Blanket. Water bowls. Updated home. So lucky!

Thank you Andrew Gadd for the regular doggy updated pictures.

 

 

 

Laughter, Motivation, social media, Uncategorized, Whatever

A lucky pooch

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Families, Inspiration, Laughter, Motivation, real life, social media, Uncategorized, Whatever, women

People watching

My favourite pastime, people watching. Although I’m sure the people I’m watching, are watching me, watching them!

I could be anywhere, sitting on public transport, watching the non- communication of travellers, head phones on, phone in hand. I’m wondering that they are listening to. Listening to the newest songs on Spotify. Perhaps they are listening to the same as I am? Now that would be a coincidence! Or reading – a furtive message from a loved one, someone they didn’t want to leave in bed this morning, that little knowing smile turning up the corner of their mouth, forgetting they are on a crowded train, still imagining the duvet snuggled around their shoulders. Or the usual message about being on the bus/train, and a countdown of minutes till they get to their destination, looking up at the station sign, following the same journey day-in day-out. 16 ½ min to their station. Positioned themselves in the 3rd carriage along, in the optimum place to alight by the station exit doors, 25 pounding steps down to the entrance, one swipe of the train ticket and out into the fresh air! Or an angry message to someone who has annoyed them. You’d read that in their faces, angry eyes, scrunched up at the corner, tapping furiously on the imaginary keys on the screen. Using both thumbs to get the message across quicker. Angry, angry, angrier.

Now the coffee shop is a place for serial people watchers, you can look out of the window at the people scuttling past on their daily journey never making eye contact. That would be too much to bare, if they did, they would have to stop and buy that creamy hot liquid gold latte. No time, too much to do, can’t carry a coffee, 3 shopping bags, 1 phone and concentrate on the list in their heads. You can see them looking around, getting their bearing, wondering what shop next to go into? The concentration etched on their faces, oh why did they leave it to the last minute to get the elusive gift for the friend who is so very demanding. Or those with more time, and less shopping. Contemplating the warm drink to sustain them as they flit from shop to shop, feeling the fabric of the shirts and coats, scarves and smelling the leather of the handbags. Or is that just me? Am I the fantasy of every people watcher, as I pick up warm cotton checked shirts eyeing up the colours. Feeling the material falling through my fingers, wondering if the hues of blue and green match the newly purchased bracelet of glass and silver beads. The look of curiosity on my face imagining if the cut is too tight and figure hugging, the thought of popping buttons makes me wince and quickly hang it back on the rail. I love looking at the fittings in a shop, rough wood, and cold metal bars, or glass and sleek white wood. All a great contrast against the fluffy clothes and shiny leather. Do others look at my face as I see my reflection in the mirror, and catch the thought going through my eyes ‘ I wonder if I need to put more lipstick on, I’m looking a tad pale’ or the look of shock when I’m realising my hair is messed up after trying the wide brimmed hat on? Or is that the look I see in the faces of other shoppers on the high street?

I never make eye contact when people watching, or ‘being people watched’ if that is a new job description. The eyes are the road to the soul, why would I want someone following me down into my place of sanctity!

My favourite place to do this – the hairdressers, when they sit you on one of those lovely comfortable ‘watching’ chairs looking out of the window. You can be anonymous. A faceless person on a chair, no one will ever know who you are with a towel half covering your head. You see the couples walking past arm in arm, purposeful and determined. Groups of young people milling and laughing and joking with one another, full of hope and enthusiasm, often with the glint of young sex in their eyes. Men in suits, white shirt cuffs and sparkly cufflinks peeping out from beneath double buttoned jacket sleeves. An impossible to recycle, take away coffee cup grasped in their sweaty little hands. Imagining they look cool and trendy, when in fact they actually do! Little men with little dogs on long leads, stepping briskly around to avoid street furniture and rubbish bins.

Hungry boys, hands holding paper napkins and blue and white bags – you know the kind- filled with warm pasties, or sausage rolls, eating with enthusiasm and greed. Girls equally as greedy, munching sandwiches of salad and chicken, on brown rye bread with green leafy salad peeping out between thick crusts. Always followed by those hungry pigeons, hippedy hopping after the food…never the people, we just happen to be carrying their lunch!

The blues rinsed, cardigan wearing older ladies and gentleman, holding their green carrier bags like shields and warriors going into battle. The battle of the youths crowding the pavements, the dog leads, and the discarded coffee cups. Who will win? Maybe them, but more likely to be the young families in mismatched colours, young who have dressed themselves in favourite wellies and summer coats, beany hats with bobbles, stripes and dragon tails swinging down their backs. They will win the pavement war. Buggies like tanks, pushing their way through the hordes of shoppers.

And cars parked on yellow lines, tucked away at the end of parking bays. Drivers furtively waiting to be pounced on by traffic wardens, enviously watching parking meters ready to swallow up shiny coins and click and clack so that they can park without fear nearer to the shops. Not everyone is successful in shopping and parking!

You see why people watching is a skill to be practiced whenever possible? You will never know how much fun it gives. Time and again.

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Family, Inspiration, Laughter, real life, Uncategorized

What is the meaning of family?

I wonder if I asked you what you thought the meaning of ‘family’ was, what you would say. I’m asking because I’m away on a short break currently with my family. My elderly parents in law, my youngest son and his girlfriend, my eldest son and his girlfriend and their baby daughter. I hasten to add that we are not all away together at the same time, some have been and now gone, some are saying for a little longer, and some are just staying one night. Never the less I’m still calling it a family holiday, because it is.

And what a lovely family it is. I think we all bring something to the relationship. The eldest members of the family bring unending love, family history and stories. They also bring cake, and chocolate! The young brothers each bring something. The youngest a sense of fun and energy. When you are with him you feel swept along on the sense of urgency and laughter he brings to the family, his girlfriend often has to calm him down, and sort of bring him back to reality! None the less she is full of fun and together they remind us not to get too old, and stuck in our ways.

My eldest son has recently become a dad, and he has grown up considerably over the past year or so. That doesn’t mean to say he has given up all his youthful characteristics. Not by a long way. We often share a silly video of cats doing stupid things, falling off tables, ending up in boxes and hiding in the most stupid place. He has a wicked sense of humour, and still appreciates all the quirky things that I love him for. His girlfriend is a very sensible young lady, a very hard worker, has great vision for their future, is strong willed, and passionate about her families wellbeing.

Now that’s funny, because her passion for her young family is mirrored in my passion for my family, for those who I am blood related to, and equally to those who have been brought in by other members of the family, my parents in law and my sons girlfriends. I love them all in different ways.

Being in the middle of the family, I think that hubby and I hold it all together. We are a stable part of the family, and through our mutual respect, love and friendship for one another show everyone how much we value each other, and what we feel about them. Don’t get me wrong it hasn’t all been plain sailing, but together as a family unit – we have weathered the storms.

In all this, I haven’t said about the two most important members of the family. I’ve mentioned my hubby, but haven’t said very much. Of course I could say something about his long standing suffering about being my wife, or his endless supply of humour – not always when it’s needed. The sacrifices he has made during our time together, or the joy and laughter he has brought us. But of course these are the characteristic that are running through the family, from father to son, and from son to son. And what I love in one, I see in others, and love them for that too.

And another piece of the family jigsaw – my granddaughter. And although she is not a year old, she too has the characteristics of the rest of the family. Someone who knows her own mind just like her mum, that great sense of humour like her dad and her gramps and of course her unending energy like her uncle. If she has a little bit of each one of us – she will go on to do great things.

I think you may have gathered that I feel family is vital, as a network of support and loving. As a place of safety and security in an ever complex world. We laugh at the concept of the bank of mum and dad, but we wouldn’t have survived the early years as young parents without the support of my husband’s mum and dad, and hope to be in the same position to help our younger family members if they need it. And I have no doubt they will. Their support was invaluable when I wanted to go back to work as a young mum. Actually I didn’t have a choice, I had to go back – we couldn’t afford for me to stay at home! They looked after our sons, took them back and fore to school while I worked. And for that I’m very grateful. I know their lives were enriched by the experience. I hope I can repay my sons in the same way.

Family life isn’t always such a rosy picture. I know from the own experiences of my direct family. But we need to learn from past experiences, past mistakes, and try and avoid them in the future.

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Laughter, Uncategorized, Writing

Knock knock, who’s there?

They turned up at the group, the usual suspects. They stood outside the meeting place, hands in pockets, shuffling around, looking shiftily at one another, nodding as a new person joined the troupe.

‘Cold tonight’ one said – the breath blowing out of their mouth like smoke from a steam train.

Of course it was cold, it was December, and it was Surbiton!

The boss turned up, keys in hand, fingerless gloves, and scarf covering half their face. They weren’t sure who it was letting them in, they were confident it was the boss. They nodded in acknowledgment.

‘Cold tonight’ the boss said – obviously, it was December and it was Surbiton.

The room was cold, but they had made a determined effort to meet for the last time. Well, the last time before Christmas that was. The blinds were closed, it afforded them some privacy. The door shut behind the last member.  Click.

They sat on the hard chairs made of ice, ice coloured metal, frosty blue, slate grey, snow white. She wasn’t there- but had left her chair behind on her last visit! They shuffled about, making themselves comfortable, they would be shuffling for a long time!

Knock. Knock. Knock.

They looked around the table at one another, shrugged, and carried on.

Knock. Knock. Knock.

Must be the heating – they said.

What heating – it was freezing, it was December and it was Surbiton!

Knock. Knock. Knock.

They decided to investigate – pushing their chairs back, they moved en-mass towards the cellar door, seemingly where the noise was coming from.

Left right, left right they moved down the stairs as one, into the dark cold room.

Of course it was cold, it was December and it was Surbiton!

‘I’ve got a torch’ one of them said, and dragged the huge bunch of jailers’ keys from her bag. A tiny little key fob torch lit the far wall.

Knock. Knock. Knock!  Insistent.

Panning the white back wall, the pin point of light shining at…nothing….except a huge safe. Green like a sullen giant in the corner. Its big bulk casting shadows over the cold slate floor.

Of course it was cold, there was no heat, they were in the cellar, it was December and it was Surbiton!

The safe door was open, slowly creaking back and fore on its hinges, a crumpled piece of paper lay in front of the swinging door, on the floor. The boss walked over and picked it up, smoothing it out with the fingerless finger gloved hands! It read simply –

Don’t forget Monday 5th December.

They looked at one another.

That was today. They realised the knocking at stopped. They looked at one another again, a look of confusion and fear on their faces. What was going to happen today? Where was the knocking coming from! They turned and moved quickly to the stairs, at the same time as they heard a crash from the room upstairs.

The cellar suddenly became colder, if that was possible. After all it was December and they were in Surbiton!

As quickly as their quaking legs would move, they left right, left righted up the stairs, and into the bright light of the main room. They looked at one other, and looked around. The lady with the light pointed to the table. ‘Look’ her voice quavering. There – in the middle was a tin. A gaudy Christmas tin. They looked at one another again, a look of horror on their faces.

Questions they wanted to ask. What was the strange knocking? Where had the mysterious tin appeared from? What was in it?

Why it was so cold all of a sudden, was it just because it was December and it was Surbiton? Would they ever know!

Walking down the street, wrapped in a long coat of red velvet was a whitehaired man, his wispy beard waving in the cold wind. It was December and it was Surbiton. He scratched his head in confusion, as he made his way to the local hostelry looking for some comfort and a warm drink of something.

‘Funny’ he said, I’m sure they would have been there tonight. I wonder where they have gone.

Gone for a walk probably, although its cold, its December and we are in Surbiton!

Oh well, someone will eat the mince pies I’m sure.

 

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