MOVING FORWARD – THE PASSAGE OF TIME AND BIRTHDAY CAKE

Image result for Steampunk Clock

Why an image of a clock to begin this post with? This is because it is actually a good depiction of my feelings and where I’ve been at for some time. Life has felt rather surreal during this last year. The clock face also shows the passage of time I have been through over the last few months.

At last, I’m beginning to feel like I’m getting back to normal after my Mum became ill, had a stroke, and I finally lost her only five months ago (almost to the day). There was the funeral to get through (and all that encompassed) and now, we are dealing with probate, Mum’s will and the sale of our family home after spending my first twenty years of life there.

However, as far as my psychiatric health in concerned, I’m feeling brighter which is good (and about time too). I am now on different and new medication which, in the last week has begun to help improve my state of mind, and I’m sleeping so much better which makes a great difference to how I feel during the day. The severe anxiety attacks have also lessened which is a huge relief.

The many cogs in this clock also represent changes in a more positive way … slowly … as time has ticked by and the wheels have been turning, my relationship with my son has improved, and we have become closer which means I have more contact with my two beautiful grandchildren, Josh and Lily who are a delight to me. I have definitely become closer to my sisters, particularly the one who lives the furthest away from me. We may be separated by many miles but are hearts are inextricably linked and always will be.

The recent passage of time, like each cog, has been whirring, clicking and ticking by slowly but steadily. A lot else has changed in that time too. My eldest granddaughter has now turned eleven and will be going up to senior school in September, and my youngest granddaughter will be starting primary school at the age of four-and-a-half (she seems too young). Where has the time gone? Am I really old enough to have a granddaughter in senior school? Goodness! I must be older than I think! I’m definitely older in years than I feel and I am fortunate enough to be told by several people that I don’t look my age. However, I am reluctantly coming up to ‘a biggy’; a big ‘0’ birthday in three month’s time (which I’m trying to ignore) … ugh! How am I going to get all my candles on one cake?!

Image result for Birthday Cake with Many Candles

In addition, I would like to say thank you to my dearest friends here at WordPress who have stuck by me through thick and thin over the last year or so – it can’t have been easy at times. Their blogs have kept my head above water some of that time by distracting me with their diversity, interest, humour and compassion. So, shout out to Bun at https://bunkaryudo.wordpress.com/ and Mick at https://mickcanning.co/ and Carol anne of https://therapybits.com/. Also, thank you to any of you who may have called in or dropped by my blog and hung around with support and kind words too. Love to you all, Ellie xxx

LOSING SIGNIFICANT OTHERS

abstract art holding hands attachment

More loss! How much more? It seems like an endless stream of significant other people in my life have departed or are leaving me. I am devastated and heartbroken. I don’t cope well with what feels like abandonment, especially as someone who has BPD or EID (Emotional Intensity Disorder) where this and rejection constantly loom like some ogre behind my shoulder, threatening to suffocate me.

I very recently lost my Mum (as some of you will know). This bereavement came five years after losing my Father. You could say that I should have expected these losses at some time, given that both my parents were in their eighties. However, this is always a major blow even after taking that into consideration.

Now, other important people in my life are leaving, and it’s beginning to get too much to bear. One of my two main Carers left last week, taking early retirement. Now, Helen, my P.A. and Support Worker is moving on after fifteen years with me. She is taking a different career path, and I will be acutely aware of her absence in my life.

Then, finally (at least for the time being) a very close friend announced yesterday that she was moving to the coast, eighty miles away to be nearer her daughter (we have known each other for nearly thirty years). We’ve had many happy times visiting places of interest, chatting over cups of coffee, pouring our hearts out to one another, and in general, putting the world to rights. We can phone or write, but with neither of us having transport or good health, it is unlikely that we will see each other again.

It’s all beginning to get a bit much, I’m lonely and am fighting hard not to fall into a pit of despair and depression. The friends that I do have seem to be mostly cyber-friends, either on Facebook, Twitter or WordPress. At least, in social media, I could put out some ‘friend requests’, but in real life, it’s not quite as easy as that. I guess if I reach the bottom, the only way to go is up, so I’ll try to hang on to that for the time being. Please, bear with me a little longer.

HAPPY DAYS

seaside beach

Today was such a contrast to the days of the last two weeks … and thank goodness for that! I thought it was going to be a Tuesday just like any other Tuesday, but this week, my friend, Harri (short for Harriet), and I decided to take off to the beach or as us, British say, ‘the seaside.’ The weather was glorious and a perfect day for a drive down to the coast. We set off first thing in the morning and arrived at our destination by lunchtime.

As is the tradition amongst my family and friends, the first one to spot the water in the distance, declares excitedly, “I can see the s-e-a; I can see the s-e-a.” On this occasion, it happened to be me, and I was thrilled, you could easily have taken me for a five-year-old child!

We parked along the front, which isn’t easy during the school summer holidays but I am at an advantage in that I hold a Disabled Parking Badge. This enables Harri to get my manual wheelchair out of the boot of the car, and then me from the car into the chair which is an art in itself.

We’re not able to go down to the actual sand with my wheelchair as it clogs up the motor, so we decided to go to our favourite cafe which is positioned directly above the water when the tide is almost in. Surprisingly at that time of day, it wasn’t too crowded. So, we sat by the glass windows which were open with a warm breeze drifting in.

We ordered a coffee each, alongside scrambled eggs on delicious, doorstep toast finished off with a sprinkling of freshly ground black pepper. We watched a group of very absorbed photographers snapping away at a tall, slim and young male model walking along water’s edge, nonchalantly tossing pebbles into the waves.

A little more time went by and we decided to have another coffee and a small piece of cake each. I had a homemade Bakewell tart and Harri had a chocolate brownie. Delicious! We sat and chatted about this and that and life in general and at times got engrossed deeply in some quite fascinating and absorbing conversation.

Eventually, after we had almost talked ourselves out, we thought about leaving, but then at the last minute, decided it was getting late, and somehow we were peckish again (must have been the sea air). We then finished our feast off by sharing a bucket of freshly-cooked fries which were very enjoyable (and when I say bucket, I don’t mean as in the size of a child’s bucket and spade, but one of about six or seven centimetres high.)

Finally, just to finish off a lovely day, we walked along the front, which was breezy but pleasantly warm, to a small, summer hut which sold seaside rock and  cinnamon doughnuts (which we couldn’t possibly indulge in after the treats we’d had at the cafe.) However, just to remember our very much enjoyed, carefree day, we splashed out on a typical, British seaside children’s windmill each; Harri bought a classic stick of rock for her friend’s son, and I invested in summer straw hat. It had a somewhat squashed but nevertheless, beautiful peach coloured flower on the brim.

Happy days!  🙂

DOWN BY THE RIVERBANK

swan with cygnets

I often go for a stroll (or wheel, in my case) along by the river that, if you follow it far enough, will bring you out to Tescos and the High Street. I love that walk. I get to see the wild rabbits and often the baby ones, the grey squirrels (we have lost nearly all of the red squirrels in my neck of the woods), the wild birds like the collared dove, the common thrush and even occasionally a blue-tit or rarer still, a wren.

The riverbank itself is somewhat inaccessible due to the thick growth of nettles, some of which can give you a nasty sting if they happen to brush against your skin. Nearer the water are the tall reeds where, if we are lucky, we may see a graceful white swan patiently sitting on her clutch of eggs with her mate nearby, protecting their brood. Soon, the cygnets will hatch out and then we can see the whole swan family, mum first being followed by all the babies and the dad bringing up the rear and making sure that none of his precious family are lost. They are beautiful to watch.

I especially enjoy that walk, early on a Sunday when I’m on my way to church as there are fewer people and more wildlife – not that I am adverse to human beings, on the whole, that is apart from the ones who cause harm or damage to others, but that’s another story completely.

I often pass the dog-walkers with their pets running around on the grass amongst the old trees that are also there by the river. They’re nearly always kind  (that is both the owners and their dogs). I smile and say good morning as I pass or often stop for a quick chat and to pat the dogs on the back who often seem quite intrigued that I have wheels to sniff at as opposed to legs.

There are a few cyclists that go by, most of whom these days, wear safety helmets, thank goodness (a much more attractive look, I think, than squashed brains on the road!). They tend to whizz past as they’re usually on their way to somewhere in a hurry.

Then, there are the occasional joggers, out for their early morning run, kitted out in their vests, shorts and the most amazing, bright and luminous trainers. I wish they’d been around when I was running – I think they’re great and brighten up the town, no end.

It seems that joggers and cyclists can co-exist quite happily that time in the morning as they are less likely to collide with each other, although both being in their own little worlds. I have nothing against joggers at all expect that they rarely say hello or good morning due to the headphones stuck in their ears which often makes them oblivious of my friendly greetings or much else, come to that.

Lastly, there a just a few people on their way to their churches and more commonly, individuals making their way down to the town to reach the shops before the crowds venture down and to be first at the market to catch a bargain or two. However, Tesco doesn’t open until 11 am on a Sunday so if they’ve gone to buy the Sunday joint or the vegetables to go with it, they’ll be out of luck that early!

 

 

 

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LEAVING ON A JET PLANE

airplane1

This evening is possibly the last time my Mum will see my sister and it’s also the last time I will see her for some years too. Jo has been over from Australia for seven weeks now, initially flying here when Mum was so unwell after her recent accident. We thought then that she might not make it. She is recovering but is far from well. I said my farewell earlier and know that it’s going to be much, much harder for my Mum to say goodbye.  I had Jo here to stay with me a couple of times this trip, but mostly, she has been spending valuable and quality time, staying with my elderly Mum. They have been almost constant companions during that seven weeks.

I’m very concerned about Mum as she has rather got used to my sister being around and is going to miss her terribly. I don’t know how my Mum is going to adjust to the change. She has become used to being with someone as opposed to being on her own. I know she is scared at the prospect of living alone again, and I can’t say I blame her, living in that big, old, rundown house as she does with not even a friend or neighbour nearby who could pop in from time to time. She is two hours away from me, by train so I’m not able to do that either, as much as I would love to. However, I’m in the process of looking at finding some care and companionship for her although I know she will be reluctant to accept help, having always been such an independent lady.

Jo has a very long journey ahead of her, 27 hours including a brief stopover in Dubai for the plane to refuel. Her family, back in Australia have missed her. She has her husband and two grown children waiting for her to return. She is leaving our rather mild but wet summer and heading back to an icy winter. Once she gets back, we will have to get used to the time difference again – Australia being ahead of us by quite a considerable number of hours. She always has worse jetlag flying back home than she does coming here.

The flight leaves tonight, and I wish I were able to travel to the airport with Jo to see her off. I’m so pleased my youngest sister can go instead as Mum isn’t well enough to go to the airport either.  Families can be living miles or kilometres apart and yet remain so emotionally close. We all talk on the phone frequently, and I’m going to encourage our family to start using Skype. I already have it downloaded on my laptop, and I am hoping that both Mum and Jo will acquaint themselves with it too as they are both fairly staunch technophobes.

It’s 9 pm here, and as I look up into the sky and see the golden sun just going down over the rooftops, I am aware that very soon, my sister will be flying into that orange sky and will be on her journey to her home on the other side of the globe. I’m going to miss her.

Farewell and Bon Voyage, my precious sister. You will be in my thoughts and my prayers tonight as you travel the 10,000 miles between our respective parts of the world. I love you so very much.

FALLING IN LOVE

first date words (George)

 

You know that feeling when you first meet someone and you’re not sure how you feel about them, but you meet up with them a second time to try to get to know them a little better? And then, the second time, you think you like them but you’re not entirely convinced yet. So, you arrange to go out again, for coffee this time and decide to try to make your mind up. You don’t want to keep messing them about. You need to make a decision as to whether you would like to get together and spend more time with each other or go your separate ways.

One week later – Decision made. Everybody says how good we look together and how well-suited we are. We’re both happy although I have to say, I am vaguely aware that it’s early days yet and there’s bound to be hiccups in any new relationship.

A week later, I’m completely convinced that I’ve done the right thing, and love is now, well and truly in the air, as they say. We have a date tonight – we’re going to the city’s main theatre to see an excellent and very gifted female comedian, live on stage. I’m so looking forward to it – I must remember to put the tickets in my purse before we leave and before I forget. We’re right in the front row so should get an excellent view.

The show was great, I had a good laugh but also learned a lot of things I didn’t know too. It finished quite late, at least late for me as someone who goes to bed early and is up as a lark in the mornings; well maybe not a lark, more like an antelope that’s been on the gin!

It’s time for bed now so I ‘elegantly’ glide up the stairs with Brian, my stairlift (so named after Brian, the slow snail in the old children’s programme ‘The Magic Roundabout’. All things considered, Brian behaves reasonably well contrary to some of the ‘funny business’ that was going on behind the scenes at that programme for those of you who might remember it!) I clean my teeth and at last, I fall happily into bed.

So, where is my partner? Oh, did I forget to mention that my new partner’s name is George and he is happily and peacefully downstairs snoozing downstairs in the hallway, and is getting his energy back, ready for tomorrow? Yes, you’ve got it … George is my new wheelchair (he’s plugged in and charging up). And yes, I know I introduced Prince George to you previously but now his shiny crown has fallen off and I’ve got to know the real George underneath, I like him much better and we’ve truly fallen in love now. Well, they say ‘beauty is in the eye of the beholder’.

CHITTY CHITTY CHARLIE!

happy woman in wheelchair

My good friend and fellow blogger, Bun, mentioned that I hadn’t been paying much attention to Charlie recently and wondered if he was ok. Charlie, for those of you who have not yet been introduced, is my electric-powered wheelchair and best friend. I thought I’d let you into the as yet undisclosed fact that I have been beavering away for weeks, secretly bringing Charlie into the 21st century.

The basic model I had in mind will have wing mirrors, kerb-crawling wheels, and a twin-exhaust, turbocharged engine. He needs a few extra parts added too before he is anywhere near complete so I’m going to build in reversing lights and beeps to warn those pedestrians who I appreciate, don’t have eyes in the back of their heads and cannot tell when I’m about to back out unless I holler, “Oy … out the way … wheelchair reversing … warning”, which is a bit long-winded and usually too late when the individual in question’s toes have already been flattened.

stiar climbing wheelchair in bubble

Then, there are the all-essential indicators, (front and rear), which will flash left and right indicating whether I’m about to grab that last loaf of Hovis in the reduced section in Tesco’s (left), or whether I’m going for the special offer on Heinz Spaghetti Hoops in aisle ten, (on my right). Oh! Did I forget to mention the speedometer; essential, of course, when one is traveling at turbo-speed with my go-faster stripes on the side, up the M8 motorway to Glasgow. Obviously, the weather is a little inclement up there and, therefore, an enclosed shatterproof glass bubble complete with wipers will need to be included.

A buggy board would be handy for the children; a slight improvement on the first design which incorporated a pair of roller skates and a piece of string tied to the back. Also, please do give me an air horn to warn the more able citizens of my town that I am at great risk of running them over if they don’t leap out of my way on the cycle path. This will, in future, be marked with a cycle and a wheelchair icon, indicating that yes, I do indeed have wheels instead of legs, therefore I am entitled to travel in the cycle lane.

Naturally, Charlie will be solar powered thereby eliminating any need for electricity, or the exorbitantly priced fuel they charge these days at the gas/petrol stations. There are a couple of improvements left that could be made to make Charlie the real star of the show and a class A1 model. He needs to be able to travel over water so that he can keep up with the twin-engine boats that shoot across the sea when on holiday, (or at least, withstand a sudden rainstorm at Brighton in mid-summer). I thought perhaps a hovercraft skirt would look rather fetching (albeit a little feminine for Charlie).

Finally, I’ve just got to be able to trust my six-wheeled friend to get me all from England to Australia to visit my sister on Christmas Day. I thought some wings, carefully fashioned from  flexible fibreglass and in the model of the late Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (pictured below), would just add that finishing touch.

Voilà!

chitty bang bang lego prototype

 

 

JAGGED ROCKS

Words. I’ve been writing most of the afternoon (I know I am blessed to be able to have the time to do so when the fancy takes me). Many don’t have this opportunity. I’ve been writing letters and emails mostly – catching up with old friends and trying to establish new affiliations with vaguely familiar acquaintances from my new church. Forming links and building bridges . But when I read over what I have written, I am dismayed to find it is mostly ‘waffle’ (but then I’ve always been a bit of a ‘waffler’ or so I’m often told). Mind you, when I am told that I am, it has the effect of making me feel that I want to slither like a snail, silently back into my shell and then crawl out of view, under the nearest and most jagged rock I can find. Such is my shame and embarrassment.

we are what our thoughts have made us

Words. I wish I could find them, or at least I wish I could find them when I am most at a loss for them. Words can be cheap, ugly and almost disposable or they can be rare, beautiful and very valuable. I just wish I could find the right ones at the right moment. Instead of which, I very often open my mouth and stick my size four foot right into it. I’ve decided that jagged rocks are quite a good find on such an occasion.

Words. I love the way that each strike of a keyboard produces a different letter. The letters of the alphabets of this world take on amazing forms, shapes and symbols, collectively producing individual words which tumble into sentences and expressions which can vary from dire to mediocre to quite stunning said at the right time at the right place.

Words. I’m reading back – I have, on reflection, achieved nothing but waffle and so will take my leave at this point and go in search of a suitably uncomfortable jagged rock. They have their uses at times.

“RIGHT SAID FRED”!

This is just a very brief post to say sorry to any of my readers who are fed up with ‘watching this space’ while I’ve been faffing about (meaning messing about) over the last few days trying to find a new personality for my page.

Well, here I am, sort of established but still having ‘issues’ with my widgets!! I think it’s taken me two days of trial and error and even now, I’m not 100% satisfied with my new image so anyone with any suggestions (preferably polite and preferably helpful) will be welcomed. I’m a bit of a novice at getting blog pages just right although I have to say WordPress do try to make it fairly simple even for a simple soul such as me, to get it even halfway right! I’m still not sure I am satisfied so you will have to forgive me the possibility of a few more days ‘faffing about’!

This short, comic and very old YouTube video just about sums up my efforts!! 😀

Thank you for bearing with me to all of those who have done so. Love Ellie xxx 🙂

EASY PICKINGS

shadow man

He has come amongst you albeit you are unaware

He lies, he robs, he wounds beyond your imagination

Untold deceit, the pickings, and scars are left in his wake

Behind a trail of heartache, grief and isolation

~~~

He could be the passer-by in the street or your colleague

Standing on the terraces as you cheer your team on to win

You’ll never know it’s him for he clothes himself in gold

As if butter wouldn’t melt in his mouth and sin far from his soul

~~~

Do not trust him as he lures you on for he is far from honest

He will break your heart as surely as he would your bank

With a grin on his face, he treads the path between the cracks

Then, as he drops a silver star, he knows his game is up

~~~

When finally caught, he declares, “not I, not I, not I”

“For no wrong have I done my friend or neighbour”

But the disgrace on his face is the undoing of him

And he is no longer able; though he never was a free man.