HOLIDAYS – HOME AND AWAY

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At the risk of sounding crazy, I’m going on vacation for a couple of days to my hometown. I don’t mean the town where I was born; I mean the city where I now live! I know it sounds like an odd thing to do, but there is a somewhat obscure reason for this.

A friend who I made at my college asked me if I’d like to go down to the coast for a few days. His parents live very near a lovely seaside town which has a beautiful beach, and the local Pavillion Theatre isn’t far away either. I enjoy watching a good play or a show and don’t get the chance very often. I’d have to travel by train, a two-and-a-half hour journey. I’ll be staying in a lovely hotel with disabled facilities, breakfast included (plus the all-essential wi-fi) and a sea view. I’d see my friend for some of the time, and I also want to have a mooch around by myself too. Wonderful!

So, what’s the first trip got to do with the second?

Well … I’m so looking forward to going away to the coast. I’ve not been there for a very long time. In fact, I’ve not been anywhere much (other than back and forth to London when my Mum was sick), and I haven’t had a holiday away from home since, believe it or not, 1985! I’m nervous though because I’m, understandably, entirely unused to sleeping away from the safety and security of my house. I’m worried in case I forget something important. I haven’t packed a suitcase in decades! However, I do want to go.

The fact that I am nervous and relatively scared is the reason for my first trip. I thought, rather than jump in at the deep end and travel away from home, I’d dip my toe in my water and have a weekend in a local hotel in the city I’m already in and am used to. That way, if I forget anything, or don’t like it, I’m only thirty minutes from home. I’m more confident about that and am really quite looking forward to it.

I can’t help wondering what my dear Mum would have said if she were still here … I think she’d say, “you go girl!!” 🙂

 

(Image courtesy of trip.101.com)

 

MAKING TIME

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Spare time is something I used to have lots of, but never made the most of, mostly because I was depressed to go out, or just couldn’t summon up the energy or enthusiasm. Now, it’s a very different situation, I’m pleased to say. In fact, I barely have a minute to spare … I fly from one task, activity, meeting or outing like a demented wasp! It’s a good thing George (my wheelchair) travels at 8mph (not sure what that is in km), or I’d never get to all these appointments and arrangements.

I’m very fortunate in that, although I live in a town, there is a lot of countryside around me, especially where I am near the river. There’s a footpath and cycle track that follow the river’s route into town. It’s a lovely drive, albeit I’m driving fast and concentrating so hard so that I don’t cross paths with an irate cyclist, or a wandering pedestrian come to that. This fast-paced drive allows me to get everywhere I need to be on time. One thing I hate is being late.

However, I’ve realised of late, that I keep myself so busy that I rarely make time to relax or to chill out with my friends. So, today, having made an arrangement yesterday, I spent the best part of the day with a new but close friend. We just sat in a lovely restaurant for hours and hours. We had a coffee earlier on in the morning, and then sat and had a delicious lunch, beautifully cooked and presented. My friend drank wine and I, being a non-drinker, had an amazing strawberry, elderflower and mint cocktail, all followed by more coffee. We talked and talked, we shared secrets, stories of our lives, current times and our early years, sometimes accompanied by a few tears, but always followed by peals of laughter and giggles. We told each other about past relationships, some great and some disastrous. We took photos and sent them to each other, and generally got very silly, but not embarrassingly so, thankfully.

Eventually, we parted company at 4.30pm, having paid rather a large bill, and a generous tip because the waitress was brilliant and the food first-class. We just had the most wonderful day. I came home feeling all happy, relaxed and loved. Today really made me realise the value of making time for the truly enjoyable occasions. It’s just as important to make time to relax, chill and enjoy myself as it is to rush around to all those appointments and events that tend to fill the calendar. We’ll definitely be doing it all again soon.

Strawberry, elderflower & mint cocktail at The Bootmaker

My delicious cocktail.

 

[Top image courtesy of Stock-clip.com]

A TANGLE OF WORDS

learn me slowly

I am at a loss today. This isn’t going to be a clever piece of poetry or a blog as such; more a tangle of words because my head is muddied today. Love, compassion, charity, honesty and practising at least one random act of kindness every day are important to me. Friendship too….I have very few close friends but we know each other very well and that’s what matters. I also like my solitude; time to think, feel (not always desirable), dream, hope and more…

When I love, I love with passion in my soul; not a burning desire for sexual intimacy but more burning desire to understand other’s thoughts and feelings. My own, I trash! I’ve been told that I don’t give myself the respect that I give to others. I feel I am not deserving of that. I anger slowly with others, but rapidly and ferociously with myself.

I am confused; I am angry: I am hurting; I have had ‘the book’ thrown at me in this life that I do not desire today. I have been used and abused, beaten, yelled at, abandoned, trodden down, smashed to pieces but I bear no malice and I fear conflict with a very deep rooted fear.

Yet, I know that am, too, a survivor. I know that much although remembering it is not always simple and it is far too easy to slip into the victim role. I do not want to be there! I do not want to be that! I am a tough cookie, so they say.

But still I question, who am I though? Who am I really? I am a daughter who fears terribly the thought of one day soon, not being a daughter anymore because life gets snuffed out as is the order of nature. It is so unfair at times. I am a sister; I am an aunt; I am a mother (all be it unwanted by my children); I am a grandmother (all be it denied me). I am, however, forever blessed in that I am a daughter of God, my Father. I trust God; I’m just not sure I trust the rest of the world.

Am I making any sense? Am I being rational? I think not? Sometimes (like now) I seriously doubt my sanity…I feel so often that my life and my sanity are (in the words of Paul Simon, “Slip, Slidin’ Away”.

Sometimes I wish I was……..

THE TRIALS AND TRIBULATIONS OF FACEBOOK

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Social networking? Good or bad?

Facebook, Twitter, Google+, Tumblr, Pinterest, YouTube, Path, Instagram, Foursquare…..I could go on…

Well, some years ago I chose to open a Facebook account. With it came a cauldron of emotion that I didn’t bargain for. It has, I have to say (somewhat feebly) been quite life-changing or perhaps more aptly, I have let it become so. Isn’t that pathetic? Is my life really so uninteresting that I have to rely on FB for the thrills and spills of my day? Well yes, I thought so or at least believed that was true when I first ‘got into it’. Now, I am clambering to get out of it!

To start with It was a good way to stay in touch with friends, follow their lives, share their holiday snaps, admire their families etc. A lot of it was positive but there are also many negatives too,  just as there are two sides to a coin. It is so easy to get hooked into the ‘Like’, ‘Comment’ and ‘Share’ routine and FB gradually becomes disproportionately prominent in one’s life and it can come quickly become a love/hate relationship. I know it did in mine and quite quickly became addictive (not helped by the fact that I have an addictive personality anyway). I got hooked….well and truly….I would get up in the morning and (in the absence of having either a partner, family or children), it was the first thing I did  – I checked Facebook for anything I might have missed or looked for messages from friends, looked to see who had ‘Liked’, ‘Commented’ on or ‘Shared’ whose posts, (a post consisting of an opinion, a feeling, a photo, an image, a quote, a recipe, a weather forecast, a status such as 🙂 [smile], 😦 [frown], 😉 [wink], etc or what colour pyjamas were being worn, or indeed if there were any being worn at all (no doubt accompanied by a photo!).  Everyone seemed to be on FB and if you weren’t, you were considered somewhat of an odd-bod or not ‘cool’.

However, having become a veteran of many years on FB, I’ve come to the see the other side of it (or at least in my opinion). I’m tried of all the pointless exchanging of useless information, the endless and tedious ‘selfies’. the numerous photos of people’s dinners or wonderful pets etc). I don’t like the bitchiness that sometimes goes on; I don’t like the trouble and problems it actually causes sometimes between friends, acquaintances and families. In my case, it has become a weapon of war between my children and myself (as some of you will know) whereby both my son and daughter have ‘blocked’ me meaning I am not allowed to see or know anything they might post about their lives (as in reality, sadly) and they can deny the privilege of seeing photos of my grandchildren that everyone else can see (and that hurts, believe me, that does hurt in the absence of any real life photos or visits from them.

I have to say, I am now slowly withdrawing from the all-consuming Facebook and intend to deactivate or delete my account shortly. A sorry tale in the end but maybe a case of ‘too much of a good thing’ or in my case, too much of too many bad things. Having said that, it works for a hell of a lot of people so if it’s good for you then I am genuinely pleased for you, in fact generally quite happy for you 🙂 .  So, I guess what I am really saying is……IF IT AIN’T BROKE, DON’T FIX IT!!

HOW FRAGILE WE ARE

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Sometimes, I don’t want to be me

Sometimes, we don’t like being us

Sometimes, we don’t like ‘being’ at all

Sometimes I wish i could disappear

 

I have little to stay ‘here’ for

No family that ever visits us

Just our carers for company three times a day

Grand total of two and a half hours

 

Our closest friends are here at WordPress

Most of us known by anonymous avatars

Who we pour our hearts out to

And our souls bleed onto the paper

 

Yet those very friendships

And our hearts’ outpourings

Could be snuffed out like candles

By one press of a key

 

How fragile we are.

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