Little old lady days.

I will let you into a secret, many years ago I stumbled onto a wonderful remedy for self care.For those days when the world seems to behaving like a scary out of control fairground ride, or when my hormones have made me feel like chucking my ovaries under oncoming traffic, or perhaps when it is just one of those days.

The secret my friends is, regardless of age, to have a ‘ little old lady day’

A little old lady day for me, consists of doing very little, I must add at this point, my secret remedy does not have to last the whole day, an evening will suffice, not many of us have the luxury of doing nothing all day, but I digress. So let us assume you have followed my advice so far and done very little, another necessity is that you do not watch the news or participate in any social media,the family have had beans for tea and nobody died, now you need to run yourself a calming bath, add a cup of Epsom salts, 8 drops of lavender oil and 8 drops of mandarin oil, whilst the aforementioned bath is running, you will lay your clean nightie/pjs out and prepare your bed accordingly. You may read or watch tv if you have one in your bedroom( I have so shoot me) You will need to prepare a tea tray for after your bath.

However, the caveat is, and here come the little old ladies, you must only watch comforting nostalgic type of tv programmes, often but not always involving little old ladies, we are looking for escapism here, comfort, tea and cakes, a cosy murder mystery (cosy and murder in one sentence, is that even possible?) my recommendations are

Last Tango in Halifax ( my favourite, 5 seasons)

Midsummer murders

Ladies of letters( so funny, as was the original radio show)

Miss Marple ( classic)

If you prefer to read, then it is light fiction only, no non fiction allowed, we are not on a fact finding mission, escapism remember.

Some of my favourites are;

The Agatha Raisin mysteries by MC Beaton

84 Charing Cross road

The darling buds of May

Cold comfort farm

So go and make a steaming pot of tea, a teapot is essential as you are planning on not moving other than to pour yourself a couple of refills, add a little plate of biscuits to your tray , maybe some delicious shortbread fingers, sod the diet.

Take thee up to the boudoir, tea tray in hands, plump up your pillows and settle down to a few hours in the company of a familiar character, an environment so far removed from real life, that under normal circumstances we would be laughing at it.

I kid you not, little old ladies are the way forward.

20/20 vision

As years go I think it is safe to say that 2020 has not been our best! we didn’t see that one coming did we? Whilst I would like to say I have sailed through it, reclining, book in hand, lounging on a hammock, of course I have not, it has been a worrying and anxious time for all of us, if you have been affected by Covid19, my heart goes out to you. However, as with most challenging times ( massive understatement I know) we somehow seem to dig really deep and not only learn some important lessons, but actually gain something in the process.

So what have I learned during ‘Lockdown’

It is perfectly normal to have the odd wobble, however it is neither healthy or helpful to stay there, distraction has been my saviour, I love to read, but I have also binge watched on Netflix, I have gone for the odd walk, but am not putting the pressure on myself to go out if I don’t feel like it, sometimes just going into my own back garden is enough. I have not started a new exercise regime or taken up a new hobby, but hey if you have that is brilliant! whatever works for you. ( horrendous back problem, just to add to the fun and games)

I endeavor to see as little news as possible, for the moment! initially I watched every update and it just terrified me! there are those who will of course say I am burying my head in the sand. Yes, I am, by limiting myself to this information, I am getting through the days with far less anxiety, same goes for all the conspiracy theories on social media, bloody terrifying stuff.

I really don’t need that much crap! seriously, why do I buy so much? who needs that many pairs of shoes? I have been decluttering my home and it feels so good!

I have devised a workable budget, I am truly shocked and disgraced at how much unnecessary spending I do, as a result we have ended up saving money, I have actually used this time at home to do the research and get the better deals out there for internet providers, insurance, energy suppliers. Do it! honestly it is so worth it.

I love cooking anyway, but more time has enabled me to try more delicious recipes, using fresh local produce wherever possible, spending time in the kitchen with my Daughter, cooking an amazing pasta dish is more than special.

I have been sleeping, Oh Lord does my mind and body need it! if I feel exhausted during the day, I take myself upstairs and lie down, as I mentioned before I am in pain with a back problem and sometimes I feel my body is screaming at me to drop the load and look after myself, it is the singular piece of advice that I try to impress on clients ‘You can’t pour from an empty cup’ I am finally taking my own advice.

I am making my living space as comfortable as possible, we are here almost 24/7, this is our haven, our ‘bubble’ it is not super stylish, but it is home, the cushions are plumped, there are throws in a basket for curling up on the sofa, Lavender and geranium oils diffused and flowers from the garden are crammed into redundant jam jars.

And finally, it sounds a bit of a cliche, but I have learned to be present in the moment, if 2020 has shown us anything, it is surely that we really do not know what is around the corner, tomorrow is not promised to any of us, make today count, be thankful for what we have and be kind, always. There is so much good out there, be happy, be well, be safe, this too shall pass.

/

What Reiki is and what Reiki is not.

reiki-660x264

Well Hello!

It has been a while, but here I am in these strangest of times, prompted by a whole load of mind boggling stuff on facebook to put a few facts out about my therapy work of choice. As many of you know, I teach and practice Reiki. What is Reiki? I am asked frequently, put broadly, it is a relaxing therapy which balances our energy fields and encourages our mind, body and spirit to work together for optimum health benefits.

Any one who knows me will tell you I am the least ‘new agey’ type of person, I am just a woman who heals, I am a vintage girl, you are just as likely to find me browsing a flea market, as buying crystals and incense( although I do love both) my point is, that we are often stereotyped, we are seen as somewhat ‘woo woo’ when infact, we just want our work to help people.I get really irritated by the absolute charlatans out there who claim all kinds of nonesense, With that in mind let me tell you whats what.

What Reiki is.

Reiki is a spiritual practice but not a religion, no belief system is necessary.

It was developed in Japan in the early 1900s by Mikao Usui.

Rei means spiritual wisdom ki means life force energy, so basically spiritual energy.

Reiki is carried out by a certified practitioner who has been attuned by a Reiki Master Teacher, as per the Reiki federation guidelines.

It is a hands on therapy, the recipient is fully clothed.

It is completely harmless.

It is relaxing and can alleviate many physical and emotional problems.

It can and does leave the recipient feeling energized and relaxed simultaneously.

What Reiki is not.

Reiki is not massage, the practitioner will place their hands on you gently. Anything resembling massage is a big no no.

It is not a form of mediumship, if you want a message off your dear departed, seek out a reputable medium, despite the trend to give clients messages during Reiki, its usually absolute bollocks and some concoction the practitioner has thought up to impress you.

It is not a replacement for medical care, we are not medically trained, Reiki should be used alongside,not instead of medical care.

It is not a miracle cure, it works with your own body to heal itself.

It does not require you to believe in anything other than having a nice relaxing time whilst on the practitioners bed.

You do not need to be a member of the ‘love and light’ brigade, sport a unicorn tattoo or participate in any of that other fairyland shit.

Got it? Good. Nothing woo woo about it at all is there?

 

Me,my Mammy and the corner shop

IMG-0364

I may have mentioned this before, forgive me if I have, but when I was a child my Mother worked part time in the corner shop, it was owned by a lovely couple called Mr and Mrs Swan who lived in rather swanky living quarters above the shop. During School holidays I was allowed to go to work with my Mother, I would sit quietly on a stool behind the sweet counter (torture for a child if you ask me!) but Oh! it was a lovely shop, selling practically everything from fresh hams and cheeses, daily newspapers, and of course chocolate and sweets. Sometimes I was allowed to serve children who came in for a 10p mix up! this involved putting ten sweeties of the childs choice in a paper bag, chewing gum in the shape of a small golf ball, white chocolate mice, flying saucers, fruit salad chews, then there were the jars of sweets behind the counter filled with pear drops, floral gums, strawberry bon bons and chocolate eclairs and rosy apples.

At eleven o clock prompt we were summoned upstairs to the ‘lounge’ where Mrs Swan had left a tray with milky coffee and a plate of biscuits,(Orange Kiora for me)

The lounge. Oh my life where do I start, of course this was the 70s, so think along the lines of Abigail’s party.In the corner of the room was a padded bar with a Spanish dancer doll on top, brought back from one of their many jaunts to Majorca, all seeming very exotic to a child who had never travelled any farther than Berwick, we would sit tentatively on the leather sofa with a sheepskin rug draped over the back, my Mothers coffee would be served in a little glass pyrex cup in a plastic holder, bright orange as I recall, I was in total awe of this very stylish interior. I would always, without fail go to the toilet just to swoon over the bathroom. Matching pink double sinks with gold taps in the shape of fish. Oh my giddy Aunt!

The swans teenage Daughter Barbara, had wardrobes with Louvre doors and shag pile carpet. Unreal. I was so impressed. Eventually my parents relented and bought me a shag pile carpet for my bedroom, brown, happiest day of my life.

I have happy memories of the Swans, they were very kind and although they passed away some time ago, I do think of them often. The corner shop is now sadly a tattoo parlour, I dont know who lives above it, if anybody, the wonderful mad retro world of the Swans is just a happy memory for me now.

I would still kill for a padded bar.

 

Best butter and tinned salmon….

f1881a095b831b96dea1d179b6e5c735

I must be getting old, not only because the mirror tells me so, but because I seem to spend more time wallowing in nostalgia, some days the world is a little bit ugly, the news seems to be all doom and gloom and I fear I may becoming that woman who starts a conversation with ‘when I was a girl…..’

I spend a lot of time with my Mum, who at ninety years young, loves to revisit the past, I love looking through old photographs and hearing the stories connected to them, we always end up having a bit of a laugh. Recently, we were chatting about ‘having friends over for tea’ so for your perusal and for my own personal pleasure, allow me to delve into my vast bank of nostalgia……

When I was a girl…. my parents had friends called Elsie and Albert, they had known each other forever and felt more like family, they lived in an area called Whickham, which is on the other side of the river Tyne, as neither my parents or their friends had cars, it would be two bus rides to visit. Sometimes they would visit us, other times we would visit them, I loved going to see Auntie Elsie and Uncle Albie, partly because she made the best coconut cake in the world and also because she let me play with her button box! So in both cases, whether we went to them or they came to us, afternoon tea was the big event, out came the china cups and saucers, My Mum would put a newly ironed tablecloth on the kitchen table, she would have baked the previous day, scones, apple pie, Victoria sandwich cake, or sometimes the chocolate cake made from the bero book,maids of honour, sandwiches and sausage rolls, the table would be groaning with food!

You would think after all that hard work in the kitchen, the piece de resistance may have been the wonderful cake towering over the table on a pressed glass cake stand, but no, it was the little sandwiches cut into triangles that she would proudly hand around, made with ‘best butter’ and filled with tinned red salmon mixed with vinegar.I kid you not. Awful. But to people who had experienced post war rationing, things like real butter and tinned salmon were a bit of a luxury, the conversation always went ‘lovely bit of salmon that’ despite it having been doused in vinegar and mashed within an inch of its life! I’m not a fish person mind you so I am clearly not selling it very well, that aside, these times were so special, we were always so happy to see Elsie and Albie, they were the funniest people ever and visits were always filled with laughter and so much love.

Elsie and Albie are no longer with us sadly, but I can still taste that amazing coconut cake and every Christmas I make up a little food hamper for my Mum, always ensuring I include a slab of best butter and of course some tinned salmon.

Nice bit of salmon that.

 

Finding the light…..

dorothy-reading

It has been a challenging week I must confess, Hospital visits, a funeral of a much loved Aunt. Another one next week, At times like these it can be difficult to see the light.

And yet I can and I do.

I am grateful beyond measure, that My Mums hospital appointment went well, infact we spent a wonderful day together and went home Thanking God for the amazing Doctors and Nurses who are repairing her vision. My Aunts funeral, was of course sad, but Beautiful, as funerals do, they remind us that life is short and should be lived to our full potential.

I have however felt as though, at the moment there is a fragility around me, I have had a few ‘what’s next?’ moments, as though I am almost waiting for’the other shoe to drop’ I am busy, very busy, my head is like an attic full of Starlings, thoughts are flitting back and forth.Time out is needed, I am aware of this.

And then, this morning we awoke to a blanket of the whitest sparkling snow! a huge blank canvas,The analogy was not lost on me, a clean page can always be found,whilst I am not a fan of the white stuff, it has ensured that I spend the day at home. Home made soup is simmering away, Bench tops wiped down with lavender, and Rosemary is in the oil diffuser , candles are dotted around the kitchen and I am listening to Count Basie and Ella Fitzgerald singing ‘On the Sunny side of the street’ My Dads favourite song. I have made a pot of tea for Lucy and I, we will drink from china cups and snuggle with the puppies. I will read my beloved Simple Abundance and drink in the magical words of Sarah Ban Breathnach. This is my bliss.

Sometimes, the best thing to do in life, is to quieten your soul by living slowly, be gentle with ourselves and let matters evolve, as they always do, This too shall pass.

‘No Winter ever lasts forever….No Spring ever skips its turn’ ~ Hal Borland.

img-3430

 

Sharing and caring….

48405471_1648635288605634_408381746954895360_n

I love an inspirational quote or two and fortunately we can find them in abundance on social networking platforms now, as well as a few not so inspirational thoughts! The above meme appeared on my Facebook timeline this morning and really resonated with me, for I have noticed lately, the trend to make fun of people who share various things, for whatever reason, on their timeline, I feel a wee bit sad about that, you can after all just choose to scroll on if you aren’t interested!

So for the record here is my own personal take on the whole debacle.

To the Grandparents, sharing pictures of your beautiful little ones, I love that you are sharing your precious moments with me! Your love and pride shine out like a beacon, more please!

To the young people starting out in life who are embracing a healthy lifestyle, I applaud you! I scroll through Instagram daily looking at pics of your delicious food and am often inspired to make some.

To the young girls posting ‘selfies’ I think its great that you are embracing your beauty and are confident in showing it, I was forty before I was able to half like what I saw in the mirror!

To the pet lovers who post pictures of your fur babies, I love that you care for your pet so much, and to those who hate the term ‘fur babies’ lighten up, its not a crime surely.

To the folk posting pics of their Christmas decorations from November onward, its great that you feel so festive! I mean it takes so long to get the Bugger up I feel the finished effort deserves to be photographed!

So lets all be a bit more tolerant, social networking can be a lifeline to some people, you may be the only people someone can share snippets of their day with.

As my Dear Dad used to say ‘Its nice to be nice’

 

 

 

 

A very Vintage Christmas.

wise robin 1

It is my friends…. almost that time of year. Admittedly it seems to get thrust upon us even earlier each year, I hardly got my sparkly flip flops packed away this year, before the supermarkets were setting up their Christmas aisles! Fortunately for me, I am untouched by the abject overload of consumerism, I can sail past row upon row of color coordinated decorations, the endless barrage of festive chocolate greeting me wherever I look, I am totally unimpressed by the weirdness of such things as ‘Brussels sprout’ flavoured crisps. Its all a little bit mad…dont you think?

Being a ‘Vintage girl’ I have always favoured a traditional Christmas, I dont really see the need to spend a small fortune, or work yourself into a frenzy to make the day ‘perfect’ it will be perfect, if everyone relaxes, and just enjoys the day.

When my Girls were small, I can remember having sofas full of gifts… and a near empty bank account! But Oh for the look on their little faces when they came downstairs and saw that ‘HE’S BEEN!!!!!!’ Priceless. However, ask them six months later what they got and all you would get was a blank stare,They would remember, Grandad wearing a paper crown that was too small for his head, the silly jokes in the crackers, the delicious Christmas Dinner and the never ending game of Monopoly in the Evening. Lesson learned!(eventually)

My Girls are all grown up now, Christmas Eve cocoa and Biscuits are likely to be replaced by a glass of bubbly and nibbles, we will congregate in the kitchen, accompanied by Frank Sinatra and Ella Fitzgerald belting out festive tunes, Vintage pinnies on and happily prepping the food for our special day,before settling down to watch a Christmas movie, fairy lights twinkling on a Tree that smells rather deliciously like a pine forest, no colour coordination here, but vintage baubles and toys, collected over the years, the gifts under the tree are fewer, but more meaningful.

Christmas day is quite a lazy affair, Only one Grandparent left now, My Mum is spoiled rotten for the day, as she should be. Christmas Dinner, as usual will be too much, we will retire groaning to the sitting room, paper crowns in place, Grandma may have a little nap and miss The Queens speech.

Later, we will sit in our PJs drinking wine and snuggling the dogs, I will as usual notice that the tinsel is hanging off one side of the tree, the ancient fairy on the top looks decidedly tipsy, infact….are the branches starting to droop? how soon can you take your tree down? The family will laugh at me and say ‘NOOOOOOO!!! leave it up a bit longer!’

This then, is Christmas……

That Fairy needs to get her act together!

 

The gentle rattle of tea cups….

two-ladies-drinking-tea

Often I awake at silly O clock, for no reason really, I’ve given this annoying habit a varying degree of thought, I am not stressed/anxious/hormonally challenged, whatever, yet every now and then, my internal alarm clock wakes me up, rather abruptly at around three AM.

I have indeed employed various tactics to get back to slumber-land, I have listened to numerous ‘relaxing downloads’ read, surely a hundred books,until finally I realized,that every download or guided meditation, no matter how perfectly assembled,could never provide the soundtrack that my own subconscious library already had on file.

The mind is such an incredible piece of equipment, almost like a computer, we have many files, some open, some sleeping, others closed and deleted, but with the touch of a button each file is accessible. For me, in those early hours, my mind sleepy and comfortably numb, it is the perfect time to open and revisit those files, this then includes revisiting the memories, the moments when life was, well simply perfect,although we may not have known this at the time I am not talking about major events here, no weddings, births or major love affairs, but moments, tiny little shards of magic, that no matter how seemingly small, trigger a feeling, a recognition, a familiarity, which when tapped into many years later, flood our very being with such nostalgia, thus becoming a healing balm and an almost unbearable lust to revisit.

I close my eyes and I hear the sound of the gentle rattle of tea cups, Sunday best china, cups and saucers, tinned salmon sandwiches, coconut cake,peaches,The Beatles singing ‘A hard days night’my Mother dancing , the sun bleaching through the Apple trees in the back garden, sewing machine humming on the dining table, home made dresses, spinning around on the perfectly manicured lawn and feeling dizzy, crimson coloured peonies , swinging on the gate looking for Grandma, Grandma! Love weeping from every pore in her body! learning to knit, her soothing patience second to none,her special Lavender oil on my ‘heat spots’ (what were they really?) laughter! arms wrapped around me, stories about Nuns,feeling safe, cocooned …….sleep.

Morning arrives, softly, gently,peacefully I awake, starting my day with gratitude, my own little family still sleeping, I tiptoe downstairs, Puppies to feed,Blinds are opened, Almost on autopilot I turn the Kettle on and reach for the Tea pot cheerily adorned with an abundance of roses, not for me the fashionable slogan adorned mugs, I start my day as always……..

with the gentle rattle of Tea cups.

 

Hibernation…..

IMG-2887

As October approaches, I find myself on familiar turf, wanting to do everything and nothing all at once, A hundred plans dance in my dizzy head, yet a certain lethargy envelopes me daily. I make lists of epic proportions and methodically tick off completed tasks, the days are going by quickly, Evenings are relentless, I long for bedtime, I sleep like a dead person.

I need to hibernate.

In Simple Abundance  My beloved Sarah Ban Breathnach, as usual is uncanny in her accuracy of this time of year, She starts the chapter with a quote from Edna St Vincent Millay.

My Candle burns at both ends; it will not last the night…..

She goes on to address the subject at hand, namely; Burnout.

Its burnout when you go to bed exhausted every night and wake up tired every Morning….when no amount of sleep refreshes you, month after weary month’

Oh Sarah, how right you are! ( For those of you who dont know, this Book is my Bible!)

As a Therapist I am all to familiar with the theme of burnout, amongst Women and Men! we just keep on pushing and pushing ourselves, I give great advice on self care, indeed I have wrote quite passionately about the subject, have dished out many handouts and tips on looking after number one. However, do any of us actually do it and maintain it?

The bottom line is this; only we can do it, by saying No sometimes, by catching up on sleep, not missing meals, it is really the basics we need to attend to first, ditch the guilt, you do not have to attend the office night out if it feels like a chore, you do not have to watch the X Factor with the family on a Saturday night if you would rather be in bed with a good book.Leave the dishes for tomorrow, Is it really that imperative that every area of our lives is fit for Instagram?

No of course not.

The last paragraph in the October first Chapter of Simple Abundance says it all

When you are suffering from burnout, you are the only person on earth who can help, because you are the only one who can make the lifestyle changes that need to be made; to call a halt, to take a slower path, to make a detour. When you have no strength left, you have no choice left but to rely on the strength of a saner power to restore you to wholeness. In the pursuit of our Souls, Spirit takes no prisoners.’

Fat bottomed girls…….

do_these_bloomers_make_my_butt_look_big_postcard-r0d8e215778cd4bd5a1f63d8b6bf7bd15_vgbaq_8byvr_512

It is fair to comment that I have spent much of my life endeavoring to have a smaller bottom, Many, many years spent in ghastly aerobic classes with Women of a similar mindset, all of us lamenting the unfortunate size of our posterior. An absolute lifetime of eating lettuce in order to avoid any weight gain at all in the aforementioned area, not too mention slathering all kinds of bum firming lotions on my (if I say so myself) pert little cheeks. And here I am, at the age I am, with an OK bottom, it is average, provides sufficient padding to sit on and all is right in my world.

Or is it?

It appears that these days (God how old do I sound?) not only is big better, but the height of fashion, I am absolutely fascinated/horrified by this latest trend! we are not merely celebrating the curvy female, but young women are actually undergoing surgery to have BUTT IMPLANTS!!!!

WHAT!!!!! Are you mad!!! Women are paying vast amounts of money to look like a cartoon character! It looks ridiculous! what with the humongous Boobies, trout pout and gigantic bottoms, nobody looks real! Yep! I am old fashioned, but I look at these young women and they all look the same! whatever happened to originality? what happens when you want the implants out? you are going to have to carry your Arse around in a shopping trolley!

On a serious note, it concerns me that we have a generation of young people who think that happiness can be found via the surgeons knife, that in order to be acceptable in society, they have to have an instagram ready body, I am all for self improvement, I have always been a tad vain, but yes, healthy eating, buying the next magical anti ageing product and doing a little exercise is fairly acceptable in my book, but lets all celebrate our different bodies, we are all unique, real beauty is not silicone based, it is a blinding smile, the glint in the eyes, the whisper of kindness and a hint of the light within.

Embrace your loveliness girls, whatever the size of your Bottom!

I’m just a girl who can’t say no.

worth a re-read methinks!

Heart & Soul

multitasking-overrated

Oh Lordy, we are a funny breed at times!

Lately I have found a common theme amongst clients is the almost feverish need to push ourselves to the point of burnout,and why? because of a very outdated way of behaviour, for some reason many of us at times almost revert to 1950s housewife mode in an endeavour to keep everybody happy. Everybody but ourselves. It has took me almost a lifetime to get a grip and start saying no. I am by nature a people pleaser, anything for an easy life, but at what cost? The cost dear reader , can be a whole myriad of health issues, from complete exhaustion , migraines and general malaise to more serious issues such as fibromyalgia and ME.

I no longer agree to anything that I don’t want to do, whether it is attending a function that doesn’t really interest me, or joining…

View original post 451 more words

Blackbird.

BlackBird-vintageimage-Graphics-Fairysm

Blackbird singing in the dead of night, take these broken wings and learn to fly, All your life, you were only waiting for this moment to arise……..

Some years ago whilst recovering from a rather nasty period of ill health (nothing madly serious but enough to send me a wee bit bonkers) I suffered from the kind of malaise that almost sucked the life out of me, every morning I would do my usual routine of going into my beloved garden and wandering, round and around, back and forward, not finding joy in the pert buds of my English roses, nor basking in the scent of Summer flowering Geraniums, not even feeling my usual bliss as the swaying purple Lavender tickled my legs. I was lost.

Summertime has always been my very favourite Season, the garden comes alive, I love the chaos of everything fighting for sunlight in order to bloom to their full potential, yet I remained untouched.

At the bottom of our garden stands a beautiful Magnolia tree. That Morning standing before the almost luminous pink petals, soft and still, my thoughts were interrupted by a sound. Movement. My Heart began to quicken, the garden was silent and still, but suddenly I was aware of being watched, in the center of the Magnolia tree, sat a small fluffy bird, eyes like saucers, his chest rising and falling with each nervous breath. A fledgling, a baby Blackbird.

I fell instantly in Love, this little Bird seemingly couldn’t fly,( you and me both Birdy) what should I do?, I retreated back to the house softly and watched from a distance, very soon Mama and Papa Blackbird appeared bringing food, I watched, almost afraid to move as they fussed over Birdy, watching him eat before leaving.

Over the following days, I visited him often, aware always of the watchful eye of his parents, slowly he appeared to be making his way out of the Magnolia Tree into various other shrubs, he was just so beautiful. I looked forward eagerly every Morning to see my little guest, tiptoeing out to leave tidbits in order for his parents to find food easily. As the days went on, Birdy became stronger,as did I, though often panic set in when I couldn’t see him because he had ventured farther afield!

Then one sunny Vanilla coloured Summer Morning as I stepped barefoot into my garden, I knew, I just Knew, Birdy was nowhere to be seen, he had found his wings and flew off into the big wide world. I at once felt sad that he had gone, yet happy for his flight to freedom.

Nature is the greatest Teacher I find, it reminds us that life goes on and at times when we feel stuck, with a little gentle encouragement from our loved ones and the helping hand of a stranger, we can all learn to grow and fly.

Some weeks later, I was looking out of the window, sitting on the fence very close to the house, was a rather handsome young Blackbird, head tilted and looking in! could it be? I chose to think so.


	

Overwhelmed or Underwhelmed?

1950s-tired-exhausted-woman-housewife-vintage-images

A Woman who lives with the stress of an overwhelmed schedule, will often ache with the sadness of an Underwhelmed soul’~ Lysa TerKeurst.

I am tired. I tell everyone, I am tired.

I am feeling overwhelmed, I have been here before, the people pleaser in me is trying to keep all the plates spinning, The clutter in my house is due to me offering to help a friend, I feel stifled by it. I am going to a Wedding at the Weekend which I am not even a teeny bit prepared for, what the Hell am I going to wear? I am already stressed out at the thought of leaving the puppies overnight. The car is misbehaving, I need to book it into the garage, Life is super busy but I am getting nowhere fast, like a hamster on a wheel. I appreciate in the grand scale of things, life aint that bad! I get the whole gratitude thing believe me, I do count my blessings every day, and yet I am fraying at the edges.

I watched the very Beautiful Royal Wedding on Saturday, who could not be touched by this wonderful union between our very own Prince Harry and the beautiful Doe eyed Meghan? I felt very emotional, yet a part of me (the bitchy part clearly) thought ‘ That lucky Bitch will never ever have to do laundry again.’ Oh Dear. Laundry and I have a very tense relationship, The ironing basket is teetering almost at falling point, I totally resonate with Erma Bombeck and her  famous quote .

My second favorite household chore is ironing, The first being, hitting my head on the top bunk bed until I faint’

When will it get done? do I even care?

So…..Rant over, what should I do? I am not alone, I know this, we live in a society whereby we expect too much of ourselves and allow others to expect too much from us. As a Therapist I am constantly preaching about self care, Time to look a bit closer to home and take some of my own advice.

The answer is really very simple.Firstly, Say No. Learn how to say No and mean it, Say No to feeling guilty about the damn housework, going to bed early with a book, cancelling a night out to stay home and watch netflix! drop the guilt!

Secondly, make a list, prioritize your week, what is absolutely essential and what can you totally ditch? (Ironing obviously)

Lastly, maybe, just maybe we allow ourselves to become overwhelmed because we are rather underwhelmed with life ( See the opening quote above!) What do you love to do, but don’t actually have the time for these days? yesterday I baked, in my silly little kitchen with only Nina Simone for company, I baked a coconut cake and scones, made tiny little sandwiches on vintage plates, and we all had a rather lovely afternoon Tea! I haven’t done that for so long and it was perfect. I love to write, yet I am not finding the time, Make the time Woman!

There are Twenty four hours in a day, according to my ‘fitbit’ I spend on average seven hours sleeping ( Another thing I have become a slave to! it reminds you when you need to get up and walk, no wonder I am shattered!) that leaves me approximately seventeen hours a day. Surely I can organise them wisely?

Or I could tackle the ironing.

Every Picture…..

IMG-1621

When I was around Eight years old I was taken on a Caravan Holiday, by my Wonderful Grandma( to the right of the above pic) and her Sister, whom I called ‘Auntie Elsie’ ( Great Aunt really) This Photo came to light a few weeks ago, whilst rummaging through my Mothers huge stash of Family photos, almost instantly I was transported back to that week with two women whom were such a Massive part of all of our lives, not just mine, so much so that I am in the process of writing their story….. watch this space!

My Grandma lost her own Mother when she was just Eight years old, Elsie was a newborn, the family were separated and went to stay with various relatives, but nobody really wanted a new Baby, times were hard, families were large enough and sadly Elsie ended up at Nazareth House Orphanage, from there she went to a Convent in Carlisle. My Grandmother fought most of her life to get her home, Elsie would be forty three years old before that happened, And yet the bond between these two Sisters was undeniably strong, as though they had been together every day of their lives.

My feelings when I looked at the photograph, were ones of joy, I remembered the lemon shaped soap that we washed with, Grandma had bought it especially for our Holiday from Fenwicks, her cardigan that she wrapped around my shoulders when it was chilly at night, shell collecting with Auntie Elsie, nightly games of Bingo for pennies and watching Elsie crochet with silks she told me, were the colour of spring crocus. Yardleys Freesia dabbed on my wrists by Grandma. Sleeping in between them and the three of us giggling like schoolgirls long into the night, early morning cups of tea and having my hair brushed whilst listening to the constant chatter, Oh how I wish I had taken notes! They were tremendously funny!

Of course these beautiful souls have been long passed, but every now and then, my own Mum will say to me and laugh ‘ You are so like your Grandma!’ usually when I have said something a bit inappropriate!

I am honoured to have been even slightly influenced by you both ladies.

IMG-1477

Shoe Porn,Netflix and other Addictions.

IMG-1609

I have finally worked it out that I have an Addictive personality, Thankfully my vices are relatively harmless, at worst, a waste of money and time consuming, at best….. well there isnt a best really. I feel I need to address this issue and make better use of my time and possibly save money! Hurrah! This is a good thing!

I have, like many Women, a life long Addiction to shoes, I am particularly drawn to very narrow, high heeled, bloody crippling ones that leave me scarred and blistered after only one quick hobble in them.( see the above pic. Absolute killers) I once made a video of my favorite shoes and posted it to Facebook. I shit you not. Shoes then are my crack cocaine in the addictions department. I went food shopping on Saturday, but accidentally wandered into a Shoe shop and wandered out with a lovely pair of silver sparkly high heel sandals! I felt like Cinderella! even though I had to force my feet into them with all the gusto of an ugly Stepsister, I bought them. Very practical.

Next up is Netflix, Whatever did we do before we learned how to binge watch and entire series in one weekend? probably had a life thats what! I am in serious danger of becoming a couch potato, currently waiting for my next fix of ‘This is us’ I am constantly looking for a new series ( However nothing has come close to ‘The following’)

And then there is my Amazon problem, for the Love of God, somebody ban me from buying every single book that gets a half decent review! we still have libraries!, not for much longer if we keep downloading everything on our Kindles! I need to stop, aside from the Kindle downloads which I convince myself dont actually count, there are the books, piles and piles of them! Books which I struggle to find time to read, because I am so engrossed in some mini series on Netflix!

Pinterest, Instagram and Facebook. Practically taking over my life,I’ve managed to stop photographing my food,(I mean who cares?) and am sticking to Puppies and the garden for now, but Oh how addictive is Pinterest? I long to be that crafty/great at cooking/skinny/have a beach house in Malibu. But I’m not, and fantasizing about some other Womans life, whilst perusing through her perfectly staged photographs, will not change my own. *sighes*

So there we go! My name is Gena, I am addicted to Shoes, Netflix, Amazon and Social networking! Anybody know where there is a group?

P.S. I blame the Weather, if it was Sunny I would be in the Garden (pretending it was Malibu Obvs)