Monday 30 December 2019

2019 recap

Leaving 2019 behind and moving into 2020, we surely feel like we are dusting ourselves down and moving forward - just as we say we will do every year. 

2019 has been an interesting one for many and 2020 looks like a nice number; which has encouraged everyone to say, “2020 feels like it’s going to be a good year!”

Myself included!

This past year has been full of learning curves and lessons for many. My year started with no New Years resolutions but an idea of a big manifestation for the year to test myself with. It seems at the eleventh hour it’s shown itself which was something I began to doubt might happen. 
Learning the art of allowing has enabled me to become a great manifester and the year began with a house for sale next door,
“Gonna buy that for Nana,”
I told the twins. Who laughed. September we moved her in, accessed professional care for her and began the process to refurbish my house which needed a whole host of repairs. Better for everyone. 
My blog “dementia mum and me” saw no new posts as I began to struggle to share there. Things got harder; caring for mum. 

January we saw the twins turn 19 and the long dark nights of February began to turn into hope for a promising spring around the corner to everyone’s relief.  

My lack of travel was frustrating me as I wanted some winter sun. Focusing on getting the best out of my creative writing MA instead, I headed through life with the usual motions (as you do). 

A devastating letter dropped onto the mat informing me I’d had an abnormal smear and needed a biopsy. Fear consumed me directly before the strength to research using my science knowledge and then determination to fight. And live. Live hard. And full. This journey is currently still not over. 

Vidcon, at the excel centre London, was the trip that saw Jasmine light up with passion and motivation for her YouTube career. This excited me as we began planning some ideas. 

Nathan and I took a crazy day in Wales. A random trip which we felt Might scratch the itch of us not going away. It was stunning. 

March, a dance weekender, Jasmine and I headed to the coast. I felt certain I would be driving her home the next day but I was wrong. She loved the dance with as much passion as me and we went home to talk with excitement to Nathan who also decided to start dancing. A lovely family activity followed and we love our time together dancing. 

April saw a colposcopy which was incredibly less frightening than I had imagined but sadly confirmed there were cell changes going on which needed an eye kept on them.  I decided to live life harder, faster and cram in what I could while also trying to take better care of myself and improve my immune system.

My university employed me to create VLOGS for them which was inspiring.

A Mozart choir concert saw me proudly holding my own.

My MA tutorial was incredible as they began telling me I write commercially, which means agents and publishers will want it!

My car had its service!
Harley had a hair cut.

The Kent Festival of writing was incredible and inspiring.

I put in an offer and had it accepted on the house next door!

I had surgery on my intestines on Easter Sunday!

Sharon and I had our last night out, I got tipsy.

May started much better as Nathan and I took to the skies for a few days vlogging abroad. The weather was fab and the recharge button was pressed. We made new friends and danced jive.

June saw Nathans first dance weekender in Southport which was incredible for us all! 

Builders-a-plenty started coming round to help us figure out the leaking roof and we decided to make extensive improvements to the house!

In July, Jasmine had a group of her friends enjoy a holiday to Zante - of course, we missed her

"Yesterday" was on at the cinema and I fell in love with the film!
I collected the keys to the house next door

August is always a settled month for me. The heat encourages time at home. But we loved a dance on the Cutty Sark in Greenwich, as well as SITC

There were meetings about mum's care, a dental assessment for me to have braces (but I couldn't as the Crohns caused bone loss, damn), a visit to my old stomping ground at Ipswich as I researched my dissertation and another trip to Southport for dance!

September was fun. We moved mum and I stayed there with her at nighttimes.  We began to get our house back to being home once again. New floors, lots of throwing away clutter and a general good clean up began. This is still a work in progress. 

Center Parcs gave me one of the most relaxing days ever as: I booked into the Spa there during our usual family gathering. 

A work trip to Montenegro began at the end of the month and Jasmine and I were blown away with the resort there!

October was busy. I collected my new car, saw the gastroenterologist again (results were good!), had a meeting about taking a Ph.D., went to Weston Super Mare for a dance weekend, did some more property stuff, sang in an informal concert, had a check-up on my ankylosing spondylitis and started a new writing course.

November started with a dance weekend in Camber.  A writing course in London for a day (super inspiring about Non-fiction!), a reading and book launch from my MA supervisor!  I took myself to Banja Luka to write for a week and had lots of moments there which were very thought-provoking.  Upon my return, I found myself with two new mentees at university in London and I also began to lean on a new friend while Sharon got more poorly.

December saw my heart break as I said goodbye to one of my best friends.  Life instantly began to change once again as I realized that sometimes I need to worry less and go with the adventures which show themselves.  

What will 2020 bring?

I have a good feeling! 


Saturday 21 December 2019

Life is short

Life is short, true. But here I am heading into another Christmas period. I made it. Sharon didn’t. We lay her to rest tomorrow. Heaven knows how I say goodbye to my bestie.
            ‘There are good guys out there, don’t lose hope,’ she told me frequently. 
            ‘Nah,’ was always my reply as I protested single life is better for me. Had enough heartbreak thanks. 

Christmas eve, I’ll be in the pub with my teenagers who are now old enough to drink with me. It’ll be fun. I might accidentally get a bit tipsy like I did last year. 
            Does that mean I won’t be looking at the door hoping for the Milk Tray man to swoop in? Of course I don’t want a heart of ice, but letting him in is taking some chipping away. Thank goodness he’s patient.  What if Sharon was right?


Friday 20 December 2019

I'm just a woman who...lost her muse

Passion filled my muse until just a few days ago. Now I can’t find it, even though I tried.  

Last night I was shattered as I popped up the TV at the end of my bed. Author Angela Anne on my YouTube with a ‘day in the life’ video usually gets my creative passions flowing. Nothing did.  I have never felt like this before. It isn’t writer's block.

I’m just a woman who has lived a lot of life and has a story to tell. 

When they told me that my story ‘has legs’ I was more than excited.  Pushing my dream that I’ve carried as a little girl – since I could pick up a pencil. Long letters to Grandparents were written, until I was old enough for pen pals  - write, write, write.  It was my peaceful place.  Sitting on my floor, leaning on my bed, writing by hand. 
After a very tricky science degree in biochemistry of nutrition and medical things, I decided to be a science writer; great! An MA in creative writing swerved that into writing creative non-fiction, and ‘they’ liked my stories.  The experts.

I’m just a woman wanting to share my story of hope, and winning against the odds. 

My book spans 20 years and sees heartbreak, infertility, miscarriages, poverty, homelessness, single parenthood.  The point in it all? I want someone to pick up my book, read the story and think, “If she can do it, I can do it,” and believe that maybe they can find some strength to turn their life around too.  
I could have crumbled but instead, I worked, I got the bit between my teeth and made life happen, all while being a good parent. Learning all the things that help you create a life you love helped me to manifest my desires.  Except every so often, there is a bump in the road and along comes something to test me again.  Have I used all the strength I had? 

One bad critique shouldn’t stop me. But it would. I need to be accepted, approved of, given a thumbs up. Those who have read it usually go crazy for this book yet publishing it might just find other critics who are disapproving. Which leaves me in a place of hanging up the quill. Just for now.  Just to take some time out to focus on health, life stuff which needs catching up with and to travel to hotter places with salty seas and blue skies. 

I missed my blog. The journaling I do daily is a practice I love, but I still have missed the blog.  So, I’m back, on Fridays, with some story, or a short few paragraphs of writing, like the one I will publish tomorrow.  You see I still want to write, but I want you to love my writing.  Perhaps over time, I will share more of the big project on here but I’m very undecided about publishing it right now. 

This blog was born from finding a love of the law of attraction and wanting to share that with you.  Now I expect disapproval, I am manifesting that so for a short time I will regain my faith in my audience and share some of my short stories here. Hoping to manifest readers who adore my work and motivate me to share more.

If they can do it, I can do it.

Thursday 12 December 2019

Sharon's last dance with me

My beautiful friend Sharon, who now has her wings

It was just the two of us in the room, as the family had stepped out of for a short while. Sharon was comfortable in the hospice and the staff loved her.
            “Let’s have some music mate, this version of ‘Show me love’,” I said to Sharon as she slept. Using my phone, I played the song we used to go crazy to on our nights out. She opened her eyes, “I thought you might like that,” I said as I watched her eyes close again. I held her hand until the song played out then I blew my nose and dried my eyes. Standing up to put the tissue in the bin, I said with my back to Sharon, “I know, you like the King and I. I remember this song you told me about,” and typed into the search bar of my phone ‘The King and I,’ and looked at the long list of songs. Memory reminded me Sharon liked ‘Shall we dance?’ as I clicked play.  The first strings played and filled the air in the room as I moved over to the bin, to throw my tissue away.  

As I turned around I instantly smiled and walked back to the bed where Sharon was wide-eyed and conducting the music high in the air with gusto.  Shocked in the very best way possible I laughed and said, “Oh Sharon you are a legend!” I took hold of her left hand and we danced together in the air above her bed as her right hand tapped ‘one, two, three’ in time to the music! This was a classic moment with Sharon and I lapped up every second of it as we danced together for the last time.  The words were familiar and we sang together, not loudly, but audibly, “…with our arms around each other and will you be my new romance, shall we dance, shall we dance, shall we dance?” 

            The more I laughed, the wider Sharon smiled.  I couldn’t believe what I was seeing, “Oh they won’t believe this when I tell them,” I said with tears of joy pouring down my face.  Sharon and I singing and dancing again. Not on the dance floor, granted, but that really didn’t matter.
            “I’m really going to miss you girlie,” I said.
            “Miss me? Why? Where are you going?” Sharon asked

Monday 18 November 2019

Why Last Christmas (the movie) made me cry

Why Last Christmas the movie made me cry

A brand new, Christmas themed chick flick is out! Excitement filled me as I realised there was a gap in my diary to go and watch it at the cinema the day after it began to show.

The trailers showed what looked like a rom-com type of theme with lots of love to be had and of course, Christmas ‘things’. Was it going to be like Mamma Mia? Everyone said it was set to the theme of Wham! songs. Remembering back to when I was a kid, I saw Wham! on tour at Wembley in London.  December 23rd1985.
Those were sad and lonely days in my little bedroom, playing over and over, "Like a baby" on vinyl until I fell asleep, to the glow of an oil lamp I used to light. 

Last Christmas (the movie) gave me a jaw-dropping plot twist to fathom! I am the person who can always predict what is about to happen in the storyline but I really didn’t see this one coming. Of course, there are no spoilers here but if you see the trailer you will see what I am about to mention here on this post.  

You see, for me, this day saw far more than just going and watching a movie.  The main character Kate (played by Emilia Clarke – who has the most incredible facial expressions and eyebrows) goes through a personal journey.  From being somewhat a ‘misfit’ in life and trying to please her family and friends, while getting so much wrong, she has a miserable time until she meets Tom.  Played by the most handsome guy I’ve seen on the big screen lately, Henry Golding, Tom begins to break down the hard outer shell Kate has built for herself through past hurts.  As her softer side unfolds, we see her opening up to letting her heart do the talking as “Heal the Pain” (George Michael) weaves throughout the film.

Casting my mind back many years to an old friend who was a guy, he used to play Heal the Pain to me all the time after my own heartbreak. Corny, I know but I don’t mind; it is a lovely memory that moved me at the time and took me right back to that moment in the film too.  Of course, my eyes began to fill with tears and I hoped they wouldn’t flow. 
It worried me how much I could relate to the main character and if you have seen the trailer, I’m giving nothing away by telling you there is pretty much a love story unfolding.  Kate lets Tom in to her closed heart. Something I struggle with, letting people in.  I can only imagine how hard this is for her.  
The plot twist happens and we see so much unfolding within the story which takes us to an ending where Kate has to go on her own journey of learning to love herself, just like the song says, 
     “Be good to yourself ‘cos nobody else has the power to make you happy.”

And I cried LOTS more. 

Did I love this film?

Oh goodness, YES! 
Some have said it’s cliché’ and cheesy.  Isn’t that exactly what a good rom-com Christmas themed movie needs to be?

Set in London, it was beautiful to see familiar places like Regent Street and Covent Garden lit up for Christmas but for me, the characters made this film what it is, with a little George Michael magic thrown in. The storyline definitely took me through a personal journey, during the time I was watching, and the tears were a demonstration of my own life adjustments I am trying hard to sit comfortably with just now. 

Go see this film! It will make you feel Christmassy and that plot twist is definitely something to make you gasp! 
Let me know what you thought too while I try and be a little more ‘Kate’.

"I'm just scared all the time; they just expect me to be normal." (Kate) 

Wednesday 30 October 2019

Signs that autumn is here

October 30th already - gosh - and today it was plain to see that autumn is here.

The cool air in the morning and the dewy tops of the cars starting out their day were a sight to see in their glistening beauty as I snuggled into my warming car seat to drive to the coast.

Today was a brand new start on my writer journey as I travelled to the Kentish coastal town of Deal to begin a writing course with the plan to hone my craft of writing a story arc more fluently.  As one of my very best friends lives in Deal, we decided to use this opportunity to get ourselves together for a fabulous catch up!

Coffee and Walnut gluten free cake (made me smile..)

....Julie made me laugh, as always

I do love a classic. This Triumph made it look like we had gone back in time

Officially Autumn

End of day writing session

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