The Luxury of Dreaming.

Every once in a while we allow ourselves the luxury of dreaming. I am not speaking of the dreams that just happen at night over which we have no control. I am talking about if things were different for us…

For instance if we could purchase a property in France and eke out a living somehow and live out his dream of living in the warmth of the Mediterranean sun. It is where he wants to be, with every passing year he thinks that it is slipping away and it deeply saddens him and I to think that it may not happen for him. I want to see his dream and wish come true, I just don’t know how to make it happen in the life that we currently have. Another massive change that’s needed before it could. He is older than me by several years and he does not want to end his days in the little place in the South, or in Scotland where the weather is damp and unforgiving to a man with osteo-arthritis and who has been unwell for a long time.

So that is how it happens. An actual dream, which is then discussed with the other (in which we are living in some old house) or quite simply, one or the other of us begins to search online for French property once again in the search for the perfect place as shown in a dream.

A week ago, I dreamt about a house, it didn’t look particularly French in its design, but in the dream it was coastal France and we were travelling. Upon waking I remembered the name of two places. I felt that one of them was in Spain but I looked it up and it didn’t exist. But the other place along the coast that I was looking for, St Coulomb it turns out is off the coast of St Malo. This is not the Southern France that he craves but much nearer to the UK.

So the search began for a beach house in my dream, on a rocky bay where apparently we had gone for a holiday previously and I was suddenly in a position to purchase for us, except I was up and down the road and couldn’t find it again. I met him down the road and we began to look for it together. We knocked at the door to ask if we could go inside and shortly after that I woke up.

So I looked online at a favourite website or two, for property in that area. Then we talked about it since everything was way out of a budget that we often set for ourselves which is based on a figure we see as realistic for our Scotland home. One of us said that it was the wrong part of France and so I looked in The Midi-Pyrenees region. Non specific to town, just to see what was about.

It started out as harmless browsing and rapidly became a bit of a mission for the needy few days whilst I had felt unwell. It kind of lifted the spirits as it so often does when we allow ourselves this dream. I was met with 136 pages containing 3241 listings of houses. At the time I thought that I would look at a few of them, but every time the computer went on I found myself looking again at them. After the first day I had covered 60 pages of them. The second day I was up to 100 and the. I thought, I may as well look at all of them.

The houses are many and varied as you would expect. My criteria was that it has to have land, more than two bedrooms and I had to think of a figure.

So I only looked at those (unless it looked very special indeed)

Although many people might see this as a monotonous task I had set myself, In conclusion it has offered clarity on a couple of things, so that should the time come I will have a better idea of what would suit our ideal and what I would like to do in the future. It seems that our dreams often intertwine and have a crossover. I would have liked to run a B&B Chambre d’hotes business whereas he would be happier with our own private space and the responsibility of cooking for our guests. The ideal solution being to run self contained Gites instead which he seems happy for me to do.

When I was a little girl I dreamed of living on a farm or small holding and in the past few years since we got the cottage in Scotland it seemed as though we were getting nearer to that happening. A beautiful place surrounded by Farmland with enough land to make a start. If only I could get it finished and we could actually live there all year round we would know if we could. But then life dealt us some cruel blows and our health has suffered and I don’t even know if we could do that if we wanted to. The limitations that have reared their heads over the years often makes us rethink the possibilities. I would still love that farm, the practicality would be that we get people in to help us run it. Since I have no knowledge of animal husbandry or agriculture it is pure fantasy based on where I would like to live. Surrounded by land which no one can take away or build some monstrosity upon and a place where I can be immersed in nature.

So through this self imposed house search I looked at all the possibilities. I found some amazing properties which captured the imagination and was surprised at the effect it had upon my finding an architect designed single house built in the 1950’s with many inbuilt original features. It looked like a sprawling 4 bed bungalow but had a basement too like many French properties do. It was a bit of a marmite house. You’d either love it or hate it. For two days I couldn’t get it out of my head and he loved it too with it’s acre of flat land in a village it was not isolated and would have made a lovely garden with plenty of running space for the dog.

But then it wasn’t what we had talked about. It had no space to grow our options. No outbuildings for a Gite what would we do for an income I asked. Yes it would be a great retirement home all on one level for those with a pension and who are financially independent. But we are not. That’s when the reality kicks in and ruins the dream aspect. I need a job, either that or a lottery win. But certainly the means with which to support us all. He may be in his sixties now, but I am only in my forties. I cannot retire for about twenty five years if I am lucky. He has no private pension pot to keep him in luxury and so it is likely that it will be down to me to raise funds in whatever way I can as time goes on.

No if it’s going to happen then it must have land and outbuildings.

I found a place in the woods, near a river, on a mountain pass. It was a pretty place with a view of the mountains and river but the house held no allure for me at all. “You could make it special” he said. It had no inside toilet and I don’t fancy going outside in the freezing cold and the land around the house was steep and terraced. Since it was built into a slope, I couldn’t immediately see a way to connect the toilet facilities to the house. So I rather ruled it out.

There were houses in acres of Woodland with no one around. I must admit that holds its appeal still, but then I would need to be mobile and not cut off completely from the outside world.

There were Masters houses, grand looking country houses resembling small mansions on the edges of villages or towns.

There were houses with character and big gardens in villages with huge vegetable plots.

There were empty unloved farmhouses with crumbling barns filled with relics of machinery.

I found one such place which has 43 acres of land, barns and an old farmhouse on a hill surveying all of its land looking out across fields and woods. It has a magical quality about it that I like.

He asked but what would you do with your own village?

My response, I’ll think of something.

I even found a small vineyard.

After three days of looking I realised that I would not settle for a modern house. It would be big and sprawling with lots of rooms, loads of space and enough land around it so that I do not feel cramped I will one day be a little old lady walking around a big house. Hopefully with a beloved dog at my side and maybe with a companion to keep me from losing my marbles. It may keep me busy looking after it all. I don’t have children to leave it to but I hope that I will always have friends who will visit and come to stay. To enjoy the hospitality and company and that I will not be alone far away from any loved ones that I still have.

It’s funny that I mentioned earlier that our dreams intertwine and crossover. As I wrote this I meant that we sometimes wish for the same things. But there is another strange thing after I began writing this yesterday morning I had no conversation about the subject. Suddenly at around midnight last night my partner was telling me about a dream he was having in the early hours of the morning. As it turns out it was when I was awake writing this in fact, but I was not doing so even in the same house. He said that he remembered it so vividly and with intricate detail.

We were walking along the beach near St Malo and I was talking to him about a boat. He loves a boat and has craved owning another since letting his one go some years ago. In truth I think that he has regretted it and so it is often something he talks of again. Apparently I had chosen for him a 24ft cruiser which could be moored at St Malo so that he could go out fishing. He used to skipper fishing trips and would happily make that his vocation once again. We were just getting on the boat so that I could show him it and Roki our dog who doesn’t like water was the first to clamber on and found the best spot up at the helm with me. He asked him where he would sit and the dog just sat there laughing. So my partner had to sit at the back of the boat and told me that I would take them fishing then. We were also discussing going back up the road to show him a house on the beach which we had passed earlier. I said that I really hoped he would like it, he said what if I don’t and I told him I hoped that he would like it since I had already bought it.

He often dreams that I would do that. Purchase and present him with the house that we would live in. I think it’s strange, but he says that he trusts me to find the perfect home for us, if I am happy with it then he thinks he would be. It is great that he has that level of trust, but the reality is that I would not do that unless I had to such as in the event of him suffering dementia. Obviously then I would have to but in normal circumstances he would be a huge part of the process for fear of niggling doubt that it wasn’t what he wanted too and I might get it wrong.

It is not the first time that we have dreamt of the same place. We have dreamed that we are doing the same thing, in the same place often with the same people in them whilst we are sleeping in different buildings. It seems odd that we can begin to tell the other one about a dream we had only to see a familiar smile spread across the other ones face. It is usually followed by the phrase well in my dream we were here (or there) and we did this or that.

I also have the ability to return to a dream after waking, when it’s a good one I can go back to it and find out what happens. Unfortunately if it’s a bad one I can also return to it quite ruining my sleep for the night if I can’t shake it off.

I often have recurring dreams of places and/circumstances. It feels like an ongoing story sometimes frustrating as I’d like to move on. Other times the familiarity or Dejavu is oddly reassuring. I wonder what the experts would make of it all.

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I Breathe.

Cross legged on the floor deep in thought transported to another place. Outside in the open. Breathing in the damp air and scent of leaves, wood, moss, mist around me.

A feeling spreads throughout my being. I am safe. As I breathe.

A sense of calm floods over me and around me. The sounds of the woodland around me, the soft carpet of moss under me, trees for support and cover. Mottled sunlight through bright green leaves, the blue of the sky beyond it. Filters on another world. Birdsong, insects buzzing about their business in a far off place. Water rushing past on its way to somewhere, to quench a thirst and replenish.

And I breathe. I breathe it all in. Drinking in its beauty and simplicity. The ability to cause profound happiness just by reliving a moment in time. When all was right with the world. No call dragging me back to reality or something else that needed to be done.

Just time and space to sit and think.

A private spot.

Nothing else required of me just my presence.

And I breathe.

As it pulls me, lures me, lulls me.

Spreading joy and happiness into every pore, light from its source, peace to my soul and love in my heart.

And I breathe…

Daily Prompt Evoke

Letting Go

It is that time of year, the very last bit where we cannot help but to take stock of the year that has been and think about our hopes for the new one that’s coming.

What we wish to let go of, the old habits the things that no longer serve us.

And so it began on the early hours of this morning. The brain dump. You know those snippets of thought which do not give a clear picture, they are just random things flying around my head. A thought here and there which doesn’t make sense and then is gone forever.

Letting go.

So what am I letting go of?

Firstly, the thoughts that I am a sick person. This is a big one, I know it to be true but it is not who I am, therefore it should not shape me.

In the past few months I have got nowhere, it has held me back from living a life the way I want to and although I have rested the body and the mind I have felt defined by it and that should not be happening. I have relied upon Drs to find and treat the cause of illness and they have failed me, pushing me from pillar to post as they tell me that it’s not what they think it is, whilst not finding out what it actually is that has made me so suddenly and inexplicably ill. I do not fit in their box. So they have left me out in the cold to fend for myself and all that time has been wasted and I am left doubting my sanity and my longevity.

I am Me.

I am still the person I used to be, but I have grown. I have awakened parts of me which have been sleeping. Hidden from view for so long I had forgotten that they were there underneath all of the other stuff that has been going on.

I am still a loving, caring, partner and friend, daughter, mother. I am a great listener and confidante. Someone who offers careful advice when it is sought. Who will happily teach what I know to others if it helps them. In return I ask for consideration, for care and occasionally thanks for my efforts. It does not make me a bad person, I do require validation to know that I am not wasting my time and know that I am doing the right thing.

I am letting go of the victim inside, as I said to someone recently, that is in the past. Long gone and I have dealt with it and the fallout. Again it does not define me for that is not who I am. I have been victimised for the past few years and had some of the darkest thoughts of my life whilst I struggled to deal with the fallout from it. That is not who I am. I want to move on from that now is the time. I have battled it and the depression which comes in that package and I want to move on. Stronger from the experience not allowing it to hold me back any more.

I have done my grieving. For the Loved Ones we have lost, we cannot bring them back. Only the memories remain, sometimes a tear will fall and catch me out, but I will not wallow in the depths of grief or dwell on the circumstances which caused the loss.

Too much time has been spent dwelling on the past. The past is gone. It is time to move on, metaphorically and physically.

There is a whole world out there that I have yet to see.

But I don’t need to see all of it. Some of it the way that it is run, the damage that is being done to it and the people that are hurting each other in it, are not what I need in my life. I owe it to myself not to be drawn into this first hand. I have figured out that I annoy always strong enough to cope with the fallout.

As with so many things, I need to protect myself better. I need the connection with the earth that surrounds us so I am planning to spend even more time in nature and learn more about my foraging journey, it has taught me so much in the past year alone, given me medicine to heal my body and options with which to feed my family. I will grow more in whatever space I have, plants to nurture and care for us.

Friends and family. Over the past year, I have taken time out when I needed to. There have been times when the only people I have seen or spoken with for weeks have been my partner or my mother. I love the bond that I have with them both, but just sometimes I need other people in my life too. There have also been times when their company has been more than enough for me and I have sought, or even craved silence and solitude. They have often fought to understand that, but have given me space nevertheless. I want to see more of my friends this coming year, the ones who are still there or me and haven’t fallen by the wayside whilst I have been ill. The ones who care enough to make the time and effort that is needed to maintain a friendship. The ones who are not phased by my strangeness, the new things I want to try and still embrace me for it. My sisters and brothers, not bonded by blood but by shared interests, a love of life and all that it holds for us.

So as I attempt to let go of all the things that no longer serve me, a decluttering of the mind, body and spirit. I am starting to feel as though a weight is starting to lift.

The light that surrounds me, I need to let it in, it can only shine if it has a power supply. That has to be me, no one else. I have to make that happen.

I want to inspire again. Teach again, be a mentor to others. Share knowledge and help others grow and heal.

I think that in doing so, I will also be able to heal, for I am not yet complete in that process and do not have to do that alone. With the support of others so much more is possible. I do not have to fight things alone. I am not alone, there are people dealing with the same problems, probably also thinking that they are having to deal with it all themselves and that is not the case. Someone out there knows your pain, they also might know how to make it better.

Divide and conquer springs to mind. Divide the problem and we will conquer it. As they say a problem shared is a problem halved. Although that isn’t always the case, it can often help so talk to people, if not in person then at least online.

So what am I looking for at the end of this year?

Closure on so many subjects.

I do not want to take the things that have ruled me relentlessly over the past year into the next one. I’d like to say that they have no place in it but as many are still work in process, I think the key is not to let them dominate.

There are things which are yet to conclude, but the wheels are in motion, which means that I am not standing still, helplessly waiting on others to do as they should.

Next year I have to go out there and get it, whatever it may be. Grab the bull by the horns and steer my life in the direction it needs to go. To make progress, however small the steps at first. It is important for me to remain moving, not get set in the concrete caused by fear or trepidation.

I don’t yet know how, or what. But I do at least have my why…

If it is all left to chance, then there is a lack of direction and that easy come easy go doesn’t really suit me of my needs. I like the reassurance that there will be provision for what is needed. Food on the table, bills getting paid and flying along by the seat of my pants is not the way forward for me. It’s too stressful, it has caused more arguments and upset in the past 12 months than we have ever had. So I need to fix that and I need to do that soon.

I have been the breadwinner over the past few years and to take an enforced step back from that has caused such strain that I have often felt broken and helpless. Flailing around drowning when we should be treading water. So if I am well enough to find a job, if it pays the bills then I will give it a go. If it is an unqualified job, with no responsibilities then it will be less stressful and I may be ale to rebuild myself to management level again at a later date. Physical capability might not yet allow me to follow my business dreams but I will hold them in my heart and mind and if I can start as projects or hobbies then I can build on those skills for later.

They are my dreams and I will not just give up on them. So I intend to follow some of mine this year.

Beloved Puppy

Beloved puppy, loyal boy,

Still not so little bundle of joy.

My confidant and my furry friend,

Who knew how much I would depend.

Whose fur I reach out just to touch,

Whose love returned to me so much.

Coming along in leaps and bounds,

What joy again our lives have found.

Lays by my side when I’m at rest,

Cuddles to share our great big nest.

My furry assistant by my side,

Sends baddies running off to hide.

Has at last found his voice,

Joined our family his own choice.

Delighting in good things to eat,

Friends and family eager to meet.

His fans visit adoring him you know,

Responds with joy he’ll happily show.

To express pleasure he’ll often squeak,

It’s how he always used to speak.

But words have often replaced the noise,

As he comes over to me to share his toys.

Reassurance that’s there to last,

No matter what was in his past.

Excitement for the love he’s shown,

The Mama he can now call his own.

When I’m in turmoil or in a muddle,

Will share my space with a big cuddle.

He’s growing fast and strong and tall,

We chose the best one from them all.

The Daily Post – Nest

Rebuild

I wake from dreams I’d rather not see,

In places where I don’t want to be.

My hands are shaking, blood pumping fast.

Why must this feeling of betrayal last.

As I rise, with face engorged,

To gather my armour and my sword.

Feet placed firmly upon the ground.

But my body spinning round and round.

Ready at the moment to let battle commence,

If I had my time again would get off the fence.

Would I show the truth behind the lies,

The ones betraying, the hidden spies.

Who caused hurt and pain and such a mess,

And deeds which broke me, causing distress.

So as I stand with my feet on the floor,

Heading out towards the door.

Was I as strong as everyone thought,

When I left that place, hurt and distraught.

Still in a spin now years have passed.

Oh why oh why does this feeling last.

As though on my axis, my own planet.

Why haven’t I got over this yet?

I wake from this and start to think,

So many times I’ve been to the brink.

What thoughts or deeds send me there,

Haven’t I moved on, so why should I care.

The feeling as raw as if it were the day,

The rug from me was pulled away.

Years of my life, hard work was gone.

Did not know what I’d done wrong.

Punished for strength and loyalty,

Tying me down, not setting me free.

Wanting them one day to make amends,

And doing my best to still stay friends.

But friends are not what they’ve been to me,

By removing the plasters, the wounds they’d see.

Time has not healed the hurt they caused,

Left in their wake, the bodies they’ve gorged.

They say in business there are no friends,

So why time and thoughts I continue to defend.

Let me go, I’ve paid the fee

Wish I could continue to rebuild me.

The Daily Post – Transformation

Preparing for Christmas…

So we are now less than a month away from Christmas and I am wondering if I should decorate the trees? I was thinking that I might make some tiny handmade decorations for these little ones, although they will have to be weatherproof as these two already live outside.

These babies were grown from seeds dropped from pine cones collected from our home in Scotland by some people who are very special to me and have now moved to the other side of the world in Australia. Before they emigrated they gave them back to me and one day when they’ve grown they might be taken back to their homeland. Meanwhile they are about 12 ins tall, keeping me company in the South and reminding me of home and them.

As we get nearer to Christmas I will miss my friends even more and cherish the memories we have of last year when I got to visit them for a few days before they went. I am lamenting the fact that this year I won’t be able to send the silly gifts and home made things to one of my dearest friends, but I will hold them close to my heart and as always send them love. The distance is just a number, until we meet again.

The Vivid Sky

As I gaze out on the vivid sky,

As storm Ophelia bustles by.

Here’s hoping that she does not wreak, 

Havoc here upon the weak.

I look at the grass upon the lawn,

Bright yellow coloured ‘fore the storm.

Not scary for those in the know,

The vibrant shades their glory show.

Colours brighter than bright can be, 

Natures brilliance there to see.

Bathed with this most unusual hue,

Changes what we know and view.

Clouds of dust and Saharan Sun,

Swirling high it has begun.

Confused flowers open at night,

Birds circling around still in flight.

Grey skies are circling overhead,

Wonder should we go to bed?

Batten the hatches and stay inside,

Or get out there don’t run and hide.

Lights on cars out on our walk,

Hurry on by they don’t stop to talk.

Go about your business on with the day,

Together we’ll chase the clouds away.

So sunlight and the sky will turn,

As onward to our home we return.

Thinking of the day that passed,

And memories of the light will last.