A Growing Bucket List

sMjU7VJu.jpgThis is a 2-Part Post, the first part written in February 2017…

The Bucket List is a wonderful film starring Morgan Freeman & Jack Nicholson it is one of our all time favourite films and was on TV recently we watched it again. Clearly inspired my partner has been dreaming again of things that he would like to do too. I hope that he gets to do them.

So as I try to think of the ways that I will actually begin to tick things off my bucket list. My partner is thinking of ways that he can make it happen for me.

What is a little bit bizarre is that although things get mentioned from time to time. It is not written down anywhere. So he is going from memory which at times can be a bit sketchy. But it seems that he is quietly planning my bucket list for me. Making it happen. Like the trip I mentioned where I find as many Art Deco and art nouveau buildings and photograph them. Well, I as anyone reading this regularly will know I am just back from Barcelona a last month. Within a week he was already pointing out a hotel break, 2 days in Venice in a beautiful 4 star Art Nouveau hotel. Would I love to go? Yes of course I would. What worries me is that he has no intention of coming with me since travelling by air is an issue. It has been for some years, but now he is concerned about his respiratory system since he has been so ill lately. But he wants to send me. He told me at New Year that I would have to get used to travelling on my own. I wasn’t sure what he meant, but I guess this was why which is so much better than the alternative since I can comeback and tell him all about it and drive him crazy looking at the photographs and now write about it too.

Of course I wouldn’t have to travel alone if a friend or family member wanted to join me, so that’s always an option. I don’t know how I’d be abroad totally on my own. I think I need a bit more confidence before I take that step. But there’s hope for me as I’m only uncertain not terrified at the thought of it. Time would be my own and I wouldn’t have to do a particular thing. There again though it wasn’t like that when Mum and I travelled, it was very relaxed. We did not have an itinerary just expressed a wish of things to see and she noticed things that I did not when we were out and about. A beautiful doorway here and there, or architectural detail. Something on the bus which I made her get off to show me so I could capture it.

We did say that it would be interesting to see how many of our photographs were of the same things since we shared a keen eye for so many of the sights.

I don’t claim to be an expert on anything, merely an enthusiast but I would love to make a living doing this.

Yes, I am an enthusiast of so many things.

So along with my growing list of things that I’d like to do this year. I’m afraid my bucket list is growing too and I don’t think that’s a bad thing really. It simply means that I have not had enough of the experiences of this world. There is more and more that I wish to see and do before I die and if I don’t get to do it all soon, then I’ll just have to live a long and happy one. I don’t know how long it will take me to get to Australia but I will get there one day and collect hugs from my extended adopted family when I do.

April 2018… Continuation

It is strange that this post has remained in my “Draft” folder for over a year untouched and incomplete but what is even stranger, for me at least is that I have just ticked another thing off my Bucket List. It was a big one of the things which I had no clue as to when it might happen, my only hope was that it would. As you will have seen from my posts recently, I got to hug my extended adopted family in Australia sooner than I thought and I travelled there alone. (Does that count as two things, I wonder?)

Of course this has not quenched my thirst for new experiences at all. If anything I am relishing the thought of what will come next. Its turning out to be an exciting journey after all.  Now how IS that ever increasing Bucket List coming along?

 

Image: Morguefile

 

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A Shooting Star?

As she lay down to sleep, her eyes closing from tiredness.

She asked for her angels to protect her and her loved ones. To keep evil away so that they might be safe and happy and they gain rest and recovery from ailments and worries.

She can see flowers, as though someone has scattered them above her, burgundy and white but she is not sure what they are.

Once again the buzzing of the nerves through her body, like a telephone ringing in her leg. Starting at the toes and radiating up the leg. The wake up call as it were. Does she have a direct line to them she wondered. Do they answer my call in this way?

She was shaken just once but as though two hands rest on her shoulders, were vying for her attention.

Just as she wanted to sleep. Ah insomnia my old friend, so you are back again she thought.

So she waited, willing for sleep to arrive and as she did so it began. The swirling lights on the inside of her eyelids and all around her as she breathed slowly and rhythmically and tried to relax. I think she knew what to expect. This time green mixed with blue, white and gold. Like her very own Aurora Borealis happening right there above her head, a long awaited dream coming true.

Opening her eyes she was not surprised that as before she was wide awake again. Suddenly no longer tired, the body momentarily invigorated by the experience. It happens again and she can still see the lights above her. Reassurance that I did not dream it.

The dog awakes from the other room, not excited by this spectacle, he does not run to look. She does not even know if he sees it or senses it. He takes a leisurely drink and comes to settle at her side just as the light show ends. But she cannot sleep and neither can he, he returns to the darkness of the next room huffing gently that his own sleep was disturbed again but not really knowing why. He will be back when it has settled down. As her body cries out for he sleep and let it wash over her, like the waves of tiredness, rest assured he will be there a furry assistant watching her back. As she drifts off and she looks up the reassuring image before her, that of two hearts in the doorway, beating and pulsating where once was darkness stood.

Some time passes and some sleep is gained before swallowing hard as the noise of piano keys crashing is in her ears. This sudden noise a rude awakening as she is awake once more but comforted by the breathing of the hound who has returned to the side of the bed she realises the message is loud and clear, that love is strong and all that matters.

And after staggered sleep she wakes to the blessing of being able to welcome another day, the sun rising on the new horizon colourful and bright and offering her new hope. Thanking them for the comfort they bring her on the darkest night. The gratitude that she holds for these special moments, the thoughts that she has been part of something special. A shooting star perhaps, flying through the cosmos on its way to somewhere new. A new galaxy to explore, reborn with new light to shine.

Daily Prompts Horizon

A Conscious Decision

This year I have made a decision that I will not document in my diary what the symptoms of my illness are day after day. Like so many other times in my life, I followed the advice of a Doctor who told me that I should keep a record of the changes to my health.

As I think about it, my health dominated most of year and I see that as a direct consequence of recording it. It consumed me.

How was I feeling?

I dwelled upon every change and duly kept that record. But why? What good did it do? Did it give me the reassurance that it was all happening when the doctors didn’t listen? No it didn’t.

In fact it made me feel worse, it was putting a huge negative right at the forefront of my mind day after day.

I think the final straw, or nail in the proverbial coffin for this behaviour was when the Neurologist I had been referred to for seizures, wrote me off without further investigation because his first thought, that I might be epileptic was proved wrong. He did not delve deeper into what was causing worsening seizures night and day. He simply decided that he did not need to see me and the nerve pain and shaking must be caused by a trauma or psychological issue in my past.

It upset my partner greatly and it really made me wild. So I trusted my gut instinct and had a chat with my GP about the painkillers I’d been described and that the seizures had begun at exactly that time. I asked for an alternative and changed them. You’ll never guess what, I have not had a seizure since then! Sure I still get shaky and have nerve and joint pain. But not one of the three consultants or the two Doctors thought that the painkillers could be the cause, they would rather blame some issue in my past for it all.

I’m not denying it I do have to accept that last year I was sick, very sick for quite a lot of it. I’m not completely well or miraculously healed at this point in time. But and there is one, I am determined to turn a corner and improve whatever I can even if I have to take one small step at a time, even if it is all via small steps it really doesn’t matter, as long as I keep going. Along with my nature of being a positive thinker at heart after all of the knockbacks I am trying so hard to return to that state of mind.

So I am dragging myself kicking and screaming into this new year with the determination that things will indeed be different and better and my good health will once again return and the opportunities await me and I will see them in time and grab them.

I will not wait for this to happen now, or for doctors who last year failed me at almost every turn, failing on both diagnosis and treatment. I have decided that from now on, it is down to me to make improvements.

I have had to make the changes. As someone who lacks self confidence I am naturally reluctant to change so have to be pushed. I am grateful at such times for the driving force that is my partner by my side. He often wonders if I would do anything new without him. Of course I would, it would just take me longer to get off the ground and I might not see it all through.

But I am working on that. I used to have a “self destruct button” as he put it, where I would take silly risks, or not think things through before jumping in to something with both feet. He has taught me over the years to think things through beforehand. As a consequence we talk about almost everything especially if it is likely to affect us both. It not only makes us stronger but saves a lot of heartache.

So this year I would like my lovely new fresh blue diary, a present from my sister. To contain happy thoughts. Things that I will achieve. Items that have come our way. Wonderful things that we have seen, or done. Great experiences and pleasurable moments. So that at the end of the year, or even part of the way through it I can read it for inspiration, love, gratitude and so many other wonderful things safe in the knowledge that I am doing exactly what I am supposed to do with my life. Live it and love it.

It’s my birthday tomorrow which always gets me thinking about the future.

I am not dwelling upon the past or an increase in my age, for that is just a number. But I am grateful for the wisdom that comes with each year that passes as I grow older. For what the previous year has taught me, the lessons and the challenges I have overcome and the things that make me, just me.

May It Be

My wishes for the coming year.

May peace surround you and move freely amongst you just as easily as evil has done.

May your light shine brightly so that others might see and embrace it, welcoming you into their lives.

May your happiness outlast any misery and your body be strong and your mind healthy.

May you know that you have the love of special people around you who care.

May your friends be honest, kind and true.

May you not want for material things which might only weigh you down, but have the means in which to provide comfort and care for your loved ones.

This is my wish for the coming year 2018

To all of my family and friends Peace and Love

A Clean Break

It was going so well, and then I fell…..

I remembered that my brother used to use this phrase, but it was usually injected with humour after he had done something on a night out, when he had been foolish and got drunk and got caught out in his actions.
I haven’t done anything involving alcohol for a while now or which would apply in this scenario.

However I feel this morning that this saying applies to me.

You see in all of what happened during last year, In August I was referred back for counselling and have been trying to get through everything with the loving support of my family and friends. Sometimes barely holding it together but somehow scraping through. I have been on a list and in the past couple of weeks have been questioning whether I actually need that counselling when my turn comes. I thought that I have been able to heal from last year and had made progress especially since the arrival of furry son #2, otherwise known as the care bear. After all I can now leave the house without fear or panic although I am still watching my back. I have been able to go visiting friends and family and get the shopping again and keep the small quantity of appointments that have been made. I even got and made it through a job interview which was real progress. With legs that felt like lead I walked to it, lightheaded and feeling nausea coming over in waves as I tried it o remember to breathe in full blown panic. I cannot recall what I said to myself to calm me down before I went inside other than, they are only human and if it’s meant to be. Then it’s meant to be.

I came out of there feeling that it had gone well, I was told that I interviewed well and the woman spoke about two jobs that she felt I would be right for. I said that of the two, personally I felt I would be better suited to one of them and she said she would let me know. It was a little over a week before Christmas. I heard nothing. After Christmas I contacted the person who had called me for interview to see if she had any news. She chased up the interviewer and came back to me with apologies for the delay but I did not get either job. Fair enough it clearly wasn’t meant to be but it was a setback.
[However the job search continued and I apply for anything that I feel I can do, old want to do. You see I do not have an industry. I want to find new things. I had a thirst for new experiences and knowledge. I have worked in several industries and yes, there are some I would be happy to return to and other’s I was glad when that episode of my life ended. ]
Meanwhile I have been bonding with our adopted dog and here for my partner who has been unwell. We have spent this valuable time together and both feel that it has been essential to our healing. We have talked openly about depression in both of us and the physical care that he now needs on a daily basis due to his health issues. I am that care giver. I wondered out loud last week how he would cope if I were not. It didn’t please him I should have kept my thoughts inside. We have talked about our escape from this place and the situation which has left us feeling so melancholy and the fact that the authorities are powerless to stop the man who is still running wild and free having threatened our very existence for several months of last year. Life is not the same for us. Our loss and grief continues to marr what could be such a good life and threatens our happiness on a daily basis. Thoughts of our beloved dog and how sick he became due to the actions of that person. My partner and I have also become sick through it all both physically and mentally we have struggled through it and we are not out the other side yet.

Yes I am angry. Not in a twisted way or hellbent on revenge as some might be. I am trying to forgive but I am unable to do that yet. I feel as though the only way that will happen is when I no longer see his evil smile. It is not a kind, happy smile which welcomes you. It is an angry sneer belittling everything you do or feeling that you have whilst he is planning his next move. I can do nothing but watch and wait anticipation it before it happens and trying to diffuse the anger that builds since he is getting away with it. Treating the authorities and the people who look after him, despite the fact he is more than capable of looking after himself, with utter contempt and disdain. He is pulling the wool over their eyes an accomplished actor donning many disguises to play the parts. He has them fooled, he can even do meek and mild and quietly reserved until they bring him back and his champion of the world kicks back in to rule with an iron fist and all the time he knows exactly what he is doing, the consequences of his actions and the mayhem and upset that he wreaks.

I thought that I was coping with it all but I am dogged with a voice two octaves lower than it should be. A gravelly throat with visible lumps inside it and a persistent cough which chokes me at night. This is not a metaphor but it so easily could be. It is the reality and I am stifled. The police told me that I could not say these things about him. That it may incite violence or ill feeling towards him and that he is vulnerable. So for months now I have felt stifled and unable to speak. At times I have almost lost my voice, literally hoarse from a condition which My doctor told me was brought on by stress. The lumps come and go Antibiotics have no effect upon them. I wonder if there is any physiological reason for it. Is it connected to the pain and temporary deafness which comes and goes. My referral to the ENT department cannot come soon enough. But I cannot help wondering if it all stems from this trauma which continues to play with everything I do or think.

I thought I may not need the counselling that there is someone out there who may be more deserving of it. A letter arrived this week asking me if I still required it. I wasn’t sure. My partner was very matter of fact he told me to get on the phone. There are things that you sometimes feel you want to talk about with others. We can talk about anything but as he has figured from my past experience with the counselling, we need to go and do it and get that other perspective. From someone who is outside of the situation and whose judgement is not clouded by knowing how you think. I have requested the same counsellor since the barriers of getting to know someone even in that controlled environment have already been broken down. She was like a new friend to me. I appreciate everything she told me, both personal and professionally in our sessions and it would be nice to see her again as she knows my history to an extent.

I have realised in the past two days that I have a long way to go before I have recovered from this trauma and ordeal. I have been trying to kid myself that it was over and I could move on but it isn’t. The realisation that the creature over the road has been biding his time, waiting for the fuss to die down so that he can start all over again has been tough to stomach. With the arrival of mysterious foodstuffs placed in sections of the garden in places the dog could find have made me realise he is up to his old tricks again. My partner called him on it and other neighbours have seen him throwing food into our garden. We have picked it up and inspected it, but poisons can be unscented but when food is spoiled it does change consistency and colour. So far we have not seen any sickness but when the pup is off his food with a hot nose we worry that we may have missed something and he has found it. But I will not let the creature rule this year. I will not live in fear again whilst he flaunts his carefree existence. He will not tie us up in knots day after day worrying, but he already is, the sickness I feel in the stomach is already there with a gut feeling that knows he has already got to us so I must learn to stop that. There has been a distinct shift in our moods since the arrival of the odd food in the garden and we check for more before we let the dog out there. Every time and thoroughly.

I know that to get out of the situation here would be a new start, a clean break would be a positive thing for us and I am trying to make that happen but I need help. A new job, a new home should be a positive thing, but why does it feel that we are giving up and running away. Why should we be chased off by a situation we cannot fix? We have spent six months trying to think of another way, trying to make it work here and get on with our lives. Our lives have been on hold, waiting for the problem to be dealt with by the authorities and we are no nearer a resolution. I cannot sit and wait, I do not want our time to run out, or be cut short by someone who feels that their actions will never be accountable. He has no fear, a whole lot of other problems maybe but no fear.

I need to move us on from this, to stop it eating away at us to reboot our onboard thinking we are not running away, but are making a break for freedom from this. Life has dealt us some blows, thrown a few bricks at us. It is time we begin to build new things with them.

The Daily Post – Clean

Christmas, The Holidays How are you spending them?

This was going to be my “Happy Christmas” post when I began it last week.

We are still enjoying or enduring the Holiday period here in the U.K. As we head now towards New Year. I am grateful for the fact that I am enjoying it.

This Christmas I knew would be vastly different for us and I honestly did not know how it would go. After the year that we have had it couldn’t help but be. It is the first one where we have not had Kato physically with us, he was here only in spirit. He entered my thoughts daily and although I looked for signs I did not see any. However I still felt that he was part of the family here enjoying Christmas morning together.

The past week we have been getting ready for the occasion and I have never felt so unready before. I went for a job interview the week before and it went well. I came out with such a positive feeling about both the job and myself and hoped that I may be offered one of the two positions they had spoken about. That weekend, my partner told me to call my friend who was emigrating this week and book a ticket to visit her. It was a wonderful thing to do, I feared that she would be too busy but she jumped at the suggestion. So I had a fabulous time with her and her family before they went, I came back having felt such love, I was on cloud nine.

On coming home I tried to fit in getting the house “Christmassy” but had only just enough money to get food and a few small gifts for family, so had to buy gifts wisely. Whilst my partner and I sold a few items, the people came to collect. The truck went this week, I didn’t feel stressed about letting it go. The relief that we would have funds for the shortfall again this month outweighed that.

It also meant that Hope, my Beautiful blue car has been brought out of the garage and I  able to drive her again for the first time in months again thanks to the assistance of friends who made sure that she was safe for me. I played Santa and delivered gifts and cards on Christmas Eve and got to see and hug another friend I have not seen this year.

So being broke has been the new norm for this past year along with so many other emotions. But as we end the year I can’t help thinking we have lost a lot of people. Not just the ones who are old, but the ones who are taken far too soon. When faced with this situarion, you cannot help but rethink how you wish your life to be as the new year approaches.

I did not hear about the job, but that did not stop me from applying for many more this week. At some point, someone will offer me one, when the time is right so I must trust that the right one will come along too. It felt like I have turned a corner being invited for an interview can do that to you. Lift you up spirits and all and make you concentrate on the positives.

However recently my partner has been ill, he is feeling very stressed out about making ends meet but it has all come together just in time and he is wondering where the next bit will come from, looking for things he can turn around for a little profit to keep our heads above water until that elusive job comes along. But his heart is heavy and it’s making him tired and he is in pain with the various health issues he has and damage to his body over the years. He has been told to take it easy by the doctor, but the doctor knows that he doesn’t know how. Which can be a bit of a cycle for him, it also makes me worry about him.

This Christmas we did not get fancy gifts for each other. He bought me something lovely when we were in Scotland in the Autumn and I have kept it for Christmas. I bought him something he needed, a pair of boots to keep him comfortable whilst we walk the dog together and our present to each other was our beloved Roki. For Birthday, Christmas and my Birthday. No other gift is necessary as we have the love and happiness that he brings us. We collected our new baby seven weeks ago and he is the family we craved to have again.

We awoke on Christmas morning and all piled onto the bed for a big family hug. The day was mild and bright and we made plans to go out and see it. I did not spend the morning wrapping gifts for others as I had in previous years. I had managed to wrap the few that I had bought and most had already been given by then.  We sat talking, played music and had a lovely breakfast of smoked salmon omelette which is an all family favourite. I thought about the big Meal that I would make later and planned to speak to my friend to wish her a safe journey.  Our Christmas Day was non eventful to the outside world but just right for us. We sent and received messages of good cheer to family and friends but to see the face of your child as you give him presents on Christmas Day was just the perfect way to spend it.

Our boy had two fleece blankets which were donated by the emigrating friend and he was so thrilled with them. He had a rope toy which I had given him a couple of days earlier when I had returned from my trip and a woven cloth toy, which in our house is known as “A wonderful fling to be flung” which my mother had made for him. He also had some treats and was so ecstatic that he didn’t know what to play with first. So he just decided to pick up as many as he could at once, throw them all into the air and then roll on them. He is happy. I sent a message to his old family Thanking them for the most wonderful gift to us and received a touching response.

It was late evening by the time I had prepared and cooked our Christmas meal which meant we were up until very late and watching the films on the TV till the early hours. It didn’t matter so much. On Boxing Day I collected my brother and took him to our sister and her partner’s house for a feast. It was lovely, I haven’t seen any of them in months it was just nice to sit around and enjoy a meal, we also watched a funny film and laughed together.

They say it becomes different as you get older, but that is the true meaning of Christmas to us. We have love. We are not in Scotland for the first time in three years we have stayed at home. That in itself felt a little  bit odd but less stressful for me as I didn’t have to pack or travel Christmas week and it never quite feels like the holiday until you arrive at your destination.

My good intentions as to how we should spend Christmas did not come about, again we did not decorate the house for the occasion. My partner said it wasn’t important and we just ran out of time before the big day. This Christmas was about sharing Love and Time, after all who knows how much of it we have left, that was the most important thing and we achieved that.

So however you have spent yours and however you choose to spend the holiday time you have left, I hope that you enjoy it.

I want to Thank you for following my blog since I began in February, for the friendships that grow along the way and the support that you have shown me over the past few months.  I hope that we all continue on our journeys through the next year and find new inspiration, experiences to write about and I will enjoy hearing about yours.

The Daily Post – Festive

Phoenix in the Fire

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Phoenix Fire

There is something immediately calming to me about building a log fire in our house.

I always look into the fire to see what shapes it will produce, sometimes I have seen words upon logs as they burn and sometimes there are objects which are plain to see. others you may have to look more closely for.

Here is the second night’s fire after we arrived.  I have named it my Phoenix Fire. As I placed the funny shaped log upon the fire, it began to burn and as it burned the fire curled the fronds of bark around it as though wings in flight.  It was beautiful. I did not want to leave it’s warmth.  As the fire roared from it’s mouth and all around it warming the room and my face. It was as though it had something to teach me. That underneath it all, there is still room to grow and return.  Another promise of Hope perhaps.  It would appear to be a signal that I am not done here yet.  Rising again from the embers. Stronger one can hope.

The Daily Post – Promises