Missed Chances of a Highland Summer

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Should I have applied for the job travelling Scotland in a Visit Scotland campervan?

Missed chances eh? It’s not as bad as it seems, I may have been able to pay the bills at home. Slept in the Scottish countryside and possibly, just possibly taken my furry assistant along for the ride.

It would have meant that my partner would have had to fend for himself until I could get back there and who knows what sort of bother he could have got himself into in the meantime.  We could have stayed up on the hill at weekends and worked myself on the house trying to get things done, but in reality I have not been in  a position to do that for the past few months, which I guess is what held me back in the first place.

Sure, I would have met tonnes of people at events all over the country, seen a lot more of my beloved Scottish countryside in the summer months, the best time of year, braved terrain and nights not quite on my own.

Ahh yes, those missed chances for a different life and summer to the one we have been experiencing.  Is the grass greener? Ask the Coos, (for the uninitiated, those are the highland ones)

Visit Scotland – Thanks I’d love to have done.  I hope that I will again so very soon, for I am missing it more than you know.

And so the Highland Summer was not to be, A Summer far different from everything that I had ever imagined. It began quite well with promise of a brighter future for all of us, with hope and anticipation. The sun was shining on our skin, the weather was good and the garden flourished. Then it was shattered, broken and will remain in our memories as probably the worst we have ever experienced in all our years together.  Our family is smaller, our bodies weary and our hearts heavy.

Our hope that with the onset of Autumn at our doorstep and as the leaves begin to go brown and drop across the gardens and countryside. That it brings Good with it on the winds that have begun to blow, that it sets us on the right path towards Happiness once again and that our luck turns for the better.

The Daily Post – Mistake

The Teddy Parcel

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The Teddy Parcel.

A knock was at the door today, A man was standing there.
He called, “He’s home and here to stay, I’ve brought your Little Bear”.
The most precious teddy parcel, he placed there in our hand.
Have fought to try to explain it, but they don’t really understand.
It is so very important, than we should bring him home.
For he was never happy, when he was left alone.
Wanted him back with his Mummy and his Dad.
Safely with our family, our furry little lad.
I clutched the teddy parcel and held it to my chest.
We cuddled as a family, the one we loved the best.
Put the kettle on and poured our favourite drink,
Brought it with your biscuit and didn’t stop to think.
We gathered up your blanket and put it in the sun,
As we talked some more about you and where you used to run.
Now although we cannot touch you, since you’re resting in the box,
The fact that you’re now with us helps, the pain it often blocks.
As you are in our hearts and always on our mind,
The memories we will cherish and the fur we’ll often find.
We’re watching and just hoping, that when you’re ready and in time
You’ll show you’re thinking of us and then send to us a sign.
So I will look for butterflies and feathers on the breeze,
And look out for you to smile at me and bless me when I sneeze.

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The Daily Post – Longing

Butterflies & Dragonflies

Butterflies and Dragonflies

A butterfly just flew here
I blew it a small kiss,
As it danced around my face,
Since it’s you now that I miss.
Swept upon the air as off it began to race.
Careless for a moment, there for all to see
Up there in the sky and all, yearning to be free.
Resting on the flowers
Bees and butterfly
Drinking in the nectar,
I’m trying not to cry.
Sitting here with you, it’s easy to be cross,
At how it seems unfair as we struggle with our loss.
Am I being selfish, failing just to see,
That all I ever wanted was to have you here with me.
The one who watched over, snuggled nearby as I sleep,
Resting on his cover, is where I often weep.
But I am not the only one, wrapped up in my grief,
Wonder if it’s time to turn over a new leaf.
So as it prances over and around my head,
You are still here with me, never really dead.

It wasn’t a red admiral, it wasn’t black or white.
It danced around my shoulders, just like a bird in flight.
It skipped in and out the flowers, just as you used to do,
Then sat there smiling at the top, to watch and enjoy the view.
And there just minutes later, scented flowers all around,
I saw the dragonfly toward me, suddenly earthbound.
It flew across my shoulder and looked upon my knee
A message there at last, that I would finally see.
It sent me love and kisses, from you as if to say
But before I got to kiss it back, it skipped off again to play.
I know that you’re here with me, as I try to ease the pain
So if you love them, set them free to return to you again.
So stay here with your Mummy,
Even just for a wee while.
So that I can rub your tummy
And cherish again your smile.
Stroke your furry ears
And gaze into your face
Fighting back the tears,
In our special place.

The Daily Post – Ghostd3

 

Spirits

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The spirits which visited me so regularly, have gone elsewhere.
My sleep is no longer haunted, my dreams less so.
I do not wake in a cold sweat feeling as though touched by something evil.
I cannot feel it’s breath upon my face, it caressing my hair.
There is no longer someone seated at the end of the bed when I am jolted awake in the night.

I am healing, nurtured by the safety of the love around me
Happy in the knowledge that it is genuine.
I will not come to any harm
My faithful hound at my feet, guarding me from evil forces.
Comforting me when I am restless
I can sleep safe in the knowledge that this is indeed a good place.

_______

Since writing this only 2 months ago, it has sat in my draft folder. It did not seem the right time to post it although our lives were feeling positive and as though finally turning a corner. We were calm, satisfied with the way things were at the time and looking forward to how our Summer was supposed to be.  And then it happened. An experience much like the first verse again. I awoke shouting trying to send it away.  A bad dream? It felt like something else….

Since then all manner of hell has unleashed itself upon our family and our world has been turned upside down. At the moment, I know longer feel that I know most of what is good and true, it seems often alien to me. I have almost lost the two biggest things in my life, it has changed beyond recognition in a mere 2 months. I have changed into an angry, sad and unreserved person, who speaks using words I would never have used before. Before, I would have kept my mouth shut. I am not proud of the language which is shooting out of my mouth, showing my pain to anyone and everyone.  It is borne out of frustration for the life I am currently in and is not directed at people, but it is unpleasant for me to be around, so I have kept myself away for fear of offending. I have never been this person before and I think it shows my weakness for all to see.  I don’t like being this person.  Although I want to change, I feel incapable right now of doing so. I am hurting, in pain and it won’t go away. I want our life to change for the better, I feel that I cannot cope with worse and I am fighting each day just to remain on top of it all, when the instinct is to hide under the wave of whatever has come our way, until it has passed.  Fight or Flight? Hunker down and it might pass, that is part of the old me, but it just isn’t passing. It needs a really hard shove and it is threatening to swallow me whole.   I feel helpless to handle it and just like an inner child, I want it to go away, somewhere else, where it can harm us no more.  Where we will not be tormented or scared, whether we choose to admit it or not.  I want the hell to go. I keep reminding myself that I AM STRONG, it doesn’t feel like I am at the moment. I need that strength to return to me, ten times over, not just have fighting talk but to take action. I don’t want to be frightened, I do not want to live in torment any longer or waiting for something worse to happen to us and I want it to be stopped before it does. I need to wake from this living nightmare, calm, refreshed and able to take it head on and totally slay it, just like the dragons.

Image: Morguefile.com

Wanting More

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This is in thought and Tribute to our beloved furry son, who we lost a month ago today.  We miss him every moment of every day and if there is a Rainbow Bridge that animals cross over. I hope that I will see him there in more than just my dreams. This is for Our Best Boy, who has left such a huge hole in our lives, which he filled with such love for us both.

Wanting More…

As you walked towards the doorway, your head pressed in my hand.
Try as I might I wanted to, but didn’t understand.
All the sadness you were feeling, was right there in your eyes,
To make you feel better in less pain, we tried and tried and tried.
I wanted to right there and then, just take away your pain.
But hold you close to me and not let you go again.

They told us you were poorly and that it was for the best.
So we sat and told you stories, whilst we laid there for a rest.
Your dad was right there with you, he took you for a walk.
He choked back oh so many tears he couldn’t even talk.
And when your time had passed and you laid upon the floor.
I cried and hugged for hours and wished I’d done much more.
So as I crave a moment, that you’ll put your paw in mine.
I hope that you’ll return to me and that you’ll find the time.

You see there’s not a moment, of each day that passes by,
When I do not stop and think of you and gaze up to the sky.
You see it’s where we look for Angels and listen for a sigh,
Just like you used to do, as time went slowly by.

To look into your eyes again, and filled with love for sure.
I wanted to do that once again I always wanted more.
But Nature’s cruelness once again, away from me she’d send.
The one who’d been there at my side, my dear and furry friend.

Has been a little while now and I thought my heart would break,
As thoughts of you return to me, each time that I awake.
They say that over time, we will repair and start to heal.
But such love and dedication, many cannot hope to feel.
You were so very special and grabbed hold of my heart,
Hook, Line and sinker Darling, I was yours right from the start.

You Wouldn’t Believe It if I Told You…

You wouldn’t believe it if I told you…

For the last month I have had a fantastical life, full of amazing things. Having spoken to several of my friends, most feel that they could not have coped with just one of the many things that Life has chosen to throw at us as a family. I would not wish any of them upon anyone else.

As I write this, part of me cannot quite believe that it has been only 5 weeks since all this began. It seems to have been an endless onslaught sent to try us and that we are still fighting, the reality is that it started long ago and I don’t know exactly when and just stepped up a gear in the past few weeks.

During this time, I have been trying to hold it together and although I wanted to write (so much), I have done little more than write my diary, sometimes there is just not enough room in there. I have also written a few poems. But the ones I wanted to write have not come to me, I am holding them back somehow. One will be difficult as it will be going onto a memorial and I need to keep it short and get it just right. But I have felt that as I look back through my writings, I may not want to be reminded of just how dark and painful the past few weeks have been and have at times wondered whether I will be coming out of it at the end.

Our little world, which is at times cozy, (but not very often) has been torn open. Not apart, you must understand, for we have been trying to remain strong and united together through it all. I think it might have been easier if I had been able to lock myself away until it had all gone away again, or calmed down, or at least I could learn to deal with it perhaps in my own way. Instead, it has been there in my face, like a two year old’s tantrum forcing me to deal with it there and then. Because someone else has needed my immediate help to get through it too, it has opened old wounds, laid bare things that have been buried for such a long time and renewed grief which has not healed. So I am seriously outside of my comfort zone and I have been tested like never before. Not just I, you understand but Life as I know it. For it has been torn open, ripped out and scattered all over the floor, there for the dissection of others and their judgement. It has been impossible to distance myself from or look at things logically, when there seems to be no logic. People that we know and love, who have claimed to be there for us, have been hurtful with their words and failed to understand and we are left feeling very isolated. In the aftermath of such torrents of words, isolated is the safest place. We will come out of it fighting and despite the attempts, it hasn’t killed us yet. Life has been reaping a whirlwind in our direction. No, actually although I have been fortunate enough not to be caught up in a Twister of the natural kind, it is exactly how I imagine it to be. Where life as you know it and all of the things that you love and surround you are swept up in front of your eyes and thrown for miles scattered everywhere and life as you know it suddenly changes completely, beyond recognition. But people can come back from Twister’s don’t they? They don’t all die do they? But their lives change immeasurably after such an event.

So as I write this I realise that we have been going through our very own Twister. But that because I am one of those people who believes in positive thinking, I do think that we will be able to get through it and in time rebuild our lives. Maybe this is the drastic shake up of everything in our lives and we need to make and change in such a massive way that has to start now. Life is not the same. We have loved, lost, been broken, been betrayed. In the past five weeks, I have almost lost my life partner after an attack where the man cannot be charged, due to his mental illness, which has in recent months been fuelled by additional drugs supplied by a new neighbour. I have also suffered a physical attack which has left me needing hospital treatment and afterwards scarred and devastated. But I am healing, more quickly on the outside than inside. We have lost our beloved furry son, at the young age of five years old to what we thought was a sudden illness and tumours, to be told that this may have been brought on by poisoning by a neighbour. Three people have since intimated that they knew he has done this before. Our darling boy is gone forever and our family has been damaged by grief and the actions of some, who when we needed their emotional support they turned on us with words. Things said I would hope, only in the heat of the moment. For if it was said with prior thought it is even more painful to deal with the hurt that it caused. Emotions run high in grief and if they speak their minds and choose then to speak with vitriol, how do you come back from something so devastating? We have had threats of criminal damage against our property and homes and are being tormented by the people that wish to carry out such threats and attempts constantly, the authorities are involved but the wheels of justice grind slowly. Attempts on a life which has spent years helping others within the local community, only to be turned on by people considered a vulnerable by the authorities due to the substance abuse they have inflicted upon themselves, in calculated and premeditated attempts, which have us not wanting to leave the sanctity of our home.

But they will not win. We are still living and breathing and fighting day by day. The ones whom I hold dear to me are either gone or left in pieces, which need rebuilding. I have to believe that this is truly rock bottom and we have reached it. We have been at breaking point time and again and it is time to turn this around. Simply because I refuse to accept any more bad luck, misery and misfortune to come our way. Whoever is sending it, can have it right back, tenfold and Yes, that goes against the grain, but if someone is sending it, then it’s already out there and I don’t want it. I do believe in Magic, good and bad and also that Love conquers all after all, Love is Stronger than Hate.

Time heals. I just wish that it would get a move on!
There are big decisions which we are making which will affect our future, the way that we do things, where we may live, how we will cope with things and what is left of us at the end of it all. Meanwhile, it is my duty to protect what we have, both spiritually, emotionally and physically wherever I can. If you are united and working together to fix something, then it is stronger, we will become impenetrable. We will rebuild our walls and be very careful who we let inside, more caution is needed.

I don’t know what the future holds for us, I hope that the happiness and laughter returns. That we will create a fulfilling and happy life, full of love and as we reach our twenty first anniversary in a couple of weeks from now. I am sure that we will make it and past that to enjoy many more years together.
They have tried to break us but did not succeed, we are stronger than that. We are together for a reason, or even several and as you know, I LOVE a reason.

 

The Daily Post – Complicated

O Grande Amor, the song of stress.

Stan Getz

I simply cannot explain it.  It’s bizarre but I had to listen to this fantastic album again yesterday to find out that this is the name of the song which I have noticed that I hum to myself in times of stress.  I had mistakenly thought it was another on the album, which I catch myself humming when things are getting all too much.  It starts off as an unconscious thing, but then I realise and it is like an old friend, immediately calming.

I first recall the regularity of humming it whilst walking through the corridors of the cardiac unit with my father, when he returned to see the consultant after having a heart bypass. But it has been with me far longer than that, occasionally I attempt to sing parts of it too.  I have owned the album for many years, since 1998 when I began to buy CD’s more often than cassette tapes. I have also found that after arguments it also mysteriously appears.

I have no idea as to the why?  I am unable to shed any light upon why of all the music I have heard over the years and grown up with, this is the one which returns and why there is one at all. Perhaps there is some deep seated reason I have yet to find out, but  I do love the song and I know that I love listening to Jazz music.

Stan Getz & Joao Gilberto – O Grande Amor

Finding Inspiration in Unlikely Places.

I feel that if I were to face my fear and walk up to the door and knock on it, something interesting will happen.  The anticipation of the situation is eating away at me.  If I ignore the feeling that a strange or dangerous person may be hiding there, I might just get a nice surprise.

I have day-dreamed of the moment that I do that. Instead of passing the house which intrigues me so much.  It has been derelict for some years, for at least the five years that I have lived nearby.  It was once neat and tidy bungalow with a nice garden, but the lack of care means that you now cannot see the garden and the archway which once covered the front of the pathway has grown all the way along it, leaving a tunnel to the door.  It is in darkness, but someone has cut a walk through to the door.  I often drove past it on the way home and looked for lights and signs of life throughout the winter months when it grew dark early, there has been none.  There is an old camper van parked in the driveway, which has not turned a wheel during that time either.  In fact it has been there for so long that a grapevine has grown up around it over the top and when it overhangs the pavement, someone cuts the edges back and slings the pieces over the fence again.  You would barely notice what was stored behind what is now the makeshift hedge. The roof of the house is showing signs of damage, the odd loose slate here and there, the pointing around the chimney loose and the gutters hanging down in places.  You cannot see the windows at the front of the house. I would love to get in there and take a look.  It’s not one of those big old houses, which I loved to go and look at if we passed them on rides out in the car.  It’s just what was once someone’s home, probably built around the 1930’s.  My kind of era for houses.

I imagine that I will summon the courage and knock at the door one day.  That some elderly person will shuffle their way to the door and we will begin to talk.  They will not want to be rude or send me packing for disturbing their day.  I will offer help, perhaps to cut back the hedge for them and let some light return to their house if they would like that, or help them with getting some shopping maybe. I will listen to their stories and hear about their life. It might inspire me to write about them, in some future book.  I look for characters everywhere, inspiration in the strangest of places.  Meanwhile, we will walk the dog past the house as often as possible and dream of what is behind the front door, of how the garden looks, of what story it can tell me.

I think of the person who has left this place as it stands for so many years.  Maybe they have left and not returned, maybe they have been there all along, waiting for the knock at the door to find out if anyone will care.  Maybe I will brighten’s someone day by offering some form of comfort or help when they need it and show them some understanding. I hope that I will not be too late for them.

Time to knock at the door…

The Daily Post – Understanding

 

Writing up the Past and A Pair of Shoes.

In the last few weeks I have been working on a novel, which relates to aspects of my past, so I have been digging deeply without trying to let it swallow me up. It has been difficult to both recall and write about. So the novel itself may be a long way off. Although I have started writing, I have been relying upon memories which have not all been easy to dig up again and so dealing with the demons which inevitably come out to play in the process. All whilst trying to maintain the status quo and a happy home life. It has been a bit of a strain and the posts over the past couple of weeks have been up and down along with my emotions and thoughts.

It feels quite cathartic to have finally typed up all my poems which have languished in the loft all these years, after finding them last week. There would have been 40 of them. A nice round number (and I do like those) if there weren’t two missing, perhaps I threw them away in disgust a reminder of a love that once was, but that is unlikely. I wrote an index of them all along with the dates they were written, even approximately if I didn’t know the actual one. There are bound to be others kicking about in notebooks, handbags etc which I may find years from now, the one I wrote for my friends wedding still eludes me, along with the other items which I have yet to find. I fear moving in case one of the items I have been searching for, gets disposed of, so I will continue to hunt for it until I can find it again, although that may take some time. Meanwhile, whatever gets thinned out is getting checked over very thoroughly for that piece of jewellery until it turns up.

I have tried really hard to not judge myself too harshly since I started to go through them, whilst muttering “Gullible child” under my breath quite a lot. The facts of the matter are that I wrote all of these during the ages of 16-20 and I was young and sometimes very foolish back then. There are a lot about my “Loves” from way back then. At least I can rest assured that I have grown up a lot since then. It’s funny how the inner voice conversations go though, when you read something going back that far about yourself. I found myself thinking about my transformation over the past year or so and telling myself, “Who are you trying to Kid, you are still the same person as when you wrote them“, whilst arguing the fact with my inner voice. I am not! (she shouts like a five year old, almost stamping her foot) Lots of years have gone by and I know that I have learned a lot, however it has not been a joyful few days and quite emotional and I have probably been rather teenager like at times. Just wanting to get it done in the single minded way, which isn’t really fair. So I have also been trying hard to get other things done for the family too, so that they aren’t left out. However I have still been able to relate to the person I was when I wrote them, not the ones which are about the Loves in my life, but about the feelings instead.

I will share only some of them, others’ I have deemed “not fit for consumption,” so will stay where they are, I resisted the urge to edit the hell out of them although some of them have been slightly tweaked, they are raw like I was back when they were written and they would lose their integrity and make them something new. Maybe that would be a good thing after all, but as yet I am undecided.

Anyway, here’s one I wrote and do want to share with you, It‘s called A Pair of Shoes, I wrote it 23 years ago. I laughed when I read it again, thinking that even way back then, I loved a metaphor. The shoes did actually exist, now if only I could remember which ones they were….

A Pair of Shoes

At the moment, I feel like a pair of shoes…. 

I bought them two years ago.
They’ve been in the box ever since.
I like them.
But I’ve never actually “Needed” them.
They might be useful at some point.
Occasionally I take them out and look at them.
I didn’t want to get rid of them.
Sometimes I try them on for size and they’re comfortable.
Then I put them away,
Until next time.

 

One Mans’ Waste is another Mans’ Treasure

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One Man’s waste is another man’s treasure. So they say….
I am the first to admit, I hate waste. I was brought up in a home where we did not have much to spare, what little we did have was often passed on or found. As a consequence, My parents and grandparents we great at recycling, (and hoarding) so I guess that it became second nature to me to have second hand furniture, clothing and to learn how to give things a new lease of life, or just enjoy them when someone else had finished with them. Also to hang onto things, often until way past their usefulness has probably passed. When I grew up, it wasn’t known as recycling, that only became a popular phrase, as I was growing up, the phrase was learning how to just “make do and mend.” It instilled a certain level of practicality in us children, where we looked at how things were made and how they could be repaired or even turned into something completely new. So much of that seems lost now.

I am in turmoil. You see whilst walking the dog earlier, I came across a house which had been cleared. We walked past it yesterday too, or was it the day before. It looked interesting, the house had been sold and as a consequence emptied. Totally emptied! The front garden was now piled high with the belongings that someone had once held so dear. You see, to someone like me, there might be gold there! Some wonderful preloved thing, just waiting to be found. It is difficult for me to comprehend, how someone can just clear out and dump someones possessions all out in the garden. No Skip. Just loaded up so that they can barely get down the pathway, what on earth does that solve? The house is sold, clearly they didn’t want it but surely you would get a house clearance in, or donate to a charity instead, after all there are plenty of them around.

Lots of people would make use of these things. A washing machine, fridge, cooker, the odd nick-nack. I wish I had a truck and a spare pair of hands sometimes. Oh and a lock up.
Unfortunately we live in a wasteful society now, where everything is considered disposable, without thought or consequence. I find this difficult to deal with and try to find another option: re-use, recycle, re-purpose or donate. My other half thinks that I gather “unnecessary toot” wonders what I would do with it, but it just requires a little creative thought. I can see the potential in most things, this is both a blessing and a curse at times.

There are still poor people in the world, at times I am one of them. Those who don’t have much, are missing something in their home and cannot afford to go and buy it. Cannot afford the latest things for their children and yet still want to encourage, nurture and let them think outside the box. That someone might be grateful to sit on an old chair, with a new cushion, or repainted in a pretty colour.

They might want a suitable table where their child can paint pictures, draw or read a book in a quiet corner. That desk and chair might just be welcome.
Perhaps if I could get that truck, lock up and spare pair of hands, then I would have a curiosity shop, full of such things to inspire a new generation, that dumping stuff for the local youths to smash up and litter all over the roads, really is not the way forward. To needlessly destroy things of beauty that were once a cherished part of someone’s family home. Sometimes passed from generation to generation. Sometimes they are not worth anything at all, in monetary terms, but have huge sentimentality to others.

As I sit in my house, surrounded by items of furniture, either bought or collected through the years, mismatched it tells a story, or several. Some inherited, some replaced but all has it’s use and place within the home. New is not always better, it holds no story to tell. It’s life has only just begun, but does it have any staying power, will it endure? I would rather take steadfast old than crumbly new any day. They don’t make it like they used to.

I regret that I did not rescue a piece of furniture from the roadside a couple of years ago. It was robust, solid wood and well crafted. Made to Last and had done so since just after WWII a 1940‘s post war oak cupboard. It had been disposed of for days, I tried to think of a way of getting it home, since I could not lift it alone and my partner had damaged himself (as he often does) so was unable to assist me. Over a period of several weeks, the rain got to it, which split the wood. Someone poured something over it and the varnish began to peel. The drawers were removed and smashed upon the floor. Paint was then thrown all over it.
A few weeks later and the top was also pulled off and slung across the road, broken and beyond repair it was then stacked by a tree for the dustmen to take away. The furniture that had once stood proudly and polished, cared for in someone’s home. Gone forever… Such a waste. Things around here so often are, it causes great sadness.