Summer Reflection

Well, as the warmer weather is still with us and we have sunny days, isn’t it technically still Summer, after all the clocks haven’t gone forward yet, casting us into darkness mid-afternoon.

But I am taking the time now to reflect upon the Summer, which this year should have been great, but really wasn’t.

The past two months have been harder than I ever thought possible and at the moment there is no let up, no sign of Hope, (she is still firmly under the tarpaulin and again has not been driven) whilst these shenanigans continue. But hoping that things will change is clearly not enough to make that happen. I have pulled myself every which way to try and make things better.

In my mind at the beginning of Summer, I was looking forward to the Sunshine and making things happen, plans for the future. I was going to finish my book, publish it, write another or at least a large chunk of it. My mind was working, I was inspired by things around me, open to opportunities and new experiences. I was looking forward to a great future and felt that I had been able to let go of the past which had haunted me for so long. I had turned a corner. I have a family who love me. We would go to Scotland and spend some time there for the first time in months. Walk my Beloved Boy on the beaches and in the forests nearby and also enjoy some of the sunshine here before we went. Once there, I would make repairs to the cottage and try and fix it up a bit, to halt the decay slightly, I might even get the log burner fitted before winter and stop the damp from a leaky roof. I would also apply for work and see if I could get myself another job to cover the bills for when I came home.
I was out taking photographs again, enjoying the space around here and time with family, I even got some shots that I was pretty happy with and was looking forward to getting a whole lot more of them.

I had spent time getting the garden here under control, watered and it was thriving, rewarding me with beautiful flowers and plants and a peaceful place in which we could all relax and enjoy the nature around us. I love getting my hands dirty and awaiting the outcome of my labours out there. Here it is only a small garden, so easy to maintain and shows quick results in whatever work you put in. It gives my mind time to unravel anything which is complicating it, that it doesn’t understand or just needs time to digest and I am not sitting around doing nothing.

Doesn’t that sound simple and idyllic?
I only wish it had panned out that way….

In July, I had applied for some really good jobs my fate was in their hands, they were all ones which I could have done easily, some of which I would have really enjoyed. I was also writing daily at least something, a lot of poetry and other things too. Not all of it posted here, some was for the book of Poetry, some for another book I was working on and I was trying to expand a website which had lain dormant for too long, to turn it into a more of a lifestyle website. I was feeling hopeful about the future and finished my book of poetry in early July, the Blog here was gathering momentum and followers and I was generally happy in my little life. We were looking forward to the rest of Summer and our lives and thought about different options going ahead, what we would change and what that would bring. All positive things, Life was mostly feeling good.

And then….

Suddenly our world was turned upside down.

Alas just as the good things were supposed to happen life went more wrong than any of us could have expected. And, what is worse is that I haven’t been able to put it right yet.

For those who are wondering what on earth I am talking about although it is covered in my previous posts. In short there have been problems with a neighbour who has made threats to our lives, attempts upon them and the loss of our beloved boy through sudden illness caused by poisoning as it turned out, oh and I also had a brief time in Hospital and a long recovery, which continues. Although we have tried to, we have not been able to shake off the doom whilst we remain at our home here in the South and we have had the getaways, but it has not been safe for us to decamp in case the man concerned decides to carry out the other threats upon our property whilst we are gone. The pressure of having to search for work was taken away by a 13 week respite due the accident and recovery and because of what has been happening here, right when I needed to be away to get through the trauma of what has happened, I cannot. I needed rest and recuperation, but have been unable to have either, unable to sleep and in fear of my life. So instead the onslaught continues.

Although I am working on that, they say that the pen is mightier than the sword….
I hope that they are right, I have been corresponding with so many departments that my head is in a spin and I can only hope that my call to action has been heard. It was all quiet on the western front up until last week, but finally it seems that they have taken on board what has happened. All the police reports and maybe some of the other neighbours have also decided to speak about what has been happening here. I wrote a letter to my neighbours last week, explaining what had happened here, asking them to be vigilant and to report any issues to the authorities. They should not be living in fear caused by one or two people who have chosen to terrorise the neighbourhood. From it all, the neighbours have actually been more friendly towards us, stopping to talk and attempting to be supportive.

We are adamant that we will get away to Scotland at least for a small break, I have four weeks until I am expected back to look for work, yes a whole nine weeks have been wasted of this time, which could have been spent somewhere beautiful, pulling our lives back together. Not spent looking over our shoulder every time we leave the house. Not having to fit CCTV to our house to protect it, not having to visit the shrine of our boy every morning in tears wondering why this happened and if someone will have desecrated it again. Not having to follow each other like sheep, to watch each other‘s back so that this one person can take a run at us and stab us.
We have been kidding ourselves that it will make a difference that we are in pairs, he knows that he is invincible, in his head he can do what he likes, the police in general remain powerless, they can only take him away and incarcerate him for short periods, then he is back. Looking for the next opportunity, we are not safe outside of our home and the stress this has caused has affected the health of both of us, in mind and body over the past two months.

So Meanwhile our lives have been put on hold, the things that we would normally be doing around here, have not been done. Our time is spent with the authorities, giving statements and having meetings about what he has chosen to do to us. We are told not to speak to him, meanwhile at will he can stand across the street yelling all kinds of verbal abuse, making all kinds of threats and we are expected to do nothing at all in response, to just walk away and ignore him.
For the first few times this happens, you can ignore him, not take it seriously, but when he runs at you with a knife and you realise that it isn’t just the rantings of a disturbed human, he actually means to cause you harm. Well then that puts a different light on things. Your own instincts for self-preservation kick in, if you haven’t run off, on your “In flight” mode. You try and stand your ground, which is rather difficult if you are told not to speak to him. Yes, we cannot antagonise him by retaliating to this onslaught.
In days gone by, if someone said something to you, or verbally abused you, you could shout back, tell them what you thought of them, even tell them to shut up and go away. But now, well we are told not to respond in any way and it has made it worse. It has made me angry that what little power I have to cope has been taken away from me and the calm and peaceful home has become somewhere that neither of us want to be, both trying to deal with things in a way which is so different to how we are used to and it doesn‘t suit us at all!

If as a naughty child, you did something wrong and someone tells you off, then when I was growing up that was generally enough to make you pack it in. But not this one. I guess there was very little discipline as a child, his Mother grew her own Monster and he has behaving just as he likes ever since. The way that he speaks to her is atrocious and she lets him. Her “child” is now heading to 50 years old.

Yesterday, I had some supportive emails arrive, finally from the people I have been rallying in the past few weeks, they have responded to let me know that things ARE being done, to warn me that it is a slow process, but the situation should be improved soon. They cannot tell me any more than that at this point. But at least my actions have not been in vain and importantly for me, my voice has been heard, by someone, somewhere.

I only hope that their action comes before his does. That he does not get his own way and finish us off, before skipping off to the nearest facility for a little break before being released to do exactly as he pleases again. As they say sometimes, PREVENTION IS BETTER THAN THE CURE.

I kind of like having a life, in particular, the one I have had for the past few years, despite its ups and downs and I don’t want someone to take it away from me. As a kind lady reassured me a couple of weeks ago…

I still have things to do on this earth and my time is not up.

The Daily Post – Fragile

Advertisements

Missed Chances of a Highland Summer

IMG_2311

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

Lessons Learned when Writing your Book

IMG_1939So after a quiet couple of weeks here on the blog away from the laptop and writing only sporadically the sun had been shining, in between the rain storms here so I decided to get out in the garden. To allow myself to be attacked by Roses and make the outlook a little bit brighter. Summer is here and with it brings the urge to create nicer surroundings for us all. So I have been weeding, digging, growing and sharing cuttings, re-potting and tying back unruly plants and trying to forget that there is a whole huge expanse of space which has yet to benefit from my attention, if only I had the energy to tackle it.

After a couple of weeks of leaving my draft alone and then returning to it to edit again and print off a copy for someone else’s opinion. Here is a list of the Lessons I have learned while preparing a physical book for someone to read for the very first time.

1. Disregard the fears that you may have done it wrong. They are just concerns, you have to start somewhere.
2. Have a back up title in case you have done it wrong.
3. Make Lists.
4. Edit, Edit then Edit again, there will always be something you have missed. Surely not, well Yes actually!
5. Remember to insert the page numbers so that if there are corrections noted, you’ll be able to find them to fix.
6. Make sure that your desk is sturdy, more important than you know.
7. Make sure that you have more than enough printer ink for the job
8. Give your printer a service before you start to print.
9. Do not hold your breath when you hit PRINT, it may take longer than you think.
10. Print in batches of 10 pages at a time, that way if your printer begins to shake uncontrollably whilst doing its job, or misalign inexplicably you will not waste time and resources with fuzzy pages.
11. Reprint any fuzzy unreadable pages. These things are sent to try us!
12. Since your first reader is a family member. Make them swear that it is for their eyes only and they will not send it anywhere until you have got it back and corrected everything. Stating for all to hear that this is “definitely not the finished article”.
13. Write all over it that it is the “First Draft” Confidential might be a good idea too!
14. Realise as your heart sinks that although this is your baby, other people have their own lives to live and it might take a while to get it back.
15. Remember to breathe. Eagerly anticipating their response will only cause added stress and upset, especially if they tell you that it isn’t your best work, or you should include something else.
16. When your family tell you that there are more important things to life than being wrapped up in your book, as their patience has run thin smile sweetly and agree with them.
17. Try to convince yourself that it’ll all be alright in the end.

The Daily Post – Struggle

A Midsummer Night

The beautiful moon on Midsummer night
Watching as the clouds go on in flight,
Rushing under an enchanted full moon
Which passes us by all too soon.
I throw open the blinds and welcome the sight
To see the room bathed in its’ light.
Laying in a pool to feel its balm
Taking over that sense of calm.
Once in a lifetime. Gone too soon
As it’s beauty and light fills the room.
I’m so excited I cannot sleep,
Wondering what blessings we’ll reap
How our lives may change for the best,
And when I’ll enjoy peaceful rest.
So wrapped myself up in a blanket of white,
Watching their step as the angels alight.
They’ve come so far to visit me,
dancing around and setting me free.
As I tell them that I’m not ready to go,
Despite the battle of highs and low.
My work around here has only begun,
So I’m not content to skip and run.
Will they assist me as I prepare,
To cleanse and grow, my soul laid bare.
So as I watch the moon at its height.
Not thinking at all of my recent plight.
But of new things which may come our way,
As we dance headlong into the fray.
It is far better than counting sheep,
Watching the moon as you’re trying to sleep.
Watching the reflections starting to gleam,
A part of my own Midsummer Night’s dream
With her smiling down upon your face,
As you cherish living in this special place.
Laying awake and looking at stars,
Searching for planets, Jupiter, Mars.
There’s a wondrous world out there,
If you take just a moment to share
In the beauty that’s heaven sent.
As you watch the moons ascent.
The light is changing a new day has come,
As you drift into sleep with the rising sun.
It was a moment, so special and bright
Bathed by the moon on Midsummer night.

 

The Daily Post – Summer

The Flat on the Corner.

The strangest things come to you when you are unwell. I do tend to compartmentalize sections in my life, sometimes without even realising that I have done so. But there are times when I don’t want to and somehow my subconscious tends to do it for me.

I often have a recurring dream about a particular place, where I own a flat, which is rarely used, but I don’t actually, nor have I ever owned. Bizarrely I tried to buy the flat I did live in many years ago, but was it did not go through and I moved on. With this particular place though I am always opening it up after a period of time and realising that this was indeed a nice place and I should spend more time there, but never seem to do so, I remember that it would have been a great party flat. I have never been a great party goer, or indeed held such an event but I can recall having a party there in one dream, it was filled with people dancing around, loud music, but everyone was just having a great time, with no stresses.

It is as though over time the dreams are building into a story, a section to which I return from time to time, filled with things from the past. Good and bad, little reminders, but also the promise of something new and exciting. I am sure a dream team would have something to dissect with this.

The flat occupies a corner of the block in which I used to live, on a high street when I first met my partner. Years ago, when I was a child, there was a haberdashery there on the corner, called Pollards, they had been there for 100 years and the shop had all the original wooden fittings and display cases. I was devastated when they sold up and the new owners ripped the guts out of the building and threw out the fittings onto the street. It was before the days when reclamation became popular, but these days there would have been a small fortune sitting there. They also sold school uniform, so I guess were an outfitter too, and occupied two floors of the building, but there were offices or flats to the rear too.

I always wanted to take this building and make it into something lovely, again I think I have a hidden architect within me. As I will often pass a building and then imagine turning it into a home. There is another building that since I was a teenager, I have wanted to transform into a great flat, or apartment since it lends itself beautifully to loft style living, It also has a rather nice double story flat adjoining it right on the corner of the road, owned by the Blockbuster video chain, before it went into liquidation. But boy, do I have plans for that part of the building.

Again, my mind is flitting from the property in my dream. I once had quite a strange dream about it, which strangely, I can still recall many years later. It involved rooms which were unused and contained various old Victorian style beds and blankets and the back stair leading up to it was rather grotty. It was a bit like a mixture of the flat where I had lived down the road, where passing the other doorways, the walls were so thin you could hear the conversation. In the dream you could hear babies crying and other signs of life, coming from the rooms, but I found the dream disturbing and did not venture into the rooms, at one time there was a baby cot, but no baby, as though it was supposed to but hadn’t arrived. I found it disturbing when I dreamt it and put to the back of my mind. It made me sad so I thought I had blocked it out, but again the memory has returned. Strangely, when I lived down the road, I had a baby pram, which someone had donated to the charity shop downstairs, I kept it because things like that were expensive and one day I might need one, like the bottom drawer which people used to have in olden days, where they saved things for their wedding, I had one for the baby. I would have donated it to a friend, but no-one at that time needed it. After a while, my partner suggested that someone else might find a use for it and we donated it to a local sanctuary for ladies who had to leave without anything, they got quite a selection from me. Thankfully it was also a turning point for that strange behaviour and I stopped collecting baby things. I think that was when the reality finally dawned that it simply wasn’t to be.

The rooms at the back somehow seemed as though they were not connected to mine and it was almost as though I had snuck in to a place I did not belong. Like the belongings I had left there were now somehow no longer mine but I wanted to return and get them and yet, they had not actually been taken away from me. It seems as though it is some kind of secret place, I would creep into the building where I return to from time to time, it contained things from childhood, a treasured thing, or a favourite outfit. Perhaps it is a metaphor somewhere in there to which I may delve to find out more at some point. There was a neighbour who would try and catch you coming up the stairs, although I am sure that she lived at a later place, but to avoid her I became adept at coming and going quietly. I once visited there and was trying to get my clothes back as though someone had taken them in lieu of something, perhaps like unpaid rent. At that dream I never thought that I would return to the place, but I can remember parts of that dream now, several years later and also whenever I dream again of the place.

I do not ever recall sleeping there. For some reason the entrance arrived straight into the kitchen via a staircase up the side street. Off the hallway near the bedrooms, there is a bathroom, towards the back of the building. The rooms are really plain and old fashioned, barely used and in a bit of a state. Which always makes me wonder why I return to the place and why I seem to love the flat. The lounge area really sells the place. The Kitchen and Living area is huge open plan. It has enormous huge windows, which had window seats underneath them where you could sit overlooking the street below, up one end, right on the corner of the building, there was a window or double balcony doors, which you could open and see a glimpse of the sea, past the bank and down the street opposite. The space is phenomenal full of light and has character, it was never meant as a flat and is about twice the size of the others in the neighbourhood at least.

Last night when I visited with my sister, we walked in, I opened up the shutters from across the windows to let the evening light of a busy high street in. It must have been hot, since I opened an industrial fridge- freezer, rather like the kind you would find in a newsagents to get her an ice cream. I looked around the corner of the kitchen area over the breakfast bar to continue our conversation. I was showing her around the place, although she had not been there before. She was immediately feeling at home, perched in the window on the window seat as I had done so many times, looking at the lights. She was going to stay there, I think just like that, we turned up and within minutes it felt homely again. Dusty and unused since God knows when , but we sat there with just those high street lights, didn’t put the real ones on inside and just talked, whilst eating ice cream on a summer evening.

That is the thing that always seems strange, when ever I visit there, there is always some kind of thing in the fridge, although last time I did have to go to the shop for some milk as I had visitors coming.
I don’t remember the conversation we were having but it was although we were preparing for yet another party in the place.

Last time I went past the building itself, it had changed hands once again, it had been turned into a coffee house, I’m not sure if they had put the upstairs balcony doors in for me yet. But it doesn’t retain any of the original features that I could remember. It seems that the flat on the corner has changed beyond recognition. Perhaps the metaphor is staring me right in the face, maybe my subconscious will no longer send me there in my dreams now. That is a place I don’t need anymore.

The Tale of Boomerang.

037

This is the Tale of Boomerang,
Right from back where it began.
A story from long time ago,
Never thought would love a little car so

Thinking of the trips in this, they’ll go far,
As they made their plans for the little car.
Of a beautiful Saab she would often dream,
Not usually red, she had seen one in cream.
Planted firmly upon her wish list,
Her sights set hard, through time she wished.
For this was a dream she set out to achieve,
A possible goal made with time to breathe.
But her licence would come and a date he’d set,
When her dream would come true and that car she’d get.
They travelled the country far and wide,
A passenger then just enjoying the ride.
Emotional journey to her old car farewell,
they had moved on it was time to sell.
She thought of all the ones that had been,
Of all of the sights, she had finally seen.
Days out in the sunshine when the weather was fine.
Trips off to France to load up on wine.
The roof down the breeze and wind on their faces,
A clear stretch of road, enjoying the races.
A short while passed and he wanted to upgrade,
But with the red car she wished she’d stayed.
The first car she had from passing her test,
It was the one that she loved the best.
Driving past one the pang it sends
As they went along in their Mercedes Benz,
Don’t get me wrong although it was fun,
The Saab was much better in the long run.
Think of the joys in little red,
All of those journeys we wore some tread.

They travelled to town for a funeral,
Journeyed back talking through it all.
And in an unknown place that they passed,
Sharp intake of breath and they were aghast.
They stopped up the road, couldn’t believe their luck.
With the car at the garage, the man was stuck,
There’s been thirteen people for it, I’ve been sent.
Take it away, as for you it was meant.
She skipped out to the car to see it again,
A smile on her face, she’d get it, When?
The chance of getting her dream car back,
Excitement of driving, she’d no longer lack.
He arranged with the man and did the deal,
No comprehension of how she would feel.
Once again she’d got her red car,
He’d come right back a shining star.

Later when the time was right,
He asked her if she just might
A suggestion that they would chop him in,
Not sure about that, it would be a sin.
Looked at a car, eyes wide with awe,
To get rid of red, would leave her sore.
But sense kicked in as he was growing older,
They thought about something much, much bolder.
She drove him away shedding a tear.
He’s been there for her, for many a year.

The new car arrived and was all that she hoped,
But about little red, he often joked.
Thought it was cruel, she would never forget,
Stabbed each time with the pain of regret.
One day when they travelled out for the day.
Crossing back across country from the bay.
You’ll never guess what he took her to see.
There was her Red, as bright as can be!
Waiting for her and ready to go,
Her name on the plate he’d proudly show.
Life would surely never be the same,
They sent him away, now they’ve got him again.
Drove with the roof down, not even a care,
Windswept and laughing happy to share.
They drove him back home with wondrous smiles,
As he readily ate up the miles.
Swept up in a moment he’s back here to stay.
We never really, should have sent him away.
Should let you all know, that as I recall,
He’s not very little, there’s room for us all
The tale of Boomerang, was once little red.
You should keep him forever, That’s what he said.

A place we call Home.

CAM02127

The Vistas looking out to sea,
Are where my thoughts carry me.
Birds in flight, the waves and spray,
Watching as they fly away.
Taking off for warmer climes,
Distantly a clock tower chimes.

Fox cubs fight to gain their place,
In this beautiful, cherished space.
Deer will wander breezily through,
They stop a while to admire the view.
A windswept walk on a quiet lane,
What do you see when you go again?
There’s always something to notice anew,
When there’s the dog, your thoughts and you.
Trails and flowers, animals and Bees,
Spotting something between the trees.
The wonderful sight of a hovering Hawk,
The occasional rambler stopping to talk.

Not knowing what tomorrow will bring,
Is part of the beauty in Winter or Spring.
Snow as far as the eye can see,
Peace and quiet for just us three.
Daffodils soon start to appear,
So glad that we have travelled to here.

The mottled light from Summer sun,
Just see how peaceful we become.
Alone with your thoughts up on the hill,
Haunting my dreams for the calm and still.
Sat out the front like a King on his throne,
Surveying the land in the place we call Home.

In Autumn the colours of fallen leaves,
Will truly make you think and believe
The gorgeous carpet of red, brown and green,
Is second to none as I walk through unseen.
As night time arrives the cattle are lowing,
The fire is lit and my face is glowing.
There’s smoke in the air, coffee in the pot,
My favourite chair, we have the lot.
As I watch my beloveds slumber,
I sit by the fire watching the ember.
No one can take this feeling away
Of time well spent at the end of the day.