Thoughts from an early morning swinging hammock

I love the early morning. It’s once again become my salvation as I swing on the hammock that looks so good… as if it’s been to the Bahamas for a month. Standing so proudly against all those beautifully revitalised emerald green leaves from all the rain.
I moved my umbrella over a little. I sit here in the morning rain or shine.

God I love the rain. I’ve said it before, it’s old news but I really do.
I have a selection of umbrellas that I’ve picked up at different times. I just like them. Not the practical sort that sit in my bags for work. But the ones that stand by the door. Not efficient in being able to fold and put in your bag but they just have something more special about them.
My favourite one is a bright red umbrella with a red handle and black and white stripes underneath, that I see if I look up. It feels so Parisian.
I used it yesterday as I took two walks to the shops with my girl. Once to pick up my new books and order another two more recommended by two friends. I plan on reading all of them, plus two my friends gave me, over the summer.
Hopefully finding some days to myself amongst some various plans that my girl has now made.
Each of them a dilemma when they come closer but with encouragement she enjoys when she gets there . As well as days when she works at the cafe. That helps her too. She likes the structure. Right now my previously very confident and independent girl has lost so much of both. A massive loss of confidence in her ability to make choices. Even the simplest decisions.
Repetition as we try to unscramble them when she gets Overwhelmed. None of it life changing. Simple little things. My “make it up as you go along” version coming into its own for once against the planner who struggles more with change and currently needs to be in control of everything.
Control and loss being the key words at the moment. I won’t lie. This is the hardest thing I’ve ever dealt with. One because she’s my girl and it is just so horrible to watch someone you love struggle and hurt herself in this way.
But also because I feel like I need to be “on it” all the time. There is very little respite. She is very needy right now.
Giving her space but finding her looking for me wherever I am.
It is tiring and she is aware of that. Beyond her moments of anger and frustration and other times a deep sadness, I feel her love with such a power. I feel so connected to her even beyond our normal. It can feel hard to differentiate what’s hers and what’s mine at times.
She likes the security we share in a home she has always been in.
At this moment I never felt so relieved in working so hard to keep hold of that. I feel both of our versions of the fall out from all the chaos and difficulties. It’s been a tough couple of years.

Over and over again I question my decisions and actions . But always coming back to the same. I did my best in it all.
And I can only deal with what is in front of me now.
Doing my very best in that.
And secure in the knowledge that I have always been right there for her the whole way along. Trying to protect her from the chaos and sadness that has swirled. But she’s a human. She has felt it along with all her own changes beyond.

As I am writing this I heard a little thud on the window and a little garden bird (a baby great tit) fell onto the paving stones in front of me. I got straight up to help it. Giving it some water and some crumbs whilst thinking about how to keep it safe from the crow that looked it was ready to pounce on it. “It’s ok you’re safe with me” I said. I won’t leave your side. It let me get so close to it. A little concussed I think. 15 minutes later it flew up to meet its mum.
I looked up their symbolism. Love hope and faith.
Do I imagine it when these things happen in these moments. Do I see what I want to see or are they messages from the universe, sent by those that care about me. Whatever the truth I feel them.
I need them right now.
I took a photo of the little bird. A name that was once given to me by another friend from my past.

We also yesterday went to pick up cocoa powder for a devils cake we decided to bake together.
Even if she didn’t eat it there felt something good in just the process of baking it.
We ended up taking some to her friend and her family who are currently isolating.
That same little friend brought flowers when my girls grandad died.
I love their old style care.
We were too full up from a dinner we cooked together. Chicken, dauphinois potatoes and brocolli and carrots. It was delicious. She was then upset that she had eaten too much and that she didn’t just have a piece of chocolate cake instead. “We can have it tomorrow” I said
I stroked her hair all night until we went to bed.
Another small victory in her eating a full meal. I hold on to all of those.
But I can’t tell you how sad it makes me to see her like this.
Sometimes I find it so hard and exhausting but I just keep trying my best.
“ I believe in you” I tell her.
I believe in both of us.
Extra support coming on Monday.

Thinking of food reminds me how much I love the images that come through on pretty much a daily basis of various dishes from different places.
I quite like that they don’t have recipes.
Just an image. This is what it looks like. Now you imagine what it might taste like. Sometimes they tap into something of my world like the ham and cheese burger or the baguette boats.
Just an image. Nothing surrounding it.
I really like them.
I receive a variety of different images from my friend K. Always relevant in that moment. They make such a difference to my world without any words. But I love hearing her version of them.
Get that same feeling with a different version in images of places around the world.
Quite often remote, hidden and empty spaces. I love them too.
Falling in love with a red spiral staircase surrounded by books with light coming through a stained glass window. It had such a beautifully romantic feel to it against the pure pleasure of a jacuzzi on some decking next to the sea where you could feel water cascading over you as a relief from the heat. A strand to inspire dreaming of travels.
But the narrow street in France hit some kind of nerve.
I think because of the various thoughts my friend shared with me that then left me questionning myself and the choices i make.
Joining in or being left behind. It wasn’t so much about being left behind. In those first five years with my girl
I was completely left behind. People and Technology moved on without me. I was no longer part of the world they inhabited. My world held no interest to them. I was playing in boxes and having tea parties with all our teddy bear friends.
When I returned to work my history of high pressure and large responsibility roles in big organisations counted for nothing.
No one cared. Can you use Microsoft office? Do you have a degree? No on both counts. In that case go away.
I had to start from scratch again.
Working part time to begin with opening the post. Literally that is exactly what I did. Hundreds of envelopes and a letter opener. Slice slice slice.
And then dividing the contents into two piles.
But I loved the chats with others every morning. Another random bunch made mainly of students and old timers.
There was a lovely comradeship between us.
One of them was a jobbing actor. Went to see him when he was moved up from understudy to one of the main parts for a night in The 39 Steps in the west end. Such a nice unassuming fella.
He liked my Enemy cd as I would often drop him to the station on my way home. I wonder what he is doing now? Words I say every now and then about random people I liked. He was one of those people I met along the way who saw beyond the job you do. Talked to me beyond being the letter opener. Not a pretentious bone in his body. I wonder if that’s because he was northern?!

I gradually over time worked my way back into a job with more responsibility. But never interested in managing anyone else again or progressing high up the ladder. I only wish to be in charge of myself.

In the right places I love joining in. I’m a really friendly person who loves to chat.
I loved that place. It was my favourite of anywhere I’ve ever worked. Would never have left had it not been for those dragons.

I actually question often my reasons for not joining in with the new mediums of connection that everyone uses now.
I have joined in with lots of other things without a single thought.
I think perhaps because I’ve never really had time and I like my anonymity. I joined linked in because it was work related and I did find a new job on there.
But the social stuff I’ve never bothered with. I suppose I’ve never felt a need. I question it. But find it difficult to see what it would give me.
And too many work online meetings to wish to spend my free time on those. I just find that stuff draining. Computers equals work to me.
And i guess as It becomes this monster that seems to be in control of everything I feel less inclined to be involved. I’ve never much liked anything that makes itself the majority.
Besides those old timers who don’t have access but I bump into in the coop provide something more in those brief encounters. I’ve always loved an oldie. I’ll be one, one day.
But that picture of the narrow street made me question my openness.
Even though I’ve always felt very open to so much in this life. And yet am I being narrow?
I love those images on those blogs but I guess I like the anonymity of it.
I often wonder who posts them and that very secret and unknown element is part of the wonder.
I don’t know the answer to the question posed by another but has been on my mind ever since.
I suppose I just haven’t felt a great need or desire for it.
I know I read an article that said it you aren’t on there and don’t join in then it is as good as not existing in this world.

As I sit on the swinging chairi that is soaking wet, as it soaks through my shorts I find myself not noticing beyond the first couple seconds.
Instead I just feel that moment of stillness before the day begins when I feel rooted to a spot and can just feel who I am inside.
Less dreaming but more alone in my tiny quiet insignificant and invisible space in this world. Just existing.
Before life requires something more.

Its just a moment of peace as I prepare myself for another day where I might help someone I love to find her smile again.
She has such a beautiful smile ❤️
The sort that when we find it will make me smile too.

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