Silent for a moment

I deleted two posts the other day. Two more today.
I can’t quite put my finger on why.
It’s like I’m thinking out loud but my thoughts are fleeting. Like I’m flitting from here to there to here. Never settling often contradicting. It feels chaotic but I feel calm.
In between looking after others and working I am quietly exploring and investigating.
Watching things, reading things, searching for things to educate, inspire, motivate and provide some version of intellectual, mental and emotional stimulation.
That part of me fighting with the person who writes. I don’t want to heat my thoughts. I wish to hear the thoughts of others.
When I delete I feel like I’m trying to silence myself for a moment.
Creating a space from the virtual world I don’t feel part of because it feels smaller despite its size. Looking for different than the same. Wanting to find what I don’t know.

Today I read messages from the four women friends that I feel closest to. That I trust the most.
Am image, a statement and a three way convo.
Their friendship provides me with something solid.
Holding the best of what it means to be a woman

I’m glad that I have that safe place to be especially while I try to be silent for a moment.

The Coat

Yesterday I noticed the coat that had been hanging over the chair at my little dinner table since Christmas Day.
What’s that wording I thought?
SEB Skandinaviska Enskilda Banken.
What? The place where Bjorn Again sang at our Christmas lunch, I drove a tank faster than I was meant to and I lost my shoes over the side of a Party boat along the Thames. Another crazy little chapter full of stuff.

And then I remembered that 20 years ago for some completely unknown reason, my employer had offered us a free branded coat. Had I been working for Chanel I would have been all over it but I wasn’t really feeling Barbour country wear. “I’m never gonna wear that” I thought. Didn’t really go with short skirts and high heels which was my look of the day back then as i sashayed through our Swedish office like I was Agneta about to break into Dancing Queen.
But that thought was closely followed by “but I know a man who will”. So I ordered an extra large and gave it to P’s dad. It was a proper nice quality coat as it happened and he didn’t care a less about the logo. He was well chuffed.
I smiled that all these years later he was still wearing it. I wonder what happened to everyone else’s.

What is happening right now with him goes well beyond just wanting to help P. I care about him very much just as I did for J.

Life feels chaotic and complicated. I woke up this morning feeling so frustrated with life and with myself. Had to get up before I screamed. What a complete bloody mess. Financially, practically and in feelings
Who am I kidding? Im not in control of anything. I’m just being pulled along on a wave and trying not to go under. I haven’t got a fucking clue what I’m doing. I’m just trying to keep going and hope there is an other side. A side where I might be able to make a single choice based on who I am and how I feel as opposed to, just try to survive.
And in moments like this I get scared and wonder if perhaps I’m all done with adventures and I am being forced to grow up.
Something I’ve managed to swerve inside as I remain like the eternal kid who just wants to go out to play.
Don’t get me wrong. I’ve never swerved my responsibilities but always doing those in my own way.
Thinking about Upscaling, home furnishings, or the master plan for my child never even registered with me. And listening to others do that grown up small talk about such things always sends me into a very deep coma.
I did all the stuff you need to do as a parent but a bit like homework at school I got all the boring stuff done fast and passable so that we could just go and enjoy all the fun stuff. Riding our bikes, going to the park, having tea parties with teddy bears.

It’s not like I worry about getting older. Its just a fact of life.
But I love adventures and I still have the energy and fun to have more. There’s a difference in what you see on the outside to what lies inside.

I mean of course it would be lovely if we could get older but still look twenty forever. I mean I had a pretty kicking bikini body back then but I can still get away with one now. I can live with that.

But if I have to gradually look older at least I always have the dreamy kid inside to do it with.
She’s never changed. She can make believe the whole lot and take me on all sorts of adventures. She doesn’t look older, feel older, or care about getting older. Because she never changes. She’ll be rocking it till her last blow.

When I think of my closest friends I think about them like we are 12 years old. And wanting to take them on adventures with me. These are the people I love to share with. They are the little gang that don’t all know each other but they all bring something really special to the party.

I feel especially warm and fuzzy to my closest friends right now. Maybe not closest in distance or closest in being part of my day to day but if I think of them in where they are held in my heart then they couldn’t be any nearer to the centre.
Like the real treasures that I found on my adventures that might be disguised to others but I see the wonderful secrets of who they are.

Of course I have my little M. She is my girl but she is also my friend. She being the closest in my day to day life and as with all my friends only ever needing to be herself. Just that very thing makes me the proudest I can feel in life in being part of hers. Giving a meaning to my life in loving and being loved.

K who just gave me the most beautiful book I ever read. Ever!!! I can’t stop looking at it. Keeping it close by like a friend holding my hand.
If I said I was looking for things that had a purity to them then my friend K gave me exactly that in something so beautiful and inspiring in its childlike simplicity.
I can’t even begin to express what a difference it has made to how I feel inside ever since I opened it.
Like someone talking to the child in me in a language that I can hear and understand.
As though I am at the bottom of my bed listening to My imaginary friends. Reminding me of things I should know and feel but I struggle every single day with.
The kind of feelings that I find so easy to wish for others but find so much harder to accept for myself.
Being so unforgiving of myself in a way that I pretend to be of my dad but secretly inside I don’t feel like that at all. I love him as much as I did when I was a little girl but I just can’t bear any more heartache. It just hurts too much and it feels easier to hurt myself than feel hurt by him.

But K with her beautiful book reminded me to try to be kinder to myself and also to feel proud of who I am in all my imperfectness. She just blows me away in how compassionate and beautiful she is. I remember someone clumsily saying once “speak up. I can’t hear you”. but unfortunately they weren’t listening.
As is so often the case, the most creative and interesting and intelligent and beautiful voices find a way of sharing that doesn’t require them to shout the loudest or overpower others.
Often those that do, end up missing out on all the wonder that is sitting right there in front of them. It is missed because they don’t take time or care in understanding a different way of speaking. When I ask what her shares mean to her I am left in pure wonderment. This unassuming person is such a powerhouse in deciding to do things in life and then doing them. And contained within so much humility is a depth of thought and feeling that leaves me inspired and wishing to learn more. If it were to all come out in one go I believe it would light up the whole night sky and the universe beyond. There is so much hidden that must make her inner world the most fascinating and fantastical place to explore.
Can I just feel lucky in capturing a little of her light which has made my life a whole lot lovelier since she became my friend.

L who thoughtfully shares herself in all her little touches of creativity. A card with a forest fairy princess carrying a robin, or a pixiebell tag, or lovingly embroidering my Cinderella slipper. She keeps it real and funny and makes it all magic. Always wanting the best for others but so deserving of the best herself. She makes me feel like I’m a friend worth having. Whereas I feel like I hit the jackpot in finding her. Doesn’t time fly L. But don’t we have so many shared little moments of golden time. Alongside another M with her always sweet words. A heart that she gave me in a colour of remembering. She provides the faith that all will be well which comes from a place that she has faith in. I’m not sure I ever met someone who did so much good doing for others but can shake her booty like a gorgeous diva. Independent and strong and yet with a beautiful softness and fun.

S codename B who gave me a big little elephant to remind me of our everlasting strong and enduring friendship. We have seen through so much in life. Sharing crazy and fun moments and been a part of each other’s difficulties and sadnesses. A bond that was made when we were young crazy carefree girls and is unchanged.

And D. The most complicated friend I ever had who sends me dreamy inspirations that keep me going or send me off into a dreamy spin.
Who gives me a place to share just as I am with no filter or pretence. Never feeling like I have to be something. I can just rock up as me and that’s enough.
Its impossible not to be fascinated and caught up in the details of all those shares back. Seeing a different world through different eyes but constantly meeting in the overlap. Shared adventures that are epic.
Dreamy magic would be my description.

Sometimes it just takes a moment of quiet and thoughts of my special’s to get my coat on and go dancing in the forest.

I’ve never cared much for New Years. It has always felt like a pressure to join a party that holds no real meaning for me. I love to dance but I like to dance when I want, in my own way, to the music I love.

Even more so if I’m around those special few.

So why put off to tomorrow what I can do right now. In my head my friends will be right there dancing with me.

Happy Today!

Blank …. Actually

I lay in bed for a bit longer this morning, curled up in a little ball stroking my skin for comfort. I remember stroking my nan’s skin when she lay in hospital. It was baby soft. I think I have your genes nan 😘

I might be the only person who is losing weight this Christmas. In one day I think I went back down a dress to a size 8.
A roller coaster of worry in trying to care.

By the end of Christmas Day P’s dad was back at A&E struggling to breathe. Less corona more fluid on his lungs.
This is how cancer seems to work. Taking its time in breaking things down one by one.

The whole day had felt like a juggling act in care and cooking dinner. One minute the beautiful aroma of turkey and stuffing as I put together a Christmas special, the next a very different aroma and trying to help him maintain his dignity. . I think he is past the point of showing embarrassment but I’ve known him for half my life and I know that he must feel it inside. It just makes me so sad that he has to go through this but the practical stuff doesn’t phase me. It’s just a part of being human, getting older and not being well. I just wanted him to not worry.
And I find it tough to see him like this.
It’s tougher for P and my girl adores her grandad. She feels very protective of him.
I could see how chuffed he was with the mug that she gave him that had a picture of them together looking like gamgsta rappers.
They always have a laugh together.
You could tell that he felt loved.

Another scan to check on things. He’s just so frail.
But being in hospital also gives him some much needed professional care that isn’t available normally because of this covid situation.
We are not experts in this and we need help.
This is also a little respite.
But no one could care more. Truth is we are just trying our best.
What I might lack in day to day glamour and sophistication I try to make up for in blank … actually
I’m not afraid of the real stuff.

But I’m just a normal person, I do scrub up pretty well when I have the time and I make the effort. And I love the romance of life.
I’ll always be the dreamy girl at heart.. Thats where the magic lives. In the realities of life it is the means to survive but In the dreaminess shared with another it can be epic adventures and fairytales.
There’s a lot of quiet and hidden power in magic.

Anyways on Christmas Eve I stocked up on magic. Feeling it in the air as I spent the vast majority of the day all by myself.
Walking in the forest and then to the shops. I felt that Christmas Eve vibe that was enhanced by an early present from memory lane. I skipped along that lane very happily wrapped up warm in my not so glamorous but very cosy puffa jacket and beanie, carrying a plastic bag, as I tried to see all memory lanes details as I imagined it in my head.

I was up at 5am that morning trying to finish the work that I was trying to complete by 2pm the day before. 18 days suddenly became 17.
2pm never happened as I still sat there tapping away at 6pm. Someone else’s last minute rush now becoming mine. Trying to fit a weeks work into a couple of hours was never going to happen and being the type that never wants to let others down I will be getting up super early in the coming days to get it done. Whilst trying to preserve the time that I was hoping to give to myself. It always seems to get snatched away. Actually the reality is that I willingly give it.
But I shan’t waste time analysing what is just part of my make up. I’m sure I could change myself into the opposite if I really wanted but then I wouldn’t be me anymore. Even though those parts don’t always make life easy for me. But when I look around at some of the alternatives I know that they wouldn’t really fit.
Right for others I’m sure , but just not for me.
In fact since removing myself from a world where I would have always felt like I was just that little bit less, I have felt less pressure to have to try to be or fit with something that I’m not.
Something that was discussed with my neighbour when I bumped into him in the forest. The counsellor/carpet fitter. He totally got it. And said “you should do this” “you’re made for it”. He said he would help me to get up and running next year. Let’s get your profile sorted and then just go.. It felt like he really wants to help me even though he has been up and running for ten years. “You would do the same back” he said. I’ve lived opposite for twenty years. Well with a gap. He knows I’m a goodun. I know I’m a goodun.
And for once i didn’t feel embarrassed in not being a success. it felt ok that I had lost my motivation and confidence in trying to start yet again.
What I haven’t lost is my confidence in knowing how to be with people who needed someone to care. I know exactly how to be that.
In the end none of my previous clients would have cared about the the big words and theory. They just wanted to feel like I gave a shit and they had a friend. They always knew I did and I was.

In my world it’s ok to not have it all, not to be picture perfect, sophisticated and glamorous or be the best. I don’t care about that stuff. I mean I’d love to look like some gorgeous model and not have to worry about paying the bills but I’ll manage in life without it. For me theres a whole different criteria which is less about what you do and what you’ve got, what you look like and is all about who you are as a person. That’s where the beauty lives for me. And I like living in that world.
Because it’s ok that it’s all fucked up and messy and full of struggles and that I am just trying to make ends meet and trying my best for others and not living the dream. I live dreams in moments when I’m really really lucky
My success comes in the form of those happy little moments. I love love love sharing those magic moments. They mean everything to me.

And those people that I love and care about, that surround me in life don’t care about perfection either.
Not being perfect and not having much doesn’t matter, because they know I would share everything that i do have. And that’s more than enough.

That doesn’t mean that I’m giving up on more. It just means that I don’t wish to compete in a competition that I never entered into.
I don’t care about winning. I just like being part of what has the potential to make me and others happy. If I can make things a little easier for me in the process then that would be a bonus but it will never be the driver. The driver will always be about something so much more important for me … blank actually.
By the time I went to sleep that night I was completely cream crackered knowing that the next day was going to be full on.

I loved the smile I was given when I transposed in my mind an image of a present coming down my chimney. Pixiebell In a world of dirty cocktails and forever blowing… bubbles.
I like to think that I’m a fairy who was born to be a little naughty and nice.
That’s how my Christmas morning began.

As I shared messages with people I love I noticed a profile picture of an acquaintance.
“All you need is family” it said.. “what is family?” I thought.

Only a couple of the people I had messages with were actual family tree family. The rest were my alternative family. In fact I was completely blanked by my own sister who doesn’t care much for my decisions relating to my dad. I felt her coolness with me. In reality I’m just carrying on as normal. I haven’t said a word. Just quietly dealing with my own stuff. I’m not sure why it matters to her so much. If she is happy with her choice then why does it matter so much about mine. Im not being mean or horrible. I just feel more at peace in not letting it all back in again. Protecting myself from a whole new lot of hurt.
I’m a parent. I know how this relationship works.
I have a version with my girl that is beautiful and I know what I have given to that and what I get back in return.
I sent her kisses and good wishes. I don’t want to upset her with my choices.
But I also dont wish to be part of some family drama so I’m happy to disappear.

Meanwhile my close friends have my back. So much love passing back and forth because these relationships have been built over time and are really special and they know me.
I didn’t have time to open presents yesterday in all the business of basic care and cooking Christmas dinner. But having time to open cards from L&M filled with beautiful words. The magical Christmas picture on the card from L making me smile in her seeing me in a way that made me feel special.
What a special person in this world she is.
And the a key ring from my mate boozy. A little elephant to represent a friend who is kind and loyal and never forgets. I felt very emosh(that was expanded by the queens speech a little later) because we have known each other for such a long time and been through so much together. My mate boozy not the queen 😂and always looked out for each other and had so much fun.. and then never forget, kind, loyal.. I’ve always loved elephants for that very reason. I used to have a tiny elephant necklace that I gave to another special friend for that very same reason. I wonder if they remember or still have it. I really hope so.

My girl said to me today that even despite all the hard work and difficulties of the day that she really loved it.
A Christmas dinner she helped me to prepare over wine and a porno martini, cracker Jokes and table presents, Des o Connor singing in the background, a little blankety blank with an inflatable hot tub prize in the supermatch game. Only a little Del Boy missing but I practically had the real version in the room even if he was hidden somewhere in that broken shell. There was something special for me in seeing them having that special shared time together that in the morning didn’t seem possible.

I went to bed feeling completely exhausted but feeling proud.
I really hope you are proud of me too J. ❤️

The Upside Down

The upside down

2pm today.. then 18 days off work ..never have I needed time off so badly. Im completely worn out. I look so run down and feel so ugly.
Im really hoping to get some moments to myself.
Or maybe not… but I at least have one less thing to worry about. One less demand for 18 whole days. And that helps.

Christmas may be cancelled for many but I feel as excited as if you were sending me to the sun. I don’t need to do anything or go anywhere. I’ll cook some turkey and add a few trimmings, try to create a day where some fun can be had, a few more memories can be captured and some pain can be relieved for a moment.
When I write sometimes about how I feel I think it must read like I’m the most selfish and self centred person in the world.
In my blog I guess I am. Throwing it all out in here so that in reality I’m not.
I try my hardest and wish so much to be a person I can feel proud of in the things I do and the way I behave towards others. But I’m only a human with my own wants needs desires. Carrying all sorts of jumbled up feelings that don’t necessarily fit when thinking of the happiness and wellbeing of others. Doing what I consider are the things that feel right but often not right for me. And finding that in doing that, inside it can rip me to shreds in having to pretend that all of those wants needs desires dont exist and my own feelings of sadness and loss don’t hurt.
They do and the only way to manage it is to bury it all deeply so that I can be what I need to be. Sounds easy but believe me when I say that I feel those ripples all the time usually in dreams and I often am left feeling stupid for being made the way I’m made.

Anyways any bit of time I do get to myself will be spent reading my book my friend gave me, or practising piano, or watching films or walking in the forest or or or .. it doesn’t actually matter… just anything that makes me feel like a human rather than just a machine.

Whilst others are grieving the big Christmas celebrations I’m feeling grateful to not have to perform to the many.
Being boring and nerdy is very appealing for me.

I do however dream of a spa day with a full body massage followed by a cocktail in the jacuzzi.. it made me smile just writing it. Good enough!

Writing helps me not to feel alone when I feel alone.
It’s weird because I can’t feel anything but when I’m by myself I often cry. Silent numb tears. I don’t even know what I’m crying for.

I’m also feeling my girls sadness on top right now which comes out in a similar way to her dads, with me being the safe place for that. Frustration and angry with everyone.
She’s also tired from her job at Morrison’s. She’s only done 2 days love her. But I think it is also good for her… helping to take her mind off the realities of her grandad.
She’s a girl who has always loved her grandparents and made a proper fuss of them. Calling her grandad regularly when she was at uni to make sure he was ok which he would then mention the next time I saw him. He’s so proud of her. Something he shared in a letter he wrote to her before she went to uni. Him telling her that she was an old fashioned sweetheart that are rare in this modern world is something I think she feels proud of in herself. Those old fashioned values still living on in her. It’s the Nancy effect. Tarts with hearts.

As for me my escape right now comes in the form of my new favourite show. As I march into Series 2.
It’s like my treat. Finding a space every few days to watch it.
It’s become less about the story and more about my fascination with the characters and their relationships. Connecting and relating to so much.
And there is definitely something about it being set in an era when I was a kid. Makes it even more relatable for me when I see relationships through kids eyes. I think the Duffer brothers definitely have kids eyes.
Throwing up the simpleness of all sorts of little details that made life so magical before the internet but no longer exist now. In fact if you weren’t there, you probably wouldn’t even notice them.
I smile at every episode thinking how glad I am that I was a kid back then. Get on my bike first thing in the morning never to be seen again until it got dark and I rode home with no lights. No one wore a helmet.
What a comedy world I live in now with all the safety rules for everything. It’s a wonder I’m still alive 😂
I once rode my bike so fast down the hill that I couldn’t stop and I ended up crashing into someone’s front garden falling into a rose bush.
Omg I was cut to shreds and I had to sit on a cushion for a week. Tom boy nutter!
Just one of many crazy incidents. I never did think about consequences.
I never have learnt my lesson.

Feels so sad as I see the last of those things I love being wiped out by this pandemic.It was only a matter of time but this has just speeded up the inevitable.

Things that have been thrown away without a care in favour of more high tech and glamorous options that apparently make all our lives simpler and better.
Then why does everything feel so much more complicated and worse.
Or is it important that you don’t know what it once looked like so you no longer know what you’re missing.
And “the money” never got it anyways.
There are some things that you only know about if you grew up with fuck all.

It’s funny how often we talk about mental health now.
If everything makes our lives so much simpler and better then why have we all got so many issues.,
Even mental health has become its own industry. It might overtake plastic surgery as the most profitable line of business in the health wellbeing and beauty market.
I wonder if the bigger and shinier the office the more they care?

I guess what I’m longing for so much is a purity of life that no longer exists. It’s hard to find anything in life now that hasn’t been given that sanitised and airbrushed effect other than nature itself.
Although I suppose if you can make a rule that only high value business travellers can fly in the sky then how long before we have similar version on land and sea.
So best I make the most of the forest while I can especially when noone else is there, before it becomes the stomping ground of the high value developers. City of London corporation are quoted as saying “we would never sell that land. It would have to be desperate times.” Hmmm … desperate times?!!!!

Anyways I am drawn to the boy who was in the upside down and is now back in the world he knows. Only everything has changed even though everything is exactly the same.
In fact it is he who has changed along with those around him.,As was pointed out last night, there is no going back to the way things were, before he got lost in that dark place. Too much happened to pretend it didn’t.

Yes.. I thought.. I can try but when it affects my feelings I don’t know how to do that. I wish I did.
Instead I continually hurt myself deep down inside.

I watch him try his best to assimilate into an old normality but he is now left feeling like a freak. They call him zombie boy. Yeah I feel that. It’s very isolating in not being able to really share how you are feeling. Or even really feel it.
Better to push it all down and pretend that it’s all fine.
But then without any warning he finds himself in moments in the dark place of the upside down again. Finding himself frozen to the spot.

I find myself relating in every way to what that looks like. Trying to be the same girl, that existed before, doing the same things in the same way.
But I feel different. So I push it down. Deeper and deeper.
And yet all of a sudden if I start to feel any of what sits buried inside me I just end up feeling completely stupid. It’s the most stupid I’ve felt in life. Telling myself that I have to be made of much tougher stuff than I am and I certainly need to care less. Being more fickle would work. Not giving a shit would help. Unfortunately I’m none of the above so stupid I feel.

And then I feel like that I’m no longer in control. And I really need to be in control right now. Otherwise I can’t function. Being in control of how I feel is the only way to get through the realities that are way more important than my feelings.

But there are ripples…

I’m using the tune my own 11 send to me.
L for short.
Coincidence? There’s no such thing.

The Fire Inside

I heard this song when I was watching stranger things… I didn’t know what it was called or who it was by but I knew it really well from a film I loved when I was a girl. “Pretty in Pink”. A film that captured so much of how I felt back then and had a kicking soundtrack with this tune being my favourite.

A tune that sounds momentous. It’s all in the build up.
A throwback to 80’s electro sounds, the hook that draws you in with a power of something more. But the kind of more that I care about.

I love that I found this film attached to this song. Could not have said it any better.

While there is a fire that burns inside us, there will always be more.

The rest is just a mere illusion.

It’s all about the smiles

I’ve got quite a lot to say. So I’m just gonna ramble on like someone is listening.

It’s all the little stuff .. only it’s not so little to me. It’s those little things that are always the big difference. Those little things that keep me going. Those little things that make me believe in more. Those little things make me smile.

It can be so easy to wander through life so focussed on the big stuff that you can miss all the little smiles.

I remember reading about something similar once. I think it was described as big waves and little ripples.
It’s always been more about the little ripples for me. The ripples create the big waves in me. Because a little like being quiet, they are an illusion hiding all that sits underneath. I always see beyond what sits on the surface. There is always a whole lot more than meets the eye when you look a little closer.

I have always believed in the concept of “it’s the thought that counts.”
Whole heartedly.

Missing the small smiles is one thing that I definitely don’t struggle with. In fact every time those difficult things merge together and turn into something bigger I find that I notice the smaller things even more. They become even brighter, even more vivid, even more beautiful and awe inspiring.

I find I have to reboot all the time so that I can break down the big stuff into lots of bite size pieces that I can manage. I mean sometimes they are a little more chunky and tough to swallow but then if I woofed the whole lot down in one go I would most certainly choke and I would definitely miss all those other beautiful and subtle and magical flavours that you need an extra special pallet to taste.
A little like celebrity master chef where the chefs try too hard to have it all on the same plate at once only to find that it doesn’t quite work.
“I couldn’t quite taste the flavour or this or that” the judges say or “it overpowered and took away from the main element of that dish.”
Unless you are a master of flavours like Santosh.
You knew it would taste amazing but more than that I completely loved his laid back way of cooking. “I think you need to get those in the oven now” Monika said. “Yeah I will when I’m ready” I imagine him thinking. I know exactly what I’m doing. It tastes better when I cook it in my way in my own time.
It just all looked sooooo good that I felt like I wanted to put hand into the tv to taste it. I certainly imagined.

Quite funny that I’m writing about food when I hardly cook. Ripples of inspiration from a wave I love surfing on.

In reality I eat better when my girl is here. When she isn’t, like Nigella, I do heat alot of stuff up in the meecrowavey.
But of course when looking after others I can of course knock up some flavourless classics that everyone loves… shepherds pie, sausage and mash and a nice roast dinner. On a revolving conveyor belt.
Fry a bit of mince, peel a few potatoes, throw it in a pot and cook at 180 degrees (the standard temperature for, well everything) and bobs your uncle, empty plates five minutes later being handed back for me to wash up.

Love a cooking show though. I think I’m the Greg of this outfit.
I’m no chef but I do love to eat … Other people’s food 🤪

Anyways veering away from food I have found that in amongst all the tiredness, stress, and upset I’m still functioning and finding little smiles all over the shop.
I do have moments where I feel like I want to scream.
The constant demands coming from trying to contain others stresses. As frustration and upset overtakes from different directions I find myself saying “give it to me, I’ll sort it”.
I find it easier to quietly and happily just get on with things than feel all their anxiety and stress.
Their vibe can easily overpower mine when I don’t have the time and space to be in places that balance me. I find it easier to keep things feeling as calm as possible. I really like peace even if often it can feel difficult to find.
And I feel this need from others for me to be around constantly so that their worlds function a little more easily and they don’t have to worry. I don’t mind. I really don’t. It makes me feel better when I see them feel better, but it also leaves me with very little space for me to just be me. So I end up disappearing inside.

So without all the little things I think I would eventually disappear into the walls like the missing boy and the monster in “Stranger Things”. I’m so captivated by this show. I think L knew I would be. It has a touch of the goonies about it with the lovely friendship of the misfit kids who meet the weird girl, mixed in with x files which I never actually watched but I imagine had a similar feel.
Like a little kid I’ve held the cushion in front of me a few times now. I know.. I’m such a scaredy cat. This is a kids show. They’re harder core than me. If I struggle not to let my imagination run away with me when I watch this imagine how I would be with some really scary horror film.
I don’t even go there.
This is like Doctor Who hide behind the settee weeping angels scared. The other would give me proper nightmares. No thanks. I prefer happy dreams.
Anyways I’m hooked.

Could I be any more contrasting in my ways.
The grown up adult who takes control of the real stuff and holds it all together in all its practicalities and responsibilities.
It has never felt like there are a huge amount of perks in being a grown up. But I have always loved being a mum and sex is a lovely pleasure I know how to enjoy. Other than that I’m struggling..,

Come in the dreamy girl who likes exactly the same things as when she was a kid. No change at all. No new grown up sophistication. Even when I’ve dressed up and gone to fancy restaurants in my head I’ve always been a child in a grown up dress pretending.

Happy to cosily sit watching a kids programme with a cushion to hide behind, munching on chocolates with a straw in my tea 😂 I love straws. Especially the slurpy bit at the end.

If I think about the last couple of weeks there has been all sorts of dreamy little things that have made me smile.

Like that Friday when I had that moment of feeling lifted as I saw the incredible sunset from my garden and just for a moment it gave me something extra. It made me remember a part of me that feels so hidden but somewhere inside still exists. Not really having the time, means or place right now to show up. In fact it feels like most parts of me are wanting to hide behind each other. Pushing someone else to the front but no one really wanting to show their face. Not being seen at all right now suits me perfectly. From anonymous Pixie to just a voice in MS team meetings, to having zero interest in virtual meet ups. I am an expert at hiding when I want or need to.

Or a couple of weeks ago walking home through the forest when I saw something hanging in the bubbles tree.
It was late and there was no one around. I went to check it out.
It was a present inside a plastic bag with a note saying Thankyou for making my wish come true Bella xxx

Is it for me I wondered?
Pixie Bel or Bella? Is it too much of a coincidence? Same tree 1 week later. My message being “blow some bubbles and make a wish, some of which were written on Belle tags. Just the change from an E to an A making me question and re question. What if it is meant for someone else? I found myself trying to be logical about it and then messaging L for her take. It must be?
It has probably been there all day and no one had taken it.
But I left it on the tree. And then couldn’t stop thinking about it. What if I just leave it. Then they will think I don’t want it or I don’t care.
I really wanted it. It felt like such a wonderful thing for someone to share their happiness in something that I was happy to give and had made me happy just in that.
I didn’t need anything back but the surprise in finding it created such excitement in me, in the same way as maybe I did for them.
I ended up walking back into the forest with my torch in the dark and collecting it. Crazy pixie!
And yet I didn’t feel scared.

When I got home and opened it there was a really beautiful message in a card that made me feel wonderful actually. And with it was a gift of a stone with a picture of an angel on it that said Ein
Schutzengel.. I did German at school but I didn’t recognise the word schutz so I looked it up. Guardian.. A Guardian Angel.
What a lovely thing to be given . It made me feel so happy and also very beautiful. A word that was used to describe me in their letter itself. I found myself wondering what her wish had been?

The day before I had received an unexpected call from my friend as I was lying cosily in bed. I was half asleep and for some reason their name didn’t come up. So I was surprised when I heard their voice. But really happy surprised.
There is something so different for me in that . I only actually have to hear their voice. It sounds different to a message. Softer, warmer, funnier, familiar and completely easy and comfortable. Seeing them on a screen would only take away from that.
Whereas with just their voice I was lying on a cloud chattering away about somethings and nothings and not noticing the time pass until I realised I was late and was rushing.

And then my friend K who sends me images of things in exactly the right moment that they capture something I’ve said or I’m finding harder to express. Allowing me to say it as I feel it in that moment. Creating a little wave in the vast expanse of the ocean that will soon settle.

And of course my L and M who were once again my last people to see before another lockdown. It’s no coincidence. My original plans changed again in favour of a festive pizza but it was the extra toppings that my girls provide in all their warmth and realness and beauty and fun and love that makes all the difference.
I couldn’t imagine a life if I had never met them or the other special people that I love so much. What I share with them brings so much magic to my life.

With my girl it’s a constant stream of them, from brushing my hair when I tired or sending me a pg tips competition.

Oh no!!! Not another monkey 🐵 I had one appear on the internet earlier in the week that sent me into an irrational spin but also enabled me to finally leave that group. I have felt so much better in knowing that I no longer have to feel those knots. Perhaps it’s running away from feelings that sit inside me, or perhaps it’s running towards something new that won’t make me feel like that anymore. Either way I feel better.

A feeling that was also captured as I found myself watching Field of Dreams the other day. An older film about baseball that was about so much more.
More being the power that is held in belief.
Belief in more, belief in magic, belief in love .. belief in things that can’t be explained.

“Go the distance”. words whispered in the air.

“Is there enough magic out there in the moonlight to make these dreams come true”.

Yes I believe there is. I’ve always felt it and right now it feels like it is surrounding me and protecting me and reminding me that it’s all about that the little things and the smiles they create

A Different Space between us

Last night I did something I’ve never done before. I messaged my next door neighbour to ask him if he was ok.
This isn’t something I would normally do but after seeing him looking so down the day before and thinking about how sad he has been looking for a while now, I felt like I wanted to put my hand out. I know how tough that job can be but also how tough life can be with real life grown up responsibilities. Life is much easier as the dreamy kid I know that much.

It’s a funny thing actually. I’ve known him a very long time and like all my neighbours we are always really friendly and we would help each other out. It’s always been a given.
But I don’t get personally involved. What I mean by that is I always hold people at a safe distance. I don’t share the ins and outs of my life with others. I guess living in flats with thin walls we often hear the arguments.
I’ve been called for everything by P in moments that people must have heard and has made me feel small. Someone did once say to me, you shouldn’t allow yourself to be spoken to that way.
All that made me feel at the time was even more stupid and small than I already felt. I didn’t want to tell her that I had no money and in order to keep a roof over my head that I had no choice but to do what I had to do. I didn’t really need her judgement on top. Because frankly if I was already feeling small I didn’t really want to feel even smaller.
Things are not always how they appear but people like to assume they know.
Financial independence is the difference and as noone was going to pay for me to live somewhere else, and I wouldn’t be entitled to anything, I had to do what I had to do.
Funny what people don’t understand when they’ve never had to think about these basics.

For someone who can be very open with people I’m close to which creates much deeper and more intimate relationships, I’m actually in general a very private person.
You’ll catch the fun version but you’ll never know what sits behind it. Keeping most things very close to my chest. Not many people would know anything about my life. I hide it all. I’m expert at it.
It’s why I write this blog. It’s my release rather than holding it all inside.
But I’m especially private at home.
I would do anything for anyone and I always say hello, but I also really like to shut my door and disappear. I’m not one of those neighbours who is in and out of each other’s homes. I tend to avoid those things. I did a little of that when my girl was younger but I found that once you crossed over that line you were fair game for gossip. Something I really hate. People talking about other people behind their backs. Using what they know for conversations with others, to feel bigger and more important.
The stuff of kids but I’ve seen it sooooo much in adults.
I have no interest in being a part of that.
I rarely take that risk with people and even less so now. And certainly not close to home.
My home is my peace from the world beyond.
When I’m on my own I feel a freedom in not having to be anything.
I can just look after myself without having to worry about being what others need. I really like that feeling. It’s something that I find really hard to find when I’m out in the world. I can only really give to myself when I’m all alone.
But last night I broke that rule. I had a need to make sure someone else was ok. Why did I have that need? Perhaps because I know how much I hide and how lonely that can feel. And because he does that job where you help everyone else but is oh so draining for yourself.
And I’m a safe place. It always makes me feel happy when people share their sadness with me knowing that it will be held safely . That they trust me enough not to feel like they have to hide it.
It feels different actually to that job. That job comes with a sticker that says “ I won’t judge you, I will empathise with you and I won’t tell anybody”.
But the difference in that room is you are more protected. There are rules and boundaries to protect you and them. It’s not real life. I never realised at the beginning actually quite how important they are. That person is in that room because in that room there is protection. What a huge hidden element of power that is in being the protector. It influences how that relationship is built. A trust coming from that person believing that they will be protected in there. That you have their best interests at heart. I wonder how often that is abused?

Whereas in real life its a little more even and a little more risky for both. You have to develop a trust without that safety net. You are both less protected and therefore you are both vulnerable.
Because there is no governing body protecting you. It’s a real life relationship full of consequences. The only governing body of how that relationship works is your own.

He shared back. With all of life’s grown up stuff.
I felt so glad that I asked. The space between us was two thin walls and a stair case . But there was something reassuringly human in knowing that on both sides of those walls we were dealing with real life shit and surviving it… just.

No hidden agenda, no what’s in it for me.
I just wanted to make sure he was ok.

The Space between us

A couple of days ago I heard that my dad had a heart attack and was in hospital.
I carried on working until 7pm more focussed than I ever am normally.
I heard today that he is ok. I knew he would be. He will probably outlive us all.

But what happened in between those few days has changed me. It’s not like I’ve never wondered what it might feel like to get that news. I always felt like I would feel full of regrets and sadness and be desperately rushing to try to find a connection with him before it was too late.
And yet when the moment came I felt completely indifferent. A lack of feeling from the girl who feels everything. As though it was nothing to do with me.
It isn’t really anything to do with me. I have no contact with him, he has no involvement in my life and he doesn’t know me.
I hoped he was ok but I didn’t feel any want or need to be anywhere near him.
In fact I wished I had not been told. When he has surfaced it has only ever caused me pain.
In a time that is feeling difficult in its own right it felt like he was stamping his importance in being the real dad as opposed to the substitute version. Disguised as the helpless and vulnerable victim.
Leaving me looking like the villain in my lack of compassion.
Because I’m expected to care about him even though he has had no care for me. Where has he been through all these years and in all of my struggles. Completely invisible. Nowhere to be seen. Non existent.
It took numb to a whole new level as everyone assumed that I would be beside myself with worry and upset.
I just went Christmas shopping.

After a nights sleep, numb and indifference turned into angry.
Angry with myself as I started to beat myself up in not caring. In the end he is your dad. The only one you will ever have. You have cared all this time, why stop now?
Wondering if I’m a monster because I have no wish to contact him again even in his moment of need.
Perhaps I’m just tired of being the unconditional parent.
Of saying that it is ok that he hasn’t bothered or made any effort, or taken any responsibility for letting me down so badly. Perhaps I don’t feel very forgiving at this point in the show.
You haven’t cared about how much you hurt me through the years and will go to your grave without rectifying that in making me feel loved as a treasured daughter. But I’m supposed to care about you.
All that time you could have made the effort. To try to be a dad. I never needed perfection, just effort. But you couldn’t be bothered. You had your nice comfortable life with everything you ever wanted and all new replacements to enhance your world. You certainly haven’t needed me. But the point is that it isn’t about being needed. It’s about being wanted.

Perhaps I would only be wanted in your moment of need. To take away any guilt you might feel?
Or what? .. be left carrying it after you are gone if I refuse to take it. I refuse!
I’ve spent most of my life caring for someone who didnt care about me, or in fact anyone, as much as you do for yourself. Every thing you ever do is with your own happiness in mind. You wouldn’t even understand the concept of doing something for someone else without there being something in it for you.
It’s always been about what’s in it for you.
So it appears that I do have a limit. I’m just a normal girl who has constantly felt the repercussions of you bullying me as a little kid and then when you had squashed me and made me feel so insecure about who I was, disappearing and becoming completely absent. Without ever offering an apology for any of it.
But I no longer wish to feel any of that.
You can take it back. It belongs to you. You live with it and take it with you.

Rather than needing to fix or resolve what this is I need to feel comfortable in letting it go. The relationship we could have had was lost many many years ago and not because I wasn’t good enough.

Because if you really knew me you would know that actually I am something you neither have or understand.
Im sensitive and caring who loves with all my heart. And the people that matter to me and who love me back, know that.
They may not share my blood but they will always have my care in good times and bad.
Because they make the effort. Just a little is all it takes with me but without it it’s not a relationship.

I grieved for your absence a very long time ago but the loss has always been yours.

Flames

Tonight the sun set with such blazing .orange flames that It stopped me in my tracks.
As I sat on the settee I caught a glimpse of orange through the hedge in my garden. It was like it was calling out to me. I couldn’t take my eyes of. Like a warmth that was urging me to step outside. I found myself walking across the muddy grass in my socks with my phone in my hand and as I looked through the gap I saw a sea of flaming orange trees merging into a deep pink sky. It was mesmerising.
It’s timing being just as incredible as it’s colours. What the hell was a sky like that doing behind my back garden?
A vision that was so out there and on fire that made me feel something against the contrasting numbness in remembering who I am and where I’m from.
In seeing my continuing real life struggles played out in front of me and feeling so embarrassed in being that rather than the successful and confident types from that group.
Feeling so exposed in al my openness and wishing I could take it all back.
Struggling to get back on my feet. Feeling those constant money worries. Reverting into someone I was previously in order survive in this world and be what others need.
Feeling all those insecurities and anxieties. Worrying about messing things up or being looked down on.
Feeling the fears of being hurt by those I trust. Irrational swirling and swirling around me as I try to find my way through all the pressures of real life.
Why does that bloody group chat always surface in the moments I feel like I’m struggling. When life feels even tougher. Why does it have the ability to create knots in my stomach without me looking at a single message. That just seeing names makes me want to vanish.
And yet leaving me with the complete inability to remove myself from it. Less wanting to miss out and more wanting to get out without anyone seeing me go. Why can’t you do that? I mute but I would just like to disappear. Sometimes I wish I could switch what’s app off completely but I can’t because of work.
Why is it that when that group resurfaces it always leave me feeling like such a loser, a nobody, Less!

I tried to capture the vision of that sunset with my phone. Even my phone had no storage left on it.
But I did manage to take one picture and despite it not quite capturing the beauty of what I saw in that moment, it was still a pretty amazing picture. Perhaps all it was missing was my feeling… like flames..
As I came back inside and the sky darkened the golden flames intensified. It made me feel like I saw a part of me that I can’t get to right now. She definitely exists. A version beyond the normal.
I had a brief moment of feeling something more.

Last night P arrived at the flat with his dad who was let out of hospital after having two operations.
I wasn’t expecting them. But they had released him under the proviso that he had some decent arrangements for care.
Apparently I was that arrangement.
I didn’t ask any questions. I just sorted out my room for him with clean sheets removing all obstacles to avoid him having a fall and then set about making a shepherds pie.
I wasn’t sure who was in more need of care as they both sat there looking like lost and tired kids.
He is so frail now that he has very little strength. But he hates being in hospital and if he can get out, he will. I think they came to the flat lookimg for warmth and care. The kind that comes with alot of attention.
I certainly saw the relief in both of their faces as I just got on with the job of caring.
I live in a world where thats what women do.
And the men imagine that they are looking after the women. I felt like I was looking at two little boys who wanted their mum.
If I’m honest I was glad that they came to the flat rather than the other way round. It’s much easier to create cosy in my own home and I felt better knowing that he was safe and cared for.
As I went to sleep I could hear a symphony of snoring echoing through the flat.
I had to smile. Bloody kids. But I was so tired that I just fell asleep in my girls bed feeling happy in knowing that everyone was ok and safe.

I feel myself preparing for this next part. It feels hard now but I know what is to come. And last time I found it very traumatic. We all did.
I’ve been here before. It is difficult and painful and comes with no time line. Holding on to them like precious jewels but not wishing for them to suffer.
The pain of love at its most brutal.
I find myself numbing everything else in order to be what is required.
Feeling like I just need little happy moments and to feel others care.
Hiding in not wanting others to witness a lesser version, a version that in that previous experience was difficult to control. Distancing where I need to as protection for myself and others. All my fears magnified on the approach whilst on the surface I look completely calm and in control.
But the cracks showing in only being human. wanting to plaster over them as opposed to sharing.
Please Let me find my way through this and come out the other side feeling proud.

As I saw those orange flames I imagined J sending them to me as a sign. I know she would feel proud of me in trying to take care of her boys.
I just need to feel proud of myself.