Squashed Fairy Cakes with Chocolate Buttons

I moved!!!!
What a statement that feels like for me. Physically I moved from the hole in the ceiling to a beautiful new apartment at the top of a house overlooking the forest.
I can’t believe my good fortune in coming into a new year and finding this place.
As I sit alone in my separate lounge on my comfy sofa with just my fairy lights to bring a glow to the dark, quietness and calm prevails. What a lovely sound silence is. For one so chatty and constantly busy these rare moments of solitude feel wonderful and allow me time to breathe.
Because I haven’t just moved to a new building I have moved forward. In fact I leapt forward through all the flames of fear and into the unknown. And I won’t lie, it feels scary and like starting from scratch with no fall back, no people to bail me out, no plan B.
Just me
I am a dreamer so what do I dream. To just be loved for being me.
Not what you want me to be, or a lesser version, or something that provides all your happy but doesn’t care about mine.
If you love me you have to love all of me. Unconditionally! Because that will always be what I am giving.
I wrote something a couple of days ago and posted and then deleted because what surrounded it didn’t have a place with it.
This isn’t about new adventures or big experiences or becoming something.
This is what it has always been about for me .. LOVE and what that means for me.
I said a few days ago that I don’t know what love is anymore.
That’s not true.
I know exactly what it is.
Love is squashed fairy cakes with chocolate buttons.
The cake is your simple mix and flavoured in a way that is unique, beautiful, imperfect and will not be to everyone’s taste but who wants bland. The icing is the happy. For some, extravagant swirly whirly piled on high buttercream frosted, for me white icing sugar and water. There is so much pleasure in simplicity. And the chocolate button? Well the chocolate button is the magic. It brings the cake to life. It adds something extra in a way that doesn’t overpower it.
When I think of love it is
about caring for another person in all their real and their dreams, wanting them to be everything they are and want to be and being proud of all those things, being able to be honest, open, just who you are without having to hide bits because they don’t match, or are inconvenient or don’t fit. It’s about sharing the happiness and the sadness of life. Allowing each other to fly in freedom and taking joy from that even when you are not a part of it. There is such magic in tasting another persons happy. But always ready to catch if you or they should fall.
Being a part of something that together grows and evolves but apart still lives,exists, breathes and flourishes.
Love for me should feel like freedom. Free to be who you are in every way and free to have your own life but with the chocolate button of magic in sharing it with another.
Does that sound crazy?
For me anything less just isn’t enough. It would be asking me not to be me and I need to. Because there lies my icing.
So it turns out that squashed fairy cakes with chocolate buttons, which were once so laughed at, are in fact just how I want them.

Welcome to the party Feisty

It’s a rare thing when feisty gets off her arse and turns up to the party. She is the quiet and lazy rebel loner who is very happy to sleep all day long. She is very specific in her description. She is the girl who is awoken when something matters. The passion and power that fuels the rest. She quietly does her own thing without anyone noticing and doesn’t really care about being seen. She knows she exists and feels very little need for others to know it letting happy take the credit as the ace in the pack but knowing that she is the queen. Because she is secure enough to dance to her own tune by herself. But as the holder of the passion she sleeps in readiness for the moment that the party requires her presence whether invited or not.
She of course finds herself receiving a lot of invitations to parties but she rarely can be bothered to turn up for them. She is much more of a gatecrasher because if she is gonna make the effort to turn up then it has to be for a reason and something worthwhile. Something has to ignite her because she has better things to do with her time even it that’s nothing at all.
But when she arrives you can have no doubt that she wants to be there.
And you better be ready because she doesn’t have the patience to get out of bed for nothing. And she definitely won’t be dancing to the tune that is playing. She is bringing her own tunes and you can dance to it with her or even better battle with her to hear your own. Because she loves a dance off. Especially with someone that believes in their own tune and will keep up with her. She knows that a mash up can sound good but you better have the tunes and moves yourself.
Of course she won’t hang about for long. She will let her tunes be heard and show you that she knows how to dance to them and then she will disappear into the night to continue dancing on her own before she goes back to sleep. Because she knows that happy has that party all under control.
So don’t ever try and coax her out. She doesn’t do anything on demand. But when she does join the party it speaks volumes about how much she cares.

 

Your Song

Such a lot of thoughts running around in my head tonight. Was taking a break from thinking and writing today. My brain and my heart can wear me out sometimes and the frivolous, fanciful and fun part of me kicks in and makes me light. So I figured what shall I do that feels mindless. A bit of sales shopping in Covent Garden. Where I bought a perfect new dress in Mango and a butterfly brooch for 3 quid in accessorize. Hidden away but anything that can fly is always captured by these eyes. I felt like I wanted to get something in the sale that would make me feel pretty and girly. And I knew it would be quieter there now on 6 January and it was. So I wandered in the last of the Christmas lights with quiet ease and space with no real thoughts other than ooohhh I love that, I hope they have it in small 😊 SMALL …
Childhood has been a huge theme for me this weekend and a lovely friend shared something when I got home tonight so beautifully potent in stirring a lot of feelings in me about my own childhood as well as some kids I know who add so much colour to my world in a way that they are unaware of. But they do. So much. Saying I feel privileged to know them sounds too stiff. In fact they light me up and make me feel glad to be human.
Their descriptions of things that can be unseen, overlooked, unappreciated are staggering and leave me in awe of them. Their uniqueness, their huge potential and their sheer beauty in both light and dark provide an insight into worlds within a world that very often leave me speechless but more so with such a proudness in their immense bravery and wonderfulness.
Since reading my friends thought of today I don’t think I have ever been so rooted to my chair listening to music feeling the weight of what being a human really is in all its fragility.
We are a product of what we have been and if ever I need to be reminded of motivation in trying to be everything I can be in whatever that looks like then thinking of childhood gives me that.
What a gift to be a mum. Every day I feel so lucky. What a treasured gift, in every joy a gift can be and that is so far beyond anything that was unwrapped over Christmas.
And even though I know that this gift is on loan until the day that she is ready to spread her wings and fly freely in the life that she creates for herself, I want her to know how much this gift is appreciated by me. Even when I get it wrong which inevitably I do despite all my efforts, I want to keep trying to get it right. Because what happens now will live somewhere inside her and when I dare to look out into the world where it is too vast to be its mum, it makes me realise that with her, I can be a mum to her in the best way I can. Knowing that the only lesson I ever got in this was from my own mum and what I’ve learnt in life. I’m hoping that the magic my mum possessed is passed down through generations like it is in those films.
Treasuring my girl in everything she was, is, and will be as well as everything she ever dreams of being always feels important to me. But rooted to this chair it has never felt so important as it does tonight.
I love you my girl. Everything single thing about you is beyond beautiful, you sparkle so brightly the world will need sunglasses 😎 and my belief in you is the same as the day you were born. Because You are special in every way in being you.
And as she will never read this I’ll remind her of that now knowing her response will be …
lol, you weirdo!!! 😊 love you!

Let us never stop twirling round the room to your song

Fight or Flight… I choose Vulnerability

Vulnerability…
the quality or state of being exposed to the possibility of being attacked or harmed, either physically or emotionally.
Doesn’t really sell itself in it’s definition. I hear this word a lot. And always in a very negative context. “It makes me feel vulnerable and so to combat it I need to show strength and power or become invisible.” Fight or flight.
I relate to it. At its worst showing vulnerability can leave you floored, wanting to run, feeling weak, not as good as others, broken hearted, sad, very hurt. I hear quite often about how the result of being or showing vulnerability has left a person feeling like they need to armour up and show a strength and power or indeed to hide completely both physically or emotionally to make sure that they are fully protected from the deeply unpleasant feelings that I’ve just mentioned. And this isnt me looking in like a stranger. I have known exactly what that looks like too.
In theory that fight or flight has its purpose. Definitely there is some defence against feeling shit short term. But long term is the pay off in never being vulnerable worth it?
No. I don’t think it is. Because what that ultimately costs is
Pure Connection.. warmth, honesty, openness, beautiful fragility, intimacy, risk taking, possibilities, and pure fearlessness in just being you.
In fact being vulnerable takes huge strength and courage far beyond the perceived strength in armouring up and fighting.
To allow yourself to be vulnerable says “ I know I may get hurt but I have the courage to take the risk whatever the outcome because I am being me and in being that I believe I will be happier.
Sounds so very easy when put so simply and it definitely is not .. but I find myself doing it more and more and more.
And the thing I am noticing is that yes I get hurt, or feel stupid, or embarrassed but less and less do I feel weak. In fact the total opposite. I realise that I pick myself back up from those things and keep pushing on. The risk in taking more chances which on the surface make me feel more vulnerable actually teach me a lot about who I am and what I’m made of.
They open up new possibilities in a way that armouring up or hiding did not.
Don’t get me wrong there are still moments where I am looking for that shield or a place to climb under. I’m human as we all are and believe me  when I say I certainly do not have any of the answers. I can only ever speak from my own experience but I am finding that there is so much freedom in that vulnerability that I am loving. In embracing it in all its good and it’s bad I’m finding that it helps me to fly just a little bit higher like that red balloon 🎈 I so love. And perhaps eventually
I will just float very quietly in the breeze, going wherever it takes me. Because ultimately I think it will take me to love.

 

The Magic of Weird

I’m treating myself to two posts in one day. why not?!
I finished writing the thing that has been like pulling teeth and as an antedote I will write something that has been inspired by my little mate L who always tags a like on all the posts I write and tonight messaged me to say why. Plus I’ve been starved of human contact for 2 days whilst getting that other writing done which feels like a lifetime in my world so feeling like a chatterbox doesn’t even come close. Thank god for a weekend ahead with people I love.
I love writing my blog. I’ve always liked writing down my thoughts but never had shared them. I started with one person who gave me the courage to go beyond that, probably because they were exhausted by those lengthy messages.
I’m not really sure what this blog is even supposed to be or what category I fit in. I’m not sure I even want to fit into a category. Maybe random ramble if that exists.
But none the less I like my thoughts being out there somewhere. Beyond my own head and in a place where no one knows me but I can have a voice. Where I can’t be judged on what I look like, or where I come from or what I do for a living or any of the other insignificant small details we ask when we have conversations or meet new people.
I know often when I answer those questions as if I’m a robot, that they reflect nothing of the person I really am. I’m often tempted to say I’m a lion tamer, an astronaut, hell, a writer for the New York Times.
I wonder if others feel the same when they sit in that small talk. What we love, what makes us tick, what makes us sad or happy what our dreams, fears, hopes are and the opposite of those. These are the things I want to know about people. The stuff that constantly churns around in a persons head and might make it to the surface sometimes but is often hidden and protected from others in case they are judged. And I don”t just care about the good and happy stuff. I want to hear it all, the good, the bad and the ugly.
But I guess there is always the fear of being the weird one. I mentioned it earlier.
Actually my girl calls me that all the time and I quite love it.
When I just looked up the definition it said supernatural and unearthly. Yeah I’ll take weird especially when you compare to the definition of normal.. conforming to standard, usual, typical, expected.
Let’s all be weird! Sounds fucking awesome!
What I search out are the random and small stories, the thought of that day, or how they see and feel their life and the things around them.. that is the stuff I love to read and actually would love to hear when I meet people.
Maybe I’ll try that. Rather than my first question being so what do you do? I might say .. tell me about your dreams? What is your passion? What makes your heart sing?
Or wanna tell me why you are so sad?
Perhaps I will make that a new year experiment.. you know when I’m sober. Totally “normal” when I’ve had a couple of wines or with close friends.
And as for my blog, on the odd occasion that someone likes something I write (beyond the beautiful L) I feel both happy that someone discovered and liked my thought but more so I find myself immediately wanting to know theirs.
I’m new to this whole blogging thing. And sometimes when I look at what surrounds my rambles in intellectually and knowledgable well written pieces I laugh to myself. Do I belong in here? I mean I love theirs and I’m jealous of how articulately they write. I’m fascinated by everything. Could read blogs all day. But where do I fit in the mix?
And yet with each individual like and I quite love that often it will be just one person, I get this sense that I just connected with another person in the world in a way that I wish the whole world would connect.
To see beyond what is right in front of you and glimpse what is sitting underneath. That is totally where all the magic lives. And this year I’m going in search of it. So if a weird stranger walks up to you and asks “what’s the most magical moment of your life?” There is a good chance it might be me.
Be nice 😊❤️

 

A Violin and French Fancies

Taking a quick break from writing something that is coming much more easily than it did pre Christmas but is still a little tough going and requires things that are more fun and enjoyable in between. Amazing what you can do with great films and Cadbury’s heroes in the background. I love to write but I definitely have a preference in what that consists of.
So I was just thinking about the possibility of giving up smoking this year. Couldn’t really think about it until said writing is finished but it’s on the horizon. It’s so expensive and imagine where I can go on that money. And whilst thinking about this, something popped into my head.
When I met a friend before Christmas they commented that I was holding my cigarette in such a way that it was like I was walking down a Parisian street. I didn’t think of it in that moment but a moment ago I was reminded and my lovely little gran smiled at me in my head. My gran who I have written about before and used to smoke her cigarette like she was outside a 1930’s Parisian cafe. She was the person that set me off down that road. The smoking not the sparkly lights of Paris.
On the surface a little old lady but beneath that a classy girl with a lifetime of history, experiences, secrets that said she was made from something special.
She married down as she told me often. Always made me chuckle even when I was a kid. How do you marry down? Well apparently by being swayed from her suitor with a car to her true love who didn’t own a bean. She always used to laugh and say ”I should have gone for the man with the car.”
I never knew that grandad. He died long before I entered the world. And my gran spent the rest of her life alone, never marrying again, living in later life with her cat Libby. My mum said that she always had an air of a more privileged up bringing and to me she never lost her well to do roots. I mean she never made a cup of tea without a full tea set and  French Fancies on a china plate. She managed on her pension all of which went on the finer things in biscuit and cake form but her ciggies were subsidised by another colourful character in a second hand Jag who was my uncle. Never a dad but he became more so in one weekend when he took me and K to Windsor and bought me sparkly new little white trainers. I felt like the bees knees.
I feel like I’m weaving through this story but even that feels right. My gran could tell a story that went on for days.
She also played the violin right through until old age and said that when she was young she used to play with her sister on the piano with special recitals for her family at Christmas. I had visions of what that looked like which I’m sure looked nothing like the reality. But in my mind it looked very idyllic and glamorous. She encouraged me to learn the violin. Yeah not really my instrument. Sounded like Libby’s claws on a chalkboard although actually Libby’s claws were more usually used to Inflict pain on my very annoying and naughty little bro. He’s a little hero these days.
I hated playing the violin. I wanted to play the drums but there was already a kid in class who played them and they said I couldn’t as well. Need to let that one go. What a crock.
And I hated that I had a second hand violin that didn’t have a bow. So not only was I crap at playing but every week I embarrassingly had to walk to school with my violin case and my bow separately in a long box that my mum made out of cardboard. The bow that she had got separately didn’t fit in my violin case.  Sound like a proper spoilt madam. My mum worked her socks off trying to make life the best it could for us but you know what it’s like when you are that age, you just don’t see it as clearly or appreciate it quite so much especially when it had a negative effect on your life.
Every week the other kids would laugh at me. Weirdo…

Of course it upset me. No one wants to be the weird kid. Dreamed forever about being the most popular girl in my school, that JB would fall in love with me and that I would find out that in fact I’d been given to the wrong family and when I was found by my real parents they would give me a whole makeover of hairdresser cut hair and girly outfits and a violin with a bow that fit in the bloody case.
Not that I ever let anyone know they upset me. I learned very young to toughen up and hide my soft and loving. So cry at the bottom of my bed but never let them see you weak.
And in not letting them see it I became stronger. I knew where I sat in the heirarchy of little girls and their long silky hair and pretty dresses. No where. But I always knew that I had more about me. And I would find my moment to shine towards the end of my time there.
And later in the safety of becoming an adult let myself again be that soft and loving girl which frankly is my best bit.
Maybe that is the magical story of how my heart grew so big. I saved it up so long that it grew. Could be a kids story in that?!

So back to the violin… my gran always used to tell me that one day I would master that bloody thing and be amazing! It feels like at this point all my suffering at the hands of little kids laughing at my bow in the box should end with me saying that I became one of the greatest violin players of all time. Unfortunately that never happened. I always remained a crap despite my efforts at murdering beautiful pieces of music while playing in the school orchestra. I’ve always been amazed at how the same instrument can sound so gloriously heart wrenchingly beautiful in one persons hands or horrifically murderous in anothers. But I loved that me and my gran shared that even if I didn’t let her hear me play. She didn’t need to know how crap at it I was,  although she would never have shown her disappointment. But she would have loved that my girl used to play songs for us on the piano at Christmas when she was little. That second hand piano that was the best piece of furniture in the flat. Who would have thought that a kids keyboard would eventually have us scraping around trying to find the money for a piano that somehow needed to fit in the flat. I always laughed that it was like living in pride and prejudice. I’d get home from work and while cooking she would be playing something beautiful. Completely sidetracked by lovely memories of my girl when she was little.  She is always my go to source of happy when I have to dig a little deeper to get something done.
Anyways eventually my gran moved from the flat in Errol Street that we all so loved and is still so unchanged to this day. She moved to a warden controlled place in Dulwich. She quite loved it there. Well mainly. She liked to protest but she charmed all those in the vicinity and they all knew and liked her there.  It was a little bit of her I think with Dulwich park opposite where she used to go and feed the squirrels with especially bought kitkats.
On the weekends that we stayed with her she used to drag me and K to church on the Sunday. We used to mess about all the way through mass. She would give us a look but never told us off. She would introduce us to everyone like we were royalty. She was so very proud.
On the way back from church she used to bump into lord and lady someone or other and chat with them like we were in some Victorian scene. She could turn it on and off at her pleasure. And as we would walk away and me and K would imitate with our fake posh voices and she would laugh and say
“ooohh you two, you are a scream”
Timeless, classic, classy and like many other beautiful characters of that time gone to the vaults of our memories.
But I can still hear her little voice when I used to knock saying “is that you m?”
What a less colourful world it is without them.
I always find it strange that my nan and my gran died on exactly the same day a year apart. It’s coming up in a few days so I guess why they are particularly in my mind. They didn’t see each other but they wrote to each other their whole lives. I always loved that they were friends. And my gran loved my mum like she was her own daughter. She didn’t care much for the idiot blond replacement She would say to me, obviously I’m very charming with her but she’s not a patch on your mum.
Yeah my gran had class and she recognised fur coat no knickers when she saw it and knew my mum was a cut above without all that superficial finery.
Anyways all that from a cigarette. Bad for my health, must give up, but what a beautiful memory. I will write about my Nan too at some point. She from a very different world and right till the end like a sprightly little lamb who was stronger than anyone I’ve ever known.
Aaahhh how I miss them. Grandparents are such a gift and mine provided so much love that was often missing elsewhere.
My dearest Gran and Nan. I still look up at the stars to find you. You are both treasured in my heart forever and I see you both so clearly in my mind as if I only saw you yesterday. To share your existence beyond my head feels exactly right. Because you were the world to me ❤️ And I feel more so than ever, in happily and enthusiastically coming into this new year, that you would be so proud of me in the way I was so proud of you two. You both totally rocked xxx

… and as I’m not quite ready to quit smoking, before I resume that piece of writing I will pop outside with this tune in my ears and pretend I am smoking my cigarette outside a 1930’s Parisian cafe.

 

Shakira Shakira

Whilst everyone else is recovering from their hangovers my party is just starting.
And the first song playing is Shakira Shakira Try Everything.
That song has been playing softly in the background over the past 18 months. Sometimes so softly that I forgot it was even on. But boy was it playing.
Never had I cared so little for the NYE festivities as I did last night. I had realised that my year had been So full of crazy, happy, dreamy, nonsensical magic that it had already left me ready for a new year without requiring a fanfare. I was happy letting it just drift in.
Maybe this is my fanfare.
So this morning while a world nurses it’s headaches I am dancing to this music on full blast. And I plan to keep on dancing to it for the rest of the day, year and beyond.
Oh and be under no illusion I’ve made many many mistakes and have absolutely no doubt I will make a truck load more but as Shakira said, “I get back up again to see what’s next”. And with all those mistakes I’ve learnt so much about what makes me happy, what takes me where I find sparkle and what makes me love.

1st Jan 2019 my heart has never beaten so strongly.

So let this great big party begin. I’m already dancing on a podium like I’m lost in the music. Maybe will see you there?
When you recover from your hangover !!! 😊

Happy New Year!!! ❤️