Flutter those eyelashes, you nutter!

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54205ffb1019a3955fea3715_image ‘Flutter and forget the faux pas (silent z)

Haven’t written for a while for a few reasons:

  • too busy thinking
  • too busy doing
  • experiencing ‘the shift’

Today was a wake up call.  In my thinking and doing and numbness and happy to be so, I let the days slip by.  Times it is necessary not to think the world will end if you don’t perform, create, meet, achieve etc, but just appreciate the waking of the birds and the glorious sunsets.  I should have been at the beach doing this but for lack of beach in London, I just did in in my own little world. 

Today was a wake up call.  My darling neighbour, of whom I spoke, is back in hospital, and not coming home with talk of care homes and such.  She is not present, as my visits have proved and in my worst ‘you have seen this scene in a movie’ I find her propped in chair, facing a wall, sleeping, always sleeping.  The opening of her eyes is a monumental task and she fails at it 100%.  So we just sit and she holds my hand tightly and it is my mother all over again. Her lids no longer flutter.  And I am going to flutter mine like a propeller.

In the thinking of how suddenly life always seems to come and grab us by the scruff, I realised that the good of just thinking and being is great for part of the time, but using my time here in a valuable way is a promise we should all make to the maker of us. In fact, so lost in the sadness of the visit, I found myself throwing my underwear, not in the laundry basket, but in the bin.  And I know what you’re thinking: nutter with a flutter.  Not quite.  Dilly with a dancing step I would phrase it.

I have been flat lining.  My heart, broken and battered is pumping a pace to make glaciers seem like marathon sprinters. It’s not unusual, we Silver Streeters are more at the downhill part of the mountain than the climb, but letting ourselves slide into a numbness and acceptance will make of me my neighbour before I know it.  I think that’s why we become so obsessed with grand-children, they spark things up again, give us another purpose – some take it more seriously than others and the photographs prove it, but hey, it’s good. A long way off, I chose to flutter life back into my business, my daily pursuits … you get the picture.

Whilst standing over the dustbin, retrieving the bra, I thought how much my neighbour would want one more opportunity, at anything.  I have a zillion methinks, and you, so as I sit here with the clay face mask on (careful not to be on the balcony though Matt and Simon would simply giggle and let it go, the other neighbours may seem more concerned with the brick red tribal look), I have to, in a weird way, thank my neighbour for reminding me that I still have aplenty of fluttering to do.  

You know when they say ‘ the heart is fluttering, there is a pulse, doctor, I think she’s coming back.?  When the patient comes round and the eyes flutter at the light? Oh yeah …

Time for the pretty making up of those eyes for someone is going to flutter them.

Also did about 30 squats today – it was a horrible picture.

Image Vogue

Believe. Engage. Flourish

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Believe. Engage. Flourish

‘We were not created to be barren or unfruitful. We were created to blossom and flourish. Nobody starts a garden with no expectation of seeing it sprout and blossom. You have to make the decision to break through the barriers and break up the ground. This process is vital so that what you plant in the garden of your life will flourish and produce much fruit. We live below our privileges when we do not blossom and produce fruit in our lives.’

Jamelle Sanders.

dc60b9fce1027faf414479e016a87b57--passion-flower-floral-arrangements Georgianna Lane

have an admission to make.  Once, or twice, I resort to the monster that is Amazon and ‘Paris in Bloom’ by Georgianna Lane was worth it.  I have fallen in love with her work – her photographs are uplifting and inspirational and oh, so romantic.  I fall in Love with the world again.  

I can also sit in my little nest for days and ogle over beautiful pictures and pretty places and dream … so good at that, but I need to flourish, and in order to do that, I need to re-establish belief in myself, go out and engage, and if I am positive enough, work hard enough, I can do just that … flourish.

So what could be stopping me?

Flourish rosesNo idea is an original idea … no success started at great.’

  • The good old Fear of failure – like the albatross around the neck
  • Not always sure what it is that I want to do?  Got many ideas, too many?
  • Out of ‘connection city?’  Don’t have the contacts, the local roots so ‘who you know’ could be a problem.
  • Age related ‘am too old for this’ holding me back?
  • How to begin a new chapter when it is so difficult to let go of the previous one?

To flourish in any aspect of your life, you need to flourish in every aspect of your life.  Begin with the personal, and we know that there have been bumps and sadness (we have lived that long) which may have brought about a numbness of heart, a slowing of pace, a dullness of life.  So begin with the things you love, small things, like nature, hobbies you may have put aside, family relationships, friends … put these in order and your work will benefit.  Starting again with a new business, wanting to change, if you are strong enough in yourself, in your daily life, you will have the courage to change and grow in business too.

One thing I realised, after all these years in a new country, in a tiny home, is that I have never quite called it home.  This is the start, to create a real home for my family, not simply been living here.  So, am off to get myself a pin board to create a visual inspiration tool, create a small space that is my office to work in, bring out the boxes still tucked in the garage and break up my day between work, staying active and have fun. The whole package is on offer.

No longer just working days, or resting days, but days that allow me to flourish.  Once accomplished, the belief intact, it is out to engage with the world.  In this new act of flourishing, of giving to myself and others, that the flourishing will emit far further than myself.

Be more that just be.  Flourish.

Images Georgianna Lane @parisinbloom #parisinbloom @davidaustin 

 

 

No day is the same, and we learn … London you beauty.

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Charlotte-6-1024x683  The Vagabond, Charlotte Street

Some say they sniff Autumn in the air … and I shall ignore them.  The sun is out and reporting from my office balcony with the sun still high, pj’s on (I heart NY T from my daughter and my son’s longs) the view over the lake is stunning.  

It has been an London day.  We all have opinions about this city, she has been trying at times as you know, but then there are days like today when you just have to go … yeah.

My day going into the city starts like this:

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It’s not rush hour (poor wee souls) but the time when I find the tourists confused. ‘Did they say get off here for The All England Tennis Courts?’  Yup, keep walking I nod and smile … good to have the turf sown up.  Metro in hand, music in the ears and there is something about the subway I will never lose my fascination for.  Rocking on the tracks, rocking to the music. And walking fast – this is my gym, London is, walking fast is the trademark of belonging – don’t waddle we do, we stride with purpose.

Met a friend at The Library in Covent Garden.  The Library is an exclusive club – women who do business meet up in Private Clubs, it beats the endless meeting up in coffee shops. Behind a door that continues to perplex the tourists for there is not real entry, the Library is an eclectic mix of decor and architecture.  

fullsizeoutput_7619fullsizeoutput_761b Go electic at the Library

Afternoon trip to Covent Garden – I know it well, it never ceases to amaze.  And wow, the new Petersham Nursery shop is open! For one who pops into Petersham all the time, and I mean ALL the time, this is a gift. Vintage french furniture, flowers abounding, a deli – feel almost like the local has had a little part in the success.

fullsizeoutput_761efullsizeoutput_7622 Petersham shines …

As if this was not enough, off to Mysteries with Paula.  Paula is a PR guru in London and her Hothouse meetings are brilliant.  So, she takes me to Mysteries – for an education on Tarot reading, crystals and that sort of thing, which this c’est moi, has little knowledge of.  But I do recognise the Tiger’s eyes.  Gosh, we used to pick them up on the dirt roads in South Africa or the Scratch patch in Cape Town.  When the little card says ‘ a tiger’s eye is a talisman for travellers, gives confidence and reminds one of the strength within … well, there we go, bought some for the whole family.  

Did I mention the Tea Shop? Let’s overdose on Tea here.  Based in Neal’s Yard, if there is a certain tea you want – it is here.  Sniff, sniff, smell and sniff at all the aromas till I just go back to the Rooibos – or redbush, or roibus as the English like to say.

Daughter says to meet at Vagabond in Charlotte Street for an after work wine.  I keep thinking Vulcan (no idea why) and struggle to find, but what a find it was.  In my naivety I can only describe is thus, and I must say the staff were very patient with me when I kept saying … what … how…by myself…no ways!  Thus:  A wine bar where all the wines are behind glass, right in front of you, with tubes rising from the necks of the bottles.  You buy a card, put down a deposit and get a glass.  A sort of do it yourself tasting thing.  As you wish, you simply slot in your card, select your wine and bingo, you have wine! Choose from any country, red, white or rosé – now why don’t more people think about it? 

fullsizeoutput_762c  Wine on tap. And they serve Biltong.

Now I am back on my balcony.  I have spent an afternoon in a Library, smelling tea, talking crystals, side-stepping tourists and drinking wine in a trendy wine bar.  Back in the flat, the Dribuddy is a new thing to combat the Chinese laundry look.  Sputnik like I hear her buzzing in the background.  The fact that the washing machine gave it’s last, deathly and audible throes does not worry me for I have had a London day.

In this city, it is a never stop finding the new, experiencing it all and feeling alive day. I shall say, it was a good day, don’t you think?

Image: vagabond

 

 

Giacometti, The Tate Modern and merde – she says no, no, no

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fullsizeoutput_75d7 ‘Be it ancient or contemporary, Art speaks of our time on earth.’

Times mistakes are good.  Blond here had a ticket for Stanley Tucchi’s film ‘The Final Portrait’ with Geoffrey Rush, depicting the life of Giacometti. Happens to coincide with the exhibition at the Tate Modern.  Sunday, sunday, sunday she had drilled in her head.  Problem was, Sunday past and my entrance into a very empty cinema confirmed my dilly lack of detail. ‘Merde’ she hisses … but I am at the Tate Modern, to Giacometti I will go. Stream the movie later.

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Sensory overload.  Understanding contemporary art requires careful observation.  Standing back, reflection and looking at the careful details of every aspect of what is presented to the viewer.  Story telling in the art. Don’t rush, don’t rush.  These are statements on politics, social interaction, the world perceived by those who strip the everyday to the core. Sometimes, I find myself looking at splotches (yes a bit like a child throwing paint on canvas) but then comes the question – does it make sense as a piece on it’s own, or more if we learn what the artist was trying to express?  What are your thoughts?

fullsizeoutput_75d5 Then, we come to the raindrop.  The artist, mesmerised by the spiritual qualities of a raindrop, and how to transform in concrete terms … I stand and look, and look and in the looking … behind me a woman says in Afrikaans ‘lyk soon ‘n tiet’ – looks like a tit! Boob dangling from string – are you totally without I wonder, but laugh as she does to realise I understand the language.  The art is decidedly lost on her and her partner, in fact a few minutes later I pass them again, her voicing the need to find an exit to all this nonsense.  No, No and no again … And so it goes … should I smile, should I shudder … but that is contemporary art for you … each to his own I guess.

I, on the other hand, am inspired.  I cannot do this, so I appreciate others who can. May not always understand, but try to,  There is a reason these pieces have a place in this great gallery. 

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Aaah, ’twas a great afternoon. I live in a city where all the great works come together.  The Tate, the Modern Tate and all the other galleries that offer me the chance to see the greats.  Not too shabby she says as she takes the lift to the 10th floor. The viewing deck.

IMG_5596IMG_5611 London Skyline

Standing up there, with a full 380 degree view, Art is everywhere. Ancient, modern, traditional, futuristic, it’s all for our pleasure. 

I want more of Botticelli, Michelangelo, Titian, Pollack, Warhol and everyone else that paints, sculpts, draws and puts to paper, canvas and metal the world the way they see it, to enlighten, enchant and entertain me … for I learn.

 

It’s official. You have to stop playing the Lotto – like now!

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It. Is. My. Turn.

We all know about the Struggle.  We do.  We live it, write about it and light candles to pray for the stopping of it.  The struggle is exhausting, and sometimes, all the hard work and millions of little dreams just elude the overcoming of the Struggle.

So the Lotto win is the next big thing. Have tried it at times, and weirdly, at times taken a ticket and never looked to see if I won anything – have you done that? ‘Perhaps winning something ticket’ lies in my purse until I tear it up, too arsed to see if a pound richer I am. Useless.  So I reckon, if I appeal to everyone on the planet earth to stop playing the Lotto, just for a little spell, I have a chance.  I need to win that Lotto, and my reasons are pure. They are:

  • I reckon I earned it.  Have dealt with the Struggle more than most of late.  Lotto will reward me for the Struggle.
  • In the eddy of Struggle, I have had to make do with Boots generic face products.  This is sad to say the least.  Trés sad.  I believe darling Helen Mirren says ‘f…king’ helps little all those moisturisers but it feels SO good to have expensive creams on the wrinkly face.  Bits of gold leaf in neck cream is awesome.
  • Need new gym clothes.  I don’t go to the gym but wearing them around the house makes me feel healthy. Haute couture gym clothes is all for working on the laptop.
  • Googling exotic destination holidays on waitron salary is fatal to the soul. A la masochistic mode. A little Lotto booty will take me from Southfields to the South of France and we all know, a girl needs the Cote d’Azur for uber wellness.
  • Mermaid Honda Jazz is sick.  She is valiant, but sick.  Ignore anyone who says it’s fine – trying to outsmart a Range Rover Vogue is not only frightening but makes us feel like  Thomas the tank engine next to Gordon the Big. I need Range Rover injection.
  • Surrounded by big city fashion labels.  I don’t really like fashion labels (bullies all of you) but sneaking into Primark is random stuff. Just once, just once, Lotto can get me the Loro Piana, Hermes and wine – circa made by monks with no screw top.
  • Letting someone else struggle with the unruly Macbeth hags hair.
  • Foregoing Ryan Air dehumanisation in favour of turning left on British Airways.
  • Allow for setting up trust funds for my children with great titles that sound important.
  • Centre court tickets at Wimbledon.  Tennis is not my passion but centre court sounds so grand.
  • Being told, of course you may have a table, and not being lied to about full bookings because you ask for a table for one.
  • Charity.  Being able to share the Lotto with others rather than thinking, sorry mate, I have beans for the rest of the month myself.

And you know what?  I don’t want the millions – seriously – it brings it’s own headaches and heartaches, but a little extra would be welcome.  

And you know what?  If I won, I would most likely give it all to my children.  Actually more in love with the packaging of Uber brands than spending money on the items themselves. Have no need for yachts or watches, sports cars or holiday homes.

Just want the feeling of saying … maybe I could.

Truth be told … very happy with what the Struggle has made of me, the great opportunities presented and the drive created.  But, and I say but … a little of the Lotto would be nice.

So again, stop playing all you lovely people – this dame needs a windfall of possibilities.

You can play again, say in a month or two.  And if the saying that every draw creates six winners of millions and I figure this has being going on for a while, surely the odds are in my favour if you all desist for a while …

images-40 The price of a new car, cosmetic ‘upliftment’ and that little black dress means winning the Lotto – so help a poor girl out will you?

PS if I win, having taken two tickets tonight, I shall share it with the first person who tells me how winning will change their lives, in the most interesting way, for the better.

PS – if you believe that I love you, but seriously, a little for the information.

Images: Pintrest

A little bit of perspective …

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6675370c20532372d02c4799b7cbfc88--warrior-woman-tattoo-i-am-a-warrior Thoughts on a Sunday evening…

Someone said the other day. ‘ I cannot believe you do so many things!  Travel consultant, wedding and events planner, concierge around London, mother and … waitress.’  Let’s call the last one as we know it, the waitron thing may be PC but ultimately, waitress is what it is.

How do you do it all?’ she asked.

Then a friend sent me a link to an article about resilience in one’s later life.  Overcoming pain and all that in our Silver Street part of our lives.  It was a great article, and I read most of them.

‘How do you do it all?  she asked.

Seriously, what is the alternative?

We get on with it.  Adapt or die as Pieter Dirk Uys would say.  We adapt … or we die.

Today the shift at the cafe required hours of standing, or rather running around. Busy, busy, busy.  Times I am guilty of frustration at small errors made.  I make mistakes myself, but rather than freak out, I keep telling myself … this is not an emergency ward, the toast may be late, the eggs too runny – I am the one with the ‘don’t sweat the small stuff attitude’ and ultimately the customers just want a friendly face, a great meal and time to socialise with their friends.  

Now seeing the whole shebang from the other side, times I want to literally pull up a chair next to a customer who is yelling and rude, and even remind myself when I expect too much, that these incredible women have lives outside the doors and more:

  • These people I work with in the cafe are doing two jobs at the best of times.
  • Sometimes they have long shifts and leave the cafe to go to work somewhere else.
  • During the week, they work full days and supplement their incomes on the weekend.
  • They are often in London alone, have no close family and send their money home.
  • And these incredible young women, working untold hours, have stories I don’t know of.

I don’t have to do this to survive.  I do this because it puts me in touch with the real world and I see stories unfolding, everyday, and it humbles me.  And I learn. The once princess of all goes to work because I enter a world I knew little about, a cauldron of cultures, creativity and youth.  Many of these young people will work their entire lives to better their situations.  They laugh at my stories of huge homes, maids and fancy holidays yet ask advice on what they should do, how they might one day have a business of their own.  I learn from them.

These women, so much younger, my children’s age, are happy but wanting more.  I hear my own children’s voices in them.  Its tough out there.  Pain happens.  Days they struggle a little more than most.   Like diamonds, they are strong and resilient. When I think of my journey, I know it has made me more understanding, more aware.  

Tonight, Sunday night, I am on my office balcony in London.  Cinderella of sorts.  And in this Silver Street, I am all the better for learning from younger women who teach me that life is for them, for moving forward, for appreciating all that you have been given and never giving up.

Never in my past life of luxury would I have known the blessings of being part of something that an apron, throwing the lattes,  could bring.

The body is broken after such a long shift, but the spirit is better than ever …

Are you on your bicycle of new beginnings?

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68a34f3e8d0e968391519f5ff3457eb6--bike-drawing-bike-poster …you had bloody well better find some way that is going to be interesting. 
- Katherine Hepburn

If you are like me you start each morning with ‘Right!  I am going to do this.’  Refreshed from a very needed good night’s sleep and the world is full of options.  Times the day sort of wears you down, people don’t always see things from your side, but do not get sidetracked!  Do not fall off the bicycle. Some of us have not been on one for awhile.

Riding a bike is easy.  Everyone can do it.  How then to get back on the proverbial when the wheels fell off the last one?  Or your bike got stolen?  That truck of life knocked you sideways? Let’s do this together:

  • Let it go.  The old bike is no longer roadworthy. Take the bell as a memory and send the rest to the scrapheap.
  • Find a bicycle that suits you best.  I like those pretty ones – places for flowers, pretty packages and pretty colours to make the ride all the more interesting.
  •  This may seem daunting but don’t take the overused highway of life, the road that is easy, you have the skills to plan an interesting route and make it financially and  aesthetically viable.
  • Don’t worry too much about the map, have a few great options and let’s see where the road takes us.  There may be ideas lying long and dusty in the ambition box, now is the time to dust them off and take them with you on the bicycle to new beginnings.
  • Surround yourself with people that think like you do, or open your mind to views you may never have considered.  Team cycling is great.
  • Use that memory bell to tell everyone you are back on the bike and they had better watch out!  Ting a ling, ting a ling.

Confidence is the only real thing you need.  Once you feel invincible on your bicycle, everything will follow.  You may fall once or twice, but getting up, scars and all, is the only option.  Do you have the confidence to get on the bicycle of the great unknown – which you deserve – are you ready (whether you like it or not, because seriously, letting the past/feeling weak/doubt is going to hold you back) to get back on the bike, with those pretty flowers and a book of great ideas – it’s fun once you try it.

Image Pintrest

 

 

 

 

 

 

Disappointment is the devil’s child, never for your own.

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 One of the most inspiring young bloggers I follow wrote a heartfelt entry that simply broke my heart.

Her blogs are usually hugely inspirational, filled with the love of life, flowers and particularly Paris – her photography is my daily high.

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We both love Paris without ending.  images-39

But unexpectadly, she decided to write from the heart – and her father’s disappointment in her choice of lifestyle and career.  For someone who makes so many happy, wish for some of her experiences, it is still not enough to bring stars to her father’s eyes.  Which got me thinking:

  • Are we as adults expecting too much from our children? We all raise them with dreams of what we want them to become one day … lay the proverbial path down, sometimes with sacrifice, but more with joy and hope, and when they choose another path, do we show our disappointment too openly?
  • I know I am guilty, one hundred percent.  Which is why this post resonated so much with me.  Though my children are all strong and doing well, I riled at a career choice and let it be known.  How on earth would they want to … throwing away your education blah blah blah and it still stings, but I have realised that I come to the edge of the lake as the helicopter mother and must let them sail … with all my support, despite my reservations.  The foundations are strong.
  • Perhaps we are the one’s out of touch with the real world.  Not every child grows to be a CEO, a Scientist or a lawyer – driven with ambition and dollars in their eyes.  The world needs dreamers, creative artists, educationalists, carers … so many other vocations that may not bring the big house, but will bring immense satisfaction.
  • God knows that we have disappointed our children on all too many occasions, even if they stay silent about it, so why do we still feel the right to comment on how they may have disappointed us?  Have we been true to their visions of the kind of parents they want us to be?
  • When it comes to a lifestyle, or career choice, are we so happy with the one we chose?  Too often we complain and berate our choices and those words stick.
  • I remember when my eldest was in Junior School, being told that nearly 60% of career choices available to her when she finished school had not even been thought of yet.  At the time I thought, mmm, and look at the world now.  Do we, the elders, stick to what we know and fail to embrace these ‘new’ options because we cannot understand them.  It’s quite exciting actually, so why do we cling to the past like we do when it comes to our children’s choice of career?

All I know is that I wish her father saw her potential and allowed herself to be.  All I know is that it is a lesson to me too, that although I have born and raised my children, hopefully to the best of it all, they should and need to be supported in their own choices from now on. We have had our turns, now just relax knowing they will be fine. 

Disappointment is the devils child – ours are there for the future – let them live it their way.

Images Rebecca Plotnick – Everyday Parisian

 

 

Gritty view of the city and Grenfell’s ghost

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The Amazon morning days – have a free day and promised a friend I would visit their pop-up food truck to taste a prego, or two.  Turns out it was two, (no I may look it post prego, but not pregnant) so disturbingly delicious they were.  Growlers  is the food baby of two Cordon Bleu chefs with youth and drive in their hearts – ambitious and beautiful at the same time.  This could be my new ‘follow that truck’ situation.  

Found them today at Paddington Central, behind the main station and on the canal. The space has been restored into an inspirational combination of office blocks, old world barges and funky art.  Walk the walk here all the way to Camden for a great day out.  Having done that, I decided to path less known, the other way beside the water.

Tourist London ebbs into the more gritty side of the city on this route.  Park benches become fewer, quaint cafés tumble into seven elevens and residential ‘back views’ along the canal.  Though most are well cared for, the private voyeur style looking through windows reminds me of Athol Fugards play ‘People are living there.’  Swans and even better, cygnets for decoration on the water.

IMG_5432 One of the prettier blocks on the water.

Art takes the form of graffiti and to the left, the high rise council buildings shadow the clouds.  I can see the cladding, the cladding so deadly on most of them.  Still I walk on, it gets quieter here but am I nervous, no, I am in London in the afternoon.  Refugees sit silently on benches but do not disturb.  This is what makes London so unique – like most cities, the tourist areas, and the living areas, cultural melting pots within the boundaries.

But I am wandering too far, becoming rather a little bleak for me with the now failing Amazon attitude.  Decide to get a bus back to the brightness, and wait, and wait.  And observe. Cross rail signs on the other side.  A couple trying to create a patch of garden through the small gate I spy, the noise of the trains and traffic will never for a quiet space allow.  An old man is struggling to carry his grocery bags, stopping to pause, to change hands and walking stick with orange packets.  I wonder if he ever still looks up?  A whirr of skateboarders fly past.  When the bus finally arrives, I board to find it stops at the next stop – I am going the wrong way, end of the line.  How is it that I made the mistake  for goodness sake, I have lived here long enough by now! Cross the road and wait again.  Me and a young woman with a white painted face.  Like a face mask, totally white bar the black lined eyebrows, false eyelashes and box black hair.  Her suitcase, black, reaches her boobs. Goth in the daylight, her dress is torn, her life is a difficult one I think – she is young, she is a hundred years in sadness.

The ride back to Piccadilly flows past reams of houses, some blue, some pink, some forgotten.  And then, the blackened death trap of Grenfell Tower.  I cannot take it in, so large she looms over us.  Stark, World Tower of pain, looming, silent as life crawls below her.  And I wonder, should she stay in testimony to human frailty, or be razed in memory to lives lost on that awful night?  Don’t know – but I was no longer wanting to explore this city I love today.  The sadness of Grenfell continues to overwhelm.  I wanted to go home. Kept thinking about this gritty, pretty city – the ages of life, death, re-birth, famine, plague, money, success, happiness and how the layers of history lie below me as the wheels of the bus … 

Times one needs to walk further than the familiar. Inner city views for even here, in the dishevelled state, in areas we chose to ignore, there is a kindness as we saw with Grenfell, innovation, art and the most amazing people living there.

 

 

Why we all need pain … seriously?

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You know, maybe you don’t, but when you are in the proverbial corner, sobbing the eyes out at your miserable life, in the dark hours of the morning, you, like me, start reading ALL the inspirational stuff of ‘how to get your life back’ or ‘beginning again in your fifties’ sort of stuff.  Ted talks comes to mind.  Grabbing at anything positive until the sun rises and the Amazon returns to your camp.  Did it all the time … when I couldn’t face the reality of what was, what a sh…t storm my life had become.  It works. I was not alone.

But, and I have pondered over this one for a few days, when an article comes along, well meant it may be, that says …’Why we all need pain’ – I just could not buy into that one.

For starters – NO ONE needs pain. Pain is horrible, insidious, breaking of body and spirit, just bloody awful. NO ONE needs pain. Not ever.  And I say this because:

  • We spend our lives avoiding it.  Make decisions NOT to inflict it on others and try not to ever be the recipient of it.  
  • It happens, but it is never a good thing.  So you get through it, grow, change direction, not from a positive place, but from a ‘have no bloody option’ place.  
  • Spend your life guarding your children from it.  From the bullying at school, the humiliation of coming last, being chided and mocked – you build castles, fortresses, to protect your children from it.
  • When life happens and pain comes, your children are part of it.  Do you want to tell them, darling you need pain to grow?  I don’t agree – you need optimism and praise to grow, pain distorts, lessens, breeds suspicion. Your children become hardened from pain inflicted upon them.  You do too.
  • Some parts of life involve pain.  Losing your parents, a natural phenomenon to deal with. Your child no longer wants your hugs and prefers being dropped off at school away from friends in the growing up phase.  Natural pain. Getting older, natural pain. Family pets dying, natural pain.  Losing your job – sort of natural pain.
  • Inflicting pain on others. Not natural.  I have done this and regret it dearly, but do I turn to those I hurt and say ‘ Pain is good for you, I have done this for you to grow’ , of course not – I have to live with it and make it better to avoid further pain.
  • I quote: ‘By shifting the focus from yourself to something else, you’ll learn how to gradually let go of your pain and move on.’ Should we not be doing this anyway?  Believe me, when pain comes to stay, there is nothing or no-one in the wallowing but yourself.  Not capable of focussing on anyone else, even puppies, it is all about moi and how you are going to get through the day. Look at literature etc, those in pain, wrote only for the angst – were they going to do charitable acts, visit the elderly etc.  When pain and depression strikes, it is all about you, and only you, and how to put your feet into the shoes in the morning.  Pretty much useless to anyone else.
  • Some forms of pain, like a terminal illness is the worst kind. There is no growth, only despair – don’t sugar coat it with platitudes of growth and insight. It’s scary and awful and no-one should go through it.
  • Physical pain like childbirth and triathlons are a means to a better end. Opted for pain.  Any other form of pain, unexpected or deliberate in giving is rubbish pain.

So, pain may make you re-evalutate, grow, change direction but it is never without scars.  

Scars are never pretty, never.  Even if you cannot see them.

Scars fade. We do move on, and we are optimistic and enthusiastic about life when the time comes. We are never the same when pain takes hold of our lives – and I for one, do not welcome it. Life is too precious to inflict or receive pain.  Let us rather not patronise pain – let us seek to avoid it.

I love reading uplifting articles, need them at times, but let us be realistic and tell it like it is. Pain is bad for everyone.

Image: Arianna Huffington