The power of ‘pause’.

‘A woman who cuts her hair, is about to change her life.’

Coco Chanel

Thought about it. Many times.  The long tresses (wild as they are at times) must go. The new me, the different me … the going to look like a Daisy de Melker, me. For those who don’t know Daisy de Melker, she poisoned her husbands (no comment) and died for doing so, but the hairdo was way more scarier than the act. I don’t want to look like Daisy de Melker.

So I am staying with the ‘Donna’ from ‘Mama Mia/Meryl Streep look for a while. The look would be more fitting in a beach scene, but London will have to do.  Anyway, I digress.

The truth is, I have been trapezing my life since ‘La Divorce.’ Deer in the headlights syndrome. Where to, what to do, how to cope … blah, blah and all that.  Darling gone said … let’s divorce so we can get on with our lives.  Say what?  Come again ? Start again, carrying on with what, where and how, was my mantra following the leaving. You know about that, we poor souls who suffer from the famous ‘gray divorce’ syndrome.

Anyhow, in all the turmoil that ensued, I planned so much, and did so little.

Stange thing was, my home, was him … so how to find the home again?  Some do, some like me, just go awol on the world for awhile and imagine all sorts of things … and do so little in the PTSD bolthole.

Anyway, it so happens that the other night, after much coaxing to get out and meet other people, I met a bunch of incredible women who have had it far worse than me.  I mean, far, far worse.  Endling up homeless, mental breakdown and living on the smell of an oil rag, and I came home and thought … whoa, stop and just, well, stop.

Pause.

Frigging pause.

The story does not end here.  And you are the writer of this.  It may be tough but before giving up and playing Camille, just decide not to decide for a moment.  Just breathe. Pause, and breathe.

Take pen to paper.  Work out your living expenses.  If you have a roof over your head and can stay there, tick.  A job, or a career that pays the bills, stick with it for a while, even if you hate it … just cover the basics and tick the box. If you are healthy and appreciate getting up in the morning, good. Friends, sure. Plans, totally, but to get there, this is the plan.  You pause first and do the domestics.  Then you plan, like the swan who glides on the top of the water and paddles like the devil underneath. Looking good, this pausing thing because you are catching up on the chaos that is your life, but not letting it define your life.  How your life is going to be.  You are pausing to plan.

I was going to sell the little I had, run away to who knows where and become the most successful something ever.  Just wanted to cut the ties and get away.  And I was the one who was going to suffer for it. Spring chicken, not so this has to be taken into account, hate to say it. The overwhelming urge to prove I could survive, make a new start, be fabulous, was exhausting.

Not cutting the hair.  Not changing the status quo for now, but pausing.  And planning on my own terms, at my own pace, in my own world with my own dreams.  Maybe for the first time.

If you feel manic driven by the trauma of being in Silver Street, in your job, a relationship, empty nest syndrome, widowed, single all of a sudden,  grief over parents and feeling, oh so ever abandoned and fearful of the future, pause. Quiet those fears and literally stop to smell the now, the everyday.  And then you begin the planning, from a stronger point of view, with your self intact and your heart in the right place.

Truth be told, still not ‘getting on with my life’ thank you very much.  But getting on and it is my life – so watch this space.  I am in pausing mode but this panther will be ready to spring before you can blink your eyes.

Without cutting the hair.  So you will have to look for other signs … but we wil reveal when we are ready. Not so?

Images Pintrest

 

 

Where do you go to my lovely, when your’e alone in your bed …

‘Where do you go to my lovely, when your’e alone in your bed. Tell me the thoughts that surround you, I want to look into your head.’

Peter Sarstedt

You have done well my friend.  Smiled all day, laughed at the right times, demure when it needed to be.  Active and organised. Planning and dates in the diary.  And when night falls, and sleep escapes … what thoughts run through your head?

Heath Ledger said: ‘ I think the most common cause of insomnia is simple.  It’s loneliness.’ If you are alone, or not. Your are alone with your thoughts in the middle of the night. When you cannot sleep.

It matters not what your age is – being alone in the middle of the night is not exclusive to age, it just is.  Single, widowed, divorced, or lying next to someone who does not understand or fulfil your needs, or does, makes those hours of the night the time the mind will not rest.

Some take sleeping pills to fall asleep.  Some, as the stereotype goes, drink wine to help them fall asleep.  Sleep will not come. You are entirely alone with your thoughts and those keep racing through your head.  Endlessly, unceasingly, flipping back and forth like a dingy on the open sea, tossing relentlessly.

Thoughts you had not even thought of for ages.  A party in your brain. Ghosts of past, gremlins of present, plans made, plans scuppered, people come and gone, places visited, memories that are the making of you – all jumbled up and as you turn, determined to let them go, they follow you.  Insomnia is a unhappy guest.

I hear the foxes outside.  The bus going by.  Drink tea. Tired, exhausted, yes, sleep coming, not a chance. So where do you go to my lovely, when you are alone in your bed?

I go home.  To backyard peach trees and swimming in dams. To party dresses, candles and Christmas.  The mind sweeps to lovers whose faces one wants to touch again, bicycles, running without thinking, stubbing toes.  To parents gone and the aching that follows – breakfasts and fires on the farm. To road trips and business plans, to bridal gowns and interviews.  From nowhere sweeps the fear of the future, the nostalgia of the past.  Puppies and Old Year’s Eve. Birth. The Tooth fairy and picking lemons in the garden. Of dinner parties, shopping trips, beaches and mountain trails. Of blowing candles, decorating and entertaining. Of flights, of fancies, or growing up.

Making love, and losing love.

Insomnia has no timeline.

It all comes together in one, fell swoop that is your life.

It is the window, the orchestra of you in the middle of the night.

The loneliest you will ever be, is with your thoughts in the middle of the night.

It is a good thing.  Despite the knowing you are going to feel like death the next day, it is the one time you get to be with you, in your goodness, your faults, your mistakes and your acceptance that is, is.  It is what it is.  And only you can take all these myriad of thoughts and feelings and put them in perspective.  The chance to not fear the lack of sleep, but delve into the world that is you, and accept.  And make it better.

I hardly sleep. It does not worry me for I go the places that I had forgotten and loved, it reminds me of all the little things that are the making of me, the undoing and doing of me and how I, in this Silver Street time, will embrace the thoughts and go forward, for I am not done.  I am not undone.  I am taking this lack of sleep, the dark hours between dusk and dawn, and saying, so … it’s ok, I will live.  And I will gather the threads.

It is a lonely time, insomnia. It may just be the best time, really.

I will not sleep, but I will dream for more.

So where do you go to my lovely, when your’e alone in your bed.  Tell me the thoughts that surround you … they will tell you a story of you that is amazing.

I will make it happen.  Tomorrow. Tomorrow I will go home.  And home, is me.

Image: Pintrest

 

 

I’m falling harder than I pretend …

Sweet talking myself here.  What’s it all about Mrs. Brown? What is the doing of the Ewing with now? ‘Cause I have seen some pretty hard places in my life, and that gutter don’t do me no good … and what is this now?

Epiphany station. Seems the moment one takes that plunge to say it’s ok to lose, to be that ultimate failure and let me tell you, therapists dream I am, but help me, I think I am falling in love with it all again. All the good loving, the some not so good loving, the staying and the leaving, it’s coming together in one big cup cake. Let her lie on a couch they say … what about the angst, the misunderstood, the villains and heartbreakers of past … does she not remember them and lie broken still?

Mmmm, perhaps  Mmmm a little of the wounded knee to be true.  But, with a new dress on.  A little black dress that clings and swings and holds it in. The broken heels are tossed for bare feet.  That is what we do at this stage of our lives because face it, lying there is so unattractive. We have history, sure, but we have history that defines us, and it is awesome, like the chambers of our hearts, they keep pumping fresh, clean blood. Blood rush happening.

The thing is, you have to take those you loved (phew, really, ok if you say so), those that love you still, lovers past and present, and know, put it in the salad spinner and in the end, realise it makes you remarkable, someone special.  You take that heartbreak and all the debris that goes with it, you harness it and fall in love all over again, with the history, with the fragments and this time, you fall in love with the absolute idea that you were capable of loving.  And that, is all.

You are capable of loving.  What a gift. So, walk the walk, and sweet talk the daily doings of life, and then, think about it … you are one big, fat fluffy teddy of love, always falling harder than you pretend, because that is who you are – a loving, fully, no holds barred, without boundaries person and if it got you well, blah at this stage of your life, loving is the best gift you give anyone.

What a compliment you paid someone else.

In all that though, in all the loving, you forgot something didn’t you?  Maybe? You forgot to love yourself …

Is that not being selfish, we stop and ponder?

Call coming up for the self love!  And why am I telling you this? You have your times, and I yesterday, met up with one of the ‘loves.’  Indifferent, moved on and despite the nerves at the ‘hello’, the touching up of the lipstick, the spraying of perfume in the local shop for courage, I sat there and looked, and listened and shook .. and then I thought to myself, you know what, I loved, so deeply, so completely that this is all going to be fine. And when I walked away, I felt more in love than ever before, because I did good. I loved deeply.  Does that make sense?

We are children no more. Young adolescents and yuppie reachers any more.  We are honed and moulded now, by life and all those songs, but we are also capable of being wondrous, for we have loved.

I honestly know people who have never had the experience.

They know loving unconditionally can mean hurting so they avoid it. Bless them.

But we know better. We may be a little cautious now .. and let’s not be … it is the most amazing feeling to be in love with love.

I am falling in love with the idea of love, all over again. I pretend to be cool and sensible, but secretly, the idea of being in love, of loving another without restriction, of loving myself is blowing my socks off.  I’m falling harder than I pretend. And I will never apologise for that.

Thank you Joni for tonights background vibe.

 

 

 

You are your brand, even if it’s a re-brand and all those words that go with the idea.

 

‘Owning myself is a way to be myself.’ Oprah Winfrey.

So missy here confessed to the laying it bare and what a great, naked, euphoric feeling it has been.  Nothing to hide, no dark corners anymore.  The scars on the body visible but proudly displayed. I am sure the black dog will come again, nip that naked behind quite firmly, but somehow dealing with said dog I think will get easier from now on.

And so to the branding, or re-branding of me, naked and all.  Not going to happen all in one go, and not pretending to recreate a persona, business, set of environmental spaces all in one go.  I have time, the important thing is that I made it across the Rubicon and am, I surmise, still in one piece. Would rather have been skinny dipping than forging through black mire, but skinny dipping is on the list.  Not the bucket list I might add as I have an aversion to the very term, ugh, squirm and to hell with that, one last time sort of defeatism, but the list of freedom.

I digress.  The branding begins with what no longer fits.  Let’s begin with the outer look shall we?  If you are like me, I have held onto clothes that ‘maybe’ I can use one day when I am next in a place I will never be again.  Those went  in the black bag dragged to the charity shop and cannot explain, but always with a somewhat guilty expression on my face? Why do I feel guilty about taking clothes to the charity shop? For another time.  The clothes went, along with the linen and tea towels and shoes.  The coat I bought my ex the first time we came to London and I thought he looked like an RAF pilot and left for me to sob over and put on post sauvignon blanc. Gone. Important to clear clutter of pain pre sauvignon blanc.  Remember that.

Unlike Carrie Bradshaw I have only a few pairs of shoes I personally would sleep with.  Unlike Carrie, I can barely hold my balance on the heels, once elongating the long legs and power to exude grace.  Public transport has put a stop of any idea of heels. Short of wearing sexless trainers, I am to practical yet classic footwear. Sob, bye, pretty heels. No, be firm she says.

A happy confession to make.  Even in the dimmest grey of depression and angst, this plum never descended into trackpants/hoodie/bargain/pj’sallday look.  So none to throw out. The slippers can stay. Take heart fluffy slippers, you can stay.

A shameful confession to make.  One, dear Lord, oversized, velour gown in lilac, avec sobs, wine stains, candle wax and numerous food history which would be ‘walk in, put on, sit on balcony and scare the passers by mode.’ I looked like Barney on drugs, the day after, doing the walk of shame. I actually did not dispose of said evidence, my children demanded it. She is gone.

Darling has gone shopping

Little budget for such things but one does not need, no imperative not to get all in a fell swoop.  The excitement of being a little selfish, a little cheeky and adding to the new wardrobe is hours of therapy in one afternoon. Do not believe I do not care anymore to see the fatness in the cubicle and go – I don’t care, this is me – no, it sucks but it is motivation 101 also. I don’t like the letting go, not about to embark on an epic marathon of blisters but I will make it happen.  For later.

Love the new additions to the family.  One in particular, in the pic above, has become my closest friend.  I have fallen in love with her.  Lovely  comes from Cos and her fabric is like satin, her colour ice-blue and her flow is lyrical. She is so lovely I want to buy her sister, do you think I should?  The dress is simple: I am Maria in the convent, and Maria, in love in the conservatory. Think I should buy her sister and that is the point, when something fits, when it makes you happy, it’s an epiphany of style, and the adding to the brand that is the better you.

Wearing Lovely today.  Found matching nail polish, ‘saltwater happy’ by Essie, to match and you will find me, far from the sea, but as I only choose colours if the names make me happy, this is a given. I am.

 

 

 

Bigger dreams in small spaces.

Mmmm,  sweet, sweet baby – for baby you are.  Small and tender, but you shall grow into a beauty before long.

In this new existence, well not so new, but perhaps new in understanding, I live small.  Very tiny life in fact.  In a big city.  What was once a life in a big private space, is now a small private space in a big surrounding.  Fought it for too long and complained like the troll on the bridge, but no more.

Have been fixated on a TV series featuring Monty Don, called ‘Big dreams, small spaces.’ My reality, though stubbornness and past gardens had me doing nothing with my space.  Confined space was what I saw rather than something which could be amazing if I just got up from the sorrow chair and actually did something about it.

Here these folks, like me (some have a little more space, you know those narrow long back gardens so typical of terraced houses) and grim in the neglect, with Monty’s help, transformed what was rubble and concrete into a living space.  So what what I thinking?  Wasn’t it turns out.

Ok, think even smaller, but that is not the point.  I have a park across the road, complete with lake and background music of wildlife. My ‘Litchfield Angel‘ from David Austen has severe sunburn and my herbs are blown to seed, most of it on the floor. Matters not, I have inspiration to create a balcony garden in London.

Any suggestions?  How would you transform a single, narrow space into a garden? Would welcome any ideas x

It goes further than this.  Transcends to bigger dreams in small spaces i.e. my two bedroomed flat.  Looking at it now it cries beige but I shall say taupe for a better sounding term.  Pretty, we restored the entire apartment, but been like this through the tsunami of the last few years.  So bigger dreams on the way.  And taking my love for beautiful gardens as inspiration.

More on the flat later.  With garden centres such as Kew, Petersham and all the gorgeous parks and letter stamp London greens, I am actually going to build a mood board to create my balcony garden.  It may be bigger than my balcony, the mood board that is, but purpose, purpose my dear is what it is all about!

Big dream, small space – what a cocktail.

Images Gardenista, pintrest, David Austen

 

 

My theme music must stay … we all need a theme song.

I am the music and the music is me.

The new computer.  Darling daughter tells me, cull Mommy, cull for the transfer of data.  Begin again, delete, delete, delete all the stuff of nonsense and make the transfer a smooth one.  And I have, only to stop at the music …

My playlist is in the millions. Like me, nothing dates.  Each and every song is part of my life and my goodness, I cannot delete any of them!  How can one, when every song is a trigger to a memory? Attempts at ruthlessness is futile. As I listen with intent to minimise, the swooping of memory intercedes with that force of all, of the force that is my life. ‘Tis true, my life is a song.

Childhood, long legs and awkward dreams of future me with Barry Manilow. Scoff perhaps, but ‘Mandy’ and ‘I write the songs’ transported from a dusty Free State town.  He has to stay.

Deep Purple. Underground. The Rolling Stones. Moody Blues – first dances with strange boys – they have to stay. And the Bee Gees.  And Barbra has to stay … she transcended all chapters and has to stay. My first ‘own earned’ pocket money to be spent at the OK Bazaars on LP’s has to stay on the playlist.

Bob Seger, America and Fleetwood Mac for the Varsity days.  ‘I will Survive’ (how ironic) when I knew nothing days.

The falling in love music. Wedding music. Sussing children to sleep music.

Joni Mitchell.  Carol King. Billy Joel and Barry White. Surely must stay? Francois Hardy with her French I did not understand? Michael Jackson, Michael George, how can I let them go? Even Elton …’Song for Guy’ and his story … no, he must stay. This is so hard!

Nostalgic music for my homeland.  Party music, loving music … empowering songs that lift the feet and fill the heart with oomph. Got to stay.

Just Ginger.  Cape Town vibes. Afrikaans. Charles and ‘She’ for my mum. Those melancholy nights music, lullaby songs and heart breaking ‘I understand songs’. No, you will not go. The Musicals as if I wrote every word.

Keeping Keane, The Fray, James Taylor, the boy bands, the girl bands, John Legend, John Mayer and Justin Timberlake, the Lighthouse family and all the legends that contributed to my life. They must stay. The crying to songs must stay. The elated, life is all empowering songs are right up there too.

The Taylor songs (yes we love and not so much love).

And of course, my foreign lovelies.  The crooner in Italian who takes me to places of extacy and foreign lands.

Truth is, every song on my playlist is part of me.  The making of my moments, the returning to the past, the embracing of now, the possibility of what is to come.  I cannot part with any of them.  I love pop, R & B, country, movie themes and everything in between.  Every song that catches my imagination, captures my heart and leaves its mark. Could I pick a favourite, no, is there the ‘one’ song, perhaps but I am not telling.

What I do know, is that music is the making of me.  Everyday, no matter how good or bad, if I have the music in my ears, early morning, late evening at home, going somewhere, music is my theme song to life.

Oh did I mention …

Do you have any favourite playlists that capture you?

As long as you are beside me, I can ask for nothing more.’ Petula Clark.

You are all important. You are all staying. Find space somewhere else.

Images: Rolling stones, you tube.

 

 

 

Passion is so powerful. Welcome back.

‘First the loving of self … then the passion ignites once more.’

Phew!  Been a while, she says.

Tilted life, balance in the gutter. Numbness and nothing matterness happens to the best of us.  I have written about it for a long time, that tsunami of events that takes us from the cruise liner to the raft, tattered mast and listless sea.  With no sail winds in sight.  The very worst and more so, takes the life out of your years … you lose them … and then, just one day, you find the mojo moment, the seedling in the quagmire and hello … is that a spark of passion?  You betcha!

Let’s talk about passion.  Sexual passion, familial passion, creative passion … that substance that runs through your veins and you cannot ignore it.  Sometimes you lose it when the death eaters come around, but it never dies.  You have to dig deep sometimes, really deep and you will find it, hiding in the cloak of disappointment, or loss, or just the humdrum of life when the one foot barely gets placed before the other.  It is there, all those elements of passion that you cannot deny. So, and it does take time, if life and love and just about everything tells you, you are not worth it, you are past it, you can let it go – don’t let it go. Never let it go, it will be the very essence of you – the new you, the real you.

When I gave up on my passions, it was alright.  A bit like faith.  We question and give up on it for a while when things are really bad.  It was not the time for passion, but hiding, closeting the self for self preservation and folding of cloaks around the battered heart. When all the questions arise – what am I going to do next, with the rest of my life … how to begin again, count, just become a little of myself again?  Leave it to your passions … they will arise again, like gorgeous little phoenixes and little by little, the self returns.  Stronger than ever.

Those passions?  They will lead you … from pain to purpose.

Those passions?  They will be the elements of your career in the making.  May not be the mainstream but what you love to do, and make a success of it.  Those little sparks will make you look at what you have, where you live, where you are today and say … I can work with this, and I can change it if I have to. Sweet little fairies that spin and dance to the music of your ego to build new resolve and purpose.

Purpose?  It is what WE are all about.  So you want to surround yourself with flowers, with pretty things and make a living out of it? Why not?  Want to become a CEO in your Silver Street, only you can make it work and with those little passion fairies, it is possible.  Want to create the beautiful home you ever dreamed of? Gather those passion fairies and make a plan, build a mood board, make goals, list the dream wish list and begin.  It is the beginning when everything makes sense, and one can only do it when you realise your passion. 

Rejection is a great place to fall into self. Wallow for a while and then, stop making excuses for the person you are, the things you did, the course you took, right or wrong, stop beating yourself up about it. You are the making of you. And your passions, your interesting led life is what makes you the unique human being in humanity from long before and long after.  Make you count now.

I was ready to let go and wonder about how to get through the next how many years. Now, with the  best music as my encore, I am dancing in my little place, no longer my cell but my place of ideas and sanctuary, bopping and planning just how to fuel these passions into a life I deserve, and want more than anything, because passion does that – passion brings purpose.  It’s exciting, it’s inspiring and most of all … we are still sexy, lovable, intellectual, wonderful and like no other.

Yay passion – so glad you are back!

Image: moneymotivatesme

Hello Grace. Forever remembered Kate.

Welcome to my world Grace …

Remember those pebbles one keeps turning up?  Today is a massive pebble moment for me. More like a boulder moment to be exact.  Today, after much trepidation and thought, the caution to the wind blew right in and I bought, for the first time, with my own hard earned money, the latest MacBook Pro. Woosh went the money, hard earned and into my life, came Grace.

Let me tell you why.  For the the first time, since the ‘divorce’ I bought an expensive item, with my own money.  All those hours put into working, not just as a hobby, but as a life changing career path, I have squirrelled my cash into the rainbow fund.  The ‘what if everything goes pear shaped fund?’ The sometimes ‘martyr’ fund, or ‘I don’t want to be ninety-nine and live in a council flat fund.’ All those thoughts of whatever and must prove myself fund.  

But there are times when you just have to say, I need investments, and so I began my sort of bucket list (though I loathe the very phrase) fund of what I needed for my own future goals, my want to call my own sort of thing:  these included, my own bought car, and a computer I could travel with.  The latter being very important.  Let’s just say that mother computer who has been my love for the past seven years, is one that requires a hefty shoulder to carry.  Big assed Bertha was becoming tedious on the bus, lugging and that extra piece of luggage needing a wheelie bag all of her own. Love her I do, but lugging her was not the smoothest operational procedure on an airplane, or bus, or pretty much anywhere with her zero battery hours.  Yup, I messed up on the battery saving thing. You know what I mean.

Swallowing hard for the sake of progress, I did the deed today, and bought Grace.  Sleek, small, light as feather and nécessaire in this new life of mine.  We shall travel, we shall discover each other and I have another project at hand.  Right now, she is still sealed and looking virgin like on my table – there are the little issues of data transfer etc, but right now, all I can do is stare at her and think, Grace, you and I are going far. Why did I call her Grace? Because turmoil, struggle, hardship and surviving have dissipated and evolved into ‘Grace.’ What stories we shall write!

 

And Kate. Kate Spade was a well known, wonderful entrepreneur who brought joy to the world. To all she seemed the icon of achievement in business, in her public and personal life, in everything she did.  Kate took her life two days ago. Her death shook many – how can it be that a women in her fifties, having achieved so much in her life, always on the outside, bubbling and sparkling on show, could have been so unhappy, so desperate to have ended it with a note?

The shock of it all.  And yet, the sadness of it remains.  The hidden grief, trying to keep that chin up high and pretending all is well, when your inner soul is shattered and torn. I kept thinking, must it take the loss of a well known celebrity in her ‘Silver Street’ time, to jolt us into acknowledging of the many other Silver Street women who, on the surface, seem content and accepting, when they too are lost and afraid and think these thoughts of ending it, and we don’t see the pain?

Truth be told, when life spins from one existence to another, these thoughts of suicide are all too prevalent in those we least except it. When loss and loneliness confront us and we are bewildered as to how it came about, how to deal with it, how futile the future seems – building one life that seems now extinct and not being able to cope with it all.  Truth be told, I was there, many are there, but still we smile, go about our daily lives as if not wanting to burden. The darkness of grief affects millions of people at this Silver Stage – losing our parents, the empty nest syndrome, job redundancies,  failures in relationships, change of habitat … for some the where do I go from now, is frightening. And some, like Kate, cannot see beyond. To want to end it all may be there, in thought, but to go on is what we need to focus on … for help is there. Others are there who can relate and most importantly, it takes you, just you … to make the change, no matter how difficult, but it is possible. 

And that is why I write. The depth of grief is surmountable. The promise of more, even in a different form, is waiting and achievable.

Hello Grace. For all the Kate’s, for all the women in their Silver Street times, different but finding a new path, is going to be the journey upwards to the light. And I shall take all those who could not find it in this time, and take me with them. Everyone matters – everyone counts. New chapters waiting to be written, and for me, with Grace.

Image WWD.

 

 

 

Times life is a bowl of cherries. Adding them one at a time …

Got the lemons of late.  Bags of them …

Barges of them and the lemonade is fermenting in the cellar. I got so many lemons, got to the point of say ‘bring on them lemons baby, bring them on!’ Now the palate is seeking the sweet stuff – not the box of chocolates sort of humdrum stuff, but the bowl of cherries, and I aim to put them in the bowl, one by one.  Makes them all the sweeter, I say.

Post death, divorce and sweetheart remarrying faster than you can say ‘Blitz’ – ’twas the broken winged baby in the gutter of life. Trauma 101.  All those emotions, those martyr kick in stuff came to the fore – I wanted none of it, was going to do this, and that, and what the hell became of me? You have been there so you know the story, even if the cast is different.  Well, the cherries are filling up the bowl, and they are sweet!  One at a time.

Admittedly, living in England of course, it has a lot to do with the weather. No explanation needed. Summer brings flowers and yesterday, with my darling daughters, we bathed in them.  We revelled in them, creating, planning, executing, laughing and giggling till the tears fell freely for all the right reasons.  It all felt so, normal? Of course it did.  I am blessed to be close to my children and many of you I know are far from them, which is so hard at times – we mothers just want to hang around like those proverbial helicopters, and I don’t care what anyone says – it is fabulous to be close.

Massive cherry in the bowl.

The endless hours of work are beginning to pay off.  Up at five every morning, planning, posting, emailing and in between, working at the Travel and Events,at the coffee shop (which I love), the satisfaction of achievement is – let’s say twenty cherries in the bowl.  Never too old to begin again in business. Don’t count the hours in a day, but the joy I get from being so darn tired at the end of it, knowing I have done good, clients are happy and having many jobs is adding to my growth as a person.  Oh, go on, throw in a few more.

Friends. We know about the fair weathered ones, and the stay the distant ones. The ones when we went to see ‘Book Club’ and they went ‘aah’ and I went, what was that? Sorry Jane, Diane, Candice and Mary, you sold out to the cliché.  So had the opportunity to really take mature women and their stories to the max and you did the Hollywood fail.  My friends just sighed and let me rant. Another cherry for great friends.

Massive cherry for ‘Alias Grace’ and me getting back into clever stories.  And to you Hugh, for risking and being great in ‘A very English Scandal.’ May have served you tea on a few occasions, but love you still the more for it. Even now that you are married … I wished I could write great stories like that and that is a cherry to those who can.

Add a cherry to the fact that I am going solo to Paris this week. Solo to Lake Como in July. Double cherries to any woman who travels solo in Silver Street and fears nothing. Oh why not, twenty cherries for travelling solo anyway.

A whole punnet of cherries for still being in love. With love.

Not bad for two days of cherry picking.  And soon there will be an orchard of cherries in my bowl of life.  What about you? Gathering those cherries are we, dissing the lemons along the way … you go girl!

 

Come back little diary, come back …

And she was dreaming, and in that dreaming, the diary got lost today …

It is a disaster!  A malady of note.  And such a day of all days.

Truth is, today was one of those, will get the life sorted today, days. Empowered with all sorts of ideas and plans in the making.  Such a big sigh escapes me now, for in the planning in a cafe, I returned home to find my diary is missing.  It is a tragedy.

My ‘other’ child is out there somewhere.  Too late to call.  Not sure about you, but a visual diary, is my life.  Seriously, my life in a book with weeks and years and collecting.  I am lost without her.   Since I can remember I have kept a diary.  None of the google calendar stuff for me, but a tangible little life book that has my appointments, my daily notes, my life.  Everyone knew that and it was to the diaries for immigration information, birthday reminders, work shifts … basically everything that is my life, is in those books.  As far back as twenty odd years ago, and this year is somewhere tonight and I pray I can find it, for like my arm, missing it will be missing a limb.

The crazy thing is that I had all out in front of me – for the empowering day. I was going to invest in transport today, she thought, my choice of transport … so my mind began to wander to those lovely Pashley bicycles, the ones in Duck egg blue with a little basket in the front.  Or maybe a Vespa, to imagine me putting through Tuscany, or the South of France, or just London (the quieter streets where the buses could not take me out sort of thing.)  And a car, I dreamed of a little but cute car – maybe a Fiat 500 that would make me think of Italian towns and pretty colours.  Told you I was being practical in my thinking, but others may disagree. Truth be told, I don’t do practical very well – aesthetically speaking, I want pretty in my life right now.  But to dreaming I succumbed.

And in that, oh my word, in my age of putting everything in the right place in my handbag (cause we do tend to misplace at times) I frigging must have left the diary behind at the cafe!

She is not a happy bunny tonight and will search for the missing child with the hope of finding her soon.  It happened once before, I left my diary in my hotel in Paris, only to have Christene post her back to me, with great relief.  My diaries are stacked in a drawer for reference and a map of my life, so I do hope this one, 2018. will return to join her sisters.

Do you have a diary like me?  A tangible life voice with all the messy, lovely, interesting stuff that is sort of your entire life in a book? Then you know how I feel tonight – lost a little. Being positive though,  come back little diary I pray.  I need you more than ever … you are the practical in my dreamy world.

Images Pashley, eagle diaries