Front doors and Garden gates

Front doors and garden gates are what might be called “Our Boundaries.” I see them as my little space on earth, granted to me, to dwell, to love and to serve.

Home is much more than a place to go when we have nowhere else to go or be. Home is safety and security. A place to live with people we share our lives with. It consists of all manner of things we both need and want. It tells others in ways we don’t know things about us, our lives, and experiences. It even tells people our personality and passions in life. Home is our world, our territory, and the place where we belong.

The above is in an ideal world. I have a home like this, and every second of every day, I am grateful for that beautiful place.

If you step outside your home a massive world, you will find. Not in the geographical sense. We can all do that. Look at your local area, town, or city. That’s part of the world. Outside the cosiness and comfort we live in. There’s an increasing number of unsafe homes. Some people fear home as home can be a dangerous place.

There are homes where people live in damp. Homes where its drafty and cold. Home where food is not abundant. Can you imagine not even having a blanket, let alone central heating when it’s cold. Can you?

There are those who are not quite understanding of this. We live in a very selfish world, with class divides that are becoming increasingly larger. People out for themselves and little interest in others. Walking past food banks and homeless humans just wanting and needing someone to be kind them. Ignorance is bliss, or so they say. To me, ignorance is not bliss. Its narrow minded and unloving.

Everyone has a story to tell. Mine is long and painful. I haven’t always had my little piece of the world. Strength, determination, and faith has given it to me. I have scars that are physical, which remind me of yesteryear. The emotional ones I can not always cover up like I can the physical ones. I live with these and pain is raw. However, my story is weak compared to those people who can not afford a square meal through no fault of their own. Genuine souls searching earnestly like I did. The difference is they have no light.

Why then in this world today do we walk on by. Simply not caring and understanding others. I believe in the 1930’s, 40’s 50’s and 60’s even into the 70s, people shared their worlds, opened up their homes, looked after their fellows. Sadly, this is not present today for 80% of people. Today, “dog eat dog” is an under estimation.

I am so grateful for what I have between my front door and garden gate today. I open up my home to many. I give, give, give. Why?Because the way life has taken me. I understand the world. I understand humans, and I love with all my heart as my heart is full of gratitude.

How grateful are you each time you put the kettle on in your little piece of the world? Perhaps humans choose to be nieve because its safer for them. Safer for them not to understand.

Pause and ponder as you walk past a food bank or charity shop. As you go by back to your front door and garden gate!!!

New Year

“It’s new years eve and hopes are high, let one year in, kiss one goodbye” (Sir Elton John)

Doesn’t that lyric resonate with everyone. Even if you don’t celebrate the occasion. Inside, deep inside, there’s always a feeling, a hope, and to some extent, a relief. It’s the thought of new beginnings!!

So tonight, as we are all doing our own things in whatever way we choose, there is no getting away from the fact that 2022 is ceasing to be, and 2023 will start a new.

Each and every one of us lives at some point in our lives for fresh starts. Starting over. Perhaps an era that’s ended, perhaps a wedding or even the death of someone close. We have to stop, pause, rethink, and let go. That’s how life is. Life with its ups and down. Success’s and failures. Life with its positivity and negativity. There’s one thing for sure, it goes on!!!

Today is the last day of a year thats been a tough one for me personally. Alot of endings and new beginnings. I finished a long career working with children and embarked on a new path. It was a positive move but very different and challenging. However, the change has had a positive impact and kept my mind a fresh, with new things to learn. Always a good thing.

On a less positive note, health has been poor. I continue to battle each day. Lots of hospital appointments and new treatment regimes. A stay in hospital that some may say self-inflicted. However, when days are dark, and nights even darker and desperation kick in, these things happen. Desperation has been a gift to me many times. This year, it’s taught me to let go of people, places, and things. To stay safe in my world!!

“It’s New years Eve, and hopes are high, let one year in, kiss one goodbye.” Perhaps we should celebrate every night at midnight. After all, each day is a new beginning…

I wish everyone who reads my writings gets something from them to take away. My main purpose in life is to help others in this ever struggling, difficult world. I wish you health and happiness, but, most of all, love for 2023. Love is the greatest thing in the world. So go forth into the new year with love in your heart and soul, and you should stand in good stead for 2023.

Happy new year!!!


Mmm, pause and ponder…

The English dictionary tells us “A state of despair, typically one which results in rash or extreme behaviour.” This sums up the strong, vibrant word well in a few words. There have been many a poem, song and even books written about this singular word. All describing it in many forms and metaphors. My question is how can any one person illustrate another person’s feelings, insights or points of view?

We can all sympathise if we are made that way, empathise too, again, if we are deeply emotional and deep enough in our own souls to do so. However, feelings are so personal and embedded that not anyone person can truly feel another’s inner being. It takes, I’m afraid to say, very few people nowadays to understand another. It’s a very selfish world out there. Who today sees another’s desperation?

Desperation can be described as a gift. It’s certainly not wrapped up in bows and shiny paper. It’s so raw it cuts sharply into emotions that run as deep as the ocean. The ocean in a force nine gale. Rough, fast, up, down, blowing and moving any which way it can through. Through every crack, into every vein and artery it pumps and pumps. So why is it called a gift?

A gift because when a person is at desperation point the “Fight or Flight,” engulfs the human.

” The flight or fight response is an automatic physiological reaction to an event that is perceived stressful and frightening. The perception of threat activates the sympathetic nervous system and triggers an acute stress response that prepares the body to fight or flee .” ( Psychology Tools, no date)

Effectively this response is totally out of any humans control. The brain and the heart in battle on what to do for the best, thus, resulting into catastrophic behaviour. Unmanageable for the being to cope with. The gift is then given, fight for ourselves, our own emotions or flight, remove ourselves completely with actions that could mean destroying our own values and lives.

Choosing to fight can take alot of energy physically and intelltually as well as the volcanic emotions pent up inside us. The fight response can take years of healing and patching up. You can only patch up a certain extent before the seams fall apart. Choosing to fly can be an instant relief but the consequences of what you leave behind are traumatic for those we love.

Recently my “flight and fight” took over. Its been many years since that desperation took place in my body as a whole. I chose to fly, I had no fight left. Drained of all sanity, I flew. The results were not favourable. However, this gift is. For as low as I got, my inner strength pulled through as it has done so many times in the past and flew me back home. Home where its safe, home which is deep, deep love, home to me to where I belong.

Desperation is a gift. A gift that gives us a light to guide our paths on this journey of life. If we are never desperate we would never cherish our sanity, our own world and the love and friendship in our lives that are given so freely to us.

I see desperation as a gift that has saved and restored me so many times. For that I am truly, madly, deeply grateful.

Beauty, more than skin deep…

The above image was taken by my brother cica July 2022. His website is at the bottom right hand corner. A marvellous photographer in both fashion and street photography. Go over to his website you will be amazed…

So, let’s take a look at this shot. Stunning, absolutely stunning. Captured at just the right moment. His model Rachel is obviously beautiful in the obvious sense of the word. Long, flowing locks of hair that falls naturally around her shoulders. A face that in itself could capture many of adoring words over and over. Eyes hid behind shaded glasses and a hand carefully manicured resting on her chin. From there you can’t miss her lips that highlight the image. Her skin so flawless and young, fresh and relaxed. Beauty, natural beauty is of abundance here.

Look deeper into the shot. Rachel radiates true beauty. A beauty rarely seen today. A beauty that goes much deeper than her looks. She poses in deep thought. Look carefully at her eyes. Eyes give so much away without saying a word. Her pupils enlarged. That tells us she is in a good place. A place of calm. (Who wouldn’t be with my brother photographing them!!!) Eyes are where you see real beauty. You can see that she has a soul. She feels with her heart. Eyes tell us so much. Even the heaviest of eye make up cannot conceal what eyes tell us if we choose to look deeper.

Her overall demour is relaxed as she studies whatever has captured her beautiful mind. The body language she displays so naturally, are all clues that her mind is beautiful. Her heart shines through her natural beauty.

When you look at shots so superbly taken. What do you see? Do you only see the person and their obvious features? Do you take a step back and observe what’s really going on?

In life we need to sometimes take a step back. Listen to the unheard words. Observe all angles. Not just obvious attributes. Look within people’s eyes and hearts. There you will find untold stories. You will find soul. You will find your worth and other people’s worth. Not all is what it seems on face value. True beauty comes from within and radiates out. True beauty is more than skin deep as you can see demonstrated so well in this shot.

Every picture tells a story. Beauty is from the inside and blossoms when it reaches the surface that every naked eye can see. Look for inner beauty. It’s so much more than words can express… Go inside its always more interesting and truthful…

Real Love…

Real Love…

The above image is of me, a very young infant with my maternal Grandad. It must of been taken in the late 1960’s whist on holiday in the Isle of Wight. It is aboard the QE2. I believe it had docked there whilst we were on our annual family holiday. I do not remember the photograph being taken. Neither do I have much memory of the holiday. It was captured by my beautiful mum with an old analogue instamatic camera.

I have entitled the photograph “Real Love.” It is real, unconditional, wonderful love that really doesn’t come along very often in anyone persons life time. How lucky am I to have experienced this at such a young age. Perhaps it’s because of this real love I am the sensitive, emotional person I am today.

It looks as though my Grandad was giving me something rather nice to eat!!! He knew me so well!! My arms reaching out and my Grandad giving in out stretched arms his love shown in the treat he had kindly bought for me.

From what I can remember of this loving man and from what has been shared with me. He was a man who led a simple life. Content with his own world. He loved with 100% and more. My Grandma and him were happy in their small house, with a garden and an allotment down the road. Never did they go hungry as Grandad and his brothers grew and shot their own. My Grandad a plumber by trade and very well respected. My Grandma a housewife. They bore my beautiful mum. Money was not easy for them. It didn’t matter because the real love paid for so much. Do people understand that today? Sadly no in most lives.

So let me tell you more about this man, whom decades and decades later I still miss today. His heart bigger than most, his love larger still. He was one of alot of children born and bred in Middlewich, Cheshire. Like most folk of that era not particularly well educated. I don’t know how he met my Grandma, however I do know that a happier couple you could not meet. They asked for nothing, because real love was well embedded and deep. A couple who raised a wonderful woman. In the blink of an eye they could see their own world.

Real love they gave away in bundles. Mum wanted to do nursing as a career. When nurses had a vocation not a power career!! My Grandad gave up his only luxury, cigarettes to fund her to go to college. Real love. My goodness when she sent a telegram home three years saying “Thelma SRN” can you imagine their delight. Real Love.

Going back to the picture. I had a very strong bond with this man. I adored his every breath. I couldn’t understand when he died, why I couldn’t see him anymore. Real love. He was so very lonely when he lost my Grandma far too early. They had looked forward to retirement so much and it was taken away from them in a flash. Life can be very unfair. He use to visit us every Sunday and bring my brother and myself a kit kat. We use to pull his hair and ask him to take his teeth out. All of which he did. He endured the telling off from mum when he did this. Real Love. If you look closely at the photo you can see my chubby legs!! Not that much different today!!! They are covered in atopic eczema. It hurt in those days and certainly didn’t look nice. However Grandad still loved me. Real love.

In those days of childhood we just don’t know what’s in store for our future. Its probably a good thing. I knew and understood real love early as I was given it in a thousandfold. Is this a good thing? For when life starts to become real it can hurt. Perhaps if we don’t understand real love, we wouldn’t hurt. However we would miss out on so much if our feelings were only based on material things and ego trips. Many peoples lives are…

I cannot remember life when it didn’t hurt. I was outcasted at school because of my different looking skin. Bullied and rejected. I was ridiculed at college for the same thing. Years later battered, bruised and sexually assaulted by a man who claimed he really loved me. Which took me on a path of self destruction. However I always knew that I had the power to give real love like it is illustrated in the the snap shot. Why, because I was shown it in its rawest form as a child. I knew real love could conquer all.

Today, I still love this man. He alongside my parents showed me real love. Love from the heart, love that hurts because its real. Real love that makes your heart hurt, your pulse race. Real love that makes you kind generous and sensitive. Real love is not a feeling, its part of you. Real love shows in gestures, it shows in quality time. It’s not about duty or responsibility its about well, real love. It’s feeling others peoples happiness and pain. It’s sharing and caring.

I am grateful for hard times because I knew through that self destruction, that self loathing that I could give real love and one day someone would love me like my Grandad did back when I didn’t know what real love was. Today my life is full of real love, deep, deep love. It is both given and received. Today I am grateful for all those people who didn’t love me because today I appreciate real love like my Grandad was showing me on the QE2.

Do you have real love in your life? Does it exist today? Ahhh now pause to ponder…


Continue reading “Real Love…”

Beyond Jacques Vert…

The above image was taken by a superb photographer, who always appears to capture shots that go much deeper than the naked eye can see…

Let me introduce him… Bont Photography based in North Wales. The company has its own professional website and has been operating for about a decade. The proprietor is Timothy Charlesworth. He has a great eye with street photography. His work inspires me to blog. I have all permissions to do so on the above image.

The photograph in the foreground of two ladies on a shopping mission. Mother and daughter? Taken in the days when ladies were ladies. Dressed like ladies. Proud to be feminine and walked through a busy city centre with pride and joy. They are enjoying conversation together, the body language captured tells me that. It also expresses that they are relaxed in each others company and know exactly their next destination. The emotional bond is strong, they have shared the same shop and walk at a small distance apart, in the same step together. It’s a warm day as they follow the path of the sheltering trees for a cool breeze. Busy in their own worlds they fail to see my brother capture the spirit of the moment. One moment later and it would never have happened.

Just beyond the ladies is another photographer ready to shoot the same street. Hair tied back and dressed for a mission of a different kind. Creativity alive in their head and observing people who are unaware of his presence. A shot would of been taken, I’m sure. However, would we recognise it as the very same moment the Jacques Vert ladies was taken? Same time, same street, different view!!!

Further on in the photograph we can observe other people going about their business, in their own worlds, telling us all sorts of things about themselves that they are not aware of. Non verbal communication is a wonderful thing. Listen to what people don’t say. It usually tells us alot more than they do say. Facial expressions, posture, eye to eye contact and of course the all telling pupils, large or small???

Times have changed from when this beauty was captured. I do not observe one mobile phone!!! Standards have changed. Who dresses so smartly to shop now? Who actually goes out to shop now? Sitting at home in your woolly dressing gown pushing a couple a buttons and you’ve purchased your Jacques Vert!!! I find it quite sad. Many, many a day I have enjoyed with my beautiful mum, shopping bags galore, just like those ladies. Talking incessantly about our next port of call, our next purchase, or of course where to lunch? We dressed to shop because that is what ladies do. No one can take your memories away, they are precious and should be kept in your heart.

I see life on this photograph. I feel the love, and I know the people who were captured unawares in the whole photograph have a story to tell about that one second a decade ago, when life was for living, not living on your sofa!!!

Love life and life will love you back.

“That time of year…”

So it’s that time of year again. Festive, log fires, hot chocolate, hot toddies, big roasts, gatherings of family and friends alike. A good excuse to be over indulgent and actually get away with it!!! “It’s Christmas …”

For most folks, including myself to a certain extent its fun, frolics and fantasy. We can pretend currant affairs don’t exist for a couple of days. We gather round our fires, put on joyful music, party with friends and family and look forward to a new year. A new year where resolutions will be made and stuck to till January 2nd. Ahhh, tis the season to be jolly!!!

My Christmas planning starts in September. Yes, plan, do, review!!!! I make mincemeat for the all important mince pies. I soak my fruit for a cake, then make the cake and feed it till I ice it!!! Menu planning and presents are usually done, bought wrapped and labelled by mid October. Cards ticked off the list too. The invites are out for visitors during this splendid occasion. It all sounds organised but, and there’s a big but… Come December its all got to fit into place… More of plan, do, review!!!

Usually it all fits nice and snug into place. However I always worry that there’s the one time it won’t. Its all in the hands of whoever. So I close my eyes and pray!!!

Most folks have this to do. We all have 364 days to plan this gigantic event!!! So, as I walk down the high street a week before the day, do I observe people, pushing, pulling, complete and utter rudeness to be next in the line? Why do I see humans falling out over whose turn it is to have Granny? Why when people complain constantly all year they have no money, suddenly spending as if the lotto had paid out on a rollover?

Ahh, ti’s the season to be jolly and what a jolly lot we are…

STOP, stop right there… Breathe and pause. What is it all about? Its a wonderful, simply wonderful season. If and only if we allow it to be. Shhh, quiet, listen can you hear children excitedly getting ready to see Father Christmas? Can you open your eyes and see lights everywhere in celebration of glad tidings? Can you smell Christmas treats being prepared? Can you hear the joyful carol singers? Shhh, just a little longer, you may hear people laughing, having a wonderful time, bells jingling. The starry, starry night sky as we wait on the eve of the big day for Rudolph to fly by carrying the main man with our long awaited gifts. The doors of hospitality open and friends and family gather, all expectations come together. This is surely what it’s all about.

We get lost in our own lives at this time of year. After the hustle and bustle of all the above; how many of us spare a thought for those less fortunate than ourselves? It is a wonderful time of the year, if you’re not alone. If you have a home to call your own. If you can afford it or at least afford to go into debt for it. Its marvellous if you can plan for friends and family, even Granny!!! It is a big world out there. It costs nothing to love. To share a smile, to put an extra tin or two into a food bank knowing some people would love that tin as much as a child adores their new bike. It’s not only the season of bells and holly. It’s a season of compassion and warmth, to bring this uneven world together. To love each and everyone whomever they maybe. To reach out and be thankful. After all goodwill to all men.

Just one small gesture could make a lonely person’s year… Are you willing to put the true meaning of Christmas into practice? I wonder?

Yuletide greetings to one and all…

Emotional Health

Personally I have had a life full of ups and downs. For this I am extremely grateful. Life on the whole has not been kind to me…

I knew I was different before I started school. A peer refused me entrance in the home corner at playgroup as I had “Scabs.” I ran over to the ring games and told my mummy who held my hand tight and let me join in!!!

This exclusion lasted throughout my school days. Moving primary school at nine was a turning point. I was ran away from in the playground other children screaming at me. At the time you get on with it till the pain is too much. Your Daddy then reports it heartbroken himself that his little girl is not happy. Teachers shouting at you as you yawn in class, failing to understand that you have been up all night unable to sleep through pain and lack of breath… Alas, a true friend I found, a lifetime friend. A friend who was in other ways excluded. We looked at life on the front line and battled together for the rest of our school days. We laughed, we cried, we shared secrets. We do the same today. What a gift!!!

Life was better after school. College era. At last I had a choice. I took it. Only to be bullied again by a jumped up teacher on placement. Guess what, she didn’t like my scabs. Nevermind I battled forth, I wanted my qualifications. During the summer holidays my consultant had me in hospital for tests and my eczema and chest improved. A renewed energy, a good sleep pattern and wow. A different college placement and I flew by. I even found a new confidence. Go girl, go!!! And I did.

After leaving college, new friends found, a new me faced the world. Good jobs, self sufficient, an independent woman spread her wings and loved life to the full. A brilliant decade. Worked hard, played harder!! Bought my first house. Life was an incredible dream.

Life has a funny way, or it has for me of sometimes taking away. Perhaps it wasn’t life, why blame life, after all you only make your own decisions. Friends whom I had made turned out to “use”, obviously I let them wanting desperately to be liked. Friends suggesting people who are good for you when, ahh, hindsight is wonderful!! The people who are suggested to be good for you are really, really not…

So into the next decade, marry in haste. I cannot say. I was abused so much so after ten years I left a three month stay in hospital with a carrier bag, and no home of my own. I didn’t know who I was anymore!! Lost, no its not the word, I wasn’t even an empty vessel. The age of thirty nine and back in rented accommodation living on benefits. Down, down, deeper than down I went. People despaired of me. As they say “This too shall pass” and yes it did. Eventually…

I under went a change. Through this beautiful metamorphosis I found out who I was meant to be… ME!!! Perhaps a little of whom I was two decades earlier. My two oldest friend, true friends I reunited with and life was better than ever. Back in work and a relationship that has led to a strong marriage of many years. A love so true, so unconditional so beautifully deep.

Today, yes today, life is settled and usually free from woes. My health is very poor. People who I think may understand, don’t. Today that’s OK. Today I have people who do, many people. I can choose my friends and leave the rest. I hurt, I hurt alot when people don’t understand. Then I turn it over. I’m glad I am me today, because I do understand. I have a very good job that requires me to understand people. I’m glad I do. I’m glad I love hard. I’m glad I have my ideals on life. Why? Because without all my pain I would live in an enclosed world and not understand. My depth is deep, my emotional vision wide, my love if I love you is universal and very, very true.

Don’t judge this book by its matt cover, because the pages inside are amazingly bright. After all there’s always sunshine after a storm…

My motto, live for the people who love really love you and leave the rest behind!!!

I do!!!

Continue reading “Emotional Health”


What springs to mind when we think of “Soul.” Music perhaps!! Some very good music and lyrics creatively crafted under the heading “Soul.” Great artists. Do you listen to their music, really listen, or do you tap you fingers and toes to the addictive beat? It doesn’t matter its called “Soul” because that is where it captures you whatever way you listen to it.

How often do we listen to our own souls? It’s easier said than done. To know your own soul you need to really know yourself. Know your instincts, your feelings, your heart. Once familiar with these then trust comes forth. Do we trust our inner selves?

Our souls tell us more than we know ourselves. They tell what’s right and wrong. They guide us to love and save us from heartache. Souls capture emotions and guide us through difficult times. Your soul captures every heartbeat before it’s had time to reach the brain to make a thought.

Such a thing is not an organ, a physical organ like the brain or heart, it’s bigger, it carries our emotions and intuition. It’s the drive we crave for, it’s the passion we long for, it’s the fire that ignites us. It’s what and who we are.

Given all this, our souls are not unlike the beautiful music we listen to. So why oh why don’t we listen to them with as much eagerness as we sit and drown ourselves in the beautiful music. If we did perhaps life would give us a different beat…