“Tea Cups”

“It’s OK to be the teacup with a chip in it. That’s the one with the story.”

(Matt Haig. The Comfort Book 2021)

What a wonderfully profound quote. So few words, yet each one has so much meaning, so much depth. Comparing the state of self to something as beautiful and as delicate as a teacup.

If I compared myself to a teacup I would most definitely have a chip or two. I would also have cracks and be a little crazed. Glossed over with pretty patterns. I would hope no one would notice the differences between me and the other five in the set, sitting pretty and undamaged. I never know if people notice my chips and cracks. What I do know is that I can count on one hand the amount of people that know, really know my story…

The first small crack was in playgroup. I knew in an instant, as young as I was that life was going to have valleys and mountain tops. All I wanted to do was play being my mummy in the home corner. A peer told me I couldn’t go in. “You’ve got scabs” they said. That was it I just knew. So off I went to the ring games, to the security of my mummy’s hand.

As a tree branches out, so do our lives and we have no choice we have to keep moving forward and try and grow. Throughout my school life that crack got larger and a few chips added. The bullying and exclusion continued. Not all valleys though. Life time friends were made and they encouraged me to gloss over the chips and look at life from mountain tops. From those beautiful mountain tops I could see a life for me. However I needed certain things, confidence, personality, bravery and determination. Where could a damaged teacup aquire these?

College was a much better experience. After a difficult start, due to chips showing on the surface, a little care and alot of gloss my pattern was becoming brighter and my crazed appearance glossed over. Qualifications were gained and the world was my oyster. Or, so I thought!!!

This fragile teacup for the next decade made stories I dare not put into print!!! Life was a buzz, and those chips hidden so well. An ocean of friends. A life full of fun and energy and non stop frivolity. No one would ever know how fragile I was. How could they? I didn’t know myself!!! No regrets here. I love my memories and keep them safe where only I can see. Life was certainly giving back to me a thousandfold what it took from me in my early years.

This teacup has always compared herself to the other five in the set, even when life was good. Such a shame, but it’s what happens to seconds in a set!! She wanted to be a bigger part of a set, so settled for something that really couldn’t help with her chips and cracks. All because, because why? Why do humans make irrational decisions? So they can look part of something, part of the set… My decade was over, a corner turned and no one could imagine what the next one would hold…

The cracked, but very polished teacup found a saucer. Only she couldn’t see the saucer didn’t match. It wasn’t delicate china, it was rough earthenware. Not glossed. Thick with no finish. The teacup wanted so badly to have a saucer she didn’t care what everybody else could see. The teacup was about to begin a chapter that really has never found its conclusion…

So a bad match, a bad move. Earthenware and china do not belong in the same dishwasher. The heaviness of the pot broke the teacup and shattered all the dreams she ever had. Just like that solitary moment in the home corner so many decades before. However as the quote tells us, stories were made. I say stories to be polite, this story had no happy ending for a while anyway.

After a very long wait, a lonely wait. Many cracks, chips and shattered pieces the teacup found a special place in a cupboard full of other delicate teacups that know just what it was like to be outcast. To be cracked. To be chipped. The delicate teacup found her cupboard, where people would listen to her story. That is where she’s staying. It’s safe. There she is loved. There no one uses and abuses her. There she is appreciated. From this cupboard she has found a true love and a promise she never has to be outcast again.

Although she has chips and cracks she can on most days dress over them. Most days she thinks of smashing herself against the wall so she shatters so much she can’t be fixed. Most days she knows she’s never going to be part of a pretty set, but, most days she knows she has many a story to tell, if anyone wants to listen. She has more strength than delicate unskaved teacups. She has a bigger heart, because she knows what life is like on the mountain tops and in the valleys. She has gratitude and she can choose most of the time, what tea she has inside her shell and she’s very fussy. For the days she is unable to choose her tea, she gets by knowing she has the stories the other cups don’t.

So I may have a chip or two, they maybe glossed over. I may not like being that teacup but I hope I can help by telling my stories other delicate teacups to hang on their hook with pride knowing their stories. I do hope so, as if I don’t hold that thought, I may leave my safe hook, in my cupboard and then I would have no story to tell…

Astra Zeneka

It’s been a long and perhaps at times a hard couple of months. My first vaccination against the virus that has brought the world to its knees, was I thought a painless experience. Until seven days later I was admitted to hospital with the disease itself. A very rare experience I am told. Rare I could cope with, life after that was hard, very hard. However that first vaccination I am sure saved my life and for that I am truly grateful.

The last few days prior to my appointment this morning for the second shot I can honestly say I have lived in a daze. A daze of fear. Having traced my steps after the first vaccination I can only think I picked up the virus going for my first shot. No proof here just a process of elimination

Fear is a four letter word that carries so much meaning. I have had all the physical symptoms, shaking, sweating, hot and cold flushes, short temper. Alongside that the emotional state of panic, dread and worry. All in all not feeling my best. Where did this state come from? I was going to be vaccinated to protect me. Alas I know it will.

Human nature is a funny thing. Your brain and heart find it so hard to let go to what has been. Without knowing it you store things up and when life takes you to a place where you have been before a switch is turned on and the feelings reappear as if it were yesterday. However what we do with this fear is important. F.E.A.R. (Face, Everything, And, Recover.) That’s all I could do. So as two millilitres of fluid was injected into my arm all I could was was smile and thank the nurse with a grateful heart for freely giving me five minutes of her time for potentially saving my life as the first one did.

The question is “Why do we fear the past?” It’s gone.

My heart never misses a day that it’s not grateful for “Astra Zeneka”

Covid 19 and I…

So after five or six days of not feeling one hundred percent and presuming I had yet just another chest infection, exasperation of the old asthma or Sarcoidosis I decided to call the GP. My usual GP was not on duty. I was given a telephone consultation with a prescribing nurse. She assured me that I had a chest infection and prescribed some mild antibiotics. I commenced them straight away and to cover myself I started on a course of prednisalone, just to cover my tracks. My symptoms usually ease after fourty eight hours. This time, oh, this time was different. Everything got worse, I couldn’t understand it. “We’ve got this wrapped up usually by now and life continues on its merry way. ”

It was early Saturday morning, shaking physically from head to toe, thinking I may have a temperature but, really too poorly to care. We rang the out of hours. They asked me many questions about chest pain etc, all of which were irrelevant to my call. They said I wasn’t an emergency and to go to A and E on my own. They would let them know. I had to go into A and E on my own. Details given and I was told to go and sit in a waiting room on my own. You could hear the silence. The sort of silence that you know deep down isn’t a good silence. Every second appeared to be an hour. Feeling lost and not at all well someone came and called me through. Base line observations done (it doesn’t always pay to have knowledge on these things ) Pulse 150 per minute, temperature 39.5!!! Something, seemingly isn’t right here. Still alone. X Ray done. No one would communicate with me!!! Then came the swab!! “I can’t possibly have covid I have been vaccinated and I have been sheilding .” Swab comes back and yes Covid 19 got me POW right between the eyes!!!I don’t suppose we’ll ever have the correct answer to that!!

Line in situ and away we go with the fluids. “Lie on your bed you need to rest.” Alone and breaking my heart. Seen by two or three doctors and more needles than a hedgehog and admitted after two or three hours. The ward I was initially admitted to made Piccadilly Circus look calm. Pushed into a side room and the door shut bang behind me. No one came. My mind going round and round like a washing machine. On and on and on….

Eventually someone came and did my observations, heart rate faster than ever and temperature 39+. No offer of a drink. Feeling lost, afraid and very lonely a tray of soup and a fruit scone with butter and jam. (May I add here that I am a diabetic!!) A nurse eventually appears explaining how busy she is and hasn’t alot of time so we must be snappy. Questions answered as efficiently as I could and obs carried out again with no improvement. Another hour or two passes by shaking from head to toe. Thirsty is not the word. Then as fast as lightening “You’re not staying here pop into this chair and we’ll wheel you to another ward…

On reaching the new ward I was welcomed with a beautiful smile, shown to my bed and offered tea and toast!!!! After I had settled more obs done again, all out of sink. Iced bottled water was given to me. That was it for three days, no sleep at all not even a second. A pulse faster than lightening and a temperature going on 40 degrees plus. I was icy cold yet no covers allowed as the temperature just refused to budge. Oxygen administered twenty four seven and IV drugs going through. Hourly obs. My oh my where had this thing come from? The staff so caring, but I must admit tough, they had to be tough. I wanted covers and I couldn’t have covers!! Drink they said drink and get some sleep. How can I drink and sleep at the same time?!! My body jerking involuntary movements all over, no control what so ever.

The third day I felt better, managed a bit of food. I cannot call it nourishment!!! Observations balancing out on the high side of normal. That night I slept. It was heaven. I woke the next morning feeling much better. IVI still in situ but that was a very small price to pay.

Gradually over the next few days I was seen by many professionals and things began to get calmer. Video calls from my husband and telephone calls with my beautiful mum cheered me up no end. I moved bays and the company did me good too.

I begged, deeply begged to come home and on the sixth day I did. My husband was there faster than lightening.

The above is a very brief summary of what this terrible virus is like. It’s played down to a great extent. Certainly along way from being well. It’s left me weak and I’m afraid depression may be kicking in. However that I can cope with.

All I ask is that you protect yourself, protect others and never ever take the National Health Service ” for granted. It must be the most precious thing in this country. I dread to think where I would be without a vaccination freely given to me.

#nhs

#nhsheros

#somuchgratitude

Please stay safe, this thing is quite simply evil!!!

As time goes by…

Time is always moving forward. Its impossible for it to stand stationary, move parallel, or go back. It moves forward and passes us by.

Seconds into minutes, minutes into hours, hours into days, days into months, months into years and so it goes. It passes us by. Sometimes if we blink we miss it.

Daily routines take time, chores and commitments take time. However we all have the same amount of time.

Life is a precious gift given to us. Are we grateful for this gift. Sadly so few are. Many people take so much for granted. Waking up in a morning. We trust we do that, hot water and heating, food on the table and enough money to have comfortable, cosy lives. Where would we be if these luxurious gifts were taken away? Ask yourself if you would cope. Can you reach deep into your hearts long enough to do that? I doubt many can. Have you enough vision to understand a little for people who don’t have such grand materials? Do you have a little understanding for folks who struggle day after day with both physical and mental disorders that they are so uncomfortable even a warm bath or shower is too painful? Are you able to take some time as it passes by to ask “How are you feeling?” “Can I help?” Are you able to see suffering or helplessness without being told?

As time passes by its important to see fellow men, to understand that there’s more to life than our own vision. A hungry man on the street his time passes by. Alot of these people are there through no fault of there own. Yet we rush by, to get back to our own warm homes. Children in unsafe environments is always on the increase. Do we spend any moments of our time thinking of them? The list can go on and on.

Time goes by for everyone. We need to start using it wisely, giving generously our time to make a cruel world a better place. We need to reach down in our hearts and wake up to a reality that life does not end at our comfortable doorsteps. There is no greater gift in this world than helping others. No greater gift than having the rare emotions of sympathy and empathy. No greater gift to give than true love for a fellow whose time that is passing by unfavourably.

As we venture into a new year, following a year of uncertainty and confusion, let us hope we can find humanity. Let us hope that next year hearts will be bigger and vision wider. Let us be understanding and open our hearts, arms and souls to letting time go by more easily and lovingly to all the human race…

On and on and on…

Its 5am. Shhh. Not a sound can be heard, except the quite ticking of a clock. The sun has not yet risen. The birds have not yet broke into tune. The darkness thick and the world sleeps…

Its 5am. Its noisy, its dashing and rushing. Not a moments peace. Shouting, screaming. The pace is fast, its furious. The wheels turning, round and round, faster and faster. Is it, will it ever stop. Sleep, oh yes sleep, but the mind does not stop. On and on and on it goes. Do I ever rest, do I ever really sleep? The pace is hard, its all up hill, steeper and steeper it goes. The cogs keep turning, my mind just will not stop.

The pain you can’t imagine. A spear stuck in my heart, from head to toe it hurts. Yes, its hard to believe, to the average human, you just can not explain. They sleep at 5am, while I feel isolated, alone and afraid.

Life has happened, life has hurt. I cannot remember when life really didn’t hurt. Its cut, its stabbed, its kicked and pulled. I fell and fell and fell again. People have come, mainly for a season, taken, taken and taken again. Used the kindness from my heart then left when used my life for free. Friends who I thought were forever, lead me to places I really didn’t want to be. I was useful, for that I’m glad. Glad I gave the best of me.

Disregarded, I don’t know. It was all so long ago. Why can’t I just let it go!! The list you see is endless. Social media doesn’t help, its a tool that can be useful or a tool that can destroy!! With a mind so full of resentment and heart bleeding hurt, the control can be unconsciously blinded and then you’ve done it looked again, at the past in the present and bang the mind has gone.

So, on and on and on, no rest at all in sight. Given my life, my heart to others are they really worth this constant fight.

On and on and on, the mind like time will not end…

Let go!!! Let go!!!

You often hear people talking about letting go. What does this paraphrase mean? To many its what they want it to mean. Others may see it as abandonment, leaving alone or simply walking away. The dictionary disagrees with this, it states ” to stop thinking about or being angry about.” It explains it so simply, yet, in practice it is such a hard thing to do.

When you love someone so much, to ” let go” is hard. It hurts like a knife being stabbed in your heart. (This is if you have a heart that feels!!! Many don’t.) However when the hurt, the physical and emotional hurt are so bad, your body actually let’s go of that pain for you. Your mind blocks and physically drained you have no option. It’s a natural form of self preservation.

To let go is not to stop loving, caring and feeling, its a means of saying “I can’t do this anymore.” To let go is not to abandon, its letting people carry on their lives as they wish, allowing them to feel and take stock of the consequences of their own actions, whatever they may be. To let go is giving you permission to make space in your own life and heart to do what you think and feel, thus enabling yourself a more content and peaceful existence.

Fill a balloon with air till its as tight as can be without bursting. The tension and pressure tightens the balloon. Now, let it go, whizz, fizz it looses its pressure and floats away. Imagine now, that balloon is your mind, full of thoughts, crying out for help. Eventually the pressure is so intense, pounding, thudding, and tighter and tighter it becomes. At the very same time your heart is doing the same. The human body, such a marvellous thing kicks in and you just let go. What an absolute relief!!!!

Everyone has the right to live the lives they want. To try and alter that is surely an invasion of their rights. So if people are oblivious to your physical and emotional wellbeing, eventually you will see the light. Love them dearly, its a wonderful gift, love, but let them go. Holding on hurts, and may eventually break you like a balloon bursts.

To let go, with love leaves you space to grow and live your own life too…

What a wonderful feeling…

Time…

A funny thing time…

Is it what we see on the clock? Is it a table of events? Is it a diary of memorable data? Time is really an invisible thing, yet something we are unable to stop, or take back. Time only moves forward.

What we do with time is however generally what we choose. We may not be able to choose our hours of work. However we can choose, what we do in our work!! Our leisure time is generally up to us to decide.

Time is freely given to us. Do we appreciate it? Time is easily, very easily wasted. Why do we waste something so very special? Procrastination steals our lives just as magpies steal other birds nests. Time is fair, it treats each human the same, it gives the individual twenty four hours and then repeats. All our days are made up of twenty four hours.

I, myself, me, have had many twenty four hours. Have I used them all wisely? The answer to that is a straight NO. My time wasted must add up to years, it does add up to years. Life has dealt me a quantity of blows and knocks that sometimes overwhelm, and take over. Regrets I have many. Dwelling on these times and regrets only takes up valuable and cherished times I have today. Those less favourable years have never gone to waste, as I use that time to really appreciate each new day given, given to me freely, as a gift, the time now is present, a present is a gift.

People have walked in my life that I thought would be there forever, they went in the wind, to where I’ll never know. People who I thought would only stay for the blink of an eye, are present today and have been for many days, months and years. We never know with time, what it will bring. We can plan. I am a planner, but I certainly never anticipated alot of my road, my journey. Thats fine today. As today is good. And today is all we have. Yesterday has gone, never to be lived again. Tomorrow is not here yet…

So in this time, in this present time, love with all your heart, give all you have to give, capture every moment, yes even the the poor ones, capture them, hold them, and cherish life for everything it gives you. Then my friends your time will tell a story like no one else’s.

Vision

Vision!!!

If we are lucky enough by the time we are six weeks old we will have full vision given to us freely through our eyes. We will recognise our parents and other people through their voices before sight is sought. Most people, most days take vision for granted, and why not. Its always been there…

Vision, we can see when we awake in the morning, open the curtains and see the weather, open the diary and see what lies ahead, open the cupboard or fridge door to choose our beverage or food. The list is endless and taken very much for granted.

However is vision really what we see?

Vision is surely deeper than that, its an understanding of the world, its a feeling of right and wrong, its spiritual. A blind person can sometimes see more than a person who has 20:20 vision.

To see clearly you need to relate, communicate and open up to everything. As humans we all get comfortable in our own worlds, oblivious to others. After all our own worlds are safe, secure and manageable. However nice this maybe, what do we see, really see. We only have vision for what we want.

Vision surely isn’t that. Vision is searching and looking beyond, behind, underneath and far. Vision is understanding other points of view even though sometimes we may not agree. Vision is not selfish its about knowing other people and their needs and wants as well as our own. Its seeing the world for the good and the bad and knowing what goes on outside our own domain.

Through vision we gain understanding, compassion, senativity, sympathy and empathy. Through vision we gain knowledge and understanding. Through vision we find ourselves. If we settle into our comfortable worlds with no vision how can we possibly know ourselves? There is nothing to focus on.

The old saying endorses this; “There’s more to -‐——, than meets the eye!!!! There is more to everything than meets the eye. Its what we choose to see. People have the highest degrees, diplomas. People have materialistic things oozing out of their ears and that 20:20 vision mentioned earlier. The question is “How much do they really see?”

Vision, far much more than a pair of eyes. Use your vision wisely and a wise man you will be….

“Rainbows”

June 2020, and the six months that have just past have been incredibly different from what we all know as “normal.” Covid 19 hit the UK. The country stood still, shh. The roads had little traffic, airports no planes, schools shut and hospital staff at all levels worked around the clock to try and fight something no one could see with the naked eye.

No one can see what has brought this international fear, economic insecurity and complete different way of living, almost over night. A war, a war on a virus across the world. The human race powerless.

Politicians debated into the long night hours, delivery services from supermarkets were at an all time high, as well as other services postal and such like. The world changed in an instant.

Then all over the country, in windows far and wide rainbows appeared. Painted ones, embroided ones, lace ones, sticky ones, banners and greeting cards. Rainbows everywhere. The country full of visible colour to cheer the folk, to bring a small token of hope. They brightened up a dull and gloomy atmosphere. Simple rainbows.

Lockdown eased in England, shops opening, dates for hairdressers and licensed premises to restart business all appeared brighter. But… will things ever be bright again?

At this time, riots are becoming headline news on a daily basis. People losing lives, not from Covid 19, from brutal attacks that the naked eye can see. Anger is dominant throughout the nation and globally too. Just like the virus, it’s sweeping through. Anger one letter away from danger!!!

So why, why, display rainbows to show hope, hope for a pot of gold at the end of it? Will there ever be an end? Covid 19 will surely stay as all virues do, HIV has. Progress will be made to find a vaccine. Perhaps that is what the beautiful rainbows were for. However, what about the aftermath, the anger, the frustration at all levels from the Government to the person staying home and staying safe. Do rainbows bring us hope? Will the world ever be the same again…???

Rainbows, beautiful, colourful, a gift from God, so why do humans destroy the meaning of the rainbow.

The Rose

The Rose, a beautiful flower, comes in all shapes and sizes. Some can climb, others can stand tall, while others bush out. Each rose individual. They may look the same but on detailed inspection, like identical twins, there are differences.

I was sent a rose from my mother’s garden the other day. I could see that once it bloomed it was going to be a golden orange colour. I placed it in water in a stem vase. I have watched it carefully as the days have gone by. The sentiment behind was love. As each day passed by I have seen it change. Starting off being a tight bud that really wasn’t much to look at. It’s thorns on the stem were very apparent and the bud tense almost with anger. Each day it let go a little, until after a few days the most beautiful bloom appeared. Vibrant and bright with the most delicate of fragrances. It stood tall in all its glory adding a little piece of love to my living. Once bloomed the thorns, you could not see because of the sheer beauty of a single rose. The Rose did this as that is what nature intended it to do.

Compare, for just one minute a person to a rose… Standing tall and tense, covered in a tight skin and only thorns to show. This person weighed down with problems of day to day living, not a minute to spare. Dealing with this and then dealing with that. Watching the clock for deadlines. Conversations to have, conversations had, all those thorns visible to their fellow man. Gradually time moves on and it’s holiday time. The outer layer of tension releases itself, and slowly, everyday that single individual blooms. Blooms a ray of colour, oh so relaxed and in its own glory. Beauty sheer beauty announces itself to the world. The thorns invisible as the tension eases. Beauty beyond words.

Next time the day is hard, the deadlines are heavy, pressures are building and that outer layer is tight and prickly, think of a rose, talk to someone near, share your fears and frustrations, loosen up your outer layer, and bloom. Bloom like the rose. Life is meant to be beautiful, bright and glowing, not stuck in a tight bud. Just blossom as that is what life is all about.