Sunday, 27 May 2012


11 Years ago, a little piece of my heart was broken off and travelled all the way to Canada! My darling girl with her husband and three year old son and dog, travelled to start a new life in Canada. She had already got a job to go to, and they were sure it was going to be the adventure of a lifetime.. which it has turned out to be..

They live in much better conditions than they could have found in UK, her job is better paid and more challenging and he found a niche where his actions were appreciated, and between them they live the dream! They have a lovely house, garden, neighbours and friends and rewarding careers that they love.

They also found time to have another child, a little girl called Caitlin who joined Callum 8 years ago this month.  All in all, they did the right thing, but I miss them so much. In the first few years I travelled out there a lot, and saw how she was getting along, and was reassured, but over the last few years have not managed to get back.. I must do soon, but my grandchildren do know me as they have visited England themselves without parents!

I loved visiting Canada, I loved the people and the way of life.. If I had to choose to live near children, I would probably pick Canada as it is a delightful place to live, especially if you have the income.but I guess that would be the same anywhere**  The summers are not too hot and the winters bearable.. When they first arrived they lived in British Columbia outside Vancouver, and that was a grand place to be. Now they live in Toronto suburbs, and the weather is a lot more extreme in winter, but its all too good to be true.. lucky them I say! 

When my children emigrated to Canada and Australia, my heart broke a little bit, but couldn't say to them don't go, it is their life journey not mine.. and besides, when I was young I thought of emigrating and never thought how my parents would feel, they would have given the freedom to me to choose, so I do understand my childrens' ambitions.. We all want what is best for our kids, and hope they can do better than we did..
 The only thing I regret is that financially I cannot whizz over when I want to.. my husband would not object at all, he's happy if I'm happy, but money is never easy when you are looking at retirement days..

I am so pleased and relieved  that their days are happy over there, and really 11 years is not long really, just a good amount of time to settle down and be part of their new country.

Saturday, 26 May 2012


My deepest happiness is when one of my children speak to me.. out of the blue they call, sometimes they catch me and it is magic all over again.  When they were new borns and I looked at them, watched their faces as they slept or woke up seeing the world around them, I  used to imagine how it would be when they were talking all the time.. then watching their first efforts to communicate, when they first said Dada, then mumma, was so delightful each time, the first time.

As they grew older, their voices became less high, and deeper and more modulated, and finally I hear their adult tones when they speak to me now - it never ceases to amaze me how much knowledge they have, and what I can learn from them. But the best days are being taken by surprise and picking up the phone hearing their voice. 

Because I have three sons and two daughters, I usually am right when I connect the voice with the person, but sometimes I get it wrong-- Like when the daughters or sons are calling and they sound just like my babies, but its another generation calling!!

Yesterday I picked up the phone and heard my first born calling my mobile all the way from Australia to see how I was after my birthday.  We chatted a long time, caught up on all sorts of bits and pieces, and then I spoke to Griffin, my latest grandchild who is two and half and I haven't seen him since he was three months old.. [they keep my memory alive by pictures and talking about me], so he comes online and wishes me happy birthday and tells me what he has been up to at his preschool... he sounds so Australian it is so amazing and sweet and heart catching.. we have a long chat, at least he does whilst I am trying to decipher what he is saying.. then Daniel comes back on and we chat so much more before finally ending the call.. It made my day so perfect and complete..

Just now I picked up the mobile and it was my last child calling me from Leeds where he lives.. he is sitting in the garden enjoying the sun and decided to call his mum....his deep tones I connect with at once and hear all his news and what's been happening in his life and how he is feeling today.. because he is feeling so good, he calls his mum,, how about that eh**

My other boy calls me regularly too from London where he lives with his darling wife, and my two daughters call up to touch base at least once a month, so I am very lucky and feel happy that we all remain connected..

Happiness is in the little things like a phone call.. one where there is maybe a lot to say, or not much, just connecting and feeling the strength of the family heart that beats for all of them..  All my boys actually sound a lot like their own father, and my girls have my same tones and colour in their voices.. Despite living in Canada for over 11years,my Gaby still speaks with her English accent, although her husband and son and daughter all speak Canadian!!
Rebecca and her children all speak with London type accents, due to her husband's way of speaking, so not quite the rounded vowels that I have when you hear my voice.. it is proper English, some might say posh, but I think its less drawled than that..

Its already 2pm, there is a wedding going on at the church just outside our back garden, the bells are ringing out, the sun is shining, and hot, the bride is beautiful,the groom handsome, the guests many, and everyone there to wish them happiness as they start off on their life journey together... what else could complete this day than to see that.!!!

 I hope wherever you are and whatever you are doing, that you feel a little bit of the happiness that I am sending to you to share..                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                           

Friday, 25 May 2012


Yesterday I had a super day.. it shone all day, I was in good health , met my friend for tea in the gardens over the road, and had a lovely evening too.. It was sweltering hot, but never mind, I had a lovely day- and I was happy to get wishes from all over the world from friends, family and bloggers... how lucky is that!!

Yesterday of course was also the title of a song by the Beatles.. they wrote songs that have lasted all these years and never dimmed or got old.. they wrote in fact with wisdom in many ways.. That other one.. When I'm 64, makes me laugh because I am now older than that and at the time it came out, I was so young, it seemed to be so far in the future that it could have been a time on Mars!!

Yesterday I watched a programme of Hoarders, people that over the years have hoarded items no matter how silly, and surrounded themselves to give them a feeling of control,. but what eventually happens is that the person gets overwhelmed and the houses and the rooms in the houses fill up higher and higher with things they cannot bear to throw away.. It seems to cause them physical pain to do so, of course this is a mental ailment, but one that I can see could be a thing that creeps up on you without you realising it..

As I watched, I realised that all of us have a bit of hoarder in us.. I know that over the past 22 years I have haunted the charity shops to buy items that I could never afford in the years of bringing up the children in my first marriage.. I went a few times to charity shops then but not often as I do now and very few times actually found anything I wanted to take back with me.. Now however I am visiting them at least several times a week.. It could be because there are more of them now, back in the 70's there really was only Oxfam.. but I find that I have got items that I could only dream of owning new**

 It brings me joy, but collecting or hoarding doesn't take much to slip over into an obsession.  I sat back and thought about clothes I never wear, Items I have placed in drawers because I have changed the look of the rooms.. bedding that rarely gets used, and thought ha.... Discipline needs to be in place here... whittle it down until there it is placed in a proper usable space and not just hanging around waiting to be used..

So that is my task today... to clear today, what yesterday's  items I accumulated.

 I will let you know how I get on, but right now I have to get dressed and get the day started and then all my yesterday's  things that I don't use, or want anymore can be found a new life and all will be less cluttered  again!

Thursday, 24 May 2012


Well, hurrah indeed, its my birthday today and I have reached 67!!! In 1967 I was 22 and just had my first baby.. a boy named Daniel who now lives far away in Perth Australia with his family.  In 22 years time I will be 89!! and if the last 22 years are anything to go by, this will arrive in a flash!!

Its a  lovely summer's day here and the sun is out, it is hot and finally able to wear summer clothes. When I've been reading other blogs they all seem to have reached summer days a long time before us, but maybe that is normal, anyway its here now!  For my birthday I am going out with a friend for tea, and then tomorrow a lunch out with my husband, such nice things to look forward to. 

I am feeling much more optimistic in myself, as I have closed the door of the year that was a pretty shitty one.. so I am determined this year will open up more opportunities to have happiness and good things.

 If I was to be asked what do I want for my birthday I could not give you an answer immediately., I would have to think about it.. I do have a lovely home, happy children, grandchildren, a husband and two dogs, so all the main items are met!

 I know that they say Money isn't everything, but it sure does help if you wish to travel and see children that live far away..

 so what I would like..

 I would like ongoing open  travel tickets and that would allow me to drop in on my kids in Canada and Australia  and around England,at the drop of a hat.. hahah  not sure how they'd like that, but I would!! Of course I get to hear about all the goings on in my children's lives via facebook and texts which are wonderful, but it would be so lovely to squeeze my grandchildren in a great hug, or kiss my kids and hold them close again, just to reconnect.

Anyway, travel abroad is something I am going to seriously have to save up for.. I worked out the other day, that if I put the money that I spend on Magazines each month, I would be able to save without really noticing it... I calculate that I spend around at least £20 on them and buying new books whilst I am at the supermarket must add up to another £20, so that makes £40 saved without really trying!!  In ten months I would have most of the air fare to Canada, just needing spending money when I'm there... so that might be achievable.. but it would take two years to do the same to get to Australia.. and which one do I visit first.!??

It used to be that when you got to retire, your house was paid, you had mostly some savings to travel or do with what you liked, but nowadays this is not possible.. We still have a mortgage here, with our savings used to eke out living costs.. the pensions paid into over the years are worth half they should have been, so this generation is having it quite hard.. unless of course you managed to get a huge job with salary to match when you were younger.. however, not the time to moan... this time last year I was in a hospital bed, the worst birthday of my life.. now I am home, able to get out and about and going out to tea with a dear friend this afternoon..

 I said at the beginning of the year that I would choose discipline as my word.. the discipline to achieve things that needed doing and getting done.. well, I've tried but it keeps slipping, so I must make a better effort at the trying ... and then at the end of the year will be able to cross off all the things I have managed to get done.. hard though applying that little word to do... but this new door opening from today, my birthday I really will try to make it feasible, not just ideas..

 I shall have to be strict with myself which is harder to do than say, but heck its my birthday , I can start again tomorrow  right ?!!!

Sunday, 13 May 2012

A Poem to live by- a reflection on Mother's Day-

I read this poem, and before I knew who had written it, knew that somehow throughout my life I was already living the way it suggested.. so here it is

Do all the good you can
By all the means you can
In all the ways you can
In all the places you can
At all the times you can
To all the people you can
As long as ever you can

John Wesley

I guess in this I was subconsciously guided by my own mother, living this way also before me.

 I never heard her say a bad word about anyone, never gossiped or did wrong to anyone and always had a smile for everyone and tried to see the best in everyone.. so I guess she too was already living her life like these words from over 2 hundred years ago.

 John Wesley tried to make his little bit of time on earth meaningful, and he and his brother travelled far and wide trying to bring home to people that there is always hope, that life is not so dreadful that it is a waste of time.. that with love and prayers, it can become bearable, by doing all the good you can however little, means that it benefits both you and the person receiving it... This has to be such a true thing.. if you are feeling down, just try and do something nice for someone else, and you really will dispel that mood quickly... becoming involved in doing good for others just does not leave enough time to be sad and despairing..

All Mothers are special, but of course your own one is most special to you..

 My darling Mother died over ten years ago, but there isn't a day when I don't think of her or her advice over the years which helped me become the person that I am... To all the Mothers in the world, birth mothers and adoptive mothers..

 God Bless You all and help you with the greatest job in the world, raising children!

Friday, 11 May 2012

Admitting what you cannot fix

The title above is what I saw on a bloggers site that I read, and I think it is a very profound piece of statement..

How often does one carry on trying so hard to fix or change things that will never be any different and yet because you have already invested so much time and effort into doing just that and hoping it will be different, you are loth to stop. It takes real courage to say you are going to leave it all and walk away.

I married very young, just 21 and pregnant with our first child. I knew I wanted his children from the moment I met him, but really had not thought it through at all. At 21 we were so young to be taking on the role of parents and we had absolutely no money at all.. He was starting University and because I was pregnant, I couldn't work in a permanant job as I was already pregnant and all the laws were different then, so we carried on and got by with my doing temp work until the baby was born.  Then 6 weeks after that I had found a babysitter and was back working and in a permanent job.

He however was a student and being with other students, he was the only married man and a father at that, so he stayed out as long as he could, and drank with the others and seemed to find it hard to manage both different ways of life. He felt trapped and I know he loved us, but he was just too young to be able to organise it all. I had to work, come home and look after baby until he returned sometimes not until after midnight and totally out of his head with booze. I thought this stage would pass and tried to make the best of things. He graduated, and then was a qualified accountant and working in reasonably well paid jobs that allowed us to own our own home and then there were the other children coming along to join our first and we ended up with 5. All the time I tried to encourage and support him in his career and  ideas of the future, but he was finding it harder and harder to be able to manage and keep a lid on it, and booze was being his crutch more and more.  He was intelligent and rose up the ranks in fact to become managing director  in London. He enjoyed his work but his stress levels rose higher and higher and so did his need for a drink. I could not see any way out of this trap we had fallen into. We loved each other but the bottle was prime positioned in his mind in order to cope. When the last two children were checking the fridge to see what kind of an evening we were going to have I thought it was time to leave. I had tried and tried to fix it for him, but I was never going to be able to..

It had to come from him a decision to re organise his life and  I could not do it for him, so we left.

It was so hard and I knew I had to be strong for the last two, the older children had left home and so I was like a single mother with two boys to raise as best I could. . Luckily we managed to work out an agreement and he was able to see the youngest ones regularly, but it broke our hearts knowing how much we had lost because of the drinking.  It was a hard day when I finally realised that there was absolutely nothing I could do to fix his demons, and I had to walk away before I too was destroyed.. 

There are a lot of bloggers out there who are going through this trauma now, and its so difficult to realise that there will be a place of peace and comfort after all the travails that you are going through, that one day the sun will shine again . That maybe you might meet another person to share times with and that you will smile and laugh again, but whilst you are in the middle of trying to cope and not seeing a way out the future sure looks bleak..

 I just hope that those bloggers will find it helpful to vent online and let them feel better about walking away because they couldn't fix it.


The other day in the newspaper, I read a comment from a very beautiful Italian actress who is married to a french actor very well known. She is truly the epitome of beauty with luscious lips, full and wide, dark, curly hair and a very womanly body that would be to die for.. She has flawless skin and beautiful teeth, in fact she is close to perfect as anyone could be. Her husband however is ugly, but tall and dynamic and sexy too in his own unusual way.. They have started a family in her forties as she was not ready before to be a mother. before , she said..

Well, the comment was 'True beauty is about womanliness, in your face, your body, which is there from life and experiences.'  What did she mean from this?  Does she mean like so many say, that true beauty is from within, and that it is the character that is formed by life that has true beauty.

When I was young, looks were everything, followed by shape and then minded interests and things to talk about. You could be as handsome or beautiful as anything, but if you had nothing to say, well that wore out very quickly.. It was all on a primeval level, that you went and chose a partner or friend that was the best you could find so that the children that would result, would get the best chance in life by being healthy and good looking and fit. That is the most basic premise, but it was not easy to manage.

There were girls I knew who would go out with a person because they had a car, and could take them out to restaurants where they could pretend to be grown up and sophisticated even though they were not yet in their twenties! How laughable is that, everyone would know that they were trying to be adult and were so obviously not!! Or others that would only go out with the most popular person in class or amongst their friends.

 I seemed to be drawn to those that were reasonably good looking, but who also had something to talk about apart from the latest football or rugby match. They could perhaps talk about books or films or plays or arts, just things that I could relate to.  It meant that it took a long time for me to find boyfriends that were mature enough, and I was into my 19th year before I started go out with one person regularly and that one turned out to be my first husband... !

I looked for beauty  subconsciously, in the people that I wanted to be surrounded by.. sometimes it was their voice that was the attraction rather than the features, or the kindness that they showed in company. My girlfriends came in all sorts of sizes and looks, but all of them were beautiful in their own ways. 

With the advent of age, I became much less choosy and yet somethings remain. They do not have to be swoony handsome now, but intellectually challenging and interesting. Shape too doesn't matter so much, but their mind does.. The girl friends I have now have all matured well and look after themselves, but their beauty is deeply ingrained in their faces and bodies and from within, just as the actress said.   However it is easy to say when you look reasonable yourself, but supposing I had been born really plain and listless, how could I relate that remark to anything I knew? The ones that I observed chose to accentuate one feature that could be made better, their eyes, their lips, or figure and managed to feel confident doing that...  Many times you see couples and wonder what made them that couple, but obviously there is something in the partner that adds the dimension that is missing in other relationships with people that could be taller better looking or more dynamic...

It really is in the eye of the beholder, and  probably that is what the actress meant..

thank goodness for that, because otherwise everyone would  have given up looking a very long time ago and the world would be so different!!

Thursday, 3 May 2012

What p..... me off!!

I sometimes feel   p.....d off with myself, but mainly it is the husband who makes me wince!!

Today in the bathroom, or throne room, as some call it.. I was sitting looking around, when I espied the hand towels. They are nice and fit well in the colour scheme,but they were hanging drunkenly off the radiator.. I knew it was the fault of my husband as he finds he just cannot put them back as I do!! I flick the other side of the towel, down the back of the radiator so it doesn't fall off.. he however folds it up and stuffs it onto the top of the radiator, which leaves it hanging awry or it falls off altogether when he closes the door!! 

I asked him later sitting down in front of the fire[ yes it was that cold and damp we had to have a fire!!] what he finds so annoying about me, and he couldn't come up with an answer... Ha ha, and you have to believe me it wasn't that he was afraid to say!

 I know that I am a so so housekeeper, it does get mightily untidy sometimes as my energy levels have not been marvellous this year, but I do make an effort when it gets so I am ashamed of the mess and then it all looks wonderful again..

 I said to him that living with me must be a nightmare after the perfect wife he had in his first marriage.. The one that was a cordon bleu cook, and ironed everything and put it away for him to find ,, the one who kept his charming house swept and hoovered and clean and dusted every day .. of course their house was smaller, but she was just like all the other suburban wives I swore I would never be like!! When I got married, I was a hippie, living in London in Portobello road, surrounded by like people.. I swore I would not need a timetable or fixed routine to get my things done, it would all happen by happening!!

 Ha, well that didn't last once I had my first baby.. that child needed to be seen to and a routine had to be worked out, and I had to do things by the clock if I wanted to stay on top of it all... so that meant for the next 36 years the clock was my master and boy did it have a great time ordering me around!!! I say 36 years because that was the length of time it took for me to have a Christmas alone with husband and not with any children around=- 
So now I am master of my own time, and things get done when they get done, but I do try to keep a semblance of order.. Meals are usually at the same time, housework is done , beds are changed regularly and washing machine turned on to keep the place and clothes clean. However the ironing, which once I used to enjoy, is a bind in spite of it only being for two people, and that really does p.. me off...
However for my dear  husband to say he couldn't think of anything that really got up his nose was quite a surprise to me and a nice one too... We don't seem to have heavy arguments, even when I get a moment of telling him how fed up I am with not socialising much or going out or travelling... he smiles and waits for me to stop ranting..

When I am looking at all the blogs, most of the people are younger with younger husbands who willingly get on and do the bits and pieces for their wives.. me, I have to work and work at it until he thinks its his idea and it gets done.. haha...

All in all, I guess that after all the hard younger years when bringing up the children and having a husband that was difficult, I am entitled to a little bit of lee way on organising my days.

And not to forget that  despite the fact I was not a great housekeeper, cook or person and played it all by the seat of my pants, my kids love me and that's what really counts.. life is too quick to sweat the little stuff they say... that's sooo right- so I shall stop agonising over the bl...... towels and set them straight again as I always do and say nothing to him..

I said it tonight, so that will do forever now!!