Take the time…

So, I have been a bit quiet on WordPress recently. Channelling my creative energy in a different manner, supporting a loved one who has recently been diagnosed with a rare cancer. I won’t deny it was a shock and for a while, I didn’t write at all, but my soul aches to put pen to paper (and fingers to keyboard) and it is commonly the best method for me, for dealing with the more complicated emotions.

I have long been a follower of Sue’s marvellous blog and love her #writephoto prompts – so inspiring. This week I want to offer something a little less creative as my entry. The prompt reminded me of this quote.

“But more wonderful than the lore of old men and the lore of books is the secret lore of ocean. Blue, green, grey, white, or black; smooth, ruffled, or mountainous; that ocean is not silent. Ocean is more ancient than the mountains, and freighted with the memories and the dreams of Time.”

~H.P. Lovecraft

Shore Image by Sue Vincent.pngDealing with these types of illness can be hard. Yet, for some reason, the strangest of things can bring solace. For some reason staring at the ocean waves as they roll in is one of those things. I want to take my relative, who is suffering to his beach to watch the waves roll in. We can both sit and watch the waves for hours, without talking, and it was a terrific way to spend time together. No forced words, no difficult subjects, just relaxation and time, staring at a random, repetitive scene of the sea. The motion of the waves, never quite the same but similar, is mesmerising. Somehow this seems good for the soul. It may be with others, it may be just for yourself but take the time to just stop and watch… you might be surprised by the effect.

Much Love,

KL ❤

Outsmarted by a 5-year-old

A friend of mine has an adorable five-year-old (5YO) son. He looks like butter wouldn’t melt, yet secretly he is a genius and can win most arguments – not with pouting or tantrums like most kids, worse he uses logic! After a recent house move, he began to attend a Church of England School. My friend isn’t religious at all, she would definitely give Songs of Praise a wide berth…but the school has excellent ratings. The problem really started when his pet died. The conversation went a little like this:

5YO: “Mum, you know how Oscar died?”secret

Mum: “Yes, we are all very sad.”

5YO: “He’s not coming back is he?”

MUM: “No he isn’t, Sweetie.”

5YO “Well, how come humans come back from the dead?”

MUM laughs, thinking some TV series has probably put this idea into his head: “Humans don’t come back from the dead.”

5YO: “Yes, they do!”

MUM: “No they don’t”

5YO: “Yes, they do, my teacher said so. I think I’ll come back from the dead.”

MUM (wondering if she should be checking up at school): “No, she didn’t. You must have got confused.”

5YO (getting frustrated now): “I’m not, he’s called Jesus. He died and then came back to life.”

MUM (sighing relief): “Oh that’s different. He only did that because he was the son of God. You won’t do that.”

5YO (silent for 30 seconds): “I thought we were all God’s children?…”

My friend was dumbstruck. How do you combat that argument? She has decided all future religious discussions will be left in the far more capable hands of the school.


When did kids get so smart?.. Hope this made you smile as much as it made me! Enjoy – KL ❤

muttley

A Little Luck of the Irish

Happy St Patrick’s Day Everyone!

St.-Patricks-Day

My grandfather was Irish. I have many wonderful memories of staying with him in the School Holidays. Visiting family and friends, helping out on the farm, and those treasured visits to the beautiful beaches. 

My favourite thing about my Irish family though is they can all tell a story and my grandfather told many. His stories stayed with me through my years, some comical, some fantastical and some completely illogical! Have I ever told you the one about the giant in Ireland throwing rocks at the giant in Scotland?… Well, I’ll save it for another day. My point is he took the time to tell them to me and it is something I cherish and hope one day to do the same with my grandchildren (tell stories that is not throw rocks!).

My grandfather loved nothing more than having a variety of friends and family over for a few drinks and everyone in the room would sit and exchange stories. They would make toasts to celebrate good news and make toasts with a positive spin on any bad news, there was always a reason to smile and cheer and celebrate. For me, this is what St Patrick’s Day means. 

I still love to come across an Irish blessing knowing that it may have been woven into one of the many toasts I overheard. 

“If you do not sow in the spring you will not reap in the autumn.”

“Here’s that we may always have a clean shirt, a clean conscience, and a coin in our pocket.”

“May you have the hindsight to know where you’ve been, the foresight to know where you’re going and the insight to know when you’re going too far.”

So my toast for this year is, to remember those we have lost with fondest memories, be thankful for those we always have, and those new friends we have found, and be hopeful a little luck of the Irish will come your way and into your heart. 

And May Your Top Shelf be Full of Good Irish Whiskey!

Hope and Doorways

This door to your past is open

So, if there’s something you can’t let go

If you feel that you need a token

Of that someone you used to know

 

I’d like to set you a challenge

To close that door on your own

So that next time your past comes a-knocking

You’ll be strong enough to leave it alone

 

Instead open the door to the future

Good things wait there, that’s a fact

There may not always be sunshine

But there’s new hope and what’s better than that!


Written in response to Linda’s #socs – This and That.

A little late in the day but I hope people enjoy it and find a little hope. 🙂

KL ❤

 

Dodgems of Love

Grandma is one of my favourite people on earth! She is really short, and probably as round as she is tall, but she’s an amazing tower of strength. She is a proper matriarch of the family, that always wants to know how all the family are doing all the time (with 8 children, 19 grandchildren, and 15 great-grandchildren it’s not an easy task!), but she just wants to know everyone is doing well, healthy and happy.

I adore her and granddad’s story. A chance meeting on the dodgems may not be a fairy-tale romantic setting for most, but for them, it was to be the start of a relationship lasting 60 years and counting. Grandma met the love of her life, Peter, at Bridlington’s arcade in 1953 and they married after a year of courting.

When Grandma tells the story she says, her and a friend walked through the amusement arcade and granddad was on the dodgems having the time of his life.

“We looked at one another and he came over and we have never been separated since. He was the one.”

The secret to that special connection that creates a long and happy marriage?

Is to never let an argument rumble on. Grandma’s advice. “We care for one another and never let the sun go down on an argument.”

We think this translates to Granddad accepting that Grandma is the boss! But whatever it is it clearly works. Things may have changed in this day and age but I think their story still shows you just never know when and where you might find your happily ever after.

The ruff with the smooth

I have 2 dogs Laddie and Millie, earlier this year I had the bright idea to go on holiday with the woofalo’s. Laddie & MillieThe break started off well with the dogs sleeping soundly in the car the majority of the way there (apart from a quick pit stop of course). Then we arrived at the hotel, right on the waterfront of a beautiful loch. Of course the dogs immediately decided they wanted a paddle, of course we refused and tried to drag them to the hotel instead, however the very accommodating owners gave us some doggie towels that they kept for just that purpose. So after the long drive we thought they could do with the stretch and we decided to let them wade at paws depth quickly.

We then returned to our hotel and got shown to our room. Now as I have said I have never visited a pet friendly hotel before, but climbing the staircase with its pretty mahogany banisters and prestige paintings on the walls with two dogs in tow is a very odd sensation indeed! Nevertheless we got to the room, put the dog beds in, had a quick cuppa and decided to have a little wander around the pretty village. Stopping for a cuppa and a sandwich in town.

That evening we left the dogs in the hotel room while we had our meal in the restaurant. Our hearts in our stomach as we crept back up the stairs, please don’t have destroyed anything, messed the room, or anything. They wouldn’t do that at home but you can’t help but worry in a strange place. When we opened the hotel room door our pooches came toddling over happy to see us and not a thing was out of place – phew! We took them down to the bar for a quick glass of wine or two before bed (for us not the pooches) and on the bar was a lovely jar of doggy treats. Honestly a tranquil bar with a roaring fire, a window seat overlooking the loch and two spoilt pooches, curled happily at our feet enjoying a quick nibble, it was lovely, if only I had known what was to come…

Now I know every dog owner and every dog has a different routine. Ours is this, at bedtime, the dogs go out for a last minute visit to the loo, and then get put in their beds in the utility room downstairs with a bowl of biscuits each. I sleep in the bedroom upstairs at the opposite end of the house. At home this works fairly well. In a hotel room, things are slightly different. We took them out for a quick scoot to which they had absolutely no interest in the loo just in getting back in the Loch. Eventually we gave up and headed back to the room, putting the dogs into bed and their biscuits down. All well and good until several hours later, pitch black in the middle of the night I was awoken with the persistant sound of “crunch, crunch, crunch.”

“Crunch, crunch, crunch”. Few seconds silence. “Crunch, crunch, crunch” – few seconds silence. After 5 minutes of feeling like I was taking part in the water torture experiment. I got up out the bed and removed the bowl of food to two very sad big brown eyes. I apologised and explained to Laddie that he would get them back in the morning. After a rather loud huffy sound he flounced down on his bed, clearly not overly pleased with the agreement. As I got back in bed my husband chuckled and said “I knew if I just laid here it would annoy you the most first”, the devious monkey!

Just drifting quietly back off to sleep the noise started back up again “crunch, crunch, crunch”.

“Laddie” I shouted, and shot up out the bed to take the biscuits off him. Only to find out Millie had joined in the game and was laid on her bed head rolled off the side in her dog bowl like lady-muck! Making the same apologies again I removed her bowl and crawled my way back into bed.

Once again I was awoken in my sleep, this time with the lapping of water. Now although cruel enough to take away the food (temporarily), I am not cruel enough to remove water. So instead I buried myself deep in the bed, pillows wrapped tightly round my ears and prayed for Laddie to get back into bed and go to sleep. Eventually this happened.

A few hours later, I was once again awoken, Laddie was laid on a rug next to my side of the bed trumping quite loudly. My god! I rolled over and shook my husband. “The dog needs out”.

“What?”

“The dog needs out, he is gassing me out!”

“Can’t you just go back to sleep, he is sleeping.”

“He might be but his backside isn’t!”

Eventually my dazed husband got up and slung his dressing gown on.

“You will need more than that.” I said pulling on my jeans, big woolly jumper and walking boots. We are talking about Scotland in the spring!

So at four o’clock in the morning in the pitch black we got ourselves composed and made the way down the hotel stairs to the front door with the two terrors. I kindly stayed inside ready to unlatch the hotel front door when he came back and sure enough I had been right, they needed a quick trip to the loo each.

So, why would I want to live this 24 hour period again?

I had my husband and my two dogs, basically my current little family altogether. We got to stay in a wonderful hotel, experience great food and enjoy the scenic views – together! The dogs were so wonderfully behaved, in the room, in the bar and on the walks. In fact we had people compliment them so often about how well behaved they were. Finally because in the morning we got up and did a long walk together. We truly felt like the only people on the earth. True peace and tranquillity together. This was our view:

View of the bench from the hilltop - scotland

Mount Vesuvius

Last year as part of our honeymoon, myself and the other half booked a trip to climb Mount Vesuvius. Not the most romantic of excursions but it is something to tick of the bucket list. Well, I am not the fittest of people and my other half, well let’s just say had been taking part in insanity fitness programme, goes mountain biking weekly and works as a land surveyor (lots of speed-walking). About half-way up the trail I was dawdling so told my partner I was going to stop at one of the posts for a breather and to take some pretty pictures. So off I went camera lifted in the air snapping away and when I turned round he was gone! He had continued up the remainder without me. Worse than that he had the bottles of water in his back-pack!

To cut a long story short I have never walked so quickly in my life, nothing like a bit of anger to overcome any signs of un-fitness, it practically propelled me up the mountain. When I appeared at the top red-faced (not sure if it was from anger or exertion!) he found it hilarious that he had left me abandoned halfway up a mountain with no water. I still maintain I had the most beautiful photo’s from my slow-clicking ascent. Looking back I can find it funny and I have learned a valuable lesson. The vows should have been

“To Have and To Hold
In Sickness and in Health
Unless you are climbing too frickin slowly
up a mountain in which case I’m off!”

…and just to prove I made it 🙂

Vesuvius

The Confrontation

At the time of viewing our house we thought the garden was a little small. The neighbours_cartoonstock_imageowner at the time told us the neighbour may let us buy a patch of her garden, something they’d already discussed. But then the neighbour’s house went for sale. We’d missed our chance. Luckily it never sold! Instead the owner decided to rent. After a few months of seeing no activity in the garden and it developing into a jungle we approached the renters and asked for the landlords details. The renter point blank refused and closed the door on me. My jaw-dropped!

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Obviously that’s not the whole story but the most info I could give in 100 words. The saga continues….

Think Big and Plan Big

Moving in a forward motion….

I have big plans, really big plans. I don’t want to rule the world or anything (unless someone is offering me that job, then I might reconsider). But I have a life plan, it doesn’t always work, and things have a habit of going awry or worse, creeping up on you! But I know what I want and I work hard to make that happen.

My big thing this year is my novel, I am desperate to complete it and at 48,000 words I can see the end in sight. I know there is drafting and re-drafting and re-redrafting to do after before it goes anywhere, but the main thing is I want to get to type those two little words “The End”. Then sit back and know I did it, I made it happen.

I generally set one of these goals every year, something to strive for. Last year it was the wedding. I wanted to plan, organise and execute (and believe me a few family members were close to being executed) the day without too many hiccups. Not everything went to plan (it did rain a little, not great for an outside ceremony), but generally everything I arranged I managed to pull off.  Goal ticked off the list.

The year before that it was a mortgage and a house buy. This probably isn’t as big a deal as it felt at the time, my husband and I are on average wages but paying rent while saving a mortgage deposit is tough. I scrimped and saved every way I could, even reducing our full weekly shop down to less than £15 a week. I wouldn’t like to do it again, but I now know if times were tough I can do it and within a year we had done it, and saved a deposit and bought our first house. Goal ticked off the list.martin luther king - success

So after all that you’d think the novel thing would be easy right? Well, ask me on the 31st December and I’ll tell you if I did it (that’s if I haven’t screamed it from the rooftop before then).

🙂

Does anyone else do this extreme planning?

Quote

Believe in the power of Serendipity

I am a planner by choice. I love to have a plan in place, setting my goals and standards early on. Whether that be my work schedule, our evening meals or my writing tasks. I like to look at something physical and acknowledge that is what I ultimately want to achieve.

That being said life doesn’t always go to plan. One of my favourite words is Serendipity.

serendipity quotes

The word serendipity literally means “happy accident.” You have a moment of serendipity when you run into an old friend on the street, when an appointment is cancelled and you have an hour of free time, or when you get two complimentary tickets to the opening of a new museum. You’ll always have the plan. The question is, will you ever have this opportunity again?

I think there is a rush you feel when something like this happens. My “now” husband and I were walking through a market town a few years ago and playfully I pointed out the beautiful rings in the window. He played along and said to me if I was to pick one which would I pick. I pointed out an unusual little ring that seemed different from the rest. The old jeweller was cleaning the windows and overheard our conversation. He laughed and told us that was a wedding ring he had custom made but that had been re-sold back to them as the couple had split. He asked if I’d like to try it and I said no, we were just playing a game after all. But my husband smiled at me and said I could try it if I wanted. I tried it and fit perfectly. I was astounded. I imagine that is what Cinderella felt like with the glass slipper. Even the jeweller was seemed a little shocked. I took it off smiled and thanked the jeweller, one day maybe. As I left the shop and continued down the street my partner caught up behind me. He was quiet and stunned as was I. A month later he presented me with it. The old jeweller had held onto it for him, asking him if he believed in serendipity.

So allow for the unexpected, unplanned, and hans christian andersen quotesunforeseen events, circumstances, and challenges that come your way each day. If you take advantage of the opportunities that fall into your lap, instead of sticking religiously to a schedule, you’ll make each day one of surprise, spontaneity, and serendipity — and increase your happiness, too!

In response to The Daily Post’s writing prompt: “The Heat is On.”