Life’s rich tapestry

Once again, it’s been ages since I wrote anything.  It seems I have to be in the right place to write.  When life becomes too busy or difficult, it seems that I cannot put pen to paper or fingers to keyboard.  I am now trying to remember why I started to write a blog and to reinstate the feelings that writing gave me.  I felt that this year was going to be the year for upward movement, but here I am at the beginning of February and nothing has progressed.  In order not to loose momentum, I am forcing myself to type up my book and edit where I think it needs it.  I thought, in my infinite wisdom, that if I wrote my book on my iPad, I could take it everywhere with me and add to it as I pleased.  The fun part about that decision is that I was writing it in a format that cannot be transferred to word on my laptop, hence, re typing the last 15 chapters. Luckily, I am a fast typer so it shouldn’t take too long.  Whilst doing this though, the story is not progressing and that makes me a little frustrated.

I have come to the conclusion that the reason I cannot find time to write, is there is not enough time in the day.  Even over the Christmas period when I had time off, the days still flew past with nothing achieved apart from cooking, cleaning and the laundry, so I am going to have a word with him upstairs and ask him to add a few hours. Do you think it will work?

So here I am again, making a deal with myself to write every day.  I may not be on a blog, but this or my book is going to be an added priority.  Surprising how cathartic just writing these few words has already been.

I must not loose my connection to myself.  I must follow my dream of finishing this book and getting it published.  The sequel is all in my head waiting to be let out.  I need to push forward and not let anything get in my way.  Is that easier said than done, I wonder?

 

Walk a mile in my shoes

Sometimes I am confused by human nature, but unfortunately I am never surprised.

I think that everyone has a tendency to be selfish, to think only of their needs and wants, but there are people who take it to the extreme.  Then there are those who do something unexpectedly wonderful for you and restore your faith in mankind.

We used to run our own company and employed a lot of people.  Sadly, because we were company owners, people saw us as rich and lucky.  Some were wonderful, but many stole from us, lied, used company property  for personal use that wasn’t allowed or made decisions they weren’t qualified to make.  The company was a good one and the job we did was rewarding in itself, but employing the type of people we had to, made us very cynical.  We became embittered and always stressed.  We eventually lived, expecting trouble and tarred everyone with the same brush.  We had no faith in humanity because of our experiences.

On the day we flew out to our new life in Spain, My husband lost his wallet in the airport.  It fell out of an unsecured pocket.  In it was credit and debit cards, €1000 in cash, his driving licence and basically everything we needed for our new lives.  I remember the colour of his face draining from normal to green at the second he realised his wallet was missing.  He ran back to search everywhere he had been, but to no avail.  We had been chatting to an airport cleaner when he made his discovery and as soon as he came back to us, he said, “Well, I’m never going to see that again.  I don’t know what we are going to do.”  The cleaner immediately grabbed his hand and took him to lost property.

He reached the counter but was told nothing had been handed in, just as he expected.  They gave him a form to fill out and whilst doing it, he was thinking about how we could rent a car without his licence and that certain things had been booked using his cards and he would have to present them.  We could get money but we needed that cash for payment of bills.  He was really worried.  Just at that moment, another member of staff approached and asked him if he had lost a wallet.  He said that he had and described it.  The man said he had it, it had just been handed in.  Ian was amazed, happy to at least get his cards and licence back.  He utterly stunned when he found that all the money was there too.  Nothing had been taken at all.  We were so thankful and asked if we could give the wonderful honest person, who had handed it in, some money to say thank you, but we were told it was against policy and they hadn’t left a name.

It was a lesson in humility for us.  We were so down on human nature, so suspicious of people and their actions, ready to believe the worst in people, yet here we were, the recipients of a strangers selfless actions.  It continues much the same today.  We are not so embittered as we once were, maybe still a little suspicious, but we have found some wonderful people around us.  Help has often come from unexpected places, and people, who were just acquaintances, have proved to be wonderful friends.  Equally, there are people that thought close friends, who have shown themselves to be incapable of true friendship.

As a member of this species, I travel on, observing and learning.  We all judge each other according to our own standards and find each other lacking in many areas, but are we qualified to judge other people?  One of my favourite phrases is “Walk a mile in my shoes.”  We all live such vastly different lives, experienced pain and happiness in individual ways, how can we truly comment on someone else’s lives?

 

 

 

Wooden Peace

I love trees.

I grew up in a house at the edge of a large wood. The trees ranged from young to old and the favourite of all was a huge sycamore that stood just across the lane. That tree seemed to stand guard over us. It’s seeds gave us toys to play with, it gave us shade from the sun, music when the wind blew through it’s branches and, if us kids were home alone at night, it would scare us with ghostly creeks and groans.

The woods were our playground. From one tree hung our tyre swing and we wore a huge grove in the earth below from dragging our welly encased feet through the dirt with each sweep of the swing. Just a little further on was the garlic wood. Wild garlic grew in abundance underneath the tree foliage, watered by a tiny stream. The smell was pungent but when the plants produced their little white flowers, there was a magic to it.

There were tracks all through the woods that were worn in by the sheep that grazed there and us children would spend hours following them one way or another. They always led somewhere. One way would lead the the neighbours, half a mile away, but if you turned right at a certain point, you could zigzag down to the best swimming site in the river.

It was through those woods that I desperately ran, to get help from our neighbours, after my baby brother toppled into the river. I saved him from drowning but his head was bleeding profusely after hitting the stones below. Poor Mum had just turned her back for a moment. She carried a screaming child while I ran on to get help. Apart from a small scar all turned out well.

Many times we helped Dad to cut up trees and haul the logs back home. We were never allowed to be there for the felling, but we got the donkey work. The logs provided a lot of warmth with their burning but, more than that, Dad appreciated the beauty that was held in each grain of wood. He was a very artistic man and would make coffee tables, stools and even the old rugged cross that still stands in the local Methodist church. Our dining table was hewn from a huge tree and it took him and a friend many months to complete. He would cut small pieces and smooth them and burn the most amazing pictures onto them using something that looked like a soldering iron. I still have one.

If trees could talk, I wonder what stories they would tell. They stand sentinel in a constantly changing world. Each tree is so unique, each species brings its own beauty. There are flowering ones and evergreen ones. Those whose leaves change colour throughout the year until they fall and those whose leaves are more like spines. A tree is a tactile thing. Each bark is different and range from silver to red, rough to smooth. They are numerous, various and historic.

I almost feel their spirit and easily understand where the myths about tree nymphs and fairies cam from. Trees bring me comfort through their scent and walking amongst them brings me a sensation of safety. I challenge you to sit surrounded by trees and not feel a connection to the natural world around you.

Even writing this has brought me the realisation that when life throws it’s challenges, the place I need to be, is amongst trees. Maybe to me peace equals trees and that is why I love them.

The Muse of the evening

It’s dark and 28 degrees.  The wind is warm and welcome.

Apart from a dog barking in the distance and the rustling of leaves,

it’s silent and peaceful in my little corner of the world.

The daytime brings a heat that saps your energy

and makes it so hard to concentrate on anything but the call of cooling water

There are geckos on the walls and ceilings of my little outside space

waiting to catch the Mosquitos and Moths that are drawn to the light

And the cicadas that sang all day have ceased their endless chorus,

No doubt resting up before tomorrow’s symphony begins again.

It’s time to reflect upon the day and plan for tomorrow

Today there were happy times, but also an amount of sadness and frustration

Caught up in the preparations for someone else’s wedding

Brought a share of excitement for their future and fulfilment of a job well done

Taking a beloved family pet to the vet serves as a reminder that all life is fleeting

And that soon in the future, that beautiful creature who has brought me so much joy

Will take a final journey from which there is no return

And with her going, my life will once again change

and a new adventure will begin.

I am reminded that nothing is permanent

And we are just a short while upon this planet

We have a finite amount of time here

and this is no dress rehearsal

How ever long we have, will it ever be enough

to achieve all we dreamed of when we were young

and believed a lifetime was long

There is no melancholy with my musing

just a determination to enjoy every last minute

For if I did not sit and think

I would allow tomorrow to slide past without note

I am thankful for today and all that came

and for tomorrow I will be equally grateful

For in that gratitude,  I find happiness, peace and hope.

 

 

 

 

Soya versus cancer

As usual this morning, as soon as I awoke, I reached for my iPad and logged into Facebook.  Reading down all the new posts, I came across one that was  originally added by Health digest and is entitled Latest Cancer Information by John Hopkins.

As I am a complete health nutcase and do believe that we are what we eat,  I am always interested in what these articles say.  I have also lost a lot of relatives to cancer, including my father, so any information on a cure, is a must read for me.

To be honest, there was nothing in the article that was new to me.  It talks of the occurrence of cancer cells that naturally occur in the body and that our immune system, if built up using the correct nutrition, can fight and kill these cells.  It goes on to explain that someone experiencing cancer is nutritionally deficient in many areas and changing the diet can bring about a cure, whereas chemo and radio therapy causes scarring and is poisonous to the human body.  It goes on to recommend food substances that can help.  Most I agree with but not soya. Never soya.

Years ago, I read a lot of articles about cancer and it causes.  I also met someone who was given 6 weeks to live because his body was riddled with cancer.  The fact that I met him 2 years after that death sentence and after he healed himself using a macro biotic diet, instilled in me the knowledge that our westernised diet is possibly not the healthiest.

At the time I lived in the Uk and had access to plentiful organic produce.  I bought a book about detoxing and found by following that and staying on a vegan diet, I felt healthier, happier in myself and was able to loose weight.  I was so wrapped up in my new found health regime that I believed nothing could touch me.  In a way I was right because for 3 years I was never ill.  Not even a cough, cold or sniffle.

I was appearing in Pantomine as Prince Charming in Cinderella over Christmas of  2002.  I was a very young looking 38 year old and had the legs needed to play the part. My husband was one of the ugly sisters alongside his brother -also and entertainer- and we were having a ball.  During the time, I experienced my usual monthly event, but I never had a problem in that area, so continued as normal.  It progressed in its normal way and after a couple of days had gone, or so I thought.  One night after the show, upon returning home, I experienced something I hadn’t before.  On getting out the car, I felt a rush of liquid and on running to the toilet found all of my nether regions, pants and trousers covered in clots of blood and the next eight years, every month continued in this way.

It was horrendous. Every month was filled with dread for that time of the month.  It  loomed at me and filled me with fear.  Many a time, I ran away from a social evening in order to save my dignity.  Medical examinations found that I had a fibroid in my womb and because it was touching the inner wall, it was causing these problems.  The doctor prescribes a pill that I would take on the first day and that would lessen the flow to some extent.  It wasn’t perfect but it helped me avoid a hysterectomy, which was my worst fear.

There was no education as to what caused it or what could help it naturally.  It was purely what medication could help the problem, so I struggled on.

In 2005 we moved to Spain and I continued to have problems.  My stomach was larger than before as the fibroid continued to grow and people often asked when the baby was due.  Once, on a flight, I was told that I couldn’t sit in an emergency exit seat, because pregnant women weren’t allowed to open the doors if there was an emergency landing. It was very embarrassing.  In the end I started saying, “I am not pregnant, just fat.” As it was easier than explaining that I had a medical problem.

After another trip to the gynecologist, I was telling my female neighbour that I may need a hysterectomy.  She questioned me closely and I told her most of the details.  She went inside her house and then presented me with a book. It was entitled “What your doctor will not tell you about menopause.” by Dr John Reed MD.  She explained that a friend of hers from the USA had exactly the same problem as me and that she had cured herself using the methods in this book.  Also my neighbour had been diagnosed with osteoporosis about 6 years ago and was healthy because of this book.

The book was an eye opener and I urge every woman on the planet to read it.  Many of our women’s problems are caused by our bodies becoming oestrogen dominant.  It’s a state that occurs when we stop ovulating and producing progesterone.  Drugs companies who produce HRT  to combat symptoms of menopause bombard women with more oestrogen and women who are diagnosed with osteoporosis are also prescribed drugs containing the same.  When our bodies become oestrogen dominant, we can develop breast cancer, ovarian, uterian and cervical cancer.  Polycystic ovaries and fibroids can also result from this.

The book advocated the use of progesterone cream and I started to use it.  It was brilliant.  Although it didn’t cure me, it helped so much.  My neighbour with osteoporosis had been told she would be in wheelchair in 5 years, but she was defying all the doctors by being perfectly healthy and exercising normally with no degradation of her bones.  Wonderful, I hear you cry.

Well, no.  Eventually I had to give in and have a hysterectomy because after 8 years of battling it, I was weary, very anaemic and desperate for an end to the worry.  My fibroid had continued to grow and I looked 6 months pregnant.  I think even the doctors were relieved when I finally had it done.  Thankfully, I have been very healthy since then although I continue with the progesterone treatment.

It was the birth of my grandson that brought me the final bit of information I needed to explain why I hadn’t been able to shrink my fibroid.  He had a problem with formula milk and as his sister experienced the same when she was a baby, we moved him onto soya milk.  If formula milk was a problem it was insignificant to the problems he had with soya.  It was terrible, so being me, I logged on to the internet to do my research.  There was website after website that warned against men drinking soya milk.  Why?  Because soya is a natural oestrogen and feeding a baby boy soya milk was equivalent to him taking 5 contraceptive pills a day.

Needless to say, we took him off it straight away, but the shock to me was without president.  All the years I had been battling my fibroid whilst eating a vegan healthy diet was being countermanded by my intake of soya.  I drank it as a milk, ate it in its tofu form, it is in 60% of all manufactured food. It is rife.  The tropical rain forests are being cleared to make room to grow more soya than any other product, so our planet is also paying a high price for this so called healthy food.

So, my advice to anyone is to boycott soya.  It is NOT the health food it is made out to be.  In fact, it is the opposite in my book.  It promotes cancer, premenopausal and menopausal problems, and can cause infertility in men.  I will never eat this stuff knowingly again and wish that there was more education for the people that do.  It’s all there in black and white for anyone willing to look.

 

 

 

A stressy day.

Ok, so it hasn’t been a particularly stressful day but irksome would probably be more accurate.  I had many plans, but for some reason I don’t feel like I have achieved much.  I have started making a check list every day.  It’s mainly for one reason and that is to make sure jobs get done, so that I have enough time to write.

I read a blog this morning which issued a challenge and I decided to take it up.  For the next 30 days, I am going to make sure I swim for 30 minutes.  I do have this procrastinating attitude to exercise and although I promise myself faithfully that I will stick to my regime, I can be found convincing myself that 3 times a week is enough and I’ve done them already.  By swimming first thing when I get up, it gets it out of the way and I can concentrate on other things.  In theory anyway.

That done, I then turn to phone calls and annoyingly having to sort out something that I thought had been organised yesterday, but no, apparently it’s too difficult to give me the correct number when I first ring in.  I have to waste time, my frustration and phone calls to get someone to answer the question.  Nothing too bad, just a little irritating.

Then shopping.  Food shopping is one of my least favourite things to do without my hubby on hand.  It’s always way too heavy for me to lift inside in one go and invariably one of the bags breaks.  Then there’s finding a home for it all.  Boring!  Never mind though, it has to be done, so off I go.  I notice that the door lock spins a couple of times before locking, but it’s done it before, so I wasn’t too bothered.

I bought a box.  It’s a collapsible plastic thing.  Perfect, I think.  I can get quite a lot of shopping in there.  It will fit in the boot of the car and stuff won’t roll around.  Pleased with myself for my organising head, I pack all the fruit, veggies and bottles in it, wheel the trolley to the car and… Find the boot of the car full of equipment. Husbands car! No other box is going to fit in there.

There is is a law here in Spain, that prohibits “stuff” being put on the seats and it’s a hefty fine if you are caught.  Ok, I can’t put it there then. I know, I’ll put it in the front footwell.  So I pick it up and realise it’s really heavy.  In fact, it’s so heavy that the box suddenly seems a bit flimsy.  Add to the fact that the temperature has soared into  the 30’s and I am struggling in full sunshine to manoeuvre this box that weighs a ton, between 2 parked cars to open the passenger door and deposit said box.  I wheeze and sweat and manage to get it in, only to find it’s about 2 cm too big and the door won’t close.  Oh joy.

The box ends up, with some not too gentle persuasion, balanced precariously on top of the stuff in the boot.  I drive home, praying that it won’t fall and break the eggs.  Luckily the eggs did survive, but yes, it fell.

I had to make a couple of trips to get things upstairs to my front door and the sun was not letting up.  I arrived there, overheated and in need of a drink, with my hands full and a bag of rapidly melting ice cream that I had, kindly,  bought for my husband, only to find that I couldn’t get in.  The front door key was just spinning and spinning I the lock.  Wonderful, thinks me and I ring my husband.

Suffice it to say that I eventually got in.  My head was pounding with the sun, my shoulders feel like I’ve just done 10 rounds with Lennox Lewis and it’s now much later than I expected.  Lunch, that’s what I need. So I start to prepare something and plan what I need to do next.  I have an hour of ironing, then cleaning for guests that are arriving on Thursday, I want to do some writing and I also need an hour practicing the piano.  I also have a gig tonight and looking at how many hours I don’t have left, I realise something is not going to get done.  Then the phone rings.

Its the owner of the bar that I am working at on Saturday.  Cancelling!  Great!!  No work, no money and little chance now of getting another gig at such short notice.  So my day has been irksome.  It is a day designed to take away pleasure.

This is now a decision for me to make.  Do I remain irked or shall I change it.  Well, first thing now is to take some pain killers to get rid of the tension headache, to have a quick jacuzzi to wind down and then enjoy my night.  I chose, you see, to change it.  Tonight I get to sing to some fabulous people in a fabulous place that has a view to die for.  The breeze will be in my hair and the music will flow.  Life doesn’t get much better than that!!

 

.com

Although my blog is not quite a week old, I have decided to go for it and purchased the domain name of Discoveryandachievement.com, so now I am a .com and very excited.

I always thought I would enjoy blogging and I am surprised by how much I love it.  It was started to see if it would improve my happy state and it has.  It is a pleasure every day receive emails from the site to say someone has either enjoyed something I have written or decided to follow me.  I find it remarkable that there are so many like minded people out there.

Today is only a short blog as it is my day off and I intend to spend the rest of the day in the pool or jacuzzi with my husband, or writing my novel, for which I have renewed enthusiasm and the perfect plot line.

Happy Sunday everyone.