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?

 

 

 

Autumn memory

My little dog runs ahead of me as always.  She stops and looks back to see where I am, waits a while until I catch up with her and then off she trots again.  Her nose is to the ground as she scents for anything interesting and there is so many wonderful smells in a wood, in the autumn.

Again she stops and looks at me with her little Black and Tan face, Her white body finished off with a cropped brown tail.  Her tail was cropped as a puppy, before she ever came to me and as was the original fashion for a Jack Russell.  It was the perfect indicator for how she was feeling.

As with all dogs, she would drop it down if she was unhappy but it would not reach between her legs as it was too short.  When I first met my husband, he had a boat on the Norfolk broads and we always took her with us.  At first, she was unsure and her tail was as down as she could get it.  Then she discovered she could walk right around the boat using the gunnels and her tail raised a little until it was stuck out in line with her back.  Finally she realised that when we were cruising along, she could run round and round, bark at the ducks and swans, and become the mascot of the boat, as people looked, pointed, giggled at her and gave her lots of fuss when we moored up.  She loved the boat and her tail raised straight up in the air as soon as we got on it.

For all that she loves the boat, she hates water and will do anything to avoid it.  Our favourite time is our walks on land.  So here we are, on a cold, sunny autumn day.  I kick my way through coloured fallen leaves and she sniffs out the squirrels and rabbits that are prolific here.  Most of the trees are bare now  and looking at the ground, I see many forms of fungus.  There are toadstools as well as huge field mushrooms growing in and on the tree humus. It’s a perfect place for them.  I am also genuinely delighted to see a fairy ring.

Ok, I know I am a little old to believe in such things, but it really looks like one.  There, just over there, is a group of toadstools with the red caps and white spots, just like in all the fairy tale illustrations I have seen.  I don’t need a great imagination to conjor up fairies and pixies sitting atop each stool and talking about whatever it is that they talk about.

I stop for a while and have a closer look until Penny runs back and gives me a nudge.  I can almost hear her thoughts.  “Will you hurry up.  There is too much to sniff out and we can’t hang around here.”  So I follow and she runs off again, always stopping and looking back to see where I am.  Never going out of sight, no matter what wonder lay ahead.  She never leaves me.  We can walk for miles and she never tires, unlike me.  She doesn’t care if it’s hot or cold, along as it’s not raining.  She doesn’t run away to chase rabbits, to sniff them is enough.  Her need is to stay close to me.  She is my loyal little friend, my protector and companion.  Her love is honest, unconditional and delightful.

When it’s time to leave, I call her.  She stops and looks at me.  She turns back wanting to pursue her trail but I turn and walk the other way.  There is no need to worry as within seconds she bounds past me, ready to lead the way again.  The pattern continues.  Run ahead a while, stop, look back, wait for me, then run on, until we reach the car.

It’s nothing spectacular, just friendship, Autumn and a walk, but it’s a lovely memory of a lovely time.

 

Energy sapping heat.

The heat saps my energy and I feel the trickles of sweat down my back.  Wearing make up becomes impossible in the summer as moisture forms beads under my fringe and they merge into rivulets to drip from the end my nose.  My top lip glistens and I purse my lips to catch the salty taste on my tongue.

I have a constant need to replace the water my body is fixated on losing in it’s efforts to keep me cool.  My whole body is  sticky and feels unclean.  The dust that hung in the air is now attracted to the magnetic force of sweat and my hair, normally full of styling products hangs limply, unable to withstand the onslaught of  humidity.

With a rise in temperature comes a rise in temper.  Hauling bottles of water upstairs to the kitchen leaves me breathless and irritated.  Why don’t they bundle them into four’s instead of sixes.  I struggle to heave the weight of water in each hand, but I also need the balance.  It’s a difficult choice between two trips or too heavy.  My hands are so slippy that it’s difficult to keep hold of the thin cardboard strip that supports the weight of  24 litres.

My brain feels as though it has swelled beyond the capacity of my skull under the oven temperature of the sun and the pressure is making my eyes want to pop out of their sockets.  Each beat of my heart sends a throb of blood filled pain to my brow causing me to frown.  My breathing becomes shallow as I tense against the agony of a heat induced headache.

I drop one lot of bottles as I fumble for my keys, but they are in the pocket on the other side so I drop the other hands burden.  I try and spear the lock but the bunch slips from my greasy fingers and hits the floor.  The sun belts it’s unrelenting force against my back as I bend to retrieve them.  Come on, come on, I urge them, just work.  I need cool now.

This time I manage to open the door but heat hits me from the inside of the house as well.  I grab the bottles of water and deposit them somewhere on the floor between the living room and kitchen, and stride straight to the bedroom shedding clothes as I go.  It’s little cooler without my thin layer but my anticipation of what’s to come spurs me on.  I grab and don my bikini, pick up my towel, slip my feet into my flip flops and head back out into the belting heat.

Cool blue water beckons me like a smooth talking lover and I kick off my footwear, drop the towel and lower myself down into the refreshing blue depths of the pool.  As the water washes over my body and my blood temperature descends to normal, the little elephants that were stampeding through my head begin to slow under its caress.

I tip my head back into cool peaceful tranquility and float with closed eyes.  I feel the corners of my mouth turn upwards as my smile returns and just in that moment reflect on the pleasure of living in a hot country.

Relaxing holidays

It seems ages since I last wrote my blog, but I don’t suppose it has been.  It’s been a very busy few days and finally today, Sunday, is quiet and tranquil.  I have spent all day sitting around the pool, writing my book. I know it’s work but the story is in full flow and I want to get in down in black and white while I can.  It has become more of a passion than a chore of late, and when I look back on previous chapters, I know I am going to do lots of  editing to get it to the standard of the writing I am producing now.

I have joined a couple of writers sites and finding  truth in the words, the more you write, the faster you become and the easier it flows.  It’s true.

This evening we have decided to look at our holiday.  Originally, we were going to go to Venice.  My husband likes to look at all the options, so a short holiday there became a cruise from Venice, going to Greece and surrounding islands, Dubrovnik and many more destinations.  Growing tired of waiting for replies from companies that don’t seem to want the business, we decided to stay in mainland Spain and visit Cordoba, Seville, Granada and then onto Portugal.  Having looked at those options, my husband has decided that 3 cities and sightseeing is a bit too much as he wants to spend some time relaxing, but doesn’t feel cities are conducive to that state.  I agree with him so now we have reverted to the cruise.

Maybe that is the best option for us because then we won’t have to spend hours and heated discussions about which hotels to stay in.  We will have a hotel on the sea, daytime trips as we want them but we can’t relax around the pool because it will be November.  No, scratch that, I want warmth. I want to go in September but there’s nothing available in September.  Ok back to the drawing board.

How difficult can this really be.  What happened to walking into a travel agent, flicking through some magazines and saying, “we want to stay there.”  The internet has made choosing you holiday so much more interactive and, dare I say, difficult.  The choices are vast and more varied and you can’t possibly stay in any resort until you have checked out the reviews on Trip Advisor.  Whereas we used to rely on the recommendations of a travel company, now we read with interest the opinions of the people who can be bothered to report their findings.

I can’t help but feel a little distrustful of those.  The people who complain bitterly seem to do so for insignificant reasons.  Obviously, there things that go wrong, but the main problems seem small in the great scheme of things.  Then there are the amazing reviews, which I find equally worrying.  I have stayed at some amazing places in my time, but never yet found one that is perfect.  Perhaps we just have people who are on the opposite ends of the optimist/pessimist scale.

Whichever it it is, our holidays remain stressful to book, always more expensive than we plan for, but once we get there, it is our attitude that makes it.  I ignore the niggles,  chose to have a great time, become culturally more educated and return home enriched.

Oh yes, where did we choose?  We’re touring.  Cordoba, Portugal and Granada.   Happy vacation everyone.

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.