Friday, 14 September 2012

I am off on my adventures...

It is now 11 weeks since Mick died, and I have been on many adventures. Mick's death has inspired a lot of our friends to grab life by the horns and ride it!

Have you ever heard of a "bucket list"? It is a list of things to do before you die. In the spirit of adventure and celebration a group of our freinds has created the "Fookateers" and we have a "fooket list": a list of things to do because we are ALIVE. We have done the skinny dipping (or chunky dunking in my case); days out at the sea side for bacon butties and a swim; a weekend as "marooned" pirates in the wilds of Derbyshire, far away from the sea; 140 mile bike rides; putting our handmade cards on sale; changing our career path; working hard to master a new skil or refine an old one..... in short we are taking the legacy of adventure, freedom and fun, and just getting out there and doing it.

As a personal journey I am doing ok. I have learned so much about freindship, about love, about my own capabilities and abilities. I am off on my adventures: still doing my reenacting, still camping, playing the ukulele and banjolele..... I am managing to live.

Life will never be the same again, but now this is the "new normal". I am back to work, planning for my future, and counting my blessings everyday. I had an amazing time, truely amazing with Mick, and I was blessed with just short of five and a half years of something many people never experience, even once in their entire life.

I have celebrated this love with a new tattoo, my 26th.

I already had the anchor, its latin inscription reads "Post tot naufragia portum": after so many ships a safe harbour. I had this done a few years ago as it reflected our close relationship and the calm waters of our love. Mick had the ship, so I had it added as he will always be with me, steering me to safe waters on my adventures. The colour is the standard he carried into battle, and which Jack and James have both proudly carried in honour of their father. The wedding rings are interlocked, and the 14 stars are the stars from our wedding rings. It brings to mind the line "All I need is a tall ship, and a star to sail her by". I will be fine, time for more adventures, with Mick's love steering me.

Sea Fever.

I must go down to the seas again, to the lonely sea and the sky,
And all I ask is a tall ship and a star to steer her by,
And the wheel's kick and the wind's song and the white sail's shaking,
And a grey mist on the sea's face, and a grey dawn breaking.

I must go down to the seas again, for the call of the running tide
Is a wild call and a clear call that may not be denied;
And all I ask is a windy day with the white clouds flying,
And the flung spray and the blown spume, and the sea-gulls crying.

I must go down to the seas again, to the vagrant gypsy life,
To the gull's way and the whale's way, where the wind's like a whetted knife;
And all I ask is a merry yarn from a laughing fellow-rover,
And quiet sleep and a sweet dream when the long trick's over.

John Masefield 1913

Wednesday, 18 July 2012

Four weeks on...

Four weeks ago my gorgeous husband died. Four weeks. So, how do I feel?

forward looking....

I feel that I am more able to think now, to plan, to begin.

I have been joined by a rather sweet little lady: Pepper's mum Solitaire. She is keeping us all busy, and is definitely the boss of Pepper! One day I will tell the story of how Pepper and then Solitaire came into my life...

Anyhow I thought I would share the top tips, from my personal experience, to support bereavement:

Take something: Tissues, toilet rolls, cake, teabags and milk are all brilliant things to take, as is a simple meal you have cooked or can cook there. If you take flowers either take a vase or flowers that don't need a vase! The best and first thing to take is a pen and notebook.

Do something: If you are close enough walk the dog, put a load of washing in, wash up, clean the bathroom...

Write something: It is so hard to send cards, what to write? Put your address, email address and phone number in, and write a little personal note. These really help. Don't worry about making the recipient cry, we are allowed and it is lovely to have happy memories resurface. It also helps later on when the cards are re-read.

Send cards/email/phone in the weeks to follow as well as at first.

A pack of writing paper, envelopes, biros and stamps are very useful too as there is so much paperwork to do. Assistance with that is useful too.

I think I have learned just how many true friends I have. I have learned even more that if someone offers to help it is because they want to help, because they have been touched by the loss too. They have lost a friend, a brother, a colleague, a chance to go and do, or go and be....

I am off on my adventures, I have no idea where I will go, or what I will do, or who I will become, but I do know that I have been very blessed over the last five and a half years, blessed by an amazing passionate love, and I feel so much better for having had it. I will carry Mick's sunshine with me.

Someone sent me the link to this wonderful picture today of Mick taking the final salute at an event just under three years ago. It seemed very fitting for today, so I thought I would share it with you.

Go and count your blessings xxxx

Sunday, 8 July 2012

Reminding ourselves we are alive

I have had the most amazing day. Together with my daughter and some good friends I have been swimming in the sea near Bridlington, East Yorkshire, this morning! When we got there is was a bit grey and misty, but that did not deter us, we parked our car and set off down to the beach.

As we got onto the beach we got some funny looks from a dog walker who took these snaps for us.

We were shrieking with laughter, buffeted by the waves, swimming up and down, and howling with joy as the huge waves lifted us off our feet. We sung "bring me sunshine" at the top of our lungs, and enjoyed the exhilarating feeling of being alive in the cleansing water.

As we got out we noticed a man with a long lens taking pictures, we smiled, and ass wee passed him he said, in a rather bemused manner "did you enjoy that, was it for any special occasion?" so I explained that  I had just lost my husband, that we were celebrating his spirit, and reminding ourselves that we were alive.

His face changed from bemused, to confused, then a big grin took its place as he grasped our choice of activity and the reasons behind it. 

I am now home to a silent house, my first homecoming after a night away without Mick here to greet me. The cards of sympathy are still around the house, and I have to yet begin the difficult and painful job of sorting his affairs, yet I feel enlightened, joyful and fresh, ready to face the task ahead.

There will be many more tears, more sleepless nights, yet I know that I will come through it all, just like today in the sea, with the huge waves crashing down on me, I will swim out to meet it.

Friday, 6 July 2012

So, how do you feel?

I don't know how I feel to be honest, such mixed emotions following a fantastic day of celebrations for Mick's life.

The overriding emotion is pride: that such a wonderful man chose me; that his family are so loving and close and supportive; that so many people came to say goodbye, and those who couldn't come sent their love; of our children, that they played such a role in the funeral.

Also a deep, raw numbness and sorrow. I am just such a mess, how will I manage without him?

People say I am "brave" and "strong" but I am scared and alone. Just bobbing along, then the wave hits.... Luckily I am a strong swimmer, and actually maybe that description is right?

Mick taught me how to be happy in my skin, in my aloneness, because I was, and am, loved. We did lots together and lots apart. I am missing the bedtime tot of whisky and the chats and giggles! When I went into his hanky drawer to get a hanky for the funeral, the one I pulled out had a knot at each corner, as we had at some point sat in bed with them on our heads. This also accounts for the kazoos and bubbles! Five years, six months and twenty days of sunshine.

I have created a list. Not a "bucket list" as that is all the things to do before you die. This sounds somewhat like it: a "f*cket list" and it is all about doing things because you are ALIVE. It is about making the small changes which make a positive impact on your life, as well as finally making the big changes in line with my golden rules: 

  1. Grab every opportunity you can to be positive
  2. Have fun
  3. Walk in the sunshine (and dance in the rain)
  4. have lots of good sex
  5. if you are not happy do something about it

A lot of good friends are joining in with the spirit, and they are writing personal lists as well as joining in with the group events. We are swimming in the sea on Sunday, and being pirates in August.... Writing lists is cool, BUT you must act on them

I ticked off the first item on my "f*cket list" today: I had my tattoo done in memory of Mick and in celebration of his lust for life, his love of our family and friends, and to remember the good times. For that reason I now add number 6

  1. Grab every opportunity you can to be positive
  2. Have fun
  3. Walk in the sunshine (and dance in the rain)
  4. have lots of good sex
  5. if you are not happy do something about it
  6. Count your blessings

So it's  that time again: Count your blessings. If you are really, truly aware of what it is that makes you happy then you can keep doing it xxxx

Friday, 29 June 2012

Things to do before you die?

I have been astounded by the response to Mick's death. Stunned, humbled, and supported. I am in the very lucky position of having no regrets, no words unsaid, no deeds undone, and I feel truly blessed to have had such a fantastic five years, six months and twenty days with him. We had such a good time, always off on adventures together: some physical, trailing up and down the country doing our re-enactments; some mental when we sat and studied history and debated points of logic; some spiritual when we spoke of the what if's and when's.... 

The thing I take most comfort in is the outpouring of love from our family and friends. The support, understanding, time.. space.. love.

People have spoken of me being "brave" and "strong" but actually I feel I am, apart from numb, carrying on Mick's legacy.

He taught me to live every moment of every day, as I did him. We had an adventure every day. We enjoyed the company of each other, and our children and friends. 

The true reality is that my adventures are only just beginning. I have bought a new notebook (our house is littered with "adventure books", listing where we were going, what we were doing, and topics for further research. Re-reading them has made me smile!) and I have written a list of my new adventures:

  1. Sail on a pirate ship
  2. ride a horse
  3. learn to draw cows
  4. swim in the sea again

Many people write "bucket lists" but tonight I encourage you to write "fuck-it" lists: do it, dream it, live it. 

Join my group, and together we can fly!

Post your ideas on facebook: and  WE will see what we can achieve together

ps I went out for  a drink with a very handsome man this evening: Michael Wokes senior, and I really enjoyed it!

Saturday, 23 June 2012

The sun still shines...

I just thought I would write a quick note to you all to say that me and my gorgeous man had five years, six months and twenty days of bloody good fun. He taught me to walk in the sunshine and grab every opportunity to have fun. 

He died very very suddenly, the coroner said he died from a clot that blocked his pulmonary artery that supplies the blood to the heart, and that he had a deep vein thrombosis  but not sure where. The coroner said his heart was fine, for which I am eternally grateful, and that, to quote : "you had not worn him out" !!!!! (Not for lack of trying!)

The days have been up and down, lots of laughter and tears, and when he died I thought "solution focus yourself out of that one!" but, you know what, I have no regrets, we had a bloody good time. 

If you take anything away from this:

Grab every opportunity you can to be positive
Have fun
Walk in the sunshine
have lots of good sex
if you are not happy do something about it
and make a will!

The funeral arrangements are under way,  he will be escorted by a LOT of our re-enactment friends in kit, with musket pipe and drum. The service will be at the church over the road, where I walk Pepper (who is very quiet) every morning, where we said goodbye to his mum Margery, and next to the primary school he went to. Once we have his ashes back some will go with his mum and the rest will be shot out of a cannon on Marston Moor (the site of a battle). It would be lovely though if you could raise a glass, or a nice cup of Yorkshire tea to him!

Please feel that you can talk to me, text me, come and drink tea. I am absolutely staggered by the amount of messages we have had, Boots was very very much loved by a lot of people. Especially me, but you knew that.

Anyhow stop being miserable and cheer up! 

Google "Bring me sunshine"

and "Don't be ashamed of your age" by Jerry Lee Lewis and George Jones on You tube. 

Listen to the lyrics and live them, Mick did!

Have fun xxxxxx

Friday, 22 June 2012

Bring me sunshine

My gorgeous husband died very suddenly, only 52.

We are bereft.

Mick taught me to walk in the sunshine.

Tuesday, 19 June 2012

Solution refocussed

I went on a training course last week about a way of working with challenging young people, based on a solution-focussed approach. There were delegates from all over the north of England, all working in different capacities with these challenging young people.

The morning was very interesting, a Texan explained how the scheme had been set up, and the rationale behind it, and presented some very interesting data.

The afternoon session was a quick run through a solution-focussed interview to support someone in managing positive personal change. This is an approach I use everyday as part of my role. We were paired up to do a role play, I took the role of the interviewer, and a lovely lady the interviewee. She had never come across this approach before. As we went through it and reflected upon it she was very excited about how asking the right thinking question can help guide someone to making that positive change.

The session made me really think and reflect upon my personal practice, but also on the universal truth about human behaviours: How often do we redo something, without thinking, without reflection? How often do we sit back and actually re-coach and re-frame our beliefs?

If I said "Hello" and then held out my hand you would shake it, automatically, because that is what we have trained ourselves to do, in short it is a muscle memory, a repeated action that has become automatic.

Our brains have this kind of auto response too, we react that way because we always react that way. Some of the basic principles are: 

  • If it ain't broke: don't fix it
  • If it doesn't work: try something else!
  • If you do what you have always done you will always get what you have always got.
So, what positive change do you need to make? What would you like to fix and make better? Start by identifying the place you want to be, and then work out a plan, a route of how to get there. I know it is scary, but if you don't take that step you will never know how bright it is at your destination. Think about what you are doing and why you are doing it. Make that decision to change.

Monday, 4 June 2012

Land of Hope and Glory

I have just watched the Jubilee concert on the Beeb, and I have to say that whilst the entertainment was a bit of a Curate's egg, good in parts, the finale was excellent.

Some of the "stars" were well past their best, bum notes, more facelifts and dye jobs than on a Saga cruise, but also many voices lifted in a spirit of joy and harmony.

The trumpeters, who are all members of Foot Guards, played wonderfully well, and the genuine respect and love from Charles to his "Mummy", and to his poorly Father was tangible.

The highlight for me has to be "Land of Hope and Glory" at the end. The stirring tune really lifts the soul.

Thank you to all the performers, crew and everyone else who contributed to putting the concert on. I for one enjoyed it.

Good night, and God bless us all.

Saturday, 2 June 2012

Sooner said...

I upset someone this week. In fact I hurt them tremendously. I think I had let minor niggles build up and fester, and rather than deal with them sooner I had either let them ride or said something but not enough. I regret that I had not said something more clearly sooner, and I regret that the person I love was so upset.

Life, it is a funny old game isn't it?

Sometimes it is up, and sometimes down, a bit like a roller coaster. And a bit like a roller coaster you know if you hang on tight there will be another up, then a smooth bit! Sometimes we say and do things which knock the coaster off the track, either our own or other peoples.

So my new day's resolution for today: Think, speak sooner and louder.

Tuesday, 29 May 2012

It ain't all about you, sweetheart.

I was out this morning walking the dog, it was about quarter to seven, and the world was just waking up. I live alongside a reasonably busy road and the route takes in the local streets, with people getting up for work and going about their business. I see the laundrette owner opening up (one key and it all pops open, turns on, and lights up!), people waiting for buses, and cars whizzing about. In short it is busy!

This morning though was different. Almost all at once, for a few seconds, everything was calm. No dogs, cars or people. All I could hear was the beautiful and joyous morning song of the birds welcoming in the new day.

This set me thinking

How much do we miss because of the background noise of our own thoughts and feelings. How well do we actually listen, and hear the needs, wants and desires of others? 

Someone I know is great at ringing up to ask about the weather or how the dog is and could I just... What she is actually saying though is "I need help with...". Someone else I know takes on the worries of others and frets constantly: "what if... then.. it will be down to me to sort it as usual.". It is easy to lose sight of the issue, and too easy to think about problems in terms of how it will affect yourself. It ain't all about you, sweetheart!

I made a big and potentially dangerous error tonight. I took the dog out for a quick pre-tea wee, and just clicked his extending lead onto his collar, rather than putting his proper walking lead on. He saw his friend the puppy from across the road and ran to play.The small collar ring snapped, and the dog ran off, over a busy road and into a park. I was very worried and had to try and get him before he ran onto the road and got hit. Have you ever seen a fat woman trying to catch a whippet? A little girl came to help me, and as I explained to her the art of dog-catching: don't chase too closely, make it into a game etc, I realised that what I was doing was tempering my needs: to control, to catch, to be in charge and keep safe against his needs: a wee, a run and a play! In short I listened and heard.

So: your homework.

1 listen to yourself, and establish what you really need. Ask for help, but be really focussed and clear what you need and how you ask for it.

2 listen to the needs of others. Hear the real message, which is often not in the words...

3 remember: it ain't all about you sweetheart!

Friday, 2 March 2012

I dreamed a dream

Last night I had a very vivid dream. It was one of those dreams which you have in full colour, with complete detail and clarity, and which make you wonder if they are dreams or reality.

I am not the world's greatest sports star, which makes my dream all the more odd. In my dream I dreamed I was running a marathon, or to be more accurate that I was training to run a marathon by running off road, up in the Yorkshire dales I think, up a hill, on muddy grass. It was a lovely spring day, not too hot, not too cold, just lovely. I powered up the hill, remembering feeling hot and sweaty, and then when I got to the top, and along a road I had done the distance. It was then I decided, still in my dream, to have a nap as "that was just the practice for the real race which was starting in a couple of hours", the real race being the more classic marathon road race.

I settled down for a nap, and when I awoke, in a puddle of sunshine, feeling all refreshed and happy, a friend was informing me in a very concerned manner that I had slept in and missed the start of the race."Never mind" I replied, "the important thing is that I know I can do it"

The important thing is that I know I can do it.

This has made me think about my approach to each day, in a very solution-focussed manner. I manage crisis on a daily basis and some days it is exhausting and tough, but I know I can do it, I am sure in my ability to assess, make decisions, and then to act, often in a short period of time.I know I can do it. At home I know that even if I am exhausted I can dig deeper, but I know also, and just as importantly when to say STOP!

Tonight I am not doing any marathon running, other than the marathon of a loving relationship, which like any other lifelong commitment blossoms as you work at it, and count your blessings along the way.

On Sunday I am going swimming with my gorgeous daughter as she pushes herself towards the eventual goal of swimming a mile. For her, like in my dream, this is only a practice for the real event when she goes to University to study Marine Zoology, as she will need to be a more confident swimmer. The important thing is that she knows she can do it.

What long term goal do you have that you could do with a bit of practice towards? Go on,. have a little go, and before you know it you too will know that you can do it.

Happy dreaming!

Friday, 3 February 2012

Good morning world!

I have one of the world's most efficient alarm clocks! It wakes me up gradually, and cannot be turned off from the bed, I have to actually physically get out of bed, and it is only when both feet hit the floor that it turns off. I have tried to fool it by bumping my boots on the floor from the sanctuary of the bed, but alas, it seems to be an unfoolable alarm.

The best thing about my alarm is that when I get up it goes into snooze mode automatically, and it is only when I go down and open the kitchen door that it is reactivated! My alarm clock is in fact an adorable little whiskery whippet, who fills me with joy! Once we are up it is out into the fresh new day, for a trot round, to see what the doggy news is, and to inspect all the corners all the way around.

I guess the advantage of a dog is that I wouldn't get out into the fresh air and go for a walk at that time of the morning otherwise, and I would miss seeing the frost twinkling on the trees, the lights coming on, the shops opening up, and would not be greeting fellow dog walkers. I love the calm of the morning, the fresh start, and the promise of a new start.

So your homework is an easy one: get up, go out, have a walk and greet the new day with hope in your heart and a spring in your step.


Tuesday, 31 January 2012

Goodbye, and thank you.

Aren't routines funny! We fall into patterns of behaviour and routines for all sorts of reasons, comfort, expediency, or sometimes because it is the only way we know. My morning routine is pretty much the same every day: up; dressed; walk the dog; breakfast with the dog; watch Jerry Springer; then off to work.  I usually listen to BBC Radio 2 on the way to work as I find the mix of cheerful music, current news and a little bit of madness sets me up nicely for the day.

Funnily enough this morning the breakfast show was entitled "just because you are breathing does not mean you are alive". Wow: How very true! We plod along, following that well trodden way, new day, same old same old. How often do we actively think about our behaviours and make a positive solution focussed change?

This year is just a month old, and I have already been touched by bereavement.

Marie was one of those people that are filled to the brim with light and life. She always sparkled,  and always worked very hard to find a positive solution and a way forward, not only for herself, but for the people she worked with, her clients, and for pretty much anyone she could help. She was always smart, and always smiling. Marie was never seen without her sparkly rings or her sparkly smile! She was not a loud, brash person, but rather a very centred person who inspired a quiet confidence.

Marie lost her long battle this morning.

One of our mutual colleagues came and broke the news to me in person, and for that I thank her. We comforted each other, as we knew we had both been touched by this special ladies magic.

Reflecting this evening about this special lady, I am smiling. Smiling at the memory of her smile, basking in the warmth of the memories.

Some cultures believe than when a person passes their spirit is released back into the universe, where it is free to wander at will, before settling.We have all, at times, experienced this loss, some more closely than others, and we all have our own belief about the time after we leave this plane, and we often look to the heavens to see a bright new star.

I hope that Marie's spirit sprinkles its magic, on you and your stars, as it passes.

God bless you Marie, and thank you for reminding me to live.

Tuesday, 24 January 2012

The power of NO!

I have just re-read "The Yes Man" by Danny Wallace, where he decided, for a year, to say yes to everything! The book is a record of all his adventures on his journey to yes-dom.

Saying yes to everything is probably a bit extreme! My blog this evening is about the power of making a positive choice: The choice to say yes, and the choice to say no.

Sometimes we are so busy that we just keep getting loaded up with more and more and more jobs to do. Imagine a juggler, steadily managing his load of three balls, and someone throws him another. Then another, then another, and suddenly three balls are twelve, and what started as a simple balancing act is suddenly all consuming, and takes all your focus. One ball drops, then another. STOP! Do you ever say "No, what do you want me to not do?" Prioritise, delegate (this works upwards as well as downwards), and focus on the tasks that have to be done, and the ones it has to be you doing them!One of my "lovely boys" said to me the other day that it was hard saying no to a peer. I pointed out that if he could say no to me, and not always politely, then he had the ability to do it, but just needed support to develop the skill to be used in a more solution focussed way.

Learning to say yes is, I believe,at times more challenging than saying no. We are often so caught up in the juggling act that we forget to say yes to the opportunities that will enrich our day. Yes, I would love  a cup of tea ( and the chat that goes with it); Yes, I would like to go and see a film ( and spend some time with you); yes, I would love to go and have a hot bubble bath (and get some peace and quiet!). In short we need to say yes, to get a "win"

So what is a "win"? In order to convince someone to do something, or not do something, there needs to ba a "win" in it for them, they need to benefit by that action. A true win is where both parties win, and you both move forward with your relationship intact.

So, your homework today. In the next 24 hours identify one opportunity where you can say No, or Yes with authority, and offering a win. Make a positive choice, make a decision, and go for the win! Let me know how you get on.


Wednesday, 18 January 2012

In-vesting in me...

Today was a momentous day. Today was the day that I officially became an old lady.

A big statement! You see the weather here is somewhat inclement, it is cold, damp, and weary, the kind of lazy weather that cuts right through you, and leaves you nithered*. The kind of weather which leads you to walk round looking like an Inuit with layer upon layer of clothing. As I sit typing this I am wearing my sheepskin boots, thick socks, fleece pj bottoms, bra, long sleeved t shirt, blouse, fleece, scarf and a fur trappers hat... a very glamorous look. The poor dog hates the cold too, being a whippet he has little fur, so he is luxuriating beneath a red velvet blanket. Not daft my dog!

So why did I become an old lady?

I forgot to put my vest on.

It was not the wearing of a vest, nor the forgetting of the vest that was the signifier, it was the fact that I missed it! I missed the extra layer of warmth around my back, and the lack of draught when I stretched, and just that tiny thin under shirt made all the difference whilst walking the dog to keep the frosty fingers of winter away from my skin.

So, what am I going to do? I am going to embrace my inner old lady, and not only wear a vest, I am going to treat myself to a lovely new snuggly thermal one to replace the summer ones I wear at the moment.

Embracing my inner old lady is a way of acknowledging that changing one small thing, in this case my clothing layers, shows that I am listening to myself and valuing myself. Making that one small change will help me stay warmer, both physically and emotionally as I will be able to be more focussed, and more able to respond to the needs of others as well as myself.

Your homework this evening: When you get dressed in the morning make one small change. Add a vest, undo a button, wear jolly socks, pretty earrings, a slick of lipstick,  wear your best shirt... Why save your best for later? Today is the day to feel your best, to be your best. Make one small change and enjoy!


* Nithered is a word from my childhood. It means cold right through to your bones, the feeling you get on a cold, damp day.

Friday, 13 January 2012

Fraud? Floored!

I nearly threw up today!

Today was the blessed day of Pay, so I eagerly went to the cash point at about 7.30am this morning to get some cash so I could fill my car up as I have been running on fumes and a prayer for the last day or so... The cash point did not cough up, I presumed it was not working, and thought no more of it, and drove the 17 miles to work very economically.

After a busy busy busy day I picked up my fogeys, brought them to mine where they got their hair cut, I made tea, took them home, picked up the gorgeous one, collected her friend, went to the cash point and .... nothing! Cash point said "refer to bank". (Well, it didn't actually talk, but you get my point...)

I came home and rang the bank, and they said my account had been blocked because of fraud. I felt physically sick. Pay day and a fraud. AAAArrrrrrrHgGHgHGHGgggghhhhhh!

Anyhow it was all soon sorted out, apparently some of my recent transactions had flagged up as "in line with current fraud patterns" and so they had blocked my account as a prevention!

So, what has this got to do with the price of scotch eggs?

The thing is, you see, in my private life I am a great procrastinator, and I tend to try and put things off if I can, In my professional life I am very good at making decisions very quickly and acting on them, I have to be as such is the nature of the role.Of course today was a situation that had to be dealt with as soon as possible.

It set me thinking though about all the things I have missed out on by putting them off. How many people have I missed, how many rainbows? How many missed opportunities?

Anyhow my New Day's resolution for tomorrow is to say YES! I once read a book called The Yes man, by Danny Wallace, where he deciede he would stop missing out on things, and if asked he would say yes! He had some really amazing times. I am not ready to commit for a year like he did, but I reckon a day is a good start. That is the best thing about New Day's Resolutons: If you like them you can keep them another day, if not then at least you gave it a shot!

I'll let you know how I get on! Maybe you would like to join me in saying yes for a day! See where it will lead you!

Have fun! xxxx

Sunday, 1 January 2012

New year? New day's resolution!

I saw 2012 in at a party where I watched a lady of 104 dancing the twist! She was so full of life, so full of love, and having such a good time! At the actual chimes I stepped out into the night air with Boots, and watched the fireworks over the city. We had resolved to do this, to have a precious moment together, rather than joining in the "jollity" as one second ticks over into another. Somehow the significance of that simple tick is built up to be more than the sum of its parts. We feel we ought to embrace the calender turning as a portent of change for ourselves.

Some change can be painful. The numb and raw grief of a bereavement, a leave taking, a marriage ending, an uncertain future: Where will I be this time next year? Will I be ok? Will I manage?.. all heightened at this time of year, as all around it seems everyone is celebrating, and making plans for their future.

Have you made a "New Year's resolution"? Made big plans to change your world?

Here is a simpler, and more achievable way: Make a "New Day's resolution". Make a decision to make a change for only 24 hours. For 24 hours make the effort to give up the fags, have more baths, read a book, go for a walk, At the end of the 24 hours let it go! You can then choose to make the same resolution, or, if you prefer, make a different one. This way you are setting yourself up to succeed.If you like the status quo you can resolve to remain the same: If it aint broke don't fix it! Once you have established you can achieve the little things you can then work on the bigger things: talk to your GP, get some counselling, dye your hair purple.....

Just a little over 29952 hours (or five years ago) I made a resolution to step into the sunshine, and kiss someone. I liked it so much I kept on doing it! We have celebrated with a bottle of bubbly, written the date and "5 years <3" on the cork, and put it in our cork vase. When I am 90 I shall enjoy looking through the corks! Who knows, I may even celebrate by doing the twist!

So your homework is simple: make a new day's resolution, step into the sunshine, and swim out to meet it! x