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.