Flip flop shopping.

I missed you today.

First day of sunshine this year really beautiful weather

February who knew we are in Wales with no rain.

I think of you every day

But I hear your voice today

Loudly exclaiming SUNSHINE It’s flip flop weather!

I know you would be in the salon having your toe nails painted.

Then I’d reluctantly go flip flop shopping with you.

Lunch and coffee whilst you would ask “Do you like my nails?”

I’d roll my eyes and smile you were such a girlie girl.

I miss you Donna

Everything reminds me of you.

This week it’s flip flop.

So I’ll wear them for you.

See you soon my friend ♥️

What you don’t see.

Lost in a crowd

Like a small boat at sea.

Heard but not listened to

Inside a storm with no key.

Seen but invisible.

Like the astral plane

Silent screams behind convincing smiles

Tears fall like rain.

Sleepless eternal nights

Exhausted long days.

Hiding the sadness

Hoping for better days.

Wanting to fix things

But scared it can’t be.

For I am a wondering warrior

That no one can see.

Bare brick walls & cheese plants (child mental health)

This is a clip from a book I’m writing about a dysfunctional abusive family in the 1970s and child mental health services at that time.

Thankfully now it’s much better.

He sat at a huge oak desk
The wall behind him was bare brick
A modern clinic for 1975..
A cheese less cheese plant as wide as it was tall stood like a gangly guard in the corner
Leaves reaching out like huge ten fingered alien hands
A photograph of the man at the desk with a woman and two children my age smiling at the camera
But in the photograph he wasn’t wearing a suit like he wears when I see him sitting at the desk. He looks different in the photo. Perhaps it’s his twin brother?
I’m holding onto the sides of the blue plastic chair
Swinging my legs.
They don’t touch the ground.
The only sound is the papers he is holding as he reads silently reminding himself of my last appointment.
I count.
The leaves on the cheese plant guard.
Leaning to my left to check around the back.
Fourty two I whisper.
He looks at me over his gold glasses smiles.
“Forty two? It’s nice to hear you speak.” He says
I feel my face flush.
Nod my head
“Leaves I say on your plant”
Do you like counting?
I nod
‘Inside my head’
I count I sing sometimes I shout but I don’t tell him that.
So he says
“How’s things been at home this week.?”
I’m listening to the breathing behind me and the faint waft of cigarette smoke
I can’t see him but I know he’s there.
His presence is palpable.
He always sits in that chair by the door
Answer the doctor he says in his gruff voice ..
I look at the photograph. On the desk.
His eyes look kind
I look back at him holding his pen and I begin to count the bricks on the wall
Shit I think as I count
Things at home are shit always .
21, 22, 23.
Talk to the Dr the voice behind me says from the chair
Tell the truth .”
I swing my legs..
41,42,43..
She’s shy says the voice again.
Not ten mins before outside in the rain the voice had reminded me to keep my mouth shut.
Mimed turning a key and throwing it away.
“If you tell them ANYTHING the will put me in jail. You will go in a children’s home and you won’t see your mammy again. ”
I looked at the doctor smiled and carried on counting
77,78,79.
Until eventually it was time to go home to my Mam.

Talk to me about things that matter.

Talk to me about what matters to you.
What is your passion?
Who influenced you growing up?
What situation makes you want to be a better person.
Tell me what makes you laugh, the tell me what makes you sad?
Who are your tribe?
Where do you fit in the world.
If there was something major you could change what would it be?
Do you have regrets?.
Do you believe in a higher being?
A god or goddess.
The source that connects all beings
Talk to me about the universe.

Watch the sun rise, then set.
Let’s watch the stars and be amazed.
Feel the wind and rain the elements that make us whole.

Walk barefoot through a forest.

Feel the heat of a camp fire, look for pictures in it’s flames
Tell me when you feel most alive

Let me see who you really are.
The spark of life that is you.
The real you.

Belief

Everyone needs to believe in something, but I don’t think that belief is something that can be taught. I believe in the pureness of dog’s souls and the unspoken bond between sisters. I believe that you have to leave a place in order to discover how much you love it. I believe in the stillness of a Saturday and I believe you don’t need to understand life in order to live it fully. Confusion is half the beauty, confusion is half the journey. I believe there are countless soul mates for every living person and I believe they are around every corner. At any given moment, I believe there are things at which to marvel at – a never ending stream of chances to fall in Love with the world. Flowers bloom despite frost bitten stems and strangers smile despite the heartache in their lungs. I believe in dreams. I believe I am as free as I make my mind up to be. I believe there is no person or power that governs how I live.

I believe that a person can base an entire religion around falling in Love with being alive. The sun rises every morning and asks nothing of me in return; I could learn a lot from that single selfless gesture.

Love yourself, everything else will fall into place.

Women get more beautiful as they grow older.

Not less.
Female youth is only prized in modern culture because it doesn’t represent as much of a threat spiritually to anyone who is frightened of divine feminine power.
As women grow and mature, they call in stronger forces of sacred feminine wisdom. They vibrate with the creative power of their stories.
They are more of a force to be reckoned with.
They see more, know more, feel more. They put up with a lot less bullshit.
When women are trained into thinking there is something fundamentally wrong with getting older, and are coerced into spending money, energy and power investing in ‘slowing the signs of ageing’, an enormous vault of divine love is lost.
Just think what would happen if all the women in the world started loving themselves even more with every year that passed.

Perhaps a total revolution would occur.

Photo Art: Laurie Anne King

Family

Family isn’t always blood. It’s the ones in your life who want you in theirs.

The ones who accept you for who you are.

The ones who just want you to be happy, and who LOVE you no matter what and for you this feels completely mutual.
This is Family!

This is your tribe

Just giving for Ravens Retreat.

For those who don’t know me. I run Ravens Retreat a Canalside cottage in South Wales.

We provide breaks for anyone with a end of life or Cancer diagnosis.

Also free Therapies for cancer patients.

Counseling, C.B.T. hypnotherapy, Reiki Healing, Omni Healing,

Swedish massage, hot stone massage,

Reflexology and much more.

We teach reiki meditation and past life regression.

We have a list of wonderful Therapists who will visit our clients if they can’t get to us.

We also run death cafes tea cake and chat.

Poetry and writing workshops.

We gave just had a beautiful cabin built at the back of the retreat that will when finished be our dedicated healing space

But need to raise funds to make it into a warm comfortable cozy space where you can forget about the world outside.

As we are non profit c i.c company we rely on grants and donations to pay our Therapists and fund improvments to our service

So we now have a just giving page

Please share information about us to anyone who might benefit.

Here is our just giving link

Thanks and blessings.

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ravenscancerretreat?utm_term=rb4Ag8PeP

Clava Cairns

Been a busy few weeks.

Last weekend my first visit to Belfast.

This weekend my first visit to Scotland.

I flew Bristol to Inverness to visit my old friend Les who has now made her home here.

I’ve always wanted to visit as Inverness was my mam’s favorite place she would visit twice a year I’d have to endure hours of photos on her return.

That was over twenty five years ago.

I’m finally here Mam. You were right it’s beautiful.

We visited Clava cairns today. Cairns and stone circles so beautiful The sun shone. On this magical place the energy of the ancestors who walked before us there was palpable.

I have a feeling I shall be back here many times .

Life is beautiful.

So here I am in Northern Ireland for the first time.
To say it’s been a wonderful weekend is an understatement.
Me my hubby my youngest son his partner and baby flew over to see my eldest son meet his wife and daughter.
I haven’t seen him for eight years.
I think on the build up to coming I experienced every emotion possible.
I was so nervous.
Other than it being so long I have no idea why other than I really wanted it to be perfect.
It really has been.

We have eight children but to have one missing from for eight years was indescribable there was a huge hole in my life. Nothing I could do about it but wait, and hope.

But yesterday the years

just years melted away
No matter how old our children get they are always our babies.
His wife and my youngest son’s partner sat chatting comparing how similar they both are.
Although the lads disagree it was just so wonderful seeing them and their daughters together finally meeting my beautiful granddaughter was a day worth waiting for.
Belfast and everyone we have met have been so friendly.
It’s 4am and I’m lying here blogging looking forward to welcoming them to Wales taking my grand daughters walking together on the mountains.
I can honestly now say I have everything I have ever needed or wanted.
Life doesn’t get much better than this.
Never give up.
Hold out your hands to the universe and believe.
Life is truly beautiful.

Nan

Shouting through her letter box .
Pea soup cooking
Heavy blankets on the big bed.
The archers on the old valve radio
Crazy paving in the garden

Blue lino on kitchen floor.
Tea caddy and aliminium dented tea pot on old pantry shelf.
Whistling kettle on the stove.
Peeling lead on the windows making shadows on the bedroom Walls.stone hot water bottle wrapped in a tea towel
Boxes of swan vesta matches

Brass fireside ornaments
Mirrors that hang on chains.
In their corner they hold captured Victorian painted ladies with parasols furniture polish smelling of lavender.
Lavender tree hanging over the gate.
Rubber spouts on old kitchen taps.
Wooden draining boards and twin tub washing machine.
Tracing paper toilet roll and pink carbolic soap.
Snuffly clever Staffordshire bull terrier to greet us with his tin dish wanting food.
Card games and laughter by the fire for pennies. With cousins.
Bingo at Park Street chip on way home. Cold night air
Head scarfs, blue Mac and walks to the shop for her John player cigs, milk and bread.
Walks to the outdoor for a jug of stout.
Old tins containing buttons black and white photos of memories and stories of her life.
That smell of home of cooking cleaning of love
Fragments pieces of my Nan’s house
Memories of love.

Words are powerful

My out look on life is for the best part always positive.

The power of positive thought and putting things out there to the universe has always been at my core.

Words are so very powerful I have never understood people who are constantly negative if you can’t say something nice shut the f@@k up (quote from my Nan) who was without doubt a wise old northern soul who was a million times wiser than Google.

Anyway it’s very rare that I visit my home town

I have relations there whom I have been estranged from for many years 30 plus.

Believe me I wish things were different but I accept that no matter how hard I try some things just can’t be fixed.

I have a dream sometimes where I am with a particular family member and we are having lunch in a cafe laughing and chatting and everything is as it should be.

It’s so vivid when I wake it’s completely real.

Like the dreams when we loose a loved one when we wake thinking they are still with us. Then we remember and it’s feeling that loss all over again.

You get the picture.

Well anyway I used to believe that maybe in time things would be different but they are not

I went back there. To my home town to see some old friends stay with then for a few nights.

One of my friends own a hair salon. She is a beautiful soul a fabulous hairdresser and if she can help or listen to a client she will.

After chatting one evening she tells me that this particular family member has been into the salon.

She sets the scene

“She’s just so rude” she says.

To all the staff. She’s always the same.

“She sits whilst having her hair cut and bitches about everyone and everything.

Then as she’s leaving she holds open the door and shouts over to my friend

“You know our Joolz,,,

Yes she says

She the precedes to say some awful and terrible things about me and my children.

For all in the salon to hear.

My friend asks her

Why are you saying this?

What do you want me to do with it?

“Tell her she says. I don’t care.

Then off she goes.

I laugh for a minute when I’m told. Nothing she says surprises me but this latest nugget was priceless. What goes on in her head I say.

My friend goes on.

“Joolz I said to my staff how are these two women related I’ll never know.

They are so different.”

I just know that’s how she is.

I don’t try to get into her head. It’s pointless.

To work out why she’s says such terrible and hurtful things.

Because only she knows or maybe she doesn’t.

I resolved along time ago that she won’t hurt me.

But hearing the things she says does hurt, On the drive home I could feel my anxiety level rise. Anger. I stopped on the Moors and allowed myself to feel it all

Recognising that’s the reason why I don’t go back home very often.

The truth is I accept that my dream of us together drinking tea and laughing is just that. A dream

I wake and loose her all over again.

I know she still after all these years is toxic.

But I still wish she wasn’t.

I know there is a lesson somewhere, hers and mine but I’m struggling to find it.

So I’m back home in Wales and I wish her well.

But that tiny peice of me in between dreams still wishes it could be different.

Maybe in another lifetime.

Perfect solitude

I’ve had a few weeks of not leaving the canal unless I really have to.

Calling over to see my Mam in law but other than that I’ve been home in the cottage.

Folk may call for healing or massage but most of the time has been spent writing lots, reading and potching getting things done in the Retreat, grouting tiles cleaning up tile dust, clearing building rubbish from the garden, clearing more bloody tile dust. Where does it hide?

You clean it leave the room come back and there is more.

Tile dust causes bad language I’ll never be rid of it.

Jeff comes home and we do more few friends call at the weekend to help us but other than that I’ve seen very few folk.

No human beings

It’s been heaven!

I wonder how some folk don’t like being alone.

I love it, maybe a little too much.

Social media has made it easier. I can check anyone I care about is okay.

Mobile phones well if anyone really needs me they can ring.

Well they could if I turned on the ringer, I’ll ring back when I’ve finished potching.

I’ve been captured by this magical place it’s like a little island commune like,

Thirty cottages an eclectic bunch we are,

There for each other but not mithered or bothered.

Ducks and geese lots of hooded crows

I can’t imagine living anywhere else.

Surrounded by water, view of the mountain.

Log burner, hubby and cats.

Canalside

Home.

Mental Health Crisis

Psychosis, psychics, self harm, bi polar, scizophrenia , personality disorder,
Melting pot acute ward where there is no pecking order.
Underpaid over worked staff juggle back to back cefn coed hospital disorder
Meds trolleys doles out pills but they can’t numb the pain
Discharge sheets and promises of Oh! you won’t see me on this ward again.
Visitors checked for meow meow speed and weed
For untreated drug habits that the valium can’t feed
Drinks machine spews watery hot chocolate to visiting kids
Mam will be home soon
Mental health part of a broken system no way to live.
Talking therapies please.. your having a joke
ask your consultant again
But his eyes tell a tale of a NHS beyond broke
We are luckier than some views over Swansea bay
Other are shipping off to bridgend
There has to be another way
Cefn coed the big hotel on the hill
Looking over Swansea
Big red bricked Welsh dragon watching out for the vunerable bekoning them inside it’s walls there are beds to fill.

Power

She’s coming into her power…
She no longer believes in the notion of “forgiveness”, because she has asked her higher self, “Who is it that needs to forgive?” The answer that came was, “The part of you that hasn’t seen the perfection yet”

She looks back on her past relationships and she can see the purpose now of her experiences with all those who offended her, hurt her, betrayed her…Or so she thought at the time.
She can now honestly say that she wouldn’t change anything in the past including the heartbreak that caused her to grieve for months and become as thin as a rail…

Including the relationship that was instrumental in her losing her biggest dream and everything that she owned, identified with and loved.

Poof it all went up in smoke and she felt lost and scared but she found more of herself as a result;
She learned how to truly let go
She became softer,
Kinder.
Wiser,
More capable
More humble…
She swallowed her pride and allowed herself to be rescued by others,
She came out of it all with compassion for herself so she could give herself the time she needed (without self reproach), to grieve, heal and pick up the pieces…

She has discovered since, that the Goddess was preparing her for a greater purpose all along, one she wouldn’t have had the courage or the substance to consider before, but now she feels ready to answer the call…

She moves forward with new eyes that can see the love that is obscured in the darkness and she’s feeling gratitude in her heart for all the “seeming” petty tyrants who enabled her to be where she is in this moment…

She has released all the ghosts in her closet and made peace with her past and her past self…

She feels strong and is excited to be discovering what she’s capable of creating and contributing to the world now.

Wild women

Have you ever wondered how you managed to end up in such an odd family as yours? If you have lived your life as an outsider, as a slightly odd or different person, if you are a loner, one who lives at the edge of the mainstream, you have suffered. Yet there also comes a time to row away from all that, to experience a different vantage point, to emigrate back to the land of one’s own kind. Let there be no more suffering, no more attempting to figure where you went wrong. The mystery of why you were born to whomever you were born to is over finished.

Rest for a moment at the bow and refresh yourself in the wind coming from your homeland.

For years women who carry the mythic life of the Wild Woman archetype have silently cried, “Why am I so different? Why was I born into such a strange [or unresponsive] family?” Wherever their lives wanted to burst forth, someone was there to salt the ground so nothing could grow.

They felt tortured by all the proscriptions against their natural desires.

If they were nature children, they were kept under roofs. If they were scientists, they were told to be mothers.

If they wanted to be mothers, they were told they’d better fit the mold entirely.

If they wanted to invent something, they were told to be practical. If they wanted to create, they were told a woman’s domestic work is never done. Sometimes they tried to be good according to whichever standards were most popular, and didn’t realize till later what they really wanted, how they needed to live.

Then, in order to have a life, they experienced the painful amputations of leaving their families, the marriages they had promised under oath would be till death, the jobs that were to be the springboards to something more stultifying but better paying. They left dreams scattered all over the road. Often the women were artists who were trying to be sensible by spending eighty percent of their time doing labor that aborted their creative lives on a daily basis. Although the scenarios are endless, one thing remains constant: they were pointed out very early on as “different’’ with a negative connotation. In actual fact, they were passionate, individual, inquiring, and in their right instinctive minds.

The Awakening.

I am the dream of awakening.

I am the returning of the light.

I am the tough green shoot pushing up through the paving stones, I am the first kiss of sunlight on the unfurling petals of the snowdrop. I am the wind which whispers the gentle pull of home to the migratory bird.

I am the drop of ice melting on the mountainside with its great dream of the ocean.

I am the sap rising in the blossom tree just before it reveals its sticky buds to the sky; I am the riotous celebration humming away beneath the earth’s mantle of frozen sleep.

I am the rousing of the bee from its winter slumber, and the soft pad of the mother-wolf’s paw on the snow as she prepares to birth her pups.

I am hope, potential, rebirth and promise. I am the kindling breath which transforms the flicker of inspiration in your creative core into a blazing torch.

Give me the silent crescent moon rising over the sea and I will build you a bridge of silver light so you can walk up and lie in it.

Give me the frost-hardened wilderness and I will breathe radiant green life over it.

Give me the healer, the writer, the craftsperson and the storyteller, and I will replenish her essence and make her new again.

I am Brigid, Bast, Inanna and Hestia. I am the fierce protectress of the sacred fire.

Tonight I bestow my gifts of power and courage at the hearth of your soul: power to step out of the shadows of self-doubt and negativity which have held you in darkness for too long, power to shed all that which no longer serves you, and courage to clear your heart and mind for the dawn that awaits you.

I am the time to honor your unique gifts for their true worth and to protect and nurture your creative self as you would a child. I am the deep longing of the spirit which refuses to be consumed by a narrative of fear and chooses instead to place itself vivaciously on the side of love.

I am the stirring in your belly which knows exactly what you are capable of – and that it’s time the world found out.

I am the fire within which will not be contained any longer.

I am the quickening, I am the serpent uncoiling, I am Imbolc.

I am the dream of awakening. ❤