The most amazing week.

So we all have places we would love to go ‘one day’ right?

Well I finally got to visit mine.

Is it as amazing as I imagined?

Oh yes and more.

Your wondering where it is?

It’s an island not carrabian or exotic

It’s a beautiful place of white sandy beaches the bluest sea.

Mountains and ancient magical places of the coast of Scotland.

The outer Hebrides.

Lewis.

My reason to come has always been the standing stones of Callanish I’ve traveled all around the U.k but it’s the stones of this island that call to me.

We arrived here on Saturday after the three hour ferry trip.

Did I mention I hate ferries?

Anyway I’ve fallen in love with this island and it’s people.

Rugged coastline mountains and ghost houses that lie abandoned as though one day people just left and didnt return?

Peat fires, Harris tweed oat cakes well you get the picture.

So here is some of the best bits of my very first visit.

I know I’ll be back

To this land of magic and rainbows.

Please share our website

http://www.ravensretreat.wales

Gratitude

The air feels cold this morning.

The light dimmer through the rowan trees.

I lie here in that liminal morning place

Under a cool cotton duvet.

Sleeping cat at my feet.

The alarm bleeps at me to get up.

Today will be a good day I promise

I concentrate on my breath

A blackbird sings reminding me of the beauty of my canal bank

I pull up the wooden blind

And whisper

Thank you

For this new day.

Meltdown in a layby

I hate you grief.

Your cruel and uncaring.

It’s almost a year.

Eight more days.

You’ve poked at me this week.

Reminded me constantly.

I know how long it is since I lost her.

Since I lay beside her.

I have had our grand daughter today.

I brush her hair and sing nursery rhymes

Telling her of her two nanny’s adventures.

She goes home with her dad and I get in my car and head out in the rain.

I’m meeting friends in the next village.

Your there waiting as I pass the old colliery

Hunched craftily waiting in the shadow of the derilict pit head.

Like one of those police sting traps thown infront of my car covered in nails

You make me stop my car and pull over.

I can’t breathe.

There is a screaming a howl from the depths of my soul.

A year

Almost 365 days

It’s raining .

Pouring the mist covers the mountain tops like grey cotton wool.

Like the storm on the bay the day you left my arms.

I miss you.

I sob into the air of this dimension knowing you hear me on the astral.

No one

Not one of my family has ever asked how I am.

Don’t they know that

I’m lonely without you

That I miss you every minute of every day.

For fucks sake I shout

Everyone always thought that I was the strong one

They were wrong

My strength was you Donna.

The rain runs down my windscreen cars wizz past the layby.

Get a grip I tell myself

Grief flows like the rain

As it turns to drizzle

I catch my breath.

Please stop for just awhile .

I dry my eyes as I breathe in i catch my breath as I smell your perfume

Beside me you are always thee at my side.

I take a deep breath and keep going.

It’s the only option I have.

Walk in the sunshine

Walking around the lake today with Mavis her last post op appointment at the vets.
Everything is fine.
Although she’s developed that dog planking thing they do when approaching the vets door and suddenly realizing where they are.
Accompanied with a hysterical bark far too loud for such a tiny dog.
To reassure her I she isn’t staying as we leave i fuss her then walk her across the lake to Jeff’s garage were I’ve left my car.

The lake has outdoor gym equipment surrounded by visiting Canadian geese basking in September sunshine
Middle aged men in office attire attempt to lift themselves pulling and pushing at lime green bars casually walking away after failed out of breath attempts.
I sit on a bench watching mams with kids chase balls dogs and toddlers on scooters dropping quavers and melting ice creams .
Get down, and be careful echos in the warm breeze.
As the mothers smile but silently count down the days to back to school.
Men sit fishing eyes closed multiple rods balenced on stands beside them. Plastic sandwich boxes and flasks of tea
Bright red Rowen berries sicamore seeds and blackberries whisper of autumn and the wheel of the year begining to turn.
I love this time of year.
So many shades of green
I feel so very blessed to live here in Wales
There is truly no where else so beautiful
I am grateful every day.
.

Pre loved magic

I write every day.

In my phone’s note pad.

My work diary on printer paper.

My head is like a theater stage sometimes as I’m driving I’ll have first few lines of a poem float onstage

I’ll pull over to note them down least I forget.

Storytelling and poetry is such an ancient way of learning. Passing on information.

The druids are a good example spoken word.

My other favorite thing is second hand I was going to say clothes but to be fair it’s every thing.

I have an old oak dining table I bartered for at a car boot sale it has four odd chairs.

It’s role has morphed into a desk a very untidy desk!

Paper note books, Books I’m reading there is always more than one.

There is something comforting to me anout old furniture, pre loved that have belonged to other families been a part of other stories now they are part of mine. I especially like it when things don’t match.

Cups and plates I have an old Welsh dresser with beautiful odd china plates and cups

I bought it for our cottage not thinking of how it would fit through the front door ! Everything here is second hand apart from the mattress.

Old cottage, old furniture. Im sure if I added up how much I’d spent it would be under £800 for the whole house.

We live in such a disposable society.

I think if I’ve got a bedroom chest of drawers that does the job why will I ever need to change it.

I love second hand shops, car boot sales charity shops.

All my clothes are pre loved

There is a Fab charity shop by my office

A little old lady runs it raising money for animal charities.

She has a few just a pound rails.

I never fail to find what I need in her shop.

It reminds me of a childrens program from the 70s called Mr Ben.

Mr Ben was an ordenary man he would go into a shop try on a costume then step through the mirror into another world to a new adventure.

That’s how I feel in Jeans shop.

I love it when girls in work comment on some thing Im wearing and I can say it was a £1.00 🤣

Anyway I’m off on a tangent I was asked to a rarther posh awards ceremony few weeks ago.

Our cancer retreat had been nominated.

Everyone going chatted about what they were going to wear.

How much they had paid where it was from.

Hair make up.

You get the picture.

I moaned to Jeff I’m not spending money on something I won’t wear again he laughed well you need something new go shopping he encouraged me.

I hate shopping.

I reluctantly got myself ready for a trip into Cardiff.

But thought I’d call into Jeans shop first.

Off went like Mr Ben looking for a new adventure

I tell her my dilemma as I look through rails of clothes.

nothing ..

I have to admit I was starting to panic.

What if we win an award?

What if I have to get up on stage?

I turn around to leave resigned to fact I have to go into town crowds of people and hassle of car parks

Thanks Jean I say turning to leave then

There behind me on a rail I’m sure I’ve already looked on is a dress.

Bright red.

Bell sleaves it’s stunning

How much is this Jean.

I say holding it against me its perfect.

£5.00 to you darling she says

Have a wonderful evening.

Thank you Jean you saved the day. She laughs

That night I dress put on my red and black boots Wow Jeff says that’s stunning.

Cardiff?

No don’t be silly.

Jeans shop.

We step through that magic mirror and two hours later I stand on stage accepted the beautiful award with my beautiful daughter in law Sarah,

I talk about Ravens retreat the work that we do and my beautiful brave friend Donna. (Sarah’s Mam) this award and everything I do is dedicated to her.

Im surrounded by beautiful women in designer dresses who had spent the day in the salon.

I don’t feel out of place.

I’d spent the day on the mountain and a hour with Jean in her magical shop.

I stood on stage to have a photo Lou whispered joolz I love the red dress.

£5.00 I smiled from jeans shop I just couldn’t resist and i know Donna would approve.