Random girl.

My random girl you are everywhere.Reminders that you’ve left this earthly plane.The cranes on the marina I smile as I hear you sayI hate those cranes why are they pointing this way.I miss you random girl.I drive past Sainsbury’s memories flash like cine filmI hear you beside meI’ll be sitting by the window hurry up I’ve got you a cup of teaI smile to myselfSimple but still .I miss youSinging badly in the carStick throwing for honey never went farWind street the scene of many mad nights out.Transparent vodka as you danced aboutChickoland and queing for taxis in the cold night airOr summer nights sat on huge picnic tables with nutty Russians your favourite cocktail.Pink blaring you knew every word.If someone said three years from now you’d be long gone..I miss youRandom text messages.Can you guess what letter it begins with.Long black hair cheeky smile.Knob was a term of endearment.I miss youThe days of champers and the king’s on the high streetFoam party’s at H2OLong beach walks.Flip flop shoppingDog walkingPainted toe nailsI miss youRandom facts like you loved coffee in take away cups.Drawing in the sand.Walking barefoot on the bay.Writing out names watching the sea wash them away.I miss youSitting on the wall at Barry eating chips.Remos at sunset collecting shellsSand in my car.Pebbles in the glove boxBreakfast at vees cafe.I miss youWatching full moons riseWishing the world would go away.Holidays in the sunWalking on different beaches.Singing and having funDid I say I miss you?Memories of songsWind in our hair boat trips on open seas.Sam Smith sang black and goldYou lay with your head upon my kneeWarm sun kissed skinTime flew by days turned into yearsChildren grew families intertwinedWe were going to be nannies togetherHow could fate be so unkind.Although we knew that time together was running out fast.We packed in so many memories I replay them each day that goes past.I speak of you oftenI talk to you stillI loved you my random girl and know I always will ❤️I miss youI miss meI miss usIf someone said three years from now you’d be long gone..Who knew

Connections like rain drops

So today I went to a spoken word poetry event . One of my favourite venues chilled and friendly. Beautiful old church.

This is the story I told after I’d finished reading I was approached by a lovely lady who is possibly a relation of Matthew the man in the story.

As she spoke I was reminded of what I already know

Without doubt we are all connected. We are a circle within a circle with no beginning and never ending.

Read on tell me what you think?

Ancestor connection.

I worship the old gods of this land the isle of Albion.

I follow the wheel of the year. Tonight the wheel turns it is Samhain eve in a 13c churchyard.

Its 3am and almost a full moon. There is a avenue of yew trees and it’s without one of the most magical places I know.

It’s my favourite place for ritual. The place I come to give thanks, to show gratitude. To talk with spirit.

To think to read. To just to be.

I wonder from my usual path many of the tombstones are overgrown covered in ivy surrounded by knot weed.

Standing back from all the others is an old stone old coffin shaped base it is covered in ivy.

I’m always drawn to it but no details are visible.

I stand in the moonlight. I ask ‘who are you?’

Touching the base of the cold stone.
I start to pick at the ivy..

it has pushed its way into the grey stone clinging green fingers into the details of intricate carved words.

I chant and hum quietly to myself it becomes quite mediative

As I pull at the vines they come away in narly sharp lengths sometimes tiny pieces that cling with remarkable strength.

We are a circle within a circle with no begining and never ending. I sing to my yet unknown companion
Time slips by slowly and the winter sun begins to rise birds begin to sing.

The carved words become visible.
I read out loud. Matthew Goodridge. Age 43
Mellincreethin a shiver runs through me as I read the next line .

Died 31 Oct 1888 Samhain..

Further down I read the names of Matthews daughters .Sarah Anne 14. Tirzah 9.
I catch a glimpse of someone watching me from the avenue of yew trees a tall man he nods smiles politely lifts his cap as he walks slowly through the avenue of sacred yews.

Matthew I whisper.

The sun shines as Celtic new year is born.

I sit there beside Matthew his two young daughters .

I will remember you Matthew.

My samhain ancestor of this place I love.

We are a circle within a circle. With no beginning and never ending.

All of us connected. The stuff of stars.

That was four years ago Matthew.
Your stone stands straight and tall cleared cleaned and cared for.
I remember you often.
This poem is for you.

Your tombstone stands among the rest;
neglected and alone
The name and date are chiseled out
on centuries old welsh stone
It reaches out to all who care
It is too late to mourn
You did not know that I would exist
You died centuries before I was born.
Yet each of us are cells of you. stardust connected
in flesh, in blood, in bone.

Our blood contracts and beats a pulse
entirely not our own.

Dear Matthew goodridge , the place you filled
hundreds of years ago
Spreads out among the ones you left

who would have loved you so.
I wonder of your life you lived of those l loved,
I wonder if you knew
That someday I would find this spot,
and stand here to honour you.

Home is where the heart is. Canals, lakes and waterfalls my town.

I am forever grateful for this small row of cottages and the bank of the tenant canal in South Wales where I live.

I settled here fourteen years ago.

We originally looked a bit further out from the city as houses were cheaper.

I’m so glad we did.

Don’t get me wrong readers of my blog will know we’ve had our fair share of problems massive flood thanks to storm Callum in Oct 2018

But in a way it made me fall in love with this magical place even more.

Family’s helped each other bonds and friendships were made and strengthened

It’s not a posh place to live.

Small two up two down cottages

But it’s paradise to me.

Our home is here.

Our cancer retreat and therapy cabin is here.

Our cats our dog geese swans and birds

Home is where the heart is.

My heart is right here.

For that I’m truly grateful.

http://www.ravensretreat.wales

Stop the clock, open the window cover the mirror

Today has been hard

The lady I have been nursing for almost a year as her soul midwife has possibly only a few days left.

She and I have over the last year become close friends and I know had we met under different circumstances we would have been good friends.

We have so much in common spiritual beliefs, sense of humour and we are both strong minded and stubborn.

Our grand daughters have been friends since baby school they are now 13

Tamika and Jayden both nannys girls.

It was through Jadens Mum I met Karen .

She had told her about my work as a soul midwife and our cancer retreat

I think you will get on she said and passed me her phone number.

She was right .

Karen was streight talking a good looking very proud women. Oh and did I mention stubborn in a very fabulous way.

She had lost her husband two years previously to cancer she had been his princess we sat and chatted about her journey.

At the mention of his name there was always a smile and a story.

He had been her Knight in shining armour

She was determined to stay as well as possible for as long as she could for her boys.

Before I knew it two hours had flown by.

So shall I come back next week? I asked .

Yes she smiled I’d like that and tell Lisa thanks for pointing you my direction.

Just before I got into my car she called me back.

The cancer she said.

Yes?

I told them I don’t want to know how long I have.

What would you do?

I don’t think I’d want to know either I said.

But it’s completely your choice

Someone giving you a time scale on life.

No one really knows.

I’d rather say I’ll die when its my time and I’m ready.

I like that she laughed.

See you next week.

So I’d call in we would chat about anything and everything.

I’d do some reflexology or massage.

We wrote funeral plans and lists.

We put everything in order.

That’s a massive part of my job

It gives back some control and reassures my patients that when the time comes

All their wishes will be honoured

I am a celebrant I trained so that I can confidently offer funeral and wedding services too.

So we plan everything nothing is left to chance

We write wills.

Then when all the serious stuff is sorted

We get on with living.

Quality of life.

Being comfortable.

Getting out and about

Shopping , for coffee.

I’ve even had one lady request we go on a roller coater

Twice! She loved it.

I didn’t

You get the picture.

I spent this evening making memory jewelry from karen’s finger print and her grand daughter jaydens.

It’s solid silver

So that Karen will always be with her.

Karen has been my friend even if only for a short time.

Her grand daughter has been amazing for a thirteen year old.

She has sat chatting with her in the hospice gone out with her on shopping trips.

It’s a joy to see Karen’s face light up when she sees jayden come in.

She told me she isn’t afraid of dying just afraid of not being around for Jayden.

Last Wednesday was her last good day we spent it together laughing drinking tea and watching T.V I put he in bed before I left and tucked her in.

As I kissed her head she caught hold of my hand.

You’ve been my nurse and my friend she said smiling at me I love you Joolz and I want to thank you.

No thanks needed I kissed he head again try to get some sleep and I’ll see you in the morning

Night mam she joked.

I walked out into cold October air and a tear ran down my cheek.

Let it be peaceful I asked the universe.

The next morning I walked into her room towel over my arm to wash her hair how did you sleep I asked.

She looked at me blankly.

Talking about painting the ceiling and how wiccans and dwarfs were playing rugby for Wales.

My heart sank.

Last stages of liver cancer often present a dementia like confusion

I sat by her holding her hand.

joolz it’s you! I’m sorry I can’t go shopping today.

I kissed her forehead.

That’s fine I reassured her the weather is awful let’s rest today we can go next week.

I called the doctor to her as I rang her family.

Things changed quickly.

36hrs later I received that call can you come back to the hospice Joolz it’s time.

My clothes are ready I’m dressed in minutes. Kiss my husband goodbye and step out into the cold night air.

As I’m walking to the car I’m ringing her son’s to tell the the news as I then drive to pick up her Jay grand daughter.

All of this has been planned.

Everyone knows it isn’t set in stone you have no idea how you will feel.

when ‘that’ phone call comes.

As I pull up outside the house jay comes out the image of her nan in younger years

As she gets in the car I ask ar you sure you want to come?

She’s stubborn just like her nan I know the answer

She nods and we head to the Hospice.

The roads are empty she looks at me and asks.

“Joolz what will it be like?”

How do you answer that

Shes 13 her nanny’s girl.

She’s sleeping I say, hoping I can find the right words.

She can still hear you. Talk to her tell her your there.

Hold her hand.

If at any point you need to leave the room that’s okay.

However you want to do this it’s okay.

She nods and we pull into the car park.

She is lying in bed much the same as when I left her last night

Breathing heavier I kiss her gently on her forehead

Ive brought your girl I tell her taking her hands from under the blanket

I sit her son’s beside her jay sits holding her hand gently like precious porcelain.

Im here nan she says.

I remember her as a cheeky four year old no teeth full of mischief slurping jelly at my granddaughters birthday party.

When did she bloom into this beautiful caring strong young.

My heart breaks for her.

I tell them all I’ll just be outside for ten mins to give them some time to say the things they need to.say.

Tell her anything you want I say. I’m right outside the door.

As I come back in I stand back and take in the picture before me.

Hands holding hands words softly spoken a room filled with love.

I sit beside Jay.

We silently watch her breathing slow her youngest son looks at me and asks is she going .

I nod

I love you mam he sobs .

It’s okay my friend You can go now, Leon is waiting.

At 5.45 she leaves us peacefully.

This passing was beautiful. A family holding vigil no pain as she quietly stepped from the earth plane to spirit plane .

I can’t help but feel my world will be a little less bright without her in it.

I kiss her gently and whisper safe journey home my beautiful friend.

As I picture her husbands joy at having her back in his arms.

His princess.

Goddess bless you Karen ❤️

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Gratitude, simple things, amazing inspiring people

I’m lying here in bed thinking about my day.Incase this is the first of my posts you have read I’m a soul midwife / therapist I run Ravens Retreat.I provide care, support, nursing and therapies for cancer patientsI have a little cottage that I offer free breaks in for cancer patients and their families.Yes you heard right FREE.No catch.It’s my service to the community and my goddess.How do I fund it?I work full time for the NHS community mental health team.It’s the only way to pay the bills and run the cottage.Not ideal I know but until I find someone who can help me apply for grants and fund raise (we are registered as a non profit company)I’ve no choice.This means I work a 70+ hour week.And I juggle between the two.So today .I go to see a lady I’m working with in the HospiceShe has stage 5 cancer stomach, lymphatic, liver.Final stages she’s 56 I took her into the Hospice four weeks ago they thought she may not last the night.She’s still here a true warrior over the past 14 months we have become good friends.Today as I go into her room she is sleeping I sit quietly besides her. He skin and eyes are yellow she has lost so much weight I pick up a book we have been reading.She opens her eyes and smiles at me “Joolz”Why didn’t you wake me?You looked so peaceful I say and I’m not in any rush.Within a min she is sitting upright giving me instructionsI smile as I get her a cup of tea, make sure it’s ….Strong and hot I laugh..You know me well she says.I put her in her wheel chair and we go down to the sunshine lounge.We sit and chat whilst I do a reflexology treatment on her feet.Rose oil surrounds usCan you do my shoulders she asks..Of course I rub oil into her back a tattoo of an all seeing eye looks back at me she loves all things Egyptian.She takes great pride in making me laugh at the fact she had visited Egypt many times but has never seen a prymidI’ve had a good life she says.But this now is no life is it?My hands are on her shoulders she places her hands on mine .Thank you she says.Your welcome I whisper.I push her back around to her room telling her I will be calling in on her grand daughter on way home to take a mould of her finger print.It’s to make a silver memory necklace I will place her finger print with her granddaughters and put it on a silver chain.Can you put nan on back of my print she asksOf course I say.Keep your eye on her when I’m gone she says.I catch my breath.My grand daughter and hers are friends.I squeeze her hand I will .I fix her bed and help her in.Pull the covers up around her neck as she likes them and tuck her in.I’m so tired she smiles at me closing her eyes.I kiss her gently on her head. See you tomorrow.If you need me in the night ring I say as I’ve said every dayShe smiles thank youNight night MammyShe laughs.As I walk away pull her door shutWalk out into cold December air I’m beyond thankful for my small part in her journey.It’s a privilege to walk with her to the end of this path.Such an amazing beautiful soul.Working with end of life patients changes your way of thinkingI am truly grateful every day for all that I have my health my familySometimes when I have colleagues or friends who are complaining about trivial problems I can help but ask them to role play with me.Okay I say. I’m the doctorI’m sorry to tell you that you have a terminal illness and have six to twelve months to live.The reaction bis almost always the same.WHAT…remember this is only role play.But very real for some people.Now think do the small things matter?What would you do if you only had six months?Would you be more great full ?Would you heal old wounds ?Hold grudges.See more of those you care about.You get the picture.I know life can sometimes be hard.But remember it is always beautiful.Look for the joy.Gratitude is the key to happiness.

❤️

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Eric.

I was almost nineteen when I met Eric he was forty seven.

I had a daughter who was sixteen months old and I was almost three months pregnant.

I had just come back to my hometown.

After running away from my abusive husband from the north of England Id gone to stay with friends in west Wales

I’d began to relax until he knocked on the door of the flat I was staying in.

I remember how loud my heart had sounded banging i my head as I heard him banging on the door.
He had found us.

It was no use fighting him

He dragged me down two flights of stairs by my hair.

My daughter in my arms

His eyes were wild

He spat at me beat me and made me feel worthless my life was a mess.

It was a five hour drive home. I nursed my baby girl stared out of the window

Soon the green mountains of wales became the red brick council houses of the estate where I grew up.

I was back as I got out of the car my father walked across from his house. Swaying smell of beer and cigarettes.The reason is left home was him but as my Nan said I’d jumped out of the frying pan into the fire.

“You’ve made your bloody bed lie in it.” He hissed I was numb. No one could save us.

After a week back home and another argument with my husband I’d wrapped up my daughter in her pram and gone out to walk around the estate where we lived to get her to sleep.

It was an old burgandy corduroy tansad pram heavy and sturdy it was a windy afternoon so I put the hood up and walked past the woods wind blowing my long hair.

I walked down to the bottom shops then back.up past the church

The vicar was mowing the grass of his big house next to st David’s he stopped and smiled.

Feeling arkward I put my head down carried on walking Cheryl was asleep tiny rosebud lips and long eyelashes she was perfect I hated the way we lived but I didn’t have anywhere else to go I’d tried women’s hostels, Wales but he always found me.

Where would it end I thought as I pulled the pram up the steps to the house.I pushed the tansad into the living room.

It was quiet quicky opened the pram scooped Cheryl into my arms and stealthily tip toed upstairs placing her into her cot gently covering her up shushing her as I shut the bed room door behind me .

Rushing back down stairsThere is a huge bang.

I jump as he begins to shout.I pathetically beg him to stop.Please don’t .

You’ll wake the baby .

The smell of whisky hits me first

Then his fist.

My head hits the post at bottom of the stairs

I struggle to my feet.

Taste of iron in my mouth

I’m still begging him thinking of my baby in her cot.

I have to keep him down stairs .He has me by the hair .

Snarling at me spit showering my face as he opens the front door to throw me out.

Im thrown out of the door onto the concrete path hands scraping scrambling to get up

To get back inside to my baby .

His back is to me he is walking into the living room where I have left the pram.

I watch in horror as he picks it up and launches it through the large living room window.

In slow motion it lands on its hood 20 minutes before my baby was in it.

He hadn’t know that I’d taken her out.He could have killed her.

I’m trying to stop him going upstairs.

I’m hitting him he’s laughing

Then suddenly there at the open front door is the man who has recently moved in across the road.

He looks calm as he tells me to come away.

Stand here he says by me.

It’s sureal.

Jeff looks startled.Who the fuck are you ?

Get out of my house .

Still the man from across the road stands firm.

I move towards himIs this how you treat your women up here?

He’s saying.My husband swings for the man.

Eric he says to me.

I’m Eric.

He hits my husband and throws him into the living room that’s covered in splintered glass.

The pram in the garden where is your baby?

Upstairs I sob.

He hits Jeff again

He is curled up in a ball.

Our dog is barking

Come on then Eric is saying or don’t you hit men?

He picks Jeff up and throws hm down the path

A police car pulls up and a familiar lady police officer gets out .

She looks at me I look at the floor.

Jeff is shouting about Eric atacking him.”The police officer puts her hand on my arm did he do this ?”

We’ve been here before she asks I say no because if I say yes Jeff has told me he will kill me.

Yes I stutter.

Yes he did and he attacked Eric.

Jeff runs at me .

Police man grabs him throws him against the car.

Bloody maniac Eric’s saying.

Can we take you to hospital she asks?

I’ll take her says Eric.

Is that okay she asks

Yes I say I’m going to be okay.

Because I know I will now.

That was the very beginning.He was 28 years older than me.

Just come back to his home town after a broken marriage and a break down.

He knew how afraid and vunerable I was

He helped me pick up glass board up windows

Change locks.Then he slept on my sofa

Supported me to get back on my feet.

He would wake me singing cliff Richard living doll.

You can’t have another baby he said to me gently after a week

You can’t look after yourself.

Your only a few months if you tell the hospital about the beatings they will help.I was horrified.

I’m keeping my baby I sobbed.

Then I’ll help you he smiled.

He took me to anti natal

Drove me to appointments.

Stayed in my house.Is he your Dad?

The midwife asked.No he’s Eric was all I could say.

I was still terrified of anything happening to my daughter.

I refused to have my baby in hospital.

It’s dangerous my doctor warned it’s a big baby.

I’ll be there said Eric I’ll.look after you.I moved to the other side of town new start

Eric had bought a van and had started a furniture removal business.

I had a lovely little house Eric was still poping in and out he put up fences layed a lawn created a beautiful garden.

Cheryl started nursery life was better.

When I woke early hours of morning 7th August 1986 I phoned Eric first then the midwife.

I’m scared I told him as I opened the door.

He kissed my forehead you can do this and again I knew I was going to be okay.

The midwifes and my doctor came Eric held me as I pushed my beautiful baby boy into the world he was 12lb 9oz’

Put the chip pan on for this lad he’s got a tooth!’

Laughed my doctor.Well done

I looked at Eric tear running down his cheek

Come here to your Dad he said as he held my baby.

In that second an unbreakable bond was madeEric had saved me when he had come back from stoke on Trent

He was a good man

My daughter held her new brother and named him Matthew.

Followed a few years later by Michael.

Eric idolised each of my children and they him

Who was it who said blood is thicker than water never met Eric.

Our children grew up we went our separate ways but aways remained friends

Matthew met and married a Belfast girl.

Eric by this time was 76

Michael would go to stay with Eric take him fishing help him around the house.

Cheryl would stay in the school holidays with her daughter. He was her dad from the minute he walked into our door as she slept in her cot upstairs.

He couldn’t have loved her and the boys any more than he did.

He started to shows signs of dementia.

Which over five years got worse.

He still lived in the family home he had come back to all those years before .He needed help now

It was decided Matthew would take him to Ireland.

To a purpose built dementia unit atound corner from his house erics own flat.

It broke Cheryl and mike’s heart to see him go but I know it was the best decision.

I went over last week to see them.

My six foot son helping his Dad walk slowly with his walking frame.

I remembered Eric proudly pushing Matthew in his pram.

That big man who saved us.

There with the baby he had held minutes after he was born

That’s what makes a dad.

Not blood but love.

Thank you Eric we saved each other x

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Belfast, titanic, making memories.

This is my second visit to Belfast. We are visiting my son and his family Natalie and my grand daughter Hattie.

It’s nine months since our last visit.

Too long .

So today Matthew has organised a trip to Titanic Museum it has been awesome.

Belfast is such a beautiful city with friendly beautiful people the weather has been kind and I’ve pinched myself a few times reminding myself how lucky I am.

My grand daughter Hattie such an easy going polite little girl an absolute joy to be with but oh how they grow up far too quickly

Lunch in the cathedral quarter at a beautiful little restaurant called Made in Belfast .

The vegan choices are stunning.

Then back to our hotel.

I’m lying here reflecting on a perfect day

I’m truly grateful for all that I have.

Family and health are everything.

Memories I shall treasure. ❤️

Cancer Retreat. Day dreams and storm Callum

I need a plan.

Or a twin.

As you know I work as a Soul midwife (end of life care)

I live on a canal bank in South Wales

A small row of 19 terraced cottages.

We have lived there 12 years

It’s always been a dream to buy another cottage on our row to run as a Retreat.

For Cancer patients & mental health patients.

You see I work full time too for the community mental health team.

Now you see why I need a twin.

Anyway I digress.

So I’m working full time then two years ago a cottage goes up for sale

Well I have been asking the universe.

Problem is it’s out of my price range 90k I was gutted. It was perfect needed work but nothing we couldn’t do ourselfs.

Never mind says my hubby Jeff.

It will happen and we carry on dreaming no one moves into the empty cottage and six months later I spot the estate agent coming out of there.

‘Excuse me’ is it back on the market? I ask.

He smiles yes the doors still open come in and have a look around.

I step inside out of the rain

Its very magnolia I say. It’s had a few coats of paint and cheap cord carpet but there’s no damp which is amazing for an old cottage and it’s bigger than our house.

I walk upstairs and I’m visualising the door sign

‘Ravens Retreat’

“How much”?

60k he says

“What?”

I know he says I’d offer 55k.

I’m stunned it was previously on for 90k

“Okay I say without thinking ill offer 55k”

He looks up from his clipboard.

“Its not advertised yet.

Do you want me to ring the vendor?”

“Yes please” I say assertively

Appearing confident whilst in my head I’m wondering if I can get a mortgage.

He walks into the kitchen chatting on his I phone.

I close my eyes and ask the universe.

“Please let it be” as I open them he comes striding back into the lounge

“Congratulations he accepted your offer, who is your solicitor?

He shakes my hand and I follow him outside onto the tow path.

Ill be in touch he smiles

Im thrilled, scared, and wondering what just happened?

Thank you I whisper to the universe.

As I dial my hubby Jeff.

“Hi love I say as he answers .

Guess what I just bought?”

“A cottage no 28”

There’s a pause. He laughs.

“I need a mortgage and a deposit I carry on. ”

I don’t doubt you’ll get one he laughs you always find a way,

I ring a mortgage advisor he comes out the next evening i can’t see a problem he says and everything is a little sureal.

I find a local solicitor and few weeks later end of Feb it snows my daughter is over to visit so we walk down to no 28 to look around.

“mam looks like there’s a leak in the kitchen from flat roof. ”

We call the estate agent and sure enough there’s a damp patch ceiling and wall.

Im wondering how much it’s going to cost.

Can you ring the vendor I ask?

He drops the price by 4k mor than fair and a month later on 30th march day before my birthday 2017 we complete.

Cosmic ordering at its best.

Im thrilled.

The hard work begins. Painting furnishing all on a shoe string. We divide the garden in half deck outside the back door and plan to use the other half to build a therapy cabin.

I think back to that kid that was me my father called me “gunner” because I was always gunner do something or other. Always day dreaming. Always going to live in Wales.

I smile he I am with my hubby still dreaming with a man who never doubts me and helps me build them and again I thank the universe.

I have a beautiful oak door sign made “Ravens Retreat”

Register as a C.I.C

(Community interest company) non profit.

And we provide our first free cancer breaks

People love the idea .

Now I’m still working full time and still working as a soul midwife.

Running the cottage and providing free therapies.

We had been open five months cue storm Callum.

The street is evacuated but we don’t leave as the flood waters rise praying that the rain will.stop.

It doesn’t.

Ravens Retreat is flooded.

The cottages are so old that the drains can’t deal with the flood waters the drains back flow through toilets sink baths and up through the floor.

Its heartbreaking all our hard work.

We throw out furniture carpets the whole kitchen and hack off plaster

Our beautiful Retreat is a building site.

We are doing all the work ourselves, from pay check to paycheck it takes us nine months we work all day and work on the retreat in the evening.

Fall into bed then do it all again the next day.

I have days when I wonder if theres an end to it.

Then in June 2019 we re open.

Im so happy .

So proud our first cancer break is a good friend of mine who has just finished radiotherapy and another friend who is still undergoing chemotherapy.

Four of them arrive and as they walk in look around the sun is shining and they love it.

Suddenly everything is worthwhile.

We have provided many more free holidays this year.

Our therapy cabin is almost finished.

I’m looking for funding to get things finished it will make such a difference.

Then hopefully one day soon can give up my full time job consentrate on my soul midwife work.and the Rtreat.

Dreams really do come true.

This one did. ❤️

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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.

Dandelion wishes

Come with me on a journey

A journey back in time

To a northern council estate the year is 1979.

Hi I’m Joolz Im fourteen and I live here on this estate

People say it’s a bad place but I love it.

My garden gate opens onto a woodland

It’s a magical place with Oak Ash and Rowen.

My favorite flower grows here

Can you guess what it is?

It’s a Dandilion.

I know! My mam calls them wee in beds.

But I really love them.

They are beautiful bright yellow just like sunshine.

Then after the flower you get a magical dandilion clock.

Each seed is a wish.

And each wish is a chance.

Everyone needs a chance.

So it’s a bright Sunday morning in May.

I’m creeping down the stairs

I can hear mam and Dad shouting and arguing..

About beer and money.

They are always arguing.

I open the door to the kitchen

There on the yellow Formica top table is Dad’s old Holborn tobacco tin

Lid half off

My dog Toby is under the table in his box furiously wagging his tail

It twacks against the table leg.

Shhh Toby I say patting his head Dad will hear.

I slowly turn the back door knob holding my breath

They are still shouting

I step out into the porch sun is shining brightly the smell of Sunday dinners and cut grass wafts over the Hawthorne hedge.

I can see my old blue grifter bike leaning on the back gate

I step into the sunlight

Frank next door is mowing his lawn

Up and down he walks

Strieght narrow lines

Like his strieght narrow life

He sees me and stops.

Folds his arms over his chest and asks

‘Are they at it again?’

I cringe and ignore him and he carries on mowing.

I’m half way down the path.

The old oak tree casts a huge shadow trying to hide me.

I get to my bike.

Hold onto the handles and jump onto the seat.

The back door opens.

Where the bloody hell do you think your going lady ?

Dad booms…

My heart beats faster.

I stutter.

Er I .

I won’t be long Dad I manage.

I start to peddle.

As fast as I can.

I know these paths like the back of my hand.

Faster and faster I go.

Over knobbly tree roots.

Bike bouncing this way and that .

Im heading for the bottom.field

Dappled sunlight through the canopy of trees

There ahead of me an arch way of light

As the bike busts out into the bright sunlight

I’m momentarily blinded

Then a sudden thwack!

I’m.thrown from my bike.

Ahhhhh.!

I cry as I hit the ground.

Half on the the grass half on the path

I look up squinting into the sun blood on my hands and grass stains on my jeans my mama going to kill me .

I look around expecting to see Dad and get another smack.

But there staring back at me if isn’t Dad.

It’s a boy around my age

He has the most beautiful brown eyes

He’s apologizing.

I’m sorry, so sorry he says

He is pointing at a leather football

The same ball that has knocked me off my bike.

That’s not a northern accent.

He sounds like my French teacher

He holds out his hand to me

I’m.sorry he says again.

I’m Jean Claude .

You?

Joolz I say holding out my hand and he pulls me up.

I’m running the gravel from my hands.

He picks up my bike hands it to me.

I have a bike he says.

Come and beckons me to follow.

And I do.

French boy where did you come from?

What are you doing here.

This is a northern council estate.

You can’t possibly be a sightseer.

French kid sent here to be educated

Scruffy council estate kid

Both square pegs both needing to fit.

That summer was the best ever.

We were friends.

We went bike riding.

Climbed trees

Skinny dipping.

Went for picnics with biscuits and pop.

He threw stones at my bedroom window

We would like on the grass watching stars

He made me Daisy chains from dandilions

And gave me butterflies for the first time.

Now fast forward to November.

It’s bonfire night

Can you believe French kids don’t do bonfire night .

I’ve arranged to meet him.at 6 o click on the church wall.

I’m so exited I run through the woods I can see my breath in the air.

It’s do cold the air is filled with smell of smoke and I see him sitting on st David’s church wall he’s smiling that big smile and waving

He jumps off the wall.and puts his arm around my shoulders.

We fall into step.

We walk towards the community centre

Chatting and laughing.

As we approach we see the bonfire standing tall like a fiery piramid.

Old doors leaning around it’s sides

It’s huge he says as we get closer I look up.as Sparks rise like fire flies.

The sky is clear and inky black .

Look look.st the moon she is full says John .

You see her. That is the same moon my mother will see outside my house over the sea.

It is so beautiful there

One day I will take you there

He pulls me closer to him.and I smile.

I believe him

One day I will.go with him.away from this place we have planned it

Then suddenly there is a smash and a crash and a dirty pint glass

A voice shouts hey nigger lover.

Time stops

I’m dragged kicking and screaming away from my brown eyes boy.

I scream bite and fight.

There is a sound of shots is it a fire work it sounds like dad’s shotgun

I can taste blood.

Smell beer it reminds me of dad.

Suddenly I’m free.

I crawl back towards the fire.

Calling whimpering his name.

He is there laying on his side I grab his arm

Those beautiful brown eyes full of terror

Joolz he whispers

Blood on his face.

Get up . Get up I beg.

Our crime beautiful brown eyed black boy.

Brown eyes white girl

Do we not bleed the same colour blood.

Our hearts best the same terrified beat.

As holding onto each other we stagger to our feet and stumble to a house across the street

French boy where did you come from.

What are you doing here

This is a northern council estate you can’t possibly be a sightseer.

Blue flashing lights and ambulance comes to take us away.

Hospital cleans up the blood stitches us up.

But can’t stop my brown eyed boy from going away.

Back to the Sayshelles his island and family in the sun.

And me northern council.estate kid I stay here on the street where our story began

Bunches of dandilions..

Simple wishes

But just one that matters

(blow……)

Let the world see there is no colour to LOVE.

Climbing mountains

Some people your meant to meet.

Our first cancer break this year was in June. The cottage was back up and running and the break was gifted to an old friend of mine Viv.

A lass from my home town she had recently finished 20 plus weeks of radiotherapy at claterbridge hospital for two agresive tumours in her neck.

She is one of the most funny hard working and kind people i know

So I was beyond relieved when the news came she was in the clear.

So Viv and her partner Julie were coming back to.the canal.

The week before they were due to come I received a message from a mutual.friend Sharon

Asking how many bedrooms are in the retreat?

She asks if she can come down the same time as Viv and Julie her friend Bex has cancer she has two young children and is struggling she’s terminal

Yes of course she can come you and Bex can have a week to yourselves I tell her.

But Sharon goes on to tell me she has a broken foot can’t drive and so if they can all come together that would we better.

So after discussing it with Viv and Julie

They all meet up and agree to come together.

Now as I said they are from my hometown.

Salt of the earth so we go into overdrive to make sure everything is perfect for them this is our grand opening after the flood damage.

I was a little worried about the journey here they were coming in Sharon’s beetle

Julie driving as Sharon has a big boot on protecting her foot.

Thankfully they arrived safely but tired .

Bex fitted in from the start.

Bear in mind that I’d known the others for 20 plus years

Funny, bubbly with a wicked sense of humour.

She was so relieved to get away from ‘ cancer’ to just be Bex on holiday with the girls.

We sat around my fire pit on warm evenings drank red wine laughed lots shared stories hopes dreams

Went over to vivs favorite place the mumbles had lunch and sat by the sea.

Lost Sharon’s car keys spent a hour looking for them

Found them in a flower bed 🙈🤣

Bex said she wanted to walk up a mountain she was wearing a back brace due to weakness caused by cancer so Everest was out of the question.

But the tide was out and the light house stood on a small mountain.

Fancy that I asked nodding at the small mountain.

She laughed do you think I’ll make it up?

Yeah why not.

Go on then I prompted..

You not coming with me she asked..

If you want me to or do you want time on your own?

She smiled and off she went.

I sat on beach with my baby grand daughter and watched her become smaller and smaller as she climbed up towards the light house

Viv Julie and shaz where on the pier I walked up to them

Look I sad pointing at the tiny figure striding purposely up towards the light house.

The three of us watched as she got to the top.

Stood beside the light house sun shining wind in her hair

Arms outstretched to the sky .

This is what the retreat is about I thought

I felt so proud of her.

She stood up there for awhile then took her time walking back across the causeway.

She almost shone.

That was amazing she said.

I was just ME with the wind in my hair .

That’s the picture of her I shall keep in my head that day by the light house.

The rest of their time with us flew by.

Viv and Bex had healings and reflexology.

Although trying to get Viv to relax is a task in itself

And all too soon they were leaving with another holiday booked with us

Hugs and kisses exchanged and they drove off the canal top down on the car singing to the radio four beautiful lasses with so much to give.

Since then Bex got married went to Italy and sadly cancer became more aggressive.

She never lost that warrior spirit raising £670 having her hair cut last week for the retreat.

I bloody love that canal.she told me on video chat.

I’ll be back watch out for me.

I don’t doubt you will I laughed .

She died yesterday peacefully in her beloved Liverpool.

She knew it was time

I’m so glad I met her what a girl.

I see her smiling wind in her hair on top of a mountain.

You asked me when we were doing your healing what I believed.

I told you energy can’t die. It can only go on.

I like that you said.

You were a bundle of beautiful energy Bex.

See you on the canal soon my friend.

Flashback letter..

I know what the books and therapists say about flashbacks

I don’t disagree.

Every theory is valid in its own way.

But spiritually I look for lessons in everything.

So I try to make some sort of sense of everything.

The flash backs started Donna when you left.

Trauma they say .

I know that and I can hear you singing beautiful Trauma by Pink to me.

Typical.

So I decided to ask for help.

Nhs Oçcy health was my starting point.

It couldn’t hurt could it?

Making an appointment to see a counselor?

I could always change my mind.

I almost did first appointment as I drove up to Singleton hospital I was tempted to drive past keep going to the mumbles to sit on that rock you liked by the sea.

I could people watch maybe?

I was too early sat in the car.

What are you doing I asked myself get a grip I need coffee.

I walked up stairs thinking about the last time I was here in that corridor was with you

Going for a scan 7.30pm

You laughed as you sat in hospital gown it was on back to front bloody exhibitionist 🤣

Should be in the cross keys not sat here it’s 2 for 1 cocktails

Nutty Russian I could just drink one now if my liver wasn’t fucked you laughed just as they shouted your name.

I squeezed your hand three times .

Me to you said.

I smile at the woman now typing I’m here to.see Adrian I say

Take a seat I pour myself a water wishing it was a large gin and t and look at the door.

A smiley man steps out of the office and before I know it I’m sat in a tiny room that really could be a large cupboard

It smells like burnt fish fingers it’s really hot and I’m menopausal. The fan is crap

I’m babbling and apologizing.

He asks be the standard how do you feel questions on scale of 1-5. There isn’t a question that asks where are you at moment if there were I’d tell him im completely lost.

He’s a nice guy. Genuine I hear you beside me.

Tell him . It’s okay.

And so I do.

I tell him everything I think if I say it all at once it’s out there.

Floating about the universe.

Real.

He can start to help me pick up the pieces

Or section me 🤣

Mental health workers are shit at talking about their own shit. Or is that just me.?

He listens and we agree on a plan

You’d like him Donna

I’ve seen him three times now.

Its helping I feel safe

He asked me today what would I say to my father’s voice

I didn’t really know.

But it’s given me something to think.about

I’d tell him that nothing he has ever said will break me.

That everything that Donna held for me hadn’t died with her I have trusted someone else.

I don’t have secrets.

I’d tell him im sometimes sad that he didn’t get to know me.

That I accept all the things I wanted he wasn’t capable of giving me.

He didn’t know how

I’d tell him that’s okay.

I’d ask him to stop shouting

Stop being angry

That I hope next time around he has a better life.

That I send him healing.

That I remember good things like him holding the back of the old blue bike saddle teaching me to ride a bike .

I remember crying because a black bird was stuck in a bramble bush and begging him to save it.

Watching him push his arm in holding the frightened bird then letting it go

Scratches and blood

As we walked home he told me that the bird had gone to tell.all it’s friends it had been saved because of me.

I’d tell him that no matter how hard life is it is always beautiful.

That I wouldn’t change a day.

That I’m so blessed in my little cottage by the water in Wales kids geese ducks dog cat and a man I love.

This is my paradise.

I’d ask him if he remembered me saying I’d live in Wales one day when I was a kid.

He would call me Gunner…

Because I was always Gunner do this or that.

Power of positive thought.

The universe listens

Expect amazing and get amazing.

Dad that’s what I’d tell you

So I can’t listen to your negativity.

It no longer serves me.

I’ve been so very tiered

Lost

But I’m.getting there

Yes Donna as bloody usual.you were right I needed someone in my corner someone with the right words

I’ll get there . I’m too bloody stubborn not too.

I’d sign my letter wishing you love healing and light.

Because you taught me Donna that’s all there is.

There is nothing else

Only love ❤️

Fire pit reflection

Does the weather or season affect your mood? It’s April springtime in Wales

Although it has rained a few times this weekend that’s okay the rain is what makes Wales such a lush green beautiful place.

I love this time of year everything is waking up tiny Hawthorne leaves dafodills in their yellow dresses, the ivy seems to boast a new brighter shade of green, the trees on the mountains no longer bare they are dressed in new clothes swaying in the breeze welcoming crows who caw and dart to and fro gathering twigs and straw to build this year’s nests warm and safe surrounded by new leaves and a warmer breeze.

Baby shrews scurry along the canal bank chased by my black cat Luna who also loves the rebirth of spring for different reasons. The nights are lighter.

I’ve spent the weekend clearing my cottage garden building a fire in the fire pit sitting reflecting watching the late sunset.

I feel my mood is starting to lift. It’s been a hard challenging year. The loss of my best friend Donna floored me and I miss her everyday I’ve chatted away to her as I always did tell her what’s happing and all about having to rebuild our Retreat and how its taken it’s toll.

But I’ve discovered some amazing people strangers who have become new friends.

My relationship with my husband Jeff we’ve never had an easy ride but he’s my rock and I his. We are , complete opposite but I can’t imagine me without him at times this year we’ve wondered if there was a light at the end of the tunnel as we would complete one job on the retreat something else would come up.

But yesterday we finished the floor tiling all the way through the cottage hard graft when your doing it after work and weekends singlehandedly whilst also building a shower room and fitting a kitchen

So last night I sat by the fire pit in my little piece of paradise and gave thanks to the universe.

For lessons learned and strength and patience I didn’t know we had.

For good friends chosen family and rebirth of this coming year.

I’m here holding out my hands and trusting. I’m ready for whatever it brings

With the quiet knowledge that this is a new chapter.

I’ll go back in times of reflection and reread the older chapters for without them I wouldn’t be here now.

Sat by the fire watching a black cat look up at the sky. Feeling warm and grateful for all that I am.

Stillborn still Loved

I didn’t get to wake every morning and kiss your precious tiny face;
or whisper mammy loves you to make you feel safe
I was never allowed to hold you tight
when you couldn’t sleep at night
I didn’t get to sing to you a sweet lullaby,
to calm you down when you cried
I didn’t get to fall asleep with you in my arms,
all swaddled in a crochet blanket to keep you snug warm
I didn’t get to hear you laugh and giggle
or see you little tiny baby toes wiggle
There are many things I didn’t get to do,
But my tiny still born but still loved babies mammy never stopped loving or remembering you

True Healers

True Healers have walked a gauntlet ~

By the time someone stands before them, to receive healing ~ You can guarantee they have experienced it themselves.

If not exactly the same experience, then they feel your pain themselves,which makes it possible to help you ~

True Healers have seen things, they would never want for others to see ~
This is how Healers stand without fear. ~

Some real serious things take place, which is one reason a Healers Heart is full of Unconditional Love ~

Healers know, before you even stand before them, they already know, they feel it, emotionally, physically and Spiritually.

Their connection to other realms, have shown them everything, they have stood before some pretty nasty looking energy forms.

They have battled for your Soul. ~ The reason they keep going. ~

To help is their path. No matter how much they would simply want to stop, it is not a choice for them. ~
True Healers do not seek fame or recognition, they have no ego attached to what they do. ~
They are quiet, caring, and usually keep to themselves, so that they can breathe and rest. ~
It’s a hard road, one that shows people for who they are, so they can walk their talk. ~

Love, compassion, truth and light surround them.

When you need Healing, they appear before you.

Will you recognize them?
Will you show them Honour and Respect?

They ask for nothin more than equal exchange!!!
Be thankful they are survivors, true modern day warriors, they are of the four nations, all know from the beginning of time. ~

No judgement of others faith, because that’s what it’s all about
LOVE UNCONDITIONAL. ~

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

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.

Estranged

Almost nine years since I saw my eldest son being estranged from a grown up son or daughter is indescribable.

Knowing waiting is the only thing you have is heart breaking.

A friend once said to me ,”birthdays and Christmas must be hard”

Yes they were but it is much more than that

I have three children and five of my husband’s eight in total Lots of grandchildren.

They are all so very different when they all turn up it’s like the Walton’s!

If your under 30 you may have to Google them 🙈

Anyway my point is they are all individuals I love them all dearly

Matthew was always the one who would ring his Mam. Every other day, everyday sometimes when he was on tour in the army in Iraq he would Skype or send e blueys little blue letters. He always kept in touch so we would chat about everything.

I’d tell him everything. We were so alike sense of humor,liked same food well you get the picture.

So when suddenly he stopped calling then refused to see me I was distraught.

No reason absolutely no idea why

That’s hard to imagine I know what your thinking if you knew him so we’ll you must have an idea.

Well I didn’t and that’s what was so bad my kids can come to me with anything.

He wouldn’t talk to his sister or brother about it I thought my heart would break.

So every time something happened a baby born, a holiday, my dog saffie was I’ll. Talking about my other childrens childhood of course there was memories of Matthew too he was always in my heart.

I would have rang Matthew we would have talked.

I’ve been in hospital a few times he would have been there

Good things, sad things, new things every single thing I’ve thought of him I’ve missed him there has been a hole in my life no one can fill.

My other children were upset about how much I was hurt. Keep in contact with him I’d beg he’s your brother I wanted them to still have each other it was beyond hard.

Our children are irreplaceable. I have a few close friends who know me well and know when I struggle know that every few months I ring his mobile just to hear his voice.

Friends who knew me as a single mum when the kids were small who remember how it was, friends with shared memories.

So Friday gone I visited my home town for first time in two years stayed with good friends

Viv and I sit up late chatting inevitability the conversation turns to Matthew I get the crampy feeling in my gut fear and I hope that this year will be the one that I see him again. You will she says positively.

I drive home and I speak it out loud as I drive.

“Please mother hear me bring my lad home to me,

Happiness health and abundance I ask from thee

All my children together is all that I ask

The past to be left and a new beginning to cast

My face is wet and I stop my car on the Moors

I love my life where I live my hubby our retreat but the ache that my lad left in my heart won’t ever be fixed without him .

Today I sit down with my phone to read e mails.

A message pops up from Matthews wife who I’ve never met.

She asks for my phone number.

I feel sick is something wrong.

I send it.

She rings

He has spoken to her Saturday night the night I sat chatting to Viv.

I don’t ask for details but he wants to sort things, to see me I’m trying hard to be okay but I’m sobbing.

Can I go over and when.

Of course I’ll go as soon as he wants me there I’m on a plane I cannot tell you how I feel it’s beyond happy. This is the first day of a new beginning. I rang Viv to tell her she too is blow away.

I had never given up hope but I can say honestly I was afraid.

So there it is.

Everything I asked for

I really am overwhelmed.

Never give up. Never.

I know I say it often

But

Life is often hard….

But always beautiful. ♥️

My reason to breathe.

Standing at a bus stop with my eight week old baby daughter strapped to me in a baby harness.

I turned to see an old lady gazing at my baby.

She spoke quietly as if she might wake her

Precious beautiful baby, she is an empty vessel be careful what the world puts into her. She pushed fifty pence piece against her tiny hand.

Custom to gift a new baby a silver coin. I thanked her and smiled. It was 1983 I was just eighteen and that was the first bit of wise advise I was given as a new young mum.

I don’t think any of us realise just how fast our children will grow. I know I didn’t.

I lived alone in a tiny bedsit. It was far from ideal but I’d wanted my baby and I was doing the best I knew how. With very little help. I never left her. Ever.

Well not until she was three years old. Time for nursery Not even when my second child was born I had him at home because I couldn’t leave my daughter.

There isn’t a guide book is there. A what to do when you’ve fed, changed, winded and they are still crying, or a number for Mary Poppins when your bedsit is on the ground floor and toilet is upstairs and the baby is asleep. Or your I’ll or you and kids both have a bug and there is no one to help.

Or there is too much week at the end of your money.

I remember sometimes thinking it will be easier when they are older.

It’s never easier as a parent you just worry about different things

If your getting it right.

I think everyone wings it occasionally. I know I did.

I look back now they are all grown up and I’m so proud of them all.

Every new grand child brings joy more love and reminders of my babies and the old lady at the bus stop.

She was so right precious and beautiful and so important what we allow the world to put into them.

Even more so now. Social media and mobile phones technology.

Milestones flashing by, rolling over, sitting up, swimming under water, sleeping all night.

I remember that joy of more than a few hours sleep.

It was hard work being a single mum.

But the best thing I ever chose to do.

My only complaint is it went far too fast.

I still worry about them now they are grown with children of their own.

But I’d do it all again in a heart beat.

Glastonbury town. Connected, tribe

There are so many opinions on Glastonbury town

Isle of Avalon.

Disney for pagans .

Love it or hate it

It’s a bit like marmite.

Where do I stand?

I love it. It’s a truly beautiful place. Small town filed with spiritual people from all paths beliefs, hippys, Buddhist, witches, Christian.

It doesn’t matter. All drawn for different reasons.

My hubby Jeff loves it. He often says if a space ship lands in the high Street and it’s crew where to go shopping. Absolutely no one would blink an eye lid.

Acceptance that’s it .

Glastonbury magic we are all like a huge collection of old pieces from random jig saws but we fit.

Different religions sitting together with out feet dangling in the chalice well.

Singing and meditation in the white spring.

Walking the sacred labarynth in the church yard.

No one questioning out intentions our spirituality our love.

Knowing that we Are all from the same source of all.

Different ways of walking the path

Cosmic journey we are all connected

All on our way home.

Circle of Women

Women are from Venus Men are from Mars.

I get that.

There really is nothing more powerful than a circle of women .

Strong, unbreakable, inspiring and much more

Women’s best friends are stronger often than blood.

Or at least that’s my experience.

Women’s friends often know them better than their partners .

They are the duct tape that hold each other’s lives together.

How do men manage without that?

I have a few close women friends and I know without doubt they have my back and I have theirs

Free thinkers, poets, dreamers, rebels, square pegs hippys women who walk barefoot and arnt afraid to be exactly who they are.

Make no excuses take no prisoners. Who dance in the rain.

Honest funny, loving. Passionate

My tribe.

Chosen sisters

I love you

I am truly blessed.

Donna


Mamma mia, here I go again
My my, how can I resist you?
Mamma mia, does it show again?
My my, just how much I’ve missed you
Yes, I’ve been brokenhearted
Blue since the day we parted
Why, why did I ever let you go?
Mamma mia, even if I say
Bye bye, leave me now or never
mamma mia, it’s a game we play
Bye bye doesn’t mean forever

Yesterday I lost my best friend and confidant Donna after a eighteen months battle with cancer. My heart is breaking. To say she was a warrior just doesn’t cut it.. although it’s killing me to write if anything is worth blogging about it’s her. So here is our story.

Donna I met you twelve years ago when I started a new job. You were sat feet up on a sofa doing some paperwork long black hair big btown eyes you glanced at me then back at the paperwork and I thought snotty cow!

That only lasted days before we were laughing and chatting together over coffee then over vodka and cokes on our many nights out.

You had two fab kids Sarah and Richard who were your life our families seemed to slot together. Our friends became joint friends we went on girlie holidays, turkey, Spain, Rhodes, Corfu,

We both loved pink and saw her twice causing chaos in Birmingham and Manchester. You bloody fainted right at the end of first concert so we had to go again.. good excuse

Do you remember the Christmas we stayed in the radion Blu in Cardiff? I’d nipped out to catch the shops for a last min prezzie for you whilst you got ready to go out..crossing the road by John Lewis in the snow I looked up to our third floor room to see you there blinds open wearing only black big knickers ffs how no one crashed I’ll never know..

We had weekends in Manchester you loved Aflex palace and the random shops.

You just loved randomness! I loved the crazy texts and questions you’d send often about penguins bees or some crazy fact. Funny girls in Blackpool oakwood with the kids. Folly farm because you loved the penguins

When we were going out you would take forever strieghtening your hair doing make up . I’d ring and ask are you nearly ready or are you sat on the bed in your towel looking at the wall. ?

You’d call me a knob.. but I was right..

You loved cocktails particularly nutty Russians a dreadful combination of vodka, Tia Maria, amaretto and coke served in the cross keys two for seven pounds. Okay if you needed paint stripper but you loved them after a few you’d sing and dance there was no sitting you down.

We would go to the exchange the D.j knew you so well you would walk in and the next song to play would be Beyonce and shekira beautiful lier and you would grab my hand and we would dance.

I can’t believe that I’ll never dance like that with you again.

So many amazing memories we made you loved boats ‘with sticks’ we would spend our holidays sunbathing on decks of sail boats breeze in our hair, your head on my shoulder I remember black and gold playing on the radio and you looking so very happy your eyes always told the story.

Your favorite book was my family and other animals written in Corfu. From that you loved the Durrels T.V show

Favorite film was Shirley Valentine there was a theme here after a stressful day in work you’d say you were running away to Greece to sit on the beach and talk to a rock!

We had known each other two years when you found your first lump in your breast. You had it removed on my birthday i ever left you after the operation you insisted we go for a Chinese meal we got a take away and sat in Singleton park over the years two more lumps were removed all benign. You never worried about it despite your mother having breast cancer

Then eighteen months ago after prolonged back pain you were admitted with high temperature and infection.

You looked at me scared and asked what if it’s cancer? We reassured you but your gut feeling was right.

I promised you I’d walk beside you and from the day you left hospital you resolved it wasn’t going to beat you.

Any meltdowns you had were few and when no one else was there.

You really were brave amazing and inspiring.

We arranged to meet up with my son and your daughter hoping now grown up they would get along we had always thought they would make a stunning couple.

We we’re right and to our joint delight a year ago they announced they we’re expecting a baby.

Your eyes shone with happiness I was flying out to America that night so we video chatted about baby clothes and prams we we’re going to be nannies together!

First scan confirmed it was a girl and you had a new reason to fight.

Sarah went into labor in June and of course we we’re by their sides and when baby emillia was born we both promised her the world me you Donna and your sister Erica her third Nanny life was good. Emilla was sent for a reason you adore her and are so proud of what an amazing mam and dad Sarah and Mike are. Seeing them as a family made you so happy.

We had booked a holiday you were now on oral chemo going well and off we flew to Corfu.

It was bliss we swam had a few cocktails saw the sights and of course lay on a boat listening to black and gold.

We danced sat up at night and talked lots.

You had been told your scan results were good and maybe we could go to six months

But you had a slight pain in your side and I hated my gut feeling that the liver cancer was spreading.

It was. And so my friend the last few weeks have been hard you continued to fight but I’m sitting here writing your celebration service as I helped you write your end of life plan. You left nothing to chance.

You rang me to tell me that you’d bought us tickets for Mama Mia here I go again I groaned but laughed and I knew it would cheer you up a bit of Abba worked wonders.

But (spoiler alert) the main character Donna wasn’t in it!

First ten mins of film sat in the Vue you asked..

Where’s Donna? They can’t have a Abba film without her? Has she died? Then the story fell into place and eventually at the end of the film Donna appears smiling happy and dancing in spirit. She’s there watching her daughter, her partner and her grand child .

Your eyes shone and you squeezed my hand. Energy never dies I managed to say.

I know you answered . Tell Sarah and Richard to watch this again .. I will I promised. So there was the theme for your celebration of life..

It’s going to be amazing a reflection of you Donna. Funny, happy, positive and different.

I promised you I’d be your celebrant it was down to you I did the course but you said it would go with my soul midwife training and therapies.

You believed in me encouraged me. Knew me better than I know myself.

Donna you bought me a necklace with my favorite quote from my favorite childhood book Peter pan.

Do you know that place between sleep and awake the place where you can remember dreaming. That’s where I’ll always love you. That’s where I will be waiting.

How I miss you already I will look after your children and will love our grand daughter enough for the both of us. I will talk about you and tell her of all our adventures

I promise

In return come see me Donna in that place between sleep and dreaming bring a sail boat and dance with me again.

You were right how can I have a life without Donna in it.
Mamma mia, here I go again
My my, how can I resist you?
Mamma mia, does it show again?
My my, just how much I’ve missed you
Yes, I’ve been brokenhearted
Blue since the day we parted
Why, why did I ever let you go?
Mamma mia, even if I say
Bye bye, leave me now or never
mamma mia, it’s a game we play
Bye bye doesn’t mean forever

Love you always Joolz ♥️

Take me home.

m27-3

It was 1964 on a bright summers afternoon the sky was blue and not a cloud could be seen.

Paula was seventeen she sat dangling her feet in the cool water on the banks of the stream day dreaming she was a loner and loved nothing more than being outdoors wondering through woodlands always bare foot the breeze in her hair book in her hand she watched the willow tree on the opposite bank of the stream sway lazily water bubbling across the rocks and pebbles her feet cold and her back hot as sun shone down so brightly she found it hard to concentrate on her book so instead she watched the water it seemed to glisten and shine in the sunlight as she looked up across to the other side she caught her breath for there watching her beside the willow tree was something at first she couldn’t quite make sense of.

She rubbed her eyes and squinted. Then rubbed them again. A being something watching or was it?

It was sparkling almost iridescent crystal like.

The being seemed to fade in and out of focus flickering like a lamp, blending in and out of the surrounding almost camouflaged. She blinked hard. But it was most definitely  still there.

It was much taller than Paula longer arms and fingers beautiful.

Paula stood up slowly and bravely began to paddle across towards the willow tree. The water wasn’t deep just past her calves, but she waded cautiously so as not to startle or frighten the being. Somehow she felt they were destined to meet. As she drew closer the being began to come into focus still almost transparent swirling colours reminding her of the translucent bubbles she had blown and loved as a child

‘Who are you?’  asked Paula in almost a whisper as she watched a bright blue dragonfly glide through not around the being, yet she didn’t feel afraid just more and more curious. Tall and slender long iridescent hair with a definite air of femininity

The being reached slowly over and placed her fingers gently on Paula’s forehead the finger felt definitely solid despite her translucent appearance

Standing there together barefoot on a grassy bank breeze blowing in their hair

visions started to flood between them.

Visions of a beautiful place a planet light years away a race of star people. Peaceful tribes healers teachers, purple topped mountains, waterfalls lush green valley’s huge trees and an array of beautiful animals. Paula had never seen before she gasped and whispered Koraki that is your name?. The being glowed even brighter. Her eyes now visible where the most beautiful shade of green like the purest Jade.

Why are you here? Paula thought. Koraki answered her questions yet no words were spoken.

She was a traveller explorer of the universe a bringer of light collecting samples of plants and herbs she had been to earth many times it was not unlike her own planet but our species caused her sadness primitive behaviour killing each other and the planet they live on.

She and others like her where also here to plant seeds of hope and enlightenment to help awaken humans to a new way of life to enlighten them to save their beautiful planet.

As the sun set and darkness fell giving way to a dark moon in an ink black sky stars twinkled like Koraki iridescent skin.

She pointed up to the sky to a small cluster of stars barely visible.

‘Is that your home where you come from?’ Asked Paula.

She sighed, ‘Can I come with you?’

Koraki gently touched her forehead again.

‘No spaceships, these beautiful beings travelled through consciousness in the blink of an eye speed of light. Like beautiful white Ravens

‘She then showed Paula a vision of herself holding a baby girl a star seed.

‘How’? Asked Paula.

They stood opposite each other Koraki held up the palms of her hands the palms seemed to swirl spiral iridescent pure white shining light.

Paula held up her hands much smaller against Koraki a ball of lights around them glowed she had never felt such pure love and hope.

Paula slept peacefully on mossy grass that warm summer’s night under the willow tree by the stream.

She was woken by the warmth of the sun on her face and the babbling of the stream a Raven cawed above her and she thought she heard Koraki whisper that she would see her again.

The following spring the baby girl Koraki had gifted to her was born seed of the star people. She was tiny perfect dark brown eyes and an almost translucent aura about her.

Outside the window a raven cawed loudly as my mother Paula cradled me in her arms.

My love for healing for herbs and fascination with the stars and the universe and affinity with animals I’m sure comes from Koraki.

Living by water walking barefoot and love of books comes from my rebel mother Paula.

‘I’m a mountain wondering lover of Ravens and all things magical.

On a dark moon you will find me barefoot on the mountain crossroads by the stream looking up to a tiny constellation of stars home of Koraki beautiful iridescent bringer of light hope and love.

Rhyme or reason

I loved you when you were sober.

Which wasn’t much at all.

You’d lock me in the garden

Throw your Sunday dinner up the wall.

There were photos you kept in an old wooden box

Of you looking handsome and smart.

Maybe you were different then

Where did the all madness start?

When did you stop caring?

About anything else but beer.

We’re you hurting inside you too.

And wishing that you weren’t here?

I saw parts of you that are parts of me.

That terrified me to my core.

I was afraid I would become the person you did.

The monster that I abhor.

But I imagine somewhere deep inside yourself was a spark of goodness too.

Because I remember in flashes the dad who taught me to love the seasons and poetry too.

You brought me a bike that had been left by the fairies.

Held my hand when I was scared to go to school.

You gave me my streak of rebel

And my love of breaking all the rules.

Am I to believe that you were all bad?

Selfish and a drunk to the core.

Because that would mean no rhyme or reason.

And then what would be the score?

You had a reason for being and acting the way you did.

I will never know those reasons and why your love you couldn’t give.

Divine experience and lessons I have learned

And now Dad at last I can live.

Cosmic Connections.

Look around we are all connected.

Sparks of the same flame.
Fragments, shards of the source of all.
Stardust of stars.
Drops flowing to the same ocean.
All of us. Not some of us.
Colour, creed, beliefs,
Good, evil, indifferent.
You can’t pick and choose.
All at different parts of different journeys.
On our way back home.
Divine experience, expression.
A tiny spark, microcosmic
Mind blowing.
Amazing you.
And me.
Us.
Love