Glass 1/2 full or 1/2 empty? …… either way you can only go so far with out a top up …and if you keep spilling it without a refill you’ll end up with an empty glass

So …this girls off to top up with something she KNOWS is reliable ….and KNOWS is always there and won’t let her down WHATEVER is going on externally:)

Often …when life seems at its most grey and bleak … Maybe even downright frustrating and anger inducing …..there might just be a yellow dandilion popping through a crack in the pavement ….the choice is then ours …do we see this remarkable little yellow flower or the mass of concrete?


ANYWAY …time to ‘check out’ ….or maybe it’s ‘check in’

Tuning in to Ommmmmmmmmmmmm………

2016 coexist

Another wonderful blog I am following …..this time an artist sharing her beautiful photographs  in the ‘bloggersphere:):):):):):):) …..

fotografia najwidoczniej realna


Napis “coexist” w takiej ciekawej formie wymyślił polski grafik Piotr Młodożeniec. Współistniejemy, a nasza koegzystencja jest nieunikniona, czy nam się to podoba, czy nie… musimy się szanować wzajemnie. Tego właśnie, w nowym 2016 roku, sobie i wszystkim życzę.

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Best part of the word Compassion is when you look for that word into dictionary you will find that compassion means, “Sympathetic pity and concern for the sufferings or misfortunes of others” that itself describes all, no other words need to express. Compassion has such power. In this current situation  we need that most. Compassion […]

Thought I’d better write a post about this as odd blogs that I have been following have posted inviting folk to make a donation or sponsor them personally via cash donation.
Now I am just starting to find my way around the ‘bloggersphere’
But I know for sure I won’t be doing this and here’s why

Again …partly due to my upbringing I used to call myself a ‘socialist’ …hmmmm yep …a dirty word these days …and as I’ve grown and matured …I have kind of accepted the majority of folk seem to prefer capitalism ….but I would argue has it REALLY won the day?…hmmmm …a new way is needed really …incorporating entrepreneurship and craftsmanship into a kind of modern social/environmentalism for the 21st century I feel …incorporating some kind of moral compass too…hmmmm maybe just tuning into Om and applying the ‘Golden Rule’ could suffice ….but who the hell am I to say …getting ideas WAY above my station and going off on a MEGA tangent which I am prone to do from time to time:D:D:D

So ANYWAY …yes …my relatives fought and I mean FOUGHT for the ‘Welfare State’ in this country …a comprehensive education and health system available to ALL …a financial safety net for those in poverty ….clean water and sewage ….quality affordable housing ….subsidised public transport ….swimming pools and sports centres ….free library’s ….subsidised and free access to galleries and museums …the list goes on
We never got it QUITE right …but for a very brief period just after the Second World War it looked like we might be starting to get there …the future looked ‘bright’ the future looked ‘orange’ as they say

I have worked for the ‘Public’ sector BY CHOICE like the vast majority of my colleagues …….and almost all my adult life ….and although I am not a ‘proud’ person think it’s something we SHOULD be proud of WE ARE NOT THE ENEMY!!! …although you would not believe this in the press …Phew! …blimey …THAT was QUITE a rant wasn’t it?:D:D:D

So …yep …there you go …another little insight into this particular blogger and where she is coming from:D:D:D

So …to Charities …Yep …have ALWAYS thought they do some excellent work …but they should be free to do do the pioneering stuff …the research …the lobbying …maybe provide services ‘complementing’ what is provided by the state …but the expectation we seem to have now that charities and private organisations will do it all …and mostly use an army of either volunteers or folks on (the frankly immoral) O hours contracts WILL NOT provide the comprehensive …fully inclusive services we had in the past …I hope I’m proved wrong on that one …but I guess it’s a case of ‘watch this space’ ….will need a damn site more of the uber rich to step in with philanthropic gestures and maintain them if you ask me …and your left with services etc that are not accountable to the public …oops in danger of going off on one again:D:D:D

I guess what I’m saying is …there are SOOOO many charitable organisations …and I guess individuals in need too …that we can’t give to all

The charities I have regularly given to for most of my adult life are
Greenpeace …the environmental campaigning charity
MIND …which aims to promote better mental health provision
The Big Issue …giving homeless folk a purpose and step back on the ladder and a fabulous mag to boot ( and Yep we do have homelessness here …in recent years PARTICULARLY its like the clock is being turned back …it’s rarely reported in the press tho …there’s a kind of ‘ignore it and it will go away’ attitude
I also buy an extra tin or packet of food to pop in the collection points for the food banks round here
Buy my poppy every year …and NO it’s not a glorification of war …it’s a ‘let’s not forget how bloody awful and futile war is’ …or that’s what it SHOULD be …the fields in France during the First World War were turned into a hellish death swamp …soldiers on BOTH sides were rebelling and getting mentally ill in their droves …in the end they had to call a ‘truce’ ….it was after it all ended …nature did her healing thing and the fields were FULL of poppies …it’s symbolic

God ….where is all this stuff coming from …BHAM …my brain is off on one …please excuse me if you happen upon this and it makes no sense at all …maybe it might be wise to move on:D:D:D

So …yes back to ‘Charitable Giving’
I also subscribed last year to ‘RESURGANCE’ magazine …that’s where I descovered old Satish and his book ‘Soil, Soul, Society …a new trinity for our time’ ( see earlier post
However, I let THIS and my previous giving to Greenpeace, and MIND go …BECAUSE like many other people I was slapped in the face by the image of little Alyan Khurdi this summer …so like everything else in my constantly juggling life …I had to prioritise ….and started giving instead to
The UN refugee agency …which provides tents,water,mosquito nets and healthcare
The Migrant Offshore Aid Station …which is dedicated to preventing deaths at sea

So …please don’t ask me to give you money personally …I am just a single Mum living in the north of England and works for the public sector so is not loaded by any stretch of the imagination although admittedly better off than many in this world …I …like everyone else …CAN’T DO IT ALL!!! ….I’m bloody exhausted right now …need a bloody break …but yes …if one of those women came to my door with her baby …and was GENUINE …I WOULD take her in!!!

And interestingly …I now descover there are 2 further Resurgence Magazines …One is ‘RESURGANCE of the third world’ which looks interesting
And the other is RESURGANCE Islam …which I hope is advocating the peace of Islam and not the corrupted view ..but not having read it I don’t know …..Hmmmm the Internet is a double edged sword isn’t it …depends what it’s used for

I really …really feel tired …it’s funny when you actually stop …like for the Christmas break …the mind kind of takes over …

The boys are going to their Dad for New Years …we’re back to work, school etc on Monday …I’m checking out to go on ‘retreat’ again …albeit only for a couple of days
Might get back to blogging or might not have the time ….will certainly carry on reading tho:)

Boxing Day …hmmmm usually go visiting today but have delayed this year …..there’s a lot of flooding in the area at the mo driving is therefore not possible in some parts …also I’m bloody exhausted truth be known ….like I said ….feels like my (our) current lifestyle is neither sustaining or sustainable ….I kind of have a 2 year plan ….well …it’s a loose one …KNOW that change is ahead and wanting to prepare for it ….want to CREATE something for myself and the boys ….show them ‘options’ …an ‘alternative’ to the way things are now …I guess we’ll see:)

Throughout my working week I zip around
….must talk to 100’s of people….face to face …plus on the phone …plus email ….plus trying to keep up with the ever increasing admin demands …have given the job my all over the years …and have often fought the dilemma of whether I have ‘been there’ enough for my kids:)

It’s made me question greatly the role of ‘family’ …’relationship’…and ‘parenting’ in particular …and believe me I HAVE screwed up in many ways … try to do my best within the resources and energy I have …but is it enough?
Tend to be ‘full on’ both at work AND with the kids…then when get a break kind of collapse into full ‘chill out’ mode …lolling about in PJs and not answering the phone…spending the weekend with ‘Eric'( see earlier blogs):D:D

Last year just after Christmas the boys went to their Dads for a few days and I booked into a retreat.

Now I started getting into ‘Yoga’ around 16 years ago …but I couldn’t afford a ‘Yoga Retreat’ ….why the HELL are all things ‘Yoga’ so damned expensive???

Anyone living in India ….home of the words oldest and most comprehensive philosophy to live by ….would either throw their hands up in dispair or laugh their heads off at the way ‘Yoga’ has been ‘packaged’ and ‘marketed’ over here and in the US:D:D:D

Hmmmm ….or maybe as an ’emerging economy’ it’s something India could cash in on ….market it like we do the queen:D:D:D

Get in there on the whole ‘Yogic Lifestyle’ thing that is so ‘hip and trendy’ at the mo ….Hmmm maybe it will go full circle ….maybe  India and Yoga’s time has come ….God I’m going off on a tangent here :D:D:D ….where was I? …..Oh yes …..

ANYWAY …my 20mins morning meditation practice which helps get me through day to day was not proving enough by the end of the year …needed ‘retreat’ in the true sense:)
So in a kind of ‘last minute’ way …booked to stay at a Buddhist temple

aaaaaaaaaahhhhhh!!! …. the sound of the sigh as I entered the gate …utter peace in beautiful rural surroundings … left alone to be silent when I needed to be …and made to feel ‘cared for’ by the warmth and kindness shown by the monks during chats at mealtimes etc ….an INCREDIBLY beautiful, sublime experience ….and a REAL antidote to my modern, fast paced urban lifestyle ….and it was whilst here I came up with my 2 year plan …well actually it was a 3 year plan then:D:D:D

ANYWAY …we’ll see … sometimes the best laid plans go to pot and we can end up going off in a slightly different/unexpected direction:D:D:D ….we’re learning and growing all the time …and maybe sometimes if we dare to take that unexpected turn it can lead to something more wonderful than we initially expected ….I guess it’s about being open, honest and trusting our inner feeling:)
Whatever …all paths taken lead to learning experiences …some wonderful …some not so …it’s the Yin/Yan of life and will balance out in the end:)

God I do go on don’t I? ……Make MYSELF laugh 1/2 the time …..I know what I mean tho even if I make no sense to anyone else:D:D:D

Oops digressed again …

So ….just now I am feeling that same need for ‘retreat’ in beautiful natural surroundings as I did last year.
It’s looking like it’s going to have to be the beginning of Feb tho as my diary is so damn full already I might struggle to get the leave…will find a way tho…..if I don’t take it by the end of March I’ve lost it ….always seem to do myself short in this way …not this year tho …
Just needing time to ‘be’and recharge the batteries for the year ahead …’time out’ to consolidate and get some clarity:)

What do you see in these images?

Pertinant imagery for Christmas Day 2015 I thought … …middle eastern women with their children seeking refuge ….ring any bells? …if one of these ladies knocked on your door would there be room at the Inn?

Hmmmm wonder if I’m infringing copywrite or something ….no …no …I’m not claiming the pics are mine ….who should ‘portraits’ belong to anyway?
Just thought they were striking photos for today … for thought don’t you think?

So …..have finished work now until the new year and boy has it been buzy ….our peak times are usually AFTER Christmas and during the summer holidays ….I put that down to being key ‘stress’ periods but ANYWAY

The rituals of tree up….pressies and food bought …. just sitting down now having knocked back a glass of red and chewed on a raw carrot …YES ‘Santa  and Rudolph’ STILL visit this house:D:D ….I LOVE celebrations of any kind, the kids even tho they’re getting older would think there was something wrong with me if stuff didn’t happen…..the way I see it is …we don’t have much but then again a lot more than MANY in this world ….there’s so much to be bleak and negative about that it needs to be balanced …if you can’t actually see any magic/sparkle around you’ve got to try to MAKE IT!!! … Its a DIY job I’m afraid if it ain’t coming from anywhere else:)

And So to ‘blogging’ ….I tentatively started this around October ….thought I was being all 21st century rather than keeping a written diary …and YES it’s probably to maintain my own sanity ….the job I do is pretty stressful …. its not THAT easy working and trying to parent 2 boys single handedly in this crazy world with no extended family support either ……and ….hmmmmm ….yep …maybe the boys MIGHT want to look at it one day and see the kind of mind their Mother had ….god forbid:D:D:D

But ANYWAY ….I’m AMAZED that anyone has actually ‘view’ed it …never mind ‘like’d and ‘follow’ing….can’t decide whether it’s a good thing or a bit scary:D:D:D …but appreciated none the less:)

….and other folks blogs ….there’s some WONDERFUL ones out there …and to those folk I am following …THANKYOU for opening up my world …albeit across the ‘ether’ :D:D:D

there are many different kinds of blogs  I am finding…from very personal day to day thoughts on ‘life’ like mine ….to travel journals, artists showing their work, scientists and journalists blogging and offering REAL alternatives to ‘mass media’ views on current affairs and events. There’s also business ‘corporate’ blogs and let’s not forget to mention the fictional writers and poets out there …..some incredible and wonderful stuff  ….it makes me appreciate how multi layered and creative us humans can be ….just like ANY form of media tho …I am learning that you have to sometimes ‘read between the lines’ :D:D:D ….it’s ALL good tho …as said before I LOVE diversity …and looking at the countries people have connected to my humble little blog from helps reinforce my view that information technology ….and maybe blogging in particular DOES shrink the  world and help us share ideas …..the ‘printing press’ of the 21st century maybe?

So ….I’m off to bed now ….very buzy with ‘festivities’ the next few days  ….but to quote ole Greg ( see previous blog)

‘I wish you a hopeful Christmas …I wish you a brave new year ….

All sorrow, pain and anguish ..leave your heart and let your road be clear’

whoever or wherever you are and whatever ‘religion’ you follow or not ….try to keep ‘faith’ ….we’re in the 21st century ….we’ve got information technology ….it’s time to connect,connect,connect …

God maybe I am some unlikely urban ‘hippy’ ….or maybe a little tipsy on the old red ….or maybe I’m just knackered and need a break ….Whatever
Good night :):):):):):):);)