These pages

Life has taken me on many different roads of discovery over the last few years.
I’ve learnt so much about myself, my character, my dreams, my understanding, but most of all about my will power.
You see, this space right here has been my run to, for when I needed to let all my sadness and happiness out.
It has been my safe place, a place where I felt I could express my deepest feelings and all those emotions that swirl continually around my head. A place I could truly show how very broken my heart and soul was/is.
A place I could grow, a place I could reflect and a place I could have/find a voice.
An unknown place. The place I needed to survive when trying desperately to heal.

Out of the blue, it dawned on me that maybe it wasn’t a good idea, that maybe it was holding me back from healing and moving on.

So with a heavy, shattered heart, I stepped away and took a break from my safety net.
I had to try and find inner peace and learn to communicate with the people who were wanting to support me in my darkest and longest years of my life.

So that’s where I’ve been.
I’m been trying my up most to heal, to learn to trust and open up. To find comfort in friendship and family.

But in truth, I didn’t do as well as I should.
I’ve become a closed book, that’s locked out every emotion, every feeling and every connection that I once filled these pages with.

In the smallest of ways it’s helped me but also failed me.
Instead of owning and dealing with all that I feel, I push it all down, smile and continue on.

And even though I’m in control of the hectic life I live, a life that’s pretty pleasant and mostly happy (we all have those moments that we want to scream blue murder) I’m not sure if stepping away has really done me any good at all!!!
Is it better to write it out and own those emotions or push them deep down and never deal with what I’m feeling.

I guess the next few weeks, even months will tell as to how much I once more fill these pages.

Happy Birthday

The 25th November,  the day you escaped your mother womb, the day two special people, who will forever my best friends, were born.

The 25th was once a blast, too much alcohol and worn out feet, now it only holds silent tears.

So you would have been the big 42 today and I would have so taken the piss  out of you, you old fart. 

Not a day goes by that we don’t all miss you and remember the wonderful friendship we all had. We talk about you often and you will never be forgotten. 

If only we could see you panic about the grey hair you would be growing and the crows feet I’m sure you would be showing. That midlife drift, beer belly would sure as hell be hanging and yeap we know you would be freaking out. 

We miss you desperately and long to see your smile but we know you had to join the bestest of angels so your pain could fade. 

Watch over us and laugh as we all become that little bit older and we to will grow grey and age, while you will stay young and as many say perfect. 

Sleep well my friend and Happy Birthday. X

The Christmas I was named

The tree was shimmering, the house smelt of turkey and wine flowed as Mum kept busy in the kitchen on that magical Christmas Eve.
My mum was holding Christmas that rememberable year, all the family were coming to ours, for plates full of turkey and all the trimmings.

As we prepare to go to Christingle, followed by Christmas drinks and nibbles, Mum puts the freshly cooked turkey in our what seemed to Jane, Alex and I our huge shed.
How we loved that shed, we would spend hours upon hours playing happily in there, we would crush petals and make perfumes, bottle them up and give them as Christmas pressies to our grandparents and other unlucky relations. 😂
So off we went for an evening full of Christmas joys, carols, party games and way to much alcohol. 🍷
On our return home, Jane and I ran to our shed to carry on the game that we had unwilling left.
On opening the door we weren’t met by the smell of turkey that should have been cooling inside, instead we were greeted by every cat from our neighbourhood as well as some other cheeky buggers that gate crashed the feline Christmas party which was in full flow around our turkey 🦃
As they fled from the scene, leaving behind bones where once sat our Christmas dinner. 🤣
Jane and I roared with laughter as we made our exit from the underground feline Christmas party 🎈 Running as fast as we could to tell Mum all about the naughty kitty’s, my feet skid from under me as I fall face first down the stairs of our shed, smashing my nose as I hit the icy path below.

Christmas Eve turned manic as John (my step dad) chased cats out the garden, Mum became my own personal nurse as I covered her party dress in blood and our turkey sat in the roasting tin, naked.
It definitely was a sight to see.
Tears flowed, giggles exploded into ear-piecing laughter and Christmas was declared, cancelled.
So off to bed I go, feeling sorry for myself with my bright red nose.
As I awake to the, ho, ho, ho of
Christmas morning, Santa has come and gone, milk, mince pies, carrots have been consumed, presents filled our front room.
As we sat opening presents, an unexpected ring of our door bell sends us young ones to the next level of excitement. Standing on tiptoes, I manage to pull open the door to be greeted by a gathering of our neighbours, friends and family with dishes and dishes full of turkey and the words that would stay with me a lifetime.

“Happy Christmas Rudolph”

A Christmas nickname that would stay with me a lifetime but more importantly, memories of the not so perfect Christmas becoming the memory that first comes to mind when I think of Christmas past, the Christmas I was named Rudolph.

O Christmas tree, O Christmas tree

O Christmas tree,
O Christmas tree,
Your leaves are so unchanging 🌲

 

 

Adverts and movies, give the perfect impression of how we all wish our trees looked liked.🎄
Not just how they look but the magical feeling of all the family gathering around the tree decorating.
Even our memories play games and make us remember how wonderful it was to decorate the tree all together. To stand back, turn off the ceiling lights and see the beauty of Christmas come alive in front of our eyes.
In truth, who’s home is really like that?

My memories are of my step dad, loosing his cool when lights that worked perfectly before they went on the tree, didn’t work as soon as they clung to the branches.
Mum would be secretly pulling her hair out as we demanded to have our toilet roll Santa in full sight.
How we would all bicker about who’s turn it was to put the star on top of the tree.
It was far from how we all imagined it would be and somehow the tree would look picture perfect the next morning after Mum had redecorated it while we slept soundly in our beds.

Now I’m the Mum who dreams of the perfect tree, the best beautiful memories for my little girl.

Yesterday we decided to put up a tree, Marly-Kate, Rich and I went shopping for the perfect tree which couldn’t be larger than 5ft.
It was hammering with rain and we were as soggy as the field full of trees.
Marly-Kate picked the tree and all thoughts of size flow out the window. Rich straps it to the roof of his van and home we drive. Marly-Kate busting with excitement.
Well it all went horribly wrong from there.
The tree filled most of our lounge and was leaving puddles of water all over the floor.
Axe in hand, Rich goes about cutting branches off, trimming her down to size.
Finally she’s small enough for her position and it’s time to put on those lights that I had spent an age untangling.
Lights are on and finally looking as pretty as they will ever look.
Marly-Kate has a blast hanging all the decorations and we step back to see her masterpiece just as our kitten takes a running jump and lands in the middle of the tree 🤣
That’s when the laughter escaped as the lights went blank, never to work again.
Now the movies don’t do our tree decorating justice.
As I finally sat down last night with a huge mug of hot chocolate with all the trimmings, Rich and I laughed and laughed at the tree with no lights and the branches that are already turning brown and leaving a nice pile of pines under the tree.
Maybe our tree is far from perfect but the memories truly are perfection.

O Christmas tree,
O Christmas tree
How dead are your branches. 🎄

My angel standing by

Angel Standing By. 💗

 

I gaze outside my window
And wish upon a star.
I open up my heart
And let my thoughts drift afar.
A tear rolls down my cheek
As I reminisce the past.
You hardly got to live.
Your life went by so fast.

And all because someone else
Made a dumb mistake.
I don’t understand why it was
Your life he had to take.

But now there’s no way I can bring you back
No matter how hard I try.
Because now you’re up in heaven
As my angel standing by.
(Karen Ashley Murray)

I’ve been thinking about grief a lot lately especially with the anniversary of my mum’s best friend yesterday.
He wasn’t just my mum’s life long best friend but he was a father figure to me.
As a young child I prayed that he was my dad. He treated me as I was his daughter and I worshiped the ground he walked on.
We had this special bond, a bond that only death could take away from us.
My mum had the same bond and even all these years later I can see her heart-break all over again as she remembers the extremely cruel way he died.
I have hardly ever spoken to anyone about the man who loved me as his own, who called me princess, who would have moved mountains for me.
I don’t think I even ever told Ross how much he warmed my life and how devastated I was when after months of suffering and pain he finally draw his last breath.
I had only ever seen one person die before, well I found the old gent dead on the toilet. 🚽
This though was a total different kettle of fish.
I loved him, in my eyes he was my father, the father I longed for, my friend and in ways my hero.

Twenty years on, I still grieve for him, I miss him desperately and I would cut off my right arm just to see his smile again, to hear his laugh and to try to understand his very dry sensed humour which I never fully understood as a child, now I roar as we reminisce his jokes.
What I would give to spend my summers in his swimming pool or to run over the sand dunes, desperately trying to beat him to the top.
For him to take me shopping for all the latest music 🎧.
I’ll never forget that huge tape shop he would take me to and I could pick what ever I fancied, it was a music crazy teenagers haven.
When summer would end and I had to fly home, with the most incredible sun tan from 6 weeks of pure relaxation and fun, I would beg my mum to marry him so everyday would be to me the perfect childhood.
When we walked through our front door, there would always be a parcel waiting for us, a box full of pirate vhs tapes. All the latest movies that were months away from being released. Jane and I would run to my room and snuggle up under the duvet and watch movie after movie, roaring with laughter ever time a head would pop up on the screen or a cough, sneeze or scream would over power the buzz of the muttered voices.
We didn’t care how bad quality they were, they were truly awful, all that mattered was they were a gift from my wannabe dad.

Grief and grieving doesn’t have a time line, you just can’t wake up and not feel the pain anymore, it never goes, somehow though you manage to keep living with the pain etched deeply into your heart, soul and memories.
I’ve now learnt how to look back and smile through the tears, I’ve learn to treasure the memories and for my wannabe dad to live on through them. I will never forget him, I will always be grateful to him for giving me my happiness childhood memories, for giving me a carefree summers, but most of all for giving me a glimmer of what father and daughters relationships can and should be like.
Sleep peacefully my angel standing by.

And now we’re really cooking with gas.

There’s nothing quite like sitting around with friends having great conversations over a delicious meal. Add some wine or beer (because we’re fancy like that) and now we’re really cooking with gas.

There is something special about sitting around the table to eat the meal you have just slaved away at for hours so you can fill you friends and family’s tummy’s.
Every week we make a point of all getting together for a good old feast, a chinwag and what every drink tickles your fancy.
We’ve been doing this since I returned from Paris and I have to say it’s probably the best day of the week for Marly-Kate and I.
Marly-Kate loves having everyone around, they all give her so much love, attention and time, to her they are her family.
That’s the main reason we started our feast night, so Marly-Kate could get a sense of what family life feels like.
As it just her and me and of course my baby cousin, it’s so easy just to slump in front of the tv with your dinner on your lap. I don’t want that for her, I want her to feel how dinner time should really feel.
The conversation, the smell of homemade food, the smiles, the laughter, the warm feeling that you get when all the family comes together, I want her to experience that and to hold warm memories.
Also when we get to eat good old dominos while chilling in-front of the tv, it’s special in its own way. 🍕

Though our family is spread over thousands of miles from Devon to Paris to Spain it’s not always easy to show her what family really means, that’s why feast night is so very important.
She understands that family isn’t all about blood, that it’s about the people who are never far from your side, it’s about the people who are there through the good and the bad, it’s about friendship, respect and love.
Family to us is coming together and enjoying a good meal not forced by blood but because we actually want to spend time together.