10 Things I Love About Winter…

1. Layering: Piling layers of clothing on your body because you can and having an excuse to wear a hoodie without looking like a Chav, because it’s Winter


2. Thick socks, the really chunky kind that makes you feel like a character out of Flash Dance


3. Bottomless Tea…keep that kettle on ¬†


4. Laying in a snug & cosy bed as the rain beats down on the window pain


5. Yummy warm pudding coming out of the oven, with the steam still coming out of it. Hmmm.


6. Singing at the top of your voice as the storm rages outside, because the neighbours can’t tell the difference between you and the storm ūüôā


7. Ice-cream, especially on those really chilli days, there’s nothing like sitting under the covers with a tub of ¬†Ben & Jerry’s Cherry Garcia.




8. Busy coffee shops, which just last week were only filled to half capacity as the sun shone outside, suddenly appear to have an overage of coffee lovers.


9. Bookshop browsing, my favourite pastime. 


10. Having an actual excuse to wear silly-looking fluffy slippers. 

Yip, yip, it’s official, I’m totally sold on Winter.¬†
Bring it on ūüėÄ

Image sources:
https://marshmallowmonologues.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/7c0c5-ben-jerrys-cherry-garcia-7316.jpg
http://www.find-me-a-gift.co.uk/images/product_images/arc058_cow_animal_slippers_300.jpg
https://marshmallowmonologues.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/54ccf-flashdance_1.jpg
http://www.elleuk.com/var/elleuk/storage/images/style/street-style/winter-warmers/6362590-1-eng-GB/winter-warmers_print_gallery_large.jpg
http://www.essentially-england.com/images/ll_sticky_toffee_pudding.jpg
http://www.houseintohome.co.za/wp-content/uploads/2006/08/Electric-Blanket-Sleeping-Dog.jpg
http://ravenisy17.edublogs.org/files/2011/03/woman-singing-microphone-vintage-525jpg-2019lh6.jpg
http://www.compass-group.co.uk/cps/rde/xbcr/ds_compass_internet_uk/cd62_561_BN.jpg
http://farm2.static.flickr.com/1116/861197079_eac88834d4.jpg

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Excess Baggage

She took down her sturdy suitcase from the top rack of her wardrobe and proceeded to bundle all her burdens into the chequered lining of the interior, until every inch of it was completely covered in her sorrows and her pains. She left in a hurry, dragging along her bag of burdens and stopping along the way for a quick dose of worry, and some guilt for good measure.

She travelled around from one nameless place to the next, dragging along her burdens as she went along and collecting more as she went on her way. And although her baggage was bulging at the seems and the weight was far too much too bear, she never complained, never asked for help. So she went about her way, living her life from day to day, collecting an ounce of hurt here and a gram of regret there, constantly adding to her overflowing bag of burdens. 
She dragged along her bag of burdens wherever she would go and people would stop and stare in wonder and bewilderment thinking what a heavy bag for such a very little person. But she never moaned or questioned the weight of her big bag, simply resigning herself to the fact that it was the weight she would have to bear. Then one day as she stood waiting at the bus stop, a familiar looking stranger said let me help you carry this, for it’s far too much to manage.¬†
As she heaved up one end of the heavy bag of burdens and helped her on the bus, she smiled a warm, carefree smile, and memories of a young woman long forgotten came flooding back and¬†reminded her that she didn’t have to carry the heavy load all on her own. ¬†¬†
a.k.a. Our greatest strengths are our greatest weaknesses 

Image Sources: 

In the silence

Take a step back, away from the chaos and listen to the stillness of the crowd.
Sometimes I get so lost in all the traffic of the voices and movement which fills my head, suffocates my space and disrupts the beautiful silence.

I’m breathing for the very first time, without any life support and it feels like something I’ve missed out on for an entire lifetime.
Here in this solitude I am a visitor and my presence feels almost intrusive.
I am filled with it,  surrounded by it and consumed by the beautiful silence.

And then… I’m gasping! My heart racing, my veins pumping, as I feel it slipping away.
My grasp cannot reach it’s vastness and I cannot hold onto this unattainable force.
In an instant it all comes flooding back and I’m rooted in my physical confinement, as the struggle within begins it’s course yet again.

The struggle for something fleeting and something the world seems to evade…..silence…
To most it represents an awkward stillness, a moment waisted, a rare occurence, but to me this is the very essence of bliss, which is just beyond my grasp.

Image sources:

Try a cliche

So I started thinking the other day about the numerous movie cliches which I love to hate. Like how in the movies a women’s make-up is always impeccable, even though she’s just woken up, after consuming several bottles of good wine the night before, she always looks like a goddess. Or when two guys are fighting over the same girl there always happens to be a fountain, or a puddle of mud or something equally messy nearby that they both tumble into.

How whenever the guy realises that the love of his life is about to get on a plane and he’ll never see her again (although there’ll be another flight out in an hour), there’s always a cab driver who is determined to drive at the slowest possible speed or get onto a highway where there’s back-to-back traffic and the guy is forced to jump out and run to the airport. (How heroic!)

Then there’s the minute the geeky girl walks into the ball, looking like a beautiful poofy princess and the whole room stops to stare as the music begins to play for her entrance and everyone else in the room starts moving in slow motion (a bit like people who are all tripping on E’s). Or whenever the guy has something really important to say to the girl or needs to apologise to her, he’ll be running after her and spot her just as the elevator doors close.

Oh and lets not forget the scene where a women’s about to give birth and her water breaks at the most inopportune time, like in the movies or in the middle of an argument, or better yet a street. She gets rushed to hospital and when she finally gets there, ends up spending hours in labour, shouting all sorts of profanities to those around her and when the baby eventually arrives, he/she is always pristine looking, not an ounce of blood or gunk in sight.

So, I’ve come to the conclusion that most, if not all, movies have a little bit of cliche in them, some more than others and although certain people would advise that you avoid cliches like the plague, I beg to differ. I think we thrive on cliches. Cliches are what keeps our imagination afloat and keeps our hearts aflutter. It gives us hope, makes us believe in the impossible and allows up to lose touch with reality every now and then.¬†It’s what makes us believe that we’ll find ‘a pot of gold at every rainbows end’ and that ‘love truly does conquer all.’

Picture sources:
http://www.quickandsimple.com/cm/quickandsimple/images/EW/waking-up-morning-istock-de.jpg
http://www.wirednewyork.com/manhattan/columbus_circle/columbus_circle_taxis_26sept03.jpg
http://i554.photobucket.com/albums/jj436/Sogliolin/Princess.jpg

To my unborn daughter and her broken heart

I wish I could make this part go faster so that you wouldn’t have to feel all this pain.
Wish I could put a band aid on it and kiss it all better.
But it’s not that simple, of course I know, I’ve been there and although it hurts like hell right now, there’s a few things I want you to know.

I want you to know that, yes, love does hurt. It hits you right in the gut, strips you of all your self-control and leaves you with a bleeding heart.
But you should also know, that love can be the best thing that you’ll ever know.
It can make you hop, skip and jump and that’s just your heart I’m talking about.

I want you to know how much it hurts so  that when the real thing comes along, the lasting kind, you will also know how great it can be.
I want you to know that although it feels like this is the end of the world as you know it, you will survive it and you’ll be a better person for it.
I want you to know that just like life, love is a learning process and that you have to make it through the crappy bits in order to truly appreciate the brilliant bits.

So cry your heart out now my sweet, ball your eyes out until there are no tears left to shed.
And when you’re finally all cried out I can’t promise that it will all feel better.
No, I wont lie to you, like all good things it takes time.
Time for your heart to heal, for the hurt and anger to pass, time for you to learn how to love again.

But, when enough time has passed and your heart begins to flutter again, begins to soar again, remember this:
Love hurts, but it also comforts.
It breaks, but it also mends.
It’s bitter, but it’s also sweet.
It’s careless, but it’s also fragile.
It’s drowns you, but it also makes you float.
It’s angry, but it’s also gentle.
It’s suffocating, but it’s also intoxicating.

And no matter how many times it makes you fall a part, you’ll always come back for more, because love is what puts you back together.

Picture sources:
https://marshmallowmonologues.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/4f455-boy-girl.jpg
http://images2.layoutsparks.com/1/129816/emo-shoe-broken-heart.png

Feelings follow behaviour

I’d like to believe that the way in which each person reacts to a specific situation is largely based on their own personal judgement and conditions. However, of late I’ve reassessed this viewpoint, as I think¬†¬†that the way we react to various situations are often governed by the people who influence us the most in life. Our reactions are largely based on what we observe by means of the people who mean the most to us or the people we spend the most time around. For most of us that may be a parent, a sibling, a husband, a wife or even just a good friend.

There’s a poem that I’ve always loved and I think sums up perfectly what I’m trying to say, so instead of rambling on, I give you the brilliant words of Dorothy Law Nolte:

Children Learn What They Live
If children live with criticism, they learn to condemn.
If children live with hostility, they learn to fight.
If children live with fear, they learn to be apprehensive.
If children live with pity, they learn to feel sorry for themselves.
If children live with ridicule, they learn to feel shy.
If children live with jealousy, they learn to feel envy.
If children live with shame, they learn to feel guilty.
If children live with encouragement, they learn confidence.
If children live with tolerance, they learn patience.
If children live with praise, they learn appreciation.
If children live with acceptance, they learn to love.
If children live with approval, they learn to like themselves.
If children live with recognition, they learn it is good to have a goal.
If children live with sharing, they learn generosity.
If children live with honesty, they learn truthfulness.
If children live with fairness, they learn justice.
If children live with kindness and consideration, they learn respect.
If children live with security, they learn to have faith in themselves and in those about them.
If children live with friendliness, they learn the world is a nice place in which to live.
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Behind closed doors

She speaks to him through a closed door, knowing he cannot hear her through his tone-deaf singing and the water gushing down from the shower faucet, but she speaks anyway. She tells him about her day, of how she’s missed him, of how she wishes he would hold her again. She tells him of how she misses his touch, his tenderness, how she misses his body right up against hers in bed, instead of right on the other end of their King size bed.

She sobs as she apologises for her biggest mistake, sitting there leaning against the bathroom door, her tears stain her red cotton nightgown. She tells him she’s sorry, sorry for not being a better mother, sorry for letting go of their son’s hand for even just one second. Sorry that because she was looking at handbags, when she should have been watching their son, they’ll probably never see his sweet face again.

She tells him she needs him and that although he says he’s forgiven her, she knows he never truly can and she’s not quite sure if she can forgive herself either. She tells him how it pains her that he can’t bare to look at her, even now after 18months. How the laughter and love that once filled their home now seems like a lifetime ago.

She bares her soul, as she tells him through her tears that the weight of this load is far too much for her to bear. How she struggles to breathe and how her chest closes up whenever a thought of their son crosses her mind or she sees a photograph of her little boy. How her whole world seems obscured and she is merely a ghost moving through this very dark valley which has become her life.

She confesses all her sins to a closed door and waits for her punishment, more punishment, as much as she can bear, for the only thing she now knows how to do it punish herself. She waits…waits…for the taps to turn and the water to cease running, then she picks up the pistol, closes her eyes and atones for her sins, behind closed doors.

Picture sources:
http://ih0.redbubble.net/work.6499085.1.flat,550×550,075,f.behind-closed-doors.jpg
http://blog.not2wo.com/images/2009/8/hand-in-hand.jpg
https://marshmallowmonologues.files.wordpress.com/2011/05/fb65f-469ee9f8088e67fc2ab6224be4efb4fd.jpg

A story of Apple Pie and Whipped Cream

a.k.a. it is better to practice a little kindness than talk a lot.

She saw him from across the room, sipping slowly on his freshly brewed cup of nothing, trying his best to go unnoticed and fill the emptiness inside of him with his cup of nothingness. He’d been coming there for months, at first alone, just to people watch, with nothing more than a book to keep him company. He’d had a certain quiet confidence about him, always friendly, but not big on conversation. What had stood out about him was his kind eyes and his gentle manner.

She had tried many times to pry into the pages of his very private demeanour, while serving him his regular warm brew with a fry up, but all she ever got in return to her questioning looks was a polite ‘thank you’. She knew how he liked his coffee, knew that he liked his eggs sunny-side-up and that he always asked for extra cream with his Apple pie.

Then one glorious Summer day he had showed up for his regular breakfast, but this time he was not alone. He was accompanied by a beautiful brunette with scarlet lips and a overwhelming laughter. He ordered his regular, while she placed an order for a skinny latte and some fresh whole-wheat crumpets. They sat there, the two of them, the picture of young love, all giddy and brimming over with happiness and all the while she would talk and he would nod and listen.

They kept coming back together for weeks and weeks until the trees had been stripped bare of all their leaves and the air grew chilly. One grey morning he came in for his usual accompanied by loneliness and heartache. He ordered his regular and sat by the window. The people on the street were of no interest to him, neither was the book resting on the table beside him.

She noticed he’d lost a bit of his light and his eyes no longer shone as brightly. On this particular day though, she had no need to pry as to the reason for his lack of luster. She, who was never at a loss for words, on this particular day could not find the words. So instead she served him his regular fry up with a cup of brew and watched him move his food around his plate. Once she’d cleared away his barely eaten breakfast, she brought him his Apple Pie with three extra helpings of cream, because sometimes there are no words and all you have to give is whipped cream.

Picture sources: 
http://mylogmyblog.files.wordpress.com/2007/12/whipped-cream.jpg?w=500
http://www.ordinaryrecipesmadegourmet.com/whipped-cream.jpg

Are we there yet?

I’m not sure if it’s just me, but I’m at a stage in my life where I can’t seem to sit still for very long. I’m constantly overcome by a huge sensation which appears to be a mixture of excitement and anticipation for what the future holds. Some would say I’ve got ants in my pants and I guess that wouldn’t be too far off the mark.

I think I’ve finally reached a point where I’m happy with who I am and where I’m going. Now, that’s not to say I’m a completely fabulous know-it-all or that I have any clue as to where I’m headed, I’m just saying that I’ve reached a place of contentment. For a very long time I had a very different outlook on life, everything needed to be planned and controlled in great detail, there had to be a logical and more importantly practical structure in place and there had to be a time scale for everything.

However, I’m very happy to report that things have changed and that I have since moved on from that ‘very dark’ place in my life. ha ha! My life experiences have changed me and the people I’ve met have challenged my thinking and influenced me in different ways. I’ve since discovered that the best and the worst times of your life cannot be planned and that there is no time scale to a good laugh or a dinner date. For me it has been the most life changing discovery and has transformed the way I think and the way I live my life. I’ve finally learnt how to just BE….

However that being said, now that I know that not everything needs to be controlled, I feel like there’s a whole other world out there just waiting to be discovered and I for one can’t wait. I feel like I’m an escape convict who’s constantly on the run and the sheer adrenaline of it all is phenomenal. ¬†I’ve got no set plan for my future, but I know that I want to keep exploring, keep discovering, keep learning and just darn well LIVE!¬†

I’ve met so many people, and I suppose I used to be one of them, that are so caught up in making plans and keeping time that they forget the most important part of the destination is not getting there, but it’s the journey. So maybe instead of us constantly asking ‘Are we there yet?’, we should be asking… ‘where to next?…’ ¬†and perhaps we should try taking a leaf out of the pages of the wisest person I know and my good friend Dr. Seuss:

”Today is your day! Your mountain is waiting.¬†
So…get on your way!”

Picture sources:
http://www.europeword.com/blog/wp-content/uploads/European-Road-Trip.jpg
http://www.shoestringmag.com/files/images/main/road_trips.jpg
http://www.childmode.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/02/drseuss.jpg