We have Humanity..

25 May

What is it with this need to hate? People hating people because they are sick or disabled and need support; because they need help housing and feeding their family;  because they have chosen here as a safe haven from war and tyranny; because their homes have been destroyed and they have asked for our help to find a place; because they can find work; because they dress differently; have different coloured skin; different accents; different sexual desires; different houses to pray to their god(s). How petty do these sound? .. say it ‘ I’m afraid of you because you pray in a mosque”; “I hate you because you like to wear women’s clothes” ; “I hate you  a because you are too ill to work and have sought help”; ” I fear you because irrespective of the fact you were born here, three generations ago your ancestors came here from….”…. It’s takes a crazy and sad person to think like this.  

If you want to be angry, be angry about the corporation that control supply and demand across the globe; be angry about a system that makes the wealthy wealthier but keeps the poor poorer; be angry about our political disregard  for the longevity of our planets resources; about the millions of people starving, raped,beaten, mutilated ,murdered in corrupt regimes; about the misguided individuals with pathetic weak minds who follow radical extremism; about those who target the susceptible and innocent and abuse their trust, sex traffickers, slave  traders etc.

Terrible atrocities happen across the globe on a daily basis. We as humans often ignore or don’t hear about the those horrific incidents outside of our own country.  In light of the terrible happenings in Manchester this week a friend of mine wrote this:

I wanted to say something – and its so hard because everyone is hurting but I hope you get where I’m coming from if you read this – now is not the time for opinions on who or why – its not a time for division or conspiracy theories or even politics …..

….Humans are suffering every day at the hands of evil. Simple as. We are led to believe that we are separate. That somehow borders and seas and distance make us ‘different’. But love and compassion and humanity should recognise no such borders. I am not ‘British’ or ‘European’ or anything else. I AM TERRAN. I AM OF THIS EARTH.

ALL suffering hurts my heart.

ALL injustice makes my soul weep.

And so as I stand with Manchester 22.05.17 and I hold in my heart all those who are suffering and the 22 souls lost and the 50 plus injured and the people who have seen such terrible things I also stand with Deir ez-Zur  21.05.17 and the 15 lost and the 60 plus injured – most of whom were also women and children.

Baghdad – 20.05.17 – 35 killed, 45 injured.

Tuz Khurma. Maiduguri. Hamah. Mastung…

The list goes on.

I’ve not listed which countries these places are on purpose – because an innocent soul is an innocent soul and leaves a hole where once there was light.

Hold your loved ones tight. Love love love. Be kind. Be compassionate. Educate yourself. Help others on each and every occasion that you can.

I love all the light being sent to Manchester today…what power, what beauty.

Imagine if we could send out that wave each day to each person who needed it – how powerful we truly would become.

‘There is more that unites us than separates us’

Look at us all on that tiny sphere. So fragile and yet so very strong. Separateness is an illusion used to control us. I send love to my brothers and sisters all over this beautiful planet today and everyday ❤ ❤ ❤

Andrew Burnham, Mayor of Manchester, quite rightly said that the “Manchester terrorist no more represents Muslims than Jo Cox’s killer represents white people”.

Exactly.
Ignorance and laziness cause people to condemn an entire race, religion or country because of the act of the odd nutter/extremist… this plays right into the hands of every extremist movement, creating fear, hate and intolerance within communities… we are all people of the Earth , we may elect to follow a religion (generally based on which country we were raised and what our parents believed), we may follow a cultural behaviours based on the same, but these evil behaviours are not the result of any religious scriptures or cultural behaviours, they are the behaviours of weak-minded, warped individuals with a twisted sense of reality and a total disregard for humanity… we must stand together, arm in arm with our neighbours, irrespective of their skin colour, their dress code, their age, their sexuality, their religious beliefs or their ancestry….
We must not let the media propaganda (media terrorism) warp our minds into believing their rhetoric… Everyone is an individual being of our earth.

My only faith is the one I hold for Humanity; that humans are predominantly compassionate and kind and that we can, as humankind, drive out this culture of intolerance and hate without resorting to vilification of entire groups … we must stand together and give of our hearts, share of our minds and support of our being…
I may not have the best words or the most articulate response, but as always, I speak straight from my heart and mind and these are the only words I can find for the horrendous atrocities of this week… and I speak not just of what happened in Manchester …

 

If Music is the Food of Love, Play On…

16 May

when i was writing Tra-la-hahaha I had a funny feeling I’d mentioned my lack of singing ability before… and sure enough I had…

Rose Tinted Ramblings of a less ordinary life

Despite my varied but relatively limited artistic talents, a propensity to any type of musical skill has always evaded me.  From simply remembering songs/tunes/writers/performers through to singing or playing any musical instrument.

I was the only child in junior school, where choir was compulsory, to be told I could mime the words.  Something that had a profound effect on me throughout adolescence and adulthood until recently .  I was always embarrassed to sing and would always mime.  Now I blast it out and to hell with it.  Everyone is entitled to sing , whether they are in tune or not, its good for the soul.

i think about this a lot these days. Having been engulfed in music and musical initiatives since arriving in Llanwrtyd.  I am in awe of anyone who can sing or play an instrument.  I even have trouble keeping rhythm with a triangle.  Which, incidentally, was…

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Tra-la-hahaha…

15 May

I’m 50 later this year. I’ve spent about forty plus of those fifty years knowing I can’t sing and being embarrassed to sing where anyone can hear AQ me. It started at junior school when everyone was in choir and I was asked to mime my words. That devastating blow to my self-confidence and shame about my voice has been with me my whole life. I never do karaoke, I mime at gigs and on the odd occasion I do sing out loud I become mortified by any funny look I perceive heading in my direction. And on those occasions I’m asked to ‘shhhh’ I’m traumatized for days.

This last year I have been a bit more ‘to hell with it’. After all singing is good for the soul.  We should all be able to sing and dance as if no-one is watching or listening. There are only a few places and occasions I just get on with singing but my self-consciousness and knowledge of being terrible at it do haunt me.

But. And to me it’s a massive ‘but’. Hubby has taken literally my comment at the beginning of 2017 when I stated that this was my fiftieth birthday YEAR!!! I’ve been receiving ad-hoc gifts throughout. ( I know, I’m a very lucky girl)

Today though I got a gift that has terrified me

A mystery envelope

This was inside…..

O M G !!!!!

So…..

Do I laugh? Do I cry? Do I hide myself away in shame? How will I cope with the embarrassment? What if she visible cringes?

Hubby says ‘think how magic it would be if you could learn to sing and felt comfortable joining in”.

I’ll do it. But it’s going to be the most embarrassing and frightening thing I’ve done since… I don’t even know when. I’m 50 nearly. I should try things that scare me….

But what if I’m a lost cause? I’ll be mortified. It’s terrifying!  And poor Mrs Galletta!….

So what is it you have a hang up about? Or don’t you?  Come on, share. Make me feel less freaked…..

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

In our back yard….

14 May

Hubby has just pointed me in the direction of a folder on his computer titled “Cerdyn Villa wildlife”….

…. so I’ve had a peak

…and now I’m sharing some of the content with you… all of these have been seen in or from our garden

We do have more visitors: bull finches, tree creepers, crows, blackbirds, pheasants, red kites, buzzards, foxes, blackcaps, red starts , wrens… which he’s still trying to catch on his point and press camera…

In the meantime, did you spot the odd one out?!

Our new feathered friends….

13 May

Its been the most glorious 10 days weather wise here at Cerdyn Villa and new life is springing up in every corner
A robin has set up a squat in an old swallow nest in our garage

Robins nest inside swallows nest in our garage at Cerdyn Villa

A pair of blackbirds set up nest in there too and earlier this week whilst mummy blackbird was out getting herself a snack, Hubby managed to get a photo of the eggs

four little blue blackbird eggs

….and today when she popped out they’d all hatched…

now there is a whole family of blackbirds in the garage

Theres also a wren nesting in there

On the wall outside the sparrows are permanently feeding their demanding brood of youngsters and Hubby managed to catch them in action too

It’s always feeding time when you have to grow up as quickly as they do

Then under one of the shrubs in one of our borders, there is a female pheasant sat patiently on eggs , not sure how long she’s been there but we spotted her a fortnight ago…

Hoping to see babies wandering around soon.

 

It’s all about the Blog/Vlog etc…

12 May

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I love the blogger Rhyming with Wine, her poetic interpretations and observations have me in stitches.  Her most recent blog “The Stats Race”, sits perfectly with my views of social media and the knots I tie myself up with in an attempt to achieve my goals.  Basically, this blog is where I dump all the shit that pops into my head!.  However, I do it in the hope of entertaining, inspiring or provoking a reaction in you lovely lot (my readers…I say in the hope that there really is someone or sometwo out there).

Three months ago I set myself some challenges for 2017

Focus, Aspire, Inspire

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I thought it would be helpful to me and hopefully not too boring for you, if I were to check out my own progress and possibly re-evaluate

  1. Twitter: my following has just overtopped the 500 mark and I’m delighted, For me its quality rather than quantity so I shall start focusing on interactors more (when I work out exactly how to do that)… but if you are following me on @berni_Benton, then “thanks” and if you are also interacting with me then I think I’m a little bit in love with you because I love a good bit of banter
  2. I’m still trying to tidy up my twitter lists – I’ve started some, “fave bloggers”, ” fave artists”, ” fave…” etc… then i need to talk to these groups more – so I can get more out of them – I’d prefer dialog to monologue, and that’s down to me, timing and organisation (neither of which are in my current ‘strengths’ corner)
  3. Blog: my following is now 133, from 114, I’m aiming for 150 and my views are up from 13.5K to 15K and there’s still 6 months to go to make my 20K goal
  4. Teaching: I have massively enjoyed and proved myself to be pretty darned good at teaching, check out Community Project – progress report to see whats been going on.  I wanted another teaching commission out of it and the group I’m teaching are keen to have more sessions so we-hey!!! more teaching is on the cards
  5. Vlogging: I’ve started in a very very very small way, to vlog, I’ve not included my face or my voice so far but I have started to include video content into my blogs….I don’t know if you guys like it, perhaps you can let me know.
  6. I’ve joined Instagram – that’s an extra, wasn’t on my list at all but I think I can get to grips with that – lovely visual app and quick and easy to use… still working out how to use it properly but early days
  7. Facebook: not sure whats happening here , page likes down from 778 to 768… anyone fancy taking a look? It’s where I share stuff going on in and around our home and village, it’s a B&B in Mid Wales, very rural, extremely tranquil, and slightly crazy.. Pink Butterfly Art & Glass at Cerdyn Villa…
  8. Art: I’ve already done 3 more pieces of art this year, speculative spacescapes, have booked my FIRST EVER solo exhibition slot for March/April 2018 and have the rest of the pieces sketching out nicely in my head… it’s going to play on light and dark.  With black canvasses painting with colours and patterns emulation images from outer space and then representations of space made from stained glass and back-lit by natural light.  I have one commission glass panel confirmed and one pending approval (god i hope to get to make it, I always get excited once I’ve done the drawings).

perseus galaxy cluster witches broom nebula

Glass panel - based on Whirlpool Galaxy

All in all I’m pretty pleased with my progress.  I think my report card might read ” Is trying hard, achieving many of her goals, still some way to go, but with sustained commitment and the right support and determination there is no reason why Berni can’t make it”

Do you have a bucket list for your year? Hows it going?

Lucy At Home
Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Diary of An Imperfect Mum

When someone is not who you thought they were…

11 May

I lost a good friend this week.  Not because the person died.  Or even because we fell out (although I suspect we have); but because the person I thought he was turns out to be a lie.  Maybe not a total lie but a mish-mash of truth, non-truth, fabrication, fantasy and lies so deeply intertwined that unravelling the reality would be impossible.

I dated someone like this once.  I’d forgotten about it actually, perhaps the intense pain of it had been locked deep inside my internal filing system, locked with the key thrown away.  But the issues raised this week have forced open that lock; and with the advancement of my years; the lessons and experiences of various friends and more reading, I now recognise that the relationship I was in was unhealthy and that this person, whilst I am not one of the ones in a relationship with him, still exhibits the behaviour patterns.

Maybe I’m being melodramatic but I think that these days they might recognise it as “gaslighting”.  Gaslighting is defined as “to manipulate someone by psychological means into doubting their own sanity (own truth)”

Gaslighting – signs of…

It’s about the ability to baffle your mind.  Mixing moments of shared truth with detailed fabrication. The fabrication parts go into such depth and intertwine themselves with the bits you know to be true , this together with your love and trust for that person, your own sense of reality is lost.

The person will also take offence at your unwillingness to believe them; or be upset that you might question a representation of the truth that they present. They won’t like you talking to other people they are close to (as you might hear something different from them).  They will show so much compassion and concern at your subsequent confusion that you might wonder whether it is you being overly jealous; or maybe your memory of events is wrong; or maybe you are even mentally unwell.

This man from my past told me he loved me, behaved as if he loved me, spoke to me often and shared the intimate details of his past.  But he intertwined the truth of his life with detailed stories and complex lies.  We met abroad, he was working there, I was backpacking.  We were together over a year.  His truth that I knew was he had an ex in his home country.  I knew they had a child,  According to him she had been his childhood sweetheart but they had grown up and grown apart, their relationship was long over but he still saw and loved his son so they did see one another.  I had never asked to visit him at his home or meet any of his family least of all his son.  He instigated all that.  He wanted to fly me there, introduce me to his parents; meet his son.  To demonstrate he was serious he would phone me from a phone box (pre mobiles!!!) whilst with  his toddler and have me talk to the child on the phone.  He’d repeatedly tell me how he couldn’t wait for me to meet him..

The truth… my ticket never materialised.  She, his ex, was expecting their second child.  Turns out he had several other women too. some drunken sex others probably in the same boat as me.  Friends told me he had flings but he denied it;I thought I knew him; I didn’t see what was staring me in the face.  These and so many other things, should have been signs. They weren’t.  Love truly is blind.

Anyway, this is not something that has happened to me again but it is something I have seen happening to friends in the past .

Sadly,  it is now something I see happening to a couple of female friends who I know (because of him) and the perpetrator is a man I thought was something else.  He’s not.  It’s so sad because I really thought he was one of life’s rare, truly good guys.  It’s weird because I’m mourning the loss of a friendship.  I am in the cross fire of a situation I never wanted to be in and I don’t know how to handle it.  Part of me wants to ignore it and not lose my friend but I know too much that now I know what he has done we can never have the same friendship again.  Maybe we will have a friendship of sorts, it would be easier to have than not in a small community and with shared friendship circles, but that easy banter and easy access will never be there again.  Whatever the relationship becomes, it, like him, will be a fake.  I miss him.

Lucy At Home

Taking a breather…

10 May

You can’t beat a few moments of mindfulness at the end of a busy day

Life as a semi retired  (!) rural B&B owner, DIYer, gardener, decorator, car mechanic, and family diplomat can be pretty exhausting; but it’s all worthwhile when you can live somewhere like this and at the end of a long day, flop into a sunlounger with a pint of beer, a clear blue sky and the sounds of lambs and birds….

This hubby deserves his precious moments….

There’s nothing quite like this at the end of a long day

 

Oops….

8 May

So my blog a day for two weeks went belly up when I missed yesterday but I do have a good excuse. .. well a reasonably acceptable one anyway.

Yesterday was glorious weather wise and I had several gardening jobs for local customers that needed my attention.  I’d fallen a little behind due to not wanting  to garden on Saturday what with it being National Naked Gardening Day; I honestly felt that my elderly clients and the passing traffic could do without it!

Anyway it was with glorious sunshine and fully clothed I cleared two big gardening jobs yesterday and managed a couple of hours in my own garden too.

However, in the first garden I’d been bitten 3 times by red ants. By the time I finished the second job my arm from elbow to wrist was swollen to twice its size. I took antihistamine as soon as I got home, but it was really hot, red and tight.

I put a bicarbonate of soda paste poultice on it to try to neutralise the formic acid but mainly to cool it and reduce the aching. But it didn’t help and being my writing/ typing hand I just didn’t get a blog written.

As you can see, I’m writing now. Swelling has halved, itching has tripled, and bite points have blistered; but a course of steroids and stronger antihistamines are doing their thing.

And after that tale of woe I owe you something cwtchy from Cerdyn Villa…

 

150 years in the Heart of Wales

6 May

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Today celebrated 150 years of Llanwrtyd Wells Station.

Things have changed a lot.  Originally the Heart of Wales line ran multi-coach trains throughout each day bringing Victorian ladies and gentlemen, here to take the healing waters at the wells. It was a vibrant community with many shops and the line  transported goods as well as people.  It made the heart of the Heart of Wales accessible to All.

Llanwrtyd_Railway_StationThese days, whilst the station itself looks much the same, it only runs four single carriage trains each way each day.  But its still an essential asset to our community.

Llanwrtyd is at the central point of the Heart of Wales Line which runs between Shrewsbury and Swansea.  It is the only real public transport we have and it connects us to the rest of the UK.  My parents, for example, who live in Essex, visit us here at Cerdyn Villa, using the trains (Southend, London, Swansea, Llanwrtyd) and then a five minute stroll to our front door.

150 stationThe station buildings have recently undergone a transformation as far as re-purposing is concerned.  Community Transport have an office there.  There are weekly community coffee mornings and the elderly are transported to and from here for their morning tea.  And since the closure of our bank in the town aquare, Credit Union have set up a pay point in there , open every Tuesday and Thursday.

Inside there is a small IT suite with WIFI connectivity; a conference room and a sitting room filled with armchairs and sofas surrounding a lovely log burner.  Then of course there’s a small kitchen so teas/coffees and snacks can be prepared.

Outside there are well maintained gardens thanks to a group of volunteers from within the Llanwrtyd community, Friends of Llanwrtyd Station.

Today, the station, community rooms and gardens hosted a celebration. There was a picnic and live music.  The local school children from Ysgol Dolafon performed some beautiful country dancing. The last ever station master of Llanwrtyd Wells, John Davies, unveiled a plaque.  Our Mayor, peter James, gave a speech. And of course, the obligatory raffle.  (Anyone living in a small community knows that pretty much everything that happens is funded through the selling of raffle tickets!). Whatever was raised will be used to buy plants to keep the station looking as gorgeous as ever.

I can recommend the Heart of Wales Line for a scenic train journey or as a practical mode of transport; and if you should find yourself stopping off here at the midway point, I’m only a stones throw a way, so book a room and stay the night, Llanwrtyd really is a relaxing place to be.