Focus, Aspire, Inspire

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I have been inspired, as I often am, by certain bloggers I follow.  This time my muse is Debbie of My Random Musings.

As I flutter around in random formation, flitting from this project to that; this passion to that; this idea to that; this demand on my time to that; I get through my days,week and months in a blink of an eye.  Completing a lot of stuff; dipping my toes in many a pond and having a great deal of fun but it all kinds of floats around in a mishmash of activity without borders, direction or guidelines.

That’s all very well.  A nice, jolly, unfocused existence, guided by optimism and chance, but I really would like to look back on a year without being completely surprised by how I got from January to Christmas and the circuitous route I took to get there.

I’m not saying I don’t love the surprised.  I do.  That’s the problem.  I enjoy the freedom of it a little too much.  Sometimes to the point that at any point in the year I’m not really sure what sort of ground I might find under each footstep.  More importantly I’m not moving forward.  I’m treading the beautiful waters in which I wallow and am allowing myself to enjoy things as they float by; maybe latching onto them for stability for a few moments; but never really reeling myself in.

I’d like to be able to say my starting point was A by goals were B,C and D with a few distractions via M,Q and W, but I made it to D by the end of an allotted time.  I’d like to measure my achievements as well as list them.

So *deep breath* I’m taking Debbie’s advice and starting with a bucket list:

1.TWITTER – I’d love to have over 500 followers before the end of the year, a small hop rather than a leap  – in my mind I already know I really want 1000 but let’s be realistic about these things. This is me

2. ALSO TWITTER – I need to find help and learn how to use it more effectively – I love talking politics, parenting, art, religion, tourism – I don’t want to focus on one topic – I love to RAMBLE and REACT and REFLECT as he mood takes me and the words grab me but I must more effectively access the right people for each topic otherwise I am aware I may bore, or worse, annoy my followers

3.BLOGGING – again I want to ramble randomly so I’m aware I need to be smarter with my tags/metatags/linky’s/sharing . Again I need advice .  I can find lots of blog share site but I’m not interested in fashion, cosmetics, hair and makeup and I’m in the UK… I need to find other companions  – as fun as some of those I follow are – I need more of the random eccentrics out there.  I won’t put a link as you’re already here but feel free to have a look round if you can make it to the end of this post 😉

4.ALSO BLOGGING – I need to set a goal for ‘followers’ but I don’t really want followers so much as interactors – I’ll continue writing it even if no-one reads it because sometimes I can’t sleep until I get whatever it is out of my head.  however, it would be lovely to have a few people who felt inspired to discuss my content… Lets say I’ll aim for 36 new followers / contributors in 2017, 20,000 views

5.TEACHING – this is new to me, I’m loving it – teaching stained glass to members of the community as part of a funded Community Project – my goals are to be proud of the finished product, have it installed by the end of summer and to both blog and Vlog the process.  My aim is to obtain another teaching commission for 2018

6.STAINED GLASS ART- let’s get proactive instead of reactive.  Last year I started thinking about Christmas stock mid October – about 3 months too late when I had zero old stock to sell and had to close by order book on 5th Dec because for some reason we decided a holiday before Christmas would be relaxing.  It was.  The run up to it was definitely not.  So. START making Christmas glass in the summer.

7.ALSO STAINED GLASS – I am really really bad at marketing myself, my skills and my ETSY shop (I bet you are thinking ” whoa, she has an Etsy shop?!”) – I looked at my Etsy shop today and all items have expired.  I’ve not been updating my existing ‘made to order’ items or creating any new ones.  Target – never have my shop empty. Create 2 new designs before summer (lets say end July).  Anyway, here’s a link to the shop ..don’t look yet, I’ve written this but I haven’t done it yet, give me a few hours!!

8. ALSO STAINED GLASS – my favourite moment in the artistic process is creating a new design and making it for the first time.  I love most of all the commissioned one-off pieces.  As an artist rather than a commercial maker, the fun and challenge is in the original design and the presentation of it to the individual who asked for it.That said I really need to focus on marketing myself as a designer and maker of one off commissioned glass panels… If I could get 3 more commissions for 2017 I’d be a very happy bunny.

9.BED AND BREAKFAST – Cerdyn Villa is, in my mind small and perfectly formed .  I love that we run it like we are having friends over.  I love that we spend hours talking to our guests over breakfast or sharing our wine/beer in the garden on a rare warm sunny day.  Yes its a business, but mostly its a lifestyle choice.  What I wanted to do last year was to start running weekenders for like-minded people – eg: an artists retreat, a classic car enthusiasts retreat; that sort of thing.  Basically fill our 3 rooms and maybe have 4 or 5 campers come along – welcome drinks evening around a bonfire, breakfast together, some form of group activity, an evening meal together, possibly everyone heading to the local pub together for a pint, some other activity and away they go – fulfilled, enlightened and loving our home and this little village. My target is to run a first one in 2017…In September *better warn hubby*

10.ART  – as an acrylic artist I am again pretty crap at self promotion.  I would however be very happy to paint 2 more original spacescapes to add to my series and arrange for them to be exhibited somewhere before Christmas.  I’m not a mass creator of sellable art I just want to follow my passion and paint these for me – but be brave enough to put them out there for others to look at.

11.FACEBOOK.  I amalgamated my art page (Pink Butterfly Art & Glass) and our B&B page (Cerdyn Villa B&B into one with a view to create a ‘lifestyle hub’  The page is Pink Butterfly Art & Glass at Cerdyn Villa B&B or @CerdynVilla – I’d love to grow that to 1000 likes.

12.LIFESTYLE HUB – with so many facets to life I set up (with a lot of help from my friend and  mentor, Dinah) a ‘one-stop-shop ‘Lifestyle Hub’ combining my blog, Facebook, B&B website, art and twitter into one place from where everything can be accessed.  I need to make it more visible (how? – ok arrange more time with the gorgeous Dinah – for that but mostly for coffee and cwtches).  Plus I promised I’d start a VLOG... so my target is to set up a VLOG!!!

So there you go.  I shall continue fluttering about randomly rambling my way along but at the same time (yes I do plan to multi task), I shall keep my mind on these goals and moreover I shall report back in January on my success/failure/adaptations to the above.

Wish me luck, I’m going in!

Faith, Spirituality, Empathy and Humanity

21 Feb

I’m not completely sure of everything that I believe in.

For example, I can’t say how I feel about ghosts, spirits and their ability to communicate across planes, the form they take or whether they exist at all. I don’t know what I feel about spirits although I’ve weegee’d a fair bit and seemingly contacted various ‘spirits’.  I don’t know how I feel about sentient spirits interacting with living people in that I accept something is happening but it’s probably something to do with our subconscious minds.  I find it hard to accept that there is a true ability to interact across planes of existence (if there are other planes of existence).  I have several friends who I would explain away as extremely empathetic , but who consider themselves to be Mediums or Spiritual Healer.  I suspect a lot of healing comes from the belief in being healed.  I accept there are a lot of unanswered questions and  I do think there is more out there and more capacity within our brains than we yet understand or tap.

I do believe that we have subconscious and conscious skills beyond those that most of us use.  I also believe that way back before we became ‘civilised’ we were more able to tap into our instincts, communicate more intuitively and work alongside nature/seasons/elements.  I do believe that our energy lives on.  Science proves that energy is neither created or destroyed.  When we die our physical bodies decay and feed the earth, growing plants, feeding animals, continuing the circle of life.  Weather there is a ‘soul’ that exists separately? Whether this ‘soul’ contains consciousness and awareness of life as we know it? Those are matters on which I remain open to further evidence and scientific study.  I am definitely a sceptic.

I am however, completely sure of what I don’t believe.

I do not believe and feel it factual to say that there is no all-seeing divine, super being(s) controlling/orchestrating who is good/bad; who is healed/left to suffer; who is constantly watching/ignoring; who is determining our individual fates here/in any alternative life.  Religion is a man-made conscript which has evolved and changed through the millenia to suit those who dictate it and is dependant on where you were born and with what fables you were raised as to which story/ supreme being each individual worships.

I do however, have great faith in the inherent goodness of (wo)mankind and its abilities to make a difference by offering positive thoughts/kindness/actions to others. I do believe that a charitable and positive outlook makes you a happier more enriched person.  I do believe that actions speak louder than words.  That giving is receiving.  That laughter and friendship are the best medicine.  That love conquers all.

(I would add to this quote “and all life” after “fellow human beings” )

I am, at heart, a Humanist.  I find strength and solace in my friends and acquaintances.  I gain and grow from exploring new paths, listening to others and sharing kindness.  I try to stand up against wrongs; be loud for those who feel they do not have a voice; offer support to those who do not have the strength.  In return I try to accept the love and help of those around me , who feel the same essence of humanity and want to give of themselves as I want to give of myself.

This week I have been struggling.  I have felt pain and weakness and fatigue.  Friends have offered support each in their own way. Sympathy, spiritually, practically.  I’ve had massage, pampering, kind words, visits and positive energy sent to me from all directions.  Its interesting, because those with a religion will say they will pray for you.  Perhaps this is the same as me or other friends , offering positive thoughts.  Although we are offering humanity and nature up as a healing source; and those of religion are requesting that their supreme being consider looking out for you.  In both instances the intention is the same.. it is a human wilfulness to care for your best interests and well-being.

The world around us; plants, animals, seasons, skies, and all of nature are suppressed by the unnatural infrastructure we have created.  Nature will eventually win out.  We cannot tame it .  We might adjust it for a time.  But when we leave, either voluntarily or through our own demise.  Nature will take over again.  The evidence of our footprint on the earth would soon be buried deep in the earth and nature will , if necessary continue without us.  We can forge our own battles against it for our short-term convenience and gain and nature will let us; for a while.  But, when we push too far, get too greedy with the resources of this planet, nature will fight back and win.  And it might well do it without us being part of the natural future.

We think we are supreme, intelligent and resourceful because we build, invent, communicate and utilise the resources of this planet.  Because we are now reaching beyond our world and in time will do the same on distant planets.  But there are limited resources, limited tolerances that this planet and atmosphere will allow us to control.  There has to be balance.  Greed and corporations are not balance. They are egos.  Egos will eventually lose to nature., be they a whole race, an economic construct, or a political ideal.  These artificial controls of resources for greed, control and financial gain will eventually fall; but at what price to humankind?

Interestingly, and surprisingly as I’ve sat here ‘mind dumping into written word’ the words spilling into this blog are not those I had expected.  I was meaning to extrapolate into alternative healing and goodwill and have turned instead to ecology and economic politics!  Fortunately, for me at least, that is the joy of just leaving your fingers to ride the keyboard and spill the mind onto the page.  I never quite know where it will lead … sometimes, quite often actually, I’m not even aware that the thoughts that appear were even in my head.  Oh the joy of letting your mind do the talking!

Anyway, today I am being extremely kind to myself.  I am being mindful.  I am listening to my joints and muscles, I am giving them permission to rest and heal.  I am reading, writing, sitting, resting.  I am allowing my friends to advise me and guide me.  I am letting my husband allow me the freedom to stop.  I am relaxing, recovering and regaling my thoughts to you all.

Try it.  Let your mind wander through your fingers from a starting point of your choosing and see where it takes you.  You may discover something new about yourself .  Or try mine about ‘belief’.

I would love to hear from you xxxx

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My Random Musings

Sometimes it pays just not to have a plan for the day…

20 Feb

So, I thought John was the best person for this issue and he agreed to have a go at posting on my blog today…  Here’s what he’s been doing:

I try not to have any fixed plans for my day, as whenever I do, something always happens to scupper them.  That’s not to say that I have no idea what I am going to do when I wake up in the morning, just a vague notion of what I might get done if the universe doesn’t get in the way.  I feel that if my preparations become too concrete, the world picks up on this and throws a spanner in there – so I try to keep things sort of just in the corner of my mind’s eye, if you get my drift.

Anyway, there are two examples of this from the last three days.  Firstly, after making detailed plans to spend Saturday helping Jason weld up his car exhaust and replacing the throttle cable on Berni’s car, we get a last-minute booking for the B&B and we have no rooms even slightly ready…  and I mean still-full-of-decorating-crap not ready.  Cue the last-minute booking panic procedure!  As it turned out we still also managed to fix the cars, but it wasn’t at quite the leisurely pace I had envisaged.

Today I had big plans to make a massive dent in the remains of the afore-mentioned decorating, until that was, I heard what sounded like a truck crashing into a massive metal tank from outside the back door.  I couldn’t see anything that might have caused this, so put it down to the military messing around on the range again and carried on with my morning chores (albeit with a small section of my brain still trying to work out what that sound could have been).  A little later there was a strange whooshing noise from outside which once again I could not identify.

Stepping through the back door I was assailed with the stench of gas and immediately looked towards our propane gas tank.  The cover seemed to be missing and there was a fountain of liquid propane squirting out of the pressure relief valve.  Eeeek!  Straight onto the emergency hotline and a technician was despatched – in the interim I was advised not to strike any matches, flick any switches or create a spark by any other means.

Once my saviour arrived it became evident that the last gas delivery man had over-filled the tank and the 10 degree increase in temperature since that delivery, along with the fact that the sun was shining, had caused the liquid to boil and the gas pressure to increase until the valve let rip to release the otherwise very dangerous pressure.  This was something that just didn’t happen in winter he had great joy in telling me.

After he vented a large amount of liquid into the air the pressure dropped sufficiently for just gas to be escaping, so that he was able to set light to it and flare off the excess.  It turns out that this excess is at least 150 litres and it will take several hours to reduce the pressure to safe levels.  As I am writing this, the sun is setting and the massive flame is starting to look quite pretty – shame about the horrible roaring sound that goes with it.

So, after two hours or so the gas pressure has been normalised and the tank and all connected systems have been checked for safety.  Life may now go on as before, except without any firm plans!

Here are some short video clips that give a better idea of what was experienced today:

Venting the excess liquid

Burning off the gas

Better as it got dark!

Migraines….

12 Feb

How many of you suffer from migraines?  Do you find their arrival predictable?  Do you have a recognised set of symptoms?

Personally I usually get mine at the beginning of or during my period (a common trigger apparently).  They begin with a mild headache that will not shake when normally a couple of paracetamol will quash it.  By the time I realise I’m getting a migraine there’s nothing I can do because I can’t keep anything down.

The headache takes on a pressure that makes my head and neck so heavy. My head throbs, my cheeks ache, my gums are painful, my eyes feel like they are bulging.  I then become supersensitive to light, movement and noise.  The pressure on my head makes me feel nauseous.  The only release is to vomit.    Thus starts a cycle of vomiting and agonising pain throbbing throughout my head,neck and face.  A dark quiet room is not dark enough or quiet enough.  I need a slight weight on my head and eyes so I put on an eye mask and I put on a hat or a compress.  I climb into bed in between trips to the bathroom to be sick and ride it out for about 8 hours.  Then I sleep.

The next day I am flimsy, that’s the best word I can come up with.  I feel very shaky and fragile.  I feel like I could use a head and neck brace… I feels I can barely support my own head without help.  I’m not sensitive to input but unable to keep up with it. I certainly am not safe to drive.  It’s like my eyes and ears see or hear something and there is a notable delay in processing.  That means I can cope with a small amount of input but if things happen too fast I can’t cope at all.

I know that the following morning the world will be ‘normal’ again.

Do any of you have regular, or predictable migraine symptoms? What are they? How do you deal with them?

When in Rome…

14 Jan

mountain bike chariot racing  llanwrtyd wells green events

Ok so we’re not in Rome we’re in Llanwrtyd Wells, Mid Wales but you could be forgiven today for being a little confused.  Romans, charioteers, Saturnalia feast, togas…. just another of the weird and wonderful festivals and events we like to enjoy her in our little town in the Welsh heartlands.  A good way to cheer up a dreary Saturday in January

Is this the 9th or 10th, or 11th World Mountain Bike Chariot Racing, I forget, but that’s not important.  Green Events, who run this, also run a multitude of other ‘alternative’ sporting events.  They began 35 years ago with the creation of the Man v Horse v Bike Marathon (now only Man v Horse due to bridleway legislation). Annually this attracts both media and participants from around the globe.

Then came World Bog Snorkelling, often televised on channels such as Transworld Sport and Eurosport.  Add to these Real Ale Wobbling, Bog Triathlon, Mountain Bike Bog Snorkelling and, more recently the bi-annual fortnight of World Alternative Games and you have yourself one pretty special place.  You’d probably be surprised then to discover its nestled in the middle of Wales at the bottom of the most rural county and in the UK’s smallest town, Llanwrtyd Wells, population c700, except on event weekends when it might double in size.

So, following Mari Llwyd and the torch lit processions that saw in our New Year, we have just energised 2017 with a spot of charioteering with a difference.  Two mountain bikes joined on a fixed metal T-bar, pulling an oil drum chariot around the grounds of a rural holiday centre.

green events mountain bike chariot racing 2017 llanwrtyd

And, tonight, once the mud is washed off and the tootsies de-thawed, we shall enjoy a Saturnalia feast and toga party in our favourite watering hole, The Neuadd Arms Hotel

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saturnalia roman feast neaudd arms hotel llanwrtyd

#TheDaddyTag Challenge

9 Jan
Meet John...

Meet John…

My ‘Hubby’ (we’ve now been happily not married for 22 years), in my humble opinion, has been, and continues to be, an amazing dad to our son (now 19 and at University).  He’d also been a dad before (two boys now in their 30s).

Having discovered #TheDaddyTag via the responses on twitter from @ShinnersBrood who has nominated me to do it (Thank God! I was desperate to give it a go and gave a HUGE HINT); and as a result of my unofficial New Years Resolution to ‘get to grips with twitter’ (yes that means #hashtags and #linkys but DOES NOT commit me to being an organised and predictable blogger- I shall be continuing my Random Ramblings at random intervals as life continues to inspire me) I have discovered both #EatsleepblogRT and #wineandboobs ( #snigger)…. anyway, as ever , I digress….

 

John and Jason

John and Jason

I wondered how my man viewed his first and second times as a dad.Here’s his responses to #thedaddytag challenge …

Are you a Stay at Home Daddy or a Working Daddy?

I’ve been lucky enough to have been both, given two shots at it.

Would you have it any other way?

First time I always felt I wasn’t home enough.  Second time I was older and not so financially strapped so was able to balance life better

Do you co-change dirty nappies? Even the very smelly ones?

I did with all of them… thankfully he (they) can change his (their) own now!!  First time round it was my job to wring out the stenching nappy bucket (back in the 80’s it was still terry towelling… I did it with a tea-towel masked to my face.  Modern dad second time round it was a breeze – no poo scraping and bleach soaking.

A little fairy gives you the possibility of breastfeeding? Are you going for it or do you run away?

ooo err, I’d probably have been too busy playing with my tits!!!  Seriously though it would be great to give it a go.  Hell of a bonding experience.

What is the one must-have item for a daddy?

It’s not an item its a mind-set – the ability to not be embarrassed to act like a child.  Climbing trees, jumping in puddles, crawling around on the floor to play cars.

(I must chip in here – he always acts like a child and is happy to make a fool of himself – even if the ‘kids’ aren’t around…. I find it quite endearing)

How many kids do you plan on having?

(Sniggers), not any more certainly!  Threes anti social enough!  I planned on two but then again didn’t expect to find myself having a second chance.  B wanted kids and I think it’s every womans right to do so.  I was, needless to say, more than happy to oblige

(Chipping in again , I might point out that he’s a very lucky boy and I’m MUCH younger than him, I wanted a child before I was 30 and J was born 10 days before my 30th birthday – well done John!)

Lads’ nights? How often do you have them?

I’m not really a ‘lads nights’ sort of guy.

(Even now I’m the one for the nights out and he stays in to enjoy the peace and quiet)

Your children’s favourite achievement?

now they’re grown I can honestly say there are so many and I’m proud of every single one of them from all of them… Proud Dad

(truly proud, and rightly so, all his (our) boys are gorgeous inside and out – he even has a YouTube channel called Proud Dad 1956 – yes he really is 60 now!!! Did I mention I was much younger? 😉 )

What is your best memory with your kid(s)?

Just playing.  whatever that may be ; board games, cars, train sets, running around, kicking a ball, whatever that may be.  Playing…

(we still play – the good thing about boys is they never really grow up so if there’s a game going, they’re all up for it… whenever any of them are home all the board games come out and everyone has always played to win, no discretion even when they were toddlers – john is very competitive , especially at Monopoly)

Name one thing you miss since being a daddy?

nothing.  honest.

(In my opinion, he was born to be a dad, he shines when he’s with his kids… now he’s keen to do it again on a Grandpa scale…. #hinthint)

Weight gain, before pregnancy, during, after and now? And we meanYOU DADDY, not the mummy!

Tee Hee, that’s all to do with beer and bread!!!  Contentment = fat; Worried = thin.  Kids make me content

(John has never and probably will never be fat he may gain  then lose the same stone.  As a teen his waist was 28″ as an adult its been 30-34″, usually 32″… if only mine had stayed at that)

Dream holiday with your kids?

the beach – sand castles, dams and digging holes

(to be honest he does that on the beach even without the kids – it’s just less embarrassing if he’s not building dams alone!)

Dream holiday without your kids or even without the other half? (You’re allowed to dream)

International Space Station

(I guess he’ll be leaving me at home then, I don’t even enjoy flying!)

How has your life changed since having kids?

Bloody hell its been so long!  first time I felt the traditional need to be a provider and as i was much younger and newly married I had constant financial worries.  Second time round I sill wanted to be the provider but was able to provide in a more well-rounded way …so it was less stressful.  But change?  I think you would have to go back to the teenage tear-away me to see anyone different than you see now.

Finish the sentence “It makes my heart melt when…”

When my boys laugh.  (Especially if its me that is making them laugh!!)

Favourite beers brands and football team?

The local brew from the walking distance micro brewery “Big Red Chopper ” by Heart of Wales Brewery

I have no interest in professional football but always enjoyed being on the sidelines in the junior leagues when my eldest played.  The other two are like me and have no interest in it (playing or watching)

Huggies or Pampers?

Being a second time round dad, anything is better than terry towelling

Have you always wanted kids?

yes

Best part of being a dad?

Seeing them learn and grow into happy, responsible adults

Three handsome sons

Three handsome sons

PS: I’ve just let him read it t hough now I’ve added the photos and my comments’ he said , and i quote “well, if I don’t pull after that review …”

NB: thanks to @moderndadpages @omgitsagirl2015 for #wineandboobs ( #sniggeragain #sochildish) and @petite_pudding @animperfectmum for #EastSleepBlogRT and finally thanks to @FrenchieMummy for #TheDaddyTag Challenge.

daddytagchallenge

Brilliant blog posts on HonestMum.com

Modern Dad Pages

Diary of An Imperfect Mum

What happens to the magic when your kids stop believing?….

10 Dec

 

When our son was five we got up in the middle of the night (with him in tow obviously ..) and got in a taxi to the airport.  From there we took the Santa special to Lapland, where we drank in an ice hotel, rode on dog sleighs, and ventured into the frozen forest to find Santa in his cosy cabin. It was a magic moment, Santa gave him a gift, which was a different Action Man to the multitude of Action Men he already had in his vast collection.   How did Santa know he loved Action Man and that he’d not got this one? (Even i was impressed my that I have to say!).

After some hot chocolate and food we sped back across the frozen lake on a skidoo back to the plane.  The pilot thought he had seen Santa and the reindeer practicing their take-offs and landings so all the kids were glued to the windows trying to catch a glimpse .

Then we were home again.

On the big night that year as in the previous and the subsequent, we tracked Santa with the help of NASA, noting where he had already been and how many presents they thought he had already delivered. Most importantly , how long before he arrived with us!

We’d put milk and carrots outside the back door for the reindeer.  Quality Street and Ribena for Santa (we didn’t want him to get too tipsy before he’d finished his nights work).  The reindeer always spilt some of the milk.  Santa never managed to eat all the chocolates… but who could blame him, mince pies, biscuits and chocolates in every house… he’d eat one or two and take a sip of his drink.

One year our son was amazed ‘look mummy Santa’s used the same wrapping paper that you had last year!”…close call that one.

That magical trip to Santa’s home cemented his belief in Santa beyond that of his friends with elder siblings and those who had never really met the ‘real’ Santa, (just his helper Santa’s who covered the stores and streets taking messages on the run up to Christmas).

One teary afternoon at school pickup a couple of years later my son had a disagreement with a lad who tried to tell him Santa didn’t exist.  He was so frustrated and angry at that boy.

10842032_10152464256613204_5215362404216429676_oOf course over the next year or two the Tooth Fairy and Easter Bunny became games we played rather than reality.  A tooth under the pillow meant a shiny coin in the morning.  and to this day we still have an Easter Egg Hunt (he’s 19, but he and his friends insist!).

I fretted and became quite anxious about the day he would ask if Santa was made up.  In my mind I over-analysed the potential damage I had done to him through ‘lying’. I over talked it with my hubby and it became quite a nuisance in my mind.  Then I worried and fretted that he was the only one who still did believe and was arguing vehemently with those who disagreed.  I became concerned he’d be ridiculed or bullied.

Of  course none of my fears played out.  The doubts about Santa crept in slowly, we kept playing the game, he kept pretending because he thought if he didn’t he might not get gifts!  And anyway it was FUN.  Eventually the conversation had to happen.

I told him that whilst Santa himself isn’t real the ‘magic’ really is.  The fact that everyone plays along  and joins in the fun makes it pretty amazing.  NASA has Santa tracking software for Christs sake!  The pilot on the aeroplane that time had been in on it.  All the adults, all the older brothers and sisters all played along to make it special.  Never mind the fact that families all got together and had a lovely time together; charities raised extra money; humanity showed itself to be altruistic and generous; empathetic and caring to the wider community.  All of that goodwill and kindness; all of those stories and symbols made for a pretty spectacular kind of human magic.

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Christmas in May

OK so these days we don’t put out carrots and milk or chocolates and ribena.  And we don’t have to keep sending him back to bed because its only 5am, 5:30am, 6am… In fact for a few years through his early teens it was hubby and I knocking on his door asking if we could go down for a fry up and to open presents!  These days we have a wonderfully leisurely morning on Christmas Day. Then, whilst dinner is cooking, we take a stroll to our local pub where the community gathers for a pint and to wish each other a merry Christmas.  Sometimes in the village square there are carols on horse back with riders in tinsel handing out song sheets to the families milling around.  Then its home; a couple more pressies; a few drinkies and then a late lunch/early tea. A Christmas festive bonanza. Usually with at least some members of the family are with us; always with a spare place set to remember those who can’t be with us.  Later its board games, laughter, phone calls, drinking, more present opening (we do tend to take our time).

It truly is a magic time.  Sometimes it happens several times in the year.  With family spread far and wide and parents getting older by the year (as they do), we might have several mini Christmases in several locations over the coming weeks.  For some years, for hubby’s parents , we held a special Christmas during their visit to us in May… seeking out a tree and putting up some decorations,  ensuring we had crackers left over so we could pull them with lunch.. and of course Christmas dinner, with all the trimmings, presents and board game playing.  Yes, magic indeed.

Just because something isn’t real, doesn’t necessary make it any less valuable or meaningful.  For our family at least, the magic which was passed to us, has been handed down to our son. One day, he will be adding little traditions of his own to create a unique magic for his own family….

In the meantime, don’t worry about your kids as they grow.  I don’t know why I worried about scarring our son when he discovered I’d been “lying”.  I never felt scarred by my parents.  My own magic and enjoyment of Christmas has continued to grow as additional practices get added to our family traditions. so on the run up,  I shall very much look forward to this coming Christmas; to the extra effort we all make to touch base with our friends afar; to the arrival of family members; and the spending of extra time with friends.

Merry Christmas, Happy  Festivities, Goodwill, peace and kindness to you all

See you next year xxxxx

christmas

 

 

 

Am I too late for Christmas?!……

15 Nov
Christmas Stained Glass, Robin, Xmas Trees, Holly, Mistletoe, Stars

Some of my more Christmassy glass designs

As an individual, I’m not very good at early planning for Christmas.  Unfortunately this is also true of my ‘business head’.  Until I moved to Wales and got in touch with my ‘creative side’ I played the whole 9-5 game.  As a self-employed Artisan (as I now am)  I really need to start thinking about Christmas at the beginning of October (latest), whereas in my ‘past life’ I refused to consider it until after my birthday (which is 19th November and honestly this post is not a hint for birthday wishes…..)

Anyway, this year I have gotten a little better, I started thinking about it on 8th November (only a month late right?).  Unfortunately (or fortunately depending on your view-point), we actually have a winter sun holiday booked for a week in December pre-Christmas, so my “business window of opportunity” has shrunk at the other end too.  I only made that realisation yesterday as I updated my Etsy shop with Christmas stock.

xmas, chrismas, christmas trr, decorations, baubles, trinkets,

Quirky Christmas Tree Decorations, Suncatchers

Needless to say I’m a rubbish business manager but am an excellent free-spirit and hedonist!!!

I do however have a small window of time in which to offer anyone interested a commissioned stained glass trinket or an item from my collection

I’m currently up in the middle of the night cutting out robins, blue tits and holly.  Ok, to be honest as its so blatantly obvious, I’m blogging about cutting out robins, blue tits and holly, but as soon as I stop typing, I promise you I’ll be right back at it…

Me in Blackpool when I really should have been home cutting glass and things in preparation for Christmas!!

Life is a celebration …..

10 Nov

I think I am almost recovered from the crazy shenanigans of last weekend.  What a blast.  What a testament to friendships and family.  John, my hubby (we’ve been happily not married now for 22 years) had his 60th.

what a cake!

what a cake!

 

At this point I must remind everyone that I am much MUCH younger than him.  I may have mentioned it once or twice before.

Friends and family began arriving on Friday, the pre-party party wound up at 2am after much merriment and a little practice drinking.

I, and my amazing friend Kate, had been at the party for a week.  She created the most incredible chocolate overload of a cake ever (plus an extra one for our son for his birthday 4 days later).  Between us we prepared enough food for a hot buffet to feed sixty people.  Wonderful friends from Essex , acquired fireworks (well a 5th of November birthday really does need a display), as they really are the experts in that field having hosted annual displays for god knows how long.  Family and friends began to arrive throughout Saturday in camper vans and cars, so we headed to the pub.

Musicians.  Who knew we knew so many who would generously offer their talent for the longest open mic session know to Llanwrtyd 9pm until 3;30am was filled with jamming and talent and more talent and more variety of great music – we had blues and rock n roll, folk and rock.  Guitars, drums, bass, djembe, harmonica, violin, vocals, percussion. Music, dancing, friends and laughter. A wonderful, wonderful night.

And what does one buy a man of sixty?  It seems alcohol is they way to go!!! We have enough to open an off-licence…. or see us through to Christmas anyway 😉

So, now I’m recovered (recovering), I want simply to tell you all how blessed I am and how loved he is.  So many people.  So much love and laughter.  So much joy and happiness. So much generosity of time and spirit.  So much wonderful community.  We, because of you all; friends new and old; near are far make our community; our world; our life.

I spent some time trying to finish that sentence with another word.  You make our world “good” “joyous” “safe” “happy” “whole” “fulfilled” …all those things and more….but simply, you really do “make our world”, and we love you all for it xxxxxxxxxxxxxxxx

Happy birthday boy!

Happy birthday boy!

You can even enter on the day – memorial Half Marathon … come on…

8 Oct

…and Do Do the Ron Run…

It’s the 11th Memorial Half Marathon in Llanwrtyd Wells on 23rd October. a 12.5 mile fell/mixed terrain run in a figure of eight from and to the town square twice.  In memory of the late great Ron Skilton, co-founder of Green Events Ltd (who bring you Bog Snorkelling, Man v Horse, Chariot Racing , Real Ale Wobbles and Summer Cider Cycles)… A fabulous family run event, marshalled entirely by member of the Skilton family who reunite here annually in his memory.  Open to solo runners or two person relays.  All ages from 14 up.  You can even enter on the morning of the event.  This year its on Sunday 23rd October.  So all I can say is come along and Run Run Run Run…

all the details are on my original blog about it from 2013…

https://rosetintedramblings.wordpress.com/2013/10/24/come-on-and-do-the-ron-run/