Is “Planning” Permitted Now?

Organizer, Calendar, Schedule

Fandango has asked WHAT OUR PLANS FOR SEPTEMBER ARE. Plans! Plans!!! I thought 2020 had blown the idea of making plans right out of the water!!!

I am just fighting to get myself some kind of routine resembling the one I had before this year. Officially I am back to my normal hours, however I am not yet because I need to help cover the holidays of my colleagues (as they are covering mine when I have had time off recently). Also our students are hoping to go back to university soon, so we will lose them from our team. So (paid) work is eating up too much of my time.

My hope is to increase the amount of unpaid work I do for charities. But at the moment we are limited in some of our activities. So in some ways it may be wise to utilise this time to build up some funds so I can be available when we are allowed to increase our activities.

But in all honesty…I am not looking all that far ahead right now. One day at a time, one week at a time. I am just trying to endure in many respects. But I try to make sure I make time to enjoy life too. Jack is wonderful at helping me to enjoy life. I want to make the most of every moment with him!

My plan for September – to survive. To endure and to enjoy. I might have to pull some warmer clothes out of storage too. We’ll see. No matter what happens…I will keep singing!


This was my response to the FANDANGO’S DOG DAYS OF AUGUST for today:

Fandango’s Dog Days of August

In All The Universe, There Is Only One You

Space, Deep Space, Galaxy, Nebula, Stars

I could spend eons searching every inch of outer space. I could discover the most spectacular and dazzling creations. I could be staggered at the extraordinary majesty and awe-inspiring brilliance of the universe.

But I would never find anything quite like you.


This was my response to the 42-word writing prompt hosted by Deb Whittam, the creator of Twenty Four:

The Best Day At Work Ever!!!

I noticed that Fandango had asked us to write about our “best job ever” and decided that surely it was time to repost this post from over two years ago!


jhvbdkjxhfbMonday morning hey!  I am sure that you bounced out of bed this morning full of eagerness and excitement that a new working week commences today….

Hee hee!  Back to the old grindstone it is.  Alarm clock ringing at some unearthly hour of the morning, leaving the house feeling barely conscious and squeezing our way onto public transport with scores of other commuters who all look as if they need a very strong espresso to inject some life into them.

To cheer both myself and your very good selves up I thought I would tell you about my best Monday morning ever!!!

I had a phone call about fifteen mwelliesinutes before I was due to leave my little cottage to head for work. “Bring your wellington boots” were the instructions.  So, I guessed I would be working outside.

So I set off in my wellies, curious about what my Monday morning would entail.  The gentleman who owned the estate where I worked met me near the fence to a meadow en route to their large mansion.  He was wearing his wellington boots too.  He pointed up to the meadow where they had a few sheep.

Now the sheep in that field were just pets really.  They didn’t farm sheep for their wool or meat.  They just kept a few as lawn-mowers and a lovely addition to the view from their kitchen window.  We had to put out fresh hey for them, but for the most part not too much work was involved in caring for the sheep.

On this particular Monday morning, we had to perform a task I had never imagined.

SheepFirst of all, we had to chase the sheep around a field and gather them into an enclosure. I wish there was a drone filming me and the squire running around the field trying to herd the sheep into one corner.  People would pay good money to see comedy like that. It makes me laugh just thinking about it.  We must have made quite a sight!

It took some time to accomplish the first part of our task.  The next stage in our assigned work for the day was even more interesting.  We had to turn each sheep upside down (one at a time of course) so they were on their backs.  Why on earth were we doing this?

So that we could cut their toenails!!! (That’s what he told me we were doing. But we were trimming their hooves in reality) Poor sheep!  Although, it is important for their health apparently.  What a task!

That was indeed one of the most memorable Monday mornings I have had.

I have done various types of work over the years. I have worked in finance, as a receptionist, administrator, legal and medical secretary, gardener, cleaner, sign language interpreter, pharmacy dispensing assistant, laundry, cook, teacher, proofreader (I know I know, you’d never guess by the amount of typos in my blogging posts!), data entry clerk, driver, painter/decorator, I worked for a record company, I have cared for terminally ill patients and those with dementia.  I have cared for ponies, chickens, pets, I have walked dogs – (£15 per hour for each dog in case you were wondering – and that was what the clients offered, I didn’t suggest that rate).


The list goes on and on!

I have had some pretty dismal Monday mornings I have to admit.  But on the whole work is rewarding and I just grin and bear the challenging times, knowing it is temporary. There are many occasions when I wish my Monday morning would involve a phone-call with the instructions “Bring you wellington boots…the sheep are due their toe-clipping!”

Fandango’s Dog Days of August


A Doubly Cruel Summer

Bali, Sun, Summer, Indonesia, Pool, GirlI feel a little blue today. Jack is trying to cheer me up. I think it is just the sadness that follows an amazing week with family and then not knowing what to do with myself now I am back in London. Jack is such a sweetheart. He does not like to see me sad and has been trying to cheer me up. It will pass. It’s a mix of tiredness. missing the joy of being with family and dreading having to go back to (paid) work. Jack is  great. He really is.

I think I am also mourning the loss of summer. Spring and summer seem to have come and gone with me trapped inside the walls at work, missing out on the sunshine and verdant green. Most of that time I had no Jack. Now I have him. I am so glad. He is the best consolation, the best comfort, the best celebration in what seems to have been a cruel summer.

Jim Adams, aka Newepicauthor, the creator of A Unique Title For Me, is hosting SONG-LYRIC-SUNDAY and as you will have seen, this week he has chosen the theme: CRUEL/EVIL/HORRIBLE/MONSTER/WICKED. I already picked a song for today, Bananarama’s “Cruel Summer“. But I listened to the Taylor Swift “Cruel Summer” and I did enjoy it. I will let my friend know it gets the thumbs up from me.


Fever dream high in the quiet of the night
You know that I caught it (Oh yeah, you’re right, I want it)
Bad, bad boy, shiny toy with a price
You know that I bought it (Oh yeah, you’re right, I want it)

Killing me slow, out the window
I’m always waiting for you to be waiting below
Devils roll the dice, angels roll their eyes
What doesn’t kill me makes me want you more

And it’s new, the shape of your body
It’s blue, the feeling I’ve got
And it’s ooh, whoa oh
It’s a cruel summer
It’s cool, that’s what I tell ’em
No rules in breakable heaven
But ooh, whoa oh
It’s a cruel summer
With you

Hang your head low in the glow of the vending machine
I’m not dying (Oh yeah, you’re right, I want it)
We say that we’ll just screw it up in these trying times
We’re not trying (Oh yeah, you’re right, I want it)

So cut the headlights, summer’s a knife
I’m always waiting for you just to cut to the bone
Devils roll the dice, angels roll their eyes
And if I bleed, you’ll be the last to know

Oh, it’s new, the shape of your body
It’s blue, the feeling I’ve got
And it’s ooh, whoa oh
It’s a cruel summer
It’s cool, that’s what I tell ’em
No rules in breakable heaven
But ooh, whoa oh
It’s a cruel summer
With you

I’m drunk in the back of the car
And I cried like a baby coming home from the bar (Oh)
Said, “I’m fine,” but it wasn’t true
I don’t wanna keep secrets just to keep you
And I snuck in through the garden gate
Every night that summer just to seal my fate (Oh)
And I scream, “For whatever it’s worth
I love you, ain’t that the worst thing you ever heard?”
He looks up, grinning like a devil

And it’s new, the shape of your body
It’s blue, the feeling I’ve got
And it’s ooh, whoa oh
It’s a cruel summer
It’s cool, that’s what I tell ’em
No rules in breakable heaven
But ooh, whoa oh
It’s a cruel summer
With you

I’m drunk in the back of the car
And I cried like a baby coming home from the bar (Oh)
Said, “I’m fine,” but it wasn’t true
I don’t wanna keep secrets just to keep you
And I snuck in through the garden gate
Every night that summer just to seal my fate (Oh)
And I scream, “For whatever it’s worth
I love you, ain’t that the worst thing you ever heard?”
(Yeah, yeah, yeah, yeah)

Written by: Jack Antonoff, Annie Clark and Taylor Swift

It’s A Cruel, Cruel Summer

Jim Adams, aka Newepicauthor, the creator of A Unique Title For Me, is hosting SONG-LYRIC-SUNDAY and this week he has chosen the theme: CRUEL/EVIL/HORRIBLE/MONSTER/WICKED

Well…erm I think I am going to choose as lighthearted a song as I can think of because this theme has thrown up some bizarre songs in my lyrics finder!

Beach, Vacation, Girl, Summer, Sea

I know there is a Taylor Swift song called “Cruel Summer”, which I need to listen to at some stage to please my friend, one of the most obsessive “Swifties” out there. But to me (child of the eighties) it is Bananarama who “own” that song title.

I love the video to this song…because although the lyrics give the impression that a lover has been abandoned in the height of a burning hot summer…these girls are still partying. I approve. In cases of abandonment, rather than sulking at home with a bottle of wine, get out and dance in the street with your mates if you can. It takes the sting out of a cruel summer.

Hot summer streets
And the pavements are burning
I sit around

Trying to smile
But the air is so heavy and dry

Strange voices are saying
What did they say
Things I can’t understand
It’s too close for comfort
This heat has got right out of hand

It’s a cruel, cruel summer
Leaving me here on my own
It’s a cruel, cruel summer
Now you’re gone

The city is crowded
My friends are away
And I’m on my own

It’s too hot to handle
So I got to get up and go

It’s a cruel, cruel summer
Leaving me here on my own
It’s a cruel,
It’s a cruel cruel summer
Now you’re gone
You’re not the only one

It’s a cruel, cruel summer
Leaving me
Leaving me here on my own
It’s a cruel,
It’s a cruel cruel summer
Now you’re gone

It’s a cruel, cruel summer
Leaving me here on my own
It’s a cruel, cruel summer
Now you’re gone
You’re not the only one

It’s a cruel, cruel summer
Leaving me
Leaving me here on my own
It’s a cruel,
It’s a cruel cruel summer
Now you’re gone
You’re not the only one

Written by the cracking team of:  Anthony John Swain,  Siobhan Maire Deirdre Stewart,  Steven Nicholas Jolley, Sarah Elizabeth Dallin, and  Keren Jane Woodward


Sadje Has Nominated Me For An Award Named After Someone I Have Never Heard Of

I came across an award nomination from Sadje, the creator of Keep it alive, who nominated me back in May for THE VINCENT EHINDERO BLOGGER AWARD, as you can see in Sadje’s post below:


So who is Vincent Ehindero? Well…I have no idea. But if he has an award named after him, I would imagine he is somebody to aspire to. It’s normally royalty or those with celebrated careers who have awards named after them, “The Duke of Edinburgh Award”, “The Gandhi Peace Prize” or “The Nobel Peace Prize”.

So, although I am yet to discover who Mr Ehindero is, I am rather hoping that Vincent Ehindero is a positive influence on the world at large, including the WordPress community, because it seems to be a WordPress thing – this award.

Rule, Pressure, Stamp, Wont, Come Here, Custom

Thank the person that nominated you with a link to their blog – THANKS SADJE!

Make a post of the award

Post the rules

Ask 5-10 questions of your choice

Nominate 10-30 other bloggers

Sadje’s Questions

What’s the last movie that you watched?

Ooooh. The last movie I watched. It’s a while. But a few weeks ago, I came home from work and was very pleased to find the last half an hour of “You’ve Got Mail” was on television. So I watched that while I was eating my dinner. There are not a lot of movies I would enjoy on television…so when there is one I like to make the most of it.

I just noticed that the movie “Mannequin” is on ITV later today. Jack has said we can watch it before we go out.

What is your favorite thing to do on a rainy day?

Normally, if I am out on rainy days, there are some amazing museums and galleries in London to visit. I have not done it for ages because of the whole …you know… but I used to like to find a comfy seat in a coffee shop and read a magazine or write to-do lists.

hwIf I am home on rainy days, I would be very happy to do all my housework, so that when the rain ends I can go outside and do all the things I love. I love cleaning and ironing. During the past six months when I have been working extra hours, I have kept on top of my housework, but there are some housekeeping projects I would like to have more time for. I have been given so many gifts I have no use for, and I need to get rid of them. Some of them might be useful to family, others I will take to the charity shop.

If I manage to do all my cleaning and laundry and I have left over time, then I would be happy to curl up with a book and a glass of wine. I also like cooking and filling my freezer with meals I can eat when I come home tired after work. I like baking too. But since I have not been seeing as many people as normal, I have been baking less.

What are you doing to beat the lockdown blues?

Book, Lilac, Flowers, Cocoa, DrinkI have been working throughout the social distancing restrictions. I think I may have had a lesser case of the lockdown blues than many people.

But I have been feeling tired. I have been missing my family and friends so much! I kept my mind busy by coming home from work and making phone calls or writing emails to family and friends, writing posts for my blog and reading posts from other bloggers. I have written a lot of fiction in recent months and hope to find time to edit my work into novels.

Sometimes I was too tired to do even that. I have needed lots of sleep. For a lot of the lockdown here in London, I was walking to work singling…that really cheered me up. I have drawn a lot of comfort in simple pleasures.

How long can you go without using your phone?

A week. I have been working for six days a week for months. On my day off, I like to speak to my loved ones. I prefer emails these days, which I use my laptop for. I have two phones. One is a landline and the other is a little basic old fashioned mobile. I only carry it for emergencies and occasional texting.

What do you most value in your friends?

Humility. I think it is a beautiful quality.

Tafugaehere are too many proud people demanding respect. When I see someone choose to be gracious and humble because of the kindness and love in their hearts – I see a mighty person. When they are not too proud to admit their mistakes, or carry out lowly tasks, or give credit to others instead of seeking their own glory…I see a precious being, a lynchpin in the human family.

We are a family…there should not be a spirit of competition or superiority. I have witnessed people being humble so many times and it stands out to me as very special.

I read a blogger’s post the other day. I was bemused by it. It was all about how to get ahead in the corporate world…and included advice such as making yourself look better than colleagues, not apologising, glossing over your errors by highlighting all the good things you do for the company, making it clear to others that you intend to climb the career ladder and that you are a fighter.

igsaThere is something odd about this world…it keeps sending out marketing messages like “YOU’RE WORTH IT”…”LOOK AFTER NUMBER ONE”…”FIGHT YOUR WAY TO THE TOP”…”YOU DESERVE BETTER THAN THIS”…”DEMAND RESPECT”…”BELIEVE IN YOURSELF”…and so on. I think that those messages are mostly pants! Or at least the way people have adopted them as their mantras is counterproductive.

I have an amazing circle of friends who are beautifully humble, kind, loving, mild, forgiving, generous and encouraging. I guess there is a balance. Some people have been treated so badly, that they go to the other extreme of fighting to be better than others, demanding respect, cutting off anyone they think is a toxic influence in their life. I understand the inclination to protect yourself from being abused or bullied.

Balance involves having a healthy view of ourselves and seeing what we can give and share with our fellow human family members. Our human family have the potential for so much wonderful, but have suffered a lot due to being misguided. But some people make it a joy to be alive. Humility is one of those beautiful qualities that contributes far more than competition and rivalry does.

Do you have a favourite fictional character? What makes her/him your favourite?

One is Dorothea Brooke from “Middlemarch“:

“Her finely touched spirit had still its fine issues, though they were not widely visible. Her full nature, like that river of which Cyrus broke the strength, spent itself in channels which had no great name on the earth. But the effect of her being on those around her was incalculably diffusive: for the growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.” – George Eliot (Mary Anne Evans)

There are many characters I adore in the novels I have read, but one of my personal favourites is Dorothea, as she made a deeper impression on me than most. Not just an entertaining or interesting character, she struck a chord with me and still does twenty years after I first became acquainted with her on the pages of “Middlemarch“.

I also love Anne Elliot from “Persuasion“. I have read my personal favourite Jane Austen novel “Persuasion” many times. I love it. I adore Anne Elliot! She stands out amidst so many pompous or frivolous characters. It must be so difficult to feel the man that she loves views her with bitter resentment, and that he cannot forgive her for letting him down. Especially when Jack and I were estranged, I would think of Anne. From the very start of her story, I cared for her and I wanted her to have a happy ending. However, Jane Austen left me in agony right to the very end!

They are women with such beautiful characters. They have both endured so much due to proud unreasonable people. I am so glad that both of them have a happy ending. Because through most of their story I just wanted to protect them and soothe their heartache.

Winter or Summer?

Summer. I am very much an outdoors person. Very much. So summer suits me best!

What is love, in your point of view?

In my point of view…

LOVE – in the English language that one word covers such a broad range of feelings and actions. But I am going to narrow my definition to unselfish love that does not give with the thought of reciprocation.

To me, true love is motivated by warm feelings and based on the noblest of principles. It’s not just sentiment. It’s certainly more than hormones and physical attraction. It is expressed in words, acts and deeds. We are all learners at love. Love is the reason we are alive. Our Creator first loved us. If we want to understand true love and imitate it, He provides the best possible example.

1 cor

Love that is kind, loyal, patient, forgiving, humble and compassionate. Love that is far more than a feeling, it is expressed in action. Love seeks the welfare of others. Love does not demand, and is not rude or arrogant. Love is true, and loves what is true. Love endures mistreatment and yet it does not condone wickedness. Love hopes that that others will choose to be good and kind.

What is your favorite movie or TV show?

I never tire of this question!

If you could time travel, where (when?) would you go?

Back to that night. I would not have gone to the park on my own.

I should not have been on my own in a London park late at night. It was a such a foolish decision, made in a moment of pain. That night, that very night, my friends had been taunting me about Jack. That day, that very day, I had seen Jack four times, and each time he looked so hostile, so angry with me. I could no longer bear it.

© went to the park because I was overwhelmed by the scale of the gossip about the two of us, the estrangement between us and the feeling of hopelessness. Every morning I could hear his voice singing in the shower, and I thought he hated me.

But what happened to me that night took me away from where I belonged. Ever since that night I have been like a fish out of water, a bird whose wings have been broken.

If I could turn back time…perhaps I would have gone home and knocked on Jack’s door and demanded that he speak to me and we sort out what was going on between us. But I can tell you right now that it would not have gone well, we were both hurting too much back then.

However, look what happened…Jack and I – we beat all Disney Princess endings!!! That was essentially because Jack was humble enough to make contact with me to apologise and to seek peace. Humility is one of the most beautiful qualities with the power to dissolve so much pain and resentment. Humility makes people great, it certainly made Jack great in my eyes. He and I have had a chance to LEARN AT LOVE…and I am so glad!

Questions For My Nominees


My Nominees

Britany 🌹 Britany 🌹Big Booty Chronicles

MacGregor Rucker MacGregor Rucker – What rough beast

Kristi Kristi – It’s All in Your Head

Mari Mari – mari meets world

Hist & Lit Hist & Lit – Harvard History & Literature

Scott Varengo Scott Varengo – S.J. Varengo – Author

Little Lamb Family Little Lamb Family – Back to basics

The Library Lady The Library Lady – The Library Lady Blog

Devon J Hall Devon J Hall – Loud Mouth Brown Girl




My Cup Overfloweth

Drink, Beverage, Glass, Splash, Ice CubeUseful, healthful, playful, joyful, grateful and purposeful. I have to say, I really enjoyed the questions provided in the SHARE-YOUR-WORLD post from Melanie the creator of sparksfromacombustiblemind. Here is Melanie’s post:


Jack and I just arrived back in London after spending most of the week with my family. It was wonderful. I am sure I will share more of the loveliness I enjoyed this week, but I found ways to weave some of the joys of this week into my SHARE-YOUR-WORLD post.

It’s been a very special week for me…and now I have a weekend ahead full of working on charity projects with Jack (still planning and training remotely before it is safe to gather volunteers in the same location). I love that we get to chat with so many fabulous volunteers, who are an absolute tonic to associate with, even if it is only online at the moment.


Is intelligence or wisdom more useful?

I knew that I had answered this question before. I found this answer in a post I published a while back:

Laptop, Woman, Education, Study, YoungIt might be fair to say that you can’t really have the latter without having at least a little bit of the former. But as for which is more useful, I would have thought most would agree that wisdom is finer and more useful.

Generally, I associate intelligence as the accumulation of information or knowledge. Computers and machines are said to possess a form of “intelligence”. However, since there is an abundance of false information, false knowledge riddled with inaccuracies – the amassing of information and knowledge is not necessarily a positive thing.

A person can have little knowledge of the trillions of subjects out there, but they may have a little true and accurate knowledge that is far more empowering and enriching than the abundance of nonsense that has been published.

Book, Live, Knowledge, Secret, WisdomThe acquisition of knowledge is the start of learning, I suppose. Yet the ability to discern between true and false is of vital import. Understanding the information one has acquired and how it relates to the foundation of true and eternal principles is the next key step to learning. This ability helps one to reject information that clearly does not fit the pattern of truth.

But beyond that is what could be termed the end of learning: wisdom. Correctly applying the knowledge and understanding one now possesses. It is wisdom that shows true evidence of superior learning, not the possession of a vast amount of information.

Student, Professor, Uni, Books, StudyI was talking to a colleague recently. I think my colleague is curious about some of my decisions in life. I explained that I had choices. I was achieving A grades throughout school. I come from an academic family. My older siblings and cousins had been to renowned universities and were immersed in lucrative careers. I was the rebel perhaps, although I did not have a rebellious spirit.

I chose to prioritise unpaid volunteer work over the opportunities within the commercial world. I have rejected all sorts of notions this “world” promotes. I have no wish to get on to the property ladder. The concept of a mortgage is baffling to me. Why would I enslave myself like that? I have no wish to become a slave to a business intent on making profit.

Adventure, Blonde Hair, Exploring, GirlI have lived a rich and rewarding life on a shoestring budget. Working as a volunteer has opened up opportunities to me that I would not have had if I had pursued my own material comforts.

Some people make a snap judgement when they learn that I rejected higher education. This is a decision I have never regretted. I saw what higher education did to some of my family members. Those who pursued academia have not ended up with the more balanced education and practical training that the rest of our family opted for. I have never stopped learning. I am a long term student who is fascinated by many subjects. I read a huge amount of material and I exercise discernment as I read. There are so many opposing theories and philosophies, many of them a mix of half-truths and conjecture.

bitHaving a clear grasp of basic truths is a huge aid to sorting through the never ending “information” overload that we are bombarded with.

I think wisdom today includes a knowledge and experience in how people behave. Wisdom is reflected in how you react to the way others treat you. If someone had poor relationships with others, I would tend to question their “wisdom”.

I also believe wisdom is also manifest by the choices and decisions someone makes, their habits and lifestyle. When someone appears to be unable to look after themselves properly, I find it hard to credit them with wisdom no matter how many “qualifications” and “certificates” they may profess to have.

There are so many other areas that show whether we are truly wise: how we use time, how we spend money, our attitude to debt, how we view and treat our possessions, how easily swayed we are by sensationalism and propaganda, our abilities to reason and consider what may contradict some of our treasured beliefs.

Some seem to be focused on the acquisition of more and more conflicting, confusing, and capricious information. Others appear to have a tight hold of basic truths and show they have developed discernment, understanding and wisdom.

Girls, Woman, Blowing, Stars, GlitterMany people are pursuing things that do not bring true happiness. In fact, this world is designed to encourage people to pursue vain, empty goals. Is it wise to conform to a system that pats you on the back if you pass it’s tests? Follow it’s goals? Define success by it’s standards? It is alarming how many people are seeking things that will soon be gone forever!

All that glitters is not gold. So much of what this world promotes as “success” is vain and empty. Many find that out too late. Wisdom is better than gold! It is better than the goals of this world.

In fact…just to add a little to my original post…I now think that wisdom involves rejecting the “intelligence” this world professes to have. The sum of it’s intelligence for centuries has been the aspiration of being great, or greater than others. The most “enlightened”, the most “educated”, the most apparently “civilized” and “developed” of nations have made vast profit from oppressing others.

I feel very proud of my nieces who just found out their GCSE results….wait for it… all A*s. Across the board. What are they doing next? They have both enrolled as full time volunteers. Why? Because they want to do something that counts. They will work part-time to support themselves and spend most of their time giving of themselves freely to help others. Rather than being part of a world that seeks to amass more wealth, living simply and working to help others who are struggling. Their decision. I am proud of them because they have already proved wise.

How important is play in living a healthy and fulfilling life?

Short answer: it is an essential part of a balanced life. It is hard to keep working without knowing you will have chance to play and let off some steam. If you don’t make time to play, you will struggle to remain balanced and maintain enjoyment of work and life.

Water Fight, Children, Water, PlayLong answer: I could answer this in so many ways. But the first thought that came to mind was this past week in the north of England. Our family fun involved lots of running round, playing games, dancing and laughing. Ages represented on this occasion were seven months (due to be born in two months time) right through to seventy-two years of age.

I cannot speak for all of my family, but I know that for me, that time will sustain me for a long time when I am back at work.

We all need some kind of recreation, to recreate ourselves. There’s no doubt about it, a balanced healthy life involves work, rest and play. The benefits to every aspect of our physical, emotional, mental and social health are tremendous.

Is happiness just chemicals flowing through your brain or something more?

I normally have a lot to say on the subject of happiness. But because I am sleepy right now, I just typed into my Google search bar “what is happiness?” Google came up with a lot of references, but right at the top was an article called “The Recipe For True Happiness”. I am so glad it did. What a brilliant article.

I guess the only reference it made to “chemicals flowing through the brain” was right at the very end when in a footnote it mentioned that researchers report “that positive, optimistic people have lower levels of the stress hormone cortisol, which is known to suppress the immune system“.

Prior to that, the article contained ingredients that are an essential part of the recipe for happiness. They included “work, play, time with family and friends, and spiritual activities [and] also more subtle factors, such as attitudes, desires, and goals in life“. The article contained wise advice regarding our view of money and pleasures, it discussed how generosity and gratitude can contribute to our happiness, and concluded  by promoting unselfish love and hope.

dfhgdsfdaflFor me personally, and I think that when it comes to our physical and emotional health, many of us are in a position where we can look at our own habits physically and emotionally and identify areas we could address, I think a good place to start is looking at our attitude to money, responsibility, relationships, giving, balance, and our outlook in general. I normally find that if I take some time to work on any of those ingredients in the recipe for happiness that I am missing, I normally do feel better.

When it comes to chemicals in our brain affecting our happiness…I am too tired for a comprehensive explanation, but I do think that people can suffer with emotional illness because factors that have led to (please forgive me if this is inaccurate terminology) “an imbalance in chemicals” within our brain. I work within the NHS and I am familiar with many patients who have prolonged mental health challenges and many of those patients benefit from medication.

jdafhadjI think that options when it comes to addressing chronic symptoms of depression or other emotional health challenges are personal and should be researched by an individual and their closest supporters, so I prefer not to endorse any particular treatments myself. Mainly because I do think we are all different, and what works for one person, may not work for another.

One thing I am sure of…we were meant to live a very different life to the life many of us live under a greedy political economic system that has an insatiable lust for profit no matter the cost. But this system is inadequate, which is why it is falling apart. No fear, what will replace it is going to be so much better.

I heard a song a little while ago that made me laugh. I laughed because the lyrics are pretty nuts!


Feel free to share some photos, an image, a meme, a story or incident or a poem that helps you feel grateful. 

Family!!! I had such a great time with my nearest and dearest this past week.


I love being a part of an empire of around two hundred relatives, most of whom are passionate about volunteering. (Some of our family chose to pursue wealth and acclaim, but most of us rejected those empty pursuits). We work part-time for money and pull together when times are tough. We love life. We love work, especially unpaid work. We love creation. We love the prospect of a clean earth, a healthy happy human family who look after our beautiful planet and it’s creatures well.

One of the things I loved seeing is how my relatives are keeping in touch with their neighbours and other volunteers who are local to them through phone calls, emails and zoom meetings. They were in daily communication with volunteers who are in their seventies and eighties and have been making sure they have everything they need and a giggle each and every day.

Frisky Fifty And Fabulous!

I have wanted to find ways to give to Goldfinch recently…for being wonderful. I feel so helpless from 10,100 miles away. So I have been racking my brain to think of little ways I can show him I think of him all the time.

I sent him a very sweet Australian gift – a large dark chocolate connoisseurs collection box from Australian chocolatiers Haigh’s. He probably did not want a big box of chocolates. But I sometimes don’t know how to light up his day from so far away. It is a big box. I hope he will share it with his friends and family and think of me.

How do you give someone a hug from 10,100 miles away? It is so frustrating!

Sangria Señorita

Have you heard? Fandango has invited all WordPress bloggers out for a drink. He is buying! So he has asked what we would like to drink. That’s right, isn’t it Fandango?

I go through fads, or crazes when it comes to my tastes and preferred flavours (I inherited this faddishness from my pappa bear). However, in recent weeks, I have become a sangria girl.

Sangría, Wine, Alcohol, Drink, Glass

Ever since Jack has been back from Africa, he has been making a small jug of sangria whenever he comes down here. It’s been too hot to drink wine straight. I have been so thirsty. But he does like to see me switch off to work and become a little giggly.

Last year I had Martini and lemonade everywhere I went. Two summers ago, I drank Pimms too often and then became so bored with it, I still feel averse to drinking Pimms. The year before that it was Mojitos all summer – got bored again. But so far, I am not bored with Sangria! Bring it on Jack…or Fandango…or whoever else wants to buy the drinks.

I do go through phases though. I pick a drink and have it all summer. Then I get bored…and I am like…gotta find new tipple! I have spent the past five days with Jack (bliss) and he kept me and my family well supplied with sangria. He is such a keeper.


This was my response to today’s FANDANGO’S DOG DAYS OF AUGUST:

Fandango’s Dog Days of August

Your Dreams Are My Dreams

I know you. I know what is in your heart.

I may have never met you, but I know that before you ever took your first breath there was something planted deep within you. I know what your treasured desires are. I know what you were designed for. I know exactly where you would thrive.

I know that one day…you will have the chance to see all that you hold dear become a reality. You see…you and I…we are family. We share the same dreams. You and I, and he and she, and them over there…if we start working together and learning from each other – we will live to see our dreams come true!!

I also know that right now, there are worries that oppress you. I know that the reminders that there are injustices, suffering, pollution and cruelty on a scale never ever seen before sometimes make you feel that those dreams of yours will never come true. But they will. They will because the person who planted those dreams in you, shares your dreams. Soon…not long now…those dreams will become reality!