I was with a friend the other day who was asking me how on earth I have managed to keep up with the pace this year without being ill. I was ill last November, but since then I have been fine. I think I had a sniffle for a couple of days recently but it dried up very quickly – and I did not have a cough, a temperature or a loss of taste/smell.
Headaches have come, I had some tough times with headaches. But I still carried on working throughout the pain. Being busy at work may have helped me cope with the pain…or it may have made it worse – I don’t know!
Well, when my friend asked me how I have kept going, I thought about it and said….SPRING ONIONS!!!
I have been hungering, no craving spring onions all year. From week to week, I could not get enough of them. I had a lot of salad throughout the summer, always covered with finely chopped spring onions. But I was throwing them over almost every other dish I ate.
Could spring onions be the secret source to my superpowers this year? I am sure they have some good things inside them, besides being very tasty.
But in truth, I think that love (family and friends have been a huge emotional support to me), joy (I feel so much satisfaction from knowing we are helping people) and hope (I have a very clear view of the future as this corrupt system starts to buckle) have helped me do what I needed to do from day to day.
I am not taking anything for granted though! I know at anypoint I might become ill. But in the meantime, I am still not bored with spring onions. They are so delicious. My favourite food of 2020 is undoubtedly SPRING ONIONS!
Sundays are often best started with the help of Emeli Sandé. She has a truly stunning voice that conveys a huge amount of emotion. This song caught my attention when I read the lyrics.
There is something wonderful about the thought of being as free as a bird! In a world with clouds on the horizon, many a time we may have thought, “Had I wings just as a dove has, I’d fly far off to reside, in a place safe from the wicked…” If you have never known any form of oppression or enslavery – you will know this feeling well!
I’ve been tearing down the walls I’ve been kicking down the doors I’ve been burning all the boxes ‘Cause I’m a slave to only truth I’m as wild as a wolf You can’t keep me from the mountains
I’m replacing all my demons For the sweetest songs of freedom Last night I had a dream that I could fly
Now, baby, I, I’m free as a bird I’m free as a bird Baby, I, I don’t know if you’ve heard I don’t know if you’ve heard But I taught my heart to sing And I found me a pair of wings Now, baby, I, I’m free as a bird I’m free as a bird
I’ve been flying through the trees I’ve been dancing on the breeze I kiss the sun now every morning I’ve been shaking off the chains I’ve been giving up the games I’ve been answering my calling
And as soon as I surrendered The light began to enter Last night I had a dream that I could fly
Now, baby, I, I’m free as a bird I’m free as a bird Baby, I, I don’t know if you’ve heard I don’t know if you’ve heard But I taught my heart to sing And I found me a pair of wings Now, baby, I, I’m free as a bird I’m free as a bird
Now, baby, I, I’m free as a bird I’m free as a bird Oh I, I don’t know if you’ve heard I don’t know if you’ve heard But I taught my heart to sing And I gave me a pair of wings Now, baby, I, I’m free as a bird
Written by: Emeli Sande, Laidi Saliasi, Jacob Mckenzie
This chap Vincent Ehindero has made an appearance again – the mystery man who has inspired a blogging award. I have been nominated for THE VINCENT EHINDERO (#WOEIVE?/#WTHIVE?) AWARD by Skelly, the creator of fabricthatmademe, as you can see from her fabulous post below:
Thank the person that nominated you with a link to their blog – THANKS SKELLY!
Make a post of the award
Post the rules
Answer the questions from the blogger who nominated you
Ask 5-10 questions of your choice
Nominate 10-30 other bloggers
Questions From Skelly
What is your favorite season?
Do you need a reason?
Do you have a motto or Bible verse…maybe both, that you live by?
I guess “the golden rule” of Matthew 7:12 is one that I try to think of each and everyday.
But for me the Bible is a book that goes on abundantly giving and helps with every possible challenge in life. So at certain stages, particular verses have been especially helpful. I was reading a passage I found interesting. It starts with a prayer from the prophet Habakkuk asking his Creator to intervene. He is surrounded by violence, oppression and injustice and is deeply saddened. He feel helpless. He is troubled because he does not understand God’s timing or why such a painful situation is allowed.
But showing his trust and faith in his Creator Habakkuk pours out his heart in prayer and relies on Him for strength to endure. The book bearing his name ends with these words:
Although the fig tree may not blossom,
And there may be no fruit on the vines
Although the olive crop may fail,
And the fields may produce no food;
Although the flock may disappear from the pen,
And there may be no cattle in the stalls;
(IN OTHER WORDS – IT CAN’T GET MUCH WORSE! THE WRITER IS DESCRIBING ECONOMIC CATASTROPHE!)
Yet, as for me, I will exult in our Creator;
I will be joyful in the God of my salvation.
The Sovereign Lord God is my strength;
He will make my feet like those of a deer
And cause me to tread on high places.
IT WAS A PASSAGE THAT MADE ME IMAGINE WHAT IT WOULD BE LIKE IF THIS ECONOMIC SYSTEM CRUMBLED TO THE EXTENT THAT WE LOST EVERYTHING – OUR INCOME, OUR MEANS OF LIVING – WHAT IF WE WERE IN SUCH A DIRE ECONOMIC SITUATION THAT IT COULD NOT GET MUCH WORSE?
WHAT WOULD KEEP YOU GOING? WHAT WOULD GIVE YOU THE STRENGTH TO ENDURE HARDSHIP ON A SCALE YOU HAVE NEVER KNOWN? WOULD YOU UNDERSTAND THAT IT IS A TEMPORARY SITUATION AND THAT IT WAS FORECAST?
What is your biggest weakness? A battle or habit that has been a hiccup for you and how are you overcoming or coping with it?
I think Jack has probably been my biggest weakness. No other person or challenge has had such a big effect on my life!!!
It has taken years for us to clear up the muddle that our life became. But it was worth the wait! I have learnt a lot about myself, life, love and I have in some ways become a stronger person. I have learnt to focus on making Jack my priority and not to let the opinions of others and their discouraging or hurtful remarks affect our relationship. I think Jack has learnt a lot too! I would like to think that he is not going to let strangers say anything they want on social media about his personal life. He might be thick-skinned and see it as part of the package of being a celebrity. But there are others in his life he needs to protect.
But the past is in the past. How am I coping now? Well I have agreed to marry him and live with him forever. Talk about taking on challenges directly!!!
How do you feel about social media these day? Is it a good thing or not? Do you use it?
I am absent/MIA from most social media. I was never a user of Facebook or Twitter. Sadly other users decided to post photos of me on their accounts and make preposterous claims about me.
I did use Instagram and WhatsApp. I have dormant accounts with those platforms. Now I only use WordPress because it feels more like a creative outlet with some friendly comments from other writers than it does any other form of social media.
I have to admit that I am incredibly mistrustful and wary of social media on many levels. I have been injured and scarred for life but the way people have used it. But somehow, I conquered. The people who hated the idea of Jack being in love with a caramel blonde lost. I am Jack’s and Jack…is mine!
Why do you choose to have a blog and what makes you keep going?
I started my blog two and a half years ago. I started at the encouragement of one friend in particular, named Stuart. He enjoyed my writing and told me I should start a blog. I dismissed the idea for a long time. But eventually…
I kept going with it because it turned out to be fun. I found it very satisfying and in some ways cathartic to write personal accounts, a mix of light hearted and turbulent. There was a time when I was no longer able to be open about my emotions with my loved ones. They kept on telling me to let go of the past, to forget Jack and view him as unconnected with me. My blog became a place I could say what was in my heart without being judged or discouraged. Wow! Am I glad that I had that outlet? I would have gone crazy pretending that I had forgotten him.
Eventually I branched out into fiction. That was the foundation for writing and publishing three novels and a poetry book. Now I am in the habit of writing, and during 2020 it has been a great hobby while I cannot socialize with friends and engage in the activities I would normally be involved in.
It is such an honour and a pleasure to share the excitement of Jack being back in my my life with you!
Questions For My Nominees
Have you noticed more shops or restaurants closing down in your local area this year?
What winter warming dishes do you enjoy as comfort food?
Do you find there are some people who you cannot be yourself with?
When was the last time you saw snowfall? Did you have chance to play in the snow?
Who or what provided the most encouragement and support for you when you are facing challenges?
Inconveniently, I needed to go into our communal kitchen to bake. I had promised to bake some cinnamon wheels. A young man who we had been working with was leaving London as his father was ill. We were having a farewell breakfast first thing Monday morning before his drive home. I had asked him what he wanted me to bring along. He said he loved Danish pastries. I suggested cinnamon wheels. He was delighted with the idea.
Only I felt trapped. I knew I had hurt Jack. I could only imagine how he would be feeling. It felt so awkward. I presumed that Jack was in his room broody and sulky. I was in my room paralysed by the horror of what I had done in asking for my thank you card back. But I had promised to make the cinnamon wheels. I had to get into our kitchen.
Eventually, I plucked up the courage to tip-toe into the kitchen. I closed the door silently and tried to extract from the cupboards everything I would need and I set about my task of making cinnamon wheels as quietly as I could, which is not easy when you are shaking with emotion.
I had just rolled my puff pastry stuffed with the cinnamon and raisin filling up and was about to cut it into slices when the door of the kitchen flew open. I will never forget Jack’s dramatic entrance.
Jack was furious! I had never seen him angry. His hair seemed to stand on end and his eyes were bulging like some eccentric scientist. I had never heard him yell like that – a ferocious roar of a yell. I felt awful because I had done this to him. I can’t even remember his first few words, just the fury in which he delivered them. I am not sure what calmed Jack down first. Was it seeing my tearful breakdown in response to his outburst? Or was it when he saw the massive carving knife in my hand that I was wielding on the pastry? We will never know!
But Jack did calm down. He started to plead with me. He said I was being completely unfair and what I had done was out of order. I just nodded and wept, “I know Jack”. He saw I was not trying to argue. I acknowledged I had been unfair, but I was so hurt by everything I had heard that week.
I cannot remember every word of that conversation so I am only going to be able to share with you what I can recall I am afraid, but it will give you an idea of the state of the relationship between Jack and I when we last tried to have an honest talk with each other. I have been over and over this conversation in my mind many times. It haunts me still.
I was truly overwhelmed at that point. My emotions were intense and I was terrified that if I opened my mouth I could make it even worse. It made it difficult for me to respond to Jack.
When I could finally string together an emotional sentence that Jack could comprehend, it was about how hard it is when there are so many awful rumours and degrading remarks being made about the two of us. I told him it was unbearable, that it was making life unbearable. I told him that since we had spoken the week before the rumours and gossip were worse than ever before.
He was frustrated with me. He told me I should not listen to gossip. He reminded me that we had already talked about the pressure rumours had made us both feel, and that we had agreed to put them aside and just enjoy our friendship.
I shook my head and told him I was not overreacting to people who just wanted to tease me in a friendly way. Then I gave him a few examples of what I had heard that week. I was too embarrassed to tell him what I had heard people say about what had happened between he and I, but I told him I had been called a slapper, a tramp, a cheap slut, a cheat, (and other names I would prefer not to repeat) even in comments from other people on his own Instagram account. I told him I was sick of being the subject of such horrible remarks. His face looked very stern as he was listening.
He said he was so sorry that I had heard those awful things. He asked me who I had heard these things from. I didn’t answer directly, I said I had heard them from friends and seen things on phones with my own eyes. I told him I had seen the comments on his Instagram account. Jack took my hand into his soft velvet paws.
With real earnestness in his eyes, Jack softly said: “Mel…..
(Now…because of the ridiculous length of the post I had typed out, I have decided to split the exchange between Jack and I into two separate posts. So, if you are wondering what happened next, look out for what Jack next said to me tomorrow!)
I feel a little bit odd. I just made a huge decision, one of the biggest decisions of my life, and yet I don’t feel as if anything has changed. I feel a little bit lost.
Please don’t take this the wrong way, but I want to see my mum. I want to see Mum and Dad and the rest of my family. I want to see my closest friends. But I do not want to put anyone at risk obviously.
I have spoken to lots of my nearest and dearest on the phone these past few weeks. But I have not seen them. I have been going into work, taking off my ring and locking it safely away in my locker, before donning PPE. I like my workmates, but I share very little of my personal life with them.
That has become my habit since the trauma I faced years ago. I find that even when I share a little with someone who does not understand my life before the attack, they misunderstand, they say things that don’t fit my situation. So I put on a front to satisfy them.
I am going to get married to a well known celebrity. Bizarre in some ways, and yet 2020 has made it completely taken the fear out of my precarious situation.
Anyway….it is all fine. The center of my world is Jack. He is the one I am focusing on above all else. We’ve been talking about when and where our wedding will be but it seems impossible to plan right now. I spend as much time with him as I can outside of work. He has been wonderful, wonderful, in so many ways. I am happy. I would just like this to feel more real.
Perhaps I am wrong, but I feel as if seeing my loved ones would make it more real.
We are thrilled that so many fabulous bloggers came to place a drinks order and have a chat with us every Wednesday here on WordPress! This is the last week of CARAMEL’S CAFE…but don’t worry – we have more in store for you to keep you warm through winter!
We are all getting used to rules chopping and changing from week to week, so there are not rules at CARAMEL’S CAFE. The more the merrier!
So please feel free to place a drink’s order in the comments below. Jack is going to make the drinks. I am here as your cheerful hostess with the mostess.
For the last week at CARAMEL’S CAFE (yes that’s right everyone, normal cafes are back open next week!) we have picked a song that we want you all to sing along to with me and Jack. To help you we found a video with the lyrics on the screen! Do it – go on, I know you want to….. 🙂
Back in March when stress levels around me were rising, anxiety and fear and confusion, I knew exactly who the best person to speak to was.
Throughout the year, I have talked to Him more and more. Many times a day I talk from the heart. I have often poured out my feelings. I have asked for help to understand what was going on around me. More importantly, I have listened. It astonishes me that everything is right there, in the scriptures, written thousands of years ago, yet shining a bright light on world events occuring right now.
I am praying more than ever. Praying in a lovely way. Talking about all I hope for the human family and the earth. Asking for a calm heart strength so that I can help people at work. Asking my Creator to remember every detail of the people we lose. Expressing my gratitude for how much wonderful is all around me.
A lady who used to meet me and talk to me about the Bible showed me a song that her little girl would sing over and over. It is charming. It has also been a song that I have frequently sung to myself as I walk to work. It gives my heart a lift and helps me to be prepared for whatever the day will bring. It has helped to protect my thinking and emotions. It has directed my attention to the one person who has the power and desire to heal mankind.
This was a hard choice for me this week!!! Wow – I had so many directions to go in. But I have ended up choosing a song that I always thought expressed the desire and frustration in a relationship that has not happened yet. I think I went through some years feeling lost. I spent years knowing who I was supposed to be with, but it did not go smoothly…
….until a year ago. Now I am looking forward to spending the rest of my life with him.
Will I find another song for today’s theme? I will think about it. I know there is a lot I could say on today’s theme.
For now, please enjoy Sophie B Hawkins’ “Damn I wish I Was Your Lover”.
That old dog has chained you up, alright Give you everything you need to live inside a twisted cage Sleep beside an empty rage I had a dream I was your hero
Damn, I wish I was your lover I’d rock you ’til the daylight comes Made sure you are smiling and warm I am everything, tonight, I’ll be your mother I’ll do such things to ease your pain Free your mind, and you won’t feel ashamed
Open up on the inside Gonna fill you up, gonna make you cry
This monkey can’t stand to see you black and blue I give you something sweet each time you come inside my jungle book Or is it just too good? Don’t say you’ll stay, ’cause then you go away
Damn, I wish I was your lover I’d rock you ’til the daylight comes Made sure you are smiling and warm I am everything, tonight, I’ll be your mother I’ll do such things to ease your pain Free your mind, and you won’t feel ashamed Shucks, for me there is no other You’re the only shoe that fits I can’t imagine I’ll grow out of it Damn, I wish I was your lover (oh, yeah)
If I was your girl, believe me I’d turn on the Rolling Stones We could groove along and feel much better (guess what) Come, let me in, mm I could do it forever and ever and ever and ever Give me an hour to kiss you Walk through Heaven’s door I’m sure We don’t need no doctor to feel much better Let me in, oh Forever and ever and ever and ever and ever
I sat on a mountainside with peace of mind And I lay by the ocean making love to her with visions clear Walked for days with no one near And I return as chained and bound to you
Damn, I wish I was your lover I’d rock you ’til the daylight comes Made sure you are smiling and warm I am everything, tonight, I’ll be your mother I’ll do such things to ease your pain Free your mind, and you won’t feel ashamed Shucks, for me there is no other You’re the only shoe that fits I can’t imagine I’ll grow out of it Damn, I wish I was your lover
I wanna open up, I’m gonna come inside I wanna fill you up, I wanna make you cry
Damn, I wish I was your lover Gettin’ on a subway, and I’m comin’ uptown
Damn, I wish I was your lover Standing on the street corner, waiting for my love to change
Damn, I wish I was your lover And I’m feelin’ like a school boy, too shy and too young, oh
Damn, I wish I was your lover I wanna open up, I’m gonna come inside I wanna fill you up, I wanna make you cry
Damn, I wish I was your lover I’m gettin’ on my camel, and I’ll ride it uptown, oo
Damn, I wish I was your lover Hanging around this jungle, wishing that this love would change
When I started my blog on WordPress two and a half years ago, I became fascinated by the many other bloggers who had sites full of amazing poetry, fiction and personal accounts. There were so many! But some of them really stood out.
One of the sites that captured my attention and never lost it was stoneronarollercoaster.com. There was a very energetic, charismatic creative force behind each post and it was always exciting to see her latest posts appear in my WP Reader.
It is with great pleasure that I am reviewing the marvellous poetry book from N.F Mirza, “Swinging Sanity“.
This extraordinary collection of poems came from a dark and difficult stage the writer experienced, and yet she has managed to produce something very special. I sensed an intense and dramatic range of emotions at times that were woven into a vivid kaleidoscope of graphic images. Speaking of images – I think the writer’s own artwork (which is featured on the front cover) is one of the best front covers I have seen of all the books I have purchased from WordPress bloggers.
The same distinctive charismatic presence that you find in her blog posts is there from start to finish in N. F. Mirza’s poetry collection. Yes, sometimes there are elements of being on a frightening roller coaster, and in many ways I am glad that the scary side of depression is preserved. I don’t find poems ending with some choking cliche. They distill the raw experience of being in a very dark place.
Yet, a dark place for you may not be the same as a dark place for me. I felt there was something truly personal to N. F. Mirza. I know from her blog that she is a remarkable creative force and that she has a vivid and colourful character. Even at her darkest, the essence, the dazzling display of who she is at heart shines through. Sometimes her emotions race like a pinball machine and other times there is more of a reflective pace.
But I was enchanted and entranced by what is an important, personal record and also a tremendous insight for others how being in a dark place can intensify emotions and leave a person shattered by inner turbulence. How wonderfully N. F. Mirza channels that forceful flow into dynamic verses and breathtaking poetry.
From what I have read on her blog, and most definitely within her collection of poems in “Swinging Sanity“, I think that learning to take deep emotions and harness them into poetic form has been key to helping N. F. Mirza on a personal level. I applaud that. I think that for some people – not being able to communicate frightening inner feelings makes depression even worse. This poet has taken some of the darkest shades of depression and not only verbalised them, but delivers them with astonishing lyricism.
This is not wishy washy in any sense. “Swinging Sanity” packs a hefty punch – there is energy and drama, colour and charisma, passion and despair, ups and downs on a merry-go-round (or rollercoaster) that I wanted to read and reread over again. I really take my hat of to N. F. Mirza. She has braved taking dark, sometimes disturbing, emotions and turned them into powerful and compelling poetry.
I was left in deep admiration of her as a person, and as a dynamic and very exciting creative force. “Swinging Sanity” is a huge triumph.
You can find out what Caramel has been reading in her very own little reading corner, as she published book reviews of books written by WordPress bloggers each Saturday.
If you have any recommendations, please leave a message in the comments below.