I Am All For Happily Ever Afters

I guess we have all at one stage been quite taken by a Cinderella story. I know it has perhaps been told five billion times too often. However not even the most hard-hearted can deny that it is the very essence of a happy ending.

I really liked the film “Ever After” which was a Cinderella story, because there was no magic pumpkin or fairy god-mother. It was just about two people from of course the opposite end of the social rift falling for each other. Plus Anjelica Huston has some memorable lines.

Here is the happy ending for Drew Barrymore’s character:

But I am not really here to big up the movie. No, I am here to big up happy endings. Especially happily ever after endings. I am all for them! Of course I would love that with Goldfinch, but I have accepted that my happily ever after is not going to be with him.

Yes, it is sad…especially so for me. After all, this man has given me the biggest smile in London! But, even if I turned out to be a princess with a palace and a collection of sports cars, and any other luxury Goldfinch may ever have imagined – it still would not change things. He is not even keen on royalty, so if I did tell him I was a princess he might want to have me guillotined!

He is gorgeous. He treats me like a princess. But he is going. He wants to be in Australia for a while. He wants to be back with the familiar. He has his own house there, which is full of tenants who pay him a monthly rent at the moment. He has a lot to sort out. He is unsure of whether he will move into his house. He seems unsure and undecided. There is this gypsy streak in him that makes me think he does not really know what he wants.

woman cryingLots of lovely bloggers have tried to keep me optimistic. I really appreciate that. But he is going. And there is a strong possibility I will never see him again. Yes, it is a big deal to me. But I have come to terms with it and I am alright. I am going to be sad. But I will be alright. Crying is a miraculous gift that helps us to deal with pain and grief and I feel I will be perfectly entitled to my fair share of crying after he has gone. But…I will be alright!

I will explain all the reasons why I know he is not my happily ever after at a later date – to be honest I don’t want to dwell on those reasons right now. I just want to continue to squeeze all the joy out of this wonderful page in my life. He is coming to London in less than 48 hours!

I love him so much and that is all that matters! Let’s not worry about happily aver afters. I am all for them – but Goldfinch needs his freedom more than he needs me. That doesn’t make him a baddie. He is a wonderful wonderful man…but he needs to be home. He is not going to make any decisions that will alter the course of his life, while he is 10,100 miles away from everything that shaped him.

I am all for happily ever afters, but for me and Goldfinch…the most I can hope for is a simple happy ending. That ending will be goodbye. This year with Goldfinch will have a happy ending. A year of happiness ending with a goodbye. A friend for life, my favourite penpal in the whole world! (although I am sure I will be the more devoted penpal).

The future has not happened yet…I am not overly worried whether I ever do have a happily ever after myself. I already have a life so rich with memories and experiences that have shaped me…I could be happy until my last breath quite easily. But the future has not happened yet and there is no reason why I should think about breathing my last breath yet!

Lots more happiness is ahead without doubt.

 

 

I Couldn’t Have Been Happier

Happiness comes fairly easily to me I must admit. It is not a constant, because there are things that make me sad and painful, even traumatic memories. But it’s not hard to muster up happiness, and it is my default frame of mind. I have just been working on a post for one of these blogging award nominations, and one of the questions was about what makes me happy. I compiled a little list:

  • made up.jpgMy family
  • Lovely friends
  • A sense of purpose
  • Work that feels as if I am making a difference to someone’s life
  • A clean conscience
  • Great food
  • Hiking and swimming
  • Music
  • Starry skies, rainbows and stunning sunsets
  • Flowers, forests, lakes, rivers
  • Mountains, beaches and meadows
  • Animals or all sizes and shapes
  • and last on this list, but most certainly not least is Goldfinch – who made me happy every day I was in Australia

And I would like to state that when I was with Goldfinch I felt happy from head to toe. Goldfinch had to work of course while I was out there. Five days a week was work. But at the weekend he could take me to wonderful places. He has an office at home. I made sure I didn’t disturb him unnecessarily, as he had a lot to keep him busy.

my daily walk.pngI sometimes went out on my own, not just to see places (I did visit some lovely places) but also just to wander up to the local shops, which were about a forty-five minute walk away, and I would shop for ingredients and then walk back to Goldfinch’s home and start cooking or baking according to a recipe I had picked out from the BBC Food Website. I loved that little routine, I loved the walk. I loved the sense of purpose I had that I was going to make something, hopefully delicious, for Goldfinch to enjoy after he had been working all day.

happy clean.jpgI could not have been happier cleaning, sweeping, mopping, washing and ironing. I even rearranged the contents of some cupboards, cleaned out the tenant’s fridge (and the tenants bathroom), swept the patio and the leaves that had collected in little corners of the yard outside, washed all of the windows – inside and out (there are a lot of windows in his home, and after several days of trying to get the petrol lawn mower going, I went a bit crazy with trying to prime the motor and eventually got the thing started, which meant I could mow the grass front, side and back of the property.

DIY.jpgIn addition Goldfinch and I spent a weekend immersed in DIY – we put up a whole wall of IKEA kallaxes (if you unfamiliar with kallaxes, they are shelving units that you can arrange to fit the space you want and you can add drawers or cupbaord doors into individual squares or leave them open as you like), and we moved furniture from where it was in storage into his house, we insulated the garage door, we hung up lots of his pictures. I loved working along with him.

And this is the thing…I was so happy. Goldfinch may have been surprised at how I chose to spend my time while he was working. He kept on telling me how much he appreciated what I was doing along with lovely hugs and kisses. But I found the more I did around the house, the happier I felt. I was giving. I was working with a purpose. I was showing love in a practical way to the man I am in love with. I was so happy, so deeply happy.

take my handAnd whenever he took my hand, which he frequently did and being in his arms at night, wrapped up tightly, feeling his kisses on the back of my shoulder…I didn’t want it to ever end. And I am missing him like crazy! Missing thinking and planning and giving and loving every day with him as my priority. Saving my money so I can be back with him again and feel that happiness invade every part of my body.

I don’t think everyone will understand, I don’t think Goldfinch would really understand – but life with him made me deeply happy.

_______________

Writing Prompt #30

Little Moments Of Happiness

couple.jpgI don’t know if I ever mentioned it…but the first time I was in Goldfinch’s arms in his, man cave in Coventry (in the Midlands), he had some music playing. I think this was mainly on account of having a house-mate who was in the room next door. But Goldfinch chose a playlist with some pretty romantic songs on it.

I remember two of them vividly. This was one of them, although I am sure it was a male vocal on his playlist (not Elvis and not UB40 though). I like Haley’s voice, and the simple version. These are lyrics that do not need jazzy music to set them off.

take my handWhen I am with Goldfinch, he often takes my hand, well, he always does. That’s one of the things I love about him. But when he does the words go through my head “Take my hand…take my whole life too… for I can’t help falling in love with you.”

Little moments of happiness, like walking around with him holding my hand, or lying in his arms gazing into his eyes…all moments I want to treasure up and hold on to forever. They will keep me warm when I am back in England.

Because I’m Happy!

It is winter in Australia. Am I happy that I am spending my holidays in the Australian wintry season which is just as grey as bland as any winter without snow? You bet’ya I am happy!!! I have every reason to be happy! I am with Goldfinch 🙂

But even without Goldfinch, my happiness comes from a different source. It’s not a secret really, but to some who cannot comprehend how someone who does not own any property or vehicle, and has so few possessions, has serious health issues after being the victim of a serious crime, and has lost friends because of the slander she was victim of…why should I be so deeply happy?

happy winter.jpg

Kristian, creator of , has nominated me for a fantastic “3.2.1 Quote Me!” challenge with the lovely theme HAPPINESS, as you can see from his post below:

https://talesfromthemindofkristian.wordpress.com/2019/05/30/3-2-1-quote-me-topic-happiness/

….and I have also been nominated for the same challenge on the same topic by Cyranny

3, 2, 1 Quote me! – Happiness

happiness

The “3.2.1 Quote Me!” challenges originate with Rory, the creator of A Guy Called bloke, and this is his original post:

321 Quote Me – Happiness

Well…I remember a lot being said to me about happiness as I was growing up, especially on the topic of what would bring real happiness. I remember many conversations we had within my family or close friends. The main thrust was being happy within your current circumstances rather than thinking that you need a change in situation to be happy. For example, if I hoped to be happily married one day, the best chance I had was to be happy as a single person. I was taught happiness is not just about transitory pleasures, or things, or even people. So when I saw this quote I was in agreement with it. I think it might be hard to read in this picture but it says: DON’T LET YOUR HAPPINESS DEPEND ON SOMETHING YOU MAY LOSE – C.S Lewis

happy quote

My second choice of quote is one that reflects much of how I feel about happiness. It mentions a good conscience. I am not sure that young ones are taught how essential a good conscience is to happiness. I hear of people doing the most abhorrent things, and they don’t seem to show any remorse. It is frightening in some respects. Except that I am not surprised. It was forecast that people would be this way.

A good conscience, good health, occupation and freedom in all just pursuits. I think Thomas Jefferson’s quote is a very wise one. Again he mentions that happiness ought not to depend on our current circumstances. I have known some special individuals who had very difficult circumstances – loss of homes and possessions, serious illness, incarceration for a matter of conscience, loss of jobs and friends – but you can see that the inner person, the happy heart, is intact. Because they know they have lived well, done what is good and right and they know that their Creator is smiling down with utter pride at the them. They possess an unshakeable happiness that does not depend on circumstances. They are confident that current suffering is temporary.

happy quote 1.jpg

Their secret to real happiness. It is only a secret because so many people mistakenly pursue possessions, money, fame, friends, status, hobbies, romance and a bunch of things that can bring a degree of happiness, pleasure and can keep you busy. But not the unshakeable happiness that lives on even if you were to lose all of the those things.

If you know the real secret of happiness, unshakeable happiness that does not depend on circumstances – then spread it!

happy jam

It is not possible really to finish this post without a nod to THE HAPPY SONG!!!

Bee Mine! Bee My Little Baby!

This is actually one of my favourite posts! I wrote it at the start of last summer (we had an amazing summer in England in 2018), when I remember realizing that for the first time in years I was head over heels in love and so happy!

If anyone of you has had the glorious experience of bee-ing in love…not with someone who does not even know your name (that is not such a great kind of lovestruck-ness), but bee-ing in love with someone who seems to love spending time with you, loves holding your hand, and even loves your cooking!!! Woo wooh!!! Then you know the elation that bee-ing in love can bring.

Bee

It is the weekend…and over here in little olde England…once again the sun is shining…and we are shamelessly out there getting ourselves sun-burnt! The sky is blue as you like, the flowers are still blooming and the bees are buzzing away – intoxicated by sweet nectar.

As am I! Intoxicated…by my loved one – my lovely Goldfinch…who is here with me! We have great plans for another perfect day together…so this will not be a long post today.

For any readers who as yet have not had a taste of this kind of love…do not despair! When I have more time, I will tell you the story of how unexpected it was to meet Goldfinch…a very random meeting with a complete stranger that worked out wonderfully. A lovely life lesson is that you truly never know who is around the corner…the most important thing is to work on you first. Bee happy!!! Bee a beautiful person on the inside!!! Bee someone who is enjoyable to spend time with. Bee ready for a really nice person to come along and see inside you something very attractive.

Apron

This is the apron I wear when I bake in case you were wondering!

Goldfinch would not have picked me out of a line-up of lovely ladies for either my chubby face, my clumpy feet, or wobbly tummy. I know that what Goldfinch found attractive was just what he is supposed to see…all those lessons in life, the lessons in love…the lessons that mum and dad taught me…they have made me into a person that is attractive to my wonderful Goldfinch.

It just makes me love him even more. To bee loved by a man who loves you for all of the right reasons is bee-yond beautiful!!!

If you have loved like this and have lost…then I am deeply compassionate towards you. Sadly in the world we live in today, something exquisitely lovely can quickly vanish beyond our grasp to cling to. I know that soon I will lose my loved one…my Goldfinch.  He will soon go home. I will have lost someone who is stirring in me deep happiness. At that time,I will probably post a lot of laments to love lost on this blog site…so be warned…come August October December…you might want to avoid my posts!!!

But for me that is tomorrow…and now is today.  I am sure you would not bee-grudge me making the most of today. Life has taught me that you really should make the most of today!

Whatever you do this wonderful weekend…I hope that you can make the most of the precious gift of life…don’t bee sad. Bee ready for anything but bee wise. Bee adventurous and bee brave. Bee kind and bee a lovely person to everyone you meet. Bee thoughtful and bee interested in other people. Bee happy and bee beautiful on the inside.

Who knows who will bee buzzing around outside? Bee ready for them.

Two Bees

Please forgive me if I don’t read your posts today…you know why…bee happy for me!

 

 

Linked to this are the posts: Buttery Toasted Teacake and Perfect Day

 

 

Queen Of The Cleaners

Imagine being assigned the task of training thousands of young single men everything that they some how did not seem to learn at home. To be fair, some of the young single men were already proficient with domestic tasks, but an embarrassingly large number had not the faintest clue of what to do to in the clean and tidy department.

Now who could take on a task like that?  A very special lady affectionately called Auntie Margo by those thousands of young men!  She was the undisputed Queen of The Cleaners for decades!

For almost sixty years Margaret’s assignment as a full-time volunteer was training young people to be fully domesticated and useful so that they can be sent anywhere in the world and will know how to look after the accommodation they are provided. (Her first assignment had been in the kitchen where she cooked and baked for the volunteers). She trained them in all the tasks that were required of them if they wanted to remain in their career as full-time international volunteers.

Auntie Margo was strict.  She made sure those boys took their responsibilities seriously. Notes would be left to remind a young man if he had not done something.  If a young man was careless and neglectful on a regular basis, they would be reported to the accommodation manager.  He might have “a word” with them. If the young man still did not improve their habits, then the accommodation manager might have to ring the supervisor of the young man while he is at work (for example the young man might have a volunteer assignment as an electrician or a carpenter/joiner or a job in accounts or in the huge kitchens or in the garage as a mechanic) and explain that the young man should be asked to leave his work assignment and return to his accommodation immediately where Aunty Margo would meet him and give him a refresher training session in the domestic tasks required of him and the state to leave his room in when departing for work!

I think it was a fantastic arrangement!  Can you imagine if that was practised universally?  Being at work and having your boss approach you with the order that you need to go straight home and make your bed and empty the bin and pick your clothes up off the floor and then return to work at once!

Tasks included:

  • Making their own bed in the morning
  • Emptying their bins/recycling
  • Wiping their bathroom sink clean after washing or brushing their teeth
  • Using squeegee/cloth to wipe down their shower screen and tiles after showering
  • Washing their dishes, drying them and putting them away
  • Wiping down and drying their kitchen sink after using
  • Keeping their room tidy, free of clutter
  • Folding/hanging their clothes and putting them in drawers or in their closet
  • Cleaning/dusting/polishing/hoovering/mopping…all the basics of house-keeping!

Now some of the young single men had left their family home and were struggling to get used to life in London so far away from their family and friends. They may have been shy or lonely.  But there was always at least one person looking out for them and making sure that if they needed to talk, she always had the door to her house-keeping cupboard (which was an office and storage area) wide open.

I know many men now in their forties and fifties who say that when they first moved to London, it was Aunty Margo who made them feel welcome.  They made frequent trips to visit her and gobbled slices of fruit cake and guzzled tea while she listened to their challenges and gave them encouragement.

When I moved to London to become a full-time international volunteer, Aunty Margo was still working as a volunteer despite being in her nineties!  She no longer trained new volunteers, but she was one of a team of sixty house-keepers who she had been involved in training.  Each new volunteer is still trained by a house-keeper so that they know what is expected of them and they still have to take those responsibilities seriously.

In my third year as a volunteer working in an infirmary, we started to receive phone-calls from night security to say they were worried about Aunty Margo. Sometimes we would go down to the reception area at one o’clock in the morning and Aunty Margo would be working away with her feather duster and microfiber cloths polishing the glass tables.  Or she would be in the dining room at three o’clock in the morning waiting for hundreds of other volunteers to arrive for breakfast.  We kindly and tactfully helped her to realize the time and suggested she might want to rest.

Aunty Margo was showing the first signs of Alzheimer’s. Over the next two years it became obvious that it would be helpful for Aunty Margo to have more support. She moved into the infirmary and was assigned a team of carers to make sure she was safe 24-hours a day.  She is very energetic and powerful.  She loves people and conversation.  She loves singing and dancing.  She loves baking and knitting and drawing.

We had lots of visitors coming to check up on the incredibly popular Aunty Margo.  Even more memorable were the trips out of the infirmary (which were almost daily).  In nicer weather we often went out for a drive and went to animal parks, shops, garden centers, cafes or we took Aunt Margo to visit the house-keepers she adored.  But we took her to other locations.  She went to visit all the maintenance team (electricians, plumbers, joiners), she went to visit the gardeners, she went to visit the accounts department, the legal department, the garage full of mechanics.  She always caused a riot!

What a woman!  She brought all work to a stand-still as everyone wanted to come out and see dear Aunt Margo.  She loves people! She has the most fantastic sense of humour and it was gorgeous to see her laughing and joking with a big group of men, she would throw her head back and let out huge guffaws of laughter! And she would sing, and then everyone would sing!  The entire finance department would be swaying while they sang along with Aunty Margo!

This was her favourite song!  We have produced a video with hundreds of volunteers singing “Your Are My Sunshine” to play for Aunty Margo whenever we wanted to remind her of how much she was loved!

But Aunty Margo doesn’t seem to become down-hearted.  She is still going strong, a bundle of energy and fun, who loves people and loves life!  We like to take a feather duster when we go out, because she still wants to feel she is useful.  So whenever she can she will start dusting and polishing.

All of her efforts and hard work over the years are very much appreciated.  But more than anything it is her bubbly, vivacious, fun-loving, musical, warm-hearted, generous character that along with her dynamic energy has made her one of the most popular and loved volunteers.  I could share many many stories about her…I am sure I will share more (just keeping an eye on the length of this post) for almost every day with Aunty Margo was memorable!