Tag Archives: life

Parklife

Well…I have been managing to publish at least one post a day for a long time. But this year, a lot of those posts were ones I already had in my drafts folder. I am not finding time to do more new writing. So…you will see a few posts that I wrote and published in 2018 that I am re-publishing (including the infamous STORM IN A TEACUP SERIES!)

I do have a blessed life here.  Despite being the other side of a trial that has turned my life upside down…I find myself here in this beautiful part of London, in a beautiful little abode, with interesting and satisfying work, and lots of lovely people in my life, not the least of whom is my beloved Goldfinch.  I rise early and have a leisurely breakfast and my coffee.  Then I shower and dress and then I climb three steps and I start work.  Three steps!!!  What a terrible commute to work – and they are all uphill!!!

Adult, Breakfast, Bedroom, Blanket, Bed

This part of London is completely new to me. I have been exploring whenever I have free time. Spring and summer are giving me more daylight hours to go venturing out to discover. Last week I found a pretty park.  I went there tonight with the book I wanted to finish and my fleecy picnic rug.  It is about a 40-45 minute walk from the house.  It is not the best park in London. But with beautiful trees and grass you can’t really go wrong. Lots of families, joggers, cyclists, people chatting on benches, drinking coffee or eating ice-cream at one of the little cafes.

I arrived at about 5.30pm this evening.  I had to finish the book I borrowed from the  local library…I read it in that beautiful park, the sun warming my back and the gentle breeze caressing my hair. I let tears roll down my cheeks as I read slowly every emotion packed sentence.  What a story.

Then once I had finished it, I sat up and did a little “people-watching”. When I was bored I lay down on my back and looked up at the blue sky, the branches heavy with verdant green towering over me.

Park sky

It’s nice to be snugly warm and yet to be able to detect that lovely faint breeze. I realized the sun was sinking and was now behind a very impressive cedar tree. I felt tears in my eyes again. There was a huge cedar tree outside the building I went into every morning at 6.45am for breakfast….and there was a huge cedar in the private park in front of the apartment I lived in with two flatmates for my first two years there. Before I moved into the flat where the trouble started. The trouble that led to a life-changing event.

My sister was in Lebanon for three months at the start of last year.  She told me all about the cedars there and showed me lots of pictures. Then two of my best friends went over there for two months and came back just as enthusiastic as my sister about the scenery and the food.

I want to go to Lebanon.

There are a hundred places I would like to visit…ideally to have several weeks in each location, maybe longer. There are a thousand things I would like to do.

But this word BALANCE and another word PATIENCE and what else?  Oh yes, SELF-CONTROL. There is no way all these places would exist if I wasn’t going to have the opportunity to see them all and enjoy them all at some point! I am sure. It would be too cruel. This earth is there to explore and discover. I am sure one day…we will set out on a voyage together and spend one or two thousand years  I would like to be with Goldfinch, discovering new places, new foods, new scenery, new cultures and music and experiences. I would like to do a lot of exploring with him and then at the end of each day find somewhere we could sit back and I could hold his hand and rest my head on his shoulder and we can talk about everything we saw that day.

River, Embankment, Tree, Water, Lake

I have a lovely balanced life here…which is what I have needed, starting over again. I have needed to do this gently. Right now, I have the ideal situation for building up my stamina (especially with work spread over five storeys of the building – I am getting plenty of chance to run up and down stairs), pushing my body a little bit more each day, always with the knowledge I will be able to rest up after work…getting back into routine.  Growing stronger every day.  I am enjoying my work very much…and I am loving my rest/relaxation time very much. I can see I will be spending more late afternoons in the pretty park I found.

There was a point when I could not have imagined I would be able to come to a park on my own and feel so peaceful, so full of blissful content and feel safe.  So many memories would be triggered of that night.  That summer evening when I went to a park on my own and sat on a bench and allowed hot spicy tears roll down my cheeks.  So many memories of the security guard who found me the following morning and called an ambulance.   So many memories of everything that happened that night.

But look at how far I have come.  I can go to the park on my own and feel happiness down to my toes.  I can hold my head up knowing I have not just survived, I have thrived…with the support of my family and friends.  I even have a Goldfinch who makes me feel as if I could fly.

Despite the cruel events which shattered my world…I am in one piece…I am in a safe place and I have  a balanced healthy and happy life. I enjoy my work, I enjoy my rest/relaxation time.  I enjoy Parklife.

Park

I Want To Live Forever

I am back at work today. Jack went home yesterday. There is a limit to how many vegan Magnum ice-creams you can eat without feeling sick. But there is no limit to how much enjoyment I gain from my home…your home too.

I don’t understand why anyone thinks that living forever would be boring? Are you kidding me! Once wickedness and injustice and corruption have been removed…I am going to start to live – I mean really live!!!!!!!!!!!!

Real Life

Nature, Waters, Lake, Landscape, Evening

It’s supposed to be another scorcher here in England today. I have a long old day ahead with work. I am going to try to think nice cool thoughts, and imagine myself relaxing somewhere that stress cannot find me. I am going to protect my peace of mind. I am going to keep my eyes on what is real, and not the insane way of doing things that has been developed by successive generations.

Because we were designed for so much better than this…I’m going to keep my mind fixed on the real life.

Hiding The Bruises

incognitoI am alright now, (I think) but for a long time the situation with my ex-flatmate Jack kept my nerves on a knife-edge. I know there are some people who make a career out of being the subject of idle gossip for others, but that has never been something I wanted for myself.

Even when I was living with Jack, the rumours about the two of us were so upsetting, I tried to leave the flat earlier than anyone else and arrive home in the dark. I was sneaking in and out of my own home, to escape the attention of whoever it was who kept these shocking rumours breeding.

When I returned to London, after almost a year of resting and recovering from the physical injuries I had sustained the night I was assaulted (and then…being left for dead underneath some bushes) I was pretty nervous.

Although my physical injuries were healing up nicely, I was deeply self-conscious in so many ways. I was very nervous around men. I was very aware of my head! I felt secure with a hat on, or a bandana or scarf in the summer. I found London overwhelming. I felt very lost at times. I found bright lights gave me severe headaches. I always wore sunglasses out of doors. The first six months, I was hiding myself with hats, headscarves and sunglasses

But what I found effected me most deeply was gossip. I saw friends and colleagues. They were confused about why I had disappeared for a year. Many of them thought I had left in disgrace. Just before I had been attacked, there were rumours that I was involved with a married man. I don’t really feel like writing about that today, but I will at some point. There are already a couple of posts where I have touched on it already:

embarrassedBut it has taken a long time to be able to battle the anxiety that other people, people I admire and respect, think terrible things of me. That realization has made me pretty dismal at times.

I could have caused trouble for Jack. I did not want to do that. I could have talked about being assaulted (I find it really difficult to use the R word still) and beaten up. But you know, I really did not want to. If I started talking about it, I would have been asked a thousand questions by people that I was not ready to answer. So instead I let them think whatever they wanted to think.

As far as many of them are concerned, I was acting strangely, sneaking in and out of my own home at unusual hours, becoming cagey and defensive and emotional…and then I disappeared for a year. I returned to London wearing hats and sunglasses (with style!) and not answering questions openly.

I am a lot more settled than I was then, more relaxed about everything, and my friends are more relaxed. They all seem genuinely glad to have me around and everyone is very polite about what has happened in the past. Some of my very close friends know a lot more about what happened of course, and when I need someone to talk to they are wonderful. But on the whole, everyone has been so incredibly discreet about what happened to me, which I am extremely grateful for.

But there is a kind of loneliness that comes with having a big secret that you hide. I hide all the details of what went on between Jack and I. I hide all the details about what happened to me in the park. People know not to push me with too many questions because I will leave.

Aaaaah!

Well…I have said enough for today. It takes it out of me thinking about things that I don’t want to think about! So, to end this post I wanted to share a song that I fell in love with, mainly because I have become such a huge fan of the voice of Kristina Train. But I liked the song too…it does touch me in my situation. I have put two versions for you just in case you prefer the acoustic version. I like both actually.

https://thehauntedwordsmith.wordpress.com/2018/11/27/daily-writing-challenge-nov-27/

https://wordofthedaychallenge.wordpress.com/2018/11/27/dismal/

https://onedailyprompt.wordpress.com/2018/11/27/your-daily-word-prompt-lost-november-27-2018/

https://fivedotoh.com/2018/11/27/fowc-with-fandango-leave/

My Day Off

I broke free from the world for just one day…it was my time to let myself breathe, to let myself weep, to let myself mourn. For I am still in mourning. I am the legendary fish trying to live out of water, the bird whose wings have been clipped.

People, Girl, Woman, Alone, Hair, Cap

You see when people who don’t know what I had, the life I lead, the purpose of every moment, tell me to let go of the past, and make new memories, build a new circle of friends…they don’t know, they don’t know where I came from.

I will mourn until I am back where I belong. I snub the new people in my life who tell me to turn my back on my real life and be content with something trivial and meaningless.

Your goals are not my goals. Your dreams are not my dreams. I have no interest in the commercial world. In my bones there is a desire to get down on my hands and knees and work until this earth is as it should be. I reject the life you put before me. I will never ever be yours.

I embrace the life I have led with passion, with conviction, with a deep self-sacrificing love. I will never abandon my quest to be back where I belong. I belong to a way of life I sacrificed every other opportunity to gain.

Or perhaps, I will go to sleep one night and wake up back in my home. Jack will be there whispering to me that it was all a bad dream, a nightmare.

The Restoration

The night is well along. The darkness is giving way to the first signs of dawn. The sky becomes murky. Many begin to awake from slumber as the sky brightens.

Paradise, Landscape, Holiday, Water

Morning is taking hold, banishing the darkness. The rays of the sun warmth all the earth breathing life and colour into our world. Birds sing in jubilant chorus to welcome the sunrise. Creatures everywhere busy as they start to gather their food for this day.

The healing continues. Broken hearts are healing. The earth is cleaner than we ever knew it. Our air and water are pure. Our senses seem to be heightened as we gain the full enjoyment of life.

But of all that we have witnessed, of all we have celebrated, it was seeing our dear ones wake up. To see life restored to those who had lost it is going to be the most thrilling and joyful time in all human history.

I saw five deaths with my own eyes in as many days. I watched people go to sleep. They stopped breathing. Remember them. Treasure every detail of who they are and all they are – every thought, feeling and memory within them. Keep those details safe in your limitless memory. I want to be there when they wake up.

My Time Is Precious

I need to sort my head out before Jack comes back to England. Over the past five weeks I have felt myself withering up because of these crazy hours I am working. It’s been bad for me. I have ended up hating my paid job, dreading it each morning. I resent it because it is interfering so much with my real life.

Model, Woman, Conceptual, Fashion

I don’t want to be miserable when Jack is back. But I am sure he will see a difference in me. I am rushing all the time to squeeze things in. The frenzied pace of my life is making me on edge and I have neglected all sorts of little things. I just want to have twenty minutes to sit down and give myself a manicure! My nails are hideous at the moment.

But the nails have had to be neglected because I have to work those 60+ hours a week and do my housework, my shopping, cooking, laundry, sleep and make a little time to socialize with friends. (If you don’t have time to do some socialising, then something is very wrong.)

My nails don’t matter in the long run…which is why they are being neglected, but there are other things being neglected too. Lots of little things are falling by the wayside because I am stretched to my limit.

waipThese paid hours are destroying me. I am not getting enough sleep, enough switch off time. I am always watching the time, always worried I am going to be late. I have less mental energy, my memory is suffering, my concentration is suffering. My headaches are getting worse and more frequent. I am finding it harder to smile. This is not good! Jack will not like it.

I have set a deadline in my head. If it becomes obvious that the chances of someone else being recruited to join our team are just a fantasy, I am going to accept one of the other part-time jobs I have been offered or go back to self-employed work. The paid job I am in is strangling me and my life and my joie de vivre! We can’t have that!

LIFE IS PRECIOUS…TIME IS PRECIOUS…

 PAID WORK SHOULD BE FOR JUST WHAT YOU NEED

VOLUNTARY WORK BRINGS REWARDS FAR GREATER THAN MONEY

IF A PAID JOB THREATENS YOUR VOLUNTARY WORK…

…MOVE ON TO A DIFFERENT PAID JOB!

Sayonara!!!

 

A New Turn On The Road Of Life

I keep on thinking about this time last year. I was pretty lost. It was towards the end of January, the beginning of February that I was really wondering why I felt so sick all the time and made an appointment to see a Doctor.

Road, Turn, Mountain HighwayAnyway…the reason I mention it is that I am amazed at the drastic change in my life. I never expected Jack to make contact like he did last September. Sometimes as I live my life and it takes the oddest turns and changes in direction, I wonder where on earth I am going to end up.

But I have learnt not to be overly anxious. The journey itself is sometimes riveting. I learn so much along the way. I meet other fascinating travellers journeying through life. The scenic views are rewarding. The sense of accomplishment, the “look how far I have come!” sensation and the wonder at what the road ahead will hold.

Sometimes things might be going in a direction that concerns you. You may feel you have little control. But do what you know is good, kind, loving. It is amazing at how a situation can be reversed, sometimes very suddenly.

I am glad that Jack came back to find me. I love journeying along this road of life with him.

What On Earth Will This Year Bring?

lifr2019 was one interesting year for moi. What drama! What a rollercoaster!

I spent the first few weeks of 2019 feeling lost without Goldfinch. Then I found out something spectacular. There was a reason I had been feeling sick for some time. I spent the next few weeks wondering how my life might change and wondering what little one would be like. Then a tragedy. Very sad, one of the saddest things I have ever experienced. My little apricot, Annabelle Jayne Goldfinch, rests up in Snowdonia now.

Being more determined than ever to go out to Australia to see Goldfinch, saving my pennies really hard to be able to afford the plane ticket. Going out there and feeling pure happiness to be by his side for the summer (Australia’s winter). Coming back feeling sad because I didn’t want to be without him. Feeling kind of lost again.

Couple Sitting at the TableThen…out of the blue…Jack making contact. Peace, joy, love. An amazing autumn with him. An autumn full of romantic weekends and just hanging out with someone who I always realized was as close to a soulmate as I was ever going to find. It has been so great being cocooned with him.

And now…my family (and his family of course) know that incredibly Jack and Caramel have healed their four year rift and are a couple! Our friends are now finding out too.

What a rollercoaster! What on earth will happen in 2020. Well, 2019 taught me something….IT REALLY REALLY COULD HAPPEN!

So I am going to live bravely…and live with gusto! Because I have no idea what might happen in the year ahead. So I want to be ready for it!

A Rose Tinted 2020 Vision

2020 vision1.jpgWhat will next year bring for “Jack” and me?

This post I am writing before I go away to spend some time with my family during the holidays. Both he and I are going to tell our close family members that we have been “dating” and plan to continue doing so.

I am going to tell my family something they may find hard to grasp, because they didn’t want to hear me say it in the past. I am in love with him. Despite everything that went terribly wrong, I never stopped loving him.

By the time this post is published, they will know and will have had time to question me at length and understand what is going on. I have given it a lot of thought. I have been writing things down to tell my family. I may even take the opportunity to finally introduce them to my posts on CRUSHED CARAMEL.

lovely viewJack has an event early in January, at which I will be making my first “public” appearance alongside him. Sick with nerves? Oh yes! But I am keeping my focus on how much I love Jack. It am anxious about the challenges that will come. It’s not pleasant to be at the mercy of opinionated comments from strangers. My main strategy to deal with it is going to be simply not to look. I am just going to keep my rose-tinted loving outlook.

How will our relationship develop? I don’t know. The past few months have been so wonderful. I can only hope things will be equally as wonderful despite possible challenges. The big question mark in my mind is…what about our lives? He is still immersed in the lifestyle I led before I was victim to a crime. He is involved in all sorts of projects for various charities. He has events and projects (some abroad) planned throughout 2020. He has been asking me to reserve certain dates so I can attend charity functions and social occasions with him.

long road.jpg

But what about us? There is a long road ahead. Is it going to be even possible to merge our lives together completely? I don’t think I can re-qualify for international volunteer status. My head is still a problem. They can’t use me the same way. So if we were to merge our lives…he would have to give up international assignments, because they won’t split couples up (well, married couples). So…if he wants to stay in his purposeful life…we will have to continue to live separately. Or if he wants to put me first, he will have to be content with UK assignments only, which is all I qualify for at the moment.

2020 together.jpgIt’s going to be hard for him to make that kind of decision. I don’t want to pressure him in any way. In fact, I don’t want him to have to give up that life. It hurts to think of having to slow him down in doing something we both passionately care about. Maybe that means that it would be better just to carry on the way we are, so that he can live the life of an international volunteer. He already has an assignment in the Middle East and one in Central Africa in the next few months. I am going to have to get used to him being away for weeks at a time.

This is hard because if you love someone to the extent that you want to go where they go and always be close to them…the thought of having to live separately until the person you love is ready to give up the life they love for you – it is hard. So so hard.

I am just going to be content with what we have now. I am his caramel blonde girlfriend. I am his lover. Come 2020, the whole world can know about it. He is my lover!