Tag Archives: storms

We Cannot Control The Movements Of Storm Clouds

Another post based on an e-mail I sent to Stuart during my job in Notting Hill:

Last night there must have been a terrific storm performing.  I heard rain hammering down above my rooms and grand cracks and crashes of thunderous fury.  I was so exhausted after the long day of house-keeping that I fell asleep very easily and slept the night through like a baby.

I truly thought I was going to have an easy morning today after all the work I did yesterday.  At 5.30am I was sitting up in bed, sipping coffee and thinking I would give myself “just another minute” before I jumped in the shower…when suddenly the door to my bedsit started to open gradually.  A little face appeared…it was one of the little children who live upstairs.

The children know they are not allowed to walk into my room without knocking.  We are all trying to strongly discourage them from being interested in my little abode at all.  Their father has forbidden them and he has told me I must tell them off if they go into my room.  I am not very good at shouting at children.  I respect that in some cases a parent might have to shout at their children in an effort to make them realize what they are doing is dangerous, or foolish, or wrong.  I have never been a parent and I don’t know how to shout at a child.  I try to reason with them.  Sometimes I win, sometimes I don’t.  I don’t think I am winning with this subject.  The youngest hates being told off, he hates me trying to reason with him.  He will run away.  The only way I can catch his attention is by speaking some Mandarin Chinese to him.  He is fascinated by this.  He has only just turned five, but he is eager for me to teach him as many Chinese expressions as possible.

I often find their toys under my bed or in my bath tub.  The lodger thinks it’s funny to encourage the children to play little tricks on me. (Afterall, when I clean their rooms I use their toys to create comic scenes…at the moment Darth Vadar is reading a copy of Vogue I found lying around and one of the trolls is sitting in a toy car with a little teddy in front of the car on his back, as if he has been run over.) I found an item from my underwear drawer on one of their teddies about a week ago. I understand their curiosity, but we must instil in them a realization that my rooms are off-limits. Young children rifling through your underwear drawer is so annoying!

Understandably, I was anxious as to what he was doing walking into my bedroom.  I was about to tell him off sternly, when he whispered with an urgent tone that there was a large pool of water outside of my door.

I jumped out of bed because I realized the little munchkin was unlikely to risk getting in trouble like this if there was no truth to what he said.  He was serious. Just up the steps from my room, sure enough was a large pool of water. I asked him to go and wake his father and tell him what had happened. So, the morning turned out to be quite different to the one scheduled.  Every resident in the building has now seen each other in our nightwear.  A roofer came…well, you can imagine how the day went hey?  We all just got on with it and now peace and order are restored, and the house is still gleaming as I managed to do all the tidying up and cleaning as well as dealing with the leak / flood situation.  Another six washes have been through the machine.  The normal clothes washing and all the towels we used this morning.

Aaaah…so this leads to yet another proverb for today:

We cannot control the movements of storm clouds hey!

Storm Clouds

I really feel I need to lay my head on a pillow and have a little nap – starting work in my pyjamas is not ideal is it!  I am going to head out to see some friends.  We have planned to have a drink at a bar near the river.  It will be lovely sitting outside in the sunshine enjoying the cool evening breeze.

Aaaaaah!  I have to say on sunny days like this, England is gorgeous.  It is just the rest of the year when skies are grey, and we are blown about with gusty wind and always slightly damp because the rain seems to come at you from all directions.  We have to make the most of this sublime sunshine, because we have a problem that as yet we have never learnt to overcome.

We cannot control the movements of storm clouds.

Storms And Rainbows

Despite everything that is causing anxiety, it has been an incredible spring. I have had a taste of it each morning and each evening when I am going to work and walking home. I walked down my road the other day listening to birds and admiring the colours of flowers and the scent from the wisteria. The trees are bulging with heavy green foliage.

Background, Beautiful, Bloom, Blossom

It has been glorious. My family are still staying at home. We are helping each other, supporting one another – physically, emotionally, financially and there is no shortage of home entertainment videos.

My boss likes to make sure we end a shift at work with a song and a dance. It is great fun. We need that lift after a hard day at work. I am working again today. I am looking forward to coming home and resting after a busy week at work. Sleep is so delicious of late. I am still sleeping nine or ten hours every night, which is incredible for my body and my brain.

Although I have spent more time than usual on my own of late, I keep on thinking of the incredible people I have met on my voyage through life, people who inspired me and encouraged me to make brave decisions. I spurned the world’s economic system to work full time as an international volunteer. People laughed and asked how I could live without any wages. I lived. I truly lived. I felt rich.

I have been thinking about the Liberian refugees we met in Ghana seventeen years ago. I have been thinking of my cousins who were in Rwanda working on a project with Hutu and Tutsi volunteers when violence engulfed the region. I have been thinking of Katrina, who I cared for until she took her last breaths – she was one of the most beautifully hearted people I have ever known. I am so grateful that my life has been so rich with people who have taught me that even in the most terrifying of situations, unexpected acts of love and self-sacrifice arise.

Even in storms there are people who help you see rainbows everywhere you look.

Rainbow, Thunderstorm, Storm Clouds


Storm’s Rollin’ In

I know I have kind of missed the boat on this prompt, because Teresa (The Haunted Wordsmith) is no longer hosting these writing prompts. But I started this and I don’t like to start a post without finishing it.

Prompt A (elemental challenge): threatening

Prompt B (sentence starter): “Someone is angry–very angry.”

Prompt C (photo):

Image by Myriams-Fotos from Pixabay

I mentioned in a post a few of days ago, that this week it is four years since I was attacked. I also mentioned that I have been able to deal with that more successfully than I have with what preceded it. I used an expression that I have been thinking about:

“Four years ago this week it all happened. It was as if a monster – and I don’t mean either Jack or the man who attacked me – launched an intense assault at me, and decided to pick up my life and break it into pieces.”

sinkingIt did feel rather like an intense storm threatening to destroy me. It was one furious wave after another crashing over me. I felt as if I had an enemy who wanted to see me sink beneath the waves and be nothing but a wreck. It was as if someone was angry–very angry, with me. I thought I was tough. I have been through all sorts of experiences that were hard and pulled through just fine. But being the subject of vicious gossip and slander for such a long time wore me down.

Just when I thought I was conquering and my head was above water, something would trigger a new onslaught. Jack and I would turn up at the same party…before I reached home there were photographs of me and comments about me that had spread across London and across the country. I would have phone-calls, text messages and e-mails from friends asking me what was going on. I always tried to dampen down the attention that was coming my way because of Jack, telling people it was all nonsense.

joggingThere were many twists and turns to the saga. For most of the time the rumours concentrated on Jack and me. But then when they started to focus on the relationship I had with a married man – well, there was no relationship. We went to the same running club, but I worked with his wife. Rumours were being spread that there was something going on between this married man and I. It became crystal clear in my mind that the rumours originated with Jack because I remember Jack driving past when I was running alongside this particular man.

directorsThat was a line crossed. It was no longer just Jack and me. He had dragged a happily married couple into our dilemma. The stress got to my workmate first. After she screamed at me in a very busy part of a public building we worked within, the directors of the charity we worked for called me into the office. They wanted to know what was going on. They were aware of some of the talk about Jack and I. A year before, they had already helped me move out of the flat I shared with Jack, in an effort to stem the gossip.

They appealed to me to sort things out with Jack as they did not want the situation between he and I to spill over and ruin the camaraderie between volunteers. I tried to speak to Jack, I really did. He was being a donkey. He was intensely hostile towards me at this late stage.

party2I have often wondered what exactly it was that finally broke me. I was already crumbly and fragile after enduring so much nonsense for so long. But I have often wondered what was it that pushed me into going to the park on my own. I know I saw him several times a day for those last few days…and always was the recipient of his cold glares. But was that all? I was tired those last few days. A lot was happening. The huge party I helped to set up…only getting back home after three o’clock in the morning that night and having to be up early the next day for a full day.

alone.jpgI remember feeling incredibly isolated all of a sudden. The people I would normally talk to just were not there. Marta was on holiday. Another good friend who was one of the directors who had been helping me was also on holiday. Another of the directors who had been helping me was ill. I sent a text message to his wife explaining I was desperate to talk. She had changed her number and not told me. My sister Milly was in Africa. I did not want to worry my parents, there was nothing they could do. I just felt so alone.

in studio.jpgIt was my birthday. I floated through that day. It was not even real. I was with friends. I was numb. I could not enjoy anything. I just wanted to escape. I did not want to have this enemy, this man whom I loved so much, making my life miserable. I had a television appearance, another morning where I had to wake up very early. I remember looking at the camera and the whole situation feeling surreal. People spoke words to me…I could not take anything in at that stage. I was out with friends in a restaurant, there were maybe thirty of us. I had not wanted to go, now I was there, I wanted to leave, but I stayed, I wanted to go, but I didn’t know where to go, I no longer wanted to go home, because Jack was there living on the floor above me, sleeping in a bed just a few metres away from mine. I could still hear him singing in the shower every morning. I had stopped singing a long time ago.

parkIt seemed so natural you know to walk in the direction of the park – The Heath. It seemed like a safe place. Waking up in an ambulance told me that it had not been a safe place.

You may have heard the expression that a person may feel as if they are “drowning in despair”. I know it might sound very dramatic, but I think I was back then, four years ago. It is an awful coincidence that when I was weakest and exhausted, a man, a complete stranger found me alone, and overpowered me, and inflicted so many blows to my head that I have been told, he probably thought I was dead.

yet we go on.jpgAnd yet, we go on. For we are strong. We survive the storm. We try to repair the damage. We hope for clearer skies and calmer waters, so that we can at long last unfurl the sails, and let life fill us with desire and excitement to continue our voyage.

We are only dust…and yet there is this deep flame within that tells us these storms were never what our Creator intended…and they will pass. The burning longing for peace and security and life without end at last!

Thundering And Lightning…Very Very Frightening

ligteningFrightening to some…in all honesty not to me. Instead, I feel a rush of excitement…I want to yell out loud, “Come on!”

I do love a good thunder storm…especially if I am inside the cosy warmth of my bed, watching through my window as the sky lights up.  I then count seconds for roaring rumbles of thunder to follow.  Somebody told me when I was a little child, that each second you count is equivalent to a mile.  It tells you how close the lightning is.  I have no idea if that is actually true, but it has moved me to count seconds between lightning and thunder ever since!

After all the warm weather, we had some terrific thunder and lightning shows in London during the past few weeks.

I read an article recently which gave some examples of “natural phenomenon” which are not only inspiring but are not fully understood by humans. Lightning was one of the subjects discussed.

There was a very interesting quote from Compton’s Encyclopedia: “Lightning produces significant chemical changes in the atmosphere. As a stroke moves through the air, it generates tremendous heat that unites nitrogen and oxygen to form nitrates and other compounds. These compounds fall to the Earth with the rain. In this way, the atmosphere is able continually to help replenish the supply of nutrients that soil needs to produce plants.”

I am not frightened by lightning.  I am awe-struck!  Power on a scale that makes all human endeavour look feeble and transitory.  It makes me want to run out into the rain and cry for joy that such a miraculous and spectacular process is taking place right before my eyes!

One of many incredible aspects of the planet I live on that excite me and fill me with wonder.  I think it would be easy for me to write countless posts about the marvels of creation.