When St Elizabeth’s Hospice asked me to help Phil Wix promote his pop-up shop to sell his wife’s designer clothes, I jumped at the chance. I also know how important it is to raise money for the hospice as they only receive a small fraction of money from the government, the rest comes from donations.Read More
A whole month alcohol free plus 31 days of activity part of Suffolk Mind’s #redjanuary. Watch out February, here I comeRead More
My 3 boys had experiences as gifts this year. Ryan made a knife at a Suffolk forge, Lyle recorded a song at Dove Studio and Richard joined a 10 week Jaffa running courseRead More
I picked up meditation again and throughout 2018 I managed to meditate most days. I find it a wonderful sanctuary, a place where I can relax and let my tears flow. I’m looking forward to carrying on this practice into 2019Read More
Mystery case of wine from Naked Wines is like a gift from beyond.Read More
I picked up Shine by Andy Cope and Gavin Oates at Stansted airport in June en route to Sardinia.
My copy is now rather dog-eared because I took it everywhere with me, the beach, the restaurants, the bars. Whenever I had 5 minutes to spare I read one of the short chapters. It’s full of humour and strategies on how to live a full life. I remember reading the chapter called That Wee Piece of Magic, explaining how we’ve lost the childlike art of playfulness. The writers pose questions like when did you last play with a cardboard box?
Not exactly relevant but I’m reminded of the time my 28 year old son jumped out of a cardboard box to surprise me on my birthday. It was such an emotional time in so many ways, just a few days before my husband was diagnosed with cancer
I was reading on the beach at Giardini Naxos, when I looked up to see 4 children with beach towels tied around their necks like capes, jumping off upturned boats, racing around like superheroes. I’d just witness the perfect demonstration of let’s pretend play that children enjoy so much. The authors ask, When did you decide that today was the day you decided to stop playing, to stop approaching everyday situations with playfulness, creativity and joy?
It’s a wonderfully simple, fun and thought-provoking book to read. I still think about many of the ideas in this book.
My 4 favourite ideas
See the things that happen to you as interesting plot twists, weave them into the story of your life rather than talk about the disaster, the dramas that turn you into one of life’s victims
There are only 3 things important for a healthy life, to eat well, move more and sleep enough
Put on your shine tinted spectacles and see the world bathed in a clear shiny light
Don’t half-ass anything, always use your full ass
Give it a Try
For the price of 3 Starbucks coffees, I’d recommend Shine. I’m sure you’ll get something from it. What’s your favourite book that makes you feel all warm and glowing inside?
I love going to festivals, Steve and I went to WOMAD every year. This year I decided to go to Folk East on my own. This is what happened.Read More
The first year is by far the hardest but in the second year, the cloud around you thins and you begin to make sense of this different life you’re leadingRead More
Going out on your own after a bereavement is no walk in the park. Check out #MeetpMondays as a great way to meet new friends over a cup of coffeeRead More
NLP training is great way to learn new life strategies. An added bonus for me is that I made some great friends at the same time.Read More
2 oak trees were planted for Steve in October 2017. The first one was planted at Oakfield Wood, Wrabness, where Steve is buried. The other tree I bought in Cambridge. I arranged for the tree to be delivered to Porthkerry Country Park where Steve and I grew up and where his parents still live.
2018 has been a year of extreme weather, the Beast from the East, a fierce cold snap hit the UK in February followed by one of the driest summers on record. After 60 days of zero rain, I received a call from my mother-in-law to say Steve’s oak tree was struggling. I was planning to visit Barry that weekend and prepared for the worst I found the tree was struggling, all the leaves were dry and the earth around the base of the tree had deep cracks.
The Country Park Wardens were looking after so many freshly planted trees that they just couldn’t keep up with the watering. Whilst I was visiting the tree, I recorded a video asking for help from my Barry friends.
The response was incredible, friends were taking large containers of water to the park. They even obtained special permission from the wardens to use the car park without paying fees. One friend, Peter Barker took manure, fertiliser and a gallon container of water in an effort to help. The video he recorded by the tree made me cry.
A couple I know were visiting Barry for the first time when they heard about requests for help with watering. They found Steve’s tree and even bumped into one of my Barry friends, Bev Jones who was also watering the tree at the same time.
In life, Steve brought people together and so he did in death
We don’t know yet if either tree will survive but I do know that love and care has been shown for Steve’s oak tree at Porthkerry Country Park.
Give it a Try
Some people plant trees, buy memorial benches or one friend made a wildflower garden with its own bug hotel in memory of his wife, Lynne Dyas Wolff, one of my dear school friends.
There are so many ways to commemorate someone’s life. What ideas have you heard?
Sometimes you just need to talk. And from the silence often comes the answers you needRead More
I’ve been a presenter on ICR Ipswich Community Radio for almost a year. Learning radio presenting skills and meeting so many new people has helped with my grieving journey.Read More
The 5 Invitations by Frank Ostaseki was so inspiring. I’ve decided I want to live my life fully and my trip to Machu Picchu is an example of “Don’t Wait”Read More
My kintsugi inspired heart shaped tattoo reminds me of love and transformation.Read More
I really enjoy writing in my journal, last night after a full Spill Festival weekend I wrote 14 pages. Find out how my journals have helped me. Read an extract from my 7 day Trans-Siberian train journeyRead More
I started journalling last year and I have filled 8 journals with my words. I find writing very therapeuticRead More
Find out how to create a memorialized Facebook accountRead More
I’ve been on 2 retreats to Sardinia. These retreats were the start of my healing journey and helped me both physically and mentally.Read More
I’m not saying waste your life watching TV but when you find you’re on your own after a lifetime of companionship there are lots of hours that need to be filled.
I have a Netflix account and earlier this year I watched all 4 Seasons of the Peaky Blinders, it’s not for the faint-hearted, the violence is intense. It’s loosely based around criminal gangs in the Black Country fighting for survival after the First World War. The soundtrack is dark, Red Right Hand by Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds which adds to the threatening atmosphere. The main character is Thomas Shelby, played by Cillian Murphy. If you don’t know this actor, he has the bluest eyes which were wonderfully framed during the filming of this series.
Life is all about loss, and when this 4 part series came to an end, I experienced a mini sadness.
How will I ever find anything as good?
You just find something different, I found HBO series called Rome, another violent series. I watched the first 10 episodes on Netflix but couldn’t find the second series. How frustrating but I wasn’t deterred and visited all the charity shops in Ipswich but eventually found the second series box-set at a video rental shop for just £6. I can use my surround sound TV when I watch movie DVDs. My walls were vibrating with the clashing of swords during the fight scenes, a fully immersive experience.
I’ve progressed onto the adventures of Marco Polo now but I can’t work out what to watch next.
Give it a Try
Find a 10 or more part series with multiple seasons and lose yourself for an hour or two each week. I know some people binge watch but I prefer having a weekly routine where the characters become part of my life, at least for a time, until the next loss. When you see that life is all about endings and in turn beginnings, you’ll recognise this is natural and a preparation for bigger losses to come.