It’s a wonderful life.

Christmas movies, often today film makers and production companies put Christmas in the title of a film that they become very much the same, the storyline is based upon love, dreams and aspirations and from the start you know what is going to happen.   Christmas movies of yesteryear have become classics, The Wizard Of Oz, Miracle on 34th Street, White Christmas etc, all of which we watched year upon year but always enjoyed.

My all time favourite Christmas movies though of all time have to be A Christmas Carol a story of change and redemption based upon the book by Charles Dickens and a film in a very similar vain is Its A Wonderful Life starring James Stewart who seemingly had his hopes, dreams and aspirations dashed upon the death of his father and stayed in his home town rather than travelling the world 🌎.                              Everything was going well until he hit an unexpected problem and he felt like ending it all, an angel 😇was sent to help him and he granted the wish of seeing what life would have been like if he hadn’t been born.

The conclusion of the film is when his friends come together to help him in his hour of despair. We all need friends even more so today when our lives are so different and we are constrained in so many ways but my Christmas wish for you my friends and fellow bloggers is that you will celebrate Christmas and New Year in the best and safest way possible and that we will all enter 2021 with hope and optimism ♥

May your lives be blessed and may you enjoy the warm fuzzy feeling that Christmas movies bring us🤗❤xx

Christmas cheer 🤗

I thought that given the time of year that I would wish each and everyone of you my friends and followers a very merry Christmas and a Happy and Blessed New Year, the greatest blessing that we have today is very much that we are alive and that we have hope that our lives will improve and everything will get back to normal soon ❤ I have to admit that I enjoy the Christmas season generally and become very childlike usually around October/ November counting down the days 😊.

This year is going to be very different for all of us and although we may not be able to have the celebrations, we can still enjoy and celebrate the Christmas season after all it’s a very special time of the year. Let me first of all explain the photos, the couple at the top are my maternal Aunt and Uncle who I have many fond memories of Christmas with them. Those moments were life was very different and Christmas had a very different meaning to me.

What fun was had at Christmas 🎄😅, yes I know I was an angel 😇but I had another side to me, I thought I would share part of my early Christmas memories with you. Memory 1 ~ I had a Kidney infection, something that I was plagued with throughout my life, I had been given a fire engine 🚒with a ladder 🪜😅, my Grandad knelt down and pushed it towards the sofa which I was lying down on. Memory 2 was when I was around 14 years old and I was living with my Aunt and Uncle, they had gone out and told me to help myself to anything I wanted, half a bottle of Scotch and a 15lb Turkey went down very well on Christmas eve. Memory 3 was when my Aunt had gone to bed for a lie down and my Uncle was at the works Christmas party 🥳🎉, the last thing that was said to me was “Don’t eat the mince pies, yes that’s another favourite of mine, anyway I didn’t eat the mince pies but drank a couple of the lagers I had bought for my next door neighbour. Anyway my Aunt woke up and I told her that I had given into temptation, her reply was “Not the mince pies”, she seemed relieved when I said no but then she had a very worried look on her face, she seemed relieved when I told her I had drank a couple of the lagers, I couldn’t leave it there though and went into the neighbours house on Christmas day with 2 cans rather than 4 and told him what I had done 😀🤣

Anyway this Christmas 🎄will be very different for lots of people and for many different reasons but I do have a belief that things will get better in the future, that our Love for each other will see us through and that we should cherish our memories ❤ May you all have a Christmas filled with love and hope and may you feel the blessings of the season. Merry Christmas and a Happy and Blessed New Year ✨💖

I just don’t belong!!!

I was just thinking about a post from nopassingfancy about being neighbourly and caring and it got me thinking about our own sense of being neighbourly. We have many opportunities in our lives to help others, some of them are foreseeable others not so.

I want to take you back to a period of my life in the 1990s when I was in my mid to late 30s. I worked in sales for a company based in Manchester and travelled extensively. I was staying at a Marriott hotel in Gateshead in the North of England, my chauffeur / driver provided as part of my contract had parked the car and was dealing with my luggage and I was just stretching my legs, knowing that I had to walk into meetings, dinner engagements and a 3 day exhibition showcasing our product range and consultancy services.

As I was stretching my legs, I noticed a man who looked really uncomfortable, standing next to a quite older model of car, generally the hotel clientele were businessmen and women and the more extravagant and discerning guests. It was quite an expensive hotel to stay at and had a gym and swimming pool, concierge etc. It was very much a high end expense account type of place with all of the luxuries that surrounded your stay.

I like to think that I am very much a people person and will gladly extend a hand to anyone even if they don’t want it 😂. With this I approached the gentleman in the car park and asked if he was okay or if he needed some help, his reply astounded me when he said that it was too posh a place for him and he had no idea why his company would book him into such an extravagant place. I have to admit that I have been on the receiving end of these thoughts but in reverse, it was usually if the company who dealt with our bookings got it wrong, usually it got rectified very quickly. Anyway moving on to this gentleman and his problem, the first thing we established was that his company had indeed booked him into this particular hotel, therefore I assured him that he did belong, he was a paying guest and that the hotel staff were nice and friendly and non judgemental, however if it made him feel more comfortable then I would walk in with him and help him book in, an offer that was readily accepted. Everything went smoothly and he thanked me for my help to which I thanked him for allowing me to and invited him to have a drink with me later that evening.

I just want to remind us all that we have a purpose in our lives, we may not know what that is but we do have a reason for being. WE ALL BELONG!!!

A wave and a smile

Why a wave and a smile?? Many years ago when I was a lot younger than I am now 😂 we lived on a very small street consisting of 12 semi detached houses on 1 side of the street and open fields on the opposite side of the road. We moved from another estate that was quite unpleasant, the houses weren’t really looked after, crime was prominent and generally it was run down.

We got the move because our local council were spending some money refurbishing the properties, something that they had done many times before. The area we moved to was really sought after and the neighbourhood was well looked after and the neighbours were really friendly and kind.

My Aunt and Uncle still live there and have been there for over 40 years now. I occasionally visit them usually once a year and still see so many friendly faces. So why a wave and a smile, on the street there were 2 elderly sisters who lived together, very friendly and had never married, I used to be quite chatty and if they were in the garden I would stop and talk with them, usually just general chit chat and an exchange of pleasantries.

My Aunt and our dog Delph x

Anyway I used to pass there house to go to our local corner shop, usually to buy Wine gums or Jelly babies 😂In the winter months hardly anybody ventured out, but off I went, the sweet tooth calling 😂, my 2 friends used to sit at the window so whenever I passed I would wave with such enthusiasm that my arm would ache, they would smile and wave back and I would go on my way, that was until I was returning home and I would do the same again, if nothing else I was consistent.

A few years ago I visited with my Aunt and Uncle and I saw 1 of the sisters, very old and frail but still that look of recognition. I started to talk with her, unfortunately her sister had died and she was now on her own. Has we talked about the years that had passed she thanked me, I really didn’t understand why or even think anything of it but said thank you even though I had done nothing. Her reply astounded me when she said that I smiled and waved and that it used to brighten their day. I smiled and waved as I walked away just as I did all those years ago.

We live in a very different world than it was then and yet we still have a need to feel loved and wanted but more importantly I think that we need to show people that we love them, care about them and just be kind to others.

Roots.

When I think about the mighty Oak tree, the first thing I think about believe it or not is what it came from, the smallest of acorns. I think then of the conditions that allowed it to grow, the ground it sits in, nature providing the right amount of sunlight and rain and the roots that anchor themselves in the ground. The strongest of winds will push against it and yet it stands firm, weathering the storm as it ages.

Isn’t our life very much the same in terms of the storms that we undergo through our lives, bereavement, health both physical and emotional, anxiety and uncertainty over our futures and regret over our decisions in the past. In many ways though as people we don’t have the same roots as the mighty Oak tree, families are spread far and wide as we are able to travel further for work, relationships or a better lifestyle or many other reasons our roots are becoming increasingly weakened and our lifestyles are becoming increasingly more transient.

We need to address this as a matter of urgency because as we now find ourselves in these unprecedented times many people including myself are asking more and more questions about what it is that is keeping us where we are, certainly since Kath left me I am struggling to find a reason to stay where I live especially in view of the fact that my family live a 7 hour train journey away, but also because of the travel restrictions in place I couldn’t travel to see them because they are in a different country.

My Aunt and Uncle from around 40 years ago

My Aunt and Uncle who helped raise me have lived in the same town for in my uncles case the last 80 years ever since his birth and my aunt married him when she was in her 20s so they have been together ever since. My uncle spent the majority of his working life in a cotton mill becoming a supervisor. Today I realise just how important those foundations are because I haven’t really put any roots down anywhere for many years

New horizons

I have entitled this post new horizons because I have recently been invited by different people in my life to try some of the things that I used to enjoy, reading books and listening to classical music for example.

Ultimately this has led me to read a James Patterson novel and I found it really enjoyable and I haven’t read a novel for such a long time and yet it has left me with a desire to read more for leisure rather than learning. I have also had my interest in classical music awakened by someone else and met someone recently who has walked the Great Wall of China and climbed Everest, what remarkable achievements they are.

I think that sometimes we get stuck in our bubble and actually forget about the world both around us and also the world outside. I know that my ex and I had our difficulties and that ultimately she left me, however I have to be thankful to her for many things but especially for spending 5+ years with me many of those years were really good ones and I thought that it would be forever, the second thing is that because she left both of us have gone through a period of adjustment and sometimes loneliness but we have also had very different experiences.

A good way to live life.

When I started working on this post I thought about entitling it Being Blinkered. The reason I thought about this was because I used to gamble a lot and my favourite sport was horse racing, I was bought up around it so I guess that it would follow given my being prone to addictive behaviours that I would enjoy a flutter. Why though being Blinkered, because if a horse gets the wind of another horse alongside or in front it affects the way that it runs, therefore the trainer would cover his eyes so that it would only be possible to look straight ahead and lose its peripheral vision. This is what can happen to us as human beings, we can become trapped by our relationships, our status our own belief systems, we can put on our own blinkers. Don’t do this open your hearts and minds to the beauty around you, gain experience, seek new skills and interests and keep life interesting and I promise you that it will feel like a different world. ❤️🤗🙏

The 3rd light

I have recently undergone some quite dramatic changes in my life and the outcomes have been different and some really quite scary and I have certainly felt intimidated by some people.

I was recently accused of being a coward because I blocked some people from Facebook even though I don’t count them as friends or people I would want to associate with. Social media is supposed to enrich our lives and help us to create connections with others not to allow others to abuse us or create fantasies or endanger us in any way.

If I am a coward by removing myself from the path of the bullets theoretically speaking then I will take ownership of that fact. However I really do believe that the social media platforms have a greater responsibility to its users in protecting them even by notifying us of any people who view our profiles etc.

I am reminded of something that my Grandfather taught me when he talked about his experience of the 1st World War and trench life. He talked a lot about keeping yourself safe in the most difficult of situations especially with regards to avoiding snipers bullets, the best way to avoid this was to not share a match to light a cigarette because if you were the 3rd light from a match the sniper would have fixed his sights on you. His advice was always to keep your eye on the person in front, be mindful of your enemies and their capabilities and keep your head below the parapet. Sometimes in the world of Internet dating this is not the easiest thing to do but I would encourage each and everyone of us to be careful, stay safe and take care.

A heart that is broken takes a long time to heal if indeed it ever does.

Confusing times

As I write this I recognise that I haven’t posted anything for a while but life has been full of ups and downs. Many of you will know that Kath left me earlier this year and since then I seem to have lost my best friend, my zest for life and everything that I had.

I fully understand the reasons why Kath left and I really don’t blame her for doing so. Since she left though I recently made a decision to move on with my life and joined a couple of dating sites looking for that someone special to share my life with, the reality though was something very different with a couple of dates with a really nice lady who didn’t want anything serious and I couldn’t accept that. I then met someone else who wants a relationship but she wasn’t right for me and I chose to walk away.

Why the confusion??? The confusion comes because I really miss Kath but I know that we won’t be able to put my actions behind us and the world of Internet dating is fraught with falsehoods, raised expectations and a fear of rejection. I think that the lies and rejection are the most difficult things to experience and yet we open ourselves up to it.

Loneliness is such a hard thing to face and yet today people are having to face loneliness not through choice but through circumstances which are beyond our control. Loneliness leads very often to acts of desperation and our ability to act with sound judgement becomes impaired and yet we cannot defeat those feelings that surround us.

I hope that as I write this you my friends are all staying safe and well and wish you all the very best for your futures.

The art of communication

Photo by Markus Spiske on Pexels.com

I chose this picture because to me it represents the confusion that miscommunication can bring about in any situation.
It looks almost like the white noise that you get from a badly tuned in television set, if we see our conversations as being unclear then how can we expect others to understand what we are trying to say or communicate.

Communication comes in many ways and includes the use of body language, gestures, listening skills and observation of the inflection of the voice. Some people say that we can communicate through the mind however I myself am not really sure. One thing that I am sure of though is that if you don’t ask the question you won’t get an answer and this can be even more confusing to everyone.

How true this is.

Most of you know that Kath and I are now separated although we are still friends and see each other a few times a week, anyway this is where communicating really is important, yesterday Kath was doing a job that involves me indirectly and after she had finished we were sat in my office when I said are you ready to go. I had been in the office yesterday and it had been a really long and stressful day so I just wanted to get away. Kath then thought that I was in a rush and we parted company after saying the briefest of goodbyes, we were talking a bit later and she asked what I had for dinner and I replied nothing, I genuinely wasn’t hungry and it was too warm to eat anything heavy. Kath then said that she thought when we left my office that we could have a Fish and chips dinner together, I would have enjoyed that but because she didn’t suggest it I just came home.

I chose the above picture because I believe that it captures a view of a chasm that arises when we don’t communicate properly. In all of our communications make them effective and meaningful and don’t leave anything open to misinterpretation. Stay safe and well my dear friends 🌹❤️🙏

Plea and please

I think that this is a really positive blog from my friend who writes under the name nopassingfancy because I really do believe that everyone who has ever been born has a purpose in life and a value and a worth.
I have suffered from depression and anxiety for many years and its associated behaviours struggling with alcohol dependency and the feeling of guilt and anguish that the sense of letting people down brings with it.
I know that there is no shame in admitting that you are struggling with life however I also know how uncomfortable it can make others feel.
I do believe like nopassingfancy that we all have a place in society and that we all have a worth.
Reach out to those who can help and reach out to those you feel need help but please take the time to listen really listen because these are very difficult times and many people will be uncertain about their future and this creates a state of depression and anxiety. 🤗❤️🙏

nopassingfancy

The picture below is a photograph of my son and I, taken four years ago, on the evening of his final school dance. Many people have commented that he ‘looks a lot like me’. (I softly curled my hair for the occasion 😉 )

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Although there is a resemblance in our appearance, it stops when it comes to height and body shape. He’s slouching a little in the picture, for Mom’s benefit 😛 He’s just over six foot tall, and slender. I am a shorty, and rounder 😛

The similarities with us are not just physical – he seems to be very similar to me in a lot of other ways too. He has a kind and tender heart, a gentle spirit, and like his momma he can be quite sensitive. He and I are the ones who will sit and cry in a movie, or an episode of a…

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