Loving gratitude for an abundant harbour…

A gifted mat from my niece, a coaster with Em as a toddler and a heart stone from the beach on my new desk.

A rich moving experience has flowed over a fortnight and it has been interesting. Moving things in isolation whilst respecting social distancing, a removal man whose attitude is calling for him to take up a different profession, a week later another removal man (recommended by a new neighbour) bringing in more furniture with his buddy and making me laugh, moving day involving the builders here still beavering away, many hours of scrubbing, gifted furniture, a friend’s husband on loan for DIY, hot dinners being dropped off, multiple deliveries, getting to know my postman (Rob, who is lovely), having to change internet provider mid-order and it all working for five minutes before the power went out for a long time (taking the super-smart boiler and hot water with it) and my body protesting throughout.

My heart is full of gratitude to my Mum and Dad, loving friends, kind neighbours, a community-led village, companies who are still running in hard times, delivery drivers going above and beyond, refuse collectors taking away my excess with a wave and a smile, a landlord who knows what he is doing with his loving son who makes things happen and a comfy wing-back chair and Netflix when I need to pause.

On Sunday morning, I stood in the sunshine with the birds singing, the church clock chiming and washing blowing on the line, as I planted up some butterfly boxes on the garden wall just outside my workroom. My cup runneth over. ❤

What is real and the kindness of strangers…..

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This photo was taken on Wednesday night, from the top of one of the mountains that nestle the valley, where I have chosen to put down roots and make the next chapter of my life. I have found a little apartment in a 17th century converted coach house, on an estate and working farm, in the depths of rural North Wales.

I am aware, as one of life’s ‘cliff leapers’, that I may not always have all my ducks in a neat row, but I have faith and trust in what is meant to be. I was drawn here, (never having been to the area before), and as soon as I drove over the mountain range and saw the valley stretching out before me, with the little medieval town in the middle, my soul spoke the words ‘You are home’.

My new home

With much gratitude to the loving support I have had, I came into land last Saturday and a few things happened in quick succession. My original choice of apartment felt all wrong as I unpacked my car and stood in the middle of the main room. My warm spirited landlord caught on very quickly and I was moved to another apartment on the estate. As I spruced the place up and settled in my laptop died, my phone struggled with any mobile signal at all, the Wifi signal was faint (that is being kind) and nothing electrical in the place worked. I have not collected my belongings from David’s yet, so I had very little that was familiar around me. The care agency work I was assured was a doddle to get into, is anything but, and I awoke the next morning to a cold feeling of ‘Oh what have I done…’.

OK, I thought, this is fear and I will acknowledge it, but not sink into it. I have been stopped in my tracks for a reason, but I am very definately in the right place. The fear is not real, what has gone before is not real, for it is in the past, and my imaginings on what might happen next are not real either.

What is real is what I tell myself and how I tackle this. I am capable and I have my smile..I can climb mountains.

My landlord on various visits has sorted my sparkly clean washing machine, which I can now set the dials on and start with a ball point pen…he’s ordered me a new button. The oven is now functioning (it had a dicky timer) and is sparkly clean. My laptop is fixed and I have made friends with the friendly man in the computer shop in the town and a lovely lady who runs a cafe nearby. Rachel lent me her laptop and let me sit in her cafe for hours on end as I job hunted. I have sussed the water timer and I can have hot, deep soaks in a sparkly clean bath. The sparkly clean theme now runs throughout my whole place and it made my landlord smile when I texted him a friendly warning to wear shades to combat sparkliness when he next visited. He is also buying me a Wifi booster. I am starting to get to know my neighbours, as there are forty odd places all rented out on this estate. Some are in the main hall and others in the coach house, stable block and assorted cottages and farm buildings dotted about.

Midweek, a visit to my Mum and Dad, who now live less than an hour away, was much needed. Mum got my washing done, fed me, sat me down to watch an escapist film and sent me back home with all sorts of goodies. That was real.

The job hunting has clarified something for me and I think it is based on all the blessed forms to be filled in and hoops to be jumped through…I am a self employed lass at heart. So I have created some handmade cards and started advertising myself as a ‘Home Service’…think Mary Poppins. Anything from cleaning to decorating, right through to cooking and baby sitting. I had a think you see and what is real are the things that I can do right here, right now. I can do accounts and finances, but why would anyone let me loose on those when I am in a foreign country and I am an unknown? If I start by being of service; work, smile, gain trust, talk to folk and get to know those in this farming community, then I can expand my services.

With the kindness of strangers; my cards are being handed out, helpful tips are being shared (along with some much needed local knowledge), decorating work is being promised, I was given a yummy piece of chocolate cake lovingly made by a neighbour’s young daughter last night, I have been gifted a beautiful rose bush for my patio, along with a thoughtful lavender plant (they are alongside a pale pink geranium from my Mum), friendly greetings are called out as I go about my daily tasks, invitations are being issued for coffee, dinner, a visit to the top balcony on the coach house (the views are breathtaking), advice for joining local business groups and I have been driven up one of the mountains to see the valley from there. Kindness is flowing….

What is also very real here are the views from several five bar gates. I can see the cows and sheep in the fields, each afternoon I can hear the cows in the wooden barn opposite me, hear the fountain playing through my kitchen window and each evening I watch the swallows flying in formation and calling to each other as they cool off in the evening breeze, just before the bats start to fly in the dusky evening sky.

I am home.

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‘It’s behind you’….earth angels and fresh energy for new horizons….

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One of my lovely blogging buddies Maxi Malone posted about earth angels a few days ago and she sparked this post of mine….big hugs Maxi.

This past week in my soul sister’s home has given me a much needed break….earth angels.

I spent nearly six months in my last home and the move there was heralded with much hope and relief. I had treasured neighbours and the loving links that flowed between us (with much baking) were a joy and the new links for work held promise. All started to settle then someone else’s expectations were put into the mix and all went awry. My old friend and new neighbour visited and shared her acid; I did not have enough time to spend with her, she resented my relationships with her family that surrounded us all, I was making things awkward and my tenancy in the cottage was under threat. I held my customary calmness and explained how much I needed to work because of my responsibilities and how grateful I was to be surrounded by such lovely people. I saw no way forward with my old friend as I would then be spending all my time trying to make her feel better and there was no end to that. I stepped back, but poison had been dropped in the pool. My landlord’s decision to sell this January was a blessing in disguise…..it’s behind you.

A new home was found and it has all come together with lashings of love and support from SS and her family…earth angels.

Last night I faced the realisation that the new chap in my life (who had offered to move me and my goods and chattels tomorrow) was another ‘Comet lover’. ‘Comet lovers’ come in with a blaze of promises and sparks and then fizzle out just as quickly. I expect nothing practical from anyone requesting a relationship from me and alarm bells usually ring when I get such promises early on. I have had a few ‘Comet lovers’ cross my path and being a little distracted of late I failed to spot this one….it’s behind you.

Last night the lovely SS and I spent a few hours in her kitchen. SS was ironing and I was form filling and, as women do, we talked and gave things a new perspective….earth angels.

The move tomorrow is organised and SS and her husband are moving me (again) whilst both coping with full time jobs and their family. Tomorrow’s celebratory evening meal is planned and purchases are about to be made and loving creation will begin this afternoon. SS and I are bringing forth a project for a joint teaching development group in my new village hall, seeds for part time work for me to bring balance in have been planted, new angles on social activities have been aired and SS is lending me her beloved rocking chair to give me a special spot in my new home….earth angels.

My treasured old neighbours are visiting me in my new home for coffee and yummy cake on Thursday. Loving links remain….earth angels.

It’s all in front…. new loving horizons.

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How we love is all that matters …. especially when a stepping stone sinks!!

My move to the city recently was a stepping stone to a place I had yet to discover, and I was relaxed about this. After my massive life downsize, I was quite happy to let the following few months unfold until I needed to move on in October. Or so I thought…..

I was to discover last week that my stepping stone was not secure. Unexpectedly, the rug was pulled from under my feet and there I was packing up all my bits and pieces into my battered 4×4. Mercifully, I heard my main guide and leaping clear of my rapidly sinking stepping stone (with as much diginity as I could muster) I called the friends whose name was being called out to me in my head. They caught me and I have been with them since then.

When the shocking and unexpected happens it tests everything; your resolve, your life beliefs, your faith, your trust, your ability to keep stepping forward…everything. God bless our friends and family in those times.

This past week has been full of so much love and forms…lots and lots of forms to be filled in.

My friends here have been amazing and have even given up their dining room so I can continue to work. Other friends are also having me as their housesitter next week whilst they take a holiday. So each day I am sheltered, fed and loved. When I am hurt or in trouble I retreat, so the very few friends who have been in the know, have shown love and support in spadefuls.

This morning my lovely Scottish pal sent me the beautiful necklace pictured above as a wee lift for me right now. xx

Things are starting to unfold in a new and surprising way and I have trust and faith in my heart that this is all meant and I will end up exactly where I am supposed to be.

For this moment in time, I have more love and gratitude in my heart for my friends than I will ever be able to show them.