Posts Tagged 'home'

Blooming marvellous….

It’s so peaceful here today, that even the ships and tug boats are sailing past silently.

There is much loving calmness in the walls of this house and the old cobbled pedestrian streets around us mirror that. Several conversations have flowed lately and we all agree that there is something special about being here. The local stories from when this old house was a care home, all speak of kind memories and thoughts.

My Mum has gifted me some great planters and they are filled with blue and pink hydrangeas and hardy plants that can survive the salt wind out there on the flat roof. I have tried various experiments with bird feeding and the latest one is an upturned iron Poppy holder that sits in one of the tubs. I found an old curved plate that serves as a bird bath and I can see all of this from the window where I sit and work. Thank you, my Mate ❤ Years ago I was learning German at school and came home to tell my Mum that she was Mater in German. This got shortened to Mate and has stuck over all these years.

It's like an Aladin's cave here and my landlady was having a sort out a few days ago. She warned me about possible noise, because her crew of Bob the Builder and Helpful Brother were shifting stuff upstairs to the floor above. We had a natter and I put in a bid for a lovely, long sofa in place of the two seater that was here. After some tender loving care it now looks at home and as I laid out on it at full stretch yesterday evening, I said 'Thank you' out loud.

This morning I woke up early with every intention of going out for a walk, but the sight of pelting rain put me off and I switched ideas. My little kitchen is quirky and I have an old Belling worktop oven with two solid plates on top. This has a mind of it's own and if I put the oven on then the left hand plate does not work, both plates on and the oven doesn't work. Over time he and I have made friends and I stood in the peace this morning to make a cake to flow 'sofa gratitude' downstairs.

My place is now filled with homely scents, with the rooftop plants soaking up the rain, as the working day starts. Feel the love ❤

Home is in my heart…

This sea glass started life as bottles broken by rocks, then tumbled by sea and tide until the edges were smoothed and the surfaces completely frosted.

Thus far I have lived in over fifty homes, across three continents and a fair number of countries. Self-protection stopped me counting after fifty and I went quiet on my nomadic lifestyle due to people’s reactions. ‘Oh, you never stick at anything.’ ‘You never stay in one place long.’ ‘What’s the matter with you?’ etc., etc….

The interesting thing is that no matter how sharp the experience, or how painful the lesson, I know deep inside that I have the ability to stand up again. Sometimes I have to rest a fair while before I muster the energy though.

There’s a book in this…now there’s a thought. ❤

I was sitting at my desk working yesterday, looking out at the water, and a colourful butterfly landed on the wall outside my window. He rested there for about half an hour and we kept each other company, as mother nature shared her beauty and he basked in the warmth from the bricks.

In April this year I attended a writer’s workshop in Liverpool run by the kind and inspiring Fred D’Aguiar. He was over visiting from The States and he gifted us his time and experience. I loved every second of being in his energy. There were about thirty souls there and Fred had asked us all to bring in something that was important to us (preferably not alive). I took my sea glass. He wove this into an exercise where everyone’s treasures were passed around and we had a few minutes to write about each piece in front of us.

When we had finished Fred asked ‘What were you doing Jane?’, because he’d noticed that I had held each piece in my hand, closed my eyes and then let words flow onto paper.

I replied ‘I was feeling the energy in each piece of treasure and writing what I felt from that.’

Fred smiled ‘What is your treasure about Jane?’

‘It is sea glass from the beach in front of my home. I am like the sea glass Fred, I don’t belong anywhere, yet I can live everywhere. My home is in my heart and all the treasured connections with the souls that I love are held there.’

He held my gaze and said ‘I understand Jane. That is me.’

Reflections in a moment…….

All day on Friday I was looking at the stern of a ship docked at The Pierhead and as she turned to leave the ‘penny dropped’. With her horn playing ‘Wish upon a star’ and the outline of Mickey’s ears on her funnels; she is the Disney cruise ship.

She visited Liverpool a year ago and I went down to the seaside at the end of the street to watch her depart. It had been a lovely day and the beach was packed with happy people. A Mum needed to see to her two young sons making sandcastles and she turned to me smiling and asked if I could hold her new babe while she did what she needed to do. I stood there rocking her little one, listening to children’s excited chatter as Goofy and Mickey waved to them from the ship to the notes of ‘Wish upon a star’.

A year has gone by in a blink. Back then I did not know that I would be standing in my ‘happy bubble’ watching her leave this time from my front room window. That my work would have expanded and evolved, or that my life would have put down some deep loving roots in this place I chose as my home.

I am glad I didn’t know, as I stayed in the moment. I don’t want to know the future now thank you. This moment is a balanced place to be and the treasure in it is love for life as it flows.

If light is in your heart, You will find your way home ~ Rumi

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Breathing sea air
Simply being.

Back in the work fold
Flowing naturally.

Seagulls riding the thermals
Opening new doors.

My heart is home.

Such a sweet planet we walk on, when we walk it with heart….. Jeff Brown

sisters
Exchange your righteousness for humanness,
your judgments for compassion,
your hopelessness for faith,
your armor for love.

Such a sweet planet we live on
when we walk it with heart.

‘Love it Forward’ by Jeff Brown

Both my sister and I have let go of differing situations in the last week and set-up a new home together. Whatever stormy seas brought us here, we have found a loving harbour in this place. Not living under the same roof since we were 14 and 16 (which is a few years ago now, ahem), we both feel the hand of divine timing in what has unfolded recently.

We have chosen a modern house near the hospital where Debs works, with room for our grown up children to stay and space for me to work in peace. Here we are a week later on a stormy Sunday, all safe and cosy, with Debs asleep after a night shift and me logged on for work with the support service.

Deb’s eldest son and his partner helped us move and there was a priceless moment as Rob came out of our new home to take the latest box from me at the van and this is how the conversation went…

Rob: ‘Mum is showing my baby photos in there!!!’

Complete puzzlement on his face….

Me: ‘Well you were a beautiful baby.’

His next facial expression was even more eloquent.

It has been a week of loving support, mass activity, normal work for both of us girls, lists, laughter, shopping forays, yet more lists, yummy food, Mum and Dad visiting, friends popping in, gifted flowers and plants, messages of support, appliances mis-behaving and being replaced, the blessings of a kind landlord, a decisive and speedy furniture purchasing trip around Ikea, more laughter, warm rugs going down in each room, efficient heating (thank you), assembling of flat pack furniture with very helpful ‘back seat driving’ assistance being given from the sofa (not), ‘oohs and ahs’ over new home accessories, bottles of bubble bath and perfume appearing on windowsills, many cups of tea and coffee, queries of ‘Does this look good here?’ and ‘Is that hanging straight?’ and even more laughter.

We have plans for the future and we feel excited about them. Right now though we are taking time out to simply ‘be’, to catch our breath and let this new life we have drawn together seep in. We each react differently to change and cups of tea and coffee, yummy food, loving support and a cosy home nestle us, while we hold each other safe as everything settles.

And a new chapter begins….

Life’s flags and flowing by letting go….

Clwyd Valley

I thought I had found my place here in this North Welsh valley and my creativity has certainly been sparked by many joyful moments here. There have been many blessings nestled in this time, yet I find myself packing up home again.

In this lovely old coach house I have been coping with damp, mould, a tiny hot water tank (small baths and short showers), a tempremental oven that either cremates or leaves things half raw, a distinct lack of natural light inside and a washing machine that flashes electrically and needs starting with a ball point pen. I have been able to creatively work my way around all of this, because I loved being here. Then the heating broke.

I always gently advise my clients to pay attention to ‘life’s flags’. If we ignore the first warning flags, then bigger ones go up and they will keep going up, until they slap us around the face and we are forced to make changes. The thing is it’s all about trust. Trust for your own instincts, for life and for your journey. So if you pay attention to the first flag, or flags, you may never get to know if you have made the right choice, but at least you made a choice.

As soon as I had my landlord’s response to my request for heating help I knew. I simply knew that it was a flag that he was overstretched and important things were falling through the cracks. My instinct said ‘Get out Jane before Winter truly sets in and you are in serious trouble old girl’. So I gave notice and started to explore a number of options, whilst trying to stem tears at the loss of leaving here.

I summoned all of my strength and the Lakota type blood (thank you Grandfathersky) I have created in my life so far. Divine timing came into play and an unexpected option appeared, that fast became a plan and is now unfolding at speed. Saturday is moving day and many blessings and new opportunites are coming in to flow loving support into this choice.

As I prepare to leave North Wales to head back into England, I still have no heating and a landlord who is struggling to cope with broken heating in several places over the estate with some very unhappy tenants that are reacting in differing ways. I have thanked him for the time in this very special place and the many gifts it has held. I move forward with loving trust that this is exactly what I am meant to be doing and it goes without saying that I am togged out in my trusty woolly hat and snuggle socks!

Let the new adventure begin…..

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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