I’m In?

I am so excited!! I have put in a photograph from our Italian holiday to a competition and it seems it has been accepted!!!! WOOHOO!

Only now they want a biography to put next to the picture…no idea how many words or anything….I will send them an email asking (why didn’t I think of that earlier?) how long. In the meantime I am jotting down a few things, and I have asked various friends what I should include. Have you ever done this, asked friends to describe you? It is quite enlightening; those who include the things you have thought of and those who see you slightly differently, good or bad.

We see ourselves one way, usually emphasising the weaker points (well, if you are British that is!) and almost afraid of pointing out the good things. I am lucky in my friends – they have highlighted some lovely things, and I am grateful to them. I do have to fight the instinct that this is just an ego boost (yes, I heard your comments!) but when I have to provide a bio it is necessary.

So here are my bullet points….

*B.Ed (hons), *Foundation of Art (Distinction), *various certificates of photography from my teacher (Andre Newson) but not sure to include these as not National awards.

Had *2 children whilst working at *The Economist, became an *Amateur Actor, took up *drawing, and then introduced to *photography seriously by a friend.

See my problem there? I start with concise points then the rambling chatty style buts in! I can’t help it!! ūüėČ

Do I say I live in East Sussex and London? Do I bother to include that I run a holiday cottage? That I am lucky enough to travel with Hubby occasionally? Is that boasting?? ARRGH!!! My British Understatement Fairy is ruffling her wings at me!!!

Ok, I will put the kettle on and think about this seriously! I can, if the coffee is good!

What photograph? This one…Now one of my favourites that I have taken. I am thinking of making cards/notelettes of it. She was such a pale girl and her mum was taking the picture. It reminds me of times past, but also of so many windy holidays at beaches.

Ok…kettle going on, thinking cap on, laters reader!

Lx

Was it a Heart Attack?

The answer before we all panic is no.

For a few weeks I have been having odd pains in my chest, heavy crushing sensations, and odd pains in my back. I have been put on statins ( oh the side effects!), blood pressure pills, and stomach pills to help against the other pills! I hate taking pills and up to now have never managed to remember to take them for very long, so it is quite a feet that I am still taking them.

I have also had a CT scan to check the old ticker is in place…so much nicer than an MRI machine!! They had to put dye and beta blockers into me to get the picture…and all I can say is I am VERY glad the doctor warned me of the very warm sensation that occurs in one’s nether regions (such a lovely way of putting it, don’t you think?) when they hit the heart!! Golly, what a sensation! It was described as thinking I had wet myself, but it wasn’t quite that bad! No, much nicer! I say no more. ūüėČ

Well, today I thought I was having a heart attack, so I called the doctor…eventually, after using my Nitromin spray, and resting for a while. He called me back and I described what I was feeling. Apparently it sounds like Coronary Artery Spasms¬†which made me feel better, especially as I am alone this evening. I am sure if there had been another person here I wold have ignored the pain and just worried. We are still awaiting the results of the scan, but I am assuming it is not bad otherwise they wouldn’t have let me leave the hospital, would they!

So tonight, I shall be kind to myself. I will light the wood burner in the study, make some fab veg soup for supper, and put on the new Jason Bourne film ( which my men have already watched WITHOUT ME!!!) My dog beside me, a warm drink and Mat Damon…what more can a gal want?

I am so glad I made that call.

Lx

Leaky Ceiling!

Oh Boy! What a weekend I have had! Yes, this is a very First World problem, and before I go any further I will say how grateful I am for the ability to have this problem, and the ability to solve it – but BLOODY HELL!!!!

This past weekend was one of those Golfing Guests weekends when Hubby has a competition and I play hostess and taxi service to the gentlemen. I love sharing our home with these men, who are generally very grateful, interesting to talk to, and highly intelligent. I have known most of them for about 15 years now and they always make me feel a great hostess.

We had had one Peter for Friday¬†night, supper and Saturday breakfast (cooked). He and Hubby left at 8am and I pottered around until 10am when one of the wives ( and wife of our best man) came to visit for the day – We don’t see each other often but its always lovely to catch up. ¬†We spent the morning at¬†Great Dixter Christmas Fair¬†http://www.greatdixter.co.uk¬†as we sometimes do, and came home for lunch and to continue our chat. As I laid the kitchen table I noticed the runner was damp ( I don’t normally have one on, but I was feeling posh!) I looked up to find drips coming from the light fitting above. Long (very very long) story short, I couldn’t turn off the mains, I couldn’t get a plumber immediately, and after a lunch of watching the drips and feeling it was a little like water torture, my friend left early.

The first emergency plumber who was supposed to come between 1pm-5pm called at 4.45pm and said they would wouldn’t make it but could on monday morning. I booked them in and called another…they said they would be there asap and would text when on their way….nothing. When Hubby and guest no.2 came home they couldn’t turn off the stopcock either! SO I served them tea and toast, drove them to their dinner and collected them later…and still no plumbers.

Even the insurance company could not get an emergency plumber for that day. Sunday morning a lovely chap came from Plumber Emergency Company no2 – turned everything off, did as much as he could to try and work out which pipe was leaking, and left us Sunday afternoon none the wiser but al least the drip had stopped, and we knew it was not from the mains, so we had running water in the kitchen and one loo.

Hubby went to work unshowered ( he used his gym at lunchtime) and I soldiered on until a knight in shinning armour turned up at 4.30, and within discovered the leak – from a loo above the kitchen that is only occasionally used! I felt like hugging him, but left him unmolested, and instead enjoyed a long bath in celebration.

Now begins the chore of getting the ceiling and the lights sorted. We will be extremely lucky if it is done before our next golfing guests arrive in the first week of January, but to be honest I don’t care! The water torture is over and the insurance comapny has said they will pay for repairs. Woohoo!

At least I now where my stopcock is!

Lx

 

 

So, What Now?

What was your reaction to Trump being elected? I’m British, so we have had our “moment” with Brexit…I panicked, I cried, I thought it was the end of our country ( well, I am a dramatic one!), I had an awful moment with my friends who had voted differently from me…one of my very rare bursts of anger…and then the sun rose again, we got over it, we are getting on with sorting out our political situation here, for better or worse. My friendship with those gals has survived.

So, I watched the US Election …well, the end of it – that 4.30am wake-up that quite a few women of my age suffer. I panicked, I thought about the end of the world, I made tea, the World settled down in my house, and I breathed again. I am sorry for Americans, but then I remind myself there must be checks and balances within their system that will mean Trump will not be able to bomb anyone without his team behind him, allowing it.

This is where any American readers, or those better informed than myself will be yelling at their screens and telling me just how wrong I am; but my point is ( yes, there is one!) the world keeps turning, and it is now up to us, whoever we are, wherever we live, to make sure our bit of the world is a good one….

Be kind to each other PLEASE!!!

Do not HATE someone else ( or yourself)

Lets make our bit of the world the best we can…Small steps, small actions can mount up into one big action.

Yes, its one of those posts…you don’t have to like it, but I felt the need to write it! Breathe, and think. Breathe and act.

Go be awesome!

Lx

Am I Cured Now?

For those who are regular readers, and who know I have been “in therapy”, here is an update…

If you are a new reader, have a flip through the last few posts and you will find that I have had at least a year of depression, that resulted in my seeking help from a therapist. She was brilliant for what I needed at the time ( that sounds very bad English!), and helped me to climb out of the “Slough of Despond” that I had fallen into.

So here I am now, having passed the two rotten anniversaries of my Father’s 20th and Daughter’s 13th deaths. Both days were sunny and filled with love rather than sadness. Always a good alternative!

What changed? Well, obviously the therapy, which had me acknowledging the type of relationship I had with my parents, acknowledging what a tragedy we have suffered, and trying to discover Me. However it seemed we were wallowing in the past, and I am normally very much a Face Forward person. I prefer to think about the future rather than reliving the past. I am sure those of you who understand how therapy works would say you have to study the past to understand the present, and I think I do.

In trying to find my path forward I have also gone to both Homeopathy, which seemed to help lift my mood ( and was told I was at a crossroad in Life), and then had to go to traditional medicine as I was suffering chest pains and tightness…never a good combination! A few weeks into taking statins, blood pressure pills ( it was 185/? after trying to park at the hospital!!), and stomach pills I have to admit physically I am feeling better…emotionally too!!

Yes folks, Life is looking better!! WOOHOO! There is still much to do…I am obese, I have lower back ache, probably from sitting on my vast bottom too much, and I still get out of breath ( poor lungs have so little space amongst the fat). BUT my knees aren’t hurting (fingers crossed) and my ankles don’t lock so much nor are so swollen. The dog still looks at me longingly for walks…we are going as soon as this is posted. I am facing a skiing holiday in February with sinking heart but I will have a go…so long as I can get into my ski-stuff!

Otherwise, I am back doing my drawing, photography courses, and beginning yet another clear-out of clutter (it’ll never end!). We are moving Forward. Am I cured yet? No – not sure I ever will be, is anyone? BUT I am going in the right direction!!!

Coming with me?

Lx

I’m Proud Of You

Have you heard this much in your life? I haven’t to be honest. It wasn’t something my parents said…it could have been a generation thing, or just not something that entered my mother’s head…it could be that I just don’t remember.

It is something I say to my son quite a lot. I AM proud of all that he is achieving, and has achieved. Not the least being to live a regular life having lost his sister when he was 13. Hopefully no-one would look at him and say there goes someone in grief…something I hope for all 3 of us, to be honest! He hasn’t become addicted to drugs, become a mass murderer, or anything…as far as I know!

Today he begins a new job, leaving shift work behind and starting a Monday-to-Friday lifestyle, which hopefully will be good for his soul.

Telling our children we are proud of them surely can’t be wrong? When my two were young it seemed all American children were encouraged and praised for any little thing, and we British parents were rather reticent about it. I certainly have changed…I wonder if everyone has too? Or was it just in my family that praise was scarce?

So, incase you have no-one around to say it to you…I am proud of You! ¬† ¬† ¬†( I’m proud of me too)

Go be awesome.

Lx

Oh God- it’s sunny!

I can hear the rest of the South East cheering, packing up their beach gear and cutting the sandwiches…actually, does anyone still do that?

Here I awoke crying. I’m better now, having WhatsApp’d a couple of friends, and switched off the news. For some the sun brings out the best. Today the sun made me feel very down. Don’t ask me why – if I knew that I could do something about it. Is it my vast flabby body? My aching knees? The voice of my husband in my head pointing out I wouldn’t feel like this if I’d exercised more? He does it out of love, no really, he does! Also he is obsessed with exercise…OCD obsessed! Talk about Jack Sprat and his wife, that’s us! 

Something has been cancelled today and in a way that frees my morning. I am trying to look upon it as a good thing. I won’t have to drive to another town, park, walk to the coffee house…is it sounding sincere? Didn’t think so. I was looking forward to catching up with a friend, but her business changed that – we will do it in a few weeks time, hopefully. Meanwhile, I need to go vote in the local elections, shop, get petrol & diesel so I can mow the lawns, walk the dog, actually mow the bloody lawns, and then just bloody get on with stuff! AND CHEER UP!!!!!! 

I don’t like feeling The Black Dog, as my mother and Churchill called it. No-one does. For me it comes and goes, sometimes in the space of a few hours, sometimes a few days. As I get older the dog gets blacker. I know in my heart that if I got on with everything I need to get done, moved more, and got thinner and fitter, then my moods migh lighten. There is no guarantee, but doctors, fitness experts etc tell us the chemicals our bodies produce after exercise are like a natural happy pill…I am NEVER taking happy pills, by the way before one of you mentions them…I can’t even regularly take vitamins, I’m hopeless at it! 

So, today’s rule is No TV until Pointless at 5.15pm. OK? I can have the radio, my Audio books, anything else, but no TV…hopefully it means I won’t sit down until abou 4 pm, when I’m promising myself tea on the terrace with my knitting.

Place your bets, ladies and gents.

May your day be a happy one.

Lx

Is it You or Me?

Don’t Panic – I’m not breaking up with you!! I am starting 2016 with a rather deep question for you. When you talk to yourself…and don’t try to say you don’t – who exactly are you talking to? Do you say “you” or “me/I”?

This question struck me when I was giving myself a good talking to at the end of the year and thinking of how to enter 2016; what frame of mind did I need to encourage? This was, of course, being done at 4.30am as most middle-aged woman do. (what is it about that time??)

I realised I have been talking to “you”. This stranger, another person, who perhaps didn’t inhabit the head/body/soul that is Me. Was this the reason I have recently not appreciated myself enough; the reason for the odd depression blip, the occasional total lack of confidence?

I decided to experiment, starting there in the dark in bed, and I addressed “Me”.

“Hello, Me. Why am I awake?” (my head won’t shut up)

“Well, just remember I am a wonderful Gal who looks ¬†crap with bags under the eyes. I love me so go to sleep whilst I hug me”…(zzzzzzzzz)

You get the picture… I then kept it going, talking to Me in the mirror even, and when there were quiet moments, checking in with Me, and trying to make sure I was “in”.

At first I wondered if this was counter-productive with my Yoga…after all, are we not supposed to be getting rid of the Ego and becoming One with the Universe? Then I decided that actually this universe is Mine, its how I interpret my Life, what I see, experience etc, and certainly I was feeling better allowing Me to exist in it.

The result of my experiment? I am happier, more centred, love my skin , finding it easier to appreciate who I am, and – really weird – I am finding it easier to accept compliments! (and there have been a few this weekend!)

So, go on, have a word with yourself and find out who you are talking to. You may be surprised.

Lx

 

Do you have an Itinerary?

As the year draws to a close Hubby and I have at last had a chance to look at next year’s dates…

Hubby is going to be Captain of The Oxford & Cambridge Golf Society, hereafter referred to as The Society ¬†– actually I think that’s how everyone in golf refers to it! This is a 2 year stint, and one he is really looking forward to. He played for Oxford but will need to be impartial from a while, if possible…I don’t think I have to be tho!

So, after the last of our golfing guests left on Sunday hubby and I sat down with his blackberry and noted his Golf Itinerary for next year as far as he as it…

We got as far as September, and I began to feel a little sad.  Golf Widdow has not really been how I have thought of myself, and normally I am doing other things; but this time I realised I have nothing in my Itinerary yet! A few of the dates also include me, which is nice, but on the whole wives are not really included.

So, instead of letting the lonely feelings begin to drown me I am determined to fill my year and myself! I shall spend more time with Hubby during the week ( dog and holiday cottage willing!), and then make sure I am going away, seeing friends, and doing more photograph, art etc…

This sounds a bit selfish when I read it back, but actually its self-preservation, as well as marriage-preservation! I want the most out of this life now that there is less in front of me than behind, and I want to be happy and fulfilled. If I am then I will be a better companion for Hubby when we are together, and that in turn will make me happy!

So, after this I will be booking self into a photography course, perhaps making plans with friends who I will see this afternoon, and I definitely will do more entertaining!!!

Right World, be warned!

L x

It’s Autumn!

imagesDon’t you love this season? Oh yes, we all love the sun and fun of Summer, but with Autumn comes the changing colours in the landscape, the chance to put on your favourite jumper ( hides my curves wonderfully cos its baggy) and my favourite pastime…Kicking up piles of leaves!!!

A friend is winging her way over to the US at this moment towards the Land of The Great Pumpkin (Peanuts ref) and has promised to send us wonderful pictures of Hallowe’en decorations. Living in the depths of the English countryside we have never really been into putting pumpkins etc outside, nor decorating the house inside…ok, that “we” is “me”…but not this year!!

At this precise moment we have 2 pumpkin outside, and several paper ones inside. Later I will go round the garden and see if I have any Autumn flowers left to bring inside ( this is where I realise what a bad gardener I am).

I’m doing it now as Son is coming home for the weekend with Hubby…now a rare occurrence as he is working at¬†Iglu Ski¬†and thoroughly enjoying it. Now that he visits rather than living here all the time I want to make each visit special. ( soft mother)

Of course, along with the wonderful colours comes the mists, dampness and the first of the “heating going on” discussions!! On the plus side I can light our fires, light candles and follow the Danish traditions of¬†Hygge. SO guess where I went yesterday? Yup…Ikea! Well, it had to be done! As did eating the meatballs…stop it! I can hear you laughing…tell me you’ve never done it!

Right, I’m off to put a vest on, check the heating thermostats, and gather some leaves. Have a good one!

Lx

 

Commended Picture

LizBisson_windowlightportraits_04Last night was the Photoclub, and the first I have managed in a couple of weeks, one way or another. Oh it was worth it!

Our assignment had been Window Light Portraits, and I had a lack of willing subjects. i managed a couple of hours directing Hubby where to sit, which direction to look, and getting Son to move the reflector to up light H’s face, before Hubby started to tell me what I was doing wrong…always the point at which I know he has had enough, and just before I have!

Son only lets me take pictures of him that will never be published! Such a shame as I LOVE snapping him at odd moments…all mothers do with their children, get over it!

There were some fabulous pictures submitted and we all had fun. However when I was editing mine I had a real problem with what I saw in my pictures…the woman I was editing is not the one I see in the mirror! This is the difference between a 2D and 3D image, and how¬†our brains work. Who IS that older, hooked-nosed woman?? I’m sure its not me! And is she who the rest of you see?

It doesn’t really matter, does it? No; but of course it does! I admire the woman who does not care who the World sees as she is confident in who she is. Occasionally I am that woman. Certainly in my dress I wear what I want rather than what anyone else wants me to – “It’s My Style, and I’ll were it if I want to”…so why do I cry over some pictures? Inside I love¬†my lines, creases, curves, etc – they are the story of Me. Its just Vanity creeping out of her cave in my head. I will listen to her, but in moderation…the main voice will still be the younger, more confident gal…she just needs to shout more often!

Lx

Ulterior Motives

Hm, why are you reading this?

Why are you doing that/saying that/taking that picture??

Do you think about the ulterior motives of others. or just take the World as you see it? I am wondering this because, knowing I don’t like my photograph being taken ( another blog) Hubby has started taking mine. Love him to pieces, but the devil in me is wondering WHY???? He hasn’t done it for years!

Knowing the darling man as I do, it is probably he is liking my camera…well, he paid for it! He isn’t really an Ulterior Motive sort of chap…but it doesn’t silence The Evil one in my head…

So I am wondering – Those who suspect others of Ulterior Motives, are we the ones at fault? Is it something lacking in us, apart from trust? A lack of self-confidence is probably my fault here.

We shall see! I’m going to ask him at the weekend!! (eek!)

Lx