Conforming and pleasing others

I’ve never been one to conform much to my parents despair. I was the tomboy and hated it when I had to stay clean and wear my best clothes. Once I had a bike then I got worse. I loved to spend time repairing it and oiling the chain. Then jeans arrived on the clothes scene. By then I was about seventeen and working. But my bike then had a crossbar as I was an ardent cyclist and rode with a cycling club at the weekends. I used my bike to get everywhere as well. You couldn’t buy jeans for ladies so I had a pair of men’s jeans. If I was out on my bike and saw my mother she turned away from me as if she did not know me.

Once I was teaching in schools I had to wear skirts and dresses as trousers for women were not allowed. I used to change into a skirt in the staff toilets as I used my bike to get to work. Then things changed so I was fine. But even now I see places of employment where uniforms are part of the job and in some cases this can be important. School uniforms of course were there when I was young and I had to conform in many ways but now the younger ones seem to wear the same kind of clothes when out of school so that it becomes a different kind of uniform. Do they all really want to look the same?

Now I am old I wear what I want when I want and have my hair in a style I like. I am growing it at the moment so it can look a bit wild but so what, can I not be who I am at my age! This brings me to the thing about pleasing others. Should we wear what others think we should wear just to please them? I am sure that we have all come across the scenario when a loved one asks us to wear something they like but that we don’t, because if we loved them we would do that little thing for them.  For many years now I have had the strength to say to others that if they don’t like what I wear, how I have my hair done or what I do, then tough, that is their problem not mine. It is important to be true to yourself and it is who you are and what you do and say that is important not what you wear.

If I want to dress up for an occasion then I will do so but what I wear then maybe not what you think I should wear but it is my choice and I am being true to myself. I love to wear tie dyed stuff and velvet and can look a bit wild but that is the gypsy in my soul and she won’t be sat on and made to conform. Do you conform or do you stay true to yourself?

The photo is an old one. I am at the back on my bike. I was about seventeen or eighteen then.





The winter darkness

It has been another week of dark grey days with lots of rain and occasional flakes of snow. But it is the dark grey days that I do not like. I need light and warmth in my life in order to function. I started well at the beginning of the week as I was writing a new book then suddenly on Wednesday everything came to a stop. I was feeling depressed again and I am sure it is the dark grey days.

I used my SAD lamp for a short time and it did lift my spirits enough to do a bit more writing. But I shall be really glad when the weather improves. If the sun comes out I immediately feel better as I am sure we all do. Yet the landscape in winter has a beauty all its own. I love the bare trees with their gnarled branches standing out against the sky. I love to watch the birds on the feeder in the garden and see the hazel catkins swaying in the breeze.

We have been lucky where I live unlike many of my friends further north who have had large amounts of snow. Yet I think I would have preferred to see the snow rather than the grey dark rainy days we have had. The snow brings light to the landscape unlike the rain which just seems to wash it out into a greyish mass.

Soon it will be Imbolc, where we welcome Brigid. The snowdrops will be out then bringing their light and joy into our world. I am looking forward to this and to the lengthening days.


Circles and cycles

I was thinking about cycles especially. The words from the song ‘Windmills of Your Mind’ were going round in my head which led to my thinking of cycles. We all know about the cycles of the seasons, the cycles of our lives and so on. But how many other cycles do we know of?

When I visited the local pond on Monday it was completely frozen over. When I went two days later, the weather was warmer, the sun was shining and the reflections in the water of the pond were extremely clear. Another kind of cycle. Water to ice and then back to water.

If we look around us we can see so many small cycles going on. The weekly cycle of days, the daily cycle of hours, day turning to night then turning to day and so on. One of the cycles in my life is a creative one. I am in the creative part now, busy writing a new book, but then there will be days when I rest and let my mind do other things before returning to the writing.

One thing I noticed is that circles are never ending but cycles can end. It depends how you look at them. Take our lives for example. We are born, become children, then teenagers, then young adults and then grown ups. Eventually we die and that is the end of our cycle unless you believe in reincarnation when your cycle of life begins again elsewhere.

For me the cycles within nature are the ones I love. I see the seeds falling on the ground then hibernating until the warmer weather comes. Then small shoots appear, then leaves and flowers and when the flowers die we get the seed pods which open and let the seeds fall to the ground and the whole cycle repeats. I love to watch this happening. At the moment the willows have their little furry buds and the hazel is showing off its catkins. Another cycle is ongoing.

How many cycles do you see going on at the same time? I can think of lots more but will leave it to you to think about.


A new year and new ideas

It is seven months since I moved into my current home. Yesterday I decided to move the piano so I could get to the shelves behind it and sort out the boxes and folders. The piano is portable but it is heavy so I took it off its stand and put it in the bedroom propped up against the wardrobe door. I then looked at the shelves and sorted boxes and books so I could get at the ones I need most when the piano is back in place. This was a good thing to do. I found some writings from 1995 which could become part of a new book.

This led to looking elsewhere for other old pieces of writing and more were found. None of these will be on the computer of course as they were written so long ago in the days of Windows 3.1! So this led to another search. I have changed computers recently but have all my data files on CDs or on an external disk drive. I started with the CDs and have found even more bits of writing. I wished I had found these when I wrote my last book but hey ho I have stuff for another book now.

Lots of people keep telling me to get rid of stuff, mainly books and folders but I am glad I didn’t listen to them or I would not have found these little gems of writing.

On another note, it is a beautiful sunny morning here but it is cold. My mind tells me to take a walk but my body refuses as it aches after all the lifting and moving. So time for reflection instead and plans for a new book and maybe some card readings as well to set me on my way.

Are you a keeper or do you get rid of things that you think you no longer need? Do you back up your computer files?

The photo was taken the other day when the wind was making lots of ripples on the pond.

pond ripples


I picked up my journal on Christmas Day and realised I had written nothing in it for six months. This was quite a shock as I generally write in my journal at regular intervals. So I spent the day updating my journal. Those six months had been traumatic and chaotic and there was much to write about. It took several hours to write it all down and at the end I felt a sense of release. It had been a very therapeutic experience.

Since then I have tried to write each day. Journalling is good for the soul as you can write down all your thoughts and feelings which of course must help when having to deal with trauma. I am planning to write more during the coming year and not have to write about several months in one go. I found that I kept remembering things I wanted to write about so kept going back to the journal for several hours, each time thinking I had finished.

For 2018 I have also got one of those journals where you write in your aims and what you want to do and achieve in the coming year. There is a lot of space for this so I hope to use it at least once a week. This year I did manage to write a few sentences in my diary every day which for me is quite an achievement. Next year I intend to do much better.

Do you journal or write in a diary? I love to go back and read them and see what I did all those years ago. They tell my life story of course. I hope that the new year of 2018 brings you all love and peace and also much joy in your life. Blessings to you all.


The return of the light

It will soon be the Winter Solstice, the shortest day of the year. After that the days will start to get a bit longer and the dark nights a bit shorter. I am really looking forward to that as I don’t deal with short dark days and long dark nights very well. I need lots of light in order to function.

Many cultures celebrate the return of the light at this time of the year so I like to join them and celebrate too. The return of the light is a very common theme. I wonder how our ancestors felt at this time of the year. Yet although the days will be longer, here in the UK winter is still to come although we have had a frosty snowy week just now. January and February are often the months when we get snow and lots of ice. But we often also get beautiful clear blue skies and lots of sunshine as well.

This last week here has been one of snow, more snow, rain and then ice. There is still some snow lingering on the grass and roads but there is also a lot of ice making it difficult for me to go out and enjoy the local nature reserve. I have missed this but I have enjoyed looking at the photos of those who could get there. The pools were frozen over some days and the ducks and swans went skating.

So I am really looking forward to the return of the light and will be celebrating this as will many others, alone while some will be celebrating in groups. However you celebrate the return of the light I wish you a wonderful day and a good year to come.

first snow


There is something special about snow. It is white and pure, dazzling when deep and glistens on the trees and ground.  I love the way it rests on the branches and on the shrubs like a layer of icing on a cake. I love to see the animal footprints on it when there are large areas of white snow. You can see where animals and birds have been that you might not actually see at other times.

It also muffles the noise so silence can prevail. Even the traffic noise is quieter. It gives me a feeling of peace as the incessant everyday noise of communal living fades into a quiet sleepy humming noise. It is still quite early in the morning as I write this but later there will be children around in the nearby gardens making snowmen and having snowball fights. There is enough snow in some places for toboggan rides as well. There is also a gusty wind which is blowing the snow from the rooftops.

But if you can’t go out in it then watch it as the snowflakes fall gracefully. Each snow flake is individual. There are many photos of individual snowflakes and you can see how amazing they all are. I am one of those who can’t go out in the snow but I can watch it falling and settling on the trees and the ground and see how beautiful it is knowing that each flake is unique. Nature is wonderful. Enjoy it while you can. Enjoy the stillness too.

My photo was taken yesterday in the garden here. I love the way the tree branches are outlined with snow.