No music was sweeter to my ears…

Waking in the morning to the song of blackbirds outside the bedroom window, it is time to rise. Pulling on a tracksuit and trainers, grabbing a bottle of water and the dog lead it is time to pound the paths.  Opening the door the sun shines brightly and the song of blackbirds and now starlings compel you out of the door.  There is no need for ear phones and pop songs, at this time of the morning just after sunrise there are no crass noise of car engines or children; just sleepy bedroom windows, you and the birds.

Jogging through the meadow to the opposite spiral of houses the birds pass on their calls to the next tree and the next. At the halfway point you stop and rest, stretching out on the ground amongst the tall grasses. Meditating with closed eyes all of natures sounds become amplified.  Buzzing bees, shushing grass and trees, birds and the sound of your own steady breath next to your companions.

Continuing to job the rest of the way back home other homes begin to stir, the occasional car starts and begins its journey, the pure sounds of life around you begin to fade into the background now. No music is sweeter than that of life and its ebbing and flowing nature.


Describe what home is…

Home: the place where one lives permanently, especially as a member of a family or household. An institution for people needing professional care. Returning to a common place by instinct to nest and procreate.

But we are emotional creatures so the definition of home is so much more.  For some, home is a place to find family and comfort; or a car that resembles big family decisions, holidays and life experiences that provide that home like attachment.

Home can be the sensation of peace, a place for contemplation and calm, rainy days spent reading in a nook, or the feeling of relief when you climb under the duvet.

Home is more than a building; it can be a boat or a caravan too. Home, by emotional or sentimental definition is the place where you feel the most like yourself. A place of sanctuary away from the stresses and pressures of ‘life’ outside.

Home is where I can find my family, my dogs, my books, my crystals, my memories, and the place where I can take off my bra as soon as I get through the door and crawl into my most dishevelled clothes without feeling judged or having to keep up appearances. It is my retreat, wherever it may be at any given time.

Would you ever want to be famous?

“Seek to be worth knowing rather than be well known”

At some point while growing up it is pretty reliable that all children dream of being famous for something – a footballer, an athlete, a singer, a performer, a designer, an inventor etc.  I had my eyes set on the stage but when it came down to it stage fright won every time. I grew up, dreams changed, ambition for stardom faded and a desire to be remembered by friends took that dream’s place.

Now I desire to be worth knowing, and decided what I want to be known for is generosity and helpfulness.  I aspire to be a person friends feel comfortable talking to when they need some support. I aspire to spread kindness around my town by leaving post-it notes in shops and books (#secretnotes). I aspire to be mindful of all being around me and help preserve open spaces and community spirit.

Fame in the 21st Century is awash with reality celebrities, there are very few truly ‘famous’ people around (those renowned for something admirable that is). Celebrity is flippant and shallow and I have never dreamed of being a celebrity of any sort. The phrase ‘legend’ is churned out far too easily (and I feel incorrectly), a person becomes legendary once they have died and typically a person who achieved something remarkable and extraordinary such as Albert Einstein and Marie Curie.  Now Pete ordering and finishing a ‘cheeky Nandos’ is a ‘Legend’!  umm, no, no he isn’t.

What is the price of fame?

It is all so Natural

As a species we naturally evolve.  I am not the person I was yesterday, I am certainly not the same person I was a year ago.  Each day I grow – emotionally, mentally and physically. I learn from experience what hurts and what creates joy and apply that learning to either avoid getting hurt again or to experience more happiness.

Nature is natural. I feel more myself when I am immersed in nature. It is the sweeping of the wind through my hair, the flowers scent as I brush past my garden plants, bees pollenating in the tall grasses surrounding the field behind my house. It is beautiful watching other beings go about their business, it feels natural to observe and appreciate all that they provide me while doing their jobs.  Further evolution as my garden changes with each season and year, establishing itself more and more.

It is natural feeling protective of loved ones, friends and family alike. We each want the best for our children (or our pets), to protect them from harm and encourage all that is wonderful.  Natural to love them unconditionally even at times when you may not like them.

Natural movement of water, cascading down from the mountains into a babbling brook; down the crevasses towards a stream and flowing over rock beds and reeds into a river. The river collects its natural current, ebbing and flowing onward towards the open sea.  Each stage of that first drop of water naturally feeding habitats and wildlife until it reaches our homes and shores.  The stillness of a lake providing tranquillity and peace, also a natural pearl of life we enjoy.

Prompt provided by Daily Post: Natural

What’s one piece of advice that you reference often in life?

What we think we manifest.

I have learnt this the hard way, making the same mistakes over and over again by continually thinking about what I don’t have and what I don’t want, instead of thinking about what I do have and what I do want. It could be a result from bouts of depression; I certainly notice my dominant thought patterns changing depending on my state of mind. When my mind is venturing towards dark places my thoughts are more often negative, focusing on worries and my ‘lack’.

It took me until I was in my 30’s to fully understand what psychologists meant when they would say that our thoughts determine our quality of life, not any external actions or factors. I came to a point where I thought to myself “what do I have to lose by trying this sceptical positive thinking rubbish? If it doesn’t work then I prove myself right, if it does work then my life could get better”.

My life got better. When I started to stress about paying a big bill I reminded myself that I have more savings than most people my age, I have enough money for what I need and I am thankful for the money I do have. Within two weeks I won in my union lottery, I received a tax return and I was offered overtime to earn some more money. As a thank you to those greater powers I made sure to give some of the extra money that I didn’t need to a charity.

Previously when I visited my nature reserve I got out of the car thinking “I bet I won’t be lucky and nothing will come out” and mostly I didn’t see anything. When I changed my thinking and got out of my car thinking “I wonder what special things I will see today”, I saw a barn owl hunting, warblers, a water vole, and a hare.

Now I believe all those marketing posts from the Secret, Purple Clover and Buddha Daily etc. that are all reminding me that what I think about most I will manifest. So if I want to have a happier lifestyle, lose my excess weight and attract wildlife into my daily wanderings then I need to keep my thoughts on attracting them.

I laughed to myself watching a television programme set in the early 1960’s when a family living in poverty were featured and the mother replied to her children who were complaining about not having something their friends have with “It’s not what we do not have, its being thankful for what we do have”, it’s the same advice but with that old style of stiff upper lip positivity. It also jolted memories of my Nan saying the same things when I was little and she took me shopping. Have we lost that appreciation focus that our parents and grandparents had now that our culture is generally more materialistic and immediate?

I chose to focus on what I have and want rather than dwell on my shortcomings. What we think we manifest.

Do you believe in god?

What a loaded question! I recall a time when I had recently moved to Suffolk from Devon in the process of making friends. I went to a house party of someone I had known for a few months and got on very well with, it was an opportunity to make new friends – friend of a friend style.

Near the end of this house party everyone was sat in the living room (not very drunk at all as it wasn’t that kind of summer house party) and one of her friends asked the group “does anyone hear believe in god?” now this person stated quite clearly that she did not and was an atheist. I replied that I didn’t feel that I believe in “God” but I do believe there is something bigger than us. Que a tirade of verbal diarrhoea suggesting I was an imbecile! Surely you cannot believe in something you cannot account for or see? By the end of the conversation I was left feeling stupid, ridiculed and frankly bullied for having a different opinion.

 Do you believe in god?

No.  I do not believe in a Christian God or a single God. I believe there are many. I believe in Goddesses and Gods. Having spent the last 15 months learning more about paganism, I understand and associate that there is a god or goddess for many different things. One for Nature, Night, Day, Sun, Darkness, Solstice, Festivals, Weather, Possessions, Abundance, Fertility, and many more. I think it is wonderful that there are celebrations throughout the year to pay gratitude toward each aspect of life around us and what we are blessed with.

Perhaps because I suffer with SAD that it is no great surprise that my favourite festivals are Beltane and Litha. But I also enjoy Samhain – the ritual of letting go of the past year and embracing what we have learnt from it and will take with us into the next year.  Also, a time to reflect on those who we have lost in the last year, and reflecting on the changes within ourselves. We also get to dress up too and I am rather partial to fancy-dress!

Describe a “perfect” day

I wake from a restful sleep in a bright room, a knock on the door rouses me further and a voice calmly calls “room service” and breakfast is brought in on a tray. A glorious spread of warm crossaint and melted butter, a glass of homemade granola with honey and greek yogurt, a tall glass of chilled fresh apple juice too.  It tastes exquisite, bursting with flavour

Slipping out from under the bed covers I take a hot shower in the spacious wet room that doubles as a steam room.  Making my way outside I grab a yoga mat and take a place on the lawn, stretching my body while gazing upon a vast countryside of yellow wheat fields, rolling green hills and tall oak trees lining the bridleway. The instructor is good looking, a cross between Henry Cavill’s bright eyes and broad smile with a slender body similar to Prince Harry!  He takes us through a series of yoga poses and finishes with a sun meditation. I sit still with my eyes closed feeling the warm sun upon my face and the smell of summer flowers filling my lungs and listening to the silence broken only by blackbirds in the hedge surrounding the gothic style fountain in the middle of the sweeping driveway.

I meet my friend Hayley for lunch in the village. The sun brighter and warmer as the day has passed, we sit outside by the river bank enjoying delicious pizza slices, olives, sizzling slices of BBQ pork and slender slices of chargrilled chicken.  Our meal is satisfying; it is hard to express just how much it is enjoyable, cooked to perfection and just the right warmth in every mouthful.  We talk for a couple of hours, catching up on the time spent apart, laughing over memories and new adventures. We grab our bicycles and ride through the surrounding country lanes, stopping to take a picture here and there.

Arriving back at the mansion I make my way to the retreat room. There is nobody else there so I take a seat in the suspended swing and read my book – it is a good book, one that fills me with inspiration and invokes my wandering spirit thirsty for travelling adventures and inner growth. It is nearly time to depart, so I stroll down to the thermal suite for one last round of steam, heat, ice and floating in small candlelit pools. I am chauffeured back home in a spacious town car, I stretch out on the back seat sipping crisp berry cider until I arrive home.

It is sunny here too, so when I leave the car I walk up the drive towards the back garden, I am greeted by Meg at the gate. She is pleased to see me and I her. I spend time fussing and stroking her before throwing down a blanket on the lawn and stretching out under the pear tree, Meg laid by my side, the sun sets over the rear of the garden and I watch the sky change from bright blue to yellows, pinks and orange.  The stars come out, the sky is clear, not a cloud is sight. Dad sets up the telescope on the decking and we gaze upwards for an hour, wrapped under my large smock and cosy fluffy slipper boots. It is difficult to want to go to bed, knowing that when I do this day will be over. But who is to say tomorrow won’t be just as special and sweet.