When Christmas Came Early

Your heart is beating so hard you can hear it thundering in your chest, but the hunt is almost over and your prey is within touching distance – the heat is so intense, sweat is cascading down your back.

Yes my friends this was me as a seven year old crawling into my Mom’s airing cupboard, hunting for yet another elusive Christmas present. I generally hunted out all my Christmas presents long before the old guy in the red suit turned up and drained my Dad’s whisky glass. One year they bought me a Scalextric. My parents were good, loving people – trusting , you know? So they hid the Scalextric under my bed. I discovered it two weeks before ole’ white beard was due and formed a cunning plan. I retired early every night (without being told, then eventually ordered) Keeping it under the bed and with great difficulty I assembled every part and was race fit in two nights. Of course my downfall was the early retiring. Succumbing to her curiosity my dear mama decided I must be ailing with some form of sickness so she came to check on me. I had a jolly good telling off that night I can assure you.

But this was a minor setback and my powers of detection and inquisitions became legend within the family. I tried everything but waterboarding my sisters – in turn their counter surveillance techniques would put the CIA to shame. Many years later they warned every girl in every relationship, “Read Treasure Island, give him no clues or the little bastard will find them.” Then one day after an arduous  Christmas shopping spree with a certain young lady I hit gold! We had separated to buy each other presents and upon our reunion she said, “Hold my bags for a minute I need the loo.” Really? I mean really! I couldn’t believe my luck 🙂 When she returned I was euphoric, I couldn’t control myself. I grinned at her. “Love the shirt,” I said. “How did you know I liked those trousers?” I asked. ” That pullover is so me, but I kinda guessed you were getting me that book.” At which point she burst into tears. So, if you don’t want to feel like a complete heel with a sad feeling in your chest for the rest of your life, don’t go hunting for Christmas presents, I don’t, well not anymore 🙂

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Mindful of Images

As I lay in the long grass the clouds drift carelessly over my head, changing the shade of the landscape and my mind drifts with them to times gone by and images I have stored in my hard-drive. I wonder why my mind stores some images and not others? Memories are different – I remember the events leading up to dad shooting my dog Judy, but only have an image of my mam playing with me in the aftermath. Maybe because it’s Christmas another image came to light today. When I was four years old my mam had a brain hemorrhage and was still in hospital on Christmas Day. In 1961 kids weren’t allowed in neurological wards, so my dad, in true Baldrick fashion, hatched a ‘cunning plan.’ Opening a window from inside someone plonked me on the window ledge from outside and I sang ‘Away in a Manger’ to the ward. It’s not my memory, I have been told about it, but its my image of all the poorly women looking up at me as I serenaded them. It was the same Christmas I became an Astronaut, hmmm,  what would a therapist make of that I wonder 😉

 

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First Love, First Fall

Cast your mind back and reconstruct those formative years…. wasn’t it strange how we got the attention of the opposite sex with playful abuse, She would hit me -playfully – wanting me to chase her, she would giggle and run away – I would catch her, hold her tight and the giggling stopped, but before I could kiss her (I guess I wanted to) she struggled free, hit me and ran away again. We continued this ritual for weeks, at least I remember it as weeks but in actual fact it was probably days.

Suddenly she stopped hitting me, I stopped chasing and the ritual was ended. She lived on a hill and so we could see each others bedrooms – after our parents banished us to bed we communicated by switching our bedroom lights on and off, we couldn’t bare to be seperated – together forever. We stroked each other, kissed each other and held hands wherever we went. One hot summer’s day we never let go and walking through town I suffered the cramp and the sweat between our palms for hours- terrified at the thought of letting her go – I often wonder if she remembers that day too. Then one day she decided she liked my friend more than me and his ‘girlfriend’ decided she liked me more than him, so they swapped us. I often wonder how that discussion went 🙂

Of course this is all from memory and we know how deceitful he can be 🙂

Posted in 1970'S, Blogging, Life, Love, Opinion, Realationships, Women | Tagged , , , , , , | 35 Comments

We Will Not Be Silenced – available now

We’ve put up with abuse since time began, time to stop it! Call in on Candice, it’ll be intense 😀

TheFeatheredSleep

The Anthology, We Will Not Be Silenced: The Lived Experience of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault Told Powerfully Through Poetry, Prose, Essay and Artis now available via Amazon. https://www.amazon.com/Will-Not-Silenced-Experience-Harassment/dp/1732800006/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1543429811&sr=8-1&keywords=we+will+not+be+silenced+the+lived+experience+of+sexual+harassment

PLEASE consider purchasing a copy or several as proceeds go toward sexual assault awareness, education and prevention and you will be actually making a difference with your purchase. We worked hard to get this project completed by the holidays so it would be timely given all that has happened this year.

All four editors of this Anthology met on WordPress and many of the contributors to this amazing publication write on WordPress and call it home. I really hope I can count on my WordPress friends and family to show some support of this much needed Anthology. ____________________________________________

We Will Not Be Silenced: The Lived Experience of Sexual Harassment and Sexual Assault Told Powerfully Through Poetry, Prose, Essay, and Art

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Recovery From Illness!

A little Wednesday motivation from Carolyn, check out her site 😀😀

ABC of Spirit Talk with Carolyn Page

The following is an excerpt (October 2014) from ‘Our Time Has Come’ – The third in our Free Book Series.

Our Time Has Come – Chapter 12 – And We Say to All  

“I do find what you are telling me in regard to excitement, travel and renown, a little hard to visualise at the moment. Feeling as I do (rather ill and without energy) it is rather hard to conceive a life filled with energy once again.”

“I did have enormous energy whilst dancing for those years. However, as I said; it’s hard to conceive (from my sick bed) a life such as you’ve advised.”

Indeed, dear brave heart, we understand. However, be that as it may, dearest, you will recover (as indeed you are currently recovering) and you will experience a new way of life; one that shall take you around the world, dearest, filled with hope, love…

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Stuff They Told Me

I was reflecting upon all the stuff I was told as I grew up and wondered why I’m kinda normal. When a tooth fell out I placed it beneath my pillow whereupon a mysterious Fairylike creature sneaked into my room, I assumed she lifted my head and replaced it with a sixpence, but apparently the tooth crawled out from beneath the pillow so as not to wake me. So now I have an apparition with a crawling tooth in my room and if I didn’t go to sleep the ‘bogeyman’ would ‘get’ me.

My mam told me if I sniffed Poppies earwigs would get in my nose and eat their way into my brain, I now think this was to prevent me becoming an Opium addict, something she no doubt misheard on Radio 4’s Woman’s Hour. Then, of course if I misbehaved the Gypsy’s would steal me, I mean really? Why would they steal naughty children? Surely they had enough problems. Other people that wanted to steal me were strangers, so ‘never accept a sweet from a stranger,’ okay I can deal with that, but in between the Fairies, the crawling teeth, the Bogeyman, Opium addiction, the earwigs and the Gypsies, strangers were the last thing on my mind. And to be honest if the Gipsy’s and the strangers were such a great threat what the hell were my parents doing letting an old, overweight geezer in a red suit who stinks of Reindeer, whisky and carrots into my bedroom in the middle of the night bearing presents? 🙂

Posted in Blogging, Christmas, Humour, Life, Opinion, people, Relationships | Tagged , , , , , , , | 53 Comments

Long Grass – Clouds – Music

Remember when you were lost, paralysed by life with no direction and just switched off? One of those days when you’re in the long grass staring at the sky watching clouds? You could hear the sounds of distant lives in your periphery, kids in a playground, a train somewhere, a couple arguing and then as if on cue, through someone’s open window you hear a song. Not any song though – it’s a song that appears to fit the moment as though they chose that song for you – that song now represents a moment in your life – forever.

 

They say music is the soundtrack of your life. Is that true for everyone or was I radicalised? My earliest memory? Plonked in front of a telly to watch Billy Fury sing Halfway to Paradise, “So near, yet so far away.” I was three-years -old.  I appeared in the world in 1957- my sisters were eleven and nineteen – my early years were bombarded with Elvis, Eddie Cochran, leather jackets and motorbikes by the time I was fourteen I had assumed the role.

 

The first girl to tell me she loved me? I was sixteen – Del Shannon’s ‘Runaway’ played five times at that party – I never saw her again. “I’m a walkin’ in the rain
Tears are fallin’ and I feel a pain”                                                                                                 Every desperate thing that has happened to me and I always seem to turn to The Eagles ‘Desparado’                                                                                                                                           “And freedom, oh freedom, well that’s just some people talkin’
Your prison is walking through this world all alone”                                                                    But when all else fails? there’s always the fields, the clouds and a memory of a song that once saved you 🙂

Posted in Freedom, Life, Music, nature, Opinion, people | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 26 Comments

What do you need?

“All you need is something to do – something to love – something to look forward to.” I was told this as a young man, guess who haha. Then I heard it somewhere recently, I don’t recall where maybe a film or in a book, but it took me back to 1976 you probably read that series? I was bumming around in Spain and the Canary Islands and as we say up here in the North I had ‘nowt.’ It was literally hand to mouth, if we went fishing that day and caught something we could hawk it around the restaurants and buy our tea, yeah I know you posh people call it dinner, but I still like to have ‘me dinner at dinner time and me tea at tea time’ Anyway, back t’plot. I had something to love – my wetsuit which I usually spent most evenings repairing. The one below is the same but not the actual one and courtesy of https://www.coastwatersports.co.uk/blog/history-evolution-wetsuit-2/ vintage-wetsuitIf you remember, the master had scrounged it for me and it had seen better days. I had something to do – spearfishing and of course running up those damn Spanish mountains.

I had something to look forward to – life in general really, but if I made enough money in the week it meant I could possibly take a senorita out for a tipple. I was very happy, life was simple. Now, consider that and consider a lot of people with money. The Kennedys, Howard Hughes, Marilyn Monroe, Princess Diana, Michael Jackson and Elvis. That’s just the real famous ones. So before you waste another £2 on a lottery ticket maybe you should ask yourself what is it you really want? Yeah I know I shouldn’t write a post on Sunday, its not my happiest day 🙂

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Flamenco and Palau de la Musica

Palau de la Musica Catalana, is where I chose to see Flamenco in Barcelona. It was a good choice and we did the tour in the afternoon, which was 20 Euro (yep my computer is so old it doesn’t have a Euro symbol). The talk was interesting and a great photo opportunity.IMG_3407This Art Nouveau hall was built between 1905 and 1908 it is the only concert hall in Europe to be lit entirely by natural light and some of the worlds greatest talents have played here, from Ella Fitzgerald to the London Philharmonic and what an organ!

The dancers were phenomenal, but surely all that stamping of the feet can’t be good for you? So I decided to have a gander on Google, 80.7% experienced metatarsal pain while dancing, and 84.1% presented with plantar hyperkeratosis. Plantar hyperkeratosis coincided with the presence of metatarsal pain in 67.04% of the feet studied, I never have much luck with Google, then it went onto Ballet Dancers. So I guess it’s a bit painful – there was nothing on there that said “Flamenco Dancers become crippled for life at the age of 25,” but I didn’t look on the Daily Mail website 🙂 So if you go to Barcelona and want to see some Flamenco I would recommend  Palau de la Musica Catalana, It’s 50 Euro for a good seat but how many times are you going to go? 🙂

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News From Barcelona

Haha not really, do you think I’m Jon Snow or something, am I confusing News at Ten with Game of Thrones…..hmmm! Anyway we got to the Gothic Quarter which the ‘princess’ was keen on seeing….I don’t know……she has her reasons, best not to ask and just follow 😜. Well, we saw some stuff, you know like buildings and things. Now, I thought the Bridge of Sighs was in Venice? ( my geography is crap, how I got across Europe in a van I’ll never know) But as you can see there it is in Barcelona’s Gothic Quarter, I suppose it could be different one? I was expecting Goths and really interesting food, but I didn’t see any Goths and got no dinner, I think you lot might call that lunch, but I was informed that we ate on the plane. It’s hard being me, it always has been. The princess says it’s because I am cute, but not very clever. I don’t know about the rest of you but do you get confused by life? I’ve found Barcelona easier to navigate than London, I’m like Forest bloody Gump there 😂 Anyway, continuing my travel blog here’s some pictures of the Gothic Quarter 😀

Oh! This is me all dressed up to go out

And today we had a thunderstorm with rain all day 😀😀

Posted in Barcelona, Humour, Life, Opinion, people | Tagged , , , , , , , , | 15 Comments