Look up..

Look up from your phone,

What can you see?

Look up, look up,

See your family!

Look up from your phone,

Your neck must be sore!

Look up, look up,

You’re becoming a bore!

Look up from your phone,

There’s a whole world out there!

Look up, look up,

Don’t say you don’t care..

Look up from your phone

You have your whole life ahead,

Look up, look up,

And choose the steps that you’ll tread.

Look up from your phone,

Life is passing you by,

Look up, look up,

Don’t say I didn’t try!

Look up from your phone,

And see all the beauty around

The real life that exists..

Just listen to the sounds !

It’s amazing and it’s here!

Right in front of your eyes!

Look up and live in the present!

Let go of your phone and its ties !

Garden oasis

Sitting in the garden
Relaxed and calm;
Glass of wine
And a breezy balm
The tinkle of water
From next door’s pond;
Sun shining, of which
I’m VERY fond.
Love the sun
Hope it stays a while
A great job it does;
Makes everyone smile. 

Facing the Beast from the East..

Woke up with a Headache, it was the journey ahead,

I was NOT looking forward to it, it was filling me with DREAD!

The forecast was snow, and heavy at that;

I REALLY DIDN’T WANT TO GO, and that was THAT!

Nearly six hours of road, in a ten year old car,

It surely wouldn’t cope, it’s WAY TOO FAR!

But I had NO CHOICE, the deed was done,

Time off work, I had nowhere to run.

Five thirty we left, the roads were fine

I took a deep breath, ’This journey’s MINE..!’

Carys had her laptop, in a world of her own,

Sat up front, nerves of STEEL were shown.

Through ‘A’ roads we went, only a dusting of snow,

Traffic was heavy, at times moving slow.

M6 we joined, with a feeling of relief,

These roads will be good, surely bad bits would be brief.

Then into a blizzard, it came on FAST,

GRIPPING steering wheel TIGHT, windscreen got a water blast!

A few miles further, and the blizzard had gone,

Back to black roads, we could safely carry on.

But as the journey continued, white roads we saw more,

Lulled into a false sense of security, visibility was INCREASINGLY POOR.

Across the Pennines we continued, snow was HORIZONTAL by now

Felt as if we weren’t moving, had to check out the side window!

My grip was getting tighter, as snow lay thick on the road;

Lorries had NO HEED for cars, I wanted another transport mode!!

Reluctantly we made a pit stop, no time would ever be good,

I wanted to carry on moving, thankfully Carys understood…

A frequent countdown of timings, helped to focus as conditions got worse,

Every hour that was knocked off the journey, made me feel that little less terse.

An essential part of the trip, on traffic was being kept up to date,

My hubby at the end of the phone: for news, he was my key mate!

All around us was darkness, limited lighting not helping AT ALL,

Carys still watching her laptop, occasionally asleep she’d fall;

Little did I know, that MUCH worse we were yet to see;

But as we left the M74 behind, all I saw was clear road…YIPPEE!

My heart soared higher, looking at this black road ahead,

Cats eyes shone brightly – not long until a nice warm bed!

Excitedly I got Carys to call our friends, 3o minutes behind,

’This ‘ A’ route is MUCH BETTER than M74 you’ll find!’

As soon as the update was given, it must have been a CURSE!

Conditions changed dramatically, and the road got HORRENDOUSLY worse…

Everyone else must have realised, how bad this road would be;

For it was largely deserted, except for a couple of vehicles…. And ME!

Snow was coming down thick again, wide road on either side,

But ice was hidden underneath, and my car did nothing but slide.

My knuckles were WHITE, focussed on keeping control;

My tongue getting drier, intent on avoiding a car roll.

Carys was still in that world of her own, looking up now and then,

You’re doing OKAY, don’t worry at all!’, before head bowed down again.

GREAT! I thought, the PRESSURE’s ON ME, to get us there safe and sound;

My heart in my mouth, my grip still tight, a new DETERMINATION I found…

After driving ALL THIS WAY and all these hours, come hell or high water,

I’ll get to Edinburgh – swimming – for MY DAUGHTER!

But as a heavy, industrial vehicle approached, and my car did ANOTHER slide,

I prayed hard and focussed to stay on course, refusing to just go and hide!

I then kept looking in my mirror, consciously driving slow,

Hoping my friends would catch us up, giving comfort of someone I know;

Unsurprisingly they did! I was doing no more than 20 miles an hour!

The roads were getting bendy and steep, but I needed to regain my OWN power..

Spurred on by their appearance, helped give the last of our journey a BOOST,

Surpassing the fear I had previously, steadfast calmness had now been let loose.

At the sight of every bend and hill, my focus didn’t waiver;

A consistent pace and in control – each one nailed, I’d savour.

Those last twenty miles were horrendous, much worse than the previous three seventy

But with sheer determination and will, I was proud I’d had guts a plenty!

The outskirts of Edinburgh arrived, with roads showing a tiny smear of black,

SOOO CHUFFED I’d actually made it, for there would have been NO Turning back!

While parking is another tale (!) taking over an hour at least,

I’m very proud that we survived, facing the Beast from the East!

My sleep was VERY restless that night, EXHAUSTED more than I knew,

Seven plus hours of driving… But all safe and sound ….PHEW!!

———————————-

This horrendous journey was for my daughter’s first British Champs…

The adventures of the missing Big Issue Seller

‘Hello my love!’, the big, cheeky grin accompanied the cockney greeting that bellowed out. ‘You alright? You ‘ave a lovely day!’

My local Big Issue seller near Euston was always smiling, a trendy looking guy with curly hair, maybe late thirties, very personable and always up for a bit of cheeky but fun banter with the commuters. It became a routine part of my journey to see him either on the way into work, or on the way home, come rain or shine.

For the first couple of days he was missing, I didn’t really think too much about it, I just missed seeing his smile and exchanging the brief but regular ‘hello’.

When it became a couple of weeks with no sign of him, and a new Big Issue seller was in situ – a middle aged foreign lady who adopted a completely different, more woeful approach, sitting on the floor wearing a headscarf, rocking backwards and forwards and barking out the occasional single word to passers by – then I felt uplifted, hoping he had got himself sorted and off the streets.

Then much to my surprise, he reappeared one night as I was rushing for my train. As I walked closer to him, he acknowledged me with a grin and having a couple of minutes to spare, I couldn’t resist saying I’d missed seeing him around.

‘Well’, he started. ‘I ‘ad a letter from the Tax office a few weeks ago, but you’ll never believe this..’ He looked at me, holding my attention, and I began to imagine the worst, that he’d been in jail…’they told me they’d made a mistake and they’d sent me a tax refund of £700! So I blew the lot on a flight out to Los Angeles!

I stared at him, my mouth wide open in shock but then I couldn’t resist sharing his big grin as he continued ‘And I can tell you this..it was THE BEST Fxxxin time I’ve ever had in my LIFE. It was amazing!’

I was literally ‘gob smacked!’ My grin still on my face, I had to continue my journey but I gave him a hug and honestly replied that it sounded amazing and what a fab thing to have happened to him.

He was absolutely over the moon and my grin remains, even now, as I think about the adventures he must have had over in the US. Where and how he stayed I dread to think… I can only imagine.

But a few months on and he is once again ‘missing’ – he only stayed a short while after his ‘adventure’ so unless he moved his patch, he must no longer be a Big Issue seller.

I only hope this time he really HAS had an opportunity to move his life on..whether it be off the streets in the UK or maybe – and now I’m grinning from ear to ear again – he’s gone back to the US!

My imagination runs riot, but whatever you’re doing Mr Big Issue near Euston, I wish you well and much happiness…

Special Easter Sunday

As a non Catholic, taking my devout and very non Catholic mum to a Catholic Church on Easter Sunday, may seem rather odd.
While my mum might not agree, to me it was perfectly natural and absolutely the best way to spend Easter Sunday morning.  And, as usual, it was packed, much to my mother’s surprise!
My hubby is Catholic and our two girls go to a Catholic Primary School. I’m not at the stage of wanting to convert to Catholicism – there is so much I don’t align with in this faith – but I do however, really value the strong sense of community, and pulling together, and friendship when I enter and spend time in our local Catholic Church. My girls would love me to be Catholic, like them, but I currently don’t see it as an issue, especially as I go to Church as often as they do and do most of what they do when we’re there.
Having been a key support for my eldest during her Holy Communion, I know the Priest very well – we established a mutual common ground in the writing of poems! – and he welcomed me into the Church with open arms. No preaching, no trying to convert me, just accepting me, irrespective of my faith.
I had always found churches to be very cold and austere and was never encouraged or brought up to go to Church,  despite being ‘C of E‘. My Dad was Catholic however, and i can always remember the story of when, after he was really ill in hospital, a Priest came to see him and actually REFUSED to pray for him, because he then found out my dad had got married in a C of E Church!  Needless to say, this is why my mum is not a fan of The Catholic Church!  I, however, entered a Catholic Church after my dad passed away (many years later, I hasten to add), and gained enormous comfort from it’s warmth, a warmth I never felt in a C of E Church.  It really helped me through a very difficult time.
Compare the Priest above to my local Priest, who will visit, counsel, support and pray for ANYONE who needs it, whether Catholic or not.  He is outspoken, abrupt, but has a heart of gold and everything he does, is all for his  congregation.  He would also be great Company over a pint!
That’s why I liked going to church on Easter Sunday.  The feeling of family, the familiar faces, the sense of belonging to a Community, all the basics that in the current stressful and pressurised world we live in, is a welcome and easy release.
So one of the best bits is that after Sunday Mass, a few of us go to the Church Hall, all the kids run riot and we mums and dads sit with a cup of tea and a piece of cake or biscuit, and have a good old natter!