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Thoughts from a Small Island

Random words from my mind

A Tentative Start

This is going to be used by me as a means of escape from what is currently whizzing round my head.

I have no idea how often I will be updating it but I hope that by posting what I feel about things it may encourage others to speak up or seek help in their own way. It might not be easy to read for some and I offer no apologies for that but my intention is to help open doors and people’s thinking toward mental illness and how it affect not just the ‘patient’ but also those around them.

Stay safe

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Photos of the Finished Campsite

For those of you who have been keeping up to date (I know there’s a few of you) with my latest goings on I have some photos of the bathroom from beginning to end. The photos are courtesy of my wife as I was just a bit rubbish at getting a decent view.

As you can see it’s a whole lot better than before. At least I will be able to get my morning routine back to normal now that everything is in the same room again.

Until next time………….

It’s Just Like Camping

Apologies for not having much of a presence on here lately but I have been on holiday.

Not an actual holiday in the sense of going to somewhere calm and relaxing, away from all the hustle and bustle of normal life. More of the type of time away where I have been away but not away (I’m sure you know what I mean by now).

The holiday I have had is that we have been having our bathroom completely redecorated.

How is that a holiday?

I’m sure by the end of this blog you’ll understand but for now, let’s start from the beginning (cue wispy music and fuzzy graphics).

A long, long time ago (about March 2018) we discovered that our shower was causing a leak to appear in the kitchen ceiling directly underneath. This caused great concern as I had a feeling that the next person to use the shower would end up in the kitchen sink. I (we) decided no one was to use it and we would get the bathroom done.

Great, all sorted.

Or so you’d think.

After several trips to B&Q to look at suites we then had to find someone we would trust enough to do the work professionally. This was very difficult for me to come to terms with as I had to go on the recommendation of other people rather than have control of it myself. We found a great chap who is the father of a work colleague of my wife and agreed for him to do the work.

He arrived on the Thursday evening ferry and then came round to us on the Friday morning. Him and his mate Dave (they’re always called Dave aren’t they?) got straight in to ripping everything out and then asked the all important question “Is this the only toilet in the house?”

The answer, of course, was yes and this then raised my anxiety levels.

What would we do without without a toilet?

Where will we wash?

What if someone falls ill and needs to use the loo?

My mind was put at ease by them saying they would fit the loo basin but not completely. This meant we could do all the usual loo things but we would have to ‘flush’ the loo by emptying a bucket of water down the pan.

Great!!!

Each day has seen a gradual transformation and we even had a working bath after day 2. Still no flushing toilet but we could now at least wash properly instead of leaning over the kitchen sink.

Day 3 saw the start of the tiling and it looked amazing.

By the end of this week all that is left to do is fit the sink, replace the towel rail, put the shower riser / grab rail and cabinet back on the wall, put on the bath panel and finish sealing the walls.

Oh, and put the door back on it’s hinges. I may have neglected to tell you all earlier that the door was removed for easy access in to the room with materials but this of course meant that each of us had to inform the others when we went to the bathroom. Not the most ideal situation to be in but sometimes needs must and we somehow manage to adapt to the conditions we are presented with.

So, you see, it’s kind of like we’ve been camping in our own house. Complete with basic toilet facilities and having to warn people that someone is going in the bathroom.

The only thing we haven’t had is a windbreak and fold up chairs in the garden, a cool bag full of melted ice blocks and warm juice (we’ll keep that for when we decide in many years to redo the downstairs rooms 😉).

Heather Small Was Headed in the Right Direction

If any of you are familiar with the musical works of ‘M People’ then you may already have a loose idea of where this blog is going.

This last weekend has seen me heading in a more positive direction again with me overcoming a few barriers that I have probably inadvertently put in place to protect myself from further anxiety. I am aware that these are only little steps along the road to well-being and that there will be a few steps back again along the way but, for now, I am basking in the glory of a job well done.

It all began on Friday night when I went out for the leaving do of a friend from work. I was acutely aware that I hadn’t been in the particular pub we were meeting up in for almost a year since my breakdown and that was enough to bring on those old familiar feelings. I finished work and walked home, had some tea (or dinner if that’s what you want to call it) and chilled out for a bit. I got changed and walked back in to town and went to the pub. There was security on the door (it’s Friday night so I guess we’re all suspected of being a bit dodgy) and I walked past them without glancing at them in case my nerves got the better of me and I ended up turning round and walking home. I found my colleagues, got myself a drink and sat down. The nerves settled and, safe to say, I enjoyed the night out. Good food (for Wetherspoons at least), a decent real ale and good company.

Saturday came and it was another good day. I took my daughter to our local bookshop as my line manager from work was doing a launch and signing of his new book and then wandered around the charity shops hunting for bargains (didn’t find any but it’s great fun looking). In the afternoon we then went shopping for our new bathroom suite and tiles. £500 later and we had it all on a trolley ready to be delivered to us. On the way back from B&Q (the only place open on a Saturday afternoon for D.I.Y) I suggested we go to a little pub along the ‘middle road’ for a drink. In case you’re wondering, it’s called the middle road due to it being the middle one of three heading towards the west of the island from the county town. We sat outside and just admired the view across the top of the island towards the big island. It’s a view that I will never tire of and is a reminder of why I love this little patch of the country.

Then it came to Sunday.

Sunday was a day I am very proud of. I spent the whole day by myself. Well, not completely by myself as I was surrounded by the general public but I was without the little safety net of my family who were busy doing things they wanted to do.

I have a love of vintage transport and whenever the chance arises I enjoy going out on the old buses. We have a wonderful bus museum here on the island which is still free to visit, entirely supported by donations. Every year they do a ‘running day’ where the public (and bus enthusiasts) get the chance to go on various vintage vehicles on some of the old routes. You could argue it’s about as interesting as train spotting but for the price of a running guide (£2) I was able to go on over 6 different journeys and it was amazing. I have no interest in the vehicle details, names, models etc….I just love the nostalgic feeling these old vehicles bring out in people. My favourite journey was the last of the day where 3 almost identical open top buses from the 1940’s went, in convoy, to the beach. I took a few photos but I actually just spent most of the day looking around me at the scenery instead of my phone. I went home with the biggest smile on my face that day.

2 days at work have then led me to my day off today and I have been quite productive. It started with the delivery of our bathroom suite and me organising it in the garage. Then it was on to my laptop to start my next project.

For some time now I have been doodling / scribbling and, by now, have probably bored everyone close to me rigid about it. I have a Facebook page for my art which is called Small Island Scribbler (I know, original name isn’t it?) and my Instagram is also predominantly filled up with my art too. I have toyed with the idea of having my own website for some time and had previously registered on a site with the intention of creating my own little piece of the internet. Today, after seeing what a friend of mine had done for her artwork I decided to crack on with doing my own. She also has her own Facebook page which is called Purrfect Portraits by Heather so it would really mean the world if you could drop by and show her some love. Anyways, I have now filled in my ‘About’ and ‘Contact’ sections and am part of the way through choosing what pictures to include in my gallery. It won’t be a particularly fancy site but I hope it will be enough to showcase my work and maybe encourage some more people to contact me for a commission. I have zero artistic training, my skills being loosely tightened up via various sketch books and scribbles but I can copy well and I am pretty good now at creating abstract designs. It is this style that I am trying to do a bit more of and through a love of dots and circles, and the way that I can create a ‘path’ with straight lines, I hope to build up a bit more of a portfolio of work for people to appreciate.

But as Heather Small so famously sang:

I’m moving on up, you’re moving on out
Moving on up, nothing can stop me
Moving on up, you’re moving on out
Time to break free, nothing can stop me

(You see, I always have a way of tenuously linking a title to the story I’m telling)

So now all that is left for me this week is to deal with the anxiety inducing building work that will be taking place in my house while the bathroom gets fitted.

Wish me lots of luck…………………………………………………………

Laughter Is The Best Medicine

They say that laughter is the best medicine unless, like me, you have IBS in which case I would much rather take medication because laughing too much might not have the desired effect.

This last weekend has been full of laughter and , dare I say it, has been rather a good one if I’m allowed to say that.

The weather has been beautiful here on the small island and people have, in general been better mannered too. It’s amazing what a little bit of sunshine can do to people, but for some you’d think they’d never seen that big orange ball of heat before. Of course, there are people who take every opportunity to show as much as flesh as is decently allowed because here in the uk we are never quite sure how long the sunny weather is going to be here for so we see it as a good excuse to get the barbecue out of the shed, slap on the sun cream and bask in the sun.

Personally I am of a skin colour and type that dictates my reaction to the sun. I have freckles, light hair (a lot more grey now though) and fair skin which means I go from white, to beetroot and back to white again. I don’t have any shade in between but that suits me fine. I always used to be fairly conscious of my ghostly shade of pale but as I’ve got older (some may wiser too) I frankly couldn’t give a flying you know what. I wore shorts in public for the first time this year at the weekend and it felt great. My pasty white pins reflecting in the sun and looking only slightly tanned due to the hair on my legs. I don’t know whether I just had more confidence in myself this year but I didn’t think about whether people were looking at me. They probably couldn’t give a monkeys about my legs but in my head I was always cautious.

Anyway, the weekend started with dropping our daughter at the ferry as she was off to the big island for a day with friends for a birthday day out. My wife and I then had a little wander around the shops looking for inspiration on how to do our garden once my dad has done all the groundwork. We’re not big gardeners but my dad loves that sort of thing so in between doing his own garden he’s been coming round and doing a bit of work on ours too. After that we went and had lunch at a beautiful spot on the cliffs to the east of the island which gave us an incredible view all around the bay.

The day was then topped off by a trip to the theatre in the evening to see the insanely funny Sarah Millican. My wife and I met up beforehand with some friends of mine from the Anxiety Cafe I’m part of and we all had a catch up. Plenty of laughter filled the air and it was a fantastic night out. Having seen Sarah Millican before we knew what to expect and when she walked on the stage with a cuppa, said hello and then proceeded to enlighten the audience that if she was standing a bit funny it was because her fresh sanitary pad hadn’t ‘moulded’ yet, we knew we were in for a good time.

Awkward? A bit

Funny? Absolutely

And so to Sunday. Sunday was a little relaxed and it began with a trip to the top to get did some of the garden waste from dads efforts. Then it was round to my parents house to see our daughter who had stayed the night there after her day on the big island. A bbq was had for lunch and after it had settled a bit we took a wander down to the beach. It’s not much of a beach really, it’s just stones but there’s an awesome playground for the kids and a little kiosk for the grown ups to get drinks and ice cream (of which we had both). If the tide is out it can smell a bit as the seaweed builds up along the front but today, fortunately, the tide was in. After that we went home, watched Antiques Roadshow (I’m so rock and roll) and then I spent a bit of time starting a new doodle.

So there you have it. A fun weekend seemed to be had by us all.

It actually felt like the weekends off I used to have before I got really bad and it made me happy and proud to think that I’m beginning to get a better of understanding of myself so that if I’m having a good time I shouldn’t feel guilty about it. I’m better at accepting my faults more than I used and allowing myself to have ‘bad days’ but I’m still not great at accepting compliments or good times as much as I should.

Maybe it’s time to explore that bit of me now?

The Poetic Works of Robert Matthew Van Winkle

Stop

Collaborate

And listen………….

If you are familiar with the poetic works of Robert Matthew Van Winkle then this may make some sense to you and remind you of years gone by. If you’re not, then just go with it for now.

Wednesday of this week was my day off and I was lucky enough to be able to go to the anxiety cafe daytime session. This is run every Wednesday morning by the amazing team behind the Anxiety Cafe and covers a variety of activities, a different one each week. Normally when I’ve been there has been a craft based activity and I quite enjoy these. Another time I went there was a kind of interpretive dance session which pushed me so far out of my comfort zone it was surprisingly good fun.

Anyway, I digress (as usual).

This week it was time to be told what to think.

Not in a horrible “…you have a mental health condition you are supposed to act like this…….” kind of way but more in a “…this is how you can think differently and help yourself…” kind.

On walking in, I recognised a few faces, said my hello and found a chair. More people started arriving and before long we were adding tables on. This was great as it meant more people were beginning to find out about the incredible work the team do. It also meant that there were more people I didn’t know and I wondered should I say hello or just wait for them to make the first move?

Will they think I’m rude by not interacting?

What if my lack of communication makes them feel unwelcome?

Bravely, I look across the table at the new faces (obviously as scared and anxious as the rest of us) and give them all a warm smile. No words but enough to let them know they’re welcome and it’s good to see them.

Anyways, the lady running the session was lovely and calm and introduced herself to us. We all said our names and then the session started.

At the beginning of the session was a little bit about having an anxiety first aid kit we can call on for each of us. As individual as we each are it contains something from each of our 5 senses. Now, each of us responds to our anxiety in our own way so this is by no means a ‘cure for all’ but it may allow another tool to be used in the fight against our heads.

In this first aid kit we start with something we can see. This could be a picture on our phones that makes us smile or something in the world around us.

Then we think of something we can touch. Something like a piece of jewellery given as a present or anything else around us. Personally, I find that tapping my fingers together in a rhythm can calm me down.

Thirdly is sound. Sound has been proven (I think) to aid in calming us down. This can be a particular song that brings back happy memories, birds singing in the trees or something as simple as the sound of rain.

Then comes the turn of taste. This is one of my favourites as it gives me an excuse to eat chocolate. It doesn’t have to be chocolate though, it can be anything that we enjoy. Be this fruit (part of your 5 a day?), sweets (it has to be marshmallow flumps) , biscuits, cake or whatever takes your fancy.

Finally comes smell. This can be any sort of smell that can remind you of happy times. My own personal favourite is cloves as it reminds me of some sweets that my great granny used to have on the side when we went round to see them. They were red and white stripes and tasted amazing and I will always love that smell.

After delving in to our sense it was then time to think about visualising happy thoughts. Not in a hippy, trippy kind of way but in a way that would remind us of times when we felt safe or comfortable. Everyone has their own ‘safe’ place and for me it is my grandads house. My grandad was an amazing man who always had time for all of the grandkids and I can still to this day picture every single room in his house as if he were still here with us. Right down to the Tom & Jerry hoopla game that hung in the wall above the serving hatch from the living room to the kitchen.

So there you have it, it’s that easy (as if). It’s about thinking of things that remind us of good times to try and distract our very crafty brains from what it wants us to think instead.

As the great Robert Van Winkle says:

Stop – take time to assess the current situation

Collaborate – join together all the senses

Listen – listen to what your body is telling you

Who’d have thought I could write a blog based on a Vanilla Ice lyric (see, you knew you recognised that name from somewhere didn’t you?).

Until next time………..

Road Closed, Diversion Ahead

There is a common theme here on the small island and that theme is not one of beauty, quaint country cottages and hidden beaches.

It is roadworks.

Yes

Roadworks.

But why does this come to my attention I don’t hear you say? (If I wasn’t partially deaf I probably would hear you but that’s besides the point). Well, my reason for noting this is that it leads to chaos and diversions. Holidaymakers are now lost , local people get fed up because the holidaymakers are lost and invariably there is a lost temper or two along the way. The signs that get placed on the roads tell us of imminent closure. There are then signs that tell us which way the diversion is heading. And then as is often the case, about halfway along the diversion the signs become few and far between. Whether this is down to lack of signage, lack of time or just a complete lack of sympathy for road users is anyone’s guess really but it is pretty frustrating.

Sometimes the diversions take us through a route we have never gone before which can be both frightening and exciting, a bit like a magical mystery tour but without the magic. Other times it takes us through a housing estate and comes out next to Lidl (other budget supermarkets are available).

On my way home from work last night, and then on my way to work this morning I came up against one particular diversion in town. Now, I must point out for those of you who don’t know me outside of my blog that I don’t drive. Never have, probably never will either. I tend to walk everywhere (or get the bus if it’s too far) and this gives me such a wonderful insight in to the day to day activities I see around me. As a walker it is pretty straightforward for me to get past roadworks as, by their nature, the roads are being worked on and not the pavements. However, last night and this morning I witnessed at least half a dozen cars go past the first sign warning of closure ahead. They then ignored the signs advising of closure and the signs advising of diversions. Then, when they reached the point of closure and couldn’t go any further due to the one way system in front of them they would stop. From my vantage point on the pavement I could see the drivers going through a range of emotions from anger to embarrassment. They would then have to reverse (bearing in mind there was now 3 cars behind them that had blindly followed them through all the signs) and do a turn in the turn in the road whilst holding up the traffic coming the other way. Not a good position to be in.

All of this could have been avoided if they had just followed the signs though.

Now, due to my way with words and getting better at this blogging malarkey you almost see what I’m getting at with this long winded analogy and that is that this can be the same with our own health, both mentally and physically. If we choose to ignore the signs then we might end up lost or having to reverse and turn around.

I chose to ignore my signs for many years and ended up in a very bad place. I couldn’t see the diversion properly and decided to carry on blindly in the hope that I could eventually find a way through but it didn’t pan out quite as I planned.

Everyone is different and I’m not saying that what happened to me will be the same for everyone. Anxiety and depression is a bit of a bugger in that it is not a ‘one size fits all’ kind of illness but there are similarities we all share. Hopefully by talking about them more we’ll be able to see the signs in ourselves and be able to react to them a bit sooner.

I’m getting better at this but there are still times where I think my diversion will get me there quicker but all it does is lead me down a farm track with no lights, potholes and ditches at the sides.

Maybe I’ll need to keep a torch with me next time………….

Tonight Matthew I’m Going To Be?

Tired

Unless you’re as old as I am (which is pretty old in my daughter’s eyes) then you will have no idea what the title of today’s little rambling means. There was a TV show which put ordinary people in the spotlight as they impersonated a celebrity entertainer (a singer) to try to gain the public’s attention as someone with a great voice. It was sort of the X-Factor of its day but without the boring sob stories and terrible auditions.

The person would be introduced to the audience, and then through some basic clues and video they would then walk off through a smoky door and say “Tonight Matthew I’m going to be *insert singer’s name*”. It was the height of Saturday night entertainment and our family would try to guess who the person was going to impersonate, before ultimately getting it completely wrong.

Now, this brings me to the point of today’s blog if there actually is one (there often isn’t but somehow I manage to tie it all together at the end).

It is the Easter school holidays which also brings along the start of the main tourist season here on the small island. This brings along coach loads of people who have invariably never heard of the small island until now and think they have to change their money and bring their passports with them. Tourism is a big thing for our island in that it brings money to the local shops and people to our shores. It helps keep the island afloat (metaphorically speaking of course) through the winter months and provides a source of employment throughout the ‘season’.

At this time of year a lot of the tourist attractions open up again and there is a general buzz in the air as the streets and roads get busy again. Like any place that relies heavily on tourism there is a love / hate relationship with people coming here. On the one hand we are grateful that people want to come and view our beautiful island and take in all that it has to offer. They spend money in our local shops and pubs which in turn helps to provide employment for a great number of people. On the other we (I use the royal we) get fed up that the roads get busier and frustrated that the places we like to go for peace and quiet are now full of people wearing crocs and Hawaiian shirts (sometimes together!!!).

This combination of school holidays and grockles (what we call tourists here on the small island) means that my working day is extremely busy as there are a lot more people on the small island who will go shopping and want something to eat while they are out.

I usually walk to work, I’m on my feet all day, except for my lunch break, and then usually I walk home. My daily walk to and from work is just over a mile and a half each way, plus however far I walk at work while in the process of doing my job. This means I walk a lot. Every day.

My feet hurt.

My knees and joints ache.

My body just wants to stop.

I have lost all motivation to go out for a run in the evening at the moment because of this exhaustion and that, in turn, is affecting me mentally. Not in a bad way, just in the sense that I don’t have that time on my own right now. I will get back out there again when I can as I love running and the freedom it gives me but for now it’s not top of my list.

Which brings me back around to my original train of thought. See I told you I’d tie it all together in the end.

I don’t have a smoke machine behind my door to give that sense of wonder but as I walk up my stairs tonight, I will turn around and give the audience (you, dear readers) a hearty wave.

Tonight Matthew, I think I’m going to sleep well.

I Always Feel Like……….

“…….somebody’s watching me

I’m just an average man, with an average life.
I work from nine to five; hey hell, I pay the price.
All I want is to be left alone in my average home;
But why do I always feel like I’m in the Twilight Zone”
(Rockwell, 1984)

For some reason today I have felt uneasy. I can’t explain why or what has caused it but I have felt (like the lyrics above) that someone has been watching everything I do.

My morning went o.k. and I got up at my normal time and helped my little girl (she’s 12yrs old but still my ‘little girl’) get ready for school. I had some breakfast once she had left the house to get the bus to town and sat and chilled out downstairs before getting dressed and ready for work.

I had a lovely walk in to town and popped to the chemists quickly to pick up my medication.

Once at work I went through my usual ‘routine’ with the added bonus of handing over a commissioned picture I had done for a friend whose son is getting married soon. I felt incredibly humbled to be asked to do such an important (in my eyes anyway) thing but I was also proud of myself for doing it. My friend loved it and explained how it would be the perfect gift for the happy couple due to the detail I had put in and the fact it was all hand done and ‘one of a kind’.

The morning at work was steady and then lunch time went its usual busy way. Nothing really any different from a normal day (if there is such a thing as a normal day where I work).

However, after I had my lunch and returned back downstairs I had this uneasy feeling that I had upset somebody and was being watched as a result of it. In my mind I went over all the conversations I had with colleagues wondering if I had said something by mistake. I then thought about the things I had done during the day to see if there was anything I had done that had upset anyone.

I came to the conclusion that I hadn’t done or said anything to anyone. People were still talking to me. I wasn’t being avoided or pushed to the sidelines.

So why did I feel so flat?

I have no idea but it was beginning to unnerve me and make me feel anxious. What if people were just being nice to me for the sake of it? What if I had upset someone so much that they couldn’t even talk to me? What if they were all talking about me when I left the room? What if they were watching to see if I made a mistake?

What if?

What if?

That old chestnut was beginning to lodge itself in my head again and I was unable to shake it out. I began to retreat to my ‘safe’ zone and immersed myself in the end of day tasks I still had to do and spoke to people only when I absolutely had to. On the outside I was calm and collected so nobody would think any less of me but inside I was struggling to understand the most basic of things.

6pm came and I couldn’t wait to leave. I said my goodbyes and thanked the team for their hard work and went to get my things from upstairs. Once in the staff room I felt relaxed again and I put my trainers on, put my name card back and began to walk home.

Now that I’m home I have the radio on, curtains closed and I’m switching between typing this and bouncing around the living room like I’m the crazy front man of my own imaginary band (I can imagine you all trying to picture this) playing to an audience of 1 (me).

So what was it?

Genuinely I have no idea.

Maybe I just need a day off, in which case it’s perfect timing as I’m off tomorrow.

Until next time have a good evening and thank you for listening to my waffle……………………………

Mum, Mummy, Mother, Mom, Mam, Ma

In Ninewells Hospital born and raised
In Scotland is where I spent some of my days
Chilling out max and relaxing all cool
And playing with my friends outside after school

Then after some years that were really quite good
We went and moved into a new neighbourhood
I went through high school and I grew my long hair
And said “I’m a teenager and I really don’t care”

Now, if you’re like me you will have actually read the above lines in your head along to the tune of the Fresh Prince of Bel Air and you can thank me later for now having that tune stuck in your head. Much like the family in the show, I like to think that my family has a similar dynamic (except for the fact we don’t live in L.A. and my cousin doesn’t live with us) in that we are a pretty close family who look for out each other. We have no need to phone each other day or text all the time as we all know that if anything happens to one of us the rest of us will be there in a heartbeat to pick up the slack. Some find it strange that I barely talk to my siblings but, in my eyes at least, I have no need to as I know that they are alright and if anything is wrong I will be told straight away.

With it being Mothering Sunday tomorrow here in the U.K. my focus today is on my mum. I know she reads my blog so I’ll be very careful not to embarrass her too much (I hope) but this is my own way of saying thank you for everything that you have done for all of us.

My childhood growing up was what I would call ideal. We lived in Dundee until I was 5yrs old and then in Gullane (nr. Edinburgh) until I was 10. Then we moved to Somerset and I lived there for 10yrs and finally settled over on the small island where I have been ever since. We were by no means rich in monetary terms but we had everything we needed and I have a huge amount of very happy memories from my childhood years of camping holidays (in the rain), visiting relatives in the school holidays, being given the freedom to play with my friends and just generally enjoy being a kid and if you count all these things together then I am richer than I could ever have been.

My mum through all of my life has been a constant source of reassurement, laughs and love. She has never questioned any of my decisions in life (even the time I grew my hair long and thought I looked really cool) although I’m pretty sure with some of them she has rolled her eyes quite frequently. She has always been a hard-working mum and, along with my dad, has made sure that our family had just what we need. Through my years growing up I always knew that she had my back and would be there with hugs and kisses if I fell down ready to pick me up again.

I am proud to say that she has an awesome taste in music, partly down to my influence. She listens to most things and has, on occasion, come in to my room when I lived at home and had something loud and heavy on my stereo and said that she loves what I’m listening to. This has ranged from Metallica, White Zombie, Nightwish, Deftones to softer bands like Neds Atomic Dustbins, Carter USM and The Cranberries. I am even more proud to say that I have been to some awesome concerts with her too. We have seen Bon Jovi 4 times together and I even took her to an Alice Cooper gig once and she loved it!!

In recent years my mum’s health has had a few knock backs and she has had 2 strokes and some mental health issues which I won’t go in to here as I feel this blog is for me to talk about my mental health and not anyone else. In my eyes this has made me realise that as much as we don’t like to think about it, our parents are not invincible. When I was young I though my parents were superheroes (I still do really) but as I have grown up I see them ageing and slowing down.

What I do still see in my mum is that little sparkle in her eyes when she’s doing something she loves. She has a daft sense of humour which along with my dad ‘s humour seems to have rubbed off on me and subsequently on to my daughter (poor little thing).

Mothering Sunday to me is for everyone. Whether it is for mum’s who are still here or those who are sadly no longer with us. It is for anyone who has acted in the capacity of a motherly, caring figure in your life whether it be a friend, relative or someone who has stepped in to look after you at some point.

I will finish today’s little offering by just saying one thing which I don’t think I actually say enough to my mum (or my dad even) but they know that I mean it every day.

I Love You xx

 

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