July 25, 2017

One Million Lovely Letters

Posted in July tagged , , , , , at 10:22 am by viewfromthisdesk

I had planned to write a post about suicide, which is nice and cheery but then that all changed last night.  As ever, I’m referring to something I saw on tv which got me thinking.  And crying and laughing.  If you didn’t watch it, find it on iplayer.

Last night on BBC1 at 7.30 was a program about a lass called Jodi who started writing letters to total strangers.  She has a target to write ‘One Million Lovely Letters’ and some of the people featured talked about how her letter had arrived at a really difficult time and had gotten them through.  One guy was from Canada and had fixed her letter to his computer so it was a daily reminder.  Letters, words, ink on paper are powerful things.

I used to love writing – my teenage years were full of writing to friends and boyfriends.  The angst of those years would pour out as my inky scrawl would fill pages and pages.  I’d look for colourful envelopes and nice paper.  I’d save any money I had for stamps which were much cheaper back then.  I’d feel full of love and excitement when I had an envelope for me when I got home from school.  That someone had taken the time to sit and write to me, take that time to think about me and want to connect with me, that was magical.

I still have notes from people from when I was 14, I’ve kept them and I re-read them.  My gratitude jar was amazing for the couple of years that it worked.  But it’s not been contributed to for a while.  Maybe I haven’t done anything with anyone worth writing about?  But that was amazing, tipping that out on New Years Day, seeing what people had scribbled on the back of a cinema ticket or shopping receipt.  Because it didn’t have to be an essay it could just be ‘I had a really nice time with you today’.  Something so simple makes a huge impact.

I miss it.  I miss writing terribly.  Holding a pen is absolute torture now and it’s all I can do to write happy birthday to someone.  Emails and faceache just are not the same.  They’re nice, but not the same.  I try and write proper letters to people but I have to type them now which I think is somewhat bad mannered.  It’s cheating.  But it’s all I can do and so I console myself with ‘at least I’ve written’ and try not to think about the medium within which I have written.

So, going back to the show – Jodi last night, had set up a webpage where you could request a letter.  At the time of filming, she had 8,000 waiting emails.  According to Twitter, she had over 1,500 emails during the program.  There are that many people out there, who feel that they need that random act of kindness from a stranger to tell them that it will be okay, that they will get through, that they are enough.  And I’ll be honest, I wanted to add myself to that list.  But now I know how many people have also asked, I don’t want to add to her pressure.  I don’t want to make her feel overwhelmed.  In all honesty, I don’t feel worthy.

So. if you find yourself with half an hour this week or weekend, write someone a letter.  Or a card.  Or just a post-it note.  Or rearrange the fridge magnets if you can’t be bothered to pick up a pen.  Tell someone you like their hair, their top, that they made you smile today, that they *are* enough.  Take lyrics from a song (with credits in case they want to listen to it) if you can’t think of anything!  Maybe challenge yourself to write to one different person every day for a week.  Spend fifty pence on a stamp, make them feel special.  It’s important.

Or do what Jodi did.  Write a note and hide it on the bus or train or in the communal fridge.  It doesn’t have to be huge.  Just a handful of words on a boring square of paper.  You don’t even have to add stickers or glitter or a smiley face.

Words hurt and that hurt lasts a lifetime.  But words can also make someone’s life turn turtle in a good way.  Words can remind someone that it’s worth persevering, that it’s worth struggling through because somewhere out there, someone does give a stuff.  Someone does care.

January 13, 2016

January blues

Posted in January tagged , at 12:06 pm by viewfromthisdesk

I realise I’ve not written for a while. It got to the point that every time I thought about typing something, it was very negatively-based either because I was feeling down or something had happened and I needed to break that cycle.  I know that those of you who read this are doing so because you want to support me through the bad times as well as the good but I need to start giving you both sides of my life.  Otherwise I’m just going to convince you I’m a miserable, grumpy mare.

 

I went through my Gratitude Jar from 2015 a couple of days into the New Year.  I aimed for New Years Day again but I had that rubbish flu bug thing over Christmas and New Year so spent a huge chunk of time asleep or horizontal in my ‘jamas.  Well, what else is two weeks off work for?!!? I was surprised by some of the notes in there, mainly because I’d forgotten that I’d written about events.  There were very few notes from other people which was a shame as those were the notes I loved most in the previous years.  I can’t expect people to continually contribute to my jar though.  I haven’t yet decided if I’m doing a 2016 jar, I think I’d like to but we’ll see.

 

But I found this note when I was going through it and it really struck a cord.  Almost one year on, it’s still utterly relevant so I figured I’d share it as my first positive thing of the year.

IMAG0591

 

March 23, 2015

Something good happened

Posted in March tagged , , , at 2:47 pm by viewfromthisdesk

I know I went on a bit about Mothers Day and perhaps I went a bit far for some people, but if I can’t be honest here then there’s no point me even writing.  But out of that last note I had some really good conversations with people about various things and it’s been good.

Mother’s Day came and went, as days do.  The passage of time doesn’t change just because of a particular calendar event.  But I was recipient of a random act of kindness which utterly blew me away.  I had an email last weekend simply telling me that Mr and Mrs S had been over and given my Mum some daffs for the day.  My sister and I were in tears.  Not because we were sad but because it was such and utterly amazingly lovely thing for this couple to do for us.

Mavis 1-20150314-122254

 

And then yesterday, I went to a village church that I’ve been doing some bat stuff with over the past year or so and they had their Mothers service.  Posies of flowers were given to all the Mums and then the ones that were left over were available for people to put on the altar step in memory of their Mums with angel wings.  Mine is the very end one on the right.  It was beautiful and simple and super special that I was able to honour my Mum at a Mothers Day service for the first time in nearly 30 years.  I’ve stolen this photograph, it was taken by Lisa James and was loaded onto faceache.

 

lisajames hinton

 

 

And then, as if the day wasn’t good enough; they had cups of tea and a lemon meringue pie for post-service.  Well, in the interests of integrating into the village, I couldn’t say no could I?  That would be rude!

Oh, and there was bat pooh in the tower too.  Woop woop.

January 20, 2015

It’s all about the mugs.

Posted in January tagged , , , at 12:20 pm by viewfromthisdesk

My last entry to this online diary stirred up quite some interest.  Not in me of course, but in the mugs that I’d been talking about with such praise.  I feel I need to share the love, so you can all understand why I’ve been wittering on.

The first mystery parcel contained ‘Goddess’ and ‘Overworked/Underpaid’.  An additional mystery parcel last night contained ‘The Boss’  I have the bestest friends, I really do.

I’m going to save the box that one came in to put the contents of my 2015 gratitude jar into.  That way, the box is an instant reminder of a good thing as well as the notes within.

IMAG0318

 

The others I desire can be found on my Amazon wishlist:

http://www.amazon.co.uk/registry/wishlist/9FG8SFUUW5QG

Or the actual website for the whole range by this artist can be found at:

http://www.keithbrymerjones.com/

 

I’m still wobbly but down to one crutch though which is progress.  Being smothered in ibruprofen gel each night isn’t quite my version of romance, but one can’t be picky at my age.  Managing as well as can be expected which is good enough for me today.

January 14, 2015

Random acts of Kindness

Posted in January tagged , , , , at 11:51 am by viewfromthisdesk

Last year I tried to do this.  I sent some cards, gave some flowers, tried to surprise people and say ‘thank you’ and ‘I appreciate you’ and make them smile.

I didn’t truly appreciate how fabulous this activity is until just now.  I was honest last week and said I wasn’t great, which wasn’t a lie.  Wednesday through to Saturday evening were totally written off.  I made it to the rugby on Saturday but I was held together with neoprene and held up by crutches and friends.  I didn’t jump up and down, I didn’t expend too much energy on the game, I just enjoyed mud-covered fit-men and felt proud of myself that I’d made it out.  Sunday wasn’t ideal, I was able to move around by clinging to walls or hubby. I had to turn down a bat activity which just about ruined me emotionally.

Monday was AofK #1.  A friend had treated me to a spa day and it was lovely.  I’ve never been a girly-girl and so this was an interesting experience.  I had a gorgeous massage and delish afternoon tea.  I felt spoilt.  When I got home I had a banging headache which I put down to not drinking enough through the day but I couldn’t shift it.  Early to bed for me with rather a large handful of painkillers.

Yesterday was AofK #2.  All through December and into January I’d been entering competitions to win a certain set of cups on the internet.  I was desperate to win these blinking cups.  And I didn’t, but a friend did and I was horribly jealous.  My headache from Monday hadn’t abated all day and I was feeling really down.  I was utterly beaten into a mess of pain and emotion.  I was falling asleep at my desk and was begging to be taken home.  All I wanted to do was go to bed and never wake up, I felt that pathetic and rubbish.  So I was put to bed and hubby woke me at 6pm to feed me.  Yesterday, whilst I was at work, a box was left with my neighbour which hubby fetched whilst I was asleep and within said box were two of these cups.  I cried with happiness, I really did.

I felt so touched, so blessed to have these people in my life.  I felt fantastic – my cheeks hurt from smiling so broadly.  I felt humbled; the whole ‘why me?’ thing flying around my brain, battling for space with my headache.  So, if you have the opportunity to do something nice, do it.  Just do it because not only will you feel brilliant, your recipient will feel a thousand times more brilliant.  And if you want to practise your random acts of kindness on me, I’m not going to object 🙂

January 2, 2015

Same stuff, different date

Posted in January tagged , , at 9:55 am by viewfromthisdesk

I wanted to get excited about the New Year.  I really did.  Yey me! Got to the end of another 365 day cycle of the usual stuff.  But by 11pm I was falling asleep, and whilst I managed to stay awake until the witching hour, when I then fell gratefully into bed, I couldn’t sleep.

ARGH.

I haven’t made any resolutions.  I never manage to keep them so why set myself up for a crushing pile of self loathing towards my failure?  I’m a typical girl – I want to loose weight but I make this announcement whilst imagining I’m shoveling an entire tub of crimble chocolates into my face.  I want to try and be more active but I’m planning on spending the weekend sat on the sofa in my ‘jamas with fluffy slippers and a blanket over my knees.  I want to be more positive about my condition but pah, what’s the point.

 

I’m not really lying head-first in a bowl of raspberry angel delight but I am a bit flummoxed by the whole New Year thing. For starters, it doesn’t feel like we’ve had Christmas and New Year and all that goes with it – it’s not been cold enough for starters!  Why is it so mild and confusing?

The best thing about the change in calendars is that yesterday I tipped out my 2014 jar.  Whilst it wasn’t as full of notes as the first year I did it, I blame this entirely on my lack of doing things with people.  I was rather introverted last year. So, here’s to a new year, a new me and a new jar!

jar2014

December 28, 2014

So many numbers

Posted in December tagged , , , , , at 11:57 am by viewfromthisdesk

This is apparently my 75th post and it’s 4 years since I started writing this blog.  I know I’m erratic in my postings and emotions but isn’t that just life anyway?

2014 has been tough on a personal level. I’ve struggled with my illness and been frustrated with my abilities on what feels like a constant basis.  I have gotten to a point in my bat consultant role that I’m gaining clients by myself and booking jobs up ‘in the future’ (ie next week) but then I find myself exhausted and stressing out from the pressure I put myself under.  Stupid I know.

Physically, I’m getting used to the pains and aches and mouth alcers and blinding cluster headaches.  I don’t like them and I don’t like taking the pills to fix them but I know it’s the only solution.

Most of all this year, my emotional roller coaster has driven me up the wall.  Mood swings, short temper and crying for no reason is not something I’ve dealt with since I was a teenager with PMT.  I can’t seem to put a lid on it or get it under control.

So 2015 needs to be a year of patience both by me and with me.  I need to remember how far I’ve come and how much I’ve grown as a person these last few years.  I need to keep looking at my gratitude jar and thinking about the good stuff and the good people in my life.  2015 will be my third jar and I’m hoping it will be as crammed as the other two years.

November 7, 2014

Looking towards Thursday 13th November

Posted in November tagged , , at 11:45 am by viewfromthisdesk

I’m not hinting for anything 😉 but I wanted to share that I’ve learnt that next Thursday; the 13th November is World Kindness Day.

No-act-of-kindness

So I’m going to do some randomly nice things.  Here is fair warning that it might be for you.  It might just be a note or a text to say I appreciate you or a bunch of flowers but I want to share my thanks and all that girly gushing-ness on this particularly poignant day.

 

P.S. Monday 17th is homemade bread day but my breadmaker has died 😦  Feel free to … you know … send me bread, or cakes, or a new breadmaker! Hahaha

July 18, 2014

Get me, all positive energy-ness

Posted in July tagged , , at 11:33 am by viewfromthisdesk

* My afternoon with my Godfather was just amazeballs and he even enjoyed my orange goo I served up for tea.

* My bat bestie simply loved her b’day pressies and I’m thrilled because I sourced and designed one with tonnes of smiles and happy memories.

* I think we had some good news yesterday morning, I’m just waiting for it to be confirmed.

* I had an amazingly fantabulous reflexology session yesterday afternoon.  Just perfect.

* I treated myself to ice cream afterwards.  Raspberry cheesecake and Lemon Meringue.  Lush.

* NTLive last night was really good fun.  Looking forward to the next transmissions in September.

* Kitkat chunky orange bars are the best.  Feel free to send me a jiffy-bag full for my birthday.  Or just because you love me.

* The weather is looking gorgeous for the next couple of days.  Although I slept through the storm overnight.  Gutted.

July 16, 2014

A positive challenge

Posted in July tagged , , , at 9:47 am by viewfromthisdesk

So.  On a certain social media website, I have been ‘nominated’ (challenged) to write three positive comments every day for five days.  Being as I can’t even write a blog post every week just once, I figured that was a potentially tricky challenge!  So … I’ve come to the decision I will write as many positive comments as I can think of, when I remember to write!  No wingeing, no woe-is-me, just happy good things.

1 – Last Friday I went to a family wedding and saw loads of people that I haven’t seen for simply ages.  The sun shone and it was a gorgeous day. Love and hugs and profiteroles.  Result.

2 – At said wedding, I wore a frock.  This fact is unremarkable except I wear a frock possibly twice a year at most and this frock I haven’t been able to wear for two years since I finished WW.  I lost 12lbs in 5 weeks to wear this frock and NO ONE noticed.   But I know I looked good in it b’cs I’ve got a photo on my phone to prove it!

3 – My Godfather is coming to visit me at home today.  He lives far away and I see him maybe once a year so it’s going to be a fab afternoon of tea and chats and maybe a cheeky slice of cake. I can’t wait.

4 – I have a bat walk planned for the park next Friday (25th at 9pm if anyone is interested lol) and it’s going to be glorious weather (I’ve decided) so fingers crossed for some peeps turning up and enjoying my ramblings.

5 – I went to Oxford two weekends ago and found a beautiful silver bat charm for my bracelet.  I have bought it in honour of Bollinger and since it’s been in my possession, I’ve felt great calm with regards my attitude to what I did for him and how things turned out.  I did not fail him, nature just works that way sometimes.

6 – I had the appt at the pain clinic on Monday to borrow the TENS machine from the NHS.  I figured I’d take full advantage of the appt b’cs I’ve jolly well paid taxes for all my working life and rah rah rah!  I do have one of my very own, kindly posted to me by my Aunt and I’m now searching for new sticky pads for it (Boots are useless) b’cs I’m really liking this machine.  Feels a bit odd for ten seconds or so when I switch it on, but I do believe it will be a great help and reduce the amount of top-up drugs I need to take.

7 – Our Tom and Barbara summer is going well.  We have ten chickens (producing two eggs boo hiss) but so far we’ve been harvesting spuds and broad beans and runner beans and beetroot and sweet peas.

8 – It is less than one month until my birthday and I’m getting terribly exciting.  Attempting to resist the urge to check my Amazon wish list every ten minutes to see what has fallen off – for the time being at least.

9 – I have some top friends that I am lucky to spend time with;  in reality and over the interweb.

10 – I have booked a return trip to Lundy and you all know how much that place works magic for me.

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