The Ungrateful People

I just read a post by one of my favourite bloggers, myboyfriendisinIndia, about giving and I had a few thoughts.   I, myself, love to be kind, I would never dream of going to anyone’s home for a meal or drinks without taking something.  I make homemade breads, and my closest friends have their favourites, so I like to be thoughtful and take some to them.  I love to give flowers, I love even more to send flowers (special occasions!) and when friends have sent me them I have really loved it!.

But what about the ungrateful people?  And sometimes it can be the very people you least expect!  A couple of weeks ago a lady I have worked with for many years and get on very well with, was complaining about the state of her finger nails, I told her about a product I have used for years called ‘Nail Magic’, its quite pricey, but really excellent, at home that evening I noticed that I had a spare bottle, so I gave her it the next day, she barely even thanked me, I couldn’t believe it! Honestly, I would have been absolutely thrilled if someone gave me a bottle of it!

When we stay at my dearest and oldest friends house for the weekend, I take flowers, chocolates, wine etc…  there is no excitement from her for them, when they visit us I make a genuine effort to show how grateful I am for the lovely things she brings, I want her to know how much I appreciate the thoughtfulness.

Many folks say people never surprise them anymore, frankly people shock the crap out of me all the time! However I have always loved giving and being kind, I won’t change, there are of course people who are grateful and appreciative in my life, maybe that is why the others stand out so much!

Wishing you all good thoughts, kindness and blessings, all highly under-rated!

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The Miracle Baby

When I was 18 years old I got my first ‘proper’ job working as a check-in agent at our local international airport.  I made many friends but one of my special ones was Colleen.  She was and is a truly lovely person, we had a great deal in common and used to socialise regularly together.  Eventually she met a guy, they got married and moved away with his job.  We lost touch over the years, I heard that her marriage hadn’t worked out, and that she had a Son, later I heard she moved back to the area, but I had changed jobs several times and lived abroad at times, so many years went by.  Two years ago she found me on social media and unbelievably, three days later we bumped into each other at the local mall! It was crazy, she said she had tried to find me for years but didn’t know my married name, after that we met up for lunch regularly and it was so nice to have her back in my life.   She told me all about her Son Christopher, who was 25 years old, he was somewhat of a miracle baby, when she fell pregnant she was told at her second scan that all of his organs were the wrong way round and his heart was on the outside of his chest, she was advised to terminate the pregnancy as the baby would not survive the birth.  She was devastated, she wrestled with her conscience, and being a Catholic she could not agree to a termination.  So she carried him to 8 months and then had a caesarian section, again she was told he wouldn’t survive the night, but he did, night after night.  She named him Christopher because of her religious beliefs, after Christ, she had no idea how long he would live.

He had a great deal of surgeries in his first 2 years of life and eventually was able to live a normal life with limitations.  He became a school teacher and eventually taught in Dubai.  He met a lovely girl and they got engaged just before Christmas.

I recently learned that sometime last summer he was diagnosed with Cancer, My friend Colleen had been very hard to get hold of, which now made sense, but later last year she promised to meet me for a coffee and catch up.  I gleaned snippets of information from a mutual friend about Christopher’s diagnosis and I could understand why Colleen had gone off the grid.

Yesterday I sadly learned that this amazing and special young man passed away on the 9th January.  He was Colleens whole world, her words, I’m not sure how she will go on.

Please think positive thoughts, prayers and wishes for her strength.

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The Debt

When my Dad sold his house, he had quite a lot of very nice furniture he wanted rid of.  He was aware that even good furniture isn’t particularly worth that much money second hand, so he asked my sister and I what we wanted, for free of course, and asked if we knew anyone that would make a small donation for any of the remainder.  A guy at my office wanted the Victorian desk, captains chair, filing cabinet and bookshelf, which is lovely looking dark wood furniture, good as new condition, as it was very well looked after.  This furniture would have cost £2,500 when originally bought and my dad just asked for £60.00.  The guy, lets call him Charles, is a well educated, comfortably off Doctor of Archeology.  So, he takes delivery of the furniture and I spend the next TWO months asking him for the money, how wasn’t he embarrassed? it was so annoying, I paid my Dad, so effectively Charles now owed me, which I advised him of.  Eventually, after the millionth time of asking , he said he didn’t carry much cash and could he wire it straight into my bank account, I said certainly and gave him my details.  He wired me £50.00, shorting me of £10.00.  I advised him we had agreed on £60.00 and showed him the texts! That was two weeks ago, and despite me asking him another twice for the difference, no money has appeared in any shape or form.  He chats to me when he is in the office, he has no shame at all, and I am out of ideas how to approach this anymore.  Obviously I am furious, it’s not the amount, it’s not that I can’t afford the £10.00 loss, it’s the damn principal, he has thousands of pounds of lovely furniture and he has effectively shorted an 82 year old man out of the right money, well he hasn’t, as I gave my Dad the money.  But really? what a posh piece of trash this guy is, wouldn’t you all agree?

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Insomnia

The last few nights I have been waking up around 3am and finding it impossible to get back to sleep.  I have no trouble whatsoever falling asleep, I’m out like a light! But I wake up in the wee small hours and a million thoughts start running riot in my head.  It can be random things, worrying that the roofing guy STILL has not fixed the broken tiles and there is damp in the loft, that the hotel we have booked for our Lisbon trip is too far out of the city, why my awful sister is so utterly nasty to me for no reason, how she has brainwashed her kids into hating Dad and Pierre and I and why she would do that?, where am I with the housework this week?, my car needs washing, do I drink too much? (probably), and the list goes on and on! reading this back it all seems so ridiculous! but yet there I lay, wide awake, only to finally go back to sleep about an hour before the alarm goes off.  When I do go back to sleep I have the most vivid dreams and nightmares.  Last night I dreamed I was walking by the ocean and there was a big old car coming down the beach, full of men, it flew past me then turned around and came back, I tried to jump out of the way but I fell in the water and the car drove over the top of me and pinned me under it, People will come I thought, rescue is at hand, I could feel the weight of the car on me, it was getting darker and darker, then I woke up in a cold sweat.  Heaven knows what all this means, thank goodness it’s the weekend and I can stay in bed a bit later tomorrow!

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Not my bedroom, but close! here’s some really quirky bedrooms though!

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Currently On Ice

Above is a picture of my garden last summer, it was an amazing summer, the entire UK was bathed in hot sunshine for three months, that hasn’t happened in many years.  We BBQed every weekend, sat outside at every opportunity and I relished my little garden looking so pretty, if I say so myself (It’s hard work but I love it!) Of course it didn’t rain so my water bill is now huge from sprinklers and watering everything, but it was SO worth it!

But now the mornings are so dark, putting my makeup on is like painting a portrait with a blindfold on! And don’t start me about the long dark nights, I know they are allegedly starting to pull out now, but isn’t January the most depressing month! No wonder the papers are full of celebs on tropical beaches, frankly who can blame them! If you could you would and it’s no good begrudging them.

I am now starting to daydream about the smell of cut grass and which flowers I will plant in May, I just love being outside in the warm weather, but I am like a hermit in the winter!

Not to wish my life away by any means, but quietly wishing on stars that we have another gorgeous summer!

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Best Kept Secret … Ever!

Happy New Year my lovely followers! Sorry that I’ve been away so long, but I got an amazing Christmas Surprise!  My wonderful husband Pierre surprised me on Christmas Day with one last present he ‘found’ under the tree! I opened what seemed like a calendar and it was actually boarding cards! to go away for New Year on a beach holiday! Wowzer!!!!

He had been secretly planning it for 6 months! He quietly told all our good friends and said that whatever I invited them to over New Year, just go along with it, but don’t turn up!  He contacted my boss in secret and secured me a week off, he booked our favourite hotel and managed to keep me from suspecting anything at all!!! Unbelievable!

Pierre told me afterwards that it got more and more difficult to keep it quiet, and when I started bringing loads of food shopping in just before Christmas, he was cringing! he kept secretly checking the labels to see if would go in the freezer !!!  Well it did, I packed in two hours on Boxing day and we jetted off the next morning!

Totally the best kept secret ever and the best husband anybody could wish for.

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Pure Fear

Last night I recalled a memory that I hadn’t thought about in a long time, but one that I will never forget as long as I live.  It was the one and only time I have been overwhelmed by a feeling of pure fear.

Twenty or so years ago, when I lived in South Miami, I used to join the early morning park walkers, if I was up in time from a late night in the restaurant.  This one particular day I knew my walking friends would be long gone and at their jobs, but I fancied my walk anyway.  It was around 11am, a typical beautiful Florida sunny day and the park was only a five minutes walk from my house, so off I went.  The park was totally deserted, surprisingly not even Mums and babies in pushchairs, not a soul around.  The walking circuit was around the perimeter, a nice even pathway, mostly very open, but two or three places where you would walk through trees, but not in any kind of darkness.  As I walked around the circuit, suddenly I had the most terrible feeling come over me, I don’t think I can explain it well enough to do it justice, and this feeling was pure fear, and it grew inside me rapidly.  I speeded up, still not a soul around, no strange noises, no cracking twigs, no footsteps behind me, nothing at all to explain this utter terror wrapping its claws around me.  I started to jog, then run and didn’t slow down until I left the park and was on the road home.  It took me a couple of hours to calm down fully.

To this day I cannot explain why I felt this way, all these years later I can vividly remember how I felt.  This has never happened to me since, it was without explanation, unfounded and made me think perhaps I was going mad.  But that day I felt something evil and that something really terrifying was going to happen to me.

I never returned to that park again.

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Christmas Advice

A dear friend of mine received a letter from his friend, it read:

Dear George

With the holidays close upon us, I would like to share a personal experience about drinking and driving. As you know, some of us have been known to have brushes with the authorities from time to time, often on the way home after a “social session” with family or friends….

Well, two days ago, this happened to me: I was out for an evening with friends and had more than a couple of glasses of rather nice red wine and a few mojitos. Although relaxed, I still had the common sense to know I was way over the limit. That’s when I did something I’ve never done before — I took a taxi home! Sure enough, on the way there was a police roadblock, but since it was a taxi, they waved it past and I arrived home safely without incident.

This was a real surprise to me, because I had never driven a taxi before. I don’t know where I got it, and now that it’s in my garage I don’t know what to do with it.

Best Wishes and Happy Holidays

Frederick.

I have never laughed so much in ages!

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Eulogy – Delivered!

Yesterday was my dear friends Fathers funeral.  As I wrote previously, I was asked to do the eulogy.  So many of you lovely people gave me wonderful advice and support, which I can’t thank you enough for.  I practised my speech and was as prepared as I could be, despite just getting over a nasty flu bug (You couldn’t make it up!).  What was totally unexpected was the amount of people that turned up, I could not believe it, they just kept coming.  My husband Pierre said afterwards that there must have been 150 people there, it was standing room only! My first eulogy as well!  The minister offered for me to speak first, which I did.  I honestly couldn’t judge how I did, but I felt it was ok.  Afterwards I had so many compliments and so many hugs and thanks you’s from the family, so I think I managed it.  Pierre said I was excellent and he is used to public speaking and lecturing, so that was a comfort.  All I remember is my legs shaking and when I sat down afterwards Pierre said he could feel me trembling, but my voice and been calm when I spoke.  I was so happy to be able to help my friend and her family, who I have known since I was 14 years old, they are like my family and truly wonderful people, it was an honour to be there for them.

I am not taking requests for the future dear readers, lets hope word doesn’t get around I can pull off eulogies to large crowds!

Thank you all for all your lovely support.  xx

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The Eulogy – Advice Needed!

I have been asked to speak at my best friends Fathers funeral next week, and I am extremely nervous about it.  I have never given a eulogy before and I know there are going to be a lot of people there, most of which I have known practically my entire life.  My friend and I met when I was 14 years old, she worked in the coffee shop where I got my first Saturday job, I am 53 now, so I would say she is my oldest friend.  Obviously I want to do an excellent job for my friend and her mother and all the grandchildren.  They are going to put together some memories for me to share and hopefully send me them in the next few days, so I can practice.  If anybody has done this before and can offer me any tips or advice, I would be so very grateful.

Thank you my lovely followers xxx

 

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