Happy Valentine’s Day!

Whoever you are,

Whoever you are with, or without,

Make to most of this special day, in whatever way fits best for you.


Here are my thoughts for sharing

with a few of the photos that I love, too…

Slightly off beat from the usual February 14th angle, perhaps,

but aren’t there many ways to look at it..?

My First Attempt at Growing Carrots!

My First Attempt at Growing Carrots!


“You don’t love someone because they’re perfect,

you love them in spite of the fact that they’re not.”

Jodi PicoultMy Sister’s Keeper


“You’ve gotta dance like there’s nobody watching,
Love like you’ll never be hurt,
Sing like there’s nobody listening,
And live like it’s heaven on earth.”
William W. Purkey


‘To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.’

Oscar Wilde


“You cannot be lonely if you like the person you’re alone with.”

Wayne Dyer


‘If you’re on your own this valentines day,

why not give yourself a budget – treat yourself, indulge, enjoy –

just because you’re worth it!’

Emma 🙂

“We accept the love we think we deserve.”

Stephen ChboskyThe Perks of Being a Wallflower


“Love all, trust a few, do wrong to none.”

William Shakespeare (All’s Well That Ends Well)


‘If you have integrity, nothing else matters.

If you don’t have integrity, nothing else matters.’

Alan K Simpson.

Perfect Pair

Perfect Pair


‘In this life, we cannot do great things.

We can only do little things with great love.’

Mother Teresa


‘Love is a game that two can play and both win.’

Eva Gabor


“I would die for you. But I won’t live for you.”

Stephen Chbosky, The Perks of Being a Wallflower

An even more perfect pair.

An even more perfect pair.


“A friend is someone who knows all about you and still loves you.”

Elbert Hubbard


“To laugh often and love much; to win the respect of intelligent persons and the affection of children; to earn the approbation of honest citizens and endure the betrayal of false friends; to appreciate beauty; to find the best in others; to give of one’s self; to leave the world a bit better, whether by a healthy child, a garden patch or a redeemed social condition; to have played and laughed with enthusiasm and sung with exultation; to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived – this is to have succeeded.”

Bessie Anderson Stanley


Love is a just a word, but it comes in many different forms and means different things to different people.  I spent many years in a relationship with a wonderful man, who gradually, sadly, turned out to be an alcoholic.  A very different person from the man I married.  For years, I thought that the power of love could overcome the poison of the alcohol and it’s increasingly destructive effects.  But love isn’t that powerful.  To work, it needs to be nurtured with respect (for oneself as well as another, on both sides) and honesty (again, with oneself as well…on both sides).  Alcohol  is a strong and pervasive poison.  It twists minds over time, and irrevocably shapes the everyday and long-term lives of the alcoholic and of each person living with them.   Like a weed that’s out of control, gradually suffocating a beautiful garden.  Turning away from the man I loved was one of the hardest things I have ever had to do.  The circumstances of that time, and picking up the pieces for our family single-handed nearly destroyed me.  Sheltered by the ‘love’ of his family, trying to do the right thing, but not prepared to admit that he was an alcoholic until very recently (years later), has nearly destroyed him.  Literally.  ‘Love’ does mean different things to different people.

Hence the focus on integrity, truth, and respect in my list of quotes.

Love, it seems to me, is not enough if it doesn’t encompass those attributes too.

And my song for today speaks to me about love – honest love, which knows and accepts the real person, understanding that if that is not going to come from / be received by  another, it must come from within

‘I can’t get used to living without you by my side… I don’t want to live alone.  But God knows, I’ve got to make it on my own.

No bitterness, just sadness about what could have been.  Alongside Positivity (most days!), and strength about the future.

Here’s my song for today – what’s yours?


“In the end, only 3 things matter –

How much you loved, how gracefully you lived, and how gently you let go of things not meant for you.”



Spread a smile,

and enjoy this Valentine’s Day…

What’s not to love?!

Good Friends appreciate / love their differences, and stick together!

Good Friends appreciate their differences, and stick together!


Feel the Love – It’s Mother’s Day!

jas child picsIs it an over commercialised retail opportunity?  Or is it a long standing tradition that’s evolving over time, which puts a mark in the sand – setting out a pre-determined day which reminds us as a community to stop for a moment and give thanks to someone who is so constant, so necessary, that they’re usually taken for granted.

As a child, Mother’s day is a meaningful opportunity for me to thank my mother – to show my love and appreciation in a way that is more personal to us and our special relationship than other more public occasions like her birthday would allow.

As a mother, I’ve always said to my girls that it’s how they are everyday that counts – not tokens of ‘love’ at Christmas, birthdays or other special occasions – but their love that shines through the constant, supportive, very close relationship that we have.  But it is still very special for that bond to be formally appreciated.

Like many others, I expect, I’ve spent the last 2 or 3 weeks stopping at every sight of Mother’s Day cards to browse the selection and see if I could find the right one for my mother… to no avail.  So yesterday, as the final attempt before resorting to a home made card, I went to ‘The Card Shop’ on the high road.  It didn’t disappoint – a whole wall from top to bottom of every kind of Mother’s Day card you could imagine – funny, cultural, irreverent, soppy, traditional and less so – even some for ‘Single Mum’…

The shop was packed – literally.  One could say ‘typical, everyone leaving it to the last minute‘ – but  there was a strikingly positive, thoughtful atmosphere in there – people of all ages, from all walks of life, quietly taking their time to really go through the massive array of cards.  Quiet contemplation – focus on finding the right one for each mother in mind.  A tall guy in a hoodie next to me started a long range conversation with his friend at the other end of the shop ‘Oi – did u see the words in this one?’ … back came the response…  ‘I liked the picture in the one above but I’m looking for betta words…’ Everyone else carried on searching – then happily joined the long queue to pay – visibly content, feeling good that they’d got the card that said whatever it was they wanted to say to their mum… this was no quick dash in last minute desperation for an empty ‘token’.

I found a perfect card for my mother.  It was a ‘thank you’ card.  It said, in a more pink and fluffy way than would be acceptable on any other day of the year – exactly what i wanted to say… not just have a great mothers day, but thank you… for all the good thoughts, intentions, love, for always being there and for all the inspiration.

‘If you have a mom, there is nowhere you are likely to go where a prayer has not already been’.  Robert Brault
The strongest memory I have as a child is of winter holidays in a family friend’s ‘mobile home’ – they lent it to us, and my mother would take my sister and me to stay in a large static caravan during the autumn and spring half terms.  My dad would stay at home, not able to spare the time off work.  It always rained and my mother would take us on long beach walks… looking back, there was probably little else to do in those parts out of season.  We’d have a wonderful time watching the wild skies and the angry power of the waves, crashing and foaming.  Under her direction, we would just be wearing our cagools and shorts “so we don’t get wet“.  When the rain was heavier and the drops bigger than usual, she’d tell us to ‘run between the raindrops‘, and we did.  Then return to the steamy warmth of the caravan for hot homemade soup, listening to the hammering downpour on the tinny roof.  Feeling cosy and secure, physically and emotionally.  Those are such happy memories, despite the fact that I hate getting wet…  Anyone who can create such sunny, positive thoughts about going for long wet, cold walks is a pretty amazing person.
 You don’t really understand human nature unless you know why a child on a merry-go-round will wave at his parents every time around — and why his parents will always wave back.  William D. Tammeus

P1000045I treasure my mother’s day gifts – a huge surprise bouquet of my favourite white flowers delivered in a big box and left on the doorstep by the courier yesterday from Jassi.  A carefully chosen and very unusual, densely written card from Holly.  And a ‘surrogate mother’s day present’ of a facemask kit from a friend who is staying here at the moment.  All perfect presents, chosen with care, so warmly given and received .

According to the African proverb, ‘it takes a whole village to raise a child’ –

I think that this is so true, and am profoundly grateful to all of those along the way who have taken a real interest in, or been a positive influence on my children.
As a mother, my main hope has always been that the children who I was so blessed to be given the opportunity to bring up will grow up to be happy, successful individuals; confident in their own minds, making positive contributions to life and those around them at each stage of their life.

 ‘A mother is not a person to lean on, but a person to make leaning unnecessary.’ Dorothy Canfield Fisher.

But being a mother doesn’t bring all the answers, shine all the lights in the right direction.  Fathers are vital too.    Sometimes circumstances are less than ideal.  Running a home, being the sole provider and bringing up a child was never meant to be a job for just for one person.  Perhaps today is a good day to put the past behind.  It will never be forgotten, but perhaps today is the day to move on from it.  To remember that family ties are always there.  They may be broken, but they don’t go away.
Happy Mother’s day to all mothers –
and to all those who support mothers,
and most of all to our wonderful children –
we really couldn’t do it without you.  xx.