Spidey’s Serene Sunday – Part 175 – Sisterhood

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“Who needs blood when friendship is true sisterhood.”

Ritu

Friendship #sisterfromanothermister

A post shared by Ritu B (@phantom_giggler) on

Thanks, Spidey!

He made use my own quote today as a cause for consideration.

That’s because yesterday I went and spent time with my dear best friend, celebrating her baby’s first birthday. It was a wonderful day, and even though we can’t be with each other as much as we’d like, we have one of those friendships where you can not speak for months, and still pick up exactly where we left off.

I am blessed with a brother, but no sister.

She is the closest person to a sister to me, despite having three of her own. We may be from different faiths, and families, but I always think our friendship shows that sisterhood truly extends beyond the boundaries of blood.

Isn’t she a beauty?

And I have been blessed to have other friends that mean the world to me…

Take my Tootie Frooties… Those girls have been my saviours at times, wives and mothers from this area I live in, all going through the same things. My sisters from other misters.

And my blog sisters, who mean so much, being my champions in all things creative, and giving me the guts to continue with my writing… Erica, Judy, Willow, Colleen, Annette, Sacha, Lucy, Shelley, Sally, Sophie, Charli, Jennie … you all know who you are… there are so many more of you…

Take the time to celebrate your friendships, both off and online. They are the family you chose yourself ❤

Happy Sunday!

Park Wars #LostChildhood

I didn’t grow up in this area, but I grew up in an era when we ran out of our houses as soon as we were allowed, played until we were hungry, and came back home.

Our parents didn’t have to fret about what we were doing. They knew we were in the park, or riding bikes with our friends.

When we started secondary school, there was no fear about us walking to school alone, or with our mates.

Fast forward thirty years and it is a different ball game everywhere we look.

As a parent to a near teenager and a child who will start secondary within the next couple of years, I have an honest fear of what could happen.

My child walks to school, and back, sometimes with friends, sometimes alone. He wants to pop into the park for a kick about with his mates, as kids that age naturally want to do. It took us a while to gain the courage to actually let him do that.

The thing is, though I trust my child, and have every faith in him, that he wouldn’t do anything wrong, it’s the rest of the world that I can’t be sure of.

The recent incidents in the local park have caused a great deal of unrest amongst many parents. Articles and posts have been circulating around Facebook, and other Social Media networks, getting everyone rather worried.

I want him to grow up independent, and able to make decisions for himself, but equally, I don’t want to be sending him out like a lamb to slaughter.

( You want to know what happened? A couple of weeks ago a gang of teens beat an innocent lad with a baton, and there have been allegations of organised bare knuckle fights happening there. These are just some recent incidents, but they are becoming more regular, and in turn, are scaring families away from a beautiful park and play area.)

I dropped him off there, to that very park (it’s our local park), last Saturday, tentatively, to meet some friends. I was reassured to see some Community Police Officers circulating at least twice whilst we were parked up waiting for the others. This week though, with all the press and publicity the incidents have received, it was decided that the boys wouldn’t meet. They were sensible about it, reasoning that it was too unsafe to go.

Yes the police can be around, but if someone was to flash a knife and the officers were at the other side of the park, if there at all, they wouldn’t be able to stop something happening. The boy’s words. They also want to know there will be CCTV cameras installed for safety.

Maybe social media has a lot to answer for.

Is it scaremongering of sorts? Who can we blame?

One thing’s for sure though. Our kids are losing out on a lot of chances to learn independence skills because we have this fear of letting them out into that dangerous environment.

I feel saddened that our children don’t feel the freedom of childhood that we did. Instead they end up kept at home, where they are glued to screens. Then we worry about childhood obesity.

Or we run them, and ourselves, ragged, sending them to extra-curricular activities, to get them out of the house, leaving us a pretty penny poorer too. At least meeting at, or riding their bikes to the park is free.

What do the kids want? The chance to meet up with their friends, with no worry about who could turn up, cause trouble or steal bikes.

How can that happen? Park wardens, like the good old days, and proper CCTV cameras installed as a deterrent, and evidence if needed.

Maybe the council could see to use some of that exorbitant council tax we pay to do this, so the youngsters of this region can actually be kids for longer, instead of wannabe gangstas in training…

Spidey’s Serene Sunday – Part 174 – Fathers Day

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“My dad is my hero.”

Harry Connick, Jr.

Thanks, Spidey!

It is Father’s Day here in the UK today, and though I appreciate my darling Pops every day, what a great way to just remind myself, and everybody else, just how wonderful he is!

Here are some words I posted before, but they ring true now and every day…

It’s true, you know, a girl’s first love will inevitably be her father. He will be the benchmark for pretty much every male in her life.

 

Some aren’t lucky, they don’t get the most perfect example of man to look up to, and yes, that may colour their choices in the future, but no matter what, their father is still, very often, to them at that time, the BEST!

I’ve said it many times, and I’m not afraid to say it again, but I really have had the BEST father a girl could hope for! A beautiful, kind, generous soul, who has given his all to make the best life for his family.

Growing up, he didn’t have the influence of his own father, as my grandfather passed away when he was very young. His male influences were his elder brother and brother-in-laws, and once he was married, he had my other grandfather as a great pillar of strength behind him, until his untimely demise.

He felt a gap in his own childhood, and though he wasn’t one to ask for anything, grateful for all the love and affection he was given, it wasn’t really until he became a father himself that he realised what he had missed and what he wanted to make sure he gave us, his own children.

If you ask Pops, he would tell you that my brother and I were the first things in his life that were really his, and he gave his all, alongside my mum, to give us the life he felt we should have, and the attention that possibly, he didn’t have.

Girls first love 01

Love has always been there in abundance, from the cuddles, and hugs, to the affection, filled smiles, the ever smiling eyes that just overflow with feeling. The concerned lectures and odd tellings off were even filled with love. The taxi service taking us to various extra-curricular activities on the weekends, especially my brother, with his sport!

Taking us to, and bringing us back from school and university, he did it all, and when I got married and had my own babies he would happily drive a 6 hour round trip, to pick me and baby up, to take us home for a few days, then drop us back. Not easy for a 60-year-old heart patient, but he did it because that is the person he is.

I could never be upset, or mad at my Pops. If he was ever to have to have a go at us, it hurt him as much as it hurt us, as he hated being negative, or strict.  And, that mellowness has grown over the years to show an amazing peace within him, and spirituality, which just emanates from him.

And now I’m nearing 40, and he will be a sprightly septuagenarian next year, I still feel like his little girl, and I know that that is what I will be to him forever. I know if I feel down, I can count on Pops to say something to ‘turn my frown upside down’, and give me advice that is near enough always right!

When I was going to get married, I dreaded telling Pops about Hubby Dearest… Would anyone ever be good enough for his daughter? But he was so happy! He met his prospective son-in-law and welcomed him with open arms! Apparently my choice was good! It took us a while to set a date for the wedding, and when it finally happened, we started planning to the max, only to be requested, by my in-laws, to delay the wedding by a couple of weeks, on the advice of an astrologer who my mum-in-law consulted. I was distraught! The venue we had booked for the reception was not available on the new date, and it was just too much!

I sat with Pops and said I didn’t care, we should just leave everything as it was, after all it had taken so long to get this far. But Pops talked me round, and his biggest argument, the game-changer, “So what if you get married 2 weeks later, beta (dear), at least I’ll get you with me for another 2 weeks.” Well! It was a done deal then… It hit home that I would no longer be under his shelter, in the same way, once I got married…

Going forward, we married and became parents ourselves.

I watch Hubby Dearest with our own Lil Princess and see that love between them. I see the special place each holds for the other. I can see her wrapping her daddy around her little finger, and I can see him swallowing the bait whole, and her getting away with murder all the time, because he couldn’t believe that ‘his little girl’ could do anything wrong. I see her idolising her Daddy, and when he is away on business, I know the effect it has on both our kids, they miss him so much, and it fills my heart with joy, that they share such a special bond, father and children.

His previous job meant that he was there early morning, then home to say good night. This new job of his means he is at home more and I love to see their relationship go from strength to strength. As a father, he is more in tune with the needs of his children, and able to take an active part in their life.

In a nutshell, he has all the qualities of my first love, my Pops. They may be there in different quantities, in a different mix, but the end result is the same, a fantastic husband, and loving father, who gives his all for his family!

Girls first love 02

So, may I take this opportunity to thank my Pops for being the most amazing father to me, and to my Hubby Dearest, for being such an amazing dad to our two monkeys too!

Happy Father’s Day to them both, and to all the fathers, and those like father’s out the rest!

Know you are loved, respected and appreciated…and especially to, those fathers of daughters…yes, you will always be our first loves! ❤

Post first published on The Champa Tree in 2015 as a guest post.

Wishing my Pops, my father in law, my Hubby and Brother the best Father’s day! You are all special to us ❤

Happy Sunday!

Lost: One Spark. If Found, Please Respond Below…

I really thought I’d be up to it by now…

A few weeks away from the writing pressure I put upon myself, of writing posts regularly, and I thought I’d be itching to get back.

But I’m not.

I still enjoy being here, reading posts, commenting on others, but I can’t make myself write.

My brain is just not engaged at all.

It’s like a cloud has settled over my blogger’s brain…

I feel like I’ve lost my spark…

I’m not in any sort of depression, I don’t think, I’m just so tired.

It happens at the end of the academic year.

There is so much to do at school on top of the day to day pressures: assessment, report writing, home visits, class lists to make for the next year… all things that take a lot of thinking and time.

Home is the same: housework, family to feed, helping with homework, laundry, being the usual parent taxi to clubs and matches…

I am taking down time, honestly, but instead of posting, as I usually do, I’m just reading. Enjoying books and reading posts.

But the lethargy I feel, and the migraines that are coming back after a two month hiatus, it’s not good.

I’ve entered that novel writing competition, tweaking the first 3,000 words that needed submitting, but don’t want to touch the rest of the manuscript, to execute some changes as suggested by my alpha readers.

Not because I can’t be bothered, but because I don’t feel up to my best, mentally and emotionally, and my prized WIP deserves more than that, maybe a CampRiNo in the summer holidays again, to give it the extra oomph it requires…

So, I’ll just leave that there for you all, in case you find my spark… or any extra energy you can send my way…

But don’t worry Peeps, I’m still smiling, because that’s what I do 🙂

And I will be back soon, honestly!

The Happy Guide Competition Winners Announcement

Last week I was honoured to host a giveaway competition with the prize of a copy of The Happy Guide by Michael Kinnaird.

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The task was to give me a sentence, telling me what happiness was, in your eyes.

I am sorry it has taken me a while to get back to you with the winners, but good things come to those who wait, and the chosen three are as follows:

Cheri of That Blog Where Cheri Moves To Germany

“I wake up, SMILE, and start my day. You can see Happiness is everywhere when you smile.”

Post-Tragic Life

“I keep my eyes open to see the beauty in the darkness.”

and Sophie of Food Zesty

“Happiness for me is to be content.”

Thank you to all of you who entered. These statements just spoke to me!

I have emailed you so if you winners could get back to me with details of whether you would like an e-copy or hard copy, I can get this arranged for you.

Congratulations everyone, and be happy!

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