Sunday, 27 February 2011

Happiness is......

It's early Sunday morning, it is cold, raining and I am recovering from yesterdays migraine, yet I feel  happy, extremely happy.  Not in a manic sense of hyper excitement, no this is more a deeply contented feeling of love.  I am smiling from the inside out and my desire to write has returned.

Something has happened within my brain chemistry, it is almost as if somebody has flicked a switch.  Where there was great darkness and agitation, there is now light and warmth. Clarity has replaced confusion and the sensation of being lost, manic and without purpose has disappeared, in its place is a calm contentment that is allowing the negative emotions to wash over me and disappear.  The simple joys of life are once again touching my soul.

The colour of the spring crocus filling my lawn and the daffodils waiting to burst open, bringing with them that fabulous golden colour of spring.  The wonderful sound of the river as it passes my house, slightly fuller after last nights rain fall, taking with it any remnants of my negativity.
I am seeing beauty all around me, and the simplest things are filling my soul with joy.

Sleepily making my sons breakfast, before he leaves for an away game and kissing his head, breathing him in, loving him so much, that I could burst.
The sight of my golden puppy bounding across the field playing with his mother.  My hens run to greet me, waddling with fluffy feet and flapping their wings in an effort to get to me faster.  All these things I experience every day, yet almost as if I am sleep walking through it, emotionless, numb.  Today though, I see them and feel great joy in doing so, I think this sensation is what the Buddhist's call "Being Awake" or "Awareness"

 I wish I knew the secret, to be able to feel like this every day would be amazing, to be able to share this sensation with others, to feel connected to one another.  To be without suspicion and envy, to feel love and to reach out to one another with genuine empathy and compassion.  Surely that is how we are meant to live..

Sunday, 13 February 2011


A guest post from my good friend, the Wildernesschic ......To Be Lost  please pop over and give her you opinions on her new poem.

Thursday, 3 February 2011

The Aiport

I was snuggled tight under my shawl, and as close to Paco as I could get, breathing him in, his wonderful smell, which was now so deeply familiar and always comforting. Yet still, I could not get warm, or fall asleep.  The air conditioning on this plane was just too cold and there was a young child sat behind me, who had been kicking relentlessly at my seat for the past hour.  Then the announcement was came, which made my heart sink........ 
Birmingham, we were being diverted to Birmingham, it was mid February and winter was in full flow, with freezing cold temperatures making conditions unsuitable to land in Manchester. 

We had been traveling for hours already, having flown from Tenerife to Barcelona, then to Madrid, before this connection to Manchester.  Iberia was like a bus service in those days, there wasn't such a thing as a scheduled direct flight from the Canary Islands to the UK.  We were feeling beyond exhausted, our bodies rebelling to the cramped plane seating and lack of decent food.  The eighteen hours of traveling beginning to take its toll and the joint we had shared, whilst in Madrid had long worn off, leaving us feeling more than just a little irritated.  
The airport was like a ghost town, cold and echoey, I had an uneasy sickly feeling unable to say exactly what was wrong, I shuddered, we were used to equator temperatures maybe I was feeling shocked by the difference, plus travel exhaustion did not help. The luggage carousel at least seemed efficient, it wasn’t long before I could see our lovely new bags making their way around towards us.  I have always had a thing about nice luggage, and had bought a new suit carrier with matching holdall for our visit, home. we were traveling light as this trip was only for a week. 
We began to walk towards the green corridor, along with everyone else, its funny, nobody ever had anything to declare and those who did usually took their chances, I did not see one person move towards the red corridor.  Normally there would be very few staff on duty at this time of night, but tonight there was a long line of them.  Customs officers standing extremely straight with blank expression, stood behind tables surveying us.  Checking out the "The ragged travellers," observing our every movement, and then calling over every second couple to interview.  This was so unusual, normally they waved you through, holiday makers don’t normally warrant such attention. 
That uneasy feeling I had continued to grow, desperately trying to look directly ahead, I attempted an image of cool nonchalance, yet unfortunately catching the eye of a rather rotund black girl, who would not break my gaze, I was locked in.  I could not break her stare, it was almost as if I was under her power, she had total control of my movements, I could feel myself moving towards her table.  Fear gripped my soul with a tight fist and began to squeeze hard.
She asked us had we anything to declare, as she unzipped our bags, beginning with the largest, the holdall.  Everything seemed to be happening in slow motion, she carefully took out our neatly folded clothes and unfolded them, one item at a time, working with a system, a methodical search, this was far more terrifying than any random, erratic rummaging.  She began examining each item thoroughly, feeling everything with finger and thumb, from top to bottom.  My heart felt as though it would leap from my chest, with irregular rhythm, it beat with such force. Paco usually so cool and collected, always with something to say to a lady and forever charming, just stood stiffly also transfixed, watching the little fat black hands fondle through our clothing.  She placed everything back and zipped up the case, I could feel him exhale with relief.....
Although I could not.
Paco had packed first, with my slight OCD problem and obsession with nice luggage, I had taken it upon myself to repack the case, in a more organized fashion.  So into these little zipper pockets went the socks and underwear.
I watched as she unzipped, looking directly into my eyes as she did so, as if following  telepathic directions from my fear.  Carefully she began to unroll our more personal items and then our socks, all neatly folded and rolled in pairs, she unrolled them one by one.  Suddenly I saw the chosen pair, they were next, my mouth dry, eyes unblinking, watching with horror as she unrolled the sock and it fell out onto the desk.  A large lump of silver foil wrapped around approximately two ounces of Moroccan black.
“Who’s is this?” she asked
“Mine” Paco had replied before I could even breath
"Are you aware of what it is?" she asked
"Si, it is my Hashish" he replied
A male officer now approached, “On behalf of her Majesties customs, I am arresting you Sir, on suspicion of smuggling illegal drugs into the United Kingdom”..... or something along those lines.  The male officer handcuffed him and took him away, I watched in horror, as they disappeared along a corridor.  
I was now alone, and had begun to feel extremely vulnerable.
Fellow passengers were still walking past, fascinated, staring at me with the attention usually reserved for a car crash, only without pity, more with a look of disgust and distain.  It wasn’t long before I overheard and officer tell an official to let the bus leave, that we were to be detained here.  Panic rose in my chest, my parents.  What will happen when they realise we are not on the bus? 
How will we tell them? 
What will we tell them? 
“Madam, what are these?” 
The female officer, continuing on her mission of searching every inch of my luggage now had hold of my vitamins, 
“They are fibre pills, they make you shit” I replied, angry now, tired and angry. 
We shouldn’t be here, we should have landed in Manchester and should now be reunited with my parents, sat in their warm car on the way home to a clean soft bed. Not here in cold unfriendly Birmingham, at her majesties pleasure.
“Is there anything else you would like to declare, before I continue searching” asked the officer, who appeared to have grown in stature, certainly in confidence, she had scored and she was loving it.
“It is legal you know” I told her ‘ In Spain, it is legal” 
“Well, it isn’t here Madame” 
“No, there isn’t anymore” I replied in resignation

She continued her search, my answer had been without relevance, she was loving the humiliation of fingering each item that was in my possession.  She opened my lipstick one of which was green, this caused more quizzical glances. 
“It is a lip stain,  turns pink when you use it” I said before they asked “Try it if you don’t believe me, but its stains for hours” I said with a smile. 
I was bored now, irritated by this tenacious trainee, yes I had realized she was a trainee by all the pats on the back, that she was receiving from her more senior colleagues. She was an eager one too, and a good one, unfortunately for us.
The customs corridor was empty all passengers were sat happily on the coach about to embark on the last leg of their trip to Manchester, when the escorted me to my interview room. 
“Please sit” she muttered
We sat in silence in this tiny room, devoid of any warmth or character. A grey plastic chair with grey plastic walls, I could hear my blood pounding throughout, and had become aware that I was shaking.  The shock of the situation we were in was suddenly beginning to sink in.
A tall blonde officer now joined us in the room, obviously of a more senior position.
“Madame, I need to ask you to remove your clothing, one item at a time please”
I noticed that my hands were trembling as I began to unbutton my shirt, desperately trying to control it, wanting to keep as much of my cool demeanor that I could, but I was failing badly.  It is very hard to be proud when you are being asked to strip. Each item of clothing was then examined and inside and out, I stood shivering, a mixture of humiliation and cold.  Once they had searched an item it was placed ready for me to get dressed.  This I would be allowed to do, following an internal search...

I realised now why the second woman had been called in, it was to witness this procedure.  The killing blow, I began to involuntarily wretch, this search that penetrated my body, had managed to remind me, that I was nothing....
This was not the first time in my young life that I had been violated by a person in authority.  The only difference on this occasion was, that I had brought it upon myself and now felt completely defeated.

Tuesday, 1 February 2011

I cant trust myself, I have always had a thing for a Lead Guitarist..." Ruby Tuesday

Andy Williams lead guitar, Killing For Company

This weekend I attended "The Gathering"  which is one of my favourite nights out of the year, not only am I treated to great live rock music, I also get to see a lot of my friends from the coast. Since we moved further into the hills and we have been seriously renovating our property, I have had little time for visiting.  Which is something I intend to change this year , in the mean time...
Thank you Facebook, for allowing me to stay, not only in contact, but up to date with their lives.

"The Gathering" is exactly how it sounds, it is a gathering of Alarm fans from all over the world, for a weekend the atmosphere is wonderful. Mike performs both evenings, usually acoustic on the Friday and then full volume, Rock and Roll on the Saturday.  The Gathering is now entering it's twentieth year, I have been fortunate to known Mike and his family, for fourteen of the those years and have become close friends.

Mike Peters, James Stevenson, Craig Aldridge and Steve Grantley 

I have to admit to being a part time Gatherer, a Saturday night only fan.  I love the Electric Guitar and for me that night is my favourite.  Although this year the set up was slightly different,  Mike is now lead singer of the 80's group "Big Country" who were performing on the Friday evening, along with a very exiting new band....
Which is now very much, my new favourite band, I am gutted that I missed hearing them play, the band is called "Killing for Company".
Sadly they lost their founder member, former drummer of the Stereophonics, Stuart Cable last summer.
I remember when I heard about the tragedy I was horror struck, as I have saved my own husbands life twice from exactly the same thing.  The band however are brilliant, I love their sound, from the dulcet tones of the lead singer Greg Jones, to the sexy lead guitarist Andy Williams ...
Whom I had the great pleasure to meet.

Please take a minute to listen to them, I promise you there will be no disappointment I have also linked their facebook page below if you would like to know more about them.

"Killing for Company"...RIP Stuart Cable

From my newest favourite band, to my very first favourite band "The Sex Pistols"..
I adored them, my parents  hated them.....So I adored them even more.
Too young to really have the nerve to be a proper punk.  As the daughter of a strict Irish catholic mother, my boundaries were tight,  but when I po-goed along with all the real punks, after sneaking into Liverpool and "Erics"...  I had never felt so free and so me.  I knew that was a rebel at heart and have remained so ever since, although mellowing with age, I still need a long lead.

The Sex Pistols...Glen Matlock far left

Glen Matlock has enjoyed a working relationship with Mike Peters of "The Alarm" for a few years now, when along with Kirk Brandon from the "Spear Of Destiny" and Billy Duffy of "The Cult" they performed under the name of "Dead Men Walking". 
He now has a new band, called" Glen Matlock and the Philistines" which includes "Alarm" lead guitarist, the lovely Mr James Stevenson they performed this Saturday evening, supporting "The Alarm", my friend and wife of James, Elizabeth Westwood who was famous for the track "Sonic Boom Boy" was their glamorous backing vocalist.

Liz Westwood

As the very willing designated driver, I thoroughly enjoyed this years event, as I can remember it all...
We all know that I have an obsession with Absolut.
My last post ... the one without words....the after effects were very apparent.  I have however since been on the wagon, my abstinence ( apart from a sneaky sharpener on Sunday, only because my mother was coming) has lasted nine days now and it feels far

So from my first favourite Bass Guitar Hero
...Mr Glen Matlock himself my newest favourite Lead Guitar Hero,
 Mr Andy Williams and he is Welsh 
Purrr .....
Get down Ruby!

"I can't trust myself I have always had a thing for a saxophone player" Sugar Kane