Welcome Friends

Welcome to my funny little world. Sometimes it's a bit sad, sometimes it's a bit mad, but I try to give you some uplifting words every day. And in amongst them I'll give you a little philosophy and celebrate just being. If you like a good bedtime story or you are just curious about your life or mine or you want to be encouraged, then come on in, the water's lovely!

Tuesday, 24 February 2009


I had a really excellent day yesterday. My anxiety client has had a massive breakthrough. I never expect treatment to be quite this dramatic so as she finished telling me all about how wonderful she was feeling, I had to ask,"What can I actually do for you then?"

I felt like my work was finished, oh halleluyah, I love it when this happens! Actually it wasn't, there was more work to do for her. But what a brilliant session! This lady reported that all the usual anxiety inducing situations were just passing by so quickly without symptoms that she kept thinking, "Hang on, I've just done something that should have given me a panic attack." She wasn't even noticing what was happening. It was as if the anxiety had never even been there.

I think I have said this before but I got such a buzz. To think that the elimination of anxiety states really is possible, quickly, with no drugs just blows my mind. Mainly because it has such a positive effect on somebody's life.

My job is to help people to enjoy their lives. That is all there is.

Monday, 16 February 2009


Lost my equilibrium for a short while. Had a wobbly blip. It happens, even though peeps think it doesn't. As I said in an earlier post, this is the real world and it's not quite as fluffy as we would all like. Anyhow, the status quo is mostly restored.

I was in London today and I managed to take a short walk in Regents Park. I loved seeing the wonderful old trees. I always feel very grounded by large trees; they are so old, it's as if the wisdom of the world is rising through their roots. I find the winter, bare branches look enables you to see their beauty best. It was quite restorative.

I was able to do a little people watching too, which I find is best in cities. I saw a few people who looked like the sort of people I might have been friends with if I had that sort of a city life and it got me thinking about the "turn of a sixpence" theme again. When I got my A level results I had dropped one grade which meant that I was no longer eligible for a place at City University in London. I was heartbroken. All I wanted was to escape my small-town country upbringing and get living!

I ended up going to a very second choice small-town campus university which I was never entirely happy with. Then my life went in some strange directions and about 15 years later I found myself writing a letter to my Grandma that I was enjoying living in my new house but it was in the middle of a large town. Luckily I was right next to a park and could see trees outside my study window. I spent a lot of time staring at those trees that year and I longed for more grass and mud.

And so I realised that in fact I was a bit of a country girl. So every time I visit London I am faced with the image of what might have been and I honestly feel glad that it wasn't. Yet that one dropped grade held the key and I never knew. Everything would have been different and I would have been a very different person, and I am not sure I would have been happy shoehorning myself in to that life.

I am fascinated that small events in our pasts shape our futures so much. Who knows what I am doing right now that seems insignificant, yet could change the course of events.

I think the key is making the best of the hand we are dealt. It is not what happens in our lives that shape us and give us happiness, it is our responses.

Tuesday, 10 February 2009

Cake Philosophy

Picture if you can a dinner table with a few Army officers assembled and a few of their wives, oh plus little old me! It's only a few years ago, it's summer in Cyprus, no one is old or crusty or has a handlebar moustache. No one is over forty! One colourful and just a bit sexist character has been holding fort for most of the meal, entertaining the rest of us with much hilarity.

He then launches into a discussion of the wives left at home while husbands go off on exercises and tours. Imagine a public school accent, a little like Lieutenant George in Blackadder (the character is in fact a Lieutenant Colonel) as he said, "I don't know what they're on about really. If they get sad, just do what I tell my wife to do. Go bake yourself a cake and cheer yourself up!"

The sheer crassness and disbelief of this piece of advice had the table in stitches. Said officer was on a tour in Cyprus and did not have his wife with him but I would so like to meet her!

So it was that I found myself having a bit of a low day today. Couldn't concentrate, couldn't settle on doing anything. With David Eccles' (I can't forget him) advice having been ringing in my ears for over 10 years now, I tried out his philosophy and set to a Victoria sponge.

Now being a therapist, I think people believe I have the perfect life and am completely together and don't get bothered by anything, but hey, remember the real world? It is hard sometimes because I often find myself doing the very things I help my clients to stop. Eating the wrong things mainly!

So you should NEVER use food as a comforter. Food is fuel for the body, which tastes delicious. But the difference in cake making is the making. Baking a cake is creating something, an artisan skill, something which humans often don't do any more. We live instant lives, we buy things that factories or other people have made in bulk. That's what accounts for the rise in interior design programmes - we want to create. We want to make our mark, to see that we have achieved something physical which we can see.

So I made my Victoria sponge and great fun it was too. Until I found that the strawberry jam had gone mouldy in the fridge. Sigh. Ah well, I sandwiched it together with buttercream icing anyway and it tasted yummy! I haven't binged on it and I won't eat it in one go.

When I was a teenager I was in fact a demon cake maker but these sort of skills need practice and I am sadly well out of that practice now. But it was an honest and delicous effort and actually it has lifted me a bit.

The philosophy of sponge - try it for yourself!

Monday, 9 February 2009

Embarrassing Brits

I am again embarrassed to be a Brit for the second time in a fortnight. Last night it snowed again, probably about an inch and the temperature dropped leaving the place very icy this morning, with some dangerous roads. But most roads are passable if you drive carefully at the correct speed for the road, your vehicle and your level of driving expertise.

So what happens? Many of our schools are closed again because it is felt that it is "not safe for staff or pupils" What the hell is going on here? Why don't people just go to work and go to school? So they might fall over on the ice. So what? They are not going to die! My goodness if I had missed school every day it was icy I would never have learnt anything! And nor would any other children in North West Europe or Canada or anywhere else that's cold. Clearly our current batch of headteachers are frightened to take a stand, to make any kind of decision other than a scared one.

What happened to the Dunkirk spirit? What happened to struggle over adversity? What happened to ORDINARY COMMON SENSE???????????

I fear we are teaching our children to be complete cowards, frightened to take the smallest risk. We are teaching a nation to grow up like the Mavis character on Coronation Street - "Oooh, I don't really knoooww." Great, what a future to look forward to.

I must not forget to add, both Squeaky and I have suffered injuries from the weather. He was walking the dog yesterday when he fell over, whereupon Patchwork dog carried on walking/bouncing and poor Squeaky didn't think to let go of the lead. Heaven knows why as he usually drops it at the least pause in concentration, but not today. So dog bounces away and drags poor Squeaky boy behind her through the lumpy hard snow. Much crying and bruised faces and noses and wet clothes. Huge cuddles needed.

And stupid, stupid me! I was shovelling snow on Saturday morning. Just on the last 5 minutes. Aha, a great piece of ice, let's just move that away and then I'll be finished. Too hard to break it into pieces, let's just lift the big heavy ice in one piece and throw it over..... AAARRRGGGHH! And there I was, doubled over the shovel, my back knackered. And only just having had it expensively put back together again by the wonderful Patt (Here's her website, she is AMAZING! http://www.pattstock.co.uk/)

It is VERY irritating!

Friday, 6 February 2009

Snowy about the ears

I couldn't resist posting this pic of the Patchwork dog. She has been bouncing around like a spring puppy and has obviously been expensively faking it! Grrr!

Tuesday, 3 February 2009

Emotional Links

I had a great client appointment this morning, which I am pleased to say was so satisfying. My weight loss client had a wonderful breakthrough by really getting to the emotional heart of her weight problem. Or at least getting to part of the emotional heart. Whichever part it was, she felt really good afterwards.

This lady arrived for our meeting feeling very negative about pretty much everything but by the time she left was feeling far more positive. Oh wow! I love sessions like that. Just showing her the emotional reason for over-eating or failure to lose weight was very empowering for her. Plus we did the usual therapy session to relieve the emotional negativity. I feel like we are definitely getting somewhere and it feels wonderful.

A client this afternoon told me that her husband had noticed the difference in her already which was also truly heartening for me. It often takes several sessions to really achieve change so this was a good endictment that our work so far was on the right track.

What a great day. It didn't all go perfectly to plan but 2 achievements in a day is enough to keep anyone going! Bona note amigos

Monday, 2 February 2009

Today is the Fourth Annual Bloggers Silent Poetry Reading. Post your poem, (your own or another's) today.

"Here comes the Sun," The Beatles sang,
I sing, "Here comes the Rain Again."
It washes and pours in torrents and waves,
Sliding down the windscreen, battering my face.
But how I long for the Sun,
Warming, smiling, soothing, smoothing,
It's golden caress
Touching, Easing, Brightening, Healing.
Imagine the heat stroking my skin,
Wrapping me up, a cocoon within,
The deep velvet folds envelop my soul,
But now I'm shut in, embracing the cold.


I can't reveal the source of this poem (I have a confidentiality agreement). I was wondering, what do you see in this poem?

Let it Snow!

Well it's snowing beautifully here. I love snow. But let's face it, the Brits are useless at snow. Well aren't they?

This morning I drove into town and the roads were absolutely clear, about as wet as on a slightly rainy day. Yet there was some idiot who was driving at 20 mph. At 20! I ask you! Just a tiny flurry and the entire country turns into a quaking mushy scaredy mass. Frankly it's embarrassing.

I remember driving down the motorway in Germany in a blizzard, with an inch of snow on the road and it was so cold that the windscreen was icing up because the wipers and the heater couldn't kep it warm enough. We were driving at 40 or 50 and there were cars passing us! Yet when there is an inch of snow on the verge here, we feel the need to slow down to a crawl. No wonder the country comes to a standstill.

I remember in the 1980s being snowed in at home under inches and inches of snow with enormous drifts. Every way out of the village was a hill and we just couldn't get out. We missed days off school that winter because the buses couldn't get to us. I hated living in the back of beyond really but not that winter! And there were other winters that had a few days the same. But now we don't have proper cold winters with proper snow and people just aren't used to it. It's a shame.