Life is beautiful.

So here I am in Northern Ireland for the first time.
To say it’s been a wonderful weekend is an understatement.
Me my hubby my youngest son his partner and baby flew over to see my eldest son meet his wife and daughter.
I haven’t seen him for eight years.
I think on the build up to coming I experienced every emotion possible.
I was so nervous.
Other than it being so long I have no idea why other than I really wanted it to be perfect.
It really has been.

We have eight children but to have one missing from for eight years was indescribable there was a huge hole in my life. Nothing I could do about it but wait, and hope.

But yesterday the years

just years melted away
No matter how old our children get they are always our babies.
His wife and my youngest son’s partner sat chatting comparing how similar they both are.
Although the lads disagree it was just so wonderful seeing them and their daughters together finally meeting my beautiful granddaughter was a day worth waiting for.
Belfast and everyone we have met have been so friendly.
It’s 4am and I’m lying here blogging looking forward to welcoming them to Wales taking my grand daughters walking together on the mountains.
I can honestly now say I have everything I have ever needed or wanted.
Life doesn’t get much better than this.
Never give up.
Hold out your hands to the universe and believe.
Life is truly beautiful.

Nan

Shouting through her letter box .
Pea soup cooking
Heavy blankets on the big bed.
The archers on the old valve radio
Crazy paving in the garden

Blue lino on kitchen floor.
Tea caddy and aliminium dented tea pot on old pantry shelf.
Whistling kettle on the stove.
Peeling lead on the windows making shadows on the bedroom Walls.stone hot water bottle wrapped in a tea towel
Boxes of swan vesta matches

Brass fireside ornaments
Mirrors that hang on chains.
In their corner they hold captured Victorian painted ladies with parasols furniture polish smelling of lavender.
Lavender tree hanging over the gate.
Rubber spouts on old kitchen taps.
Wooden draining boards and twin tub washing machine.
Tracing paper toilet roll and pink carbolic soap.
Snuffly clever Staffordshire bull terrier to greet us with his tin dish wanting food.
Card games and laughter by the fire for pennies. With cousins.
Bingo at Park Street chip on way home. Cold night air
Head scarfs, blue Mac and walks to the shop for her John player cigs, milk and bread.
Walks to the outdoor for a jug of stout.
Old tins containing buttons black and white photos of memories and stories of her life.
That smell of home of cooking cleaning of love
Fragments pieces of my Nan’s house
Memories of love.

Words are powerful

My out look on life is for the best part always positive.

The power of positive thought and putting things out there to the universe has always been at my core.

Words are so very powerful I have never understood people who are constantly negative if you can’t say something nice shut the f@@k up (quote from my Nan) who was without doubt a wise old northern soul who was a million times wiser than Google.

Anyway it’s very rare that I visit my home town

I have relations there whom I have been estranged from for many years 30 plus.

Believe me I wish things were different but I accept that no matter how hard I try some things just can’t be fixed.

I have a dream sometimes where I am with a particular family member and we are having lunch in a cafe laughing and chatting and everything is as it should be.

It’s so vivid when I wake it’s completely real.

Like the dreams when we loose a loved one when we wake thinking they are still with us. Then we remember and it’s feeling that loss all over again.

You get the picture.

Well anyway I used to believe that maybe in time things would be different but they are not

I went back there. To my home town to see some old friends stay with then for a few nights.

One of my friends own a hair salon. She is a beautiful soul a fabulous hairdresser and if she can help or listen to a client she will.

After chatting one evening she tells me that this particular family member has been into the salon.

She sets the scene

“She’s just so rude” she says.

To all the staff. She’s always the same.

“She sits whilst having her hair cut and bitches about everyone and everything.

Then as she’s leaving she holds open the door and shouts over to my friend

“You know our Joolz,,,

Yes she says

She the precedes to say some awful and terrible things about me and my children.

For all in the salon to hear.

My friend asks her

Why are you saying this?

What do you want me to do with it?

“Tell her she says. I don’t care.

Then off she goes.

I laugh for a minute when I’m told. Nothing she says surprises me but this latest nugget was priceless. What goes on in her head I say.

My friend goes on.

“Joolz I said to my staff how are these two women related I’ll never know.

They are so different.”

I just know that’s how she is.

I don’t try to get into her head. It’s pointless.

To work out why she’s says such terrible and hurtful things.

Because only she knows or maybe she doesn’t.

I resolved along time ago that she won’t hurt me.

But hearing the things she says does hurt, On the drive home I could feel my anxiety level rise. Anger. I stopped on the Moors and allowed myself to feel it all

Recognising that’s the reason why I don’t go back home very often.

The truth is I accept that my dream of us together drinking tea and laughing is just that. A dream

I wake and loose her all over again.

I know she still after all these years is toxic.

But I still wish she wasn’t.

I know there is a lesson somewhere, hers and mine but I’m struggling to find it.

So I’m back home in Wales and I wish her well.

But that tiny peice of me in between dreams still wishes it could be different.

Maybe in another lifetime.

Different Dads.

The sky is so non discript neither grey or blue like dishwater drizzeling from above
A red dirty Audi estate drives in front of me it’s brake lights the only brightness on this dull day.
Will today be the day you leave us?
I wasn’t even in the same part of the country when my own father died. I’d moved to Wales three years before we we’re estranged he was a bully and a alcoholic.
I don’t even know how or where he died. If anyone was with him
I drove back to my home town and was told in a very matter of fact way “Your old man died last night”
A pause
What?
Yes last night he died …
Another pause.
Nothing I felt nothing.
Relief maybe .
That I didn’t feel anything.
You Malcolm are the exact opposite of my Dad.
I’ve sat today listening to my hubby, your son chat to you about childhood memories you are completely non responsive but he carries on.
Stories of you and lou taking the sow to the boar. Rope tied around the back leg of a large pig , stearing it with a stick. Who knew that’s a done thing.
Down the road into the village past the pub and down the lane.
It’s starts out quite no problem until most of the dogs on in the village realise what’s happening and before you know it your like the pied piper. Pig, stick and thirty dogs following you. What a commotion!
Another story about going to fetch a Billy goat in the back of a small van.
Goat unimpressed about being transported and sticks it’s horns through the van roof so many memories.
I’m here dad he says.
He looks at me and says I came home from work because I had that feeling.
Someone was standing behind me.
He was waiting for me to come home. So I came.
Keep talking I tell him he knows your here.
My heart swells with love for him my grafter of a man.
Everything about him so like you Malcolm you taught him well.
I wish we had know each other longer I’m sure you had hundreds of more stories to tell me.
See you later Dad Lou will be here later to go fetch the m. Jeff’s says kissing you gently.
We leave to drive home in separate cars.
Dreary drizzles clouds the view from the back door over the bay.
“I watched the pier burn from this step, over at Weston super mare I here you say. On a clear day you can see ilfracombe
Your voice as clear as day Malcolm.
I know I whisper only last summer you were up there on the flat roof fixing the gutter with Jeff.
How will he live with out you I wonder ?
I’ll take care of your lad I promise.
Now go fetch the pig home xx

Estranged

Almost nine years since I saw my eldest son being estranged from a grown up son or daughter is indescribable.

Knowing waiting is the only thing you have is heart breaking.

A friend once said to me ,”birthdays and Christmas must be hard”

Yes they were but it is much more than that

I have three children and five of my husband’s eight in total Lots of grandchildren.

They are all so very different when they all turn up it’s like the Walton’s!

If your under 30 you may have to Google them 🙈

Anyway my point is they are all individuals I love them all dearly

Matthew was always the one who would ring his Mam. Every other day, everyday sometimes when he was on tour in the army in Iraq he would Skype or send e blueys little blue letters. He always kept in touch so we would chat about everything.

I’d tell him everything. We were so alike sense of humor,liked same food well you get the picture.

So when suddenly he stopped calling then refused to see me I was distraught.

No reason absolutely no idea why

That’s hard to imagine I know what your thinking if you knew him so we’ll you must have an idea.

Well I didn’t and that’s what was so bad my kids can come to me with anything.

He wouldn’t talk to his sister or brother about it I thought my heart would break.

So every time something happened a baby born, a holiday, my dog saffie was I’ll. Talking about my other childrens childhood of course there was memories of Matthew too he was always in my heart.

I would have rang Matthew we would have talked.

I’ve been in hospital a few times he would have been there

Good things, sad things, new things every single thing I’ve thought of him I’ve missed him there has been a hole in my life no one can fill.

My other children were upset about how much I was hurt. Keep in contact with him I’d beg he’s your brother I wanted them to still have each other it was beyond hard.

Our children are irreplaceable. I have a few close friends who know me well and know when I struggle know that every few months I ring his mobile just to hear his voice.

Friends who knew me as a single mum when the kids were small who remember how it was, friends with shared memories.

So Friday gone I visited my home town for first time in two years stayed with good friends

Viv and I sit up late chatting inevitability the conversation turns to Matthew I get the crampy feeling in my gut fear and I hope that this year will be the one that I see him again. You will she says positively.

I drive home and I speak it out loud as I drive.

“Please mother hear me bring my lad home to me,

Happiness health and abundance I ask from thee

All my children together is all that I ask

The past to be left and a new beginning to cast

My face is wet and I stop my car on the Moors

I love my life where I live my hubby our retreat but the ache that my lad left in my heart won’t ever be fixed without him .

Today I sit down with my phone to read e mails.

A message pops up from Matthews wife who I’ve never met.

She asks for my phone number.

I feel sick is something wrong.

I send it.

She rings

He has spoken to her Saturday night the night I sat chatting to Viv.

I don’t ask for details but he wants to sort things, to see me I’m trying hard to be okay but I’m sobbing.

Can I go over and when.

Of course I’ll go as soon as he wants me there I’m on a plane I cannot tell you how I feel it’s beyond happy. This is the first day of a new beginning. I rang Viv to tell her she too is blow away.

I had never given up hope but I can say honestly I was afraid.

So there it is.

Everything I asked for

I really am overwhelmed.

Never give up. Never.

I know I say it often

But

Life is often hard….

But always beautiful. ♥️

Circle of Women

Women are from Venus Men are from Mars.

I get that.

There really is nothing more powerful than a circle of women .

Strong, unbreakable, inspiring and much more

Women’s best friends are stronger often than blood.

Or at least that’s my experience.

Women’s friends often know them better than their partners .

They are the duct tape that hold each other’s lives together.

How do men manage without that?

I have a few close women friends and I know without doubt they have my back and I have theirs

Free thinkers, poets, dreamers, rebels, square pegs hippys women who walk barefoot and arnt afraid to be exactly who they are.

Make no excuses take no prisoners. Who dance in the rain.

Honest funny, loving. Passionate

My tribe.

Chosen sisters

I love you

I am truly blessed.