Pre loved magic

I write every day.

In my phone’s note pad.

My work diary on printer paper.

My head is like a theater stage sometimes as I’m driving I’ll have first few lines of a poem float onstage

I’ll pull over to note them down least I forget.

Storytelling and poetry is such an ancient way of learning. Passing on information.

The druids are a good example spoken word.

My other favorite thing is second hand I was going to say clothes but to be fair it’s every thing.

I have an old oak dining table I bartered for at a car boot sale it has four odd chairs.

It’s role has morphed into a desk a very untidy desk!

Paper note books, Books I’m reading there is always more than one.

There is something comforting to me anout old furniture, pre loved that have belonged to other families been a part of other stories now they are part of mine. I especially like it when things don’t match.

Cups and plates I have an old Welsh dresser with beautiful odd china plates and cups

I bought it for our cottage not thinking of how it would fit through the front door ! Everything here is second hand apart from the mattress.

Old cottage, old furniture. Im sure if I added up how much I’d spent it would be under £800 for the whole house.

We live in such a disposable society.

I think if I’ve got a bedroom chest of drawers that does the job why will I ever need to change it.

I love second hand shops, car boot sales charity shops.

All my clothes are pre loved

There is a Fab charity shop by my office

A little old lady runs it raising money for animal charities.

She has a few just a pound rails.

I never fail to find what I need in her shop.

It reminds me of a childrens program from the 70s called Mr Ben.

Mr Ben was an ordenary man he would go into a shop try on a costume then step through the mirror into another world to a new adventure.

That’s how I feel in Jeans shop.

I love it when girls in work comment on some thing Im wearing and I can say it was a £1.00 🤣

Anyway I’m off on a tangent I was asked to a rarther posh awards ceremony few weeks ago.

Our cancer retreat had been nominated.

Everyone going chatted about what they were going to wear.

How much they had paid where it was from.

Hair make up.

You get the picture.

I moaned to Jeff I’m not spending money on something I won’t wear again he laughed well you need something new go shopping he encouraged me.

I hate shopping.

I reluctantly got myself ready for a trip into Cardiff.

But thought I’d call into Jeans shop first.

Off went like Mr Ben looking for a new adventure

I tell her my dilemma as I look through rails of clothes.

nothing ..

I have to admit I was starting to panic.

What if we win an award?

What if I have to get up on stage?

I turn around to leave resigned to fact I have to go into town crowds of people and hassle of car parks

Thanks Jean I say turning to leave then

There behind me on a rail I’m sure I’ve already looked on is a dress.

Bright red.

Bell sleaves it’s stunning

How much is this Jean.

I say holding it against me its perfect.

£5.00 to you darling she says

Have a wonderful evening.

Thank you Jean you saved the day. She laughs

That night I dress put on my red and black boots Wow Jeff says that’s stunning.

Cardiff?

No don’t be silly.

Jeans shop.

We step through that magic mirror and two hours later I stand on stage accepted the beautiful award with my beautiful daughter in law Sarah,

I talk about Ravens retreat the work that we do and my beautiful brave friend Donna. (Sarah’s Mam) this award and everything I do is dedicated to her.

Im surrounded by beautiful women in designer dresses who had spent the day in the salon.

I don’t feel out of place.

I’d spent the day on the mountain and a hour with Jean in her magical shop.

I stood on stage to have a photo Lou whispered joolz I love the red dress.

£5.00 I smiled from jeans shop I just couldn’t resist and i know Donna would approve.

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Climbing mountains

Some people your meant to meet.

Our first cancer break this year was in June. The cottage was back up and running and the break was gifted to an old friend of mine Viv.

A lass from my home town she had recently finished 20 plus weeks of radiotherapy at claterbridge hospital for two agresive tumours in her neck.

She is one of the most funny hard working and kind people i know

So I was beyond relieved when the news came she was in the clear.

So Viv and her partner Julie were coming back to.the canal.

The week before they were due to come I received a message from a mutual.friend Sharon

Asking how many bedrooms are in the retreat?

She asks if she can come down the same time as Viv and Julie her friend Bex has cancer she has two young children and is struggling she’s terminal

Yes of course she can come you and Bex can have a week to yourselves I tell her.

But Sharon goes on to tell me she has a broken foot can’t drive and so if they can all come together that would we better.

So after discussing it with Viv and Julie

They all meet up and agree to come together.

Now as I said they are from my hometown.

Salt of the earth so we go into overdrive to make sure everything is perfect for them this is our grand opening after the flood damage.

I was a little worried about the journey here they were coming in Sharon’s beetle

Julie driving as Sharon has a big boot on protecting her foot.

Thankfully they arrived safely but tired .

Bex fitted in from the start.

Bear in mind that I’d known the others for 20 plus years

Funny, bubbly with a wicked sense of humour.

She was so relieved to get away from ‘ cancer’ to just be Bex on holiday with the girls.

We sat around my fire pit on warm evenings drank red wine laughed lots shared stories hopes dreams

Went over to vivs favorite place the mumbles had lunch and sat by the sea.

Lost Sharon’s car keys spent a hour looking for them

Found them in a flower bed 🙈🤣

Bex said she wanted to walk up a mountain she was wearing a back brace due to weakness caused by cancer so Everest was out of the question.

But the tide was out and the light house stood on a small mountain.

Fancy that I asked nodding at the small mountain.

She laughed do you think I’ll make it up?

Yeah why not.

Go on then I prompted..

You not coming with me she asked..

If you want me to or do you want time on your own?

She smiled and off she went.

I sat on beach with my baby grand daughter and watched her become smaller and smaller as she climbed up towards the light house

Viv Julie and shaz where on the pier I walked up to them

Look I sad pointing at the tiny figure striding purposely up towards the light house.

The three of us watched as she got to the top.

Stood beside the light house sun shining wind in her hair

Arms outstretched to the sky .

This is what the retreat is about I thought

I felt so proud of her.

She stood up there for awhile then took her time walking back across the causeway.

She almost shone.

That was amazing she said.

I was just ME with the wind in my hair .

That’s the picture of her I shall keep in my head that day by the light house.

The rest of their time with us flew by.

Viv and Bex had healings and reflexology.

Although trying to get Viv to relax is a task in itself

And all too soon they were leaving with another holiday booked with us

Hugs and kisses exchanged and they drove off the canal top down on the car singing to the radio four beautiful lasses with so much to give.

Since then Bex got married went to Italy and sadly cancer became more aggressive.

She never lost that warrior spirit raising £670 having her hair cut last week for the retreat.

I bloody love that canal.she told me on video chat.

I’ll be back watch out for me.

I don’t doubt you will I laughed .

She died yesterday peacefully in her beloved Liverpool.

She knew it was time

I’m so glad I met her what a girl.

I see her smiling wind in her hair on top of a mountain.

You asked me when we were doing your healing what I believed.

I told you energy can’t die. It can only go on.

I like that you said.

You were a bundle of beautiful energy Bex.

See you on the canal soon my friend.

Exiting times

I’m about to take a huge leap of faith. Let go of my job with the NHS to become self employed.

I’ve had thirteen fabulous years working in community mental health and I can genuinely say I’ve loved it.

It’s a huge decision but I can’t do two jobs

The retreat is almost back on it’s feet after the flood my beautiful healing hive cabin is a few months away from being completed. So it really is decision time.

I know it’s the right choice but letting go of what’s old and familiar to do something new is exiting but a little bit scary and not having that guaranteed pay slip at end of the month is the scary bit!

But I’ve put it out there to the universe and when my manager asked about my case load capacity last week I told him I was planning to leave.

He was a little shocked reminding me he needs a months notice at least but as soon as I’d actually said it I felt better quite empowered.

So it’s out there!

I feel like the fool card in tarot standing on the edge of the mountain all his possessions in his back pack preparing to step out into the world as the sun rises his dog at his heels (in my case a couple of cats!)

So I’m holding out my hands trusting the universe visualising good and positive change.

Here’s to exiting times ♥️

A new beautiful day.

It’s been a busy month in Wales. Lots of new challenges. Andy came over to see us at the Retreat to advise us on insulating the Healing Hive Cabin.

Who knew keeping a wooden building warm was so complicated 🙈 not me.

So supplies are on order electric is almost finished thanks to a generous donation we are back on track to open our doors again in May.

For the time being I am still working from Crow Cottage so if you would like a Healing appointment please give me a ring.

To think all of this was a dream I’ve had for so very long and now here I am surrounded by the most amazing family, friends, healers and Therapists.

It truly is cosmic ordering at it’s most wonderful.

Holding out your hands to the universe.

Visualise the positive change you wish to see.

Most importantly BELIEVE!

Im lying here this morning thinking about the little council estate kid with an alcoholic father who called me Gunner.

(Because I was always Gunner live in Wales, always Gunner live by water always day dreaming always BELIEVED in those dreams.)

So as I sit out side our tiny cottage by a beautiful canal surrounded by friend who are other dreamers, I remember him and thank him for his words they made me more determined

When I used to close my eyes tight shut at night I could see mountains water and trees.

Now every morning before I leave the cottage I give thanks and gratitude for all those things that I never take for granted each day I look at them with new eyes.

I thank spirit, Source

The universe

Life is truly beautiful ❤️

Hand fasting

What a beautiful day on our canal.

This morning I’m sat here writing the hand fasting ceremony for two beautiful ladies I’m privileged to call friends.

I’m a wedding and funeral celebrant and both events are celebrations of our life.

Wedding wise I particularly love the old ways.

Hand fasting is where the modern day referral of tying the knot comes from

The cords used can represent many things from colours chosen and sometimes things used to make the cords with.

The ceremony is bespoke and Taylor made to fit the couple as well it should be because we are all so very different and yet at the same time connected.

This particular ceremony is so very special as the ladies it is for are very dear to my heart.

Sometimes in life we meet people who shine.

The love connecting them is palpable.

These are one of those couples

So today shall be spent weaving magic words to represent weaving for two beautiful souls.

And yet again I’m reminded that life is indeed beautiful.

I am truly blessed ♥️

There are no strangers just friends we haven’t yet met.

So as most of you know I live in a little canalside cottage nothing posh just two up two down on a tow path in South Wales.

I also have another cottage on the terrace Ravens Retreat.

Where as a soul midwife I provide respite free Therapies and breaks for cancer patients or anyone with life limiting condition.

We are slowly rebuilding the retreat after we were hit by storm Callum in Sept 2018 most of the terrace was flooded by sewerage it was a challenging time to say the least.

My hubby Jeff has been beyond amazing he is a jack of all trades and has self leveled floors, tiled bathroom fitted a shower room.

He’s almost finished tiling kitchen and living room

Fitted a new kitchen aquired from Facebook marketplace.

We are doing all this on a shoe string

We have had a cabin built (our healing hive ) on the land behind the retreat and are also trying to get this up and running insulated electrics flooring fencing the list is endless

And as I’ve been off work for a year on half pay I have really been holding out my hands to the universe and trusting we can get things finished.

Offering free Therapies to cancer patients. Holding healing clinics Reiki, Omni, and Soul Connection healing workshops teaching reiki to community

I know this work Is so very important people need to be treated holistically.

This is my service to the community a way of me giving back. A thank you for leading me to this beautiful place.

This post is about just that giving back and paying forward.

I always believe that people are for the best part good

And what you put out there you get back.

That’s what storm Callum has taught me.

This tiny street in South Wales is a community

Very commune like.

We all pulled together. We baled water, carried furniture, cleaned each other’s houses supporting each other in any way possible.

I cooked for the street my son made flood gates my hubby helped anyone and everyone. Reporters came and went we we’re on T.V for the weekend then people forgot.

Or did they.

Friends and neighbors are now closer

People come and gift me time in return for Therapies or healing or perhaps lunch.

Fab electrician had helped wire the cabin, my friend Han from work helped dig out old trees and clear garden. My son, daughter and daughter in love helped clean and grout tiles

Zoe and Ross helped clear up after cabin was erected

My grand daughter Tamika pushed wheel barrows full of garden rubbish.

Out neighbor Paul plastered the bathroom ceiling.

The twins next door brought food when Jeff was working.

My friend Sharon very kindly lent us a digger! How awesome I’ve been truly overwhelmed with kindness I’m truly blessed.

Last week I had a phone call from a lovely guy Chris who wanted to know more about what we we’re doing having heard about us from a mutual.friend

He visited and from minute I opened the door I knew we were destined to be friends.

Today he came over and painted fences helped Jeff out then had Sunday lunch with me and my family.

I guess what I’m telling you is there is a positive in every situation no matter how bad things are

Our little retreat was a lovely little cottage before the flood but we had made do and mended with what we had.

The flood pulled our little street together into a fabulous commune it pushed us to do work that we couldn’t really afford but somehow we’ve done it.

We now have that all important healing space I so desperately needed. A shower room that will make things much easier for wheel chair users or guests with dogs!

Most of all I have met some of the most amazing people who gave us the gift of time and true genuine friendship .

That to me is priceless.

So when life gets hard remember hold out your hands and trust the universe.

It may be hard but it is always beautiful.

So if your passing through neath valley south Wales

Come take a walk down Canalside drop in say hi.

A liminal magical place

My paradise.

My Tribe

My family ❤️

Digital wizard and end of leafleting

I can turn my hand to most things practical, D.I.Y jobs if you show me how to do something I’ll have a go. Tecnical stuff not so.

Like computers like most folk I can find my way around the internet (saying that thinking about the enormity of the web makes my head hurt! It’s like some endless digital universe)

I blog lots use word ect but that’s it.

Oh and shop!

Years ago I ran my own business when my children were small advertising was in local paper, and leaflets which my kids were bribed to put through doors on the estate. If you were posh you had business cards ..

Needless to say I didn’t have cards.

Scraps of paper and a bird. How things have changed.

Anyway my point is all of these simple things were enough so my “business marketing”

Was simple done for me by me.

Time Hop thirty years..

Like the film back to the Future.

Local papers are on line..

The only leaflets I seem to get are pizza delivery and political crap which goes straight in the log burner basket with the kindling.

We run Ravens retreat

Canalside cottage we do Therapies healing , workshops.

The point is I now can’t rely on leaflets and local rag mags.

Looking for something

Ask 20th century oricle GOOGLE. (I’m sure Google is actually god)

If you write things the right way he puts you to the top of his list!

If your not in there no one finds you.

Where do I start with this.

My dear friend Julie Rosser runs The Healing Room in Llangan just outside of bridgend (if you are local to this area look her up! )

https://healingroom.wales/

She’s amazing healer, reflexology, Reiki teacher.

After chatting to her she tells me of a local guy who designs web sites and does digital marketing. (What witchcraft is this?)

I’ve glazed over as I have no clue about how any of this works.

Let me tell you now it costs a substantial amount more than getting 500 leaflets printed for the estate.

But the clue is in the ww of www. World wide..

So I hand over the last of my savings for this bespoke web site. Then three months running costs after launch.

Then I wait.

This week I get a call from Stewart to go up to check site and finalize design

So off I go over to tolbot green

Meet up with a lovely guy who speaks another language of all things web..

I don’t know what I expected but a ordinary office in a smart business centre. Desk and laptop was where he was at.

We had originally decided on 22 pages (in my head 22 leaflets 🙈)

But apparently I now have 51

This man is a modern day wizard.

Who knew you can do so much online. (Not me)

Buy vouchers, book appointments, which then sync to your Google calendar.

Buy items in a shop Blog ( I like this bit)

Trying to explain to me how Google “crawls over key words to get your services to the top of searches couldn’t have been an easy task but I think I get the idea.

The graphics are amazing to be fair the whole thing is.

There is even a events page. (Banners see I was listening!) and a link to Julie’s healing room and the Malindi centre in West Wales.

The best bit I don’t have to bribe the kids to post them through prefab doors on the estate!

As Peter Kay would say it will be out there on the estate through that tinternet!

So if you need a web site.
Look up Stewart Jones. His website is at

https://jazzdigital.uk

and you can email him sj@jazzdigital.uk or call him on 07494 192019

Surprisingly normal looking guy in a normal looking office but I’m sure I felt so energy shift as I left the office I caught a glimpse of a tall hat and a wand 😉

Stewart the wizard of all things digital.

Our shiny new web site will be launched at end of April just before we finish refurb on Retreat.

New beginnings exiting times

Look us up.

http://www.ravensretreat.wales

Think how many trees we saved.