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.

Accidental cat

I have a cat with an identity problem.

He thinks he’s a dog.

Now I have never owned a cat before him ( Lucifer)

I was working in community mental health I went out one sunny day in May to visit a new patient.

An elderly lady who lived in a first floor flat.

Just her an her cat

We sat and chatted for a few minutes when in comes the cat.

It’s huge and as it sat down it looked like a massive triangular door stop.

Wow I say is the cat pregnant.?

She looks at me like pissed in her teacup!

“No she’s fucking not !” She hisses

“She’s doesn’t go out of the flat!”

Okay okay! 🙈

I make my excuses and leave

“see you tomorrow

I call as I shut the front door

Me and my big mouth.

I vow never to comment again on the fat triangular cat!

The day after I return.

Her mood had to improved she opens the door and I follow her upstairs she’s muttering under her breath and the smell of cat pee is so pugnent I kick myself for presuming the triangle cat has ever been out side.

She stands at the top of the stairs cigarette hanging from her mouth pointing at the bedroom door.

Your fault she says

You cursed me.

I peep around the door there on the floor by a pile of rubbish bags is the much slimmer triangle doorstop cat licking three beautiful kittens

A voice behind me says

I’m drowning them.

Oh no I say I’ll have one and I’ll find homes for the others

She’s still scowling.

I’ll pay for cat food until they can leave their mammy.

And then we can take her to be neutered.

Still she scowls

Let’s go sit down and chat.

We talk about support and help she needs and I feel her soften slightly.

I call to the shop and pick up cat food and litter and a few packets of buiscits

Take photos of the kittens and ring the pdsa to make appointment.

Over the next few weeks we got to know each other better her guard came down as I took her out shopping and to the pub for a surprise birthday lunch.

Eventually the kittens we’re ready to leave Lucifer, Lola and Ragnar

All had forever homes and the triangle cat was neautered!

Just in case she left the flat again!

I took Lucifer home to my canalside cottage.

My first cat ever

My elderly dog saffie adored him he would try to suckle her and she would lick him soon they were best friends.

When saffie and I walked down the canal

Lucifer started to follow

Where saffie went so did our cat…

If a dog barked at saffie this crazy cat would warn it off with a hiss and arched back! They were inseparable.

Last year we lost our saffie she was 14 it broke my heart.

Lucifer pined for her

Every night 7pm stood at the door by saffies lead.

So of course we still go for a canal walk .

I’m sure she about walking with us too.

Me and my beautiful accidental cat 🐈

Just giving for Ravens Retreat.

For those who don’t know me. I run Ravens Retreat a Canalside cottage in South Wales.

We provide breaks for anyone with a end of life or Cancer diagnosis.

Also free Therapies for cancer patients.

Counseling, C.B.T. hypnotherapy, Reiki Healing, Omni Healing,

Swedish massage, hot stone massage,

Reflexology and much more.

We teach reiki meditation and past life regression.

We have a list of wonderful Therapists who will visit our clients if they can’t get to us.

We also run death cafes tea cake and chat.

Poetry and writing workshops.

We gave just had a beautiful cabin built at the back of the retreat that will when finished be our dedicated healing space

But need to raise funds to make it into a warm comfortable cozy space where you can forget about the world outside.

As we are non profit c i.c company we rely on grants and donations to pay our Therapists and fund improvments to our service

So we now have a just giving page

Please share information about us to anyone who might benefit.

Here is our just giving link

Thanks and blessings.

https://www.justgiving.com/crowdfunding/ravenscancerretreat?utm_term=rb4Ag8PeP

Perfect solitude

I’ve had a few weeks of not leaving the canal unless I really have to.

Calling over to see my Mam in law but other than that I’ve been home in the cottage.

Folk may call for healing or massage but most of the time has been spent writing lots, reading and potching getting things done in the Retreat, grouting tiles cleaning up tile dust, clearing building rubbish from the garden, clearing more bloody tile dust. Where does it hide?

You clean it leave the room come back and there is more.

Tile dust causes bad language I’ll never be rid of it.

Jeff comes home and we do more few friends call at the weekend to help us but other than that I’ve seen very few folk.

No human beings

It’s been heaven!

I wonder how some folk don’t like being alone.

I love it, maybe a little too much.

Social media has made it easier. I can check anyone I care about is okay.

Mobile phones well if anyone really needs me they can ring.

Well they could if I turned on the ringer, I’ll ring back when I’ve finished potching.

I’ve been captured by this magical place it’s like a little island commune like,

Thirty cottages an eclectic bunch we are,

There for each other but not mithered or bothered.

Ducks and geese lots of hooded crows

I can’t imagine living anywhere else.

Surrounded by water, view of the mountain.

Log burner, hubby and cats.

Canalside

Home.

Omni kriya

Today another beautiful day spent with Stephanie Jones at the malindi centre in West Wales.

I met Stephanie when I did my Omni energy healing a system of healing from India founded by Dr Sameer Kale I have thought how best to describe it’s differences to Reiki which I have worked with and taught since 1992.

I’d have to say they are both a form of energy healing Reiki from Japan

Omni from India.

The similarities end there.

If you have been a recipient of Reiki please think about experiencing Omni and see for yourself completely different.

A very solid grounding healing all encompassing I’m really enjoying using on myself and as a distance healing.

Looking forward to using it on others.

So whilst doing my Omni I read and asked about Omni Kryia (energy healing massage therapy)

It seemed to draw me although I was a little curious how massage would work clothed?

As kria can be used either way.

So I booked and went back today to learn more!

In a nutshell I’m hooked.

This is amazing having experienced a massage myself by Stephanie my Omni Teacher/Master I have nothing to compare this to. It left me feeling totally relaxed, energized and refreshed.

Then my turn to give a kria massage I was pleasantly surprised how easy it was to do this whilst the client is wearing clothing covered with a light cotton blanket.

The heat and energy from the healing was palpable.

I know this is going to be a valuable tool in my holistic tool box. Particularly with pallative patients kria is something that is easy to do even in a hospital bed.

If you are a holistic therapist and you feel drawn to energy healing I’d encourage you to check out the link below

I’m thankful I was drawn to this loving path of Omni. I’m sure my journey with Stephanie Sameer and malindi centre is just beginning.

My new website will be launching this month please check us out any profits go to providing breaks for cancer patients at Ravens Retreat. Wales.

https://ravensretreat.wales/home

The healing room run by my dear friend Julie Rosser in the vale of Glamorgan also provides Reiki classes and a range of therapies there is also a beautiful yurt available to hire for workshops.

https://healingroom.wales/

Training for Omni can be found here

https://www.malindi.co.uk/

Canalside flood South Wales U.K 2018 storm Callum

So for those of you who don’t know our area I know that’s most of you. We live in a small village in South Wales called Aberdulais.

Our street is on bank of the Tenant Canal a row of terrace cottages which were built for tin plate workers in 1800 stone built two up two down.

Behind the cottages is a disused collery train track, then wait for it the neath canal.

The river Neath then runs across the top of our street. Then higher up the river is a junction where two Rivers meet.

Bridges, arches and aquaducts add to the landscape of this liminal place that we call home.

I couldn’t imagine living anywhere else.

It’s a special place canalside walks ducks, geese and most importantly an amazing community. We are a true melting pot eclectic in every way.

Call me an eternal optimist but I really do believe that most people are inherently good. Canalside has proven that again this week our community pulled together and got on with it.

I cooked for everyone, my hubby Jeff my son Mike and the men dug trenches to drain water we baled with buckets as the water ran into the back doors of the cottages and out of the front.

My next door but one neighbor had only moved here in April his house was one of the worsed hit. .

Vicki and Dai are a young couple who both work hard for what they have they have two small childen their house was ruined Vicki’s beloved piano laying on their sofa in an effort to save it as water and sewage ran through their home.

We have our house and also own the Retreat no 28. It’s a community interest company. Everything I do benefits the community providing restbite breaks for cancer patients therapies & workshops we run on a shoe string the water ran it the Retreat too

So here we are no one complaining just encouraging each other helping and supporting where the council, environment agency and welsh water let us all down.

Now I’m not political at all. .but three years ago envoroment agency and council did a dummy run in the street with flood gates showing us what would happen if there was ever a flood threat.

Gates were fitted sand bags brought I for one felt reassured there won’t not be a repeat of 1995 disaster.

BUT…..

Yesterday there was.

The rain started Friday early hours. storm Callum was approaching Wales.

Whilst at our son’s wedding reception in Swansea we received a call to say come home the street is being evacuated. The river had risen so much it was flowing over the top of the aquaduct and the canal was fit to burst.

We rushed home expecting agencies who were issuing the warning to bring us promised flood gates and sand bags..

They didn’t arrive 7am sat morning when most houses were already baling water a small council flat back arrived issued us all with two sand bags each..

Yes two which they placed at the front doors the door where the water was escaping. The water was entering the back.

The council Professed to know nothing about gates.

A few hours later water rose through the drains toilets sinks spewed sewage mixed with rain water .

Fire brigade arrived and scratched their heads where could they pump it too?

They left. Local councilor came to the British legion at top of street dressed in Wellingtons. Had she come to bale water.

Afraid not she too left.

The only one that stayed was the rain.

From 8am until late last night we worked as a community together I’m so proud to live here.

T.v crews came people stood on the bridge to watch.

Eventually the rain stopped people’s flooring furniture possessions now litter the canal path houses are ruined

Most of us have no flood insurance why. We can’t afford it.

So is anyone to blame ?

Well this afternoon Welsh waters clean up team arrived (who knew they had one)

We told them what had happened.

Can’t have been the drains they said

But it came through the toilet sinks baths manhole covers.

Not our fault they said.

We live on a flood plane shouldn’t we have bigger drains?

Or storm drains I asked.

No idea came the reply.

So as grateful as I am for my wonderful friends here where we live we are getting there the clean up is in full swing.

Things could have been much easier.

So environment agency where are our gates? And where you joking with your two sand bags? Wonder if we had a M P living here would we have had more.

One of my amazing friends Becky drove over from Lougher to bring us floodsax amazing gel filled bags that works much better than sand. Much easier to deliver but cost more .

So I guess no one want to take ANY responsibility for the way we a small street families with small children, babies and elderly where ignored offered evacuation but precious little else.

Don’t tell us it wasnt the drains houses now small of human excrement.

Families need new carpets new furniture dehumidifiers, the list goes on.

But we will get there we have no choice this is our home. This is our family and we will fix it.