Nothing is really that much of a big deal apart from human loss.
I wasn’t the only one feeling the pain this week. Mimi, my heart went out to you when I read your words. And there really are No Words.
Normal service has been resumed for my websites thanks to a genius called Gavin who worked flat out over two days to fix the fixable.
If only we could do the same for people who break and take their own lives.
And as Gavin fixed my online life, I sat listening to I’ll Find My Way Home while remembering the happy times with Phil.
We had divorced before he died and my life was back on track – we were also 3,000 miles apart living different lives.
So the trauma the children and I suffered was vastly different to someone who comes home to find their loved one has gone – I cannot imagine how anyone ever gets over that.
Phil felt worthless. He was anything but that.
He lives on in his sons and, in our five grandchildren he never saw.
I hope this YouTube video will play for everyone watching in other countries – sometimes US videos won’t play over here – so I hope this one plays for you. It is a truly beautiful song and I will put the lyrics below.
I get great comfort from this song and the breathtaking images that are on the video.
Here it is – I’ll Find My Way Home performed by Gregorian:
And here are the lyrics:
I’ll Find My Way Home
You ask me where to begin Am I so lost in my sin You ask me where did I fall I’ll say I can’t tell you when But if my spirit is lost How will I find what is near Don’t question I’m not alone Somehow I’ll find my way home My sun shall rise in the east So shall my heart be at peace And if you’re asking me when I’ll say it starts at the end You know your will to be free Is matched with love secretly And talk will alter your prayer Somehow you’ll find you are there. Your friend is close by your side
And speaks in far ancient tongue A seasons wish will come true All seasons begin with you One world we all come from One world we melt into one Just hold my hand and we’re there Somehow we’re going somewhere Somehow we’re going somewhere You ask me where to begin
Am I so lost in my sin
You ask me where did I fall
I’ll say I can’t tell you when
But if my spirit is strong
I know it can’t be long
No questions I’m not alone
Somehow I’ll find my way home
Somehow I’ll find my way home
Somehow I’ll find my way home
Somehow I’ll find my way home
Mmmm….when it comes to blogging anxiety, it’s several things really…
Not even a week into our collective comeback and I’ve got blogging anxiety again. And I’m hearing voices. Well, one voice really. Mine.🙄
And it taunts me with these neurotic questions which, I answer one by one further down: (The voice is thin and whiny but my answers are very shouty because I’VE HAD ENOUGH OF MY OWN VOICE WHINING AT ME!
“What if you don’t have time to blog every day,week, month, year, decade, century?”
“What if you don’t have time to read every blog in the known universe and, what if new universes are discovered and they have blogging there?
“What if you miss someone’s post and they think you’re ignoring them and they hate you forever.”
“What if you miss a comment held in moderation and people think you are ignoring them and they hate you forever.“
What about that then? Eh? Eh? (I used to speak Canadian, can you tell?)
See, I’m neuwritetic (a bit like neurotic only worse).
No, no, I am – don’t try to make me feel better, I can turn absolutely any situation into one of high anxiety.
I’m not doing blogging anxiety ever again, therefore, I’ve set me some ground rules so I can stop babbling in my own ear and driving myself nuts.
So here’s what I’m telling that voice.
Q: What if I don’t have time to blog every century? A: For a start voice – quit whining in my ear. You’re driving me to drink and what a shame to destroy 29 years of living on carrot juice. I’ll blog when I have time. Maybe every century is a tad unrealistic, but, we’ll see.
Seriously, I’m not going to go quiet on my blog again now that Mimi has fired us all up. But I know I can’t write every day and sometimes every week might be hard. I have a 91 year old mum to care for and a business to run so time is tight – as it is for all of us.
And I also spend an inordinate amount of time in the summer sitting on the garden swing in a trance, staring at ants because they fascinate me.
And, I don’t suppose anyone will care if I am not popping up every five minutes with a new post – so it’s all good.
Q: What if you don’t have time to read every blog in the known universe and, what if new universes are discovered and they have blogging there?
A: For heaven’s sake voice, what do you want from me? What with gluing bits of card to other bits of card and filming it, repeating everything to my mum 20 times on the phone (her hearing aid is 10 years old and the NHS isn’t in a hurry to replace it) and, with all the ant staring, how much time do you think is left for reading?
Seriously, this issue cropped up for me a lot back at the start when it was all a big race for stats (or some of us believed it was). Some people will relate to this I’m sure.
You’d join a group and everyone would be jolly hockey sticks about interacting and it worked for awhile.
Eventually, it became apparent when a narcissistic blogger was in my midst. They were the ones who would lap up your comments like a thirsty dog in a puddle but just didn’t reciprocate. (While complaining bitterly on forums when others were not liking or commenting on theirs.)
For awhile, I continued to do my bit regardless of whether a blogger was supporting me (or not!) Afterall, if I’d enjoyed a post, did it matter if the writer wasn’t ecstatic about mine?
Unfortunately, in the end, it did matter. Why? Because there are only so many hours in the day and I found I was letting good people down because I ran out of time every day.
And then people would post again before I’d caught up and every night, I was up until the small hours bashing away at the keyboard while my husband wondered if I was avoiding sex him.
And I’m not one to write things like “Great post!” – I never hit and run. I like to actually read the post and connect with the writer – so it all became a bit crazy for me.
In the end, with needy parents taking up lots of my time, I lost track of everyone, even the good guys and I just stopped reading anyone.
This time round I’m going to be a lot more organised 😂😂😂 It’s three strikes and ‘no shows’ are out. No messing. I will gladly read and comment on anyone’s posts – if we are supporting each other. Hell, I’ll stay up all night when we are all helping each other.
But if a blogger I am supporting isn’t supporting me, I will assume they don’t like what they find here and I will focus on those who do – no matter how much I like their posts because, well, I’m not a doormat anymore.
That may sound harsh but last time around, I remember how crazy it got with late nights trying to catch up with everything. And I’m not doing that again for bloggers with narcisstic personality disorder. 😂🤣😂
Lets communicate! If we are too busy to keep up with each other – lets talk about it in the group instead of just ignoring the issue.
Q: What if you miss someone’s post and they think you’re ignoring them and they hate you forever.”
Oh. My. GOD voice! What is wrong with you? Your paranoia is reaching new heights! You need climbing ropes and spiky boots for this one!
Seriously, if I usually show up and then I miss a post or haven’t responded to a comment or just appear to have disappeared – it will not be deliberate (unless there’s been three strikes😂).
There were times last year when my dad was dying when I almost forgot who my husband was, so the blogging world never stood a chance!
We all have stuff to deal with and the beauty of our group is that we can prod each other and say – hey – WTF are you – you missed my post!
I probably won’t do that myself, (because of my own personality disorder which no one talks about and hasn’t been named yet🤪) BUT I’m happy for people to remind me if I haven’t shown up yet when I normally do. There are times when I am AWOL from my own life because of some elder crisis or another and we all know – it’s hard to do everything.
Q: “What if you miss a comment held in moderation and people think you are ignoring them and they hate you forever.“
Here we go again voice – get the spiky boots and ropes out again! No one cares that much. Get over your damn self woman!
Seriously, I catch up with everything in the end. It might take a few days, but I don’t ever really forget what I need to do because I keep a bullet journal with the most detailed tasks of stuff to do. It’s not so much a Bu Jo, more of an OCD Jo.
If you feel as if I’m not playing fair – tell me – when I realise I’ve missed something I’ll be mortified – I can say sorry for England. I’m a contender for the Saying Sorry OlympicEvent and I’ll probably get a gold medal in the next Olympic Games. 🥇
So, that’s it – my blogging anxiety all laid bare.
I’m going outside to stare at ants because it is a beautiful sunny day and I’m allowed because I’m the boss around here (and the only employee which is why I talk to myself so much.)
How about you – do you get blogging anxiety or do you just not give a f*&k? – talk to me and tell me if I’m mad – I only need three more yes’s for an official diagnoses.
I should never in a million years been swayed by the niche promoters.
Looking back, it was ironic, that many of the blogging gurus had niches that were in…blogging.
So lots of what they were saying was probably completely true…if you were blogging about blogging – you could get thousands of followers quite easily by having that as your niche.
Us newbie bloggers would lap up anything written by ‘experts’ because we had no idea, really, what we were doing.
So someone who was a few months ahead of you in their blogging journey seemed like an expert.
And they probably were, in blogging about blogging.
So naturally, they would say you needed a niche because they had become successful having a niche.
Don’t get me wrong – I love my craft website and YouTube channel.
They are my real work and connected to all the ways I make my living now. It’s been much easier to get followers on my YouTube channel than any other platform and it’s been easier to make money on there too.
So today when I heard from MiMi about the new Old School blogging group – it hit me like a ton of bricks – this can be where I write exactly what I want – cussin’ ‘n all if I feel like it!
It always was just that. It was the place where I learned how to create a blog and everything that went with it so I could go on to create a niche blog elsewhere.
This blog is my old friend – the place where I can unwind, be real and say what I like.
Thank you so much MiMi for reminding me where we all started out.
Below, you can see the kind of items you may have trouble finding where you live.
Right – Glass Domes Above – 1″ Circle punch.
Above – clear resin stickers to use when domes are too heavy.
Buying online is fine BUT if you have a local independent craft shop, I would urge you to support the owner by using it for as many of your craft needs as you can.
Although I do make commission on anything I sell from my Amazon shops (see my Amazon statement here), it is only a very tiny amount, certainly not enough for it to be anything more than a resource I have developed to help people find what they need if they can’t get it locally. Therefore I urge you all to try and get your stuff from actual high street shops while you can.
That’s it for today – any questions?
Drop me a comment below, pop over to my YouTube channel and introduce yourself in the comments and make sure you subscribe to it (and my other blog if you want to know when more freebies are added!)
Don’t forget to grab your free craft printables and let me know what you make with them – see you next time. 😘
When I'm not busy singing with Pop Chorus or making films for my YouTube channel - I spend my days racing against time to get my house decluttered ready to have it altered so my mum can come and live comfortably with us.
I'm really not good at decluttering though! I'm terrible because I get so sidetracked by every tiny thing and so stuff goes backwards and forwards between the keep or get rid of boxes about a million times!
So I wrote this after my first real day of decluttering when I spent so long messing around with stuff I was finding, I really didn't get very far. I wonder how many people can relate!
I'd love you to tell me but no matter what I do, I can't get my comment section to work since I disabled it when I didn't have time to deal with comments.
I'll try again - but if it doesn't work, you can always contact me via the contact form and I'll try to find a way to publish your comments. Yay - it works!
I hadn't checked the discussion box at the top of the page!
Even though you are on a mission to get rid of junk - make sure you find small insignificant things, such as those miniature screw drivers you bought in a charity shop 15 years ago (because they would 'come in handy'), but never used and spend an hour obsessing over whether you should keep them for another 15 years...or not. Make a game of it! Keep moving them from the 'Keep' box to the 'Charity' box while singing the chorus of the Hokey Cokey - not forgetting to 'shake it all about' at the appropriate moment.
Poems about the moon have been written in vast quantities for centuries.
If you Google 'poems about the moon' there about 235,000,000 results - so I am under no illusions that in writing my short poems about the moon, I am blazing any kind of a trail!
My teeny little poems about the moon are purely a way of expressing my thoughts about it.
I have always loved the moon and see it as a link to every single person who has come before me.
When it is full, I often stand under it, gazing up and feeling content knowing that all those people I have loved and lost have stood under the same moon.
The sky, with all its wonders, has covered us all since the dawn of time - and I love the fact that whatever changes around us, all we have to do to see something all our ancestors saw is simply look up.
I have written before on how much I love solitude and when the moon is full, I feel that solitude when looking up at it, even in a crowded place.
I wrote these two poems about the moon in December 2018 and January 2019.
The second moon picture was taken early in the morning of Jan 22nd, just over 24 hours after the eclipse (which I missed!).
Pop Chorus directed by Yula Andrews Performing at the Martlesham 100 Event in the summer.
Pop Chorus is truly a phenomenon that is hard to explain.
But, I am going to try.
Back in April of this year, I wrote a post about singing. In that post, I spoke about joining a choir but I had only been in it for three months at that point.
But I already knew I was involved in something unique - I just didn't know how unique Pop Chorus was at that time. The choir's musical director was Yula Andrews and she had decided to expand the choir by forming another group, which was the group I joined in January 2017.
We are one big choir but we rehearse in five different groups, coming together for shows and big rehearsals.
Three months after I wrote the post about Pop Chorus, we performed a sell-out show - Lose Yourself In the Music - at a 700 seat venue in Ipswich and I was starting to see what an unstoppable force Yula Andrews is when it comes to Pop Chorus.
Pop Chorus - Lose Yourself In The Music - the sell-out show - Ipswich Corn Exchange July 15th 2017
Pop Chorus played their biggest venue to date with a choir made up of people who 'can't sing'.
And it was a sell-out. People were queuing to get in and there was not a single seat left.
Can Pop Chorus members sing? Oh yes.
Individually, many of us, myself included, would not consider ourselves to be singers. If I had not been coerced by an old friend, I would never ever have thought about singing in front of anyone, never mind on stage in a large theatre!
But Pop Chorus does not tolerate people saying 'I can't sing'. Yula believes in everyone. The only difference between Yula and Gareth Malone is that he has a TV show and she doesn't - YET.
The result is a group of people who, together, make the most amazing sounds singing pop songs in four and sometimes five part harmony.
Big as the sell-out concert was, Pop Chorus, I was sure, still had something even bigger to come.
Those of us who took part in that performance will never forget it. The relentless rehearsals, the learning of song after song, memorising lyrics, practicing parts at home day after day, the build up to the show, the jostling for space in dressing rooms, the camaraderie on and off-stage and then finally, the intense pride and joy we all felt as we took several bows after the most incredible night of our lives.
The whole experience was multi-layered, rich in the warmth of being with people who share a love of music and who trust each other enough to bare their voices week after week.
And all driven forward by one person - Yula, although it must be said that Yula does have two 'wing men' - voice singing coaches Jen Leyton and Becky Alexander who lead two of the groups.
But big as this sell-out concert was, it didn't drive me back to the keyboard to write part two of my thoughts on the choir.
I even interviewed Yula and much as I loved what she told me about what drives her, I still wasn't ready to write part two.
Something bigger was coming - of that I felt sure, but I had no idea what it was.
Straight after the concert, I, like many other people fell into a strange malaise. Pop Chorus was over for the summer and many of us felt lost.
A few people got a group together to continue meeting up throughout the summer while Pop Chorus was on a break but I retreated back into the world I had been in before joining Pop Chorus.
I was, I told myself, relieved it was over. I'd done it, I'd had the experience, I'd met some wonderful people but it was over and now it was time to get back to work and stop all this frivolity.
But then came the first whispering of the 'big thing' I was waiting for without knowing what it was.
Yula wanted us to make a CD to raise money for our community partner, St. Elizabeth's Hospice.
And so, the 'Always' project was born and a new chapter in the life of Yula's Pop Chorus began.
It was an ambitious project but by September, everything was in place for it to go ahead - Yula had secured the services of renowned music producer Ian Curnow, who was from the Stock Aitken and Waterman stable, producing hit after hit for the likes of Kylie Minogue, Talk Talk and the Pet Shop Boys.
An original song had been written using lyrics generated by St. Elizabeth Hospice patients and it was about to form the centre point of the most ambitious project Pop Chorus had ever undertaken.
Pop Chorus members were stunned - we were going to record a CD - a proper CD with a proper producer!
Us people who 'could not sing' had sold out a concert and now we were going to make a CD.
As soon as summer was over, we were rushed back into rehearsals a week earlier than choir should have resumed and the hard work began.
Five leads were auditioned, and they went into the studio of Ian Curnow to record the lead part of Always.
But what about the rest of us?
How to you record a whole choir professionally?
So the Diss Corn Hall was hired and a professional studio was set up in there.
We spent a day recording our original song, 'Always' and three of our most popular covers:
I just Don't Know What To Do With Myself - Dusty Springfield
The Power of Love - Frankie Goes To Hollywood
Chandelier - Sia.
And our CD was born!
This is what makes Pop Chorus a phenomenon.
It's the tireless work of director Yula Andrews and her team. The dedication of the choir members and the support we have all had from family, friends and the people who come to our shows.
In the 10 months I have been involved with Pop Chorus, I have come to understand the bonds that are forged when a huge group of people has a common interest and purpose.
I have never been part of a group that is so warm and supportive.
The single is doing incredibly well on iTunes, Amazon and Google Play - we have been going up and down the charts on all three since the CD release on November 17th.
We have held our own against some really big names and are hoping against all hope we make it into the Top 40 by midnight on Thursday Nov23rd.
Number 1 would be an absolute dream for St. Elizabeth's Hospice and their patients.
Please help Pop Chorus help terminally ill people - visit http://www.popchorus.org and follow one of the links to download our single or our EP. The single is only 99p and the EP is less than £4.
Pop Chorus is definitely a force to be reckoned with.
Women and war - two words that I never really think about.
But yesterday, when I visited the war graves in my nearby town, women and war suddenly became related in my mind for the first time in all the years I have been going to my uncle's grave.
Whenever I visit the cemetery, I always think in terms of all the men who died in the World Wars, which of course was incredibly naive of me and made me think about how I have always perceived male and female roles in wartime.
Ageism takes many forms - are you allowing yourself to be defined by the age pigeonhole that society has stuffed you in?
There are many age-related pigeonholes into which we all get stuffed from the moment we are born. It can help with things like clothing sizes and other stuff as in 'newborn' nappies or 'toddler' groups.
However, it never occurred to me, as I worked my way gradually through all the pigeonholes of life, that when I reached the final one, I would still be quite young but would be constantly beaten back into my age pigeonhole by younger people wielding the intimidating 'over 60s' stick.
This is not the first time I have been driven to write about ageism. I was moved to gross sarcasm about it back in the summer of 2015 when attending a business conference in London .
One of the speakers I had gone to see kept referring to the 'grey pound' - ageism at it's worst in my opinion.
When I realised he was talking about me (despite no grey hair!) I was really impressed with myself wondering how such an old duffer as me managed to catch a train to London, all alone, and take the underground to the conference centre without wetting myself or dribbling on anyone.
When I returned, I wrote a post on ageism which you can find here.
Ageism - if anyone says you are over the hill, may I suggest you chase the little buggers up it!
Lately, as a mature woman who feels no different to the 'me' I was at any other time of my life, I have become increasingly concerned at the number of under 60s who are poised to hit you with the over 60s stick, should you have the cheek to peep out of the pigeonhole to see what's going on in the world.
I am so sick of the ageism that is rampant, especially in the Millennial generation who have been spoilt rotten.
My choice is to be a 'something' again, not an 'over'. It's like this...
…once we were teens, a label probably none of us really minded. Our teens gave way to three decades of being a "something" as in 20 something, 30 something and 40 something, during which we may have subconsciously written off anyone over 50 or 60 as not worth bothering about. Where did we get that idea?
We were utterly blind to the fact that we were eventually going to be those older people who were too offensive to us to contemplate.
Too offensive on the eye to be anywhere near us beautiful young things who owned the world - or so we thought. Turns out we were just borrowing it before the next lot of arrogant youngsters turned up and glared at us for daring to leave the house after reaching age 60.
Did we ever consider, for one moment, as we smirked at the sight of a 60-year-old doing anything we considered to be 'too young' for them, that we were nothing more than 'over 60s' waiting to happen? Did we ever look through the window of the unstoppable bus of time and notice life just whizzing past in a blur?
Was I guilty of ageism when I was younger? Yes, I probably was.
When I was still in one of the recognized 'something' decades, I was as guilty as anyone for writing off the 'over 60s' as being 'past it'. Past what? And where does that idea come from? The irony is, that when I actually became one of them, I felt no different inside to when I was 49 or 29 or 19. I suddenly realized the injustice of pigeonholing a whole chunk of society and subconsciously writing people off once they reach 60.
I finally understood the folly of ageism.
If you need any proof that we are shoved unkindly into a final and inferior age pigeonhole once past our 59th year, think about this, past 60, we are no longer worthy of our own decade as in being referred to as a '60 something'. We become 'overs', lumped in with everyone from 60 to 110.
Considering our wonderful leaders are gradually pulling the cosy retirement rug from under our feet by upping the age at which we can expect to get our state pension, I think society needs to stop all this 'over 60' nonsense and define us all as 'something's according to our decade, particularly those still expected to work and continue paying tax. I mean, who wants to be called an 'over'?
Ageism persists even though no one gets a state pension at 60 any more.
If the government thinks we are fit to carry on working until we are 66 years and 4 months (as in my case), then I think it is time we were recognised as the worthy citizens we are rather than some kind of collective joke, either shoved in a social pigeonhole to rot, or, encouraged to stay away from the under 60s by social segregation.
Think about it - look at all the classes and groups there are which are pre-fixed by the words 'over 60s'.
As we are now expected to work well into our 60s serving a society made up of all ages, why then should we allow ourselves to be lumped together into an older, collective age group to socialise? It implies anyone from 60 upwards is too 'past it' to mix with those under 60.
If that is the case, why are we 'past it', 'old people' expected to carry on working?
The relentless 'over 60s', 'Grey' stereotyping propaganda needs to stop and then perhaps those not long out of nappies, who think they own the world, will stop patronising us with names like 'dear' and 'grandma'.
The business world needs to stop targeting the 'over 60s' with such a depressing range of products, the premature nature of which some of us may find offensive.
They are everywhere - special insurance plans, will-making, stair-lifts, incontinence pads, denture fixatives, indigestion remedies, things to kneel on in the garden, corn pads and many other 'over the hill' products marketed to those between 60 and 110.
At 61, I have no interest in any of them and before anyone screams at me about how important making a will is, it's been done, shoved in a file and forgotten because, I am busy living.
And if in the course of living I decide I want to go to an art/yoga/keep-fit class, I would rather there was a broad age range of people attending, from teens to 90+. Why would I want to be limited to mixing with my age upwards? There is much to learn from younger people and we have much we can share with them… like a poke in the eye every time one of them patronises us with terms like 'dear', 'grandma' or 'silver surfer'.
In the most recent series of The Apprentice (UK verison), a snotty nosed little Millenial (excuse my ageism but they deserve it) suggested that the over 60s need a robot device to tell them when to take their pills and to show them how to excercise.
I can highly recommend that episode just to see Lord Sugar's reaction in the boardroom. You can see it here.
Wouldn't you rather be defined by society as a 60, 70, 80 or 90 'something' instead of an 'over 60'?
Or are you happy to be forced into the 'over 60s' pigeonhole with everyone from 60 to 110 and socially abandoned by the younger age groups to read little catalogues full of cheap bingo dabbers, plastic knickers and Zimmer frames?
Do excuse me while I change the Led Zeppelin CD for some musical wallpaper more suited to my advanced age and while I'm at it, I will swap my jeans for a nice flowery skirt.Not!
Seriously, I do think it is high time we stopped all this ageism nonsense towards people who are on the far side of 60 and realise that we are all members of the same society no matter what age we are.
What do you think? Have you been a victim of ageism?