On the Death of Our Queen

Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II – 1926 – 2022

As a UK citizen, the death of our Queen came as quite a shock yesterday afternoon. Naïve, perhaps, given her age. I should have expected it, but somehow, because it was only three days ago, when she was pictured smiling whilst greeting and welcoming our new Prime Minister, Liz Truss, I was, for a while, lulled into a false sense of security. I’m not a fan of Liz Truss at all, but I didn’t envy her having to come up with a speech within two hours of the Queen’s death.

I’m not a staunch royalist, but I have a lot of respect for the royal family despite all the difficulties various family members have encountered over recent years. After all, they may be royals, but underneath the surface, they are just human beings and as fallible as the rest of us.

I have never known another King or Queen to be on the throne; it’s going to take some getting used to saying King Charles; I keep going to say Prince Charles. I’m sure I’m not the only one who feels the same.

Some of you may know (and perhaps, disapprove; not that I need approval), but I’m a member of Extinction Rebellion (XR), as I’m passionate about taking action against climate change and getting our government to act like it’s the emergency that it is. However, I’m not going into a political debate here. There was due to be an XR festival in London this weekend. I was going to go, which would have been a real challenge as it meant a journey to Hyde Park via one overground train, one underground train and two buses – all in my wheelchair, Alfie. I was determined to take part, though. Obviously, under the sad circumstances, it would not have been respectful for this to continue to take place; apart from which, Hyde Park is one of the royal parks, so that deemed it even more inappropriate. Of course, rebels were disappointed as an awful lot of work had gone into the planning and organising the event. I’m sure it will be rescheduled for a later date.

Anyhow, that’s all I wanted to say. I very much feel for the royal family in their grief as the UK enters a period of mourning. Naturally, not everyone feels the same; some people on a local neighbourhood website have been downright disrespectful. Is that really necessary, I ask myself? No, I think not. If they don’t have anything kind to say, then I believe, under the circumstances, they should keep quiet. Why is it necessary to be so rude, albeit everyone is entitled to their opinions? So, now the UK has entered a new era. I wonder what changes will be made now that Charles is King.

My deepest condolences and respect to the royal family.
RIP Queen Elizabeth II.

Birthday Celebrations – Over the Hill? – No way!

Image by Gerd Altmann from Pixabay

I’m going to let you into a little secret. Some of my ‘older’ readers will know this already, especially given that I have young grandchildren. However, to some of my newer readers, this might come as a surprise. Having just had my birthday, I’m now officially ‘over the hill,’ according to the polls! I feel most indignant about that statement as I’m now 65, not 95 (nothing against the 95 years olds amongst us, nor people older than that). According to the polls, the age categories run like this …

18 to 24
25 to 34
35 to 44
45 to 54
55 to 64
65 and over

So … where are you supposed to go after you reach 65. Apparently, there is nowhere to go other than obviously being officially over the hill and, no doubt, going down the other side. Does this mean that the pollsters consider the only fitting thing for me, being ’65 and over’, is to shuffle off this mortal coil! I object!

Having got that little bugbear off my chest, I will continue on a happier note – my birthday, last Saturday, 3rd September. I had the most wonderful week. To begin with, last Thursday, I spent the day with nine family members, my daughter and son-in-law, my son, four young grandchildren, my sister and brother-in-law, who’d travelled up from Dorset, plus my friend, who’d been kind enough to take me to see them all. It was a perfect day, sunny and warm; not too hot like we’d had in the summer. September is nearly always a lovely month in the UK. We walked into the restaurant and big hugs were shared between us; some of my family I hadn’t seen for over two years, so I was thrilled to bits to see them all again. I felt so loved and very blessed to have such wonderful people around me.

The food arrived, which we’d pre-ordered. I’d asked for Pad Thai, one of my favourite meals. It was delicious, and I thoroughly enjoyed it. We then ordered pudding, although I don’t know where I found the room after the lunch, but I did, as did everyone else. More deliciousness. After eating, we took the children to the local park to run off their energy (and dinner). It was so lovely to see the four cousins all together. It was such a special way to celebrate my birthday.

Delicious Pad Thai

Last Saturday, my actual birthday, I met my best friend in town, and we went for another meal in an Italian restaurant. My friend, Debbie, presented me with a beautiful birthday card and an even more beautiful gift. I was so touched by the thought she had put into choosing something so special. We are both vegans, and having eaten our main course, a pasta dish, we plumped for pudding (again!). The dessert was amazing – a rich chocolate cake with honeycomb pieces called Zillionaire’s Slice with vegan sorbet with chocolate ripples. I could feel my waistline expanding after all the food I’d had. My diet was nowhere to be seen, but I wasn’t in the least bit bothered – there’s always another day for that.

Zillionaire’s Slice

So … all in all, perhaps, being 65 isn’t too bad. I’ve got absolutely no intention of shuffling off anywhere, least of all, off this mortal coil. I’m having too much fun.

Love Ellie x 🦢

BOSOM PALS AND ACQUAINTANCES

girl alone black and white

Suddenly, the stark realisation that I don’t have a best friend in the world hit me like a bolt of lightning from the sky. Not only do I not have a best friend but sadder still, I don’t think I have truly ever had a real, best buddy.

I have many social relationships and acquaintances – college friends, church friends, Facebook friends, blogging friends, neighbours, work colleagues, family members, and no doubt many people who I have not mentioned here, but none of these would I class as my bosom pal.

This realisation hits hard as I can’t help but wonder why this is. Is there something about me that no-one is telling me? Perhaps, I do have green ears and a purple tail (as one of my blogs was entitled a couple of years ago). Is there is something about me that I can’t see but others can?

As far as I know, I am a nice person (whatever ‘nice’ is). I don’t deliberately lie, nor cheat or steal. I am trustworthy. I like to go out of my way to be kind to people and to try not to hurt anyone purposely – not simply because it’s the right thing to do (in my eyes), but because that is how I genuinely feel. ‘Do unto others as you would have them do unto you’, I always say. I’m also a great believer in ‘Praise where praise is due’and ‘Kindness costs nothing’.

I was the same at both primary and grammar school. I never had friends, even then. I used to spend break-times sitting on a wall, wistfully watching while the other children playing, or when I was a bit older, I’d stand like a wallflower on the perimeter of the playground, too shy to go up to anyone in the vain hope that someone might spot me and even consider me as a friend. Maybe, it was because I was very small (and quiet) for my age so I got bullied quite a lot. I just didn’t to seem to gel with my peers.

As I grew up and when my children were little in Nursery or the early years of school, I plucked up the courage to exchange a few words to a few of the mums also waiting outside to pick their children up. However, I think I was thought of as a bit of a leper once my ex-husband left, leaving me with the children who were still young then. It just wasn’t the done thing back in the 80’s (showing my age!). I think I was, at that time, the only single-parent family in the whole of the Infants.

When my children were at secondary school, I had to work my socks off, caring and cleaning for elderly people – anything to make ends meet. Fortunately, I’ve always enjoyed the company of older people and I did like my work. Some of the clients I’d go to would let me bring the children during the holidays. Tom and Clare treated it like an outing as we’d go armed with colouring books, jigsaws and Snap or Ludo which they all enjoyed playing together and which, invariably, my clients would let the children win.

So, I think with me, and ‘friends’ or even acquaintances, it’s a case of you win some you lose some and even the ‘some’ are often like ships that pass in the night. But, am I lonely? No, actually, I’m not. I like my independence (all be it that I need Carers twice a day) and I do generally enjoy my own company and having time to read, study and write etc. I get to choose what I want to eat and what I don’t want, I get to decide whether to watch TV or listen to music. The majority of the time I get to choose when to venture into town or further afield with George (my wheelchair) and best of all, I get to hog the duvet without any arguments 🙂

 

 

 

 

THE ART OF HUGGING

cute monkeys hugging

Hugging – have you seriously thought about hugging? It has multiple benefits, and we should all be doing more of it. If we were, half the wars and battles wouldn’t be taking place, and thank the Lord that no-one has invented an anti-hugging vaccination. Hugs are much more life-preserving and also far more pleasant than coming down with a nasty case of chickenpox or the flu.

Did you know that you need at least one hug a day for reassurance, two a day for survival, four for maintenance and eight for growth? This fact would explain why I am reasonably ‘happy little bunny’ still breathing, in reasonable ‘nick’ but only two-feet-and-eight-inches tall.

If anyone would like to contribute to another few inches of height, I wouldn’t object or turn you away.

Hugging is environmentally friendly and ecologically sound. It builds self-esteem and also builds strong arm and shoulder muscles both of which are far less costly than building another new block of apartments and therefore, is economically viable.

It slows down aging which probably means I’ll feel like I’m ninety-seven before I reach sixty given that I live alone and don’t have a handy partner or nearby children.

However, I do hug the odd friend, (as I tend to prefer my friends to be a little on the peculiar side, like myself rather than conventionally rational).

I have to confess that I have a rather unusual habit in that I have been, on the odd occasion, known to approach and embrace a complete stranger. Hugging in those circumstances is sometimes okay, especially when it is to offer comfort or solace.

However, there are times such as when it’s with the bus driver en route or a waiter with a full tray of tea and scones which are not a wise idea. Also, cuddling up with the airplane pilot of a Jumbo Jet in mid-flight, or offering an embrace with Her Majesty, The Queen in the middle of giving her Christmas speech, etc., it can be seen as somewhat inappropriate.

Hugging also releases the feel-good hormone, oxytocin that is nature’s anti-depressant, so if they were readily available, we would have a lot more warm and happy people about and a lot less diazepam/valium needed.

A first rate hug ideally needs to have two elements, a hugger, and a huggee, preferably willing participants and not someone like ‘The Incredible Hulk’ squeezing the life out of a reluctant Miniature Chihuahua. Likewise, a hug needs to be shared between two beings, or more if near to hand as clutching thin air is no better than attempting to embrace a boa-constrictor.

At this point, I should say that I am offering free demonstrations. In addition, all contributions to myself will be gratefully received as I am saving up for my Blue-Peter badge.

healing hugs

 

I CAN’T PEOPLE TODAY

My head is completely fucked up today. I wanted to be kind today because that’s how I like to treat people and have been on the whole. I left my Carer a ‘Welcome to my humble abode’ message with a smiley face drawn on the wipe-clean noticeboard in the kitchen and then when she came I could do nothing other than make small talk. I went out this morning and smiled and said “good morning” and “have a nice day” to passers-by on my way to the shops. I decided to leave two sticky-notes saying ‘Hi! Have an awesome day! Love from a stranger xx’, one stuck on the wrapper of a loaf of bread in the supermarket round the corner and the other on a packet of babies disposable nappies in the chemist. My hope was to brighten someone’s day. Then I unintentionally held up a queue of people in a shop because I couldn’t turn my wheelchair round in the small place on the way out and then felt dreadful. I tried out a new cycle path in my wheelchair on the way back from the shops and managed to lose my way (not unusual for me). I looked around and surprisingly, I spotted my neighbours two children not far off (on their bikes) who are twelve and nine. I called out to them and said how silly I was to get lost and bless their hearts, they cycled all the way home with me so I popped out again and got them a Kit-Kat chocolate bar each to say thank you. I arrived home safe and well. I did these things because I wanted to make people happy and not because I want thanks or recognition,

And now, this evening, everything in my head has gone pear-shaped. I am full of self-hatred and anger. I ignored the telephone when it rung and pretended I wasn’t in when a salesman rang the doorbell. I hid as best I could which isn’t easy when your legs don’t work. Suddenly, I don’t want to see anyone; I don’t want to speak to anyone; I don’t want to be with anyone whereas normally I would crave these things. I’m a grumpy old cow this evening. My faith seems to have gone up in smoke. I don’t know what has happened to me today….I know that my moods alter drastically from one moment to the next sometimes and I know that can be caused by my mental health condition, Borderline Personality Disorder (BPD). But, somehow today, it feels more than that. I don’t want to be; I don’t want to think; I don’t want to talk; I can, thankfully, write today (after a fashion). I just “CAN’T PEOPLE TODAY”. I just can’t do it, be it, see it, hear it, say it, feel it. I don’t want to be part of the world or part of our war-torn, desperately unfair existence, I don’t want to be on this planet or in this universe. I just don’t want to be! ‘STOP THE WORLD, I WANNA GET OFF’. Get me out of here……………

i can't people today

I’m sorry, people x  😦