Oliver – A tribute to a friend

Oliver dozing

I have to tell you with sadness that Oliver passed away this week. He was 17 years old.

To me he was your archetypal cat; slightly standoffish, didn’t readily sit on laps, although he could be persuaded on occasion. He kept himself pristine, and always looked stunningly gorgeous.

He was a hunter, and until he got too old and started slowing down he would catch anything that moved, mice, voles, birds, I even had to deal with the odd frog or two.

He loved his independence and enjoyed going outdoors, ranging far and wide on adventures I never knew the content of, only that it was clear he was enjoying life.

I first met him at Leicester Animal Rescue in 2001, after the sudden death of one of my other cats. I needed a male cat as a companion for my surviving adult female, and he was there and beautiful and shy and just what I wanted. So we adopted him and took him home. It took him a good year to relax and get used to us but finally he understood that he really did have a forever home and that we could be trusted to not hurt him or let him down.

He has been my companion through high moments and low ones, and in many ways understood me when I didn’t understand myself.

He is now at rest in Mum’s garden, a place he would have loved to roam in.

Never forgotten.

Categories: Life | 1 Comment

The waiting is over

Many moons ago, I started blogging on another site and the title was “Raecheybaby’s Allotment” and it was to be about the things I did, the things I grew, the things I cooked yada, yada all to do with this allotment I wanted. Well, I waited four years in Bedford and never heard a word back about getting a plot to dig.

Then I moved to Rugby and when the turmoil of losing Dan and losing my job and losing my grandparents died down a bit, I looked into it again, and some time in May last year I put myself on the waiting list for a plot somewhere near me.

Finally, almost 18 months after putting myself on that list and writing lists of everything I might possibly want to grow and trying to think of the equipment I’ll need and who might help me, I have a letter in my hand announcing that I can call a lady and arrange to see some plots! So sometime next week I will be committing myself to growing veggies – the positives of this are getting outside more often, losing weight due to eating more veggies and losing weight through the sheer effort required to dig and tend my plot

I can’t wait!

Categories: Allotment, Beginning, Dan, Food, Hope, Plans | Leave a comment

I always seem to be whinging

And I’m not happy that I do that.

It’s been a year at least since I last posted and that’s both good and bad. I’ve got out of the habit of posting and I don’t really keep a written diary so things bottle up inside and I get miserable and all the other negative emotions.

Today’s whinge?

My friend Anna made a batch of Elderberry cordial. Its delicious, I love it. Problem is, drinking too much of it seems to give me migraines and it ferments if you keep it too long at room temperature and I can’t drink alcohol as it brings on depression until its out of my system. Depending how much I drink (and I have no way of knowing the strength of this delicious stuff) it can be a week before I feel normal – or my version if that – again.

That said, it is a lovely day out there and I’m doing my favourite task: laundry. This week I’ve created two new blogs for specific things. I got fed up of not being able to find my handwritten book of favourite recipes so I’m blogging my favourites as a way of me not losing them. I have also restarted my slimming journey, so there’s a blog for that too. I haven’t linked them to this blog. They are public but in a way I want to keep them to myself for a bit. They may be visible on my avatar, I haven’t been bright enough to check that yet.

Final thought, I’m over a year into my wait for an allotment. I’ve heard nothing so far and suspect that is normal.

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Wonderful Sleep

I haven’t slept properly for a long time. I think it’s probably related to the loss of Dan, but that aside I was getting more tired and more intolerant and nastier by the week.

My brain just wouldn’t stop. I’d be at best on pause for a few hours and then my brain would pick up from exactly where it left off.

Until last night. during the day yesterday I spoke to a few friends who stated the obvious to me (obvious to any christian anyway): get someone to pray for me about it.

So I did. I got two friends, a married couple who have children my age to pray with me over the issue of not being able to get good quality sleep. I didn’t feel much difference, no great emotional anything, but I did notice that I felt rather calmer than I had before.

Come the end of the evening, I got home, made a drink and headed for bed. Going to bed late frequently means I won’t sleep well, that I’ll wake even more often than I would otherwise. I didn’t turn off the light til just after midnight. I did wake before the alarm but when I noticed the amount of light in the room and the time I wasn’t bothered at all: it was 06:30, I’d slept all that time without waking once.

I’m still quite tired, its been a busy weekend, and I was supremely tired before, but I honestly believe that the insomnia is gone and that I will catch up the rest of the missing sleep over the coming days.

Thank you, loving heavenly Father for giving the gift I most needed when I asked for it.

Categories: Church Event, Dan, Hope, Life | 1 Comment

Happy birthday Erica!

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RAW 2012: of muddy knees and great days

Yes.

My final RAW event has happened and passed. It was good.

There were the trials of pitching a tent in the rain and trying to dry out and warm up, of sorting transport on a daily basis having arrived on foot, growing more tired as the broken nights got cold.

Then there were the amazing moments like finding that someone was willing to help and cheerfully doing so in the face of my tired and frustrated grumpiness.

The meetings were inspirational, truths that I thought I’d learned years ago becoming new and vibrant again.

RAW outdoors was fun, out in the city centre both days, singing, testifying, dancing, handing out sweets, bungee run, all sort of fun things to to that make everyone smile.

But this is it, I can’t report on next years’ RAW event as I’ll be too old to attend. I’ve been putting in some thought on this and that fact is actually not a bad thing.

We never stop learning through our lives, and RAW is for a specific age group. Its now time for me to go on and learn new things and build on what I learned before. Nursery is fun but you don’t learn to read there, that’s for the next stage, primary school; and at primary school you don’t learn complex maths, that’s for secondary school. In other words, I learned a lot in JGen, but I have to move on now as there is work to do with what I learned and more to learn yet.

So even while I wipe my tears at the end of an era, I’m already looking to see what’s coming next.

Here Goes!

Categories: Church Event, Hope, observations | Leave a comment

Being busy

I’ve been busy and tired and tired and busy. A lot has happened since I last posted. I’ll make some time and talk about it soon.

I’m well aware that there’s not much that is more annoying than a blogger who doesn’t blog!

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Staying safe.

I’ve done a lot of staying safe in the last seven years.

It probably didn’t look like it; not many women go camping alone, but that was one of the things I’ve done to stay safe. It may have looked brave. It may have even looked foolhardy, but for me it is and always was the safe thing to do.

Choosing to be alone after an abusive marriage; and then having finally found a good man, losing him very suddenly is a safe thing to do. I can’t get hurt if I don’t let anyone close enough to hurt me. Believe it or not, I’m referring to all relationships, not just men. I have caught myself letting no one close.

I do love people, but time and time again I have suddenly noticed that I look for faults, for a reason to stand back a bit. Anything to protect me from human nature.

Its a safe way to live, I can’t get hurt. I’m always the one who stands back first. And yet I do get hurt, because great friendships don’t happen unless you expose yourself to the chance that you might lose all and get really hurt again. Its a gamble, and it has to be taken. People say that I talk a lot. It’s true, I can take the back leg off a donkey with my chatter, but I’m quite good at saying a lot of nothing.

I’ve been musing on this a while now, and its becoming more clear by the day. I have to take the plunge, let people close, take the risk. I have to tell people whats going on and let them care. It comes with risks. I could lose friends, but then again, I could gain even closer friends than before. There is the risk that I might find it’s possible to like myself again.

I’d ask people to be gentle with me if I start telling you things I’ve never said before; but actually I’d prefer honesty. Being gentle implies that you might not tell me the truth if you think it might hurt me. The thing is, I found out by the age of seven that life is rarely fair to anyone. So tell me the truth and if it hurts, it hurts. Take the risk, it might not hurt and you might not scare me!

I’m not promising that I’ll never camp solo again. I do actually enjoy it a lot, but at the same time this year will be the second year that I’ve gone camping with someone in tow. So there you have it. If I want solitude I’ll go alone and if I don’t, I’ll take a friend or five.

Right. Its Dave’s birthday and it’s sunny so I’m off out for a walk with my sunglasses (and my hiking pole since I’m achy today) Happy BIG Birthday to you Dave!

Categories: Fear, Life, observations | 1 Comment

Finding the way again

I haven’t let many people into my home lately, the winter blues have combined with a few other things to ensure that I felt awful enough to let the flat get in a horrible state.

However, I’m beginning to find the way again and feel more in control. I hope I can keep it going, but I’ve managed to cook something today and do some clearing up.

Only a short missive today, but I really wanted to get back into posting again.

Thanks for reading!

Categories: Hope, Life | Leave a comment

The enormity of it

Sunrise

Last weekend was our annual Church Growth conference. I missed the last one as I was working all the hours God sent and then a few more. I was looking forward to it, the chance to see my friends and generally catch up and hear more about the vision for the church.

The day was a good one: meeting people, looking after people, being challenged and uplifted. Then there was one of the highlights in an already fairly good day. I managed to chat for a minute with Tom.

I don’t see T0m very much any more, but I used to do domestic work where he lives and saw him from time to time. Tom was blind and waiting for a guide dog.  Except that now he no longer needs a guide dog. The morning after I posted “Dear Dan” Tom woke up and realised he could see. After six months of blindness, the precious gift of sight, given back to him. I’ll spare you the details of the condition, but the likelihood of this happening was so remote it just wasn’t going to happen.

Back to the point. I literally only got a minute with Tom, but I suddenly realised that he had never seen my face. He was blind in one eye when we first met and within a few weeks was totally blind. I remember tweeting a few minutes later “The miracle of it. Tom with his sight. Walking around, greeting people he hasn’t seen in months even though we’ve seen him.”

Even now, five days later my eyes keep filling with tears. I love a God who is capable of returning sight to a blind young man. I’ve witnessed the healing. I saw him before, shellshocked and frightened and isolated. I saw him on saturday, walking without guidance, smiling and laughing, greeting people.

My God, how great You are.

You can read a first-person account of the Monday Morning Miracle here.

Categories: Church Event, Hope, Life | Leave a comment

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Attic24

live my life with me, see the world the way I see it

Skonkworks

Where Are We Going? Who Cares? Let’s Go.

Jesus Army Action

Taking Jesus to the people, anywhere, anytime.

JACK MONROE

Anti-poverty campaigner for Oxfam and Child POverty Action Group, and supporting the Trussell Trust. Guardian recipe columnist. Mother. Food blogger. Cookbook author. Twitter@ :MsJackMonroe

Attic24

live my life with me, see the world the way I see it

Skonkworks

Where Are We Going? Who Cares? Let’s Go.

Jesus Army Action

Taking Jesus to the people, anywhere, anytime.

JACK MONROE

Anti-poverty campaigner for Oxfam and Child POverty Action Group, and supporting the Trussell Trust. Guardian recipe columnist. Mother. Food blogger. Cookbook author. Twitter@ :MsJackMonroe

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