Wednesday, 25 February 2015


Yesterday I accidentally deleted a post on my blog about telemarketing that I rather liked.

Being the resourceful type and having something of a reputation for being a rather savvy golden oldie; I tried to find ways of recovering it. I resorted to Google and I found numerous posts about recovery but after what seemed like hours of effort I have been unsuccessful. How do I feel? Frustrated!

Frustration is something I experience on a regular basis in my every day life when 'things' go awry. I think it would be fair to say I am self aware so I know can't control everything. But sometimes I think I can't control anything. However, I usually get over that out of control feeling after grinding my teeth and then giving myself a jolly good talking to! I know I can control how I view the mistake and the experience of trying to resolve it. I can accept it happened and that I did my best to sort it.

I mean most of the things which happen in the daily grind, and that I sound off about, when I consider them are really of little consequence. Losing a blog post isn't the end of the world is it? Yes it's galling but the earth isn't going to tip off its axis! In fact it probably only matters to me and it only matters because I don't like making mistakes. Well again Babs tough shit you're not perfect - so what?

Monday, 23 February 2015

Oh Why Can't I Sleep?

I can't remember the last time I slept all night. I recently found the following poem and if we substititute woman for man it decribes my dilemma exactly! 

 My Plight by Bernard Shaw

 Bear with me as I tell of my plight, I am just an old man that cannot sleep at night. I have counted millions of sheep in my time, Even written verses that usually rhyme. Full moon nights are really the worse For then I am compelled to write more verse. Sleeping tablets I have take by the score, These make things worse and cause me to snore. I have had hot baths before going to bed, These make my skin wrinkly and red. Cold showers I have tried to make me sleep, But I only end up counting more sheep. They say as one gets older one does not need so much sleep. When I hear this psuedo wisdom I just want to weep. When I was young eight hours sleep was just right. It saw me through a long restful night. If just for once I could sleep through the night, I would not ask you to bear with my plight. 

So here I am, an insomniac, sharing a bed with someone who can imitate Rip Van Winkle which means my tossing and turning is interspersed with his and Angus' (the Westie who sleeps in a corner of the bedroom) steady snoring! When I get up the following morning I observe my lined visage and opine with monotonous regularity that I've hardly slept. OH will respond with equal regularity that he doesn't understand why. Clearly that makes two of us! Anyway for a change this morning when I started to grizzle he said have you seen this in The Guardian Babs? 

 Long story short having a goodnight's sleep to gain and nothing to lose I've decided to give it a whirl!

Sunday, 22 February 2015

I Love My Dogs

I love my dogs. Having said that they can be a pain in the back side. It's like having a couple of kids who grow old, but not up, so they are forever dependent upon you.

Angus is 13 and Billy is 10. Both are having problems with their joints and have to be lifted onto chairs. To be fair Angus, who we adopted from our son, has always had problems jumping. He was brought up in a household with wooden floors which made it difficult to gain purchase and he's just got it into his head he can't do it.  I know it's psychological in nature because when we take him into Derbyshire he's like a mountain goat! 

Billy has no such hang ups but now prefers a stepping stool to his desired sleeping place, either that or as with Angus he needs a lift up. Now picking up a Westie  may not seem like much but they weigh on average 10kg so if I do it say 10 times a day times 2 dogs it's a decent work out. Then of course there's the 3 mile walk every day come hell or high water. To be honest my OH is marvellous with the pooches and if the weather is inclement he will often suggest he takes them out on his own and I gladly accept the offer especially if it's icy underfoot.

At the moment all is peaceful apart from the squeakings of Angus' tummy. Both dogs get it from time to time and whilst it's not serious it is disconcerting to both them and us.

I'm often asked if I'd have another dog when my lovelies die and the answer is I'm not sure. The things that mitigate against being a dog owner are that they rule out spontaneity. Whenever we are invited to do something our first thought has to be them. You can't be house proud and they're upkeep is expensive. Having said that they are loving, entertaining and they make you exercise. 

As I said at the beginning I love my dogs! 

Saturday, 21 February 2015

What's In A Friendship?

I have had a good week. It's not been particularly productive but I have met up with several friends and had a trip to the theatre all of which have been immensly enjoyable.

Friendship is something I think about often. What is it? Am I a good friend? Does the friendship meet my needs or simply what do I expect from friendship? 

I guess what I want is to have fun. I want to be accepted for who I am. I'm not looking for approval but I certainly don't want disapproval. I also want my friends to accept I'm not perfect as I accept they aren't perfect either. So far so good. However, me not being perfect means I'm not always emotionally available. But why not you may ask? You used to be a counsellor and you still help people by volunteering? Yes that's true but that was and is by choice and at a time to suit me. It also comes under the heading of a professional relationship in which the other person's needs are foregrounded whereas in a friendship both people's needs count. 

However you may think that a friend 'should' be there when you need them. I think it depends. I am there for my friends when I can be. I am also there in times of crisis but in my experience some friends are perpetually in crisis so in that case I use my judgement as to how I respond. I wouldn't necessarily drop everything. I may on occasion even be thinking  'oh for goodness sake get a grip'. I wouldn't say that because it wouldn't be appropriate at that time.  Of course sometimes friends just want us to listen but what if you're always cast in the role of listener.  How do you feel about that? My guess is that eventually you begin to feel disgruntled and put upon. I know I do and at that point I would after the crisis try and address it with them.

I warn new friends that my way of coping when I feel under par is to withdraw. I go quiet. I like to be on my own. It has nothing to do with them. It's about me and how I feel and how I take care of me. But if I have to explain every time it occurs that it's about me and not them then the relationship will probably not survive. As the three friends I've met up with this week have been friends for more than twenty years standing something is working. One friend actually told me only today that she likes my directness. That she feels good knowing  where she is with me. 

Perhaps my OH could be right and I do overthink things sometimes! 

Friday, 20 February 2015

Sleeping Rough

Anyone who knows me knows I'm potty about my two Westies Angus and Billy. As I was putting a clean cover on Angus' bed today it occurred to me that there are children who are not fed as well or kept as comfortable and clean as my pampered pooches. I shared this thought with my OH who told me that sleeping rough had increased by more than 30% in the last three years - see this article in The Guardian

I don't know about you but I feel this is a shameful statistic especially in a so called civilised society. Every day we are told by the Government that things are improving. That we are on the right track. How can we be if we have people living in such dire circumstances? My understanding is that also a good proportion of those living rough have mental health issues and whereas at one time they would have been taken care of now due to cuts they aren't provided for. 

I'm sure like me you do what you can to help but people should not be dependent on charity. There should be the wherewithal to earn a decent wage and a chance to live with dignity and if they are unable to work through ill health they should have access to benefits without going cap in hand. 

It seems to me that as a society we are more interested in self than others and frankly that's a shame.

Thursday, 19 February 2015

Life Goes On

It's been nearly two years since I spoke to you. Much has happened in that time. There have been deaths of friendships and individuals but also births of friendships and individuals. I guess that's a rather complicated way of saying life goes on!

I can't say I'm anymore contented but I'm now volunteering with a well known organisation and I've come to some sort of accommodation with retirement.

I have been thinking of returning to blogging for some time. I enjoy writing and sharing my thoughts but one of the reasons I took time out was I got bogged down with the idea that I had nothing new to share. Perhaps that's true but is there such a thing as a truly new thought or idea? 

I feel I can no longer deal with relationship problems since I've now been retired since 2011 but I can share with you articles and my thoughts on relationships and mental health issues which I find interesting and so possibly may you. Anyway my intention is to get back in the saddle I do hope you'll join me.