Remembering William

Yesterday was the anniversary of my amazing stepfather William finally losing his battle with Cancer. I know how too often Step parents get a bad press and, obviously some may be deservedly so.

However, I was one of the really lucky ones and had the love of a great man for some fifteen years and he couldn’t have been kinder or more supportive of myself and my siblings had he been our ‘real’ dad. When he died my mother bought me a garden bench and, some thirty years on, this weekend it is boasting a few coats of cream paint having changed colour many times. It is not a valauble bench but it is more a case of what it represents.

Whilst painting it I remembered a fun painting session I had with him in my mid twenties when he was helping me paint my kitchen in my flat. I stuck my foot in the paint tin and after a few hours of him experiencing my inadequate decorating skills he suggested mum and I left him to it and went shopping!

As I say and write often;the bereavement journey is a long one and it does get easier, his struggle with cancer and his eventual death I found extremely tough at the time…but now I can just remember his love and his great s.o.h.

We keep our loved ones alive in our hearts for certain.

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Self harming and bullying

There’s rarely a week when somebody doesn’t talk to me about school bullying and teenage angst. Parents are either being accused of lazy parenting or being a helicopter mum!

Recently I spoke with a parent who openly admitted that the types of issues based around bullying on media she is facing with her young daughter her parents never experienced..and that’s a fact.

Apportioning blame or arguing over responsibilty helps nobody but I must confess that the majority of monitoring, educating and supporting our children through the minefield of stress related illnesses and anxiety has to be dealt with at home.

Yes, it would be useful for schools to help with extra advice and support, though I am reliably informed by contacts within the education sector that parents attendance to such events are poorly supported.

The relationship the younger generations have with their phone is proven damaging in so many ways and how we tackle such sad issues as self-harming through media bullying is not an easy one. Limiting phone use whilst frowned upon can reduce the access bullies have and hamper their control.

To anyone facing the challenge of comforting a child who self-harms please seek professional help and sooner rather than later. Keep the school informed as they are supposed to apply and enforce the anti-bullying procedures in place.

The Chuckle Brothers

I have been away from my blog busy helping clients and on my own continual learning journey. Not like me to not feel inspired to blog – I have been inspired don’t worry but a week has flow away and my blog neglected.

However, yesterday with the sad news  that Barry one of the Chuckle brothers had died I felt the value of his service should not go unacknowledged. Now there is a man that gave great entertainment and thousands, no millions of hours of laughter to children and adults alike.

I don’t really consider myself a slapstick humour kinda gal but many years ago I went to see one of the Chuckle Brothers shows. It was brilliant and years later my friend and I and our children (now grown up) still talk about it. Audience participation took on a whole new meaning, and, yes, we were seated in a row close to the stage and received custard pies and a darn good squirting from their water pistols. What remained with me was how much fun the whole cast was having and the poor straight actors had a real job saying their lines.

In life people touch our lives in ways that they may never know…though I am certain Barry knew how much generations loved his work and enjoyed every minute of the ridiculous situations he and his brother used to get in to.

To me..to you..

 

The Mind Management

As part of my reflective reading moving towards my psychology exam I have been reading ‘The Mind Management’ by Prof Steve Peters. Purchased for my daughter last Christmas this brilliant book has been on my own reading list for some time.

Known also as ‘The Chimp Paradox’ this book makes psychology accessible for everyone. Not only does it prove an interesting and quick read for professionals it sits well with those receiving life coaching. The idea of keeping ‘one’s chimp’ in check in order to be more confident and move forward is simplistic and both logical too.

I highly recommend this book for those looking for ways to increase confidence and are interested in self-development. I have  already been using the author’s teachings with clients with excellent results…and it does increase happiness levels as well as confidence.

Sepsis awareness

I am pleased to see the tragic virus of Sepsis is finally receiving so much media attention and improving the much needed awareness.

One of the country’s longest running soaps ‘Corrie’ is running a story on Sepsis in a young child and Good Morning programme’s regular Doctor was advising on signs to look out for in children and adults. It is very dificult to detect but obviously if one suspects that a child or adult is unusually unwell and showing any of the signs then time is of the essence.

The Sepsis Trust charity’s website is one to visit and of course the NHS website they will both provide useful information and signs to look out for septic shock. Links follow:-

https://sepsistrust.org/   &  https://www.nhs.uk/conditions/sepsis/

Worringly so the statistics of loss of life and the dramatic life changes this serious virus brings is higher than many cancers so we all need to be aware.

Winding down after exams…with Keats

I am mindful that my blog has been neglected I have had reason to rant…but I confess I too have been winding down after exam invigilating, supporting students through the exam period and being a mature student. Though I still have an exam to do!! However, I have not been lazing around and have enjoyed a few cultural experiences alongside the usual challenges of my counselling and freelance work.

Last weekend I attended an event organised by the Redbourn Museum where we were fortunate to be visited by Professor Nicholas Roe from St Andrews University a historian and writer specialising in Keats one of the greats.  We were treated to a great talk and I managed to purchase and have signed his latest book on John Keats. This followed an interesting evening of poetry and wine in the museum gardens where various poetry lovers read from their favourite books; I chose Rupert Brookes, a few Haiku gems and one or too old favourites.

I had forgotten just how much poetry had featured in my own life and reflected on happy memories of reading from my mother’s poetry books as a small child. Writing poetry, indeed any writing is always therapeutic and it can be fun don’t forget even if you just write it for your own private reasons. However, don’t be shy try and get it published you may surprise yourself.

Normal daily blogging will resume now and for those students awaiting exam results try not to get too stressed enjoy your break you have earned it and I wish you all well with your results and chosen career paths. I will be writing about how choices change in the forthcoming weeks…and sometimes unexpectedly for the better.

 

Power of kindness

I was listening to a discussion yesterday about the power of kindness which the Red Cross are adopting. It is so easy to be judgemental but as my mentor used to say a baby doesn’t ask to be born into a country, a religion or race and we are all brothers and sisters.

I remember her telling tales about when she was a Corporal Cook in the ATS and looked after the German soldiers who were helping her, giving them hot refreshments and treats. She remarked how they had been called up just as her husband (our Dad had) to be a dessert rat! She had also experienced prejudice herself being part Jewish and brought us up to be anti-prejudice of any nature.

Kindness to others is not difficult to apply and everybody has their own story, and often, very sad one at that.