National Writing Day

To me every day is a writing day but I must confess I love these allocated awareness days that pop up encouraging people to eat certain foods, donate to charity and maybe inspire a new or even a young writer to be creative.

I have always maintained that writing can be even if you don’t intend anybody to see your efforts getting down your thoughts and feelings is never a waste of energy. For the crazier ones (like me) start a blog and get sharing. I like to think at a certain level some of my posts are helping others to recognise their feelings and, in the case of bereavement, are not alone in the grief.

Of course being a writer, and perhaps adopting a pen name gives one the opportunity to rant to the world and/or live in a time of fantasy where anything is possible.

Naturally, being an olde fashioned girlie I some times frown at how modern technology has to a certain degree stopped people communicating properly verbally but as equally sad writing properly. Let’s face it the best misuse of the wonderful English language is alive and kicking in everybody’s phone’s inbox!!

I know I am not myself if I haven’t written anything and feel almost guilty for missing a day on my blog. Thank you to all those followers who drop me a comment or a like that they have enjoyed or supported one of my daily blogs it’s great to know I am not talking to myself…or at least not all the time!

A Mother’s Love

I still find on a day to day basis whether writing, counselling or just talking with friends over dinner I never fail to mention my amazing mentor, my mother.

As a family we were extremely fortunate to have such a strong character guiding us through life. I finally got around this year to writing some of her teachings down.

‘A Mother’s LoveGospels according to Dorothy is available to download from Amazon kindle under my own name (Annie Manning) rather than one of my pen names! I hope my regular followers will enjoy reading this emotive project and find one or two gems to help them too.

Mother-s love (1)


Keeping the life and work balance

For some time now I have included career coaching naturally within my work both with corporate clients and counselling clients; for the latter it is of course no secret that problems within relationships either at work and/or at home overlap. We all need to feel valued and appreciated in all areas of our life to keep a positive balance and purpose to our life.

It is very easy for any of us to take our loved ones and/or work colleagues for granted I guess in some ways it is a compliment that we feel comfortable enough to do it…however we do so at our own peril at times. As I always maintain, it is far better to be honest and tell others how we really feel about a situation as holding back can often come back to bite us at a later date.

I know I rant about the power of communication but unless we share how we feel how can we expect others to know? Keeping the peace often seems the best option but can lead to feelings of resentment later down the line. Yes, life is a compromise but as wise lady once told me  ‘Don’t allow others to change who you are’ when we do we run the risk of living somebody else’s dream instead of our own.

It is very hard trying to keep everyone in our family,work and friendship don’t try. Better to be a giver I know but we cannot possibly be expected to be the source of everyone’s happiness it’s just too big a job for one man/woman.

We can all just aspire to doing the very best we can whilst considering the feelings of others along the way. As ever feeling grateful for what we have to enjoy today makes our own feelings of contentment easier to achieve.




Father’s Day

Father’s day tomorrow and I know like many of my friends and family members who no longer have these special men around to celebrate with that these marketing led days are a big reminder.

There was a phone in yesterday of what would you like to tell your father if he was still alive. A nice idea though the time to be good to people and tell them we love them and/or discuss what really matters is when they are still with us in body, mind and spirit rather than when we are keeping their memory alive in our hearts.

I know so many people have regrets about not mending bridges with parents and if we lose them suddenly that opportunity has been missed. So if you are lucky enough to still have your dad around then have that chat, tell him you love him and not just on birthdays and fathers day!

As I write my blog today I am looking at a photo of my daughter aged three weeks being bathed by her dad having previously waved them off this morning for a pre-father’s day lunch outing.

Earlier today I was having a quick tidy round and had a good long look at my own father’s photo, he died when I was only seven so I feel that always qualifies me to tell others to appreciate theirs!  It is also coming up to his birthday and he would have been 95.

So if distance is a problem miles or relationship wise pick up the phone and call yours today.


Communication is our best tool

Known as the Redbourn Rambler I can talk the hind legs of any ass …but let’s not get political this morning…  All joking aside I am always ready to have a healthy debate and allow friends and family to openly discuss anything that is troubling them. This has always been the case long before I gained my various counselling qualifications.

Whilst I am a great believer in injecting a bit of humour to lighten the mood I always take matters seriously working on the basis that what may well seem trivia to any of us may be the end of the world to a.n.other.

Which ever way we choose to support and be active in any relationship there is no doubt that communication is still our best tool.  For those working with students and teenagers I hope my latest article on Innovate My School‘s website is of interest:-

Most importantly we must be mindful that during the time of exams and indeed when awaiting their results students get very stressed. Let’s all be extra vigilant and keep them safe from harm. Remembering that the teenage brain is not fully developed in terms of reasoning and they have not yet gained all the life skills to cope with stress…that comes with age and maturity.

Spirit of London

Yet again London has been hit by terrible tragic events the past two days and yet again in the face of adversity we see bravery and kindness beyond imagination. As ever we must be proud and grateful to our emergency services and as many before me have said ‘as people run away from events the fire crews, police force and ambulance staff push forward and do an amazing job.’

Also the generosity of strangers wanting to help in practical ways with food, clothing etc and  the immediate emergency fundraising. This is of course reminiscent  of the blitz and I recall my own mother (a Londoner) saying the comradeship couldn’t be beaten, people cared and supported each other.

Times like this makes us all count our blessings and remember people are important material things are not!

Tuesdays are scary..sharing our feelings

Yesterday afternoon I shared a wonderful moment with a neighbour’s dog bounding across the drive excitedly full of love and happiness. An old girl, rescued and sadly abused but as with all dogs offers unconditional love and has mindfulness down to a fine in the moment and be happy.

However, Tuesday is trauma day for our tom cat as the refuge men collect the various recycling and rubbish bins…noisily. My boy makes no secret of how this makes him feel he stays in doors and makes it clear he needs comforting from me.

If only human beings could be as honest as animals with their feelings eh? Too often people suffer in silence and don’t share how they feel with those that would rather know and truly want to help.

Sadly there are not always obvious signs when people are depressed and many cover well and have a PR face.

My message today is tell those you love them, show them that you love them and ask if they are OK, give them the opportunity to say ‘actually I’m not’  and be prepared to listen.