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.

 

Being kind

Being kind and grateful feature frequently on my blog and I often say how kindness is not a weakness. Today I will quote a few words from ‘Alfie’ by the great Burt Bacharach to ponder:-

‘What’s it all about, Alfie
Is it just for the moment we live
What’s it all about when you sort it out, Alfie
Are we meant to take more than we give
Or are we meant to be kind
And if only fools are kind, Alfie…’

On speaking about kindness and being grateful with various pastoral colleagues it often seems that to some modern day people it’s uncool to be either…but I am an old-fashioned girl and believe we only get out what we put in and demonstrating kindness in all that we do, considering others… then we are happier ourselves. At the end of the day be grateful for any small achievement, success or happy moment and I promise you will wake up the next day feeling more positive and ready to face the day ahead.

Speaking to a recently bereaved gentleman yesterday; I reminded him to think about the good times and funny moments he had shared with his wife and after our unscheduled encounter he said he felt better and that made me feel grateful for my training too.

To the icecream man who gave me a free icecream this week after a hot afternoon invigilating- thanks for that tiny act of kindness Mr Whippy. You made an old girl very happy.

 

 

Losing calories by kissing

 

My kindle book  ‘The Little book of kisses’ is available from Amazon to download and features some useful if not amusing information about kissing…worth knowing. For those romantics out there that still think kissing is important this is one for you…and yes you can lose calories by kissing!

 

Everyday is special

The marketing people are at it again telling us to be in love and shower those we love with chocolate hearts and roses.  Those we love are just as happy to have a hug, a kiss and kindness. On the subject of kissing for those still on the dating scene, in love, still kissing they may like to read a copy of The little book of kisses’ by Dolly Christmas, available from Amazon in Kindle download.

An amusing publication about kissing, An ideal gift for your own Valentine. Kissing is a serious fun past time but is it becoming a dying art? The author examines the truth about kissing, instinct and protocol. Behavioural or preference? Keeping healthy…yes burning calories is just one advantage …the perfect lovers diet and how kissing is good for your dental hygiene. Her mission is to encourage more kissing to produce natural heat and save the planet. She reveals some of the good and the bad personal experiences and the joys of kissing a few frogs.’

Let’s get kissing

From a very early age we learn the acceptance of a hug and kiss in the arms of our mother. Throughout our life we may meet, greet and kiss many people but there is far more to the value of a kiss as my ‘The little book of kisses’ reveals. i.e. burning off calories and helping our own dental hygiene.

With Valentine’s Day creeping towards us I hope a few romantics, and, the curious will think of investing in my amusing kindle book:-

A Kiss for Christmas…

Christmas is on the horizon and for those romantics who value the joy of kissing what better way to get in the mood than read a book on the very subject?

‘The Little Book of Kisses’  by Dolly Christmas is available to download from Amazon

Including funny true stories and some interesting facts on just how beneficial kissing can be – how to keep your dentist happy and to lose calories making way for that extra mince pie!

 

Feeling older…not uplifted!

As a regular blogger somehow this week I have been off air, with a collection of various articles in mind which would normally spur me on to write about my usual pet subjects…I was distracted by a Sunday supplement.

Lordy how I wish I had controlled my urge and left said mag closed. Inside were I am certain a collection of items of interest to those over 55! However, I found myself consumed by three: a stair lift, a face lift…and could I give my heart to a greyhound?

Feeling much older that when I started…soh barely in tact I will be honest much much older friends have said ‘the stairlift was a life saver’, I don’t know anybody close to me that has had/or maybe confessed to ever having a face lift…. Being single at this precise moment (chatting ysterday to a fellow single female friend) we both agreed maybe we should dip our toe back in the dating pool! Daunting as the dating arena may seem I really thought I would probably end up with some ‘old goat’ not a retired greyhound!

Seriously, I can strongly recommend adopting a retired greyhound as they make excellent pets…I cannot, however, say the same for ‘old goats’ (I mean grumpy gentlemen of a certain age) not the cute animals we see and love in petting zoos!

Think next Sunday I will stick to doing the crossword! Reverting back to the mag there was a useful shoe rack…. obviously for men and not girlies with 40 odd pairs!

Being mindful and listening

During the course of both business and social meetings this week friends and colleagues have all mentioned the value of being listened to in both personal and business environments.

Whatever age we have arrived at in life, and, whatever journey we have travelled to get there we will have times when we need support..although we may fight against admitting it.

During my early morning dog walk (before being glued to the laptop) a colleague and I not only covered many steps but many topics. Both professionals in pastoral and practice mindfulness but ‘mindful’ that our maturity and qualifications enable us to do so whereas others are struggling particularly today’s teenagers/students.

We both discussed the rewards we get when we have a break-through with somebody we are trying to support and how the use of eye-contact, or rather its avoidance, plays such an important part. We have many senses and our hearing being our best gift for those that need to talk and not be judged. Sitting next to somebody, respecting their space and not intimidating them takes patience and consideration..but it’s easier than we think. That’s all part of mindfulness…slowing down and using our intellect rather than our emotions will always be fruitful.

Over the weekend find time to be ‘that friend’ who listens. Please give those you love the platform and opportunity to talk, but moreover the chance for someone to listen.

The many uses of music

Those that know me well know I am a music lover always have been. Music can lift our souls, get our feet tapping and motivate us in so many ways. Some say music breathes life into our soul and I tend to agree. Writing for songwriters is also therapeutic and enables them to tell their story.

Let’s be honest those epic films we know and love would be nothing without the music score setting the mood, the drama and emotion.

It is a well documented fact that those people with speech challenges i.e. stammering, their stammer seems to disappear when they sing.

Recently I watched a teacher (Christian Foley) using his amazing ability to rap making his lessons more interesting for his students with great results. It immediately reminded me of an old Welsh History teacher who taught us the Kings and Queens of England by reciting a rhyming poem/song – which to my own amazement I can still recite. Moreover I remain amazed he could recite them himself after a lunchtime tipple which was a regular event in those days.

I use music therapy within sessions with dementia clients to help stimulate happy memories and prompt discussions giving an insight into their lives with beautiful results.

For me life would be impossible without my music, an old fashioned girl; a loft full of vinyl and my little CD player still brings hours of joy whilst studying.

As my mum used to say ‘music gets my motor running!’ How true.

Old loves

Through our lives people will enter at various stages and leave an imprint on our hearts. As we grow older and often have time to reflect, often it is then that we truly recognise why and the impact they had.

Everything happens for a reason and we make decisions which may feel are right at that time for our own personal growth. But as my wonderful mentor used to frequently say ‘memories live longer than dreams’ and maybe the dreams we thought we wanted to chase don’t actual exist and the stars we try to reach for we actually already had.

As part of one of my  psychology study assignments I found myself confessing experiences and relationships and the fact that ‘feeling loved’ however long it lasted will of course keep us warm in our old age. Here’s hoping.

I will end on lyrics from a great musician and song writer Zarr

‘love is hard to find…I’m reaching for you but you are like the stars..far so very far.