Spring Forward

No Winter Lasts Forever; No Spring Skips It’s Turn … Hal Borland

April is my very Favourite month. Days are incrementally lengthening and warming. Daylight balances darkness. Bright Green leaves are Emerging from the Ground, punctuating the taupe, brown and buff winter colour scheme. with the Promise of Renewal, Rebirth and Transformation. Nature is busy reaching for its seasonal palette and I am filled with the Anticipation of Light, Warmth, Bird Song, Bees Buzzing, Flowers Blooming & the slower pace that Warmer, Lighter days brings. This morning, as I hung up the washing outside for the first time this year, feeling the sun on my back and listening to my favourite (bird) song, I just felt Grateful. When I picked up B from work, I could feel the sense of Cheer emanating from people. That Communal Delight, the Shared Smiles that  the first Truly Sunny Warm day of the year brings forth.

My Biorhythm and Wellbeing Respond Directly to Nature’s Reawakening and this April is a time of Reflection for me as I consider my journey through 2018 so far & the lessons it has taught me. With the Celebration of Springs’s new Life, Growth & Fertility, I am gathering a Clearer Sense of Direction; Growing and Giving my Energy to a Positive Approach; Connecting with an Open Heart & an Appreciative gaze; Finding out the Truth; trying another way; Exploring New Ideas; discussing problems Positively; Going Deeper; Recognising my Real Motivations; Accepting Responsibility for my Life being what it is and doing what is necessary; Transforming my Attitude; Giving space to my Flowing Emotions; Discovering who I am; Speaking the Truth; Being Different; Being Me.

I now need a Drive to Action, Discipline, Dedication, Determination, Intention & Delight in Self-Discovery. I want to Show Up; Be Responsive; Be Dependable; Make Amends; Focus on Tasks that will Improve my Life & the Life of others, especially those I Love Dearly & hold close to me; Rebuild Friendship Bridges; Fulfil my Promises, Commitments & Hopes; Experience more moments of Connection; Pay attention to what Inspires me & take note of how I can Cultivate more of this Quality; Give Light to my Blessings & Wishes; be Transparent in my Communication; have an Open Mind; Foster Optimism; Engender Motivation; Have Faith; Learn to Trust my Instincts and my Intuition; See the bigger Picture & Remain True to my Beliefs; Be Pragmatic where Planning, Effort & Time are needed to bring Ideas to Fruition; Be Imaginative; Explore & take a Wider Perspective of Life; Not be Concerned about showing my Wildest and most Expansive self & Manifesting what I Truly want to happen next!

The lengthening days are Brimming over with the Magic of Possibility; the Foaming Suds of Blossom are desperate to burst open. As I witness the unfurling of Mother Nature heralding in the seeds of these New Beginnings and Rhythms, I am also asking myself what Attributes I want to grow in this New Cycle? What Virtues do I want to live by and take forward as I Envisage the changes that are already in motion. How can I Embrace the Simplicity & Peace that will Nourish and Guide me as Gaia demonstrates so Magically? How do I remain Grounded & Energised, avoiding getting caught up in my “perceived” struggles? How can I be Courageous & Cautious in equal measure? How do I feel Liberated rather than Pressured? How do I find the Stillness within this Brimming over Excitement that stems from adrenalin pumping around my body, fuelled by these new Opportunities? How do I be an Anchor in my own life and in the life of others? How can I maintain a Calm Insight with Steady, Determined & Sustainable Actions? How should I gain Perspective & shift my Focus from Doing and Achieving into Reflecting and Assimilating all that comes to rest in me now? How do I Ensure that I am ALWAYS a Conscious Citizen, Ethical Consumer & Give Constant Thanks to Mother Earth for her Resources that my life possible?

Your Comfort Zone is an Island sitting in a sea of Opportunity

With good Intention, I decided that 2018 would be the year to take on a degree. Admittedly, even with a Positive Attitude, I don’t expect to pass this first year. I have an Enquiring mind but have realised that I like to Learn at my own pace. Truthfully, instead of being tied into a study routine, I’d rather be out picking up litter, tending to my garden, taking long walks & learning about, as well as volunteering at Citizen Advice (alongside my Amazing paid role). I want to Learn when I can fit it in not the other way around! I am not stranger to stepping outside my Comfort Zone, being a Sagittarius who gets easily bored. However, deciding to do this was a leap into totally unknown territory which is not becoming any more familiar after nearly 4 months! Given the Opportunity to study full-time, perhaps, I may have a chance of passing, but it is unlikely, with my Attention span & distinct lack of Discipline. My Interest, Desire & Motivation are not channelled correctly. All five of these Qualities are within me & are the reason I embarked on this Adventure, but I am finding it arduous to use them to my advantage in this scenario! I am too distracted by … Life. My Life… the life I Love & Enjoy … My Human Family; My Furry Family; Tending to my little Patch of Mother Earth & her surroundings; Sleep; &a job that I like very much and want (& in many ways need) to give more Attention to. Oh…& blogging either on this platform or Instagram. Anyway, I have no desire to study full-time. Goodness, how bored I would become!

Life has taught me that there is a reason for what happens & I believe that Opportunity will stem from this year & that feels Exciting. It is unlikely that I will pass this initial year, but I have Faith that it will give me the Wisdom & Confidence to use the Knowledge I have gained to Affirm a new Direction, new thinking patterns & new strategies for Change. And as long as I am Receptive to other people’s ideas while holding my Integrity and Honesty close; maintain Balance & Equilibrium; look for Solutions and Directions; Invoke the Courage to Consolidate the Changes I feel Inside; find ways to Connect to the Wild edges of myself while learning how to adapt quickly to new situations with Diplomacy, Clear Vision, Wisdom, Patience, Perseverance & a Deep Inner Knowing … my own seeds of Transformation will Burst Forth.

Doubt your Doubts before you Doubt your Faith … Dieter F Uchtdorf

Fear & doubt block the flow of Life force. The pressure of my unprepared for study routine, has unexpectedly unbalanced & disconnected me from the Flow of Life. April has bought back Balance just as Gaia regains her Harmony as she Emerges from the Soil. Love has Encouraged me to make the Positive Changes that Affirm my Chosen Direction. Insight has helped me to gather my Power & Strengths, both Inner & Outer & Celebrate what I have Achieved this year in my Quest to be of service to my Community, Mother Earth &her Inhabitants. Kindness has supported me to keep moving Forwards & never give up.

Kindness begets Kindness. When you are Kind to others, it not only changes you, it changes the World. Is there any such thing as a Small Act of Kindness as Every Good Deed Creates a Ripple of Virtue. A little Kindness to another person is far better than having a vast Love for all of Humanity- It’s more Achievable. World Hunger, Poverty, Homelessness and War are beyond the reach of and for most of us to be able to do anything about. However, making Life more pleasant for those around us is available for everyone to do. Be Content to be Yourself by doing little things without being paralysed by the greater issues. Grow where you plant it. Live an ordinary life as Creatively as you are able and that way Kindness is like the Sun – it just melts the ice of indifference. Kindness really is the language that the deaf can hear and the blind can see …

Having Navigated these first few months, my cup brims over with Optimism and Excitement for 2018.
I will eternally have many moments during every day when I feel devastated, shattered and destroyed.
Spring, like Christmas increases these moments. This is a cruel season for farmed non-human animal beings with babies being torn from their mothers so Human beings can enjoy the terrorised taste of flesh. Every day I witness the dead bodies of Beautiful wild non-human beings on our roads which, at this time of year, is even more heart-wrenching because that dead soul may have been feeding and protecting her children who will die without her. Nature also seems increasingly crueller at this time of year when the survival of the fittest is never more on show.

Slowly, I am somehow finding a way to direct my hurt and distress into what I can do. Using the energy of my broken heart to do good. It has taken years to learn how to do this but I will never find a way to truly heal my pain with the world.

This is why litter-picking is so important to me as a steward of Mother Earth and her Wild Inhabitants. Trying every day to do something that causes a ripple effect of positivity, whether it is simply sharing my smile, picking up just one item of rubbish or helping someone in a more active way. This way of being grants me the power and permission to feel that Optimism and Excitement I talk about above.  I know Change is happening for me & our Precious Planet. 2018 is a Pivotal year.

2017 became more difficult &challenging as it progressed, I feel Hope and Belief that 2018 will be the opposite for me and Mother Earth.

I was in a place I did not belong in 2017. Somewhere I did not fit. My personality type did not match with the company (in both senses of the word) I was in & kept. I did not like who I had become, how the “company” had made me. A well-paid position did nothing for my well-being. I suppressed who I was, pretended to be someone different & paid the emotional price. Sadly, it was not until I broke that I was able to see that bigger picture.
Now, in a job that is not well paid (!) I can be me in all my wild glory! I am as happy as I could be in an Exciting job-role that offers such rewards as well as challenges to keep me on my toes. I am not hiding anything. I am not trying to be someone I am not. I am liked for who I am … &I like who I am there.

Money doesn’t make people happy. People make people happy.

With Spring has come Adventure & Anticipation; – a job where I still have so much to learn; study that challenges & confuses me; old & new friends; finding time to do even a little gardening; litter picking; photography & writing; but Best of All … my Family – Old and New. I am expecting news of the birth of my new Baby Niece, a Sister to my Scrumptious Nephew any hour now!

With Appreciation & Gratitude for All of the Above but Especially my new Baby Niece, my Darling Nephew, my Children, my Husband and Mother Gaia.

VeganCuckoo X


The Art of the Steady Flow of Enthusiasm

The Secret of Newness in Life is not to do new things constantly, but to see everything you do with new eyes, new insights and a new perspective.

It is easy to create new things, change places or do something different. To keep that sense of newness that creates enthusiasm is more difficult. Without enthusiasm, life could become a joyless experience but the skill of keeping it flowing steadily through our life is a great art,  as I have come to realise over and over again. I am easily bored. I need new experiences to keep me energised, motivated and interested. I appear to have a short attention span which, unless kept engaged, becomes even shorter!

Opportunity comes by Creation, not by Chance, and the world is full of Opportunities!  There is no lid on Opportunities,  only on Guarantees, but with Determination and Belief, Opportunities can be achieved in many different forms.

Life is short and absurd and we are surrounded with pain and sorrow which can make it hard to stay Enthusiastic and Engaged. This is a skill I appear to lack despite being surrounded by the Love of a wonderful Family and the support of a handful of lovely Friends. I am too susceptible to the suffering of the Mother Ship and her inhabitants. I am Hypersensitive and that is proving to be a barrier to my 2018 intentions.

If you Change the way you look at things, the things you look at Change …

Wayne Dyer

I started this year full of hope that I may be able to Balance a new job and a new study schedule. In my 47th year, I had hoped that I had stumbled upon a new venture that would capture my attention and keep me distracted while allowing me to work toward a different form of (vegan) activism.

By Recognising our Reactions and Reshaping how we Experience Life, we become the Creator of our Adventures on our Journey.

The (professional) turmoil and unhappiness of the latter part of 2017 was a catalyst for considering what action I needed to take to suppress my constant search for a fulfilling vocation and to accomplish my deep-rooted need to be part of a change, make a positive difference and use my skills, abilities, knowledge and compassion to help all other beings.

We weave a Fabric of our Experiences, each person with a different texture, colour and feel.

I want to keep this post short.  I am writing this purely for me. I don’t imagine anyone else to be interested in my self-obsessed ramblings!

I am using this platform this to process where I am right now.

The wind may blow from any direction, but the direction in which you go, depends on how you set your sails.

I am not sure which direction I am going in right now. The direction in which I had hoped to go in feels very difficult, too challenging, too hard. I am loosing motivation. I am finding excuses not to keep going. I am lamenting all the things that I can’t do any more because I have no time. I am regretting making this decision because so much of what I used to do and enjoy, that which I was passionate about, what I needed to do to make me feel better and enriched the lives of those around me,  has been lost due to a lack of time and the all-consuming nature of this new routine.

Do the best until you know you can do better. Then when you know better, do better … Maya Angelou

I want to give my all to my wonderful new job. I can’t because I have made such a huge commitment to study for a new career.

It always seems impossible until it is done … Nelson Mandela

I want to spend time with my Beautiful friends Jac, Elaine and Steve. It is incredibly important to me to be around for them, whether that is for a simple chat or for something more practical. They deserve my attention. I can’t give it.

First say to yourself what you would be; then do what you have to do … Epictetus

I want to be involved in Alexandra’s House of Joy; to be an integral part of this vitally important charity as it begins it’s fundamental and necessary journey. I can’t. My “commitment” allows no time for this.

There has never been a meaningful life built on easy street …John Paul Warren

I want to organise litter picks, give Animal Aid talks in schools, join a dance class with my daughter, volunteer at Citizens Advice. I want to read, write and take photographs.  I want to learn bird song, spend time observing those birds whilst I garden. I want to bake cakes and share them with friends, family and work colleagues. I want to give my time, energy, assistance, care and cooperation to my community. This feels an impossible task right now.

What you do today can improve all your tomorrows …Ralph Marston

It is true, in my quest for excitement, change and new experiences, I have made many commitments in the past. I have had my fingers in many pies at the same time and as a consequence not been able to commit fully to one single cause.

The secret to getting ahead, is getting started … Mark Twain

I have volunteered with various charities, joined singing groups, become passionate about new ventures before accepting that I don’t have the capabilities to follow through. A shortcoming generally caused by my frustratingly lack of energy in the evenings and my desire to spend those evenings with my family.

Small deeds done are better than great deeds planned … Peter Marshall

This year is meant to be committing to that one single cause – STUDY. But all my other passions and purposes are being left in the dust and this is not making life enjoyable or fulfilling. It was supposed to make my life simpler, give more meaning and establish a final end goal.

Success is going from failure to failure with no loss of enthusiasm … Winston Churchill

I am writing this to help me process how I am feeling, nurture some self belief, foster a change of attitude and guide me to challenge my comfort zone – to stretch past the familiar.

A person who never made a mistake, never tried anything new …Albert Einstien

It has. I have made a decision. I will see this year of my degree out and choose a method of study that will be more sustainable come September.

Every day is an opportunity to be creative – the canvas is your mind, the brushes and colours are your thoughts and feelings, the panorama is your story, the complete picture is a work of art called “my life”.

I have started something which I want to complete. My attitude that I won’t pass is not constructive and needs to change in order for me to avoid complacency.  I hope to believe that the routine and the learning may become more familiar and therefore easier. I need to find … not motivation because I am motivated. I need to find a routine. I need to develop diligence and discipline. I need to foster focus. I must avoid disillusionment. It is necessary for study to become a habit, a small part of some days and a bigger part of other days. I need to Believe to Achieve. I need to find my inner strengh and faith in my capability

Motivation is what gets you started. Habit is what keeps you going … Jim Ryun

So, it starts now. This blogging  platform has allowed me to: address my concerns; broadcast my frustration; reveal my lack of confidence; speak the truth about a possibly poorly made decision, made with good intentions with much hope and faith but with little proper guidance; talk about all those people and passions that I miss; and express my desire and need to go back to the practical – just doing rather than thinking then doing!

Don’t let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do …John R Wooden

Who knows, one day I might really be writing this as a naturopathic herbalist. A vocation that will blend perfectly with my obsession for nature; my love of my garden; my desire to grow all my own food and medicine; my need, desire and duty to be the support and friend to Jac, Elaine and Steve and Alexandra’s House of Joy and perhaps most importantly, my adoration of my family and that handful of genuine, supportive friends who will always be in my life no matter what.

With Appreciation and Gratitude for all the above.

Earth Blessings

VeganCuckoo  X

Start by Doing what’s Necessary, then do what’s Possible and suddenly you’re doing the Impossible. … Francis of Assisi

The Road that Led to the House of Joy (with my Integrity Intact)

Our Relationships and Connectedness are the Heartbeat of our Deepest Sense of Meaning and Wellbeing. Tolerance, Acceptance and Understanding open up a World of Possibilities. Tolerance Creates a space for Quality Interaction with others despite Potential Differences in Values, Beliefs and Opinions. Treat others how we want to be Treated. Respect, Accept and Appreciate the Existence of Others. Each one of Us is Unique and offers something Different but Necessary to the Whole. See Virtues rather than Weaknesses; Take Responsibility; Give Cooperation; Be Compassionate and Uplifting; Forgive and Forget; Open your Heart and be Generous; Foster an Attitude of Humility and Self-Respect because Humility Reveals our Truth.

Four months since I stood on this platform, opened my heart and spilled the latest turn of events on this rollercoaster of a ride that is my life. It is absolutely, totally and truly a much tamer, safer, comfortable and mostly enjoyable ride than for so many of my fellow citizens, human and non-human, but nevertheless, it is my ride and, in my search for fulfilment and desire to use my life to actively improve the life of others, I have been around some sharp bends, stomach churning curves, repetitive loops, U-turns and just hung upside down every now and then! On Wednesday 20th December I will be dancing off the ride that has been my job for two and a half years and breathing a sigh of relief as I do a jig or, possibly, a squirm out of the office that has drained the life, soul and spirit out of me over the past years as I have lobbied for changes that don’t happen. I am leaving with my integrity intact. If I stay any longer, I will cease to recognise myself, hence, the possibility of squirming out of a role that has made me act in ways that I feel ashamed about but has taught me some valuable lessons about myself.

“Looking Behind, I am filled with Gratitude. Looking Forward, I am filled with Vision. Looking Upward, I am filled with Strength.”
– Quero Apache Prayer

2017 has been a struggle professionally, a pleasure personally, relatively still emotionally and a discovery spiritually. As autumn asserts herself, winter begins to whisper in the background, and nature’s colours begin to fade and mellow, my own mellow and passionate nature is starting to reassert itself as I am released from the grip of a role that has become toxic and cheerless. I can start to smile again in the knowledge that the countdown to my exit shimmy squirm is on! I feel my personality, that has been subdued and controlled, starting to shine again and my inner confidence, that has been battered and bruised has been given a boost by the offer of a wonderful new position.

Live Life guided by Generosity, Active Positivity and a Fierce Desire to Enhance and Reflect this Vision.

Over the past few months, I have begun not to recognize my ungenerous and negative behaviour at work and I have had no desire to reflect that attitude in my personal and charitable life, although it has seeped through. I have discovered that I have an ego which I haven’t possessed before and which I desperately need to bury now. I have allowed the behaviour of my colleagues to alter my once positive and genuine attitude and responses to those of suspicion and insincerity.

Every Second, Every Moment and Every Breath of your Life is Nurtured by Attitude.

So, I am leaving and not a second too soon! I am going back to what I know; making a difference in the here and now. I have spent over two years of my life trying to influence and improve social policy and it has beaten me. Doing what I can to stand up and speak for those who face inequality, discrimination and disadvantage suits me better if I am doing it with and for them NOW, not promising them that I will use their voice to influence change in the future.

“ Some doors lead to amazing things. Some doors lead to…well, not much. But the more doors a person tried, the greater the chances are that those amazing things will be discovered. If you try once and succeed, you’re amazingly lucky. If you try 1000 times and succeed, you’ve earned it. The only trick is to keep on trying until it happens.”
– Doe Zantamata, Author of Happiness in your Life, Book one: Karma


Challenge Injustice and Harm through Values of Love, Kindness, Compassion, Determination, Tenacity and Humility.

The job role I am leaving has threatened to challenge all these values in me. I have lost faith in the powers that be and have come to the realisation that the only way to make a difference is to do it ourselves. (I already knew that but I was given an opportunity to make a change by informing and influencing; believing that I could use my knowledge, wisdom and passion, I took that chance, only to be brought down to earth with a huge bump with the realisation that the establishment, sadly, incomprehensively, frustratingly and devastatingly, just don’t really care.)

“Tolerance is an attitude of reasoned patience toward evil … a forbearance that restrains us from showing anger or inflicting punishment. Tolerance applies only to persons … never to truth. Tolerance applies to the erring, intolerance to the error … Architects are as intolerant about sand as foundations for skyscrapers as doctors are intolerant about germs in the laboratory. Tolerance does not apply to truth or principles. About these things we must be intolerant, and for this kind of intolerance, so much needed to rouse us from sentimental gush, I make a plea. Intolerance of this kind is the foundation of all stability.”
– Fulton J Sheen

I have lost all tolerance for the “system” and I have lost all tolerance for people who believe in the “system” meaning I have lost all tolerance for those I have worked alongside. All this time, I desperately wanted to believe that my work was interesting and worthwhile even though I don’t have any faith in the decision makers.  I am not interested in the government plans for people which I know are not based on what the people need and deserve.  I am interested in the people themselves. As I have begun to realise the negative effect my job has been having on my personality and behaviour, it has dawned on me that, for the first time in my life, I haven’t been taking my work home with me. This is not a good thing. I have always taken my work home with me because I have loved and believed in my work and the difference it makes.  All I have taken home with me in this role, is despair, frustration and incomprehension at a system that targets the vulnerable with no evident bother and the heartache of being in a role that is supposed to give me some influence that isn’t worth the paper it is written on.

“If nature has made you for a giver, your hands are born open, and so is your heart; and though there may be times when your hands are empty, your heart is always full, and you can give things out of that—warm things, kind things, sweet things—help and comfort and laughter—and sometimes gay, kind laughter is the best help of all.” 
  – Frances Hodgson Burnett, novelist and playwright,  1849 – 1924

But, I do take home, the stories that have shaped my purpose to stay in my role for this long.  They live and will forever remain within my heart. They rouse the determination and resolve in me to be effective in making a change.

“It’s the action, not the fruit of the action, that’s important. You have to do the right thing. It may not be in your power, may not be in your time, that there’ll be any fruit. But that doesn’t mean you stop doing the right thing. You may never know what results come from your action. But if you do nothing, there will be no result.”                                                                                                                       

– Mahatma Ghandhi

“Every person from your past lives as a shadow in your mind. Good or bad, they all helped you write the story of your life, and shaped the person you are today.”
 – Doe Zantamata , Author of Happiness in your Life, Book one: Karma

I am not interested in being instrumental in influencing  the “corridors of power” anymore because I know that the top chiefs and whips will not make the difficult decisions that will create positive change.   The only interest that is left for me is direct, grass roots, frontline action. That’s how it always was but  I was side-lined into believing there could be another way. It has been a tough lesson but a valuable one and has made me more determined than ever to stand alongside and with the voices. I have spent over two years just listening. Going against all my instincts in the name of a “Watchdog” and a professionally paid job. Vegan Cuckoo is going back to the people, my community, …to listen … and DO!

“Intuition literally means Learning from Within. Most of this were not taught how to use this Sense, but all of us know well that gut feeling. Learn to Trust your Inner Feeling and it will become Stronger. Avoid going against your better Judgement or getting talked into things that just don’t feel right.”

Doe Zantamata, Author of Happiness in your Life, Book one: Karma


To anyone reading this, I have been working for a “Watchdog”. For the previous twenty-five years, I volunteered or worked directly with people facing adversity in some form or other. A Watchdog is simply a way for the Government to say it is “listening” to it’s people. I tell you now – that’s an immense LIE … or perhaps it isn’t? they might be listening but that is all they are doing. What is the point of listening and not taking any action to help? Why not spend the money used to prop up a “Watchdog” on actually making a difference to people directly: DIRECT ACTION not VAGUE LISTENING AND NO ACTION.

“Live your Beliefs and you can Turn the World Around”
– Henry David Thoreau – American essayist, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, and historian.

So, in January, I will be sitting in another seat in the rollercoaster of life. This time I will be in a position that will enable me to do what I do best – make a small difference, in my small way,  in the moment. I will be 6K a year worse off but I will be fulfilled, motivated and happy to be bringing the stories of those people who shape my world home with me, knowing that I am doing more than listening.  I will be seeking alternatives to a system that creates disenchantment, despair and cynicism, finding new insights and creative solutions to guarantee constructive, concrete change and determine direct difference.

“It is only in our darkest hours that we may discover the true strength of the brilliant light within ourselves that can never, ever, be dimmed.”
― Doe Zantamata, Author of Happiness in your Life, Book one: Karma

I have faith that, in this seat, I will take the best job ride yet and my instinct genuinely tells me that I will be sitting in this seat and taking this ride till I am too old to ride a job rollercoaster!  Having learned so much professionally and personally over the Watchdog years. I am wiser than ever and, therefore more in a position to help than ever before.

The loop the loops of the past years, however, stomach churning, have brought me to the place I am heading. An opportunity to be instrumental in having an impact, effect improvements, impart knowledge, inspire hope, develop alternatives, bear witness to, challenge the status quo, cause movement and create change in every social movement affecting society today. A place of privilege and humility. A place I belong.

Humility comes from understanding that the force behind whatever help you give to others comes not from you but from the power of love. It is not true that if you are humble, others will walk all over you. It is when there is no humility that you can easily be influenced by others and things seem difficult. But when there is humility, there is also the power of truth. You know internally that you will achieve your aim, regardless of what others say or think.

– Daily inspirational thoughts


I have learned the above lesson over the past couple of years in a way that I hadn’t been taught it before. I resolve that, I will use this lesson well and strive to tolerate situations and take responsibility as well as to cooperate even when I am not appreciated. And, as I wrote in the first paragraph of this post, I have learned that I need to understand that all beings have innate good qualities and that each of us has the right to express these in their own unique way. I have been reminded over these past years that by using my personal power, I am being given two options – the opportunity to speak up and take a positive stand in order to change something I don’t like or the chance to accept whatever it is and move on. Despite feeling bruised and battered by my “Watchdog” experiences, I still have my positive vision with a free thinking, non-discriminatory, non-judgemental attitude which is open to possibilities. I know that positive thoughts create positive results while negative thoughts create negative results and that I have the power to choose. And I have chosen. I have chosen to be true to myself and to my vulnerable, marginalised, disadvantaged, disenfranchised, underprivileged and excluded neighbours.

“Attitude is a choice. Happiness is a choice. Optimism is a choice. Kindness is a choice. Giving is a choice. Respect is a choice. Whatever choice you make makes you. Choose wisely.”
– Roy T. Bennett, The Light in the Heart

“Compare yourself only with yourself. You don’t know others’ full story, and there’s no need to feel guilty for not being as good as them, or feeling justified in being “better” or “worse” in any area. We all walk our own path, and we all have our own lessons and challenges to face. The more you focus on you, the better you will become.” 
– Doe Zantamata, Happiness in Your Life – Book One: Karma

So, as 2017 begins her descent into her final throes, the beauty and radiance of nature in Autumn is refusing to budge Winter awake which is fine with me! I am still in my flipflops and desperately clinging onto memories of the magic that was our Majorcan holiday!

Goodbye Autumn Hues, Hallo Winter Blues!

The world continues to hurt, tragedy abides and inequality remains. Just today, the news informed us that a painting has been sold for 400 million pounds while 600,000 Rohingya people have been driven from their homes, had their land destroyed and endured torture and rape while searching for safety. Rwanda is happening again and the world is turning a blind eye. Trump has just changed the law to let bloodthirsty, sick America hunters to murder elephants in Africa and bring their heads home as trophies. Humans and Non-Human beings are being victimised, brutalised, persecuted, abused, exploited and oppressed as they have been for aeons and glimmers of hope seem non-existent.

What hurts us, is what heals us

-Paul Coelho

However, despite the constant pain I feel in my heart, I strive to find my way through the grief in my soul and suffering in my spirit. I know that I have to remain strong for those who do not have my privileges. I must make a difference in my own world, believe in hope, and trust that one day those differences will cause ripples that will rid the world of inequality and injustice.  I must also live my life for my family and friends while encouraging and empowering them to make a difference.

“Sometimes, the only thing in your control is the way you react to something.”
 – Doe Zantamata, Happiness in Your Life – Book One: Karma

To that end, 2017 has seen us celebrating our daughter turning 16 and achieving the most amazing GCSE results, a true testament to the fact that hard work reaps rewards. We have lamented the first anniversary of losing my dear Father-in-Law and Beautiful Orla. I have spent many memorable and special Friday nights with Matthew in the apartment that he has now owned (with the help of a bank loan mortgage!) for over a year. We have adopted an 11-year-old pussy cat called Jasper. Bleu and I have made it to some brilliant musicals, Rob and I got to go to some comedy shows and we spent a very romantic weekend away on a Vegan Cookery Course in Malvern. We have hung out with friends both individually and as a couple and we have spent time with our immediate families – parents, brother and sisters. Its been a lovely year, full of life, love, laughter, hope, happiness and togetherness.

“Two very priceless gifts that should be enjoyed often,
are the beauty of a sunset and the company of a friend.”
 – Doe Zantamata

Despite the frustration I have felt at work, those people I have endeavoured to speak up for will stay in my heart and mind as will those I have had the privilege of getting to know who are working on the ground to create sustainable change. Wonderful, Generous of Spirit, Warm-Hearted, Inspirational, Remarkable and Lovely People who I will support in any ways I am able to. It is because of these individuals, that I can look back with gratitude and not bitterness.

“The most truly generous persons are those who give silently without hope of praise or reward.”
― Carol Ryrie Brink, American Author, 1895 – 1981

I have also had cause to have many interactions with people through the power of scent! In shops; in the garden centre; walking along the canal; in pubs and restaurants and while conducting outreach in the name of the “Watchdog”!

Patchouli – the Social Scent!

2017 didn’t throw too many surprises our way but instinct tells me that 2018 might! Money is going to be a concern now that I have taken such a drastic pay cut, but I know we will manage our way through the skintness and develop coping mechanisms! Who knows what else will come our way but, as our non-human fellow citizens do, if we follow our natural instincts we will see our way as they do, and with a positive attitude, faith, hope, belief, cooperation and tenacity, we might just create that change in our small part of this beautiful world.

Trust your Instinct, Intuition never Lies.

I dedicate this post to Robbie, my constant rock; Matthew and Bleu, my pride and joy; my parents for their love and contact; Jimmy James for being my inspiration; my brother and Amanda for being amazing parents;  my Bestie BFF Kate; my AASS Kay;  Sandy for being a wonderful, patient friend and listening; Pen for her encouragement and constant belief in me; Jac, Shaun and Pop because I adore you all and would do anything for you; Elaine and Steve because you are incredibly special to me; Deb for coming back into my life and lastly to an amazing lady who I met only last week. She cares for her profoundly learning disabled daughter who is the same age me and she has been fighting for her for that 45 years. Rachael – I am humbled and can’t wait to share your journey to Alexandra’s House of Joy.

There actually are glimmers of hope and change! I have seen the proof!

“Become the person who you want to see all over your world.” 
– Doe Zantamata, Happiness in Your Life – Book One: Karma

Earth Blessings
Vegan Cuckoo x




About Last Night …

Even more than the time when she gave birth, a mother feels her greatest joy when she hears others refer to her son as a wise learned one
– Thiruvalluvar, Ancient Tamil Poet and Philosopher

As has become the norm every other Friday, Last Night, I went round to Matthew’s house to … “chillax Mum”!
It’s always a treat to spend time with my Son. Going to his place for a few hours Requires that I really do Chill Out! – although I have been known to do the washing up!

Sons are the Anchors of a Mother’s Life
– Sophocles, Playwright of Ancient Greece

Like many people who are Fortunate enough not to have to work at the weekends, I generally Love my Friday nights. They are the Friday nights of a Forty something year old Young at Heart Woman – Glass of Vegan Red, Simple, Easy Food and TV! There are the Friday nights when our Sixteen-Year-Old Daughter needs lifts here or there, which limits the Red Wine indulgence. There are the ones when I am so tired that the glass of Red loses its appeal. There are the Fridays when I am doing Outreach at the weekends which means I need an Early night and there are the ones when Robbie is so tired after an Unusually Physical week (not Uncommon being a Builder!) that he falls asleep leaving me to Celebrate the end of the Week on my Lonesome!

Of course, there are the Infrequent Friday nights when I might go out for a Quiet Drink with one of my Few Close Friends or have one of those Beautiful Buddies round to share that bottle of Vegan Red! And then there are the Friday nights when I receive my Invite to Sink into the Massive Sofa that Matthew usually shares with his Girlfriend, from where I am given the Opportunity to watch a film on the Huge Screen that is his TV!

And, so it was that I had another chance to Unwind, Recline and Hang Loose Last Night!

Slow Down, Calm Down, Don’t Worry, Don’t Hurry, Trust the Process
– Alexandra Stoddard, Lifestyle Philosopher & Author

The Routine that we have settled into is a Gossip before Flicking through Netflix to find a film (a Luxury that I don’t have at Home!). Last Night, we had much to Catch up on as Matthew has just returned from a Well Deserved and Much Needed Holiday with his Girlfriend. It was a Relief to see him Relaxed and Refreshed.
I always let Matt Choose the film, much like I always ask Bleu to Choose any film that the two of us watch together! Its better that way as any film I choose is Bound to Bore them! My taste in Documentaries doesn’t Tend to be very Scintillating for Young Adults!

While we Try to Teach Our Children All About Life, Our Children Teach Us what Life is All About!

So, it was that Last Night we watched a Film called “The Joneses” with a certain Demi Moore looking Extremely Youthful and playing a Sexy, Hip, Cool Wife and Mother.
Wow! She is Ten years older than me and looks Amazing! Am I Jealous?
NO! I am Impressed, Happy, Glad and Excited that So many Celebrities from the Eighties are either Still in the Spotlight or Returning to it!

Their Radiance, Exuberance and Desire to have their Moments of Fame once Again, brings me much Delight. I Appreciate their Re-emergence into the Limelight; So many Memories of Films I watched and the Pop I listened to have Re-Surfaced! I feel Young again too. If they can look as Fresh and Vibrant as they do, So can I! They bring me Hope!!!

Live your Life and Forget your Age

In my last post, I was Brimming with Joy having just spent a Wonderful and Unexpected afternoon with my Oldest Best Friend who has Inspired my Recent Creative Journey into the World of Instagram, just as she Previously Inspired my First Tentative Steps into the World of Blogging.

A Strong Friendship Doesn’t Need Daily Conversation, Doesn’t Always Need Togetherness. As Long as the Relationship Lives in the Heart, True Friends Will Never Part

It is Pen with whom I spent the Eighties. Most of my Eighties and Early Nineties Memories Involve Pen! We are Eighties Gals who Idolised Demi Moore and All her Brat Pack Pals; Danced to Bananarama and Madonna; Sang to Wham and Belinda Carlisle; We even Joined Fan Clubs, Pen joined Johnny Hates Jazz FC while I wrote Avidly to Rick Astley! (Well, those were the days before the Internet!)

Never gonna give you up, never gonna let you down
Never gonna run around and desert you
Never gonna make you cry, never gonna say goodbye
Never gonna tell a lie and hurt you
We’ve known each other for so long
Your heart’s been aching but you’re too shy to say it
Inside we both know what’s been going on
We know the game and we’re gonna play it
And if you ask me how I’m feeling
Don’t tell me you’re too blind to see
(I chose these Lyrics because I have known Pen for So Long and I believe we pretty much know each other inside and out and we are definitely playing this game of Life!)

We watched About Last Night till we knew every word, Daydreaming that one Day, we too, would find our Very Own Rob Lowe (We Did!); we Absorbed the Antics of The Breakfast Club wishing that we too, went to the Cool High School that gave out Fun Saturday morning Detentions as Punishment; We Modelled ourselves on the College Graduates of St Elmo’s Fire wanting to be the Gorgeous and Wild Jules and Fancying Emilio Estevez (or, in my case, Andrew McCarthy!). We dressed like Molly Ringwald in Pretty in Pink while wishing that we could be at the centre of a Love Triangle (in Fairness, Pen often was, being as Attractive then as she is now!) and have a Cool name like Andie!

We liked Class for different reasons – Pen fancied Rob Lowe and I fancied Andrew McCarthy! I never Imagined then that I would one day be a Mother to a Young Man as is Ellen, the part played by the Sexy Jacqueline Bisset. I wonder if I, in any way resemble being a Sexy Mother like that?! Well, Demi Moore gives me Hope! (and Matt and Bleu have told me that their Friends call me a M I L F – a word first introduced to me by Pen and Cam when they were being Complimentary (!) but which is a little Crude for this Blog!)
We watched Sixteen Candles which echoed our own Hopes and Disappointments and Identified (or at least I did!) with Samantha’s Crush on someone who seemed Unobtainable.
My Personal Favourite, and a film which I still Love, was Mannequin. I had such a Huge Crush on Andrew McCarthy and I was Infatuated by Kim Cattrall who played the Mannequin. I thought she was Exquisite. I think she is still Beautiful and Loved her in Sex and The City twenty years later! Most of All I Adored the Soundtrack and Still Do. My Favourite Song of All time is Nothing’s Going to Stop Us Now by Starship which has even more Significance than being from my Favourite Teenage Film: There is a Rumour that Robbie and his Sisters would sit in the back of the Car and Serenade my Mother and Father in Law with … Nothing’s Going to Stop Us Now! It really Ought to have been our Signature Tune at our JoyFest!
Pen and I were Young and Carefree in the Eighties. We didn’t ever Imagine being the Forty Somethings we are now. Yet here we are, perhaps not as Young, but Possibly Younger at Heart than we have Ever been and this is why it is Refreshing and Exciting to see many of our Eighties Idols also Reliving their Youths backed up by the Wisdom and Learning that the Privilege of Life has Bestowed Upon them.

Mine and Pen’s Lives were All About …

“men, women, choices, sex, ambition, moving in, no sex, risks, underwear, friendship, career moves, strategy, commitment, love, fun, breaking up, making up, bedtime, last night…” !

Our Friendship has Weathered Many Storms and Created just as many Memories. We have Lived Together and Spent Years with Little Contact; We have Liked and Disliked each other’s Friends and Boyfriends; We have shared Excruciating, Awkward and Exhilarating Moments and We’ve Followed Different yet Similar Paths. We thought we knew it All, even though Deep Down we were Confused and Apprehensive. We were Misunderstood, Misunderstood Each Other and Misunderstood Ourselves. We remember things Differently and Some Recollections have Faded in the Haze of new Realities but many have stayed with us, making us Laugh, Wince, Smile and Cry!
We were both Impulsive Dreamers, Exploring Every Avenue, Taking Every Opportunity, Grabbing the Chance and Seizing Occasions without Looking at the Wider Picture! And While our Impetuous Impulses haven’t always worked out the way we Hoped, I believe the Comedy of Errors that was the Turbulence, Emotional Chaos of Our Youth and Young Adulthood enabled us to Grow and Evolve into an Authentic and Stable Adulthood.

We Stumbled through the Eighties and Nineties Navigating Peaks and Troughs and Emerging with Wisdom and Influence, Bourne out of our Colourful, sometimes Dark and Separate Journeys. The Noughties saw us Settle down with Robbie and Cam while still Searching for the Enlightenment, Liberation and Freedom to be who we wanted to be and the Truth of who we could be!

It’s not the Years in your Life that Count, It’s the Years in your Life.
– Abraham Lincoln, US President, 1809 – 1865

2011 was a Pivotal year for both of Us as Pen Developed her Wedding Photography Business and gained much Success and Robbie and I Celebrated our Marriage through the JoyFest.  In the Intervening Years, we have both Experienced many Changes (my Journey being Documented through this Blog) as we Follow our Aspirations and Dreams, finding Balance, Fulfilment, Peace and Engagement with the World.  We are both still the Impulsive Dreamers we were Thirty Years Ago. The Difference now is that we have Developed the Resources to Reassure ourselves, through Uncomfortable periods of Uncertainty,  when we Choose to take Chances.

The Distance between Dreams and Reality is called Action.

And now, with those Patient, Easy Going and Tolerant Husbands, we’re going in a Different yet Same Direction once again as we plan more Headlong, Wild Plunges into New Worlds. Perhaps for the First time in our Lives, we are Crafting our moves Slowly, Methodically and Sensibly – Unexplored Territory for the Impulsive Creatures that we are, and have Moulded our Husbands to be!

Be not Afraid of Moving Slowly; Be Afraid Only of Standing Still
– Chinese Proverb

This Blog Diary will Continue to Further Document my Forays: My Endeavours to Challenge myself and Inspire Others; Speak with Radical Honesty; Commit Rebellious Acts of Kindness; Practice Generosity; Live a Life of Integrity, Connection and Solidarity rather than Security and Comfort; Honour how Deeply I am Connected to Everything and Everyone; Be Enthused by Shared Passions: Enjoying Experiences over Materialism; the Deep, Abiding, Complicated / Uncomplicated Love of / for My Family and my Admiration of / for the Few but Inspiring and Wonderful Friends that I am Blessed to Share my Life with.

Many Years ago, when I was at a Cross Roads in my Life and Feeling Very Unhappy, someone told me “You Only get one Chance at this thing”. Pen was with me at that Moment. My Life had changed within the week as I found the Strength to leave a Miserable Relationship. This Mantra is at the Forefront of my mind Every Day as I appreciate this Wild and Precious Ride.  Every Moment Matters, Time is Ticking and Pen and I are Making the Moves that Matter Most as we Let Ourselves be Alive, Embrace our Doubts, Move on Through to let the Grand and Great Adventure of Life bring us what we Most Long for.

One Day You Will Wake Up and There Won’t Be Any More Time to Do the Things you have Always Wanted …Do it Now.
– Paulo Coelho, Author of The Alchemist

My Instagram Post today is a Picture of my Favourite Novel which is part of an Instagram Creative Project I am undertaking during the month of August. I have two Favourite Novels of which one of them is The Alchemist by Paulo Coelho and the other is The Happy Prince by Oscar Wilde. Both of these Convey the Powerful Messages of Love, Friendship, Empathy, Gratitude, Appreciation, Following our Dreams, Making and Accepting our Destiny, Humility and so many more of the Values and Virtues I strive toward.

Till Next Time

Earth Blessings
VeganCuckoo Jx



The Patchouli Diaries Truly Begin with More C’s and some D’s!

Sweet days of summer, the Jasmine’s in Bloom
July is dressed up and playing her Tune
Summer breeze makes me feel Fine
Blowing through the jasmine in my Mind
– The Isley Brothers

Our Emotions and Physical Health depend upon the Smooth Flow of Energy through our Body’s Energy Meridians. Emotions Affect our Energy Systems and when we are Tuned into a Negative Thought, Emotion, Situation or Event, our Energy Systems are Disrupted and Respond to this Thought. Every Thought we think Affects our Body (Physiology) and Emotion. Likewise, Every Physical Action Affects our Thinking and Mood. Thoughts can Create Heightened Stress, Sadness and Depression as well as Intense feelings of Joy, Happiness and Love. There may be many things outside of Ourselves that we cannot change; However, our Inner Landscapes can be Remoulded, Reshaped and Recreated as soon as we become Aware that we have the Creativity to do so.  …
It is nearly Lammas, the Pagan Festival of the Irish God, Lugh and Symbolising the First Day of the Harvest. In the Outer Landscape of my Beautiful Corner of Mother Earth, the Yellows, Whites and Blues of Spring and Early Summer have given way to the Golds and Browns of Mid-Summer. As Summer Advances with Haste, I am hit with those same old Melancholy feelings that Summer is over before it has even Started. The Birds are taking a well-earned rest and the Garden is unnaturally quiet for much of the day.

I miss the Ever-Present Song of “my” Garden Birds. I miss their Company and Comforting Melodies. The Promise of Summer has Slipped away with the Passing of those Spring Months that bring the Excitement of Longer, Hotter days! The days are in fact Shortening, the Sun Appears to have Disappeared and it has Rained every day this week! The Truth is, my Favourite time of the Year is Spring with all its Promise of Summer and as I reach the end of July, I feel that Promise Fading Away!

Spring ushers in the birth and growth of new beginnings. Summer develops and matures new life in the warmth of light. Fall celebrates life and displays inspiration through color. Winter then rests and builds for the new day, preparing for the next season.
– Jaren L Davis

However, as I have written about many times and in the last two posts, I have been on quite a Journey recently, spent much time Soul-Searching and Overhauled my Inner Landscape; those Melancholy Feelings continue as I Lament the end of July but I am also Developing Feelings of Anticipation, Expectation and Hope as I move into August with the Choices I have Chosen, the Decisions I made and the Opportunities I am Taking. I am Welcoming August and Beyond with a Commitment, Steadfastness and Certainty I can’t remember feeling before!

Lammas Signposts a Shift to a Slower Time. A Time to Consider what we Wish to Store from our Outbound Adventures and to Reflect on How Our Inner Projects have Developed since the Spring. A Time to Express what has Ripened within Our Hearts and Gather it in to Sustain us on our Inward Journeys. What has Grown Strong and Steady and what has Fallen Away?
– Earth Pathways

The Vision of the Voyage to the next Stage of Our Lives is starting to feel Positively Palpable and the Patchouli Diaries have Officially Started over this of Summer 2017. Life is Changing slowly for Robbie and me. As we Celebrate our 6 Years of Marriage and 21 years together this Summer, we are also Embracing the Potential of the Future while Cautiously Acknowledging the many Obstacles and Determining how we might Overcome them.

Destiny is not a matter of chance; it is a matter of choice. It is not a thing to be waited for, it is a thing to be achieved.
― William Jennings Bryan, American Politician, 1860 – 1925

Robbie and I are Dreamers. For 21 years we have Daydreamed about the Life we have Aspired and feel Drawn to; A Life that aligns with our Values and Beliefs. The Visions for our Future have taken many Different Directions over the years that have seen us become the People we are today. While those Beliefs may have been Challenged and Moulded as we have become Older and Wiser, Our Moral Compasses remain Pointing in the same Direction.

You May Say I’m a Dreamer, But I’m not the Only One. I Hope Someday You’ll Join Us and the World will Live as One.
– John Lennon, 1940 – 1980

That Direction is to New Beginnings away from this corner of Mother Earth that has Nurtured our Relationship, the Family and Home we have Created. Not too far away however, just far enough away to Enable us to Live our lives with Measure, Balance and Harmony and where we can take our Inspiration from Nature and her Soil and Serve the Planet. Somewhere we can Live a Simple Life and Experience True, Calming Pleasures avoiding the Shallow and Transient ones.

Our Goal is to Secure a Well-Lived Life of Meaning; Find a new Narrative; make our Peace with Nature; find our Solace and Enrichment by being as Self-Sufficient as possible; further Develop our Sense of Reverence and Love towards this Beautiful Planet and Enjoy a Sense of Well-being – Physically, Inwardly, Deeply – where our work place is the Collaborative Environment of the Natural World, and where we will Witnesses daily, the Wondrous and Powerful Interdependence of the Earth’s growing Cycle as we Embrace the Spiritual Power of Living alongside Nature and Strive to Find our Inner Peace.

I believe that there is a subtle magnetism in Nature, which if we consciously yield to it, will direct us alright
– Henry David Thoreau, American essayist, poet, philosopher, abolitionist, naturalist, tax resister, development critic, surveyor, and historian, 1817 – 1862

We Hope to Examine, Engage and Participate in this new Life within three hours of where we live now, along the West Coast of Wales or South towards Dorset, Devon or Cornwall. We don’t have any Concrete plans yet, but our Vision is Tangible and the Ideas of How to Achieve our Dream are Flowing!

At the Centre of our Aspirations is our Daughter and it will be her Hopes and Dreams that Dictate the Direction that our own ones take.

Love her but Leave her Wild

-Atticus, Ancient Greek Philosopher

Bleu’s Life is starting to take a different Path which is Exciting for her and seems Incredible for Us in that we have managed to somehow Parent this Amazing Sixteen-Year-Old Young Woman who is on the Verge of Stepping into a World of Independence, Different Communities, Culture and Shared Interest.

Every New Beginning comes from Some Other Beginning’s End
– Seneca, Roman Philosopher

Life has already Changed in Subtle but Definite and Recognisable Ways since Spring when Bleu started to work at the weekends. Suddenly, Robbie and I have found ourselves with days to Ourselves without our Little Girl to Consider when planning what our weekends are going to Consist of! Apart from our Commitment to take and pick her up from Shifts, we now have the Luxury of getting on with whatever we need to, not having to factor in how Bleu fits into our Projects and Ventures! Since she finished her GCSE’s we have been seeing even less of her as she spends time with her Best Friends, going down to Devon for a week to stay with one and in Cornwall this week, with another one!

The More a Daughter knows the Details of her Mother’s Life, the Stronger the Daughter!

I Miss her All the Time but am Beginning to Appreciate the Slower Pace that our Lives have Assumed as Summer has Developed and Matured. There is less Rigidity to much of our daytime Routines as we find ourselves eating later, eating more Simply and having no Morning School runs to Perform!

To Be a Mother is to Watch your Heart Walk Around Outside of Your Body.

Summer time is always more Relaxed anyway with the Non-Existent School runs and the fact that Our Work Routines are more Flexible. This year, however, there is a real Sense that Change could be Afoot, the Shape of Things to Come along with the Discernible Difficult Decisions that we will Encounter by Making those New Choices. Bleu, Our Darling Daughter will be Central to all those Decisions and Choices, as will my Fabulous Son Matthew who is Travelling his own Impressive and sometimes Wild Ride through his Twenties!

There is an endearing tenderness in the love of a mother to a son that transcends all other affections of the heart.
– Washington Irving, American Author and Historian, 1785 – 1859

The End of July is Looming as is the Memorable and Magical Anniversary Weekend we have just spent, taking Advantage of our Freedom of Responsibility of Parenthood. Our Sixth Year of Marriage within our Twenty-One years of Togetherness. We have never Celebrated our Anniversary before, in fact, our Busy Lives have Inevitably meant we have Completely Forgotten it! However, those Change in our Life Circumstances Dictated that this Year, we not only Remembered but were able to Commemorate this weekend of 2011 with a Canoeing Trip on the River Thames; A Cinema Visit for the Powerful film, Dunkirk; a Cathartic Clear Out of our Loft; Happily Finished off with an Unexpected and Delightful visit from my Best Oldest Friend, Pen and her Remarkable Husband Cam.
Mine and Pen’s Friendship is one that has been Nurtured and Treasured over the Thirty-Four years we have been Friends! Our Friendship is Deep and Lasting; Respectful and Reciprocal; Powerful and Pleasing; Communicative and Educational; Dear and True. We are Different yet Alike, Far yet Near. We have Followed the Same Paths of Love – Both finding True Love in the form of our Husbands and as Couples, we are Similar, both in our Yearnings, Ambitions and Endeavours and Parallel Personalities: Pen and Robbie being the more Analytical, Reserved, keeping their Hearts Close to their Chests, Balancing Myself and Cam, very much wearing our Impulsive and Spirited Hearts on our Sleeves!

You know the People that feed your Soul … because you’ll feel good after spending time with them.

I know what a Truly and Genuine Blessing it is to have Pen in my life, Still Such Close and True Friends after so many years. I have so much to Thank Her For. Our Connection is Responsible, in some part, for Moulding the Person I have become. Our house is Adorned with Photos from our JoyFest which Pen and Cam, who just happen to be Incredibly Talented Wedding Photographers, Gifted us, in their Endless and Pure Generosity. It is Pen’s Creativity and Success that Inspired me to start Blogging. Our Friendship has Blessed me with Innumerable, Unforgettable and Precious Memories. We Spent our Formative Years Together, growing up in the 80’s, Dancing to Bananarama, Wham and Rick Astley, Getting Drunk on Bacardi and Malibu (or was that just me?!), watching Brat Pack Movies and Embarking on that search for the Ultimate True Love! So Many Buried Memories that will be Unearthed over time as I keep Writing!

Friends Come and Go like the Waves of the Ocean but the True Ones Stick, like an Octopus on your Face!
– Uplift Quote

As I Always am, I have again been Inspired by Pen to be Creative, Visionary and Imaginative and Develop the Interest in Photography, that has been Hovering Beneath the Surface for Years, as a tool for Activism on Instagram. I have been Incredibly Influenced Consciously and Unconsciously by Images. It is the Images of Poor Souls Trapped and Abused in Slaughter Houses that Forced me to Face the Awful Truth of Factory Farming and Determine Immediately to Follow a Vegan Lifestyle. Pictures, whether Photos, Drawings or Paintings have the Power to Create Behaviour Change.

Pen has Inspired me today to Develop my Very Amateur Photography Skills on Instagram so I can show Destruction that can be Prevented; Suffering that needs to be Stopped; Beauty that needs to be Conserved and Vegan Lifestyles that need to be Promoted!

A Vegan Cruelty-Free Lifestyle, My Family, Our Global Community, Mother Earth, Father Sky and a Shared Respect for the Rights of All Beings is the Cornerstone of my Being and Inspiration for All I Accomplish.

Now that I have decided to Scale Back of Projects that were Draining me of Emotional Vitality and Denying me much of the Physical and Emotional Energy I need to Concentrate on my Own Creative Activism, I have the Time and Drive to Devote to Creativity in the form of Writing, Photography and … Singing, but that, I will Write about in Future Posts!
I still need to be Careful. As is Evident through my Writing, I have a Tendency to Jump in First with Gusto and Vigour, becoming Obsessed with a new Project, Voluntary Position or Interest. I have an “All of Nothing” Attitude. I become Very Passionate about New Ideas and Desires to Make a Difference and my Actions are Unsustainable. I cannot do things in Moderation and I easily Burn Out and Loose Interest.
This has happened before in my Creative Endeavours. As fast as I build Momentum, I Lose it believing I should be doing something “Active” and more “Productive”. It’s been that need to Prove to Myself that I am “Giving Back” and Contributing to my Community that has been my Downfall. But, at Last, I believe I have reached a Plateau and am standing at the Precipice of New Horizons as I Hope I have Conveyed in this Post.

Yesterday I was clever, so I wanted to change the world. Today I am wise, so I am changing myself.”
– Jalaluddin Rumi, 13th Century Persian Sunni Muslim Poet.

Pen and Cam Visited Today for a Reason that Neither of Us Knew. The Four of Us are on the Brink of New Beginnings and as Always, have Drawn Inspiration from Each Other in the Knowledge that We are Each in a Place where the View is Clear, Tranquil, Ordered and Stimulating. I felt a New Understanding between us today, A New Bond and Future Together Despite the Miles Separating us, which will be so much More by 2020. However, until then, we will Enjoy Time Jointly in their home County of Cornwall and our Little Bolthole in West Oxon and Look forward to December 2020/ January 2021 when we will All be Together in …. Australia! … But, like the Singing, I will Write about that in Future Posts!

Love Deeply, Think Creatively, Act Responsibly and Find Lessons Every Day to Integrate into Our Lives and Mindsets.

Another Working Week takes over as I finish this Post which means no Writing for a Few Days. However, Photography is an Instant Tool for Connection and Expression. So, Until I write again, Instagram will be my Blog … with a Cool, Calm, Collected, Moderate and Methodical Approach!

VeganCuckoo Jx

The Important of C’s

We must make the Choice to Communicate and Connect; to be Conscious and Connected; to have the Courage to take a Chance. Only then will we Create Change.

The process of writing is Cathartic, Challenging and a little Addictive. Given time, I would write daily to Unburden the Emotions that Bog me down and keep me from Accomplishing my Goals. My Intention is to write with Integrity, Honesty and Unreservedly; to write my Truth; to Communicate with myself and bring to mind the Importance of paying Attention and staying Focused; To Nourish and Challenge my Inner Landscape  and to Persevere with my constant Reinvention on my Transient Journey to the final Destination of Being Part of something Truly Good and live a life of Purpose and Connection.

Persistence is the Virtue by which All other Virtues Bear Fruit
– Arturo Graff, Italian Poet, 1848 – 1913

All the above is a Constant test and Writing this serves to remind me of how I need to change and gives me No Excuses! I Strive to write with Integrity and Honesty but I am far from being a person of Complete Integrity, Honesty and Tolerance. When I read through this blog, I am struck by the Peace Loving individual that I may appear to be! I am Peace Loving but I certainly do not always Act in that way which makes me Ashamed. By writing and sharing that shame, I am sharing my Truth and I believe the Foundation of Communication is Truth Telling. Communicating with my Family, Friends, Work Colleagues, Neighbours, Community and this whole Virtual World requires that I Communicate with myself and Listen to who I am. Only then can I Truly, Truthfully Connect with Others.

No man can purchase his Virtue too dear, for it is the Only thing whose Value must ever Increase with the Price it has cost us. Our Integrity is never worth so much as when we have Parted with our All to keep it.
– Ovid, Roman Poet

As I wrote about in my last post, I have Navigated some Choppy waters recently, my Flow was Rocky. Now I am again, in Harmony with everyone and everything I am Connected to and with. However, I know that without Sustained Determination to keep that Peaceful Connection, I will experience a Kink in my flow once again. There is much work to be done! Writing helps me to keep track of my Journey by highlighting the Values and Virtues I am lacking; laying out my Character Bare; Exposing all my Faults and Failures; Guiding my Transformation and Acting as my Reference point.

The Greatest Virtues are those which are most Useful to Other Persons
– Aristotel

Connection with Nature and All those Beings for whom I Yearn to make a Difference is also a Key Player in my Journey. The Source of my Consciousness is Nature herself. She is where I find Spiritual Nourishment and a Meaningful, Peaceful and Connected State of Mind. The Conscious Intent and Focus with which I find myself every Morning, plodding along with my Furry Companions by my side, Engages me with the Natural World and Connects me to the Rhythms and Cycles of Nature. As the Day Dawns, for that one time every day, I Experience a Feeling of Wholeness and Immerse myself in that Experience with All my Senses and Attention, being as Fully Present in each moment as possible. Paying Attention keeps me Animated – Observing all the Beautiful Delights and Surprises Mother Earth Showers me with every morning – and Refreshes my Heart and Mind for the day ahead, reminding me to Focus on my Inner Peace and Strength, to Maintain this sense of being Grounded and Centred in other areas of my life and daily Challenging Situations.

Nature has Soul, Spirit and Intelligence. The word Nature means Birth. Mother Earth and Father Sky are Alive. Some of us live on the Earth, Others live in the Sky, and Still others in the Water, but Ultimately the Whole of Life is One, Manifesting in Millions of Shapes, Forms and Faces. Diversity is the Dance of One Life Force. Unity Celebrates itself in the Diversity of Life. We are all Connected, We are all Related. We are an Integral Part of Nature. The Earth is our Common Home.

Unfortunately, I am Constantly Challenged to Discover a way to Balance my Values and Beliefs with those of Friends, Family, Work Colleagues and others whose paths I cross. Connecting with them Honestly on Neutral ground and Communicating with Tolerance Ensures I am not left feeling Frustrated and desiring not to be with them. By Developing the skill of Conscious Connection that I can Achieve so Easily every Morning, and Returning to it Regularly and Consistently, I have found that, given Time and Patience, my Attitude and Behaviours can be Transformed leading to Effective Communication, Connections and Interactions, in turn leading to those Small Ripples that will in turn become Waves of Change!

May we All Thank before we Think, Think before we Speak, and Think and Act Wisely for the Benefit of all Humankind and All our Relations.
– Glenn Aparicio Parry – Original Thinking: A Radical Re Visioning of Time, Humanity and Nature

This post links with my amended name for this blog: “The Patchouli Diaries”; Having worn Patchouli since I was in my early teens, I have become Immune to the way it Connects me to other people. However, after another recent Interaction, it was Robbie who suggested I link these Conversations within my blog! …
Practically every day, someone mentions the way I smell, with either a positive or negative reaction! This generally leads me to having brief conversations with people I don’t know and often, Creates Cheerful Connections between us and can often lead to us Recognising and Connecting with each other at other times, in the relatively small Community in which I live. Having my own Unusual Formula for Connecting in the way I smell is a Gift and I want to write about small but Significant Contacts that bring a Smile and Warmth to my day and appear to do the same for the Person I have Connected with because some Happy Memory has been Jogged.

What greater thing is there for two human souls than to feel that they are joined – to strengthen each other – to be at one with each other in silent unspeakable memories.
– George Eliot, English Novelist, Poet and Journalist, 1819 – 1880

My Furry Companions also bring me many Connections with Fellow Doggy Lovers and I must finish this post soon to go on our Morning Walkies on what is a rather Grey but Still and Green July Early Morning. Outside the back Door, Our Sparrows (whom I call Barry and Belinda) are busy looking after their Third brood of 2017 and I find it Comforting to listen to them as they Communicate with their Contact Cheeps.
It is the day after my Daughter’s 16th Birthday, a day of Celebration and Companionship, Family and Friends. Life is Calmer again and it is Time for me to once again Align my Outer Actions with my Inner Landscapes as I wrote about last time, as I have  done so many times before. After a Little Lull to allow time to Connect and Care for myself, I am once again Strong enough to Connect, Embrace Connections and Continue to make a Change to my little part of the Universe.

Your Life does not get better by Chance, it gets better by Change.
– Jim Rohn, American Entrepreneur, Novelist and Motivational Speaker, 1930 – 2009

This post is Dedicated to my BFF. Kate. Our Friendship is Organic and Free Flowing with No Expectations from each other, Recognising the Busy Lives we each Lead. Unfortunately, this means, we can go for Long Intervals without Connecting with each other and when we do find a small window of time to Catch Up, our Communication can often be Trivial and Superficial as Time does not allow for Deeper, more Meaningful Contact. Perhaps this led to a Wide Chasm between us Recently as we became More Unaware of the Occurrences in each other’s lives.
However, just when I, without realising, needed someone to talk to, to Share my Thoughts and Feelings with (who wasn’t my poor husband), Kate was there. It wasn’t planned and I had not intended to mention the Crazy Mania I had recently been Experiencing. The Turmoil of my Internal Climate is just that, Internal and Intense and only Robbie has the happy Duty to Go Through it with me!
However, while waiting to pick up our Young People from their Prom, we found ourselves having a Long Awaited Catch Up which started Insignificantly – Surface, Inconsequential and Minor Conversation despite our Deep Connection. But it is that Deep Connection that eventually Persuaded me, that evening, to Expose my Inner Landscape and Recent Irrational thoughts to my BFF.
Four years ago, I had the Most Important Conversation of my life with Kate when she helped me see the Wood for the Trees and make sense of what had been a Difficult Year. Four weeks ago, I had another Significant and Influential Conversation with my BFF. She Demonstrated such an Understanding and Empathy not just in those moments, but Since and that has granted me Enormous Strength and Helped my Healing Process.

I am Eternally Grateful and know that, having Shared with her, my Innermost, Painful Emotions, I will be able to come to her when I am struggling again (which I will!) Kate gives an Objective but Compassionate Way of Looking at things in a way that Robbie is unable to do because he is negatively affected by my waves of Despair and my other Best Friend, My AASS, Kay cannot do because she Feels the same Gloom as I, so we just Feed off each other’s Hopelessness!
So, as I leave this post to Connect with Nature with my Furry Companions, I am Grateful for the Wonderful Connection I have with Kate and the Healing Power of this Significant Life-time Friendship. She gives me Companionship, shows me Compassion and Our Bond has Developed and Evolved to an even Deeper Level. Our Connection is Profound, Prolific and Pretty Perfect. Thank you, BFF.

People Don’t Always need Advice. Sometimes All they really need is a Hand to Hold, an Ear to Listen and a Heart to Understand Them.

I am off to Explore another Best Friend – Mother Earth.

VeganCuckoo Jx



Finally Flowing Fluidly

There is a huge hole in the heart of all our educations. It is where the skills and abilities of self-management should be. No one teaches us how to manage our thoughts, feelings, attitude and behaviour so we find it hard to manage the four “Rs” – relationships, roles, responsibilities and resources.
Choose the quality of your thoughts today – accentuate the positive, eliminate the negative and clean up the waste. Everything which means everything in your life, begins with your thoughts.

It’s always a challenge to start writing when I haven’t written for so long. I experience writers block and my thought process is stagnant which is odd because my thoughts have been all over the place recently! When I was a drugs and alcohol support worker, an important part of my work involved encouraging clients to manage their thoughts, the starting point for their harmful behaviours. So when the above “daily thought” dropped into my email today, I decided it was a good reference point to get me started!

But how should I begin exactly? By reading through that which I have posted before to ensure a seamless joining up from the last entry (more than 6 months ago) to this one? Or should I just get on and write despite the risk of confusing the reader (hmmm what reader apart from me and my husband if I can persuade him!). Why would I confuse the reader? Because I know some of the goals which I had talked about at the end of 2016 have changed a little, some have not been achieved at all and some of those are now not going to be but some have been, continue to be and will be! Phew! Complicated!

Writing is my creative outlet and when I start writing after such a long period I feel a glad sense of relief for the opportunity to project my thoughts, feelings, beliefs and memories into words, this just simply helps me to process things; I don’t write this because I feel a need for people to know about me. I do however enjoy writing and for some reason I want to share what I have to say regardless of whether anyone is reading! It is an ode to myself, from my heart; therapy for my soul; reminding me of what I want to do; generating the understanding that there are some things I cannot do; reassuring me that is OK; permitting me to accept my limitations; encouraging me to stick at what I know and empowering me to find the energy and strength to accomplish what I desire; guiding my wild ideas and ambitious plans; providing me with a record of past successes and failures; joy and sadness; darkness and light; distinguishing what have been the causes and those methods that have served to improve the situation or mood; identifying what drives and motivates me, my vision and aspirations; my dreams and hopes!

Either write something worth reading or do something worth writing”
– Benjamin Franklin

Having briefly read back through the last few posts, I can safely say that this post will continue in the same vain as them and all that came before! (pretty boring for anyone but me, even my husband gets bored reading it!) Up until now, this blog has been all about my growth as a person; that which and who inspire me; my sense of purpose; my pain with the world; my heightened urgency to live life fully and properly; my goals and plans; my attitude, behaviour and my physical and mental health. This post will be no different but after this post, I hope to change the direction of this blog to reflect the ambitions of both myself and Robbie to follow our vocation. Our journey together is edging ever closer to our vision of how we want to live than ever before, we are possibly only less than 3 years away from a drastic change in life style! I want this blog to be a diary of our journey towards our destination.

Life is not complete unless you move. Our journeys are constant and our transitions are infinite. Our health is merely a vehicle to enjoy all that’s in between.

So, why haven’t I written for 6 months? Nothing to write about perhaps? The first couple of months of 2016 were uneventful. I seemed to get through Winter and felt fairly content for a while. Sometime in March, I believe it started to go slightly awry. Aside from the fact that I developed proper flu (!) and felt unwell for nearly three weeks, my hormones seemed to be all over the place, making me emotional much of the time. After the flu, I took the decision to take matters into my own hands and started, and continue to take a handful of supplements every day. I believe absolutely, that they have had a very positive effect on my physical health.

However, emotionally, spiritually, and socially I was starting to feel restless. My internal climate was in turmoil. The energy of my consciousness was out of control. My mind was agitated. I became obsessed with finding a new job, believing this was the answer; I completely immersed myself in organising care for my very dear friend Jac and drowned myself in sorrow and misery for the challenges she is facing; I offered my services for two more volunteering opportunities that, in my chaotic mind, I felt were created just for me and fate had dropped them in my lap!  And I started Yoga to cope with it all! I distanced myself from my husband, putting up an invisible glass door between us – self-preservation. He, in turn, reacted against this and eventually things came to a head which brought me back down to Earth with a huge bump and forced me to, once again, appreciate what I have already in abundance.

Sometimes we get so caught up in trying to accomplish something big that we fail to notice the little things that give life its magic.

Since then, I have managed to step back, without guilt or a sense of failure, from two of my previous existing voluntary positions that had been causing me so much stress: I was going to help set up a Youth Café with my friend but realised that I just was not able to devote the time and energy that it needed. It was not a hard decision and my friend was totally understanding. I had been looking forward to being involved with the Youth Justice Service also, both these positions giving me a chance to work alongside Young People again, but the realisation of how much energy this needed has finally forced me to recognise where my boundaries fundamentally stop!
In the meantime, I was inconceivably offered a job interview for an amazing role. Going to the interview was the culmination of a job search that I realise now was unnecessary and pointless. I already have a fantastic, well paid, interesting and important job that gives the time and flexibility I need to spend time with my family and Jac, and importantly, enables me to volunteer my time elsewhere! I have needed to come full circle to be reminded of that. Yet I do still feel restless in my present position and yearn for the simplicity of a paid role that would allow me to be more dynamic in more complex voluntary roles! Unfortunately, that paid role will unlikely pay like the more difficult roles I am used to!

It is easy to create new things, change places or do something different. To keep that sense of newness that creates enthusiasm is more difficult.
The secret of newness in life is not to do new things constantly, but to see everything you do with new eyes, new insights and a new perspective.

Since my unwelcome wander into mania, I have changed my viewpoint to look out over my own landscape with an altered and healthier attitude and I have established, what I believe and hope to be a personal strategy which I can manage and stick to. I have adjusted my internal climate to calm. I have detached myself from the inner storms and the hurricane has passed. I am feeling a sense of melancholy, anticipation, willingness and gratitude. Another era has ended and a new one is about to begin as I put the last months behind me, move forward without jumping the fence and concentrate on all the projects, aims and aspirations I already have on this side!

The grass is not, in fact, always greener on the other side of the fence. No, not at all. Fences have nothing to do with it. The grass is greenest where it is watered. When crossing over fences, carry water with you and tend the grass wherever you may be.”
– Robert Fulgham, Author

Most significantly, however, Robbie and I have spent beautiful and memorable times together which has healed me completely and given me the strength to cope with recent family hiccups comprising of a very unwell daughter resulting in a weekend stay at hospital and a down hearted son experiencing relationship problems! Happily, Bleu has made a full recovery and Matthew is finding his way through rocky landscape of heartbreak with the help of his family and friends.
So, What next? It is July, my daughter will be sixteen in three days; I have nearly completed a work project that took months of planning; We are going on holiday in four weeks. There is much to look forward to.

Every Situation in life is temporary. So, when life is good, make sure you enjoy and receive it fully. And when life is not so good, remember that it will not last forever and better days are on the way.

– Jenni Young

However, I need to move forward with care and diligence. The approach to my “game plan” needs to be developed sensibly and with due thought rather than being led by my heart. I still find many reasons every day to feel utterly devastated, devoid of hope with a pain that consumes me. This is my life. Would I want it any other way? Possibly – I wish I didn’t feel such anguish. It is responsible for the frequent damage to my emotional, mental and spiritual being. At the same time, I want to be awake to the pain and destruction of our world because that is what generates the positive vibrations that radiate through my life and create the small ripples that make the small differences and tell me that my actions have consequences and are meaningful.

If you have a strong purpose in life, you don’t have to be pushed. Your passion will drive you there.
– Roy T Bennet, Author
Change begins now, with you and me, and our knowledge that the things we do today will make a difference to the future
– Earth Pathways

As I write this, watching the rooks, green woodpecker, pigeons, magpies, sparrows, blackbirds and a squirrel sharing our garden in harmony, I am reminded as ever to live in the moment as they do. To go with the flow and navigate the disturbances with grace. To remember that I am part of a system that influences other systems and that each system on the planet is connected. Systems act through their parts, as in starling murmurations, where each bird is contributing to the whole system. Each small action we take is part of a bigger story. Everything we say, think or do, influences what happens next. We do nothing in isolation. Whenever we do something or act in a certain way, we can ask ourselves what is it a part of? What am I part of? What flow am I contributing to?

Everything that comes to us, comes to pass or, more accurately, for us to pass on. Not just the money in our pocket, but wisdom, objects, ideas, even opportunities, all come to us, so that, at the right moment, we can pass them on. This is called flow. Being in the flow means being aware that the river of life is flowing to us at every moment. Being in the flow means accepting whatever comes and putting it to good use, before passing it on.
Going with the flow means allowing whatever comes to move on freely, without holding on in any way. If we do not pass on, we are trying to block the flow, and that’s when we feel pressure in our life. Pressure is always self-inflicted. Every time you feel ‘under pressure’ look at what you need to release and to pass on to someone else. Once you do you can …relax…again.

My challenge now is more to avoid reaching the point when I am struggling, rather than recognising when I am.  By mastering the art of acknowledging what I can and want to do as opposed to what I can’t and don’t want to do due to lack of time or physical or emotional energy, I hope this will be possible. I do believe I may have finally reached that point, after many years of having my fingers in so many pies that I was never able to give properly to any one cause. It has been a voyage of discovery, introspection and contemplation to reach this destination and by no means is it journeys-end. But it is manageable and meaningful for now and I will continue to learn to pass on what I need to, when I need to.

Self Observation is the First Step of Inner Infolding

And who and what is at that destination?
My Husband, my Children and my furry friends are right there in the foreground; Jac is right behind them with Elaine, Steve and Young Dementia UK right behind; alongside them is my school work with Animal Aid along with the public outreach to raise awareness of my biggest passion, Animal Rights. In between all of them are my friends, this blog, yoga, my PPG work and behind them, my paid work. Encompassing, Underpinning and Encircling all of this is my Inherent Connection with Mother Nature. She seduces me with her beauty and helps the path of my heart to be open and dance however resistant it is!

I go to nature to be soothed and healed, and to have my senses put in order

– John Burroughs, American Naturalist 1837 – 1921

I look forward to continuing to write about my new inner landscape, beginnings and fresh foundations for change. It is up to me to set off in the right direction and to step consciously into the life I want to live; To balance my outer actions with my inner journey and knowing, giving equal value to both. I have set my intentions for my higher good and the higher good of Mother Earth and all her inhabitants. I will use all the skills, wisdom, knowledge, resources and networks I have accumulated to transform the old, begin the new and make a difference.

Abundance and Appreciation go hand in hand. When we can feel gratitude for what we have and what is around us we open to feelings of satisfaction, awe and harmony. We can celebrate our harvests. We can celebrate the learning that we gain from our mistakes and congratulate ourselves for the efforts made. We can celebrate what we have done rather than focusing on what we still have left to do. Gratitude starts with appreciation of ourselves. Within each of us is a store of skills, talents, purpose, passion, energy and enthusiasm.
The lens of abundance thinking is most influential when we use it first to reflect our internal landscape, to shed light on our inner abundance. When we are in touch with our inner resources we are more able to see clearly the abundances around us. It is through internal discovery that we can make the greatest changes and unearth the most valuable gems. It is through acknowledging and celebrating ourselves that we find a fulfilling world around us.
The frame of gratitude is a potent frame for change. From the viewpoint of gratitude, we can feel excitement, resilience, confidence and flow

– Earth Pathways

Till and If we meet again thru this virtual world…….

Earth Blessings
VeganCuckoo Jx