Small acts of kindness

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kindness

I have had a bit of a miserable time of it lately, and life sometimes just seemed a very dark place.

Sometimes I feel that life is overwhelming and there is no end to the waves that crash over me.

Then as I begin to surface and catch my breath, and I see what is happening all around me.   Some very great acts of kindness … flowers and card from a woman who wanted to thank me for taking the funeral of her dad, but also because she knew I was having a tough time.

A beautiful owl lamp from a bunch of ex army women from the Wirral as a thank you for me organising our annual reunion in Fort William.

A stunning hand made cushion cover from a friend who just wanted to make me smile.

Friends who have visited, or simply listened to me as I poured my heart out trying to make sense of so many things.

But for all the kindness that people have shown me… there is one great gift I have been given that was totally unexpected.

It was the gift of friendship from my new friend Deb.    We didn’t really know each other, even though we were friends on Facebook.   A year or so back she asked on Facebook if anyone had a track by George Michael … and I did … I copied it onto a CD and sent it to her… and really thought no more about it.

Since my recent break up, Deb has been there every step of the way.   We both were going through much the same experience and suffering the same hurt… and perhaps it was that that bonded us… but she has put up with my dodgy sense of humour, my moaning, my frustration and my tears … and although we have never met I do know that I class her as a close friend.  For some reason, she was the one I could really speak to … and it was perhaps because of that, that she would tell me things straight! no punches held back … Even if she still cannot convince me that her chicken wasn’t burnt!

Thank you to you all … but a very big special thank to Deb … a new friend and shoulder and I hope that one day I can repay your friendship.

Out of the blue…

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Karen making daisy chains, Me looking confused … and ummm … jeez .. her name slips me .. one of the “Seagulls!”

Today I had a lovely chat with an old friend from my Croydon days … we did catch up around 5 years ago, but as sometimes happens, friends slip into the background.

The most fantastic thing is that she is a motorhome owner and has a small dog! … we had a very brief catch up as I had to go to take a funeral, but we are planning to speak more over this weekend, to catch up more and to plan a wee holiday with our  motorhomes and dogs!

I cannot tell you how much this brightened my mood.  I have not been in the best frame of mind lately and it will be fantastic to meet up … we had some laughs way back then …

Our friendship started way back in 1993, in the “Frog and Nightgown” in the Elephant and Castle in London … I was with a group of friends and Karen came over to speak to someone at a table next to us.

Karen was dressed in thigh length boots … being the classy woman that I am, I turned around, stuck my cigarette packet in the top of her boots and said “hold them for me love” … she said I fascinated her because no-one have ever spoken to her with such disrespect before! … Later that night the DJ announced that she had to pull out of a planned trip to the Women’s Tennis in Eastbourne (four of us had planned to go) … and that if anyone wanted to take her place, they would have to share a room with me!

Karen volunteered.

Karen picked me up to take me to Eastbourne, in her classic open topped sports car … I was blown away!

We had a great week of laughter with two other friends…  and clubbing at the pubs and swimming pool in Eastbourne, it was full of gay women and a great atmosphere. Although it night two before we realised that the “seagull” noises from next door, were not seagulls at all! *grin*

On our last day, we didn’t stay for the final, but wanted to come back for London Pride … as we stood outside the stadium saying our goodbyes, I was leaning against Karen’s car when Martina Navatalova, Billie Jean King and some other women walked past.  Martina looked at me and said “nice car” … and I said ….. “thank you!

Karen was not happy that I did not come clean … but no way was I going to say “it’s not mine, it’s my friends!”

On our return home we went to London Pride and a couple of days later Karen invited me over to meet two friends of hers who owned a pet shop.   We were sitting chatting around the dinner table and the patio doors were open.  They owned about 8 dogs (I’m not sure how many) … when all of a sudden my feet became wet … I looked under the table to find that a full grown pig had just puked up all over me.

Happy, funny days … and I so look forward to seeing her again.

 

 

 

Feeling like a bad “mum”

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28577800_10155390992083106_6098945181259910080_nAfter not much sleep last night for various reasons … today I had to take my wee pup Sprout to the vet to be spayed.

She was not allowed anything to eat after 8pm last night … and when my friends Barry and Neil popped round, she was like a mad thing … during the night she was up and down, but I was awake for most of it anyway, so it didn’t really matter!

This morning she was like a Tasmanian Devil … a Dervish whirling round like house like a whirlwind, driving me and the cats mad.

I took her into the vets and she promptly peed all over the floor and scales … (she does that when she gets excited!) … and when I left, she was howling like a banshee … I got in my car and had a wee cry!

Sometimes I am too soft for my own good!

I have a busy day today, which will help with not worrying too much and hopefully, when I pick her up this evening, she will not hold any grudges!

 

Flatlining

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flatline

There are times when I slip into a place of nothingness.   I call it my flatline place.

It comes after I have struggling with pressures and emotion.  It is not a bad place, it is the first step in a road to recovery.   Things that hurt and bounced around my head begin to settle down.  It may not make sense, but it does not seem to have the same effect on me.

My Flatline place is where recovery begins.  From being able to feel nothing but pain and frustration, my flatline place gives me breathing space.  A place to regroup, refocus and move on… or at least find something to look forward to.

I am in my flatline place at the moment.  I still have worries and concerns, that hopefully my hospital appointment next week will sort out… but everything else that has hurt me recently is beginning to slip behind me.  I may not like what has happened but I know I have no option accept it for my own peace of mind.

I may not yet be in my happy place, but I know it lies ahead of me, and I look forward to finding it again.

Aol Camping Holidays!

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I noticed an event today on a women only camping group … a meet up down in North Yorkshire in June … and I have decided it would be a fab way of getting to know like minded women … and so, I have booked!

Really looking forward to it.. although I will be taking a trip somewhere in May before then … I might have a scout around and find out if there are any more meets!

I remember the camping holidays with the girls from AOL, loads of us sitting around a campfire, drunk as skunks and eating whatever we could fling on a bbq … then collecting of everyone’s eggs in the morning to make about 30 hard boiled eggs (we couldn’t work out how to do soft one’s) … and marshmallows melted on the fire … that ended up burning our mouths!

There was even a surprise birthday party flung for me (6 months early) and loads of pictures of me hung up all over the campsite in secret! … Great times, great friends, great laughs!

And a very embarrassing moment when I was so drunk I was trying to open my tent with my car key fob …

Alice in Wanderland (my alternative name for Alice) has opened all of this up again for me!  … this time with new friends to be made, and new stories to hear!   Plus I can use all my old jokes and stories because this bunch of women wouldn’t have heard them!

Some old memories of AOL Camping!

 

 

The gift of friendship!

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Today, for the second day in a row I had a wonderful surprise waiting for me when I got home!

A present from the Wirral Girls who came to Fort William … and all I can say is thank you!  I am delighted!  But I really don’t deserve it!

Think I need to put her over my bed and try to pinch some of her wisdom! … her name is Wirral!

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Stronger than you think

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Life is never a smooth ride.  Perhaps it is not meant to be.  Through all the challenges we face, we become.

My own life has had major lows, I’ve lost a business, my home and everything I owned, the situation was caused by many reasons, the economic climate, a dodgy Royal Bank of Scotland Bank Manager (that was eventually jailed, but too late to help me) and by myself, for not making tough decisions at the right time.  998755_10151512865748106_966206854_n

I learned a lot about myself then … I hit a great low and my first bought of depression that was stress related.   Life moved on, something inside of me just refused to quit and I ended up with another business, this time in partnership with a girlfriend.

Eventually this relationship broke down, through no-one’s fault really, it just run it’s course and we managed to keep a working relationship, but again this business was struggling, recruitment is a minefield and both myself and my ex could not, in our hearts, go down the route of zero hour contracts and so we sold off what we could and closed the business down.   The worry of history repeating itself, set me on a route to my second and more paralysing bout of stress related depression, that took me to places that I never want to visit again.

For my friends and for me, it was a shock, that “cheery” me, would sink again .. but I did.  I had wonderful friends who stood by me, and let me find my own feet, they didn’t prod, they didn’t pry… they just let me be to find the peace I wanted, but were there for support.

During this time I entered into another relationship that I knew never had legs, but it was a boost to my ego.  This relationship was a disaster, partly because I had no patience for immaturity and it ended very badly, with accusations that were totally unfounded, and that hurt.

I decided then that relationships were not for me … I took time out, found myself and my peace and carried on … I changed careers and I found something that I really love and I feel helps me give something back.

Life moved on again and suddenly and much to my surprise, I fell in love with a beautiful and caring woman, who I really thought would be by my side always.  But the clouds that gathered returned and although I tried hard to live a normal life and hide my growing sinking feeling, I know that I changed as a person.  I was very busy, and emotionally I was exhausted.   I wasn’t as affectionate or as sociable as I should have been.  Not as a reflection of how I felt about my partner, but how I felt about me… and through all my turmoil when she was with me, I found peace.

Out of the blue, my partner ended the relationship.  Although deep inside of me, I knew she wasn’t happy with the lack of affection, I thought we were strong enough together to ride out the storm, but I was wrong.

Since the breakup things have not been pretty, from both our sides and both of us have spoken cruel words, but in my heart of hearts I know she was the only woman I loved this deeply and I want her to be happy, even if it is not with me.

How it ended really hurt me, but again, perhaps I have to take a bit of the blame for that too and somewhere deep inside of me, I know, even though I am very hurt, I can’t blame her for being tempted elsewhere.

Sometimes you have to look at yourself and accept your failings, none of us are perfect but all of us hurt, some of us just hurt that little bit more deeply.

Life will go on again, sunny days will return.. and with my old and battered motorhome, I will start again on a new journey… where it will take me and my wee pup Sprout, I have no idea, but every journey has a new beginning.

This is mine.

 

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