Marriage Lines: a celebration

Today my husband and I clocked up forty seven years of marriage. We’ve been together just sixteen weeks longer than that.
Yes, that was fast going, and no, I wasn’t pregnant!

To celebrate thirty three years together I wrote a poem – a bit of fun but based on the loose facts. I’d like to share it now.

I cried on the eve of my wedding-to-be,
I’d never seen marriage as happening to me;
The thought of a life with one marriage partner
Just wasn’t the wonderful life I was after;

So, breaking all rules for prolonged marriage bliss
My fiancé then put me to bed with a kiss –
Just after midnight, the day of our wedding –
To doom and disaster we surely were heading;

I turned up at the church to tie the knot,
Though many were thinking I probably would not;
For I loved a life full of music and dancing
My husband was quiet, and not one for prancing!

But I’d made a pledge, and I meant to keep it,
As a wife and a mother I sought to be fit;
And over the years that we’ve grown together,
We’ve lived a full life, with laughs in good measure;

Working hard through the bad times to set things right,
Ignoring the upsets and the reasons we’d fight;
After thirty-three years, three homes and two sons,
We’re happier than ever – becoming as ‘one’;

We says things together – our thoughts are the same,
We take time for a cuddle, life’s a bit of a game;
So now I can say I’m as glad as can be
That I did show up in March seventy-three.

To all those who love and are loved – have a happy day.

Thank you for reading and if you have enjoyed my poem please like, share, and comment.

DBT skills course: continuing saga

For the uninitiated DBT stands for Dialectical Behaviour Therapy. It was devised back in the 1990s specifically for the treatment of individuals diagnosed with Borderline Personality Disorder. Even more specifically, it was aimed at young women who were considered impervious to other forms of treatment. The difficult ones. The ones only hardened professionals did not shy away from treating. Even now the title page of each section features the profile of a young woman.

Over the twenty-odd years since then DBT has been used to treat a variety of other conditions. Now, using only the ‘skills’ aspect of the course, it is being rolled out for adults diagnosed with autism.

Yesterday was the fifth day , and the third day on ‘Emotional Regulation’.
I signed a ‘contract’ to attend, and attend I shall. After being so distressed early on I was asked / encouraged / urged to keep going. The person causing me the most angst then was the course leader; he is not autistic, so I can forgive the crassness of some of his comments.

This week, however, it was another person on the course who had me on the verge of tears; the insensitivity and rudeness kind of blindsided me. We all have difficulties, and everyone with ASD is different: many are sensitive to sensory input (in different areas and at different levels) while some are not at all. This person is extremely sensitive to regular, repetitive sounds; I am not. However, alongside ASD I have sensory integration dysfunction which causes me sensitivities with noise generally (especially sudden, loud, inconsistent, or high-pitched kinds), light, smells, touch, etc.

I had been blocking out her seemingly constant ‘paper shuffling’ and was doing OK; then the large vertical blinds were suddenly opened, including the one directly in front of me, and this did cause me physical discomfort. This person wears very dark glasses; there are about fourteen people in the room, all with unknown / unseen issues; without reference to anyone else she fully opened the blinds covering four windows. I stimmed to keep in the game.
Next came the verbal ‘put down’ that led to the tearfulness.
I stayed put until the break when I was able to get some water.
What came after the break was what broke me: smell. Every session she eats and today’s sandwiches had something in them that was extremely unpleasant to me. I had to move away. We have no group rule about eating and I’ve never been anywhere where one was necessary. It isn’t as if we don’t have a break and she opened up the packet within minutes of coming back after taking a break.

I understand that to the many who are not sensitive to sensory input this would appear to be an extreme reaction on my part. For those who do, I’m positive you’ll know exactly where I’m coming from.

Apologies for this turning into another mini-rant, but I need to let off steam somewhere. Next Monday morning I’ll just psych myself up, get through as best I can, and look forward to my super lunch date with my husband after.

For more thoughts on the course please check out a previous post on Jargon Judgements:

Today is our anniversary – 47 years clocked up – and it would have been great to post something about love. But marriage is about resilience as well – so I’ll go with that. My husband is ready to pick up the pieces of my post-group trauma and that is what love is really about. Being there for each other.
In honour of that I shall also be posting a poem I wrote to celebrate our being together for thirty three years. Please check it out.

If you have found anything worthy in this post, perhaps you can relate to some of it, please like, share, and comment.
Thank you for reading. Have a great evening.

International Women’s Day: reflections

Been busy lately. Between attempting to do some homework, getting back into creating an image with Powertex medium, and chasing an extremely persistent ewe out of our garden there’s been precious little time for writing.
To redress this importune imbalance, I had planned for this post to dip into the pleasures and the pains of the past week but my initial draft was taken over by issues raised by today’s DBT skills course.

To the sheep.
There’s always been the notion that sheep just eat and follow, follow and eat. Not so.
This isn’t the first time I have considered the ‘thinking sheep’. A few years ago I created an image celebrating such a creature.

The ewe that has taken over our lives these past days has made Monty Python’s Harold the Clever Sheep come to mind. I have witnessed her surveying our garden from the advantage of the bluff behind it. Watched as she sauntered down – casually – but always fixed on her goal. To see how she gets in we’ve set up a trail camera; the following images are not the best but are sufficient to give an idea of her strategies.

As we’re waiting for a waller to repair the damage after the latest storms, obstacles were put in place. Nothing seemed to deter her.
At every ‘low’ part more obstacles added … and still she went for it.
Having sussed out that her preferred spot was now impossible, such was her sheer grit and determination that she jumped onto a lower point, walked along the top (which meant she had to step over and between the upright stones) until she reached a narrow space she could get through.

To me she is an inspiration, albeit an incredibly annoying and troublesome creature. There was nothing that she let get in the way of what she wanted.

And so, for yesterday’s International Women’s Day – I give you Ethel the Ewe (another Monty Python reference, taken from ‘Ethel the Frog’), my inspirational female of the species.

To women everywhere – and to those who are ‘there’ for you – I hope you had an inspiring day / were able to inspire someone, but mostly that you were content in yourself and in your own way.

For a bit of balance, I am very fortunate in that I shall be seeing my favourite inspirational woman later in the year – Sandi Toksvig.

I hope you have enjoyed my post. I should be honoured if you liked, shared, and commented with your own ideas for inspirational women.
Thank you for reading.

World Book Day 2020

Around 100 countries celebrate World Book Day and Thursday 5th March is World Book Day in the United Kingdom and Ireland; other countries celebrate on 23rd April. It was originally organised by UNESCO in 1995 to promote reading, as well as publishing and copyright, and has certainly stood the test of time. Booksellers hold promotions and schools hold ‘dress as a favourite book character’ days.

In honour of the day I have listed my A to Z of favourite books, from wonderful picture-based books to intriguing tales for the early teen years:

Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland: Lewis Carroll

Bear Called Paddington, A: Michael Bond

Charlotte’s Web: E. B. White

Dogger: Shirley Hughes

Emil and the Detectives: Erich Kästner

Frog and Toad Are Friends: Arnold Lobel

Goodnight Mister Tom: Michelle Magorian

House at Pooh Corner: A. A. Milne

Iron Man: Ted Hughes

Jolly Postman, The: Janet & Allan Ahlberg

King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table: Roger Lancelyn Green

Little Bear Lost: Jane Hissey

Meg and Mog: Helen Nicholl

Nothing Ever Happens Here: Sarah Hagger-Holt

Owl Service, The: Alan Garner

Peace at Last: Jill Murphy

Queen’s Nose, The: Dick King-Smith

Revolting Rhymes: Roald Dahl

Smith: Leon Garfield

Tracy Beaker, The Story of: Jacqueline Wilson

Uncle: J. P. Martin

Very Hungry Caterpillar, The: Eric Carle

We’re Going on a Bear Hunt: Michael Rosen

X – Jessica’s X-Ray: Pat Zonta

You Must Be Layla: Yassmin Abdel-Magied

Za-za’s Baby Brother: Lucy Cousins

As a very subjective guide I have used font emphasis to denote age ranges:
Normal = 0-5 years; Italic = 6-8 years;
Bold = 9-11 years; Bold Italic = 12-13 years

Please add your favourites – mine is no way exhaustive. I would have included The Magic Pudding, many, many Roald Dahl, The Thirty Fifth of May, etc. I decided to list just one from each favourite author, and to try to have a spread from the age range covered.

If you have been inspired by this post please like, share, and comment.

Thank you for reading.

Colours of Me: a poem

I have spent much time recently working on jewellery projects. It relaxes me and recharges flagging batteries. My latest design was a rainbow-hued bracelet that features an artist’s palette. I got thinking about myself and the colours that reflect who I am.

My multi-hue palette bracelet.
Unique palette, colours of me,
Passions in red - creativity;
Deep pool visions, dream-state in blue
knowledge is power, wise-mind is true;
Jaundice yellows, venomous thought,
Cold, black defeat in battle not sought;
Orange-amber transparent cage,
untrue, uneasy, traps puerile rage;
White hot anger and leprous guilt,
Shades of green weave serenity quilt;
Affirming purple, empowering me
sure-foot confidence, positivity.

Do you have colours that reflect how you feel, or who you are?
Favourite colours? Or ones you cannot stand to be near?
If you have enjoyed my post please like, share, and comment.

Thank you for reading.

Awareness Weeks: share the love

In these ultra-busy times there seem to be an increasing number of Awareness Days / Weeks / Months. I totally agree with reminding people to spare a thought for others; my trouble is, it is so difficult to keep track.

So I’ve decided to dedicate this post to a general awareness and encourage everyone to –

Share the Love

Have a marvellous March. Spring is less than three weeks away and nature is impatient to enjoy the sunshine and longer days.

If you have enjoyed this post please like, share, and comment.
Thank you for reading.

Love and hugs to everyone. x