Category Archives: Recovery

Toy Story and Sunday stuff

Toy Story 3 – go and see it. Take tissues. Go and see it.

Finished Poisonwood Bible. Latest book club read and I can’t wait to go and discuss it. I haven’t been to book club for months. Mainly work commitment issues but also they hit a rich seam of “books from films”, the nadir being something from the Twilight series. OMG, what a load of old tosh. I know there are women of my age who think RPatz is the best thing since…oh I don’t know the last 12 year old grown women  lusted after, but really. Badly written and ridiculous. All too much.

Today had good chats with the boy. Have had some fear, it’s not good. Still don’t know if I’m the stupidest person known to mankind. We were both so badly parented. We both love our parents very much but they made (and , to some extent, continue to make) such enormous mistakes with both of us. Maybe that’s the glue that binds us together. The never being good enough. It’s probably quite toxic glue. But in a way we bring peace to each other. Our siblings were – and continue to be – loved more. It’s not over-dramatic. It’s not toddler petulance. It’s just the truth and we both live with it and have made our peace with it. It’s difficult. I know what it does to me. I’m not entirely sure what it does to him. It’s probably a very good thing that we don’t have children of our own.


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Filed under Africa, Books, Films, Life, Recovery

Dadi Janki

Last night I went to a talk by Dadi Janki organised by Inner Space and came the closest I have ever been to an angel. She says this is what she is studying to be and I can only believe that she will be one.

At 93 she shows few signs of her age and the moment she took to the stage, the room was filled with a spiritual energy that I cannot describe. In fact I am finding it hard to put the experience into words (which is not useful if you want to blog about something). She stood at the front of the room for about 5 minutes and just looked around, seeming to engage every person there and there were no embarrassed silences, no wishing “come on then, I’ve come to hear you speak”. She just infused the room with her energy.

I don’t know if I have had a spiritual awakening as such but for the first time as a conscious adult (as opposed to a child receiving the accepted wisdom of the Church), I felt a real sense of wanting to be like someone who can only be described as a spiritual leader. In all honesty I do not feel I can give everything up to become a real student (so perhaps only a partial spiritual awakening), but I am determined to try to apply her principles wherever I can within the confines of practicality.

I left the meeting feeling lighter than air with a real buzz inside my head, but not a frantic buzz. Just something very gentle and beautiful. This is quite odd and scary.

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3BT – 18th August

1. It’s a year since I went to Africa and just thinking about my time there makes me smile.

2. Chores not taking as long as I think they will.

3. Maintaining my equilibrium in very trying circumstances. I know a short while ago I would have lost it big time.

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Filed under 3BT, Africa, Life, Matters domestic, Recovery

The spiritual and the material

So I spent yesterday getting in touch with my ‘inner self’. Went to the Global Retreat Centre of the Brahma Kumaris which possibly sounds a lot weirder than it actually was.

The centre is the most amazing 18th century Palladian villa which – given that the organisation is funded entirely by donations – is an incredible feat. The ethos is that volunteers will take better care of a property than ‘paid’ workers and from seeing the theory in action, it’s hard to disagree.

To stick to the physical, our lunch was amazing. At the beginning of the day, we were given a little speech about the ethos of the house and the facts that waste is not tolerated and our lunch would be cooked with love. Well love is very tasty (as was the chickpea soup, super proper chapattis and apple pie).

The meditation was very relaxing and the content was extremely interesting. I think I may have to assimilate it all a little more to really understand and/or decide whether I can really believe it all. Certainly the second session on spirituality freaked me out somewhat but that possibly has something to do with my rather unformed views of life, the universe and everything.

Came away feeling positive and determined to meditate (every day), hmmm…haven’t managed it today which is fairly poor. Need to reschedule and make that extra time in my day which is – in theory – easier because at least it gets light earlier (on dark mornings you have the scenario of 15 extra minutes in bed or dragging your carcass out of the duvet and trying to concentrate on your inner being – guess which one wins?). Well the spirit is willing, I just have to get the flesh co-operating.

So to the material…

Stayed in a really nice hotel last night. No matter what the star rating,  it’s the little things in a hotel which make me feel warm and cosy, for example Molton Brown toiletries (always a winner), saying you have forgotten your toothpaste (therefore asking where is the nearest supermarket/chemist?) and being given a little dental kit; cotton wool balls and cotton buds in the bathroom (much under-rated and always appreciated); a free bottle of water (because you know you can’t really drink the water out of the bathroom taps). Just those little things that make you smile (or – if you’re me – make you squeal entirely unnecessarily but quite joyfully). However, on the down side, the room was far too hot which made it stuffy and has not entirely helped ye olde cold.

And then to the realms of ridiculous in the material world. A house two doors down and exactly the same (in terms of layout) to ours has just been put up for sale for the most ridiculous amount of cash. I am actually quite scared about it. In theory it’s a good thing but in practise I am concerned that this house turns into £ signs rather than what I consider  its primary focus: my home. I swore when we moved here three and a half years ago that I never wanted to move again and that still holds true. I wonder if that has contributed/is contributing to some rather inappropriate behaviour on my part.

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Filed under Health, Life, London, Matters domestic, Out and about, Recovery


I have decided to try and be happy and have a generally more positive attitude. Of course this doesn’t mean that crap stuff doesn’t happen and you don’t worry about decidedly random and unpleasant things (especially at 4 in the morning when there’s no chance you can realistically do anything about them), but at least if I try to wake up, get out of the house and get to work in a happy frame of mind then things don’t seem quite as grim.

As part of this venture I am trying to be more committed to my morning meditation which has taken something of a backseat on these dark days when most of the time I just want to stay in the duvet and get jolly annoyed when the first song after the 7 o’clock news finishes (this is my cue to haul myself out of bed). I am actually a morning person but find getting up in the dark deeply disturbing. Anyway, because I still can’t bring myself to get out of bed before the 7 o’clock news, I thought I would give meditating on the tube a whirl.

Now I know what you’re thinking…how can you possibly mediate on the tube? Well I’ve done it twice – this morning in the relative peace and comfort of an emptyish carriage and a seat (from Kennington – most happy) and yesterday I even managed despite my battery chicken status. Okay this isn’t super duper transcendental meditation (leave that for the weekends) but I think this is actually better. This actually allows me to feel centred, calm and positive even though I am squished on a tube being breathed on people with poor oral hygiene and battered by their bags and briefcases. Hmmm…perhaps I should go and knit a nut roast as I am worrying myself!


Filed under Getting away from it all, Life, Recovery

Serenity and forgiveness

On Friday I went to the Inner Space lecture off St Martin’s Lane. I’d been to one of their lectures before which was attended by 15-20 people so I was a little overwhelmed when I walked into the room and there were about 70 people there. I thought “how on earth am I going to be able to concentrate, let alone meditate with this many people around me?”.

The speaker was Nikki de Carteret, who is big in the world of spirituality (I’m new to this okay). The subject was the power of forgiveness (let’s face it I need to learn how to do this in my life) and, at first, I was a bit frustrated. We didn’t seem to get on to the subject matter very quickly (plus there was a very noisy man behind me rustling a plastic bag which was doing nothing for my serenity) but soon I was being blown away about once every two minutes. Not only did Nikki share her extremely credible and highly useful “prescription for forgiveness”, but she got us meditating: not once or twice but about four times within the hour and a half. I was not the only person in the room who found these meditations so powerful that tears were flowing.

I can’t believe these lectures are free. Everyone should go. Well no they shouldn’t because then it would be even noisier and more daunting.

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The tinterweb and all its glories!

I sometimes wonder what we did before the internet.

I often wonder what we did before mobile phones and – frankly – think that 80% of the time I was happier back then. People made dates and stuck to them, people weren’t late and you didn’t have to be available ALL THE TIME.

Anyway, I have – in the past couple of years – rediscovered some people I thought had disappeared out of my life forever. The first was through Friends Reunited, old university friend tracked me down and we now have a very nice ‘keep in touch by email relationship’ (we did meet as well, that was very odd – although not entirely unpleasant). The most recent was from the same era, in fact these two people used to live together at university…

To cut a long story short I am now back in touch (via the glories of myspace) with my ex-boyfriend. We’ve sent each other a few messages and I have to say it is very odd. At first I was all enthusiastic but I’ve been having some serious second thoughts this weekend. It’s not that I haven’t enjoyed the exchange of messages, it’s just it’s brought up some really painful thoughts and memories (it ended very badly) and now is potentially not the time to be examining all these things.

I know it’s been 13 years so I probably should have “got over it” but I don’t think I ever really processed the information/dealt with it at the time – he buggered off to the States (for a 3 month holiday allegedly – he’s still there!). Hmmm…that makes me sound really bad that people actually leave the country to get away from me!

Having enthusiastically exchanged messages, I think I may just have to back off a little bit whilst I get my head together. After all I’m still working on putting my current relationship back together so I really think trying to process an old relationship and its associated pain is too much of an ask.

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