Monday, 27 February 2017

Nineteen years a Mum… and two friends for life




Nineteen years ago today at 4.15am I became a Mum for the first time.  I am amazed how well Wes turned out, I am even more amazed we survived! Thankfully, I followed my own beliefs on how to be a good mother with the help of some momentous Mum’s along the way, showing me that fighting for your children should always be of paramount importance in your life. I have Annie Williams to thank for that.

Wes has turned into a fine young gentleman with his own mind and a fantastic role model for his brother, who idolises him.

It has not been easy raising boys on my own. Like all parents, you wonder whether you have made the right decisions, given them the tools to survive in such a mean world. They have been brought up on socialist principles and that can be a very lonely world in this day and age. Still, Wes has formed his own opinions, his own thinking and is not afraid to stick his head above the parapet and shout against injustice and lies. THAT’S MY BOY! The young boy who loves his sport, loves his family and grabs life by the balls and does it his way. I could not be prouder.  As someone once said to me, he is ready for life as an adult. I am looking forward to our family meal this evening.

It's been a mixed bag of emotions this last week. Life as a socialist is an uphill struggle and it has been since I was fifteen! Even Wes came home from his politics class last week and said he was the only one with his views – that means he is doing something right as questioning the ‘norm’ is very important. It really winds me up when people moan about protests and other people exercising their democratic rights. Sadly, with our politicians being so consumed by Capitalism, protests and questioning are our only available actions.

I do despair that people deride socialism when really it is about looking after everyone in our society – I think that is very British personally. If socialism brings us social housing, good schools, a good NHS, infrastructure, decent jobs for our young people and a sense of community again – why are we not supporting it? The media are in overdrive since the by-elections but please don’t be fooled. They are after Jeremy Corbyn because he threatens their strangle hold. They want to label him unelectable because they don’t want him to break up their monopolies and make them pay tax in the UK. Instead of believing all their lies, PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE understand why they tell their lies.

Meniere’s has taught me that any one of us at any point of our lives can be struck down and need help. Unfortunately, the help will not be there for you, as I found to my detriment. I had a very good job, company car, private health, savings. I paid all my taxes and national insurance. We had a good life and as a single parent it was great. When I lost my job through the illness, I lost all that and believe me, the savings don’t last long. I have been at rock bottom but am slowly crawling out of it. I have always been self- sufficient and these ten years have been hell. Throughout it all the boys have fully supported me and encouraged me. I am truly blessed and grateful but I never take for granted how lucky I have been to work my way out of the mess Meniere’s put me into.

We are still not there yet… every day is a struggle but it is an even bigger struggle for millions more people in this country. Whilst people may stand by and ignore that… we won’t. We will continue our fight as a family and as individuals, the world can be a much better place for ALL not just ‘me’.

Masters

I have been working so hard at my Masters. I love the work and it inspires me to keep going even in the darkest days of pain and vertigo. I have finally decided on the title and subject of my dissertation.

"An agile governance framework for the development of the ICT curricula in secondary schools to ensure sustainability, adaptability and flexibility."

I may not be able to join people on the doorsteps or leaflet but I sure as hell can use my talents to try and change the world! This topic is radical and will look at changing how ICT teaching and learning is delivered in secondary schools, hopefully making the subject interesting and engaging. The gloves are off… THIS GIRL CAN! AND WILL!

Okay, I am off to write another chapter of my new work. I will love you and leave you…

Stay safe and get motivated!

Much love






Wednesday, 22 February 2017

Doris did it!





5.30AM… awake with pain in my ears, down my neck and in my jaw. Great! I should have expected it but still live in hope I am miraculously cured! Sadly not…wishful thinking. 

Stormy weather is a complete nightmare - storm Doris did it. I've managed to last three to four months with very few symptoms and those that I have had, I managed well with. The Meniere's machine has infiltrated me again! The sickness, the pain in my ears but the worst feeling in the world is the brain fog! The overwhelming feeling of not knowing what you are doing or even trying to remember what you are doing! 

Today I wanted to work on my Masters papers and dissertation. It's useless! I can't think, I may just sleep… reading, writing, watching films are pointless – the words jump around the page, the ideas bouncing around my head and my concentration is non-existent! It's a rollercoaster of pain, anxiety, frustration… and sickness! Then when the episode passes, I have to rebuild my confidence and continue with everyday life...

Trying to type with my eyes shut… it's a gift!

It will pass… Doris needs to do one…quickly… I'm way too busy and motivated to be ill!!

To my fellow Meniere's sufferers… hang on in there.

Have a fun day and stay safe


Thursday, 16 February 2017

Empowerment


First, they attack you – put you down and ridicule you… then they follow in your footsteps. That’s why I love doing what I do and why I do this blog. Even the people that read to criticise or those total cynics can’t help but be empowered to make positive changes. Good on them! It does not matter what it is… as long as you do it with passion and it gets you motivated.
Last week, we encountered our wonderful NHS. Wes split his finger in the gym due to some lazy, inconsiderate numpty being irresponsible with the weights. We (all three of us) spent six hours at St James then had to transfer to the LGI for five hours to see a plastic surgeon, who was totally and utterly amazing. Out of adversity, comes positivity. The night made me realise just how close the boys are, despite the eight years’ age difference and how wonderful ALL the staff are at our over stretched hospitals. I am in awe of their dedication, resilience and professionalism. Thankfully, the stitches are out now and he is well on the way to recovery.
There are not enough hours in the day. I am writing part time while I finish my Masters. Semester Two has just started (well, three weeks in). I now have Masters and PhD research proposals to do and three Masters papers. I am a busy bee! I always feel overwhelmed at the start of each semester… like ten feet of snow has dropped on my head. I will shovel my way out of it and work hard. I’m aiming for a distinction across the board… so far… so good.
The writing is coming along too…

Beyond the Past


Have you had the chance to read it yet?

Would you like to review it for me?

Read the first three chapters FREE on my website

Available from:  Pegasus Publishers
Amazon UK

Kindle

Amazon US

Or you can order from your local bookshop. The ISBN number is : 978-1-84386-789-0

Streetwise


The Nanny


I am getting my life back on track. My Meniere’s symptoms are less than they have ever been and that can be attributed to me taking control and eliminating everything and everyone from my life that caused anxiety and stress. I feel so empowered and am really loving life. Our house has a calm feel to it. Lucas told me this week how happy he is at home… that’ll do for me.

2017 is looking very promising indeed…

Right, I’m off to continue writing… keep the faith and follow your dreams… they are yours… no one else’s.

Much love

Monday, 6 February 2017

It IS YOUR journey...


The older I get, the more I realise people’s spiteful criticisms and behaviour are not down to you but very much a flaw in their personality and in many ways, due to lack of empathy, knowledge and education in the very thing they are criticising. I have also learned not everyone who takes an interest in what you do, does so out of genuine interest – more out of finding something to criticise you over. That is okay because… guess what? It is not up to you to fill their knowledge gap or take responsibility for their education.

People don’t have to understand YOUR journey. Quite frankly, it is none of their business. If they choose to spend their time looking for flaws, let them. It is their time they are wasting, not yours. We are not on this earth long enough to waste our time. I learned that the hard way when I was struck by Meniere’s. I wasted too much of my life trying to make other people happy, worrying about what they thought and generally putting emphasis on other peoples’ lives instead of my own. Boy I have made mistakes but they were my mistakes! I own them, hate them but have learned from them!

I have a greater peace of mind now than I have ever had. This is my own journey and I know where I want to go and what I want to be. This is MY journey…  if I succeed, it is my boys and my success and if I fail, it is my failure. It still astounds me to hear people willing others to fail. Such a negative approach to life will never lead to success… only more misery.

January 2017, putting aside the crazy world events, has been the best start to the year for us, probably for a decade! We don’t have all the answers but we have our lives, here and now, sussed. We have learned to make the most of what we have NOW. Yes, it is not perfect, yes, I worry about money BUT my children are happy with their lives and I am too. I wake up with purpose and levels of energy, I have not had before.

I can’t do any more than I am doing right now – writing, Master’s study, bringing the boys up, handling Meniere’s and coping with day to day living. I can hold my head up high and say I am doing my best and there is light…finally. Question is… can you? If you can’t – you are the only one who can change that. GO FOR IT.

Streetwise

After feedback from a film production company who advised me this was more for television, I submitted the script to the BBC through their drama room. For those who don’t know it, the BBC has several submission windows throughout the year to help new writers. They are only open for one month. They received nearly 4,000 entrants this year and whilst I know it is a shot in the dark, the answer would have been a absolute "NO" if I had not taken myself out of my comfort zone and submitted it.

My advice to anyone – give it a go. I will let you know the feedback I get which is probably around May time. Thankfully I have lots of Masters work to do to pass the time!

The Nanny

I know I’ve mentioned this for a long time but I am still working on this. It is a big project for me and I want to get it right. The film production company liked my style and would like to see further work so this would be perfect. Lots of action and suspense!

I have several other projects that are in the very early stages and will let you into them when I’ve worked them out fully.

Right, I’m off to research Green Information Technology… riveting. Don’t wait for approval to change your own life – enjoy what you have and strive for what is right for you.

Have a safe and fabulous week.



Much love



Tuesday, 31 January 2017

The world needs more Nelson Mandelas…



Semester Two starts today. So far I have two results back from my first four Masters papers and they are distinctions, one of which will be published as my first academic paper. I can’t tell you have chuffed I am. Honestly, I thought I wasn’t clever enough to pass let alone get the grades I have achieved.  With the early success, comes the pressure to keep it up so I may have shot myself in the foot… no, it just means I have to keep working hard which is what I do every day.

Sadly, the issue of racism has raised its ugly head along with the feeling that we are living through the 1930s again experiencing the stuff we read about in our history lessons. Let’s hope people power prevails and we do not end with the same disastrous result. It is down to us all of us decent folk to stop it in its tracks and I hope everyone reading this is with me. If not, leave now. My greatest hates are discrimination and prejudice… as well as injustice.

I have always said to the boys… put yourself in that person’s shoes before you make a judgment on their lives. Iraq, Libya and Syria invasions were “justified” by the West as a means to let democracy prevail. I wonder what many American or Brits would say if our countries were invaded on the basis of restoring democracy – let’s face it… neither of our Governments are listening. What you need to remember is one man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter. Thatcher supported Apartheid and called my hero, Nelson Mandela a terrorist. History tells us otherwise!
I do not in anyway condone violence, by the way. I very much believe in diplomacy - before anyone tries to portray me as a terrorist sympathiser... oh wait... Cameron did that already!

This week has been so depressing on the news front. I have found solace in the Barenaked Ladies, Bob Marley and John Lennon.

Wes starts politics in his Semester two and all I will say is, they really will not know what has hit them! To criticise something, you have to understand it and boy does he know fascism! The best thing of all… he has educated himself with little input from me.

I have more in common with a Syrian Mum trying to keep her children safe than I do with the Prime Minister of my country. We all have our battles but I cannot imagine the pain and suffering war has inflicted on millions of people. We do need a new world order but not of intolerance and greed. We need peacemakers, diplomats and people in power who care about peoples’ lives. I watch our Government and see people who want to play silly games while children live in poverty or disabled are mistreated. There is another way – a new order and it is up to each and every one of us to exercise our democratic rights – not just putting a cross on a paper!

The future has become even more uncertain for all of us. Let us shape it the right way… please for the sake of our children and their children.
Well I'm off to start research for my next subjects - green computing technologies and strategies, critical perspective of information and my main dissertation. My kind of sanctuary!



Much love

Friday, 20 January 2017

I'm only happy when I'm...



...Writing

I cannot believe it was the last day of 2016 when I last wrote a blog post. We only have ten days left of January 2017. It's been a whirlwind start of the year for us but a very happy one.

I did not get Arts Council funding I applied for to help me to continue to develop my career. I was disappointed but not surprised. It was a tall order applying but if you don't ask…the answer is always no. Anything worth having, is worth fighting for and as I've spent my whole life fighting, I'll keep going. Nothing will stop me from achieving my aims.

In the first two weeks of January, I had to complete three Master's papers, two presentations and two exams! I can only say it was blooming tough – first understatement of the year! There were days when I wanted to quit – I felt overwhelmed and out of my depth, totally out of my comfort zone. Thankfully, I have amazingly supportive and strong children who drove me and encouraged me to keep going. I love our mutual support… and how they are not afraid to say it how it is! 

I did it. I got it all done and on time. I now have to wait for the results but received a distinction (75%+) for one presentation. Bring on semester 2 – nothing worth having is easy to come by. One thing I did realise when I was knee deep in books and research notes was, how much I love reading, researching and writing. It does not matter whether it is academic writing, this blog or fiction, I know I was born to do this. I am truly inspired and at my happiest writing. I think it’s a combination of the new knowledge and seeing the transformation of a blank page into a decent piece of work. I hope this makes sense and I don't sound like a total crank… partial I can live with!

Since my last presentation on the 16th (four days ago,), I have sorted the house out, cleared the outstanding jobs on my "To Do" list, continued with my screenwriting and caught up on some movie watching. I can highly recommend Anthropoid – Cillian Murphy is as outstanding as ever. 

I hope I've shown the boys, hard work pays off and never give up even if you want to! Keep the goal and aims always in sight.

Streetwise

The agonising wait to hear whether this will make it into production goes on. The feedback has been amazing and I think it is an accomplished piece of work for my first script… but then I would say that… although twelve months ago, I would not have had the confidence of self- belief to say it! 





Beyond the Past




Have you had the chance to read it yet? Would you like to review it for me?

Read the first three chapters FREE on my website
Available from:
Pegasus Publishers
Amazon UK
Kindle
Amazon US
Or you can order from your local bookshop. The ISBN number is : 978-1-84386-789-0 




Beyond the Lies

I'm about a page and a half from completing the re-write. I've learned to do things my way! I won't be pressured into writing something I don't believe in.

The Nanny

This means so much to me. For over twenty years, I've been fascinated with the struggles in Ireland ever since reading about the Guildford Four and Birmingham Six. Watch this space…

…Researching 

You may have gathered I have an active imagination and an active mind. I love research – starting with an idea and seeing how far it can be taken. During one of my Master's papers, I was reading Hansard (official transcripts for the Houses of Parliament) to research failed IT projects within the National Health Service. I came across a debate relating to tax charges and the Wesleyan church dating back to the 1600s. How cool is that? I know…I'm a geek and easily distracted but it's amazing where knowledge can take you.



…My Family

I never imagined my life to be as it is today. In all honesty, despite the financial struggle, life is much better than I imagined and anticipated. The boys are happy, grounded and don't buy into the 'designer', 'materialistic' world. I worry they are missing out but they remind me every day their lives are good – happy, healthy and peaceful. What more do you really need?

Today… the television is OFF in protest at a bigoted, ignorant man being inaugurated as the US President. We must NEVER, EVER accept racism, misogyny and lies. Only time will tell the extent of the latter but I could never support someone who attacks a fellow human being because they are black, Mexican, gay, disabled, transgender or a woman! We are ALL human beings of equal standing. 


I will continue to fight for equality and against injustice. Love trumps hate!!

On that note… I am off to write. Enjoy your weekend and please, radiate LOVE and HOPE.

Much love