An update about my gaming adventures and some life changing news.
This kind of day never happens to me. I spent the day arguing calmly and firmly with two solicitors who were so pigheaded, they could not believe I was in the right. They huffed and they puffed but by the day’s end, they agreed with me and are making right their shambolic mess.🙄
Walter the French Bulldog has a video that got me laughing but then this remixed song made about Walter took me to a whole new level. I’m still humming his shiny, tail wagging tune right now. “Ai ai ai, ai ai, ai ai, ai ai….” 🎶
Being in the heart of the city means I don’t see green expanse everyday. Pollock Country Park (20 mins away) made me feel nature again. It’s lush, wild and tendered with care. A river runs through it too. Voted the best park in times past, it has a passionate group of fans.
I give you The Apple Strudel! Rather lovely indeed. Christmas aromas. Light and juicy. Crispy and golden. Paired with clotted cream, it’s a dream.
I do love a bit of Simon’s Cat.
A life changing shift has happened in my mum’s reality and I wanted to celebrate it with you.
Six months ago (and after I’d sorted out my own hoarding problems) I stayed with mum for a week. It was the hardest week of my life, because whereas I hoarded clothes and trinkets, she hoarded those things plus large pieces of furniture. Staying there meant having no clear pathways, no space, no peace. Just cluttered madness. To move around felt like being in one of those sliding puzzles. A job couldn’t be done without five more jobs being done first to get to the actual job and most often than not I just gave up trying and camped out on the epic sofa too large for the room. Hiding from reality.
Imagine an over the top, luxuriously grand sofa meant for say, an art gallery, designed to sit many many people, heavy, wooden, highbacked, with hundreds of cushions situated in my mum’s tiny cottage lounge. It obviously dominated the space. Maybe that would have been just about manageable if there weren’t seven more bits of furniture in there too. Here was a woman, in denial, with little means, big ideas and a desperation to spend money (out of loneliness and boredom) in massive debt, living in clutter. I was shocked. It had got really bad. She didn’t know where to start. She wanted help but found it hard to let go. She didn’t like giving things away so had three generations worth of possessions competing for space on top of all her own purchases. If there was a bit of space it had to be filled. It drove me to the point of madness. I was patient, I was not patient, I helped and talked and understood and supported. Sometimes I shouted, then felt guilty. But I couldn’t always be my nice, calm self. Sometimes it was all just too much to bear. Sometimes she saw what had become of her home, other times she couldn’t let go of things.
Then she decided to move house. To pay off debts. To be nearer me in Scotland. It’s been a long time since we were in commuting distance of each other. It’ll be great to be nearer her again but I did freak out thinking how she would possibly let go of all this stuff. As the process of decluttering began, I kept reminding her to let go, to have the memory rather than the object itself. Take a photo if need be. Just don’t keep the physical thing. Because there were SO many physical things. She told me she was being ruthless. That was amazing to hear. Her journey had begun. She told me she was finding birthday cards of her mother’s squirrelled away from years and years ago. And all her old diaries too. “The things she used to write about” she’d say (very boring apparently - “what days she was doing the washing, when she was going shopping” etc). A very different way of living. Very organised. And perhaps that’s partly why mum’s like she is - because she didn’t want to be so fastidious and tidy as her own mother. So she became the opposite.
Most days mum would say the same thing - “I’ve got rid of so much stuff”. This was great to know but hearing that same thing everyday for months was scary. How much stuff was there exactly? Yikes.
And then came the beloved sofa. One which she’s still paying off on her credit card. It wouldn’t fit in her new lounge. It’s too small and compact. It’s the size of the sofa itself! It took her a long time to come to terms with saying goodbye to that.
But then….she did. And a few months after saying she couldn’t part with it, turns out she’d called an auctioneer a few days ago and today they came and took away thirty items of furniture. Thirty! Including the darn sofa. I’m so glad I wasn’t there to witness it. It had to be lifted over a fence out in the back garden (too big to go out the front), through a tiny alleyway at the side of the house, down a lane, up some stairs into a carpark and into the van. Wow. I felt sorry for the chaps having to navigate that puzzle eeeek!
Now the beautiful blonde wood flooring, always covered up by furniture can be admired and the space all around appreciated.
After it had all been taken away she said to me “Holly, I feel so free!” And I could see just how much the weight of all that stuff was affecting her soul. And now her spirit is lifted.
My mum is very set in her ways. It’s hard to get through to her at first. She puts a wall up and thinks she knows best. She doesn’t like to be told. Especially not by her daughter. But what I love about her is her ability to go away, think some more about what’s been said and come back the next day saying “Let’s get rid of it all, I’m ready”. I’m so grateful she can do that. There’s a real sparkle about her now. The excitement is building for her big road trip north.
The removal company came round recently and said they might have to take her house contents up in two large vans. I said “Mum, you are not a two van lady, you are a one van lady”. It’s my mission to make sure she only takes one van. But that was before all the furniture got taken away. Fingers crossed all will be well on that front now.
I respect how much commitment she’s put into moving, aged 76 and on her own after dad died ten years ago. She’s excited to start a new life, she wants a change and I think she’s wonderful and brave and amazing for doing it.
This move is the last big thing she’ll have to do before she settles down to a quiet life in a sweet Scottish seaside town….
…. but then if you know my mum and all her eccentricities like I do, you’ll know she has other ideas.
I’m looking forward to her being able to have a rest from what has been one of the biggest challenges of her life. Letting go.
I’ve got myself a piece of lime drizzle loaf cake here. My first loaf cake attempt. Turns out it’s very nice. And with five eggs in the recipe i’m calling it healthy as half has now gone. Along with a mug of hot chocolate. Nom. 😉
In my dance today loads of emotion came out about this thing I’m dealing with at the moment. It’s not a big deal in the scheme of things. I’ve just been treated badly by a company and I’m trying to get justice. I was in the middle of this amazing dance, my body felt free and happy, not a care in the world and then all this frustration popped up and I started going over details of the case and remembering that I hadn’t been heard. It put me off kilter a bit. I’ve already put it to rest. I’ve already told myself that it’s such a small thing. It’s not like my life is in danger. But my psyche had some residual stuff to get out and when I danced and got my heart rate up, I tapped into something which left me hanging for a while.
As it was happening I also thought, my life is perfect. I’m incredibly lucky. I have everything I need and more. I am whole. I am looked after. I am grateful. I am loved. But despite my wonderful life I still find things to be down about. Why is that? Why do I focus on the negative? Why do I let it rule me? Why can’t I shake heavy thoughts off immediately? Why do they have a power over me? Even the most beautiful people find something they’re not happy with I thought. Even the most perfect looking model has a hang up or two. So much good in people’s lives and then one comment/thought can leave a bad vibe which lingers. I’m looking to grow a harder skin whilst still nurturing my innocence and wonder. I want to be strong and slay that negativity. It doesn’t deserve a place in my life. And I’ll always remember to be grateful.
39 - Here are some thoughts on sugar, the control it has had on my life and what I’ve done to combat it.
38 - Today is all about retro computer games. I remember the games of my childhood and all the fun I had. I also talk about an exciting new gadget on its way to me. Yippeeeee!
Welcome to The Children’s Wood, Kelvinside. Here you will find a fantastic mud kitchen and lots of happy kiddos not quite believing their eyes. Love this mural. Talk about popping colours.
For me, every step counts on my dear wee tootsies. So driving 10 mins before I start walking means I get to explore new areas without needing to walk home too. And being in a new city means there’s lots to see. Yesterday I walked along the river in the Botanical Gardens towards Maryhill. The stark high rises contrasted with the nature and river running below. It was humid. There was a trio of older men standing outside a garage, music pumping, admiring each other’s fancy motor bikes. I saw skateboarders using wide deserted roads for tricks. I walked through an area stricken with poverty and then found the next street full of expensive cars. Such a mixture of wealth. I’m taking it all in and feeling grateful. May everyone be happy (including you catto).
Happy Birthday Simon! You Are Good. ❤️
A delightfully sparkly river running through Kelvin Grove Park, Glasgow. It’s Simon’s birthday today 🥳. A present arrived this morning courtesy of his brother (living 500 miles away). Inside was a picnic hamper full of fancy camembert, brie and crackers. Posh picnic time! Woo!