Sunday, 30 September 2007
Saturday, 29 September 2007
The television began to relax my mind. There was nothing of interest to watch as my eyes kept wandering to the toys strewn around the room. A pair of sandals lay, one straightened, the other on its side. A toy elephant sat upright by the turned up sandal. The toy looked at me. I felt that sudden rush of excitement of which I recognise to be an indication of a presence within my vicinity. As I continued to stare at the toy elephant, the sandal turned over, resting itself flat upon the floor. My eyes just caught the movement, a quick manoeuvre by invisible hands; a powerful force, unexplained.
I sat, perfectly still. The cat purred on my knee, unfazed by what could have been poltergeist phenomena. I was surprised that she did not seem to care, perhaps she did not feel threatened by the presence. Cats are supposed to have a sixth sense. My senses told me there was no danger in what I had just witnessed. My mind was beginning to tire. I could feel my eyes becoming heavy. I slept well that night. But I do not remember the toy elephant lying on its side, as I switched the light off in the lounge.
Thursday, 27 September 2007
We emailed each other constantly. Never an hour went by when we didn't have some form of contact. Tom started off being a platonic friend. Little more than a work associate. After a year of our friendship, we had discovered that we had become much more than friends and colleagues. Our relationship moved up a level as we exchanged home telephone numbers, eager to talk to each other without the prying eyes and listening ears of those nearby, some who took great pleasure in mocking us. Tom would phone me every night. It was usually around 8pm which, if I remember rightly, was mid afternoon where he was.
Tom was an avid Trekky. His love of Star Trek went beyond my comprehension but I tried my best to keep up and began watching it whenever it was on our terrestrial channels. I wasn't particularly fond of it. I remember my mum questioning me every time I insisted watching it on BBC2 when I was at her house. Of course she knew it had something to do with Tom, I had mentioned him a few times, but I don't think she realised it was because I was falling in love with him.
It was 1997. The year I went off the rails. The year I lived life to the full, pushing and barging through those around me. I had the world at my feet. No commitments, no responsibilities (except a mortgage) and no one to answer to. I had my own place. A one bedroom apartment, a beautiful abode of which I made comfortable and homely. I didn't have many friends. My only true friend, Ali, had several friends of her own and couldn't always find time to spend with me. I didn't blame her for that. She had a life.
It was the year I truly started thinking about writing a book. A romance based on two people who lived thousands of miles apart, had never met, yet had an incredible bond. A mysterious link to an unknown world. It would be a story about an Internet love affair. It would be my story. True; yet sad. When I went in work one morning to be told Tom and another male associate known as Greg would be coming over for meetings some time in the next fortnight, I thought the butterflies in my stomach would take flight. I couldn't wait to speak to Tom and find out when they were due and if we could meet privately.
He was quite keen to meet up. They had been booked into a hotel in Manchester City centre and he would find a way in which we could spend some time together, alone. It was unbelievable. Surreal. I was going to meet the man I had so desperately wanted to see for the past 2 years. Of course we had exchanged photographs on many occasions but it wasn't the same as talking to that person in the flesh. Being in the same personal space at that person. I simply could not wait.
Their plane was due in on a Wednesday morning. I did offer to meet them both at Manchester Airport but my offer was declined. Perhaps, as usual, I hadn't been assertive enough. Or perhaps I just wasn't meant to go.
I never did get to meet Tom. He didn't travel with Greg that Wednesday. Something had come up and he had to stay at the office yet it had been too late for him to phone me and let me know. I was quite gullible in those days. I was also in love. Perhaps. When I did get chance to speak to Tom later that day he apologised and I accepted there was nothing he could have done. Later that same year I decided to leave ICI. Tom and I stayed in contact for a further few months. His phone calls became less and less, each time giving an excuse for his absence. I knew then that our "Internet romance" would never have worked. I also knew that I needed to come up with a stronger plot for my novel.
Wednesday, 26 September 2007
"Your room is a complete tip!" How often do we say that to our children? I say it almost every day to Amy. It is usually around this time of year when I get the bin bags out and have the ultimate clear up. When she is at school. She has far too many toys and some are never played with. But of course the minute you ask, "do you want this?" it becomes her all time favourite. Adverts have already begun their annual temptation, cleverly broadcast in between programs of which children are sure to watch. When I was a child, my dad's favourite answer to my pleas for totally unnecessary items was, "We'll see." I can hear him say those words as I type, he said them so often. However much I love my dad, I always made a pact with myself that I would find my own style of parenting. It is of no surprise of course that whenever Amy asks for the toy I have no intention of buying my exasperating answer is none other than, "We'll see."
It is quite wise where Amy is concerned to write down the items she finds of interest at this early stage in order to compare it with the items she finds of interest nearer to Christmas. She has a few favourites of the doll variety but I know, as of old, that she will change her mind many times over the next few months. My love of Christmas gives me a perfect excuse to scour the Argos catalogue and various internet sites achieving the best prices for certain items, I hate being swindled. But there are two birthdays before the big festivities; the farmer's in October and mine in December. And Amy's birthday falls just after the New Year.
So, instead of sitting here devouring a box of After Eights, listening to my piano being tuned, perhaps I should start thinking again. I need to buy another birthday present for a school friend of Amy's. Another party she has been invited to but will not be attending. Amy does not do parties. She simply cannot cope with the noise levels, the large numbers of children charging round and me, trying my best to encourage her to join in the games. I have spent so many hours in toilets, running around outside (in all weather), rocking her on my knee that I am no longer prepared to put her through the agony of which she clearly feels. Luckily, most of the children's parents understand and even though are kind enough to offer their support, it remains that Amy is far better not going. Believe me, I have tried. Many many times. Imagine a child screaming and shouting "shut up" at top volume when all your little darling's friends are singing Happy Birthday around the cake of pride. Imagine a child screaming and lashing out at a smaller child at the party, one who is minding their own business, one who accidentally knocks said screaming child. And imagine spending two hours outside whilst the fun goes on under cover. You might as well not be there.
Tuesday, 25 September 2007
"Better not fill the tractor up this week, darling." I am flabbergasted to see how much hard earned funds have quickly vanished (and still are) from our farm account during this harvesting season. Gone are the days of horses, straining their backs with the oldest plough in town. In are the days of forking out on John Deere's and fuel companies. Every time the farmer brings the tractor up to the diesel tank, I cringe. Every thing around me suddenly takes on the shape of a pound sign as I shout over to the tups, "better work hard this year, boys."
Life always has something to throw at us, however big or small. It is generally how we deal with it that can determine its severity to our well being. Of course, some things are totally out of our control and we can only go along with advice and suggestion, frustrated at the pitfalls we know are inevitable. None of us wanted a fresh outbreak of Foot and Mouth. Farming was finally getting on it's feet when everything came to a very abrupt halt. Movement bans. Farms over crowded with scheduled lambs for market. Who, exactly, knows what they are doing or what they should be doing. It seems like once again, we have Zippo's circus making decisions for our 'head bobbing above water' businesses. I am sure Zippo's establishment would make a fine job if they were left to it, without interference from the powers that be.
To make matters worse, potentially much worse, a disease known as Bluetongue has hit our country. When will it end? Will it end? I think farmers have a valid excuse for moaning right now. However, moan on, complain away, rant 'till the cows come home but I would never swap my farming life for any other. I have worked in offices in Manchester city centre, I was slave to an aggressive solicitor in Bolton, I was a receptionist in a busy factory office in Leigh, but none of those jobs plus all the others I have had will ever come close to my life on this farm. I do not envisage ever understanding the workings of the tax system. I will never accept the excuses we are fed by the government regarding the welfare of our livelihoods. I hope and pray the fatal diseases of Foot and Mouth together with Bluetongue leave our planes as quickly as they arrived and I will pray for those already affected by this dreadful tragedy. I am not going anywhere. My head will continue to bob. The water might be cold, but my heart remains warm.
Sunday, 23 September 2007
My mum is surrounded by houses. They are very nice houses, with supportive neighbours. She has an appointment with a double glazing salesman this coming week. Her idea is to install glass which will enable her to see out but prevent people from seeing in. A bit like one of those two- way mirrors. Imagine the things you could get up to in your own home, with the curtains (or blinds in my mums case) left open. I can't imagine it adding value to the house but it has been upsetting her for some time now. I think that is what becomes of being a nosey neighbour. You get found out. Of course where I live, the only nosey neighbours we are likely to encounter are of the four legged woolly variety. The pony peers in occasionally, but that is only if her head is facing in the window direction during the few times she looks up from mowing the lawn. So it is not necessary to close our shutters, we do not have curtains in the lounge for I just don't see the point. Our large bathroom window is of transparent glass and as far as I am aware, I have never been spotted in my Sunday best.
It goes without saying that I thoroughly enjoy going to see my mum. We always have a good natter, we have lots to talk about. I find it so much easier to talk to my mum face to face rather than on the phone. She tends to phone me at the most awkward of times and I tend to phone her when she is out. Saturday's are usually spent at the shops. It has to be one of the best past times to go shopping with my mum. I would never pick something up if I wasn't prepared to buy it myself but strangely enough, my purse never seems to see the light of day. Sometimes I refuse to let her spoil me. I can not remember when I did that, but I have done it. But, as my brother and sister will vouch, we spoil mum too. If we can't spoil her with gifts as much as she does for us, we always give plenty of love. It has been hard for her since she 'lost' my dad, as are her words. She listens to me when I talk to her about his spirit but she doesn't always understand, which is her choice. She has accepted that life goes on. It has to for our own sanity. And she has found a lovely man of whom she loves and spends a lot of her time with. But during last week, her thoughts were with my dad. She mourned for him. She missed him. I hope Amy and me helped her to remember the good times we all shared, not forgetting the good times we all share now.
Mum looked after Amy on Saturday night while I went out for a Chinese banquet with my friend, Ali. It was one of those catch up nights, where two people who haven't seen each other for months have so much to say that it is impossible to get it all in. Ali is so different to me. We have little in common. But each time we are together, we agree on so much. I have promised Ali I will dedicate a blog to her. A promise of which I intend to keep. A blog of which I will take great care in composing. She does not take any shit. Her mouth is bigger than the Mersey Tunnel, as she will admit, but she is my oldest and most honourable friend. A very special person in my life.
Our return journey brought us north along the A1. Fields in our view, sheep and cattle grazing, oblivious to the horrors which could lay before them. As my farm hoved into view, my expression went into automatic pilot, a smile painted firmly while listening to Amy cheer as she noticed Heaven upon its hill. "We're home, mum," she yelled. There's no where like it.
Thursday, 20 September 2007
I swam for a club, many years ago. In the days when I was fit. I have always loved swimming. To be part of a group of eager children, destined to bestow self-pride, is something I feel privileged to do. I never thought I would experience the amazing feeling that teachers feel on a daily basis, that feeling of achievement; being rewarded for helping others. I never considered myself clever enough to be a teacher. I am not academic. Studying does not come easy to me. Shouting, however, does. The little patience I have is stored in a jar of which is opened when Amy is at her most trying. That is when I realise I could never have been a teacher.
My chosen profession was a vet. I wanted to spend my life performing miracles on animals that were on the brink of death. I wanted to make someone smile when I told them their beloved pet would pull through. That would have been a rewarding occupation. That would have been a job worth getting out of bed for. Even on a day like today when I have been suffering with a cold. The type that makes you tired when you haven't lifted a finger. The type that makes you want to curl up under your duvet, alone. I nearly rang the school to send in my apologies for non attendance. By mid morning I had a change of heart. I am not indispensable. I am not the one and only. But those children are. Their success is paramount. I want them to go through life enjoying the water, taking pleasure from swimming, even competitiveness. Some of them may not get another chance to shine. I dragged myself from my bed at 11am, a white tissue married to my nose. My flesh hurt as clothes touched; makeup was not important for I knew it would not stay on long; the hairbrush briefly skimmed through my short red hair. I gathered Amy's swimming kit, devoured a sandwich and went to school.
During the hour I spent with those beautiful children, my head was clear. My nose divorced the tissue; my throat did not feel like pins had lodged. I did not go in the water for fear of getting cold and so I walked along the side, shouting encouragement to enthusiastic young swimmers. I watched as each one had to perform a task in order to earn their badges. Then I watched as each one lifted up their arms, grinned like Cheshire cats and shouted, "YES!"
It would not be right of me to single out one child in front of them all, for they all worked exceptionally hard and deserved their badges. But I can cherish the memories of today's achievers. I can think about how proud they will be tonight as they close their eyes and drift into youthful dreams. And I will always remember the little boy's face when he realised he had secured his first badge.
"To all you lovely children who swam your little heart's out today: Well done and sleep well."
Wednesday, 19 September 2007
So what is it with me and kitchens? Why do they intimidate me so much? Why do I worry about having friends over for dinner? I have no interest in cooking. I would rather scoop up puppy poo on a grand scale. For many years, our farmhouse kitchen has been the hub of the house. Visitors walk through the back door to be greeted with racks of wellies before entering, at their own risk, what could easily be classed as the most grottiest kitchen ever. I watch people's faces as they notice the grime on kitchen cupboards; tobacco stains on the ceiling and cigarette burns on the lino. Our kitchen has part sixties and seventies units. It has a stainless steel sink with hot and cold separate taps, neither of which work properly. We have a filthy, fat stained Aga which even though serves a purpose is probably going to need either replacing or in the very least, a complete cleaning overhaul. It is older than me. Most things in the house are older than me.
Last night I made Amy a pork steak (well cooked to prevent re-occurring worms), mashed potato and sweetcorn. As I put her meal in front of her, she asked, "is this Grandma's food?" In other words, is it edible. After a quick nod of the head and a silent prayer for my sins I left her to it. My husband will not eat spicy food. Nor will he eat food that is a little different from what he is used to. I think I might employ a chef. Both Amy and the farmer are good eaters, however. They usually enjoy the meals I have cooked for them. It would be easy for Amy to say otherwise as she has no concept of fibbing. There have been times when two dogs have sat either side of my husband, tongues moving about in rather an optimistic fashion as bits of left over food miraculously land in their mouths.
However. I have recently found a little motivation and have started making arrangements to visit my chosen kitchen showroom. I know what I want the new kitchen to look like. A Belfast sink is an essential item as is some kind of feature above the Aga, perhaps to encourage the eye away from such hideousness. I also want multi-coloured splash back tiles and terracotta slate on the floor. I want a double oven, built in at a height which means I do not have to visit my physiotherapist after each oven meal. I also want a family sized dishwasher because the least time I spend in the sink, the better. I am actually quite excited about creating a new hub for my lovely farmhouse. It will be such a change to welcome friends and family into my home and not scurry them through the kitchen towards the lounge. I might even enjoy sitting in the kitchen. You never know, I might even enjoy working in it. Then again, Nelson might get his eye back.
Tuesday, 18 September 2007
A: Astral. I think it may well be common knowledge by now that a huge part of my life is dedicated to an existence beyond our earth plane. For me, it is a wonderful and fascinating subject of which I love to write about. My own experiences are being collated together with research and studies to complete a novel about life in a paranormal world.
M: Making Friends. A wonderful past time. I have many loyal friends that I have made since living in Northumberland. Most of my friends are parents from school. There are a few in particular who I consider to be very good friends and the type of people I would turn to in a crisis. I hope they would feel the same way about me. And I hope, if they are reading this blog, they know who they are! Friendship is so important to me. I know that these friends I speak about will be friends for a very long time. I would, however, consider my best friend to be my sister, Bea. I have made lots of friends through blogging. Some I have been lucky enough to meet. Some I live near to. Others I hope to stay in touch with.
Y: Yule. My favourite time of year. I absolutely, completely and utterly adore Christmas. Decorating the house, buying presents, writing cards, even spending money. I love to watch Amy's face on Christmas morning when she sees piles of presents, all wrapped up for her from Santa. It makes everything so worthwhile. I start preparing for Yuletide around this time of year, not in an obsessive way, just buying cards and ordering wrapping paper from various catalogues. I start writing lists of who to send a card to and other lists of who to buy presents for. I love visiting the garden centre where all the Christmas ornaments and trees are on display. I can't walk out without buying something. Since my dad's passing in 2001, my mum doesn't get excited about Christmas anymore. She and my dad used to have the most beautiful tree, seven foot tall, decorated from top to bottom with an incredible display of ornaments. Now, however, she doesn't have a tree. She puts a few decorations up but nothing like she used to.
As part of the homework, I shall pass this MeMe onto 3 fellow bloggers. If you want to take part, feel free but don't feel obliged to:
Westerwitch/Headmistress (I don't expect all letters to be used!!)
Crystal Jigsaw xx
Sunday, 16 September 2007
FIL had smoked since being 14 years of age in 1938. He was 82 when he passed and still smoked 'like a chimney'. Many years ago, before I moved up here, he and his wife would hold card nights with friends. All smoked. They would sit around the kitchen table and get through a pension's worth of cigarettes in one night. My husband would stay away from fear of being mistaken for an intruder through all the fog. The whole house used to smell like a volcanic ashtray, curtains and carpets hummed, chairs and cushions were putrid. Even the dogs coughed and spluttered, begging to be let out into the cold, happy to sacrifice the snacks and nibbles which often got thrown their way. I am so glad those days were over when I moved in. Perhaps life would have been so different.
Wishing my daughter to enjoy her meals without being polluted I decided to set up a little table and chair in the lounge where she could eat in peace and watch her favourite program at the same time. This generally worked. She was calm and content and whilst I or J sat with her, she would eat every last bit on her plate. A result. No smoke, no fuss, no food left. A shame for the dogs but a relief for me. J and I, in the meantime, took to eating our supper after FIL had retired to his sitting room to watch Emmerdale. Saturday's and Sunday's were usually a bit fiddly especially when I insisted on sitting down to Sunday supper together. I got slightly sneaky after a while however, making sure supper would be ready at 7pm on Sunday evening knowing full well FIL would never miss Emmerdale and would therefore insist on having his meal in his sitting room so that he could watch it in peace. Meaning J and I could eat in peace. Another result.
Since January of this year, as some of you know, FIL left the farm to live in a nursing home and died at the end of May. Just recently, Amy has decided she prefers to eat at the kitchen table. I have always given her a choice but after spending so long eating in the lounge, it had become a habit. But now, I suppose, with no FIL, no smoke, no fuss, our cleaner life has rubbed off on Amy. In fact we have a life. A good life, one to be cherished. Perhaps FIL watches us from the astral plane, puffing on his Benson & Hedges, dropping ash on the floor, burning holes in the carpets. But he can't spoil our supper anymore. Never again will I worry about Amy eating her supper at the kitchen table, inhaling a mouthful of second hand smoke whilst trying to enjoy fish fingers, chips and beans. Never again will I need to worry that there is ash on the cooker, or specks of it in the mashed potato. And believe me, I am not exaggerating.
On Sunday evening I cooked a beef joint. Having made egg and chips for Amy and J at lunch time, of which they sat at the table and devoured, I decided roast potatoes and vegetables were not necessary and made the excuse to sidle out of cooking. So it was barmcakes and Green Giant Sweetcorn. "What's a barmcake?" I hear you ask. Anyone who watches Coronation Street might have heard the term being used. It is a slang name as used by Mancunians, i.e. me, and simply means 'bread roll'. Green Giant Sweetcorn; crunchy sweetcorn in a tin. It has to be Green Giant because Amy loves the advert and thinks if she eats that particular brand she will turn into a Green Giant. She is already a giant.
So my family sat around the kitchen table. Amy, J and myself; Molly and Sparky, the two opportunists, forever around when food is on the go and I think Jess the cat was hiding somewhere, perhaps in a cupboard, it being her favourite place. Plenty beef for everyone. Including the animals. I looked at my daughter. Eating happily. I looked at my husband. Eating messily. I smiled. This truly is what life is all about. Family. Happiness. Contentment. Complete.
Friday, 14 September 2007
Thursday, 13 September 2007
Tuesday, 11 September 2007
At 4pm, Amy and I arrived home. Still a little shell shocked I noticed the phone was flashing persistently at me, desperate to attract my attention. No message on the answer phone, no reason to flash. I pressed every conceivable button, deleted its memory, banged it on the table twice and was just about to throw it through the window when Amy's shout for dutiful help distracted me from sadistic thought, saving the phone until I returned. "I'll be back," I told the motionless flashing device, between gritted teeth.
Of course, after motherly deed had been done, my memory cut short and I went upstairs to switch on the computer. Nothing. Pressed buttons, a little too fiercely perhaps. Still nothing. "F**k," I muttered. Not my usual tone of speech being ever so polite as I am. But when one can not use one's pc before one's supper time, one gets rather upset. I picked up the phone next to the pc. Dead. Totally stoned. Okay, so there was something wrong with the phone line, I thought. The following thought was "f**k" as I realised we had a power cut. The second in as many days. We are remote up here, but we do have electricity cables and as far as I am aware, they work.
By 5pm, still no power, I phoned the Electric company. "Yes there is a fault in your area and it's being dealt with now." How spiffing. I decided to wait until it was back on before starting supper. Apart from the fact I am a useless cook, the Aga isn't my favourite item in the kitchen and I avoid it like the plague. But when my electric cooker still wasn't working by 6.30 I started to panic. Beef burgers would have to do. At least I could put them in the Aga. From frozen. Peel a few potatoes and boil them on the hot side. A pan of sweetcorn. Sorted.
My Aga heats the water so we can't turn it off. However, in the summer months it isn't necessary to have it on too high thus taking much, much longer for anything cook. I went without. A bar of Cadbury's Caramel and packet of wotsits sufficed but I stood over that damn Aga for over an hour waiting for those sodding spuds to boil. I do not have much patience. In case you wondered.
But what followed will go down in my historical book of beautiful family moments. Four candles, gently flickering in a glow of orange light, softly lit the space around us as we sat around the table, moving little counters around a board game. My mind's eye began a journey back in time, resting on a family in Victorian attire. Pipe tobacco swirled above children's heads as they rolled a die on the oak wood table. A middle aged woman, her hair discreetly piled beneath white laced bonnet, sat by an oil lamp in the corner, carefully darning a torn school pinafore as she looked up to see her adoring family. A large clock ticked sonorously. The hour was still young yet darkness prevailed over fields of stock. The distant sound of sheep carried across rugged land. As I left the kitchen, my steps became cautious upon my journey through the house. Too many clouds engulfed the skies, a silver moon hid behind blankets of mist as stars failed to sparkle. The hall was tranquil; yet eery as I ascended the staircase towards the mirror which holds secrets of a forgotten Victorian family. I could not see my hand in front of my face. The darkness did not scare me. I know my way around this big old house, yet I was confused. It did not feel like my home as my mind's eye still saw life emerging from energy of a long ago past.
Upon my return to the kitchen, the candles were still glowing. Amy was excited at this new found experience. A night sitting around the kitchen table, playing games with mum and dad, a television standing idle in the lounge, dvd's resting upon the shelf. Even the dogs enjoyed the atmospheric candle light as Amy fed them biscuits from a little plate she had lain, a party plate to accompany the candles. "Can we bake a cake, mum?" she asked. If I was confident enough to use the Aga for baking I would have gladly said yes. Decorated it with candles, lighting each and every one. It was 9pm when my mind was once more transported back to my electric oven, a flashing phone and a microwave inviting me to reset its twenty first century technology. Our evening of candles and Victorian memories had come to an end as we packed up the game and went upstairs to switch the television on. Until the next power cut. Of which will not be quite so bad after all.
Saturday, 8 September 2007
Friday, 7 September 2007
Wednesday, 5 September 2007
Monday, 3 September 2007
I thought it was about time I responded to DJ Kirkby’s questions of which I agreed to answer some time ago. I hope she will forgive me for the delay and will find the following response of sufficient interest.
1. From your comment about your toe dream you seem to be a lucid dreamer. Can you tell us about any other dreams?
I dream every night. Some I remember, some I don’t. One which will follow me to the next life was about my loving dad. I was in a large room with a huge bay window in leaded paned glass. A few people started to filter in, they were ex-colleagues who I used to work with when I worked for my dad. I turned my head towards the door and in walked my mum and dad. My dad was dressed in smart attire, his usual business turn out, looking as sophisticated as I always remember him to be. There was only one person in that room that he looked at. Me. He came over to me and held me so tight. Every one else in that grand state-like room might not have been there for my dad only had eyes for me. I awoke after that wonderful dream, with a tear stained face and the most incredible feeling in my heart.
2. What do you work from home doing and how did you get started?
Even though I am currently unpaid, I am writing a novel of which I hope will one day be published. I have wanted to write for many years and have often ‘dabbled’ by writing short stories and articles. Living on the farm, I help to run the business. My main job being the accounts. I’m not very good when it comes to figures so this tends to be a long job with the use of a calculator and a pc! However, I have been helping on the farm this year particularly with the lambing. Of course getting started on that was down to my move to Northumberland. I’ve always had a keen interest in agriculture so living here has added to my dream.
But of course, I would always consider my main job being a mum to Amy. I am also her carer due to her disability and even though I have days when it feels almost impossible to cope, she is my whole life. I hope to write a book about her one day, about her autism and how she lives with her difficulties. As a child of only seven years, she is truly inspirational.
3. How has epilepsy changed your life?
To be honest, I haven’t really allowed epilepsy to change my life. It is a condition of which I have no choice but to live with and so I feel therefore, it should not interfere with daily life. I do take medication which keeps it under control but that is something I have got used to doing. People with epilepsy can be restricted by so many activities in their lives, such as swimming, simple bathing on their own in the house, driving a car. It is still a subject which is not discussed enough in my view. Parents should always be aware of it as it can strike a child at any time during their lives, particularly during adolescence. Epilepsy is a hereditary condition on my mother’s side. I have had my driving licence revoked on two separate occasions due to having fits and for me it’s a very inconvenient thing to happen as I live in such a remote area. There are often times when I am "spaced out" and feel hungover but my drinking days are over now because of the drugs and the obvious danger involved.
4. Why did you begin blogging?
There are two answers to this question. The first is simple; a good friend encouraged me to and I will always be grateful to her for that. The second answer is because I love writing. I love writing about anything and everything. Particularly my daughter, my paranormal experiences and my family. If I was completely honest I would also say I wanted to (and still do) promote my writing, to give me confidence to continue and write the novel I have already started. Blogging has introduced me to many wonderful people. I have made good friends from around the country and indeed the world, DJ, and have developed a bond with some. I enjoy reading about other people’s lives, about their own experiences. I also like to make sure there are people out there in cyber-space who are as barmy as I am! I’m glad to say there is.
5. When did you begin to have visits from your 'see through' friends?
I don't class my friends as being 'see through', they are departed souls who have the ability to manifest should they choose. When I was about the same age as Amy is now, I shared a bedroom with my brother while my baby sister still slept in a cot in her own room. One night, I was awoken in what must have been the early hours and was alerted by the brightest circle of light drifting past my bedroom curtains. I remember being totally spooked and running into my parents’ room. I thought at first it was the moon in my bedroom. But as I became an adult, I realised the moon does not appear in one’s bedroom in the dead of night. It is possible this was an orb, the potential manifestation of a spirit.
When I was 21, my dear grandmother passed (my mum’s mum). Hers was the first bereavement I had ever experienced in my family. I had known people who had passed but my Grandma was my closest soul. I felt her presence often. I received advice from various mediums that she was with me and their constant confirmation that it was indeed her became startling. I continued to feel my Grandma for many years and particularly during the twelve months I lived alone after being divorced. That was until my forever loving dad passed in 2001. That was when I really started to experience paranormal activity and especially when I moved to the farm in Northumberland. Many things have happened here, some of which have been welcome, some which have left me feeling angry. My sensitive fascination with the paranormal has introduced me to an amazing life after the one we know has come to an end. However abruptly, however wrong, however natural our passing, there is something truly wonderful waiting for us and these experiences are just a confirmation of that.
Crystal Jigsaw xxx