Sunday, 28 August 2011

Making Time for Friends

Since coming back off holiday I have been busy beyond belief, hardly having time to draw breath. Part of the problem was caused by some nastiness but that has drifted over me now and I feel genuinely sorry for those people who gain pleasure from others pain.

However, I get great pleasure in making time for friends. I have to conciously do this though otherwise life takes over but the last week I have had really pleasureable moments passing time with people who count.

My lap top has died a death but this has been good for me in a way because with restricted access I am more fussy about who I interact with on Face Book. Its also given me time to persue my other intersts which had been sadly neglected! Reading, rock painting oh and the special project I need to forge ahead with for a certain Miss Woods special day next year!

I hate speaking on the telephone, really I do. I am partially deaf (don't feel sorry for me, its self induced after years of nightclubs and rock concerts without ear protection) so I have to concentrate really hard when on the phone because there are no facial features to read and no body language. Despite this I have had some great telephone conversations this week with friends who really have put a big smile on my face!

The other day I spent time with my friend who I re-met through beauty and horses.... we were in school together and we worked in Scotts nightclub together too. Such a genuinely kind and caring person with the an equally wonderful daughter. Having left her home I bumped into the father of one of the friends I grew up with on the Goulbourne estate. I had such an entertaining conversation with him it really did leave me glowing.

By this time I realised that my husband would be wondering where on earth I was but in true SDW style my phone was flat. That was ok though, I was nearly home, just needed to pop into the local post office to send some packages to two great friends...... I almost made it! Then I got chatting to Jean from the village who I have known all of the 15 years I have lived here. I first got to know her as I walked to work at BASC. Always a smile to spare and time to chat.

I realised this week just who is important in my life. Who the real people are whom I need to care about. Those who seek to harm me deserve not a moments thought or worry I am surrounded by family, animals, people and friends who I am privelaged to have in my life and THEY are the ones who matter!

Monday, 22 August 2011


I have just been for a great run, my first in a week and a half. Fighting off a bug then my holiday gave me that break from running.

It felt good today. I ran 1 1/2 miles, the sun was shining and there was still that morning chill in the air, it felt good to be alive.

I am not a natural runner, not by a long shot and there is no way I will ever come first in a race but running helps me focus my mind and it helps to release negative energies. Put it this way, I started on my run feeling low and ended up singing "I stand accused of being things I'm not..... I'll never fall at your feet, I'll never bow down..." Great tune, "Without a Fight" by Mike Peters my lifes signature tune I feel.

I looked for that dieing rabbit on the lane but there was no sign of it. It had been too weak to move so I think that it must have died and been taken by a predator of some sort.

So I am pleased with my running so far, the compression shorts are a success, I am definately converted even though they are expensive. (I got mine from - you can get quite a few bargains from there).

I plan to run most days this week but I think I will be aiming to get up an hour earlier just because I prefer running in cooler climates and even by 7am the sun is up and burning through.

On a slightly different note..... I know that I have a family of hedgehogs living under my shed, I see their droppings and the mess of cat/dog food which I put down for them every night but I haven't actually seen one since 2009. The lack of slugs and snails in the garden was an obvious sign that they were about. Last night, I my dog and I heard a rustling in the garden, Wilbur ran out to check what it was (such a good guard dog) then I followed with my maglight only to find my hedgehog curled up into a ball on the footpath. Really did make my night!

Sunday, 21 August 2011

North and South Wales are like Chalk and Cheese

Before I start writing this post let me explain about the title. I am not criticising any part of my country, I am purely making my own observations which to be perfectly honest with you, after my South Wales holiday has been a bit of a shock. The view I have always held of my country is that of unification, as one-ness but it isn't.

I suppose I could compare Wales to a beautiful and amazing diamond.... unique, priceless, beautiful, sought after and if you hold it in different lights it changes........... No matter what the change it remains utterly beautiful and the light can show you hidden aspects.

I live in North Wales, in one of the largest towns in the country - Wrecsam. I actually live in the borough of Wrecsam in a border hamlet called Lavister which is now part of Rossett (Yr Orsedd). Its very agricultural in the North with farms and cattle all around us. Even towards the Llyn Peninsula and Anglesea the story is the same.

Farming is a tough industry and alot of farms have either failed or diversified in order to stay alive. So sadly the North part of Wales has become a mixture of farming and tourism. In fact places such as Abersoch and Llandudno are nick named by us locals as "Little England". Abersoch is a particular eye opener with the amount of range rovers, yahts, boats........... we feel quite poor when we visit in Jason's "truck" in comparison.

The North Wales welsh tend to be insular, and that isn't a criticism, I am a northerner myself but I think it must be the structure of our towns and villages and the fact that everyone *used to know everyone in their town.

The impression I got of the people from the South was warmth, friendliness, a more cosmopolitan feel.They didn't feel as aggressive... Maybe that description is a bit harsh but whenever I have used public facilities in the north, there has been an element of aggression to the point that I can't leave my 10 year old son who is on the autistic spectrum because he usually gets picked on. I know I have only used the LC2 in South Wales but the feel I got from that facility was one of fun.... people were there to relax and have fun..... I felt relaxed and didn't feel the need to be on my son's back all of the time...... Guess what??? he didn't get picked on once!

I expected the South part of Wales to be industrial but I found that it was a mix of the two.... Consider a beach town right next to or part of an industrial and countryside community..... I found that very odd but very attractive.

Having had a hard day at the office........ take your family down to one of the local beaches for a BBQ and some beach fun.

The beaches themselves weren't crowded either as they can be in the North but I suppose that is because North Wales lives on tourism whereas the South doesn't have to.

So.......... I fell in love with South Wales!

* I will cover the town of Wrecsam in another post. I started to describe the town but it became to complicated to include in this post and I felt that it deserved one of its own.

Saturday, 20 August 2011

South Wales Holiday

I have just returned from a fabulous week away in South Wales with family and friends. We stayed in a renovated farm house situated in a small village called "Three Crosses".

Let me tell you about the farmhouse! It was pretty darned WOW! backing onto a field of horses, raised decking area with BBQ, hot tub, 3 bathrooms with showers, 2 double bedrooms and 2 single bedrooms, 2 living rooms and a super huge kitchen with aga and to top it off..... the loft had been converted into a childs play area complete with TV, sofa beds, toys and mini pool table!

The farmhouse and barn conversions had been tastefully renovated and we lacked nothing on the holiday, apart from a wok!! There was a trivet for one on the aga but we couldn't find one anywhere!

The hot tub was a hit with the kids, they loved it! Sitting in it sipping their J20's and enjoying each others company. My friend Jan and I didn't fancy a dip but promised Harry that on the last day we would get in there with him which we did for half an hour and I must say it was rather nice sitting in a bubbling hot tub in the drizzle!

We had a lovely time exploring the different beaches. We had Monty Doodle dog with us so we were restricted to dog friendly beaches, despite that fact we were spoilt for choice.

Our first beach was recommended to us by a friend who lives in the area called Rhossili and that was totally amazing. The children thoroughly enjoyed body boarding there and the views were simply stunning. We visited Oxwich and Horton which were equally beautiful.

One day was spent at LC2 Leisure Centre, the water was a bit too cold for my liking but the children enjoyed themselves. Joe, Chloe and Lydia had sufing lessons there and did pretty well at it too. I have never been into a public pool which is so well staffed and so clean! I suppose it could be right that the money goes to the South of Wales and the North doesn't get much..... I mean.... FREE hair drying facilities??? Clean pool floors?? I was spoilt.

I wasn't too impressed with the Mumbles and it was a shame that the pier seemed to be in disrepair, it paled in comparison to the pier in Llandudno. However the children had lots of fun looking for crabs and they found a few as well!

We had such a good holiday we all got quite emotional saying goodbye to each other. It was fun and has given us lots of memories to treasure.

Friday, 12 August 2011

Killing for Company

 Anyone who knows me will know just how passionate I am about animals and rock music!

My devotion to The Alarm has spanned almost 30 years.

I first heard their album on my boyfriends turn table and I thought "yeah, yeah, whatever" but shortly after that he took me to see them play in Liverpool and what I saw that night roused a passion in me that other music had or has never done. It was the raw energy on stage, the conviction, the belief in what they were performing. That was it, an Alarm fan was born and an Alarm fan I will die.

Then the Alarm introduced me to Killing for Company and for the first time in almost 30 years my passion was re-ignited by this new band with the same energy, the same magical chemistry and the most amazing vocals from Greg Jones.

My passion for their music has taken me on a couple of brilliant road trips, and has forged friendships even stronger. I have shared many a laugh with Greg on facebook and some great banter has been enjoyed by many. We did become a family and as Greg says on the photo, we did watch out for one another.
The death of Stuart Cable was hard for the band to cope with, his untimely death threw the band into a quandry but with the love and support of their fans/family they continued and the fan base grew.
So as you can imagine, when rumours started to fly around this morning I felt physically sick. Killing for Company - dis-banding? Never!
 However at lunch time today my worst fears were confirmed, the band was finished.
The band has brought me alot of personal happiness, so many giggles and laughs and the music has spoken to my soul. 

I have been to see many live bands perform in my life..... The Ramones, Big Country, The Damned, Stranglers, The Fall, Wedding Present, Pogues, Men They Couldnt Hang, Inspiral Carpets, The Pigeon Detectives, Edwyn Collins, Depeche Mode, Spear of Destiny plus many more... and yet none of them can hold a torch to Killing for Company.
Killing for Company has brought me back into gigging. At a time when depression, fertility issues, autism, cancer etc got in the way of my life.... they brought it all back for me.
I am so lucky to have a signed album by Stuart and I am amazed it hasnt worn out yet as I have played it so much and even more lucky to have had the privelage of getting to know the band members. They are so kind and caring, always quick to sign something, say hello or have a photo taken with them.
Killing for Company united our family and the fun impish humour of the band made it possible to dabble in a bit of video filming. The band could have gone premadonna on us but they didnt they took the video in the spirit it was intended and we all laughed together.

In the mourning of Killing for Company I take comfort in the history of The Alarm, Mike Peters has resurrected the music so many times.... The Toilets, The Alarm, Mike Peters and the Poets of Justice, The Poets, Coloursound, Dead Men Walking, Mike Peters and The Alarm (new line up)..... I remember the sadness I felt when I found out the Alarm were over, that empty, bereft feeling..... I needed have worried because he is still around after all this time getting bigger and better.

So although I feel immensely sad at the end of the era that was Killing for Company I am extremely proud of what they have achieved and so very grateful for having had them in my life. What is the old saying? "Its better to have loved and lost than never to have loved at all? pretty apt I would say!

Rest in Peace Killing for Company x SDW x

Tuesday, 9 August 2011

Rioting Britain 2011

Words fail me! I never, ever believed that I would witness something like this in my country! 

This is total anarchy like I have never seen in my life before and its spreading throughout the country.

I am really worried.

I am also thoroughly disgusted at the mentality of the rioters. One teenage girl was saying "that will show the rich ones with businesses" excuse me, but I ran my own business before I was ill and I am not rich just a hard working, honest and respectable British citizen.

I was especially touched by the furniture shop which has been going for 140 years, its survived two great wars and now its gone in 45 minutes it was burned to the ground.

People are in tears and in shock.

They are drafting more police into London but where does that leave the rest of the country?

I wonder if the Prime Minister is regretting cutting all of those police jobs now? I wonder if he will do a U turn on cutting police pay and conditions?

Monday, 8 August 2011

Rhuddlan Rocks 2010

Its almost a year since The Alarm rocked an ancient welsh castle to raise money for the Love Hope Strength Foundation. It was an amazing event and I was so proud to be part of it along with some good friends.

So much has happened in this last year and not all good. Friendships have failed, I have lost loved ones and the economic climate has put more pressure on us as a family.

I am always sorry to lose a friendship but if the friend is not tolerant and forgiving then ..... are they really the type of people I want or need in my life? The answer to that is very clearly NO.

I miss Poppy. I think that her death on 5th January 2011 was an omen for the year to come. She was a lovely dog and even better friend. I sometimes relive that awful afternoon when she was run over by a tractor. I can still see her head looking up confused. The only thing I can say that I am happy about is that I was able to pick her up, she looked at me as if to say "ah you're here" and then she died in  my arms and broke many hearts.

I will never forget Poppy and the fun and love she brought into my life.

After that I lost my beautiful and wonderful Auntie Heather. She was such a lovely person without a bad bone in her body. She died before her time and has left us all bereft. A huge gap has been left which will never be filled.

At a time when I needed friendship and support I was turned on by those I thought were true friends. I still don't officially know what I have done!

I have "been accused of being things I'm not" my crime being forgiveness..... and giving second chances.

Sunday, 7 August 2011

People and Power

There are many forms of bullying, not necessarily the one that you automatically think of which is the hitting, pushing around etc.

Bullying takes on many forms.

It could be manipulating mutual friends to turn their back on a person...... It could be using social networking sites to play with peoples feelings.... that delete button is so easy to press and so clinical. With that one action a person can be cut to the core.

Bullying can be telling lies about a person.

Bullying can be making a person doubt themselves with little jibes, little barbed comments.

Bullying is a horrible thing to do to another person. I have tried to think why anyone would want to make another person unhappy and the only conclusion I can reach is that the Bully gets a great sense of power by carrying out such actions.

All I want out of life is to have peace.

I treat others as I would have them treat me and I forgive very easily. Some might see forgiving another person as being "two faced" but I see it as being a show of strength. Its easy to hold grudges and easy to make people feel miserable but it takes a great deal of inner strength to forgive and move forward in life.

Friday, 5 August 2011

Killy for Company - Crazy People!

What can I say?

Crazy guys, brilliant music cannot wait for the new album and the tour.

Check out

Tuesday, 2 August 2011


Friends come in various forms and for me, animals are my favourite types of friends. They don't judge you, they don't care what you look like, they love you for who and what you are. I find the greatest peace with my animals.

Pickles pictured above is my little girl! She is independent, bossy and loving and she is devoted to me. I adore her and her quirky little ways that make her my special friend.

Wilbur is a goofy kind of friend! He is so silly but loving in a different way to Pickles. She is always on the hunt for food or cups of tea whereas all he wants is YOU. At night, he snuggles himself so tightly and squirms until he is virtually on your knee.

Other friends are special in a way I can't describe. Always there through good times and bad. Not many words are needed with this sort of friend, silence is as acceptable as noise. These friends are solid like the rocks you need in your life. They keep you afloat and keep you safe.

Some friends you just know are going to be with you for life and others maybe just for a weekend. That doesn't matter though because friendship is unique and friendship does not require the confines of time.

Social networking has meant that friends from all over the country, indeed, all over the world can meet and share common ground. In some instances we actually get to meet up and share good times.

The social network is newly established and sadly as the likes of Face Book are the property of USA, the UK laws have no powers. I have personally made many friends through the social networking sites, and I thoroughly enjoy chatting with them on a regular basis. Now and again, Face book puts us in touch with people we would not normally socialise with and this creates its own set of problems.
You may go on journeys with some friends and then not speak for months and months. This doesn't mean that your friendship is lesser because speaking from my own personal point of view, I might not talk to certain friends all of the time but they are rarely far from my thoughts.

Good times and bad, special friends weather those storms with you and you sail onto placid waters strong in the knowledge that if that storm comes again you will get through it together.
Some friends like Albert the rabbit are grumpy and moan allot, That doesn't matter because they bring their own treasures and no matter what, they love you whatever.
This particular friend, Cola is more than that to me. He is my confident, my best friend, my physiotherapist, my fitness coach - he is my life!
Some friends are with us for a lifetime, others a moment, some a short time. Each friendship brings something into your life to help create the person you are yet to become. They might bring with them bad experiences or good but there is no difference because each type makes you stronger and more whole.

Many friends creep into your heart and when their lives are cruelly cut short they leave a gaping wound.

Friends...... they are the souls who share our life's journey. No matter where they go or what happens to them or us, they remain with us...... some in our memories and others firmly planted in our hearts.