A short summer story by Jill Kramer (August 2020) ©

Today it’s my birthday and the date is very special. 20-8-2020. So to celebrate it I thought I would write a short summer story for all my readers to enjoy. Have a lovely day.

The heatwave continued relentlessly. In this small flat part of the country, under sea level with all the rivers, lakes and waterways, meant that it was literally like a steam bath. The humidity was high. The air so warm, it seemed warmer than the air you breathed out. Everyone was complaining, like they always do, when it concerns the weather! Rose began to wonder if people would ever stop complaining. If it was cold and wet, it wasn’t good and hot and sunny it wasn’t good either! There never seemed to be a happy medium. After all, complaining was something just everyone did and all the time as well.

It was the 9th day, when the heatwave officially came to an end. Rose was not the slightest interested by the facts and figures from the meteorological office, all she wanted was fresh air, cool air and preferably some rain to wash away the pollen and dust.

Her mind wandered back to a couple of weeks ago. She had agreed to go the local pub with a friend for a quiz. After months of lockdown, people were generally getting out and about a bit more, even though Rose had felt happier all those months in her own home and with her own company. It had been 20 years since her divorce. Reluctantly, because if she was honest, she did not want to go, she left the house and walked down to the local pub. It was a reserved number of people and Rose and her friend Julie, found themselves sitting at a table with two men, both of whom they did not know, but they were ‘a team’ for the evening.

Taking the obligatory social distancing into account, there was not a huge number of people present, so the normal loud noise of the pub was surprisingly quieter than usual. She found herself gazing across the table at the rather handsome face of a well-muscled young man. He had a sort of permanent frown between his eyebrows. But he was very good looking and Rose just got lost in her thoughts and did not pay attention until the bell was rung to start the quiz. Julie had been chattering away, but to be honest, Rose had not heard a single word of it.  As the quiz began, she got an amazing smile from across the other side of the table.

Actually, it went quite well, and they seemed to know all the answers between them! The conversation in between got going and once names had been exchanged, the normal talk about: what do you do? Where do you live? Do you come here often? began. Julie collected some drinks, for them all, a second round, as the men had bought the first and Rose began to feel more at ease, and it was just much more relaxed. Dutch courage as they say!

They were not the winners but came in second and decided to have one more drink together and leave. Julie wandered off to take to another friend and Rose found herself alone with her table mate. He was a pilot, yes, she could imagine that, he gave a general impression of being well educated and having a responsible job. And the most amazing accent, which she could not quite place. In the meantime, she had found out that he lived in Madrid, flew regularly to the UK with one of the well-known airlines, and was now on a break. His friend was someone he had known from high school and he had had no idea at all that he would have been here tonight. But he added he was glad he had come otherwise they would not have met! Rose found herself blushing many times at his compliments. He was very suave, and told her how nice she looked, how interesting she was, and very pretty as well. Rose was not used to this at all, having been alone for 20 years and had not been near a single man since her divorce.

It was time to leave and he asked her if she would like to have dinner the next evening. Any suggestions where to go, he asked her? Rose did not know what to say at first. Of course, he was nice, attractive, well damned good looking actually and why not? It did not really seem like a date, after a quiz at the pub. They arranged to meet at the restaurant in the village, at 7 pm the next day. She and Julie left and Rose was conscious of a new spring in her step. She had actually enjoyed it, more than she had expected to and actually he was very nice and my goodness, she was going out again tomorrow.

The next morning, after a flying visit to Boots, the local chemist to buy some scrub salt, some hair removing cream and some lovely scented shower foam, the day passed by so fast. It was soon time to get ready to go out and after about 20 different dresses and such like, Rose decided to wear something she felt comfortable in. She showered, washed her hair, applied some make up and rode on her bike to the restaurant where he was waiting for her.

This time, even though officially it was not allowed because of the Covid rules, he took her hand and kissed it. Rose nearly fainted. How gallant! You could tell he was not English by birth; English men never did anything as romantic as that.

In a cozy corner of the restaurant they ordered drinks and looked at the menu. Rose did not have a single idea what to have, kept reading and re-reading, her mind was completely elsewhere. In the end opting for something simple an easy to eat. So that there was some chance of a conversation… They talked on and Rose felt herself relaxing more and more. He was a charming table companion and they talked about their respective lives. Rose decided to be open and honest, told him she had been divorced for a long time. She did not say 20 years to be exact, not wanting to come over as desperate and pathetic!

When the food arrived, there was a pause as they began to eat. Rose felt conspicuous. But in between mouthfuls, the conversation continued. He spoke about his work, his passion was being a pilot, he loved it, different destinations each and every day. Not that he ever got to see anywhere other than the airport, unless he was on more international flights and got a couple of rest days in between. Just like this exact moment he said, having arrived at Gatwick a day or so ago and taking the advantage of meeting up with an old school friend. And then he had met Rose who he found utterly fascinating. She was sharp, witty, had a wonderful way of talking. He loved her cute British accent, the way she paused between her words, as if she was thinking about them. In fact, he was totally under her spell. He wondered if she felt the same, it was hard to tell. Obviously, she was older than him, but he did not really care about that. He was definitely and totally not interested in all the babes his own age. All pimped and pumped and so full of their own importance and appearance. No, Rose was much more down to earth and actually fun to be with. He loved the way she kept putting her hair behind her ear, he gazed at her elegant neck, thinking what it would be like to kiss her. He liked her expressive hands which she waved about a lot as she was talking. Was this the woman he had been looking for, for such a long time? He hoped so.

By the end of the meal to be honest they both felt as if they had known each other for longer. Everything just flowed so well. The conversation had not been dulling for one moment, on the contrary they found themselves laughing at things the other said, smiling across the table. Now there was something, he found really attractive, her smile, and the way her eyes lit up and flickered like stars in the night skies. Orlando, because that was his name, was falling in love, as if Cupid had personally shot his arrow right into his heart.

After a final nightcap and coffee, it was time to go. He stood up, helped Rose out of her chair and paid the bill. Coming out into the dark evening, he suddenly took her into his arms and kissed her. He just had to and Rose responded equally to him. Their lips explored one another, he held her firmly in his strong arms. Rose felt as if her feet had left the ground and she was floating. She wasn’t, but in her mind, she was. He was a good kisser for sure and it had been such a long time ago. Such a long time. Stirring deep within she felt sensations in her body. She did not want him to stop and he didn’t either. She could have stood there feeling his tender kisses for hours, especially when he kissed her neck.

But she had to go and so did he. Was this just a fleeting moment, like two ships passing in the night, or would there be more. Rose thanked him profusely for the lovely meal and his charming company. Her compliments actually made him blush slightly.  Even though she did not want to, Rose took her bike, thanked him again, gave him one last kiss and cycled off in the direction of her house. Her immediate thought amongst all the ‘rosy pink cloud’ like thoughts she had was: would she seem him again? They had exchanged phone numbers etc. But she knew he would soon be flying back home to Madrid and the travel regulations imposed to UK residents meant that she could not suddenly go there.

That evening in bed, she recalled the evening, what he had said, the way he looked at her, his passionate, gentle kisses and with that thought in her mind Rose drifted off into a deep slumber filled with dreams about him.

Orlando had the same experience. He had gone back to his friend’s house, had a quick beer and said what a nice evening it had been, and went to bed. His mind was filled with exactly the same thoughts she had and before switching off the light, he wrote her a quick text.

I just have to see you again, it said, you are just so wonderful. Such good company, so friendly, appealing and nice. Is that an option? I leave in a day’s time; can we arrange to meet tomorrow. And he signed off with a row of hearts and kisses. He called her darling. Told her how wonderful the evening had been. Like magic he said.

The following morning Rose answered and said she would love to be out with him for the day and see the local sights. She had Windsor Castle as an idea, a quaint town, the magnificence of the castle itself and the long walkway leading up to it.

She got up, showered and dressed quickly, having a coffee and croissant for breakfast and had just cleaned her teeth as the doorbell rang. He was early. Rose felt a moment of apprehension, she had not said one word to Julie about their dinner date or that he was coming here this morning. Should she have done so? Don’t be ridiculous she thought, we are going out, perfectly normal, and opened the door. He looked even more handsome in tight blue jeans, a crisp white shirt and in the hallway, took her into his arms at once, kissing her passionately. He told her how much he had missed her. Rose was puzzled, it was only a number of hours since they had been apart. She offered him coffee, but he thanked her politely. Let’s get going, he said, I want to have a perfect day with you. They set off in his flash hire car and drove to Windsor. Parked easily which was incredible as normally you could not find a space anywhere, wandered around the quaint shops and had morning cappuccino coffees at the local bakery, with a delicious flaky pastry. Sweet toothed Rose could never resist.

Then, they wandered to the long walkway leading up to the castle which looked even more magical today. Holding hands, or his arm protectively around her shoulders, stopping every now and again for a special kiss. Rose was in heaven. He looked as if he felt the same. They just blended well together, chatting away as if they had been life-long friends. Well a bit more than that. Rosie could not believe it if she was honest. Here she was, having a wonderful exciting time, after being cooped up at home for months, with the most handsome man imaginable. She knew he was, every woman who passed them, gave him that typical head to toe, sexy glance.

She told him about her marriage, her divorce, her son and her grandchild. He told her about the loss of his parents when he was young, a dreadful relationship he had had with some ‘crazy woman’ as he called her and had decided that he was never going to have a relationship with anyone again, until Rose came along and had stolen his heart. She blushed and gushed at his romantic words, feeling like a princess who lived in the castle.

They had a typical pub lunch in the gardens and then wandered along the River Thames at Laleham, somewhere Rose knew well from her childhood. She showed him the village where she had lived as a child, the school she had gone to. Apart from it being a trip down memory lane for her, she wanted to share it with him. 

At around 7pm they arrived back at Rose’s quaint cottage style house. So beautifully English, he remarked. Rose was proud of her well-kept lawn and colorful borders. Honeysuckle trailed over the front door eluding its heady scent as she turned the key. Was he going to go, or should she invite him to stay? There was never an answer as he scooped her up into his arms and took her upstairs to the bedroom. And Rose let him. She wanted him now, every single inch of that well-trained body. He slipped the straps off her shoulders and slowly removed all of her clothes, muttering appreciative comments about how beautiful she was.

She removed his shirt, allowing her hands to linger on his chest, which was in one word, just perfect, the tight 8 pack across his stomach and undid his jeans. They laid back on the bed, completely naked. Rose thanked God in her mind that she had done a thorough de-fuzz job as his hands slid gently between her thighs, and kissing her breasts and lips again and again, he made his way slowly down. Rose moaned softly, she had missed this for such a long time and he was obviously a very skilled lover as he knew exactly how and what to touch to make her long for him even more.

Rose came back to reality, it had actually been 10 days now since he had gone back to Madrid and in that time and whenever possible they had texted, and video called with one another. He had sent her amazing photos, from the air, during landing and arrival and departures, from a view she had never had the privilege to see from the cockpit.

She closed the patio doors and locked them, as they were in for a storm. Thank goodness Rose thought, that hot weather had made her fatigued, she did not want to do anything apart from talk to Orlando when she could. They spoke of many things on the text, or recorded audio messages, but one thing was always central, their desire for one another.

A few moments ago, it had been yet another hot sultry evening, not even a slight breeze. The sun had set but the sky had a strange yellow glow. Like the flickering flames of a fire. The wind picked up and within seconds, jagged shards of lightening filled the skies. It lit it up with a flash of white electrical light. Rumbles of approaching thunder were in the distance. Then heavy raindrops began to fall and lashed the windows. It was just a typical summer storm after the tropical heat. It stopped as suddenly as it had begun. The flag in her garden hung limp and lifeless.

Suddenly she heard his voice like a whisper on the breeze. ‘Come to me’ he said. It took her literally seconds to join him. She slid into his bed, between the cool cotton sheets. His warm naked body felt soft and inviting. She took her hand in his. ‘You are here’ he murmured softly half asleep. ‘Of course,’ she replied.

He lay his head on her shoulder, feeling her arm around him, the closeness he so desired. Gently his hands caressed her breasts, kissing her neck gently. She turned to face him, as their lips met. A warm passionate kiss as his tongue found hers.

His soft voice whispered in her ear. I asked an angel to come and guard you, but the angel replied: there is no need for angels to guard angels. ‘You are my angel.’ Rose smiled asking herself if he truly understood what he has just said.


Have you like me, noticed that virtually everyone at the moment has a ‘short fuse’. It takes just a simple comment or observation and people literally explode about things before your eyes. Is it because everyone is feeling so frustrated about the events surrounding Covid-19? Is it because we cannot tolerate the idea that we are restricted in what we do?

This could be a possible excuse.

Yes, of course at first, we were all alarmed and even scared, as this virus raged across the world claiming so many victims and, in the beginning, we really took note of rules and regulations. But after a while people forget, become lax and eventually stop bothering at all. Always thinking the standard thought: I am ok, and it will not affect me. This is partly true but once you become oblivious to said rules, you become careless and do things without paying any attention whatsoever to things like social distancing. It has all become a bit of a bind now and people literally cannot be bothered. That is human nature. Unfortunately.

But what worries me that people seem to have become so intolerant. As I began this blog, often a simple word of comment sends people into a complete rage where they stand swearing and shouting. I can think of a couple of examples.

Last Sunday morning I was walking the dog. Previously I have had some problems with another dog in the village who bit mine when he was a puppy. The two dogs dislike one another a lot and we agreed (a long time ago)  that the best thing was to avoid one another. So, there I was coming back from my early morning walk and in the distance, I could see the ‘dreaded dog and owner’ approaching towards me. I was just about to turn into my road and instead of them stopping and waiting for me to move away, they continued on. End result my dog pulled really hard on the lead, nearly breaking my wrist (which is sprained and painful) and the two dogs getting into a fight. Now is there is one thing you must never do is try and get between two fighting dogs. So, you are virtually helpless and it’s really hard to get them apart. I was so grateful to a neighbor who came to my rescue and separated them, but not before a German tourist had tried to intervene and was kicking my dog (stupid man as if that is going to help?). But I was subject to a barrage of swearing and shouting and some really nasty comments just before said person with the horrid dog was later sitting in the front pew at the local church for the morning service. Yes, right really Christian, I don’t think. Even some friend of theirs got involved and stopped in her car, wound down the window and gave me a right mouthful too. Great and all of this early Sunday morning. I explained to her that I have to be careful walking the dog something I have not done for two years, because of a hip and knee replacement and that we had agreed a long time ago to give one another the space to move away to avoid confrontations like this. I must say this person did apologize, but it illustrates my point perfectly, people have such a short fuse at the moment, they go completely over the top. Even if in fact it is none of their damned business! Or its something they know nothing about but still feel inclined to voice their opinion.

Another incident this week was at a major hospital in one of the bit cities here. The entrance is a big circulating door and there are about 20 signs saying that only two people are allowed into each section of the door at the same time because of …. Yes, The Corona Rules! When I remarked to two people that it might be better to wait, I was again subject to a barrage of swearing and shouting. What the hell is the matter with people? Are the few seconds that they have to wait going to make that much of a difference. I don’t think so. Do you?

Again, this incredible lack of any form of empathy or tolerance and I find myself asking the question over and over again: why?? The thing is that I take notice and allow others their space, so why is it so hard for them?? I don’t have the answers. Yes, we are all in the incredible fast-moving rat race constantly, but don’t you agree with me by now that we have had our wake-up call (with Covid-19) and isn’t it time to re-evaluate??

I think so and I have done that. I have like many sensible people too, realized that all the hurry and speed in the world is basically not going to make any difference whatsoever apart from the fact that I might be late for something. Weaving in and out of lanes in rush hour traffic and speeding is not going to get me there faster. If I wanted to be on time, I should have left earlier maybe? Pushing and shoving is not going to get me in or out of a building any quicker and I do have the time to stand and wait. I find this respectful to others who do make the effort don’t you? And standing there, swearing and shouting has zero effect! Apart from the fact if you are on the receiving end, you just come to the conclusion that they are very antisocial and not actually worth the time of day at all.

I just don’t get it because normally in times of a crisis people usually join together in some sort of unity and this virus seems to have left a lot of people (and perhaps I should be so bold as to write the majority) with an attitude of enormous ego and zero tolerance. And then I ask myself, do they seriously think that this is important in the current situation.

It’s like all the fuss people have made about the fact that they HAVE to go on holiday. So, once the rules were cleared and people were given more space to travel, they literally flocked like a herd to sheep to popular resorts across the world. In Europe this has led to complete overcrowding on beaches, boulevards, cafes, restaurants and parks. The result is of course, just like an idiot could have predicted, that major cities are now going into lockdown and certain countries (well here in Europe) have gone back into Code Orange or even Red because the ‘virus’ is rearing its head once more. Are you surprised? I am not? Nothing on this earth would have got me on a plane, where you are packed in like sardines in a tin, face mask or not, off to a holiday destination. I am much happier to stay at home and amuse myself in my own surroundings. Funny thing is, here in The Netherlands, a lot of people who normally would have gone off abroad have stayed in their own country and realized how lovely it actually is!!! And I am not going to get on my soapbox and talk about the football, festivals, events, demonstrations and such like.

But isn’t it time that people actually stopped and thought properly? I think so and stop all this totally unnecessary ‘short fuse behavior’? What is the point? Honestly? Absolutely none!

I hope those of you who read this blog, will have a serious think about what I have written. To be honest I am so fed up with it, which means that I prefer to be at home, in my own space and I choose not to be subject to anymore verbal abuse by anyone. Get real people!

Treat others in a way you would like to be treated too!

That should be rule number one shouldn’t it?

Images: Google


Criticism is not something anyone likes. It can be very hurtful and unjust and even untrue. But people are prone to criticize about virtually everything these days and often we all become a ‘victim’ to it. We either get the blame for something we did not do, when someone who is protecting their own back, uses us as a ‘scapegoat’ to cover up for their mistakes or they find something to criticize you to make you feel smaller.

The thing is first of all to remind yourself that criticism is often a mirror. A person mirrors their issues and shortcomings at you. And then the best way to deal with it is to allow the mirror to do its own work and send the negativity straight back.

Criticism is often a way or rejecting someone. A lot of people will resonate with this. It’s often easier to find fault with things people do wrong than to compliment them for the things they do right. It is a form of insecurity when you constantly feel the need to criticize others. ‘Passing the buck’ is the easy way out for a lot of people instead of them taking the time to have a think about what they themselves are not doing just right.

It is a tricky subject because many factors contribute to criticism. Think about jealousy for starters. When people are jealous of you, they seem to find being critical a way of projecting their own lack. It is not fair, but many things in life are not anyway.

Tolerance is also something that can lead to criticism. When people lack tolerance, they will almost always try to mask it by criticizing someone else. It does not matter what exactly but just think about this: it’s the easy way out. By masking your own insecurity, you criticize someone else. Easy!

Often criticism is something which we can see as an expression of disapproval either on someone or something, based on the faults or mistakes perceived by the person who criticizes.

So, what is the trick to avoid criticism. Well, there is not one really, but a lot can depend on you. If you make up your mind that you always follow your own heart and do the things you want to do, irrespective of what others say, positive or negative. Of course, positive comments give you a boost, but negative ones tend to ‘take the wind out of your sails’. But as I said above, often those who criticize you about things are usually just showing their own shortcomings. As I said that is the easy way. The best thing then it ‘to duck’ when they throw it in your direction knowing in all certainly that you have done nothing wrong, you actually can’t because any mistake is a learning curve anyway, but not being a receptive for unwarranted criticism by someone else. Then it’s a good idea to let the comments wash over you and pay no attention to it. Paying attention only gives energy to the words. Reacting too. If you don’t react then the conversation has come to an end and you have the choice to walk away. Or not? 

Another way to deal with criticism is maybe to say to someone that their comments are unjust. If they are, say that exactly. But remember people (including you) are allowed to make mistakes so if you have done something wrong and they criticize you for it, just say: Yes, you are right, sorry. Then the energy is taken right out of their words. Then you don’t have to subject yourself to a torrent of comments if you don’t feel like it.

Criticism is a part of our daily lives, because let’s be honest, someone somewhere always has something to criticize another about. But looking behind the reason why they feel that need is the clue and that is often their own vulnerability. The fact that they are lacking something in their lives and cannot be bothered to make an effort to change things.

And now I will let my friend take over once more to finish off this blog …

‘Haters try to expose what’s wrong with you, because they are jealous of everything that’s right about you. There are two types of people. Those who hate their life and do something about it and those who hate their life and don’t do anything about it. Which type are you?

You cannot expect to stay on the right path if you are walking away with the wrong people. Some people make themselves miserable when they can rather make themselves happy and everyone else happy. Sometimes those who act the happiest are the ones going through the most.

I admire people who choose to shine even after all the storms they have been through. Some people come into your life and you just know that you will never be able to replace them if they left.

When the wrong people leave your life, the right things start. Sometimes the people we fear the most should be the ones closest to us. To be around those who enhance your life is called success. To enhance the lives around you is called significance. Be with people who always show you your strength and hopes and not waste time with people who constantly remind you of your failures and mistakes. Don’t chase people. Be you and do your own thing and work hard. The right people who belong in your life will come to you and stay.

Successful people build each other. They motivate, inspire and push each other. Unsuccessful people just hate, blame and complain.

The loneliest people are the kindest. The saddest people smile the brightest. The most hurt people are the wisest and the people who don’t expect from others are the happiest. People who are truly worthy would never see any good in making others feel unworthy of themselves.

People are not inclined to take great challenges just settle for something else. You spend your whole life trying to fit in and when you finally do, you realize that you are surrounded by the very people who held you down.

There isn’t a person anywhere that isn’t capable of doing more than they think. It’s so ironic that it took so much time for people to realize your real value. They come knocking right when you have finally closed your door.’

Any one final piece of advice, if you are subject to unjust criticism, just rise above it.




Sometimes out of the blue a word keeps coming up and then I begin to wonder what the message is behind it. It all started with Janosh’s theme of the week. His sacred geometrical code is GRATITUDE and I saw the post on social media. With the obvious question: what are you grateful for? Well I could write a huge long list about this, because there are so many things and I expect you feel the same.

I had just switched off my phone when it buzzed again, my friend sending me some new words to share in our blogs and guess what … the subject was gratitude.

This is the moment when I am absolutely convinced that this has happened for a reason, so I will share with you:

‘Each day teaches us the value of time, to be grateful for daily opportunities. My life is not perfect, but I am thankful for everything I have. You can always be happy when you decide to be grateful for blessings in your life. Be thankful for the tiny details of your life that make room for beautiful blessings.

Give thanks for what you are now and keep fighting for what you want to be tomorrow. When some things go wrong, take a moment to be thankful for the many more things that are still going right. If you are really thankful, what do you do? You share. Be thankful for what you have today. Word hard for what you have tomorrow.

Be thankful for what you have. You have no idea how many people would love to have what you’ve got. 

A thankful heart is not only the greatest virtue, but the parent of all other virtues.

I need to stop worrying about the future and be thankful for what I have been blessed with so far. Every minute, every day, our life is a privilege. Cherish it, be thankful to God and give it importance And remember to thank God for what he has given you that you did not even ask for. Be thankful for every minute of your life, because we never know when and where death becomes us.

When you are thankful for what you have, you are always rewarded more. Happiness comes when we stop complaining about the troubles we have and offer thanks for all the troubles that we don’t have!

A simple way to be grateful is to close your eyes for a minute and think about those who never got the chance to open them.

If you don’t know what to be thankful for, be thankful then for all the troubles you have not had yet.

Learn to be thankful in your trials because in order to get your breakthrough, you need a trial to break through. I am thankful for all the difficult people in my life, they have shown me exactly what I do not want to be.

Don’t feel bad if you loved the wrong person. Instead be thankful because just like exams, every wrong answer makes you realize the right one. Life is giving and taking Give thanks and take nothing for granted. Being happy does not mean you have it all, it means you appreciate it all.’

There are two ways to live: you can live as if nothing is a miracle: you can live as if everything is a miracle. When you arise in the morning, think of what a precious privilege it is to be alive – to breathe, to think, to enjoy, to love. Appreciation is a wonderful thing. It makes what is excellent in others belong to us as well.

There is a sunrise and a sunset every single day and they are absolutely free. Don’t miss so many of them. In life, one has a choice to take one of two paths: to wait for a special day or to celebrate each special day.

Keep your eyes open and try to catch people in your company doing something right, then praise them for it. Gratitude is more of a compliment to yourself than someone else. They both seemed to understand that describing it was beyond their powers, the gratitude that spreads through your body, when a burden gets lifted and the sense of homecoming when you suddenly remember what it feels like to be yourself. Gratitude and Attitude are not challenges. Gratitude also opens your eyes to the limitless potential of the universe, whilst dissatisfaction closes your eyes to it. The only people with whom you should try to get even with are those who have helped you. In ordinary life, we hardly realize that we receive a great deal more than we give and that it is only with gratitude that life becomes rich. Forget yesterday, it has already forgotten you. Don’t sweat tomorrow – you haven’t even met. Instead open your eyes and your heart to a truly precious gift. Piglet noticed that even thought he had a very small heart; it could hold a rather large amount of Gratitude.

No one who achieves success does so without the help of others. The wise and confident acknowledge this help with gratitude. It is impossible to feel grateful and depressed at the same moment.

Thankfulness is the beginning of gratitude. Gratitude is the completion of thankfulness. Thankfulness may consist merely of words. Gratitude is shown in acts.

At times our own light goes out and is rekindled by a spark from another person. Each of us has cause to think of those who have lighted the flame within us. Gratitude is a currency that we can mind for ourselves and spend without fear of bankruptcy. Gratitude turns what we have enough of into more. It turns denial into acceptance, chaos into order, confusion into clarity… it makes sense of our past, brings peace for today and creates a vision for tomorrow. As we express our gratitude, we must never forget that the highest appreciation is not to utter words but to live by them …’

Wise sentiments don’t you agree? I think that often we all forget to have gratitude for things we often take for granted!  I mentioned before that one of the effects of the Covid-19 virus meant that this year I was more attentive and grateful for nature. I enjoyed the beginning of Spring so much more this year. Mainly because of the lockdowns and the general fact that the air was less polluted, and people were more at home. Many complained, many got depressed and stressed by the fact, but along the way we all seemed to miss the opportunity we all have for gratitude of the little things in life.

Normally where I live, I could often hear the cuckoos in the nearby woodland area, this year they were right here in the gardens. It was simple things like that which made me have even more appreciation than normal. For friendships that despite the lockdowns, took a new role in social media video contact. It was just as good; you can chatter on for free and it is just like being with one another. There was a lot of complaining about this and that, but really in retrospect what was there to complain about. The fact that you could not go out for a meal, visit your favorite bar or go to the football. Was it that bad? Really it should have been the moment when appreciation took on a much bigger role in your life. I am convinced however, that a lot of people missed the point here and that ‘complaining’ was much more satisfying than ‘gratitude or appreciation.’

Even though I know that the normal hectic pace of life leaves little room for contemplation and gratitude, I think this is a good quote: ‘A crisis does not create character, it reveals it.’

How true is that?

Maybe this wake-up call is for all of us to remember the things we are grateful for, even the things we take for granted like the bed we sleep in, remembering those who don’t have one to sleep in at all, just the hard pavements and a piece of a carton box! We get into ours every night, sink back into the comfy pillows and duvet and often forget, the small gratitude for an everyday essential item, because our bodies need rest.

Take a moment today to write down a list of the 10 things you are grateful for and do that for several days. Obviously not the same list each and every day but for the things that happened that particular day. It is a great way to actually think deeper about gratitude.

And practice it more often!!

Images Janosh Art (copyright)

Other Images: Google


Earlier this week a word cropped up in one of my other blogs and it’s been in my mind for a couple of days and I wanted to write a few more words on it.

Selfish or Selfishness. Often a word that has a lot of negativity attached to it. But is that fair?

Let’s have a look at the proper meaning first of all. The immediate reaction will be when you see the word, you think that it is something not just quite right… yes or no?

Selfish/selfishness is an adjective which means (according to the famous English Oxford Dictionary) it can relate to a person, an action or motive. Lacking consideration for other people. Chiefly for one’s own personal profit or pleasure.

Oh dear! That does sound negative doesn’t it?

But and here comes the big but, in this blog. Sometimes you have to be selfish for a reason. One of which is self-love. A lot of people will think yes, sure self-love what on earth is she talking about now. Self-love however, is something really important especially in these difficult times mainly because if you cannot love yourself, who will?

That is a question that a lot of people are thinking about right now. Especially in times we are all facing at the moment. After months of stories about viruses and the lockdown and border closures, unfortunately this Corona (or Covid 19) is resurrecting its ‘ugly head’ once more. Even though people made a really conscious effort in the early days, they are becoming very lax about it now. I actually happened to notice this, in a large teaching hospital where I was waiting for someone in the main (large) entrance hall this morning. There were 6 hand sanitizers and out of all the huge number of people who walked in and out, only a small amount used them. It was good to see a young mother, with her son, who did encourage him to take care. I actually complimented her about it. But we all did it all the time and why have we stopped? I don’t have the answers apart from the fact we have in some or other way become complacent. Now the numbers have reduced significantly on a daily basis, we seem to all think, it’s just gone away. But not true. With new lockdowns in Lisbon, Porto, Barcelona and places like Melbourne, we can conclude that we are facing the second wave.

The numbers infected in the USA are alarming to say the least and even people who radically ridiculed the idea (the President of Brazil is a fine example) is now infected himself.

Where they have been wearing masks for weeks already in Germany, they are just getting started in Belgium, and it will soon be obligatory everywhere. Here is it only obligatory in the trains, trams and buses. 

Standing in the same hallway this morning it was interesting to note that all Asian people are wearing masks and gloves! Hmmmm food for thought isn’t it?

But I diversify somewhat from my theme at the beginning. Is it OK to be a bit selfish? What do you think? Personally, for me I think putting yourself in the first place is important but not to the detriment of others. You have to respect and love yourself as a person before you can get even started with any sort of effect on others. Being selfish is not about being greedy, that is something entirely different but still the negativity around the word hangs in the air. That is the way I see it.

The reason I got thinking about this was about a comment made in one of my earlier blogs about being ‘selfish’. Thing is people will be judgmental if you are selfish, putting yourself first but if they can live with you like that, then they will also get you at your best and in that way, they deserve that as well. It is like the ‘for better and for worse’, one of the ancient marriage vows. There is always that sort of situation.

Some moments in life are good, some are better but at the same time some are bad or even worse. The thing is it is all about finding a happy medium in the middle of it.  Taking the good times and the bad too. Some days are better than others but remember this one thing and I have said it so many times over the past few weeks: ‘You cannot change the past’. We all live in the ‘here and now moment’. We do not know what tomorrow will bring.

We can only make the best of each and every moment. Postpone nothing. Follow your true passion and dreams and do what makes you happy. Don’t force yourself to stay in the rat race or even follow the herd. Be your own person, and if being selfish is part of that, then that is a bit of positivity. Others may make comments about your idea of self-love but let them, they are maybe not on the same path as you, or you’re further up the road in your development than they are. Just be your true self. There is absolutely nothing wrong with that.

On that note, have a great weekend everyone! It’s Summertime (well here in the Northern Hemisphere) so enjoy. Relax and make the best of things, no matter how hard you think they are. It’s all part of life’s learning curve. We all go through it. No one is an exception.

Breathe, and often when you are stressed just follow your breath for a few months. It is a very simple lesson in mindfulness. Not rocket science.

Think before you speak is a very good thing at the moment. I noticed how much ‘bitching’ there is at the moment on Social Media. Something that made me decide to delete my Twitter account a long time ago. There are just some people in life who think that they have to say something about everything. Just ignore. It’s hard I know.

As I said we are all on the path, but some people are further along the way than others!



There will not be a person who reads this who can say: ‘I never made a mistake.’ Impossible because we all do. Major and minor mistakes, regrets about how we might have done things differently or made different choices, taken other actions.

But the strange thing is that you learn so much more from a mistake than from a triumph. It teaches you that we are susceptible and human too. We do not have to be punished for our mistakes. Things in the past are in the past, but the whole point of those mistakes it that we learned something, and we will do it differently next time.

Whatever anyone thinks!

But a mistake is not in general something to be punished for. (Of course, there are some cases when that it’s necessary, like murder and such like). But in general, the average mistake is not earth shattering. But at the same time, it’s the moment when you have to be strict with yourself, learn your lesson and take a different path.

Its acceptance and making the decision to do it differently.

My friend has been busy again, so here are more thoughts….

It’s fun to work together on a subject and judging by the responses to all of our joint blogs, you all agree! Thank you everyone for your response, too many to answer all of them, but it’s great to know how much these words are resonating with so many.

So, read on …

‘A life spent making mistakes is not only more honorable but more useful than a life spent doing nothing. It’s funny how you can do nice things for people all the time and they never notice. But once you make a mistake, it’s never forgotten. Anyone who has made a mistake has never tried anything new. Just know that mistakes are proof that you’re trying. The greatest mistake you can make in life is to be continually fearing you will make one.

When you make the biggest mistake ever, some good comes from it. And life goes on.

With or without you. So, get over your mistakes because you just might miss something, or someone, important. The mistakes of the fool are known to the world, but not to himself.The mistakes or the wise man are known to himself, but not to the world.

You’re not a bad person if you don’t learn from that mistake. I realize that life is a risk. It’s acknowledging the past but look forward. It’s taking a chance that we will make mistakes but believe we all deserve to be forgiven. I live this life every day. I make my share of mistakes and every lesson I learn; I learn the hard way. I do the best that I can, and I hope you understand?

I am selfish, impatient and a little insecure. I make mistakes, I am out of control and at times hard to handle. But if you can’t handle me at my worst, then you sure as hell don’t deserve me at my best.

Never make the same mistake twice. There are so many new ones. Try a different one each day! Living might mean taking chances, but they’re worth taking. Loving might be a mistake but it’s worth making. You can never make the same mistake because the second time you make it, it’s not a mistake. It’s a choice. I wish I could’ve lived my life without making any wrong turns, but that is impossible. A path that doesn’t exist. We fail. We trip. We get lost. We make mistakes. And little by little one step at a time, we move forward. That’s all.

One of the greatest challenges in life is to find someone who knows all your flaws, differences and mistakes and yet still thinks you are absolutely amazing. I fall, I rise, I make mistakes, I live, I learn, I have been hurt but I am stronger, I’m human, I’m not perfect, but I am thankful.

My life, my choices. My problems. My mistakes. My lessons. Not your business. Mind your own problems before you talk about mine. There comes a time when you have to stop remembering your mistakes and just move on. No regrets in life. Just lessons.

Don’t ever make the mistake of thinking that kindness is a weakness, sometimes it takes great strength to just smile and say kind words. It’s amazing how much more you can learn by making mistakes than you can by perfect conclusions.

We sometimes let people get the best of us, destroy us and change our opinions on what we believe is true. Only you know what is right for yourself. You have the power; you make the choices and you learn. Each experience that we go through in life is a lesson to be learned. We all make mistakes. Why is that so hard for some to understand? No one should be judged by the mistakes they have made. It’s a past story. Starting out to make money is the greatest mistake in life. Do what you feel you have a flair for doing and if you think you are good enough at it, the money will come.

I think we all wish we could erase some dark times in our lives. But all of life’s experiences bad and good, make you who you are.

Erasing any of life’s experiences would be a great mistake. Life is not a pencil, if you make a mistake, it can’t be erased. Life is more like a pen, you can use whiteout to cover it up, but you’ll always be reminded of the spot where you made a mistake.

Mistakes are part of being human. Appreciate your mistakes for what they are: precious life lessons that can only be learned the hard way. Unless it’s a fatal mistake, which, at least others can learn from;

Our problem is that we make the mistake of comparing ourselves with other people. You are not inferior or superior to any human being. You do not determine your success by comparing your accomplishments to your capabilities. You are ‘number one’ when you do the best you can with what you have, every day’!




Just following on the full moon eclipse there are more words of encouragement for us all from my friend. This time around, completing the ‘pearl trilogy’ is a piece about attitude.

So important in life to always have a good and right attitude to things. Events that cross your path, which in turn help you to make the proper decisions and not be misled by what others are doing, saying or thinking. Being your own person and listening to and following your own heart.

So this is what they have to say …

‘Our attitude towards life determines life’s attitude towards us.

If you cannot change your fate, change your attitude.

The only disability in life is a bad sentiment.

With a new attitude everything can change, make it how you want it to be, staying mad, why do that?

Give yourself a break, laugh about it and you’ll see that life is what you make it. You know it comes down to this…

We cannot change our circumstances, but we can control our attitude, we can’t control others, but we can control ourselves!

Your living is determined not so much by what happens to you as by the way your mind looks at what happens.

My attitude is that is you push me towards something you think is a weakness then I will turn that perceived weakness into a strength. Your attitude is an expression of your values, beliefs and expectations!!

Develop the attitude that there are more reasons why you should succeed than reasons why you should fail.

You create beauty with your attitude, your behaviors and your actions. It is all up to you. The greatest discovery of all time is that a person can change his or her future by merely changing his or her attitude.

Develop an attitude of gratitude and give thanks for everything that happens to you, knowing that every step forward is a step towards achieving something bigger and better than your current situation!

The best thing you can do is to let go of what you can’t control and invest your energy into the things you can, like your attitude to be!!

Any fact facing us is not as important as our attitude towards it, for that determines our successes or failure.

The way you think about a fact may defeat you before you ever do anything about it.

You are overcome by the fact because you think you are!

All things are subjective, a person’s circumstances have nothing to do with current or past events, but rather their perception of those events and the attitude and manner in which they chose to approach it.

The greatest discovery of my generation is that a human being can alter his life by altering his or her attitudes!!!!’

I am sure you will all agree with me that there is great wisdom in these words, because it is just so true.

N.R. Hart is one of the most inspiring people who writes quotes, I use them a lot in my books and of course acknowledging the copyright and the name ‘Pearls Slipping off a String.’

Images: Google.


After the absolutely mind-blowing response to the words in the blog Pearls of Wisdom, there just had to be another part. My friend wrote some more, it’s really appealing to everyone… just like it should, so giving them the platform once more to talk about success and failure. We all know about that don’t we?

‘Success is not final; failure is not final: it is the courage to continue that counts. Through perseverance, many people win success out of what seemed destined to be a certain failure. There is no failure except: no longer trying. Try and fail but don’t fail to try! Do you really want to be great? Then have the courage to fail big and stick around. Make them wonder why you are still smiling. A bend in the road is not the end of the road unless you fail to make the turn. In order to succeed, your desire for success should be greater than your fears of failure …

They who never fail will never understand how great the adventure of life is. There are two kinds of failures: those who thought and never did and those who did and never thought.

The most crippling failure disease is … excuses. Sometimes our greatest insight comes from our failure, not from our achievements. The most important thing is never to be afraid to take a chance. Always remember the greatest failure is not having the will to try. Don’t quit before the miracle…

Men are like cars you get a good one it’ll never fail you, get a bad one and it’ll fail you every time.

Just because you fail once doesn’t mean you are going to fail everything. Keep trying, hold on and always always believe in yourself, because if you don’t who will?

Any dude that waits until Valentine’s Day to treat his woman like a queen is failing 364 days a year. Sometimes we must get hurt in order to grow, we must fail in order to know. Sometimes only our vision clears after our eyes are washed away with tears!

I choose a long time ago to believe in who I am. I will not walk in someone else’s shadow. Whether I fail or succeed I will know that I lived my life! Life is beautiful indeed. It’s times when we sink into our hectic and stressful lifestyles when we get blinded and fail to see what we have. In life, the best moments are those that your camera always fails to capture. 

Don’t laugh at those who don’t try. Sometimes we become so focused on the finish line, that we fail to find joy in the journey. It is impossible to live without failing at something unless you live so cautiously that might as well not have lived at all. In which case you have failed by default.

If you want to succeed in your life, remember this phrase: The past does not equal the future. Because you failed yesterday, or all day today, or a moment ago. All that matters is: what are you going to do, right now’?



It is the final act of a drama that began in 2017. This is all about letting go of the past. The whole eclipse is almost screaming ‘move on’. We are all ready to move on irrespective of our failures and successes, just as my friend says above. Ready to move on does not mean though: moving on is really easy. Processing experiences properly gives the opening to take the step to move on.

This particular Lunar Eclipse (in star sign Cancer) with Capricorn in the South Node highlights this theme: Cancer is what we create and nurture. Capricorn is rules, systems and top down hierarchies.

Isn’t that exactly what is happening on a world wide scale?

Images: Google


In my latest blog which I published yesterday (The Curved Ball) ,a friend of mine wrote some lovely words at the end and there is more! The reaction to the blog has been almost viral, so many people writing back to say how they loved it. More than 2K emails with comments.  So, here is some more of their work: 

I am sure you will agree with me, this is some seriously interesting talent, which should be developed more and more, and I am honored again to give it a platform on my website.

‘Just because the past didn’t turn out as you expected it to, doesn’t mean your future cannot be better than you ever imagined. The past should be the past. It can destroy the future. Live life for what tomorrow has to offer, not for what yesterday has taken away. Instead of judging people by their past, stand by them and help repair their future. Once you’ve made the decision to move on, don’t look back. You will never find your future in the rearview mirror. The future is waiting but it will never fight with the past to get your awareness.

The more you take responsibility for your past and present the more you are able to create the future you pursue. You are not what happened to you in the past. No matter how chaotic the past has been, the future is a clean, fresh wide-open slate.

Getting old is when you become a person with a long past and a short future. The past is where you learned your lesson. The future is where you apply the lesson. You can never be happy if you’re trapped in the past and fearful of the future. Living in the present is the only way to be happy. Don’t leave so much room in your future for someone who left you in their past…

If you don’t see them in your future, it’s time to put them in your past. Don’t use the past as an excuse to miss out on your future. The point here, it’s better to grieve tomorrow because of choices I make today than to regret tomorrow because of the choices someone made for me. I am to suffer the loss of my choices tomorrow, let it be, I will learn to be wiser in the future.

There is going to come a point where you have to give up your whole life for one thing … or give up that one thing for a whole other life. People vanish, people die, people laugh, and people cry. Some give up, some will try. Some say ‘hi’, while some say ‘bye’. It’s hard to give up something you have always wanted. Never give up on something you truly believe in.

I know you have a million reasons to give up, but don’t you want to be able to say you that you never did give up, years down the road? Anyone can give up, it’s the easiest thing to do, but to hold it together when everyone expects you to fall apart, that is the true strength.

Judge your successes by what you had to give up in order to achieve it. Sometimes you have to give up on people. Everyone that is in your life, but not everyone is meant to stay there. The saddest part about trying to help someone out is the realization they cannot be helped. Not everyone can be helped. Even if a person does not give up on someone … they don’t want the help, then you have to let them fall.

If you want to fly, you have to give up the stuff that weighs you down. Sometimes you just have to give up on people in order to respect yourself, rather than keep accepting things and words that don’t really merit.

Hey you, yeah you… the one reading this. Want to know something? You are beautiful. Don’t ever give up. Having a rough morning? Place your hand over your heart. Feel that? That is called purpose. You are alive for a reason. Don’t give up. Before you give up think of the reason why you held on so long.

People go through really rough times in life. But the ones who stay strong and don’t give up and stick through it are the ones who will get the best out of everything. One half is knowing what you want is knowing that you must give up before you get it.’

The big question is do you know what you must give up before you get what you want? Let your passion answer that ….

Have a great weekend everyone!



I have been quiet for a couple of days, mainly because someone in my immediate family received some very bad news last week. I am not going to go into details for privacy reasons and respect for the person concerned, but more about the idea in general. What you can do, think about and take action on, when someone (something) throws you a curved ball.

It is a bit of a vague expression, which basically means you are confronted with something you did not expect. And usually at the moment when you do not expect it either.

So, these are my thoughts. Whatever the content of the ‘news’ the most important thing is to try and remain calm. Try to write down your thoughts and questions, because when you receive bad news your mind tends to suddenly go blank and block off any more information. It is good to have someone with you, who then, takes over the conversation. Who can ask and listen, all the things you personally may not hear because of the pure shock.

Then the next full days will be a real roller coaster ride. Disbelief, shock, incredible sadness, anger, unfairness, the why me? And the list goes on. Firstly, let me say that tears of sadness are good because they release tension. So never be ashamed of that side. It is just as natural an emotion as laughing, in fact the other side and how many of you reading this have literally laughed until you cried! For some or other inexplicable reason, people seem ashamed to cry. Why? It gives an incredible release to feelings of sadness for starters. Look at how a child reacts if suddenly they fall over, they cry immediately and go looking for empathy and sympathy. A cuddle or reassurance that everything is perfectly fine. 

Unfortunately, there are a lot of people in this world who have problems showing emotions. 

We all feel that we have to keep on a mask of indifference. But for goodness sake take it off and show your emotions. Bottling them up will only lead to even more tension, stress, anxiety and feeling depressed and down. We are human after all and emotions are perfectly ok. It is normal to be scared, worried, wondering what happens next, how do I cope? How do we all cope?

The answers may not seem crystal clear immediately. There may not be any answers right away but the main thing when you catch this curved ball is to remember two words: Breathe (and focus on your breath) and Hope.  I often look up the true meanings of words: 

Breathing is one of our main bodily functions, we literally have to ‘breathe to stay alive’.

‘Hope is a feeling of expectation and desire for a particular thing to happen.’

To my mind HOPE is an interesting word. We must never stop having hope. Hope is a lifeline in times like this, that you always have a positive feeling that in some or other way, there is the chance of something happening. Preferably positive too.

Always try and find the positive as opposed to the negative.

Negative is a spiral going downwards. And once you start going down, the climb back up is very hard indeed.

I keep telling my own family that what has happened in the past is over. No one can change it. We live in the ‘here and now moment’ and don’t even know what tomorrow will even bring. But the most important thing is hope and trying to keep positive. Always.

And live each day with a renewed vigor of making the best of each and every day. We as humans love to all have a moan, about the weather, about our jobs, about everything really and that too is negativity. Even small little moans about totally insignificant things.

If I was asked what one positive thing that came because of the Covid-19 pandemic, then I would have to say, the fact that I started to appreciate the little things in life much more. I became more aware of the birds singing in the morning, actually seeing Spring with new eyes (mainly because I had so much more time). Enjoyed the peace and tranquility of my own home. Taking a rest from the rat race we all are normally part of each and every day. It also made me think how lucky I am. Material possessions are not really that important. I really did not miss the shops at all. I was just happy to be quiet and peaceful in myself. I read a huge number of books, worked hard on my own projects, continued to write on in my new book (publishing in the autumn) and sometimes do absolutely nothing but sit in the garden just enjoying the brighter blue skies (no planes or pollution). Watching our cat stretching lazily in the sun. Just little tiny things like that. A lot of other stuff became distant and actually totally unimportant. It has been a sad time for the entire world, and I realize and acknowledge that fact too.

Life is really about making the best of each and every moment. No matter how big the curved ball is that gets thrown at you. It is showing empathy as opposed to sympathy. Just being there for one another, through difficult times. That is what counts.

Finally, something else: July 2020 is what we call an 11 month. (you know 7+2+2=11) and this is a master number. It is the turning point of the year too. It could be a month when you receive more for yourself and your future than ever before.

Master numbers have a higher energy vibration. July seems to be holding some very powerful astrological energy as well. Spiritual expansion and rapid growth. This month is about ‘pulling up our pants’ and growing up. New era, new time, new chances, new choices. Experiences are going to be intensified for sure, but the 11-master number portal invites you to step on through the gate into a new moment. Sounds pretty good to me!

Taking each step at a time, never giving up on yourself or others, and always staying as positive as possible. Some things we thought were so important will be totally irrelevant now. Even if you may not think so, believe me you will when you reflect back. See the imprint you made.

That is how we are taking each day as a family. United, supporting, positive, being honest about our emotions and at all times never loosing HOPE.

I had put this blog to one side, to check again and fine tune and then someone sent me this message which I just have to include because it is so beautifully written and such inspiration to anyone who has been thrown a curved ball.

‘I truly respect people who stay strong during hard times. Even when they have every reason to break down. Never let the rough and tough times stop you from getting what you want in life and chasing your dreams. It is crazy how at times, the darkest moments are the truly beautiful ones. Some storms last longer than other storms but at the end of every storm, there is light. I think the assurance between a man and a woman in their relationship is the time they suffered together. It gets harder before it gets easier. You just need to make it through the hard stuff first and know that one day it will get better for good. It may be storming right now in your life but remember it cannot rain forever. I promise. I will never give up as long as I am breathing. As long as I am still standing, I will never give up! Go ahead and be the best imperfect person you can be and get started on those things you want to accomplish before you die. If you fear nothing, then there is nothing that can stop you from getting to the top. Fear is the enemy. Do not allow it to make you feel that you do not deserve the success you want. Because you do. What happened yesterday, no longer matters. Get back on the right track and move closer to your dreams. Yes, you can do it. People can do more than they ever believe they can do. Physically, mentally, academically. You have to be pushed, it hurts, but it is worth it and it’s a great element.

Go confidently in the direction of your dreams. Live the life you have imagined… You don’t have to be great to start, but you have to start to be great. My only relationship goal is someone who motivates me to become a better person and shows me the potential I don’t see in myself. Don’t let life put you down to the point that you can’t get up and proceed further. The life you are living now, all the hardships and trials; is just a testimony raising up to be told……’

Wow that is so beautiful !!! Special thanks to the author of these words!!!! Don’t you agree with me that they maybe missed their vocation, so it is a great honor for me to give these words a platform. Dear special person!!!

Images: Google