In the beginning …

FeaturedIn the beginning …

A few years ago and approaching the dreaded 50, I decided to make a few changes and start living a life I wanted to live, instead of sitting back and waiting to see what or who crossed my path. I have always kept a journal, mainly because I love writing and also because I have the most dreadful memory.

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I have a chaotic mind so I doubt very much I will stay on topic. I enjoy sharing my thoughts and opinions on most things and think its a great way of expression and learning.

I will be sharing some of my journey here and also some of my travels. I actually didn’t have a passport until I was 46 years old, can you believe that?? Everywhere I go now, I feel like I am looking through a child’s eyes and seeing things new for the first time, quite incredible.

This will be as much practice for my writing as it will be for my skills in technology. In fact, I am looking right now for a save button …. has to be here somewhere! Aah update!!

50+ and Still Freaking Fabulous!

50+ and Still Freaking Fabulous!

So everything is off and family in bed and other than the annoying beat of surronding neighbourhood music all is silent. So I just wanted to share my latest experience with you.

I recently found a new job which I loved and worked with a great team. It was back in education which is a passion of mine. In fact any learning is such a huge boost to one’s own self development, it can be life changing. No matter where the information is coming from, new information is like food for the mind, I love it!

So when I was suddenly informed I no longer had the job, I was quite naturally distraught. I had quit a stable job to move there and recently committed to move to a more expensive property, oops…. well far more serious than an oops but it’s done and I have to deal with it, somehow.

I am not entirely sure what happened really. Apparently I am not working at the speed I should be for the role. There was a lot to learn and I pretty much had most of it down apart from those niggly questions, you know those?

Maybe I am a little slower than I used to be? Maybe my age shows in my speed? Or maybe the fact that I am taking in huge amounts of learning means my speed should come secondary to my accuracy.

Hopefully my age wasn’t a factor because I know I saw a blog from the company talking about the importance of including employing people of a mature age.

I am not sure what happened but I know that I have previously read that it can take a newcomer 1-2 years to be as productive as their predecessors. I think 4 months was a little short to make their decision.

Coming from an education and training background I had previous knowledge. I had always told my students to get the processes and the accuracy sorted and the speed will come natually, working on improving it as you go. It had always worked so well for them.

I am of course feeling a little sad, disappointed and my confidence took a bit of a kick.

Still though, that’s the cut throat world we live in now and just like they will get the next one in, we just have to move on.

I may be 54 but I am not done yet. I’ve helped so many people to find work, training and education throughout my employment over the years. I am sure I can continue wherever I find myself.

I have years of relevant experience and wisdom. There’s a bucket load of funny stories I can share for break times! I’m a hard worker, it won’t be long before I’m back in the saddle.

Let me know if you are of a mature age and finding job searching different this time around?

Doreen Virtue’s A-Z List, My View

Doreen Virtue’s A-Z List, My View

Doreen played a huge part in my own spiritual journey. She certainly wasn’t the only spiritual person that I was inspired by but was up there with some of the biggest. I will start by saying that it’s everyone’s personal choice in what they believe. People change their mind constantly and of course that’s fine. It’s our own personal right and thank goodness we have it, not everyone does.

However, I am going to say this, I thought her recent ‘A-Z List Of New Age Practices to Avoid”, which included Pagan and other Spiritual followings, not only unnecessary but disturbing and quite frankly, a bit of a betrayal. Surely, there has to be more reason for this, than simply letting us know she is now a Christian. I think one of the biggest issues for me was her criticism of ancient deities, yoga and meditation. Non of us has the right to question centuries old cultures and beliefs, regardless of whether or not we take practice in them ourselves. I would also just like to point out that I really do not like the term “New Age”. Let’s be honest, there is nothing new about them, just like there is nothing new about the persecution of them either …

I have around 10 packs of Doreens cards because I just love them. I also have many of her books. She no longer wants them sold or distributed and I haven’t quite decided what to do with this information just yet. I’m still processing that.

I don’t understand where the condemnation has come from and I guess it’s not for me to understand and therefore, I will let it go.

I will still practice all that I have ever practiced before. I will continue using cards, wear my crystals (though I have never worshipped them). My Reiki, Angelic Healing and meditation will remain a big part of my life. I will always be grateful to Doreen for her part in my spiritual journey. She has provided me with some beautiful tools to use in my practice.

If what has been said in this A-Z List has left you with doubt, remind yourself, Doreen is one Spiritual teacher who has changed her path. She most likely appeared into your life because you were looking for spiritual guidance. Your spirituality came first, the need for a more spiritual life was what you were seeking not the that particular person. There are lots of spiritual teachers, gurus and wise ones out there. Don’t question yourself just because one person has chosen a different path. There is a very strong spiritual community out there, like a second family for many of us.

I know that everyone in the spiritual community, including myself wish Doreen lots of love and happiness on her new journey.

Love to you all!!

Being Fabulous Fifty and Job Seeking!

Being Fabulous Fifty and Job Seeking!

In addition to my writing, I am currently employed in retail. I desperately want my weekends back, so that I can spend them with my loved ones or going on our fabulous trips!

Being 50 plus and job searching has real potential to knock the stuffing out of you! I have found myself wondering if I’m being sent for interview because I fit into a particular age bracket because the company need to show they’re fulfilling a certain criteria … I know! Negative thinking right there on my part!

Let me explain though. I have a great cv! I am applying for admin posts, which is an area I have over twenty years experience in. I have a qualification that allows me to assess an NVQ candidate in completing their qualification. Crazy right??

I get the interviews and I feel they go well and I am told they go well. I don’t get the job though and the most feedback I get is that someone with more experience was successful on this occasion. I guess I might get a better chance when I’m 60 then?? Lol!!

Seriously, here is what I have to say to myself and anyone else faced with this challenge and it might sound a little cliche! These employers are the ones missing out and here is why!

We have a wealth of experience behind us.

Most of us, male and female have done our years of partying hard, work is our social scene.

We have most likely faced the most difficult of societies people already and quite proficient in handling them.

I don’t know about anybody else, I am much calmer individual than I was many years ago.

Our child rearing days are most likely over, so no dependents to be worrying over.

A lot of us will be looking for a job that will take us to retirement, that’s commitment, right there!

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying these things don’t apply to the younger generation also. I am trying to highlight that being a mature age shouldn’t write us off as a fab employee. We have a lot to offer too.

I will just keep applying and taking my fabulous self to these interviews. My job is out there somewhere!

A Day Out at Packwood House

A Day Out at Packwood House

We are quite lucky to have a number of National Trust properties quite close to home. Packwood House is just a 25 minute drive away for us, closr to Lapworth and an ideal choice for a chilled Saturday.

Packwood House was originally built in the 16th century for the Fetherstone family, as a modest timber frame farmhouse. It was later purchased in the early 20th century by Industrialist Alfred Ash. The house was restored when it was inherited by Graham Baron Ash in 1925.

It all looks very impressive walking up to the house and there are plenty of grounds to walk around.

It wasn’t a particularly warm day and I am an absolute wuss when it comes to the cold, so on this visit we got indoors quick! England can be so damp and grey in the winter but I love to visit old buildings on these days. I think it just adds to the atmosphere!

We were greeted at the door by a volunteer who was very pleasant and directed us the best way to wander around the building. Unfortunately, the upper floor was closed and although a little disappointed, it just means we get to go back again. I will make in the summer and explore the grounds next time brrrrr …. too cold on this occasion lol.

The first room had a fabulous fireplace and the walls adorned with beautiful tapestries that were quite clearly aged.

Above is a photo of a small doll representation of a lady and her serving boy. I ask you to zoom in on this photo and pay particular attention to the top middle and left. Do you see it? Please someone explain??!

The house has a very grand walk through into the dining/ball room area.

There are some fabulous pieces of furniture and tapestries to view the whole length of the corridor. Also my man, in his cap!

Volunteers put together the memoirs from diaries of World War veteran.

Memoirs put together by volunteers in the shape of air balloons. A truly spectacular display.

An artist’s Lay Figure, used by poor struggling artists to learn to draw! At a cost of £1 instead of the usual £3 for a human model!

I really enjoyed Packwood House and look forward to revisiting in the summer, when I’m brave enough to wander around the gardens! I also can’t wait to see the upper floor.

I am so pleased we decided to join the National Trust. It’s so important to keep these places in good repair and restore them for future generations to see.

Seeing our history holds so much more value than simply just reading about it. Not only can it serve as a warning that there are things we should never repeat, it also reminds us of a far more simplistic life. Where people gathered and spoke and entertained each other without the technology! We played instruments, we sang, we danced and we read to each other. We walked for miles, we rode horses, we grew our food, we cooked, we baked and we swapped trades. We did it all with the basic of equipment and we survived!

Getting my Wires Uncrossed, Neurolinguistic Programming Course

Getting my Wires Uncrossed, Neurolinguistic Programming Course

I haven’t written in a while for personal reasons, so here is a short update on my first goal for 2019.

Flu season has arrived and with it, what feels like a decade to payday! It’s unusual for me to catch these things but oh my life this virus has been a b#$#h! I had parts of me aching, that I forgot I had lol! One minute shaking like a loose leaf on a tree about to fall to it’s depth and the next blazing hot like a volcano about to erupt! I’m writing from my bed armed with throat soothers, paracetamol, tissues and albas oil, whilst pleading to the universe to heal me quick!

I’ve started a course on NLP, Neuro linguistic programming and I’m eager to get back into reading my coursework. I first heard of NLP many years ago. It appealed to me because according to the limited research I carried out, it seeks solution almost immediately. As opposed to trawling through past historical scenarios and ironing over them again and again like a piece of linen, that’s been screwed up in a tight ball at the bottom of your laundry basket for the past decade. NLP seemed to offer a different approach, take that screwed up ball of linen lay it across a super duper steam press, shut the lid, quick shot of fresh steam and same trousers come out looking fresh, smooth and brand new!

My son’s, who both have Psychology Degrees, speak highly of the process too, so I am really looking forward to my studies. Initially I will begin online and then move on to a class room based course.

It’s only my opinion of course and I’m no expert .. just yet! What I will say is, different folks, different strokes. What works for one person, may not work for another but NLP seems to get fabulous feedback and I am all about seeing people happy.

If any of you have experience with, or of NLP and would like to share your opinion on it, please leave a comment. I would love to know more!

Christmas at Bourton On The Water, Cotswolds!

Christmas at Bourton On The Water, Cotswolds!

We were actually heading off to Chipping Camden Christmas Market but Craig had got the wrong date … After the hour drive and my Michael Buble CD blasting out his Christmas songs, we weren’t going to be put off! We continued on for another 20 minute drive to Bourton On The Water.

We had both been through quite a stressful week, so it was time to get festive in a peaceful way! We normally visit the German Market in Birmingham around this time of year but the recent atmosphere and anti-social behaviour in the city is a major put off for me. We needed to chill and Bourton On The Water is my favourite place in England, I adore the place!

The River Windrush runs the middle of the village and there are five pretty stone bridges that cross it. The bridges are believed to have been built between 1654 and 1953. It’s been a long held tradition to see football being played in this part of the river during the summer months. The shallow, clear water makes it a safe place even for supervised small children to paddle in.

Of course I was with Craig and his belly rules the day, so first stop was food! We chose to eat at De La Hayes, which I have to say is stunning inside. We had never eaten there before and was so pleasantly surprised. Even the loo’s were a delight to walk in to!

I had a child’s meal, I try to tell myself, I’m cutting down but that’s a kiddies fish, chips and mushy peas, so not sure that works?? Craig went for a full English breakfast and both our meals were delicious.

Our next stop was my favourite store and the reason for my first ever visit to Bourton On The Water. “The Lodestone” is a crystal and spiritual gift store and has so much choice, it’s incredible! I recommend you check it out. I got myself a new crystal pendulum whilst I was there.

With a lovely craft store in the Town Hall, and some gorgeously quaint gift stores there’s some fabulous choices Christmas to ponder.

There are too many traditional pubs and restaurants to mention here but I recommend a visit so that you can go and see this stunning little place yourself. If you find yourself there in the summer, go and visit the bird sanctuary, it’s an absolute delight!

As if all that isn’t enough, there is a spectacular Christmas Tree right in the middle of the stream!