Tuesday, March 31, 2009

Thornton Hough Church
Are you ever lonely?

I read an article recently about loneliness being at epidemic proportions in today's society and a few days later I read another saying loneliness could be as bad for your health as smoking or obesity. One thing I noticed was that loneliness comes in many degrees and many forms. A happily married woman with a close family could feel a sense of loneliness if she did not also have some close friendships outside the family circle. A person with many close friends and an active social life could feel a deep sense of loneliness because they did not have a partner or children.

The articles both made the point that in modern society communication has never been easier - with our mobile phones, our emailing, MSN, facebook and twitter - yet our sense of community, of belonging, has never been weaker. More and more people are living alone, not all of them from choice. We are having fewer and fewer genuine human interactions.

I know what it's like to feel lonely; I suppose we all do. When I started school, I found it hard to make friends, I never seemed to fit in and I still remember wandering the playground alone trying to look as if I didn't care. As I grew up friendships became much easier but I still retain that feeling of being on the outside looking in and am still faintly astonished that anyone wants me as a friend! Even now I find it almost impossible to be pro-active in my friendships...I am scared to suggest something like a trip to the shops or the cinema or even a cup of coffee in case the answer is no- which will make me feel a ridiculous, irrational and disproportionate sense of rejection ( knowing I'm being stupid doesn't really help!)

Being lonely isn't of course the same as being alone. I enjoy being alone, probably because it's only for a few hours each week. I like to potter around my house and garden on my own, I like driving alone, sometimes walking alone and visiting the cinema alone. I'm happy to eat alone too. I like my own company. I don't get bored easily.

However I can't imagine living alone; I have never done it! I went from living with my parents to married life without a break - I'm a real dinosaur, a freak! I have a huge respect for people who live on their own and hope I could manage it too, if I had to.

Sometimes I've felt lonely whilst in a relationship. Often I've felt lonely because I have no blood relations who are close to me except my daughters. I have a wonderful family "by marriage" but on occasion I've been there amongst them all and felt like that lonely kid in the school playground again. Not their fault - mine.

Sometimes I feel lonely because the phone doesn't ring, no-one is texting me and my emails are all spam. Sometimes it's easy to assume I'm the only one feeling left out and out of step.

Look at Facebook and see how some people have 1000 or more friends! Only they aren't friends, are they? No-one could maintain THAT many friendships! I think it's a bit mad how some folk are desperate to appear popular and yet deep down I have this sneaking feeling that the more friends you have, the better person you are. Can you be a good person with NO friends? I struggle to maintain a sense of my own worth if I'm not getting some positive feedback from others.

Experts advise the lonely to do voluntary work to meet new people. Or go to classes or join clubs. It strikes me that that advice is maybe too trite, as if you're chronically lonely you'll either have already tried that and found it didn't work, or you're just too mired in loneliness to give it a go. Even if you do, you might not find making a few friends is the cure. I think loneliness is something inherant in all of us.

One of the articles quoted an nameless woman who said " I am so lonely. I have no friends, because nobody likes me, no matter what I do". That's one of the saddest and bleakest things I've ever read. I can't forget it.

I am lucky; my feelings of loneliness are transient and I can deal with them. Maybe one day medical science will find cures for cancer and for other killer diseases; maybe one day we'll find a cure for loneliness and the unknown woman above will realise that she is likeable and that life can be good. I hope she is ok tonight....

Monday, March 30, 2009

Two images from Sunday's trip to see the Egg Run go by at Thornton Hough. I've heard of being a chick magnet but this is the first time I've ever seen proof of it!

The picture below is of a gargoyle. Thornton Hough is a beautiful village full of interest, if you ever get a chance to visit it.

Sunday, March 29, 2009

I have had such a lovely Sunday! It was great to wake up and see the sun was shining although it wasn't exactly WARM! Phil and I went to watch Sian ride; I was thrilled to find she was going to be riding Bruno, my favourite horse. We took photos of Sian with Bruno and of Bruno on his own and Phil took a photo of me with Bruno...I loathe having my photo taken but to have a pic of me with Bruno....I'll do it!

Afterwards we went to Thornton Hough village to see the Egg Run come by; over 5000 bikers ride in convoy through the roads of Wirral for charity; I've never seen it before but it's a lot of fun. We took loads of photos, one or two of which might be ok.

In the afternoon Phil and I went to Ness Gardens for a wander and more photos....the weather was so gorgeous. When we got back I got supper in the oven and then took advantage of the lighter evenings by forking over my veggie patch and planting the rhubarb I bought at Ness. i also got some onion sets.

I'm trying not to think about work next week as we are possibly going to hear about our new staffing structure. I feel sick with nerves if I allow myself to think too much about it.

Wednesday, March 25, 2009

Looking up...
I've just spent the morning with my lovely friend J. Thanks for the coffee and the company; you are such a life-saver!!

What has happened to spring??? It's wet, windy and very cold today. Lucky I didn't do as I planned on Saturday and get out all my summer gear!

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

The chapel at Peckforton Castle

Thanks for the kind comments on work and my lovely Sian :) Today I tried to put worry aside and concentrated on the big "move round" of shelves etc we are doing in the library. It's a mammoth task but it's going well and feels as satisfying as spring cleaning!

The aboce photo was taken at the recent wedding shoot. I really hope the couple are happy. Phil was saying he can see an improvement in each wedding we do, but it's not what we think that matters! I was reasonably happy with my photos but i won't relax until i know the bride and groom are satisfied. I am so hoping that the next wedding we do enjoys decent weather as shooting two weddings on the trot in dark buildings and on chilly days has been hard going!!

Monday, March 23, 2009

Two photos of Sian, from a recent photo-shoot. Thanks for modelling for me, Sian!

It's been a strange few days. Work has not been going well; in fact, I can't remember a time when it's been worse...... oh, how I wish I could turn the clock back and do things differently!

Phil has been wonderful: helping me make sense of things and keep a sense of proportion when all I really wanted to do was take up permanent residence under the duvet.

I was very busy most of last week, finishing off editing wedding photos. The couple have them now, and I'm really hoping they are happy. We gave them a complimentary DVD with a selection of images set to music. I just found these nice DVD presentation cases online to put the disks in; looks so much nicer than a plain jewel case!

Mothers Day was lovely; the girls bought me some toiletries and a charm for my bracelet. But the most emotional moment for me was when Sian came to tell me poor Jade Goody had died. She hugged me and told me she didn't know what she'd do without me! Bless her. I always miss my mum so much on Mothers Day.

Poor Jade! I wasn't a fan but the thought of her dying so young, leaving those two beautiful little boys, is heart-breaking, and on Mothers Day too.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

This beautiful ceiling is in one of the buildings on Liverpool's waterfront. I really love the design and the colour. Lower down (not visible here) there is that wonderful quotation
"They that go down to the sea in ships, that do business in great waters:
These see the works of the Lord, and his wonders in the deep."
Psalms (ch. CVII, v. 23-24)
I always get very emotional when I read that as my dad used to quote that to me - he was a sailor and always said he felt closer to God on the bridge of his ship, battling great waves, than he ever did in a church!

Not much new to say today - I'm busy editing photos from the wedding and catching up on chores before RDA this afternoon. J & I had a lovely long walk this morning :)

I almost forgot...we have frogspawn! Must be SOME frogs still alive & kicking in our pond after all!

Monday, March 09, 2009

How life feels...
I took this photo in St George's Hall. for some reason, looking at it today, it feels like my life feels! Well, I'm not saying that my life feels exactly as if I'm walking down a corridor which dead-ends in a potted plant! But there is something about all those doors...what's behind them?? The splash of light half-way down the corridor is making me think that however confined the route there's always a glimmer of hope to be found....

I didn't blog last week, mainly as I was in an ever increasing state of pre-wedding nerves before Saturday's shoot. However, it is now behind me, the next one isn't until Easter Saturday, and I can relax a little for now, although I have around 1000 images to edit over the next two weeks.

I've also been in a bit of a weird state of mind. I can't explain or describe it as I can't really put my finger on it myself. I'm worried about so many things I'm almost driving myself demented!

Not that long ago I was thinking of renaming this blog "The former compulsive worrier" as I thought I'd almost cured myself; bit previous in thinking that I'm now realising!

I've been busy, too, the wedding took up all of Saturday, Sunday we took Sian riding and in the afternoon A and I went over to Leeds to see the couple who are marrying on Easter Saturday. They are a lovely couple, both gorgeous, fun and really pleasant and the wedding itself sounds great - I'm looking forward to it! Today I went to Crewe Hall with A as I'm doing a wedding there at the end of May. a really fabulous location; I got a crick in my neck staring at all the elaborate ceilings and the wealth of carving everywhere.

Sunday, March 01, 2009

Fairy cake..

After a very busy week, we are just chilling and doing domestic duties (like baking!) today.

Yesterday we made a quick visit to Peckforton Castle to check it out before the wedding we are doing next weekend. Phil had to make an urgent phone call to work and I wandered around outside. They have recently started to have birds of prey at the castle and presently the falconer came out and we got chatting. I met a few of the birds including Ollie the barn owl.

So I was VERY intrigued to see THIS story in the newspaper today! Please check it out to see what a starring role Ollie & Peckforton Castle are going to play in a famous Manchester United footballer Rio Ferdinand's wedding!!!