Muddy Waters, Revisited…

History does repeat itself, and to prove it, this is what happened early last year…

Getting an appointment with my doctor is becoming impossible these days, as he must be the most popular person in Petersfield, that’s all I can say. For several days I tried, finally giving up and making do with another doctor.

I wasn’t expecting much, to be honest, for me and doctors don’t normally get on. I swear they think I am a malingerer or something.

To be fair, she did check me over quite thoroughly I thought and did her best to assure me that there was nothing in my head that shouldn’t be there. The earache and four-week-old headache were dismissed, as it didn’t keep me awake at night so couldn’t possibly be that bad.  I don’t think she believed a word about my constant giddiness and nausea.  When I tried to describe the way my brain seems to ‘slide’ sometimes, I could tell she thought I was barking. A typical hypochondriac with possible dementia thrown in for good measure.

I left the surgery with a prescription for something to help with nausea, and when I got back home, I checked this drug out on the internet. Turned out to be a strong antipsychotic, not be given to the elderly or anyone with dubious brain activity. Taking it under these conditions, they said, “could result in death.”

Needless to say, that prescription found its way into the bin a bit sharpish. Whatever is wrong with my brain will just have to get on with it, or go away. I know which I would prefer!

In an endeavour to ease my symptoms, I decide to cut back my workload and time spent on the blessed computer. The optician had offered to darken my reading glasses to help with the glare, so I thought the future could be doable.

Once I took a good look at the situation, I realised I was on my own regarding my future.  Assuming of course, that I had one. It was up to me to find a system that would work, as the alternative didn’t bear thinking about. War had been declared between me and everything I wanted to do.

My eyes would grudgingly allow me a little time at the PC/laptop/kindle before throwing in the towel, so I had to come up with a decent routine.

The problem with my knees was more easily solved, a comfortable pair of kneepads and I was good to go. Something I was pleased about, for I tend to do a lot of work on the floor. (don’t ask!)

The constant tiredness, headaches, and arthritis would be harder to manage, but not impossible with the help of copious amounts of soluble paracetamol.

After a cold hard look at my workload, I realised I had far too many balls in the air, or irons in the fire, whichever you prefer. I had to get out the pruning shears and cut back some of the things that really weren’t getting us anywhere.

All that searching for the magic answer/angle had to stop too. My life had to be simplified if I wanted to come out of this mess in one happy piece!

A further post about how I chopped and pruned may well follow, once I get past the pain of deleting and unsubscribing all the dead or dying wood in my forest!

Fast forward 18 months and this all happened again this week.

I have often thought I was going around in circles, now I know I do…

Don’t Hurry…



Cold nights, lonely hearts

Lay on pavements forgotten

Walked by, busy minds too hurried to see

Young and old, they sleep alone

Under paper, cardboard, barely visible

To those who pass by

A warm cup of tea, coffee

Would take a moment to buy

A sandwich to fill an empty space

See the look of sorrow

Change to one of gratitude

To know that someone noticed

Is more than thankyou can say

Please don’t hurry by, as if blinded by the light

Underneath those rags, a brother,

A son, a father, a daughter lies…


Stormy Weather…



According to our weather people yesterday morning, the UK will be experiencing a taste of what the Americans have to put up with. We tend to take these alarmist weather reports with a pinch of salt, but seeing as how the wind had already knocked my neighbour’s bin over, there might be something to it this time.

Just before lunch, the wind increased. The trees at the back of the house complained as the gusts became more violent.

I watched, mesmerised, as the huge branches bent almost double, completely at the mercy of the elements.

I expected at least one of them to break, but somehow they didn’t. I was reminded of that old maxim about the necessity of learning how to bend in order to stop from breaking.

That was when the rain joined in, adding a torrential downpour to the churning scene outside my window.

It was a scene from a horror movie, all that was missing were the ominous rumbles of thunder and theatrical flashes of lightning.

I stood and watched it all from the safety of my office. Work was abandoned as I watched Nature at her best. (Or worst) I almost wanted to run outside and be a part of it all, but common sense prevailed.

I must be getting old.

The rain lashed at the glass, just inches from my face. The sudden force of it taking me by surprise. The millions of water droplets magnified and distorted my vision and for a moment, I was transported to the middle of a waterfall, or a storm tossed boat on a stormy night. In my imagination I seemed to be soaking wet and cold, my teeth wanted to rattle as the shivers began. I could smell the water on my skin and clothes. I knew I should step away from the window and come back to my world, but my feet would not obey me. They too were transfixed by the weather and felt cold and wet.

I tried to see through the rain spattered window, hoping to see the reality of my back garden, but it wasn’t there. I was somewhere else.

Nothing looked familiar.

I saw a ship, struggling to stay afloat in the turbulent water. Huge foam tipped waves slowly lifted above the ship, threatening to crush it. Then, with a roar, the water fell and I lost sight of the ship. Had it been lost, sacrificed to the God of the sea?

Sorrow gripped my heart and my eyes desperately sought to find the craft, but all I could see were the waves, incredibly beautiful waves, soaring, then crashing down, roaring with the power of it all…

Then the phone rang and I was back in my office. Was it my imagination, but was the rain easing off? Had the wind run out of steam?

Or had I simply stopped seeing the destructive force right outside my window?

A quick check revealed that the rain had stopped. The trees had quieted down too, meaning the wind had blown away to pastures new.


As I watched, the sky began to clear. The dark clouds slunk away like a bad dream, revealing the fading tail end of a rainbow. I was disappointed to have missed it and turned away from the window.

But something made me take another look.

High above me was another rainbow. This one stronger and brighter than the one I missed just minutes before.


They say the rainbow is God’s promise to never to send us the biblical floods that Noah had to cope with.

I smiled at that thought, for it would seem in certain areas of the world, He comes perilously close to breaking this promise…

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#Jaye’s Journal: November



So many empty promises!

I have posted about e-mails before. About how rewarding, interesting and useful they are. However, just lately, something has been happening to them.

Something bad.

Something that is ruining not only my enjoyment but also possibly the future of communication, as we know it too. Most days I find informative articles and valuable information, all shared by fellow bloggers. Sometimes we meet new people who have just begun to blog, wanting to join our list of subscribers. Then there are all the people we discover who we want to follow. It is a huge worldwide social club, one that has taught me almost everything I know about blogging and social networking. Some of the best hours in my day are spent reading e-mails.

That is until this new menace started appearing. Every single one of them promising a gift, a prize or some other amazing offer. All the ones from the companies you don’t have dealings with are bad enough, but at least you know for sure you haven’t qualified for any of their offers. But what about the ones from the companies you do use?

It can be quite disconcerting to read that your favourite store has singled you out (as a valued customer) for a huge discount or some other prize. Hard not to click on that one!

They are all bogus claims, trying to get you to click to register your claim, and once you do, you open the door for any malware they have at their disposal. I can no longer tell the real from the bogus, so I ignore them all. And every day there seems to be more and more.

I often wonder how many people are fooled and taken in by these claims, only to have their systems corrupted or worse.

Hopefully, this menace will die a natural death, but I know what will happen. These people will come up with yet more ways to wreak havoc, as it’s what they do. I just wish they would leave my e-mails alone!

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Why does history repeat itself?

(Reblogged from 2014)



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It was November, several years ago and the weather was pleasantly warm. We were walking around Southampton enjoying the late sunshine.

Our mood was reasonably high, having just had a ‘meet and greet’ with a publisher who was interested in Anita’s books. We had lunch in the open air and were trying to remember which car park we had used, several hours before.

My feet were killing me, wearing new shoes on such a day was a crazy idea, but I was grinning and bearing the pain like a trooper. We walked past an ancient looking wall that was faced with what looked like slices of flint, and I was rooting around in my bag for my camera.

I don’t really know what happened next, whether my foot slipped or I stumbled, but before I knew what was happening, I was flying through the air and landed on the ground. The pain hit me like a sledgehammer, as my hands, face, and knee took the full force of my considerable weight, grinding them into the rough surface of the walkway.

For several minutes I couldn’t move. The pain was excruciating and there was a distinct possibility that I might faint, as my head was swimming as Anita and her son rushed to help me. As I lay there in an inelegant heap, trying to pull myself together, I noticed my hands. There was some blood, but no apparent reason for it, (I found out later that it came from my face) my hands were studded with gravel and were screaming with the pain. As I stared at them, I was transported back to a time when this had happened before, sixty years ago.

I was nine or ten, and it was winter. The school playground was icy, with piles of dirty snow shovelled here and there. It was playtime and I was under the shelter that ran along the side wall, swinging on the iron bars. It was a game we played, linking our arms around the bars and lifting our feet off the ground. Like today, what happened next was fast and I hit the icy ground with my face and hands.

The school nurse took one look at my face, bloody and pitted with gravel and promptly sent me home to my mother. I remember the look on her face as she studied mine, the way she cried as she tried to remove the gravel as gently as she could. It wasn’t easy and it hurt a lot, but she kept at it until it was done.

I had looked at my hands that day, as I did now, wondering why fate had decided to repeat itself, today of all days.

Trust me to spoil what was a momentous occasion, a day that promised to be the start of something great…

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