So following on from my initial ‘random word play’ short writing, tonight I’m looking at the word ‘nothing’. This is the word my eyes landed on as I randomly opened the dictionary on my desk.
Pronoun: 1. not anything. 2. something that is not important or interesting. 3. nought!
The word ‘nothing’ comes from the Old English word naping and nan (meaning none/ not one) nap and ‘thing’= meaning nothing, came into the English language around the 16th century . By 1961 it became used as an adjective according to Etymology online dictionary
What do you think of when you think of ‘nothing’?
By this I mean the word, not when you literally try to think of ‘nothing at all’. To me the word nothing feels like a very empty word to me. I don’t know if this is because I know full well the meaning of the word, but I really mean this. As as I sat and contemplated the word the first thing that came to mind was literally ’empty’. Then I started to think, when was the last time I felt nothing–empty in other words?
I’d probably say, not to long ago, around 2021 when I learned that my mum was ill and had been for sometime, but she hadn’t said anything. I really didn’t know what to think, feel, or even say. Part of me felt angry at first and couldn’t understand why this was happening. Then I realised that there literally ( at that point in time) was ‘nothing’ that I could have done to make things better for anyone, or change anything. All I could do was along with my sisters help prepare mum for her journey out of this world, and at the same time prepare myself for that loss. The thing is I could not do either very well, I kept trying to search for the meaning of things… of life! This was after the feeling of ‘nothing’ and empty started to progress and mould itself into a new emotion.
When I think about other times in life that I have felt a sense of ‘nothing’, what usually has followed this is a period of stillness. I am by nature a very reflective person, while I may be still in my actions, contact with others, or even my progress with writing my mind never seems to stop! I find that when I am moving through the state of nothing-ness (outside of my experience with my mum) I literally withdraw but overthink so much.
Is Becoming Still a Bad or Good Thing?
When I reflected on this, I realised and felt that generally speaking ( there I go again using that same word and phase from last week!) No, becoming still is not a bad thing. There was a point in my life when I completely changed my life and direction, but while I made all those changes inside of me I was very still. I sat back and really thought about what I wanted out of life, where I was and was not going, and defining what I saw for myself and future. It was wonderful, it lasted a long-ass time too! I was still for a while and that stillness did wonders!
How Does One Become Still?
I think that before you decide how, why is the question? One thing I have learned is the beauty of thinking about what’s needed and why before I make a full decision. I have also learned to centre myself around ‘what’s needed’ as much as possible these days also. Become clear on why you may need to take a pause and experience the beauty of ‘nothing’ and then, withdraw yourself from any form of attachment to situations, people, places, or things you need to become still from. This will look different for everyone, whatever withdrawal looks like to you–do it. It could be your time, energy, money, resources, or even just the blessing of having your support and presence offered to others. Once you withdraw, think, reflect, and make lists of things about what you think your next move should be. Weigh up the pros and cons of each item and select the best course of action for you next, after you leave your period of ‘still’. I find that being still often involves going deep inside one’s self too, it’s a path of discovery even if you are not actually taking and kind of action towards or from anything, you’re simply exploring from a still place.
Nothing, Not Important, Uninteresting
Now, this is what the English dictionary would have us believe the definition of ‘nothing’ means. What is not important, and should be given the energy of ‘nothing’ in life generally I think is:
Making ‘wars’ and conflict for no reason other than selfish gain.
The past, because it’s the past and should not really shape the future or continue into the future if the past has been a negative experience. Other than for lessons to be learned, I see no importance of negative past experiences to be held on to.
Worrying about things. It brings stress, impacts on health, and keeps you stuck in a place where you can’t see the woods from the trees! You can’t think clearly.
When I think of the dictionary definition of this word, it leads me to think of the word, action, and feeling of ‘release.’ This is due to the above three points I see as nothing, not important, and uninteresting.
If anything, what would you release right now? Or what do you realise after reflection really needs to be released? So that you can feel ‘nothing’ and move into a state of ‘becoming still’ to figure out where you’re going next?
In conclusion, I feel after writing this nothing, stillness, and release can all (potentially) bring one thing; clarity!
I smiled as I read this morning’s prompt on my feed. Well, *pauses makes a face and pouts* to be honest with you, if I can’t include people which means my son, partner, sister, and dear friends are excluded and this is based on actual ‘things’ … lemme think, okay got it!
I use it daily, and it has may most needed apps on Kindle ( for all my books I have in e-book version), game apps, ( I love to play Scrabble, Rummy, and Spades online), also applications for things like astrology, Netflix ( I recently started watching the series Outlander I’m addicted to it!), and my tablet has general nick-naks I use often. It also allows to me access to the Worldwide Web, YouTube, and the news applications. I actually prefer my tablet over my laptop, I just wish that it was more suitable to write on rather than be social. I guess I associate my laptop with work, and my tablet with downtime and fun. It was a hard decision between my phone or tablet, I went with tablet as I can still communicate with others using WhatsApp on the tablet, or even Skype if I had to.
That’s right I can’t live without my ‘boom, boom box’ it’s not old school like this one, even though I do like them. A few years back maybe around 2020 I bought an Internet radio, I have discovered some wonderful radio stations all over the world. In my house, the radio is NEVER off it is always on on a low volume in either the bedroom, or the office I write in. I also sleep with the radio on downlow, I find it much preferable to have this background noise while going to sleep.
I like all kinds of music, and I mean all from chill-hop, or lounge music you’d hear at Starbucks, jazz, soul, rock, pop, there really is not a style I don’t like. Hmm, may be apart from probably very, very heavy metal or trance/dance music they are the only two I can’t and don’t listen to. I can always appreciate everything else in between.
I not only sleep to music, I write to music, read to music, cook to music, tidy up the house to music, drive to music, I literally do everything … with music.
Some of my favourite stations to listen to are:
Smooth FM ( London). I just love the variety of music from all decades, and it’s very relaxing to sleep to as the night shift DJs cater to the time of the evening/night it is.
Cherie FM ( France) to me this is like the equivalent of London’s Smooth FM. The difference is that in France they play one English song and then a French song. You get the best of both languages. Also, the music is much more random and varied than Smooth FM you will hear Rihanna, then you will hear something in a totally different genre I love it.
FIP Radio ( France) here they play everything from rap/hip-hop, jazz, classical piano, pop, reggae all one after the other! I love this station it is ‘random’, and so eclectic in terms of the music they play. They also don’t play songs that are played on mainstream radio I noticed, it’s always smaller independent artists that are hardly known.
Amazing Chill-Hop Radio ( New York). As it says on the tin, here it’s all instrumental ‘chilled’ music that ranges from jazz, hip-hop, soul, funk, beats I love it!
Smooth Jazz.com ( Florida) this station plays some of the smoothest, sleekest, funkiest, bestest ( if that’s a word) jazz my ears have ever heard, I love it.
90s RnB and Old School ( Germany) they play very early old school RnB, from artists that if you’re probably around thirty-five and over you will remember from your twenties, that are not around today. Wonderful station for a trip down memory lane.
LBC ( London) this is a talk show station, which gives commentary on current affairs.
BBC World News ( UK) this station broadcasts everything from documentaries, news bulletins, and author interviews for the BBC book club the first Sunday of each month. I particularly love to listen to the book club author interviews, I have picked up many new books from these interviews, I tend to buy them if I liked the author’s interview and how the book sounded. I also like to listen to the questions that readers can pose. I keep saying to myself I need to actively read along with the club, so that I can pose questions to the authors about the characters and plot myself. I also really, really, really enjoy the documentaries they broadcast from around the world, this is a station for the world, it’s very international with news and commentary.
There are many other stations, lots of them are independent ones from all corners of the world that I have discovered. I think that Internet radio really is the way forward if you are a music lover, if you don’t have one invest! They are pretty cheap too, I got mine on Amazon.
So, three weeks ago I got a dishwasher for the first time in my life! I am telling you I can’t believe I got to the ripe ol’ age of forty and never used one. *Gasps* my mum never had one, I never grew up with one, but I think that had there be space in Mum’s kitchen in my childhood home ( that she lived in for fifty years), I bet Mum would have had one!
What made me get one? Well, we now have space at home in the kitchen for one and after speaking to others who do have them, I was sold on the idea! Ours is a really pretty black one it is gorgeous. It’s been three weeks of saving my nails from chipping, three weeks of having more time in the evening to spend with my family as the dishes are taken care of, and the big surprise? I have a saucepan that is older than my son, he’s nine, this saucepan must be anywhere from fourteen to sixteen years old. It’s part of a vegetable steamer set so I can cook rice at the bottom, and put the veggies to steam on the top. I got it in Lidl the store I think. So anyway, this pan is always ‘clean’ from handwashing it of course, but with one spin in the dishwasher it was shiny, looked brand new, and as if I had just taken the stainless steel item out of the packet! It had lost it’s luster and silver shine ( understandably look how old it is), now it looks like when I first got it, I was amazed. So yeah, now I have experienced family life with a dishwasher, I can’t live without mine it was so worth the money given the time it saves, and how well it cleans.
What about you, do you have a dishwasher? Is it just for ‘lazy’ people?
What three things can’t you live with out? Let me know.
You know what sparked the inspiration for this short piece of writing? My partner! I laugh as I write this as (at the time of me writing this) last week, I turned the big 40. This week while speaking to him on WhatsApp I told him, ‘I’ve got a pain in my knee.’ His dry, sarcastic, and witty response ( as usual which always makes me laugh) was that ‘already the joys of the 40’s is starting for you LOL.’ He too turned 40 last October.
I contemplated what he said to me, I never even linked my knee pain to my new turn of a decade. In fact, I linked it to an old injury I had as a young teen that to this day still causes my knee to act up, but not in the way it has been this week!
In other conversations in the lead up to my 40th birthday, we spoke about ageing, I said to him that, ‘ it’s different for men a few grey whiskers in your beard and a few in your hair are sexy! Men get more handsome with age.’ He kind of laughed and didn’t validate what I said in anyway in his own personal beliefs. I can only assume that for him personally he still sees beauty in women as they age, here’s hoping anyway! I reflected on this too, and started to think about what it is that I have learned about life at this milestone age?
My twenties were full of fun, travelling, working on what was then my chosen career and life path, and gaining stability. This was until around my mid-twenties, my late twenties flipped 360 degrees when I decided on a new path, I also had my first real lesson learning when it comes to relationships and love which set me up for later experiences, I also became a very proud mother just as I entered my thirties.
In contrast to my twenties my thirties were filled with learning who I am, what I want, don’t want, I’d say my biggest growth in life and as a woman, human, mother, sister, daughter, cousin, aunty, friend, partner, and generally as a soul came in my thirties. That ‘growing pains’ stage that often is linked to the late teens– to mid- twenties for me came in my thirties, in particular my late thirties , that’s very bizarre. In my twenties I thought I had it all figured out! I knew who I was, what I wanted, what was important to me in life… I was dead-ass wrong! In some respects about that. I think the turning point came when I had my son at thirty. Motherhood really gave me a different perspective of life, so did travel outside of the UK with a young child, learning about different cultures, and really being ‘open’ to all life has to offer. So, I guess at this milestone of forty I’ve learned these things:
When It Comes to Life’s Direction:
You know, I think I can confidently say that it’s really okay if you have a ‘plan’ or even ‘plans’ and they don’t go to plan at all. By this I mean you think, feel, desire, and work towards something and it just blows up in your face. You may even feel like some kind of failure due to the outcome. That is until you really look deeply at why things happened. This can be said for relationships too. If things don’t pan out how you envision, try to understand why, what part you played, how you can ensure it doesn’t happen again and let that shit go, move on.
Another thing about plans we may make is that sometimes there is a bigger plan for you, and your plan was just a tiny aspect of it to place you where you are meant to be. Keep that in mind too. In no way am I saying that you should just allow your plans to fail, but I am saying that if you truly know you had everyone’s best interest at heart, applied yourself, worked hard, really planned to make a success of whatever it is that did not pan out ( job, goal, relationship whatever) then you just have to walk away knowing that you did your best, and there is something better for you. A bigger ‘plan’ that you need to journey to.
Be Selective With Friends, Associates, and Your ‘Tribe’ of People!
This is something that I ‘saw’ with others a lot in my twenties, and I did also experience myself. However, as I look back now at forty and reflect I only cottoned onto this life hack later, in my late twenties-early thirties. In life you will come across people who claim to be friends, or even want to be friends with you and it is not always for a reason you would imagine. As in, it’s not about the innocence and beauty of friendship and connection itself, there is a hidden motive, agenda, or something they want, need, desire, or sadly are jealous of about you! Yes, jealous, some souls might be attracted to you and spark up a friendship with this mindset.
Over the years I’ve become more aligned with the belief that people have an ‘energy’ about them. Myself included. The more I observe people, interact with people of different cultures, religions, backgrounds, belief systems, and generally go about my daily business I pick up on this about people. This ‘energy’ is what will introduce you to the world before you’ve even opened your mouth, if you’re authentic. In some cases, people will try to portray an energy that is not what it appears. Ever heard the saying. ‘All that glitters is not gold’, that’s what I mean when your mum or elderly relative told you that.
Without sounding like a pessimistic soul, or putting a real downer on people and making connections, I do want to say that I have learned that you need to be mindful of who you allow into your private life, space, energy, and claim as a friend. I have a natural ENFJA personality type based on the sixteen personality types; it is very accurate for me! So naturally I am more extroverted, have no problem speaking with people, meeting new people, and being in social situations which is often why I find it very easy to make friends in person and via social media, but I am genuine and authentic with who and what I am… not everyone out there is.
Whether you are introverted or extroverted like me and have an ease with people, protect your energy. Get to know people well enough before you really trust them. It could also be that I am an Aquarius and I am true to my star sign’s trait of being a people person but a ‘popular loner’ meaning, people will get all of the real me, but I don’t need to be close and tight with everyone at first I do believe in the power of building connections. That is unless you meet someone and you jus know they are part of your ‘tribe’. This happens when you are able to pick up on the energy of people I spoke about, and spot the sense from the nonsense, or the smoke and mirrors that people can sometimes give you.
In my days at university, I met a wonderful girl who over ten years later, we are still in contact and we don’t even live in the same country any more. The day we met we clicked, and stuck together as students, job searching, having families, etc and it’s because she is very authentic and a genuine friend of mine. Every time we talk on the camera which may not be often we spend hours!! There’s a lot of love between us. My point here with this learning is that you must be selective, go into situations with others with your eyes wide open, not a barrier up on your personality or who you are, or your ‘realness’ just your eyes open! When you feel a genuine connection with another person’s soul, guard it, nurture it, keep it, honour it, be a good friend, and be there for each other even if you are in different time zones and locations.
Cut People Off (Energetically) Who Don’t Serve You And/Or Disrespect you.
Listen, I am as bold as brass when it comes to deciding that I need to cut ties with a situation, person, place, or thing that is negatively impacting my health, wealth, mental state, and energy. I want everyone to do this. I have learned that too often we ( as in you and I) can make excuses for people’s narcissistic ways, negative behaviour, abuse, and general disrespect when you yourself may have done none of these things.
No, it needs to stop now. Learning to be strong enough to say, ‘enough is enough’ is a game changer. You don’t have to be nasty, rude, or disrespectful . Just energetically remove people from your space and life. This can look and feel different for everyone, but for me it’s a simple block, delete, and no contact. Sometimes there’s not even an explanation. In most cases where I have had to energetically distance myself from a person , situation, place, or thing who is disrespectful to me etc I have tried, tried, and tried, to articulate ‘what’s up’ and they have not listened. Later in life I slowly learned that in order to protect my peace in life, it’s best to not ignore red-flags and cut off what does not serve who you are, are what you wish, especially if you have done nothing to deserve what you are experiencing. Let no person, situation, place, or thing be immune to this energy block from you. I mean no one! Family too! Take this life hack and apply it as needed! Just don’t allow anyone to mistreat you purposefully and expect that you’ll be okay with it.
Ideal Romantic Partners Are Based on Characteristics, First.
What I have learned is that often times you ( as in you and I) can focus on the wrong things, always date a person’s character first focus on this a lot as well as the physical attributes and attraction. You may even find that the person you ‘click with’ is someone so unassuming, and maybe not who you would have imagined! And when this happens it can be such a wonderful experience, as you have been matched based on:
Real connection that can develop into love.
A person’s character and energy should be the things you measure and get to know. Even if this person is of a different race, background, part of the world, etc to you if their character and energy matches yours , makes you feel love, protected, safe, provided for, they are stable mentally, emotionally, financially, and spiritually, and is a good father or mother figure etc this is who you should be dating and commit to. Not the man or woman who society says you should date, or the man or woman that only has physical attributes to offer you that will disappear as they age anyway, not the man or woman that you have any major doubts or red-flags with. Do not fall for the ‘okie doke’ people can give you and date their character, who a person shows you who they are believe them. If they lie, cheat, steal, abuse, but ‘ make you laugh and are attractive’ the whole person needs to be thrown away as they have shown you who they are, regardless of if they ‘make you laugh and are good looking.’ This is just an example but you get my point, what good is a person to date and commit to if their character and energy is off as a person? No good, none at all!
I’ve also learned to be very open when it comes to dating, have your ideal list of who you are attracted to yes, but I’m talking directly to women here: don’t cut yourself off from men outside of your ‘box’ age, race, height, etc as you may find a man outside it that completely takes over it! … In a good and positive way!
Understand Your Love Language, Now!
I smile as I write this, one of the best books I have ever read in the non-fiction genre is Five Love Languages: Secret To Love That Lasts by Gary Chapmen . This book will help you understand not only how you wish to be loved and can select a partner who ‘speaks your love language,’ it will also help you understand how your partner or future partner wishes to be loved. If you understand your own love language you are more likely to avoid those who don’t understand it, and save heart ache and time wasting. If you understand another person’s love language you are more likely to be able to love them well. The result of understanding love languages and dating a person who speaks yours, and you speak theirs ( naturally without force or difficulty) can, will, and does lead to long lasting partnerships. The research the professor did for the book clearly highlights how and why understanding love languages is a key starting point, as well as dating a person’s character.
I wish I had learned about this book in my twenties! I didn’t read it until I was around maybe thirty-four, now at forty I can honestly say I recommend it to everyone!
Have A Financial Plan, Always
One thing I have learned is when it comes to money, always think of tomorrow, and the day after, not just today. It’s as simple as that. Strive to have good financial planning, live within your means or budget, don’t try to impress others, and place your investment into things that ‘appreciate’ with value not ‘depreciate’ as much as you can.
When it comes to finances and relationships, always date someone who has a similar financial outlook on life as you! If not you’ll have a very hard time. One of the biggest causes of relationship strain and break up is: financial management, or lack of it.
Remember Who You Are And Be Who You Are
It sounds so cliché but it’s true, I’ve not heard a truer word yet. In my experience of life so far at forty, I can honestly look back and say there were times I ‘thought’ I was myself, but it was more like what was expected of me, or I misunderstood what and who it is I really am, until life experiences happened and shaped me into who and what I really am. Stand strong in your own authentic self, whoever you are, don’t hide it.
Find out who you are, find your purpose, spend time working on and with yourself, be selfish and do that work. I promise you if you can fully work out who you are, why you are here, what you want, and you live each day as who you really are ( in a positive way), you will attract better people, places, situations, things, and experiences your way as they are fully aligned with you! The bullshit will filter itself out.
Always in every and any given situation know who you are, be who you are, and don’t allow anyone or anything to change who you are if you are happy with who you are. Love yourself in such a way other people can tell you love yourself!
Be Kind, Be Considerate, Be Open Minded, Understand the World Around You
It’s one thing to understand the self, but if you have the ability to understand the world around you and those that grace it you’re onto something great. People will have different views and opinions to you, and this is perfectly fine. Listen to them, try to understand them, and always be able to agree to disagree. When President Trump was in power I learned this concept a lot! I also learned this concept when there were a significant number of black people who lost their lives in the USA shortly after George Floyd’s death. Not everyone around me felt how I felt, and I am a very vocal person. The learning I had is to understand my opposition even if I didn’t agree with it.
Outside of this context and political events, generally speaking understand what is happening around you, and don’t take everything at face value. Form your own viewpoint but understand it!
Being a kind, considerate, and open minded person sounds great! But it also makes a person rounded in their energy and personality. Not only that being kind allows you to be authentic too and read other people’s responses to your kindness and energy, and you can filter out who and what is not needed.
The world is a big place, don’t ever place yourself in a box, get out there, travel, experience, see, do, like, dislike, and experience all life has to offer for you. Even when times are hard and you encounter a negative experience, learn from it. Take new challenges and experiences that come your way that seem safe to do, sometimes a new experience or direction can open up something you never imagined to be possible. Don’t be fearful too much, a natural cautiousness is needed in life, but a fear that holds you back is a hindrance. Use fear as a motivator if you can, if there is something you wish to do or achieve and have a natural fear, take small steps towards it, and where possible minimise the fear and risks, move forward with confidence.
Connect With Nature
Just get out there! Open spaces, woods, forests, rivers, the sea, ocean, lakes, parks, beaches, anywhere that is not a concreate jungle go and spend time there. Just walk, think, observe, plan, express gratitude, journal write, exercise, meditate whatever! Just go! And take your kids if you have them too.
I was born in London so I’m a ‘big city girl’ naturally, and always will love the city, and the vibe of being from a place like London that can be found in many other cities around the world too. It was not until I had the experience of living outside of a city that I appreciated nature, I have moved back to the city now, but I do have lovely outside spaces to escape to often with lakes, woodland, parks etc. Connect with nature, you will never regret it! Make it a life habit.
As a crime fiction writer, when the news surfaced that a lady had disappeared in late January, from a quiet and close-knit town in the United Kingdom, after a last sighting by a river not only did my heart go out to her family, I was intrigued. Things that I often imagine and write about do happen in real life, sadly.
I followed the case naturally out of concern, fear, interest, and as I was a bit confused as to why the police ruled out any foul play so soon. Their theory was almost straight away that she had entered the water, somehow.
Sure, the facts are that her phone was found logged into a work call still after the conference with her co-workers ended, her dog and its harness were left on the bench where she was last seen along with her phone, and then there was the crucial ten minutes between sightings of her that could not be accounted for. Personally speaking, I found the dismissal and assumption made with no body a bit much, too soon. How could they assume Nicola went into the water with no body or other evidence? This really bugged me, and I felt a little disappointment at the police’s view point. I supported her family in their public statements that they are ‘not giving up hope’ without any evidence to suggest that they should.
Up until yesterday ( at the time of me writing this around the 20th of February 2023), Nicola Bulley had been missing for twenty-four days. During this time the police released information that she was a ‘high risk’ case due to ‘ significant troubles with alcohol brought on by her menopause experience.’ From what I had understood, the police in her local town had had contact with Nicola regarding her struggles. Now if your eyebrows shot up after reading the last sentence, you’re not alone. When I heard this on the local news, I immediately thought to myself, ‘they’ve gone way too far with that info.’ Why would the police release such personal information? Why would they do this given the fact that they have already assumed she entered the water, yet had no body to prove this? I pondered this and my theory at the time was that:
They wanted to highlight her ‘character’ and ‘troubles’ and make their theory that she entered the water more plausible.
To sway public opinion on the case.
To show that the possibility that she did enter the water ( of her own accord) more believable.
Regardless of why they did it, it sparked outrage even with the government and from what I last heard they are investigating how the information was leaked, from within their own sources. But how is not the question, why is not even the question, for me it’s simply: did they go too far? This is not a critique of the police it’s just my own opinion. It made no sense to me why they would do that outside of the reasons I came up with above, and I also felt as a woman myself that this kind of information is not something that really needs to be broadcasted to the world. However, was this really needed? Should they even have released this information on her? I guess it will depend on who you are, or what gender you are with the answers.
Sadly, they did find Nicola Bulley in the river, and it was not from their own efforts. As often fictionalised in books ( my own too!) a passer-by found her body and alerted the police. The family’s full statement on how they feel about the release of personal information:
“And it saddens us to think that one day we will have to explain to them that the press and members of the public accused their dad of wrongdoing, misquoted and vilified friends and family. This is absolutely appalling, they have to be held accountable, this cannot happen to another family.”
The family singled out ITV and Sky News for making contact with them directly on Sunday night after police confirmed a body had been found, adding they had asked for privacy.
“They again have taken it upon themselves to run stories about us to sell papers and increase their own profits,” the statement said. “It is shameful they have acted in this way. Leave us alone now.
“Do the press and other media channels and so-called professionals not know when to stop? These are our lives and our children’s lives.”
It appears to me from hearing it live on the news last night, then reading it again online that they too feel that the media and police went a bit too far. I only hope that now that she has been found, the social media amateur sleuths, newspapers, and whoever else seemed to upset the family can allow them to have their peace, and Nicola to rest as they wish. In my view, yes, the police did go a bit too far releasing personal information on a woman’s experience with her menopause. They could have said she ‘had significant troubles with alcohol’ and left it at that if they really, really, had to release something… couldn’t they have?
At around 9.00a.m this morning my eyes shot open. For me this was strange, I couldn’t believe the time. I went to bed at about 4.00a.m, I was up reading. I didn’t feel tired and in some ways I was happy to be up, and not laze in bed until gone 11.00 am! I got up and switched the heating on as we’ve had some very chilly mornings, then crept back into bed. I stayed put, listened to the soft music, looked up at the ceiling, and thought about the fact that it’s the 31st December 2020.
For many, myself included this is normally a date to celebrate, party, have a few drinks, and really have a good ol’ time! This year it’s not that I don’t feel like doing this (can’t anyway with the pandemic and restrictions on social contact), it just feels like a very different ‘vibe’ for me as we end this year.
I contemplated this and wondered why this is? Obviously, the pandemic yes. But, there was more to it. I looked up at my ceiling and tried to find the words to describe 2020 in a nutshell, from a personal first person point of view for myself. ‘Introspection’ and ‘identity’ are the two words that came to me. But what exactly is it about these words that mean so much to me? Why do I sum up 2020 as my personal year of introspection and identity? I asked myself.
Sounds about right to me, from the second quarter of this year, I’ve done nothing but observe my own conscious thoughts and feelings. Via journal writing each day, I’ve filled up a good few since the start of the Covid-19 pandemic. Not only that, I have been very observant of the world around me and what’s happening. You recall what’s happened this year, most of it is probably etched into your mind just like it is mine. It’s been a year of really learning about each other, how others think, feel, see others, their points of views. I found that there were a good few I disagreed with! And some I did.
Introspection: Black Lives Matter Movementand Social Justice Around The World
In terms of myself, I don’t want to say ‘I’ve learned’ more about me, as I feel I know myself well, but I have rediscovered me I guess. And got to know myself on a deeper level, thinking about things from different points of views or even deeper than I have done in the past. With regard to the world at large, I think the #BlackLivesMatter movement really struck me, and made me sit up and take note of what’s happening. I became more ‘alert’ to how minority races were treated in general. Being from London, I must say while racism is everywhere London is a cultural melting pot I am so proud of. You’ll see people from all over, being racist (personally) is something I can’t do. Because I have been brought up in a city that embraces one and all! Not only that, it’s just not me as a person, I can’t look at the colour of some one’s skin and pass judgement before I know them. Yes systematic racism with the police, and other organisations is there in London and the whole of the UK. I know this, and see it . However I never have really outright experienced it myself, in London or where I live now but I am fully aware of it and recognise it.
The #BlackLivesMatter movement caused me to really grab hold of my identity as a woman of colour, my black -British status, as well as African ancestors, and family descent from the Caribbean and be proud of it. I’m the daughter of immigrants, I am proud of my culture and what it has to offer. Don’t get me wrong, I’ve always loved it but I became more proud. I also became much more aware that in society and some parts of the world there is a long way to go, if a man can be treated some kind of way in the street, (still in 2020) because of who he is skin deep. And while it has happened long before the murder of George Floyd I am so glad that finally the world has sat up, and now takes police brutality and the general equality, diversity, and, right to be free of pre-judgement seriously!
The conversation that has been happening world wide over race, equality, and police brutality caused a lot of introspection for me personally. As well as anger! I’m black female, I have a black son, what kind of world is he growing up in, what can I do to help change it for the better for him and every little boy that looks like him? These were and still are my thoughts all 2020. This is the kind of introspection I’ve had all year, since the death of George Floyd and all those before him, and that followed him. I looked at my son different, I didn’t see the beautiful and handsome seven year old he is. I saw a public enemy number one, and it scared me. He is a tall boy, and will be very physically powerful when he is a teen, and a full grown man. I can see it, and his father is 6’3 he takes after him. It made me worried for a moment for his future, and how people will see my son because of his skin tone, build, and pre-judgement on ‘who he is’. It also made me want to ensure that he grows up being aware that he is a man of colour, know his history as a man of colour, and should be proud of his pigmentation and not let it hold him back.
I have concluded from George’s, and every other name that will be remembered following his, that died at the hands of police brutality ( there were a few more!), because of what appeared to be because of who they are skin deep, that apart from supporting the cause, writing about social justice as a writer for Aspiring Author’s Magazine LLC, I need to also do what I can in the world of fiction. Positive writing, change the perception of people of colour, change the view that in literature that writers of colour can only offer one perspective of gangs, drugs, thugs, street life etc.
I quickly started to keep tabs on the #BlackLivesMater movement across the world too. It also made me take note of social justice in general, not just race but sex, gender, sexual orientation. Any kind of ‘movement’ for an oppressed demographic of people I followed. Even the students in Thailand who fought for their rights, those in Belarus who protested against their president, the women in Argentina who fought for abortion rights. I lapped up the view point of those seeking justice across the world. It opened my eyes. The BBC Word Wide News Service became my daily medicine to listen in to what was happening with society across the world. I love that station!
Introspection: Social Distances
The pandemic crossed my mind as I was in bed, still looking up at the ceiling. Man, fuck! That’s all I can say when I think about this virus. To think that we end the year with a new ‘variant’ of Covid-19, it is just mind blowing! I took the positives from the pandemic. While it has been very hard at times to be ‘locked down’ at home, I do feel that it has been very necessary and myself and family took it seriously, and even more so now!
‘Home is where the heart is’ they say, so with this in mind I’ve personally done a lot to keep the home in good order, cleared out clutter, made it nice and homely. Being at home did not really impact me too much as I work from home, but staying home is very different to just working. I used this time to really connect with writing, I have become a prolific writer! Journal writing, and novel writing, from fiction to non-fiction. While some may have found it hard to write, I found that it has been my ‘escape’ from the TV, news, and reports on the pandemic. Don’t get me wrong I have been glued to the media and news! But writing really helped me to ‘stay sane.’ The fact that I can’t see friends, family, or go out as freely as I once did caused me to sit and write!
Reading has also become a safe haven of mine, I read a lot anyway before all this madness. The pandemic has just heightened this. While I watch the news a lot I don’t watch TV. I have no favourite shows, or things I have to watch each week.
Generally the pandemic, social distancing, and lockdowns have caused me to let go of superficial things in life. Remain in the present, as tomorrow may just be messed up! So go with the flow and don’t over plan, just have an idea of what you want. Follow the universal energy to make it happen, when the time is right rather than force things. I’ve also really increased my value of the outdoors and nature. I enjoy it anyway, but since it has been restricted days spent just sitting in the park, or by a lake where I live have been wonderful!
Home schooling as challenging as it was and some days still is now, has been so rewarding for my son. And our bond is even more tighter than it was. In some respects I feel that he has done better at home and made more progress. I have seen it.
Overall, 2020’s introspection has made me feel that it’s not wise to waste a moment of life, it can be cut short at any moment. You must do what you feel called to do, and what your soul is pushing you toward. I read Paul Coelho’s The Alchemist this week and boy! It felt like some kind of divine timing that the book in audio version was suggested to me on YouTube, and it was free to listen to! It reinforced all that I had been feeling up to the point of me writing this blog about 2020.
Ah yes, identity. Let me just say this before 2020 I felt like I had a good sense of who I am. And what I would call my identity or what I ‘identify’ with. Be it morals, principles, etc. This year it’s a whole new vibe! First of all the word ‘author’ am I an author? Yes technically because I have authored many things from books, novellas, articles, audio books etc. But really I’m a ‘writer’ and ‘novelist’, I prefer to call myself this! This is my ‘identity’ I feel more aligned with.
I feel that my identity as a person and woman in her late thirties, not just my profession (writer, novelist) will now probably influence a lot more of my writing. From what I want to write, where I write, to the characters I create or won’t create. 2020’s introspection, observation of the world, realisations internally and externally have helped to firm up my ‘identity’, and how I connect with others, my profession, and what I create!
I feel like as the year has been such a creative year in one respect that moving forward, I feel more compelled to ‘live that creative life’ more than I was before LOL I don’t know if that makes sense, but it does to me I know what I mean by it.
So whatever you do tonight to see out 2020 just be safe, consider the risks, and do have fun! Consider your own personal introspection, observation, and identity that has happened in 2020 for you. How you will move forward from this? It certainly could help to ensure that 2021 is a better year, improved year, important year, pivotal year for you, while it will remain a tough year in the background with with Covid-19.
It’s early afternoon for me as I write this, but I will say in advance happy New Year! And thank you for connecting with me via my blog in 2020!
I’ve just read a really cool blog post by this blog I’ve been following Suzy Speaks. It’s day sixteen of her challenge she has set, for herself and her followers to write about a different topic they are grateful for and follow the #DailyGratitudeChallenge. While it seems I’ve missed fifteen days of great topics, I’ll jump in today as hobbies and interests are something I’m deeply grateful for, in fact they kinda make me who I am.
Astrology and The Solar System:
I’m a qualified astrologer with a diploma in astrological studies. The study of the solar system from this science I’m extremely grateful for, and my love of this subject. It started out while I was a teen, if you remember the shop Woolworths I stumbled across the annual astrology book for Aquarius, with a horoscope for each day of the year. I bought one ever year! Until Woolworths when into administration of course. The love of the stars, Moon, planet’s energies never left me. I ended up completing my studies about one or two years back.
Why am I so grateful for this science? Well, while many think this is ‘woo woo witchy esoteric stuff’ (and I would agree LOL), if helped me to understand me, life events, where I am going and even confirmed that, yes I am born to be a writer or working the journalistic field. Simply by a detailed study of my own birth chart, with my actual date and time of birth. Basically, astrology give me a lot of healing and direction in life. When I studied the chart of my son and other people, I was amazed at the accuracy I had from friends whose charts I read. I was able to confirm things about their life, or experiences I could not have known. In the case of my son, it also confirmed his approach and experiences with learning.
The study of the Universe will never leave me, I follow it closely and look at what’s happening in the world, and the planet’s energies. Overall, I am grateful as this skill I have learned has helped me to help others heal as well as myself, and it’s just a cool thing to say, ‘yeah I’m an astrologer’ LOL.
My Sewing Machine and Fashion Design:
My nanna died when I was fourteen, her name’s Lucinda. She never worked she had eleven children, she was a homemaker and my grandfather worked. She arrived in the UK with my grandfather from the Caribbean islands, and basically looked after all the family. It’s her I owe my interest and skill with a sewing machine to. She loved to sew, and I later on at school I picked the subject ‘textiles’, which is now what we call ‘fashion design’ all these years later, as an option for my GCSEs at school when I was fourteen. I gained a C grade, not bad. It was in this class I learned how to use a machine, sew and express myself creatively with fabrics and materials. I also really loved my teacher, she was Italian if I remember correctly and so funky with her dress sense.
Later on, I started to collect dress making patterns for clothes, got my own machine and just before I had my son I was obsessed with making dresses. (That I had to wait until I had him to wear, as I was pregnant) . It took a while, YouTube, buying books to understand the patterns, and learn the craft to a more advanced level but I did it! I’ve not made a dress in about six years, since he was born. But I have my dress stand, and I named her Lucinda after my nana. As I write this I feel like I should really go fabric shopping and do something.
In London, there is a high street called Goldhawk Road if I remember correctly, that has shop after shop after shop of fabric stores! I remember spending a lot of time there, and money before I had him.
I am grateful for this interest and hobby as, it really gave me something to smile about when I was in school. I looked forward to the classes, later on in life it also gave me a great sense of patience, working with accuracy, and learning the art of how to create clothing from materials. I am also grateful for it as I was heavily pregnant in the summer months, which was no fun and found myself indoors a lot of the time. My sewing machine and this interest gave me a pass time when it was too hot for me to leave the house.
Civil Rights, Law, Politics
I just love this! I have an interest in all the above, I would not say it’s a hobby at all just an interest. That said, I am grateful for my interest in this area as it has allowed me to be able to make educated decisions, statements, have opinions, and hold views on certain things that are backed up by rights and laws I am aware of, or have researched and can interpret.
I feel that this interest is probably something else that shapes me as a person, I won’t stand for anything that looks like it could be some kind of injustice, or breech of civil and human rights. I am grateful for it as it has allowed me to be invested in causes such as women’s rights, human rights and the black lives matter movement.
Take a look at this cool daily gratitude challenge on Suzy Speaks and join in!
I’ve followed this blog RagTagDailyPromps for a little while, today managed to log on just when they posted the prompt for the day so, I’ll take part today…’Dancing’
One thing I just looooooooooooooooooove is dance, to watch it, do it, and learn it too! When I was about maybe seven or eight years old, I attended my first ever dance class. It was ballet, tap and modern dance that I fell into. I kept this up until about maybe 1999. I stopped as I suffered a knee injury! As a result all these years later I still have what the doctors called ‘fluid on the joint’ of my right knee. It’s the reason I have trouble bending down or sitting on my knees, well, that and the fact that I’m the wrong side of thirty-five now LOL
One of the most fond memories I have of my dance classes is, when we did a choreographed dance to ‘ born to make you happy’ by Britney spears. I loved Britney as a pre-teen and teen. ( I still do if I’m honest with myself), but this song as a youngster in the 90s I adored, and really enjoyed the contemporary dance our class learned. We had a fantastic teacher, I remember everything down to my leotard I wore, sadly not all the steps. I’m thirty-seven we’re going back to 1999 a long time ago! Here’s the video for old times sake. As I play this in the background while I type, I still remember the words. Check out Britney’s moves! I love her.
Later in life, believe it or not, I actually learned the dance movies to Britney’s ‘Slave For You’. That was when this song first came out. I can’t get enough of the way Britney moves her body!! Generally when she dances. I find her a very talented dancer, many disagree and feel she’s ‘taught’. While this is true, just like say Beyonce you can Brit has natural talent. I learned the routine from @1:36 time stamp to @1:53 it’s not even two mins BUT, it took a lot of practice, laughs, pausing, and sweat LOL
I really like belly dancing too over the ‘lock down’ period this year, during the pandemic, I have watched some YouTubers who give classes. I even bought a scarf with bells to wrap around my waist while I TRY to do the routines. These days I don’t really dance that much, as in classes, I feel that my knee would not be able to support doing any highly choreographed dance that well, but I do still have a love for it.
When I was in my twenties I spent a hella-lot-a time in clubs with my girlfriends, before I became a mum or had any really responsibilities in life. Each weekend we headed to central London, to the array of clubs we had back then. In my early teens and twenties I was ( and still am) a massive fan of soulful house music and the UK’s ‘Old Skool Garage’ anthems! In east London there were some great places, also the club ‘Fabric’ back then was a spot we’d go to a lot.
I can’t pin-point exactly what it is I love about dance, or any kind of exercise that is dance based. For example pilates, aerobics, yoga and even pole dancing! It could be the music, and my love for that. If there’s a song I love I automatically feel like moving to it sober or not LOL. I also like how good it is for the soul, I find it releases ‘happy vibes’. If time was not a problem I think I’d love to try to learn how to pole dance, but classic pole dancing that’s elegant as well as pole dancing for…well gentlemen’s clubs LOL ( Why not!)
I would also like learn salsa, it is a lot of fun. I only ever did one class with a girlfriend as it was more like her finding a ‘date’, rather than something we’d do each week. In all honesty, it’s time for me between juggling life and writing, I just don’t have the time. If I did, I would love to return to dance classes — gentle ones due to my knee and see if I’ve still got it!
Do you like to dance? If so what do you like to dance to? Do you have a favouite song or music?
I really am trying to be happy every writer wants to be an Amazon ‘best seller’ one day. Personally I was happy with just awards! That’s another blog post lol it made me very emotional to win ‘Best Romance 2017’. But, in all honesty first I want to thank everyone personally who has pre-ordered a copy of 365 Days of Writing Prompts for Romance Writers and every future reader of my writer’s reference. From the bottom of my heart I appreciate you, and I hope one of my prompts and tips on crafting realistic and page-turning romance turns you in to a best-seller and/or award-winner too in the genre. I hope I spark some great stories! I woke up to an orange banner and notification I just became an Amazon Best Selling Author. I find it ironic I have achieved this by penning something outside my normal genre LOLZ.
It’s a massive achievement for me from Award Winner and I thank you. I’ve never thought about this day, or how I would feel I just want to write because…well, I can! And love it. The truth is this achievement has come during the aftermath of a very serious event in Atlanta.
Seriously, I’m grieving people I woke up this morning switched on the news again, and was over run with emotion just as I was when I went to bed last night. My good news didn’t even stem the anger, upset, frustration and personal trauma I felt as I watched the scenes in Atlanta. Another black man has died unjustly at the hands of a white police officer, and it was my intention to focus in on a blog post about this! Not write this thank you note. I am humbled, thankful and extremely appreciative, but I’m grieving to the point I could not greet my Facebook family as I normally do with a ‘good morning’.
Once again, thank you and good luck all romance writers around the world.
Well, it’s been an eventful week to say the least, you’ve seen it, I’ve seen it the world has experienced it. George Floyd’s death is still ( rightly so) making headlines. Also, the ever changing statistics regarding Covid-19 ,and let’s not forget what I would call insulting or outrageous comments from Donald Trump. It’s been a week so I’ve stolen one of my own blog writing challenges from 365 Days of Writing Prompts for Romance Writers, ‘what’s on your mind, right now?’ You know me, never one to shy away from a well articulated and deeply reflective POV.
Was it Murder to the 2nd Degree?
I’m not American, as you know so I did have to research firstly what murder to the 3rd degree was, in terms of American law to understand the first charge against Derek Chauvin. In all honesty, from what I read it ( 3rd degree murder) came across to me as an outsider, non-legal person, non-American just someone trying to understand what this type of murder is, that 3rd degree is ‘unintentional’. My first thought was, oh hell no! I know what I saw eight minutes and forty-six seconds of restraint? While being told ‘ I can”t breathe’ You wanna say that’s ‘unintentional’. Then, I read up on the 1st and 2nd degree. In all honesty again, as a person looking in objectivity yes, there was ‘malice’, ‘intent’ and I would argue ‘premeditated’ aspects of that officer’s actions towards George Floyd. Therefore I’d say from what I saw it was more like 2nd degree murder. Many that I had exchanges with in discussion on social media felt, there was not really a premeditated action. I personally looked at the evidence 1. that officer knew George apparently they had ‘history’ 2. that officer had a string of complaints against him (which went un-handled) evidencing his ‘premeditated’ actions and ‘malice’ towards men of colour. But hey, who am I ? Just a member of the public trying to apply the evidence to the law, fairly and remove my own personal feeling. I know what I saw, and I know what I read about the definitions of murder and yes, I believe murder to the 2nd or even 1st degree is correct.
Trump’s Never Ending Insults
Yes, insults that’s what I’d call them. I remove how I personally feel about his tendencies as a human being, and focus on what comes out of his mouth. He has made two very insulting comments this week, especially with regards to George Floyd ‘ looking down from heaven.’ I don’t need to remind you what he said, if you’ve been following the news you’ll know. His tweets have been made highly public. Then, there’s the comment about what he has done for African-Americans…. I’ll wait, because I can’t see what has been done. Apart from efforts to divide American people with his comments, racial slurs he has historically made about Africa the continent, Chinese people and God knows what else. I won’t even rant on about this, but in all honesty the man is insulting and a disgrace…I said it. I’m not the only one who feels this way, and you don’t have to be an American to see it. Celebrities, as well as members of society, black, white, brown, and anything else are disgusted. I understand he has supporters and honestly I hold nothing against them, it’s just the insults from him I find hard to comprehend or support.
World-Wide Protests! And Pressure!
Oh I felt so proud when London showed up, and marched in the streets in support of George Floyd. I am loving the fact that world-wide people are coming together France, Ghana, Italy, Syria you name it. I’ve seen the support and I’m sure you have too. It’s wonderful to see people of all colours saying, ‘I Can’t Breathe’. Not just for George Floyd, but every person of colour who is some kind of ‘public enemy’ for not just for police brutality, but society who have some kind of distaste for them simply for skin colour.
Which brings me to a point, while I am loving the fact that white Americans and white people are showing support, the whole ‘if they fire stand behind me’ that’s happening across the water in all honesty I’m not loving. I believe it sends the wrong message, as a person of colour I don’t think we can walk around hoping there is a white person to ‘stand behind’ and protect us, stand beside us, friend. If you want to support us, I’ll say it again beside us in union we don’t need to stand behind you. We’ve ‘stood behind’ for so long it’s 2020 not 1960. But, don’t get me wrong people of colour welcome your support with all our hearts. And I see the kind, good, and loving message that is trying to be sent with ‘if they shoot stand behind me’ or white people standing in front of non whites at protests who are marching for equality. We see it! We love it! We want you there we do! And thank you from the bottom of our hearts, but reflect on the other side of the coin. Would beside be better than behind? Maybe? I’m just saying.
Man, I am at a loss with this. Yesterday I read a article on the death tolls and how many feel, protests and breaking ‘lock down’ will bring a new surge of illness. Yeah… I hear this, really I do. My only thought on this is BE CAREFUL keep apart, wear masks, and have organised protests if at all possible. Maybe I am a little naive in saying this, how can you have ‘organised protests’ when there’s so much passion? Covid-19 is serious, and something we do need to tackle. I listened in to a talk show on Thursday, the discussion was ‘are people right to put lives at risk, in order to protest’. My view was, if you’re not ill then you are free to show support and try to stay at a distance. It made me think though, how important the ‘I Can’t Breathe’ campaign is to some, so important many Londoners and those around the world have given Covid-19 the middle finger to march or support and change. Power to you!
There’s still not much evidence on the impact on children with Covid-19 and if they can be key carriers. My son has not returned to school I still won’t send him. I wrote about that a little while ago.I still support social distancing and lock down where possible, for those who a vulnerable with health. I have become a ‘keyboard warrior’ showing my support for change in the world right now.
Let’s think about this. Last week I saw a high number of very openly racist, derogatory and down right disrespectful comments on Facebook. Some were from law enforcement too, teachers, nurses and people in a position of ‘trust’ in society in terms of their jobs. I joined the force with an active group to shut it down. I’d like to encourage you also, if you see these kind of posts shut it down, contact the employers of the racists and show them the evidence of how their employees are behaving. I wrote about that a last week also. Do what you can, if you can’t be on the street protesting keep an eye out online. Last week, I saw more than ten racists fired, their employers put out public statements! Well done, stamp it out we don’t need it.
So, that’s my account of the world right now, and how I’ve been taking part to show support for #BlackLivesMatter and #ICantBreathe. And while I’m at it, I just want to say saying ‘black lives matter’ does not mean no one else does, but saying ‘all lives matter’ ignores the fact that can be statistically supported that, black and brown lives are wiped out the most in society. By police or other members of society who are ‘trigger happy’ I call it, and happy to kill first and ask questions later. It can’t be ignored, it has gone on for too long, the statistics are ear-watering to read. Black lives matter because they are wiped out more than others, simple. Until you can dispute that point with evidence based figures and statistics they will ALWAYS matter, it does not mean no one else does not. It’s evidence based that they need to be focused on and highlighted that they matter.
Have a wonderful weekend! Keep well until the next ‘rant’ LOL.
In the last twenty four hours I’ve been pretty disgusted ( more than normal), about the police brutality against men of colour in America. After I viewed the video of George Floyd’s death while surrounded by four police officers, while one of them had his knee on his neck while George said ‘I can’t breathe’ I took to Facebook. I followed some reports, then I wrote an open letter to African American men just randomly without over thinking it, well for all men of colour. I’m sharing it here today as It means so much to me in-light of what’s going on right now. If you feel just as disgusted as I do, do something anything it could be so small. Advocate, provide encouragement, share news reports and most of all apply the fucking pressure where needed for change!! America’s statistics of deaths of black men at the hands of police and society in general is not the ‘norm’ , or standard any country should aspire to! Compared to the rest of the world it’s very worrying.
Dear African American man,
I don’t understand what’s happening in the USA, why there are so many deaths at the hands of police officers. It’s very hurtful for me to see as a non American, in my part of the world it’s not something we experience so often. But if this is read by any African American male just know while the world is against you, I’m here still in your corner, praying for you, I still support you, and no matter what reputation you’ve gained globally, or in your own country I will never give up on you. You’re not perfect I know 🙄, no one is and your lives are full of challenges from:
Men who look like you.
And women who look just like me. Some put you down and feel ‘you ain’t worth shit’ in such general terms, when it’s not ALL of you.
Truth is, to me you’re worth so much more than gold. Your style, your strength, your physical build, your mind, intelligence, the different shades you come in 🥴 everything about you ‘dazzles’ me and some times when I look at some of you I blush 😉 you’re amazing. 😍. I love all of it and you too, I always will. I feel so proud of you and to have been blessed with a son. Whether it’s a black British man, African American man, Caribbean man or African man you are just the shit!! 🖤✔️🙌🏽 Don’t forget that.
But seriously, I wanna ask you a favour can you please come together and stop killing each other and intelligently reclaim your credibility and place in society? You’re stronger together than as enemies. Right now, you’re at war with others it’s time to bring out the ‘intelligent, inner warrior’ in you. Malcolm, Martin, Marcus etc you know these names what advice did they have for your survival? Think back 🤔. Please stay strong, out of trouble, and fight back against the mental, emotional, physical and spiritual attack on you.
Keep safe! With love, your number one supporter.