Friday, 3 October 2014

The Magic of Stories

When it comes down to it, our lives are simply full of stories. The stories we share with our loved ones, our friends and family and of course the stories we tell ourselves. We all have our own stories, the experiences and moments that shaped us into who we are today. The hurts and losses, the happinesses and laughter.

Just think how many times we weave our stories into conversations with other people. Everyday work issues can become an elaborate drama. Relationships become a mini-series where we wait with anticipation for the next instalment.

Even complete strangers it seems will tell you their story, often (in my case anyway) in a very short period of meeting. It seems that the one life-altering moment cannot be held in - it leaks out either gently or spontaneously sometimes in such heartbreaking detail that upon hearing it you could sit down and sob.

I grew up in a childhood of stories. I lived alone with my mum from the age of seven, after my dad left. My mum worked long and unusual hours and we had little money although I didn't realise it at the time. It was only at school that I realised most people had a car, a home telephone and new clothes. The thing we did have though was stories. Mum made walks in the woods with neighbouring children an adventure when we all became musketeers. I being the youngest child was always allowed to be D'Artagne- my favourite. There was always someone chasing us, a threatened King or the Queen of Hearts, wanting to chop off our heads and we would run screaming through the woods with twigs as make-shift swords. Walks home from my nan's house were filled with word games and quizzes no doubt to take our minds off the fact that we were walking and not driving, but which in fact to me just seemed to be fun and entertaining.

And during times when mum was not able to be around because of work, books filled her absence. Enid Blyton was my favourite childhood author. I loved the thought of being able to find my own Magic Faraway Tree and be spirited away to new places by Moonface and friends. With a book in my hands, I always had company and didn't feel alone.

These childhood stories and experiences have helped form me into who I am today. My mum's love of books, poetry and writing have helped develop my interests in these subjects. I have always loved reading but more recently in the last five years have also come to love writing. I also believe that the imagination can take us to magical places and I wouldn't want to ever lose that pleasure.

Thank you mum for sharing these precious gifts with me as a child. We may not have had very much in material terms, but we were rich with the magic of stories.

Thursday, 2 October 2014

My tiny rebellion

I have a secret to share with you. I've discovered something that gives you confidence, makes you feel good, doesn't break the bank and brings out a different side to you or it did in me. What can this magical thing be I hear you cry.

Wait for it...

A little bit longer...

Keep waiting...

Ok, time for the reveal...

Yes, it's red lipstick

I was recently persuaded to give wearing red lipstick a go and when I say red, I mean real red, pillar box red - not pinks trying to act like red. As a woman fast approaching fifty (how did that happen?) I was a little unsure at first. Surely this type of red is strictly in the domain of younger women, surely red lipstick is for sirens, women of danger. I was thinking Bette Davis in All About Eve.

But then I thought hell yeah - why not. Why shouldn't I do it. And so I did.

The first time, I put it on, I felt transformed. I dressed up a little more than I usually would, found myself wearing heels. The lipstick demanded it.

I was sassy. I said things I wouldn't normally say. I felt powerful. I was like: "Yes, I'm wearing red lipstick - what of it? You want to make something of it." I felt glamorous and it was fun. I felt a little naughty. I was in touch with my inner Bette Davis.

Funny how something so inconsequential can make a difference. There are some great reds out there. I chose Maybelline's Color Elixir Up Lacquer in Signature Scarlet for a more glossy finish and a Bourjois one for a more matt finish.

So if you're feeling in need of a lift and want to engage with your inner Bette Davis, join me and head for red.

Wednesday, 1 October 2014

Being Thank Full

There are some days in life when everything goes your way. Life feels good and easy. Worries and concerns that you might have had a few days ago seem to roll off you. Today is one of those days.

I feel thank full. Full of thanks for the joy that has been today.

It is the first of October and here in the UK, the weather is exceptionally mild and I am on holiday in Cornwall.

I am rested and refreshed. Today I stood on the beach watching dogs frolick, surfers dipping in and out of the waves and felt the warmth of sunshine on my face. I've eaten great food, laughed loud, read books and stood under the stars with the man I love.

Yes today really was a great day and I am thank full.