Feel the fear and discuss it anyway

I had my COVID vaccination on Monday.  I wasn't making history, I wasn't doing my bit for Britain, and I certainly didn't feel part of something world beating.  Instead I felt cross, uneasy and anxious, not to mention jolly unwell the following night. I am wary of pharmaceuticals generally, while at the same time recognise, of course, that medical science has changed our lives unrecognisably over the last century.  Mis- and over-use of antibiotics has, as we all know, resulted in serious bug mutation and consequent ineffectiveness of existing treatments; [...]

I can’t be defined by a donkey

One of the ways my daughter made my recent lockdown birthday special was to arrange a surprise breakfast zoom with my sisters; there we all were, croissants, coffee and flowers in three different houses. My sisters had prepared a little game. I had to work out some clues which would lead me to their gifts. The clues related to images, items and icons from my childhood. One of the clues was about my grandparents’ car, another was about push-along donkey, and a third referenced a pair of stilts; all, as [...]

How To Not Feel Dread

I am a creature of habit, almost detrimentally so. I never change my running route, I swim at the same time most days, I write my diary, I buy the same things from the supermarket, I have two bicycle circuits. One goes down the big hill then up a short, steep climb to the golf course; the other takes the same roads but the other way around which including a long tough hill on Saddlescombe Road. It’s this second version that I dread, enough to stop me enjoying the entire [...]

The Wrong Jam

There is a pot of jam that has been in my fridge a very long time.  It’s delicious, Bonne Maman.  It’s full flavoured, blue black, firm and smooth.  Blackcurrant jelly.  So why haven't I eaten it? The problem is the label.  The label says it’s Gelée Framboises. There is no way this jam is made from raspberries.  I know I should be able to ignore the label and simply enjoy the taste but instead I find I’m suspicious. I’m not really sure I can trust it. I’ve noticed the same [...]

How to talk to difficult people No 3

I wrote some blogs a few weeks back on how to talk to the difficult people in your household, especially those who find you even more difficult.  I hope that’s been going well, but remember it does take practice. Today I’m going to give some examples of things we say when we mean to be helpful but which never seem to make things better.  I’m going to offer some alternatives. Sentences that start: Why don’t you … If only you would … All I ask is that … ...  hardly [...]

Active Listening in Difficult Times

If you've volunteered to be a listener through the NHS Scheme or locally through a Mutual Aid group, this video should might help you collect some tips up your sleeve for the more challenging calls. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=006KdNQrKog              

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