Mud, buckets and bowls full of love (bowls – not bowels)


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It has been a long time since I have written anything suitable for public viewing. We moved in November and the time leading up to that has been quite a journey…. We moved from a small caravan where we had been living “temporarily”. The “temporarily” had originally been planned as 3 weeks but strangely, as life tends to happen, turned into 14 months. I am quite stoic really, not a princess and even if I have the occasional melt down hissy fit, I usually manage to pull myself into a more positive frame of mind quite quickly. Having to fill up a water barrel every couple of days in the freezing cold then roll it up and down a muddy field can become a bit tiresome when you fall over in the mud for the 16th time. Doing battle with a wonky awning on a regular basis that threatens to take off in high winds by bobbing up and down like some bizarre giant jellyfish (and strangely does not behave any better after applying bits of string and sellotape) can be quite stress inducing, particularly in the middle of the night with no outside lights. Chasing a runaway polytunnel into the neighbours field is also quite an interesting experience, why they always insist on landing in the brambles which then cut your legs to shreds I do not know (who invented brambles by the way? I mean, I like a blackberry, particularly in a crumble, but why are brambles SO mean??). and weeing in a bucket, except for maybe when you are 6 years old, is over rated. So, imagine my delight and relief when finally, a decision is made and plans are settled. Let’s stop mucking about and become grown ups. We are going to buy a house. A house with walls. And a toilet, a proper toilet, no bucket.


We moved in the first week of November and the car decided to add to the stress of moving by breaking down the day we were meant to sign the contracts but hey ho, we managed to get it sorted with the kind help of friends and we were off. I cannot tell you how exciting and luxurious it is to have a shower where the hot water does not run out half way through. Or to wee in a toilet. Everything was just wonderful, hard work as the house and land has not been looked after for a very long time, but still, wonderful. Then, out of the blue, a few weeks in, I got sick. I don’t generally get sick, not really, not proper longer than a week ish sick. My Mum and Dad used to call me the “carrier”. I used to get the peripheral symptoms of a cold bug, pass it to everyone else in the family but then be fine within 2 days. This time was different. I had bronchitis, never had it before despite my long term commitment to smoking I had never had this before. I thought I was going to die and for the first time in my life, I was really really frightened. Then it turned into pleurisy. If you have ever had this then you too will know that you think you might die. The pain was just unreal. I did – between bouts of not being able to breathe – manage to do quite a lot of shouting for help to whoever might be listening, angels, god, any passing good spirit that may help in some way. To no avail. I stayed sick. In the very early stages I stopped smoking, I just could not do it, despite my best efforts, so me and the cigs had to part ways once and for all. I took every natural supplement I could think of and even went to bed one night with my socks stuffed with raw chopped onions, luckily I was sleeping alone at the time although even the dogs decided to sleep in the lounge that night. It seemed to go on forever and then, finally, it started to ease off. The relief was incredible, I am starting to feel a little tiny bit like me again. Then I got a tooth infection. Gums swelled up, incredible pain, feeling ill all over and energy on the floor. I cried. A lot. Like a leaky tap that leaked worse than the caravan roof and would have filled up more wee buckets than I could count. What is going on????? Why am I so bloody ill!!?!?! My darling friend Jill offered to help. She asked if she should book me an appointment with her dentist and offered to come with me. The thought of trying to speak French (really badly) when I was feeling so awful was too much and provoked more tears so I said yes please. The dentist poked around and gave me antibiotics which probably would have cleared an elephant of infection and put in a temporary filling. Between bouts of more crying, I asked Jill what on earth was wrong with me, why was I not getting better and how had I got so low for all these things to happen. The even funnier thing (with hindsight) is that I am a healer, I KNOW how all these things work and can help most people and understand what is going on for them. For myself? Nah, nothing, about as psychic as a bath plug. Jill responded to my idiotic question –

“Well you don’t have any cash in your bowl”.

Me, wildly looking around for a bowl, do I have a bowl? “What?”.

Jill “Your bowl is empty, you gave all your cash away and did not put any back in, you cannot run on empty, you need cash in your bowl”.

The penny dropped. Clever Jill. Blimey. My bowl is empty (bowl not bowel). I have a leaky bowl, things go in it, but things go out faster and then it is empty again. Nice things fill it up like sunshine, love, home, not weeing in a bucket, dogs having fun, no chasing awnings down muddy fields, cheese, healthy family, hysterical laughter with friends, making love, wine, chickens – anything really that makes you feel good and lifts your heart. But stressful things? Unhappy things? Things that drain you of energy or make you feel sad or lost or lonely? They empty it, fast. When you stop and think about it, it makes an awful lot of sense.

I look at my bowl every day now. If it looks a bit on the empty side, I top it up. I know the things that make me feel good and I know the things that make me feel bad. Sometimes you cannot help but have a day where your bowl gets a bit depleted, situations and surroundings are sometimes unavoidable. But think about it. Stop and look at your bowl and see what state it is in? If it looks a bit on the lean side and there is not enough cash, maybe you better get yourself to the bank of happy things and fill it back up!

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