Conversation starters, things for you to ponder on and recommendations


Book recommendation this week:

How to Simplify Your Life by Werner Tiki Kustenmacher

Seven proven steps for clearing out the clutter and getting back to the basics of a simple, happy life.

You don't have to put up with the complications and hassles of an overwhelming daily grind! The international bestseller How to Simplify Your Life will show you how to clear off your desk, clean up your life, and make room for the things that really matter. Packed with practical techniques for simplifying work, money, health, and relationships, this seven-step program gives you the tools you need to lead a fulfilling life.

What better way to start by buying the book from World of Books.  A great company who deal in second hand good quality books instead of them going to landfill. They are cleaned, reused and don't cost as much as buying new. It's a win win for all. 

Buy here!

If I had a flower for every time I thought of you... I could walk through my garden forever." — Alfred Tennyson

If you have a garden and a library, you have everything you need." — Cicero


Inspirational Quotes


"The noblest art is that of making others happy."

- P.T Barnum

“And now here is my secret, a very simple secret: It is only with the heart that one can see rightly; what is essential is invisible to the eye.”

― Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, The Little Prince

Week 6

Meeting my darling husband and becoming a mother has been the best thing that has ever happened to me and so, this week,  I thought I would simply share a few family photos and some quotes from some famous people about being and having a mother. 

The truth is that no matter how old we are, as long as our mothers are alive, we want our mother. And it’s a very powerful relationship if it’s healthy.

– Goldie Hawn

God could not be everywhere, and therefore he made mothers.

— Rudyard Kipling

A mother’s arms are made of tenderness and children sleep soundly in them.

– Victor Hugo


20 Best books of 2021

If you love a good read then in this edition of Musings I am adding a link to Good Housekeepings list of the top 20 best new books. 

From many established authors to new comers, there is plenty of choice, so treat yourself to some 'me' time and get lost in some great new stories.




If you are depressed you are living in the past, 

If you are anxious you are living in the future

If you are at peace you are living in the present.

Salt water is cleansing, be it sweat, the ocean, or tears.

Somedays you just have to make your own sunshine!



“Take the first step in faith.  You don’t have to see the whole staircase, just take the first step”

 Martin Luther King

“You are never to old to set another goal or to dream a new dream” - C S Lewis

“ What the new year brings to you will depend a great deal on what you bring to the new year” Vern McLellan


Quotes for the New Year

Keep some room in your heart for the unimaginable

Mary Oliver - Poet

Every day

Read a poem

Hear a little song

See a pretty picture

Speak some kind words


You don’t have to be perfect to help people

You just have to be real

Trent Shelton


In loving memory of Buddy

This post is dedicated to the most precious dog ever to come into my life.  

On Saturday 12th Dec 2020, we had to make the heartbreaking decision to have our beautiful black labrador put to sleep.  He had become very poorly and the prognosis was not good, we had no choice but to end his suffering.  On entering the vets consultation room, after he had been scanned, he forced himself to stand to greet me, wagging his tail, this broke my heart. Broke my heart that he still was so pleased to see me and thought he was going home again. 

On first account you would think there was nothing wrong with him and a sudden glimpse of hope danced within me but, he then lay down.  I was left alone with him for the last time.  I lay down with him and placed his head in my lap telling him how much I loved him, how much we all loved him and that he was the  best dog in the entire world.  Kissing him on his grey tinged snout and stroking his head, his eyes bored into mine telling me it was time.  It was his time to leave this life and enter another.  Another place where no pain existed, where he would be free to run around without breathing difficulties, without his back legs giving out, living as if he was a pup again.  His dark brown beautiful eyes told me he how much he loved me, how much he would miss me.

Oh the  pain, the pain of letting him go was horrendous but I knew it had to be done.  This was my best friend lying here, the dog who had greeted me and each one of us in the family every time we walked though the door with a wag and a happy jump.  This beautiful creature who made us laugh every day with his funny little ways and daily rituals.  His various outfits I would buy him to wear at Christmas, Halloween and birthdays. He tolerated them and allowed us to take photos of him.  He shared his home and his bed with two very obnoxious cats, the one called Sherlock who adored him and has not eaten very much and wonders around the house looking for him, so sad.  This dog who wherever I went, was by my side. 

His nature was beyond compare.  I have never know an animal to be so full of kindness, compassion and complete and utter love for others.  

This has been the hardest week.  A hole, a vast caping hole has been left in our hearts.  The house is quiet, no tip tapping of his feet on the hard floor, no snoring on the sofa, no tail wagging so hard that your drink might get knocked off the coffee table, no Buddy.  

This post is in honour of our dog, our first dog but he wasn’t just a dog, he was the complete and utter embodiment of love between a human and an animal. 

I miss him so much but I know he is in pain no longer and has crossed over the rainbow bridge to a better place.

God bless you darling Buddy, keep wagging that tail, until we are together again, 

I love you my darling dog.


Robins appear when loved ones are near.

It's not what's under the Christmas tree that matters, it's who's around it

Christmas is a Necessity.


“We must be willing to let go of the life we've planned, so as to have the life that is waiting for us.”

~Joseph Campbell

“That the deaf man cannot hear the sound of the crashing ocean waves, or the blind man cannot see the beauty of an autumn sky does not mean that the sea and the sky do not exist. 

So like the blind man, close your eyes, and like the deaf man block your ears, go inside yourself and realise - that which you seek has been there, within you all along.

This is when the blind will see, and the deaf will hear."

Sydney Banks


“...when you let go of your expectations, when you accept life as it is, you're free. To hold on is to be serious and uptight. To let go is to lighten up.

Richard Carlson 
Don’t sweat the small stuff.

"The man who has begun to live more seriously within, begins to live more simply without."

Phillip Brooks

“Reading gives us someplace to go when we have to stay where we are.” 

Mason Cooley



This coming Halloween - Saturday 31st October there is going to be a BLUE MOON.

A blue moon in Halloween is highly a rare one which was last seen in the year 2001. So, this year’s Halloween is a special one. According to astrology, 4 zodiac signs will be affected the most by the blue moon of Halloween.

Zodiac signs who will be most affected by the blue moon of Halloween:  Taken from


Due to the effects of the full moon, Taurean’s will feel everything on a very personal and intense level. They will revive and reboot their inner emotions this time which will be like a healing process for them. But since they will be quite intense so, it’s better for them to not react too much, as it will then be more dramatic. You may get unable to stay steady, grounded and practical as you are, so don’t think too much about it and go with the flow.


This is going to be an intense time for your career. You can work on your professional image and change your career path this time. So, always be open to new opportunities. But don’t underestimate your current job and be devoted to it as well.


This moment will bring change in your love life. You can see things more clearly that are positive or negative in the relationship, so you can work accordingly to make your connection more stronger.


You are going to evolve this blue moon on Halloween. It is the right time for you to transform. So, forget about your past issues and be ready to gather new knowledge and experiences. Don’t worry, you won’t get hurt this time.





Last Friday i came home to find my lovely dog Bud struggling with his breathing.  For a while now he has had a large lump in his throat which no one really knew what it was. Originally the vet thought it was his thyroid but said as it wasn’t really bothering him, not to worry as he was an old dog and any intervention to find out exactly what was going on would probably do more harm than good.  But listening to him breath was concerning me as it seemed to be as if he was gasping for air, as if he was breathing through a straw. 

After an hour I knew he should be seen by the vet.  I called and they said bring him straight over.  On arrival the vet greeted us and suggested he first has some oxygen to help him breath easier and then she would take a look.  He didn’t like it at first but once he was snuggled up on a blanket with a lovely nurse holding the oxygen tube he settled down. 

I was sent back home while they did some tests.  I rang my husband in tears as the vet had said it looked pretty bad and it could mean the end.  Suddenly, you feel helpless, sad, scared, worried.  What would we do without this beautiful animal who had been with us for 12 years from a pup.  He is one of the family, he brings us so much joy, he’s funny, he’s quirky, he’s so loving to everyone he meets, he lets me dress him up in funny outfits. He is the most kindest, empathetic dog I have ever known.  He gives up his bed to Sherlock our cat and lies on the floor instead.  He goes round to our elderly neighbour, Dot for a digestive every morning.  He makes her day, she is partially sighted but she adores him, she strokes him, cuddles him and they love each other too.  How can this beautiful creature be about to leave us?  Please God, just some more time with him, please.

I get a call from the vet to say he’s settled down after being given a large dose of steroids and his breathing has improved.  She wants to do a blood test and a scan to check his major organs, I agree.  She calls to say to pick him up at 5.45pm.

Those 3 hours drag on until I can’t wait anymore and at 5.30 I leave to get him.  What is she going to say? What has she found?  Will this be our last time together?

On arrival she calls me in and explains,”he’s alright, breathing is better, he’s had a walk, sniff (one of many) that’s normal, good, oh and a poo” (even more normal for Bud as he does at least 3 a day.  But, she has found that the lump is full of blood, it’s an inflammation and on first look it was just blood but on a closer inspection she has found a small amount of abnormal cells, yes, you guessed it, cancer cells,” just a few”, she tells me “but they will probably increase”.  “So long as he’s not in any paid” I tell her, I couldn’t bare that.  She reassures me he’s not and that he can come home with steroid tablets and antibiotics and she will see me on Monday.  

The news is bittersweet. One, he can come home but two, it is the dreaded C. I am, however, grateful that today is not that day, that day that everyone dreads.  I settle the bill (don’t ask) and out trots Buddy sporting a white bandage where his cannula has been.  He looks pleased to see me but desperate to escape the confines of the vets.  We get in the car and go home. He goes to his bed (I move the cat, once again) bloody Sherlock get your own dam bed!  By this time my daughter and husband are home and I rely the story and what the vet has said.  We are not sure what will happen, we just have to wait. 

The next morning.

I get up, tentatively open the door to the snug and peep round the door to the office where Buddy sleeps.  Is he alive? Is he breathing? My darling dog what am I going to find? 

There on his bed is Buddy and the bloody cat (again) wagging his tail, sounding so much better.  He rises slowly as he also has arthritis, bless him, and trots to the back door.  I let him out for his morning wee, of which he does over my carefully grown Basil and Rosemary (must remember to wash that before I use it) he comes back in, tail still wagging, breathing fine and wanting his breakfast.  To say I was relieved was an understatement.  I prepare his breakfast and mix up his steroid tablets into it and he wolfs it down. 

His day was spent happily, sleeping, eating, rolling about in the garden (we are not allowed to walk him for a while) and he went to visit his friend Dot but, in the evening, his breathing went back a little to the way it was before.  

If I’m being honest, I don’t think he has long.  Maybe I’m being morbid or morose but in my gut, in my heart, my dog, my beautiful dog is telling me his time on this earth is coming to an end. It may be months, it may be weeks, who knows but  I can see it in his eyes.  I can look into his very soul, the soul of the best dog in the world, my world, his world, he has been our world and we have been his. We will know, I will know when it is time.  They do say, animals kind of tell you.  And when that time comes, I will be heartbroken, as every single person who has ever had the privilege of owning a dog will tell you, it is just like losing a member of your family.  Because they are a member of your family.  They share your joy, your pain, the fun times and the sad.  They know when you are sad, they feel your pain and your joy as we feel theirs.  There is no-one quite so loyal as a dog, yes we have cats, two black arrogant but lovely cats.  Sherlock thinks he’s a dog and Watson only likes cuddles when it suits him. Cats are lovely too but, they are more independent than dogs, they do their own thing and come and go as they please, dogs are totally different. 

This story is not yet over and we visited the vet again today and she was very pleased with him and said he was ‘like a different dog’.  He’s now on steroids for the rest of his life, he can go for walks again but only little ones.  However long he’s got, we intend to make the most of it all and will always, cherish every moment. 

To my darling Bud.  I want to thank you for the love you have given to me and to each of us, the happiness and complete and utter joy you have brought to our lives and for being the BEST DOG ANY FAMILY COULD EVER WISH FOR.  I LOVE YOU. 

Lovely readers, cherish every moment with your dog if you have one because they are, the best friend you will ever have. 

Barry and Freda

Something to cheer you up this week! A song by the fabulous Victoria Wood. The hilarious 'Barry and Freda' song. Keep smiling!

Barry and Freda

Freda and Barry sat one night
The sky was clear, the stars were bright
The wind was soft, the moon was up
Freda drained her cocoa cup.
She licked her lips she felt sublime!
She switched off Gardener's Question Time
Barry Cringed in fear and dread
As Freda Grabbed his tie and said

Let's do it, let's do it, do it while the mood is right!
I'm feeling, appealing,
I've really got an appetite.
I'm on fire
With desire-
I could handle half the tennors in a male voice choir.
Let's do it, let's do it tonight!

But he said:

I can't do it, I can't do it,
I don't believe in too much sex
This fashion
For passion
Turns us into nervous wrecks.
No derision,
My decision:
I'd rather watch the Spinners on the television.
I can't do it, I can't do it tonight.

So she said:

Let's do it, let's do it, do it till our hearts go boom
Go native,
Living in the living room.
This folly
For jolly;
Bend me backwards on me hostess trolley!
Let's do it, let's do it tonight.

But he said:

I can't do it, I can't do it, my heavy-breathing days are gone.
I'm older, feel colder;
It's other things that turn me on.
I'm inploring-
I'm boring-
Let me read this catalogue on vinyl flooring!
I can't do it, I can't do it tonight.

Then she said:

Let's do it, let's do it, have a crazy night of love!
I'll strip bare,
I'll just wear
Stilettos and an oven glove!
Don't starve a girl of a palaver,
Dangle from the wardrope in your balaclava.
Let's do it, let's do it tonight!

But he said

I can't do it, I can't do it,
I know ill only get it wrong.
Don't angle
For me to dangle,
My arms have never been that strong;
Stop pouting!
Stop shouting-
You know I pulled a muscle when I did that grouting.
I can't do it, I can't do it tonight.

Let's do it, let's do it, share a night of wild romance!
Poetic, this could be your last big chance!
To quote Milton,
To eat stilton,
To roll with gay abandon on the tufted wilton!
Let's do it, let's do it tonight!

I can't do it, I can't do it,
I've got other little jobs on hand.
Don't grouse
Around the house
I've got a busyt evening planned.
Stop nagging!
I'm flagging;
You know as well as i do that the pipes want lagging.
I can't do it, I can't do it tonight.

Let's do it, let's do it, while I'm really in the mood...
Three cheers!
It's years
Since I caught you even semi-nude.
Get drasitic,
Wear your baggy Y-fronts with the loose elastic but
Let's do it, Let's do it tonight!

I can't do it, I can't do it,
I must refuse to get undressed
I feel silly.
It's to chilly
To go with out my thermal vest.
Don't choose me,
Don't use me
My mother sent a note to say you must excuse me.
I can't do it, I can't do it tonight.

Let's do it, let's do it, I really absolutely must.
I won't exempt you,
Want to temp you,
Want to drive you mad with lust.
No contortions:
Smear an avocardo on my lower portions!
Let's do it, let's do it tonight!

I can't do it, I can't do it,
It's really not my cup of tea;
I'm harassed,
I wish you hadn't picked on me.No barter —
A non-starter;
I feel about as sensuous as Jimmy Carter
I can't do it, can't do it tonight.

Let's do it, let's do it, I really want to run amock!
Let's wriggle!
Let's jiggle!
Let's really make the rafters rock!
Be mighty,
Be flighty come and melt the buttons on my flame-proof nightie!
Let's do it, let's do it tonight!Let's do it, let's do it, I really want to rant and rave!
Let's go,
Cos i know just
Just how you want to behave:
Not bleakly,
Not meekly-
Beat me on the bottom with the Woman's weekly-
Let's do it, let's do it tonight!


Free download of  'Mindful Meditation' sessions ranging from 5-20 minutes long, to help bring you a feelings of peace, calm and relaxation. 


Download here.



Quiz: How Green is Your Life? 

With constant warnings about climate change, global warning and the depletion of natural resources, virtually everyone is now aware that we need to live a greener lifestyle.

And while using a jute bag instead of plastic carrier bags when you go shopping once a week is a small step in the right direction, it certainly isn't enough if you want to make a real difference and do your bit for the environment.

So, are you really adopting a more eco-friendly lifestyle – or just paying lip service to the idea?

Take our Twenty Questions Green Quiz to find out just how far up the environmental ladder you’ve climbed ….


Do you...
1. Switch off the light whenever you’re the last to leave a room ?

a) Never
b) Sometimes
c) Always

2. Fit a new energy efficient lightbulb whenever a bulb blows?

a) Never
b) Sometimes
c) Always

3. Always close the door to keep in the heat (if popping out to the dustbin/get something from the car etc)?

a) Never
b) Sometimes
c) Always

4. Recycle bottles and cans and newspapers?

a) Never
b) Sometimes
c) Always

5. Recycle cardboard, cartons and packaging?

a) Never
b) Sometimes
c) Always

6. Use the washing machine on a cool wash whenever possible?

a) Never
b) Sometimes
c) Always

7. Wait until you have a full load to wash rather than use the machine for just a few items?

a) Never
b) Sometimes
c) Always

8. Walk instead of drive when you pop to the local shop, take children to the park, parties etc ?

a) Never
b) Sometimes
c) Always

9. Give old clothes, furniture and unwanted household items to charity/recycling rather than put in the bin?

a) Never
b) Sometimes
c) Always

10. Check when buying a new appliance or electrical equipment, whether it has a good energy-saving rating?

a) Never
b) Sometimes
c) Always

11. Use the compost bin regularly?(choose never if you don’t have one yet)

a) Never
c) Always

12. Use rainwater (collected in a butt or barrel) for use in watering plants etc?

a) Never
b) Sometimes
c) Always

13. Buy local foodstuff to save on food miles?

a) Never
b) Sometimes
c) Always

14. Use public transport or car-share on journeys to work whenever possible?

a) Never
b) Sometimes
c) Always

15. Choose products with minimal/re-usable packaging whenever possible– eg milk in bottles, non-boxed cosmetics etc?

a) Never
b) Sometimes
c) Always

16. Buy recycled or Fairtrade products when possible – such as computer paper, notebooks, clothing, tea, coffee, fruit etc?

a) Never
b) Sometimes
c) Always

17. Buy from charity shops (and therefore help in recycling of clothing, books, bric-a-brac etc)?

a) Never
b) Sometimes
c) Always

18. Dry washing outside (when weather permits) rather than use a tumble drier or turn up the heating to dry clothes?

a) Never
b) Sometimes
c) Always

19. Switch off the TV, computer or stereo rather than leave on standby?

a) Never
b) Sometimes
c) Always

20. Carry shopping home in re-useable bags rather than use supermarket plastic carrier bags?

a) Never
b) Sometimes
c) Always

Add Up Your Score

2 points for each Always answer
1 point for each Sometimes answer
0 point for each Never answer

If there’s a good reason why you can’t do something, e.g use public transport/car-share for work, for example, because no-one lives in your direction and there’s no bus service, then choose Sometimes rather than Never as your answer for that particular question.

Your Green Score

Less than 12 points
Have you even heard about climate change and the planetary threat? If so, you are not giving it the priority it deserves. As the class teacher would say – Must Do Better!

Between 12-20 points
You are already doing a few basic things – but there is so much more that you could be doing to show your concern for the environment. Note some of the tips in our quiz – and start to implement them

Between 20-34 points
You demonstrate a good environmental conscience – but there’s still room for improvement, so look at the questions where you scored badly and make some changes

Between 35- 40 points
Wow, you certainly know your Greens. If you scored this highly, you can rightly call yourself a Green Champion – well done and keep up the good work!


Questions to ask yourself when you are feeling doubtful.

What’s most meaningful in what I’m doing right now?

What am I about, and why I am choosing to do what I’m doing.

Am I creating purpose or cultivating hopelessness?

What actions can I take right now that will move me closer to creating what I desire?

You have to risk failure if you are going to create anything of any significance.

We learn from our mistakes and it's Ok to fail before we succeed.


Never be afraid to ask and to receive.

Surround yourself with people who are only going to lift you higher.

Today is a gift, that’s why it’s called the present.


 Step away from your computer, tablet, or phone. Go outside, feel the sunlight on your skin, take a walk, or head to the gym. Look at the world through your own eyes and not through a screen.  Give your brain a well earned break from technology.

Can you do this for either half a day or a whole day?

Challenge yourself and see how you feel afterwards

Leave your phone behind even for just one hour

See how it feels to be completely free of all technology for just a little while

You will be surprised!

Enjoy your week.

This week; instead of quotes I thought I would get you to ask yourselves the following questions and then talk to each other about your answers.  You may feel totally different about things once you have done this.  I hope it inspires you.

1. Where was I this time last year?

2. Am I who I want to be?

3. Have I lost/gained weight since last year?

4. Do I need to change any routines?

5. What do I have to be grateful for?

6 Who have I let in my life?

7. What do I need?

8.How do I feel?

9.What’s my motivation?

10.Am I ageing gracefully?


This saying goes back to ancient times. My interpretation of it is that our inner thoughts and feelings actually create what we see and experience. What is above in our mind, will be reflected in the circumstances of our life.


Love is a circle without ending.
Never narrow. Always bending.

When the power of love is stronger than the love of power the world will know peace.
Jimi Hendrix

Our life is what our thoughts make it.

Marcus Aurelius

If you see it in your mind, you can hold it in your hands.

Bob Proctor

If it is to be, it's up to me.

Life is a stage and we are merely players.

If you had only one day left of your life, what would you do with it?

One is not born into the world to do everything but to do something.

Henry David Thoreau

Just when the caterpillar thought the world was ending, he turned into a butterfly.


The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.

Mark Twain

“Comparison is the thief of joy.” 

Theodore Roosevelt

 "Nothing mars one's beauty more than a frown"  


People achieve happiness when they eliminated inner conflicts between achievements and their aspirations.


The greatest step towards a life of simplicity is to learn to let go.    

Steve Maraboli

If you could read only one more book, which one would it be?

Some people are old at 18 and some people are young at 90.

Time is a concept that humans created.

The moon was full and so close that it seemed we could scoop out some moon ice cream and fill ourselves up on moonbeams. 

Elif Ekin

Using Format