Something to be proud of.

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I am not normally a mum who gushes, but just this once I think this is warranted.

Many years ago, as a single parent, I would read my son Tom (his real name) Tolkien’s ‘The Hobbit’ by lamplight, and the light given off by our Christmas tree lights.

It was a difficult time, we had our gas and electricity on meter, so we would snuggle under a blanket and I would read to him. It was an escape for us both. Eventually he would fall asleep and I would carry him up to bed. Someone said to me once that I would ‘look back and treasure these moments’, and they were right, I do.

Fast forward to the current day. Tom has had a children’s book published. It has been written by Tom and illustrated by a close friend Aaron. It is not self-published, he has a contract with a real life publisher. It is available for pre-order, with its release on the 24th of February. The pre-orders have been so successful that a second book has been commissioned.

Yesterday Tom was interviewed by his old uni, because they want to use his story to encourage others. This was the same uni that originally rejected Tom, but he never gave up, he wrote an amazing intro to a story and they finally gave in and accepted him. Yesterday he sent me the interview notes, and in them he said

‘That’s my next dream, to help children across the world, from all communities to read…’

‘..hell, my mum used read ‘The Hobbit’ to me when I was six or seven; Tolkien’s world inspired me as a child to read more works’.

I cried! Big ploppy tears, I have tears in my eyes now.

Tom never gave up, he became part of a team of creative people, doing the thing he loved, despite people telling him he should work full time in Sainsburys, or telling him to get a ‘proper job’. He went to live in Newcastle to fulfil his dream.

Tom edited, and re-edited his book, and then put back the words he took out, because he knew what he wanted to say. He faced his fears and he stepped outside his comfort zone.

The little boy who used to have the most vivid imagination has grown up to be a man who will inspire others.

I am so proud to be his mum.

Rosie aka Moisy

Tom and Aaron’s book is available for pre-orders at all good bookstores, including Foyles, and internationally including Amazon Take a look if you think your children or grandchildren would love it.

Winter days: Sunshine, Wind and Bright Blue skies

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I am currently sitting in my spot that, it appears, so many people covet: my blue chair in the picture window of my house. I am driving Daisy the cat nuts because she chases light, and, with the brilliant winter sunshine reflecting off my iPad all around the room Daisy cannot resist the the urge to chase it; which then makes the Welshies chase her and chaos ensues. (They know their place with her though she’s also known as Daisy Pussy Upsy because she looks like a Bond Villain at times!)

Today is an incredibly windy day, with gusts of up to sixty kilometres and hour forecast. But where there is bad there is good and there is brilliant sunshine and phenomenally blue skies, one of those days that just blow the cobwebs in the mind away.

I have made the effort this winter to get out into our garden whenever possible, if only for fifteen minutes.

Since Molly died and we have started to consider moving on to pastures new, it has inspired me to treasure what I have in the here and now, with the countryside around me, and the two teddies that I am blessed to have running around my garden.

So today,after bringing in the wood I walked over to the field behind our barn on the other side of our chemin (lane in French), with two excited Welshies and Daisy the cat (she is also known as cat/dog) running around me.

I found myself just standing there looking across the garden, with the dogs snuffling, and Daisy, precariously balanced on a tree, and smiling.

There is nothing like hearing the wind rushing through the trees in bright winter sunshine, and I stood and I looked out and I took it all in.

Then I came back into the warm and shared it with you.

Let’s treasure the here and now.

Rosie

You can read our other other story about the things we went through that got us to today on my other blog.

Wind and rain.

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The wind has picked up and the rain has come in. Our house on the hill is being battered by the elements, it sounds as if the ‘ little people’ are throwing shingle at our shutters.

I give thanks for the warm covers over me, the Welshies snuggling around me and my husband beside me.

Count your blessings, I am, as the rain sings me to sleep

Rosie

Belief. Life’s messages

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This is the Table beside my blue wing back chair.

It is a place I sit often to write, manage our life, and just look at life; and this table holds many things I use: my journal, my diary, my iPad, my book, books I am reading, currently Mark Nepo ‘The Book of Awakenings’, and ‘The Road Less Travelled and Beyond’. It has become a little sanctuary to me, as I look out on my garden, often with a Welshie sitting opposite me.

I took the picture of my table last night because today is my birthday, and as I placed the flowers that RD had bought me on my table (where else would they go?!) with my cards, ready to open this morning, I realised how much this table encapsulates my life, and just how blessed I am.

I have no religion, or ‘God’. Perhaps my ‘God’ is life. I truly believe that life does show you the way, if you have faith. But as with all faiths sometimes it is hard to hold on to them. I will do another blog to show how life has shown us over this month to believe in it, and ourselves, but today I want to share a gift I was given by our client.

I have often written about the awful people we have worked for, but yesterday our client paid their bill and then gave us a tip on top! A tip that will enable us to buy wood for the rest of the winter. But it was not the actual tip that was the biggest gift, it was the fact that it reminded me that there are good and kind people out there. It bought tears to my eyes because of that, because of their kindness, and because it gave me a lesson, and it gave me faith.

I think I will chalk that up as one of the best gifts ever, along with my son turning up at Christmas: spiritual gifts not material ones.

Rosie

You can read our other story by clicking on the link at the top of the page.

Making This Better the book is now available including the journal entries for the first 5 years of our recovery & the whole 21 days of ‘The War’. Available internationally in paperback and ebook  at Amazon and Barnes & Noble also available at Xlibris and Apple Books for iPad and Waterstones Bookstores for click & collect

Having the opportunity

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I have been really busy since New Year helping H with a job. It’s coming to an end now, so now I have some time off.

My blogs have suffered, as has my social media interaction, but that will all be boosted again now.

My book seems to be doing pretty well, in fact it was positioned at 185,00 on Amazon best sellers rank on and off over the past month. Given how many books they sell I am taking that as a good thing; add to that the three 5 star ratings I have received this month and I am hopeful.

But I cannot sit on my laurels, promotion is the key so to add to my Twitter, Facebook (as Rosie Joseph) my Facebook page ”Making This Better’, and my Facebook Group ‘Making This Better’, I now have an Instagram page of the same name with followers going up each day. So after working with H all day I have been coming home and interacting with others all over the world.

I always knew, all those years ago, that my story would help others, our story would help others. What happened to us changed our lives, and I know some people will find it hard to believe, but for the better. If it hadn’t happened then I would not be sitting in my cold winters garden in France writing this blog.

But more than anything it is the wonderful messages that I get from people from all over the globe saying how my book has helped them; how they find themselves reading it and nodding and saying to themselves ‘that’s me.’

But you see I give them hope, because I am here now helping others, I am proof that you can come out the other side. Every message I get brings tears to my eyes, because I was there once, and I know their pain, and the messages are so wonderful, and grateful. The reviews on Amazon say it all really.

What has that got to do with this adventure? Everything. If we had not come here I would have been so caught up in the ‘rat race’ that I would probably never had time to write my book; and If I had, it may have had a less open perspective, given the crap I was putting up with in England.

In addition it shows that trust can grow, because RD and I had to trust each other to take on this adventure, and we had to work as a team to do it. As a result I know that we are changing other people’s lives, from what they tell me. We are giving them hope.

That’s got to be a good thing hasn’t it?

Rosie.

You can read our other story by clicking on the link at the top of the page.

Making This Better the book is now available including the journal entries for the first 5 years of our recovery & the whole 21 days of ‘The War’. Available internationally in paperback and ebook  at Amazon and Barnes & Noble also available at Xlibris and Apple Books for iPad and Waterstones Bookstores for click & collect

Winter days: Sunshine and Welshies.

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As I have said before I am trying to take the opportunity to spend time outside with nature, and my two beloved dogs.

It has been bitterly cold this past week in our rural area of France, and the thing with old stone houses is: they may look pretty but they are bloody cold if left without any heating in these kind of temperatures.

I have been working with RD this month, assisting and bossing him about. (I do the snagging in our business because I am a picky bitch!) So we have been freezing cold as we have not been lighting the fire until later, with the house eventually becoming warm and toasty just as we are going to bed!

But the job is coming to an end, so today I am at home, literally keeping the home fires burning. So the fire was lit this morning, and the house is warm, I have filled the log cabinet and RD can relax when he gets home.

Although cold it has been beautifully sunny and I have taken the opportunity to sit in my garden, at one with nature. Well as one as you can get it when accompanied by two Welsh Terriers!

But seriously the time I have with my dogs is never going to be enough; and being someone who always gets caught up in ‘the doing’, I need to remind myself daily to take a moment and enjoy the simple things in my life. Like sitting in the winter sunshine, with my dogs.

We pretty much know that our time here will be limited, and that we are likely to move to pastures new. So I need to enjoy this beautiful place whilst I can, so that I have memories to take with me, and no regret.

Enjoy it all, no matter the weather, breathe it in….

Rosie

You can read my other blog by clicking on the link abive. It may surprise you.

Making This Better my book is also available in all good bookstores including Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Apple Books and so many more.

Kindness on a cold winter’s morn.

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This was our sunrise on this cold morning in France.

Over the summer a little feral cat appeared in our garden. Needless to say she was chased off by the Welshies; but as winter drew in we found that when our bin was full, the bags would be ripped open, she was clearly looking for food.

Me, being me, bought some cheap cat food from the supermarket, we were broke but not so broke that we couldn’t help the little cat. But she disappeared and the tins have been left in the cupboard.

Today, when I let the Welshies out for their ablutions they proceeded to bark frantically at the gate.

When RD went out to investigate in the pitch black with his ‘Christmas Present’ torch (gifts are practical now!) the little cat was sitting on the gatepost. It must have been so cold and hungry it took the chance of aggravating the Welshies to see if it could get any food. Needless to say a bowl of food was dispatched and put under my car so the little cat felt safe to eat it.

I truly believe a little kindness from us all could start a wave in the world, instead of all the evil.

And all this before we had our first cup of tea!

Have a good day folks, do something kind.

Rosie

It may surprise some of you if your read my other blog Making This Better, it may help some of you too.

Making This Better the book is now available including the journal entries for the first 5 years of our recovery & the whole 21 days of ‘The War’. Available internationally in paperback and ebook  at Amazon and Barnes & Noble also available at Xlibris and Apple Books for iPad and Waterstones Bookstores for click & collect

New Life

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As some of you might have guessed my dear old Mil Mol’s passing had left me with writers block on both my blogs. I needed some time to just allow things to be.

I have thought for a while that we were going to have an early Spring; the clematis in our garden are sprouting new leaves in anticipation of summer, and even in late December I noticed that the primroses were coming up early, and as I walked around our garden I could feel that Spring was just on the cusp, as if she was standing behind me waiting to step into view.

Today it is sunny and cold, with the temperature not rising above six degrees, but the sunshine is warm, and has heat in it, reaffirming that new beginnings are on their way. And as if to underline all that I felt, as I was driving home today a hare ran across my path. As you know from previous posts I love hares. I will take it as a good omen that prosperity is on it’s way and that there will be rebirth.

Hares also serve as a reminder to trust your instinct and know your worth. I shouldn’t be surprised given that today I asked life to give me some indications re something we are deliberating over;it sent a Hare to remind us of the lesson we learned: knowing our worth.

Molly dying made me stop and think, as I believe death should: it should be a catalyst to make you reassess. I haven’t done any of the journal writing I said I would in my previous post. I know I must, I know I want to, and given that a hare is often a symbol sent to you to make you stop and reflect, then clearly life is trying to tell me something.

I love France, and most things French, but this is not my last adventure, I know that.

I should go and write my journal now, the hoovering can wait!

Rosie

Considerations

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Inspired by my fellow blogger and cyber friend Kat I have included this picture. It pretty much sums up how we feel right now: incredibly sad.

There is a pervading air of sadness in our house since Molly died, she was here so long. This picture of the weeping willow weeping into the lake, all of which has been painted by the Hoar Frost, reminds me of a time of silence, and is pertinent to how we feel. Right now we need silence and solitude, just with each other and our remaining pets, who are also showing signs of grief.

But it is also pertinent because the Hoar Frost eventually thawed, and the willow came back to life in the spring; as we will too, once we have processed and sat with our pain. I know this.

I have been reading blogs today, and I was inspired by one to write a letter to myself about what I hope this year will hold, and what I hope for, and where I hope to be by the end of the year. For me that will be a good exercise because (as with all endings) I have been reminded (again) that life is short and to seize the moment. But I also know that what we think we want is not necessarily what we need.

It was not just a New Year, it is a new decade, and R/D and I had already decided to reflect on where we were ten years ago, and all the things that happened to us in our life. Not least moving here, and falling in love with Welsh Terriers. It is a poignant reminder that at the end of this decade they will not be here with us, another reminder to cherish every moment.

We will also reflect on what we have achieved, what we thought we wanted back then, and see how much of what we thought we needed we didn’t need at all. I will share some of that on here.

So today I am going to take the Christmas decorations down, it’s time to move into something new, and I am going to open my new journal (how apt that the other one ran out just as the new decade came into being!) and do my form of meditation. But not before I found out my journal from ten years ago and read what I wrote then.

Mellow New Year

Rosie