Should I? Shouldn’t I?

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

I am in a quandary. I have been mulling a long time about writing something more substantial. I could say time and energy are against me with a demanding but satisfying job and a busy life. However, there are words in my head and I want to try and get them on paper/keyboard.

I did start writing a children’s story a while back and showed a few chapters on the blog – Chapter One, Chapter Two and Chapter Three. I know what I want to write and I know the Chapters I added into the blog need work. I have started on this but we are in the early stages.

The question is what to do? Approach a publisher? I know that most publishers are very risk-averse these days, book sales are dropping and new writers are finding it harder than ever to be signed up. This naturally brings me to the dreaded phrase in social media – self publishing 🙂

I don’t want to be the scourge of social media *weeps quietly* but I do have a inkling how this could be a good thing. If I go for self-publishing then I can make sure that at least 50% of any profits go to children’s charities. When I consider how much time I spend nagging folk to donate to charity then isn’t it time I put my money where my words are? Yes, I donate regularly, both monthly and by never passing a collection box, sponsoring etc. However, if I can raise money with my words then I am putting myself out there.

I will still blog, will still nag you all but there will be time spent on putting this book together and seeing where I go. Even if I only raise a few pounds then at least I have tried. I will use Facebook, Twitter, even Linkedin and Google+ to publicise and we will see where we go.

Why post about this today? Simples. I work better when I give myself a deadline. If I say out here that I am going to write then the pressure is on and a little self-imposed stress can be good for one:) I will update periodically on progress but my initial deadline to me if to have it completed by next summer. Research is needed as well as re-writes and more chapters so this should be enough time to spend my weekends on this. Wish me luck folks, I most definitely need it.

Think of me looking like this!

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading,

Lesley

October 26, 2012 at 9:56 am 2 comments

Hindsight.

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

I am going to link two stories that are hitting the headlines in the UK today. They may not seem to have much in common but to me there is a thread that links them….

Every day for the last week has seen new revelations about Jimmy Savile. For those of you who don’t know the name, he was a famous UK disc jockey who died last year. He had been famous for decades, known for radio and television shows plus his tireless charitable efforts. He was lauded and admired. However, it appears there was a much seedier side to Savile; he was a sexual predator. Many women have come forward to talk about assaults from unwanted touching to rape. There are ongoing investigations, both by police and within the BBC where Savile worked for many decades.

Some have asked why this is happening now, the man is dead and what good does it do. Some women have said that they went to the police years ago but their claims weren’t taken forward. Many who worked within the BBC from the 60s to the 80s and even today have said that inappropriate behaviour was not uncommon. I read about these times being ‘different’, workplace/life cultures have moved on. As someone who has worked from the 70s until now, whether in part-time work while studying or as now, full-time, I know workplace and indeed life cultures have changed.

Before anyone thinks I am an apologist for this – sexual assaults are wrong. I cannot believe that anyone thinks that the decade provides any excuse for that kind of behaviour. Wrong, wrong, wrong. I watched Have I Got News For You this week and agreed to some extent with Ian Hislop – he said that if people were not aware they couldn’t put a stop to it – the media frenzy that the BBC, hospitals and charities should be hung out to dry over this was not right if those organisations were not aware. HOWEVER, from some reports I have seen there were witnesses to at least some of Savile’s assaults. My question to them – did you report it at the time? If you did then thank you. If you didn’t, why the hell not?  When we see something that is wrong we are supposed to do something about it aren’t we? I have little sympathy with the tears of witnesses many years on if they were silent at the time. Yes, Savile was famous and his reputation as a kind man, a tireless worker for charity would have made it exceedingly difficult to go up against. Difficult doesn’t mean you shouldn’t try.

I then look at the Lance Armstrong story. To get the disclaimer in place early – Lance Armstrong denies all of the allegations contained in the US Anti-Doping Administration (USADA) report about a systematic and thoroughly organised programme of using performance enhancing drugs and other methods to increase performance. Added to the report we now see fellow riders and support staff coming out to talk about the rigorous processes Mr. Armstrong followed to ensure that he was better than the rest; this would appear to also involve not getting caught.

I accept Lance Armstrong has the right to deny the contents of the report and subsequent news coverage. I am though, personally tempted to stand up, point and say ‘Liar, liar, pants on fire’. It seems to me that enough people have come forward to at least partially substantiate the report. I will always be a believer in due process and that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. Because of this I can only say I am tempted to do the liar, liar action.

However, again I say to all those people who are so eager to talk about the transgressions of Lance Armstrong now but said nothing before – wrong, wrong, wrong. I see no noble actions here, just a tawdry and sorry story about the limits people may go to to win and those who would be content to further this aim whilst it might fit their own ends.

My final point – what do we do when we see something wrong? Do we act or do we allow? I like to think I would act and I hope you all would to.

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.

Lesley

October 16, 2012 at 1:34 pm 2 comments

Power and Reason?

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

I have been wandering round the news sites again this week. I like to read the news on that Interweb, it allows you to skim some stories and find deeper opinion articles when you are in that frame of mind. One article in particular caught my eye – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-19842100, entitled ‘The psychology of the powerful’, interesting stuff.

There were two main threads to the article. First we had the theory that power can (literally?) go to a person’s head. This came from an extract from a speech from psychologist Guy Claxton at the Royal Society of Medicine conference this week. He talked about “a disorder of intelligence”. Mr. Claxton is Professor of learning sciences at the University of Winchester, has written many books and advised multiple organisations on how to help people learn.

He makes some excellent points, I know I don’t do him justice but my take from his words:-

  • When you gain a position of (Government) power you move into a different world. You are the person who decides.  This different world does not have its core in the day-to-day life that the rest of the world inhabits
  • There is a danger that this (cloistered) world gives a different reality wherein the decision-making and not the decision itself can become more important. You must be seen to act and the speed of your action, not the thought processes behind it will take priority
  • Doubt is a key quality in all of us. It makes us explore more angles before making a decision we can stand over. When we lose doubt we can lose clarity. One way to keep doubt fresh is to have friends who will challenge and even mock you.
  • If you don’t have humour or doubt you will lose the ability to see your own flaws. Acknowledge them and accept the new ones that others may point out. If you don’t do this? You will always be right and everyone else will be wrong. That way leads hubris, wonderful word, scary meaning.

Professor Claxton is well worth a Google or two. I particularly liked the two listed below:-

http://www.huffingtonpost.co.uk/professor-guy-claxton/ebacc-life-of-tests-is-no-preparation_b_1890686.html

http://www.aeonmagazine.com/being-human/guy-glaxton-education-morality-character/

I did say there were two main points to the article. The second part covers empathy, another wonderful word and one I love. It is the risk from a lack of empathy that was discussed at the Royal Society of Medicine conference. When we like someone their pain becomes our pain, we empathise. Differing levels of status can impact this. Those in power become, by their position, high-status. This can impact the levels of empathy felt for those perceived to be of lower status; a real danger for all politicians. It brings me back to the cloistered world scenario above. A lack of understanding of how policies impact people is, to me, dangerous. The policy becomes all, the people not so much. I know unpleasant decisions have to be taken. Governments cannot hogtie themselves with hand-wringing and agony. However, they need to account for the impacts their decisions will have on normal people.’ The people’ is not an abstract concept, it is you and me. We have to live with the impacts of the decisions that others make, that is the way when you live in a governed society. I know this, I just hope the politicians do too.

Power and reason need to be bedfellows, arrogance and lack of empathy are normally fleeting in first world politics. Hubris is there but in small nuances. But other countries live with the impact of total hubris, where the people matter not at all. There are countries where it is all about the power and nothing about the reason.

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.

Lesley

October 7, 2012 at 3:04 pm Leave a comment

News or Silly Season?

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

The term ‘silly season’ is normally applied to the summer months when Governments are in recess and fewer political stories make the headlines so other sources of news have to be found. However, I think it can also be used during the Conference season when political parties and other organisations announce their cunning plans for the next year. This week we have the Lib Dems, suffering from their slide down the polls and some latest approval ratings for Nick Clegg showing as little as 25%. I am interested to see how his big speech will be received during Conference but prior to Conference Mr. Clegg was doing the rounds with paper and television interviews.  So, I will talk a little about Mr. Clegg. I will not cover ‘that’ apology, please not the apology. So many have already spoken that I don’t need to add any words to this latest piece of ill-advised tomfoolery.

I want to cover Mr. Clegg’s assertion that part of the economic recovery has to come from movement on property, that is,  getting younger people on the property ladder. Saving for deposits is hard when all our bills seem to increase month on month and banks providing many hoops and hurdles to clear before lending thus the market is still slow. Mr. Clegg’s answer to this? Parents and grandparents can ‘draw’ on their pension pots to help provide the deposits for their children/grandchildren. Hmmm. Aren’t we being consistently told that it is our responsibility to save for our old age?  Fewer and fewer of us will have a final salary pension, stakeholder pensions are the reality for most of us. The State Pension age is increasing; I know that a State Pension at 60 is a dream long since passed for me. Most people my age do make calculations on when they can afford to retire and how little they will have to live on when they do. I do and will continue to save for my pension and am lucky in the approach my employer takes. I will never be rich, I reconciled myself to that many years ago but I hope to manage and think that is the best that the majority can hope for. So, raiding what I have saved even for my lovely children is not an option I will take. They can have all that remains when my clogs are popped but until then I will hold on to what I have.

I have often thought that the mark of a really clever politician is being able to present an unpalatable idea in a plausible manner, to sell an idea that doesn’t always make sense. You don’t have to admire their policy but you can give a nod to their skill. By this definition I do not consider Mr. Clegg to be a clever politician.

I  now move to a story that some may think firmly lies under the Silly Season umbrella but made me smile. It is the story of the Canadian dentist who has travelled back to Ireland to see if he can find the woman he briefly spoke to a year ago. They exchanged a couple of sentences at a small cafe in County Clare and she has been in his head and perhaps his heart ever since. I am a completely romantic sop, I admit that freely. A brief encounter story makes me smile. You may think him daft, I think he is taking a chance, that chance that you don’t want to live to regret. I applaud him and hope that even if he doesn’t meet that girl of his dreams that he will know that at least he tried.  The link to the story is here and I hope you take the time to read it and it makes you smile too – http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-19685982

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.

Lesley

September 24, 2012 at 11:34 am 4 comments

Temptation?

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

Temptation is one of those delicious words. These days it conjures up naughtiness, wicked but in a ‘Carry On’ way. We apply the word to that sneaky bar of chocolate or a slice of cake. We don’t often consider the darker definition of the word….

The definition of temptation?

1. The act of tempting; enticement or allurement.

2. Something that tempts, entices, or allures.

3. The fact or state of being tempted, especially to evil.

4. An instance of this. The temptation of Christ by Satan. Matt. 4.

Fascinating that the words to describe temptation are as ‘tempting’ as the word. Enticement, allurement, they make us think of something that will make us tingle, make us smile.

People talk about temptation as a quick fix. “I couldn’t resist those crisps, that dress, those shoes.”. We regard it as an enhancement, a reward perhaps for a bad week. I do it too; ‘reward’ myself with something nice, mentally kick myself later for the calories, the money splurged.

So, is the temptation worth it? Yes and no. It comes down to what you are trying to fix. When we need cheering up after a crappy day then a bar of choccy is just the thing to perk you up. Then the quick fix will make you smile, lift your spirits. I raise my hands and plead guilty:)

However, when your life is not what or where you want it to be then a quick fix is not the answer. We all know this and yet we fool ourselves that the new whatever will work, at least sometimes. Why do we think that distraction with little things will sort out the larger issues? We all do it when there is a mountain looming in front of us. Procrastination, prevarication, call it what you will. If we aren’t looking at the mountain then it isn’t there? It may distract for a while but when things are quieter your thoughts will always drift back there.

Looking outside yourself also leads to the ‘if onlys’. If only I had that new job, if only I had that new relationship, if only I could take that trip. Life is full of if onlys but they only happen when you make them. I made a major change recently when I changed my working hours. It has allowed me to do what I wanted, provide a little help to some. However, I have found the adjustment more difficult than I thought and it has taken time to get used to my ‘new’ routine. I thought I would have more time to write but that is an ‘if only’ for me. I will keep working on it.

I said about the darker side of temptation didn’t I? The state of being tempted, especially to evil. A chilling definition. I get the naughty side of temptation, the darker side not at all. Is it temptation, arrogance or complete indifference to others that makes a sane person act in an evil way? There are people who take without heed. There are people who suppress using words or fists. There are people who take positions of responsibility and use their power to abuse, crush as they live lavish lives. How do people start on that path? What is the first tempting thought that leads them down their chosen path? More importantly, when they have no distractions left what does the voice in their head say? I don’t know and am not sure I ever want to, I’ll concentrate on only listening to this one when he talks about shoes…..

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.

Lesley

September 15, 2012 at 6:36 pm Leave a comment

Nightmares.

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

This is a post about nightmares. Sleep is when we get to recharge and rest. It should be sweet and restful, letting your body and mind get ready for the needs of tomorrow. However, for many this is not the case….

I asked the lovely people of Twitter if anyone wanted to share their experiences with me for this blog and I will add in my own so you understand why I wanted to cover this topic. I will use only an initial for those whose words I share and am interested to see if they resonate with you.

From ‘B’

I’ve got a fairly overactive imagination, so sleep has never come easy to me – I take a long time to drift off, and I wake up easily throughout the night and when morning arrives. My ‘nightmares’ often aren’t scary in themselves, but as I’m a borderline sleepwalker, the waking up part can be pretty interesting.

Memorable examples include when I was a student, and had a huge Reservoir Dogs poster on my wall – the Mr Blonde one, where he’s drinking a milkshake – and I woke up halfway through a fist fight with him. On another occasion, I woke up stood at my (locked) bedroom door, trying to get out.

More recently, I dreamed my bedroom ceiling was caving in, and woke up desperately trying to hold it up – obviously it wasn’t collapsing, but the weird part is that some of the ‘dream reality’ lingers for a few minutes before real-world logic kicks in and you realise that what you’re doing is ludicrous.

In terms of ‘normal’ nightmares, I’ve had plenty of dreams about being chased – either by murderous secret agents and assassins, or by toothy monsters hoping to take a bite out of me. In general, I’d opt for waking from one of those, in my own bed, rather than waking up on my feet somewhere else…!

Lesley says – I love the fight with the Reservoir Dogs poster, it shows that B is a ‘goody’ even when asleep, wanting to foil the evil deeds of those baddies. I also had a brother with a tendency to waken up in strange places. I am glad to say that these were normally within our parents’ home but know from his experiences how disorienting it can be to waken in a different place from where you went to sleep.

From D

My nightmare usually consists of a feeling of being smothered, an immense weight on my body, pushing the air out of my lungs, someone hugging me to stop me moving and an inability to speak or scream. My words come out as grunts of fear and sometimes not at all. If my bladder is full I cannot find a toilet as the squeezing of me becomes more intense and stifling.

Mrs D says I usually lie still and sweat…she knows I am having nightmare. When I can, I let out a shout usually ‘NO’ or ‘HELP ME’

Lesley says – This is a terrifying dream. I am no dream analyst but this reflects pain. I can only hope that D finds solace somewhere from this pain. I am grateful for his courage in sharing and hope that relief from this dream and its causes will come his way.

From J

As a child I had two distinct and regular nightmares. The first was that I was on the landing about to walk down the stairs. As I step forward I start to fall, though I am standing upright I am plummeting at speed to the bottom of the stairs. As I reach the bottom I wake up in a sweat with heart pounding. The second regular nightmare is that I am walking somewhere, usually with my father. However instinctively I know this isn’t actually my father but a monster who looks like my father. I try to hide this from him, knowing that if he knows I know, then he will kill me. It always ends with him looking at me, then his face starting to change, his mouth opening up like a snake’s fangs in place of teeth and he emits a beastly, guttural roar before reaching down to kill and devour me.

In later years I started to dream that I was in a hurry to get somewhere. I would be walking along when suddenly I would start to levitate, against my will. I tried to get back on the ground but couldn’t. Because my feet had no purchase, I couldn’t control my direction or speed and inevitably would end up not getting where I needed to be on time.

Sometimes I dream I am stranded miles from home, only wearing pyjamas and have to walk, in the dark, along miles of country roads to get back home. People stop and stare and I feel under constant threat.

Another nightmare that recurs is that I have witnessed a major accident or emergency, sometimes it is someone I know having a heart attack, sometimes it is something like seeing a plane crash and burst into flames as it hits the ocean. I try to phone 999. Sometimes I can’t find a phone. Other times, my phone won’t work. Always, when I get through I am put on hold, then the operators aren’t helpful, they tell me I am through to the wrong department, they reel off long numbers for me to call myself. They never help and leave me frantically unable to get help for the person/people who are dying.

In a lot of nightmares I am murdered or at the receiving end of violent crime. I am in a familiar situation but sometimes one of my friends turns violent, sometimes it is a stranger. In one recent nightmare I was murdered and killed over five times in the space of one dream sequence. Shot, blown up, stabbed, always painful, always violent, never an accident. Sometimes, rather than being murdered, someone I care about or trust turns on me, knocks me out and when I come to, they have me imprisoned and they torture me, electrocution, burning, slicing scalpels into me. Always painful, physical torture.

The newest recurring nightmare has been happening over the last three years. A good friend from work has a granddaughter who has a pet which is always a big cat, lion/tiger/panther/leopard are the variations so far. The pet was a cub but is now reaching adult size. Without meaning to the big cat is a danger to this child. her grandmother tells me to take the big cat and have it put to sleep. I am afraid of the animal and am trying to put a collar and lead on it to take it to the vet, but sense that the big cat knows something is up and is full of sinister menace and waiting for me to approach it so it can tear me apart. In the meantime I am trying to feed it to distract it, and can’t find enough meat to satisfy it. It always ends with me waking up just as the big cat is pouncing on me, about to kill me and probably devour me.

Anyhow, those are the main nightmares I have had over the years. I have experienced them since as far back as I can remember, certainly from about the age of 4 onwards. It is a rare night that I wouldn’t have a nightmare, and these are the most common ones that still plague me on a reoccurring basis.

Lesley says  – A lot of vivid dreams from J. It is interesting that so many feature creatures and ‘change’, a monster disguising itself as his father, friends changing into something J does not recognise.  Also, I had believed that people did not die in dreams but J seems to knock that theory on its head. However, what also shines through is that J’s dreams also focus on trying to help others which speaks to the person he is.

From P

I had a series of five nightmares over a three week period about 15 plus years ago. All involved being watched by something I couldn’t see but could sense was there. The last two were the worst and prompted me to go to the doctor for a chat. I did, we chatted and they stopped. Very strange.

The fourth was as follows:

I was working in a tower block and went down the stairs to meet my wife who was on the floor below at a bank counter. She looked up and waved to me through the window and I pointed to a small child, in Victorian dress, all in black, who was standing in front of the counter staring at her. I kept pointing at the child and mouthing “who is she” but my wife didn’t appear to see her. The child continued to stare and I felt panic rising. Them something moved behind her. I couldn’t make out what it was but it was dark and the air had gone cold. I started to bang on the window telling her to get out as the dark figure got closer and closer behind her but my wife now seemed to be able to see the girl and took no notice of me. Just as the figure was about to envelop her I woke up, wet through and hardly able to breathe.

The straw that broke the camel’s back was the last one.

I often dream about a house we lived in when I was a child. It was a Victorian terrace and behind it was an old slaughter house that my Dad used as a garage. I had to be moved out of one bedroom as I kept waking up screaming in it. I was about six or seven. I claimed the walls were moving.

In the dream, the house was the wrong way round and I remember trying to reconcile this as I slept. The bedroom was where the bathroom should be and vice versa. I was in bed and my two sisters were also in beds alongside me. I was cold. It was dark but I could see the flickering of the TV screen downstairs as my parents watched. A breeze started and then got stronger. It got colder and, again, I became aware of something moving. I started to shout to my parents but they either couldn’t hear or my voice was too weak. Panic built up and, through the flickering I could see the same dark shadow as my previous dream. This time I could hear it too. It scraped and rustled as it climbed the stairs. I was freezing cold and screaming at my sisters to run but they slept. I tried to get up but couldn’t, all I could do was stare at the open door waiting for whatever it was to come round the corner.

Just as the figure was about to appear, there was a grating noise and the walls began to move. In one of the walls, three shapes began to appear. I watched in horror as three tomb spaces appeared and above them I read the names of my two sisters and me. The figure appeared into view and I woke up, again wet through and freezing cold. It was terrible.

As a postscript, the year after, J and I took my dad to France to where he was brought up. A school friend of his hired us a gite. It hadn’t been modernised since the war and we were dismayed when we went in. The walls were filled with dead animal heads and even my implacable dad hated it. In our bedroom was a double bed and at each side of it was a little door, about two foot high with a cross above each. My wife opened a wardrobe door and freaked out. In there was a Victorian doll, dressed exactly as I had described to her in my dream. We moved out the next day.

Lesley says – I think P’s words do illustrate one thing I believe, that children can pick up on nuances/vibes/call them what you will, that adults are perhaps not sensitive to. Some people say that dreams like this are merely coincidence; I have never been that certain. In life and dreams there are coincidences but I also believe there are things not so easily explained. Others place many names for this but I have none, I just know that sometimes your inner voice is the right one to follow.

From Me

I talked to my sons about this blogpost and they too have had this dream so it may be common, I only know how scared I was when I first experienced it…

This dream only happens when I am dozing. In the dream I am sleeping where I have fallen asleep, normally the sofa and the same people are in the room with me as were there when I dozed off. I waken in the dream but I have total paralysis. I cannot open my eyes, cannot move or speak. I remember the panic the first time when I tried to make a noise, any noise, to alert my family to what had happened. I could sense my fear and my heart knocking in my chest but couldn’t do anything about it. I have never known such fear. It felt like an age but was probably only a minute or two before I fell back to sleep.  When I awoke properly I talked about it and asked had it been obvious to anyone but apparently I had looked happily asleep. It preyed on my mind for days.

The second time it happened was exactly the same. Again I thought about it for days and was even frightened to sleep in case it happened again. I am glad to say that thinking about the experience has somehow allowed me to process it. I have had the dream a few times since but once I have those initial moments of panic I have been able to comprehend that this is a dream. This allows me to tell myself to go back to sleep thus allowing me to waken properly shortly after. I hate the feelings it gives me but am hoping that I can now deal with them a little better……

Some theorise that dreams allow us to process the experiences of the day, others believe it is a way for our body to process underlying emotions. Scientists study our sleeping patterns and the brain activity during the phases of sleep. However, no-one has definitive answers for dreams and how they impact our waking selves. I think they will always have some mystery, perhaps they are personal and should remain so?

For me? I hope your dreams are happy and you waken up smiling. When you do, please think of those whose waking hours are the nightmare – poverty, violence, hunger. These are the waking experiences for too many and their nightmares may be a relief. That is a terror to me.

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.

Lesley

September 3, 2012 at 9:19 pm Leave a comment

Locked In.

I do this for a reason. I want you to donate to a children’s charity and write to me. Please see the About Lesley page or read the instructions at the end of this post…..

Watching the news this morning I saw an interview with Jane Nicklinson. Mrs Nicklinson is the widow of Tony, who lost his right to die court battle two weeks ago. The devastation he felt hastened his end and he passed away last week. Mr Nicklinson suffered from locked-in syndrome after suffering a stroke seven years ago. The link below has the news report from this court battle. It is hard to watch, seeing Mr. Nicklinson’s distress but it is what he wanted people to see.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-19400411

The National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke defines locked-in syndrome as a rare neurological disorder characterized by complete paralysis of voluntary muscles in all parts of the body except for those that control eye movement. It may result from traumatic brain injury, diseases of the circulatory system, diseases that destroy the myelin sheath surrounding nerve cells, or medication overdose. Individuals with locked-in syndrome are conscious and can think and reason, but are unable to speak or move. The disorder leaves individuals completely mute and paralyzed. Communication may be possible with blinking eye movements.

Gruesome.

Mr. Nicklinson had been an active and vibrant man before the stroke left him completely dependent. He felt the deprivations of his condition deeply and was frustrated by it and the burdens he felt he imposed on his wife and family. Jane Nicklinson epitomises in sickness and in health. She cared for her husband because she knew the mind of the man she loved was still there even when everything else had let him down. However, she was practical too. In the interview this morning she said it had been harder seven years ago when her life as well as Tony’s changed forever. During those years she left the house once a week to do the weekly shop, the rest of the time she cared for her husband. I doubt many of us would be as brave as she.

For his sake and hers, I am glad Tony Nicklinson has passed. I admire him for his determination to fight for a change in the law. I admire Mrs. Nicklinson for her love and dedication to the care of her husband. I hope that she will allow herself to smile, travel, enjoy life once she has finished grieving.

It has made me think. Most of us muddle through, balancing work and family. We blithely trip through life and consider our woes as mountains instead of the molehills they often are. It is when I see stories of real sacrifice and love that I stop and pause. We all have worries but it may do us good to put them into a larger context. Then we might find our own burdens a little lighter; allow ourselves to see others whose burdens are heavy and perhaps offer a helping hand?

I close, as always, with this:-

  • Please donate to a valid children’s charity of your choice.
  • Visit this blog and comment about your donation. Please also tell me what you wanted to be when you were 8. I still want to collect those tales and hope that some child will read about your words and deeds and want to do the same when they are older.

I will:-

  • Add your donation to the Totals page on this blog, totals are updated weekly.
  • I will also write some words about the current donations and the charity
  • Store all comments so that everyone can read them.

Thank you for reading.

Lesley

August 28, 2012 at 11:05 pm Leave a comment

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