“Welcome to my home on the internet!”
Lowered eyes glanced through grimy windows
smeared rain spots across the filthy panes of Bus34.
Memories sneaked the corners of my mind and rolled hotly down my cheeks.
Casting eyes upwards to grey smudgy skies, head resting at a tired angle
I looked for you…
The dirty light of filthy day, no sunshine broke my blurring eyes
your dear dark velvet, heavily fringed eyes, slowing closing
flooded my mind and filled my vision.
Desperate days that still seemed like yesterday,
days that were long now, spoilt by loss.
Taking this evening route daily
life did not improve, my time to recall,
my time to remember…
Emotional on Bus 34.
Do You Think I had Forgotten You ?
The years and months pass quickly now from the delicate Springtime to the gloriously hot Summers the brilliant kaleidoscope of Autumn and on to the snow covered Winters,the days and months sneakily roll into one patch of time.I look from my windows at the changing seasons but only see you, do you think I had forgotten? I cover my days well, I smile a lot, it’s good to smile… But forget no! There will be no forgetting.
Loss is made endurable by love and it is love that will echo through eternity…
When I don’t mention your name
it wishes to slip through my lips
it rolls around in my mouth
it hinders my speech
you are not a memory lost
you are with me always
yearning to escape,
please can I mention your name?
A new guest for tea
like old school friends relaying
the years past, the joy of connection
laughter and life,
she asks your name
it flows like a coursing stream
channels down on fresh white linen it falls,
it ripples, slides and spills…
Oh the joy of saying your name
oh the passage of cherished time
fills my heart making my ears happy,
your name tastes of sweet soft
honey on my tongue,
it tastes of Caspian beluga caviar
on thin warm blinis,
it makes my eyes open wide with joy,
it is my heaven it is my desire…
Can I mention your name…
As the closing of 2017 is upon us I look back over this very exciting and special year. The year when I reach the fabulous age of seventy, I can hardly believe that I have made it to this senior age!
When I was young seventy was considered really old and I look back on my Aunts and Uncles at this age as rather old and creaky and most of them suffering with some sort of aches and pains. I am delighted to report I don’t feel this way at all. I am so lucky not to have joints that creak and yes I know there are tons more laughter lines on my face but each one tells a marvellous story and so I am proud to wear them as the older lady I have become. Lucky also, to have found a sort of magical contentment, no worries and a newer found patience which I am truly enjoying. It seems that nothing except losing a loved one, could faze me ever again. Nothing is so final as losing those you love, nothing else comes close or really matters and everything else can be put right. So as I approach 2018 I am truly content and my heart tranquil.
2017 has been so memorable for many reasons, starting with major excitement for me in April, with a trip back to the UAE Oasis City of Al Ain, for a desert reunion and to catch-up with so many friends made during my time there in the eighties and early nineties. I travelled with my youngest son Jo who was also making the trip, he wanted to recall the years he spent growing up in this beautiful place, to remember again where his papa worked. Although now a sprawling City it is still full of that old magical charm we embraced and loved.
The reunion so very well planned, including something special every night, different venues at selected Hotels, some new hotels but many old favourites but the most magical night for me and the most memorable was atop the “Jebel Hafeet” dining under the stars after watching the most magnificent sunset over-looking the now sprawling city and it’s thousands of twinkling lights 4,098 ft below. An evening after the hot day, when the welcome ‘Kamseen’ made its perfect attendance on our faces and through our hair. We chatted onwards into the night, there were many of us and lots to catch-up on. I read a poem in the lowering dusk, one written a time ago about this beautiful mountain range, nothing much had change except there was now a luxury hotel built on top of the mountain, it was delightful as the sky filled with millions of stars and we recalled those oh so special halcyon days of the eighties…A lovely memorable evening in the desert we love so much. And so on to June…
Then I was so lucky to enjoy in June a most perfect and entirely enchanting holiday in Crete with my dearest friend. Pure luxury in an idyllic beautifully designed modern hotel set in a perfect bay in Chania. We swam everyday, walked the old harbour and surrounds and ate some delicious meals often under the stars. We were able to visit old friends too in their villa up in the mountains. The weather was idyllic, beautifully hot but not the heat of the desert just entirely fabulous. Memories of perfumed jacuzzis and time under the stars. What lovely joyous memories I have of this perfect time!
In the middle of 2017 I did a lot of work on the garden and also mid-year I had the old decking removed and a gravel area laid, it’s tidied up this part of the garden well and I am pleased with the neatness of this new terrace area. More changes are planned for 2018…watch this space…
Then coming forward to November and my VERY fabulous weekend celebrations for my grand 70th Birthday . We ‘took over’ the very enchanting “Woodhall Spa Manor Hotel” for the weekend. Some of us stayed there and some in hotels and guest houses locally to Woodhall Spa. We were lucky with the weather, bright and a late autumnal feel but we still had the roaring log fire in the grand hall and admired the yellows and golds of the magnificent trees which looked their best when sunlit.
On the Friday night we had a formal dinner for twenty two, cooked so beautifully by the two chefs from London, engaged by Son Jo who so cleverly and amazingly arranged the whole magnificent wonder filled weekend. The meal was totally delicious, the wine absolutely perfect Mouton Cadet – Rothschild, which is now my all time favourite, we drank nine bottles! The ambience of the pretty long stemmed pink and cream rose-strewed table, every one looking glamorous, everything perfect…A wonderful evening…
We retired after the delicious meal to the lounge bar where more guests arrived for evening drinks. An evening spent catching up, lots of fizz, lots of chat, lots of love…I could have sat there all night…
On the Saturday we enjoyed a superb breakfast cooked by our lovely chefs then went for a group walk in the sunshine to “The Broadway” on return we stopped for hot chocolate and coffees at “The Tea House in the Woods” we wanted to show this old early 1900’s Tea house to our dear friends who had come all the way for this super birthday celebration from Kentucky USA. They loved it all and we loved it that they had come all that way to join us for this very special occasion.❤️
Later our marvellous Chefs served a most delicious Afternoon Tea for us in the Golfers Bar, all manner of dainty sandwiches, quail eggs, with truffle, chocolate and orange cake, fruit loaf and scones with raspberry conserve and clotted cream. Completely yummy!
We all took a rest and prepared ourselves for the huge, fifty+ evening disco party where many more friends joined us for dancing, canapés and an abundance of champagne and fizz amongst other favourite drinks. It was a superb, magnificent celebration of my seventy years in this beautiful world. I am so humbled and grateful for all the love shown over this weekend, so many treats, even a most spectacular birthday cake…how very lucky i am!
Looking back now as this year of 2017 ends, I feel so very fortunate to have such lovely friends and a great family, to be able to enjoy good health, of not feeling anything like seventy whatever that is supposed to feel like! I am privileged to have good friends who have helped me overcome great sadness in the past and entirely grateful to have found much joy again. ❤️
May 2018 bring to you all, everything your heart truly desires. Try to listen carefully to other people in your life, for along the way you may miss important needs of those close to you. Take time to spend looking ‘outward’ and not with your head always buried in laptops, phones or iPads ( a big sin for me sometimes) Still what a joy they are for keeping up with old friends when you cannot see them as much as you would wish, for seeing friends who live far away, so great too for those that live alone, saves keep talking to the wall!
I suppose as a senior lady I am allowed to air my thoughts a bit on looking forward in life and may I recommend to be kind and gentle always, even If at times your kindness seems misconstrued by others. Stick with it and keep smiling. Find your courage too, to be able to stand-up when you believe something is wrong or not understood, say what needs to be said, do not accept anything less than the best for yourself, never allow yourself to be disrespected especially when you do not or have never show disrespect to anyone. Tell those that hurt you they have done so, if they are of any importance to your heart! Try never to malign or criticise other, how do you know how life is treating them or how hard it may be to ‘walk in their shoes’. Value yourself at every age. ❤️ Look after yourself but give time to those you love, don’t always appear too busy for their needs, for those that don’t, will find themselves alone one day and will wonder why.❤️
Read a book, any book but try to find one that absorbs you totally, one you can’t wait to read the next chapter and listen to more music, the kind that stirs your heart, no matter what that is. Dance and love… love and dance and love some more…Always my favourite pastimes…
A Happy Joyous Peaceful and Kind 2018 is wished for you all.❤️
On My Seventieth Birthday.
For breakfast there will be Eggs Benedict
with buttered mouth-watering toast, dripping and ladened,
there will be bustle, laughter, cuddles and kisses,
family and friends, greetings and wishes.
On my Seventieth birthday, there will be…
Buck’s Fizz that makes my head ‘ tizzy and dizzy’
and makes me feel seventeen and silly again.
I shall stand outside, perhaps run with the wind blowing in my hair,
I shall be free and fanciful with young limbs and pretty varnished toes,
I shall paint my lips scarlet red and mascara my lashes
just as I’ve always done…
I shall wear stockings and suspenders, with 4″heels, just like the ones
that caused such a stir in the sixties,
when as a young woman I wore with joy,
today as an act of defiance and because I still can!
We shall eat cakes for lunch and why not? Newly made warm scones dripping with clotted cream and raspberry preserve,
tiny sandwiches, ones you pop-in, in one go, so dainty and neat they make you feel like a princess.
On my Seventieth birthday…
Then I shall have a G & T maybe two, take my dreams and sleep till three,
then after…lay in perfumed bubbles till I’m all shiny and new,
to make curls in my hair and paint a face
so fair even a ghost from the past would grin at this forties gal,
I shall take my laughter from a hidden drawer and
wear my very best smile for I have to be ready to dance till dawn…
Shall I run barefoot across the grass under the stars at midnight
or shashay in my stilettos of the past?
No tiara or my best hat not on this day, but there will be the music,
the music of my youth, to drag memories from my soul
the songs I know so I won’t feel old, not one bit!
There will be soft twinkling lights, champagne, giggles
and the room filled with all the happy faces of my family and dear friends,
I shall dance and strut with flair, I will flirt with handsome men
I shall think of you as I always do, you will be there with me resting your arm lightly on my shoulder, the scent of you captured, tucked close to my heart and mixed secretly with all my luscious memories of the past…
Can you believe I made it….
And what would YOU think of me on my Seventieth birthday I wonder…
Susie Hemingway @ November2017.
To all my female friends
Most of us are going through the next stage of our lives. We are at that age where we see the wrinkles, grey hair, extra pounds. We see the pretty 25 year old’s and sigh. But, we were once 25, too, just like they will one day be our age. What they bring to the table with their youth and zest for life, we bring with our wisdom, experience and good hearts. For all we’ve been through earning each grey hair… raising kids, bills and ills and whatever else life brought us over our 30’s ,40’s 50″s and dare I now say 70’s, we are survivors… we are warriors… we are women. Like a classic car or a fine wine. While our exterior may not be what it once was, it is traded for our spirit, our courage and our strength to enter this chapter of our lives with grace and pride for all we’ve been through and accomplished.
Never feel bad about ageing. It is a privilege denied to many…
Having already been to the United Arab Emirates in April for a Desert Reunion and having the most super time, staying at the Al Ain Hilton and meeting-up again with old friends, travelling with my youngest Son Jo and reliving the time we spent there in this desert oasis more than thirty years ago, I must say it was an exciting and truly memorable time. So I felt very lucky to have yet another brilliant holiday at the beginning of June. It was such a holiday that the enchanting visions have stayed with me, my mind returning to them daily such were the very beautiful surroundings.
It was a gorgeously pleasant holiday staying at a most elegant Hotel set in the most perfection cove location. “The Domes Noruz” in Chania Crete was such a perfect experience from the first meeting with the absolutely charming staff to the entirely fabulous and very special stay throughout. The room, an “upbeat suite” with fabulous plunge pool and jacuzzi on own terrace was perfection. I must add this is a fairly new hotel so everything has that new and prestine feel about it. A huge bed so comfy, so spotlessly clean with top quality bed linen changed daily.
The room was very large with a walk- out terrace and every added comfort you could possible need.
The hotel set in flowered walk-way grounds has three swimming pools, one interior in the wellness centre and two further outdoor pools. One pool is designated as a quiet area, perfect if you wish to read or just relax quietly.
Having said that there is music at the other larger pool and a fabulous rooftop bar with views of the beautiful setting and of the cove and bay. The rooftop bar is perfect for lunch or just to partake in a cocktail at any time of the day or at the best time of the day while watching the sunset. This is an adults only hotel so plenty of sophisticated life just everywhere! Fabulous breakfasts, fabulous lunches and dinners with a wonderful array of just every culinary delight you may desire. Fresh figs and exotic fruits to the best local pastries I have ever tasted to a full cooked breakfast. The waiters remembering your choice daily for coffees/teas and special juices. The restaurant at night takes on the most gorgeous ambience and the food is just delicious such a perfect place to be as the sun sets. The lovely attentive waiters brought several complimentry dishes for us to try. It would be so easy to end up with more food than you could ever manage still I suppose for some!. Here shown below, a lunch tapas.
As I mentioned before this beautiful modern hotel was set in the most perfect location. A stunning peaceful cove.
I am no longer a young woman but was able to swim everyday in the calm sea, a good level clear location. This place rejuvenates! The water is so clear you could see your feet and swim for a really good distance on a plateau. I loved it, just a few steps into the calm sea.
The views daily are beautiful, the sunsets amazing. You can walk to other nearby taverners in the evenings should you wish and there are good ones too but really everything is here in this very special hotel.
A gym and very well appointed wellness centre is also available for those that enjoy a massage or a little beauty therapy. Or for those that really want to remain fit and toned while here. Well trained, excellent, perfect staff will take care of you in a most pleasant atmosphere.
A visit to the old port town of Chania is not to be missed while in Crete, such a special place with quaint lanes of shops, taverners and bars to visit. Also I feel a must, is a trip to the very well maintained English War Cemetery-a very moving experience, I certainly found it so. Try if you can to visit the old port town and harbour of Chania just as the sun is going down, to sit and watch the spectacular sunset is quite something.
I cannot recommend the ” Domes Noruz” hotel more highly. I am a well seasoned traveler and have been lucky enough to enjoy many first class hotels but I enjoyed this special hotel with its sleek modern lines and this holiday more than words can say. I do recommend for those that like things done in the most perfect understated manner. Great for honeymooners,, great for those with a sophisticated palette, great for those with a romantic soul. Just great…
I took a walk along the little mews and lanes of my nearby town yesterday, passing by the old Workhouse and on to the Old Dispensary. It was a pleasingly warm almost summer day. I stopped long enough to take this photo but sat further for a while on a nearby wall. I have a good imagination and sat pondering how many times over the years folk had gone with hope in their hearts to collect medicines from this dispensary. I dreamt of how they would have looked, the clothes, whether they walked or cycled or came by horse and cart, or even a carriage., there is a lane immediately alongside after all. Life no doubt would not have been easy and the cost of a doctor great. The chemist sat tightly next to the old workhouse in a small mews with old cottages nearby, reminding me of so many television period dramas.
As I sat I dreamt of another era, of long dresses and capes, of black shiny horses and gallant gentlemen. I dreamt of rogues and vagabonds too and of a life before. I dreamt of child chimney sweeps. I thought of the poverty of some, maybe many? I dreamt of children caught in epidemics with no answer for them. For there were many during this time, influenza, diphtheria, tuberculosis and so many more. I wondered deeply of the folk who lived in the nearby cottages. Still quite beautiful but were they then?
Nestled between two nearby rivers would have meant plenty or rats and the disease they bring. No toilets inside, no electricity but a much simpler way of life but with hardships and a much tougher life. Still I’m sure many pleasures dwelt within too!
More than a few I suppose would never ever have left this small town in Lincolnshire and even now this can be the case. My young garden-helper tells me, that he had never been to London but HAS been to Skegness some 20.4 miles away…he is twenty-three! I suspect this is not unusual.
After I had sat for a while dreaming of days gone by, a young lady came and sat nearby with her take-away meal and what seemed like many little pots of tomato sauce, her lunch I suppose, she proceeded to dot the sauce over everything – we smiled – I am sure it was very tasty but smelt strongly of grease and so much of modern times… I tried not to sigh and not to look at the grease leaking through the paper bag and thought how all of a sudden “The great black shiny horses had came up and licked the frost from my dream…” I turned and continue my walk.
**~The Workhouse was in use from 1735 to 1837 and the Dispensary gave ‘Medical Aid to the Poor’ between 1789 and 1866. The Public Dispensary was also a dental surgery for a time.. Colourwashed
rendered brick with a roof hidden behind a parapet. 2 storey, 3 bay
front with doorway to left, with plain doorcase, overlight and
panelled door. 2 glazing bar sashes to right. 3 glazing bar
sashes above. Dispensary opened in 1789 and was sponsored by Sir
Joseph Banks and was used until 1866. Source: Horncastle Town.
A poem…begins as a lump in the throat, a sense of wrong, a homesickness, a lovesickness… It finds the thought and the thought finds the words. ROBERT FROST, The letters of Robert Frost to Louis Untermeyer.
Manchester – 22 May 2017
Dark these recent stormy skies
battleship grey, gloom filled evening
entangled with tears…
Blood spills in joyous places from
young music revellers,
it flows warmly away
on their recent faces of smiles…
It is not the teaching of Islam
for there is no religion
that would condone this act
your souls are damaged
by promises of a utopian heaven
for this is NOT the teaching of Islam…
Your minds are radicalised,
soaked from poison dripped evil,
do you not understand what is happening?
Listen and STOP!
This corruption of your spoilt minds,
brain-washed by evil despots
who are themselves the infidels…
This is NOT religion, it is NOT the teachings of Islam.
To walk on desert sands, to feel the warmth of the rust coloured grains between your toes,
the magic of this gentle land will steal your heart to return once more…
this land will embrace you, it will fill your eyes with wondrous visions, this torpid heat, indolent, inert and lazy will slow your pace
the vivid clarity of light, the cobalt sky will relentlessly cover you, it will embrace you, it will open tired eyes to see much further than the desert sands…
the silence of the desert will calm you, it will intrigue and bring serenity but it could also fatally teach you respect!
surreal the colours of sunset, vibrant, bathed in reds, enhancing the beauty
as does the ‘call to prayer’ like a knell at parting day…
this diorama just a spectacular painting, where artist’s brush chooses to change hourly, as the desert changes its colours as if a chameleon
this rhythm and flow…this energy of life proves as natural as breathing,
the colours mock and tease us, pumpkin, magenta, vermillion, amber, all colours of the palette are here,
it is haunting, a delightful sanctuary, a restful utterance of joy which speaks to me,
it is meditative, it is a powerful authority, so often the face of courage,
it is the desert, for It is the desert…