…if you’re fond of sand dunes…

grass beside the sea
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If you’re fond of sand dunes and salty air

Walking in the wash, hand in hand

You’ll want to run through breezy reeds

And zig zag through the pastel huts

That dot the shoreline; little sheds

That hold those happy memories kids

Remember for a lifetime and

Their joyous voices carry out

Across the sunbleached virgin sand.

When it’s dark and miserable outside it’s sometimes really nice to just reflect on a memory from the summer; to just spend some time turning it around in your mind and admiring it.

I was just sitting on my sofa, covered in a crochet blanket and I found myself thinking back to my summer holiday this year.

The memory that bubbled up was the day we went for a walk to Old Hunstanton. We walked through the sand dunes, weaving our way between hundreds of beach huts that were all painted beautiful pastel colours.

It was like a picture postcard, almost perfect. My memories are very Instagram-worthy, but don’t be fooled. We all got burnt to a crisp and Noah even had sun stroke. The pictures were good though, and the pain of being burnt slowly fades to nothing.

Much Love

Rachel xx

sweet dreams and fever dreams

thermometer on blanket
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You tumble softly into clouds

Before the fever grips your brain

And all the monsters crawl to light

Scaring you, confusing too.

So I haven’t written a post in a week which is unheard of, but I had the flu so bad I started to think I wasn’t going to recover.

Last Tuesday we had to call out the ambulance because I was coughing up blood and was running a really high fever. I ended up in A&E on Friday because I was still running a fever and after five days I was starting to lose the will to live.

It was the first time I’ve had those weird fever dreams in such a long time, and the things that run through your brain are really interesting.

While I was waiting for the doctor to see me I seemed to have it in my head that I was Health Secretary. I’m guessing that watching Matt Hancock in the jungle had infiltrated my thoughts and when I found myself in a hospital setting I seemed to put the two together and began feeling like it was my job to sort waiting times when I got back to the office.

Of course, I didn’t say any of this to the doctors because I didn’t want to get locked in the psychiatric part of the hospital – but it was an interesting set of thoughts to experience.

I am no longer delusional and I am back at work. Life is good and I hope yours is too.

Much Love

Rachel xx

on being sick

brown and white bear plush toy
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White blood cells whipping through

Veins that throb with effort

Heat emitting from our pores

The only way to flush the bug

That slyly took the body by surprise

Its evil fingers pulling

At our throat, our lungs

Hurting us with every painful breath.

I have got sick again and I am very bad at being sick. I run so I find my immune system is really strong and I very rarely pick up flu or colds. But then I got COVID last month and I think it’s knocked my immunity.

I was so sick this morning that I actually lay in bed crying. I’m that pathetic.

COVID has a lot to answer for, in my humble opinion. I have had a month of feeling really crummy – the brain fog has been the most frustrating thing. But this weekend has felt like hell and I hope that once I’ve coughed up all this green gunk, I can start looking forward to a healthier life.

Much Love

R xx

allowing myself to scream

screaming woman in black dress
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It bubbles up inside, a rage

A burning need to scream

To let it out, the lies we tell

The words that scar

And still we push it down

Fight against the science that

Tells us that we shouldn’t.

Be quiet, it says

Just keep that anger in.

I saw in the Guardian today that there is a new trend that is springing up all over the country, and that is the scream club. It is open to women and, essentially, they just go to an open space and scream as loud as they can.

It sounds ridiculous but I think there is a lot of power in letting out all that rage. And I think that it’s necessary for our health that we do let out any damaging emotions.

When my parents were breaking up and life felt like it was really falling to bits, I occasionally woke myself up screaming. I remember being really angry in my dream, and I would just take a deep breath and scream. It makes me think that even our subconscious can require us to let it all out.

I would be tempted to attend one of these groups if one appeared in my area. I would love to just go to a field somewhere, after a bad day at work, to just scream like a banshee. And I think it’s significant that these groups are for women. We are normally told to stay quiet and this is telling us to do the exact opposite.

Much Love

R xx

beautiful blackpool ballroom

palace interior
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The chandelier, a beauty

Winking at us in the reddish light

Watching as we sail across

A perfect sea, a dancing floor

Made for jive and waltzes

Flowing gowns that feather out

And final poses as the music ends.

It’s Blackpool Week on Strictly Come Dancing this week. I don’t know a lot about dancing, but even I know that Blackpool is a Mecca for balroom dancers all over the world. And so, even I find the spectacle something to behold.

There is something about that ballroom that just blows me away, and I have been meaning to go and see it for real sometime. The floor is beautiful, the architecture is breathtaking, and the chandeliers are stunning. It appears to be frozen in time, an ode to the past.

And something that is really interesting is that people say you just have to dance there. It’s as though the building itself, demands it. I love the idea that a building has such a history that it has a hold on us as humans.

It’s the same as when we step into an old National Trust property and we can feel the history. All we want to do is put on a Regency outfit and sit in the parlour drinking tea.

Much Love

R xx

how i wish i could name drop every so often

macro photography of bubbles in water
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I wish that I knew those starry names

That I could drop into chats with friends

So that they fizz like tablets dropped in water,

Bubbling furiously, as I glow in a crowd

Happy in the knowledge that I

Am the ine that’s connected

The one that is worthy of love.

When I lived in London I very regularly stood next to a celebrity as I ordered a pint in a bar. And because I was drunk, I was never frightened to have a chat. It meant that I could name drop a lot. I loved telling people that I’d sat with Ricky Gervais in my local, or passed Emma Thompson coming out of the toilets. It kind of made me feel special.

Now, I spend every evening in with my cat. I suppose age is the reason, but I can’t be bothered with leaving the sofa.

My friend was telling me how she knows the writer of the book that I’m reading and I did suddenly feel a little sad that I have such a secluded life. Every so often, I feel like I would love to be able to rub shoulders with the rich and famous so I can tell those exciting stories; make me feel special for five minutes.

But then I get home to my crochet blankets and the latest episodes of the Crown – and I think, perhaps not.

Much Love

R xx

is it too early?

lighted christmas tree
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I’ve seen the first of the Christmas ads

And I’ve heard that song by Mariah Carey

But it seems like it’s way too bloody early

It almost feels a little bit scary.

*

Where has a whole year gone?

It feels like last week it was June

The flowers in beautiful bloom

And the longest of holidays coming up soon.

*

But now the leaves have all blown away

The nights are as cold as can be

And I am left casually wondering

If it’s too early to put up the tree?

what kind of world do we live in?

I got into a bit of trouble at work today and it’s made me really sad. On the one hand, I’m upset because I feel like I’ve let myself down in some way, and on the other hand, I’m even more sad that I got my hand slapped for something so innocent.

I have an Instagram account that I show all my art work on and it’s lots of portraits and landscapes. I’d quite innocently let some of my students know my account details.

I find it horrible that we’re not to do this because of safeguarding. Of course, I blocked those students and changed my account name when I was told it was an issue, but that is sad that we have to worry about something like this.

There must be some terrible people out there for us to have all come to this point. I was totally naive and I think I don’t always appreciate what horrible things go on out there in the world… and I’m glad I don’t to tell you the truth.

Much Love

Rachel xx

lunching on foreign food

fish sushi
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Little gyoza parcels

Dipped in spicy sauce

And curry fragrances

Permeating English air.

The stir fry sizzles

And the sushi rolls are dropped

In tiny dishes

Filled with hot wasabi

Mixed in salty soy sauce

For a perfect war

With something bland

Like egg and chips

Or anything potato based,

Plain, of course,

Except for ketchup dips.

British people have a bit of a bad reputation when it comes to food, and sometimes I think it’s a bit undeserved. Sure, there are Brits who go abroad and order egg and chips for every meal, but a lot of us are quite adventurous.

I like to watch a UK food blogger called Grackle and she eats so many different foods – and it makes me feel so jealous, and hungry.

I live with one of those food phobic Brits who will only eat chips, and so it means I’m limited in where I can go when we go out to eat. It’s only when watching Grackle, I realise how much there is out there and how much there is that I still need to experience.

I might need to go on a few solo restaurant trips just to try some things out!

Much Love

Rachel xx