dreaming of trail runs now that I’m on the mend

A little digital painting to remind me that better days are on the horizon…

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

how i wish i could name drop every so often

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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

the workplace bully

light room with table and chairs near whiteboard
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He wants to show his prominence

And throwing useless weight around

Seems to be the way to have

An iron grip on those below.

He gossips all about their faults,

The drinking problems, gambling

And who got off with who

At the Christmas party.

Stay away from him, or get involved

At your peril if you have

A heart as hard as stone.

The big story in the UK today is the rehiring of Gavin Williamson to the Cabinet.He has a lot of haters after he made a few clangers as the Education Minister and so I thought he was pretty brave in stepping up to the plate again.

But now, there have been allegations that he was bullying staff members last time he was in the Cabinet. He appears to have sent some pretty vile text messages to people and about people and it has come back to bite him on the bum.

And I’m sure that the stories that are being reported are bringing up horrible memories for lots of people – as there are a lot of people out there who have experienced that kind of behaviour before.

Most people will have experienced bullying in the workplace, and the bullies can do what they do without having any idea what kind of havoc they are playing on people’s lives. I got caught up in some nastiness and it led to a complete mental health crisis. I was paid off and that was the last those people probably ever thought of me.

However, good always comes out of the bad, even if you can’t see it when you are in the thick of it. I got sober out of that whole situation and so I could say that something that seemed very dangerous, actually, saved my life.

If you are stuck in a horrible work situation don’t battle on; get out and let the bullies eat each other alive. And remember that your outlook on what is happening will change over time. Things will turn good.

Much Love

Rachel xx

the day that twitter went poof

red blue and yellow textile
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It all came crashing down

That Friday afternoon

When everyone began to panic

Thinking that the worst was coming

Social media was finally ending

The bubble burst

As all our lives begin to fade

Into the world away from webs

A place were people live in peace

No need to share our meals each day

For acquaintances who have no say.

I don’t really know what is going on with Twitter, aside from the fact that lots of people have been laid off. But scanning social media, I have seen people sharing all of their other details so that they don’t lose their Twitter friends ‘should the worst happen’.

I had to smile reading the Tweets, and seeing them a little like messages being put into a bottle and cast out to see. They are saying that the world is ending but I’m still here, don’t forget me.

Can you imagine if this is the end of the world as we know it? I won’t know what Karen from two doors down did at Crossfit this evening? I won’t know what Tim from work ate for breakfast, lunch and dinner? How will we all survive?

I do feel terrible for the people who have lost their job with no warning; and in this economic climate, it can’t be happening at a worse time. I really hope things start looking up soon.

<uch Love

Rachel xx

ghosts and ghouls come out to play

pumpkin on brown wooden table
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The ghosts and ghouls are out tonight

With witches swooping through the streets

With buckets swinging from their brooms

Filled with sugar wrapped in foil

And parents shepherding their flock

Into the gardens with a pumpkin in

A secret signal that there’s treats

For little ghosts to swallow up

Under bedsheets that pillow out

In the cool October air

But those that hate those pesky kids

Will hide behind their sofas with

Lights turned off and TVs silenced

Waiting for the eggs to fly.

Happy Halloween everyone! I am fortunate enough to live in a flat with an entrance that is very concealed. Even the postman can’t find it, so there’s no way a group of five year olds will! That means that I’m exempt from the flying eggs and flour should I forget to buy in sweets.

As a kid, I used to like houses that gave away toffee apples but they cost about a pound each now, so there’s no way I would be giving those out.

I hope that everyone has a fun and safe Halloween evening, respecting those that don’t want to partake in the evening’s festivities. And well done it you manage to find a house that is giving out toffee apples!

Much Love

Rachel xx

a change in the tone of conversation

white clouds
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Come talk to us

If you are feeling down

Come and share your worries

If it’s all a little too much

We’ll try to take the weight

And help you on your way.

I’ve noticed a change in the tone of converation since we have come out of the pandemic. And I’ve noticed it most acutely when I go to church.

In the days before we all went into repeated lockdowns we didn’t seem to talk so much about things being difficult and we didn’t need to ask people to step forward and accept help. Especially in the church environment, I always found that everyone had a sunny outlook. Now the tide seems to have changed.

When we are listening to the service we can put questions forward, anonymously, asking anything that we would like clarified. And there have been a lot of questions recently that start off by saying that the person is struggling in some way, so how does the Bible apply to them?

There are a lot of teenagers in our service and I get the feeling that many of these questions come from them – and that makes me very sad.

The young people are so aware of all the problems of the world and it makes me think that the role of the church is going to have to change. The services will have to be less preaching and more reassuring – especially for teenagers who are evidently really worried at the moment.

Much Love

Rachel xx

stress on the brain

technology computer head health
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Frazzled and ugly,

Singed at the edges

With the unbearable heat

Of a stressful event.

I am the worst at dealing with stress. It was probably the main reason why I ended up drinking so much; anything to get rid of that feeling of having my brain on fire.

I am coming to the end of half term so I’m getting that scratchy feeling in my brain as I prepare to go back to school.

And the thing that I notice the most when I am stressed is that I have an awful memory – like, really awful.

This weekend I was supposed to be running a marathon and I had it in my head that I was supposed to be running on Sunday. This afternoon, I realised that it was supposed to be today. I have officially missed the race that was supposed to make me feel better for missing the race I couldn’t go to because I had COVID.

So that makes me very pissed off.

However, I am determined to not dwell on misfortune and I will run a marathon around the trails near my house. I can even fashion a little medal out of tinfoil to put around my neck once I’m finished.

Much Love

And here’s to a better memory,

Rachel xx

so they do actually trust me

anonymous female friends embracing on spacious meadow
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It’s a funny little thing,

To know that you’re loved,

That they trust your word

And the advice that you give,

It hums in your bones

And puts warmth in your belly,

Knowing they like you,

That they care what you say.

I have a real issue with thinking that people don’t like me, so when I get proof that they do, it can sometimes come as a bit of a shock.

As a teacher, you are putting yourself up for being mocked, and being picked on by teenagers can be miserable. Teenagers are mean.

I have a slightly tricky Year 9 group and there are a couple of girls that are always sniggering in my class. I have spent the whole half term worrying that they hate me.

But yesterday, just before the end of lunch two of them rushed into my room and stood wuietly in front of me, quite obviously deliberating whether or not to confide in me.

“Tell her!” one hissed at the other.

“I don’t think I should,” whispered the girl.

I shifted my weight as I waited for her to word vomit whatever it was just before the bell.

I managed to get out of her that shee was having a friendship issue and she was wanting my advice on what to do. Her plan was to ‘get revenge’, which I told her may not be the best idea. I told her to enjoy her half term and have a break from social media and all the bitching that can go on between fourteen year old girls.

She nodded and off they ran, as the bell began to sound.

I was left standing in my doorway, wandering how I had gotten it so wrong again. I’m obviously doing something right and that was a nice feeling.

Much Love

Rachel xx

the political shake up

a group of administration inside of conference room
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The Cabinet and the slightly eerie sounding

Shadow Cabinet moving in the darkness,

People getting fired and others

Walking out of Number 10, to jeers

From media men with cameras

And their fluffy microphones.

Who knows what’s going on

Behind that black and polished door,

We’ve all lost track

And sort of wish for Boris back.

Crikey, our political scene is a bit of a mess here in the UK. I hardly even know who the PrimeMinister is anymore. They last for about two weeks and then we’re onto a fresh one. And then the monarchy has had a bit of an upheaval, so everything feels a bit wonky at the moment.

I do think that most people would love to be a fly on the wall in some of the meetings in Number 10 at the moment. I bet there have been some angry words exchanged between lots of different people.

There could be no worse job than that of politician and I think I’ll just be leaving them to it.

Much Love

Rachel xx