Your subconscious mind is always at work processing the millions of experiences and sensations your brain receives every day. It’s an enormous bank vault containing everything that’s happened to you ever since you were a small child. It will go on receiving and collecting data until the day you die.
Not only that, it’s constantly working hard trying to make sense of all this information for you.
When you get that uneasy feeling that something’s not right, or when you do something without thinking, that gut instinct comes courtesy of your subconscious. …
How many sunrises have you watched in your life? Have you ever seen the sun rise over the sea?
My answers to those questions are ‘not enough’ and ‘only once.’ It has taken me until the age of 54 to watch the sun come up over the sea, but I experienced that beauty today.
Like most nights, I found myself making a trip to the bathroom in the dark last night (one of the many joys of middle age). As I emerged, ready to crawl back into bed, my 22-year-old son appeared on the landing beside me, jacket on.
We live in such a youth-orientated world, we’re often made to feel past our sell-by dates as we hit middle-age and beyond. Popular culture is mainly aimed at people in their teens and twenties. The media, fashion, music, and leisure — by fifty-plus, we’re no longer the target audience.
It’s easy to feel out of step, especially if we’re struggling to get to grips with new technology. Life certainly doesn’t feel easier when you can’t work out how to follow a church service on Zoom in lockdown, or download an app on your phone to pay for parking. …
When you’re seven, life is infinite. The teenage years are still around that next bend, over the hump that is ten. Adulthood feels like an improbable dream. Jobs? Relationships? Children? They’re so far ahead you can’t imagine them, so you believe they will probably never happen to you.
(I remember being nine years old and getting ready to go abroad on holiday for the first time — to France, as it happens. Because I couldn’t picture myself there, I was convinced I was going to die before reaching foreign shores. Spoiler: I didn’t.)
And then you’re a teenager and adulthood…
“I’d love it if you could join me,” the woman said, smiling at him.
“Well, it’s very kind of you. But I can’t impose on Christmas Day.”
“Nonsense! It’s not imposing if you’re invited. And you are.” She smiled again. “You really mustn’t be alone, tomorrow of all days. And I bet your house is still full of unpacked boxes. Can you even find your roasting tin and the pans you’ll need?”
“It wouldn’t matter if I could. I’ve no idea how to cook a turkey and I haven’t been food shopping. Truthfully, I don’t know if I can face…
In the last few days, I’ve read at least three articles about choosing a word for the year. Not for the year we just waved off into the past; I’m sure we all have quite a few words for 2020, and not all of them bear repeating. Suffice to say, it’s likely to go down in history as one of the worst years in modern times.
No, this is about choosing a word for the new year. This word should encapsulate what you want to achieve, or what you need to concentrate on or improve, in the coming twelve months.
Warning: this article contains a brief account of a domestic assault.
Fearless community, please read with care.
Sophie is a close friend of mine whose name I have changed. She has given me permission to write her story.
Sophie had been with her husband for fifteen years when their marriage broke down. They’d had their ups and downs over the years, like most couples, but both had believed they would be together for the rest of their lives. Earlier this year — for various reasons to do with lockdown, children, and a final straw that broke the camel’s back —…
Sleeplessness is never good. It gives your brain time to think about all the things you refuse to think about during the day. It has become your bête noire since the ending of your twenty-year marriage.
Your mind goes to the past. To all your mistakes and foolishness and short-sightedness. You berate yourself for not joining the dots sooner, for the sacrifice of your children’s happy childhoods — that’s the most unforgivable of all. Being honest, you didn’t fully comprehend the unhappiness or the damage. But that is no defense. You should have comprehended. …
Life is very black and white at the moment. Let’s take food as an example.
Not eating junk food is a struggle you live minute by minute if that’s your Achilles heel. If you have an overeating problem or a chocolate-addiction, modern life is your enabler.
You can shop for healthy stuff with the best of intentions and, feeling virtuous, stow it neatly in your fridge and cupboards.
And then, if you live in a town or city, you can choose to totally ignore it, walk or drive five minutes up the road to a convenience store, and buy chocolate/chips/wine/your-choice-of-food-weakness.
So, the lucky ones among us are having a quiet Easter weekend at home, courtesy of coronavirus. If you’re not doing anything this weekend, you might as well not do something fantastic. Here are a few suggestions.
We haven’t anchored our yacht off Monte Carlo for a couple of nights. We’re not heading to dinner later at a lovely little harbour-front restaurant we know, followed by an hour or two at the casino. The boat boy isn’t under orders to have the Moët nicely chilled for our return at 11 pm. We won’t sit on the deck and enjoy a…
Writer, EFL teacher, early Gen Xer. Reader and beach walker. Now happy at home in the NE of England but plotting more travel and adventures in this second half.