Wednesday, 18 January 2012


Sherlock Holmes died last Sunday night.  Yes, I know it was all a fix and he'll be coming back, but his poor Watson doesn't know that, does he?

The most poignant moment of the programme for me was right at the end.  John stood over Sherlock's grave and begged him for one last miracle.

'Stop being dead.  Just stop - this.'

Thats what we all want, when someone dies.

I can remember last summer, standing outside the church after my step-father's memorial service, talking to the lay preacher, a family friend who had helped lead the ceremony.  'I just want him back,' I sobbed.

For many years I have been having dreams about my father, who died when I was 13.  In my dreams, which are not the same every time, but share the same theme, my father comes back to our family home.  He is sullen and unhappy, won't say where he has been, or whether he is staying.  There is always the suggestion that he has been with another woman, another family, elsewhere.  And there is that fear that he will go away again.  But I am just so happy to have him back that I try not to care - I just want him back.  Next month it will be 30 years since he died, and I am still having these dreams.

My point is that when somebody dies, all we want is to have them back.  But if they came back, it wouldn't be the way we want it to be, all hearts and flowers.  Life isn't like that.  There are no Jesuses, or Holmeses, to return from the dead.  We are just left to get on with living without those we love as best we can. 

Tuesday, 10 January 2012

The 'word' for 2012

All over the internet in the last 10 days, people have been talking about what their 'word' for 2012 is.  Courage?  Passion?  Experiment?  Embrace?  Everybody seems to have come up with a word that embodies their theme for the year, something they can keep coming back to, that guides the way they approach their life in the coming months and helps them to achieve their goals.

Last year, mine was 'self care'.  2011 was my 'year of self care', and the fact that I made it through 2011, with all its traumas, in one piece, says a lot for how self caring I have learnt to be.

But I have been wrestling with what I wanted for 2012.  Couldn't get my head around it.  (Probably not helped by this going round and round in my head!  You can imagine how distracting that would be.  But I digress...)

Then, this afternoon my counsellor/guru told me a question her old training course leader used to ask:

What would you do if you really loved yourself?

None of the usual pfaffing about. 

What do you need right now?  A danish?  Oh, yes, a great big danish pastry would be a really good idea, Rebecca, considering your IBS and wheat intolerance.  Yep, that sound really self-caring, that does.

Just think about that question for a minute.

Genius, isn't it?

So I'm not going to have a word this year, but a question.  A question I shall ask myself every morning when I get up.  And I hope that it will change the way I live, and make my dreams come true.  Or at least mean I take better care of myself and feel well a little more often.

Thursday, 5 January 2012

The evil that is the 'To Do List'

Every day since we got home from our annual Christmas visiting marathon, I've been assembling a To Do List so that I can plough through a) all the things that I should have got done before we went away, b) all the things that need doing because we've been away, and c) all the things I want to do because its New Year and I have all these daft ideas about  things I want to change, as everyone does around now.  Which is all well and good, but what I have of course not taken account of is that my body has just spent two weeks travelling, not sleeping, eating inappropriate food, being in constant motion, and processing continual language (old people talk A LOT).

Today, it all packed up.

Its been really hard for me to accept that I  just wasn't going to get anything done today.  To say 'stuff the To Do List!'

But the baubles are going to have to wait another day to be packed back into the box, and the bedding will have to wait another day to be washed.  I gave myself a face pack and went back to bed.  When I woke up, the sky was livid with the stripes of a winter sunset and the bedroom full of velvet shadows. And I thought:


Enough with the To Do list thing.  Give yourself a break, Rebecca.  Life is too short and too beautiful to be raging about whether you finished all the things on your list today.  You just have to live every day as it comes.