Our own Movember update

6 11 2012

Well, Alistair decided not to shave off his lovely beard and moustache to support Movember, he figured that since he already has prostate cancer he could probably raise awareness and keep his lovely face hair in tact!

Thats not to say that raising awareness and the whole Movember thing isn’t great although of course, us two are bound to be a little miffed at the narrow minded, non alternative, non holistic use of the money raised but that’s probably enough said on that (oh my soap box just appeared for me to stand on)!

I tell you what though, there is nothing like having cancer or the person you love having cancer to raise your own awareness! Alistair and I both said the other day that it’s a real shame we didn’t know years ago what we know today, but then even if we did we may not have had the motivation to keep us committed to our chosen ‘life giving eating and living’ path. I know I have mentioned this in previous posts quite a lot but it keeps coming up, people just seem to want the quick fix, the antibiotic, the supplement, the prescription form the hand puppet. Talk to people about changing their dietary intake, removing dairy and sugar, reducing meat and increasing their fresh vegetable consumption and they sort of drift off into a world of reasons why that couldn’t possibly happen!

So our Movember is about raising your awareness to the fact that what you eat and how much or how little you eat really really does play a part in your health and well-being. The lifestyle choices you make will also play a part. Food and lifestyle play a massive part in whether or not your cells will mutate into cancer cells. Believe me, you have so much power to improve your health and prevent yourself being a 1:3 statistic. Think about that, 1 in 3 people will be diagnosed with cancer, that is a shocking statistic.

As you well know by now, Alistair and I have radically changed our dietary intake and our lifestyle. We are now 11 months into living with cancer and 10 months into vegetarian, whole food cooking and eating. And how are we doing?

Well we both feel really well which is a good starting point! And we have been virus free since last December which is another good thing. But the best thing so far is that Alistair’s latest blood tests have shown a significant decrease in the Prostate Specific Antigen (PSA).His PSA is now where it was last year when we first saw his consultant last September. It is still raised but certainly shifting in the right direction. We are attributing this to the miriad of things that we are doing on a daily basis as well as continuing with the Budwig protocol and some of the Pffiefer protocol that uses natural herbal remedies for prostate cancer. Good news for us this Movember and what we both hope is that our story can keep encouraging other people to  make the changes they need to in order to prevent or heal cancerous cells or any other health related condition.

Don’t be a 1 in 3 (anybody remember that great UB40 song- I know slightly different statistic but you see where I’m coming from)! In the words of the great Mahatma Ghandi, “Be the change you want to see”.

Soft is the heart of my child

31 10 2012


I just wanted to write a very quick blog about the kindness of my (our) son Kirt.

He obviously loves his step dad very much and, like all of the children, is wanting to do all he can to support Alistair through his healing journey.
Imagine how delighted we were to see new posts on our Facebook pages today from Kirt, who has decided to join the Movember prostate cancer awareness campaign in order to raise money for Alistair to help with the monthly costs of his ‘alternative treatment supplements’. We are both so touched and proud of him and his kind heart.

The ongoing support from our children, family and friends is such a big encouragement to us and acts of kindness like this mean so much to us both.
This year has brought so much change to the children’s lives and yet they have all embraced it so well and none of them have complained once about the upheaval or the difference that our lifestyle has brought to their lives. The curve ball has certainly effected everyone and yet admirably over the year they have still grown and developed.

I am heartened that little by little the wind of change is gently blowing and amongst our family new choices are being made, old behaviours are being challenged and minds are being opened to new ideas about health, food and lifestyle.

So, thank you Kirt for your motivation, your enthusiasm and for your loving heart that lets us feel loved with every beat.


Yorkie…not for girls!

26 10 2012

As our little away day to Cambridge draws to a close and we get ready to head back to our base at Epping I thought it might be a good time to put pen to paper (or, apply pressure to key pad) and reflect on the months activities.

Its been quite busy being up here, mostly in terms of driving to get everywhere else I needed to be! The little C1 has certainly put in some overtime this month. As you will remember from the last post I had been quite unsettled at the start of the month up here. Apart from missing the proximity to the kids and all that, we realised that a big part of it was that I felt so disorientated. Geographically I didn’t know where I was in relation to anything (that won’t surprise anyone that knows me well, my geography and sense of direction is nearly as bad as my logic and pattern matching ability)! A month in and I am getting myself from pillar to post quite happily, so for our next move, a study of the map before hand will be really important for me.

The C1 is also the culprit for title of this blog!
The longer journeys and the non lumbar supported seats have awakened an old back injury that Alistair had. Like a poor old man, he’s been laid up for a week, unable to move very far and bent over like an old codger. So with Alistair out of action who was left to do the very important mans jobs? yes, the Roustabout of course.
So let me be clear here, this week I have earned my Brownie badge for Waste and Sewerage Removal! I knew it was coming, in the privacy and quiet of my own mind I had been noting the rising levels of waste on the indicator board compared with the diminishing levels of Alistair’s movements and it didn’t take a genius to work out that 2 were not compatible! I did it though, and whats more I feel confident that I could do it again although I do prefer the very well defined jobs in Gladys of girls jobs and boys jobs!

I also had to go the extra mile and drive Alistair to the ‘Hand Puppet’ this week. Nothing to be alarmed about, he decided to get his PSA levels checked and also wanted a couple of forms signed. Suffice to say we have not been persuaded to change our opinion of Hand Puppets, they really are next to useless.
We asked if we could have a referral to an Osteopath (erm… not on the NHS, we can give you a prescription for some rather costly drugs though). We asked if the NHS would pay for Alistairs alternative health supplements (erm… no but we could prescribe you some very expensive drugs though). What the puppet didn’t tell us though was that if you have cancer you can get your prescriptions for free!
Anyway, the PSA test is booked and we can at least get an indicator of how things are going at a biochemical level. As ever it makes us both feel a bit funny, a little unsettled and unsure as to whether it is the right thing to be doing, who knows?

Talking of cancer, its really strange but when you mention it to people I have noticed that there seems to be a specific ‘cancer sympathy’ look that is almost universal in its users and they seem to do it unconsciously!
It looks like this, on hearing the words (usually, my husband has Prostate cancer) the listeners head noticeably slants to the left or right whilst simultaneously their eyes squint and their mouth puckers together forming the shape of an ‘oh’. Don’t get me wrong, I am not criticising here’ it really does convey sympathy and feeling its just its made me chuckle and I find myself waiting for it whenever I mention the ‘curve ball’ to new ears!

So I am happy to share that life is good,apart from his back Alisatir is well, Gladys is fab and we just love coming home to her.In fact when Candace and Roy popped by on their way home from Northampton last week as soon as Candace got in the door she said ” Oh good home in Gladys even though its in a different place”!

I was nattering to a new acquaintance on the Biomedicine course that I am on and as I heard myself talking about how we live in an RV and the lifestyle that we lead I thought it sounded pretty cool really, the sort of thing I used to hear other people say and wish we could be doing, and now we are!

And then there was one

7 10 2012

Blimey, I can honestly say its been a bit of a roller coaster over the past week. We packed up from our little place of security in Epping last Monday and ventured out on to the big roads in Gladys (well Alistair drove Gladys, I followed behind in the C1- no cock linnet though) to pastures new, but not too far!

The planned destination was Saffron Walden for a month or so, just to ease us (or me) into being a bit further away from the kids and getting used to actually RV-ing. The site though was not really geared up to house such a beautiful machine as Gladys, so we stayed a night and moved further up the M11 just north of Cambridge.

Over the move I had a new Job Title bestowed upon me by my darling husband, apparently I am the ‘Rousteabout’!!! This came about at the beginning of the week as we were packing up Gladys ready for  moving on. Over the course of a couple of hours I packed, shifted, stored, covered and made safe the contents of our home. Alistair watched and then named me the ‘Rousteabout’,  (apparently it comes from the oil rigs). I asked in that slightly  tongue in cheek way “what would your job title be then, foreman”? My whinge though was short lived and didn’t even get the chance to get into full swing as Alistair reminded me that he would be having to do all the mans jobs (emptying tanks, lifting the legs, and driving to said destination), fair point I thought too.

The move unsettled me, quite a lot. I think I had got well and truly comfy just living in Gladys and not moving at all. I felt secure and wasn’t far from all that I hold dear to me. It was a real wrench being further away and I have to say initially I didn’t like it one bit!

The site, which incidentally Alistair loves, is really clean, has a few facilities that make life a little easier, especially for Alistair doing the mans jobs and is home to several full timers in an array of RV’s, 5th Wheelers, Campervans and caravans. Now initially whilst I was still in emotional limbo I found this quite disconcerting. It reminded me of a housing estate for RV’s! I like to think that I didn’t sulk though or show off, I did cry a bit but thats nothing unusual for me so nothing to worry about there!

I ventured out to work mid week and started to sort of figure out where I was in relation to the places that I have to travel to for work, not too bad. Whilst I was at work, Alistair made friends with several residents, found out important things like that he could get his propane refilled, that theres a craft evening every Tuesday and a gathering for a quiz or whatever in the ‘social static caravan’! Then it sort of dawned on me, this is like a retirement park (Yikes), great for Alistair but he’s got 10 years on me.

However, by Thursday evening after a day out in Cambridge I was feeling much better and have continued to warm to this place since then (so fickle). So I am pleased that I didn’t beg to return to where I felt safe and secure, I have adjusted and can begin to see how I can cope with life on the road a bit more. This afternoon as I was wondering about I began to see this as more of a commune, quite cool really and I love it that there are so many people living unconventionally, and they seem a really friendly bunch.

This weekend though has been extremely tough for us both. Ebony, our rescue dog has always been a touch weird, especially around bins, bags and things that may contain a scrap of food that she can claim as her own. Over the years we have got used to her and wrongly I suppose have allowed her to get away with behaving badly. I know Kirt has sustained a few nips from her and plenty of snarling. However when she is not being an absolute beast she is the most adorable, seal faced little old dog, a real Jekyll and Hide if you like. However, yesterday her Mrs Hyde side came out roaring and she went for Alistair in a big way. It really quite shook me up and although Alistair tends to minimise things I think he too was a little taken aback. As much as I love Ebony Annabelle Rhind I am sad to say that my head had to take over and over rule my heart. I wanted nothing more than to say it wasn’t that bad, she didn’t mean it and all those excuses that I can make on behalf of her bad behaviour, but actually neither of us could.

So, with heavy hearts and lead weights in our bellies we took her this morning to the vets to have her put to sleep😢.    

We all did our very best for Ebony and I think that for the 7 years that we had her we gave her a lovely life. Sleep well Ebony and continue your journey in the animal lower world with your own animal guide, journey safely and we will remember you with love always.

And so our menagerie has dwindled down to just Laddie now, the boy dog we started with 11 years ago. And here we are parked up for a few weeks yet in Cambridge and we will let October unfold at a gentle pace and allow our emotions time to catch up. Life is still good and Gladys is still my home, wherever we take her, home will be in her.

And then there were two

25 09 2012

Well, I have to say what with one thing and another, you know a con man almost deceiving my  Mum and Dad out of £6k, a bullying family member hell-bent on being as spiteful and calculatingly cruel as possible, its been a bit of a week! I was already feeling quite rung out, so yesterday just about finished me!

What happened?

Nitten had to be re-homed 😢.

To be honest Alistair and I had mooted the idea a few weeks ago and Alistair’s sister Gillian found somewhere she could go. But I think Nitten got wind of the idea because as soon as we mentioned it to the rest of the family she started coming home like a good girl, every night, not going missing and staying away for a days at a time. Pippin wanted to take her when she moved into her own house too so we put the whole rehoming idea on the back burner and settled back into life with Nitten on the road with Gladys and the 2 dogs. Nittens sense of adventure though got the better of her attempts to be a stay at home cat! She started to wander, to where we shall never know, but the long days and nights of calling for her, shaking her food and looking hopefully out of the window willing her to just pop her head round the corner started again.

We are due to move on next week and the idea of leaving without her was unimaginable and the idea of having to stay in one place (lovely though it is here) because of Nitten sort of defeated the idea of selling up and travelling a bit! So yesterday having let her in a 2am we kept her in against her valiant attempts to get out, put her in her cat box and delivered her to her new home in Horesham. If a cat that loves the outdoors, micing, rabbiting and generally living the outdoor life of riley needed re-homing, then this is ‘the place’. It’s owned by a couple who are Olympian horse riders, the grooms are all animal mad and there are acres and acres of safe fields far away from the road for Nitten to roam in and play until her hearts content.

I sound very together about it today and as ever, a bit of good old fashioned time to adjust and allow for emotional catch up works wonders, but yesterday… the waaaaaaaaaaambulance was most definitely needed. I think poor Alistair wondered if I would ever stop crying ever again!

So, our menagerie has dwindled down to Laddie and Ebony, both of whom have settled brilliantly to life in Gladys. Laddie spends his whole day outside and literally has to be dragged in at bed time. Ebony by contrast spends her whole day inside sleeping in the warm and has to be literally dragged out at bedtime!

Talking of warm, bloody hell its been a bit nippy.

We made a rookie mistake and ran completely out of gas at the weekend and no back up, that won’t be happening again. The LPG ran out some time ago and its obviously not like just nipping t0 the garage in the C1 for a drop of petrol. Shifting  Gladys is a full on operation so we only move her when we are actually moving on. The temperature had dropped and for some reason our electric heaters had been tripping the fuse box so we ran the blown air gas heating instead, Yikes, 11kg of gas in 6 days! Expensive and totally impractical. Back to the electric heaters and fingers crossed no fuse box tripping ( we had an auto-electrician out and he’s done a bit of ‘overhead split giblet rewiring’ and it seems to have done the trick).

I think its going to be an interesting sort of winter in Gladys. Its lovely not to have that centrally heated feel, I always found that way too stuffy although I will miss the log burner.  I think it will be a bit like when I was young and lived at home, pre -central heating days, or come to think of it even when we did get central heating, if I was cold my dad would say ” put a cardi on”. Thats what we have started to do, more cardi’s, more socks, a couple of blankets at the ready, sounds fun doesn’t it😊. Although poor Alistair came back freezing from being on his Harley last friday in the wind and rain and all of the above and a couple of sheepskins had a hard job to warm him up!

So, we are heading into month 4 in our alternative lifestyle and it is still good. No regrets, even with having to re-home Nitten.



4 09 2012

It seems to Alistair and me pretty cool that we actually followed through on our mad idea of selling our angel wrapped house to live alternatively in Gladys our RV. The angel wrapped house incidentally  is now referred to as 181 and I have been surprised at my lack of missing it (I must be more fickle than I realised). Gladys has very quickly become our cherished home, our little (well big to drive but small to live in) haven of tranquility and security. As the weeks have rolled on and we can begin to count in months the length of time that we have lived here, Gladys has also established her difference. We now have a dedicated office area where exciting new work is taking place (in the form of me becoming a food writer creating recipes that heal) and Alistair takes his Skype calls to heal the sick and wounded as far afield as Barbados! We are developing our work so we can work from Gladys anywhere in the world which we both think an amazing thing to be able to do. We have a kitchen area that has become a hive of activity for my new cookbook that I will soon be launching as an ebook and we have a dashboard greenhouse that is germinating chilli’s,  bell peppers and  warming indoor plants for our eyes delight. Gladys is looking good and her energy is growing!

Candace was at a ‘moon ceremony’ at her friends last weekend (sounded fab by all accounts) and was asked what she had gratitude for. “For Alistairs bravery in healing cancer alternatively, for his health and healing and for the knowledge we have gained as a family to better our own health” came her reply. Amazing, it brought tears to my eyes to hear her say that. It sounds cheesy I know, even before I’ve typed it, but this journey that we are on since the curve ball came along has changed so many lives for the positive and I know absolutely that Alistair and I would never in a million years have made the changes to the degree that we have if he had not ‘caught the curve ball’. Kirt asked the other day, that if Alistair could be cured right now for ever would we still live the way we live ( in Gladys, vegetarian, organic blah blah blah) and without even hesitating we both answered ‘Yes’. Its who we are now, we have had an identity shift, a deep level change for both of us. Kirt was pleased to hear it.

Alistair has got his head around the whole process of developing cancer, and healing from it. It is a multi faceted approach that all interlink, but the hierarchy for him is: to stop metastasis (that means stopping it from spreading to other places), to reduce inflammation and slow down the speed of the cancer cells growth, to continually cultivate a positive mental attitude and a state of inner calm using meditation, visualisation, Reiki and stress reducing activities including daily exercise outside in nature, and to detox his body and mind from toxins, all of which will ultimately encourage healing.

The foods that we eat at every meal time and the natural supplements that Alistair takes are the main source of preventing  metastasis, reducing inflammation and slowing down the speed  of cancer cell growth. Equally, the food that we eat also has a huge impact on boosting his immune system; improving the count of killer T cells that like to dine on cancer cells daily for breakfast lunch and dinner. We have become quite interested in trying to find the actual food source rather than taking the supplement, it tastes better thats for sure and makes for an interesting plate of food at meal times! Maitake mushrooms were our latest find at BumbleBees whole food health store in North London. A trip out on the Harley, a mooch around a proper health food shop, some booty in my bag from said shop and home for wholesome health giving meal for tea, that for me is a perfect day! Oh and some lovely sunshine to top up the Vitamin D count too, splendid!

So you can see life is different;  for some it may sound boring, for others too much hard work, but for others still it may resonate. All I can say is that for Alistair and me it works and it works really well. We seem to have found ourselves, our lives are certainly richer and our adventure is really only just beginning. And if I answer the same question that Candace was asked, I have gratitude to each of our children for supporting us in our alternative lifestyle, for their positivity, their love, their encouragement and for walking with us on our journey and sharing as much as they can in the changes that we are making.

For things to change first must I (Goethe)

24 08 2012

I had an amazing chat with the manager of a local shop that we have been going to on and off for many years now. It seems that reading this blog about the changes we have made to our life to improve our health and wellbeing has inspired her to embrace change and embark on her own journey of change. She looks amazing and is making huge lifestyle changes to benefit her health and wellbeing. What a brilliant thing that from one couple going public and being open about our journey of change other people are joining in and creating change for themselves. The ripple effect is beginning to work and in truth that is what Alistair and I hoped for.

Yesterday I launched a new page on Facebook called ‘A Taste of Life Cookbook and Recipes’. I decided that I have learned so much and will be continuing to accumulate nutritional knowledge as my year unfolds that it would make sense to share it with others. Make no mistake, what we do and don’t eat has a huge impact on our health and wellbeing and this information won’t be shouted about at the Hand Puppets so its going to take normal  people like you and me to start spreading the word. It really cheers me though to hear peoples enthusiasm for what we are doing and I find it really heartening that people do want to embrace change for themselves, exciting times ahead I think.

Alistair, I realise hasn’t really been featuring much in my past few blogs so I thought it might be timely to update you all on how he is. He is looking fabulous and he said to me a couple of days ago that he feels the best he has ever felt in many many years, isn’t that lovely. The sun has also worked its magic. We had 2 lovely weeks in the baking sun in Turkey with all of the family bar poor Kirt who was too busy making his business some profit and minding Nitten in Gladys for us. We holidayed at the generosity of Sue & Craig who allowed us use of their villa which is absolutely stunning and well worth a rent if you fancy a week away (http://villairem.com), We had the pleasure of Alex & Pagan, Holly and Candace staying with us and also got to spend some lovely time with Hannah, Danny & Jakey too. All in all a lovely time although we both missed Gladys’ tranquility and being at home in her. Kirt had been very busy though whilst staying in her, I think he quite liked it. He fixed the component that was broken so when we arrived home the slide was out and the  living space has gone from narrow boat to wide beam! Amazing, it has made a huge difference and Kirt and Candace have both now stayed over which has been lovely to be able to accommodate them. He also remodelled the dashboard and built a natty TV shelf and did some water proofing on the roof!!! Kirt you are a star x

A few posts ago I had mentioned a couple of blood tests that Alistair had had done, well it would seem that whatever we are doing has certainly slowed things down so we are really pleased. We are about 8 months into our nutritional programme which quite simply has become our way of life. I know the Budwig clinic estimate at least a year for significant healing to take place so we have a way to go and I really don’t know yet what Alistairs plans are regarding further blood tests but no doubt I will update you here when there is any further news. I can tell you though that we have added in a couple of extra ‘natural’ goodies that are purported to be good for slowing the progression and stopping the metastasis of cancer. Pomegranate juice is one and this was brilliant in Turkey as freshly squeezed juice was available almost everywhere, here its more difficult but we have found  one make that is pure organic juice and not from concentrate so thats helpful.

So we are really just gently letting this life of ours unfold, keeping the pace nice and steady and really making sure that everything that we eat is doing all it possibly can to help with Alistairs healing. And its fun, its not a chore, life has a sense of adventure here in the woods and being together in Gladys is like having a great big comfort blanket wrapped around us. I think that Alistair may be getting itchy feet though,I sense he is getting ready to move on, so probably only a few more weeks here  and then maybe up to Cambridge where you can all have tales from the riverbank!!

Time for Health?

20 08 2012

Alistair told me that the word Doctor actually means teacher! What the hell went wrong? What happened, when was the last time you saw a Doctor who actually used their knowledge to help you get yourself better instead of writing a script for pills.

Very recently a dear friend of ours who, in a time of great emotional need, was told  by her doctor to more or less pull herself together, start thinking positively, have some pills and get out quickly as he had other patients waiting!!!!!! I wonder what that taught our friend ? Maybe that Doctors are by and large a waste of time and useless puppets of the Big Pharmaceuticals perhaps ? Has it occurred to anyone that Doctors have become modern day priests!

So I wonder how it would be if, instead of handing responsibility for our health and well being over to the Big Pharm and their hand puppets known as Doctors, we reclaimed and took responsibility for our own health and became our own teachers. There is so much we can learn, so many avenues and pathways we can take to better our state of health, to prevent illness and dis-ease and to rebalance and heal dis-eased parts of our selves. But this teaching will not come from visiting your GP when you feel poorly. They will not teach you how to look after yourself, it is not in the interest of their sponsors – the Big Pharm shareholders!

I guarantee that by the time you actually go and see the Hand Puppet feeling a little poorly you will have long been ignoring tiny little nudges or signals sent from your own self for quite some time. Nudges trying to get you to pay attention to things in your life that need addressing things like your behaviours, your thinking, your lifestyle,  your attitudes and ingrained choices that you make on a daily basis that prevent you from being entirely healthy on all levels and that includes your emotional, mental, sexual and social health as well as your physical health. I am a great believer in the notion that if you don’t pay attention to the little signs the universe will find a way to make you pay attention. This was true of Kirt several years ago when he was in his final year at school. He was preoccupied with a million things, not enough time for any of them and constantly chasing his tail. He was forgetting things and not managing the stress he had created. I mentioned to him that if he didn’t slow down and take stock of things the universe wold find a way to make him slow down. Silly boy ignored his mummies wisdom at his own peril!! He came off his motor bike, smashed his leg to bits and was laid up for a bout 12 weeks!!!!!

How about if we all listened and really paid attention to what our bodies were trying to tell us. If we paid attention to these small gentle signals from our bodies that are intended to bring our attention to something within us that is out of balance. Paying attention though, means taking ownership, taking responsibility, maybe slowing down and learning what it is that our body needs more of or less of to enable us to re balance ourselves.

Whilst on an energy healing course years ago I learnt to ask myself often “what is it I am putting into myself that is helping or hindering me and what is it I am doing too much or too little of that is not serving me”.  Simple but effective questions but of course they then require the person to take action in order to bring about change. And change needs time and effort and sadly in societies current fast paced climate neither of these things are really valued, people seem to want a microwaved result these days!!

I must mention though an amazing and true story that Pippin told me yesterday. A good friend of hers has a history of having ovarian cysts. She presented at the hand puppets some time ago feeling not quite right. Eventually she was sent for X-rays and 5 or so cysts were found. She has been reading this blog from the start and decided to give it a little go – not blogging – the food programme. For 3 weeks she intensively alkalised, juiced, removed all ‘nasties’ from her diet and fully embraced the Alistair & Rebekah Lifestyle Programme ‘TM’ (only joking) and lo and behold when she returned for X-rays absolutely no cysts anywhere!!!!!!! Pay attention guys, use your knowledge and you can make remarkable changes, and full credit to Pippins friend for giving it a go and love from us two x

Shame on the medical profession that nutritional information and nutritional therapy is not in their repertoire.

Living as we do, you know, as itinerants in a winnebago we have really slowed down. There are still jobs to do and money to be earned but we are out of the rat race and it is fabulous. Whilst wandering through the forrest with Alistair and the dogs the other day I listened as Alistair chatted about how he now understands that he has to ‘play the hand of cards that life has dealt him’. He spoke about his disbelief when he got the curve ball news, he said it was funny because he had always had himself down as a heart attack guy, not a curve ball guy! But he realised along the way that this was his deck, he couldn’t swap it or give it to somebody else to take care of, he couldn’t blame anybody else for giving it to him, it was his hand that he alone had to play out. Not on his own obviously but he is fully in charge of it. I think it has made him feel stronger, more empowered and more able to cope. I love listening to him as he natters to me on our evening walks. Little gems of wisdom that are so Alistair, little nuggets of information that help us both to continue to make little tweaks and changes to what we do and how we do things. So we continue to evolve, to change, to grow and to make ourselves happier, more content and more at peace with life and the cards we are dealt.

If you are interested in how you can improve your health a really good reference book is: ” Your Body Speaks Your Mind” by Debbie Shapiro

The Life of Brian

27 07 2012

Six weeks in and our first tragedy.

A gentle tap on the front door early on Wednesday morning the 25th July by the land owner didn’t  prepare me for what was to come. A cat with white paws and a white tummy had been knocked over and killed, was one of ours missing?

Well neither of them were missing up to that point, Brian, the one who fitted that description perfectly had made his exit as per his usual routine late the night before and he was due home at any minute.

Denial is a brilliant thing and allowed me to be full of bravado and nonchalance as I walked down to the front gates to investigate. At that point denial was replaced with reality and bravado and nonchalance were replaced with gut wrenching sadness, tears and upset as  beautiful Brian lay sleeping but lifeless by the front gates.

This was tough, really tough. Brian was Kirts cat and we had him only because Kirt was unable to take him when he moved out. Of course we saw him as our own and he had become so at home in Gladys and really embraced our new way of living. His funny little ways, his hiding places, his fat tummy which was certainly on the wain, laying stretched out out on the windowsill, his Brian-ness was just lovely. And he was really loving life with us in Gladys out in the open.

Poor Kirt, I had to wait all day to let him know because he had a big meeting in the morning and I didn’t want to spoil it for him. I also had to stay ‘up’ as I had clients to see and Alistair taught me many years ago you have to learn when to stay ‘up’ to do what needs to be done and when you can let go. So I wailed before work, asked the shamanic animal world to allow Brians spirit to become part of the great lower world where he may become an animal guide or power animal, got through the day and then wailed again as I broke the sad news to Kirt and Pippin and Hannah.

The loss of Brian has had an unusual effect on me. Candace always says Im weird about death. And I am. I have a set of beliefs that serve me and have served me really well and, over the last few years especially, through the sudden loss of a couple of very dear friends my beliefs and values in my shamanic practice have held me steady. But little Brian, this one has sent me reeling even though I still hold firm in my beliefs. Time really is what is needed, time to adjust, time to miss him and time to stop waiting to hear him clatter up the fly screen door and in through the hole where the door handle goes.

In shamanism, according to the sacred direction of Grandmother Moon energy of the West, death is to be honoured, highly. Because in honouring death you can fully honour life. That works well for me and reminds me to honour All life, quite simple really.

So I will celebrate in my memories the Life of Brian, as Kirt said, ” Mum, think about all the joy that Brian brought to us all and even though its really painful if we hadn’t of had him we would all have missed out on the joy that he gave”. Kirt, I couldn’t have said it any better myself.






So true Bob; The times they are a changing

2 07 2012

As I woke this morning I had on my mind the changing patterns in our lives, not just for the two of us, but in general.

The shape of mine and Alistair’s of course has changed since the curve ball in December, but in reality that really only sped up the inevitable changes that would have happened anyway. Or to put it another way, it forced our hand to realise our dreams (I know it was supposed to be a barge, but hey ho the essence of the dream is there and Gladys has come in a worthy runner up, in fact maybe  she’s not a runner up at all).

Its not the living in a small space out in the open that was tugging at us. It was and is the desire to be free. To be free of the shackles of so much need, so much materialism, so much unnecessary stuff. To be free from the capitalist monster that we had become slaves to. To be free from the trappings of greed and the idea of having to have that permeated our life even though we did our best to rally against it.

For me, this has been a long time coming.

My first marriage was the epitome of materialism. And please, don’t get me wrong, for a long time I thoroughly enjoyed it. I was as into the designer labels as the next wealthy wife and, in the absence of hindsight, didn’t understand that it was the  gold card that eased the pain of  some lonely times. And for my ex husband, like many, he believed that in providing a lovely home, holidays and a fabulous standard of living for us, he had fulfilled his responsibility to us and this was also the way he showed his love.

But change was and is inevitable.

Inner growth happened, my consciousness rose, I begun to challenge my beliefs and I chose to move forwards in to the great unknown. Otherwise, for sure I would have stagnated and become very stuck, very unhappy and more reliant on things outside of myself to create the illusion of happiness   (I was already halfway there with spending and drinking).

Slowly over time the seeds of change have been sown and harvested throughout the growing of mine and Alistair’s relationship too. And these changes have lead us finally to the way we live our life today.

I can count on one hand the number of times we have been to a shopping mall over the last 12 years, I think its three. We stopped shopping in supermarkets some years ago, although I have to confess with the curve ball and organic food being essential I have had to venture into Waitrose from time to time and Planet Organic. We have both made a concerted effort to support small independent businesses over the mass markets wherever we can (perhaps also in recognition of our dismal failures as shop keepers a few years ago when our little hippy shop ‘Merlins’ in Brentwood failed so specatularly). And for myself, to the amazement of those who knew me well previously in my former life, I have delighted in shopping in Oxfam and any other charity/ secondhand or vintage shop wherever and whenever I can.

We recycle and up cycle wherever we can and living an alternative lifestyle has also forced us to be much more ecological about  our use of water, electricity and gas and our non use of supermarkets and plastic containers wherever possible has not only cut down on our exposure to the hormone disrupter BPA but on packaging and waste too.

So as I look back both through my own memory bank and my old photo albums I can see clearly that the metaphorical clothes we wore 12 years ago just don’t fit us anymore and how we are today does fit, really well.

Thankfully, we have embraced our journey of change together albeit at slightly differing times from each other. Inevitably and sadly as the tapestry of our life has changed,  friendships and social patterns have also changed. Memories of old times will always be held dearly  but letting go of what was and embracing what is has allowed the flow of  the energy of change to guide us to how we ‘be’ today. A couple of modern day hippies, doing what we can to help ourselves, to help Mother Earth and to live life for as long as we have a healthy and happy life with our children and children’s children and a little bit of travel thrown in for good measure.

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