Great Awesomeness!

Today is a BIG day for my brother Tim.

It's his birthday!

He's a truly amazing person - fun, kind and generous,  an encourager, compassionate and loving,  a real hard worker and loyal to the core. I'm blessed to have him in my life.

When we were kids we played together ... and never actually 'fell out'. Maybe that was because I am a few years older and I was bossy so he just did as he was told. It was probably because he's laid back and non confrontational. I could say so much more about him ...  but I'll save his blushes.

We're friends apart from brother and sister and I'll always be grateful for having him in my life.

So today, I just want to say - love you Tim and wishing for you all the dreams you have for yourself on your Big and Special Day!

This is for you Super Bro!

Happy Birthday Brother

Friends (I'll be there for you)

Today I'm going to indulge myself a little, and share with you one of my favourite TV programmes of all time.

If I mention the main characters in the sit com in question, many of you will know exactly what show I'm talking about.

FriendsMonica, Rachel, Ross, Chandler, Joey and Phoebe!

It was on this day - September 22nd - in 1994 that 'Friends' aired for the first time on the American TV network NBC. . It's the unfolding story of six friends in their 20's and 30's who live in New York City. Over ten seasons until May 6th 2004, the final episode, we saw their lives and loves unfold.  Lots of laughter and quirkiness, some tears and tragedy, amazing moments. 

I have to say 'Friends' captured my imagination from the get go. I just thought it was so cleverly written - we were drawn into the lives of these people, all of whom were very different and all of whom really were nothing like me. Plus I've never lived in New York ... but it was just fun.  Actually, I found it to be a weekly escape  from the realities and stresses of life - in those days there was no binge watching, we had to wait a week for the next episode! 

It became a 'water cooler' type of show, one which we would talk to our friends and family about. My niece, Vicki, in particular was and is a great fan of 'Friends' and it was something we had in common, moments remembered that we could laugh about.  Quoting from 'Friends' is a thing for us! Even now!

This was a sit com which brought people together. It's been described as an one of those 'iconic, culture-defining shows' and although it's been 17 years since the last episode aired, somewhere in the world and in the UK it's playing right now!! And if that ends I always have the boxed set.

Down the years there have been calls for new 'Friends' episodes but this year the cast did come together for a one-off  special called ‘The One Where They Got Back Together’,which celebrated the mega-hit comedy’s 25th anniversary.

Would I want a new series? 

Probably not ... it was fun while it lasted but time has moved on. The cast have moved on to new projects but still, if they are reading this (wow wouldn't that be fabulous?) I'd just to to say a HUGE thank you to all the writers and producers and staff who gave us so much pleasure down the years, and especially the Iconic Six - Jennifer Aniston (Rachel), Courteney Cox (Monica), Lisa Kudrow (the weirdly wonderful Phoebe), Matt LeBlanc (Joey), Mathew Perry (Chandler) and David Schwimmer (Ross) - THANK YOU GUYS!

One of the things that defines a great TV show, I think, is the theme tune. Every time you hear it when the show is being aired, it gives you a shiver of anticipation. Now that the show is over and only existing in 're-runs' that theme tune is just like a bit of a comfort blanket.

In the case of 'Friends' it's 'I'll be there for you'' by The Rembrandts, with that iconic chorus which really sums up friendship. Well it does for me, anyway.

I'll be there for you
(When the rain starts to pour)
I'll be there for you
(Like I've been there before)
I'll be there for you
('Cause you're there for me too)

In the year or so after 'Friends' was aired for the first time, I was in the USA on holiday, in Florida with a friend and we were out for dinner in the Disney resort area. It was a warm night, masses of people around on the boardwalk and there was a huge TV screen in the central square where, I think, there was a fountain and seating area. We were walking through there and on the screen came the official video for the 'Friends' show! We and loads of other people ended up singing the song  at the top of our lungs ... and laughing until we cried. 

What a memory! Fun, friends and feeling happy. Doesn't get much better than that!

I'm blessed to have great friends (and family members) who I know will stick by me, whatever. And I'm so blessed and thankful for that. We may not live in New York City, and actually we're often separated, but true friends will always be there for each other!

So today, to mark the anniversary of the first time the world got to know those six 'Friends' ... here's the official video ... not only featuring The Rembrandts but the main cast members!

Sing along if you want. Out Loud is good. 

Smile, laugh and ... enjoy!


A Miracle and Mystery

If I was to list the following books ... could you tell me what the link is? 

Yes, the well read and clever among you will know they were all written by the same man - Herbert George Wells.

Born on this day - September 21st - in 1886, HG Wells was an English writer and novelist. He actually wrote in many 'genres' - short stories, dozens of novels, and even social commentaries, history, satire, biography and autobiography - but is best known for his science fiction novels and works. In fact, I read that he is sometimes called the "father of science fiction", along with another brilliant author, Jules Verne.

Often, especially these days, as a writer one is expected to just write in one genre - crime fiction, 'chick lit' or women's literature, horror, science fiction, children's books, history, biography, academic etc et

But what I love about people like Wells is that he did it all. Like many of the great authors of the later 19th and early 20th century and some of my favourites - JRR Tolkien, CS Lewis - who weren't just writers but also educators, Wells started out as a teacher. And such was his imagination that he didn't stick to one type of writing, but diversified.

In fact, another of his books - The History of Mr Polly - is one of my favourite reads. It's a 'comic novel' about a man who feels very unfulfilled in life. It's also a bit of a social commentary on the times, English society at the turn of the 20th century, and in particular his descriptions of lower-middle-class life really tells us so much about life in those days. 

But of course, it's his science fiction which has grabbed all the attention. Those books listed above have all been made into (several) successful films so lots of us know about the themes. 

'The Time Machine' in particular has grabbed the imagination of readers down the years and it's also been credited with  the popularization of the concept of time travel by using a vehicle or device to travel  forward or backward through time - think 'Back to the Future' - love those films! 

Actually, it was HG Wells who coined the term "time machine"! What a legend!

I'm absolutely intrigued by the idea of travelling in time, although I always say that I wouldn't want to travel to far into the future ... just a few years here and there to see how life might work out for us might be good for starters. In Wells' novels, and other time travelling works, the reality of  life far into the future is not always what's expected, it's not utopian and it's often overwhelmingly so different that the plot or story invariably doesn't work out well.

HGWellsTo celebrate HG Wells, today I am sticking with the idea of time ... which he obviously spent a lot of time not just writing, but also thinking about.

'The Time Machine'', which was published in 1895, is not just about a vision of the future, but also a commentary on the increasing inequality and class divisions of late Victorian England. It's also about dreams and aspirations for the future,  but also human ambition and what people will do to see their visions a reality ... and so much more!

But for those of us who fancy a bit of 'time travel', for those of us who maybe live with the future always just out of reach, it's easy to forget to live in the moment.

As Wells reminds us in this thought, we can get obsessed by time, by always looking ahead and thinking about what might be over the next hill. We might be one of those who always thinks the grass will be greener in the field just down the way. Or one of those people who constantly fixates on what life might be like in the future, when everything is bigger, better and more successful, rather than enjoying THIS day, this moment!

It's a good lesson.

So, to celebrate this day and the life and works of HG Wells, I'm going to try to remember this not just today ... but down the line as well ... (There I go, thinking about the future!)

I love this idea that 'each moment of life is a miracle and mystery'.

May we never take 'today' for granted or risk missing out on the joyful moments of today by always thinking about tomorrow.


Create your own Mood


Here we go!

Another Monday, another new week!

So how are you feeling? What's the mood today?

Optimistic and confident, or perhaps feeling a little weary and worried about what lies ahead?

None of us know the future, and even if we have the next seven days or so planned we know that things can change in a moment.

However, I want to start the week in an up-beat way, looking forward with anticipation.

In the next few days, I know some of you will be celebrating a birthday - for one of my brothers it's a BIG birthday later this week!

I know for some of you it'll be a great week of love and celebration, one of those weeks when really all your dreams come true - one of my friends is counting down to her wedding day this coming weekend!

Some of us have meetings planned and we know what we'll be up to at work. Others of us have no idea what might come our way, work-wise, in the next seven days. But that's exciting too. Well I think it is!

As this thought reminds us ... Monday (and I would argue, the rest of the week) is a bit of a blank canvas and we can fill it with the colours of joy and happiness and splash the paint around with abandon and joy. Or we can get out the greys and blacks and just paint monochrome blocks - predictable and safe! Or we can just leave the canvas of the future blank, not trying at all to dream and hope, and stuff the idea of this week in the corner where it's out of view, not expecting much at all!

Whatever you have planned, or not - whatever 'paint' you throw at your week -  I hope you are starting your Monday in an optimistic, thankful, positive and 'smiling' mood and with a great mindset!

Because who knows,  that might be the difference between a good week and a GREAT week!


Monday Motivation

When you Pray

Happy Sunday everyone!

Just want to encourage you today with this thought!

I don't know whether you're a church sort of person, or a praying type, or someone who believes that God can intervene in our lives.

But if, like me, you are all that - hope this encourages you today.

Have a great day everyone!

When you pray



And .... breathe

If you know a bit about me, you'll know that I love to swim in the sea.

I find it so relaxing, and so good for my mental health. The exercise, of course, is great but it's also such a calming experience, as you feel the water on your skin, the breeze on your face and, if you're lucky, the warmth of the sun on your skin.

In the summer time I do swim as often as possible, and it's been a joy this week to get in a few dips ... in between the hours at the computer ... working as a freelance writer and also concentrating a lot on researching and writing a new book.

Ouaisne Bay Sept 2021We have lots of beautiful beaches and bays here in Jersey in the Channel Islands - some rocky coves, and some beautiful stretches of glorious sandy beaches. 

One of my favourites for relaxing and swimming is Ouaisne Bay in the south west of the island's at one end of a very popular tourist beach - St Brelade's Bay - but usually much quieter.

This week I managed to get a dip there ... and it was glorious. A great opportunity to ... just breathe really.

The sound of waves gently crashing on the shoreline can take me to a different place and can really help with my anxiety and stress levels. I find the sound of the sea so soothing and so good for 'de-stressing' my life.

So today, I just want to share some of those sounds with you and hope they will help you to.

Filmed at Ouaisne Bay this week.

Have a great weekend and ... stay chilled!







Choose Well

How has your week been?

I know some of my blog friends will have had birthdays and anniversaries, some may have changed their jobs, or even moved home or made some decisions which will be life changing in the long run. A mixture of challenges and happiness ... that's life I guess.

I saw this picture and thought online and it reminded me that how I react to the stuff happening in my life is up to me. I can choose how I react to life's moments and what is thrown at me.

I've had a busy week - I've chosen that. But I have also allowed myself to get stressed out from time to time and that's also been a choice ... one that I've tried to quickly turn around.

As I've said a few times during this year of blogging so far, it's up to me whether I choose to remind myself of the positive  or prefer to fixate on the negative things I'm experiencing or the things I don't have rather than all the things and people I am blessed with.

So today I choose to accentuate the positive ... I determine to choose well.

Today I choose ... JOY!

Choose well

Thankful Thursday

I woke up this morning and the sun is shining here in Jersey.

Summer seems to be hanging on for a few moments more, I live in a beautiful place, I have a loving family and great friends, and really all the material things I need. 

I am blessed!

Got to say, although I know I have so much to be thankful for, I sometimes don't see it all. Occasionally I forget how much I have been given, and the One who gives it all to me - yes I'm also blessed to have a faith in God. 

Of course, I know I should feel that gratitude and appreciation every moment of every day, but today I just want to take a moment to be thankful for all that I have, rather than regretting all the things I DON'T have.

I love the idea of Thankful Thursday ... it should be a thing, don't you think?

Thankful thursday


It's Wednesday - middle of the week and still lots more to come before we shuffle into the weekend!

Wednesday can feel a bit ... meh ... and we can end up feeling rather disheartened, tired and overwhelmed with life.

But that's just the time to remind ourselves to be more positive.

Let's look for the good things, rather than concentrating on the negative. Let's find the best in ourselves rather than fixating on the worst things we like to dwell on. You know what I'm talking about, I'm sure!

So today, here's a thought to help us through the day and the rest of the week .... 

Enjoy your day!

Happy Wednesday!


Be Different!

Yesterday in this daily blog I was talking about the amazing children's author, Roald Dahl - it was his birthday yesterday, which is now celebrated as Roald Dah Day.

Hope you enjoyed it!

But I wanted to continue thinking about this amazing writer ... he was a real 'one off', a man with a huge imagination. Someone who was just true to himself. 

He never learned to type, he did all his writing in an old shed  with sharpened pencils. He invented a medical device to help his son when he suffered a head injury and the family could find nothing to help him. He made up his own language - or at least a language for his BFG (Big Friendly Giant) ... Gobblefunk!

And, of course, he wrote all those wonderful stories and much more ... see yesterday's blog if you want to read all about him!

Roald Dahl was unique!

Now, we can't all be world famous authors, or indeed hugely famous for anything.

But we can be different!

We all have things which make us stand out from the crowd, it's just sometimes we desperately try to fit in to other people's moulds and forget just to be ourselves! Instead of standing out and being proud of our differences, we squash them or hide them away. 

For most of my adult life I've been a little 'different' to others, but I did spend years being tempted to 'fit in'  - sometimes I DID do that, wore what people thought I should wear, looked like they thought I should look ... and that was just for starters...

But no longer! Now I am accepting my uniqueness and  I'm looking always for the things that make ME  different. And if people don't like it, they can lump it. I'm not going completely weird, but I am trying to be true to myself a lot more. And I'm finding it rather liberating!

So today ... I just want to encourage us all to embrace ... well ... ourselves!

We never know what we might uncover and how much fun we might have or where life might take us when we truly just become more 'real', more as we should be.

Have a great day everyone!

Be yourself