Posted in cottage renovation, escape to the country, escape to the countryside, Tips from an old cottage

Tips from an old cottage – No.1.

Keeping Warm In Bed

Funny as it sounds, living in an old 250 year cottage is serious business when you’d like to get a refreshing night’s sleep in the winter. Or indeed in the warm months when it’s windy outside. Most detached rural dwelling will soak up outside atmosphere no matter how thick its structure, or how well insulated. There is a difference to modern homes, but I think you’ve to kind of get the tee-shirt to appreciate my meaning fully.

Sheila and Frank’s tips for today are as follows:

1. If you can, sew a thick sleeping bag into your bedroom curtains. I know this sounds silly. But we did fasten them with press-studs or nappy safety pins so they could be easily removed. Tuck them into the windowsill.

2. Wear a hat in bed. Yes it does work. We loose a lot of heat from our extremities, especially around 3am in the morning.

3. Use draft excluders. Make some, just roll up old towels, anything really. A small gap under the bedroom door can bring a huge draft if it’s windy outside.

4. Wear gloves and scarfs in bed. Look, no one else is going to know πŸ˜… This is serious business!

5. Hunt around charity shops for anything made with 100% wool. Even a large skirt, jumper, cot blanket, can be cut up and used as a headboard cover to stop drafts getting to the back of your neck.

6. Use door curtains, anything nice and thick. And, when you close them, tuck the bottom into/under the draft excluder.

7. Socks, warm ones, obviously.

8. Hot water bottles, obviously.

9. You know the shiny reflective car window screen covers, the padded ones you can get from places like, say, poundstretcher, home bargains, etc? They work great underneath a mattress. Just lay them flat on the base of your bed, and under the mattress where your body usually rests. It’s subtle, but does make a difference.

7. Layers are good. Feather duvets are good. When making your bed, have a thick blanket to wrap around your shoulders if needs be.

8. And what if you’re bed is now starting to look like something from the children’s story ‘Princess and the Pea’?…

I suffer with inflammatory arthritis. Eventually we had to get 2 bed cradles to slide under the mattress and covers to lift them. Basically so that I could turn over at night and move about a little. Anyone will tell you who suffers with arthritis, being still for a long time or fixed in one position, or weighed down by 100 blankets 🀣, is going to be a challenge. But you think that’s the worst bit, wait until you need a pee in the night and try getting out of Fort-knox!

9. Well that’s all I can think of, unless you fancy going and cuddling up with the badgers at the end of your garden. If I think of any more, I will add them later. Hope this inspires ✨️🦑

10. Ooo, one more thing…make sure you open your windows on draft in the morning. All old houses need to breathe and circulate air 😊

Incidentally, here is our proof that we did it, the souvenir of all my darling Frank’s hard work. We certainly got the tee shirt and have lived to tell the tale.

Keep warm, and be as well as you can be. Be safe. Sending love and prayers.

Here’s a link to Breakfast on the Patio, our own story… Our escape to the countryside. We managed to stay at number 1 in the best selling list on Amazon Home Repair for quite some time, you know. I even got it in all the local papers, and some glossy magazines. This was really encouraging, not financially, but inspiring to know people were reading our story

We made our dream come true πŸ‘πŸ™β€οΈ
Posted in Addiction Recovery, aspergers, intense focus


You were my strength, my rock

Always there, every day

Whenever I felt in need you quenched my thirst, you did

…I still love you,
will always love you

Even though
You carefully
Took your time

To destroy
Everything about me

And, you knew full well what you were doing

But continued to soak up everything about me into your being and existence

I let you in at first
Not knowing all, or what you would do to me, until any tried changes felt cursed

How after a short time
You made every call,
Dominated all of my actions
Filled my life with your selfish self
With all, and everything I do not want

But I still felt like you’re wife, a partner to love, or endurance through strife

…I do still love you

and always will

….and I know you’ll be there for me, just like you always say, I’m here, just call

One of the hardest things to do is turn away in case of a fall

Stand on my own two feet

But this is where I remain

As much as I love you

Your neverending efforts are now in vain

I choose to be free

I choose to stay well

I choose this new life

However and wherever you dwell

At the edge of my thoughts
searching for the key to my soul

…but I need you to know this

No matter how hard it is, even if I crawl,

I will pull myself up

Back into my drivers seat, wheel in full view

By me, not you.

I choose to be free

I choose to be well

I choose love and lightness

In my heart they now dwell

Forever, and Ever

…and, you’ll be a distant memory

Sooner or later

And while that time is passing

I am becoming Greater,
Stronger and Healthier

I AM everything I do

No longer waiting for someone like you

I know I can now make it

Love fills me full from a far greater source

…so, I have decided, I now want a divorce

Title: The Opiate Rejection
by Anon.

Give your burdens to the LORD, and he will take care of you. He will not permit the godly to slip and fall.

Psalm 55:22 NLT

Posted in aspergers, compassion, transitions

What shall I write?

Here’s a little thought for you, if this is okay?

Knowing me as you do, what books would you like to read written by me? Is there anything you feel I may be able to share that would enlighten your life in any way?

I like a challenge. And it needn’t be a book. It could be a blog post or an article about love, relationships, compassion, empathy, therapy, the wonder of therapeutic techniques and change, life, and so on. Or even my experience of being diagnosed as autistic at age 54!

Or even something about our experience of living in the wilds for 10 years in our old cottage 😊

Let me know, it would be interesting to hear from you..

Posted in compassion, Trusting The Holy Spirit


You know when you have an idea and it really has to spill out onto paper so you can share with others. Only the grammar is all over the place because you fall over the words as they tip out within your message? Well, this is one of those posts. I’m sure I will correct the typos and grammar soon. But for anyone who needs to hear about true love….

Real love is empowering and liberating. The roots of real love will have a unique meaning to each individual because we all are different, all so very special, and all so loved by God, whoever you are, wherever you have been, whatever you have done.

These are my beliefs, you may not agree, and I respect this.

And, I am also declaring we each were created by a far greater source than we can ever imagine. Think about it like this…, we must have been needed in the first place to be created, and each have a purpose to be here. Some of us spend most of our life searching for purpose. But we all have one, they just get a little misplaced sometimes.

Anyway, back to true love…

The kind of true love I am talking about is available to everyone, not just those who feel they know what love is all about.

β€˜Love is’

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. Love never fails.” Taken from 1 Corinthians: 13 in the bible.

Real love is not about hidden agendas or hidden motivation, manipulations. Real love is given and received freely, without strings attached. Unconditional, as a genuine gift.

As the experience of love itself is interpreted differently to each unique person, I would like you to know that True Love is not about being ‘in love’ with other person or loving something so much that you do, say, purchase, look at, tell yourself, ever day you are or are not beautiful. Neither is it where we decide what someone is like or what we think they could be like, and we favour or even crave after the fantasy we have created of who they are, what they are. And so long as that thing or person stays in that illusion we have created, we are ‘in love’ them, they fulfil our perceived visionary about them and we make plans of how they will continue to meet our needs. But if someone acts different to our imagined reality, we may feel rejected, our plans with them have disappeared. ‘In love’ treats the person as a possession, it is a way of controlling, manipulating, coercing and can be lost or taken away.

This way we create a false love that is from our own human world of experiences and beliefs. True love blows all your, our, assumptions out of the water and into infinitey.

Real love empowers and encourages who you are and provides a way to promotes opportunities for you or me to be all we can be.

In love, on the other hand, brings pleasure, power, addiction, anxiety, fear, possessiveness, jealousy, anger and β€˜how could they do that’ kind of thinking.

Ture love brings openness, happiness, freedom, fun, laughter, joy and growth, empowerment.

Understanding opens the door to love. It places no limits on who you are and who you can be. Although it does not approve of harmful behaviour. True love does not own.

Compassion and acceptance opens the door to Love.

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God, an infinite and unfathomable source, far greater than we could ever imagine. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.” Taken from 1 John 4 in the bible. (God being whoever we believe created us in the first place.)

Be blessed.

Posted in compassion, Trusting The Holy Spirit

Being Authentic & Spiritual Growth

This is a brief post. I wanted to make a small statement about the importance of being authentic.

I am trying to follow the Holy Spirit in where my blog should go, instead of perhaps, all over the place, as I tend to do πŸ™ƒ

Sorting through some old notes just now, I find this…

Struggles v Learnings

I wrote it on the back of a 5 year old YouTube channel plan.

Thought it might inspire someone.

Be blessed πŸ™Œ

Posted in writing a book

Writing a book, keeping the secret

I would sooo much love to tell you everything about the books I am writing, each one is very exciting to me. They are close to my heart. They make the child in me skip around and jump for joy, they make the teenager within cry, and then evolve – tears evaporate and she too dances around. They make the young woman feel closer to God, more than ever before – her heart slows to the beat of Holy Power, and she once again feels strong and uplifted. But if I tell you all about each of the manuscripts, that will be it, you’ll know, and the excitement will deflate like a leaky balloon. So I need to somehow contain this frustration and transform it into motivation to get the bloomin’ things finished! Then, at last I can share them with you.

So, here’s a picture of my dog.

2 responses to “Writing a book, keeping the secret”

  1. JM avatar

    We will patiently endure until release.


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Posted in compassion

Hello Sunshine!


I just dropped by to say, Hello…

Whatever you’re feeling right now, whatever is going on for you, I care.

And if you are sitting there alone, with no one to share your day, staring into space, I care, and would like to say, Hello.



there is a great big smile, with a gentle virtual hug on its way to you right now, through the ether…

catch them!!

Through all the rain, may your day grow brighter.

Take care Sunshine. Be well.

2 responses to “Hello Sunshine!”

  1. Claire Millward avatar
    Claire Millward

    Fabulous resource. Just the help when your feeling sad and low.

    Liked by 1 person

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Posted in compassion

What is true compassion?

Compassion Speech from the film, The Good Catholic.

This is John C McGinley’s speech on compassion. McGinley plays Father Ollie in the movie, The Good Catholic.

I found this speech emotionally moving. It portrays everything I strive to be as a Christian and therapist.

Be blessed.

What is your experience of compassion?

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Posted in aspergers

Have you been diagnosed with Autism / Asperger’s as an adult?

Yesterday, I was diagnosed with Autism and Asperger’s by a specialist in the NHS after a 2.5 hour assessment. The formal report will follow, then I can understand better.

Is it okay to tell you? Because this is a really big thing for me. It affects absolutely everything in my life. No wonder I obsess, no wonder I am abrupt, no wonder people call me insensitive, no wonder, no wonder, no wonder…..

I think it’s going to take a while to sink in.

I’m 54 years old, why go for a diagnosis at my age?

When years of physical illness has no apparent reason other than a response to stress because I cannot speak my internal experience, when I’ve already been through a 9 year therapy mill to reach accountability as a psychotherapist and counsellor, yet I am still weird. When I have processed lots of past events and unfinished emotions, yet I am still an odd-bod. When it affects those around me to such an extent that it threatens relationships. When I get stuck in so many areas for no apparent reason…

It’s probably time to dig a little deeper. It’s probably a good idea to understand why writing is so therapeutic for me and being creative to such an extent that I disappear into it for days or weeks at a time and forget feed myself! It’s probably a good idea to understand why I could eat chicken sandwiches and cheesy crisps from the co-op supermarket every single day and be non-plussed about why my partner wants a different meal every day. Or why I go stir crazy if people call or visit (even if I am expecting them) and I am in the middle of something, my routine and structure, for goodness sake, it’s nothing personal! It is because I’m an alien from the planet zonk, whose idea of friendship is to wander off into a field and enjoy nature, alone!

Words escape me today, there seems to be an empty space before me.

Perhaps this is the space for the remainder of my life as an alien? But with Super Powers :):):)

Thanks for listening πŸ™‚ I needed that.

How did you feel after your diagnosis?

2 responses to “Have you been diagnosed with Autism / Asperger’s as an adult?”

  1. Deborah avatar

    I just began the process to pursue a diagnosis myself. The evaluator is so booked for so long, it will be months before I get in. And yet, the steps so far, with me at 43, have brought me such relief. So, too, has finding a couple fellow β€œalien” women. To find folks who think like me makes being alien feel more like community and much less lonely, which is the same feeling I had while reading your post. Thank you for sharing it. ❀️


    1. Busy Corner Books, Independent Book Publisher, incorporating faith-filled creative inspiration through 20+ years of psychotherapy experience. avatar

      You’re welcome, and thank you for your kind words. It’s lovely to meet you πŸ™‚
      Yes it is a long waiting time to be diagnosed, around 18 months on the NHS, I think. They brought mine forward because I had too many blue light emergency visits to hospital. I couldn’t translate a recent family trauma. The ambulance staff raised a red flag, hardly surprising really. I wasn’t aware of my behaviour! But I’ve a feeling it’s going to be life-changing, even at 54 years old.
      I can recognise what you are saying too. It does feel good yo connect with people who understand and ‘get it’. I hope you soon get your assessment and can plan a way forward. A friend told me it really is like discovering you have super powers πŸ™‚


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Posted in transitions


Life is filled with transitions. That is what helps me to describe the chaos in between the change. When a client has spoken to me about a difficult time and there is no resolution to their circumstances, I will often say, ‘you’re going through a transition, be kind to yourself, change will happen when you least expect and you’ll receive a learning sooner or later, just be still and be patient with yourself.’

Sometimes it works, and we are able to explore the client’s current situation and how they are coping with whatever life is throwing at them. Other times the client’s experience is so painful or unbearable that it feels insensitive to say in time this too will pass. And this is a time when ‘holding a session’, trusting further the power of the Holy Spirit to deliver enough strength, to find the right words to say, or not to say. This is a time when silent strength fully takes its place.

Why am I telling you this?

Because the time between running the show on our own and letting God lead the way, is difficult for most people a lot of the time. It’s a little bit like abseiling and not putting trust in the well known and trusted equipment. You’ve seen other people abseil down the cliff, you’re afraid of heights but want to achieve this new venture, there is even a guide at the top and finish of the equipment to ensure they see you off the top and break your fall. This equipment is the best, it has been tested hundreds of times.

But the next step is yours. Only you can do this…put on the harness, the armour, the protection…trust in its Power, see the destination, its yours. Be helped, be guided, remind yourself everything is going to be okay. Trust. Let go into His arms.

I wrote this blog during my prayer time.

And to compliment this blog post, my daily reading was associated with Joshua 1:9,

Have I not commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee withersoever thou goest. Joshua 1:9 KJV