Sunday, 15 October 2017

Creating My Odyssey: A PERSONAL MANTRA!'Adulting' should only be do...

Creating My Odyssey:

'Adulting' should only be do...
: A PERSONAL MANTRA! 'Adulting' should only be done when it's absolutely necessary. Otherwise a childlike approach throughou...


'Adulting' should only be done when it's absolutely necessary. Otherwise a childlike approach throughout life should be mandatory.

Those of a more serious disposition, those who are not naturally inclined in the 'Hey - let's climb that tree/balance on that parapet/dress up in silly clothes/play in the mud.' disposition, who invariably utter: 'Someone's got to keep things together.' might bear in mind that the world is not going to fall apart the moment they break out of straight-faced mode and be silly for five minutes. Then again, being silly might not be their 'thing', in which case they must smile indulgently and bear with those of us for who it is, please.

Husband and I live by that mantra and always have done, even when I was depressed, and quite probably saved some part of my delicate sanity in those days. It is absolutely the truest of truths that humour, the sillier the better, is a vital factor in helping contribute towards the easing up of  the downs - at least the milder form. Adulting is vital in bringing up the kids and dealing with the rather tedious matters of life such as finance, otherwise leave serious adult-ing for those and those moments alone.

Our potty, daft son lives with us and together, the three of us make a potty, daft threesome. Two silly boys  and an equally silly mother/wife. I shall be rather sad when son leaves home.

I was always potty and daft and was brought up in a rather potty, daft household. So, despite all that my family - parents and siblings - might have done to contribute towards my depression, I am very grateful to them for their somewhat ribald, irreverent humour. For Sunday dinners we got tiddly on mother's apple wine (1976 was a particularly good year), and became hysterically giggly over the British radio programmes The Goons and The Navy Lark, because they were hysterical.

And when it comes to just being plain playful, you only have to watch a kid at work on his/her 'thing' to see what one means. They have yet to be adulted sensessly. Kids know how to have fun. You only have to watch them digging a hole on a beach, or building a fort with sheets and chairs, or making silly faces in the mirror (good for the facial muscles, that one).  This last we do fairly regularly in this household (god forbid anyone should be looking through our windows at that moment... Eh, well...).

Last but not least...

There's a big difference between being childish and childlike and a lot of people get confused between the two. 'Childlike' is playful and fun. 'Childish' is behaving like a spoilt kid, perhaps, and not very pleasant. Let's not get the two confused! And next time an overly serious person says to you: 'How old are you?' when you're having a cut grass chucking war with your offspring after a lawn mowing session (as I did when my son ran out of primary school at the end of a summer's day all those years ago), just blow a raspberry and chuck grass at serious person. On second thoughts, perhaps not, I don't want you to get into trouble because of me - 'She told me to do it!'  



Wednesday, 11 October 2017


Just in case you hadn't noticed, Husband and I are heavily into boats. I was brought up in Sunbury-on-Thames, Surrey (UK), and the river Thames was virtually on my doorstep, so I rowed the family dinghy from the moment I could utter: 'Land ahoy, me hearties!'.

Meanwhile, Husband, brought up in High Wycombe, Buckinghamshire, played with toy boats on a pond and stream when he was a kid (would now given half the chance, and I'd join him!). Later he took off in hired narrow boats on the waterways of Britain, something he'd garnered a real enthusiasm for after watching The Flower of Gloster (actual spelling), a kid's telly programme during the sixties about two kids and their big brother delivering a narrow boat to Birmingham for their father. (I watched this recently when Husband acquired the DVD. It was pretty good, if obviously dated, and I rather fancied the hero). 

Over the preceding years we've acquired a traditional Canadian canoe, and after that, our narrow boat, Dotterel. (A Dotterel is a stupid bird that allows birds of prey to nick it's eggs. Alternatively I'm the stupid bird).

I was introduced to the pleasures of narrow boating shortly after our first child, daughter Samantha, was born. I was a neurotic wreck and determined to impress on the world at large and whoever happened to be passing that I was a born and bred boatwoman. My feminist leanings shrieked out in my head and I couldn't relax. I began to hate sharing double locks with strangers - for those of you uninitiated in the ins and outs of canal double locks, here's a picture... 

As you see, it can be a sociable situation and require negotiation with the other boater, both of which I hated at the time (not the boater, the situation).

After my complete recovery from depression, Husband, who'd cared for me for thirty years, talked about the Birmingham Canal Navigation Society's twenty-four hours Challenge. This starts anywhere you wish on the Birmingham canal navigation system and finishes twenty- four hours later at a designated spot. The winner is determined by points, with extra points for full length boats, buttes, small crews, and cruising the lesser travelled parts of the Birmingham Canal Navigations.  Husband wanted to do this very much, so I said: 'I'm cured. You've looked after me for thirty years. Go forth and have fun.' Or words to that effect. So he did. 

Three years and three challenges later, he's a pro. He hasn't won - yet - but he's sliding further upscale each time. Next year he's going all out. His crew the first year consisted of our adult son, the daughter of friends and her friend, and Husband's niece. The following year was son and Husband's sister. Sister, in particular, has grown very competitive!

Husband and crew are growing more accustomed to the race and the rules. I declined to join because it is very intense, you do keep going, but team spirit is essential. Husband wanted me to experience the route and Birmingham on our own, casual, trip. I used to have problems with lengthy trips. Well, I'm cured, so I agreed to do it. Not the challenge itself but the trip, which would take us twelve days, umpteen locks, and a zillion miles walked by Husband between locks.

The challenge annually takes place in May. It's now October, and, well - I did it! Accomplished my own Birmingham challenge. Pleased as anything, I am! I'd always said I'd get Husband and boat to Birmingham, but sadly failed a couple of attempts over the last two years, chickening out and getting worked up about it. But this time I did it! Yay! 😆

I now have a plaque on the boat, together with various other plaques, declaring underneath on a nicely engraved plate:'Jo got this boat to Birmingham.' And back, may I add. Husband had it made especially, bless that man. 

So here they are. Some of the umpteen zillion photos I took on the trip. I've included ones that give a flavour of the trip, and show that Birmingham has rejuvenated itself from the industrialised city that it once was. I love the city. Some of the old industry remains as a reminder, but born again Birmingham is fab! No-one, of course, will ever forget the origins of the city, but its rejuvenation has been, I would say, a miracle. And so was this trip. 

Monday, 9 October 2017

Creating My Odyssey: I NEED TO SHARE MY NOVEL WRITING!I keep saying ...

Creating My Odyssey: I NEED TO SHARE

I keep saying ...
: I NEED TO SHARE MY NOVEL WRITING! I keep saying this and it's been off, on, off etcetera, for a very long time. My dear Husband is...

I keep saying this and it's been off, on, off etcetera, for a very long time. My dear Husband is my chief critic, and he is brilliant at it and we agreed initially that I'd just stick to his critiquing each chapter, but there is so much one person can do. He has a load of projects he's working on himself, plus he's very involved with his boating charity, so he doesn't have a lot of time to spare.

Plus I was wary of posting chapters in public due to the risk of plagiarism, however you spell it (as I keep saying, it is such a masterpiece, after all!). I am working through the chapters, little by little, but it really is driving me nuts! Only I can write this thing, and I'm not getting any feedback on chapters at the moment and I desperately need that!

I do post chapters to friends, but there is so much they can do, as well. It's over a hundred chapters, and around five parts. The middle is very tricky and I'm concerned how I'm gonna get through it.

As many of you know, I've been working on this, on and off, for many years, and I'm the only one who can finish it, but it's proving a stinker. The writing's there, the chapters are there, but the editing is proving tough and, apart from Husband and a few selected friends, I ain't getting much needed feedback.

I've had several people kind enough to offer to read it, and I think I'm gonna have to go through that process again. If anyone out there would like to read it, please contact me and let me know.

'Alias Jeannie Delaney is the life story of a devastating cowgirl who is the fastest gun in the west and also bisexual.'



Tuesday, 3 October 2017

Creating My Odyssey: THIS RENAISSANCE SOUL BIZ!***********************...

: THIS RENAISSANCE SOUL BIZ! ******************************** This R enaissance Soul is having trouble! Good trouble, it must be sa...

This Renaissance Soul is having trouble! Good trouble, it must be said. Having oodles/umpteen/zillions of projects/thoughts on the go all at once is dead daunting, but I don't think I'd have it any other way. Okay, here's my list, in no particular order: 

*****  Nurture friendships and make new ones.
*****  Hold dinner parties. (Never did this before in         
            my life but had a couple for close friends in recent
            times and loved 'em!)
*****  Work on blog - swop bog posts with interested  
*****  Submit mental health articles to organisations.  
*****  Write another article for Lifelights Magazine
*****  Finish the novel in two years. 
*****  Edit my anthology Musings of a Butterfly Brain  
            and e-book it. 
*****  Produce/experiment on artworks for exhibition  
            possibly next year and post on Facebook 
*****  Redecorate the house top to bottom. It's been 
            neglected for so long. (Almost finished the utility
            room, so it's bottom to top, strictly speaking).
*****  Landscape the garden. (There's some archaeology to  
            be done and Husband's railway to build).
*****  Extend and improve Kitty Le Roy's cabin. 
*****  Update Kitty Le Roy's Wild West
*****  Research travel destinations, UK and abroad. 
*****  Yoga and pedal more! (I have static pedals when    
            I'm watching telly or doing spider solitaire!)
*****  Organise longer walks and cycling. 
*****  Organise myself better! (Hadeha). 
*****  Research visits to art exhibitions/galleries/concerts   
            (classic and contemporary) /museums etcetera. 

This list is not conclusive by any means, and I do have small/big goals. A visit to Australia, for example. See as much of the world as possible. Finish that ****** novel. Learn to snorkel properly. 

Monday, 2 October 2017

Creating My Odyssey: THE NOVEL:ALIAS JEANNIE DELANEY  The Writing of It...

Creating My Odyssey: THE NOVEL:ALIAS JEANNIE DELANEY  The Writing of It...: THE NOVEL: ALIAS JEANNIE DELANEY   The Writing of It... Aaaghhh's sooo bloody hard writing an epic novel, one that covers...
  The Writing of It...'s sooo bloody hard writing an epic novel, one that covers half the lifetime of the protagonist. I'm working through it, chapter by chapter, with Husband's help. He's a brilliant critic - firm but fair.

I'm on the editing of chapter 19 (out of over 100)and five parts, and describing four of the boys who become members of Jeannie's gang. I'm describing their characters, and their families and why they're drawn to her. Tricky. When I'm struggling and feel a bit overwhelmed by the whole thing, that's when I blog it. And that does help. There are so many good people on Facebook and other social media sites, particularly authors/writers, the feedback I receive is often excellent and very encouraging!

So that's what I'm doing now. Is anyone else doing anything monumental, writing wise? I'd love to hear from you, so please do contact me and perhaps we can share notes.

Sunday, 1 October 2017


Creating My Odyssey: ABSTRACTION






Saturday, 30 September 2017

Cassini: Mission to Saturn: Mailing List Sign-Up

Cassini: Mission to Saturn: Mailing List Sign-Up: Cassini is one of the most ambitious efforts in planetary space exploration. A joint endeavour of NASA, ESA and the Italian space agency, Cassini is a sophisticated spacecraft exploring the Saturnian system since 2004.



Olga, Wild Westerner, Hippy, Biker Chick, Mrs.Fonz ('Aaaay...') and Goth.
I'm coming out and out and out. And I'm starting to enjoy it, even though the weather is cold, grey, wet and yukky out there. (It is February in good ol' UK. Brrr. Picture's appropriate, taken in Looe in Cornwall over Xmas!).

     Two years plus since the mixed blessing medication crisis that ultimately freed me from that cruel and nasty grip of depression and anxiety, I'm becoming more and more 'me'' - whatever that is! It's a good me, happily. :-D! I've always been a tad eccentric-ish (was once described as 'pleasantly eccentric' by Husband's boss's wife), creative, and, since my schooldays, fascinated by hard shootin', drinkin' and smokin' cigars wild western women. I became a writer of lighthearted anecdotes after my kids arrived, many of which were published, then I began my humungous western novel with my hard shootin' heroine, upon which I'm working as I think. But there's oodles of stuff I wanna do before I get run over by that number 9 bus. (Why number 9? It's always number 9. And is this a British thing?).
      I'm a Renaissance Soul and always have been. Quite proud of that. As a hormonal young person I wanted to get onto an archaeological (I can spell it - yay!) dig. The germ of an idea was planted when one took place in Shepperton, Middlesex, near my school, the small town next to my home village of Sunbury-on-Thames. My appearance at the dig never happened. Since then I've been on the lookout for them. Then depression clamped down and that was that - *Bleaughhhh...*. I really fancy the delicate uncovering of a human skull or piece of pottery, the washing of finds, the documentation, the research etcetera. I've replaced it, I guess, with beachcombing and finding odds and sods anywhere and everywhere, including our back garden, local meadows and our large King's pond. I'd considered mudlarking - I'm definitely one of those - up to my ankles in Thames mud in London when the tide's out. Many things have been unmudded, including a Victorian prisoner's ball and chain (sans prisoner, hahaha. You do wonder what happened to him), but you need insurance and I couldn't be arsed with all that!
     When not digging for broken bits of blue patterned china (always blue. Ugh?) I'm counting the number of countries I/we've visited - twenty - and can officially class myself as a traveller, apparently, according to a travel mag I read once. And who am I to disbelieve them? *Yay! (again!)* and I want to snorkel in Australia's Great Barrier Reef. Go buy a snorkel and practice in the bathtub first.
     Another thing I wanted to do as an 'orrible teen was archery. My uncle was an archer. A school friend and I watched him arching with his club and that decided me. And yes - I did it, surprise surprise! My kids were quite young when I joined a local club here in Hampshire. I acquired a bow and pretty pearlised pink arrows. I wasn't a bad shot, either. But bloody depression got in the way again. Now I want to return. Mustmustmust. This year. Nag me, people.
     I've always rowed as well. Was brought up beside the Thames and rowed the family dinghy from the moment I could utter 'Land Ahoy!' Now we own a traditional Canadian canoe, which goes with the wild west hobby. It lay gathering cobwebs for some time, sulking in the garden, but last year we actually used it more than once, on raging rivers around Weybridge, Surrey, where Husband was living as a student when I met him umpteen years ago. We've considered camping by canoe a la Three Men in a Boat. Or put the canoe on the roof of our narrow boat and use it when we moor. Might just happen. Never know.
     I have a bucket list item that I have a suspicion will never happen. To be an extra on a telly or film set. They get paid to sit around a lot, knitting. And do idiotic things that look rather fun on the box, such as running en-masse into exotic looking seas and have fun (can't remember which ad that was. Insurance? Telecommunications?). Or be the person reading a book in the background on a bus or in the cafe in Neighbours (yes, I watch Neighbours. Want to make something of it...?). Being realistic, though, extras - or background artistes (official posh title) - have to be up at the crack of first blush (found that on Thesaurus. Rather like it). First Blush/crack of cockcrow and I never got on. Having said that, since my full recovery made its tentative way through my cranium and into my eyeballs, I actually do manage an earlier get-up time when necessary. Husband's gob has been smacked, and is growing all the more smacked as life goes on.
     Bearing all this in mind, you never know what might happen next. In fact, our next plan is to buy a three wheeler motor bike. Yes! All because our son acquired a Harley a while ago. Fab!But away from bikes. Let me make a couple of things clear - I'm gonna finish that darn novel before that bus flattens me, and I'm gonna be rich and famous. Allow me amend those last two little factoids. Rich and famous? :-D! I do wanna get this blog out there cuz there are many folk with mental health issues that need encouragement, inspiration and a good laugh (can't always guarantee the last), and I wanna get my creativity out from under that darn bushel cuz I know I can do it.
     yay! :-D
Third time


Wednesday, 27 September 2017

Creating My Odyssey: THIS BLOGGING BIZ...! Such fun! But it doesn't hal...

Creating My Odyssey: THIS BLOGGING BIZ...! Such fun! But it doesn't hal...: THIS BLOGGING BIZ...!   Such fun! But it doesn't half try the patience of impatient sorts like me. As you can see, I'm attemp...
Image result for images emoji faces confused
Such fun! But it doesn't half try the patience of impatient sorts like me. As you can see, I'm attempting to 'embed' (see - I'm talking technical now) social media icons/buttons into my blog and it's...well...rather hard going to say the least.
     But if I want to make it simple for readers to link to my 'platforms' (gosh, there I go again...) this is what I have to do.
     So, I perused Google until I found a couple of blogs telling me, in reasonably easy terms, how to do it.
     It's still hard. Click on this, click on that. Copy that (coding), paste on that. Open this window, etcetera... The result of all this, as you can see to the right, are the bottom panel of pretty buttons that I would like to have used, and the HUGE icon buttons I chose because they were individual buttons rather than a set. And they will probably remain until I've got the hang of this lark. But I am getting the hang of it, little by little!
     Now, how do I get rid of them? Guess I have to go back into code mode and delete...or something...
     Finally, listen up, all those of you who think you don't have a technical bone in your body. I don't have a technical bone in my bod. If I can get this far, even if it's odd icons hanging around your blog that you don't want, then you can do it. Felt rather proud of myself even managing to do that!

Image result for emoji proud

Friday, 22 September 2017

Wednesday, 20 September 2017

Creating My Odyssey:                    TREAT MY OCDI've been conta...

Creating My Odyssey:                    TREAT MY OCD

I've been conta...
:                     TREAT MY OCD I've been contacted by Stephen Smith, founder and CEO of nOCD , a mobile app which helps treat  Ob...

Creating My Odyssey:                    TREAT MY OCDI've been conta...

Creating My Odyssey:                    TREAT MY OCD

I've been conta...
:                     TREAT MY OCD I've been contacted by Stephen Smith, founder and CEO of nOCD , a mobile app which helps treat  Ob...
                   TREAT MY OCD

I've been contacted by Stephen Smith, founder and CEO of nOCD, a mobile app which helps treat  Obsessive Compulsive Disorder. He asked if I would be interested in spreading the word about it and sharing his website. As it's a mental health issue, I'm only too happy to help.

Any mental health issue is hard to live with, and many people find it difficult to understand what sufferers are going through. Explaining the details of any particular mental health issue can help them appreciate better what sufferers are having to deal with, and can sometimes help the sufferer themselves understand what is happening and show them that they're not alone and that help is available.

What is OCD?

Obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD) is an anxiety disorder. It has two main parts: obsessions and compulsions.

Obsessions are unwelcome thoughts, images, urges, worries or doubts that repeatedly appear in your mind. They can make you feel very anxious (although some people describe it as 'mental discomfort' rather than anxiety).
  • Compulsions are repetitive activities that you do to reduce the anxiety caused by the obsession. It could be something like repeatedly checking a door is locked, repeating a specific phrase in your head or checking how your body feels.

What is nOCD?
'nOCD is a smartphone and smartwatch app bringing technology into OCD treatment where patients need it most. nOCD was created by OCD patients for OCD patients driving every aspect of our mission.'

Stephen says:

'Here's a little more background and the story behind it: We offer a free mobilized personal treatment tool for OCD called "nOCD". It is revolutionizing the way people with OCD receive treatment, while making sure that the treatment our app provides is equally as effective as traditional therapy. Everyone on our team at nOCD either has OCD themselves or has strong personal connections to someone who does. This has enabled us to build a product which truly meets the needs of our users, because we have an understanding of where they are coming from and what they are looking for. The app was built in collaboration with over 1000 trained professionals. The app's functionality digitizes clinically effective OCD therapy with MCBT (mindfulness cognitive behavioral training), ERP, and ACT. We also have plans to add a major community feature into the app, which will allow people from all over the world who are affected by OCD to interact with one another. Also, our @Treatmyocd social media movement is currently the largest OCD community in the world and is continuing to grow.
     And it was founded because I personally dealt with OCD and was fed up with the whole system, how difficult it was to find quality treatment, how expensive it was, etcetera.

Stephen Smith

Saturday, 2 September 2017

Creating My Odyssey:        SOCIAL MEDIA AND ME  ****I love it, but ...

Creating My Odyssey:        SOCIAL MEDIA AND ME  ****

I love it, but ...
:        SOCIAL MEDIA AND ME  **** I love it, but I think we know that by now. ��! Putting myself out there... My creativity, my inter...
       SOCIAL MEDIA AND ME  ****

I love it, but I think we know that by now. 😄! Putting myself out there... My creativity, my interests and everything connected with them. And my mental health and what happened three years ago to literally cure me, and my means of communicating globally what did cure me and how. Because I felt, extremely strongly, that others who suffer with depression and anxiety should have the knowledge that I received to cure me. And social media was the means of doing just that! And also, not so selflessly, to put my art and writing 'out there'. And why not?

Obviously there's Facebook:
Kitty Le Roy's Wild West Saloon:
Creating My Odyssey:

(For some reason I can't get this link to work - my apologies).
About Me:

So there we have them. I don't visit them all regularly, but I am making the effort to do so. And there are even more for me to consider! See you out there, I hope...😄